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Handcuffed and shackled, and fighting against strong winds, Jack LaLanne swam 1.5 miles, towing 70 boats with 70 people on it. . . he was 70 years old. LaLanne, called the Godfather of fitness, gave up white flour and white sugar at 15 and has been devoted to healthy living ever since. Among other things, he is responsible for the first"nationally syndicated exercise show on television." A firm believer in healthy living, he avoids steroids, takes a myriad of daily vitamins and even avoids aspirin. LaLanne will be 94 in September.
Source. Source. Source.

In Detroit, this house was foreclosed and sold for $1. It was on the market for 19 days. Once selling for $65,000, the house had be extensively vandalized, had attracted squatters and had racked up $4,000 in back taxes. The house's bank owner payed "$2,500 in sales commission and another $1,000 bonus for closing the $1 sale [and payed] $500 of the buyer's closing costs. . . The agent did say that the buyer agreed to pay the full list price of $1"

Following Wilhelm Roentgen's discovery of the x-ray, one London company began selling x-ray proof underwear (probably lead-lined).

Tremayne Durham agreed to plead guilty to murder after Oregon prosecutors took the death penalty off the table, and agreed to his demand to have two special meals. He will immediately receive a meal of "KFC chicken, Popeye's chicken, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, carrot cake and ice cream. " On his sentencing date (also his wedding-date), he will receive a meal of "calzones, lasagna, pizza and ice cream." "Prosecutors said they hated appearing to cater to the whims of a murderer, but eying the expense of a long trial and lengthy appeals, as well as the turmoil for the victim's family, they agreed."
PETA sent a letter protesting the conditions and demanding that Durham only be served vegetarian meals while incarcerated. The final paragraph of the letter reads, "Feeding prisoners corn chowder rather than chicken will go a long way toward ending the cycle of violence. You can help prevent Durham from contributing to any more suffering and death by mandating that he be placed on a healthy, humane vegetarian diet." The letter can be read here.
Source. Source.

For your viewing

Here are some visual illusions. I included some favorites from old posts. You will probably have to click on many of these pictures to get an enlarged view to see the illusion. I set it so the pictures will pop up in a new tab or window (depending on your browser.)

These two tables ave the same dimensions:
In the image on the left, squares A and B are the same shade of gray. The image on the right proves it.
These lines are all horizontal.

This triangle is impossible.Try to follow the stairs up.
Move your head from side to side, and the inside of the circle seems to move.
Move your eyes around.
Can you spot the word in the face?
Think about it.
You have to click on this picture to enlarge it. This is a static picture, but as you can see it seems to move. If you really want to give yourself a headache, set it as your computer background like I did.
All these lines are vertical and horizontal:
You will recognize these two from a recent post.

Read the directions:
Count the legs:

For an older post of some cool sites to explore with spirals and moving optical illusions, go here.
Here is a spiral you can stare at. The next thing you look at will appear to be swirling.

For Your listening

In 1625, all of the sopranos in the Sistine Chapel choir were castrati who had been castrated as young boys to achieve a unique singing voice. Castrated before puberty, they would retain their boy soprano voice but sing with the strength and breath capacity of a man. Part of their necessity was the fact that at that time, women could not sing in church choirs, but the men were said to be extremely popular and have the "voice of angels". "During the 17th and 18th centuries in Italy, some 4,000 - 5,000 boys were castrated annually for the purpose of singing alto in the church choirs." By 1640, castrati were used in choirs throughout Italy. The practice was officially banned by Pius X in 1903.
The only audio recordings of a castrati is of Alessandro Moreschi (1858-1922). Critics say Moreschi was past his singing prime wen he made this recording. Because the style of music has changed so much, keep this in mind: "Many of the seemingly imperfect vocal attacks, for example, are in fact, launched from as much as a tenth below the note - in Moreschi's case, this seems to have been a long-standing means of drawing on the particular acoustics of the Sistine Chapel itself."
Here Morschi sings Ave Maria.
Here he sings Domine Salvum Fac.
Source. Source.
Georgia Brown is a Brazilian singer who holds the Guinness World Record for singing the highest recorded note. Her vocal range spans 8 octaves. A word of warning on the audio link. It is, how to put it, all very very high notes. Here. is her song. For a smaller dose of high notes, here is a video where she only sings high at the end.

