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Did you know Mrs Wilde?

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Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

 

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

We all know about Oscar Wilde, we all know some of his witty quotes , we know / have seen  his plays.  Who can forget The Picture of Dorian Gray, or The Importance of being Ernest… ?

 

You may even have seen the movie in which Steven Frey acted. Movies never give the true story!

 

But did you know his wife?

 

Here is a book that I can recommend.

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The story of the woman at the center of the most famous scandal of the nineteenth century. In the spring of 1895 the life of Constance Wilde changed irrevocably. Up until the conviction of her husband, Oscar, for homosexual crimes, she had held a privileged position in society. Part of a gilded couple, she was a popular children’s author, a fashion icon, and a leading campaigner for women’s rights. A founding member of the magical society The Golden Dawn, her pioneering and questioning spirit encouraged her to sample some of the more controversial aspects of her time. Mrs. Oscar Wilde was a phenomenon in her own right. But that spring Constance’s entire life was eclipsed by scandal. Forced to flee to the Continent with her two sons, her glittering literary and political career ended abruptly. She lived in exile until her death. Franny Moyle now tells Constance’s story with a fresh eye. Drawing on numerous unpublished letters, she brings to life the story of a woman at the heart of fin-de-siecle London and the Aesthetic movement. In a compelling and moving tale of an unlikely couple caught up in a world unsure of its moral footing, Moyle unveils the story of a woman who was the victim of one of the greatest betrayals of all time.

 

Nelson Mandela sculpture

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Check out this interesting Nelson Mandela sculpture below. It consists of 50 ten metre high laser cut steel plates set into the landscape, representing the 50 year anniversary of when and where Mandela was captured and arrested in 1962

Standing at a particular point (presumably the spot where the people are standing in Photo #2), the columns come into focus and the image of Mandela can be seen.

The sculptor is Marco Cianfanelli, of Johannesburg

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Scientology… and why I do not like Tom Cruise

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(Maybe the typing error of Tom Cruise’s name was a Freudian slip?) Sorry about that

The great-grandson of the founder of Scientology said that the belief system is a “cult” last night on Current TV with Cenk Uygur. Jamie DeWolf, the great-grandson of L. Ron Hubbard, blasted Scientology in scathing terms.

Uygur had DeWolf on to talk about how people get sucked into Scientology. “How do they do it?” asked Uygur.

DeWolf said that Scientology leaders “prey on narcissism….[You’re] told you’re a God-like creature.”

DeWolf also explained how Scientology specifically tries to rope in celebrities, though they are often “insulated from the nastier aspects of it.” DeWolf said Elvis Presley turned down an offer to join Scientology.

“Is it a case study in how you can gradually brainwash people?” asked Uygur. “I think it’s one of the most brilliant and devious systematic brainwashing systems that’s ever been invented,” responded DeWolf.

Scientology “works through electrified hypnosis. It works through past life regression therapy. It works through a lot of hodgepodge of ideas thrown together with this extremely brutal sort of security sense and this kind of like CIA-like structure that becomes really intoxicating to people. But to meet people who’ve been out of the cult — I mean, yeah, you want to ask them about Xenu and aliens — but the fact is these are smart people. They’ve just been completely destroyed,” said DeWolf.

Read the article here

Mental Floss

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Naturally Selected

Charles Darwin (1809–1882), a young graduate from the University of Cambridge, almost didn’t get to go on the 1831 voyage of the HMS Beagle, the five-year voyage that provided the basis for Darwin’s historic Origin of Species. Initially, the ship’s captain wanted to reject him based on the shape of his nose. It seems Captain Fitz- Roy judged a man’s character by his profile, and Darwin’s nose just didn’t indicate “sufficient energy and determination.” Also, Darwin’s father thought the trip was a

frivolous attempt to avoid getting a real job (like joining the clergy). What to do? A three-day test voyage with the captain and a well-worded letter from Darwin’s uncle soon removed the barriers, and Darwin was on his way.

