<![CDATA[Ranker: Recent Politics & History Lists]]> http://www.ranker.com/list-of//politics--and--history http://www.ranker.com/img/skin2/logo.gif Most Viewed Lists on Ranker http://www.ranker.com/list-of//politics--and--history <![CDATA[America's Coolest Ghost Towns]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/american-ghost-towns/alby-thompson
"Ghost Town" is a slang term for a town or city that has, for one reason or another, been abandoned by people. Typical reasons for cities to be evacuated and abandoned by humans include an economic collapse, armed conflicts and wars, changes in the transportation grid, natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes or - in some cases - specific acts of local governments. Sometimes, the term "ghost town" is also applied to places that are sparsely populated, or from where a once-large population scattered, but this list will largely focus on abandoned, empty ghost towns.

American academics have attempted to get even more specific about the definition of "ghost town." Professor T. Lindsay Baker of Tarleton State University in Texas has issued two defining characteristics of ghost towns: (1) there is no more reason for this town to exist and (2) there are tangible remnants of the town for visitors to see.

In America, the notion of a "ghost town" became popularized largely following the California Gold Rush, when a variety of mining towns and camps sprung up across the Western and even parts of the Southern US that were later abandoned when the local resources were used up. Some of these ghost towns entered the popular culture, including Deadwood, South Dakota (which inspired the HBO TV series of the same name) and Cripple Creek, Colorado. Many of these ghost towns have been preserved and serve as state parks, while other former ghost towns have been slowly repopulated over time (such as Aspen, Colorado).
America's Coolest Ghost Towns, places/travel, history, politics & history, cities / towns, all places, museums, buildings/attractions, attractions, america, Cities, us history, landmarks,





Death Valley National Park


Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine



Gold Run, California

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 17:46:47 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/american-ghost-towns/alby-thompson
<![CDATA[The 14 Most Gruesome Ways Pirates Have Killed People Throughout History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/ways-pirates-killed-people/nathan-gibson

Pirates have often been seen as bloodthirsty and vicious criminals who would commit evil acts of violence without a second thought in order to secure treasure or evade justice. This perception can make people wonder about the grisly ways pirates killed people. However, just like with many portrayals of them on screen and in books, the truth is actually something quite different. In the same way that they didn’t walk around with parrots or speak in that infamous accent, the vast majority of pirates tried to avoid violence whenever possible.

This makes sense when you think about it. After all, if every pirate engagement ended with the crew being tortured and executed, it would cause sailors to make life as difficult as possible for the invaders. They would likely fight to the death rather than submit easily, something pirates wanted to happen so they could make a quick getaway.

That did not stop some of the swashbucklers from committing some terrible deeds. How did pirates kill people? Sometimes they had to torture a person to find out information, kill prisoners to keep them from escaping, or even make an example of a fellow pirate who had turned against his crew. Whatever the case, pirates had some fairly ingenious and gruesome ways of murdering their enemies that will make your skin crawl.

The 14 Most Gruesome Ways Pirates Have Killed People Throughout History,

A Dutch Pirate Roasted Farmers Alive

Roche Braziliano was a Dutch pirate who lived between 1630 and 1671. He operated mainly near the Caribbean island of Jamaica, where he would come into constant conflict with Spanish farmers and sailors. He was particularly cruel and was described by people at the time as a barbarian, thanks to the violent rampages he would routinely go on. But he saved the worst punishment for two farmers who refused to tell him where their pigs were located: he cut off their limbs and roasted them alive on a spit over a fire.

Some Pirates Really Did Make People Walk the Plank

Media often depicts "walking the plank" as the standard means of killing people for pirates. While it was used very occasionally, it was often considered too theatrical for common use. The actual method of making someone walk the plank was also much more horrific than films generally make it out to be. Pirates would bind their prisoners with rope so that they could not swim and weigh them down with cannonballs to ensure they would sink. Finally, they would often drop the unfortunate captives into shark-infested waters as a way of guaranteeing they would die.

A French Pirate Pulled Out a Victim’s Heart and Ate It

François l'Olonnais was a French pirate who became well-known throughout the Caribbean for his ruthlessness. He was willing to go to extreme lengths in order to get what he wanted, including torturing prisoners to extract information. This culminated in 1668 when he set sail for Honduras. There, he captured several Spanish soldiers and interrogated them to find the safest route to pass through to Central America. Finding that his methods were not working, he cut open the chest of one of the men before pulling out his heart and eating it in front of him.

One Pirate Cut Off His Victims' Lips, Ears, and Noses

It was not uncommon for pirates to mutilate their enemies and prisoners during interrogations. In fact, it was one of the standard punishments for those who had disobeyed the rules set down by the captain and his crew. Standard mutilations often involved cutting off the lips, ears, and noses of the victim before they were simply left to die. Edward Low was known to be particularly fond of this type of punishment and it is rumored that he once cut off the lips of a captain, boiled them, and then slaughtered his entire crew in the 1740s.

Black Bart Burned People Alive on Their Own Ships

Bartholomew Roberts, otherwise known as Black Bart, was another pirate who developed a reputation for his horrific methods. The extreme violence and lack of morals certainly seemed to help him, as he is arguably the most successful pirate of all time. He is estimated to have captured up to 400 ships during his career, which spanned from the late 17th century into the early 18th century. One of his favorite ways of dealing with ships he had plundered was to simply set them on fire and sail away. Unfortunately, he often did not bother to get passengers or crew off the ships before he set them alight. In one instance, Black Bart burned 80 slaves alive when he didn’t want to waste time unshackling them.

Ching Shih Would Nail Her Enemies' Feet to The Decks of Their Own Ships

Ching Shih is one of the most famous pirates who ever lived. Having begun her life as a prostitute, she was able to rise through the ranks of important Chinese pirate factions and eventually take command of hundreds of ships when her husband died in the early 19th century. Her favorite method of dealing with rival crews and enemies was to nail their feet to the deck of their own ship and proceed to beat them to death. The only way out of this horrendous torture was to agree to join her ranks and become part the Red Flag Fleet. This not only sent a message to anyone who would stand against her but also made sure she had plenty of replacement pirates to bolster her crews.

Montbars the Exterminator Nailed His Victims' Intestines to Posts

Daniel Montbars, who was also known as Montbars the Exterminator for his violent and cruel nature, was a 17th-century pirate. He became one of the biggest enemies of the Spanish Empire during his career and thus developed an intense hatred of any Spaniards he met. While he did not like to murder anyone without reason, he was merciless to any enemies that fought against him and would brutally torture any surviving soldiers. His favorite method was to cut open the stomach of a prisoner, pull out his intestines, and nail them to a post while hitting the man with a burning log.

Captain Morgan Popped Out Prisoners' Eyes Using a Metal Bar

The Welsh pirate Captain Henry Morgan was never afraid of getting violent when he needed to find out valuable information. This is exactly what he did when he sacked Portobelo in 1668, a valuable port that saw all kinds of precious commodities pass through, including a vast amount of gold. After taking over the city, he and his crew were unable to find all the treasure and so began to torture officials. The main method was something called woodling. It involved strapping a leather cord around a person’s forehead and then tightening it with a metal bar. Those who didn’t reveal information quickly enough would die when the pressure caused their eyeballs to pop out of their skulls.

Edward Low Liked Burning Prisoners' Hands Down to the Bone

Often called the most vicious pirate to have ever lived, Edward Low has become infamous for the maniacal violence he liked to inflict on his victims in the early 18th century. Though he had a rather short career, he quickly acquired an enjoyment from carrying out extreme torture. One of the cruelest acts he developed saw him tie up the hands of his prisoners with rope. He would then insert lit matches between the fingers so that the rope would burn. The flames would strip away the flesh and eventually burn down to the bone, killing the person from blood loss and shock.

Keelhauling Was a Common Practice

One of the worst ways to die at the hands of a pirate was through an act known as keelhauling. However, pirates were not the only group to use this method, as several navies also saw fit to punish people using it. The victim would be tied to a rope that looped around the entire length of the boat. The crew would then drag the victim under the ship and keel several times, leading to loss of limbs and even decapitation as they were torn to pieces by the hard wood and barnacles. Those who were not killed by the impact would undoubtedly drown.

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 05:48:45 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/ways-pirates-killed-people/nathan-gibson
<![CDATA[12 Dark Facts About Che Guevara and the Rampant Propaganda of Castro's Cuba]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/che-guevara-was-terrible/philgibbons

Ernesto "Che" Guevara has generated as much controversy as any historical figure in recent memory. The cliche Guevara and his Marxist revolutionaries liberated Cuba in 1959, overthrowing the US puppet Batista regime and kicking out the mafia and other US gringos. But Che and revolutionary Cuba has a flip side; the terrible things Che did and the repressive aspects of the society Che and Fidel Castro constructed is frequently and conveniently ignored by members of the intelligentsia.

Those sporting a trendy t-shirt emblazoned with Che's ubiquitous image probably have no idea of the Che Guevara horror stories obscured by the enduring myth of a martyred revolutionary spreading third world social justice in the Age of Aquarius. Here are some aspects of Che Guevara that may cause you to remove that t-shirt. 

12 Dark Facts About Che Guevara and the Rampant Propaganda of Castro's Cuba,

Che Was a Notorious Womanizer and Cheat

As a teenager, Guevara routinely demanded sex from maids in house (which apparently was expected of Argentine boys of means at the time).  In 1955, he became involved with Peruvian Hilda Gadea (pictured on their honeymoon, note her expression), chiefly because she slept with him and lent him money. When she became pregnant, he married her, but immediately left her to accompany Castro on his 1955 expedition to invade Cuba. By the time Hilda made it to liberated Cuba in 1959 with the couple's daughter, Che's mistress, Aleida March, was pregnant. He divorced Gadea and married Aleida.

March gave birth to four children in rapid succession, though Guevara was an absent father more interested in quixotic rebellions faraway from domesticity. Even his second wife, who publicly maintained the facade of the heroic Che, would say of him: “Che was a ‘machista’ like most Latins.” 

Machista is derived from machismo, defined as "[a] strong or exaggerated sense of traditional masculinity placing great value on physical courage, virility,domination of women, and aggressiveness."

His Attempt to Change Cuba's Economy Was A Disaster

Fidel Castro had so much faith in Guevara after the success of the Cuban revolution, he immediately appointed him head of many high profile economic offices. Che served at various times as head of the National Bank of Cuba, head of the Department of Industry in charge of agrarian reform, and all-encompassing Minister of Industry in 1961. This resulted in the virtual collapse of sugar production, an inability to industrialize, and the necessity to begin rationing in a country that was formally one of the most prosperous in the Caribbean.

Ultimately, Cuba only survived by receiving annual subsidies from the USSR of upwards of $100 billion. Undoubtedly, one of the reasons Che disappeared from Cuban public life, in 1965, to seek opportunities to spread revolution throughout the globe, was to escape scrutiny of his economic ministerial ineptitude. Although the American boycott didn't help, dogmatic approaches to economic policy implemented by Che contributed to Cuban economic hardship.

Che Was Disappointed by the USSR and Hoped Bombing New York Would Start a War

Both Castro and Guevara felt betrayal and disappointment at the outcome of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, a potential nuclear showdown between the USSR and US. When Nikita Khrushchev negotiated a solution by backing away from challenging American hegemony in the Western hemisphere, Cuban leaders felt abandoned and humiliated by their Soviet allies.

Only a month after the resolution of a crisis that had the rest of the world exhaling in relief, the Cuban government was implicated in a bomb plot that would have had catastrophic implications for American international relations and might have set off a superpower confrontation. On November 17, 1962, two Cuban envoys to the United Nations were arrested by the FBI and charged in connection with a plot to bomb New York's Macy's, Gimbel's, and Bloomingdale's department stores and Grand Central Terminal. The individuals, Cuban UN officials Elsa Montero and Jose Gomez Abad, were arrested after the FBI seized a dozen incendiary devices and a massive amount of TNT. The arrest and photos appeared on the front page of the New York Times. 

The bombing was planned for Black Friday, and could have eclipsed 9/11 in magnitude. Undoubtedly, the plot was planned, conceived, and implemented at the highest levels of the Cuban government, which included Guevara. Although some dubiously attributed comments concerning Che's intent to kill Americans with nuclear weapons have never been fully vetted, this type of attack should leave no doubt as to his level of fanaticism. There are some, including Humberto Fontova, writing in the Miami Herald, who believe Castro and Guevara personally helped plan this attack.

During the Cuban Revolution, Che Killed Many with His Own Hands

During the four year ordeal that culminated with the successful overthrow of the oppressive Batista government in 1959, Che Guevara administered summary justice to a lengthy list of victims. Deep in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra in eastern Cuba, which served as a sanctuary for Castro's rebel army, Guevara eagerly served as a ruthless enforcer. Of one such execution he himself wrote:

"….I ended the problem giving him a shot with a .32 [caliber] pistol in the right side of the brain, with exit orifice in the right temporal. He gasped for a little while and was dead. Upon proceeding to remove his belongings I couldn’t get off the watch tied by a chain to his belt, and then he told me in a steady voice farther away than fear: 'Yank it off, boy, what does it matter…. I did so and his possessions were now mine.' 

Che later described this incident to his father, adding: "I'd like to confess, papa, at that moment I discovered that I really like killing." Fellow revolutionaries or Cuban citizens accused of theft, informing, or even a lack of enthusiasm were also ruthlessly dispatched by Guevara or his hit squad.

His Mission in Africa Was a Disaster That Destroyed His Romantic Notion of Revolution

In April 1965, perhaps in an attempt to find a location as remote and removed as possible from Cuba, Guevara embarked on a mission to intervene in political and military struggle in the Congo. Arriving on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, he was intent on teaching disorganized Congolese rebels the tactics and mentality that were hallmarks of the Cuban revolution. However, as Che quickly realized and made evident in a letter to Fidel Castro, he wasn't fighting in a proper proletarian uprising, but among a gaggle of warlords, drunks, narcissists, opportunists, and petrified subordinates. 

Guevara led a force of approximately 100 Cubans in an attempt to foment a coordinated national uprising, but this proved an exercise in futility. After seven months, seriously ill with dysentery and chronic asthma (which plagued him since childhood), he admitted defeat and made his way to nearby socialist Tanzania. Though he went to Congo with plans of fighting to the death, Castro sent orders asking him to relent. Guevara did so, and spent much of 1966 in Dar Es Salaam and Prague, plotting his next move.  

Che Sent Fellow Revolutionaries on Absurd Missions That Ended in Pathetic Deaths

On March 5, 1960 Alberto Korda took a photo of Che that has become a pop culture phenomenon. However, it would take a decade and many coincidences before interest in the photo took off. Korda also cropped the original, eliminating the profile of another Cuban official, Jorge Masetti. Masetti was a fellow Argentinean, originally a journalist who covered the Cuban revolution from its inception, interviewing Castro in the Sierra Maestra in reports that were broadcast all over Latin America.

Masetti helped form the Cuban government's Prensa Latina press agency following the revolution, but resigned to actively participate in armed revolutionary activity, initially in Algeria, in 1961, where he delivered weapons from the Cuban government to those fighting the French as the Algerian National Liberation Front. Upon returning to Cuba, Masetti and Guevara hatched the first of many schemes to export revolution to South America. As Argentineans, their most obvious target was their own country.

Despite Argentina having a relatively progressive government, in September 1963, Masetti led a small band of well armed Cuban commandos into northern Argentina from Bolivia while having a proclamation of revolution delivered to media in Buenos Aires. It was ignored by everyone with the exception of the local provincial police, who tracked down Masetti's band and killed or captured all of them.

Masetti proved himself an abysmal commander and disappeared in April 1964, most likely after getting lost in the jungle. And all of this actually happened, rather than being, for instance, a skit from Monty Python, in which a totally hapless bourgeois journalist-cum-revolutionary attempts to stage a coup. This was to be the first of many fiascos  orchestrated by Che Guevara in his attempt to export foco , or regional revolution, via a small band of dedicated revolutionaries.   

As Prison Commandant, Che Personally Executed Prisoners

After the Cuban revolution, Che was appointed commandant of La Cabana, a Havana fortress and army barracks immediately transformed into the new regime's political prison. From his office, Guevara supervised the perfunctory trials and mass executions performed in the immediate aftermath of Castro seizing power. 

The exact number of individuals killed during this period remains a topic of historical dispute, but even historians sympathetic to Guevara acknowledge he had a hand in the  killings. Estimated numbers range from a few hundred into the thousands. Eyewitness accounts, including incidents witnessed by Ernest Hemingway and George Plimpton, document Che executing individuals with his own hands.     

Che's Death in Bolivia May Have Been a Suicide Mission Orchestrated by Castro

Che Guevara seems to never have grasped that the success of the Cuban revolution might have had as much to do with the corrupt Batista government as it did the tactics and conduct of Castro's tiny rebel army. Che attempted to send similarly small insurgent groups to instigate revolution in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Haiti, and all of these ventures failed miserably. Che's conclusion from these results seems to have been that successful revolution in another country required his personal leadership, not that you can't force people to rise up if a revolutionary spirit isn't already manifest.  

By November of 1966, Che decided Bolivia was the ideal location for a regional revolution. Having publicly disappeared before his ill-fated African mission and possibly not wanting to face any public discussion of the events in the Congo, Che returned incognito to Cuba to plan his mission, meet with Castro, and say goodbye to his family.

Perhaps inwardly, Guevara knew he had outlived his usefulness to the Cuban revolution. He was openly critical of the Soviet Union, upon which Cuba depended on for survival; his permanent disappearance would be a convenient solution to a diplomatic problem. Some believe Castro intentionally sent Che to his death, a theory supported by speculation in CIA memos. This would also explain why Castro put so much effort into creating Che's cult of personality in Cuba after his death - it was the perfect opportunity to give the people a martyr of the revolution, killed by capitalism and US meddling. 

Heading into the Bolivian jungle, Che attempted to relive the success of Cuban rebels in the Sierra Maestra. Within months, the Bolivian military was aware of his presence and the American government forwarded CIA and Special Forces assets to assist in pursuing Che, who was wounded and captured near the tiny village of La Higuera on October 8, 1967. He was executed the next day, along with nearly all of his small military force. His execution played a major role in his worldwide glorification and martyrdom in Cuba. Although it required death, Che's last revolutionary act was his most remarkable success. 

He Made Racist Comments Throughout His Adult Life

It's dangerous to accept many of the quotes attributed to Che Guevara, as they were frequently manufactured by rabid opponents of Guevara, Castro, and communist Cuba.  However, there can be no doubt that, even as an adult, Guevara had some very racist ideas rattling around his brain. For instance, in  The Motorcycle Diaries, he wrote: 

“The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese.”

And: “The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations.”

Biographers have attempted to dismiss these statements as those of a young, less intellectually evolved man than he who criticized US discrimination against African-Americans in front of the UN. Others cite Guevara's willingness to fight in the Congo, along side African rebels. Those making the Congo argument might wish to reflect on these quotes from Che's recently published Congolese diary (The African Dream), about his Congolese comrades : "... the poorest example of a fighter that I have ever come across to now."

And: "Given the prevailing lack of discipline, it would have been impossible to use Congolese machine-gunners to defend the base from air attack: they did not know how to handle their weapons and did not want to learn."  

In general, Guevara paints a very bleak portrait of his time in Congo and the people he was surrounded by. Though these comments should be construed as much as commentary on the content of character, not the race, of those with whom he worked, the fact remains that he had almost nothing but negative things to say about Africans. 

Guevara's comrades in arms, and others who knew him, contest the image of him as an outright racist. Freddy Ilanga, a Congolese interpreter who worked with Che in Africa, said in an interview with BBC that Guevara "showed the same respect to black people as he did to whites.” However, this doesn't mean Che's attacks on the treatment of African Americans and blacks in apartheid South Africa weren't political and calculated, or at the very least hypocritical, especially when considering how revolutionary Cuba treated homosexuals

Born to a Wealthy Family, Che Came Upon the Cuban Cause Incidentally

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was born in Argentina on June 14, 1928. His family is described as "middle class," most likely because they lived beyond their means and squandered their inherited wealth. There is nothing inherently wrong with either being Argentinean or wealthy, but it certainly contrasts with the image of Che as a hero of the Cuban Marxist proletariat. Although he was offered Cuban citizenship, Guevara rejected this official status. In examining Che's road to revolution, you find a man who stumbled upon renown thanks to the actions of others, not one destined from birth to change the world.

In 1955, Guevara joined the expedition led by Fidel and Raul Castro to liberate Cuba because he had fled Guatemala and was stuck in Mexico with no money and not much of a purpose. While living in Mexico City, Guevara was supporting himself and his family (wife Hilda Gadea and a daughter) working as a physician. Through some friends, he met first Raúl Castro, then Fidel. After talking with them, Guevara decided the Cuban cause was the one he had been searching for. He left his wife and daughter in Mexico. The Cuban bandwagon beckoned, and was a great decision for Che with regards to building his cult of personality

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 05:01:24 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/che-guevara-was-terrible/philgibbons
<![CDATA[People Who Died from Spontaneous Human Combustion]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/people-who-died-from-spontaneous-human-combustion/alby-thompson
List of people who are reported to have died from spontaneous human combustion. These are all alleged cases that have been cited as part of studies or investigations into the phenomenon of spontaneous human combustion.

Spontaneous combustion (or SHC for short) refers to a process in which a human body burns, ignites or explodes without an obvious external cause. There have, in the last 300 years or so, been over 200 cases of alleged spontaneous combustion leading to deaths in humans. Though no proven cause has ever been determined, there are numerous theories as to why some humans may spontaneously combust, including paranormal intervention (by ghosts, say, or demons), natural processes within the human body that aren't fully understood or invisible but present external phenomenon.

In most reported instances, spontaneous human combustion victims already had little mobility, often due to advanced age or obesity. The body is typically entirely incinerated, with the immediate surroundings around the person also charred from contact with the explosion. Almost always, the victim was alone at the time of death, meaning that there are few eyewitness accounts of SHC actually occurring. It has often been suggested that SHC is not really occurring and that unknown external variables - such as lit cigarettes or slowly smoldering flames - were actually to blame.
People Who Died from Spontaneous Human Combustion,

John Irving Bentley
United States, 1966
Anna Martin
United States, 1957
Helen Conway
United States, 1964
Jerome Xavier
Goa, India, 1617
Henry Thomas
Wales, 1970
Mary Reeser
United States, 1951
Nicole Millet
France, 1725
Polonus Vorstius
Italy, 1470
Phyllis Newcombe
United Kingdom, 1938
Cornelia di Bandi
Italy, 1731

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 09:59:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/people-who-died-from-spontaneous-human-combustion/alby-thompson
<![CDATA[Dying Words: Last Words Spoken By Famous People At Death]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/dying-words-last-words-spoken-by-famous-people-at-death/notable-quotables
Dying words of famous people seem to be a little bit more poetic than the typical dying utterances of the common folk. Whether they've got the money and influence to be afforded the time to gather their thoughts, or because they're just plain cooler than many of us, there exist some memorable dying words from some very famous people. 

Granted, in order to record someone's final words, there has to be some normality and/or convenience to the person's death; for the most part, you'll not find any of these famous historical figures on the list of bizarre deaths from the 19th or even the 20th century. These notable historical figures died in bed, or in battle, or were somehow able to get their dying thoughts across to someone for recording on a list of last words of famous people.

What are some of the most memorable last words from famous people? What are the best dying words ever recorded? Some of the most notable last words of historical figures are recorded here on this list of famous final words. Make sure to upvote your favorites!
Dying Words: Last Words Spoken By Famous People At Death,

Errol Flynn
"I've had a hell of a lot of fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it."

Errol Flynn, actor
Ethel Barrymore
"Is everybody happy? I want everybody to be happy. I know I'm happy."

Ethel Barrymore, actress
Eugene O'Neill
"I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room - and God damn it - died in a hotel room."

Eugene O'Neill, writer
Humphrey Bogart
"I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis."

Humphrey Bogart, actor
James K. Polk
"I love you Sarah. For all eternity, I love you."

James K. Polk, US President
Jesus Christ
"Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

Jesus Christ
Louis XIV of France
"Why do you weep. Did you think I was immortal?"

Louis XIV, King of France
Ludwig van Beethoven
"Friends applaud, the comedy is over."

Ludwig van Beethoven, composer
O. Henry
"Turn up the lights, I don't want to go home in the dark."

O. Henry (William Sidney Porter), writer
Winston Churchill
"I'm bored with it all."

Winston Churchill, statesman

Mon, 09 Aug 2010 17:05:37 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/dying-words-last-words-spoken-by-famous-people-at-death/notable-quotables
<![CDATA[The Worst Explosions in History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-explosions-in-history/mel-judson
This incendiary list of famous explosions compiles the most horrific man-made explosions in world history. From oil refinery disasters to nuclear power plant crises, the worst explosions have collectively killed hundreds of thousands of people. Humankind has a bad habit of blowing things up, whether through testing, attacks, or accidents, and the biggest explosions ever and the most famous explosions in history are all accounted for here and presented in reverse-chronological order.

The worst explosions ever range from the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II to the accidental man-made explosion and nuclear meltdown in Chernobyl. The worst man-made explosions are often disturbingly recent, such as the August 2015 chemical plant explosion in China. The biggest explosions ever also include non-nuclear testing done by the United States, while the biggest historical explosions consist of Soviet tests during the Space Race and many other Cold War shows of explosive might.
The biggest famous explosions have been going on since the early 1900s, with times of global war as hotbeds for the biggest historical explosions. Sometimes they're due to industrial negligence and sometimes they're military exercises, but every entry on this list of the most famous explosions in history is guaranteed to scare you senseless.

The Worst Explosions in History,

San Juanico disaster
Date: November 19, 1984
Location: San Juanico, Mexico
Cause: Liquid Petroleum Leak
Deaths: 500-600

 A gas leak at a liquid petroleum farm lead to a series of explosions that registered on the Richter Scale, leading to not only an explosive cloud of highly flammable gasses shifting with the wind and setting fire to neighborUS National Library of Medicineing communities, but also blast waves that destroyed nearby houses and communities almost immediately.

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine

Cataño Oil Refinery Fire
Date: October 23, 2009
Location: Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Cause: Oil Refinery Explosion

Three people were injured from a massive fire that started in an explosion at the Caribbean Petroleum Corporation oil depot and refinery. This blast was so big that it was the equivalent of a magnitude 2.8 earthquake. The resulting blaze took two days to put out, forcing many people to evacuate their homes.

Source: CBS News
Chernobyl Nuclear Meltdown

Date: April 26, 1986

Location: Ukraine

Cause: Nuclear Accident

Deaths: 31+

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded during a power failure experiment and the inadvertent explosion was the worst nuclear power plant accident ever. Though it directly killed 31 people, 25,000 cases of cancer in the area are attributed to radiation from the accident, and the lasting effects of the radiation unleashed by the blast and meltdown will impact multiple generations.

Source: CBS News

Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster
Date: July 7, 2013
Location: Quebec, Canada
Cause: Train Crash
Deaths: 47

A freight train of 74 cars loaded with crude oil derailed and rolled down a hill, causing the tank cars to explode. Five people went missing, 42 were confirmed to have died from the accident, and the blasts destroyed more than 40 buildings.

Source: The Guardian
2015 Tianjin Explosion
Date: August 12, 2015
Location: Tianjin, China
Cause: Industrial Accident
Deaths: 112+

Hundreds died and hundreds more were injured as a result of an out-of-control fire at the Port of Tianjin. Hazardous materials caused a blast in a chemical warehouse and Chinese authorities initially tried to censor reports of event, but with more than 100 dead, 95 missing, and over 700 injured, news spread quickly.

Source: CNN, Telegraph

Evangelos Florakis Naval Base Explosion
Date: July 11, 2011
Location: Zygi, Cyprus
Cause: Self-Detonated Explosives
Deaths: 13

62 people were injured and 13 people died in this 2011 incident, the worst peacetime military accident in Cyprus history. 98 containers of confiscated Iranian explosives were ineffectively stored, exposed to hot sunlight for over two years when they ultimately self-detonated at the naval base.

Source: BBC
Father of All Bombs

Date: September 11, 2007
Location: Russia

Cause: Non-Nuclear Testing

Deaths: 0

The "Father of All Bombs" (or FOAB) refers to the most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered bomb of all time. Basically, this vacuum bomb packed the destructive power of a nuke without a nuclear reaction. The Russian military successfully tested it out in the fall of 2007, resulting in an explosion with a blast radius of 990 feet.

Source: Reuters

Tsar Bomba

Date: October 30, 1961
Location: Mityushikha Bay, Russia

Cause: Nuclear Testing

Deaths: 0

Unsurprisingly, the most powerful nuke ever detonated led to the most powerful artificial explosion in the history of mankind. When the USSR detonated the device, also known as Big Ivan, the mushroom cloud roughly 40 miles high, over seven times the height of Mount Everest. The shockwave broke windows more than 500 miles from the actual site.

Source: Slate

N1 Launch Explosion

Date: July 3, 1969
Location: Tyuratam, Russia

Cause: Launch Failure

Deaths: 0

Just weeks before the Apollo 11 moon landing, Soviet engineers launched the second test of this rocket system in a secretive mission to beat America in the space race. The ambitious rocket was powered by 30 engines, but when just one of them failed, all of them almost instantly exploded, as well. The result was a disaster that officially became the largest rocket explosion in history.

Source: Russian Space Web

Minor Scale

Date: June 27, 1985 
Location: New Mexico

Cause: Nuclear Test

Deaths: 0

In the summer of 1985, the United States Defense Nuclear Energy detonated several thousands of more traditional explosives to see what a tiny nuke explosion would look like. It looked like a fireball that became the largest planned conventional explosion in world history.

Source: Nuclear Files

Sat, 15 Aug 2015 06:44:45 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-explosions-in-history/mel-judson
<![CDATA[29 Things You Didn't Know About Our Founding Fathers]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/founding-fathers-facts/mel-judson
This list of interesting facts about the Founding Fathers will rock your world. These are little-known tidbits about former Presidents of the United States and the group of men who created America with its founding documents. If you are looking for a list that features John Adams facts, George Washington fun facts, and loads of trivia about Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay! These geniuses make up some great US history trivia that will shock your friends, because these facts probably weren't in your American History textbook.
Who are our Founding Fathers? Well, they were a bunch of cool dudes. In fact, these facts about the founding fathers offer a ton of president trivia about the educations and occupations about these American leaders. For instance, which of the first five presidents did not own a slave? Who married a 17-year-old? Who was a volunteer firefighter and what president was an awesome dancer?

The only way to find out is to check out all of these fun facts about the Founding Fathers, now listed here for your ranking and learning pleasure. Upvote the most interesting US Founding Fathers facts below, and file away Benjamin Franklin's essay entitled "Fart Proudly" for your next dinner party conversation starter.

29 Things You Didn't Know About Our Founding Fathers,

John Adams Went to Harvard... at the Age of 16
Most people get rejected from Harvard, but not John Adams! In fact, he put every student in the United States to shame by attending the prestigious school around the time of his Super Sweet Sixteen. He graduated within four years and excelled at his studies.

Source: Biography
John Adams Was the Only President of the First Five Who Didn't Own a Person
Kudos to John Adams! While the four presidents who held the job before him were slaveowners, Adams was in staunch opposition. He, and his son John Quincy Adams, refused to own a human being when he moved into the White House. 

Source: Strange But True, America: Weird Tales from All 50 States
James Madison Weighed 100 Pounds
James Madison was a very little man, standing at just 5'4". In addition to being the smallest president ever, he never weighed more than 100 pounds.

Source: Internet Public Library
George Washington = World Class Dancer
The first president of the United States happened to be a damn good dancer. In fact, it was one of the many activities he loved to do with his wife Martha, and he had even studied formal dancing when he was a teenage boy.

Source: The Invention of George Washington
Thomas Jefferson Had About 6,500 Books
Thomas Jefferson was such a hoarder of books that he once said "I cannot live without books." Don't believe him? The reason the Library of Congress got 6,500 of the books in their collection is because Jefferson sold his collection for almost $24,000.

Source: Library of Congress

Thomas Jefferson Designed UVA's Rotunda
Politician or architect? Many people know that Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819 but few people know he actually designed the school's most recognizable landmark. Planning their curriculum wasn't enough for the overachieving TJ, he also had to plan the design of the school's Rotunda.

Source: University of Virginia
Vanilla Ice Cream Was Thomas Jefferson's Jam
While Ronald Reagan loved jelly beans and Bill Clinton loved fast food, Thomas Jefferson was an American leader known for his love of ice cream. In fact, his love of vanilla ice cream became history, as the first known recipe written down in the United States was Jefferson's vanilla ice cream recipe.

Source: SDPB
Benjamin Franklin Could Yell at You in Five Languages
Even trilingual wasn't enough for Benjamin Franklin, the man who knew everything. From Spanish to Latin, Franklin could speak five languages in total... fluently (the other three were German, French, and Italian). Now that's a good education.

Source: The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary
Benjamin Franklin Invented Your Rocking Chair
Benjamin Franklin fitted his armchair's legs with curved wooden pieces, leading to what many believe was the invention of the rocking chair. Considering this was the guy who figured out electricity and founded the United States, it's not hard to believe. Franklin had all kinds of tricks up his sleeve.

Source: Biography
Benjamin Franklin Volunteered for the Fire Department
Benjamin Franklin not only gave birth to the United States and invented all kinds of stuff you've probably heard of, he also put out literal fires. Franklin not only established America's first volunteer fire department, but he was a firefighter himself and volunteered after witnessing a local blaze.

Source: Popular Mechanics

Fri, 20 Feb 2015 09:01:45 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/founding-fathers-facts/mel-judson
<![CDATA[Stomach-Churning Things You Didn't Know About Chinese Foot Binding]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/stomach-churning-things-you-didnt-know-about-chinese-foot-binding/jeffrichard

Most of us have our morning ritual down pretty well. It's usually a variation of shower, dress, coffee, breakfast, scream at traffic, more coffee, arrive at work, and subsequently ponder our place in the universe until it's time to go home.

But rewind to a bit earlier: in those few precious moments before it's time to get out the door and race to punch in the clock, we probably don't think about the shoes we're slipping on. Okay, maybe some of us give it a little more thought than others, but they're typically the last items we put on, and the first ones we take off. 

They're fairly easy to operate, with the only real struggle coming from maybe a stubborn heel or a frayed lace every now and then. 

The point is, we should all be thankful the process of foot binding is finally over.

But what is foot binding, exactly? Well, imagine bending (and occasionally, breaking) your feet to grotesque angles from the age of five - and that's just scratching the surface. 

So why would anyone want to mangle their own toes to look like a vacuum-sealed pack of cocktail sausage smokies? Click through to find out some insane facts about this primitive practice.   

Stomach-Churning Things You Didn't Know About Chinese Foot Binding,

Why Foot Binding Was Practiced

By now, your toes are probably cringing and curling for the worst reasons possible, but still not as (literally) bad as those poor girls in China. So why would anyone subject themselves to such torture? 

Early beliefs maintained it was the male perception of beauty that enforced foot binding. That a woman's walk was more elegant and beautiful if she gently swayed to and fro, walking with delicate steps like a majestic lotus flower swaying in the wind...

In reality, that poor woman was one very fragile bone away from completely collapsing to the ground, all just to project a specific type of sexuality. And if that wasn't enough, it wasn't the only reason men were turned on by it.  

They also believed that when a woman walked with a strained gait, it also made her pelvic and inner thighs tighter, resulting in stronger vaginal muscles as well. 

Either way, the process was ultimately about forcing a woman to literally contort to a specific shape for what others perceived to be beautiful during the time.

No One Quite Knows How It Originated

It's difficult to pin down exactly when foot-binding began, but historians have dated its start sometime during the tenth century, after a dancer named Yao Niang bound her feet in a similar fashion. Adding to the mystery, it's also unclear as to who was the first person to devise the ongoing practice for what's basically an elaborate foot fetish, but it is believed that because the Lotus Flower was held in such high regard during the time, the concept of beauty could be "elevated" if a woman's foot shared a similar shape. 

Regardless, the fact that foot binding was perpetuated so often came down to the societal order: that a woman should look beautiful, and be as subservient as she can be for her husband. 

Without Proper Maintenance, the Foot Would Rot

The effects of foot binding went beyond creating virtually miniature doll-sized feet, but also ran the risk of literally leaving their owners with stumps instead. Occasionally, if the feet were not properly maintained and the twisting toenails not clipped, bits of flesh would become swollen and fill with pus, creating a nightmarish odor that even the worst shoe-removing airline-flier could never compete with.

After a time, chunks of the foot would begin to rot away and, in some extreme instances, even whole toes were known to fall off


How Foot Binding Worked

If you've seen the film Misery, you know the foot does not do well under immense stress, particularly when that stress comes very quickly in the form of a sledgehammer wielded by a very angry Kathy Bates. 

In the case of foot binding, the foot equally does not hold up very well when it comes from a very slow process which forces it to contort into a bizarre crescent shape over many decades. 

So how does foot binding work exactly? 

Well, first off, if you were a young girl (we're talking as young as five years, because that's when the bones are still "soft"), and lived in China up until only three generations ago, you may have been subjected to a process which can only be described as mutilation.

First, the feet were submerged in hot water, then the four smaller toes were tightly wrapped in cotton bandages, nestling them under the rest while the ball of the foot is angled downward to create a type of grotesque half-moon. After that? Rinse, wrap, and repeat - for the rest of one's life.

Oh, and don't forget to make it tighter each time. 

The Effects on the Rest of the Body Were Awful

As if rotting flesh wasn't bad enough, foot binding also had severely detrimental effects on the rest of women's bodies. 

As a result of being forced to forever walk in baby steps (and on top of their toes), women regularly suffered from severe headaches, poor circulation, extreme hip discomfort, and, in some cases, even spinal fractures

On top of the physical ailments suffered, there was also the psychological damage that was incurred from foot binding. Imagine having your feet bound from the age of five for the sole reason of being perceived as "beautiful" to other men. Your handicap, not the result of a birth defect, but rather from societal constraints, and being viewed as nothing more than an object to be molded to others' perceptions could truly take its toll. 

Their Boots Illustrate the Shape of Their Feet

Constructed from silk or cotton, shoes worn by those who were foot-bound were very similar to the feet that would inhabit them. That is, they weren't exactly created for practical reasons like, say, walking comfortably, but rather to extend the misery warped concept of beauty that began when their owners' feet were first mangled. 

Called "Lotus shoes," they were designed to look like the bud of a lotus flower, were typically wedge or sheath-shaped, and were more akin to doll shoes than anything else. 

The Upkeep on Mangled Toes Was Horrible

It's one thing to go too long without clipping one's toenails. Maybe it was an old college roommate with gnarly hobbit feet. Maybe it's finding a disgusting straggler still on the couch long after a clipping session. 

But in the case of women who's feet were bound, the process was much more involved. So much so that feet had to be regularly bound and unbound, washed and re-washed, to make sure that gangrene wouldn't set in. 

On top of that, if the toenails grew too long, they would eventually cut into the bottom of the feet, causing severe infections. 

It Only Recently Ended

Thankfully, the process of foot binding, like a gangrenous chunk of flesh infected by an errant toenail, has since died off. Barring a few possible villages in rural areas in China, the last known instance of foot binding occurred in 1949, with only a few women still alive who bear the twisted extremities. 

The reason? As Communism rose in the late 1940's, the old traditions quickly began to fade away, although not without leaving several women scarred and badly mutilated for life. What few who are still alive remain in those small villages, but thankfully, this is one tradition that likely won't see any type of resurgence.

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 10:29:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/stomach-churning-things-you-didnt-know-about-chinese-foot-binding/jeffrichard
<![CDATA[The 10 Most Questionable Choices for TIME'S Person of the Year]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/controversial-time-person-of-year/t-l-perez

Time has been selecting a Person of the Year since 1929, and the title is generally considered honorable and prestigious. Usually, the magazine makes smart (or at least understandable) choices. The title has gone to important people like Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John XXIII, Gandhi, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama. With that being said, Time has made quite a few questionable choices throughout the years as well. This list of past recipients includes truly evil people like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. The magazine also made lightheartedly questionable choices like The Inheritors (1966) and You (2006). 

Time defends these decisions by stating that the magazine’s main criteria are importance and influence. They select people (or things) that change the world, not necessarily people who are morally good. Nevertheless, it is disturbing that Time has given the title to genocidal dictators, war criminals, and scandalous liars. So who were the most controversial Time people of the year? Read on to see some who got the most backlash and leave a comment with who you think the worst Time person of the year was.

The 10 Most Questionable Choices for TIME'S Person of the Year,

Adolf Hitler

The most questionable choice for Time's Person of the Year was undoubtedly Adolf Hitler. For some reason, the magazine chose to award this coveted title to a genocidal warmonger in 1938. Just one year later, Hitler invaded Poland and started World War II. This Man of the Year was responsible for the death of over 11 million innocent people

Wallis Simpson

In 1936, Wallis Simpson was named the first ever Woman of the Year; however, she was nothing more than a relatively useless socialite who openly associated with Nazis. Simpson's claim to fame was her marriage to Prince Edward (formerly King Edward VIII) who abdicated his throne to marry her.

During World War II, the couple met with Hitler and other high-ranking Nazi officials regularly. According to many sources, she and her husband had secretly agreed to rule Britain if Hitler managed to win the war and claim it.  

Joseph Stalin (Twice)

Just one year after naming Hitler their Man of the Year, Time decided to give the honor to Joseph Stalin in 1939. This brutal man was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1922-1952. He killed his political enemies, imprisoned and murdered thousands of people deemed "enemies of the working class," and forced millions of people into Gulag labor camps. According to many experts, Stalin was responsible for more deaths than Hitler. Oh, and Time named him Man of the Year again in 1942! 

The Inheritor

Time gave "The Inheritor" the prestigious title in 1966. The cover story specifically mentioned a few notable young adults including an artist, actress, athlete, and chess player. However, the award technically went to everyone under 25 (at the time), or the Baby Boomer Generation. This choice was questionable because it was overly general and non-unique. Sure, many individuals under 25 in 1966 were fairly progressive, but isn't every generation more progressive than the last? Aren't there notable young adults in every generation?

Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger

After giving him the title the year before, Time named Richard Nixon the person of the year in 1972 along with Henry Kissinger. Just two years later, Nixon became the first-ever president to resign from office due to the infamous Watergate Scandal. As an American national security advisor, Kissinger was responsible for violent rebellions and coup d'états in other nations. Many consider him a war criminal. 

Vladimir Putin

In 2007, Time named Vladimir Putin Man of the Year for some reason. Sure, he advanced Russia's economy, but his immoral actions certainly outweigh his accomplishments. Although Russia calls itself a democracy, Putin has managed to sidestep constitutional term limits to remain in power since 1999 by switching his title from President to Prime Minister (over and over again). After he was named Person of the Year, his list of shocking actions grew to include jailing activists and journalists, annexing Crimea, and passing homophobic laws. 

Ruhollah Khomeini

Rudollah Khomeini (also known as Ayatollah Khomeini) was the Supreme Leader of Iran from 1979-1989 who once equated democracy to prostitution. This harsh leader was named Time's Man of the Year in 1979 shortly after establishing a theocratic government based strictly on religious writings from thousands of years ago.

He killed thousands of his political opponents and he once said, "Americans are the great Satan, the wounded snake."

Nikita Khrushchev

One of Stalin's closest advisors and future successors, Nikita Khrushchev, was given the prestigious title in 1957. He was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1953-1964. Essentially, he was the main enemy of the United States throughout the peak of the Cold War. Before this, he supported Stalin's labor camps and political purges.

Khrushchev was also responsible for the Cuban Missile Crisis (which almost started World War III). Although he was generally less oppressive and deadly than Stalin, he was certainly a questionable choice for Man of the Year.


Time named "You" the Person of the Year in 2006. That's right, you. This was meant to refer to everyone who uploads information to user-generated content sites like Wikipedia, YouTube, and Facebook. Critics found this choice trite and gimmicky. One writer even claimed that this decision was a self-promotional marketing ploy. 

The Middle Americans

In 1969, Time deemed "Middle Americans" the People of the Year, a choice that included (as they defined it) pretty much everyone in America.

“The Middle Americans tend to be grouped in the nation's heartland more than on its coasts. But they live in Queens, N.Y., and Van Nuys, Calif., as well as in Skokie and Chillicothe. They tend toward the middle-aged and the middlebrow. They are defined as much by what they are not as by what they are. As a rule, they are not the poor or the rich. Still, many wealthy business executives are Middle Americans. H. Ross Perot, the Texas millionaire who organized a group called 'United We Stand Inc.' to support the President on the war, is an example.” 

To many, this vast and vague choice was the same as not choosing anyone at all.

Thu, 04 Aug 2016 03:22:02 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/controversial-time-person-of-year/t-l-perez
<![CDATA[Political Issues That Matter the Most Right Now]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/political-issues-that-matter-the-most-v1/bicks

Political Issues That Matter the Most Right Now,

Over 600,000 Americans were homeless in 2014. What is society’s role in preventing this and helping to get people off the streets?

No issue is more contentious, and demanding of a hard-line stance from politicians in both major parties. Is it even possible to debate this issue in a civilized manner?

Tax Reform
Income taxes are actually much lower now than they were a few decades ago. But many anti-tax advocates continue to insist that taxes are too high and that the tax code is much too complex.
Free Speech
It’s the bedrock of the Bill of Rights, but what constitutes free and protected speech is debatable. Can people just “say anything they want” over any media, or are there limits even to that?

While unemployment is down, many economists believe this is either due to part-time jobs or to workers leaving the work force.

Animal Rights

Campaign Finance Reform
In the wake of the Supreme Court Citizens United ruling, corporations have the ability to donate huge sums of money to shadowy and secretive political action committees.
Climate Change
A large amount of research confirms that the planet’s climate is changing, with temperatures increasing and sea levels rising. But it’s still not clear how much of this is due to human activity, and how much is part of a natural cycle.
Social Security and Medicare
As the first baby boomers retire, the two entitlements of Social Security and Medicare will be called on more than ever to provide health care and financial stability. Are they fiscally solvent?
Equal Pay
Despite decades of progress, many women still earn less than their male counterparts in similar jobs. Does government have a role in closing the pay gap?

Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:35:24 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/political-issues-that-matter-the-most-v1/bicks
<![CDATA[How Firing Squads Have Worked Throughout History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/shooting-squads-throughout-history/aaron-edwards

As soon as mankind learned to shoot, it figured out how to use that power to kill. The history of shooting squads is very long, though the practice is quickly becoming a relic of the past. If you're wondering "when did shooting squads start?" or "how did shooting squads start?", hold your horses, that information is coming, along with a number of other fascinating facts and anecdotes about the history of firing squads.  

The invention of gunpowder (and the firearms that use it) was the catalyst for firing squads becoming the standard method of execution for militaries across centuries. Many traitors, spies, and war criminals met their end to men with rifles, and are memorialized in the annals of shooting squads in history.

Even though guns are more lethal than ever in the 21st century, firing squads are out of fashion. Many countries have banned them, and the countries where firing squads are still legal are slowly becoming disinterested in them as a form of execution. However, you can always count on one aggressive or militant nation to carry on the tradition (in the event you want the tradition carried on). If you’re curious what firing squads have been like across history, check out the list below.

How Firing Squads Have Worked Throughout History,

How Traditional Firing Squads Work

A traditional firing squad is a basic set up, one you've surely seen in movies, paintings, or historical photographs. The condemned stands before a surface from which bullets won't ricochet ( a wall, a hill, a mound, sandbags), is sometimes tied to a post or restrained in another way, is more often than not blindfolded, and faces a line of armed men or women who mow the condemned down in a fusillade of lead. If the condemned doesn't die in the initial hail of bullets, the commanding officer of the squad may shoot him or her in the head with a pistol. 

Firing squads typically use rifles, though in some cases pistols have been used. All members of a firing squad are ordered to fire simultaneously, to avoid singling out a shooter as the one who fired the fatal shot. The firing squad generally targets the chest, both to avoid unnecessary damage to the head and face (for burial purposes), and because the chest is a larger, easier target than the head. In some places, there's a tradition of carrying out execution by firing squad at dawn, hence the phrase "shot at dawn."

The Blindfold Serves Two Primary Purposes

The hood worn by prisoners during execution by firing squad serves two primary purposes. It dehumanizes the condemned, making it easier for the firing squad to perform its function without an emotional response. The target on the chest further reinforces the notion that the firing squad isn't killing a human being, but merely aiming at a target and firing. Secondly, it prevents the condemned from witnessing his or her own death, saving the individual, in his or her final moments, from looking into the faces and down the barrels of the guns that will bring about imminent demise. However, it's not unheard of for a prisoner to request to go without a hood or blindfold; to look death in the face. 

In 21st Century America, Firing Squads Follow a Very Specific Procedure

Formal firing squads typically follow a step-by-step process. In Utah, the only state to use firing squads in 2016, the condemned is sat in a chair in front of a wooden panel flanked by sandbags. The sandbags are designed to stop bullets from ricocheting. A target is placed on the condemned's heart, because the chest is a large, easy target. The condemned is given two minutes for final words, which in the past have ranged from feelings of remorse to one final clever comment. The firing squad is then instructed to aim, then fire. 

The First Firing Squads Used Archers

Firing squads went mainstream as firearms became widely available, but were around for more than 1,000 years before guns were invented. Typically, the accused was tied to a tree or post then shot full of arrows from a contingent of archers. It’s depicted that Roman archers executed enemies of the state

Vikings also used arrow firing squads, notably when they executed King Edmund in 780 CE. In that particular case, however, it's said that they had to finish him off with an old fashioned beheading. 

Death by Firing Squad Is Typically a Military Execution

Sure, there are hangings and beheadings in the annals of military executions, but firing squads have been the go-to method of dispatching soldiers for a few centuries, chiefly for symbolic and disciplinary reasons. Using a firing squad makes punishment a communal event. The offender is killed by his or her peers, using weapons the soldiers all use in combat. It also reinforces the idea of the community (the firing squad) over and against the individual (the offender). 

The Transition from Military to Civilian Executions

It's unknown when, in the United States, firing squads transitioned from military to civilian executions. According to Louis J. Palmer, Jr, author of An American Citizen's Guide to Understand Federal and State Laws, death by firing squad was part of civilian law by the 1850s. In making its transition from a military to civilian punishment, firing squads attracted criticism, some going so far as the argue they're unconstitutional, as per the Eight Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment). 

