Monthly Archive: August 2015

The Photographer Who Could Predict Crime Scenes Like A Ouija Board

As a New York tabloid photographer from the 1930s to the 1950s, Arthur Fellig liked to call himself “Weegee the Famous” for his ability to predict the locations of crime scenes like a Ouija board. A cross between a serious photojournalist and one of today’s paparazzi, Weegee often raced to the scene of a crime before the police, got the shot, and developed the pictures from equipment he carried in the trunk of his car. For the most part, Weegee didn’t waste his time with nobodies because he believed that “names make news.” He photographed society affairs and society brawls. Whatever made the money. Yet Weegee is described in one New York Times article as a “folk hero.”

The Olympic Gold Medalist Whose Record Of Heroics Has Been Lost To History

Today, Eric Liddell is only remembered for winning a gold medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics in the men’s 400-meter race. But his real heroics came later, quietly and without fanfare. Working as a missionary in the city of Tianjin in China, he was placed in an internment camp in the early 1940s after Tianjin fell to the Japanese. He shared his rations when others wouldn’t and refused to leave the camp when Winston Churchill arranged for the ailing Liddell to be freed in a prisoner exchange. Instead, Liddell let a pregnant lady go in his place. Sick and malnourished, he died a couple months before the camp was liberated in 1945.

People Missing An Eye Can Have ‘Phantom Eyesight’

For people who have had an eye surgically removed, perhaps to eliminate cancer, it can be completely unnerving to see images or feel pain with the missing eye. It’s called “phantom eye syndrome,” and it’s similar to the “phantom limb” feelings that amputees may experience when they lose an arm or a leg. With phantom eye syndrome, patients may complain of pain, tingling, or itching in the eye that’s gone. But many also see images out of the missing eyeball, which can feel like they’re hallucinating. Doctors aren’t sure why this happens or how to treat it.

The Psychic Who Tried To Warn Abraham Lincoln

After the death of her son Willie, Mary Todd Lincoln turned to spiritualism, hoping to speak with her deceased child. Her favorite medium was an Englishman named Charles Colchester, a con man who loved his whiskey and wasn’t above a little blackmail. But despite his flaws, Colchester actually warned Lincoln about his upcoming assassination. As it turns out, the psychic might have had some inside information.

When Simple Typos Destroy Multimillion-Dollar Spacecraft

NASA engineers are skilled at making complex mathematical calculations to send spacecraft to the Moon and beyond. That’s why it was so surprising that NASA’s $80 million Mariner I exploded within five minutes after lift-off in 1962 because of a typo. One little hyphen was missing in its mathematical code. In 1999, the $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter burned up in Mars’ atmosphere because NASA engineers forgot to convert their measurements to the metric system. But it’s not just the Americans who have problems with math. In 1983, Air Canada Flight 143 ran out of fuel mid-flight because its pilots also forgot to convert their fuel measurements to the metric system.

What The Shroud Of Turin Might Suggest About The Crucifixion

To believers in the Bible’s New Testament, the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, showing the image of His crucified body. However, many nonbelievers feel the image on the shroud is an artistic hoax. In 2014, researchers decided to re-create the path of the blood flow shown on the image to determine the crucifixion position. They found that the spots on the shroud were consistent with a crucifixion, but the arms had to be in a “Y” position above the head rather than the commonly depicted “T” position. The “Y” position would have been especially painful, creating difficulty in breathing as well.

The Myth Of The ’27 Club’ (And The Creepier Truth)

We’ll get this out of the way first: The 27 Club is a myth. Even though you can undoubtedly name a handful of musicians that died tragic deaths at the age of 27, a recent study found that there’s an age that musicians are even more likely (that is, slightly more likely) to die at: 56. They did find, however, that musicians are likely to die much younger than the general population (late fifties for men and early sixties for women) and that the type of music the musicians are known for can have implications in pinpointing how they’re going to die.

The Important Difference Between Feral And Domestic Honeybees

With the continued decline of the worldwide population of pollinators, farmers have been looking to alternative methods, specifically, colonies of domestic bees. There’s a difference between feral and domestic bees, though. Not only do domestic bees forage in different patterns than feral bees, the final yield of the crops they work is considerably lower. They’re also often susceptible to carrying diseases and parasites that feral bees are vulnerable to, aiding in the continued population decline.

The Dueling Restaurants Of Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis

After breaking up with partner Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin decided to go into the restaurant business. The result was Dino’s, a popular LA joint that served Italian food and attracted big-name celebrities. But when Dino’s became famous, Jerry Lewis became jealous and opened his own restaurant … just down the street from Dean’s.

The Woman Whose Mother Had Her Arrested For Dancing

Eugenia Kelly was a 19-year-old socialite in 1915 … and she’d fallen head over heels for Al Davis. Davis was an older man, a married man, and a professional dancer, the kind of guy newspapers called a “tango pirate.” But Eugenia’s mother, Helen Kelly, didn’t approve of the relationship, and when Eugenia refused to end the affair, Helen took her daughter to court. Naturally, the case scandalized the nation.