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The Forgotten Victims of Jack the Ripper

We are fascinated by the Ripper – he is a legend, with countless books and films dedicated to his mystery. There’s an entire field dedicated to the study of his crimes: Ripperology.

 

But who were his tragic victims? Let’s find out…

 

 

The Forgotten Lives Of Jack The Ripper’s Victims
By Elisabeth Sherman

 

Because he was the first celebrity serial killer, Jack the Ripper’s victims and their tragic lives were always overshadowed by the man himself.

 

“Head to London for a dose of the macabre, and you won’t be disappointed. Guided tours of the Whitechapel district — where in 1888 legendary serial killer Jack the Ripper brutally cut the throats of five prostitutes and removed their organs — continue to draw in droves of tourists to this day.

 

There’s the Jack the Ripper museum, too, which opened last year to controversy. According to historian Fern Riddell, the museum intended to tell the “history of women in the East End,” but activists said the museum mainly “glamorises sexual violence against women.”

 

Beyond the outcry, it’s not entirely surprising that the museum shifted focus away from Jack the Ripper’s victims and back onto the killer himself. After all, the mystery surrounding who he was and his motivations never ceases to captivate an audience — so much so that there’s a whole field dedicated to the study of his crimes: Ripperology.

 

As some have noted, though, at its core this “thriving Ripper industry” is misogynistic, and “commercially [exploits] real-life murder victims.”

 

Regardless of the truths these criticisms may highlight, fascination with Jack the Ripper and serial killers like him endure — and experts don’t see that changing any time soon. As appears in Psychology Today, “the incomprehensibility of such actions drives society to understand why serial killers do incredibly horrible things…serial killers appeal to the most basic and powerful instinct in all of us—that is, survival.”

 

This, coupled with media market dynamics, helps cement sustained public interest in figures like Jack the Ripper…”

 

For the rest, click here. And if you’re interested, here are The Ripper Letters.

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Einstein said this was impossible, but the Hubble just proved him wrong

This is how amazing the Hubble is (it’s even proving Einstein wrong lately) —

 

“Imagine a firefly moving from one side of a U.S. quarter to the other side. You have to detect this movement from 1,500 miles away,” he says. “Second, there is a bright light bulb [the white dwarf] next to the firefly. And you have to detect the small movement of the firefly in the glare of the bright light bulb.”

 

 

From National Geographic,

 

Einstein’s ‘Impossible’ Experiment Finally Performed
The Hubble telescope just weighed a star using a technique the famed physicist described but said humanity would have “no hope” of using.

 

By Nadia Drake

 

“Leave it to the Hubble Space Telescope to prove Albert Einstein wrong. Or at least, unnecessarily pessimistic.

 

Recently, Hubble spied a dead star about 18 light-years away warping the light of a more distant star that appeared to pass behind it. Einstein predicted this effect would happen based on his general theory of relativity, but he then claimed scientists had “no hope” of actually seeing it.

 

Of course, he wrote that dour phrase nearly 60 years before humans launched a rather impressive piece of hardware into Earth’s orbit.

 

Now, Hubble has managed to witness the spectacle, and astronomers were able to read clues carried in the curved starlight and discern the mass of the dead star, called Stein 2051B. The result perfectly matches a prediction of the star’s mass made a century ago…”

 

For the rest, click here.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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