The Case of Saint Sebastian: The Horrors of Archer Firing Squads

Before Christianity became the primary religion of Rome, Christians faced persecution. One of the more famous Christians to feel the wrath of Rome was Sebastian, one of the earliest Christian saints. Throughout his life, Sebastian tried to conceal his faith, but was eventually discovered by Romans, and sentenced to death by Emperor Diocletian.

Legend has it Sebastian was tied to a stake in the middle of a field and shot so full of arrows he looked like a porcupine. The Romans left him to die, but he didn't, and a Christian woman found him and nursed him back to health. Sebastian confronted the emperor on his treatment of Christians, and Diocletian ordered him beaten to death and thrown in a sewer. Dag. Bad call, Sebastian. 

Executioners Sometimes Get Guns Filled with Blanks

Even if executing a soldier for desertion or treason, you might get a little emotional when pulling the trigger. After all, you might be killing someone with whom you served, whose family you know well. Or maybe you don’t want to live with the guilt of killing an unarmed man. Hence the custom of at least one member of a firing squad receiving a gun loaded with blanks. No one on the squad knows which gun is loaded with blanks, so it's impossible to know who fired the shot that killed the condemned. 

Civilian Firing Squads Are Typically Made of Volunteers

In the 21st century, firing squads are easier to assemble than finding someone to administer lethal injection. In 2006, 298 anesthesiologists turned down the job of giving a lethal injection which goes against the Hippocratic Oath. There are plenty of people in the world, on the other hand, eager to volunteer to blow someone away. Despite the potential psychological damage of murdering someone, Utah State Representative Paul Ray (the only state using firing squads for the death penalty in 2016) has said, "There are always more volunteers than spots on the squad."

In the instance of a military death by firing squad, members are conscripted from ranks. 

The Size of a Firing Squad Varies

While it may take only one bullet to kill a man, firing squads use several to get the job done. Aside from the symbolic nature of the act (a lone dissenter against the orderly group), using a group of executioners ensures there will be enough hits to finish the job. But how many is enough?

Well, it depends. In the past, firing squads have had as many as a dozen members, but a 2004 execution in Utah employed only five. The reason for this may come down to the accuracy of modern weapons. The Utah executioners used .30 Winchester rifles, bound to hit their mark more easily than a musket. In the picture above, there are seven men (plus an officer) in the squad that executed Emperor Don Maximiliano I in Mexico.

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 09:40:18 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/shooting-squads-throughout-history/aaron-edwards
<![CDATA[Al Sharpton-ism: Al Sharpton Quotes And Gaffes]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/al-sharpton-ism-al-sharpton-quotes-and-gaffes/notable-quotables
The notable quotes gaffes of Al Sharpton, or Al Sharpton-isms, are mostly about race, rights and anything that bothers him, which really doesn't narrow things down, but it sure keeps his name in the headlines. Unlike other politicians, such as John McCain or Sarah Palin, Al Sharpton makes people laugh with his wit, which comes out when he's passionate about something, not because he does not know what he's talking about.

Though the Reverend Al Sharpton has made a career of sticking up for and speaking about what he believes in, his comments are not free of controversy. That's however what can be expected when brushing off a California governor as a silly stunt man or comparing tax cuts to mass suicides.

They may not always be politically correct, (some may be taken as racist or offensive), but notable quotes from Al Sharpton always tell it like it is, and that in itself is pretty darn notable as well. Check out this list of Famous al Sharpton quotes and tell us which ones you think are the best and worst. 
Al Sharpton-ism: Al Sharpton Quotes And Gaffes,

To Governor Dean...
"I wanted to say to Governor Dean, don't be hard on yourself about hooting and hollering. If I had spent the money you did and got 18 percent, I'd still be in Iowa hooting and hollering."
If I were president...
"If I were president, I would go in and say, 'We were wrong.' Tony Blair and George Bush had a meeting, acted as though it was a world summit. Two guys in a phone booth acted like the whole world had met."
We decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.
"It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres... We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres. We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us."
James Crow Jr., esquire
"We have defeated Jim Crow, but now we have to deal with his son, James Crow Jr., esquire.'"
It tastes good but it'll kill you.
"George Bush giving tax cuts is like Jim Jones giving Kool-Aid. It tastes good but it'll kill you."
It's better to be a new Democrat...
"I want to welcome him to our list of candidates. And don't be defensive about just joining the party. It's better to be a new Democrat that's a real Democrat than a lot of old Democrats up here that have been acting like Republicans all along."

--Welcoming Gen. Wesley Clark to the Democratic presidential race
That's like saying...
"That's like saying, 'I'm honest but I ain't never been around no money.'"

--After Howard Dean said he's not a racist but had never lived in a racially diverse community
If George Bush had selected the court in '54...
"I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the court in '54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school."
Mr. Bush will not be in a Sharpton administration...
"Mr. Bush will not be, in a Sharpton administration, the head of missing persons. He can't find bin Laden. We don't know if Hussein is living or dead, and we can't find the weapons of mass destruction."
I was born in deficit spending.
"I understand deficit spending. I was born in deficit spending."

Wed, 16 Jun 2010 16:41:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/al-sharpton-ism-al-sharpton-quotes-and-gaffes/notable-quotables
<![CDATA[The Top 10 Craziest Things Ever Said By Pat Robertson]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/top-10-craziest-things-ever-said-by-pat-robertson/ian-tindell
Recently, a devastating series of earthquakes rocked the small Third World country of Haiti. The country now lies in ruins because of this horrible event which has caused a still unknown number of deaths. The reason? According to TV's resident nut job Pat Robertson, it's because the Haitians entered into a pact with the devil and now he's asking them to pay up.

But that's not the only time Pat has offered us some wizard-like insight. Here's a highlight of some of Pat Robertson's most shining moments, starting with the most recent.

What are the craziest things Pat Robertson has said? There are plenty to choose from but these are the highlights (lowlights, depending on your point of view), so sit back, relax and enjoy the crazies things Pat Robertson has ever said.
The Top 10 Craziest Things Ever Said By Pat Robertson,

The Dangers of Yoga
0:48 Connecting yoga to Hinduism and pantheism, Mr. Robertson is convinced that "it gets really spooky". In actuality, the only thing spooky about yoga is if we ever saw Mr. Robertson in a downward dog position. *Shudder*
Pat Robertson on the Earthquake in Haiti
The news anchor may refer to Pat Robertson's "blessing in disguise" (0:19) explanation for the Haiti earthquake as a "pretty optimistic attitude" (0:28), but we sure as hell don't. (See what we did there? hell reference? No? Okay, moving on... )

0:48 - Robertson delivered a damning accusation to the Haitian people by claiming that they "swore a pact with the devil" during the French Revolution. It's a true story. He was there.

This man literally believes in demons AND many people STILL ask him for advice on a regular basis... let's keep going.
Pat Robertson on Gay Marriage/Beastiality
The first minute of this video gives you what Pat Robertson really said, but watch the video from 1:03 to the end get the full Pat Robertson visual and soundtrack. Embrace your hatred...

Mr. Robertson thinks he can define gay marriage on his own terms. Everything that comes out of his mouth is much like what's in his head, unicorns and leprechauns.

He relates gay marriage to polygamy, beastiality, child molestation and pedophilia.

The only plus side of his verbal spillage is that it makes it easier for us to throw out all his ideas on those topics at one time.

Pat Robertson Figures Out How To Deal w/ Your Gay Son
Watch 0:20-1:49 for Pat Robertson's advice on how to cure your gay son.

First of all, the person that calls in refers to their son as "their neighbor". Well, Pat Robertson takes this very well and starts off by correcting the question, saying "he's not your neighbor, he's your son" (0:35). And that's about all the love you're going to get from Pat if you're gay.

From there, he outs all homosexuals as "victims of sexual abuse". Of course, something or someONE has to have MADE them that way, right? Because homosexuality is TOTALLY an STD.

Pat Robertson's head: "Don't sneeze on me! No! No!...Awww, now I'm gay!"

Then he proceeds to call gays an "abomination before God", in a very matter-of-fact way, as he does.

Pat Robertson: Earthquake, Tornadoes = 'Birth Pangs'
0:49 - So, he calls the China earthquake, tornadoes in California, and other natural disasters "birth pangs" for a pregnant Earth... then starts talking about a new order?

The craziest and scariest part is how happy he seems to be about the concept of the biblical apocalypse happening soon... very soon.

September 11th
0:29 - On September 11th, 2001 a terrible tragedy struck our country and we all know who was to blame: the ACLU, abortionists, feminists, homosexuals and jews. Wait, what?

1:15 - The best part of the video, however, is when Pat Robertson (who for once is upstaged by someone just as matter-of-fact-insane as he is) says (bewildered) "Well I -- I totally concur."

If fundamentalism was a comic book, these guys would be Batman and Robin.

That Guy Was A *BLEEP*
I know, I know, lots of Homophobia here... but his ardent belief that homosexuality is the equivalent of "adult cooties" is both sad and hilarious to me.

Pat Robertson takes a call from an angry pro-choice Republican on Larry King Live. He defends himself for a bit, taking a few things the caller said out of context, then the station goes to a commercial break...

01:04 - When he assumes the cameras aren't rolling, Pat Robertson gets really homophobtastic with his vocabulary by calling the guy a certain derogatory term.

The best part is the reassurance he gives the person he's speaking to..."as sure as you're alive."
Pat Robertson on Hurricane Katrina
In another superman-like leap of logic, Pat Robertson links Hurricane Katrina to supporting abortion or "the wholesale slaughter of innocent children."

Whatchu talkin' bout, Robertson? Furthermore, according to our favorite Troll-doll-lookalike, anyone who supports abortion will be "vomited out of the earth" and "be unable to defend themselves."

Is there an unknown clinic harvesting millions of unborn babies for use in Satanic rituals somewhere in Louisiana? If you're listening out there, Pat Robertson says it's your fault! Thanks a lot, guys.
Pat Robertson Predicts Terrorists
Every year Pat Robertson talks to God and God tells him what to expect for the upcoming year.

In 2007, God told him about some terrorist attacks that would happen at the end of the year killing possibly millions of people. MILLIONS. Move over Roland Emmerich, Robertson's got opinions to shoot at America with a THOUGHT-CANNON!

Mr. Robertson padded his prediction by adding that maybe if the people prayed hard enough, the attacks won't happen. I guess in 2007 people prayed hard enough. Not so much in 2001. Clever, Mr. Robertson, real clever.

Watch from 00:20 on.
Pat Robertson on Karate + Chuck Norris
This Pat Robertson clip gets a little tricky because he's almost likable when he starts talking about Chuck Norris. References to "ghetto kids" (0:40) dapple the conversation but hey, the guy's got to start slow. He's like an orchestra of crazy, he needs to "build."

In the long run, a Pat Robertson show is a Pat Robertson show and the crazy s**t has gotta come out somehow. And boy does it come at...

1:00 - when Pat starts talking about martial artists inhaling "demon spirits." He then wards off the audience from having anything to do with that type of stuff.

This is one of the craziest things he's ever said, but with it he's accomplished something awesome and therefore finally contributed something positive to this world: giving us the idea that Chuck Norris' awesomeness is powered by DEMONS. Freaking DEMONS! hell yeah! (See what we did there? hell reference? No? Moving on... )

Thu, 14 Jan 2010 10:55:05 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/top-10-craziest-things-ever-said-by-pat-robertson/ian-tindell
<![CDATA[The Most Unhinged Reactions to Occupy Wall Street]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-most-unhinged-reactions-to-occupy-wall-street/pilgrimsprogressive
The most unhinged reactions to Occupy Wall Street come from, not surprisingly, conservative commentators and politicians. Whether it's Glenn Beck warning that the protesters are not to be trusted and could actually kill someone or Congressman Peter King remarking that the movement is made up of "anarchists," the movement is the subject of ire for many. So much so, that their statements seem...totally crazy. I've collected some of the biggest unhinged Occupy Wall Street reactions, complete with videos and audio, here. Now, it's up to you to decide which reactions are the most disturbing, so vote!

On the flip side, the movement has also produced some pretty awesome Occupy Wall Street video interviews from demonstrators out in the streets to social leaders and journalists, to those who simply want to support the cause. Those who are out marching in various protests (aka the '99 percent') are also wielding some pretty nifty and entertaining Occupy Wall Street signs to hammer home their point and explain why they're involved in the demonstrations.
The Most Unhinged Reactions to Occupy Wall Street,

The '53 Percent' Response
In response to Occupy Wall Street's 99 percent, conservatives have launched their own campaign of sorts. The "We Are the 53 Percent" Tumblr popped up online in October of 2011. The 53 percent part, in case you were wondering, comes from the idea that just 53 percent of Americans actually pay federal income taxes.

This group maintains that the Occupy Wall Street protesters aren't taking personal responsibility for their financial problems. "We Are the 53 Percent" creator Erick Erickson says on the site:

Suck it up you whiners. I am the 53 percent subsidizing you so you can hang out on Wall Street and complain.

Among the people posting on Tumblr: those who admit they've accepted government help (in the form of food stamps, special grants or loans for college). Interesting, no? Like it or not, they ARE among the 99 percent. They fail to realize that many of the Occupy Wall Street protesters are out taking a stand to try and fix things!
Champagne-Drinking 1 Percent Mocks Protesters
As the Occupy Wall Street protesters made their way to Wall Street in September 2011, they were met by some with cheers of support - but also by Wall Streeters sipping champagne and mocking them. Yes, as the masses moved toward Zuccotti Park, a group of people on the Cipriani 55 (that's 55 Wall Street, if you were wondering) restaurant balcony were all too happy to raise their glasses of $200-a-bottle champagne in mock solidarity (smirking between sips, of course).
Herman Cain: Protesters Un-American
Occupy Wall Street protesters are "un-American," at least according to Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. In an interview with the Associated Press on October 5, 2011, Cain addressed the movement, saying that protesters shouldn't rally against Wall Street because workers there are "the ones who create the jobs."

Cain also told the 'Wall Street Journal' that he absolutely thinks the protests are a ruse "to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration" - though he admitted that he didn't "have facts to back this up."

As the Occupy Wall Street movement gains steam, Cain comments more. And each comment seems even more unhinged than the last. Case in point: During an appearance on CBS' 'Face the Nation,' Cain called OWS protesters "jealous" people who are "playing the victim card."
CNN's Erin Burnett Mocks Movement
Erin Burnett has a brand new show on CNN, 'Erin Burnett OutFront.' So obviously she wants to create controversy and...you guessed it, boost ratings. It's not clear if that was her objective when, during the October 3, 2011 premiere of 'OutFront,' Burnett aired her visit to Occupy Wall Street. In a nutshell, Burnett's piece totally mocked everyone who was protesting, basically saying they were not well-informed of the issues and they were hypocritical.

If Burnett was aiming for attention, she got it: Media Matters was outraged, demanding that Burnett issue an apology for what it called "a cheap-shot report." Others, including Salon.com's Glenn Greenwald, detailed Burnett's own job history: She's a former Goldman Sachs employee (she later joined CNBC). Greenwald noted that Burnett seemed to be serving as a "spokesperson for Wall Street" in her "journalistic" career. He said Burnett, quite simply, cannot be objective about what's happening and that she's an apologist for Wall Street.
Monica Crowley: 'Useful Idiots'
Conservative commentator Monica Crowly can't resist coming unhinged when it comes to the Occupy Wall Street movement, calling protesters "idiots" during an appearance on...Fox News. Shocking.

Crowley basically calls Occupy Wall Street protesters "useful idiots who probably haven't paid much in taxes their whole life." She also says the "kids and aging hippies" aren't necessarily at fault, because, in her opinion, they are the product of "the logical extension" of President Barack Obama's "rhetoric and his policies."

Newt Gingrich: Protesters are Stupid
Newt Gingrich is definitely getting into the act where Occupy Wall Street is concerned. He remarked on CBS' 'Face the Nation' that OWS protesters were "the natural outcome of a bad education system and teaching them really dumb ideas." Gingrich went on to add that the Occupy Wall Street movement "is the natural product of Obama's class warfare." Gingrich also echoed Herman Cain's comments that protesters are jealous of those who have jobs.
Michelle Malkin: Protesters are Non-Diverse
Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin questions whether the so-called '99 percent' is actually representative of America's minorities. In an early-October 2011 interview, Malkin addressed the Occupy Wall Street movement, saying that the protesters are "mostly white." In fact, Malkin went on to say in an email that "When Occupy Wall Street activists call themselves the ‘99 percent,’ it turns out they mean 99 percent non-diverse (by their own politically correct measurements)."

Is diversity an actual problem in the movement? Are minorities truly under-represented among the Occupy Wall Street protesters? Patrick Bruner of OccupyWallSt.org told The Daily Caller that while the group doesn't have actual hard diversity statistics, "I can tell you that we’re not all white, and that we also have a huge LGBT [Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender] population."
Glenn Beck: Protesters Will 'Kill Everybody'
Now you just knew Glenn Beck was going to be on a list that included the word "unhinged," right? Absolutely. The conservative radio commentator is predicting total doom, gloom and destruction by the masses protesting with Occupy Wall Street. On his radio show on October 10, 2011, Beck expressed his concern that the movement is dangerous and can't be controlled. He warned politicians and capitalists not to trust anyone associated with Occupy Wall Street, because they might be killed by the masses in the streets. No lie, that's exactly what he said. Here's a quote:

Capitalists, if you think that you can play footsies with these people, you're wrong. They will come for you and drag you into the streets and kill you...they're Marxist radicals...these guys are worse than Robespierre from the French Revolution...they'll kill everybody.

Here's a clip from the show:

Rep. Peter King: 'Mobs and Anarchists'
New York Congressman Peter King called the Occupy Wall Street protesters anarchists and a "ragtag mob" in a radio interview on 'The Laura Ingraham Show.' The Republican representative from Long Island expressed concern that the movement (and the coverage of it) will shape U.S. government policy, noting that, "We have to be careful not to allow this to get any legitimacy." King is worried that coverage of Occupy Wall Street and the movement itself will shape government policy. God forbid.

The fact is these people are anarchists. They have no idea what they're doing out there.They have no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone and anti-capitalist. It's a ragtag mob basically.

Fox & Friends: 'Felons and Drug Users'
'Fox & Friends' hosts were quick to offer up their completely insane analysis of the types of people out protesting with Occupy Wall Street. Yes, according to the Fox News gang, they observed the movement and found that some of the marchers are criminals and drug users. What?! No, really look:

Yep, see the title under the photos they showed? "Who Are These Demonstrators? Creepy Criminals Infiltrate Wall St Protests." Oh, and they claim that people are mainly showing up for the great free pizza.

Wed, 12 Oct 2011 05:04:59 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-most-unhinged-reactions-to-occupy-wall-street/pilgrimsprogressive
<![CDATA[The Very Best of Bad Lip Reading]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-very-best-of-bad-lip-reading/kel-varnsen
Ever wanted to hear Michele Bachman talk about curing nausea with one cockeyed boar? How about listening to bullied Internet celebrity Rebecca Black sing about gang fights? Perhaps Rick Perry explaining using goats in the computer industry or Ludacris rapping about a low-riding hobbit is more your style? With the very best of Bad Lip Reading you get all that and much more hilarious gibberish.

It's no secret that many times politicians and musicians don't exactly make a whole lot of sense, but what would happen if someone turned down the volume and tried to figure out what was being said based on lip reading? Spoiler: It makes even less sense but it's freaking hilarious! The very best of Bad Lip Reading does exactly that and has become a YouTube sensation as a result.

The theory is simple and the results are ridiculously funny, but there is actually a highly secretive and personal story behind this humorous phenomenon. The man behind the scenes explained his story to Rolling Stone on the condition of anonymity.

According to the interview, the one-man show is written and produced by a music and video producer from Texas. He got the idea from is now-deaf mother who became an expert at lip reading out of necessity. The BLR mastermind tried lip reading himself but with disastrous results. Then inspiration struck and the rest is history.

The work of the Bad Lip Reading producer has attracted over 120,000 YouTube subscribers and even impressed some of the musicians who made the original songs. Michael Buble, whose song was remade by BLR, was so enamored with the parody that he sent a response video thanking the producer and calling him "an evil" genius.

Of course all of the response has not been positive, which is perhaps part of the reason the producer remains more secretive than artist Banksy. Universal Music Group, acting on behalf of Nicki Minaj and Will.i.am, successfully got the BLR parody titled "Dirty Spaceman" removed from YouTube. Shhh, another anonymous person uploaded it again for all to enjoy.

With politicians ramping up efforts in advance of elections and musicians constantly releasing new music, it's going to take more than a measly DMCA notice to stop the brilliance that is behind Bad Lip Reading. So grab your Russian Unicorn and buckle up. This is just getting good!
The Very Best of Bad Lip Reading,

The Walking (And Talking) Dead

Russian Unicorn: Michael Buble

First Republican Debate Highlights 2015

Bad Lip Reading: Mitt Romney

Gang Fight: Rebecca Black

Bad Lip Reading: Rick Perry

Bad Lip Reading: Michele Bachmann

Edward and Bella

The Hunger Games

BLR: the NFL

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 06:35:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-very-best-of-bad-lip-reading/kel-varnsen
<![CDATA[Notable Salutatorians and Valedictorians.]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/notable-salutatorians-and-valedictorians-/roger-royce
Here are some of the Notable Salutatorians and Valedictorians from High Schools and Colleges. This list highlights numerous successful professionals, such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Jimmy Carter, Albert Einstein, Carrie Underwood and Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as various contemporary and upcoming talented achievers graduated most recently, such as Anisha Shenai (Danvers High School), Caitlin Duffy (Northfield HS), Eric Duquette (Smithfield HS), Lauren Gentry (Wakulla HS), Sarah Collins (Sunlake HS), Reynolds twins (Satsuma HS), and Wilson twins (Madison HS), who are honored as Valedictorians and Salutatorians by their High Schools. The links to their Graduation Speeches are included, where available, in the description section. The top graduate with higher grades is referred to as Valedictorian, whereas the honor of becoming a Salutatorian requires the highest overall GPA as well as the mastery on effective public speaking, excellent language skills and strength in extracurricular activities. Princeton University chooses a "Latin Salutatorian" based on the ability to write and deliver a speech to the audience in that language. The title "Salutatorian" comes from the salutatorian's traditional role as the first speaker at the graduation ceremony, delivering the salutatory speech.The Valedictorian usually delivers the "valedictory" address (i.e. bidding farewell and good bye) while the Salutatorian delivers the "salutatory" address (i.e. expressing welcome to the new world) to fellow students, teachers and families in the audience.
Notable Salutatorians and Valedictorians.,

Albert Einstein
Salutatorian from High School.
Alicia Keys
Valedictorian from Professional Performing Arts School, NY, Class of 1997.
Carrie Underwood
Salutatorian from Checotah High School, OK, Class of 2001.
Cindy Crawford
Valedictorian from DeKalb High School, IL, Class of 1984.
Empress Michiko
Valedictorian from Seishin High School, Japan.
Hillary Clinton
Valedictorian from Wellesley College, MA, Class of 1969.
Jimmy Carter
Salutatorian from Plains High School, GA, Class of 1942.
John F. Kennedy
Salutatorian from High School, Class of 1935.
Michelle Obama
Salutatorian from Whitney Young High School, IL, Class of 1981.
Anisha Shenai
Salutatorian from Danvers High School, MA, Class of 2010. Salutatorian speech: http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/danvers/2010/06/danvers_high_salutatorian_spee.html Inspirational Quote: "Be remarkable. Let a flame of passion illuminate your way. Be extraordinary. Stray from the dullness of shadows, into a radiant glow. Feel. Dream. Live. And never concede. Never settle for anything less, as you move full speed ahead in the quest for a life full of light and color." - Anisha Shenai, Salutatorian of Class of 2010, Danvers High School, MA. (From Inspirational and Motivational Quotes at http://www.inspirational-quotes-and-quotations.com/inspirational-quote-by-anisha-shenai.html)

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 07:56:34 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/notable-salutatorians-and-valedictorians-/roger-royce
<![CDATA[The Craziest Romans Who Helped Kill Julius Caesar]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/julius-caesar-conspirators/carly-silver

What does the saying "Beware the Ides of March!" mean? It refers to the day - March 15, 44 BCE - on which Gaius Julius Caesar, one-time dictator of ancient Rome, was murdered. His grisly assassination was legendary. But just as infamous were the conspirators behind one of the most well-known deaths in history. So just who had Julius Caesar killed?

The assassins who killed Julius Caesar (Roman senators, in large part) were an aristocratic bunch that was infuriated with the dictator's seizure of power. From his very, very close pals - like his mentees Brutus and Decimus - to his former brother-in-law and just generally discontented senators, everybody had a reason to want Caesar six feet under. And they got their wish, although they segmented an already fractured Republic into a gazillion more pieces, brought about another civil war, and ultimately helped create the Roman Empire.

Learn all about Brutus, Cassius, Decimus, and their cohorts here, and vote up the nuttiest of the Romans who killed Julius Caesar.

The Craziest Romans Who Helped Kill Julius Caesar,

Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus

This Brutus was definitely the less famous of the two of that name (see number three on this list, his cousin), but was one of the masterminds behind the plot to kill Caesar. Julius's protégé, Decimus was like Caesar's little brother, his right hand while conquering Gaul.

But he turned against Caesar when his mentor didn't reward him aptly and took on the role of dictator, especially after Caesar indicated he might not name young Decimus his heir. During the run-up to the assassination, Decimus was by Julius's side 24/7, providing insight into his state of mind. And it was Decimus who convinced Caesar to go to the Senate house the day of the assassination after he received ill omens.

After the assassination, Decimus's career went downhill; he wound up disguising himself as a Gaul. Eventually, Marc Antony convinced a Gallic chieftain to decapitate Decimus and send him the head, which he eventually buried. An ignominious end for a brilliant statesman.

Gaius Cassius Longinus

Although he once supported Pompey, Cassius eventually became a supporter of Caesar. Classicist Barry Strauss wrote in The Death of Caesar, "Like many other Romans, Cassius was appalled by Caesar’s monarchical behavior." 

Cassius also longed for the highest offices in the land, but it seemed he figured Caesar stood in his way. Not to mention that Caesar didn’t give him a command against the Parthians, may have had an affair with Cassius’s wife, Tertia, and, when Cassius was going to bring some lions to Rome for his sponsored games, Caesar took the felines for his own. During the assassination, Cassius stabbed Caesar in the face.

Eventually, Cassius and Brutus met Antony and Octavian at Philippi, where they were defeated. When he thought he saw Brutus’s forces routed from the field, he “had a freedman decapitate him,” wrote Strauss. Brutus was very depressed over his pal’s death, said Plutarch: “He mourned over the body, and called Cassius ‘the last of the Romans,’ implying that such an exalted spirit could no longer arise in the city.” He buried Cassius on the island of Thasos and continued the battle… until his own suicide.

Marcus Junius Brutus

By far the most famous of the assassins, Brutus is best known for Caesar’s last words to him: “Et tu, Brute?” or “And you, too, Brutus?” That’s actually false - William Shakespeare adapted an ancient account of Caesar’s final words, “Kai su, teknon?” or “You, too, my child?” in Greek. Some have taken that to indicate that Brutus was Caesar’s illegitimate son - after all, his mother, Servilia, was Caesar’s mistress - but teknon was actually just a term of endearment.

But who was Brutus to Caesar? Besides being his mistress’s son, Brutus was one of Caesar’s protégés. Brutus also might have resented Caesar for consolidating too much power in his own hands and making his great-nephew, Octavian, his adopted son and heir. Besides, Brutus’s family was strongly anti-tyrant, and Cassius encouraged him to get involved.

After Caesar’s assassination, times were dangerous. It was Brutus and Cassius vs. Antony and Octavian. To save his skin, Brutus went to Greece; he loved hanging out in Athens, where he enjoyed lots of philosophical lectures. Brutus stocked up on soldiers in Macedonia and even minted his own coins. He and Cassius consolidated their forces and the conflict finally came to a head at Philippi in 42 BCE. After losing the battle, Brutus killed himself, although Plutarch admits one of his friends might have held the sword upon which Brutus impaled himself.

Servilius Casca

Amidst the dozens of men who were lined up to kill Caesar, Publius Servilius Casca was first in line to stab him. He aimed for Caesar's throat, according to Appian, but "swerved and wounded him in the breast.” Caesar managed to throw Casca off, but everyone else then attacked. Plutarch recorded a heartbreaking moment between Casca, his brother, and Caesar: “At almost the same instant both cried out, the smitten man in Latin: 'Accursed Casca, what does thou?' and the smiter, in Greek, to his brother: 'Brother, help!'"

Casca went on to become Tribune of the People, but like many other conspirators, he didn't thrive for long. He committed suicide with his brother after Philippi.

Tillius Cimber

Cimber must have been high in Caesar’s esteem, since he gave Cimber the governorship of Pontus and Bithynia in 44 BCE. But that wasn’t enough for Cimber, who probably resented Caesar for refusing to pardon his exiled brother, who'd been a supporter of Pompey.

On the day of the assassination, according to Suetonius, Cimber grabbed Caesar by the toga to get him in prime stabbing position. Caesar shouted, “Why, this is violence!” in response. After Caesar’s death, Cimber fled to Bithynia in Asia Minor, the province which Caesar had assigned him, Appian says, adding that Cimber helped Brutus and Cassius in Macedonia. Cimber’s end isn’t recorded, but he probably died at the big blow-out at Philippi.


This former pal of Caesar’s was one of the first the Terrible Trio added to their conspiracy. Although Caesar rewarded Trebonius for his service, it might not have been enough for this ambitious man. On the Ides, notes Appian, “The conspirators had left Trebonius, one of their number, to engage Antony in conversation at the door.” 

After the dirty deed was done, Trebonius, who had won the Siege of Massilia for Caesar, was rewarded handsomely, being named proconsul in Asia. But he didn’t escape unscathed. While in Smyrna in Asia Minor, Trebonius offended Dolabella, another Caesar supporter-turned-traitor, by not letting him into the city. As a result, Dolabella put Trebonius on trial for treason and then had him murdered in his bed. The soldiers didn’t treat his body nicely, says Appian: “They rolled his head from one to another in sport along the city pavements like a ball till it was completely crushed.”

Servius Sulpicius Galba

According to Strauss, Caesar insulted Galba’s military abilities in his The Gallic Wars by saying his subordinate “nearly cost his legion their lives in eastern Gaul…in winter 57-56 B.C.[E.]" The diss concerned Galba’s lack of preparedness before war. Numerous quarrels after this, whether over Galba’s lost consulship in 49 BCE or accrued debts, pushed him over the edge against Caesar. 

Although Galba wasn't himself terribly crazy, he must've been a bit nutty to get involved in such a big conspiracy. And blind ambition ran in the family: His descendant, Emperor Galba, ruled for seven months in 68-69 A.D.

Lucius Cornelius Cinna

Although he didn't participate directly in Caesar's murder, Cinna was once near and dear to Caesar... and helped fan the flames against Julius. Cinna was once close to Caesar; Cinna's sister, Cornelia, was married to Caesar.  He must've been happy with his in-law's loyalty to his sister, whom Caesar refused to abandon despite great encouragement to do so. Caesar even helped recall Cinna Jr. from exile. 

But times changed. The day before Caesar's murder, Cinna gave a vitriolic speech against Julius, and the public remembered. They either figured Cinna might have helped stir up trouble or were just plain pissed. So a mob ran through the city and grabbed a guy named Cinna - but they got the wrong one. Instead of Cornelius Cinna, they killed a poet named Helvius Cinna.

Quintus Antistius Labeo

There isn’t a ton of important information on this guy, also known as Pacuvius... except in Plutarch’s Life of Brutus, where Labeo helps Brutus decide what prominent Romans to include in the conspiracy. After the assassination, Labeo kept the faith with Brutus. Plutarch says bluntly, “Labeo was his legate.”

But it was Labeo’s ending that was his true legacy. He literally dug his own grave, put his affairs in order..."Then, taking his most faithful slave by the right hand and whirling him around, as is the Roman custom in granting freedom, he handed him a sword as he turned, and presented his throat. And so his tent became his tomb,” writes Appian.

Gaius Casca, Who Delivered the Second Blow

Brother of Servilius, who hit Caesar first, Gaius Casca was the second to stab Julius. According to Nicolaus of Damascus, Servilius "called to his brother, speaking in Greek in his excitement," asking him to get in on the "fun." Gaius "obeyed him and drove his sword into Caesar's side," striking another blow. That one, which hit Caesar in the ribs, might've been the one to kill him.


Mon, 08 Aug 2016 05:02:18 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/julius-caesar-conspirators/carly-silver
<![CDATA[List of First Wave Feminists]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/list-of-first-wave-feminists/martha-smith
This is a list of feminists who were a part of 1st wave feminism, my favorite feminist movement. I've included lots of photos of famous feminists. Feminism is the quest for women's rights. Modern feminist theory divides the feminist movement into 1st and 2nd wave feminism, followed later by 3rd wave feminism. The first wave of feminists poured the foundation for gender equality by winning women's right to vote. The history of feminism during the era, however, is marred by a specific controversy. While the women's movement acquired woman suffrage, they also pushed through prohibition. That said, feminism to this day is still a sisterhood of women empowerment fighting for the rights of women.
List of First Wave Feminists,

Abigail Adams

Alfhild Agrell

Elisabeth Altmann-Gottheiner

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

Jane Addams

Sophie Adlersparre

Linda Martín Alcoff

Soteria Aliberty

Catharina Ahlgren

Ellen Anckarsvärd

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 02:36:03 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/list-of-first-wave-feminists/martha-smith
<![CDATA[The Most Incredible Sieges of All Time]]> http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/the-most-incredible-sieges-of-all-time
These are the most epic sieges in history, ranked by history buffs worldwide. Anyone can vote on this list of sieges, making it a collaborative list. So what do you think are the greatest sieges of all time? Make sure to add your own battles to these rankings if you see anything missing. Some of these famous battles are thousands of years old, but still remembered ... not for glory, but for the story they tell of humanities' epic struggles against itself.
The Most Incredible Sieges of All Time,

Battle of Alesia

Battle of the Alamo


Sieges of Constantinople

Siege of Leningrad

Siege of Tyre

Siege of Vienna

Siege of Yorktown

Siege of Sparta

Siege of Malta

Fri, 27 May 2011 03:52:20 PDT http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/the-most-incredible-sieges-of-all-time
<![CDATA[Famous Hoax Photographs and How They Were Faked]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-fake-photographs/danielle-ownbey

Since the dawn of Photoshop, image altering has been a controversial topic among professional photographers, their subjects, and their public audiences alike. Transforming images to blur the line between fact and fiction has become a common occurrence in all realms of entertainment and news around the world, from tweaking a model’s look on a magazine cover to inserting realistic aliens and monsters into blockbuster films to altering photos of missile launches to create threatening propaganda.

However, what many people don’t realize is that the falsification of photographs started long before Photoshop made it as easy as the click of a mouse. Faked photographs have been around almost as long as photography itself. The invention of photography presented a new medium for hoaxers and manipulators to transform images to fit their needs. Whether a hoaxer’s intention was hurtful or humorous, the new technology of photography presented an unprecedented opportunity: a way to create images that looked so real that people had no choice but to trust them.

From its inception, photography and hoaxery went hand-in-hand, like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Since the 19th century, people have been manipulating images, combining negatives, staging scenes, and building dummies to trick audiences into believing that what they see in the image is real. Here’s a list of some of the sneakiest, scariest, and silliest photographic hoaxes throughout history and how the hoaxers created these famous images.

Famous Hoax Photographs and How They Were Faked,

The Falling Soldier Wasn't Dying, He Was Acting

In 1936, photographer Robert Capa released an image that encapsulated the horror of the Spanish Civil War and went on to become one of the most famous war photographs in history. It also helped kickstart Capa’s career as a famous photographer. The image captures a Spanish soldier, Federico Borrell Garcia, as he takes a fatal shot. 

How They Did It: The story of Capa’s photos started to unravel when other images in the same series were released. Academics studied these photos next to this most famous version and determined that Capa did not snap these images near Cerro Muriano in Andalusia as he claimed. Instead, the photographs were taken near Espejo, a place that the war didn’t reach until after Capa published the photographs.

William Mumler's Ghostly Subjects Included Abraham Lincoln

A jewelry engraver named William Mumler was the first enterprising mind to combine the emerging fields of spiritualism and photography for profit. Mumler’s hobby for photography paid off one day in the early 1860s when he sat for a self-portrait. He discovered a ghostly figure standing behind him as he developed the photo, which he originally believed to be the remnants of a previous image. He showed the photo to his friends on a lark and, based on their credulous responses, went into business as a spirit photographer soon after.

Mumler’s fame grew so large that his photographs appeared on the cover of the national magazine Harper’s Weekly. Although his contemporaries were skeptical, no photographer could find any evidence that Mumler faked his ghostly photo shoots. Despite his detractors, he had at least one very famous fan. In what would be her last photograph, Mary Todd Lincoln sat for a photo with him, Abraham Lincoln’s ghost visible behind her.

How They Did It: Skeptical photographers both then and now ascribe Mumler’s spooky shots to one of two methods. One possibility is double printing, when the subject and the spirit appear in two different negatives that the photographer later combines. The other is double exposure, when the person designated as the ghost leaves the picture mid-exposure to produce a transparent, ghostly effect. Mumler ensured that no one would ever know for sure when he destroyed all his negatives shortly before his death.

"Death in the Air" Utilized Models Built by a Hollywood Prop Designer

In 1933, war widow Gladys Cockburn-Lange contacted publishers with a fascinating document. She gave them the war diary of her dead husband, complete with stunning images of World War I planes in action. The book Death in the Air: The War Diary and Photographs of a Flying Corps Pilot was a hit, especially influential because so few photographs of World War I aerial combat existed.

How They Did It: Gladys Cockburn-Lange couldn’t have had a more British sounding name if she chose it herself. Oh wait, she did. Gladys was actually Betty Archer, the wife of Wesley David Archer, a Hollywood-employed model builder. Wesley Archer built the models in the photograph and superimposed them over aerial photographs to create the hoax. The National Air and Space Museum finally exposed the hoax in the early 1980s.

The Bluff Creek Bigfoot Was Just a Man in a Suit, Obviously

The Big Foot spotted at Bluff Creek in 1967 is the most famous sighting of the infamous creature ever recorded on film. Two men, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin, trekked into the California wilderness in search of the monster, with a rented camera and plans to make a documentary about their experience. Wouldn’t you know it, they spotted a female Big Foot striding through the forest.

Patterson managed to capture footage of the creature before she disappeared back into the trees. Patterson died of cancer a few years later and went to his grave stating that the whole story was true.

How They Did It: The Big Foot in the video looks like a costume purchased straight off a Halloween store rack, and it basically was. After a TV special about the case aired in 1998, a man named Bob Heironimus came forward and admitted that he had been the man in the suit. Patterson hired him to play Big Foot in a short film that he planned to sell. A costume designer named Phillip Morris also stated that he was the one who sold Patterson the suit. His company Morris Costumes is now a massive costume manufacturer that supplies Halloween costumes across America. 

The Loch Ness Monster Was Actually a Much Less Dangerous Sea Creature - A Toy Submarine

The modern fervor over the Loch Ness Monster came to a head with a photo taken in 1934. Known as the Surgeon’s Photo, the most famous image of Nessie was taken by British surgeon Colonel Robert Wilson. It shows a creature with a long neck rising out of the water. For more than 50 years, the picture stirred up a fervor about what swam beneath the surface of the Loch.

How They Did It: The picture stood as a testament to the existence of the marine creature until 1994, when a man named Christian Spurling confessed to his involvement in the hoax. The Daily Mail previously hired Spurling’s step-father, Marmaduke Weatherell, to find the Loch Ness monster and Weatherell felt betrayed when they debunked what he found. So he set out on a plot of revenge straight out of an episode of Scooby Doo: he and Spurling constructed a model out of a toy submarine from Woolworth’s with a sculpted head attachment and photographed it. They sent the photo to Wilson, whose pedigree made him a trustworthy Nessie spotter, and Loch Ness was never the same again. 

Hippolyte Bayard's Anger Drove Him to Create History's First Fake Photograph

Louis Daguerre has historically been credited with the invention of photography. A man named Hyppolite Bayard disagreed, however, in a very dramatic way. In 1840, an image emerged of a lifeless man with the following caption:

The corpse which you see here is that of M. Bayard, inventor of the process that has just been shown to you. As far as I know this indefatigable experimenter has been occupied for about three years with his discovery. The Government, which has been only too generous to Monsieur Daguerre, has said it can do nothing for Monsieur Bayard, and the poor wretch has drowned himself. Oh the vagaries of human life...!

How They Did It: Bayard simply staged the scene and wrote a misleading caption. The photo is influential as the first ever faked photograph, so at least Bayard got into the history books for something…

Two Little Girls Drew the Cottingley Fairies So They Wouldn't Get Punished

One of the most infamous photographic hoaxes in history all started because a little girl didn’t want to get in trouble. In 1917, Frances Griffith returned from a brook with wet feet and wasn’t looking forward to the inevitable punishment. When her mother asked her what happened, Frances told her mother that she went to see the fairies. In a show of familial solidarity, Frances's cousin Elsie backed her up and agreed that fairies played down by the water.

With the adults obviously dubious, the girls took a camera to the brook and came back with proof – pictures of both girls with fairies and gnomes. After both girls’ moms shared the photos around, the pictures sparked a public phenomenon. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes and a famous spiritualism supporter, weighed in on the photographs, believing them to be genuine proof of humanity’s ability to commune with the spirit world.

How They Did It: Almost 60 years later, Frances and Elsie finally admitted that their photos were fakes. Elsie had art training and drew the figures on paper. The girls fixed the drawings to hat pins and stuck them in the ground for the photographs. Then, they destroyed the evidence in the brook. A hoax so simple that a child could do it. 

The Famous Faces in Ada Emma Deane's Spirit Photography Led to Her Downfall

At the height of her success, Ada Emma Deane’s spirit photographs incited bidding wars from national newspapers for the rights to publish them. An unassuming cleaning lady before she got her hands on a camera, Deane’s claims to fame were the disembodied heads that appeared in the pictures that she took. She created a famous series of commemorative photos of World War I Armistice day and by the fourth year, newspapers fought for the exclusive rights.

How They Did It: Deane’s first giveaway was her requirement that she receive photographic plates in advance of the photo shoot. In 1924, the same newspaper that bought her Armistice Day picture also debunked her hoax. They revealed that the floating heads in her picture were not dead soldiers but were very much alive, including the faces of some well-known athletes. She maintained her innocence, claiming that she if she were faking it, she wouldn’t be so stupid as to use such recognizable faces. 

A Lamp Shade and Some Ping Pong Balls Created a UFO Phenomenon

In a very fortuitous coincidence, UFO enthusiast George Adamski got the photo of his life when he captured the image of a foreign spacecraft flying over his California home in 1952. He gained a loyal following in the UFO-hunting world and wrote a number of books about his encounters with the third kind.

How They Did It: A lamp shade with some ping pong balls glued to it. That’s it. A friend of Adamski’s even confirmed that he saw the model with his own eyes

What Newspapers Called Nazi Air Markers Were Nothing More Than a Coincidence

At the height of World War II, the U.S. Army Office of Public Relations released a brief that caused panic across America. They shared images taken by airplanes of three “secret markers” that seem innocuous from the ground. But the brief reveals that, in the air, the markers point directly to strategic locations like factories and airfields.  The government wouldn’t reveal specific locations but assured concerned citizens that the markers were destroyed and warned them that this was evidence that the enemy could be anywhere. The pictures made it to the front page of every major newspaper in the country.

How They Did It: The “markers” were nothing more than innocuous shapes on the ground: a bird feeding area, a configuration of fertilizer sacks, and the remnants of a plowed field. The government actually investigated the markers months before and determined that they had no military significance - until they realized their benefit as propaganda, that is. 

Thu, 07 Jul 2016 04:29:48 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-fake-photographs/danielle-ownbey
<![CDATA[35 Famous Lesbian Politicians From Around the World]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-lesbian-politicians/lgbt

They're proudly out and working to change the system from within. These are some of the notable lesbian politicians holding political office around the globe. Some famous lesbian politicians hold national offices while other top lesbian politicians work at the local level of government. Many notable lesbian politicians fight for LGBTQ causes, rights and issues.

Who will you find on this list of famous lesbian politicians? Tammy Baldwin lands in the top spot. In 1998, she became the first openly gay member of the United States Congress. In 2012, she became the first openly gay member elected to the Senate. She has fought for equality, college affordability, veterans support, and many more issues in her career as a politician. Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir advocates for social rights, while British politician Linda Bellos speaks out about intersectionality as well.

Which politician on this list do you think has done the best work for LGBTQ rights? Take a look at this list and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

35 Famous Lesbian Politicians From Around the World,

Angela Davis

Civil rights activist and politician Angela Davis publicly confirmed that she is a lesbian in the 1990s.

Annise Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker is the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city. "I was a gay and lesbian activist in my college days, so that’s always been part of my acknowledgment of the world,” said Parker in an interview. “What is different as mayor is I’m not a spokesperson for the community. I am the public face and voice of the citizens of Houston. I just happen to be a lesbian when I’m doing it.”

Barbara Jordan

Civil rights leader Barbara Jordan was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1972-1978. It was reported that Jordan was a lesbian following her death.

Linda Bellos

British politician Linda Bellos said, "I think that some of the mess we’re in, in the LGBT community, exists among the feminist lesbians who are anti-trans. Seems to me, they’re not all, but some women remain disrespectful, hostile particularly to male-female trans people and I find that repugnant. There’s not a milder word I can use."

Paula Aboud

Arizona State Senator Paula Aboud got involved in politics to protect the civil rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

Tammy Baldwin

In 1998, Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay member of the United States Congress. In 2012, she became the first openly gay member elected to the Senate. She has fought for equality, college affordability, veterans support, and many more issues in her career as a politician.

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir

Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is the first openly LGBTQ person to lead a national government in the world. After decades in politics, she was elected as Prime Minister in 2009. LGBTQ rights and social justice were at the heart of her legacy.

Betty Baxter

Betty Baxter was fired as the head coach of the Canadian national volleyball team after the media reported that she was a lesbian in 1982. She went on to become the chair of the NDP Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual caucus in 1997.

Denise Andrews

Massachusetts Representative Denise Andrews is openly gay. She is a Democrat representing the 2nd Franklin district.

Vera Bergkamp

Dutch politician Vera Bergkamp is also involved with COC Netherlands, the oldest LGBTQ advocacy group in the world.

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 03:45:39 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-lesbian-politicians/lgbt
<![CDATA[25 Behind the Scenes Photos of Children with World Leaders]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/children-and-world-leaders/rachel-green
The best way for politicians to tug at the heartstrings of their constituents is to make appearances with other people's happy, loving, and innocent children. Whether they're beloved world leaders or the most hated and feared rulers in the world, all of these politicians are hitting up the kids to earn some serious brownie points. 

Some of these children belong to the political leaders, and some are meeting them for the first time. Children are the future of our world, so what better way to instill your laws and beliefs than through the innocent minds of tomorrow? 
25 Behind the Scenes Photos of Children with World Leaders,

David Cameron Interrogates Children

Hitler with a Few Aryan Children

Hugo Chavez and Baby Chavezes

Dwight D. Eisenhower Shaking Children's Hands

Children Saluting Benito Mussolini

JFK Holds Caroline's Doll

Joseph Stalin with Tiny Sailors

Kim Il-Sung Celebrates Colorful Happiness

Fidel Castro and the Bearded Children

Boy Enjoying What President Obama Is Saying

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 07:44:20 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/children-and-world-leaders/rachel-green
<![CDATA[Cats That Should Run for President]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/cats-that-should-run-for-president/ashley-reign
Ask these patriotic cats and they'll tell you: the country has gone to the dogs. The political cats you’re about to meet have sat by for years and watched as we humans have let things go down the tubes. Now they say it’s time for a change, and there’s no better way to do it than to elect the next president from among their own people. Welcome, ladies and gentleman, to the nation's newest political party: the Furs. 
These fluffy little visionaries would like to point out that they were once considered gods by the ancient Egyptians, so the mere task of leading the free world is no problem. Additionally, each and every one vows to completely ignore the wishes of congress and immediately institute a policy guaranteeing unlimited catnip for all citizens. They promise that by the end of their first term, not a single piece of furniture in the White House shall go undecorated by their furs, and that they will uphold nap time as a sacred right.
So if you’re ready to join the furriest revolution in history, it's time to pick a candidate. No matter which political cat you choose, rest assured that you shall be rewarded by a warm leg rub and maybe even a silently judgmental stare. Patriotism. These kittehs have it.

Cats That Should Run for President,

Richard Lick-son

Jimmy Cat-er

Andrew Relax-son

The-Odor Roosevelt

Harry S Mew-man

Benjamin Hairy-son

William Mc-Cleanly

Martin Van Purrin'

Nom-as Jefferson

Yawn Adams

Thu, 07 May 2015 07:48:39 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/cats-that-should-run-for-president/ashley-reign
<![CDATA[The Best YouTube Politics Channels, Ranked]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-politics-channels-youtube/youtuber
Whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, or a member of an Independent political party, these political YouTube channels are sure to stimulate your mind and give you some insight about American and international politics. With constant updates and fresh videos, you'll never be the last to hear about a new political development. 

Channels like "Al Jazeera English" offer 24 hour news coverage on every imaginable topic worldwide. Their slogan "Every Angle | Every Side" promotes their philosophy that political news should be fully covered, no matter what. The "Associated Press" channel is run by the nonprofit news agency where most journalists draw their information and sources from. 

Many televised political programs show clearly show their allegiance to one political party or another. These political YouTube channels, however, have a variety of videos that will cater to Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, the Green Party, and many other political parties.  

 Vote for your favorite political YouTube channel below, and be sure to add any to the list that we may have left off. 

The Best YouTube Politics Channels, Ranked,


Mark Dice


FUNKER530 - Veteran Community


The Amazing Atheist



My Duck\\'s Vision

teleSUR tv

Tue, 23 Dec 2014 09:46:20 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/best-politics-channels-youtube/youtuber
<![CDATA[20 Things You Might Not Know About Marco Polo]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/marco-polo-facts/mike-rothschild
The biography of Marco Polo tells the story of one of the most famous explorers of all time. Leaving Venice with his father and uncle, he spent 24 years going all the way from Israel to China, where he lived for 17 years. His life story involves working for the great Kublai Khan personally, surviving perilous journeys, and eventually writing one of the greatest travelogues of all time.

