Regarding the column about whether eyeballs can be knocked out of the head, I just thought I’d share this (probably apocryphal) story.
It’s France, 1794, and things are not going quite as planned for Robespierre and his chums. They’re barricaded inside the town hall, while a howling mob is outside, trying to storm the place. Eventually the mob break in, and Hanriot, the commander of the National Guard, tries to escape by jumping through a closed window.
Unfortunately for him, this is the real world, not Hollywood, and he suffers terrible injuries including two broken legs from the fall, as well as on eye which is hanging down onto his cheek, suspended by a badly damaged optic nerve.
Next morning, Hanriot is loaded onto the tumbril to be taken to the guillotine with everyone else, still with his eye hanging out. And, according to one source, someoe rushed forward out of the crowds that were lining the route, snatched away Hanriot’s eye, and ran away with it as a souvenir.
The alleged incident is reported by Christopher Hibbert, who isn’t always the most reliable of sources, and most reputable historians ignore it. Then again, would you rather have a reputable source, or one who makes history fun?