Sir Paul McCartney reads what Googles search's autocomplete shows are the most commonly asked questions about him. A lot of these things I already knew, but was surprised to learn that the most successful songwriter alive never really learned to read musical notation. Listening to him reminisce is quite pleasant, as the simplest questions lead to great stories. -via Tastefully Offensive
Dr. Ashley Seawright is an ophthalmologist in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. He is a prime example of nominative determinism. It turned out well, as his patients want to "see right." This is just one name from the Buzzfeed list 23 People Who Were 100% Born To Do Their Jobs. Go there to see what Todd Cutright, Andrew Drinkwater, and David L. Dickensheets are doing for a living.
(Image source: Mark Gribble)
What is your earliest memory? In a study of more than 6,000 people, the average age of a first memory was 3.24 years, but 40% reported memories from age two or earlier. Some even recall being an infant. Is that even possible?
Researchers who have investigated memory development suggest that the neurological processes needed to form autobiographical memories are not fully developed until between the ages of three and four years. Other research has suggested that memories are linked to language development. Language allows children to share and discuss the past with others, enabling memories to be organised in a personal autobiography.
So how can I remember being a baby? And why did 2,487 people from our study remember events that they dated from the age of two years and younger?
You may have heard any of a dozen origin stories for the word "Okay." Or maybe you use "OK." It goes back as least as far as 1839, but could have been around before that. It's had quite a history since then.
You know the painting in this picture: a pulp paperback version of Luke and Leia before we ever met the characters, posed in front of a menacing Darth Vader helmet and Death Star. The painting is known as the Style B poster for Star Wars. Beside it stands Greg Hildebrandt, the artist who produced it along with his late brother Tim.
Greg Hildebrandt, now pushing 80, remembers well the circumstances of that painting’s creation. “When the agency in New York called me at my studio about doing the job, they hadn’t seen the film,” Hildebrandt says, even though the movie’s release date was only a week away. “I asked them if they knew what it was about, and they said, ‘It’s some kind of science-fiction movie.’” The film already had a poster by Tom Jung, but Lucas wasn’t totally happy with it. “The guys at the agency told us that Lucas wanted it to be more comic-booky—that was our only direction. So, we went to the agency’s office in New York, were given some black-and-white film stills for reference, and then hopped a train back to my studio in Jersey. We were given 36 hours. On the train, we started asking ourselves, ‘What do they mean by comic-booky?’ They obviously didn’t literally mean a black-ink outline with flat colors, so we went for more of a pulp look and a broader approach in terms of color.”
All these years later, Hildebrandt has painted the image again, an original artwork that will go up for auction in November. Read about the artist, the origin, and the legacy of the Star Wars Style B painting at Collectors Weekly.
Your first reaction might be to think that divorce lawyers will just tell you not to get married. That's not what happens at all. In fact, these people are married, and they value marriage as an institution. They have advice to give because they've seen what can go wrong when two people enter a marriage without being fully prepared. -via Tastefully Offensive
Quite a few people plan an autumn vacation to 1. take advantage of smaller crowds and lower rates during the school year, and 2. to see the glorious fall colors. The peak fall foliage colors vary from year to year, so the Smokey Mountains tourism website offers an interactive fall foliage map so that you can plan your trip to catch peak colors. Pick a week, and see where the best colors will be this fall. And remember, while trees turn beautiful colors everywhere, you'll be able to see them better on mountains. -via Mental Floss
Maggie Taraska, a 17-year-old student pilot, was flying solo out of the Beverly Airport in Massachusetts on Sunday when another pilot radioed the tower.
Tower, that Warrior just lost his main gear. Looks like the wheel just fell off the airplane.
As you can tell from the recording, Taraska was instantly terrified, but she bucked up and followed directions from her instructor John Singleton to the letter. After landing a couple of nearby planes, the airport shut down all flights until she managed to land successfully, despite having only two wheels on her landing gear. Way to go, Maggie! Taraska has been training for three years, and hopes to join the US Air Force, as both her parents did. -via Metafilter
It had to happen sooner or later, considering how iconic the image is. You can now buy an inflatable Halloween costume that makes you Han Solo frozen in carbonite! Entertainment Earth expects the costume to begin shipping some time this month, and you can pre-order it now for $60. That includes the inflatable, a fan, gloves, and a mask. It's up to you to provide a friend to help you through doors and hand your drink to you. See a diagram of how the costume works at Boing Boing.