But who was Marco Polo? In addition to being an explorer, he was a merchant, a soldier, and a keen observer of strange cultures. He also was known to be a braggart and an exaggerator. Some modern scholars don't believe that Marco Polo wrote his famous Travels or even went to China at all. With hundreds of different versions of the book (and some that omit basic facts about life in China), it's likely that the original dictations he made are lost to history. 

Here are some interesting things you might not have known about the great Venetian writer, and the famous journey he took.
20 Things You Might Not Know About Marco Polo,

Marco Met His Father at Age 15
Marco Polo's father Niccolo and his uncle Maffeo left Venice for Constantinople before he was born, and Marco's mother died at some point, leaving the boy to be raised by his extended family. Little is known of Marco's childhood, except that he didn't meet his father until 1269, when the brothers returned from their long trip.
The Polos Weren't the First Europeans to Reach Asia
While trade along the Silk Road between Europe and Asia was thriving, almost no Europeans had actually set foot in the Mongol Khanate. Nicollo and Maffeo Polo were among the first, but there had been other travelers to Mongol lands. Likely the most well-known, though not at the time, was Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, also known as John of Plano Carpini. John was a Franciscan monk and Papal Legate who traveled to the court of Ogedai Khan starting in 1245, tasked with protesting the Mongol attack on Western Europe. 

After presenting the Khan with a protest letter, John was, in turn, given a letter to give to the pope, demanding Europe's leaders present themselves for surrender. After his return, John wrote a book of his travels, and died in 1251 - 20 years before Marco's journey. 

The Khan Sent the Polos on a Mission and Let Them Leave China
While the Polos prospered in the Khanate, their success was a double-edged sword: Kublai refused to let them leave. Finally, in 1292, a Mongol princess was to be sent to Persia as a consort, and the Polos volunteered to go with. Kublai was nearly 80 at the time, and they were concerned that a new Khan might not allow the same relationship the three had with Kublai.

From southern China, the expedition reached Vietnam, spent five months in Sumatra waiting out storms, then went to Sri Lanka, went down the coast of India, and finally made it to Persia. Of the 600 people on the mission, only 18 - including the three Polos - survived. The mission accomplished, they set out for Venice - and were robbed of most of their riches as soon as they reached Turkey.

Exploration Was in His Blood
Marco's father Nicollo and his uncle Maffeo were among the most successful traveling merchants in the Kingdom of Venice. Both brothers were born in 1230, and in 1254, they left Venice for Constantinople, where they lived with fellow Venetians and set up a trading post.

In 1259 or 1260, they left Constantinople just before it was sacked, and moved their business to a city in the Crimea. Finding it under the control of the Mongols, they made their way east, and eventually found themselves in the court of Mongol ruler Kublai Khan. In 1269 or 1270, they came back to Vencie - with a request from the Khan.
The Polo Brothers Returned with Detailed Instructions from the Khan
During their time in China with Kublai, the brothers apparently made quite an impression. Kublai asked them to go back carrying letters requesting that Kublai be sent 100 intelligent men “acquainted with the Seven Arts." They were also asked to bring back oil from the lamp burning at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and had gifts to present to Rome.
The Mongols Were a Complete Mystery to Venice
Despite having been on the world scene for well over a century, western Europe had been spared the worst of the Mongol wrath, and knew little about the people. Kublai controlled the largest empire in the world - but the brothers' tales of Mongol wealth and power confounded Venetian Catholics. They made plans to go back to China right away, but fate intervened.
After Waiting Around Two Years, Marco and the Brothers Left Venice in 1271
The Polo brothers had the bad timing to come back to Venice in 1269, during a time when the Papacy was vacant. Clement IV had died a year earlier, and the Vatican was in the middle of a three year struggle to elect a new pope - one that dragged on so long the electors were put on rations of bread and water, and eventually put in a roof-less room to speed them along. The Polos waited for two years for the situation to be resolved, then finally decided to just go back to China. 

They took Marco with them, heading out in 1271. On their way, they found out that a new pope had finally been elected, and were assigned two friars to go with them.
The Polos Spent 17 Years in China and Marco Flourished
Arriving in Shangdo, Marco and the brothers gave Kublai the sacred oil and the letters from the pope. Kublai took the Polos on in some kind of administrative role, as he didn't trust his Chinese subjects. For the next 17 years, the trio traveled around China carrying out a variety of tasks, though the details of what they did and where they did it are lost to history. 

Marco, in particular, became a trusted envoy of the Khan, and was sent off to far-flung Mongol outposts. He visited both southeast and southwest China, possibly going as far as Burma. He also participated in several military conflicts, and might have even governed a city in southern China for several years, though this is up for debate. Along the way, Marco gathered the material he'd eventually use to write his fabled book.
His Exact Birthplace and Birthdate Are Unknown
It's generally believed that Marco Polo was born on either September 15 or 16, 1254 in the Republic of Venice. Some scholars have put forth evidence that he was born somewhere else in Europe that was under the dominion of Venice (Croatia has emerged as a possibility), but the general consensus is that he was born and raised in the city itself.
Marco and the Brothers Set Out on a Long Journey
Accompanied by the two friars (who left shortly afterwards) and carrying letters from the new pope, Marco, his father, and his uncle first traveled from Venice to Israel, then to Turkey, then through harsh Iranian deserts to Afghanistan. From there, they crossed the highlands of Central Asia, entered modern day China, and finally made it to Shangdu, where Kubali Khan held court. The journey took three years, through lands no European had ever seen.

Fri, 30 Oct 2015 05:42:16 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/marco-polo-facts/mike-rothschild
<![CDATA[The Many Times Alcohol Changed History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/how-alcohol-changed-history/danielle-ownbey

Alcohol often plays an important role in celebrating the most momentous events in history. The French share glasses of wine on Bastille Day. Many Americans throw back a Budweiser or two in honor of the Fourth of July. On New Year’s Eve, people toast to a year gone by with flutes of champagne. But what many of those revelers don’t realize is that alcohol doesn’t just help us celebrate history, there are a lot of ways alcohol changed history too.

Alcohol has its own history as old as civilization itself. From the first barley farms and vineyards to the most modern microbreweries, alcohol in history has helped us drown our sorrows and celebrate our triumphs. Along the way, these devilish drinks effected massive changes of their own. Whether it’s rum, vodka, wine, or beer, alcohol has raised humanity up, dragged humanity down, and hosted every party in between. This list reveals how alcohol changed the course of history.

The Many Times Alcohol Changed History,

Without the Whiskey Rebellion, Political Parties as We Know Them Wouldn't Exist

The Whiskey Rebellion played an important part in the birth of the America that we know today. When thousands of colonists came together to protest a new tax on whiskey, the rebellion met the iron hand of the new US government, led by the commander-in-chief himself, George Washington. The break-up of the rebellion proved to colonists that the young government had the power to defend itself against uprisings and laid the groundwork for the prosecution of treason. Perhaps more interestingly, the whiskey tax was one of the issues pushed by the anti-Federalists, a move that helped spawn the division of ideology that created America’s first separate political parties. 

The Borgias Maintained Their Power Thanks to Poisoned Wine

For a family obsessed with holding and keeping the Papal seat, the Borgias's methods were anything but moral. The Borgias were an Italian family who reigned during the Renaissance. The aristocratic clan counted two Popes among their ranks. More importantly, the Borgias are known as one of most power-hungry families in history. Their weapon of choice for dispatching enemies? Poison-laced wine, on enemies and subordinates alike. In a poetic twist of fate, some historians believe that it was a Borgia-poisoned bottle of wine, brought to the table by accident, that ultimately took the life of the patriarch of the Borgias, Pope Alexander VI. 

Beer Inspired the Agricultural Revolution and Basically Started Civilization

Beer enthusiasts everywhere will be happy to know that beer may have been the catalyst for civilization as we know it. According to historians, the original reason that ancient farmers began to grow barley more than 10,000 years ago was not to create bread (as originally believed) but to create beer. This shift from hunter-gathering to farming marked the beginning of the agricultural revolution, a period that gifted modernity with little things like the wheel, irrigation, and the plow. 

Beer Helped Build the Pyramids

It may seem counterintuitive, but beer did, in fact, play a role in the successful construction of one of the most important engineering triumphs in human history. Beer was such a popular drink in Ancient Egypt that pyramid builders got beer as part of their subsistence wage. Each worker received 10 loaves of bread and a measure of beer for his part in the project. This payment was actually standard throughout the entirety of the Egyptian Old Kingdom, from 2686 - 2181 BCE. Beer was the drink of the masses in Egypt and it clearly fueled them to do great things.

The Temperance Movement Advanced Women's Rights

Looking back on history, we tend to regard temperance movements with scoffs and eye rolls. But at the very least, temperance organizations provided a training ground for many of the most famous feminists to hone their activism. The first wave of feminism was born out of these temperance movements, with many suffragist leaders like Susan B. Anthony cutting their teeth on the temperance cause. It can be argued that movements like the temperance movement and the anti-slavery movement, both of which contained large numbers of female activists, taught these women how to organize. They took what they learned and ran with it, all the way to the vote and beyond.

Abraham Lincoln's Bodyguard Left His Post at Ford's Theater for a Drink at the Saloon

On the night of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, John Parker was assigned the job of protecting the President on his trip to Ford's Theater. After the President and his wife settled in, Parker accepted an invitation from Lincoln’s footman and coachman to go for a drink at the Star Saloon next door. We’ll never know for sure what would have happened if Parker declined that invitation. Perhaps John Wilkes Booth would have even been able to charm his way past Presidential security as a famous actor. However, at least one person blamed Parker for the death of the president: Mrs. Lincoln. 

Russians Lost a War Because They Were Too Drunk

Despite attempts by Ireland, Germany, and France, no nation is more closely associated with a specific alcohol than Russia is with vodka. Russians put this to the test during the Russo-Japanese War, when they proved that they couldn't forgo their favorite libation long enough to win a war. Russian newspapers reported after the hostilities that soldiers were too drunk to fight and provided easy targets for Japanese forces.

In 1905, Russia accepted less than ideal treaty terms in a negotiation brokered by Theodore Roosevelt. Even Tsar Nicholas himself blamed alcohol for the country’s embarrassing performance. He banned alcohol in the lead-up to World War I in the hopes that it wouldn’t happen again. Spoiler alert: things didn't end well for the Tsar or for the alcohol ban, which ended in 1925. 

Christianity Was the Official Religion of Early Russia Partly Because It Allowed Drinking

When it comes to choosing a religion, it’s important to keep your priorities straight. Prince Vladimir of Kiev did just that when he selected Christianity as the state religion partially because it didn’t ban booze. According to the Primary Chronicle, a history of East Slavic tribes written in the 12th century, various religious leaders came to Vlad’s court to present their religions for his perusal. His specific reason for rejecting Islam was that “Drinking is the joy of the Russes. We cannot exist without that pleasure.” He eventually settled on Christianity, which remains the most popular religion in Russia to this day.

Alexander the Great Sacked Persepolis in a Drunken Rage

Alexander the Great is well-known not just for his love of conquering but also for his love of alcohol. Alexander’s passion for booze came to a head in 330 BCE upon his arrival in Persepolis. After he and his men conquered the city, he resolved during a night of drunken debauchery to burn Persepolis to the ground. This was a strange, clearly alcohol-induced decision, considering that the city now belonged to him. In those flames, future historians lost all access to massive amounts of knowledge about ancient Persepolis and Persia. In a case of karmic retribution, a recent study claims that Alexander may have himself been snuffed out by a glass of toxic wine.

George Washington and Other Early American Politicians Bought Votes with Booze

As a politician, it’s important to know what your constituents like. When it came to George Washington and his fellow Virginians, the answer was alcohol. Early in his career, Washington used all of his campaign funds to buy enough liquor to convince voters to elect him to the House of Burgesses in 1758. Perhaps if the American colonists didn’t have such a taste for the hard stuff, George would have lost his early election, faded into obscurity, and America would have missed out on electing one of it’s best presidents. This practice of exchanging liquor for votes carried on all the way until the 18th Amendment banned alcohol in 1920. Until then, you were just as likely to see a barroom brawl as you were a ballot on Voting Day. 

Wed, 06 Jul 2016 04:14:42 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/how-alcohol-changed-history/danielle-ownbey
<![CDATA[10 Eerie Ghost Towns and the Disasters That Made Them]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/disasters-that-caused-towns-to-be-abandoned/kellen-perry

It’s always fun in a post-apocalyptic story when the survivors return to ghost towns to rummage for supplies, right? Exploring the ruins of a once-thriving place always makes for a great scene. But sometimes, as the saying goes, the truth is stranger than fiction. Take away the zombies and the nuclear fallout and you still have plenty of creepy, real-life stories made all-the-more creepy because they actually happened.

There are plenty of real cities that were abandoned by their residents available for you to explore... as long as you don’t mind some mild radiation exposure, possible lead poisoning, sinkholes, crumbling ruins, and sandstorms. The list below features towns that were abandoned due to disasters both natural and man-made, but unlike some cities that were abandoned on purpose (to make way for a dam, for example), all of these places were turned into ghost towns against the will of the people that lived there. Happy exploring!

10 Eerie Ghost Towns and the Disasters That Made Them,

Wittenoom, Australia: Asbestos Poisoning

The town of Wittenoom in western Australia was founded in the 1930s just to house the workforce responsible for mining crocidolite, an extremely carcinogenic and extremely Australian-sounding type of asbestos. The mines were shut down in 1966 after one of the miners was diagnosed with mesothelioma, the first case in Australia. This effectively killed the town, but the state government didn’t adopt an official “phase down” policy until 1978 (meaning it started to purchase homes and business and pay residents to relocate).

Despite the now-obvious dangers of asbestos exposure - one 2012 study, for example, showed that “adults who had lived in Wittenoom as children when the mine was active were between 20% and 83% more likely to die from cancer than the rest of the population” - there were still a couple of people living in the area in December of 2015, according to the Guardian.

Hashima, Japan: Abandoned After All the Coal Was Mined

The abandoned island city of Hashima, Japan, is nicknamed Gunkanjima, or Battleship Island, because it looks like a hulking battleship from the air. The 18-acre island is now home to the fragile, dangerous ruins of a some of the earliest concrete high-rises in the world, built in 1916 for workers at a coal mining facility owned by Mitsubishi and their families.

In 1959, Hashima was packed: 5,259 people called it home, making it one of the most densely populated places on earth at the time, according to CNN. With gas quickly becoming the primary fuel source in Japan and the coal reserves running out, Mitsubishi closed the mines in 1974, quickly turning the island into a ghost town. Tourists looking to tour the ruins today need “permission from the Nagasaki City Council and a compelling reason for going inside.”

Picher, Oklahoma: Poisoned by Lead and Destroyed by a Tornado

What could make a town’s population drop from 1640 to 20 in just one decade? Toxic waste exposure? An F4 tornado? Yep. Picher, Oklahoma, suffered from both. The Picher lead-zinc mines were some of the most productive of the early 20th century, cranking out more than $20 billion worth of ore between 1917 and 1947. When operations ceased in 1967, contaminated water from the 14,000 abandoned mines began to seep, and “millions of tons” (!) of chat (lead-contaminated dust, essentially) began to pile up. In 1980, the government declared the town a Superfund site, which isn’t as fun as it sounds: “Superfund” refers to the loads of money necessary to clean up a hazardous waste site.

In 1996, a study revealed that more than a quarter of the town’s kids (34%) had lead poisoning. In 2006, the government declared that most of the town’s building weren’t fit for habitation, a side effect of all the mining. In 2008, a F4 tornado added injury to injury and destroyed 150 homes. A year later, Oklahoma officially dis-incorporated the city. The last resident standing, a pharmacist named Gary Linderman, died in 2015.

Oradour-sur-Glane, France: Razed by Nazis, Left as a Memorial

Oradour-sur-Glane, France, didn’t have to be abandoned after the Nazis almost entirely razed it in 1944, killing 642 of its residents. But French president Charles de Gaulle decided to leave the city in ruins as a testament to the Nazi atrocities, and it still serves the same function today, complete with a memorial museum, the Centre de la mémoire d'Oradour. Survivors were relocated to a new village of the same name northwest of the ruins after the war. The massacre is considered by historians to be an act of retribution against the people of Oradour-su-Glane for their alleged assistance to the French Resistance and the American forces and it’s particularly brutal: it’s the only known instance of the Nazis literally crucifying a baby.

Pripyat, Ukraine: Chernobyl

No list of abandoned towns would be complete without Pripyat, Ukraine, the town of almost 50,000 that had to be evacuated following the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. You’ve likely seen a lot of the haunting pictures and maybe read some of the horror stories, and if you’re a gamer, you probably explored Pripyat playing games such as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

Pripyat wasn’t evacuated until 36 hours after the disaster, and when the mad rush finally happened - 50,000 people shuttled off in 1,200 buses in under four hours - it was under false pretenses. The residents were told they would only be gone for two or three days, but in reality, no human could live there safely again for at least another 24,000 years. A new city, Slavutych, was built 30 miles to the northeast to replace Pripyat, but not before being covered in two meters of uncontaminated soil.

Kolmanskop, Namibia: Swallowed by Sand

The town of Kolmanskop, Namibia, was born because someone found a diamond in the sand, died because it became too hard to find diamonds in the sand, and is now almost entirely buried by that same sand.

In 1908, a railway worker found some bling in the area and showed it to his German boss. Soon after, a ton of Germans descended on the area to settle and exploit it (not necessarily in that order). In the next few decades, Kolmanskop had a hospital (complete with a newfangled x-ray machine), a ballroom, a school, a casino (naturally), a theater, and even the first streetcar in Africa.

In the 1920s, the town was home to about 1200 people: 340 Europeans and 800 African workers. By 1956, the place was abandoned, thanks in part to less extreme diamond-mining conditions discovered to the south. Visitors today mainly come to take pictures of all the buildings being swallowed by sand (which are pretty cool).

Times Beach, Missouri: Accidentally Poisoned by City Officials

In 1972, the town of Times Beach, Missouri (pop. 2,000) paid Russell Bliss $2,400 to spray 160,000 gallons of waste oil on the town’s dirt roads to keep the dust down. Little did they know that Bliss was using waste oil contaminated with dioxin, a toxic chemical by-product of the manufacture of hexachlorophene, an antibacterial agent that was formerly used for soap and toothpaste. Bliss didn’t know it, either: he was just doing his job as a contractor for a chemical company. (Bliss wouldn’t have cared either way, as the above clip shows. The dude dipped his finger in dioxin and ate it at a hearing about the incident.)

In 1982, after the release of a leaked EPA document revealing the chemical company’s shady dealings, the CDC tested the town and found it essentially unlivable. The state and federal government eventually bought out the town for $36.7 million, paying the owners of 800 residential properties and 30 businesses to leave. The area was quarantined for a long time: the EPA didn’t totally clean it up until 1997, at the cost of $200 million. Today, it’s home to Route 66 State Park.

Plymouth, Montserrat: Smothered by Volcanic Ash

The ghost town of Plymouth on the Caribbean island and British Overseas Territory of Montserrat is the only ghost town in the world that is still, technically, the capital of a political territory. The Soufrière Hills volcano smothered the city in nearly five feet of ash back in 1997, after firing a few warning shots in 1995. Nineteen people were killed and the entire town was displaced, with many forced to live in a “state of involuntary exile in Britain, the US and elsewhere in the Caribbean.” The aftermath has been compared to “the horrific damage left by the nuclear bomb in Hiroshima at the end of World War II” and has earned Plymouth the title “Pompeii in the Caribbean.” With the capital destroyed, the island’s population plummeted from 12,000 to 5,000.

Pyramiden, Norway: An Economic Crash and a Plane Crash

With a peak of roughly 1,000 residents in the 1980s, the coal-mining community of Pyramiden, Norway, was once known as “an exhibition of the best of the Soviet Union.” Despite being part of the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway, the settlement has been owned by the Soviet Union/Russia since 1927, and by the state-owned Soviet Union/Russian mining company Arktikugol Trust since 1931. In its heyday, the community was almost entirely self-sufficient, raising its own food and supplying its own power. It also had plenty of amenities for its residents in its dozens of new buildings, including a top-notch heated swimming pool, library, gym, cafeteria, pub, and theater.

Two crashes effectively put an end to Pyramiden. The first was the crash of the Russian economy after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, leading to low salaries and poor standards of living. The second was an actual plane crash: in 1996, Arktikugol chartered a plane from Moscow to nearby Longyearbyen full of Pyramiden workers and their families that crashed outside of Longyearbyen, killing all 141 passengers.

In 1998, the Russians decided to shut Pyramiden down. The roughly 300 workers still living there left everything behind, leaving all their supplies and mining equipment sitting untouched for more than a decade. In 2007, Arktikugol began renovating some of the old buildings to help accommodate tourists to the site. You can stay in one of the Tulpan Hotel’s newly refurbished rooms for about $144 as of 2016.

Centralia, Pennsylvania: Constantly on Fire

Fans of post-apocalyptic entertainment such as The Walking Dead and Fallout would probably enjoy a jaunt through the smoldering ruins of Centralia, Pennsylvania. Why smoldering? Well, a coal mine fire has been roaring under the town like a Hellmouth since 1962, “burning at depths of up to 300 feet, baking surface layers, venting poisonous gases and opening holes large enough to swallow people or cars.”

A low point in the whole saga - and when the nation really began to take notice - was when 12-year-old Todd Domboski fell into a sinkhole in his own backyard in 1981. His cousin pulled him out of the hole, saving his life (the steam coming from the hole was later found to have lethal levels of carbon monoxide). Four years earlier, his father jinxed poor Todd by telling a reporter, "I guess some kid will have to get killed by the gas or by falling in one of these steamy holes before anyone will call it an emergency."

The 2010 census list 10 residents in Centralia, down from more than 1,000 in 1981. In 2013, officials decided to let the remaining residents live out the rest of their lives there, like they’re Silent Hill cosplayers or something. Experts say the fire can’t stop/won’t stop for at least another 200 years.

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 05:49:19 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/disasters-that-caused-towns-to-be-abandoned/kellen-perry
<![CDATA[Where Were You on September 11th?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/where-were-you-on-september-11th/dani-porter
List of September 11th memories and recollections of Patriot Day. Where was the population of America when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers and a third plane crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11? It is a "day that will live in infamy." It was an event that brought the nation and international community together in solidarity and propelled the United States into an era of foreign wars and economic hardship. Most Americans remember where they were when they first heard about the 9/11 attacks. Some were witnesses to 9/11, while others were just waking up on the West Coast, driving to work or sitting in class.

Do you remember where you were on 9/11? Vote for the location where you first heard about September 11th, were watching the coverage on TV or listening to it on the radio. Add the location where you were if it is not listed. 
Where Were You on September 11th?,

Driving in Your Car

Watching Today Show

You Weren't Born Yet

Out of the Country

In a College Class

In Primary School

At Work

In High School


In Your Home

Tue, 10 Sep 2013 07:07:22 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/where-were-you-on-september-11th/dani-porter
<![CDATA[18 Fascinating Photos of Historical Landmarks Under Construction]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-photos-of-things-being-built/jordan-love

We see monuments, buildings, and historical landmarks as some of the most recognizable things in the world. Unlike naturally occurring wonders like Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon, the things on this list are all man made, which means all of them have photographs of their construction. This list is chock full of pictures of old buildings being built. 

But there's more than just buildings. Keep reading to see photos of historical monuments being built - also bridges, museums, and more. We frequently see images of things like the Eiffel Tower and the statue of liberty in their completed states, but we rarely get to see photos of them as they were being created.

Thanks to the invention of the camera, we have plenty of historical photos of construction from the last two centuries. So check out photos of all these monuments under construction and remember to vote up your favorites!

18 Fascinating Photos of Historical Landmarks Under Construction,

Eiffel Tower

Golden Gate Bridge

Hoover Dam

Lincoln Memorial

Manhattan Bridge

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Panama Canal

Rio–Antirrio bridge

Statue of Liberty

Washington Monument

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 03:13:50 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-photos-of-things-being-built/jordan-love
<![CDATA[Famous Politicians You'd Want to Have a Beer With]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-politicians-beer-list/mike-rothschild
Which likable politicians would be fun to have a few drinks with? Many politicians market themselves as regular folks you'd want to sit down for a beer with. George W. Bush, for one, is thought to have won the 2004 election because of his "regular guy" appeal. An August, 2004 Zogy/Williams Identity Poll found that 57.3% of undecided voters would rather have had a beer with Bush over his opponent John Kerry - despite the fact that Bush didn't actually drink. This was around the time Kerry was doing well in polls, and it might have caused a resurgence in Bush's popularity.

But when it comes right down to it, who are the politicians you like who you'd *actually* want to hang out with over a few oat sodas, as opposed to the ones who just want to make you think that because it might get you to pick them? Maybe you'd like to talk P90X with Paul Ryan, or get a front row seat for all manner of Joe Biden shenanigans?

In the spirit of Ranker's lists of both famous men and famous women you'd want to grab a beer with, here's a list of current political figures who'd probably be fun to knock back a few adult beverages with. Vote up the ones who you think you'd have a good time with, vote down the ones who'd bore you to death, or even worse, try to convince you to vote for them!

Famous Politicians You'd Want to Have a Beer With,

Al Gore

Barack Obama

Bernie Sanders

Bill Clinton

Donald Trump

George H. W. Bush

George W. Bush

Joe Biden

Ron Paul

Rand Paul

Mon, 06 Jul 2015 11:14:52 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-politicians-beer-list/mike-rothschild
<![CDATA[The Best Political Nicknames]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-political-nicknames/mike-rothschild
Political nicknames are a tradition that stretches all the way back to the first leaders in human society. Even American presidents get nicknames. But in the last few centuries, nicknames have become almost standard issue, with almost every president, prime minister, and elected leader of any kind given some kind of nickname. Some are affectionate, some are insulting, and some are just variations on the person's name or initials.

Many of the nicknames given to presidents and prime ministers haven't stuck, and are all but forgotten. After all, how many people can say who "The Last Cocked Hat" or "Soapy George Underhen" were (President James Monroe and British Prime Minister George Canning, respectively). But many politician nicknames have become permanent fixtures, and inseparable from the person they were bestowed on. We all know "Honest Abe," "The Iron Lady," and "Slick Willie," and it's likely we always will.

Here are some of the greatest political nicknames in history, from prime ministers to congressmen.

The Best Political Nicknames,

Abraham Lincoln

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Dwight D. Eisenhower

George Washington

John F. Kennedy

Margaret Thatcher

Richard Nixon

Winston Churchill

Zachary Taylor

Abraham Lincoln - "Honest Abe"

Wed, 23 Sep 2015 07:23:10 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-political-nicknames/mike-rothschild
<![CDATA[Large-Scale Paranoid Conspiracies That Turned Out to Be True]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/justified-paranoia-in-history/jeffrichard

We all have an irrational fear of something. It's in our nature. Maybe you're skeptical about the number twelve. Maybe you believe every cop has it out for you, and is simply biding their time before they lock you away. Maybe it's even so bad that you never left the house out of fear of being mugged or trampled by wild horses or being crushed by a falling satellite. 

The point is, paranoias are irrational and exaggerated thoughts which often take control of our lives in ways we never expect. But what happens when we collectively begin to believe these fears? And moreover, what happens when they actually come true? 

There are -- and will be -- countless events which will go unexplained in our lifetime. Strange coincidences which seem to have invisible strings pulling at them, but our rational minds will always find ways to keep them in check.

After all, there's no way anyone could ever know what we're thinking... or is there? 

Below is a list of paranoias that not only proved to be true, but true on a massive scale, and with global implications. 

Large-Scale Paranoid Conspiracies That Turned Out to Be True,

Mind Control

The idea of indoctrinating human subjects for government use has been around for decades. Whether for scientific research, religious beliefs, or military purposes, citizens in nearly every country have developed a growing paranoia that their government has secretly been utilizing clandestine methods to "brainwash" them.  

But it would be crazy to think our own government would subject its citizens to a veritable super-villain level of manipulation, right? 

If you've heard of mind control at all, then you've likely heard of Project MK-ULTRA.

An initiative which began in the early 1950s, the goal of MK-ULTRA was first designed to enhance CIA operatives' abilities to extract information from their subjects. But as experimentation continued, focus shifted to the possibility of perhaps controlling human behavior via a combination of drugs (including LSD) and extreme rounds of hypnosis.

While undergoing their "treatments", subjects reportedly hallucinated, suffered extreme anxiety, paranoia, and, in some cases, died as the result.

During this time however, the United States government vehemently denied any wrongdoing, and it wasn't until the late 1970s that the project was brought to federal courts, and ultimately abandoned. 

Because of these experiments, a sense of distrust -- of paranoia -- grew in America about what their own government is capable of.

Nazis Were Recruited to Work in America

Human experiments. Surface-to-air missiles. Jet-powered bombers. 

As for what Nazi scientists and engineers were capable of during World War II, the list goes on, which led to many fearing that Nazis could eventually move elsewhere to continue their work. 

So what happened to them after the Axis powers fell? 

The answer was simple: America just happened to be hiring

In the aftermath of WWII, the JIOA (Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency) initiated a program under direct order of President Truman called "Operation Paperclip." In this system, Nazi scientists, engineers, and basically anyone who could be of value and wasn't a complete human garbage fire was brought to the United States to assist in the development of similar programs.  

Ultimately, not only were thousands of Nazis now living in the United States, a fear held by many Americans at the time, but they were actually working for us, helping to develop some of the same technologies we still use today. 

People Can Watch You Remotely Through Your Webcam

If Mark Zuckerberg is afraid of it, it must be true, right? Recently, Facebook's CEO made headlines after it was reported he is among those who fear hackers could be remotely watching him via his laptop's webcam. His solution? Stick a piece of tape over it.

Does this sound a little paranoid? Maybe not. 

Imagine waking up in the morning. Checking your email. Clicking through as usual -- only to find an image of yourself staring back. Only it's not a glitch in your webcam, it's a screenshot, taken the night before via a remote location, and emailed back to you.

As if someone were toying with your privacy. 

That's what happened to a 27-year old Toronto woman named Chelsea Clark, who says that hackers tapped into her laptop, and secretly took photos of her and her boyfriend watching Netflix. 

And webcam hacking is just the tip of the iceberg. Among other hacked personal items include cell phones, gaming consoles, and even baby monitors. 

Big Brother Is Real

In the old days, folks could easily find out if they were being spied on: glance out your window, maybe there's a strange man in a black trench coat going through your garbage. Or listen for those three click-click-clicks on the other end of the phone line for a wiretap. Or check your rearview mirror to see if you've got an unmarked Crown Vic following you home. 

The signs couldn't be missed. 

But as technology progressed, American citizens became increasingly paranoid that their own government was somehow spying on them. Perhaps tracking IP addresses? Maybe logging phone calls? Or how about maintaining public surveillance feeds?

Those who spoke up about their fears were often seen as crazy. There was no way our government could betray our trust, was there? 

But, eventually, all of the above came to light, thanks in part to former CIA contractor, Edward Snowden. 

In June of 2013, scandal erupted in the United States after it was revealed that the NSA had been gathering not only phone information, but also internet search data from sites such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, and funneling it directly through into expansive surveillance program known as Prism. 

Sort of makes you wish for the days when you could just shoo away a strange man in a black trench coat, doesn't it?


The U.S. Poisoned Our Alcohol

Christmastime. New York. 1923. Over the course of two days, a total of twenty-three people died under mysterious circumstances, and another sixty fell gravely ill. Doctors claimed the cause was alcohol poisoning, but the sheer amount of victims was enough to raise more than a few eyebrows. 

While Prohibition was in effect, would-be party-goers would often find their own ways of procuring alcohol -- most of which was created illegally from hidden stills. These concoctions often contained metals and various other pollutants that didn't exactly make it healthy to consume, which is why most doctors initially believed their cases to be nothing more than the result of a bad batch of basement moonshine. 

Turns out, they were only half-right. 

Doctors were at a loss in explaining the epidemic, until it was eventually revealed that the United States intentionally poisoned certain supplies of alcohol, most of which was intercepted by rum-runners, and spiked it with methanol and potassium cyanide in an effort to scare Americans away from drinking.

The total number of deaths at the hands United States government? An estimated 10,000 by the time Prohibition ended in 1933. 

Ernest Hemingway Thought the FBI Was Spying on Him

Widely regarded as one of the finest writers of the twentieth-century, the world was shocked to discover that, at age 61, Ernest Hemingway decided to take his own life. 

The reasons behind his suicide were baffling: some thought he owed debts, others thought he felt his best work was already behind him. Either way, depression played a large factor in Hemingway's passing. 

But according to AE Hotchner, a close friend of Hemingway's, depression was insignificant compared to the swelling paranoia the famous author held about the FBI. 

On several occasions, Hotchner said, Hemingway grew agitated, complaining that his house and car were bugged to record his conversations. That he had to get rides from friends because his car was marked, and would ultimately follow him wherever he went.  

He even claimed that his phone calls were being recorded, and his mail was being intercepted. 

However, many simply dismissed Hemingway's complaints, believing that he was in the throes of an early personality disorder mixed with severe depression, all of which ultimately culminated with his suicide in 1961.

But it wasn't until 1983 that Hemingway's claim was posthumously vindicated. Here, it was revealed that under the direct supervision of none other than J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI had indeed been keeping track of Hemingway's movements since the 1940's, and that a 127-page dossier contained large amounts of his personal information. 

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 08:09:24 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/justified-paranoia-in-history/jeffrichard
<![CDATA[The Most Anti-Gay US Politicians]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-most-anti-gay-us-politicians/ballerina-tatyana
Who are the most anti-gay U.S. politicians? The list is a long one, including politicians from both parties (though a majority are Republican). The politicians listed here are those who have spoken out vocally against gay rights, most notably, gay marriage.

Anti-gay politicians are the elected leaders whose rhetoric is often totally over-the-top against LGBT rights. Their voting record on key civil rights issues speaks for itself. Some of these conservative politicians are members of the U.S. House of Representatives, while others are notable U.S. Senators.

Former GOP presidential candidates are also on this list, including, of course Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum and Minnesota House of Representatives member Michele Bachmann. Both have been vocal and steadfast in their opposition to any kind of gay rights for years (Santorum even compared gay marriage to sex with dogs).

Who are the anti-gay politicians? This list shows who are the Republicans and Democrats against gay marriage.

For more information on anti-gay politicians and activists, check out this list of the top 15 anti-gay activists caught being gay. You might also be interested in these lists of Republican and Democrat sex scandals over the years.
The Most Anti-Gay US Politicians,

Bobby Jindal
"I hold the view that has been the consensus in our country for over two centuries: that marriage is between one man and one woman. Polls indicate that the American consensus is changing — but like many other believers, I will not change my faith-driven view on this matter, even if it becomes a minority opinion." - Bobby Jindal: I'm Holding Firm Against Gay Marriage, 2015
Jim DeMint
"If someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn't be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who's sleeping with her boyfriend—she shouldn't be in the classroom." - DeMint speaking at a Spartanburg church rally in 2010
Marco Rubio
“I promise you even before this speech is over I’ll be attacked as a hater or a bigot or someone who is anti-gay. This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy. Support for the definition of marriage as one man and one woman is not anti-gay, it is pro-traditional marriage,” Rubio said. “Today there is a growing intolerance on this issue, intolerance for those who continue to support traditional marriage.”

Michele Bachmann
“They can get married, but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they’re a man.” Bachmann's response to a question by an Iowan student who asked, "Why can't same-sex couples get married?" in 2011.

Mike Huckabee

"I don't think a lot of pastors and Christian schools are going to have a choice" but to resist marriage equality, Huckabee said on ABC's "This Week. "They either are going to follow God, their conscience and what they truly believe is what the scripture teaches them, or they will follow civil law."

Mitt Romney
“I agree with 3000 years of recorded history. I believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman and I have been rock solid in my support of traditional marriage. Marriage is first and foremost about nurturing and developing children. It’s unfortunate that those who choose to defend the institution of marriage are often demonized.” - Mitt Romney in an interview with the National Review, 2006
Newt Gingrich
"I think there is an enormous difference between an inescapable fact of race — and you have to decide whether or not you are in fact going to tolerate discrimination based on race — and a question about culture, a question about what are your values. I think marriage is between a man and a woman. That's a value proposition."  - Gingrich in an interview with the Des Moines Register in 2011
Rick Perry
Commonwealth Club interviewer Greg Dalton asked him in 2014 whether Perry believes homosexuality is a disorder. Perry's answer: "Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," Perry said. "I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way." 
Rick Santorum
“But what I can say is that the state is not doing a service to the child and to society by not putting that child in a home where there is a mother and a father. This is common sense. This is nature. And what we’re trying to do is defy nature because a certain group of people want to be affirmed by society. And I just don’t think that’s to the benefit of society or to the child.” -Interview with CNS News, 2011

Sarah Palin
"They are misquoting me. I said I didn’t hate people who engage in homosexual behavior… I simply said by legalizing it you are opening the door to many other things such as bestiality, child molestation, and abortion. See… these things are all interconnected. Where are the limits? Today we legalize gay marriage in New York… next who knows what will be legalized? Laws exist for a reason." - Palin on Fox News, 2011 

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 05:04:09 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-most-anti-gay-us-politicians/ballerina-tatyana
<![CDATA[Celebrities Who Support the Tea Party]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/celebrities-who-support-the-tea-party/celebrity-insider
These are celebrity Tea Party supporters who've made their political leanings known. They are involved in pushing the Tea Party agenda and appear in rallies and Tea Party events. Some also volunteer as a way of showing support for the Tea Party.

Since Barack Obama became presidient, there have been so many anti-government groups and parties that have risen through the rank of both the Republican party and infiltrated American culture that none of the people on this list should be all that surprising. So who are Tea Party celebrities? Take a look here and you'll see some familiar names and faces on this list. These famous people are members of the Tea Party and don't expect them to change their minds any time soon.
Celebrities Who Support the Tea Party,

Glenn Beck

Marcus Luttrell

Neil Cavuto

Newt Gingrich

Sean Hannity

Ted Nugent

Rick Santelli

Dana Loesch

Don Corgan
Don Corgan is the reputed twin brother of Smashing Pumpkins' frontman Billy Corgan, but we could not find one picture of him on the Internet. 
Papa Grizzly
Papa Grizzly is a hip-hop artist whose last single, “Pet Ma Snout for Freedomz,” sold 15,000 copies, mostly at Tea Party rallies.

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 08:21:50 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/celebrities-who-support-the-tea-party/celebrity-insider
<![CDATA[Hidden Symbols in US Landmarks That You Never Knew Existed]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/hidden-symbols-in-us-landmarks/kellen-perry

Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and Nicolas Cage’s National Treasure have sparked major interest in the secrets of US landmarks. What’s hidden behind Washington’s eyes at Mt. Rushmore? (Nothing!) Which Illuminati symbols are carved into the Golden Gate Bridge? (None!) Which Islamic symbols did Obama sneak into the design of the new White House fence? (He totally didn’t do that!)

All jokes aside, there are some cool symbols in US landmarks that are hidden or relatively obscure. Man-made American landmarks are full of imagery from the Greeks and Romans, who were known for imbuing their art with lots of symbolism. There are also some major landmarks built in the 20th century with sneaky little “Easter eggs” included. Read on for some cool examples of hidden symbols in US landmarks that are totally for real.

Hidden Symbols in US Landmarks That You Never Knew Existed,

The Hoover Dam Features a Cryptic Star Map

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, many visitors to the Hoover Dam are confused by the Art Deco sculptures and architectural details created by Norwegian-born, naturalized American Oskar J.W. Hansen. There are these half-man, half-eagle dudes, for example, that are meant to symbolize “the readiness for defense of our institutions and keeping of our spiritual eagles ever ready to be on the wing." Sure! Another unusual feature is this awesome-looking inlaid star map, labeled with the star Alcyone, that shows nearby stars "as they would appear to the naked eye at a distance of about 190 trillion miles from Earth." 

What does it mean, exactly? It’s a timestamp: “In this celestial map, the bodies of the solar system are placed so exactly that those versed in astronomy could calculate the precession (progressively earlier occurrence) of the Pole Star for approximately the next 14,000 years. Conversely, future generations could look upon this monument and determine, if no other means were available, the exact date on which Hoover Dam was dedicated.” Cool!

The Stone Holds Secrets at the Jefferson Memorial

The stone used to build the Jefferson Memorial has a hidden symbolic meaning, according to the National Park Service. On the FAQ site for the memorial, the NPS—after letting everyone know that the number of steps leading to the chamber is meaningless, okay?—says the real secret of the memorial is in the sourcing of the stone. From the outside in, the stone starts in Vermont (“Vermont Imperial Danby marble”) and heads to Georgia (“white Georgia marble”). This symbolizes “the geographic extremes of the original thirteen states from New England to the Deep South.”

Inside the memorial, the stone comes “from an expanding Union”: the floor is marble from Tennessee, while the “inner dome” comes from Indiana. The statue of Jefferson, finally, stands on stone from two states acquired in his Louisiana Purchase: Minnesota granite with a “gray Missouri marble ring.”

A Young, Skinny President Taft Is 'Hidden' on the Supreme Court Building

Known widely as our widest President, William Howard Taft appears young and svelte—and “reclining”—on the west pediment of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. At a glance, the pediment appears to feature ancient figures, but they are actually relatively modern allegorical figures “influential in the creation of the Court’s new home.” Taft (on the far left) appears as Chief Justice William Howard Taft “portrayed as a student at Yale University” symbolizing the idea of “Research Present.” The SCOTUS website notes that “many people were surprised” at the unveiling in 1933 that the figures weren’t ancient or mythological.

'Kilroy' Is Hidden in Two Places at the World War II Memorial

The World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. has two hidden “KILROY WAS HERE” engravings. (Yes, like the Styx album.) In graffiti form, the “KILROY WAS HERE” phrase, accompanied by a big-nosed cartoon guy peeking over a wall, was a popular way for US troops to indicate that they’ve been through an area. Why? That part’s murky: the National Park Service says it “most likely come[s] from a British cartoon and the name of an American shipyard inspector” and that “myths surrounding it are numerous and often center on a German belief that Kilroy was some kind of superspy who could go anywhere he pleased.” Where are the WWII Memorial Kilroys? Behind two golden gates: one next to the Pennsylvania pillar and one next to the Delaware pillar.

Central Park Lampposts Feature Secret Navigational Codes

An unadvertised feature of the lampposts in New York City’s famous Central Park is a code that lets you know, roughly, where you are in relation to rest of the city. They’re cross street indicators, essentially, embossed on metal plaques. Gothamist explains: “If a lamppost is numbered 7304, it is located between 73rd and 74th streets. The ‘4’ designates that the post is the fourth post in from Fifth Avenue. In the upper reaches of the park, where street numbers are 100 and higher, the ‘1’ is omitted; for example, a post numbered 0500 is between 105th and 106th."

There Are Fasces All Over the Lincoln Memorial

A subtle symbolic detail hidden in the Lincoln Memorial is a smattering of fasces, an ancient Roman symbol of power and authority. Look closely at the statue of Lincoln: the Great Emancipator is knuckle-deep in fasces, which are actually the column-like “arms” for his massive stone La-Z-Boy.

Fasces, according to the National Park Service, are a bundle of wooden rods bound by a leather strap that sometimes feature an axe sticking out of them. It’s a Roman symbol of power and authority: the rods “suggest” beating and the axe “suggests” beheading. Lincoln’s statue is axe-less, suggesting more unity and less punishment. (Upon further investigation, you’ll notice that architect Henry Bacon also put fasces—this time with axes—all over a wall at the base of the stairs leading up to the statue.)

The fasces in this context represent strength through unity, which is why Lincoln’s fasces feature thirteen rods for the thirteen original states. The memorial as a whole can also be thought of as a massive fasces, with the 36 columns replacing the rods and representing the 36 states Lincoln fought to preserve. Fasces is also, you might have guessed, the root word of fascism, but as the NPS points out, “the Italian fascists identified with the power and brutality” that’s also inherent in the fasces' meaning, while the Americans identified more with the whole “strength through unity” bit.

(BONUS FASCES-FREE FACT: The initials "EBL" can be found hidden in the north wall. They stand for Evelyn Beatrice Longman, the artist who carved the ornamental border.)

'Praise Be to God' Is Hidden on the Washington Monument

The Latin phrase “LAUS DEO”—"Praise be to God" or "God be praised"—is literally hidden on the Washington Monument’s aluminum tip. It’s not an atheist conspiracy: the engraved phrase was visible (but way too small to see from the ground) on the East face of the pyramidal tip when it was installed in 1885, along with details about the construction and the names of those involved.

But sometime between 1885 and 1934, the monument’s lightning protection system or lightning “collar” damaged and “hid” the engravings, as seen in the picture above. A 1934 restoration kept the phrase—and all other obscured engravings—hidden, but added a new one. So what’s left up there? This mess: “JOINT COMMISSION AT SETTING OF CAPSTONE … JOHN NEWTON. Act of August 2, 1876. CORNER STONE LAID ON … CAPSTONE SET DECEMBER 6, 1884. CHIEF ENGINEER AND ARCHITECT, THOS LINCOLN CASEY, … Repaired, 1934, National Park Service Department of the Interior.” During the 2013-2014 earthquake damage repairs, the obscured engravings were once again left as-is.

The Goddess of Love Is Laying Telegraph Cable Inside the US Capitol Building

There’s an epic painting on the ceiling of the dome of the United States Capitol Building called The Apotheosis of Washington. Painted in 1865 by Greek-Italian artist Constantino Brumidi, it shows George Washington chilling out in heaven, surrounded by goddesses and maidens. It’s quite a scene. There’s also a lot of hidden symbolism. Perhaps the most unusual symbolic element is Venus, the famous goddess of love, schlepping cable like a common engineer. Why? Shouldn’t she be doing something more romantic or sexy? Since she was born from the sea, she’s depicted here helping Neptune, the god of the sea, lay the transatlantic cable of 1858 that connected North America to Europe via telegraph. Who knew that the goddess of love was also the goddess of telegraphs?

The White House Has Roses Hidden in Its Columns

The White House is undoubtedly one of the most famous buildings in the world. But most people don’t realize that the columns on the south portico’s Truman Balcony have large white roses tucked away near the capitals. They blend into the all-white building at a distance, but they’re striking at close range. It’s a neat contrast to the acanthus typically featured on classical columns, plus they pair nicely with the White House Rose Garden on the building’s west side. What do the roses mean? In masonry, roses are often associated with rebirth, a suitable symbol for a home with ever-changing residents.

There's an Axe Head and Broken Chains at the Feet of Lady Liberty

This one is more hard-to-see than hidden, but it’s a subtle symbol, regardless: there are broken shackles and a giant axe head at the feet of Lady Liberty, representing “the throwing off of tyranny and oppression.” Scholars say the broken chains are a substitute for the broken jug—an ancient “symbol of confinement now ended”—that often appears alongside depictions of Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty. The chains and axe head are tough to see unless you’re looking down at Lady Liberty’s 35-foot-long sandals. A neat little additional detail is that her right foot is lifted, slightly, off the ground, implying that she’s moving away from the chains, fleeing her captors.

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:01:12 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/hidden-symbols-in-us-landmarks/kellen-perry
<![CDATA[13 Terrifying, Haunted Historical Sites from Around the World]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/haunted-historical-sites/jeffrichard

We've all met someone who claims to have had a bizarre, unexplainable experience at some point in their lives. Some have seen spectral apparitions moving around their homes. Some claim to hear strange noises in the middle of the night. Others believe the spirits of their loved ones are silently watching over them, showing them otherworldly signs.

Often, it's hard to believe these claims are anything more than simple pareidolia and the desire to believe.

Then, there are some stories - some places - which have so many different sources attributed to them, that it seems they must have an air of truth. After all, when a place becomes as notorious as those listed below, it's hard to deny that there must be something strange going on. 

Whether you're a believer in the supernatural or not, these supposedly haunted places are, at the very least, unsettling. Some are the sites of grisly, violent deaths. Others are where countless poor souls were once imprisoned and tortured, now doomed to roam the halls of their institutions.

In any case, dim the lights, say your prayers, and read on to learn about the most haunted historical sites in the world.

13 Terrifying, Haunted Historical Sites from Around the World,

Chichen Itza

When most of us think of haunted houses, it's typical to think of creepy Victorian-era homes, or at least ones built within the last few centuries. 

But the thing about ghosts is that they're supposedly doomed to wander the Earth forever and, in this case, some of them have been around for thousands of years.

This brings us to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. Here, the Mayan people believe that death wasn't so much a tragedy, but more of a process to bring us to the other side when our time on Earth is up. Thus, the ruins here were once the site of mass sacrifices.

In fact, several tourists who have ventured into the more contained parts of the ruins have claimed to have seen strange specters walking the halls, in addition to hearing strange tribal chants throughout various sections. 

The Island of the Dolls

If there's one common fear right up there with clowns, flying, spiders, and maybe spontaneous human combustion, it's dolls

With their soulless eyes, marionette-like gait, and constant desire to be given free will to murder us in our sleep, any location that features a doll certainly deserves a spot on this list.  

But instead of one doll, let's ratchet things up... how about thousands of them? Oh, and they're not simply lying around a house, or stuffed into an attic, or calmly plotting your demise from the corner of a room, either - they're strung up on various trees on an entire island.

Well, that's what you're in for if you ever feel like escaping the relaxing, doll-less safety of life and moving to Xochimilco, Mexico, where you'll be met by the dead-eyed gazes of countless plastic baby-people.

Thankfully, these are not naturally-occurring dolls, but the real reason they exist on this island is perhaps even more frightening. Legend has it that a man named Julian Santana Barrera moved to the island, and soon after, found the body of a girl floating in a nearby canal. He also found a doll floating near her, which he hung from a tree as a memorial. But once he hung the doll, he claimed to hear footsteps, whispers, and screams. He hung more dolls to try and appease her but had no luck; she haunted him until the day he died in those woods.

Unsurprisingly, Julian had zero luck with contacting the spirit of the young girl. Now, the island is a tourist attraction, and visitors claim the dolls' eyes will follow them wherever they go. 

