I can't wait to see "Alice in Wonderland!" I've heard by many of you that it's pretty awesome. While looking up some info on it, I stumbled across some interesting stuff. Did you know that the term
"Mad as a Hatter," actually had some truth to it?
Check out what Wikipedia says:
Although the name "Mad Hatter" was undoubtedly inspired by the phrase "as mad as a hatter", there is some uncertainty as to the origins of this phrase. As mercury was used in the process of curing pelts used in some hats, it was impossible for hatters to avoid inhaling the mercury fumes given off during the hatmaking process. Hatters and mill workers often suffered mercury poisoning as residual mercury vapor caused neurological damage including confused speech and distorted vision; hatmaking was the main trade in Stockport, near where Carroll grew up. It was not unusual then for hatters to appear disturbed or mentally confused; many died early as a result of mercury poisoning. However, the Mad Hatter does not exhibit the symptoms of mercury poisoning, which include "excessive timidity, diffidence, increasing shyness, loss of self-confidence, anxiety, and a desire to remain unobserved and unobtrusive."