Archive for the 'Mysterious History' Category

Big News About Early Humans in the New World

There has been a lot of news recently about our ancestors – where they evolved and settled, and when – and these discoveries seem to imply that we are the verge of a new and exciting understanding about our origins…


In British Columbia, scientists have discovered a village site that is estimated to be three times as old as the Great Pyramid at Giza and among the most ancient human settlements in North America.


Read about it here.


But even more intense is the newly found evidence that Neanderthals — or another lost species — occupied what is now California some 130,000 years ago!


From the New York Times,


Humans Lived in North America 130,000 Years Ago, Study Claims

by Carl Zimmer (4/26/17)



“Prehistoric humans — perhaps Neanderthals or another lost species — occupied what is now California some 130,000 years ago, a team of scientists reported on Wednesday.


The bold and fiercely disputed claim, published in the journal Nature, is based on a study of mastodon bones discovered near San Diego. If the scientists are right, they would significantly alter our understanding of how humans spread around the planet.


The earliest widely accepted evidence of people in the Americas is less than 15,000 years old. Genetic studies strongly support the idea that those people were the ancestors of living Native Americans, arriving in North America from Asia.


If humans actually were in North America over 100,000 years earlier, they may not be related to any living group of people. Modern humans probably did not expand out of Africa until 50,000 to 80,000 years ago, recent genetic studies have shown…”


Read more here.



For the Love of Clocks: The Very Sad Tale of the Radium Girls

A very sad story about a disposable work force, the ultimate sacrifice, and incredible corporate greed and hubris…



From Buzzfeed,

by Kate Moore


The Forgotten Story Of The Radium Girls, Whose Deaths Saved Thousands Of Workers’ Lives


“During World War I, hundreds of young women went to work in clock factories, painting watch dials with luminous radium paint. But after the girls — who literally glowed in the dark after their shifts — began to experience gruesome side effects, they began a race-against-time fight for justice that would forever change US labor laws.


On April 10, 1917, an 18-year-old woman named Grace Fryer started work as a dial painter at the United States Radium Corporation (USRC) in Orange, New Jersey. It was four days after the US had joined World War I; with two soldier brothers, Grace wanted to do all she could to help the war effort. She had no idea that her new job would change her life — and workers’ rights — forever.


The Ghost Girls


With war declared, hundreds of working-class women flocked to the studio where they were employed to paint watches and military dials with the new element radium, which had been discovered by Marie Curie a little less than 20 years before. Dial painting was “the elite job for the poor working girls”; it paid more than three times the average factory job, and those lucky enough to land a position ranked in the top 5% of female workers nationally, giving the women financial freedom in a time of burgeoning female empowerment. Many of them were teenagers, with small hands perfect for the artistic work, and they spread the message of their new job’s appeal through their friend and family networks; often, whole sets of siblings worked alongside each other in the studio.


Radium’s luminosity was part of its allure, and the dial painters soon became known as the “ghost girls” — because by the time they finished their shifts, they themselves would glow in the dark. They made the most of the perk, wearing their good dresses to the plant so they’d shine in the dance halls at night, and even painting radium onto their teeth for a smile that would knock their suitors dead…”


For the rest, click here.




Who Buried Old Hollywood’s Scandals? – The MGM “Fixers”

Don’t we all need a “fixer” time and again? 😉


From Atlas Obscura,


The Fixers Who Buried Old Hollywood’s Biggest Scandals
When stars needed something to be swept under the rug, they summoned these guys.

by Kristin Hunt


Loretta Young and Spencer Tracy, both “fixer” charges of Eddie Mannix, for entirely different reasons. Columbia Pictures, 1933 publicity still/Public Domain


“Howard Strickling’s phone was always ringing. First it might be Jean Harlow, panicking that William Powell had gotten her pregnant. Then it might be a security guard, informing him that he’d removed a belligerent Spencer Tracy from yet another bar. Once it was Marlene Dietrich, distraught after discovering John Gilbert’s dead body.



As the head of publicity for MGM, Strickling “handled” all these potentially scandalous affairs for the studio’s stars. From the 1930s through the 1960s, he worked with MGM general manager Eddie Mannix to maintain the carefully curated images MGM had built for each of its movie stars. That meant keeping damaging stories out of the press—or, if it was too late, making those stories disappear.



Mannix and Strickling were an unlikely team. Mannix, a thug who hung out with mobsters, first caught the eye of film-executive brothers Nick and Joseph Schenck while working construction at their amusement park in Fort Lee, New Jersey. (Josh Brolin plays a loose version of him in Hail, Caesar!) Strickling was a “dapper former journalist” who transitioned over to MGM publicity in 1919. But together, they quashed almost every type of tabloid item imaginable, as detailed in The Fixers by E.J. Fleming….”



For the rest, click here.


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