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Monday, September 18, 2006

Is It Wrong to Like GenDisasters?

One of my favorite five-dollar words is "Schadenfreude"—a German term meaning "pleasure derived from the misfortune of others." GenDisasters allows us all to indulge in a little harmless Schadenfreude.

The site specializes in the "Events that Touched Our Ancestors' Lives"—and by "touched" they mean "ruined." Look here for the fires, floods, tornadoes, train wrecks, earthquakes, hurricanes, shipwrecks, explosions, and mining disasters that sent your relatives to the poorhouse or the grave. Ever wonder why Grandpa had only three fingers? Or why Uncle Joe refused to wear short pants in July? The causes of their injuries may be covered here (or maybe not: sadly, the section on "Work related accidents, automobile wrecks, mishaps, [and] building collapses" isn't yet available).

GenDisasters is the best site yet from Teri Brown, who earlier brought us and The only thing better would be a mash-up of two of these websites:

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