In 1877, Thomas Edison recorded the first sounds for play back. He recited Mary Had A Little Lamb. Here is the recording which is very clear. Up until recently, Edison was thought to have made the first recording, but an 1860 recording of "Au Clair de la Lune" by French inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville has been found. Scott recorded by "etch[ing] representations of sound waves into paper covered in soot from a burning oil lamp." The distinction is that Scott's recordings were not designed to be played back. Here is the recording. Source.

Florence Foster Jenkins (1868-1944) was famous for being a terrible singer. Despite this, or because of this, she managed immense popularity and was able to draw 5,000 people to a 3,000 ticket Carnegie Concert performance. It is agreed that Jenkins was sincere in her belief in her singing, dismissing laugher as "professional jealousy." Her balls and recitals each had a theme. Between every song, Jenkins would change costumes. Both Enrico Caruso and Cole Porter were admirers. Cole Porter never missed her concerts. "He apparently screamed with laughter all the way through . . . but at the end he was the first one to stand up and scream and shout 'bravo'." While making this recording here, she allegedly only snag the song one time. She told the sound engineer it was perfect so no second try was necessary.
Source. Source. Source.

For more audio, you can visit here, and also here for such recordings as: Einstein explaining E=mc^2, Ted Bundy confessing, King Edward VIII abdicating and Neville Chamberlain's declaration of war.

By the way, I am currently on vaccation. I scheduled this to post automatically. (creepy music) Hope it works correctly.

Lots of twins and a little Cousins

  • This year, it was discovered that two British twins unknowingly married each other. Each twin was adopted into a separate family and were never told they had a twin. After the discovery, their marriage was annulled. Their names and the length of the marriage is being withheld. Source.
  • In the United States, marriage between cousins is illegal in 24 states. Seven states permit marriage between cousins only under specific circumstances. In Utah, cousins may marry once they are both over 65, or both over 55 and sterile. A selected list of famous people who married their first cousins: Jesse James, H.G. Wells, Charles Darwin, Edgar Allen Poe and Jerry Lee Lewis. Source. Source.
  • Kylie Hodgson and Remi Horder both have white mothers and black fathers. As can be seen in the picture above, their twins were born with different skin colors. "According to the Multiple Births Foundation, baby Kian must have inherited the black genes from both sides of the family, whilst Remee inherited the white ones." While this is not an isolated case, it remains rare with odds of a million to one. Source.
  • If two pairs of identical twins married and had children, all of their children would be genetic siblings. Source.
  • In 2002, seventy-seven-year-old Finnish twin brothers both died within an hour on the same road. The first twin was riding his bike and was hit by a truck and killed. Two hours later, his twin brother was also killed by a truck while riding his bike. They died within .93 miles (1.5 km) of one another. Police officer Marja-Leena Huhtala said, "It made my hair stand on end when I heard the two were brothers, and identical twins at that. It came to mind that perhaps someone from upstairs ad a say in this."Source.
  • "When Barbara and Daphne, also identical twins, were reunited at the age of 39, each arrived wearing a beige dress and a brown velvet jacket." Source.
  • James Springer and James Lewis were identical twins who were separated at birth. When reunited, they shared some similarities. Each had married and divorsed a Linda, then married a Betty. Both named their childhood dogs Troy. And one had named his firstborn son James Alan while the other had named his James Allen. Source
By the way, I am going on vaccation, but have scheduled really good posts for the 12th and the 20th. I will have a computer where I am going, but will probably be too busy having fun. Thank you for reading.