The Tower of London

Built over 900 years ago by William the Conqueror, the Tower of London stands as one of the most haunted buildings in the UK - perhaps because of how many famous individuals are said to still inhabit its walls. Among these several notable ghosts is Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, whose ghost has supposedly been seen multiple times near the castle's inner wall. 

In addition, Lady Arbella Stuart, Queen Elizabeth's one-time-successor-turned-prisoner of the Tower (all because she went and got married without King James's permission), has also been said to haunt The Queen's House structure on the Tower Green, a space inside the Tower of London. 

But perhaps the most well-known royal specter inside the great tower is none other than Queen Anne Boleyn herself, who was executed by beheading in 1535. Her headless spirit is said to inhabit Tower Green as well. 

While the Tower of London seems to be a veritable who's who of boos and ghouls (sorry), there have been several other instances of paranormal activity which don't involve any royal figures stuck in a limbo state between life and death. Among them, the so-called "White Lady," who is often seen waving from a window, and a pair of children wandering the halls, holding hands. 

The Haunted Vicarage (Borgvattnet)

Let's face it: old ladies can be scary. They're not necessarily doll-scary or spider-scary, but as many a horror film has proven, the sudden appearance of an old woman can be downright shocking, especially if you're staying in an isolated home in Jämtland County, Northern Sweden. Specifically, "The Haunted Vicarage."

Originally built in 1876, it wasn't until nearly forty years later that anyone experienced any paranormal activity in this former priest's home. And how did that activity manifest itself? You guessed it: old ladies.

On several occasions, visitors at the home claim to have seen the image of an old woman, dressed in grey, sitting in the corner of a bedroom late at night. On other occasions, different guests have reported seeing three women sitting together. 

There have been reports of screams in the night. Shadows on the wall. A rocking chair that won't cease moving. 

Rumors have swirled as to why the old vicar house has been haunted, with some saying the spirits are those of abused maids, while others say that babies have been buried in the backyard, and their mothers are wailing for their return. 

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Located in Southern Jefferson County in Kentucky, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium was originally a simple two-story hospital when it was first constructed for tuberculosis patients.

However, since Kentucky had one of the highest death rates for the disease in the entire country, the county decided to expand the original building and transform Waverly Hills into a five-story haven for those stricken with what was called the "white death" at the time. 

Why did tuberculosis earn such a frightening nickname? Mainly due to the fact that when patients contracted TB, their skin turned a ghastly white. 

It's been said that as many as 63,000 patients died at Waverly Hills before it closed - and not all of them have found a way to move on. Supposedly, visitors occasionally hear strange voices muttering down the hallways and feel strange cold spots in the air. Some even claim to have seen apparitions and shadows in multiple parts of the building. 

Perhaps the most frightening is the supposed ghost of a woman who died in room 502. A tuberculosis patient, who, upon learning she was pregnant, hung herself with the light bulb wire in her own room.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Originally built in 1864, this asylum in Weston, WV was later called the Weston State Hospital, and was designed to hold a mere 250 patients. But as time went on, and the hospital began admitting additional alcoholics, drug addicts, and "mental defectives," the structure's capacity ballooned to nearly 2,600 patients. 

Because of this immense level of overcrowding, resources of the hospital were stretched extremely thin. This resulted in poor sanitation, failing light fixtures, and poor heat circulation throughout the building. Basically, everyone inside was suffering in more ways than one.

And although those who resided and worked in Trans-Allegheny experienced physical horrors, it was said they also reported seeing the spirits of confederate soldiers passing through the hallways from when the site was originally a Civil War outpost.

The Sultan's Palace

Located in New Orleans' French Quarter, rumor has it that this now-infamous mansion was originally built in 1836 by a Turkish man who claimed to be a sultan, though no one at the time could actually find out the truth. 

As time went on, neighbors began to grow suspicious of the Turkish man, who would throw wild, opium-fueled parties that went on for hours. Some said the man had multiple wives and even more children. What's worse, is he was said to be torturing them nightly.

Then, one morning, a neighbor noticed a horrifying sight: blood was dripping down the side of the home. And when authorities were called, nothing could prepare them for the nightmare they saw upon entering 716 Dauphine Street: 

Body parts were littered throughout the home.

There were dismembered arms. Legs. Heads. Blood had been spilled in seemingly every corner of the house.

And as officers investigated the crime scene, they discovered the body of the sultan himself, buried alive in the home's courtyard, with his hand sticking up from the soil, as if in a last-ditch attempt to free himself. 

It's been said that even today, one can hear the screams of the sultan - as well as countless others - echoing throughout the massive home.

Eastern State Penitentiary

If you know anything at all about prison, you're probably well aware of what solitary confinement entails. When a particular inmate has "misbehaved," they're sent to a windowless room and cut off from all human contact. It's said to be a particularly cruel form of punishment due to the harsh psychological effects that occur over time.

And the folks at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia? They actually came up with the idea

Built in 1829, this prison is home to numerous paranormal sightings, due in part to the stories of solitary confinement punishments that were once doled out here. It's said that several of the inmates were driven insane as a result of being locked away for so long and, eventually, if they passed away within the pen's walls - they would haunt it forever. 

Between the ghastly cackling, shadowy figures, disembodied footsteps, and clanging cell doors still heard to this day, Eastern State Penitentiary is certainly a place you wouldn't want to find yourself locked in alone.

Bhangarh Fort

While many have been reduced to ruins over time, there are still countless castles and fortresses still standing today. Among them, the Bhangarh Fort, located in Rajasthan, India. 

Built by King Sawai Madho Singh roughly 400 years ago, Bhangarh is said to not only be one of the most haunted places in India but also the entire world. During its heyday, the fort housed some 10,000 residents and even included a residential palace for the king himself. 

Legend has it that a sorcerer, once under the employ of the king, fell in love with Princess Ratnavati. But once she dismissed him, the sorcerer put a curse on the entire town, and only days later, an invading army arrived, slaughtering everyone within the fort's walls.

It is believed that once night falls in Rajasthan, the spirits of Bhangarh manifest themselves as dangerous entities, bent on attacking anyone who may be foolish enough to remain inside the fort. 

Monte Cristo Homestead

Representing Australia on this list is none other than the Monte Cristo Mansion, located in June, New South Wales. While most of the other entries have been larger historical sites with hundreds of tortured souls lost within, the Monte Cristo falls under the category of "classic haunted house." 

So, in that case, it must be pretty haunted to be in the same league as the others, right? 

Just ask the Ryan family, who still live there to this day. The Ryans say there have been power outages. Cold spots. Visions of shadow people, lurking around the mansion's corners.

Going back to the time it was built in 1885, there have been a series of bizarre and tragic events that occurred at Monte Cristo: a young boy died when he was dropped from the top of the stairs. A maid committed suicide. The former caretaker was murdered on the property in 1961. A young stable boy burned to death in his straw bed. And the Monte Cristo's housekeeper was said to have kept his mentally unstable son tied to an outhouse for decades. 

With this much paranormal activity going on, it's easy to see why the Monte Cristo stands among the other entries as one place you wouldn't want to spend the night.  

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 05:02:43 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/haunted-historical-sites/jeffrichard
<![CDATA[The Most Influential People of the Cold War]]> http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/most-influential-people-of-the-cold-war
The Cold War was a period of confrontation between the two superpowers of the world, the United States and the Soviet Union. During the war, which simmered from 1947 to 1991, the USA and the USSR used different methods and tactics to expand their own global influence and reduce the other's. The impact and effects of this 'war' -although not a violent one - continues to have repercussions well into the 21st Century. Many politicians and political leaders played roles in the Cold War, both from the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies) and the Eastern Bloc (including USA and members of NATO). Among them, which people were the most important?
The Most Influential People of the Cold War,

Dwight D. Eisenhower

George Marshall

Harry S. Truman

Henry Kissinger

John F. Kennedy

Joseph Stalin

Mikhail Gorbachev

Nikita Khrushchev

Pope John Paul II

Ronald Reagan

Mon, 15 Jun 2015 06:18:39 PDT http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/most-influential-people-of-the-cold-war
<![CDATA[The Truth About Freemasons: History, Conspiracy, and Secret Symbols]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-freemasonry/morgan-deane

You've seen their mysterious buildings, seen men coming and going, seen the strange symbols etched above the doorways. You've always associated Freemasonry with a sense of foreboding; Masons feel vaguely sinister in a way you can't quite explain, probably because you can't even explain what their organization is. "What do Freemasons do?" you've thought. "Who are the Freemasons?" Let's put it this way: when it comes to stories of conspiracies and secret organizations, don't believe the hype.

This list breaks down the essential facts about Freemasons: what they do, why they exist, what goes on in their meetings. Even the Freemasons' "secret" symbols are broken down. And in the end, unless you're afraid of gatherings of old white dudes, Masons are really nothing to fear. Keep reading these Freemason facts to find out what goes on behind closed doors.

The Truth About Freemasons: History, Conspiracy, and Secret Symbols,

What Happens at Modern Masonic Meetings

Contrary to what you see on The Simpsons, Freemasons do not have large drunken parties where they sing about their secret, far-reaching power to control the British crown and the metric system.

Today, there is a great deal of independence between lodges, but like most civic and religious meetings, they have some basic ceremonies that include a prayer and flag ceremony. They usually have a bible, compass, and square to remind them of their moral duties. But they also have various other holy books as well. There are some aspects that seem religious, but they are more spiritual ceremonies to help the members progress in their faith journey.  

Meetings begin by covering mundane action items like voting on or approving bills to be paid. The main part of the meeting is the degree work, or ceremonies that advance new members in rank (there are three ranks in Regular Freemasonry - 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree). But since Freemasonry is so loosely organized, each collection of lodges tends to perform rituals slightly differently. In general, though, the ceremonies are a symbolic journey designed to grant a person greater knowledge. One Masonic text describes them as a "system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." Basically, they use symbols and history to teach lessons and remind themselves to be moral, upstanding citizens. Kinda cool, right?

Lodges and Grand Lodges Aren't as Sinister as They Seem

Just like the symbols they use, Freemason Lodges and Grand Lodges have a historical basis. The medieval trade guild operated their own lodges. It was common for stonemasons to travel for work, and the lodges were locations that acted as way stations, hotels, and hospitals for members of the guild during their travels.

Today, the lodges basically act as a clubhouse. They usually hold small administrative offices to maintain rosters and pay bills, a main room where meetings are conducted, and a lounge for socialization. Some of the more famous lodges contain memorabilia from famous members; the House of the Temple for the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction in Washington houses the flag that Buzz Aldrin took to the moon. 

The grand lodges, sometimes called grand orients, are larger structures that govern a geographic collection of lodges. They have a loose amount of authority over the lodges in their area, and there is a great deal of local variation in rituals, meeting format, and in some cases, even ranks.  

But What About Women?

Many discussions of Freemasonry tend to skirt the issue of women Masons, because, well, it's complicated. Technically, Regular Freemasonry does not allow women to be Masons. But the loose collection of Lodges and lack of structure within the organization has led to several different kinds of Masonry being practiced around the world, and in Continental Masonry, women are usually welcomed. There are no hard and fast rules within Masonry, which means that being a Freemason is what you make of it. You can join a traditional lodge, a progressive lodge, a lodge with three degrees or thirty-three. But rest assured, the only thing you'll learn is how to be a more moral person - not any international secrets.

Freemasonry Is Basically Just a Social Club

Sorry to burst your bubble, but magicians and political leaders were definitely not conspiring to... well, do anything at all, really. 

Freemasonry as we know it now got its start in London in the early 1700s. Since medieval times, Freemasonry had been a guild for stonemasons, but eventually, other men began joining too. In 1717, the first Grand Lodge for "gentlemen Masons" was built. And that's when the conspiracies started to swirl. 

Townspeople saw men from all different walks of life coming and going from the Lodge and began speculating about what they were up to. Rumors swirled; they were up to something, they just had to be. What could all those men possibly have in common?

Let's look at this from another angle: you're a dude in 1717. You have a job, but outside of that, you've got literally nothing to do. Doesn't a social club where you can relax and talk to your fellow dudes sound appealing? Yep, that's how Freemasonry got started: it was just a bunch of guys who wanted to chill and blow off steam.

Freemason Secrecy, Condemnation, and Power in America

By the 18th century, most members of the Freemasons were upper-class bankers and businessman. The secret aspects of it, along with its mythology built along Christian symbols, aroused the ire of religious leaders and gave way to more conspiracy theories.  In 1738, Pope Clement XII issued a decree against the Masons, but Freemasonry continued to grow, especially in the US.

Thirteen of the 39 founding fathers were Masons, and the paranoia about the organization spawned the Anti-Masonic party. Eight congressmen running as Anti-Masons were elected, but when the election of 1828 came around, Andrew Jackson (who was a Mason) proved too formidable a foe for the Anti-Mason nominee, William Wirt. After that, the party pretty much died off. 

It was the prominence of people like Andrew Jackson combined with some elements of secrecy in their ceremonies that attracted a great deal of fear and suspicion. Because the powerful men of so many communities were all Masons, a good deal of business was conducted in the Masonic Lodges and lent to the perception that the Freemasons controlled many aspects of government and life behind the scenes. 

You've heard the conspiracy theory about the Eye of Providence on the $1 bill, right? That it's a Masonic symbol and that somehow proves that the Masons were doing something sinister with the American government? Yeah, well, the Eye of Providence isn’t strictly a Mason symbol; it was actually a pretty common emblem in the 17th century.

The Meaning Behind the Symbols

The square and compasses is the most recognizable symbol of the Freemasons. The most likely explanation for the meaning behind these symbols is simple: back when Masons were actually stoneworkers, those tools were very important in their work. Carefully crafted arches in churches and round towers in castles required precise calculations to cut and fit them together. The compass was used to draw perfect geometric circles and the square used to judge the angles of stones. 

Just like the Regius Poem explains, the everyday conduct of Freemasons was tied to their craft. The square represents how their lives should always be morally upright. Ever wondered why we use the word "square" to fair and equal? Yep, we can thank the masons for that particular idiom. The compasses remind members that all truth is part of the same eternal circle, and that their behavior should be within acceptable boundaries.  

A Lot of Famous Dudes Were Masons

George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill, Mozart, Davy Crockett, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Houdini, Gerald Ford, Henry Ford, John Wayne, and even Colonel Sanders were all Freemasons. Bringing together such diverse people from a variety of industries and backgrounds does beg the question: what are they doing in there? It's easy to let your imagination run wild when world leaders are rubbing elbows with magicians in secret meetings.

But What About the Religious Aspects of Masonry?

Okay, wait. They're a social club? But you could've sworn there was some religious aspect to it, right? Well, you're not entirely wrong.

Remember how Freemasonry got its start in medieval times as a guild for stone workers? While their exact origins are unclear, Masonic guilds in Medieval England were made up of trade craftsmen that undertook a variety of building projects using stone. A document called the Regius Poem sheds some light on early Masonic activities. Historians date it somewhere between 1390 and 1450. 

The first part of the poem describes how the English King Athelstan (924-939) brought masonry techniques to England and gave stonemasons instructions on how to behave and how the nobles should treat them. They were given moral directions that included going to church, not employing thieves, and refusing to take bribes. The second part of the poem lays out employment codes, including not making the masons work by night and treating apprentices properly. The poem ends with warnings for those that do not follow these articles and rules.

So when Masonry moved from a stoneworker's guild to a social club, they kept a lot of the traditions outlined in the poem, including the guidelines for living a moral life. Today, Masons are required to believe in some type of higher being, but each member is allowed to choose which religion they follow.

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 02:13:21 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-freemasonry/morgan-deane
<![CDATA[The 9 Strangest Deaths of the Renaissance Era]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-9-strangest-deaths-of-the-renaissance-era/notable-famous-deaths
List of odd deaths that happened during the Renaissance, including some of the rumors and legends behind them. This list includes stories of people dying from laughter, a ruler who died due to shyness about using the restroom, and a man who was beaten to death with his own artificial limb.

"The Renaissance" is a term used to refer to a broad cultural movement that swept across Europe from the 14th through the 17th century, as well as the period in European History that divides the Late Middle Ages from the beginnings of the modern era. Through the term is most typically used to refer to the Renaissance in Italy - which includes a number of the most famous writers, thinkers, and artists of the period - the Renaissance itself spread to a number of European nations, including Scandinavia, The Netherlands, England, France, Hungary, and Russia.

Need more? Check out the most unusual murders of other eras such as the odd deaths during the Middle Ages and the bizarre deaths from the 21st century.
The 9 Strangest Deaths of the Renaissance Era,

Arthur Aston
Sir Arthur Aston was a professional soldier and royalist who fought on behalf of King Charles I in the English Civil War of 1642. (A Catholic, Sir Arthur was initially rejected from the King's service before desperation and the convincing of Prince Rupert of the Rhine convinced Charles to bring him on board.)

In 1644, Sir Arthur - then serving as the Governor of Oxford - fell off a horse and lost his leg. Afterwards, he wore a wooden leg. (This will become important later.) He was relieved of duty and received a sizable pension from Charles. Then, in 1648, he found himself serving the Earl of Ormonde as Governor of the Irish port city of Drogheda.

When Oliver Cromwell's forces attacked Drogheda the following year (during what is known as the "Wars of the Three Kingdoms"), Sir Arthur was captured... and was beaten to death with his own wooden leg, which Cromwell's soldiers apparently believed was filled with gold coins. (Wouldn't that have made walking difficult?)
François Vatel
Theories and alternative variations surround the strange case of Francois Vatel's suicide. What is known with some amount of certainty is this: Vatel was the Maître d'hôtel (translated: "master of the house") for the French general and nobleman Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé. In 1671, Vatel was tasked with hosting an extravagant banquet at the Chateau de Chantilly in honor of a visit from King Louis XIV. In preparation for the event, Vatel is credited with inventing "Chantilly Creme," a sweet whipped cream with a light vanilla flavor.

What actually happened during the banquet is a matter of some debate. According to a letter written by one of the guests - Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné - Vatel, a notorious perfectionist, became distraught over the fish course being delayed in the kitchen, along with other small mishaps and human errors. He then killed himself with his sword. Because, seriously... late fish... what else was he supposed to do? (In this version of the story, he's often discovered by an aide who was running to tell him the fish was finally ready to serve.)

Many other versions of the story have floated around. In the 2000 film Vatel, screenwriters Jeanne Labrune and Tom Stoppard suggest that Vatel - a sophisticated man whose birth into a lower-class family keeps him from ever joining aristocratic society - killed himself because he secretly loved the King's latest romantic conquest.
György Dózsa
György Dózsa was a Hungarian soldier-of-fortune (from Transylvania!) who had gained some amount of notoriety for his efforts in battle against the Ottoman Empire. When Pope Leo X authorized a crusade against the Ottomans in 1514, Dózsa was selected to staff up an army, which he did by training peasants, students, monks, and priests to fight.

Unfortunately for Dózsa, this plan had some disadvantages. Mainly that the peasants, now that they had weapons and military training, decided to use them against their old landlords, setting fire to manor houses and castles and killing thousands via cruel means like crucifixion. Even after Leo X revoked permission for a Crusade, and the King ordered the peasantry to return to their homes, Dózsa continued seizing castles and villages.

He was eventually captured in what is now Timişoara, Romania, and condemned to death. His punishment? To be burned with a smoldering iron throne, crown, and sceptre, designed to mock his supposed kingly ambitions. Plus, he was skinned alive with hot pliers, and his surviving followers were forced to eat bits of his flesh. Also, his brother Gergely was killed in front of him. Even by Crusades standards, this is a tough way to go.
Emperor Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun ruled the Mughal Empire (present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of India) from 1530-1540, and again from 1555-1556. He had lost control of his kingdom in the interim, before gaining it back with the help of the Persians.

On January 27, 1556, less than a year after regaining control of his entire kingdom, Humayun was descending the staircase from his library with his arms full of books. Upon hearing the nearby mosque's call to prayer (known as "adhan"), Humayun kneeled as he always would. Unfortunately, on this occasion, he caught his foot on his robe, which sent him tumbling down the stairs. He hit his head on the stone ground, and died three days later from his injuries. He was succeeded by his 13-year-old son, Akbar.
Jean-Baptiste Lully
Jean-Baptiste Lully was a composer who worked in the court of Louis XIV of France. Though born in Italy, he became a French subject in 1661 and thereafter rose to become one of the most respected composers in the French Baroque style.

He famously became close friends with King Louis (their friendship inspired the 2000 Belgian film Le Roi Danse), and was also a noted libertine who embarked on numerous romantic affairs with men and women while in court.

In January of 1687, Lully conducted a performance of the Christian hymn called "Te Deum" to honor Louis XIV's recovery from an illness. As was the tradition of the time, Lully was keeping the rhythm by banging a long staff against the floor. He accidentally hit his toe during the performance, HARD, causing an abscess which later developed gangrene. Due to Lully's refusal to allow doctors to amputate his toe, the infection spread, causing his death a few months later.

Probably should have just given up on that toe. He had 9 more, afterall.
Definitely the most notable person on this list, leaving aside the curious causes of death, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (known by his stage name, Moliere) remains one of the most celebrated French playwrights of all time. His best-known satirical and comic works included The Misanthrope, The Miser and The Bourgeois Gentleman. He was also noted in his time as a great actor, and appeared in most of his productions.

Though he was born into a wealthy family, Moliere left this life behind to pursue the life of the stage. This included a stint in debtor's prison in 1645, which is where some historians believe he contracted the pulmonary tuberculosis that would eventually take his life nearly 30 years later.

In 1673, Moliere was performing in his most recent play (strangely titled The Hypochondriac, considering the circumstances.) During the performance, he suffered a coughing fit and collapsed on stage, but insisted on finishing the performance anyway. After suffering multiple pulmonary hemorrhages, he died a few hours after the show. (As Moliere was said to be wearing green during this final performance, the color is now associated with bad luck among actors.)
Thomas Urquhart
Sir Thomas Urquhart was a Scottish aristocrat, polymath, and the first to translate the work of Frenchman François Rabelais into English. His own writings included collections of epigrams, new systems for mathematics and trigonometry, family histories, and even a prospectus for a new "universal language."

A lifelong Royalist, Urquhart had participated in numerous rallies and marches in support of King Charles II. He was taken prisoner following the Battle of Worcester by Oliver Cromwell's forces, and was released 2 years later, after which he published his universal language text and his famous translation of Rabelais.

The details of his death are obscure to history, but it is known that he must have died earlier than 1660 (because his brother assumed all of his hereditary titles). Legend has it that Urquhart died laughing upon hearing that Charles II had retaken the throne.
Tycho Brahe
Dutch nobleman Tycho Brahe is today remembered for his work in astronomy, particularly his precise measurements and observations. His one-time assistant, Johannes Kepler, would later use much of the data collected by Brahe in formulating his laws of planetary motion. (Brahe himself is credited with a decent number of breakthroughs as well, particularly his theory that stars - rather than being immutable and fixed objects in the heavens - were in fact moving and changing, being created and destroyed. He is also credited as the last of the important "naked-eye astronomers," who made their observations without the use of a telescope.

So, yes, all well and good, important guy, learned about stars. But how did he DIE? Well, it's kind of a funny (and sad!) story.

According to Kepler, Brahe was attending a banquet in Prague in October of 1601. Though he desperately had to use the restroom, he felt this would be a breach of etiquette and good manners. Holding it in until he got home, he then found himself unable to urinate at all. 11 days later, he died. At the time, doctors thought he had suffered from kidney stones, but it was later theorized that by failing to relieve himself at the banquet, he contracted a bladder or kidney ailment, such as uremia.

It was later suggested, after large amounts of mercury were detected in Brahe's remains, that he may have actually died from mercury poisoning. Tests to determine the actual cause of his death have been thus far inconclusive.
Nanda Bayin
Nanda Bayin served as King of the Taungoo Dynasty of Myanmar (sometimes called Burma) from 1581 to 1599. (Very quick history lesson: The Taungoo Dynasty, in the mid-16th Century, unified what was once known as the "Pagan Empire" and briefly became the largest empire in Southeast Asia.)

According to legend, Nanda laughed himself to death in 1599 when he was informed, by a visiting Italian merchant, that "Venice was a free state without a king." This has been heavily disputed by historians, however, and it is generally agreed that Nanda merely abdicated the throne following the death of his son, only to be assassinated the following year by Natshinnaung, the new Crown Prince of Taungoo.

Mon, 24 May 2010 20:41:02 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-9-strangest-deaths-of-the-renaissance-era/notable-famous-deaths
<![CDATA[27 Things You Didn't Know About the Crusades]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/crusades-history/mike-rothschild
What happened during the Crusades? What were the Crusades? This time is one of the most misunderstood periods of Western history. From 1095 to about 1300, successive waves of Christian knights and royals, called to action by the Catholic Church, quested to the Holy Land in an effort to capture (or re-capture) it from Muslim armies.

But facts about the Crusades are much more complicated than that. The Crusades weren't just one movement, but dozens, led by hundreds of knights, kings, and dukes, and not always bent on capturing Jerusalem. They were incredibly brave fighters, but also bloodthirsty killers. They tried to free Jerusalem, but also sacked a number of ancient cities, destroying priceless artifacts and culture.

The history of the Crusades is complicated, but also full of interesting information. Here are some of the most fascinating Crusades facts about this difficult period of time.

27 Things You Didn't Know About the Crusades,

Crusading Knights Had Very Complex Rules for Combat
Knights of the Middle Ages operated under a complex series of religious rules for combat, instituted to control what was perceived as an almost unquenchable lust for violence and conquest. Under the Peace of God, church property was off limits for destruction, as were women, children, the elderly, and other non-combatants.

The Truce of God, added to the Peace of God in the 11th century, limited the days that combat could be initiated (Lent, Advent, Fridays, and Saturdays were no-nos), ultimately making only 80 days available for fighting. The Peace and Truce of God is generally seen as a failure, but it did help reestablish order in conflict-ravaged western Europe, and was a critical precursor to the Crusades.

The Crusades Lasted Two Centuries
The Crusades aren't so much a series of events as they are a time period. The call for what became the First Crusade went out in 1095, and the last of Europe's war against the Muslim states ended in 1303 - a period of over two centuries.

It Also Wasn't Actually the First Crusade
Before the First Crusade, launched in 1096, there was what's known as the People's Crusade. An army of peasants, priests, minor knights, women, children, and monks gathered to march on Jerusalem, led by a charismatic monk named Peter the Hermit. The untrained rabble marched south, killing a number of Jews along the way, until having two crushing defeats laid on it by the Seljuk Turks. At the Battle of Civetot, almost the entire force of Peter the Hermit was wiped out, and only a few thousand made it back to Constantinople, never having gotten close to Jerusalem.

There Was a Crusade of People Left Out of the First Crusade
The First Crusade had a number of pilgrims who turned back during the journey, or never left Europe at all. But it was such a success that many of these people became targets for mockery and derision. In response, the Crusade of 1101 (also called the Crusade of the Faint-Hearted) was formed, and left from Constantinople, pillaging and killing along the way. The Crusaders were harassed relentlessly by Turkish forces, and were finally crushed at the Battle of Mersivan in northern Turkey. Two other battles finished the Crusaders off, and the casualties were almost total.

They're Inexorabily Linked with the Catholic Church
By definition, the Crusades were Christian invasions of Muslim-held lands, that were sanctioned by the Catholic Church. The immediate goal was to guarantee pilgrims access to the Holy Land, which had been under Muslim control since it was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate in 638. The Church also sought to reunite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom after their split in 1054. Instead, two centuries of bloodshed began.

There Were Nine "Official" Crusades
Starting with the First Crusade in 1095, there were nine major Crusades. While their details vary, including who exactly was crusading and where they were going, they all involved armies of Christian knights, soldiers of God who swore a public oath, traveling from Europe to the Holy Land in order to "liberate" it from Muslim control.

The Victorius Crusaders Formed Their Own Countries
Beyond the Kingdom of Jerusalem, formed in 1099 after the holy city fell, several other "Crusader states" were created in the wake of conquests in the Middle East. These were territories founded by Crusaders who went to the Holy Land and didn't want to go back, instead staying to convert infidels and demonstrate Church power. For example, the County of Edessa, in modern day Turkey, was formed in 1098 and lasted about 50 years, when its sacking prompted the Second Crusade to form. The Principality of Antioch (modern day Turkey and Syria), also formed in the wake of the First Crusade, and was retaken in 1268 by the Sultan of Egypt.

A number of other Crusader States came into being in the next 200 years, almost all of which had been taken by other kingdoms by the end of the 13th Century.

There Were Also Dozens of Smaller Crusades
Beyond the nine numbered Crusades, there were numerous other minor crusades, usually involving an army raised by a king or duke going off to liberate one particular city or place. They took place all over Europe, everywhere from France to what's now Turkey.

The First Crusade Went Way Better Than Anyone Expected
Urban II's call to arms was a huge success. Tens of thousands of people attempted to join the growing Crusader armies, but most were peasants with no combat training. The exact numbers are unknown, but it's generally agreed upon that about 35,000 soldiers under the command of four different princes left Europe for the Byzantine capitol Constantinople in August 1096.

After that, they crossed into Asia Minor, laid siege to several major cities, including Nicaea and Antioch, then finally reached Jerusalem in 1099. Only a third of the initial 35,000 strong force was left, forcing an attack on multiple sides of the walled city. Jerusalem was taken when the defenders abandoned the walls, and the Crusaders entered the city. They took the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, established the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and slaughtered most of the remaining Muslim and Jewish defenders. The First Crusade had been a stunning success.

The Call for the First Crusade Came Straight from the Top
In 1095, Seljuk Turks had such a tight grip on Jerusalem that Christians were barred from entering. When the Turks threatened to invade the Byzantine Empire, Emperor Alexius I appealed to Pope Urban II for military assistance. Urban II promptly called the Council of Clermont in November 1095, ending it with a rousing speech. In front of hundreds of clerics and nobles, Urban denounced Islam, excoriated its anti-Christian acts (most of which likely didn't happen), and called on the rich and poor to unite in a religious war against them.

With a battle cry of "God wills it!" the Crusades were born.

Mon, 19 Oct 2015 03:17:06 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/crusades-history/mike-rothschild
<![CDATA[14 Harsh Realities of Life in Germany After WWII]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/germany-after-world-war-2/david-sharp

When Hitler was defeated by the Allies in World War II, he left behind almost no post-war plans. It had been tantamount to treason under the Nazi regime to even mention the possibility of defeat, and by the end, practically every single resource available had been poured into the war effort. What remained after Germany's surrender was a grieving populace mourning the loss of millions of their people and a countryside that had been shelled, bombed, and trampled by tanks and troops for years. 

In a speech on May 8th, 1945, British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery described the situation that Germany faced like this:

"'Displaced Persons’ were roaming about the country, often looting as they went. Transportation and communication services had ceased to function. Agriculture and industry were largely at a standstill. Food was scarce and there was a serious risk of famine and disease during the coming months. And to crown it all there was no central government in being, and the machinery whereby a central government could function no longer existed."

Life in post-war Germany was very, very difficult for a very long time, and the country's rise out of that brutal era has its own word in the German language. They call it the "Wirtschaftswunder," which translates to the "Economic Miracle." Their situation after the defeat of the Nazis was so dire that nothing short of a miracle - and the back-breaking efforts of the Allies and the hardy Berliners themselves - could have saved the country. It was also one of the most unprecedented situations in world history; no cities have been through anything quite like Germany after World War 2. Here are some of the unique, harsh, and ultimately triumphant realities of what life in Germany after WWII was like.

14 Harsh Realities of Life in Germany After WWII,

Fraternization Between Allied Troops and German Citizens Was Illegal

When the US first took Berlin, there were strict non-fraternization rules in place. American soldiers were prohibited from engaging in private correspondence, receiving gifts, and even from speaking to German citizens. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a large number of soldiers violated these orders. There were hundreds of arrests made, and even the Army acknowledges that this was just a small percentage of the fraternization that they knew was happening, with as much as 80 percent of enlisted men estimated to have broken the rules at some point.

Despite the risk of court martial, imprisonment, loss of pay, or dishonorable discharge, contact between soldiers and citizens - particularly women - was seen as almost unavoidable. According to Maj. William Hill, "Soldiers are going to have their fling regardless of rules or orders. If they are caught they know what the punishment will be. However, that is not stopping them and nothing is going to stop them."

The Reichsmark Was Worthless

One major problem with the German economy was that by the end of the war the Reichsmark had been so devalued that trading with it had become nearly impossible. Inflation caused by desperate overprinting, coupled with the influx of new Allied-printed Marks, had rendered the notes almost worthless and reduced Berlin to what was practically a barter economy. When the Allied occupation introduced the new Deutsche Mark as part of the Marshall Plan it had a profoundly stabilizing effect on the German economy. With an established, usable currency, businesses could pay their employees again and people began returning to work. Commerce was actually able to function again, and slowly the machine of the German economy began cranking back to life.

An Underground Resistance Formed

Although its reputation is trumped up due to the work of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, Operation Werwolf was supposedly the code name for the German underground resistance. During the war, they were really just a uniformed paramilitary group, but after the war ended the name Werwolf was sometimes used by the sparse pockets of Nazi loyalists that fought back.

The destruction of an ammunition dump in Usti nad Labem and an MP station in Bremen were claimed as Werwolf operations, as was the death of Colonel-General Nikolai Berzarin, a Soviet commandant in the Soviet sector of Berlin. There is little actual proof that these were official acts of organized resistance, and Berzarin's death was almost certainly due to a motorcycle accident. There were no reported Werwolf actions after July of 1945, only two months after the German surrender.

Children Ran Wild

As the Denazified school system - not to mention the rest of the German government - was reassembled, the children of Berlin had little to no structure in their lives. Many had been orphaned by the war or had lost at least one parent, leading to an overall lack of adult supervisors. Children, and especially teens and pre-teens, roamed the streets in packs and juvenile crime saw a significant increase. When schools did reopen, often in half-destroyed facilities, they were underbudgeted and understaffed, with some schools reporting student-to-faculty ratios of 89-1.

Children of Allied Servicemen and German Women Were Ostracized

Sexually transmitted diseases soon became a major concern for the military, and it is estimated that over 65,000 children of Allied soldiers were born to German women in the ten years following the war. These children (and their mothers) were ostracized by both sides, with their German communities shunning them and the US going so far as to prohibit soldiers from paying child support for their own children as it was seen as "aiding the enemy." While those laws were eventually relaxed, German children of Allied servicemen still faced a number of challenges, especially children of mixed race. Interracial marriages were prohibited by the US Army until 1948 and the "Negermischlinge" as they were called were subjected to particularly cruel treatment within Germany.

People Lived Amid the Destruction

Berlin was devastated by bombing from the war (estimates say up to 80 percent of Berlin's historic buildings were lost), and reconstruction efforts were slow to get underway. Much of the city was unsafe and uninhabitable, with certain swaths falling entirely into disuse. 

People were forced to simply make due, continuing their lives as best they could amid the destruction. Businesses got back underway in buildings that were missing walls and roofs, people moved in with family members whose homes were still standing, and patchwork fixes were implemented until real construction work could be done.

Disease Was Rampant

As refugees returned to the city they brought with them a host of maladies that the undernourished population had a hard time fighting off. Dysentery, typhoid fever, and diphtheria epidemics all swept through Berlin, brought on in part by the city's destroyed water and sewage systems. Hospital space, medicine, and medical equipment were all in short supply due to the war, and difficulties in production and distribution made replacing lost materials nearly impossible. Hospital staff was also in short supply, and doctors and nurses were quickly overstretched by the exceeding demand.

Berlin Was Divided

After Germany's defeat, Berlin was divided into four zones, one for each Allied power. As the Allies' relationship with Russia began to deteriorate, it was the Berliners that bore the brunt of that tension. Russia set up what was known as the Berlin Blockade, cutting off all access to the eastern side of Berlin and forcing the other Allies to airlift relief supplies to the needy residents. The early seeds of the Cold War were sewn in the post-war tension over Germany; both sides were unwilling to fire any shots, but Berlin and Germany became cards to be played by the larger world powers. This would eventually lead to the 1961 erection of the Berlin Wall, which would stand as both a physical barrier and a metaphorical symbol for the bifurcation of Berlin for almost thirty years.

Everyone Was Hungry All the Time

The constant shelling and air strikes had also taken their toll on the German countryside, devastating the country's crops and livestock reserves. The infrastructure in and around Berlin was in ruins, making it difficult to bring food in from outside. Rationing had started during the war and slowly increased as time went on; by 1946, the British zone had reduced the average German citizen's food allotment to a meager 1,000 calories per day. The winter of 1947-1948 was known as the "Hunger Winter" and some estimates put the average caloric intake as low as 700 calories per day - well below starvation levels. It is believed that hundreds of thousands of Germans perished from famine and famine-related conditions between 1945 and 1949.

There Was a Thriving Black Market

With strict rationing laws in place, a bustling underground market for food products, as well as medicine, cigarettes, alcohol, foreign products, and contraband items. Soldiers brought with them their rations, items purchased from the PX, care packages from home (and equipment and supplies stolen from the military), and sold them to a desperate German clientele - with a healthy mark-up, of course.

Prostitution thrived, as the male occupying force created a huge demand, and many destitute German women lacked any other options for feeding themselves and their families. Many of these illicit transactions happened privately, however, there were also several large outdoor markets such as the one in Tiergarten in the British sector, where soldiers of all nationalities mixed with the Berlin natives and products of all sorts were available for trade.

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 09:06:14 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/germany-after-world-war-2/david-sharp
<![CDATA[Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/quirks-of-famous-artists/machk

It's no secret that the art world attracts a lot of unusual people, but the quirks of artists always manage to surprise us. Some of our most revered artists had some pretty weird hobbies: stealing pens, carrying around guns, making time capsules. Others just really needed a bath.

Some of these artists, like Salvador Dalí, have famous quirks and are known for being unusual. However, even those who weren't known as quirky artists have their own strange habits, influences, or traits. Check out this list for some seriously weird facts, and vote up the strangest quirks!

Weird Personal Quirks of Historical Artists,

Andy Warhol

The famed painter of the Campbell's soup can unsurprisingly had a thing for objects. At the end of every month, he would put together dated time capsules that included many memory-filled tokens, such as a mummified foot or Clark Gable's boots. You know, just the charming stuff.

Claude Monet

While Monet achieved renown for his beautiful paintings of water lilies and other idyllic natural scenes, he started out drawing the classics: offensive doodles. Monet was a rebellious student who often slacked on his work while drawing caricatures of teachers and peers.

Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe preferred a very specific, very cramped space as her studio: a Model-A Ford. In order to shield herself from the harsh sun present in the desert landscapes she painted, she would take out the drivers seat and reverse the passenger seat so that it faced the back. Then, she would place the canvas on the back seat and paint from the passenger seat. This also kept her safe from bees.

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt is perhaps most famous for his painting "The Kiss," which portrays an intimate moment between lovers. However, Klimt himself never married; this may have had something to do with the fact that he never moved out of his mother's home. In fact, she died only three years before him, meaning he never really left the nest at all. Major dating red flag.

Leonardo da Vinci

Although his art and mechanical designs are his most well-known achievements, PETA is one of da Vinci's greatest admirers. He was an avid vegetarian and would buy caged birds just to let them go. Turns out that Leonardo was also Italy's sweetheart.


Michelangelo, the painter of the Sistine Chapel, was one of the lucky artists who became famous during his lifetime. However, despite his wealth, Michelangelo was pretty lackluster in the hygiene department. He apparently never bathed and rarely changed his clothes. In fact, on his deathbed, it is believed that his clothing had to be peeled off of him. It may have been 500 years ago, but FYI, this was still considered very disgusting.

Pablo Picasso

Whatever career path you choose, it seems you get asked the same questions over and over again. Most people just grin and bear it, but Picasso had other ideas. When people would ask about the meaning of his paintings, question the almighty Cézanne (who was a close friend), or just rub him the wrong way in general, he would point his revolver at them. Don't worry, he's not a mass murderer: the gun was filled with blanks, but it still sends a message.

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin, who later went on to influence Matisse and Picasso, had a rocky friendship with Vincent Van Gogh. Some speculate that this may be because it was Gauguin, not Van Gogh himself, who cut off his earlobe during a sparring match. Gauguin was an expert fencer, and while this explanation of the ear-lopping cannot be confirmed, it is certainly true that he was a scary dude with a sword.

Roy Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein is famous for his poppy, comic-style art. Turns out, he didn't even like comic books as a kid. It was his son who asked him if he could paint anything that looked like his Mickey Mouse comic book. Comics later became one of his greatest inspirations for his work, but apparently not until his son teased him over Mickey Mouse.

Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí made a point throughout his life of being as weird as possible. These efforts included owning an ocelot that he would walk throughout the city, having a very weird mustache, and speaking in the third person. He did not miss an opportunity to surprise, no matter how unnecessary it was. This is exemplified by his habit of stealing pens from fans who asked him for autographs. It's pretty harmless, but it's doubtful that he needed all of those pens.

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 08:37:03 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/quirks-of-famous-artists/machk
<![CDATA[The 17 Craziest, Most Tragic Blimp Disasters in History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/blimp-disasters/jacobybancroft

It's not hard to look at all the blimp disasters throughout history and realize why we don't use them anymore. What's that thing in the sky? Oh, it's a giant balloon filled with flammable gas, on which people are traveling. Some of the biggest aviation accidents throughout history involve some type of blimp or airship. No matter how much work was put into design or safety features, blimp accidents were common enough to prevent the vehicles from becoming a routine part of air travel or military activity.

Archer had it right, airplanes are superior in every way. From the outside, blimps and airships look like gigantic deathtraps filled with explosive gas. Which is exactly what they were. Below is a list of the worst blimp disasters throughout history. Looking at the list, it's easy to see why we no longer value blimps as modes of transportation. Or at all, really. From the well-known Hindenburg explosion to the USS Akron tragedy and a mysterious Ghost Blimp, read on to discover the craziest blimp disasters of all time. 

The 17 Craziest, Most Tragic Blimp Disasters in History,

R38-class airship

Th crash of the British R38 had the honor of being the first post-WWI airship disaster. The original goal of the British airship program was to produce better, faster vehicles than German Zeppelins, and maybe it was such determination that led to tragedy. On August 23, 1921, the R38 was en route to Norfolk from its home base of Howden. Bad weather resulted in an early landing, and, the next day, bad weather persisting, the R38 was directed back to Howden. 

So as to not totally waste the trip, it was decided the R38 should perform some trials and maneuvers. This would test the capabilities of the airship, and proved to be fatal. During a maneuver, the ship broke in half. The front half exploded, the back half plummeted into a river below. Of the 49 people on board, 44 died in the accident. 

The Hindenburg Disaster

You can't have an article about blimp disasters and not mention the Holy Grail of airship accidents, the crash of the Hindenburg. It's not the deadliest blimp disaster in history, but it is perhaps the most well-known, thanks to the live radio broadcast of the Hindenburg's final moments in the air on May 6, 1937. On that fateful day, electrostatic discharge ignited leaking hydrogen, and the blimp went up in flames. All told, 35 people lost their lives, and though there were 62 survivors, the accident put an end to passenger airships. As the reporter who horrifically recounted the events live said, "oh the humanity" indeed. 

The ZPG-3W Reliance Crashes Into the Ocean

ZPG-3W airships were among the largest ever built. It was a massive vehicle, longer than 400 feet, and the last airship ever delivered to the US Navy. The blimps were equipped with radar equipment, and were designed as part of an early warning system for Soviet attacks on America. The first of these ships to ever head out over the ocean, the Reliance, suffered a tragic fate. On July 6, 1960, the Reliance collapsed not long into its flight from Long Beach Island, NJ. Of the 21 people on board, 18 were killed. Fishing boats and other craft in the area rescued the three survivors. 

The Schutte-Lanz SL6 Mysteriously Explodes

The biggest name in airship construction was Ferdinand von Zeppelin. In the early 1900s, his biggest competitor was the Luftschiffbau Schütte-Lanz company, which distinguished itself by making its ships from wood, rather than metal alloys (which seems like a terrible idea). Because of their construction, the Schutte-Lanz airships were highly susceptible to moisture, though what brought down the SL6 on November 10, 1915, remains a mystery. The airship took off at Seddin, outside Berlin, and something malfunctioned, causing a deadly explosion that killed 20. 

The LZ 104 Blows Up Near Malta After a Wasted Trip to Africa

German Navy Zeppelin LZ 104 (nicknamed The Africa Ship) was famous or attempting a long-distance resupply mission across the Mediterranean, over Allied-held African, and into German East Africa (what is now Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania). Because there was no hydrogen in German East Africa to refuel the airship, it would be dismantled and reused in various ways upon landing. The LZ 104 (military designation L 59) made it as far as Sudan before it was ordered to turn around, because Germans could find no suitable landing site for it in their African territory. 

After traveling more than 4,000 miles in almost 100 hours, the airship started having problems, so it was set down in Yambol, Bulgaria. Because the Germans never planned on the ship returning from Africa, they had no use for it, so it hung around Bulgaria for months, until it was decided it should be used to attack the British naval base on Malta, which didn't go well: on April 7, 1918 the blimp exploded midair, and all 21 people aboard were killed. Neither the British nor Italians claimed to have attacked the LZ 104, so it's destruction was officially declared an accident. 

The Helgoland Island Air Disaster

On September 9, 1913, tragedy struck the first airship owned by the Imperial German Navy. Originally the LZ 14, the airship's name was changed to L-1 when transferred to the Navy. On that fateful day in September, the airship confidently flew into a storm with 20 people on board, and didn't make it very far. The L-1 crashed into the North Sea near Helgoland, off the coast of Germany and broke in two. Of its passengers, 14 passengers drowned. The incident became known as the Helgoland Island Air Disaster. 

The Johannisthal Air Disaster

A little over a month after the Helgoland Island Air Disaster, another accident befell the German Navy, the Johannisthal Air Disaster. Rather than rethink its strategy or maybe look at birds and consider whether wings would be a good idea, the German Navy forged full steam ahead with its exploding-balloons-of-gas air program. 

A new blimp, designated the L 2, was the second Zeppelin bought by the German Navy (not a great track record so far). On October 17, 1913, a test flight went horribly wrong when escaped hydrogen was sucked into an engine department and caused a massive explosion. All 28 people aboard the ship were killed. This disaster came so soon after the Helgoland accident it caused the Navy suspend their planned expansion program.

The LZ 40, Struck by Lightning

Although the LZ 40 was a pivotal component in German raids against Britain in the First World War, nothing could protect the airship from the forces of nature. In September 1915, lightning struck an airship over the North Sea. It was forced to crash land. All 19 people on board died. Though the German Navy clearly had a terrible track record with its airships, the psychological effect of being able to quickly traverse the distance between Germany to England and bomb the British homeland was integral to the German war effort. 

The Experimental Zeppelin LZ 4 Explodes in Front of Thousands

What's the saying? If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Were it not for stubborn, dangerous perseverance, we may not have had airships or blimps at all, given the fate of the first few prototypes. One of the first experimental airships, the Zeppelin LZ 4, first launched on June 20, 1908. It was famous for making a successful 12-hour flight over Switzerland, after which the overseers wanted to test it more.

During a 24-hour endurance test, which turned out to be something of a disaster for many reasons, the blimp landed to refuel, and so mechanics could make engine repairs. On its way down, it brushed some trees, which ripped open the gasbag, generated a static charge, and blew the whole thing to hell before an audience of somewhere between 40 and 50 thousand. That could have been the end of airship development, but, somewhat improbably, the German people, having witnesses an exploding behemoth in the sky, wanted more, and their support raised enough donations to make sure the air program maintained its funding. 

The USS Akron

The Hindenburg is the most recognizable name in the annals of airship disasters, though the worst such tragedy of all time befell the USS Akron. The crash of the Akron on April 4, 1933 resulted in the deaths of 73 of the 76 men on board. Perhaps the ultimate tragedy is that almost all the deaths could have been easily prevented. 

The Akron crashed off the coast of New Jersey. It's unknown exactly what happened, though the airship was flying far too low for the terrible weather conditions of the day, and it's possible navigators simply drove it into the ocean. The crash, however, was the least of the crew's worries. Despite being a Navy vessel, the Akron had no life jacket and only one raft. Most of the men who lost their lives drowned or died of hypothermia. To make matters even worse, one of the airships that went looking for survivors crashed, claiming the lives of two more men. 

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 07:16:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/blimp-disasters/jacobybancroft
<![CDATA[Here's What Presidents Do in Their Final Days in Office]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/last-things-presidents-do-in-office/mike-rothschild
In the US, the last things presidents do are usually tie up loose ends from their administration, say goodbye, and prepare for the transition to the next president. As lame ducks, a president and vice president leaving office have little to do, and on their actual last day, they have even less. The President's last day in office begins with them as leader of the free world and ends with them as a private citizen.

But some presidents have actually managed to get things done on their last days. Laws have been signed, states created, and frantic negotiations have all occurred as the White House was being packed up. Oh, and the pardons. They sign a lot of pardons - sometimes to great controversy.

Here are some of the things presidents do in their last few days in office - from the mundane to the vitally important.

Here's What Presidents Do in Their Final Days in Office,

Issue Pardons
The Constitution allows for the President to grant pardons to those convicted of "offenses against the United States." While presidents can and do issue pardons and grant clemency throughout their term, a long list of last-day-of-work pardons has become traditional for lame ducks. George H.W. Bush controversially pardoned Iran-Contra figure and former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, while Jimmy Carter pardoned folk singer Peter Yarrow, who was in prison for taking sexual liberties with an underaged fan.

But most famously, Bill Clinton caused controversy when he issued 140 pardons on his last day, including one to disgraced financier Marc Rich, two members of terrorist organization the Weather Underground, and his woebegone half-brother Roger.

Feud With Their Rivals
The frat boy-ish transition from Clinton to George W. Bush aside, the transition from one president to another has been pretty smooth in modern times. But in the rough-and-tumble early days of America, it could be anything but.

James Monroe spent his last days in office in 1825 rifling through three decades of papers finding proof to support financial claims against the government. John Tyler, the first "accidental president," was the recipient of the first congressional override of a presidential veto in American history on his last day, likely one last insult from a Congress who hated him. And Herbert Hoover and FDR spent the entire transition period feuding over the direction that the economic recovery would take, and especially over a bank holiday that Hoover opposed, and which FDR signed into law on day one.

