Quote, “I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces, than make another trip over the Falls.” So said the impoverished 63 year old widow Annie Edson Taylor, who ought to know of what she spoke, being the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The clever kitten pictured with her here, not hearing the word “food” in the pronouncement, had no opinion.

More on her and the long line of Niagara Falls daredevils: Extraordinary Voyages, A History of Stunting at Niagara, Daredevils of Niagara Falls, How Going Over Niagara Works, Stunters and Daredevils, Niagara Falls Daredevils Ephemera, Anna Edson Taylor, Niagara Falls Daredevil Postcards, Stereoscopic Views of Niagara Falls, Stunts and Stunters, Watercolors of Stunts and Stunters, The Complete Guide to Niagara Falls

10.20. filed under: history. humanity. wtf. 2

I was lucky enough to get my grubby hands on a 1931 book titled, as seen above, Sins of America, by Edward Van Every, and my my are they many. It was a follow-up to a book he put out a year earlier titled, Sins of New York. Both books are collections of stories and illustrations which originally appeared in The National Police Gazette and they are fantastic. The Gazette was a sensationalistic tabloid aimed at the “sporting” single men of the 19th Century. It was sold through barber shops and saloons. It was chock full of dramatic woodcuts of sporting events, brutal crimes, female burlesque performers, actresses in racy poses, and the scandals of the day. During it’s peak it had a readership of over 200,000 and was the most successful such publication of it’s time. More than that it can be credited with the invention of the sports page and the gossip column. Pretty much everything we associate with tabloid journalism, as well as men’s magazines, had a start in the Gazette.


Eugenics- It’s too broad and prickly a subject to tackle in any meaningful way in the short strokes of a blog post frankly. Debatable issues, movements, historical consequences, ethical quandaries, scientific disciplines, philosophical attitudes all stem from or tangle with it like branches of a gnarled millennia old tree. One thing I can say for certain is that as with all Ideologies seeking to convert themselves into some dispassionate, quantifiable (and hence reputable) Science, Eugenics relied heavily on statistics. It follows that, as with all such endeavors, one of the chief concerns was how best to present said statistics in an affecting way. The Eugenics movement, being focussed as it was on issues of race, class, breeding, and illness (all sources of viscerally opinionated reaction in the annals of human discourse) was able to produce some doozies.


Description: A late 19th Century quarter repeating Swiss lever in a gold full hunter case. Gilt three quarter plate keyless movement with going barrel, four armed cam above the plate to actuate the automaton. Plain cock with polished steel regulator, compensation balance with blue steel overcoil hairspring. Club foot lever escapement. Slide quarter repeating on two gongs. Engine turned 18 carat gold full hunter case, slide in the band, etcetera.

Wow. Pretty fancy! And what is all that high presision Swiss mechanical dodaddery in the service of? What does it all lead to? 

 

09.18. filed under: history. humanity. play. wtf. 4

Scorched rock floating through empty space beholden to cold dispassionate forces for near eternity.

Observations of the star “V 391 Pegasi b” have revealed that a planet circling close to its star, like say, Earth, is not necessarily doomed to being swallowed whole when its star expands and goes “red-giant” in old age.

Quote: “Stars such as our own expand into red giants in their old age, engulfing nearby planets. Now a planet has been sighted circling close to V 391 Pegasi, a star that has gone through the red-giant phase to become what is known as a hot B-type subdwarf. The planet, it seems, survived this process.”

09.18. filed under: humanity. observations. space. 1

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