 

 

Aspirin and the Willow

It’s a common belief that aspirin is found in the bark of willow trees. It’s not! A related compound called salicin does indeed occur in willow bark, thereby explaining the traditional use of the bark as a medication. But salicin is irritating to the stomach, a problem that prompted the Bayer company to look for an alternative. When one of their chemists synthesized acetyl salicylic acid in 1898, he found it to be a great improvement over other salicylates—a triumph of chemistry over nature! Aspirin has

since been found to do much more than alleviate pain. It’s an excellent anti-inflammatory substance, as many arthritis patients will vouch. ASA, as it is commonly known, also has an anticoagulant, or blood-thinning, effect, which can reduce the risk of heart attacks. In fact, today more aspirin is consumed as a heart-attack preventer (generally in doses of about 80 mg a day) than as a painkiller!

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Bad Milk

One of the unfortunate victims of bad milk was Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, who died of milk sickness in 1818. The sickness, which actually wiped out many pioneers, had nothing to do with bacteria and everything to do with a cow’s diet. When the animals grazed on a plant called snakeroot, people who drank their milk got sick and often died. A naturally occurring substance in the milk called tremetone was converted by human body enzymes into a highly toxic substance.

When chemists linked milk sickness to snakeroot early in the 20th century, farmers were counseled to rid their fields of the plant, and thus milk sickness was eliminated.

Where on Earth?

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Is this?

Chinese fakeaways.

 

 

Did you know?

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WHY:
Why do men’s clothes have buttons on the right while women’s clothes have buttons on the left?

BECAUSE:
When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid’s right! And that’s where women’s buttons have remained since.

 


 

WHY:
Why do ships and aircraft use ‘mayday’ as their call for help?

BECAUSE:
This comes from the French word m’aidez -meaning ‘help me’ — and is pronounced, approximately, ‘mayday.’


WHY
Why are zero scores in tennis called ‘love’?

BECAUSE:
In France , where tennis became popular, the round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called ‘l’oeuf,’ which is French for ‘the egg.’ When tennis was introduced in the US , Americans (mis)pronounced it ‘love.’


WHY:
Why do X’s at the end of a letter signify kisses?

BECAUSE:
In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

WHY:
Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called ‘passing the buck’?

A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility of dealing, he would ‘pass the buck’ to the next player.


WHY:
Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?

BECAUSE:
It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host’s glass with his own.

WHY:
Why are people in the public eye said to be ‘in the limelight’?

BECAUSE:
Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and theaters by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, a performer ‘in the limelight’ was the center of attention.

WHY:
Why is someone who is feeling great ‘on cloud nine’?


BECAUSE
Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.


WHY:
In golf, where did the term ‘Caddie’ come from?

BECAUSE:
When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game ‘golf.’ He had the first course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced ‘ca-day’ and the Scots changed it into ‘caddie.’


WHY:
Why are many coin collection jar
banks shaped like pigs?

BECAUSE:
Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called ‘pygg’. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as ‘pygg banks.’ When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a container that resembled a pig. And it caught on.

I am reading….

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starvation_heights

 

Starvation Heights by Gregg Olson

I n 1911 two wealthy British heiresses came to a sanitarium near Seattle to undergo the revolutionary fasting treatment of Linda Burfield Hazzard. It was supposed to be a holiday for the two sisters. But within a month of arriving at what the locals in Olalla, Wash., called “Starvation Heights,” the women were emaciated shadows of their former selves, groaning in pain, waiting for death.

Dora and Claire Williamson had fallen into the hands of Dr. Hazzard, a woman of extraordinary evil and greed who would stop at nothing to achieve her ambitions.

This is her story

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Linda Hazzard

At her death, Claire Williamson weighed less than 50 pounds, less than half her weight before the fasting cure. Still, the doctor insisted her patient’s weight had nothing to do with her demise. Her autopsy noted cirrhosis of the liver as the cause of death. After the autopsy, Claire’s diamond rings were slipped from her emaciated fingers and put into Linda Hazzard’s jewelry box. Her gowns found their way into the doctor’s wardrobe. The victim’s gold fillings and crowns were pulled from her teeth and sold to a local dentist.

 

Gregg Olsen

You may want to go to his website and read all about Starvation Heights for yourself.

http://www.greggolsen.com/books.php

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