Take Stuff Home
Leaving the highest office in America and returning to private citizenry is a hard transition. But it helps if you loot the Oval Office before you go. Legend has it that Lyndon Johnson admired the official White House china on board Air Force One so much that he had it shipped back to his ranch in Texas, while the Reagans were investigated by the IRS for taking $25,000 worth of diamonds and a gown home.

Most famously, the Clintons got in some hot water for taking gifts that had officially been given to the White House. They ended up returning about $50,000 worth of furniture and paying the US government for other items they wanted to keep.

Write a Letter to the New President
It's always been a tradition for outgoing presidents to speak to the newly inaugurated POTUS. Legend has it that when he left office with the country on the verge of Civil War, the outgoing James Buchanan told Abraham Lincoln, "If you are as happy, my dear sir, on entering this house as I am in leaving it and returning home, you are the happiest man in this country."

The tradition of the outgoing president writing a letter for the new one started with Ronald Reagan, who left a note for his former Vice President, George H.W. Bush, in the Oval Office desk. It read, in part, "Don't let the turkeys get you down." The content of the letter is usually very personal, and most presidents don't make theirs public until years later.

Sign Some Actual Laws
While the final days of a presidency are marked by fanfare, moving, issuing pardons, and accomplishing little, a few presidents have managed to sneak in some actual legislating in their last days. With two days left in office, Thomas Jefferson signed an act closing US ports to England and France, while John Tyler spent his last day in office signing legislation that admitted Florida to the Union. William Howard Taft vetoed a bill calling for literacy tests for immigrants a few days before his term ended, while Dwight Eisenhower severed diplomatic relations with Cuba just two weeks before he left office.

Prank the Noobs
Presidential transitions are a stressful time, especially if your party or administration lost. So outgoing staffers sometimes blow off steam by pranking the next occupants of the White House. The Clintons set the standard for pranks, or destruction of property if you're less charitable, with their transition in 2001.

Most famously, they took all the "W" keys off the keyboards, ensuring George W. Bush wouldn't be able to type his name. There were also reports of broken glass desktops, tangled phone lines, and "Gore 2000" bumper stickers left in paper trays. Clinton staffers pointed out that when they took the office in 1992, Bush staffers had done the same thing, slathering the office with Bush/Quayle bumper stickers and so on.

Pack Up Their Stuff
The President and First Family usually vacate the White House a few days early, giving the staff time to prepare for the transition to the next First Family - a move that has to be done in hours. President Bush was having boxes moved and paintings wrapped in bubble wrap in his final days, while Ronald Reagan's Oval Office only had a desk left by the last day.

Play a Small Role in the Inauguration
George Washington last move as President of the United States set a precedent we still follow - he attended the inauguration of the guy replacing him, John Adams. Since then, outgoing presidents have always done the same, and in 1837, Martin Van Buren took it a step further by riding in a carriage to the inauguration with newly-elected Andrew Jackson. In the early 20th century, the outgoing president and first lady began arranging luncheons for the incoming president and first lady, a tradition that continues to this day. The outgoing president plays a minor role in the inauguration, and sometimes even reviews the Inaugural Parade with the new president.

But once the new president has been sworn in, the love fest is over. The outgoing president is escorted from the Capitol, gives one final salute, and leaves on Marine One, never to be heard from again. Or at least not until they publish their memoirs. The new president goes to the luncheon their predecessor planned, then parties the night away.

Hand Back the Nuclear Codes
There might be no more sacred responsibility that a president holds than stewarding the codes needed to launch nuclear missiles. And while Washington might be in full-on party mode during an inauguration, that doesn't mean POTUS can't do the unthinkable, should it be necessary.

The details of what exactly happens with the nuclear transition are classified. But during the inauguration, there are two aides carrying the "nuclear football" briefcase with the necessary attack protocols. One is for the old president, which likely goes dead at noon on inauguration day, and one for the new president, which goes live at that exact moment.

Whatever the procedure is for nuclear control transitioning, it's much more formal than simply handing over the card with the codes on it, as Ronald Reagan tried to do in 1989, until he was persuaded not to by Colin Powell.

Tie Up Some Loose Ends
Outgoing presidents usually don't have a lot to do in their final days and spend their final week in the White House saying goodbyes and wrapping things up.This usually means a flurry of phone calls, which is what Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton all did. For Jimmy Carter, however, who was frantically trying to negotiate an end to the Iranian hostage crisis, it meant spending 48 hours straight in the Oval Office - an effort that was for naught, as the Iranians released the hostages the moment Reagan was sworn in.

Mon, 13 Jun 2016 05:41:55 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/last-things-presidents-do-in-office/mike-rothschild
<![CDATA[The Most Brutal Military Training Exercises Throughout History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/hardest-military-training-exercises/morgan-deane

The hardest military training often produces some of the best fighters. The following are some of the most difficult training exercises and hardest military training camps from throughout history. Most cultures begin training soldiers when they are just children. Some even have ceremonies at birth, but all had rather disciplined and advanced fighters by the time they were in their late teens. Many faced tests of endurance, and learned how to fight in packs. And it was their brutal training that created some of the most disciplined soldiers in history.  

Read about cultures that trained their soldiers to conquer any conceivable enemy - like the Spartans who began training when children were still toddlers, and the Aztecs who more or less armed children from birth. Read all about these fearsome warriors below. 

The Most Brutal Military Training Exercises Throughout History,

Spartan Training

Ancient Greek warfare consisted of lines of heavily armored infantry men in a phalanx, a formation they could use for attack and defense. The ancient Spartans were the best of the ancient Greeks and were widely feared for their martial prowess. Part of the reputation stemmed from the fact that nobody trained like Spartans. 

According to the Roman historian Plutarch, if a Spartan newborn didn’t look healthy or was deformed the parents would cast the baby aside. At the age of 7 Spartan children were taken from their parents and put into packs. Their heads were shaved, they were given little clothing, little food to eat, and they walked barefoot. The children slept, ate, and trained together. By age 12 they were given the famous Spartan cloaks and they learned how to “obey commands well, endure hardships, and conquer in battle.” They engaged in mock combat, and formed an elite spirit de corps that were feared on the battlefield.   

The Prussian Gauntlet

The Prussians were famous for their military discipline. As a small nation in Eastern Europe with few natural boundaries or resources, they often had to fight multiple enemies across different fronts at the same time. As a result, they developed an army that excelled at strategic maneuvers between fronts and quick maneuvers on the battlefield.

The Prussian army had to perform at peak efficiency, and to help this happen they doled out Draconian punishments to soldiers who disobeyed orders. Soldiers who deserted were hanged. Rule breakers had to run between two lines of soldiers, called the gauntlet, and were beaten as they did so. Officers could lose their commission for misbehavior. Even by the standards of the time the Prussians were considered rather extreme. Their defeat by Napoleon helped lead to reforms, with corporal punishment being abandoned.

Zulu Speed Training

The Zulus developed a sophisticated war machine by incorporating their defeated enemies and forming a national army of fearsome Impi warriors. They were eventually outgunned (literally) by the British, but they achieved some spectacular successes before that happened, such as massacring the British army at Isandlwanda

Boys started military training at a young age. By their early teens they were expected to run 50 miles a day without shoes. The marched an average of 70 miles a day on a campaign. Soldiers were forbidden from marrying until their late 30s and still needed permission then. This preserved unity and established rewards for veteran soldiers. Zulu warriors also had unique battle formations. Two wings of younger soldiers would envelop the enemy force at the same time as the “chest” or main body of soldiers advanced, and the loins, or old aged veterans would act as a reserve.  They sought to advance quickly, surprise, and surrounded their enemies to spear them to death. 

Iroquois Cannibalism

The five nations of the Iroquois League spread through the Great Lakes region and dominated much of the North East, in part thanks to their fearsome soldiers. Upon the death of a family member the tribes practiced in what was called “mourning wars." An Iroquois soldier would choose whether a captive would become part of the tribe or die. If the soldier chose to kill the captive, they first made that person sing and dance upon a scaffold. After that, they burned the victim with a branding torch until he died. Jesuit missionaries recorded that when they finished torturing their victims, Iroquois soldiers carved up and ate the body. 

Aztec Ceremonial Sacrifice

Aztecs started military training early: at birth, babies were symolically armed with a shield in one hand an arrow in the other. Elite soldiers began their training at age 10 with everyone else joining them at age 15. By age 20, warriors joined military campaigns and fought for the Aztecs against regional enemies, gaining ranks by capturing and sacrificing opposing warriors. The captive would either have their hearts removed on the altar of the great pyramid, or fight to the death in mock combat. These terror-inducing ceremonies sustained the aura of leadership surrounding the emperor and his elite soldiers. 

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 02:39:50 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/hardest-military-training-exercises/morgan-deane
<![CDATA[Christopher Columbus Facts They Don't Teach in School]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/christopher-columbus-facts/mike-rothschild
Columbus Day has become an occasion not just to celebrate the first steps toward founding America, but a time to re-examine what we know about the famed explorer. The accomplishments of Christopher Columbus are myriad and well-known, but much of his life's story, as well as his subsequent voyages to the Americas, is lost in mythos and misconception.

While he did in fact "sail the ocean blue" in 1492, the biography of Christopher Columbus is filled with obscure facts and historical oddities that never make it into any school nursery rhyme - or even into many textbooks. Many people still believe that Columbus set out from Spain to prove the Earth was round - but we know he didn't. We also believe he made peaceful contact with the natives of what he thought was India - but he didn't, and he actually believed he'd reached the mythical land of Japan.

Could he have even made it there? What about his other trips to the New World? Or his revisionist reputation for brutality and cruel treatment of the natives? Here are some facts about Columbus that, despite decades of re-examination, most people don't know.

Christopher Columbus Facts They Don't Teach in School,

He Wasn't Spanish - Though He Sailed for Spain
Columbus sailed under the Crown of Spain, but definitely wasn't Spanish by birth. Little is known of his early life, but it's generally agreed upon that he was born in Genoa, at the time an independent city-state and satellite of Spain. He would be considered Italian today.

"Christopher Columbus" Wasn't Actually His Name
The famed explorer was born Cristoforo Colombo - or Cristóbal Colón, if you speak Spanish. "Christopher Columbus" is the Anglicized version of his name, but he likely wouldn't have answered to that. Among other unknowns about Colón/Columbus's life is what he looked like - as no portrait of him was painted during his lifetime.

Not All Three Ships Survived the Voyage
Columbus and his crew, which had dwindled to due disease and mutiny, spent three months sailing up and down the Bahamas, from October 12 through January 15, 1493. But it's not common knowledge that the Santa Maria didn't survive the trip, having grounded on Christmas Day. Columbus ordered the ship evacuated and blown up with cannons - to impress the natives with Spanish firepower. Columbus then snapped up about two dozen natives to take back as slaves, left 39 men to establish a colony on what's now Haiti, then headed back to Spain.

Nobody Knows Exactly Where Columbus Landed
Columbus was looking for Japan, but what he found was the modern day Bahamas. After leaving the Canary Islands on September 6, strong winds pushed his three-ship fleet westward until they sighted land on October 12. Columbus called this island "San Salvador" - and believed he'd found Asia. The exact location of where he first set foot is still unknown, though it's been narrowed down to three possible islands.

Columbus Was Not Searching for the New World
While Columbus found the unexplored land that came to be known as "the New World," it wasn't what he was looking for. He was seeking a quicker passage to Asia that wouldn't involve crossing the Silk Road, which had been sealed off due to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Ottoman Empire. The aims of his voyage were exploiting the gold and spices believed to be found in abundance in the Orient - and to grab some for himself.

Columbus Almost Certainly Wasn't the First European to Find the New World
Historians generally believe that the Norse Viking Leif Eriksson landed in present-day Newfoundland around 1000 CE, 500 years before Columbus set sail. It's also been hypothesized, though not proven, that Celtic explorers crossed the Atlantic before Eriksson.

He Never Would Have Reached Asia
Columbus estimated that the distance from the Canary Islands, where his voyage began, to Japan (known then as "Cipangu"), which he was attempting to reach, was about 3,700 kilometers. This was a vast underestimate, as the distance is actually about 12,000 kilometers. Columbus's small fleet could never have carried enough provisions to last such a voyage, nor would these ships have survived the harsh conditions of the Pacific.

His Motives Were Not Altruistic
His first proposal to sail to the Orient, submitted to King John II of Portugal, involved him walking away with quite a bounty. He requested to be given the title "Great Admiral of the Ocean," to be appointed governor of any and all lands he discovered, and be given one-tenth of all revenue from those lands - which would have involved a huge amount of gold. Portugal rejected this proposal, and several others, before Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella agreed to fund Columbus. But even they rejected him at first, thinking his plan unfeasible.

As Soon as He Landed, He Began Doing Horrible Things
Columbus' actions as a slave trader and by-the-sword evangelist are starting to become more and more widely known in popular culture. And these actions started almost immediately. The first natives he encountered on San Salvador were the Arawak people (also called the Taino), natives to the islands. Columbus found them to be peaceful and loving - and promptly took a group of them prisoner so he could interrogate them as to the location of the Orient's gold. Subsequent Spanish colonization of the Bahamas was brutal to the Arawaks, and within half a century, they'd almost all be gone.

Few People Still Believed the World Was Flat
Writers like Washington Irving have implanted in the popular consciousness that Columbus set out to prove Catholic teaching wrong about the Earth being flat. But it was already widely believed that the Earth was round. As early as the sixth century BCE, the Greek mathematician Pythagoras used mathematics to surmise the world was round, and later, Aristotle proved it with astronomical observations. By 1492 most educated people knew the planet was not a flat disc.

Thu, 08 Oct 2015 09:43:50 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/christopher-columbus-facts/mike-rothschild
<![CDATA[26 Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/professional-athletes-who-went-into-politics/celebrity-lists
List of Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics Ranked by Fame and Popularity. It seems that many athletes have opinions about politics. Some professional athletes have made the successful transition to become politicians later in life, after they retired from the game. Some athletes focus on local governments, while others are elected to national offices.

Who is the most famous professional athlete who went into politics? Arnold Schwarzenegger tops our list. Schwarzenegger held the professional body building title of Mr. Universe from 1968-1970 and the title of Mr. Olympia from 1970-1980. He also has had a successful career as a politician serving as the Governor of California from 2003-2011. On top of all that, Schwarzenegger starred in hit movies like “Terminator” and “The Running Man.”

Several NBA players have also went into politics. Kevin Johnson played basketball in the NBA, from 1987-2000, for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns. He is the current Mayor of Sacramento, a position he has held since 2008. Bill Bradley played basketball in the NBA from 1967-1977 for the New York Knicks. He also served as a United States Senator from 1979-1997, representing New Jersey.

Why do you think so many athletes go into politics? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
26 Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics,

Alan Page
Alan Page played football in the NFL from 1967-1981 for the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. He is currently as Associate Justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court, a position he has held since 1993.
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger held the professional bodybuilding title of Mr. Universe from 1968-1970 and the title of Mr. Olympia from 1970-1980. He also has had a successful career as a politician serving as the Governor of California from 2003-2011.
Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley played in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. He is a member of the Republican party and he has announced his intentions to run for the Governor of Alabama in 1995 and again in 2008. Both times, Barkley promoted the campaigns for years before ultimately deciding not to run. More recently, he has suggested that he will run for Governor in 2014. Let's watch...
Heath Shuler
Heath Shuler played football in the NFL from 1994-1998 for the Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders. He also served in the United States House of Representatives from 2007-2013, representing North Carolina.
Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp was a professional Quarterback playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Calgary Stampeders, L.A./San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills. He also served in the United States House of Representatives, representing New York from 1971-1989.
J.C. Watts
J.C. Watts played professional football in the Canadian Football League for the Ottawa Rough Riders and the Toronto Argonauts. He was also a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Oklahoma, from 1995-2003.
Jesse Ventura
Jesse "The Body" Ventura had a successful professional wrestling career and he is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.  He served as the governor of Minnesota from 1999-2003.
Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson played basketball in the NBA, from 1987-2000, for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns. He is the current Mayor of Sacramento, a position he has held since 2008.
Magglio Ordóñez
Magglio Ordonez played baseball in the MLB from 1997-2011 for the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. In 2013, he announced that he will be running for mayor in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela.
Tom Osborne
Tom Osborne played football in the NFL from 1959-1961 for the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins. He also served in the United States House of Representatives from 2001-2007, representing Nebraska.

Thu, 05 Dec 2013 02:54:41 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/professional-athletes-who-went-into-politics/celebrity-lists
<![CDATA[Conservative Celebrities in Progressive Roles]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/conservative-celebrities-in-progressive-roles/celebrity-lists
Hollywood is known as a liberal haven, but many of its movers and shakers are quite conservative. Several famous actors and actresses have played against their right-leaning personal beliefs in films, acting as sex workers, witches, and even occasionally Democrats. Considering these conservative celebrities' own politics, their performances in these progressive roles are even more remarkable.

The most famous figure among the conservative actors on this list is likely Robert Downey, Jr. The movie star seemingly puts aside his own conservative politics when taking progressive roles like the gay publisher Terry Crabtree in Wonder Boys, or the Democratic silent film actor Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin. After years as a Democrat, Rob Schneider recently made the jump over to the GOP. His character Deuce Bigalow might disagree with that decision. James Woods is an outspoken Republican, but that didn't stop him from playing the drug-snorting pimp Lester Diamond in Casino. And conservative voter Shannen Doherty seemed to have no qualms about portraying a witch on the popular series Charmed.

Are you surprised that these conservative celebs would take liberal roles in films and on television? Perhaps the challenges offered by these parts outweighed qualms they might feel about contradicting their beliefs. Read on to discover what other stars appear on this list.
Conservative Celebrities in Progressive Roles,

Adam Sandler
Despite creating and starring in raunchy comedies like Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, and The Waterboy, Adam Sandler has supported conservative political candidates.
Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper built his career on playing rebels and hippies, but tended to vote Republican throughout his life.
James Caan
James Caan is known for his rebellious roles onscreen (The Godfather) as well as his exploits off-screen (drug use, frequent appearances at The Playboy Mansion). Despite his past, the actor describes himself as "ultra conservative."
James Woods
James Woods is an outspoken Republican, particularly on social media, but that didn't stop him from playing the drug-snorting pimp Lester Diamond in Casino.
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey, Jr. is known for taking on a wide variety of progressive roles, including that of the gay publisher Terry Crabtree in Wonder Boys, the Democratic silent film actor Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin, and the provocatively made-up Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder. But the actor skews more conservative in his personal politics, saying he has "a really interesting political point of view."
Rob Schneider
After voting Democrat for many years, Rob Schneider made the jump over to the GOP. It's difficult to imagine Deuce Bigalow as a conservative.

Shannen Doherty
Republican-voting actress Shannen Doherty has been anything but conservative in her acting career, with roles in racy comedy Mallrats and supernatural television series Charmed.
Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson is known to be a moderate Republican, a surprising fact given his career of hard-hitting action movies.
Vince Vaughn
Vince Vaughn has referred to himself as a Libertarian in interviews and supported Republican presidential candidates, but it's hard to see Trent from Swingers voting Republican.

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 09:54:41 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/conservative-celebrities-in-progressive-roles/celebrity-lists
<![CDATA[Historical Figures Whose Body Parts Went Missing for Strange Reasons]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-figures-who-had-their-bodies-or-body-parts-stolen/stephanroget

As sad as a funeral can be, a burial can also be a very comforting thing. For many, it’s simply the comforting feeling of knowing their loved ones will be at rest long after their death in an undisturbed slumber. 

As it turns out, though, the whole burial thing might not be as permanent as most would like it to be. History has been peppered with bodies both significant and insignificant being stolen, going missing, or being divvied up and spread around the world. And while many have been victims of grave robbing, historical figures who had their bodies stolen are of particular curiosity and interest. Famous people who had their bodies stolen include politicians, scientists, and entertainers. Sometimes it's their entire body, other times it's their body parts. 

Whatever the reason, the stories of historical figures whose graves were robbed are as interesting as they are scary. 

Historical Figures Whose Body Parts Went Missing for Strange Reasons,

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein might just have the most famous brain in all of history. His name has been ubiquitous with genius for generations, and most people knew the gist of his theory of relativity before they learned long division. So, it’s understandable that someone would want to get their hands on Einstein’s brain, but that doesn’t make the tale of its theft any less sordid or bizarre. Pathologist Thomas Harvey wanted to learn the secrets of Einstein’s genius, so he brain-napped the specimen and began slicing it onto hundreds of slides, most of which he then lost. Some have since been returned to their rightful place, and Harvey presumably learned that the real secret to genius was not misplacing the insanely famous body part you stole.

Benito Mussolini

Benito Mussolini was a brutal fascist dictator best known as being the Robin to Hitler’s Batman in World War II. Because of this, he captivated the interest - and hatred - of many. So it's no surprise people wanted to get a piece of him, literally. 

His granddaughter Alessandra Mussolini was shocked to see his blood and brain for sale on eBay. The seller was asking $22,000 for this one-of-a-kind piece of history, but the police soon shut the whole thing down.


Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin is arguably one of the most famous silent film-era actors. And apparently he’s so famous that even his body could be held for ransom. Chaplin was buried in a Swiss cemetery in 1977, but three months later grave robbers dug him up and called his widow to demand a $600,000 ransom. Police caught the crooks with the classic phone-tapping technique, and the mastermind was given four years in prison for his crimes. Chaplin was reburied in his original grave site, and this time they put a big concrete slab over him for good measure.

Eva Perón

Eva Peron was the beautiful and popular wife of Argentinean President Juan Peron, and was an important political activist herself. Her premature death from cancer at the age of 33 was a national tragedy, but what happened afterward was a national embarrassment. Her body was preserved and kept in a crypt, until her husband was deposed via military coup three years later and her body was stolen. The new regime feared the symbolism of the long-dead Peron and wanted her to disappear. Finally her body was returned to her exiled husband in Spain. Juan eventually returned to Argentina in 1973 and was re-elected President, but Eva didn’t get to rest yet. She was put on display again when her husband died in 1974 before finally being buried for good.


People generally know Geronimo as either a proud Native American leader or what somebody yells when they jump into a pool. What most people don’t know is that his bones were likely stolen by George W. Bush’s grandfather. Prescott Bush was a member of the infamous Order of Skull and Bones, a secret society at Yale University. The group conspired to steal the bones of Geronimo for little more than the bragging rights, and plenty of evidence suggested Grandpa Bush was involved. The Skull and Bones crew were said to proudly display the Apache hero’s skull in their clubhouse.

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy might just be one of America’s most famous presidents, and his brain was certainly at the center of his most memorable and tragic moment. Despite the drama surrounding his assassination in 1963 - and the heightened security surrounding his family and his body - his brain was somehow misplaced

The brain disappeared sometime after his autopsy, and while nobody knows who took it or why, there has been endless theories and speculation. In fact, there’s a whole sub-genre of Kennedy conspiracy theories regarding the fate of the missing brain, including one that his brother Robert Kennedy got rid of the brain to hide JFK’s illnesses.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven is undoubtedly one of the most famous composers of all time. It seems that after his death fate didn’t really treat him with the dignity he deserved. First, Beethoven’s skull was smashed in a botched autopsy. The pieces were glued back together and buried with his body, which was dug up 50 years later by rogue scientists who wanted to study his mental faculties. One of them, a guy who had actually known Beethoven, pocketed the skull fragments somewhere in the midst of all this, and they then passed from person to person before they were finally donated to San Jose State University’s Center for Beethoven Studies, which seems appropriate.

Mata Hari

Mata Hari, whose real name was Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod-Zelle, was a legendary Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan. She’s perhaps more famous for being falsely accused by the French of spying for Germany during World War I. Before her name was cleared, she was killed by a firing squad. After her cruel death, her body was sent to a Paris museum of anatomy. The museum promptly lost her head, and to this day nobody knows where it went.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Despite common belief, the reputation Napoleon Bonaparte had for being short was a false. Napoleon was actually of average height, and his enemies were responsible for rumors to the contrary.

But there was one body part that lived up to his tiny reputation: his penis. And after his death, his little member was passed around from person to person and put on display. His genitals somehow ended up in the hands of an Italian priest, who passed it on to a bookseller, who ended up giving it to the New York Museum of French Arts, where it was described as a “shriveled eel.” The member was eventually sold at an auction to an American urologist, and he’s kept it in hand ever since.

Thomas Paine

The English-born revolutionary Thomas Paine was a Founding Father of the United States and a major political theorist. The sad story of his skeleton is nowhere near as inspiring. When Paine died, he was out of favor in America because of his opposition to organized religion. Paine was buried in his farm in unremarkable fashion, and a former rival turned devotee named William Cobbett took issue with this. Cobbett dug up the body, without permission, and carted it back to London for a grand funeral meant to inspire democracy in England. The funeral flopped and never happened, and the bones ended up being sold off piece by piece by Cobbett’s descendants. One of America’s most important thinkers is now scattered around various junk drawers in Europe.

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 06:16:25 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-figures-who-had-their-bodies-or-body-parts-stolen/stephanroget
<![CDATA[The Greatest Alchemists in History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-greatest-alchemists-in-history/saintmort
A list of famous alchemists with pictures where possible. What is alchemy? It was the search for the philosophers stone, the ability to transmute any base metal into gold, and the quest for immortality, the elixer of life. An alchemist would use various chemicals, symbols, elements, and even incantations to try to achieve this. One could even say it was the precursor to modern chemistry.

While today, some may shrug off alchemists as creators of useless potions, many of our most revered scientists dabbled in alchemy, including Sir Isaac Newton. In terms of history, alchemists were the scientists of their time, and their work continues. The quest to live forever continues to this day.

Who are the famous alchemists? Take a look at this list and you'll find out that answer.
The Greatest Alchemists in History,

Alain de Lille

Albertus Magnus


Hermes Trismegistus

Mary the Jewess

Nicolas Flamel

Pope John XXII

Ramon Llull

Roger Bacon


Wed, 16 Feb 2011 23:56:00 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/the-greatest-alchemists-in-history/saintmort
<![CDATA[Self-Immolations as Protests]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/self-immolations-as-protests/grayson-titan
A list of people who lit themselves on fire as a form of activism or protest, typically for political reasons. "Self-immolation" is the technical term for setting one's self on fire, though it is typically used when the purpose of the act is a protest or for martyrdom, as opposed to insanity or other personal reasons. (The term "immolate" comes from a Latin word that implies ritual sacrifice.)

Though the practice rose to international prominence during the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s, when images of Buddhist monks immolating themselves introduced the concept to the larger world, the act of self-immolation in protest goes back hundreds of years in some cultures, particularly those of India. (There are also accounts of Russian martyrs committing what was called "fire baptism" in the 17th Century, and scattered reports of Jesuit priests in France engaging in the behavior at roughly the same time.)

This list contains all self-immolation acts reported by the media from 1963 until the present, all for political or activist purposes.
Self-Immolations as Protests,

Alfredo Ormando
Protesting Roman Catholic Church's condemnation of homosexuality. Jan 13, 1998
Alice Herz
Protesting Vietnam War. Mar 16, 1965
Artin Penik
Protesting ASALA attack at Esenbo?a International Airport. Aug 10, 1982
Chan I-hua
Protesting Blocking of funeral procession of Cheng Nan-jung. May 19, 1989
Cheng Nan-jung
Protesting For Taiwan independence. Apr 7, 1989
Alain Escoffier
Protesting Communism. Feb 10, 1977
Dawa Tsering
Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Oct 25, 2011
Protesting Political situation in Tibet. Oct 7, 2011
Protesting For preservation of the Tamil language. Jan 25, 1964
Antanas Kalinauskas
Protesting Communist rule in Lithuania. Aug 10, 1976

Fri, 06 Jan 2012 02:57:40 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/self-immolations-as-protests/grayson-titan
<![CDATA[Famous People Accused of Being the Antichrist]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/people-thought-to-be-the-antichrist/mike-rothschild
People accused of being the Antichrist range from modern presidents to rulers of the Middle Ages. The list of possible Antichrists is as long as the time you've got to research it. But Christian scholars can't agree on the very nature of the Antichrist, whether he is one person, or a group of people, or what exactly he'll do when he comes.

The two Epistles of John, which are separate parts of the New Testament from the Gospel of John, mention an Antichrist or Antichrists five separate times. There are also references to false prophets in several books, as well as The Beast from the Earth mentioned in Revelation. With over a thousand years of scholarship, it's not surprising that possible Antichrists include every Pope since the 11th century, almost every president of the United States, head of a world governmental organization, monarch, or really rich person.

While countless people have been accused of being the Antichrist over the past thousand years, only a few truly standout as worthy candidates. Here are the most likely past and present possible False Prophets.

Famous People Accused of Being the Antichrist,

Adolf Hitler
If you're looking for people who are the opposite of Christ, Adolf Hitler is probably your guy. He was an evil manipulator who was able to get people to do his bidding, just like a False Prophet would. Beyond that, the Nazis had a high level of interest in the occult, attempting to tap dark energy for their evil purposes. There are also theories that Hitler's ability to sway others came straight from Satan in the form of demonic possession.

The contemporary theosophist Alice A. Bailey stated during World War II that Hitler was possessed by what she called “Dark Forces.” Her follower, the noted occult author Benjamin Crème, has stated that Hitler and a cadre of evil men in Nazi Germany, Japan, and Italy released the energies of the Antichrist,  which was not an individual person, but the primordial forces of destruction.

So whether Hitler was the Antichrist himself or merely a facilitator for the Beast, he's a perfect candidate to have been the False Prophet.

Barack Obama
If any US president is going to be the Antichrist, it's going to be Barack Obama, right? He's charismatic, seemingly came from nowhere, is thought by some to be lying about his birthplace and origins, and seems to advance policies that deny God - or elevate himself to the status of God.

As the Christian website Charisma News puts it, Obama has all the hallmarks of being the False Prophet. He's "a pro-abortion activist and a pro-gay president who ushered same-sex marriage into the mainstream in his term. He inked a nuclear deal with Iran that sets the stage for Israel's destruction. And, generally speaking, his policies have certainly given boldness to the Antichrist agenda. His refusal to call terrorism Islamic has also ruffled feathers."

There you go. A feather-ruffling, nuclear-deal-inking, same-sex-marriage-ushering evil one from the bowels of hell.

Henry Kissinger
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has long been a contender for the Antichrist, thanks to his political machinations, Jewish heritage, attempts to make peace in the Middle East. A number of conspiracy theorists believe Kissinger is an advocate for depopulation, culling the Third World of "useless eaters" and leaving it a paradise for the elite. Most of these theories stem from a fake quote from Kissinger about "depopulation being the highest priority" of powerful nations. There's also a numerical interpretation of his name adding up to either 111 or 666. 

Peacemakers have long been suspect to end-of-the-world types, as prophecy scholars believe the Bible mandates the building of powerful armies for the waging of war against evil. If peace is ushered in, we'll be ill-equipped to fight the dark forces controlled by Satan.

John F. Kennedy
As the first Catholic president, many end-of-the-world types believed JFK was nothing less than an agent for the Pope, sent to the US to colonize the country with his Pope-loving ways. There's also the matter of how he died, with a bullet to the head. Head wounds play a significant role in the Bible, with Revelation 13:3 stating that "One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound."

Of course, Kennedy only had one head, so that might be a tough sell. There's also a persistent online rumor that Kennedy received 666 electoral votes at the 1956 Democratic National Convention, but this is false - he never got more than 618 votes.

Mikhail Gorbachev
Self-described expert on biblical prophecy Robert W. Faid put forth the former Soviet premier as the False Prophet in his 1988 book Gorbachev! Has the Real Antichrist Come? Faid's logic for the architect of Perestroika being the Antichrist is mostly based on coincidence, wishful thinking, and various "signs." These included lights in the sky during the Chernobyl meltdown that looked like a Jesus fish, clouds in Cyrillic spelling out "I AM COMING SOON," and extremely vague interpretations of the Bible and current events of the time. Oh, and that birthmark on his forehead has to be the Mark of the Beast, right?

And what did "Antichrist Gorbachev" perpetrate? He oversaw the end of the Soviet Union and the Cold War - supposedly lulling us into a false peace. Faid offered odds of 1 in 1,797,880,320,000,000,000 that all of the various events that he'd "discovered" could align in any way other than the Antichrist's coming. So it was a virtual lock - except that Faid died in 2008, without the False Prophet having revealed himself.

Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon's brutal invasion of Russia unleashed a tidal wave of hatred against France, with many Europeans believing that the French marshal was nothing short of the Antichrist. Both religious scholars of the day and simple peasant folks believed he was a destroyer sent from hell, leading a "legion of devils" into battle against the light . Priests and clerics sermonized Napoleon as a demon who would overthrow all religions in favor of the worship of himself - a sure hallmark of the False Prophet.

An alternate theory put forth by some end-of-the-world writers is that Napoleon was the first of three Antichrists predicted by Nostradamus, with Hitler the second, and someone yet to be revealed as the third.

Legendary tyrant Emperor Nero was accused of being the biblical Antichrist as far back as the 2nd Century CE. Prophets of the time foresaw his return from hell, bringing death and destruction with him as he set out to finish his destruction of the Church. Nero's name and title have also been linked with the Number of the Beast in Revelation, said to be 666.

While many accusations of being the Antichrist have nothing to support them, the idea that the Book of Revelation was written specifically about Nero has some evidence behind it. Revelation, where the concepts of the False Prophet and Number of the Beast originated, was written only a few decades after Nero's suicide, and Nero had viciously persecuted Christians, blaming the Great Fire of Rome on the fledgling religion. It wasn't a stretch for prophets to see Nero as a destroyer figure sent by Satan to wipe the Church out.

Ronald Reagan
Beyond his administration inching the US closer to war than any president since John F. Kennedy (also accused of being the Antichrist), Reagan fits the bill for the False Prophet for one reason = Ronald Wilson Reagan = 6 letters a word x 3 = 666.

There's also the crazy guy who invaded Reagan's home in 1990 screaming "Reagan is the Antichrist! He must be killed and I must kill him!" But that guy was probably a nut... or a prophet.

Thomas Jefferson
Virtually every US president has been called the Antichrist at some point, a tradition that appears to go all the way back to Thomas Jefferson. According to the Jefferson biography Jefferson, written by Samuel Padover, a number of northern communities referred to our third president as the Antichrist for elevating himself to the status of deity.

Jefferson was also a non-believer who had a Bible that he created himself, which left out all of Jesus' miracles, and virtually any mention of anything vaguely supernatural. Such idolatry and apostasy was seen at the time as fit only for a False Prophet.

Just About Any Pope
In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church began to split between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic branches. As the Eastern Orthodox moved away from traditional Catholicism, it became common for whatever Pope was holding the office to be thought of as the Antichrist, devoted to "repairing" the Great Schism by destroying the Orthodox branch.

During the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther identified the papacy as the Antichrist, a human figure who had anointed himself as God. Subsequently, a wave of anti-Catholic propaganda swept Europe, and was still part of the Protestant religion well into the 1900s.

Fri, 20 Nov 2015 06:28:03 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/people-thought-to-be-the-antichrist/mike-rothschild
<![CDATA[30 Powerful Photos of Women Who Changed History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/powerful-photos-of-women/amber-hubert
It's always important to know your place in history, to pay respect to those who have come before you and made your dreams more possible to reach. If the strong women on this list had cowered or been less courageous, we wouldn't have Hilary Clinton. We wouldn't have Oprah Winfrey, or even Beyonce. Women throughout history have paved the way for modern feminism and have built a foundation for today's powerful women that can't be ignored 

These women are freedom fighters, suffragettes, and leaders in their fields. These evocative images capture strong feminists who created a path for us today. The fight for equal rights is still an uphill battle but it used to be a mountain.

Let your senses be pleased, your curiosity peaked, and your intellect fed as your eyes and hearts check out these moving photographs of women in history. These women opened doors and set the stage for many powerful women to come and are still inspiring feminist symbols today.    

30 Powerful Photos of Women Who Changed History,

A Red Cross nurse takes down the last words of a British soldier.

Circa 1917

Railroad workers at lunch. Many were the wives and even mothers of the men who left for war.

Circa 1943

A woman drinking tea in the aftermath of a German bombing raid during the London Blitz.

Circa 1940

Female pilots leaving their B-17.

Circa 1941-1945

Girls deliver heavy blocks of ice after male workers were conscripted.

Circa 1918

Erika, a 15-year-old Hungarian fighter who fought for freedom against the Soviet Union.

Circa October, 1956

Anna Fisher, the first mother in space.

Circa 1980s

American nurses land in Normandy.

Circa 1944

Voting activist Annie Lumpkins at the Little Rock City Jail.

Circa 1961

Margaret Bourke-White, a photographer, climbing the Chrysler Building.

Circa 1934

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 11:00:36 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/powerful-photos-of-women/amber-hubert
<![CDATA[20 Unbelievable Aftermath Pictures of the Worst Floods Throughout History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-pictures-of-floods/jordan-love

There's just something about natural disasters that people find tragically fascinating. From Vietnam to New Orleans, pictures from around the world capture the majesty and destructive force of floodwaters.

Hurricanes or tsunamis cause some floods, others simply occur after copious amount of rainfall. Whatever the reason, certain parts of the world have to deal with severe flooding on a yearly basis. Places like southern Asia and the American South are highly represented when it comes to historical pictures of floods because they see significant flooding almost every year. 

On rare occasions, there are floods of things other than water. Take the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 for example. It covered the streets of Boston in sticky molasses, killing several people in the process.

Some of these historical photos of floods are quite old, others are from more recent history. Either way, they are fascinating for the floods they depict. Vote up your favorite crazy flood pictures below. 

20 Unbelievable Aftermath Pictures of the Worst Floods Throughout History,

Flooding From Hurrican Carol in 1954

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

A Flood of Dust and Dirt Buried Everything in Its Path During the Dust Bowl in 1936

Debris Flow From Caraballeda Flooding in 1999

A Town Near Sumatra Devastated by Flooding in 2004

1936 Potomac River Flood

With the Capitol Building visible in the top right of the image.

Beach Homes Destroyed by Flooding From Hurricane Sandy in 2012

Rowing Through City Streets After the 1910 Paris Flood

Nepalese Flooding in 2013 Eroded Away The Hillside

Square Trousseau During the 1910 Flooding of Paris

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 03:03:10 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-pictures-of-floods/jordan-love
<![CDATA[Instances of Extraterrestrial/Extra-dimensional Phenomena in Ancient History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/extraterrestrials-in-ancient-history/kevinbennett

The UFO phenomenon is by no means new. Mankind has always had a passing - and sometimes integral - relationship with intelligences that are not of the human variety. Aliens in history span the globe. From ancient tribal tales among Australian Aborigines to the Nazca Lines of South America to the 15th century Madonna with Saint Giovannino, there are numerous instances of what definitely appear to be extraterrestrial phenomena in history. But are we really looking at aliens here?

Historians have begun to examine ufology in light of the history of extraterrestrial phenomena. Historical alien encounters seem to be numerous, when certain historical events are taken from the modern perspective. That said, though many vetted resources demonstrate a presiding force in the world emanating from beyond mankind's conventional space/time domain, does it necessarily follow that this force is from beyond our solar system as well? What if UFO phenomena weren't evidence of the extraterrestrial; what if they were instead evidence of the extra-dimensional?

Think of extra-dimensional phenomena like this: imagine a computer simulation program; like a jet simulator, or a car simulator. That simulation is a subset of a greater reality, and is designed to imitate that reality. But no matter how good the graphics get, they can never be more than a 2D illusion; they're not flesh-and-blood. A simulation world is not a real world. Now, take a step back. What if the world we live in were itself a subset of a greater reality? As our world is to the digital simulation, so the next world is to ours. Think Inception, but verified with quantum physics, which suggest the universe may in fact be a subset of a greater reality. With that in mind, ask yourself: what if historical extraterrestrial phenomena were in fact historical extra-dimensional phenomena?

The following list will explore ancient alien/extra-dimensional entity phenomena throughout history, and the premise that these beings may not be foreign to our solar system or planet but exist in another dimensional plane congruent to our own. This is an ancient history list, but it's going to start only several hundred years ago, and gradually dial it back to the dawn of man.

Instances of Extraterrestrial/Extra-dimensional Phenomena in Ancient History,

Anasazi Indians and Mesa Verde: Correlation?

Around the same time the Nazca and Paracas Indians were doing suspicious things with desert lines and head binding, the Anasazi Indians of the Mesa Verde region in the four corners area of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah were busy being astonishingly advanced; building a series of cave-dwellings and free-standing dwellings. 

Add to this the ubiquity of UFO phenomena tied to Mesa Verde, and suspicions start to emerge. Additionally, the entire Anasazi civilization kind of, just...disappeared. They migrated...obviously? According to some sources, no one knows why. Could there be some extra-dimensional, or extraterrestrial, element involved? Did beings from another realm help the Anasazi build their cliff dwellings, then whisk them away?

A UFO Crashes a Special Moment Between Mary and St. Giovannino

Upon cursory examination, nothing appears amiss in The Madonna with Saint Giovannino. But then you look over the shoulder of the Madonna and...what is that thing? A cloud? A defect? Wait...is that, is that a spaceship? It's either that or a craft of extra-dimensional variety. Either way, it looks a lot like whatever's on that French coin.

Over Mary's shoulder is what appears to be a shepherd, who seems to see the object. Either it's behind him or between him and Mary; it's hard to tell. Consider this additional factoid: Saint Giovannino, the infant in the painting, had epilepsy. It has been postulated that the alien abduction experience is related to epilepsy

Is it possible the artist is saying something about Saint Giovannino? Between the Jesuits and things like indulgences, the Catholic church has a sordid history of acting in direct contravention to the very scripture it deigns to uphold. Scripture clearly teaches that Mary had other children besides Jesus. Catholicism will not endure such a doctrine. This and other reasons cause many to wonder if there isn't an infernal spiritual force involved with the Roman Catholic Church.

Some conflate Mary with Isis - not the terrorist organization, the Egyptian goddess. Is it possible the artist is giving clues to that effect? That Mary was a divine being, and unexplained phenomena followed her around? Or, perhaps the artist is saying that eternal beings travel sub-dimensionally in spheroid Ezekiel-esque sky chariots, hence St. Giovannino's epilepsy? Food for thought.


Aliens Sexing with Ancient Peruvians and Making Hybrid Babies

Cranial head-binding is a controversial subject. Basically, ancient tribes, specifically the Paracas Indians of Peru, wrapped and bound the head to change the shape of the skull during a child's younger years such that by adulthood, the head was elongated. Of course, these long heads look a lot like they could be alien, and so many conspiracy theorists and conjecturers believe the people who had these elongated heads were the result of interbreeding between humans and...someone, or something, else. 

But what, exactly? Well, some believe this DNA is extraterrestrial, while others posit a theory based on Genesis 6, wherein extra-dimensional beings combined their DNA with that of mankind. But there would seem to be no evidence for this outlandish theory. For there to be any proof of elongated skulls belonging to actual hybrids, there would have to be a skull found which was elongated, but was too young to have been modified. In fact, this skull has been found

The French Saw Aliens and Put Them on Money in the 1680s

Articles about an unidentified flying object on some French coins from the 1680s began appearing in 2005, and continued to appear into 2016. So what the hell is that thing? 

The Latin inscription on one of these coins reads: "Opportunus Adest," which translates to "It is here at an opportune time." Interestingly enough, an article in the Daily Mail references this coin as possibly being a French commemoration of the wheels-within-wheels from Ezekiel 1. So if that thing isn't a UFO, maybe it's an example of extra-dimensional phenomena. 

A counter argument, however, does exist. As it turns out, one of the coins in question shows the "UFO" blocking a fusillade of arrows, indicating that it's acting as some kind of shield. Is that shield meant to be a traditional bit of armament, or is the coin saying that extra-human forces acted to "shield" the French armies against attack? Maybe 17th century French shields looked a great deal like UFOs, and maybe there's more to it.  You'd need a time machine to know for sure.

An Alien Battle Over Nuremberg, Germany, 1561

What is going on here? The sun looks as though he's unhappily enduring a gravity union strike during a city-sized game of jacks. What is that pointy black thing, a 2D Star Destroyer cruising over the city?

The explanation for this historical piece of art is one of three things: acid, aliens, or extra-dimensional forces. And back then, LSD hadn't been invented. In fact, good news here, no guesswork is needed: the image in question is a woodblock print created to illustrate an account of what appeared to be an aerial battle in the skies over Nuremberg, Germany (yes, Germany again) on April 14, 1561. 

To quote the account: "In the morning of April 14, 1561, at daybreak, between 4 and 5 am, a dreadful apparition occurred on the sun, and then this was seen in Nuremberg in the city, before the gates and in the country – by many men and women.

At first there appeared in the middle of the sun two blood-red semi-circular arcs, just like the moon in its last quarter. And in the sun, above and below and on both sides, the color was blood, there stood a round ball of partly dull, partly black ferrous color. Likewise there stood on both sides and as a torus about the sun such blood-red ones and other balls in large number, about three in a line and four in a square, also some alone. In between these globes there were visible a few blood-red crosses, between which there were blood-red strips, becoming thicker to the rear and in the front malleable like the rods of reed-grass, which were intermingled, among them two big rods, one on the right, the other to the left, and within the small and big rods there were three, also four and more globes.

These all started to fight among themselves, so that the globes, which were first in the sun, flew out to the ones standing on both sides, thereafter, the globes standing outside the sun, in the small and large rods, flew into the sun. Besides the globes flew back and forth among themselves and fought vehemently with each other for over an hour. And when the conflict in and again out of the sun was most intense, they became fatigued to such an extent that they all, as said above, fell from the sun down upon the earth ‘as if they all burned’ and they then wasted away on the earth with immense smoke. After all this there was something like a black spear, very long and thick, sighted."

Whether this was extraterrestrial or extra-dimensional is anyone's guess. Here's something to consider, though. Look at the city and fields in the foreground. They look very "realistic", as far as "realistic" could be depicted at that time in Nuremburg. It's obvious here that the artist(s) had an eye on accurately depicting the event as best they could--saving of course the sun's expression.

Is There a Space Race Behind Jesus in an Italian Fresco from 1350?

This fresco from 1350 depicts Christ's crucifixion, and may also have some kind of weirdo alien/extra-dimensional entity pod race going on in the background. Where would a painter in the mid-14th century get the idea for an alien pod race? Is it possible the modern iconography of angels and demons is a perversion of an older understanding, in which these beings were known to appear the same way objects we call UFOs do today? Some certainly believe these strange, hollow, celestial bodies housing bizarre, humanoid beings are UFOs. Or are they extra-dimensional, like the cherubim? 


Nazca Lines May Prove Aliens Could Fly

The Nazca lines, actually geoglyphs, are a series of massive, ancient depictions of animals such as monkeys, spiders, lizards, sharks, and hummingbirds created by ancient people in Peru through a process of removing red pebbles from the earth to expose white terrain beneath. There are hundreds of designs in the region, the largest are almost 700 feet across. 

Scientists and scholars attribute the Nazca lines to religious practice. Perhaps they pointed a way to an ancient temple, or were themselves objects of worship. This could be the case; the question is, who, or what, was being worshipped?

The size and detail of the figures indicates that the Nazca Indians had some form of flight. Evidence supporting the flight theory can be found in artifacts such as this little airplane. It's possible ancient humans had flight technology, either self-derived or passed on to them by extra-dimensional/extraterrestrial beings.

Glowing Wheels Over Hamburg, Germany in 1697

In a piece of art traced to 1697, two strange, spherical objects break through the night sky over Hamburg, Germany. It's obvious what is being conveyed here smacks of the supernatural. The objects look like they could be an artist's rendition of what are today known as UFOs. These objects were described as "glowing wheels" at the time. And that, in a nutshell, is all that is known about them.

Except for something peculiar in the Bible. In the first chapter of Ezekiel, four cherubim are described, and these aren't your mother's little baby-faced cupid angels. Cherubim in the Biblical sense looked like something out of William Blake's worst delirium. They had four faces, four wings, and bovine feet. The faces were animal and human; a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle.

Ezekiel 1, 4-24 details these strange extra-dimensional creatures, and describes circular vessels accompanying the cherubim that bear a striking resemblance to those in this 1697 artwork. They are wheels-within-wheels that go forward and don't turn one direction or another, similar to a UFO zipping across the sky. What if the crosses in this rendering represent wheels-within-wheels, and the spheres are some sort of extra-dimensional impelling device?  

Now, about the four faces of the cherubim. These are likewise evidence of an extra-dimensional event. Consider this painting by Salvador Dali. Christ is crucified on a four-dimensional cube called a Hinton Hypercube, or tesseract. A tesseract is to a cube what a cube is to a square. In the same way that you can unroll a cube to look like a cross, Dali unpacked a tesseract to create a network of cubes in the shape of a cross. 

Is it possible cherubim likewise appear to us as strange horror-beasts because our dimensional perception is handicapped? What if, as the eight cubes of a tesseract exist in a way our mind cannot fathom, the four faces of a cherubim cannot be properly perceived by the human mind? Maybe the UFO phenomena we see is evidence of sub-dimensional perception compression. All that in mind: is it possible the people in 1697 saw not aliens, but extra-dimensional objects, and possibly even angels?

Dutch Ships Maybe Run Across Cheribum in the 17th Century

The artwork in question here is a painting attributed to Admiral Blaeu, supposedly from the classic Dutch atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas Novus. The matter of decoding this work proves problematic from the start - while Willem Blaeu, a seminal Dutch cartographer, did indeed publish Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas Novus, he was never an admiral, and the work in question doesn't seem to fit the aesthetic of the maps from that book

Problems with attribution aside, the work depicts two Dutch ships and a pair of circles in the sky, inside of which are human faces. Perhaps another Ezekiel iteration? The four faces in the midst of the circles appear a little differently than one might expect; but there are still four of them, constrained within several circles - circles that seem to be intersecting in an extra-dimensional way. Four faces and circles within circles sounds a lot like it could be a depiction of cherubim and their flying wheel apparatus. 

Of course, all of this begs the question, why would a cartographer insert a painting of an alien/extra-dimensional sighting at sea in an atlas designed as a reference text? 

Mound Builders, the Tower of Babel, The Flood, CERN, and Extradimensional Travel

The mound builders of America, a group of indigenous cultures in the Great Lakes, Ohio, and Mississippi River valley regions that built mounds, left evidence of their handiwork all across the United States. These mounds exhibit what's called sacred geometry; the same kind found in areas like Stonehenge. Stonehenge and mounds like this are also commonly constructed on Ley lines, a supposed grid-system of energy crisscrossing the earth, on which many important sites exist. 