Edith Peer was a young Jewish woman from Hungary when she was taken to Ravensbrück, the concentration camp in Germany for women only. The inmates comforted each other with stories of their homes, and confronted starvation with stories of remembered recipes.
Barely an adult and not knowing how to scramble an egg, Peer would sit with the other women during rare moments of spare time and listen to them “eat with words” as they shared their favourite recipes. It occurred to Edith to learn to cook from these women and collect their recipes because she had every intention of surviving.
Peer, was put to work in an office of the Siemens & Halske electronics company and so was able to steal paper and a pencil. "The paper was torn into even-sized sheets and, with the help of a friend, she wired it together, like a staple," says Roslyn Sugarman, Head Curator at the Sydney Jewish Museum.
Using the stolen paper and pencil, her fellow inmates recalled family dishes that were rich and heavy, meant to fill the belly: goulash, potato dumplings, stuffed cabbage, paprika fish and desserts. So many desserts. Desserts for observance, desserts to celebrate, desserts to indulge, such as nougat cream, sachertorte (Austrian chocolate cake) and kaiserschmarrn (a shredded pancake). "If you think of a house filled with the smell of baking, that's the smell of home," says Sugarman. More than half of the 97 recipes (written in Hungarian and German) in the cookbook are for cakes and trifles, biscuits and creams.
Peer survived the war and immigrated to Australia in 1951. In 1984 she donated the cookbook to the Sydney Jewish Museum in Darlinghurst. Read how the cookbook came about and what it means to the memory of the Holocaust at SBS. -via Metafilter
Rear Admiral Joseph Giles Eaton had a distinguished Navy career that led to him being assigned command of the Charlestown Navy Yard in 1905. After his first wife died, he married her nurse, Mrs. Jennie May Ainsworth, who quickly proceeded to paint the admiral as a monster, an abusive drug addict who she accused of killing their infant child with poison. Mrs. Eaton moved her mother, children, and at least one grandchild into their home, which the admiral referred to as a "lunatic asylum."
Little did he know that the lunacy was just getting started. On March 7, 1913, Eaton began suffering terrible stomach pains and vomiting, which he attributed to some fresh pork he had eaten the night before. Early the next morning, his wife called their doctor to announce that the Admiral was dead. He was so startled by the news that he immediately brought in the Medical Examiner to do a thorough investigation. While doing the autopsy, the medical men noticed a number of bottles in Eaton’s room, which the widow told them was probably poison. Before they left, Mrs. Eaton pulled the doctor aside and said “I do not know anything about poison. I never made a study of it,” and asked if he found signs of “homicidal insanity” in her late husband. She went on to state calmly that the Admiral had been a drug addict for years, and had an extensive knowledge of poisons.
After an enormous amount of arsenic was discovered in the dead man’s body—at least eight times the amount that could kill—Mrs. Eaton found herself arrested for murder.
It sounds like an open-and-shut case, yet it was anything but. Read about the exceedingly weird trial of Jennie Eaton at Strange Company.
The legends that surround the character of King Arthur give us wonderful tales of conflict, justice, magic, the rule of law, wars, romance, honor, religion, and the uniting of all Britain under one hero-king. However, the roots of those stories and the man Arthur are pretty murky. The earliest written mention of the name assumes the reader has knowledge of the oral history that was once passed down. Alan Lupack tells us what we know and what we don't in this TED-Ed lesson. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Watch these guys build a chocolate boat -and a monster to attack it! This work of art is a collaboration between Las Vegas pastry chef Amaury Guichon and Montréal chocolatier Christophe Morel. We can assume that the artists noshed on the raw material, so they felt no temptation to sample the finished product. After all, they are professionals. -via Metafilter
This guy met a girl at a bar and didn't get her number. But he knew that her name was Nicole, and that she attended the University of Calgary. Instead of hiring an investigator, he emailed every Nicole that had a University of Calgary email address- all 246 of them!
"Hi, this is a mass e mail to all Nicole's [sic] if you don't fit this description then ignore and if you are the one and just don't want to talk to me that's ok as well. If you name is Nicole and you're from Holland and you think Nietzsche is depressing then text me ... I'm Carlos btw I'm the guy who took you and your friend home last night."
None of the Nicoles was the one he was looking for, but his email had an effect. The Nicoles made friends with each other! They even started a Facebook group.
Success! Your email has been sent!