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A Most Unexpected History of America is indeed,a journey into a most thought-provking and often shocking past. While the text covers the historic roads well traveled, it is the "side trips" that promises to intrigue and excite you. It is a longer piece, packed with pictures, so poor a glass of wine or cup of coffee, lean back and enjoy...
The mannish 17th century queen of Sweden, Christina, was anomolous in her day. Preferring men's clothing, engaging in manly pursuits, and a scholar, she also abdicated to pursue an interest in Catholicism (illegal in Sweden then). Her androgynous appearance, attachments to at least one woman, and failed "love" interests in men have led many to believe she may have been a hermaphrodite.
A poor working-class widow, Mary Ann Cotton has passed into history as a vicious serial poisoner, mercilessly killing her loved ones for financial gain. She was vilified in the press most likely because of her station in life (as were more modern judicial victims, the early 1900s' Martha Rendell and the 1980s' Lindy Chamberlain of "the dingo ate my baby" infamy). Mary Ann's story, however, upon closer inspection may prove to be completely false; her execution may in fact have been one of history's more shameful miscarriages of justice.
When two young women--both working professionals, one a teacher, the other a magazine "copy girl"--were found stabbed to death in their apartment in 1963, police had only one thing in mind: close the case. However, their initial suspect, a mentally incompetent black man, turned out NOT to be their killer, though he was arrested, confessed, and put behind bars.
Ruth Ellis, the last woman executed in Britain before it abolished capital punishment, was a bleached-blonde party-girl. Her crime, shooting her lowlife boyfriend to death was, was not very interesting or unique. The only reason Ruth Ellis' execution is remembered today is simply this: she was pretty. And pretty people make for better copy.
Looking for things to do in New Orleans? New Orleans is a wonderful city, both to visit and to live in! There is so much culture, vibrancy, and tradition. Growing up in the Big Easy, there was always something to do, whether it be the world class attrctions like the Aquarium or Zoo, or visiting the French Quarter Market on a lazy Saturday. The city has really come back from Hurricane Katrina, and in a big way!
Astronaut Mark Watney is believed to have been killed when the Mars mission he is on is forced to leave ahead of schedule. Only he's not dead, and he has to survive on a barren world with limited supplies whilst NASA tries to work out a way to bring him home.
SkateboardingSkateboarding is an activity that has seen more evolution in its history than perhaps any other sport. First bursting onto the scene in California in the 1950s as a new way to "surf on land", skateboards have gone through countless stages since the original prototype--a simple wooden plank with two roller skate trucks nailed to the bottom. In the early days, skateboarding was considered an off-shoot of surfing. Often referred to as "sidewalk surfing", skateboarders used their basic wooden planks and wheels on land to emulate the feel of riding the waves. It wasn't until the rest of the country caught onto this new fad that it just blew up and became what we now see it as today--a highly competitive sport consisting of ridiculous stunts, tricks, and maneuvers using skateboards with perfect dimensions and intricate artwork. 1940s The first prototype of the modern skateboard was created. It was called the "Skeeter Skate", and it was made from aluminum and was ridden on four pedal-car style wheels. The surface of the Skeeter Skate was about 4 3/8 inches wide and 15 3/4 inches long. You could ride it with a handle attached or without one. Before the Skeeter Skate, a few other things came out resembling skateboards, but they never had steering; you could only go straight on them. This was the first skateboard-type device with axles that you could steer, known as "trucks". [read the rest]