So, there's the Ley lines, creating a grid of energy throughout the world. Then you have Atlantis, an advanced civilization that sank beneath the waves of the ocean and corresponds to ancient flood legends. Did you know nearly every ancient culture has a flood legend regarding a great deluge that fundamentally changed the planet? Accordingly, the society lost is often characterized as advanced to a level of technological proficiency that vanished along with the city, and likely surpassed even what "modern" man has achieved. Maybe Atlantis got its power from extra-dimensional or extraterrestrial beings. Or, maybe, antediluvian societies were actually all hybrid civilizations, part man, part extra-dimensional being. 

We have Atlantis, a city endowed with great technology, perhaps thanks to aliens or beings from another dimension. Then a huge flood happens, almost everyone dies, and Atlantis (maybe just a metaphor here for advanced technology) disappears. Humans migrate, unify, speak a single language, and decide to build a massive tower. The Tower of Babel. According to the Bible, they do so to reach God. But. What if, in fact, they did so in order to harness the energy of all the important world sites built along Ley lines so they could open a portal to another dimension, and reclaim the technology lost in the flood? Or reach their hybrid ancestors, with whom they lost touch after the flood? A science experiment gone wrong, scattering the people of the world, resulting in tremendous confusion. 

And maybe this same thing is taking place again, under the name CERN

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 02:57:05 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/extraterrestrials-in-ancient-history/kevinbennett
<![CDATA[Nazi Leaders and Officials]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/nazi-leaders-and-officials/barbara-gaston
List of members and officials of the German Nazi Party in the years leading up to and comprising World War II. This list includes all Nazi Party members who held significant titles, ranks or occupations within the party between the years 1920 (when the Nazi Party was founded) and 1945, when the Second World War ended and the Nazi Party was dissolved.

NOTE: The list does not include Nazi leaders and officials from satellite parties created following WWII, such as the American Neo-Nazi organization. It also leaves out individuals associated with Nazism, but who were not ranking members of the party, such as Leni Riefenstahl.

Many of these leaders of the Nazi Party never attained the infamy and notoriety of iconic Nazi officials such as Reinhard Heydrich (chief of the Reich Main Security Office, which included the Gestapo) or propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Nevertheless, students of 20th Century European History - and World War II in particular - may find this collection of Nazi leadership helpful, detailing the top Nazi leaders and top Nazi officials.

Nazi Leaders and Officials,

Achim Gercke
“Expert of racial matters at the Ministry of the Interior“
Adolf Hitler
“Politician and leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party“
Adolf Hühnlein
“Korpsführer of the National Socialist Motor Corps“
Adolf von Trotha

Adolf Wagner
“Gauleiter of München-Oberbayern and Bavarian Interior Minister“
Adrian von Renteln

Albert Forster
“Politician and governor of the province Danzig-West Prussia“
Albert Speer
“Architect for Nazis' offices and residences“
Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Ziegler

Fri, 06 Jan 2012 02:57:17 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/nazi-leaders-and-officials/barbara-gaston
<![CDATA[Complete List of Famous Pirates]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/complete-list-of-famous-pirates/barbara-gaston
A list of famous pirates throughout the history of pirates, with lots of pictures and images. The most famous pirate of them all may be Blackbeard, but when it comes to maritime piracy there are plenty of other real pirates. From ancient piracy to the golden age of piracy, this list has them all, even Somali, modern pirates. Pirate history is as old as boats themselves. Buccaneers have long been the scourge of merchants, as well as that of the French, English, and especially Spanish Crowns. Many of them can be found on this list of the most famous pirates throughout the history of piracy.
Complete List of Famous Pirates,


Demetrius of Pharos

Dionysius the Phocaean

Gan Ning



Sextus Pompey

William Aleyn

James Alday

Giorgio Adorno

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 21:04:37 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/complete-list-of-famous-pirates/barbara-gaston
<![CDATA[Funny Bill Clinton Quotes]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/bill-clinton-isms-bill-clinton-gaffes-and-funny-quotes/notable-quotables
Ranging from those he said before, during and after his presidency, there have been hundreds of quotes by and about Bill Clinton throughout the years, some funnier than the rest. These Bill Clinton-isms, or selection of quotes from Billy himself, are only a sampling of ways we'll remember the former commander in chief.

As the former President of United States, Bill Clinton's stupid gaffes have succeeded in making people laugh, even at the cost of revealing his own dumbness. At the end of his presidency, he revealed 'I may not have been the greatest president, but I've had the most fun eight years.' Apparently scandals and controversies involving an intern, a blue dress and, gulp, a cigar, qualify as fun.

What are some of the funny Bill Clinton quotes? Take a look here and see for yourself.
Funny Bill Clinton Quotes,

Bill Clinton on Job Creation
"The economy has produced 6.1 million jobs since I became president, and if Michael Jordan comes back to the Bulls, it will be 6,100,001 jobs."
Bill Clinton on Semantics
"It depends on how you define alone..."
Bill Clinton on Definitions
"It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is."
Bill Clinton on Politicians
"Politics gives guys so much power that they tend to behave badly around women. And I hope I never get into that."
Bill Clinton on his Administration
"I may not have been the greatest president, but I've had the most fun eight years."
Bill Clinton on Smoking Marijuana
"When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale and never tried it again."
Bill Clinton on Life After Presidency
"If President Reagan could be an actor and become president, maybe I could become an actor. I've got a good pension. I can work for cheap.'"
Bill Clinton on the White House
"I don't know whether it's the finest public housing in America or the crown jewel of the American penal system."
Bill Clinton on Being President
"Being president is like running a cemetery: you've got a lot of people under you and nobody's listening."
Bill Clinton on an Old Truck
"It was a real sort of Southern deal. I had AstroTurf in the back. You don't want to know why, but I did."

Wed, 16 Jun 2010 01:18:01 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/bill-clinton-isms-bill-clinton-gaffes-and-funny-quotes/notable-quotables
<![CDATA[The Best Iraq Movies Ever Made]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-iraq-movies-ever-made/all-genre-movies-lists
A list of the best movies about the Iraq War, which began in 2003. The controversial invasion of Iraq provided fodder for a number of documentary films, as well as Iraq films inspired by true stories. Though some of these Iraq films took an anti-war stance, others were simply dedicated to chronicling the stories of those involved, particularly soldiers fighting on the front lines. This list of the best Iraq War films is meant to feature some of the best stories from the government and front line standpoint of the Iraq War.

What are the best war movies set in Iraq? This is an Open List, so if you don't see your favorite Iraq War film among the best Iraq War films on the list, add them at the bottom of the page. Also be sure to vote for your favorite Iraq movies so they make it to the top of the list. And if you're really into war movies in general and like to watch things like Afghanistan war movies on Netflix and Iraq war movies based on a true story, check out the top war movies list.
The Best Iraq Movies Ever Made,

American Soldiers

Battle for Haditha

Body of Lies

Full Metal Jacket


Three Kings

Green Zone

Generation Kill

The Hurt Locker

American Sniper

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 08:50:53 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-iraq-movies-ever-made/all-genre-movies-lists
<![CDATA[Famous Short Speeches]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-short-speeches/william-neckard
As these famous short speeches prove, it's not always about the quantity of words spoken that make a difference, it's more about the quality of the words chosen to make an impact and go down in history. What are some of the best famous short speeches? From the notable Gettysburg Address given by Abraham Lincoln to words of wisdom and inspiration shared by Winston Churchill to young children, these short speeches by men and women will be remembered for generations to come.

Many of these famous speeches are remembered for the impact they made on the world, be it reacting to a historical or political situation, like Roosevelt's speech after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; saying farewell to a career, like the notable sports speech Loui Gherig gave to say goodbye to baseball; or discussing the end of an era, like Napoleon Bonapart's Farewell to the Old Guard Speech. Some of the shortest speeches ever given were also the most memorable.

What are the most famous short speeches? Are you looking for a few-minute-long easy speech to memorize and recite? Whatever the reason for the speech, these words of wisdom remain notable decades after the fact and will continue to be notable for decades to come.
Famous Short Speeches,

John F. Kennedy's Ich Ben Ein Berliner Speech
Considered one of the best from President John F. Kennedy, the Ich bin ein Berliner speech was given on June 26, 1963, in West Berlin, Germany, during the Cold War. Though the Soviet Union, which he denounced in the speech, didn't fall for another 30 years, Kennedy's words remain a uniting force to this day.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Infamy Speech
United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the Joint Session of Congress on December 8, 1941, just one day after Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii. The short speech was later dubbed the "Infamy Speech" due to Roosevelt describing the attack as "a date which will live in infamy."

Lou Gehrig's Farewell to Baseball Address
Speaking to fans at "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day" at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig explained how he was "the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

Douglas MacArthur's Duty, Honor, Country
On May 12, 1962, General Douglas MacArthur delivered an acceptance speech for the Sylvanus Thayer Award at the United States Military Academy at West Point that mirrored the values and motto of the Academy, "Duty, Honor, Country".
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech
Empowering a generation and beyond, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his legendary I Have a Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963.
William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
On December 10, 1950, William Faulkner delivered his speech accepting the award for the Nobel Prize in Literature at the City Hall in Stockholm, Sweden. 
Winston Churchill's Never Give In Speech
Speaking to a group of school children on October 29, 1941, United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill provided inspiration and advice to the crowd in this notable short speech.
The Gettysburg Address
One of the most famous speeches in United States history, President Abraham Lincoln spoke during the Civil War on November 19, 1863.

Ronald Reagan's Challenger Disaster Speech
Addressing the nation after the Space Shuttle Challenger tragically exploded 73 seconds after launch on January 28, 1986, President Ronald Reagan attempted to console a shaken nation with this speech.
Napoleon Bonaparte's Farewell to the Old Guard
After the failed invasion of Russia and a defeat by the Allies, Napoleon Bonapart addressed his troops on April 20, 1814, to issue his farewell.

Sat, 24 Sep 2011 04:02:14 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-short-speeches/william-neckard
<![CDATA[US Political Figures We Hate the Most: 2013]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/us-political-figures-we-hate-the-most-2013/jimmers2
I'm starting this list with the political figures I hate the most, but I'm opening it to voting and to the public. Obviously, this is my biased opinion, but hopefully you guys will add your most hated figures and balance it all out. Vote for the figure or political group that really makes your blood boil, and please, add whoever or whatever you think is missing.
US Political Figures We Hate the Most: 2013,

Anthony D. Weiner

Dick Cheney

Harry Reid

John Boehner

Karl Rove

Mitch McConnell

Nancy Pelosi

Rick Santorum


All of Them, So Much

Tue, 07 May 2013 04:44:21 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/us-political-figures-we-hate-the-most-2013/jimmers2
<![CDATA[What Sex Was Like in the Wild West]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/wild-west-sex-facts/jacobybancroft

Society has a certain image of the Old West. Though we look back and picture cowboys wandering the wild frontier, guns on both hips, we tend not to wonder what sex was like in the American West. There appears to be good reason for that, as Wild West sex facts are more scarce than you would imagine. Even in a time when prostitution was a staple in almost every town and city, people still didn't talk openly about what they liked to do in the bedroom. This surely owes, in part, to the puritanical nature of American settlers. 

Even though it was a taboo topic, there are a few fascinating tidbits relating to stripping down and doing the naughty naked tango in the Old West. Whether it be how men liked to dress up like women or that oral sex was a little too French for most (Francophiles raise your hands), this list below highlights all the interesting facts about sex in the Wild West. Check out the list and see what American west sex facts titillate you the most. 

What Sex Was Like in the Wild West,

Gender Roles Were Fluid and Homosexuality Was No Big Thing

When you think of the Old West, your mind might conjure images of tough, macho men who embody stereotypically masculine traits. A cowboy riding valiantly on his horse to rescue a poor damsel that's tied to the railroad tracks, for instance. Spitting dip, loading guns, drinking hard, and wailing on whores. 

If that's how you view the Old West, you might be shocked to know how cowboys really viewed homosexuality. Wild West society didn't necessarily label people homosexual or heterosexual, but rather allowed each person to be who they need to be in any given moment. In an interview ("Homos on the Range: How gay was the West?"), University of Colorado at Boulder History Department Chairman Peter Boag, who wrote the book Same Sex Affairs, said, "people engaged in same sex activities weren't seen as homosexual."

When women weren't present in large communities, say a mining camp full of men for example, some men would fill the role of women sexually and domestically, and normal gender roles were challenged. In effect, men in the Old West got it where they could.  

Prostitution Was as American as Apple Pie

One thing is very clear about the Old West: prostitution was a staple to any town or city. What's surprising is the range of prostitution throughout the West. Some places were much how you would expect, dirty and cheap, women walking the streets with a sheet to lay on the ground for f*ck time. Other towns had a more esteemed opinion of prostitution, and were home to grand and eloquent brothels run by bigwig Madams. 

Prostitution was also indicative of socioeconomic classes in Old West society. Most prostitutes were young (30 or younger), largely uneducated and, in many cases, illiterate. Some were immigrants, and pricing was based not only on looks but also nationality and ethnicity. Like the anonymous, easily replaced miners and railroad workers of the American frontier, prostitutes filled a social and economic function necessitated by capitalism, but, as individuals, were largely irrelevant and forgotten. 

Birth Control Involved Ingesting Poison

In an era of rampant prostitution, you might wonder why people weren't popping out kids left and right. It's not like serious protection was used. Condoms were around, but very expensive, so most prostitutes used abortifacients, a generic term for any substance that induces a miscarriage (literally, from the Latin, "that which will cause a miscarriage"). 

Abortifacients contained poisonous ingredients, often from plant sources, that would kill unwanted pregnancy upon arrival. For prostitutes, pregnancy was a major hazard - not only could it kill your career, it might kill you; many women on the frontier died during childbirth. Women were often left with the choice of either dying during childbirth or poisoning themselves to kill an unwanted fetus. 

Oral Sex Was Too French for Cowboys

Oral sex. Something everyone enjoys, yes? Well, actually, as it turns out, no. In his book Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940, Chad Heap, Associate Professor of American Studies and Undergraduate Advisor of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at George Washington University and regular contributor to Reddit subsection Ask Historians, explains that fellatio was considered a little too foreign for Americans during the time period (it was a too "French," if you will), and therefore wasn't readily performed. There's evidence that even prostitutes were against it, and would shun other working women who didn't mind giving dome. 

The Slang Was Vastly Different Than Today's Vernacular

Bumping fuzzies, screwing, fooling around, going to pound town, knocking boots, etc. These are all modern-day slang for describing the birds and the bees. Back in the Old West, there was an entirely different vernacular when it came to getting down and dirty. You can read a list of Wild West slang right here; one of the oddest terms on the list, pirooting, means intercourse. Try in out some time. "Hey bae, you down for some pirooting tonight?" 

Some other terms on the list include "g'hal" (a rowdy woman), "get the wrong pig by the tail" (pick the wrong person for some purpose - "When she asked to peg me, I knew I got the wrong pig by the tail."), and "rat trap" (the frame on a woman's dress or skirts).

Sex Education Didn't Do Much Educating

If you wanted a proper education about how humping parts worked or what an STD was, the Old West was not the place to be. Packets called "marriage manuals" were available for such purposes in the late 1800s. On top of being inaccurate, these packets stressed the importance of only having sex within marriage. They also highlighted how masturbation was unhealthy because the use of a man's seed for anything other than procreation was frowned upon in the eyes of the Lord. If you wanted to know anything beyond that, you'd have to learn by doing. 

Sexual Assault Was Rampant

A very sad, very real fact of the Old West was that women didn't have a lot of options in life or work. Most became teachers, nurses, or prostitutes. Women were emphatically considered secondary to men in social standing, which created a culture of endemic sexual assault and rape. There were few, if any, avenues of recourse for those who were raped or assaulted. Women knew that their attackers wouldn't be hunted down by police, so most kept quiet.

This horrifying article makes the case that, although rape culture is more widely discussed in the 21st century than it was in the Wild West, the culture of silence that effected raped and assaulted women in the 19th century is still alive and well.

According to author and women's crisis worker Nancy Williams, "In the last 150 years, we’ve gone from the steam engine to the jet engine, from horses to Lear jets and from outhouses to gold-plated indoor plumbing, yet the progress women have made in defending against sexual assault really hasn’t matched the pace of technology.” 

Cross Dressing Went Both Ways

In his research of the Old West, historian Peter Boag was shocked to discover how common cross dressing was. It's easy to understand why women would feel the need to dress as men to get ahead, but Boag found plenty of instances of men dressing as women, which seems counter intuitive to the modern image of cowboys strutting about like John Wayne. 

During a talk on sexuality and gender issues of the American West at the University of Wyoming, Boag stated, "what I was unprepared for when I started uncovering all these female to male cross dressers, I also started to uncover hundreds of stories of men who dressed as women." 

Privacy During Sex? Think Again

It was common in the Wild West for families to live in small houses, usually made up of one large room. So, naturally, when it came down every member of a family sharing one space, privacy went out the window. In which case, it's fair to question how you'd have sex when sleeping in a bed with your children or other relatives. 

Writing on the development of privacy, and sex as a private practice, in Europe, author Brian M. Watson explains that, during the Reformation, figures such as Martin Luther created a sanctity of privacy surrounding the act of sex, something previously nonexistent. In the United States, sexual privacy - and privacy in general - was afforded by class. Money meant privacy, and most in the Wild West didn't have any money. 

So then what happened in those one room houses? You did what they had to do to get off.

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 08:15:24 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/wild-west-sex-facts/jacobybancroft
<![CDATA[12 Amazing Real-Life Resurrection Stories]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/top-12-real-life-resurrection-stories/carly-kiel

Real life resurrection stories tell the tale of real people who came back from the dead. These are far more than people who were legally dead on an operating table; these are dead people who rose from the crypt to go on living.

How often are living people declared dead? More often than you'd think (or want to know about)! People brought back from the dead - presumably to deliver the Good Word - have been documented in history and medical books for hundreds of years. These are some of the more spectacular examples of people beating death. Enjoy this bone-chilling list of notable cases of people who were buried alive or brought back to life - true accounts of real-life resurrection stories and incidents of Lazarus syndrome.

12 Amazing Real-Life Resurrection Stories,

Marjorie McCall, Moneybags

In 18th Century Lurgan, Ireland, Dr. John McCall's wife Marjorie fell ill with fever and died shortly thereafter. Since he was a doctor and therefore rich, Marjorie naturally had an expensive gold wedding ring – but at her death, neither John nor any other mourner was able to remove it from her swollen finger. Due to fear that her fever would spread, Marjorie was hastily buried in Shankill Cemetery, and news of the doctor's dead wife spread throughout neighborhood.

Soon, some grave-robbers got busy digging up Marjorie's coffin. When they pried open the lid, they were delighted to find that yes, the valuable ring was still on her finger. Try as they might, they couldn't pull off the ring, so they agreed to saw off the whole finger. As the sharp blade cut into her skin, Marjorie came back to life, sat bolt upright, and shrieked like a tween with Bieber Fever. A miracle if there ever was one!

When the startled corpse-desecrating thieves fled, Marjorie was left alone to climb out of her grave and wander home. Across town, her widower Dr. John was boozing with some relatives, sorrowful at the loss of his wife but also pumped about his new-found bachelorhood. When he heard a gentle rapping, rapping on his chamber door, he opened it to find his dead wife, extra creepy and all wraithlike in her burial robes and bloody from the ol' saw-to-the-finger ordeal. The shock was too much for the doctor. He instantly dropped dead on the floor and was buried in the grave Marjorie had just vacated.

Ng Swee Hock, Brother-Hater
April 2011 - After getting into fisticuffs with his own brother, 65-year-old Ng Swee Hock sustained injuries so bad that not even a ventilator machine could revive him. Doctors at a Penang, Malaysia, hospital did CPR on his body for 45 minutes, but at around 11 AM, they gave up and pronounced him dead.

Two-and-a-half hours later, Ng started to breathe again.
Matthew Wall, Farmer
On October 2, 1571, recently deceased young farmer Matthew Wall was lying in a coffin on the way to his own funeral. Even though the day was cool and damp, the whole village of Braughing in Hertfordshire was out for the event, including Wall's distressed fiancée. As the procession made their way to the church, one of the pallbearers slipped on the wet leaves, dropping the coffin to the ground. The commotion was surprising.

But when the men lifted the coffin again, they were even more shocked by what they heard next: the sound of knocking. Matthew Wall had come back to life and was banging on the walls of his own coffin!

Wall eventually went on to marry his fiancée and live for another 24 years. Since then, Braughing village has commemorated Old Man's Day every year on October 2nd. To celebrate, village children bring brooms to sweep leaves from the lane in front of the church, presumably so no one slips on them. Any more dropped coffins, and they could have a zombie apocalypse on their hands.
Old Polish Lady
June 2009 - A man called an ambulance when his 84-year-old wife fainted. The emergency service doctor declared the woman dead and sent her to the morgue. She lay deceased for several hours in line waiting to be embalmed and whatnot, but then the Holy Spirit hopped into her again. Morticians noticed the woman's body bag moving and unzipped it to find that her vital functions were all working again. Praise Him.
Anne Green, Convicted Child-Killer
In 1650, Anne Green was convicted of murdering her bastard child and hiding its body at her boss's house. Soon, she was sentenced to death by hanging and led to the gallows, where she was fitted with a noose. For her last words, she proclaimed her innocence and begged, "Sweet Jesus, receive my soul." After the hangman kicked the little stool out from under her, Green's body was left to hang for half an hour. During this time, her pals reportedly:
thump[ed] her on the breast’ and hung ‘with all their weight upon her leggs… lifting her up and then pulling her downe againe with a suddain jerke...which seems very rude to me, but apparently they were trying to quicken her death / lessen her suffering. Whatever.

Eventually, Green's lifeless body was cut down from the gallows and put in a coffin, which was taken to a doctor who was going to dissect her. Just as the doctor prepared to slice her open from chest to gut, Anne's corpse groaned. Hallelujah!

There are two versions (maybe more) of what happened next:

In one, doctors immediately began to warm her body, pour hot cordials in her mouth, and (doy) bleed her.

In the other, someone tried to kick her back into the land of the dead by stomping on her chest. The force of the kick was so strong that it completely revived her.

Either way, Green – having been through enough for one day – was granted a reprieve and declared innocent. She lived a long time after her resurrection and bore three more children, none of whom she was convicted of killing.
Saudi Mom
2009 - During a Caesarean section delivery in a Kuwait City hospital, the woman in labor was pronounced dead. Her grief-stricken husband was handed her death certificate – along with their new baby, who was born with birth defects. The would-be mother's body was whisked off to the morgue, where it was locked up with all the hospital's other losses for the day.

Two hours later, the woman was struck with life again, but in a very dark, very cold place. She screamed and banged on the door of the deep freezer until a worker finally heard her. (Why do these things lock from the inside, anyway?) Upon her release, the woman's husband was called back to the hospital to return her death certificate, which he was not allowed to keep as a souvenir.
South African Grandfather

July 2011 - An 80-year-old man in the Eastern Cape died due to complications from an asthma attack. His family called the morgue to come fetch his body, which was then locked in a refrigerated compartment to cool. Twenty-one hours later, while the family were meeting to discuss funeral arrangements, workers at the morgue heard someone yelling for help. Thinking it was a ghost, they called the police for backup. Upon their arrival, the cops released the reanimated corpse of the old man, who was very nearly scared to death – again.

Colombian Woman
February 2010 - After falling ill from a serious condition, a 45-year-old woman in Cali, Colombia, was declared dead. Staff at a medical clinic signed her death certificate, and her body was transferred to a funeral home to be prepared for her burial. Just as a worker went to inject her lifeless limbs with formaldehyde preservative, the woman miraculously began to breathe and move again.
St. Odran, Naysayer

In 548 A.D., Christian folks in Iona, Scotland, wanted to build a chapel near an ancient burial ground. The problem was: no matter what they did, the work they constructed was destroyed each night, so they had to start all over again the next day. Eventually, a guy named Columba got it into his head that if they buried someone alive in the foundation, they would be able to finish building the chapel.

With a promise that his soul would be safe, a monk named Oran or Odran or Odhran – Columba's son or brother – volunteered (or was volunteered) to be buried alive, so he was. When that dirty work was done, the folks above ground finished the chapel. Hi-ho.

After some time, Columba started to miss Odran, so he opened the burial pit again.

- OR -

One day, the dead-and-back-to-life Oran shoved his face up through a wall and began to talk. He said:
There is no such great wonder in death. There is no Hell as you suppose, nor Heaven that people talk about.

When Oran began to try to escape his grave in the foundation, Columba flipped out and shoved him back down again, quickly covering the pit with earth. Or he had Oran's body removed and buried somewhere else on grounds of heresy. His own brother. Or son.

Thomas à Kempis, Faithless
In life, Catholic monk Thomas à Kempis (probably) wrote The Imitation of Christ, which everyone agreed was a pretty good and pious publication. Some time after his death in Zwolle in 1471, Church authorities began to think Thomas would make a good saint. They exhumed his body with plans to go forward with his canonization, but were bummed to find scratch marks inside the coffin lid and splinters embedded beneath Thomas's nails. Despite the holy miracle of his resurrection after death, Thomas was denied canonization and never became a saint. After all, what kind of candidate for sainthood would try to escape his fate of death?

Thu, 05 Apr 2012 07:25:04 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/top-12-real-life-resurrection-stories/carly-kiel
<![CDATA[Who Did These Eventually Famous Kids Grow Up To Be?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/who-did-these-eventually-famous-kids-grow-up-to-be-/jude-newsome
When kids are young, they can be anything: astronauts, politicians, police officers, attorneys, the ice cream man (you know you wanted that job!) and more. They can also turn into corrupt, evil, morally bankrupt people. They're kids, they can be anything! As it turns out, some of the greatest actors ever, the best musicians, and the most popular celebrities were all kids at some point, and they had the choice to pursue noble professions or go, Darth Vader style, to the dark side. 

These pictures of celebrities when they were kids give a little glimpse into the childhoods of some of the most important people in history. From a well-know performer's humble beginnings in the mountains of Tennessee to the school failings of some of the smartest people who ever lived, these pictures of famous people when they were young will shed some light on what could have been with some of the best known people of our time. 

Who are some stupid kids who grew up to be smart? What successful people almost chose different careers? This look at the childhoods of famous people is eye-opening in its glimpse into what people have the potential to become. 
Who Did These Eventually Famous Kids Grow Up To Be?,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Freddie Mercury

Joseph Stalin

Dwayne Johnson

Cara Delevingne
Luckily, Cara's fashion sense has evolved a bit. Especially now that she's a world-famous super model and actress.

As a Child
At age 7 this British citizen, born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar and raised in India, began playing piano and was known to have the uncanny ability to hear a song on the radio and play it back without flaw. In 1964 his family relocated to the UK to avoid the horrors of the Zanzibar revolution. He would attend college in London and play in several unsuccessful bands before meeting the people he would eventually make history with.
As a Child
This cornrow-wearing little kid really loved snakes.

As a Child
Born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jugashvili, this Georgian youngster received a scholarship to attend the Georgian Orthodox Tiflis Spiritual Seminary but was expelled when, according to official Soviet records, he was reading illegal literature and forming a Social Democratic study group.
As a Child
This schoolboy was encouraged by his father to become a police officer and was encouraged by his mother to attend a trade school. He chose a slightly different profession.
As a Child
In high school, this future celeb was a star in football and track & field (and a champion mustache grower by the age of 15, apparently) but would eventually achieve fame in a different sport

Fri, 06 Sep 2013 02:59:19 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/who-did-these-eventually-famous-kids-grow-up-to-be-/jude-newsome
<![CDATA[The Women Behind the Worst Men in History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/women-behind-historys-worst-men/christopher-shultz
There's an old saying that goes, "Behind every great man, there's an even better woman." This statement, however, also rings true for bad men. From Adolf Hitler's long-term companion Eva Braun, to other so-called "dictator wives," to the spouses of brutal serial killers, each of the ten ladies on this list either willingly or unwittingly spent their lives with very bad guys. Take a look at the women behind the worst men in history.
The Women Behind the Worst Men in History,

Eva Braun
Wife of Adolf Hitler
Eva Braun
began seeing Adolf Hitler in 1929, when she was 19 years old. At 42, he was 23 years her senior. During their 16-year relationship, Braun would attempt suicide on two occasions, though most believe these attempts were not to escape Hitler, but rather to get his attention and bring him closer to her. Reportedly, while the couple were quite close, Hitler did not like Braun appearing in public because he believed being seen in a relationship would diminish his sex appeal to women.  

In 1945, as Allied forces zeroed in on his bunker in Berlin, Braun and Hitler were married, then sealed themselves in a room and committed suicide together.

Nadezhda Alliluyeva
Wife of Joseph Stalin
Nadezhda Alliluyeva
first met Joseph Stalin in when she was ten years old, while her father, Sergei Alliluyev, sheltered the future Soviet leader after escaping Siberian exile. She and Stalin wed in 1919, when she was 18 years old and he was 42. Their marriage was apparently quite tense, as the couple argued constantly. Alliluyeva also suffered from serious mental problems, which ultimately led to her suicide in 1932.
Sajida Talfah
Wife of Saddam Hussein
Sajida Talfah
was the wife of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. She was also his biological cousin, and her marriage to Hussein was arranged between their families in 1963. After fifty years of marriage, in 1986 Hussein took another bride, Samira Shahbandar, though he also remained married to Talfah. This enraged both Hussein's first wife and their son, Uday Hussein.

Two years later, in 1988, Uday stabbed and killed his father's bodyguard, Kamel Hana Gegeo, believing this man to have been responsible for introducing Hussein to Shabandar. Some speculate this murder was at the request of Talfah.  

Following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, and Hussein's subsequent execution in 2006, it is believed Talfah fled to Qatar, where she lives in relative isolation.

Mae Capone
Wife of Al Capone
While infamous Chicago mobster Al Capone, who is largely considered to be the mastermind behind the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, was a ruthless and feared criminal, his wife Mae lived a fairly quiet, normal life. She reportedly married Capone three weeks after the birth of their child, Sonny Capone. Apart from this scandal, however, Mae was known as a doting wife and mother, attending church with her family, and dutifully visiting her husband while he served out the remainder of his years in Alcatraz. Marcella Lentz-Pope plays Mae on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, where she is portrayed as being mostly oblivious to her husband's criminal activities.
Safia Farkash
Wife of Muammar Gaddafi
Safia Farkash
was the long-time wife of extremist Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi and mother to seven of his eight children. She reportedly met Gaddafi sometime around 1970 while working as a nurse; she treated Gaddafi while he recovered from an appendicitis. While Farkash lived a mostly quiet life away from the public eye during Gaddafi's rule, after his assassination she became an outspoken proponent for investigations into her husband's death.

Amal al-Sadah
Wife of Osama bin Laden
While Amal al-Sadah was not Osama bin Laden's only wife, she is thought to have been the terrorist mastermind's favorite. She allegedly stood by bin Laden during the September 11, 2001, attacks, all the way up to his death in 2012. Al-Sadah was apparently herself wounded in the leg by SEALS during the raid that ultimately claimed bin Laden's life. It is said she is currently residing somewhere in Pakistan, where she is kept mostly in confinement due to her declining health.

Ko Young Hee
Wife of Kim Jong-il
Because of a supposed "lowly" status in North Korean society, little is known about Ko Young Hee (also spelled Ko Young-hui), the wife of Kim Jong-il and mother of the North Korea's current leader, Kim Jong-un. Despite the secrecy surrounding her identity, it is believed she held a great influence over her dictator husband, often advising him on political matters. Ko Young Hee died in 2004 of complications related to breast cancer.
Khieu Ponnary
Wife of Pol Pot

Khieu Ponnary
was one quarter
 of the "Cambodian Gang of Four" (which references a prominent Chinese Communist group). The other members were Ponnary's sister Khieu Thirith, her husband Ieng Sary, and Ponnary's husband Saloth Sar, who was later known as Pol Pot. Ponnary's involvement with her husband's regime following his seizing of control of Cambodia in 1975 is unclear, though she did hold a few key political roles during this time.  

By 1978, however, Ponnary became gripped by paranoia related to schizophrenia, leading Pol Pot to divorce her and marry another woman. Not long after this, Pol Pot retreated into the jungle and lived out his remaining years under house arrest.  

In 1996, Ponnary, her sister, and her brother-in-law were granted amnesty from prosecution by the Cambodian government. She was cared for by Thirith and leng Sary until her death in 2003.

Paula Rader
Wife of Serial Killer BTK

Serial killer Dennis Rader, also known as BTK (for bind, torture, kill), kept his heinous crimes hidden not only from the public, but also his entire family for a period of thirty-plus years. After his arrest and subsequent confession in 2005, Rader's wife Paula was granted an emergency divorce. The judge waived the usual 60-day waiting period because he believed Paula's mental health was at risk. Stephen King loosely based his short story "A Good Marriage" (later adapted into a film of the same name) on Paula's story.

Judith Mawson
Wife of the Green River Killer
Much like Paula Rader, Judith Mawson believed she was married to the ideal man, never knowing—until police arrested her husband Gary Ridgeway—that the man she'd spent thirteen years of her life with was in fact the infamous "Green River Killer," who is responsible for 49 confirmed murders of women, though the official count could be upwards of 70 or more. Mawson had already suffered a failed marriage before marrying Ridgeway, and this combined with the shocking discovery of her husband's true identity, led Mawson to say she will likely never seriously date again.

Thu, 07 Apr 2016 07:43:09 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/women-behind-historys-worst-men/christopher-shultz
<![CDATA[The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time]]> http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/the-best-world-war-ii-movies-of-all-time
The best World War 2 movies remind us that perhaps no single event has had a greater impact on the future of filmmaking than World War II. It arrived at the dawn of a new era in glossy, professional mainstream filmmaking, and it affected literally every facet of daily life in North America, Europe and Asia, where most of the world's films were being produced. World War 2 has remained a constant subject of fascination for filmmakers from the 1940s to the present day. If you're interested in more movies you can watch right now on Netflix then check out our lists on the best action movies on Netflix, best drama movies and best comedies on Netflix.

Though "WWII Films" could be classified as a separate genre from the general heading of "War Movies," they take on a lot of different styles, forms and tones. There are authentic WWII recreations, epic takes on the history of the entire period, personal stories about the soldiers, spies, revolutionaries and resistance fighters who fought the war and, naturally, sagas about the civilians of the time whose lives were forever changed by the conflict.

Many of the WW2 films on this list - from "Patton" to "Casablanca" to "Saving Private Ryan" - have secured their place among the most iconic films of all time. Which of these good films are the best? Rerank your own list to nominate your favorites for this CrowdRanked collection of the best WWII films, and then be sure to vote on your favorites. Also check out this list of the best war movies ever.
The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time,

Band of Brothers

Das Boot


Saving Private Ryan

Schindler's List

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Dirty Dozen

The Great Escape

The Longest Day

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Mon, 08 Aug 2011 07:17:56 PDT http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/the-best-world-war-ii-movies-of-all-time
<![CDATA[Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/hard-drinking-ex-presidents/elise
Did you know that some of the former presidents of the U.S. were huge drinkers and recreational drug users? Huge! Granted, most people in the country were pretty hard drinkers in the 19th century (Got a toothache? Whisky! Depressed? Gin! Starting your day? Cider!) But even in the context of their own time periods, these ex-presidents loved to party.

Here is the question: which one would you most want to go on a bender with?! Think hard! This is totally serious and important.  

Urban dictionary defines a bender as "the status of being bent for more than a day. Usually results in loss of memory, money, strange tattoos, and other things you'll have a hell of a time explaining." So, not just a couple of beers at a bar, but a full-on blackout fest. Which former president would you bring with you? WHICH ONE?!

Odds are, you don't know the personal story of each former US president. That's okay. Context has been provided as well as the pros and cons to consider before you make your choice. So grab a glass of whiskey to sip on, pull up a chair, and rank these ex-presies. If you're drinking already and feeling bold, rerank this list and put it in your own order. 

Which Ex-Presidents Would You Want to Go on a Bender With?,

Chester A. Arthur
Chester A. Arthur was a snobby, by-many-accounts-lazy New Yorker who loved to party. According to fellow ex-pres Rutherford B. Hayes, Arthur's presidency was marred by "liquor, snobbery and worse." Rutherford sounds like a buzzkill. 

Arthur consistently slept-in past ten, wore "dandyish outfits," indulged in 12-course meals on the reg and refused any type of physical exertion. Rather than walk to places, say, down the street, he took a fancy carriage everywhere. And he drank himself silly on this fancy carriage. 

- Arthur pretty much invented the very first party bus: The Party Carriage. You know they were getting cray in there!
- 12-course meals = perfect start/end to a bender. 

- The whole snob thing could get old.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
A couple important facts to know about FDR, one of America's greatest Presidents.

1. He repealed Prohibition, and it wasn't easy. The temperance movement had gained steam, and illegal bootleggers were more than happy for alcohol to continue to be illegal. Source

2.  He could make a damn good martini. 

- That martini, though.
- FDR loved boating: sailboats, houseboats... party boats?
- Most people know that FDR was wheelchair bound for many years of his life. You think they make a wheelchair-bound ex-president wait in line at the club?!
- He maintained tight control over his image, which is why wheelchair pics are hard to come by. Sounds like a bit of a control freak. 

Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce was (another) well-known drunk. He was vocal about it, too. Apparently, when his term of presidency was over he said, "There is nothing left… but to get drunk." ...kind of sad, but also just the attitude you need for a partner in crime. Commitment! 

- Fact: Franklin Pierce had the best hair of any president. He had total swagger. 
- He has the party ethic of a hard drinker. 

- He eventually died of cirrhosis of the liver. Sort of takes the fun out of it. 
- Pierce could be moody. Sad and moody. 
George W. Bush
Dubya is (allegedly) sober now, but he partied hard in his 20s and 30s. Jokes aside, this guy actually went on benders back in the day: DUIs, drunken stealing sprees, alleged cocaine use, the real deal. If you can ignore your opinion of the guy as a politician (or not, if you're a fan) then Georgie would probably show you an honest to goodness great time. 
- George W. is funny. Especially when he is trying to sound smart! Everyone has a favorite Bushism. "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family," is a good one. Imagine the laughs!

- For essentially being political royalty, he sure gets caught a lot for doing stupid things. (He's been arrested 3 times!) You do not want to get arrested on your imaginary bender. 

Grover Cleveland
With nicknames like "Big Steve" and "Uncle Jumbo," Grover Cleveland sounds like a natural drinking buddy. Fun fact: At one point during his 1870 campaign for district attorney of Erie County, New York, Cleveland and his rival agreed to drink only four glasses of beer per day -- only to later decide it was too restrictive an amount. 

- Grover was a huge cigar smoker. And being the president and all, he could probably supply very nice ones. 
- He married his best friend's daughter: a woman 30 years younger than him. So, that's sort of creepy.   
- He had a weird gout problem in his feet, causing him to limp for many years. This could unfortunately result in a literal pub crawl.
James Buchanan
James Buchanan was a wealthy bachelor with a taste for the finer things in life.  He was also a heavy drinker. He reportedly could drink several bottles of alcohol in the course of an evening and could hold his liquor well. It's also been said that he was our first gay president

- His money could come in handy: buying substances, making bail, picking up hookers. 
- Bachelor life = pretty relaxed responsibilities at home 
- Like many other presidents, he suffered from chronic depression.

John Adams
Think John Adams was a square just because he wore a powdered wig and was super into the Continental Congress? You'd be wrong! Dude loved to drink.

In fact, it's fairly common knowledge that the Founding Father and second POTUS drank a large tankard of hard cider every morning for breakfast.

- He could tell you what a "tankard" is.
- Drinking at breakfast = no hangovers!
- He started drinking at age 15, so you know he can handle his ish.
- He'd have the ciggies. John Adams started smoking at age 8 and continued until he died... when he was 90.

- The Former Prez stated that the reason why he drank in the morning was that it helped relieve his gas...TMI, buddy. 
- Like most of our Founding Fathers, he could be a bit verbose. So unless you have patience for that, it probably counts as a notch against him. 

John F. Kennedy
JFK wasn't exactly a notorious drunk, but he did have some hobbies that would make him a respectable bender-partner. According to many reports, he was a sex fiend. Famous starlets, staffers, strippers, whatevs. Some associates also say that John F. Kennedy enjoyed recreational LSD and loved to smoke cigars. Compound that with the fact that JFK was easily our most suave and handsome ex-pres, and you've got yourself a formidable contestant. 

- JFK was an idealist. You'd want that kind of positive energy around you. 
- He also had an "iron will" and could help you keep your bender on track.
- You may get to meet Jackie O at the end of it all.  
- His promiscuity could somehow be a liability.
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was a known alcoholic, a binge drinker. Some reports mention a personal barrel of whiskey that he'd sip from all day during the Civil War. He won that one. 

Here's the thing: Grant's drinking problem made him an awesome leader on the battlefield. He was fearless, uninhibited, commanding. Grant was pretty much a failure in all other aspects of life, but give him an army to command and a glass of whiskey to sip on, and he'll make you proud!
- He's a war hero. Somebody's gotta buy you a round of drinks for that.
- War stories. Literally. 

- Being a short man, Grant was known to have the lightweight tolerance of a teenager.   
- Going on a bender with someone who actually has a drinking problem is always kind of sad.

William Howard Taft
Taft was a hell of a guy. He didn't drink himself, but he loved to push liquor on all of his dinner guests. Taft was also famously obese (330 lbs) and narcoleptic. So there's that. 

- If you could get him to have a few drinks, his tolerance would probably be sky high. 
- He was a member of the secret society Skull and Bones. Access. 
- No drinking = designated driver. If he could fit in the driver's seat. (sorry)
- His narcolepsy could be a liability. You don't want a limp body that you can't lift on your hands. 

Wed, 12 Feb 2014 02:44:45 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/hard-drinking-ex-presidents/elise
<![CDATA[Websites Participating in Anti-SOPA Protests]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/websites-participating-in-anti-stop-online-piracy-act-day/beau-iverson
The Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA is a bill that has been brought before the House of Representatives. A similar bill, the Protect IP Act (or PIPA), has been brought before the Senate. What SOPA or Protect IP propose, in essence, is that sites that actively pirate films, TV shows or music be blocked by your Internet Service Provider. In addition, any site that promotes a pro-piracy attitude by including links or mentions to sites that provide piracy could be sued to have the incriminating links removed. Since the wording on the bill is so vague, there's a real chance that already established sites like Youtube, Facebook and AOL could fall prey to the new censorship law.

In protest to this, many sites have taken it on themselves to promote Anti-SOPA information and guides on how to stop the act from passing. Pushback from Internet and technology companies, as well as Internet users, has been considerable, leading to delays in the SOPA and PIPA votes. (Senator Patrick Leahy, one of the initial sponsors of the PIPA bill, has already come forward to say that he thinks it should be amended before being brought to a vote.) Nevertheless, a variety of websites have vowed to go black on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 in protest, and to raise awareness among users of the legislation and the impact it could have on the openness of the Web. Below is a list of websites that participated in an initial "Anti-SOPA Day" and the January 18th "blackout" protest.
Websites Participating in Anti-SOPA Protests,

The gaming blog, along with the rest of the ModernMethod network of sites (Flixist, Tomopop, and Japanator) went completely dark on January 18th. Instead the front page linked to the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) and featured photos of staff members looking forlorn about SOPA.
The search engine remained active throughout the Anti-SOPA blackout day, but blacked out its logo in protest, and also featured a link to a page of SOPA information right under the search box.
I Can Has Cheezburger?
The meme-centric Cheezburger network of sites shut down on January 18th in opposition to SOPA and PIPA. Founder Ben Huh also became one of the leaders of the public anti-SOPA movement after he appeared on television and in viral videos (such as the one above) raising awareness of the legislation.
The massive news aggregator and community has been one of the most vocal opponents of SOPA. (Here's the Reddit blog on the specific reasons for their protest.) The site went down for 12 hours on the 18th, from 8 am to 8 pm.
The WordPress site went dark on the 18th, and the site also posted a rare politicized blog post in which blogger Jane Wells said she was "freaked out" by the implications of SOPA.
The English language version of Wikipedia went dark for 24 hours, leaving the site's SOPA page up as well as a message about Q&A page answering common questions about the legislation. This led to a mass public outcry, particularly from young people counting on the service to help with their homework. (Their tragedy was chronicled by the Twitter account @Herpderpedia.)
The technology resource and information site went down for the entire day on January 18th to protest, and embedded the "Better Activist" livestream on its front page.

As they did during the initial "Anti-SOPA Day," Mozilla blocked their site on January 18th and ran links to their SOPA and PIPA information pages.
What is SOPA?
Below is a helpful video that explains what the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA is and what it would mean for you the user.

PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the F*ture on Vimeo.

The Oatmeal
Web comic The Oatmeal (representing the work of Matthew Inman) went dark on January 18th, replacing the normal archive with a simple .gif discussing Inman's reasons for opposing SOPA. (The .gif can permanently be found on the site's SOPA page.)

Wed, 16 Nov 2011 04:27:32 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/websites-participating-in-anti-stop-online-piracy-act-day/beau-iverson
<![CDATA[Pivotal Battles of World War 2 (European Front)]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/pivotal-battles-of-world-war-2-_european-front_/clark-benson
I started making this list by accident, because i was testing out the Ranker interface and happened to choose "Military Conflicts" category randomly. I typed in "battle" to test the autosuggest box and was blown away by the fact that over 4K items came up (courtesy of our wonderful data partners at http://www.freebase.com). And being a bit of a WWII buff I soon found myself making a list, which tends to happen when I'm testing the site. I never really thought I'd be making military conflicts lists, but . . . it's easy to get sucked in.

Anyhow, as far as battles go, these are the big ones - of the European Theater at least.

I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that this is the perfect kind of list to click "change style" on - you get the bloggy version with bigger photos, and the statistical version, which is very relevant for something like military history.

Pivotal Battles of World War 2 (European Front),

Battle of Britain
I dragged this "item" into the list of course because the aerial bombing of Britain, had it succeeded in knocking out the Royal Air Force, would have led to an invasion of the UK, and who knows where history would have gone from there.

What shocked me when saw the stats was that I had forgotten that this took place A YEAR BEFORE THE U.S. EVEN GOT IN THE WAR. I'm sure if I grew up in the UK that fact wouldn't be new news. London getting the crap bombed out of it and literally a few hundred brave RAF pilots stopping the Wermacht - at least for awhile. Thinking about it gives me chills.
Battle of France
More Blitzkreig.
Battle of Moscow
Facts are disputed but Russia may have had as many as One Million casualties. N***s had less than half, but in the end the Russians "won" and took back the city
Battle of Stalingrad
If you had to point to a single turning point in the European Theater, I think it would have to be Stalingrad. There were 1.8 MILLION casualties in a single battle (a seven month siege).

Had Hitler managed to hold onto Stalingrad and add the natural resources of Russia to his arsenal, who knows what would have happened.
Battle of the Bulge
Hitler's last-ditch effort to drive the Allies back to the Atlantic, in the dead of a hellishly cold winter of '44-'45.

The "Bulge" refers to the deep break in the Allied lines that Panzers were able to penetrate and hold ground for some time, aided by terrible weather which blinded Allied air forces.
Invasion of Poland
Normandy Campaign
aka D-Day
aka the most intense 12 minutes in cinematic history (the landing on Omaha Beach in Saving Private Ryan)

Tue, 18 Aug 2009 13:57:32 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/pivotal-battles-of-world-war-2-_european-front_/clark-benson
<![CDATA[7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Leprechauns]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/leprechauns-7-things-you-probably-didn_t-know/kristen1985
In honor of St. Patrick's day, here's a list of 7 things any Irish-respecting person should know about leprechauns, their legends, and why the Irish know we're all wrong about them. Despite the movie of the same name, leprechauns are known mostly for bringing good luck and prosperity to those who run into them. Everyone loves the romantic notion of seeing the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

What are some things you probably don't know about leprechauns? Take a look at this list and hopefully you'll learn a thing or two about these little fellas that you may not have known before. Then go have a Guinness, in honor of the Irish.
7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Leprechauns,

They Are Trickster Deities
Arguably the most popular trickster deity in popular culture, the leprechaun rivals Norse trickster Loki in its mischief.

The first recorded reference to leprechauns appears in a medieval tale called The Adventure of Fergus, Son of Leti. In one of the stories, Fergus mac Leti, a King, ends up passing out on a beach and wakes up to find himself being dragged to sea by three "luchorpain". He then subdues his captors and they grant him three wishes in exchange for their freedom.

Its entire existence is a cruel joke on humanity. A leprechaun's pot of gold is held at the end of a rainbow, a place that's literally impossible to reach because a rainbow is an optical effect that moves farther away the closer you get to it.

Since they are mythical descendants of gods that were fabled to have inhabited Ireland in a Pre-Christian period, they, along with their cousins the Clurichauns (see number 4 below), are the closest that Irish mythology comes to a trickster deity (in Christianity, it would be compared to a kind of demon).

They Used To Look Like Santa!
Originally, the leprechaun wore colors of red, not green. Another reason that the American/World/Breakfast Cereal view of leprechauns is so offensive to some traditional and purist Irish people.

Up until the early 20th century the leprechaun looked like a little more like a Santa Claus Mini-Me, wearing a "red square-cut coat, richly laced with gold [and a] crooked hat, shoes and buckles" (Samuel Lover, 1831)

According to Irish literary figure Yeats, there were two kinds of leprechauns. The ones you usually saw hanging out alone wore red and the ones who hung out in troops wore green.

So, either way, unless Lucky here has a huge family or posse that these children keep kidnapping him from (and stealing food from the mouths of), he should be wearing red.
The Irish Find Them Offensive And It Is Probably Disney's Fault
Although we love leprechauns in America and quite often feature them in commercials, cartoons, horror movies and breakfast cereals, the Irish find them to be brute, bastardized versions of a Celtic legend ruined (like a lot of old, amazing stories) by Walt Disney.

A film called Darby O'Gill and The Little People received great critical reception after Walt Disney had the idea following a trip to Ireland, and it was seen as a great fantasy of Gaelic tall stories (pun intended).

Unfortunately, it reinvented the leprechaun and actually changed its colors in popular culture forever (see item 5 on this list). This movie has been attributed to part of what has forever connected the leprechaun to St. Patrick's Day, even though the creatures had absolutely nothing to do with the patron saint of Ireland or his esteemed day.

It's kind of like if they made Satan, or some random demon, part of Christmas just because they're part of Christian lore. Although fans of anagrams will say that it has happened.

Speed up to the 01:55 mark for a singing, Disney-fied, really young Sean Connery... you're welcome, ladies.
They Are The COOLER Of Two Small Irish Mythical Creatures
You know that friend you have that you hang out with all the time, but never bring to parties because he/she always gets a little too drunk and embarrasses you?

That's what the Clurichaun is to the leprechaun.

The Clurichaun, often considered the leprechaun's "cousin" and even confused with the leprechaun himself, is an Irish fairy who is said to be an alcoholic who finishes his daily work and then goes out and gets OBLITERATED on a nightly basis.

He's a nocturnal creature who is supposedly always drunk and often rides sheep and dogs for sport.

If you treat a Clurichaun with the respect and courtesy he doesn't deserve, he will protect your wine cellar. If you don't, he'll royally screw up your wine and generally wreak havoc and chaos on your home and loved ones.
They Are Talented Musicians
Leprechauns have flutes. Obviously. They are also skilled in other musical instruments because of their lineage. According to scholars (and a life321 article we read):

The Fenian Cycle, "a legendary Irish poem that depicts Ireland’s past, has a verse in which a harp-playing dwarf named Cnu Deireoil claimed that Lugh the Long-Armed Warrior [A member of the Tuatha Dé Danann] was his father."

This has made some people believe, since they are so small in stature, that leprechauns are direct descendants of the musical dwarf Cnu Deireoil. "Dancing Leprechauns" play mostly Irish instruments like the tin whistle and the Irish harp.

Now, watch this girl play the tin whistle (you're welcome, fellas).
Dateline NBC How To Catch A Leprechaun
Leprechauns are skilled shoemakers, tinkerers and artisans. It is often good luck if they are around because you will notice your appliances start working better. A leprechaun can fix anything and is a general sign of good luck in the household.

So how do you get all his money and cease his happiness/existence?

Stare him in the eye. A leprechaun's one weakness is the steady, unmoving stare of a human. If you were to catch him with his pot of gold in-hand he would freeze. If you're able to make eye contact with him (it is very difficult to make eye contact with a leprechaun since they are always dancing, playing music or pulling practical jokes), and approach him for long enough to grab him (while not removing your gaze in the LEAST), you would have a leprechaun.

The gold would then be yours and he would no longer be able to spend his gold on new buckles, jackets, and whistles, because in this economy, who really has disposable income for that silly stuff?
They Are The Remnants of Awesome Super Powered Gods
The Tuatha Dé Danann are a race of Pre-Christian gods who, in later Christian periods, were revered as mortal kings and heroes. They hailed from the 4 northern ancient cities of Falias, Finias, Gorias and Murias, which is where they got their awesome superpowers.

They could accomplish awesome feats, like replacing severed arms with working, silver-plated arms (take THAT Star Wars and X-Men) and poison people with their eyes.

But when they ran into the Milesians (read: peaceful enemies), they tried to drown them because the Milesians were closing in on their turf. This didn't work, and the awesome, superpowered Tuatha Dé Danann were finally defeated.

After their defeat, the Milesians were supposed to divide the land between themselves and the awesome former-superheroes. So what they did, cleverly, was keep the above-ground part of the land and gave the Tuatha Dé Danann the underground.

Over time, leprechauns were seen popping up from secret, magical entrances to the underground world all over Ireland, said to be remnant ancestors of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Leprechauns can, therefore, pop in and out of these magical entrances in the blink of an eye, and are said to be seen mostly at night... which might explain why the community in this classic viral video in Mobile, Alabama says that their local nocturnal leprechaun disappears when you shine a light on it.

They're just that quick.

Speaking of nocturnal...

Tue, 16 Mar 2010 03:15:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/leprechauns-7-things-you-probably-didn_t-know/kristen1985
<![CDATA[75+ People Executed for Witchcraft]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/75-and-people-executed-for-witchcraft/lex-louise
Burn the witch! Witchcraft was once a crime with countless people hanged, burned at the stake, and even drowned. It was easy to prosecute and even easier to accuse. Here, we have some of the most famous victims of witchery.
75+ People Executed for Witchcraft,

Agnes Bernauer
Executed In 1435
Bridget Bishop
Executed In 1692
Johann Albrecht Adelgrief
Executed In 1636
Mary Bateman
Executed In 1809
Angéle de la Barthe
Executed In 1275
Marigje Arriens
Executed In 1591
Merga Bien
Executed In 1603
Goodwife Bassett
Executed In 1651
Lasses Birgitta
Executed In 1550
Giovanna Bonanno
Executed In 1789

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 09:56:33 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/75-and-people-executed-for-witchcraft/lex-louise
<![CDATA[US Presidents with the Strangest Hobbies]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/us-presidents-with-weird-hobbies/aaron-edwards

Let’s face it, it takes a pretty uncommon person to become president. That probably means that there are going to be more than a few US presidents with weird hobbies. Given that a good number of presidents didn’t have television or even radio, they had to find something to do with all their time. Some of the hobbies of US presidents were more ordinary, like playing piano or collecting stamps. But some great men just can’t have regular hobbies. No, those men have to do things to the extreme. Some take up recreational violence (sports like boxing and wrestling) on the side, or eccentric rituals, or even creative pursuits. Sometimes, great men need great hobbies to occupy their time.

So, if you’re curious check out the list of weird hobbies of US presidents below and vote up your favorite presidential hobby. Just keep one thing in mind: no one, president or otherwise, will ever be able to match the pastimes of Teddy Roosevelt. 

US Presidents with the Strangest Hobbies,

John Quincy Adams Regularly Skinny Dipped

John Quincy Adams had a lot of history attached to his name. He was the son of a founding father, he died on the floor of congress, and he was the sixth president of the United States. He also loved to swim around naked. It’s been reported that he would wake early every day and swim nude in the Potomac River at 5 a.m. The first female journalist ever to interview a president, Anne Royall, accomplished this historic feat by withholding Adams’ clothing until he agreed to a discourse. 

Abraham Lincoln Wrestled

Not only did Lincoln lead America through the Civil War and help end slavery, he also knew his way around a wrestling mat. When he was a kid in New Salem, Illinois, Lincoln learned to grapple and got quite a reputation after beating a local bully. Even more impressive was that his ability to kick butt was mentioned during an election in 1858. His opponent, Stephen Douglas, used his knowledge of Lincoln's wrestling tales to prove that he knew him well. When Lincoln ran for the presidency in 1860, the mentions of his wrestling skill came up again... only this time he won the election. In the end, it's become part of the Lincoln legend portraying just how strong and righteous he was. 

Richard Nixon Was a Card Shark

You would think Nixon’s paranoid personality would make him lousy at cards, but that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. During his time in the Navy during World War II, Nixon got an infamous reputation for being the best bluffer in the service - Tricky Dick, indeed. He won so much money during his time in the service, he used it to fund his campaign for the US House of Representatives in 1946. He continued to play with other Congressmen, and some would later say he wasn’t as good as his reputation suggested. 

George Washington Enjoyed Mule Breeding

When a person breeds a male donkey and a female horse, they get a mule. People frequently use mules as pack animals because of their hardy and obedient natures (and also because they eat less). They also weren’t native to America before George Washington. After seeing how effective they were in Spain, our first president spent a pretty big chunk of his time breeding mules. The towns people and local farmers of Mount Vernon joined Washington in his crusade, using George’s animals to breed their own.

Teddy Roosevelt Loved to Throw Down in the Ring

Back when Roosevelt was governor of New York, he started taking wrestling lessons from the middleweight boxing champion of the time. Roosevelt’s financial advisor was horrified and tried to suggest he take up billiards, instead. But Roosevelt had already fallen in love with boxing. In fact, Roosevelt boxed well into his presidency, but had to stop after an artillery captain permanently damaged his eye. Still, you have to respect a leader of the free world who’s willing to step into the ring with any opponent. 

Lyndon B. Johnson Liked to Scare His Guests During Joyrides

Remember that scene in the A Spy Who Loved Me with Bond’s submarine car? Well, LBJ beat him to it by about ten years. The president had an amphibious car he often used to drive his guests around his ranch. As he drove, he’d pretend to lose control of the car (and its brakes) as it sped into a lake. This, of course, scared the hell out of his guests - who were reportedly delighted to learn the car was amphibious shortly after. It was as much a morbid pastime as it was a way to test the character of those he drove around. 

Theodore Roosevelt Killed Animals by the Thousands

In addition to fighting just about anyone he could in the ring, Teddy Roosevelt tested his constitution by hunting every type of animal he could find on God’s Earth. His true test as a hunter really came after his presidency when he took an 11-month safari through Africa. On that trip he trapped or shot over 11,000 animals which includes just about everything you can think of from insects to elephants. He then had the corpses stuffed as pieces of taxidermy and donated them to the Smithsonian Institution. 

George W. Bush Loves to Paint

Our 43rd President wore many hats in his time. He was in the Texas Air National Guard, he was an entrepreneur, he managed the Texas Rangers, and he was a politician. But after his two terms as President, Bush has taken up painting as a hobby. His subjects mostly include landscapes and dogs, but he also does portraits of world leaders. But more than anything he really seems to love painting those dogs

Franklin D. Roosevelt Helped Write a Mystery Novel

FDR loved detective stories. Despite his adoration of the genre he had a problem with just how formulaic the stories were. So, he started thinking of his own plot which he discussed with his friend Fulton Oursler, a magazine editor. They came up with a plan to take some of the best authors of the era, giving them FDR’s plot, but write it as a round robin. The idea was to have each author write a chapter that would leave the protagonist in a dangerous situation the next author would have to write him out of. While the book was published in 1936, it actually ended on a cliffhanger that wasn't resolved until 1967 when the creator of Perry Mason, Erle Stanley Gardner, tied everything up in a concluding chapter. The book is titled The President’s Mystery Plot.

Thomas Jefferson Invented Spy Gadgets

When he wasn’t leading a revolution, Thomas Jefferson loved to invent gadgets. He helped advance the science of agriculture by inventing a plow that was easier to pull. He also created an updated sundial in the form of a sphere. But his coolest work was to help out American spies during the Revolutionary War. He invented the “wheel cipher,” which was an iron pin containing 26 spinning wooden disks that could be used to decipher coded messages. That way, The British couldn't read intercepted messages. 

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 09:06:02 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/us-presidents-with-weird-hobbies/aaron-edwards
<![CDATA[The 15 Greatest Bands Named After Real People]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-15-greatest-bands-named-after-real-people/ihateeverything
In honor of school principal Leonard Skinner, who inspired the name for classic rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, here are the 15 greatest, most famous bands in history that have been named after real people; along with a song from each band. The name origins of each of these great bands is pretty interesting, as you would expect. And no, Pink Floyd was NOT inspired by the character Randall "Pink" Floyd in the movie Dazed and Confused.

What are bands named after people? These could either be tributes to people they know, meaning teachers, fellow musicians, serial killers, it doesn't matter. Plus, what do you know about the Alice Cooper witch? Time to learn! Band names can be both weird and strange but hopefully accurately reflect what a band is at its core. Some of these groups might even have some songs named after people in their discography, who knows?! Things named after people are a fun way to commemorate and honor special individuals and this list of bands with people names has them all!
The 15 Greatest Bands Named After Real People,

Alice Cooper
When Vincent Furnier’s band originally came to LA, they were called The Nazz. As they were signing to a record contract, they learned there was already a band called Nazz, so it was back to the drawing board. What better way to make the decision than to consult the almighty Ouija board?

So the story goes that during the session with the occult, Vincent learned that he was the reincarnated soul of Alice Cooper, who was a woman burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials for practicing the black arts.

In the end, not only was the band’s name changed, but Vincent made it his stage name and persona to match his ancestry/destiny.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Legend has it that the band was named after Tom Fogherty’s friend, Credence Nuball, whose favorite beer was Clearwater. The beer was discontinued by the maker, but then was picked back up by another brewery; hence the Clearwater revival. Ta da.
Franz Ferdinand
Ferdinand was the duke of the Austria-Hungary Empire, whose assassination sparked World War I. If you really want to know more about the man, then go back and take 7th grade world history again. Question: Does this mean we can shoot the band?
Jane's Addiction
There was a hooker friend of Perry Farrell named Jane, who said that prostitution was her addiction. He then decided to exploit this poor woman’s habit as his band’s gain.
Jethro Tull
This band went through a ridiculous number of names in the early days, because no one would give them a repeat booking. Their booking agent’s assistant suggested the name Jethro Tull for one such show, and the band went along. It was this performance that they just so happen to get the attention of the club owner who wanted them to play a repeat show. So who is Jethro Tull? He is, in fact, an 18th century English agriculturist and inventor of the seed drill.
Kings of Leon
This band consists of four extended family members whose grandfather and father/uncle were both named Leon. It almost seems like these guys are saying they rule over their elders. What’s wrong with kids today?
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Long ago, this name was explained as homage to a gym teacher named Leonard Skinner they had in high school, who would send them to the principal’s office because "their hair was too long."

Marilyn Manson
For those of you who don’t know about two of the most famous names in popular American pop culture history and have never turned on any kind of electronic media, you may wonder what this name is all about. And in case you're wondering, yes, this glowing box in front of you WILL steal and then eat your soul.

Anyway, this band name is a piecing together of the names Marilyn Monroe (popular, classic Hollywood icon) and Charles Manson (popular leader of a horrific mass murdering "family.") This naming convention actually extends to everyone in the band who created their stage names much the same, like Twiggy Ramirez, Ginger Fish, and Daisy Berkowitz. It’s fun because it’s super creepy.
Pink Floyd
Originally called The Tea Set, the members of this iconic band showed up at a gig one night to discover that there was already another band on the roster who had called dibs on that title (Joan Rivers would have torn them apart!)

Thinking quick, Syd Barrett mixed the names of two blues musicians he loved, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, to rename the band ‘The Pink Floyd Sound,’ and then later shortened the name to Pink Floyd.
If you’re going to be a metal band, your name has to be pretty damn hardcore, so this group decided to steal the name of Nikolai Tesla, a 19th century electrical engineer and scientist who specialized in working with electrical currents and magnets. You don't get David Bowie to play you in a movie if you're not 100% badass.

Here's the studio version of their greatest hit, "Love Song": Tesla - Love Song

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 18:18:13 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-15-greatest-bands-named-after-real-people/ihateeverything
<![CDATA[The Best Tim Pawlenty Quotes]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-tim-pawlenty-quotes/keaton
Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty doesn't mince words, making a list of his best quotes pretty easy to compile. Pawlenty, a former Minnesota governor, is aggressively seeking the 2012 GOP presidential nomination - and several of these quotes come from an August 2011 GOP primary debate in Iowa (yes, just prior to the straw poll). He takes aim at fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann several times, slams President Obama and lays out why he's the best candidate for the job. Some of the best Tim Pawlenty quotes deal with broader issues, like tax reform, immigration and the future of Social Security, too.

If you don't see your favorite Tim Pawlenty quote on this list, feel free to add it in the comments. For more political quotes, check out our lists for the best Ron Paul quotes, the most controversial Michele Bachmann quotes, and the biggest Mitt Romney gaffes, to name a few.
The Best Tim Pawlenty Quotes,

Announcing Presidential Bid
"I'm Tim Pawlenty, and I'm running for president of the United States. We live in the greatest country the world has ever known. But as we all know, America's in big trouble, and it won't get fixed if we keep going down the same path. If we want a new and better direction, we're going to need a new and better president."

--May 23, 2011, Des Moines, Iowa

Pawlenty officially threw his hat into the ring in May of 2011, two months after announcing the formation of an exploratory committee. During his speech in Iowa, Pawlenty said that "Washington is broken" and he wants to help fix things. Pawlenty went on to criticize the current administration, saying that "fluffy promises of hope and change" don't "buy our groceries, make our mortgage payments, put gas in our car or pay for our children's school clothes or other needs."
Failed Personal Responsibility
"Children who are victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem for our government."

--April 2001, Interview with the Aitkin Independent Age Newspaper

Controversial quote, to be sure. Pawlenty made this comment long before he decided to seek the GOP presidential nomination - but it could come back to bite him.
On Immigration
"I'm a strong supporter of state rights, but if the federal government won't do its job--in this case, protecting and securing our border--then let the states do it. And they will. When President Bush asked governors to volunteer their National Guard to go to the border to help reinforce our border, through Operation Jump Start, I was one of the few governors who did it. I sent Minnesota National Guard there to reinforce the border, and it works. And that's what we need to do."

--GOP Primary Debate, Manchester, New Hampshire, June 13, 2011

With this quote, Tim Pawlenty clearly sums up his views on immigration: It's up to the states to protect the U.S. borders, if the federal government won't.
"Well, actually I'm glad you brought that up, Rush, because it gives me a chance to clarify. The other side has pushed that falsely for a number of years. What happened is in the Minnesota Star Tribune -- not exactly a conservative publication -- I made reference to an article that David Brooks wrote which was entitled, "The Era of Small Government is Over." I didn't say those words myself; I was referencing his article."

--Rush Limbaugh Show, May 2011

Tim Pawlenty took the opportunity during an interview with Rush Limbaugh to clarify what he said was Michele Bachmann's misquoting of him. Bachmann told supporters that in 2006, Pawlenty stated that "the era of small government is over." Pawlenty was furious, and in this quote, he sets the record straight.
Wooing Iowa Primary Voters
"Any bobblehead can stand up here and give you the Republican checklist of issues. The tough part is do you have the experience and the leadership and results to be president of the United States."

--Winterset, Iowa, August 10, 2011

Tim Pawlenty continued to try and woo Iowa voters, telling them in no uncertain terms with this quote why he would be the best candidate to try and defeat President Obama in a general election.
More On Obama's Health Care Plan
"President Obama stood in Iowa in 2008 on the night of the Iowa caucuses and he promised the nation that he would do health care reform focused on cost containment, he opposed an individual mandate, and he said he was going to do it with Republicans. He broke that promise..."

--GOP Debate, May 5, 2011

Tim Pawlenty took the opportunity to slam President Obama's 2008 statement on health care during this debate - when he was asked about his views on the Massachusetts health care law.
On Michele Bachmann's Accomplishments
"It’s an indisputable fact that in Congress, her record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent."

--GOP Debate, Ames, Iowa, August 11, 2011

More sparring, more verbal attacks on Michele Bachmann from Tim Pawlenty. In fact, their rivalry pretty much blew up on stage, for all the world (or at least, those who were watching the GOP primary debate) to see.
Pawlenty Rips Michele Bachmann
"She said she's got a titanium spine. It's not your spine we're worried about, it's your record of results. If that's your view of effective results and leadership, then please stop because you're killing us."

--GOP Debate, Ames, Iowa, August 11, 2011

Tim Pawlenty went after rival Michele Bachmann during this debate, not surprisingly. These two have been trading barbs for weeks leading up to the event. Pawlenty at one point even suggested that Bachmann's migraine headaches should pretty much disqualify her from being president (he later took his comment back). Verbal sparring is par for the course, but will Pawlenty's strategy work?
On Obamacare
"Obamacare was patterned after Mitt's plan in Massachusetts. And for Mitt or anyone else to say there aren't substantial similarities or they are not essentially the same plan -- it just isn't credible. So that's why I called it Obamneycare, and I think that's a fair label. I'm happy to call it that again tonight."

--GOP Debate, Ames, Iowa, August 11, 2011

Tim Pawlenty clearly does not support Obamacare, but he also uses this opportunity during the debate to slam Mitt Romney's health care plan.
Cooking You Dinner
"Where's Barack Obama on these issues? You can't find his plans on some of the most pressing financial issues of our country. For example, where's Barack Obama's plan on Social Security reform, Medicare reform, Medicaid reform? In fact, I'll offer a prize tonight to anybody in this auditorium, or anyone watching on television: If you can find Barack Obama's specific plan on any of those items, I will come to your house and cook you dinner."

--GOP Debate, Ames, Iowa, August 11, 2011

Start researching, because you may actually have Tim Pawlenty in your kitchen making you a nice grilled cheese sandwich soon. Pawlenty's strategy in this particular debate was extremely aggressive, not just toward Michele Bachmann, but certainly toward President Obama and the Democrats.

Fri, 12 Aug 2011 04:42:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-tim-pawlenty-quotes/keaton
<![CDATA[The Best Occupy Wall Street Video Interviews]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/best-occupy-wall-street-video-interviews/pilgrimsprogressive
The best Occupy Wall Street video interviews, including clips of the "99 percent" - Americans in the working class who feel they've been largely ignored and are shouldering a huge financial burden in today's economy - and sympathizers. Some of the Occupy Wall Street protest interviews are from new figures emerging as leaders in the movement (liberal blogger Jesse LaGreca, for instance), while others are from protesters who just want to have a voice.

The demonstrations were originally called for by the Canadian activist group Adbusters, and are centered around New York City's Zuccotti Park. The first such event was held on September 17th, 2011, and included a march by an estimated 1,000 protesters through the streets of New York City. 4 weeks later, another march was held that attracted an estimated 15,000 people. Other events have sprung up in cities across America, including Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Which Occupy Wall Street speeches and interviews are truly the best? That's up to you to decide, with your votes.

Some of these videos include famous environmental and social leaders addressing the Occupy Wall Street crowds and others are actual journalists who are covering the protests, including Keith Olbermann.
The Best Occupy Wall Street Video Interviews,

Bill McKibben at Occupy Wall Street Rally
On October 8, 2011, environmental activist Bill McKibben addressed the Occupy Wall Street crowd at Washington Square Park in New York City. A vocal McKibben brought environmental issues into the movement, saying, "The reason that it’s so great that we’re occupying Wall Street is because Wall Street has been occupying the atmosphere."
Keith Olbermann: Occupy Wall Street Statement
On October 6, 2011, Keith Olbermann of 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' read the first actual collective statement of Occupy Wall Street. Just before he read the statement, Olbermann positively ripped into the media coverage of the movement, saying (among other things) that the media is "too corrupt or too dense to understand anything more complicated than whether the blonde is missing or the verdict is guilty."

What does OWS want? The statement began with:

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

To see the full statement from Occupy Wall Street's general assembly, click here.
Michael Moore on Occupy Wall Street
Filmmaker Michael Moore began making the interview rounds fairly early in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Moore gave interviews to Keith Olbermann of Current TV, Rachel Maddow and others, voicing his staunch support for the movement and explaining that the Occupy Wall Street protests would continue to grow as more people got involved.

In this interview with Olbermann, Moore says that the Occupy Wall Street protests are "the very first attempt since the crash of '08 to take a real stand," calling the movement "powerful." He also urges people all over the country to organize local protests outside of banks in their towns.

Moore also went down to Liberty Plaza and spoke to protesters there:

Slavoj Zizek Speaks to 'Occupy Wall Street'
On October 9, 2011. Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek spoke to protesters at Occupy Wall Street. He urged those in the crowd to focus on the long-term goal: actual social change.

Here is part one of Zizek's speech:

And part two:

Jesse LaGreca Rips Fox News
Early on in the Occupy Wall Street movement, some major news organizations, including FOX News, didn't provide much coverage of the protests. When "On the Record With Greta van Susterern" producers decided to interview protester Jesse LaGreca, they got more than they bargained for: LaGreca positively RIPPED into FOX News, and other media groups. LaGreca's interview, not surprisingly, was not aired on FOX.
Protester Rant: End the Fed
This vocal protester gave a pretty inspiring, passionate speech during Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City.
Vets Tell Hannity to F*ck Off
On October 10, 2011, two men who claim to be Marine veterans were interviewed during Occupy Wall Street protests at New York City's Zuccotti Park. These men voiced concerns about everything from paying off their student loans to concerns about the wars and the financial bailout. Oh, and they also tell FOX News' Sean Hannity to "f*ck off."
Alan Grayson On Occupy Wall Street
Former Democratic congressman Alan Grayson of Florida offered a very concise explanation of Occupy Wall Street during an appearance on HBO's 'Real Time with Bill Maher' in early-October of 2011. Said Grayson:

They’re complaining that Wall Street wrecked the economy three years ago and nobody’s held responsible for that. Not a single person has been indicted or convicted for destroying twenty percent of our national net worth accumulated over the course of two centuries. They’re upset about the fact that Wall Street has iron control over the economic policies of this country, and that one party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street, and the other party caters to them as well. That's the real truth of the matter...

The result? A standing ovation from the audience.
Susan Sarandon Lends Support
Actress Susan Sarandon turned up at the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City's Zuccotti Park in late-September of 2011, explaining that she was there "to understand what's going on and to lend my support," adding that "There’s a lot of different kinds of people here who want to shift the paradigm to something that’s addressing the huge gap between the rich and the poor." Sarandon said campaign finance reform is one of the biggest changes she'd like to see in the system.
Protester Wants Even Playing Field
This protester is from Oakland, California, but as he explains in the interview, he came to be a part of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. He says in his opinion, the "general theme is our dissent with the political system and the financial system and how it absolutely is corrupt." He says real solutions are needed, holding corporations accountable for their crimes and capping political corporate contributions.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 06:36:15 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/best-occupy-wall-street-video-interviews/pilgrimsprogressive
<![CDATA[Politicians Who Believe in Conspiracies]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/politicians-who-believe-in-conspiracies-100715/mike-rothschild
Politicians who believe in conspiracies have become more and more numerous since the early 2000's, thanks to the rapid spread of misinformation enabled by the Internet. They've also become commonplace thanks to post 9/11 fear of terrorist attacks, and the election of a liberal, African-American president in Barack Obama.

These political conspiracies almost always involve some kind of plot against American freedom, capitalism, and individual rights. They usually involve Obama and Democrats, though those liberals also believe in conspiracy theories - just not with the same enthusiasm that conservatives seem to. You don't have to even stay in national politics - many local officials and state senators are well-known for spouting political conspiracy theories. It might even be what gets them elected to higher office.

Here are all manner of politicians, from presidential candidates to local office-holders, who are all on record as believing in some kind of conspiracy theory.

Politicians Who Believe in Conspiracies,

Hillary Clinton
While Bill Clinton was under investigation for the Monica Lewinsky scandal, then-first lady Hillary Clinton claimed the case was part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" to destroy her husband. She cited unnamed Republican operatives who told Bill Clinton that if he ran for president, the GOP would do everything they could to bring him down. Pundits replied that the Republican desire to get Clinton out of the presidency was far from a secret.

John Cornyn
Texas Senator John Cornyn is another of the many Republican candidates standing firm on the conspiracy theory that the UN is going to subvert American freedom. He vehemently opposed the 2012 UN Arms Trade Treaty on the grounds that it was "outsourcing" American sovereignty. In 2015, he arranged for a private meeting with a three star general to get assurance that the military exercise Jade Helm 15 wasn't actually a federal takeover of the Southwest.

Michele Bachmann
Well known for her devotion to conservative political causes, former Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann was one of the most conspiracy-minded members of the House. Bachmann is staunchly anti-vaccine, has advocated for any number of discredited conspiracies about the Affordable Care Act and Benghazi attack, and her belief in gay conversion therapy flies in the face of responsible science.
In 2012, Bachmann and four other Republican representatives sent letters to five different federal agencies accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of having achieved “deep penetration” into the highest levels of the government. The move drew condemnation from both parties, and when Bachmann was challenged to provide proof to support these allegations, she simply repeated them.

Rick Santorum
The former Pennsylvania Senator and two-time presidential candidate has pushed the veracity of a number of discredited conspiracy theories. In 2012, Santorum campaigned hard for GOP senators to reject the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - a treaty that would forbid discrimination against people with AIDS, who are blind, who use wheelchairs, and so on. "This is a direct assault on us," he said, in public, at a news conference.

He wrote in an editorial on Glenn Beck's website that the Convention would result in forced abortions, the abolition of home-schooling, and the loss of US national sovereignty.

More recently, he gave tacit approval to a question from a conspiracy-minded potential voter who claimed that President Obama was planning to nuke the city of Charleston.

Ron Paul
The former Congressman and presidential candidate has been an advocate for conspiracy theories going back decades. While in office, he had a side business lending his name to far-right newsletters that espoused everything from the "coming race war" to the UN taking away America's national sovereignty. More recently, he's advocated for everything from Ukraine really shooting down Flight MH17 to the US government being the "real" culprits in the Charlie Hebdo attack. Paul's response to criticism is that he's just asking questions and trying to get "the truth" out.

Ted Cruz
Cruz is another opponent of Agenda 21, calling the UN sustainability resolution a diabolical plot to "abolish ‘unsustainable’ environments, including golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads." He's also spoken publicly of his belief that, among other things, Harvard is overrun by Marxists, radical Islamic Sharia law is taking over the United States, and that Jade Helm 15 was a dry run for martial law.

Chip Rogers
In 2012, while Majority Leader of the Georgia State Senate, Rogers held a four-hour private meeting with constituents to brief them on phantom threats to America caused by Agenda 21, a non-binding policy statement by the UN devoted to sustainable development.

Rogers had long been an opponent of the plan, calling for the state to ban its implementation, and declaring that the Obama administration was enforcing its property grabbing rules with "mind control." Rogers resigned from the Georgia State Senate shortly after the meeting.

Allen West Outs 80 "Confirmed" Communists in the House, Gets Hired by Fox News
Despite only serving one term in the House of Representatives, from 2011 to 2013, Allen West quickly became an outspoken conspiracy theorist. He's claimed that House Democrats have at least 80 confirmed communists in their ranks, that welfare and Social Security are slavery, and that any news outlet reporting on Wikileaks should be shut down by the government. After he lost in 2013, he became a commentator for Fox News, and has continued spouting conspiracies online and in print.

(Former) Senator Is Positive That the Government Was Behind the Boston Marathon Bombings
Former New Hampshire state senator, and a hardcore conspiracy theorist, Stella Tremblay was forced to resign in 2013 after she publicly agreed with Alex Jones’s accusation that the US government had planned the Boston Marathon bombings as a false flag attack.

In an egregious misuse of the “reply all” button, she emailed all 424 members of the New Hampshire legislature a manifesto entitled “Follow Up Reports,” containing dozens of links to conspiracy websites that all called the bombing a black ops job employing fake victims played by "crisis actors." She drew the wrath of both state political parties and resigned a few days after sending the email, never backing down from her belief that “a full investigation” of the bombings should be undertaken.

Florida Man Who Once Killed a Goat and Drank Its Blood Wants to Be a Senator
A 2016 Libertarian candidate for Florida's Senate seat, Augustus Sol Invictus made national headlines when he told the AP that he'd participated in a Pagan sacrifice ritual in which he, among other things, slaughtered a goat and drank its blood.

is also a pretty hardcore conspiracy theorist, claiming he wants to start a second Civil War, advocating for the return of eugenics, and for renouncing his US citizenship - which will presumably make running for the Senate harder. Libertarian Party officials have called Invictus an embarrassment.

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 02:49:53 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/politicians-who-believe-in-conspiracies-100715/mike-rothschild
<![CDATA[28 Things You Didn't Know About Napoleon]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/napoleon-bonaparte-facts/lisa-waugh
Here’s a list for all those of Napoleon Bonaparte biography and historical facts fans. Who was Napoleon? A lot of Napoleon facts have been shortened - ahem - over time, omitting vital information. Others have been created out of whole cloth. For instance, he was the average height of a Frenchman in his time at 5’6”. Sure, he was ambitious and fell prey to narcissism and power madness, but he also helped usher in a new age of a more cohesive and rational governmental structure for France. He was a brilliant military strategist with a drive to rebuild his country and expand France's power, but he also marched himself into infamy. Such is the man that was Napoleon Bonaparte.
Aside from the height jabs and the Waterloo shaming, there are lots of interesting Napoleon facts, such as his saucy letters to Joséphine in the early days of their lust and love, the fact that Beethoven was a fan of his until Napoleon went a step too far and appointed himself emperor, that he probably wasn’t afraid of cats, or that a priest may have smuggled his penis out of the country. He also wrote a romance novella as the age of 26, Clisson et Eugénie, which appears to be roughly based on his own life and heart’s desire. A lot of people gave if four and five stars on Amazon.
Who was Napoleon? Well, for one thing, he had numerous supporters and was beloved among the common people across Europe. So beloved that the British made sure he was locked away on a remote island for his second and final stint in exile. They also knew just how determined and intelligent the man was. They beefed up the garrison on the island of St. Helena, called in the Royal Navy, and even stationed soldiers on a neighboring island just in case of a rescue expedition.
He was ambitious and was made for war, but Napoleon facts reveal that he was a positive catalyst for Europe, bringing order to government even if by helping mount a coup. He also introduced conscription, religious freedom, offered a cash prize to solve food preservation for armies, and opened up society so that the common man who worked and studied could improve his station. As he created power for himself, he created powerful enemies, leading to his ultimate downfall.  
Was Napoleon a villain or a savior? A man of the people, or the untouchable emperor? All of the above, perhaps? Upvote your favorite Napoleon Bonaparte facts and remember: “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”

28 Things You Didn't Know About Napoleon,

He Was Once Beaten by a Chess-Playing Automaton
Designed and built by Wolfgang von Kempelen, the automaton was known as The Turk, a “thinking machine” that could defeat humans at chess. It came complete with a seated life-size wooden man dressed in the garb of a magi or sorcerer, as most European audiences imagined them to look. The figure sat at a cabinet with a chess board on top. 
In 1809, Napoleon played against the machine. Cosmos magazine best describes the match: “As usual, the Turk was soon in a commanding position. The Emperor attempted an illegal move. The Turk replaced the piece on to its proper square. Napoleon tried another illegal move. This time, the Turk removed the offending piece from the board entirely. Amused by this, Napoleon attempted a third illegal move. The Turk swept his arm across the board, knocking over all of the pieces – to Napoleon's delight." 
It was later discovered that a master chess player was hidden inside the cabinet and the invention was deemed a hoax.

He Wasn’t Short
Napoleon was probably around 5’6”, the average height for a Frenchman in the early 1800s, but members of his Imperial Guard were taller so he appeared short in comparison. His English detractors embellished on his height by making him appear diminutive. Added to the visuals were rumors that he sought power to compensate for his height, also known as the "Napoleon complex."
The “Napoleon Complex” has been debunked by studies. Upon his death, the attending physician made a note that Napoleon’s body was 5'2" "from the top of the head to the heels" which equals 5’ 6” in English measurements.

Napleon and Joséphine Had a Tumultuous Relationship
The relationship between Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Joséphine started out very passionately, at least on his part. She definitely played the game and did have feelings for him, but her past and old habits of taking lovers plagued their marriage.  
The letters between the couple show a man at war on the battlefield and with his feelings for his fickle wife. At times, passionate and naughty, and then later upon hearing of an affair from his brother, full of rage and downcast. She overplayed her hand and soon Napoleon’s feeling began to turn.  
In revenge, he took a mistress, Pauline Bellisle Foures (a junior officer’s wife), and wrote to his brother, "The veil is torn… It is sad when one and the same heart is torn by such conflicting feelings for one person... I need to be alone. I am tired of grandeur; all my feelings have dried up. I no longer care about my glory. At twenty-nine I have exhausted everything." Unfortunately, the letter was intercepted by the British and then all of Europe knew of Joséphine’s unfaithfulness and the emperor’s changed feelings.

He Probably Didn’t Say “Not Tonight, Joséphine,” but Did Friendzone Her
Most of the historical accounts (based on letters between Napoleon and his wife) state that Napoleon was infatuated with his wife to the point that his feelings weren’t reciprocated to the fullest. The pair came from lower means and bonded over improving their lot in life. Napoleon built a life on education, strategy, and powerful social allies. Joséphine charmed her way up through society with skill and aplomb.
Historian and author Kate Williams says that Napoleon was “graceless” with women and Joséphine played into his ego, especially when it came to his war tactics and attempt to grab the attention of the ladies. This is a woman who went to prison and narrowly escaped the guillotine in the wake of the fall of King Louis and Marie Antoinette. She knew a thing or two about men and social power. 
When they first got together, Napoleon was so crazy for her, he actually wrote to her, “I am coming home. Don’t wash.” So he probably didn’t tell her, “Not tonight,” but he did call her a “beastly slut” and other things through their correspondence when she didn't respond to his letters and spent time with other men.  
He might have uttered something to that effect just before he divorced and exiled her because she was 46 and couldn’t produce a male heir. Williams recounts that he said, “Go, Joséphine. I will always be your friend.” Her wailing could be heard across the palace.

The Last Word He Uttered Was "Joséphine"
After he divorced Joséphine, Napoleon’s reign took a turn when his invasion of Russia was a flop. In turn, Russia and Britain marched on Paris and imprisoned the emperor. Joséphine, who never stopped being devoted to her ex-husband, was devastated by his capture and imprisonment. She became sickly and died soon after. Napoleon was exiled and became a former shadow of himself. As he lay dying, he was reported to have said, “Joséphine.”
Napoleon Helped Solidify Driving on the Right Side of the Road
Riders across continental Europe rode on the left side of the road, specifically so that they could wield a sword or a weapon from their right hand. It was also considered safer to mount and dismount a horse from the side of the road. Sorry, left-handed people! Also, nobility rode on the left, pushing the poor folk to the right side of the road. After the French Revolution, aristocrats got the idea to pass on the right in order to blend with the peasants and escape detection.   

In 1709 in Russia, Peter the Great recognized the custom and Empress Elizabeth made it an official edict in 1752. But Napoleon decided to change road traffic to the right to surprise the enemy. This new way quickly spread among his conquests and was adopted across Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and across many areas in Italy and Spain. Britain, Portugal, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire resisted.

Old Poison Thwarted Napoleon’s Suicide Attempt
Napoleon was forced to abdicate on April 11, 1814, as part of the Treaty of Fontainebleau and it was determined that he would be exiled to the island of Elba. He didn’t take his loss of power and impending exile very well, attempting suicide while he was still at Fontainebleau. He had carried a poisonous pill since the failed invasion of Russia and took it on April 12, but it must have lost its potency and failed to do much more than make him violently ill.  
He escaped from Elba and made his way to France in 1815. After a brief power grab during the Hundred Days Campaign and then his disastrous Battle of Waterloo in June, Napoleon was once again exiled, this time to Saint Helena, a remote island off the coast of Africa. He died there at the age of 51, of stomach cancer.

A Priest Stole Napoleon's Penis
Supposedly, the priest Vignali removed some of Napoleon’s organs after his death and may have also taken his penis. The ruler’s penis was handed down through the Vignali family, as one does, and ended up being sold to a British book firm in 1916.  
John K. Lattimer, former chairman of urology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, purchased Napoleon’s penis at auction in 1977. It was described as a “shriveled seahorse” (hey, it’s cold in the afterlife) and sold for $3,000.

Joséphine’s Infidelity Fanned Napoleon’s Thirst for Power
Who knows what would have happened if Napoleon’s ego hadn’t of been damaged. Joséphine’s constant rejection and affairs could have driven Napoleon to come to the conclusion that feelings for a woman weren’t a thing with which he needed to be concerned.
After his feelings for Joséphine waned, Napoleon wrote, "I am not a man like others and moral laws or the laws that govern conventional behavior do not apply to me. My mistresses do not in the least engage my feelings. Power is my mistress."

Napoleon Came from a "Backwater" Province
Napoleon’s story is definitely a sort of rags to riches tale. He was born in Corsica, a decidedly "backwater" province, and was mocked for it all of his life. His father was determined to see his son excel and put Napoleon and his other son through university in mainland France.  
Napoleon became an officer in the French army and might have merely stayed there. The French Revolution provided an opportunity for him to step up in the world. Through wits, social positioning, brilliant military strategy, and patronage, Napoleon was able to ride his ambition to prominence. He seized power in a coup in 1799 and made himself emperor in 1804. He expanded France’s domain across Europe from the Elbe through southern Italy, and from the Pyrenees to the Dalmatian Coast.

Mon, 19 Oct 2015 03:21:09 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/napoleon-bonaparte-facts/lisa-waugh
<![CDATA[25 Things You Didn't Know About Guy Fawkes]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/guy-fawkes-facts/coy-jandreau
Nearly everyone has heard the name Guy Fawkes, though if you haven't, you've almost certainly seen his face. His face, through Guy Fawkes masks, has become a symbol of activists, hackers, and people who feel repressed the world over. His face has adorned members of Occupy Wall Street, Anonymous and... thousands of keyboard cowboys. But who was Guy Fawkes?

Well, in a nutshell, he was a prominent member of a group of plotters that organized the Gun Powder Plot, a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland. The group planned to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England's Parliament on November 5, 1605. Pretty serious stuff.

His is literally the face of a revolution, but many people don't know anything about him. Sure people might have heard of the Gun Powder Plot or know to "Remember, remember the fifth of November," but who was the real Guy Fawkes? The original Guy Fawkes before the masks and mayhem? Who was the man before the plot? Why was he involved? A Guy Fawkes biography and some fun facts is what you need.

Gathered below is all kinds of trivia and other historical facts dating back to the 1600s to learn more about this interesting and mysterious figure from history, who tried (and failed) to blow up the British Parliament.

25 Things You Didn't Know About Guy Fawkes,

The Plot Fell Apart Due to an Anonymous Letter
Everything was going according to plan until one of the plotters (or someone who caught wind of the operation) sent an anonymous warning letter to Lord Monteagle. The note read (complete with 1600s spelling), “I would advyse you … to devise some excuse to shift youer attendance at this parliament, for God and man hath concurred to punishe the wickedness of this tyme.” 

Lord Monteagle wasted no time in bringing the letter to the court, which led to an immediate search of the vault under the Lords’ chamber. There, they found Fawkes, matches, a watch, and 36 barrels of explosives.

Was Named One of the 100 Greatest Brits of All Time
Sure he tried to blow up British parliament; sure he fought for the Spanish (against the Dutch). But at the end of the day, Britain realized Fawkes's heart was in the right place and that he was fighting for the country in his own way. He's even been dubbed one of the greatest Brits of all time!

He Didn't Always Go by the Name "Guy"
Most people have heard the name Guy Fawkes, whether or not they know who he was. But from roughly 1603 on, during and after a trip to Spain to fight for the Spanish (and all through the Gun Powder Plot), he actually went by the name Guido Fawkes, the Italian version of his name. He preferred the way it sounded and the cultural impact that it carried.
The Gunpowder May Have Been Expired
We often hear how close the Gunpowder Plot came to being successful. All of the powder was in place, it was meant to happen that day, Fawkes even had the long fuse matches, and watch on him when he was caught. But what if the gunpowder was a dud? Many historians believe that, due to the conditions of the rooms and how long the gunpowder had sat in them, it would have been spoiled and not yielded nearly enough of an explosion.
He Avoided Being Hanged by Jumping from the Gallows
Every year thousands burn replicas of Guy Fawkes on Guys Fawkes Day... but he was actually never burned or tossed in any sort of fire. He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, as was consistent with the times.

But Guy Fawkes is a legend for a reason and he wasn't going to die on someone else's terms. He escaped their clutches right before being lynched and leapt from the gallows, breaking his neck. He died instantly, which is likely a better fate than being hanged.

The Conspirators Hatched the Plot in a Pub
The whole plot began a year before it was executed. Back in 1604 the five original conspirators (Guy Fawkes, Robert Catesby, Tom Wintour, Jack Wright, and Thomas Percy) met at a small pub called The Duck and the Drake in the prestigious Strand area of London. It would later grow to a group of 13 men.
He Was Revered in His Time as an Excellent Soldier
Many times people don't receive credit or acclaim until they've passed away, but Fawkes actually had "considerable fame among the soldiers" during his time with the Spanish army in the late 1590s and early 1600s. 

He was described during this time as a man "of excellent good natural parts, very resolute and universally learned." He was "sought by all the most distinguished in the Archduke's camp for nobility and virtue."

He's Still the Face of Political Protest to This Day
It started with writer Alan Moore and artist David Lloyd's brilliant graphic novel V for Vendetta. It soon became a symbol on Internet forums, and soon after that it was picked up the hacker/activist group Anonymous as their symbol (Project Chanology and the Occupy movement have also employed it). It wasn't long until the Guy Fawkes masks was the worldwide symbol of anti-government and anti-establishment. David Lloyd, for one, seems honored by it.

"The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I'm happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way. My feeling is the Anonymous group needed an all-purpose image to hide their identity and also symbolise that they stand for individualism - V for Vendetta is a story about one person against the system. We knew that V was going to be an escapee from a concentration camp where he had been subjected to medical experiments but then I had the idea that in his craziness he would decide to adopt the persona and mission of Guy Fawkes – our great historical revolutionary."
He Went by an Alias During the Entire Plot
Guy Fawkes, Guido Fawkes and... John Johnson? During the famous Gun Powder Plot Fawkes went by the name John Johnson. When he was initially captured he swore this was his name, and all throughout his days and days of torture he wouldn't tell them his real name. Though his captors were eventually able to uncover his identity, he never told them.

Rumor Has It Use of the Word "Guy" Was Inspired by Fawkes
According to modern folklore it was Guy Fawkes who actually inspired the word "guy" as an English language synonym for "man." Apparently it began as an insult or slang for "repulsive or ugly person," inspired by dislike of Fawkes, but soon the negative connotation was dropped and it became widely used.

Wed, 21 Oct 2015 07:54:08 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/guy-fawkes-facts/coy-jandreau
<![CDATA[13 Ways Authoritative Figures Publicly Displayed Bodies to Scare People]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/tyrants-displaying-human-corpses/christopher-myers

Subjugatin' ain't easy. You can't just show up and expect everyone to give you their stuff and obey what you say. People ask inconvenient questions like, "who the heck are you?" and "from whence do you derive your authority?" If your reply, "The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king" doesn't work, it is time to resort to violence.

History is full of brutal subjugation techniques. The tools of psychological terror range from heinous torture to nauseating violence and dismembered corpses. What really seems to do the trick, however, are public spaces festooned with human remains. Nothing enables tyrannical oppression like the public display of dead bodies. When peasants see a dead guy with his eyes gouged out hanging from the castle walls, they're generally too busy pissing themselves to think about rebellion.

13 Ways Authoritative Figures Publicly Displayed Bodies to Scare People,

Japanese Samurai Took the Heads of Their Enemies and Showed Them Around

When samurai got a kill in battle, they would lop off the head of the defeated enemy and take it back to the general as proof of their deed. Taking the head of a high-ranking general or skilled swordsman was worth bonus points. The more heads you collected, the more honor (and rank) you gained. Also, it was a pretty good way to show everyone you were a huge bad-ass. The heads were perfumed and presented nicely to the lord inspecting them for authenticity, and then returned to the family for proper burial.

The Romans Crucified Just About Anyone Who Pissed Them Off

Jesus Christ wasn't the only guy to get the business end of the crucifixion stick. Crucifixion was a common, horrifically brutal, subjugation technique of the Romans. The process was severe; the condemned was beaten with varying degrees of severity, then forced to carry the heavy cross or post to the execution spot.

Upon arriving at the execution site, the condemned was strung up at one of numerous angles, including upside down, sideways, and Jesus style. Nails were driven through the palms at a nerve, to cause the most pain. This induced involutnariy palm clenching. Some evidence suggests feet were nailed to the sides, not the front, of the cross, through the ankles. Then the condemned was left to die a slow, agonizing death as the lungs filled with fluid in full view of the public.

Today, ISIS is apparently taking a page from this book and crucifying people. Though the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believes the victims are executed before crucified, the message is still pretty straightforward: "Obey."

Christopher Columbus Paraded the Body Parts of Natives Through the Streets

Christopher Columbus was a total dick. His rule over Hispaniola, the island containing modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic, was best described as tyrannical. After the first expedition, he left 39 men behind. When he returned with 1,200 more men, he found the original 39 dead (most likely from being dicks to the natives). So, Columbus went medieval on the natives. His men engaged in beheading contests, cut natives in half to test the sharpness of their swords, and practiced wanton rape.

The penalty native slaves endured for not keeping up with Columbus's gold mining quotas was having their hands cut off and hung about their necks as they bled to death. Some 10,000 died in this manner, and a total of 250,000 natives are believed to have been killed during a two-year period.

Even in a time period known for brutality, Columbus's actions were seen as atrocious (or at the very least ineffective management); he was sent back to Spain in chains. And was then pardoned.

The Scythians Drank from the Skulls of Their Enemies

The Scythians were a civilization of warlike nomads in the Eurasian steppes between 900 and 100B.C. According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, Scythians turned the skulls of their enemies into drinking cups. He writes:

The skulls of their enemies, not indeed of all, but of those whom they most detest, they treat as follows. Having sawn off the portion below the eyebrows, and cleaned out the inside, they cover the outside with leather. When a man is poor, this is all that he does; but if he is rich, he also lines the inside with gold: in either case, the skull is used as a drinking-cup. They do the same with the skulls of their own kith and kin if they have been at feud with them, and have vanquished them in the presence of the king. When strangers whom they deem of any account come to visit them, these skulls are handed round, and the host tells how that these were his relations who made war upon him, and how that he got the better of them; all this being looked upon as proof of bravery.

That's certainly one way of doing things. 

The Assyrians Were Just Crazy About Flaying People Alive

If you can imagine an entire civilization as insanely sadistic as Ramsey Bolton in Game of Thrones, you will come close to how the ancient Assyrians behaved. The civilization existed from around 1400 to 609 BC, in current day northern Iraq and southern Turkey, and these guys make ISIS look like choir boys. Their entire society was based firmly in war; they believed they had to lay waste to their neighbors and build elaborate structures with the plunder to appease the gods.

Of course, when you're constantly obsessed with conquest, it's important to try to make enemies surrender immediately, rather than engage in long and costly sieges. As it turns out, avoiding being flayed alive was a powerful motivator. Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal explained the scene of one conquered city that refused to surrender:

"I flayed as many nobles as had rebelled against me [and] draped their skins over the pile [of corpses]; some I spread out within the pile, some I erected on stakes upon the pile … I flayed many right through my land [and] draped their skins over the walls."

Yeah, that's going to be a big old nope.

Nothing Says "Obey Me" Like a Head on a Spike

There is a long tradition in many societies of putting heads on spikes as acts of intimidation. It just feels natural, implying, "look at this guy. You don't want to end up like him."

The English were probably best at the practice, and took it to a whole new level. London Bridge showcased the severed heads of traitors and enemies of the state for centuries. At one point, there were 30 heads above the Stone Gateway, displayed simultaneously. Some notable heads include those of William Wallace, Thomas More, and Bishop John Fisher.

Of particular interest is how Oliver Cromwell's head (which has its own Wikipedia page, just fyi) ended up on the bridge. Upon his death in 1658, Cromwell, who was once head of state of England, Ireland, and Scotland, was buried like royalty at Westminster Abbey. A year later, though, his son was overthrown, and King Charles II returned from exile to reestablish the monarchy.

Suddenly, many of the people who Cromwell really pissed off were back in power. They took the opportunity to exhume his corpse, cut off his head, and stick it on a spike over London Bridge. This must have pleased more than a few Irish ("Cromwellian conquest of Ireland" is also a Wikipedia page). The message was sent: Don't mess with the monarchy.

Xerxes Liked to Make Examples of Foes

Xerxes I was a ruler of ancient Persia, as well as the guy who decided to mess with Leonidus in the movie 300. As it turns out, those dudes were based on real people, although real Spartans wore armor instead of standing half naked with their well-oiled abs glistening in the sun. Xerxes, on the other hand, really was pretty brutal.

One story illustrates this point well. Pythias the Lydian hosted Xerxes at Sardis (what is now Turkey) and offered him a considerable amount of money to fund the campaign to conquer Greece. Xerxes was impressed, and instead gave Pythias a bunch of money. Now, all five of Pythias's sons were conscripts in Xerxes's army. When Pythias noticed bad omens, he asked his buddy Xerxes a favor - release one of his sons from service, so Pythias would have someone to take care of him in his old age.

Xerxes took this as an indication Pythias didn't believe in the prospects of the campaign, which pissed him off. So, as any rational leader would, Xerxes cut one of Pythias's sons in half,  put a section of corpse on either side of the road, and made his entire army walk through the middle. Eesh.

The Ancient Chinese Invented Death by 1,000 Cuts

The ancient Chinese invented some pretty brutal methods of public execution, the worst of which was lingchi. Known also as "death by 1,000 cuts," lingchi began with tying the condemned to a post. The condemned then had pieces of his body cut off, one small bit at a time. After a good bit of this (in the neighborhood of 1,000 cuts), he was stabbed through the heart.

The execution didn't end there, though. The condemned's head, arms, and legs were also removed. Basically, the entire body was hacked to pieces in a public square. Sometimes the punishment would bear the further penalty of having the head displayed in the square for ridicule, in case someone didn't get the memo.

Vlad the Impaler Really Earned His Nickname

Good old Vlad III of 15th century Romania was brutal enough to inspire the character Dracula. In fact, the name Dracula comes from Vlad's father's position in the crusading "Order of the Dragon" (Dracul). Dracula means "Son of Dracul."  Vlad III spent some time fighting the Muslim Ottoman Empire and some time fighting Christian forces as an ally to the Ottomans, and in both cases, he was crazy about murdering people.

Vlad consolidated his rule and struck fear into enemies and subjects by impaling people. Fields of them, in fact. Rows of stakes were planted vertically, and victims lowered onto them. Usually, the spike entered the rear and exited the mouth (ass to mouth?), but many other angles of impalement were also used. Stakes were oiled and not too sharp, so as to to prevent sudden death from shock. Once impaled, victims were left to die a slow and agonizing death, after which they rotted among their fellow impaled corpses.

Also worth pointing out - in the image above, Vlad is straight up just having a meal at a nicely set table next to his field of impaled victims, while an underling chops up corpses right in front of him. It's probably not historically accurate, but it raises more questions than it answers. 

King Edward Longshanks Had "Traitors" Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered

King Edward I (yes, the guy from Braveheart) invented this method of execution because he didn't want anyone to get in the way of his conquest of Great Britain. He first used it on the formerly independent Prince of Wales, Dafydd ap Gruffydd, and later on William Wallace (Mel Gibson from Braveheart). Because Longshanks declared treason a triple crime (against God, man, and the king), it required a triple execution.

First, the condemned was chained, prostrate, to a glorified fence post, and drawn through the streets by horses, so loving townsfolk could stone and mock him. When the The Man had enough of that, the victim was hung by a rope, and his sensitive parts were removed, i.e. emasculation (if you haven't figured it out, they cut his d*ck and nuts off).  

That humiliation complete, the condemned was cut down for a primitive version of vivisection; his stomach was cut open and his entrails removed and burnt. Then, the executioner cut open his chest and removed his (ideally) still-beating heart, holding it up to the crowd. Of course, that wasn't enough, so the condemned was then decapitated and quartered (cut into pieces).

Oh, and this was still practiced as an official execution method in England as late as the 18th century. Suddenly, the 8th Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment makes a lot of sense. After all, the guys who wrote it were considered traitors to the crown.

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 09:11:14 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/tyrants-displaying-human-corpses/christopher-myers
<![CDATA[Bill Clinton's Loves & Hookups]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/bill-clinton_s-loves-and-hookups/celebrityhookups

List of Bill Clinton's women, girlfriends, wife, and mistresses. Rumors of Bill Clinton relationships and affairs. With all the famous women the former president has been attached to, it's a shock that none of them are on the list of celebrity sex tapes. No one would be surprised if Clinton ended up being the first President with a celeb sex tape, given his famous scandal while in office. Not that sex tapes with interns are all the rage, but it wouldn't be a huge surprise if Monica Lewinsky were in a weird celebrity sex tape somewhere.

Who has Bill Clinton had affairs with? Who has Bill Clinton hooked up with? How many girlfriends did Bill Clinton have? Did Bill Clinton have any secret lovers? The dating history of Bill Clinton, listed by most recent.

Bill Clinton's Loves & Hookups,

Belinda Stronach
Who she is: Belinda Caroline Stronach, PC (born May 2, 1966) is a Canadian businesswoman, philanthropist and politician. She was a Member of Parliament (MP) in the Canadian House of Commons from 2004 to 2008.

How she knows Bill:  The former US president is reported to have been seen dating Stronach and have "shared an intimate dinner" with her in 2002.
Elizabeth Gracen
Who she is: Elizabeth Ward Gracen (born Elizabeth Grace Ward) is an American actress who won the title of Miss Arkansas in 1981 and Miss America in 1982.

How she knows Bill: In 1992, Gracen claimed to have had a one-night stand with future President Bill Clinton while she was studying acting in New York. 
Gennifer Flowers
Who she is: Gennifer Flowers (born January 24, 1950) is a model and actress who famously claimed to have a sexual relationship with former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Prior to Bill Clinton's presidency, she also posed nude for Penthouse magazine and was an actress in two films and one TV show.

How she knows Bill:  Flowers met Bill Clinton in 1977 while she was working as a news reporter for KARK-TV in Little Rock, Arkansas. In her court testimony she claims that shortly after they met, she and Bill began a sexual relationship that lasted for twelve years.
Hillary Clinton

Who she is: Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is a former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States.

How she knows Bill: Hillary and Bill met in the library of Yale Law School, where they were both students. They wed in Arkansas in 1975 when Hillary was 27 and Bill was 29. There were 15 guests in attendance at their wedding.

Maria Furtwängler
Who she is: Maria Furtwängler-Burda (born September 13, 1966) is a German physician and television actress.

How she knows Bill: She met Bill through her husband, Dr. Hubert Burda, and has spoken about how great of a speaker Bill Clinton is. 
Markie Post
Who she is: Marjorie Armstrong "Markie" Post (born November 4, 1950) is an American actress, best known for her roles as bail bondswoman Terri Michaels in The Fall Guy on ABC from 1982 to 1985, as public defender Christine Sullivan on the NBC sitcom Night Court from 1985 to 1992, and as Georgie Anne Lahti Hartman on the CBS sitcom Hearts Afire from 1992 to 1995.

How she knows Bill:  In 1993, Post helped produce a Disney Channel program marking Clinton's first inauguration. Post, Hillary and Bill are known to be close friends and Post and her husband were among the Clintons' first guests in the White House. Rumors have swirled that Post and Bill Clinton's relationship went further than their friendship and that they held "secret get-togethers in California hotels."
Monica Lewinsky
Who she is: Monica Samille Lewinsky (born July 23, 1973) is an American woman with whom United States President Bill Clinton admitted to having had an "inappropriate relationship" while she worked at the White House as an intern in 1995 and 1996.

How she knows Bill: In her testimony, Lewinsky alleged that between November 1995 and March 1997, she had nine sexual encounters with then-President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office. Bill Clinton was impeached as a result of the scandal. 
Naomi Robson
Who she is: Naomi Robson is an Australian television presenter who is best known as the former presenter of the east coast edition of Today Tonight, an Australian current affairs program which is broadcast on weeknights on the Seven Network, from 1997 to 2006.

How she knows Bill: The two were seen out together in 2006 when the former president was in Melbourne. They were introduced through a mutual friend.  
Patricia Duff
Who she is: Patricia Duff is an American political activist and a fundraiser for political and philanthropic causes.

How she knows Bill: Duff was instrumental in the mid-1980s in introducing Governor Bill Clinton to L. A. Democratic Party supporters and contributors. Clinton was relatively unknown in national party politics and was only one of many potential candidates and party leaders whom Duff presented to Southern California Democrats.
Sally Perdue
Who she is: Sally Perdueis a former 1958 Miss Arkansas and Little Rock radio talk show host. She was a top-10 finalist in the 1958 Miss America pageant. 

How she knows Bill: In 1994, Perdue stated that she had had an affair with then-governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas in 1983. She also stated that she had been asked not to reveal the affair by a former Democratic party staffer in 1992 who told her that "they knew that I went jogging by myself and he couldn't guarantee what would happen to my pretty little legs"

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 08:19:32 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/bill-clinton_s-loves-and-hookups/celebrityhookups
<![CDATA[The Most Historically Important Foodstuffs]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/historically-important-foods/aaron-edwards

Human history is built on food. Just about any social occasion or backroom deal, no matter how small, has had some kind of food present. Armies need it to fight, people need it to live, and economies need it to function. The most historically important foodstuffs are more than consumable quantities... they've tipped balances of power in the world.

The foods that changed history come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors - from sweet to salty to savory. However, they always managed to fill a specific need at a specific time. Whether it be a new way of persevering crops, a delicacy for the nobility, or a way to feed the masses, food has been the cornerstone of humanity's foundation.

But what foodstuffs were the most influential of all time? You'd think that would depend on the time and place, but most of the big discoveries still have relevance in today's world.

The Most Historically Important Foodstuffs,


Bread was everything to the common Frenchman's diet in 18th century Paris. It was so important that bakers were considered public servants and the police controlled bread production. So when there was a massive bread shortage that led to a famine, you better believe everyone was eager to overthrow the government. What followed was known as the French Revolution.

Fast food

Though restaurants have been around for thousands of years, sitting down and waiting for your specially prepared meal had always been a big commitment of time and money. When fast food places came on the scene, they suddenly became a place where anyone could grab a bite for cheap. The trick was refining an assembly line for creating food out of ingredients purchased in bulk, and it paid off in the form of a nearly $200 billion industry.


People love sugar, to the point where it's become one of the biggest cash crops in human history. In fact, the huge demand for the product formed the basis for much of the economic practices during the colonial era. Harvesting and refining sugar cane required a great deal of man power... which gave a lot of business to the transatlantic slave trade. 


Tea was so popular in the colonial world, it literally led to corporate espionage and political revolutions. By the 17th century, the tea had become a staple of British culture which led to a rivalry between European and Chinese manufacturers. Many years later, a heavy tax on tea drove the American colonies to commit one of the inciting incidents of the American Revolution - the Boston Tea Party.


Grain (and by extension bread) feeds the world, and has fed it for almost as long as recorded history. Ancient Egypt's chief export was grain, which made it an incredibly important part of the Roman Empire. It also led to the discovery of beer, which you can bet millions are incredibly thankful for.


The original spice, salt was not only loved but needed in a daily diet, as a preservative, and as an antiseptic. It was so sought after that it's actually been used as a currency. The world "salary" actually comes from a time when workers were paid in salt. It has also set up many areas as economic powers, such as areas of France and the city of Venice, which had access to a great deal of salt they could sell.


Potatoes are a versatile and filling vegetable. It was easy to grow in Ireland, to the point where most of the population depended on the crop for their diet. In the mid 1800s, however, a blight wiped out the crop which led to over a million people dying of starvation. It's become a lesson in crop diversification ever since.


Pickling was one of the earliest forms of preserving food in ancient times. It allowed many foods to be transported, sailors to be fed, and families to have meals during the winter. Today, pickled vegetables have taken on different cultural significances, from kosher pickles to pickled plums in Japan.

Golden Rice Will Save Millions

Vitamin A deficiencies are a pretty big deal, leading to blindness and death for millions all over the world. Well, a new type of rice is being developed that's loaded in Vitamin A to help out people in third world countries. Golden Rice, named for its rich yellow color, is genetically designed for a bowl to provide 60 percent of the average person's daily Vitamin A requirement.

Bt Corn Will End Insecticides

Crop eating insects have long been the bane of the farmer's existence. The advent of genetically modified crops has allowed for a new generation of plants that are highly resistant to insects. Bt corn contains a special protein that targets certain insects that eat corn crops, all while being completely harmless to everything else. No more spray-on insecticides!

Tue, 24 May 2016 10:07:29 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/historically-important-foods/aaron-edwards
<![CDATA[Things You Didn't Know About The History Of The Olympics]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/olympics-history-facts/kellen-perry

There are many strange and fascinating facts buried in the long, bizarre history of the Olympics. The Summer Olympics of 2016 look almost nothing like those from a century ago, and it’s not just the slick presentation and technological advancements in the individual events. Everything about the Summer and Winter Olympics used to be a whole lot weirder and, well, pretty backwards. In many ways, the games have acted as a microcosm of what was happening in the world at the time, for better or for worse.

Just how old are the Olympics? That depends if you’re referring to the ancient or modern games: the ancient games were held from the 8th century BCE to the 4th century CE, while the modern games were born in 1896. Both eras feature tons of examples of almost superhuman athleticism, but also a whole lot of sexism, racism, nudity, incompetence, drug abuse, waste, and wackiness. So who created the Olympics? What about those Olympic rings? Read on to learn some things you probably don’t know about the history of the Olympic games.

Things You Didn't Know About The History Of The Olympics,

The Torch Relay and Ceremony Is a Nazi Invention

It may look and feel like something the ancient Greeks would have done, but the Olympic torch relay and ceremony was actually invented by the Nazis for the 1936 games in Berlin. The whole thing was the brainchild of Nazi official Carl Diem, who served as the secretary general of the organizing committee of the Berlin games. Diem was reportedly inspired by the torch that burned during the 1928 games in Amsterdam. The torches used in 1936 were created and sponsored by The Krupp Company, Germany’s largest armament producer at the time (the company later used Jewish women from Auschwitz to build its weapons).  

Women Couldn't Compete in Races Longer Than 200 Meters Until 1968

Before 1968, women were barred from competing in track events that required running farther than 200 meters. Why? The “health of global womanhood,” according to David Goldblatt, author of The Games: A Global History Of The Olympics. A little backstory: the 1924 games in Amsterdam were the first time women could compete in track and field at all, and they were actually allowed to compete in the 800 meter event (before 1928, women were limited to events such as swimming, diving, and tennis). But when men saw how exhausted the women were after running the 800 (duh), they freaked out. The event was limited to men until 1968, and it wasn’t until 1984 that women could compete in marathons. 

A Lot of Olympic Venues Don't Get Repurposed

They’re called “White Elephants” - those giant Olympic stadiums that sit vacant after the big international party winds down. Slideshows featuring the ruins of these multi-million dollar behemoths are all over the web. Some of these sites are from games as recent as the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Venues built for the 2004 games in Athens are in even worse shape. As The Washington Post reports, some potential host cities have said “no thanks” to the International Olympic Committee because they know the unusual facilities they’d have to build - especially for winter games like bobsledding and the luge - aren't likely to be reused. 

The First Athlete Disqualified for Drugs Drank Beer to Calm His Nerves

Poor Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall. The Swedish pentathlete made history in 1968 when he became the first Olympian disqualified for drug use. His drug of choice? “Two beers” to calm his nerves before the pistol-shooting part of the pentathlon (there’s fencing, swimming, show jumping, pistol shooting and cross-country running in a modern pentathlon). That’s probably not the kind of “doping” the International Olympic Committee thought they would catch first after introducing new regulations ahead of the ’68 games, but alcohol is one of the many banned substances. His self-medicating ways lost the Swedish team their bronze medal.

Ancient Olympic Athletes Competed in the Nude (Except the Charioteers)

Historians don’t know why, exactly, but ancient Olympic competitors (all men) competed in the nude, slathered in olive oil. They would even scrape the oil off - if it wasn’t too bloody! - and sell it to fans. Why let it all hang out? One theory is that baring it all for the games was sort of an initiation rite for young men. But it also “really appealed to the exhibitionism and the vanity of the Greeks,” according to Tony Perrottet, author of The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games. Perrottet says the men would parade, Magic Mike-style, “like peacocks up and down the stadium.” One exception to this rule? Charioteers fearful that their, uh, torches may get extinguished. Andrew Connor of the University of Cincinnati says, reasonably enough, that “apparel afforded some protection if the horses dragged the charioteer as the result of a mishap.” 

The First U.S. Woman to Win Gold Didn't Know She Was Competing

The 1900 games in Paris were such a mess that some of the athletes didn’t even know they were competing at the Olympics. Margaret Abbott, for example, was the first American woman to win a gold medal and she died in 1955 not knowing she was ever an Olympian! Abbott won “gold” for golf (but not an actual gold medal) at the first Olympic games that even allowed female competitors (they could participate in golf, tennis, and croquet). She thought she was playing in “just another tournament” while traveling to study art and received a porcelain bowl as a prize. Her mother competed, as well, making the duo the first mother-daughter team to compete in the Olympics at the same time... even though they didn’t know it! It wasn’t until 1996 that Abbott’s relatives were informed of her historic performance.

The Meaning of the Olympic Rings Logo Is Kind of Disappointing

The Olympic rings logo, as Spencer Kornhaber of The Atlantic notes, “doesn't come imbued with a whole lot of symbolism.” Pierre de Coubertin – founder of the modern games – meant for the color of the rings to “reproduce the colors of every country without exception.” The idea, basically, was to represent the colors from the flags of all of the nations competing when it was designed in 1912. Why five rings? For five continents: Coubertin lumped North and South America together as one continent, with Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania/Australia rounding out the rest.

The First Olympics in America Were Super Racist

It sounds too disgusting to be true, but it happened: the so-called “Anthropology Days” of the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, MO were real. “Savage” and “primitive” people from around the world were kept in a “human zoo” and paid to compete in unofficial Olympic competitions against whites. It was just as absurd and nauseating as you’d imagine.

Language barriers created a ton of confusion about the rules of the European-style competitions, meaning most match-ups had no clear winner. There were also “savage-friendly” games like mud-throwing, tree-climbing, archery, and a “Mohawk vs. Seneca lacrosse match,” but those didn’t go much better. What was the point of all this? The organizer wanted to prove the physical inferiority of "primitive" peoples.

A Woman Competed in Shooting in 2012 While Eight Months Pregnant

The International Olympic Committee doesn’t have official records about this kind of thing, but Malaysian air rifle shooter Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi’s appearance at the 2012 Olympic games in London while eight months pregnant likely qualifies her for the title of “Most Pregnant Olympian Ever.” The New York Times reported at the time that the only other references to pregnant Olympians they could find were from the Winter Olympics, so Taibi’s summer showing is even rarer. Taibi’s strategy was amazing: "I will talk to her, say, 'Mum is going to shoot just for a while. Can you just be calm?'" She ended up finishing 34th out of 56 in the qualifying round, but that still means she beat 22 other women that weren’t deeply, deeply, pregnant.

The Founder of the Modern Olympics Didn't Want Women to Participate

The man largely responsible for the existence of the modern Olympics was kind of a sexist. Well, maybe more than “kind of”: he thought the games should be reserved exclusively for men. French Baron Pierre de Coubertin was basically a sexist quote factory. Here’s his view on women’s sport in general: “the most unaesthetic sight human eyes could contemplate.” Here he is in 1912 on what the Olympics should be all about: “the solemn and periodic exaltation of male athleticism with internationalism as a base, loyalty as a means, arts for its setting and female applause for its reward.” 

Mon, 01 Aug 2016 02:51:54 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/olympics-history-facts/kellen-perry
<![CDATA[The 10 Dumbest -Tober Themed Event Names]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-10-dumbest-tober-themed-event-names/lons
"Rocktober" concerts or radio station contests was one thing. Clear. Easy-to-understand. It passes the basic pun test - it rhymes and has at least a somewhat comprehensible meaning. Then "Shocktober" film festivals started happening, and I grew wary... but remained tolerant. Sure, horror movies give you a "shock" and they're fun to watch in October, the month of Halloween. So fair enough... "Shocktober" it is.

But I think we can all agree that the trend of putting -tober at the end of nouns that do not belong there has gone ENTIRELY off the rails at this point. People complain about the leaking of silly Internet slang like LOL into daily life, but you never hear anything about the serious and growing -tober suffix abuse crisis in this country today. That ends NOW.

This list contains all the most egregious mis-uses of the month of October. Remember, dear reader, that you, too, will have to play your part. Before you even consider putting an unconventional noun at the beginning of the name of a month... Is this really necessary? Is there a more hilarious way I could title my event than falling into this lame cliche? Now, because it's List-tober (see how annoying that is?), there are the dumbest event names that play on the tenth month of the year.
The 10 Dumbest -Tober Themed Event Names,

"Hey, we're a progressive university that wants to make sure our student body has access to basic information about their own sexuality, as well as birth control and other essential preventative health measures. What should we name our yearly public health seminar?"

If you guessed Sextober... you're half-right. That's what the student body of Northern Arizona University went with. Kent State, though, took it one step further... Sextoberfest! Woooo! I hope they were careful about where they publicized THAT event, because I'm thinking a lot of people are going to get the wrong idea. ("Sextoberfest has neither beer nor sex at it. Discuss.")

Above, see the video of the Kent State Sextoberfest activities, which for the gents apparently includes having a male peer loudly grill you about female anatomy before instructing you to reach into an oversized simulated vagina to remove condoms that have been stashed inside. Obviously meant to prepare you for the real world, in which women with large papier-mâché genitals will often get naked and yell at you to identify the arrangement of their various sex organs. Usually by the third date.

Below is some footage shot at the NAU "Sextober" event in which traumatized students are encouraged to open up about their childhood experiences with sex ed.

One guy recalls being shown, in the 4th grade, videos in which cartoon characters had sex. I hope someone got that teacher's name from him and alerted the authorities... but hey... anything goes in Sextober.
What better way to christen decorative gourd season than by firing off a powerful handgun? I legitimately can not think of a better way to do that. For real. Have you ever fired a powerful handgun at a decorative gourd? Me neither. But I bet that is freaking AWESOME.

Anyway, now I may finally get to find out, because the good people of GotGlock.org are holding a raffle, and lucky winners get one of these fabulous prizes:

Glock 17
Glock 19
Glock 22
Glock 23
Glock 26
Glock 27
Glock 31
Glock 32
Glock 33

I can't even decide which one I'd like the most!

I should add that this is one SERIOUSLY complicated online raffle. It's either called Glocktober or Glock-a-Day IN MAY! Both names are on the website.

I am not at all confused about how to get my Glock now! Also, it says that the event benefits "Drive Against Diabetes." Certainly a nice-sounding cause, although there's no link or explanation provided for what that actually is? (Maybe Ryan Gosling is raffling off his scorpion jacket as well? It's for charity!)
This real-life "Trucktober" ad from Texas plays off of the popularity of the "Powerthirst" energy drink ad parodies from YouTube.

Still, the fact that they know their memes and get Internet culture is no excuse for trying to make "Trucktober" happen.
The art of crockpot cookery FINALLY gets its due in Crocktober! (Yes, crockpot cooking gets an entire month out of the year, and is the ONLY cooking utensil to warrant such an honor. Obviously! Wait, what's that you say? It's also Woktober? Don't correct me on my own list, okay? It's tacky.)

According to crockpot uber-celebrity Sarah Darling, Crocktober is going to leave you saying, "Wait a minute... You made that in a crockpot slow cooker?" I'm not sure what exactly you could make in a crockpot that would be that so shocking... A nice batch of frosted sugar cookies, perhaps? A baked alaska? I mean, who knows what they have in store? Crocktober is full of surprises.
This spine-chilling ad for "Walktober" employee motivational events (also known as "grim death marches") asks: "Is there a time of year better suited to stepping out and going for a walk than fall?"

You mean, aside from spring and summer?

As for the "Walktober' program itself, it basically seems like a piece of software that instructs you to go for a walk, and then tries to not make it seem so arduous by telling you how far you've walked and showing you pictures of dark, autumnal foliage. (Oddly, the "walk tracker" in the ad seems to indicate that the user has walked across much of the Western United States. Surely that seems like a lot of walking to pack into a single month, but then again... it is the best time of the year for taking a walk... October... right?)

Every month on the Internet is Catober. Felines have already taken the entire day Saturday! That happens once a week as it is! Now they need a month, too? Come on! This is just getting ridiculous.

But somewhere along the line, adopted cat owners all got together and decided that all of their new pet's birthdays were officially going to be celebrated on October the 1st, now hereby declared to be (wait for it...) Catober the 1st! It's as close as you can get to hugging and kissing all the cats in the world, all at once, a feat that our leading cat-ologists had long considered impossible.

One more note... There are other, less cloying uses of the term Catober out there, if you look hard enough. I just want to be totally fair and unbiased.

And why SHOULDN'T progressive rock get combined with the notion of a 31-day period between September and November. Answer THAT one?

An all-day progressive rock "festival" at O'Riley's in Dallas, Texas, was first to coin the phrase "Prog-Tober" to denote a bunch of YES-heads hanging out and listening to needlessly keyboard-heavy 20-minute jams. But the trend has continued ever since, to the dismay of anyone who wishes Alan Parsons had taken on fewer projects.

DJ Jay Julien has also named this hour-long set of progressive-inspired mashups "A Touch of Progtober." But we shouldn't let the fact that it's kind of cool dissuade us from eradicating neologisms like "Prog-Tober" from the lexicon overall. Just want to be on the same page about this.

If you've ever wondered what Jim Henson's films might have been like if he was 7 years old and brutally insane... look no further than YouTube short "Socktober Nights," a horror film starring the titular footwear that's actually deeply chilling once you realize someone actually spent time making it and then uploading it to the Internet so that it could live on forever.

A less chilling (and, in fact, somewhat nuzzly soft) Socktober celebration also happens in the online knitting enthusiast community, when participants are encouraged to... um... knit socks in October. Yeah!
What's that? A concert featuring the works of Johann Sebastian Bach was being held on October 3, 2010? Naturally, they had to name that bitch "Bachtober." I mean, what are you going to do? It's Bach! It's in October! Do I have to print you out a map? A concept that would have been totally alien in Bach's time?

For shame, First Congregational Church of Fresno, for shame... Surely a celebration of the massive creativity of Bach himself should have a clever title! Maybe "Bach-a-Rock"! Or "Bach to Basics"! "Bach in Black"! Okay, I get it now... this is tougher than it looks.
Do they even have "October" in China, the land of woks? Seems like it'd be some month with a Chinese name. Or like the Month of the Goat or something. (Ha ha! It's fun to have fun with our differences!)

Anyway, various journalism-type publications and blogs have dedicated October to stir-fry cooking, the delicate art of dumping some oil and soy sauce into a heated pan and then throwing whatever you have sitting around in the fridge that's chop-uppable and hoping for the best.

Does heating up food in a conical pan really deserve to have an entire month dedicated to it? Well, only if you think it's important for people to be more educated about stir fry cooking! (So, in other words, no.)

[NOTE: Ranking high in the "Bad Wok-Themed Puns" list I'm bound to work on some day? Southern California pan-Asian restaurant chain Wokcano.]

Sun, 02 Oct 2011 07:34:23 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-10-dumbest-tober-themed-event-names/lons
<![CDATA[When Was America Greatest?]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/greatest-american-eras/jacob-shelton

Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again,” but what does that even mean? Depending on who you are, when you were born, and which socio-economic class you lucked into, the time period when America was great could be anywhere from the Revolutionary era to the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s. Even the greatest eras in American history were marred by ugliness and misfortune. Booming economic times shared space with terrorist attacks and the displacement of indigenous people. Put on your thinking cap and vote up the times when was America great.

From the Civil Rights movement to the waves of feminism that date back to the first great awakening, every era has had something going for it. But when was America last great? What era can you look back on and place a demarcation saying there’s been a steady decline in greatness ever since? Have we hit that moment in history yet? According to Donald Trump, the answer is yes, but what era do you think we should return to? What era do you think we should try to emulate?

Vote up the periods of U.S history to which you think “Make America Great Again” refers.

When Was America Greatest?,


What made it great: Slavery officially being not cool, the beginning of the public school system, railroad subsidies

What made it not so great: Things were still awful for African Americans, the Panic of 1873, the much-disputed 1876 Presidential election

The Space Race

What made it great: Neo-futurism, we went to the moon, a massive jump in technology.

What made it not so great: Sending animals into space to die, rocket development, finding exactly zero space aliens

The Revolutionary Era

What made it great: America winning its independence, no cell phones, people still loved poetry.

What made it not so great: All that fife music, slavery, no indoor plumbing

The Go-Go Eighties

What made it great: MTV, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the phrase "gag me with a spoon"

What made it not so great: Yuppies, Reaganomics, cocaine

The Post-WWII Boom

What made it great: Massive economic prosperity, malte shoppes, The Catcher in the Rye

What made it not so great: Racism, the threat of atomic annihilation, Atlas Shrugged

Progressive Era

What made it great: Political reform, everyone had a mustache, the upgrading of country life, Teddy Roosevelt shaking everybody's hand

What made it not so great: Prohibition, state-sponsored eugenics programs, the Influenza epidemic

The Gold Rush

What made it great: There was gold in them there hills! The growth of San Francisco, railroad construction

What made it not so great: Pushing Native Americans from their homes, organized attacks on foreign miners, the depletion of natural resources

The Great Awakening

What made it great: Spiritual equality was extended to African American slaves, women were told they could analyze their feelings

What made it not so great: Rampant hucksterism, the separation of the Calvinist movement

The Era of Good Feelings

What made it great: Everyone loved America, bitter bipartisan disputes ended, Monroe's tour of goodwill

What made it not so great: The panic of 1819, the Missouri Crisis, Jacksonian Nationalism

The Era of Continental Expansion

What made it great: We moved out west, the Homestead Act

What made it not so great: The War of 1812, mass annexation of Native land

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 06:35:58 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/greatest-american-eras/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[The Most Overblown Single Issues That Single Issue Voters Vote on]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/overblown-single-issues-in-politics/jacob-shelton

Single issue voting is something that people in the 21st century are far too comfortable with. Single issue politics get us nowhere in terms of a better and more responsible global community, and voting for one thing, or holding out your vote because there isn’t a candidate talking about your pet subject, can actually work against your cause in the long run. To examine the types of single issues voters pay too much attention to, keep reading and think about the issues that you can’t stop focusing on.

Because life is unfair, there are some important social issues that are barely acknowledged in our current political landscape, while there are a few single issue groups with too much sway. In their case, the squeakiest wheels get the grease, but are those squeaky wheels dragging down the democratic system? Or by focusing on those single issues are we ensuring that they’re taken care of and we can move on to the next issue in the following election cycle? Unfortunately it’s more of the former than the latter, and we want to know what single issues you think taking up too much of the focus.

Vote up the single issues in politics that people pay too much attention to. 

The Most Overblown Single Issues That Single Issue Voters Vote on,

Gun Control

GMOS in Food


The War on Drugs

Renewable Energy

Protecting Social Security

Global Warming

Third Party Candidates

Increasing Military Spending

Federal Funding for Planned Parenthood

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 05:37:36 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/overblown-single-issues-in-politics/jacob-shelton
<![CDATA[The Worst Tsunamis in History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-worst-tsunamis-in-history/drake-bird
List of the worst tsunamis in history, with pictures where possible. From the most recent, current tsunamis to those of the past, this list has them all. What was the worst tsunami ever? With death tolls reaching tragic proportions, these are not only the worst tsunamis environmentally, they're also the deadliest.

World disasters such as these famous natural catastrophes can affect the world on a global scale and test the preparedness and relief our governments can provide. What was the worst tsunamis in history? Such great disasters, despite the destruction and natural hazards that come along with them, can also bring forth examples of how big our hearts are as we as individuals provide aid alongside our countries. This list gives us the most major examples. Fortunately, events such as these are not always so disastrous, and can provide us with the opportunity to make plans for when these epic events occur. One thing's for sure, they'll make you think twice about the ocean next time you head out to catch a big wave.

If you're in shock over the size of some of the largest tsunamis ever recorded, try checking out the worst earthquakes, biggest tornadoes, and most tragic volcanic eruptions in history. They'll really enlighten you on the power of mother nature.
The Worst Tsunamis in History,

2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
On December 26, 2004, an earthquake released close to 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs mount of energy from beneath the Earth's surface. This unleashed a series of killer waves across the Indian Ocean that traveled as fast as a jet airliner. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake was the largest magnitude earthquake in 40 years and the tsunami it generated traveled as much as 3,000 miles to Africa. About 229,866 were found dead and one-third of the death toll were young children who were not strong enough to fight against the force of the waves.
1826 Japanese Earthquake
27000 Dead
1771 Great Yaeyama Tsunami
On April 24, 1771, the Yaeyama Great Earthquake caused the formation of the 1771 Great Yaeyama Tsunami. The tsunami hit both the Ishigaki and Miyakojima Island of Japan and killed a total of 12,000 people. Agriculture was severely damaged and the population decreased about one-third of what it was. The tsunami at Ishigaki reportedly reached a height of 262 feet.
1868 Arica Earthquake/Tsunami
The estimated 8.5 to 9.0 magnitude earthquake near Arica (then part of Peru, now part of Chile) in 1868 nearly destroyed all of Arica and its surrounding cities. The tsunami it produced almost completely destroyed the port city of Pisco. It also caused some damage in Hawaii, New Zealand and Japan. About 25,674 casualties were reported.
1896 Meiji-Sanriku Earthquake
The 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake hit Japan on a day when the country was celebrating both the return of soldiers from the Sinto Japanese War and a Shinto holiday. The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that took place was small but the tsunami that struck the coast of Sanriku 35 minutes later was much greater. Waves as high as 125 feet were measured and nearly 9,000 homes were destroyed. 22,070 were reported dead and an unusually high count of victims with fractured skulls and broken or missing limbs. Hawaii also suffered some destruction from the tsunami as waves of 30 feet were measured there.
1792 Mount Unzen
The 1792 eruption of Mount Unzen in western Kyushu, Japan is the most deadliest volcanic eruption ever in Japan. It caused a megatsunami that reached up to 330 feet and killed 15,030 people.
1908 Messina Earthquake/Tsunami
An earthquake of 7.1 hit Messina, a city in the island of Sicily, on December 28, 1908. The earthquake shook for 30 to 40 seconds and moments after, a tsunami of 40 feet high formed and struck the nearby coasts. At the time, the buildings there were not made earthquake resistent and 93% of the structures in Messina were destroyed. Entire families were buried under heavy roofing and debris and were still being discovered and pulled out days later. Other families, were not so lucky and the natural catastrophe numbered about 123,000 dead.
1755 Lisbon Earthquake/Tsunami/Fire
Geologists today estimate that the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, was close to a magnitude of 9 on the moment magnitude scale. With an epicenter in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km of Cape St. Vincent in southern Portugal, the megathrust earthquake was one of the deadliest earthquakes in history. It was followed by fires and a tsunami that destroyed most of Lisbon in the Kingdom of Portugal. The tsunami occurred approximately 40 minutes after the earthquake and engulfed the harbour, downtown and other nearby cities. Tsunamis as tall as 66 feet also swept the coast of North Africa and struck islands across the Atlantic like Martinique and Barbados. A ten-foot tsunami also hit Cornwall on the southern English coast and Galway on the west coast of Ireland. A total of 100,000 were reported dead from the disaster.
1883 Eruption of Krakatoa
It's not only earthquakes that can caused monstrous tsunamis; volcanic eruptions do the same as well. On August 27, 1883, four huge eruptions from the Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia took place, resulting in four different tsunamis over 100 feet tall. There were absolutely no survivors at the island of Sebesi, the nearest island to the volcano and bodies were found floating in the ocean for weeks after the event. The total death total was around 36,000.
1707 Hoei Earthquake
The 1707 Hoei earthquake is the only earthquake to have ruptured all segments of the Nankai megathrust simultaneously and is the second largest earthquake to have ever hit Japan besides the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The estimated magnitude of the quake was 8.6. The consequent tsunami ran along the southwestern coast of Kochi and ran up to an average of 25 feet to 32 feet in some places. The total dead were estimated to be 30,000.

Thu, 24 Feb 2011 08:25:00 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/the-worst-tsunamis-in-history/drake-bird
<![CDATA[The Most Outlandish Barack Obama Conspiracy Theories]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/barack-obama-conspiracy-theories/mike-rothschild
Ever since he emerged onto the national political scene in 2004, Barack Obama has been followed around by conspiracy theories. Everything from his religion, birth certificate, childhood, and country of origin to his sexuality and his status as not being the anti-Christ has been questioned, debated, smeared, impugned, and accused of being false. But what are the facts about these Obama conspiracies?

Even the casual conspiracy theory watcher is familiar with the most popular of these theories: that he's secretly Muslim, that he was born in Kenya, that he has no legal US birth certificate, that his father isn't actually his father, that he stole the election, etc.

But it takes a real conspiracy maven to dig this deep and find some of the alleged plots on this list of truly outrageous Barack Obama conspiracy theories. Did he REALLY threaten to kill Chelsea Clinton? Is he REALLY a dictatorial tyrant? Did he REALLY plot to nuke the country and shut down our computer grid?

Read on and find out... though be careful. Mysterious deaths also follow this president around...

Please note that some of the material on this list is based on work done for the website Skeptoid, particularly this post.

The Most Outlandish Barack Obama Conspiracy Theories,

He Threatened to Kill Chelsea Clinton!
This rather inflammatory conspiracy came from the Twitter account of a Fox News reporter, Heather Childers. She would later claim she was “just soliciting opinions” when she tweeted “Thoughts? Did Obama Campaign Threaten Chelsea Clinton’s Life 2 Keep Parents Silent?”

She included a link to a blog post from “Godfather Politics,” a video of a woman named Bettina Viviano discussing her anti-Obama documentary We Will Not Be Silenced
The biggest bombshell of the clip was that someone with the Hilary Clinton campaign told her that Chelsea would be “next” if the Clinton’s didn’t stop making insinuations about Obama’s birthplace.

Viviano presented no proof to back up this shocking accusation, only hearsay that “someone told her” it happened. Childers later apologized for disseminating the unfounded rumor, but added that it was “interesting” that so many people were “offended” by it.

He's Plotting to Cancel the 2014 Midterm and/or 2016 Election!
While this one won't be conclusively proven to be false until the elections actually take place, (it was at least false for the 2014 midterms), the conspiracy-minded corners of the Internet are abuzz with rumors that Obama is plotting to suspend them and install himself as dictator for life.

Putting aside the fact that there's really no legal mechanism for a president to "cancel" an election, and that these same rumors were going around before the 2012 election, and before the 2008 election - when they were connected to President Bush. Those elections happened, and so too will the 2016 presidential election.

Or so we can hope.

He's the Biggest Golfer in Presidential History!
President Obama's enjoyment of golf and his seemingly-frequent games have led to speculation that he golfs more than any other president in history. But while some conspiracy theories are just idle chatter, this one can be proven or disproven with facts.

The website Obama Golf Counter lists the president as having played 190+ rounds since taking office. However, several other presidents are known to have played far more golf, including over 1,500 rounds for Woodrow Wilson, and close to 900 for Dwight Eisenhower. Even Bill Clinton is thought to have played about 400 rounds. At his current pace, President Obama won't even come close to those numbers.

He Purged the Military of Renegade Generals!
In October, 2013, a list started going around denoting anywhere between 9 and 200 military officers President Obama had "purged" since taking office. The shorter lists focus on just high-ranking officers who'd been demoted, transferred, or fired by the President. Conspiracy theorists seized on this as "proof" that Obama was enacting the final stages of his takeover of the US, eliminating any general or admiral who stood in his way.

But a simple analysis of the list shows that of the nine officers, most were dismissed due to either legal misconduct or conduct unbecoming to their rank. Several others had hit their mandatory retirement ages. As for the list of 200, nobody has bothered analyzing it, and military officers are routinely transferred, demoted, and leave the service.

He's Plotting to Nuke the Entire Population!
According to right-wing activist and self-proclaimed former intelligence agent Jim Garrow, Obama was plotting with "leftist billionaire" George Soros to launch the mother of all false flag attacks on the US. Obama had ordered three nuclear weapons detonated "to devastate all computer related systems on the continent thus taking America back 200 years and guaranteeing a total breakdown in society and with in one year the death of 300 million Americans."

According to Garrow, the only thing that stopped Obama was a small group of high-ranking military officers - who were promptly fired.

Needless to say, no compelling evidence has been found to support Garrow's theory, nor is there a plausible mechanism by which three nuclear bombs could bring down all of America's computer network, nor any reason why this would kill the entire population.

He Thanked Satan in His Acceptance Speech!
This popular YouTube video (over 4.7 million views and counting) makes the case that Obama subliminally thanked the Dark Lord in his speech on Election Night, 2008. He did this by saying “yes we can," which when listened to backwards is actually “Thank you, Satan.”

The video also posits that Obama used reverse speech to utter a variety of other nonsensical phrases like “the time of: us gets, that ain’t leave – selled by gambit – we selled back – with Narif” and “Woman don’t add, it’s God’s name – marker will lash you.”

In reality, "yes we can" backwards can be tortured to sound like "thank you, Satan," but only through confirmation bias. And nothing else the video claims has any relation to anything that makes sense in the English language.

He's Issued More Executive Orders Than Any President Ever!
This is another one of those conspiracy theories that can actually be proved or disproved with facts. A number of websites cite the voluminous number of Executive Orders issued by President Obama as proof that he's a dictatorial tyrant ramping up for the final takeover of the country.

One popular chain email from 2012 listed 923 EOs issued by President Obama, and others claim he's issued over 1,000. But in reality, Obama has issued an extremely small number of EOs. Federalregister.gov lists 194 EOs as of this writing, or 32 per year. President George W. Bush issued 287, or about 36 per year. And President Clinton issued 308, or 38 per year. In fact, no president this century has issued fewer EOs than Barack Obama.

There's just no truth to the rumor that Obama is taking over the country, one pen stroke at a time.

He's Killed a Whole Long List of People!
The Internet is rife with long lists of people Barack Obama has allegedly had murdered to advance his agenda. If someone has died any time between 2008 and whatever day you are reading this, someone else is blaming Obama for it, no matter how they died or who they were.

Tom Clancy
? Murdered by Obama. Whitney Houston? Murdered by Obama. Journalist Michael Hastings? Murdered by Obama. A government official in Hawaii who helped release Obama's birth certificate? Murdered by Obama.

Every president has these types of "body count lists" associated with them, and there's almost never a connection between the president and the people who died, nor any evidence that the president had anything to do with their death.

He Married His Male Roommate!
Almost as soon as Barack Obama came into the public eye, accusations started flying about his sexual orientation.

Probably the most out there of these claims involves Obama’s time at Occidental College in Los Angeles. The theory says that while he was a student there, he was secretly married to his male, Muslim roommate.
The originator is conservative blogger Jerome Corsi, who created and uploaded a 13 minute YouTube video that “just asks questions” about the relationship Obama had with his roommate, a Pakistani national named Sohale Siddiqi.

Corsi uses a variety of circumstantial evidence and hearsay to make a shocking accusation – that not only were they lovers, they were actually married. Of course, no proof of this exists, Siddiqi never claimed any such thing (he lives in Seattle and has been interviewed about this on multiple occasions) and same-sex marriage wasn’t actually legal in California when Obama lived there. Other than that...

He Secretly Had Brain Surgery!
This theory started floating around in April, 2011 and originated with a blog post on something called  “Escape Tyranny." Appropriately titled “What’s that huge long scar on Obama’s head? And is that why we can’t see his birth certificate?” the post speculates that a long mark running down the president’s head is not just an oddity, but a scar left over from brain surgery that replaced his cranial plates and implanted him with now “misfiring” circuitry – the proof of which is found in his verbal tic of a slight stammer.

The post was picked up by the UK’s Daily Mail a few days later, which took the extra step of harassing “countless” neurosurgeons, all of whom said it wasn’t their place to comment on what the scar could be. Within a week, it had gone viral, with mentions by Glenn Beck, CNN, and Fox News – all of whom wrote it off as absurd. 

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 05:10:28 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/barack-obama-conspiracy-theories/mike-rothschild
<![CDATA[17 Times Wine Changed the World and Altered History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/how-wine-changed-the-world/laura-allan
We all know that wines can liven up a dinner party, and that a little wine can be the perfect end to a long day. But did you know that when you sip wine you're taking a sip of history? That's right, wine has been the catalyst for many historical events and trends. So, now you know there's history in wine, and also wine in history.

It's not just the French and the Italians that have seen wine change history, either. The Russians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, and even the Turks have all seen their history books change due to a glass or bottle of wine at some point. Of course, the effects of wine on our global timeline aren't always exactly pleasant. What can we say? Wine may be perfection, but people are flawed, especially when they're tipsy. 

We may forever argue over who first invented wine, or who makes it best, but one thing is certain: the world would not be the way it is today without wine. Take a look at our list on how wine changed the world, and you'll see that we should be toasting wine, rather than just toasting with it. 
17 Times Wine Changed the World and Altered History,

Wine Kept Roman Troops Happy and Healthy as They Conquered Most of Europe
Wine keeps people happy, right? Well, the Romans certainly thought so. In 200 BC, they began to dictate that all soldiers should drink 2-3 liters of wine for their health and morale. It might sound crazy but this wine, called posca, did in fact have medicinal propertiesIt's full of antioxidants and vitamin C, and because it's very acidic, it kills all the bacteria in the water, keeping the soldiers on their feet! Around this time, with the help of posca, Rome managed to defeat Carthage, who had a pretty solid stranglehold over the Mediterranean, thus strengthening their empire. 
"The Blood of Christ" Became a Religious Staple, Even in Prohibition
Whether or not you believe Jesus existed, it's hard to deny what his existence in religious lore has meant to the world. According to the Bible, he was also quite fond of wine, as shown by his water into wine miracle. It was also written that, at the Last Supper, he gave his disciples wine and told them it was his blood, shed for them. The moment those words were penned, they became a part of religious ceremonies still used today. When Prohibition in the United States came around, the only wineries that stayed open were those that claimed to make sacramental wine, so we can thank the Lord for that too!
The Ottoman Empire Began to Crumble Thanks to a Love of Wine
Süleyman the Magnificent pushed the Ottman Empire to be massive, up to the point where they even had Somalia under their rule. However, his predecessor Selim II preferred getting drunk to expanding his empire, and his favorite drink was wine. In fact, the only time when he tried to really take over anything was when he sought out Cyprus, the maker of his favorite wines. However, Cyprus was having none of that and fought back, killing 90% of his navy and 30,000 sailors. While he was doing all this, the rest of the empire began to call into disrepair, and thus was the beginning of the fall
Wine Determined Whether or Not the Greeks Thought You Were Civilized
If the ancient Greeks thought you were cool, chances are, you really were. And the best way to get those Greeks to like you? Why, give them wine, of course! You see, the ancient Greeks believed that creating wine was a fine art, so much so that they had a god that was focused on drinking it. If you could create wine, the Greeks would consider you civilized rather than backwards and barbarous, at least according to Thucydides, and many alliances were formed when the Greeks respected other "civilized" societies. In short, the ancient world looked the way it did because the Greeks respected other winemakers. 
The Need to Store Wine Pushed People to Create Some of the First Storage Devices
One of the unfortunate things about wine is that if you don't store it right, it doesn't age well and it goes bad. This means that early wine makers either had to drink up awfully fast, or they had to figure out a means of preserving and keeping the wine. In China, dating all the way back to around 7,000 BC, people began making fermented fruit and honey wine, and storing it in earthenware jars. These jars then became pots, amphoras, and eventually the bottles we see today. This storage method could also be used for various foods, meaning people could keep food fresh longer, too.
Wine Led to Glass and Glass Led to Basically Everything Else
Somewhere in all this Greek and Roman winemaking, people started to think that it was high time we found a new way to store wine. We were already using glass to make beads, cups, and little bits of jewelry, but the full range of its use wasn't really explored until the Romans started making glass containers for wine around 100 BC. From there, uses for glass began to pop up everywhere in art and science - and it all began with wanting to store wine better. 
Wine Made the Scots and the French Best Friends - And Snubbed England
Around 1295, England was getting a little too big for its britches, and it was making people kind of nervous. In particular, France and Scotland were really focusing on trying to keep England from getting any bigger. So, in order to stop them, the two countries formed a treaty called the Auld Alliance. The Scots, however, got an added benefit of having first pick of all the best French wines, leaving England with a lesser selection. So, in its most basic form, the Scots' love of wine is what kept England from becoming a crazy powerhouse, and kept France strong, too. 
Wine Encouraged Cross-Continental Trading
By around 900 BC, the Romans really had this whole wine thing down to a science. They were growing grapes, making different varieties of wine, and storing it in amphora. The obvious next step was to start trading it. Some of the very first cross-continent trading was with wine, and that trade developed and grew until it became the booming industry we see today. From there blossomed political alliances, the trading of information and techniques, and of course, even more varieties of wine.
The Pharaohs Used Wine to Seem Like Crazy Powerful Gods
If you were rich and lived in Egypt back around 1,500 BC, then you drank wine. If you weren't, you didn't. It's as simple as that. Pharaohs drank wine and offered it to the gods, and even had wine buried with them from multiple wineries (yes, they had multiple wineries). Given that Egypt was a slave-loving country, the use of wine as a means of status kept the rich on top and the poor on the bottom, where they only drank beer
Cleopatra Used Wine to Win a Bet (But She Probably Cheated)
Wine was always one of this fabled beauty's ploys for greatness. She used drinking to get to know Julius Caesar, and she allegedly had wild drunken parties with her guests. But her most notable use of alcohol was to win over Marc Antony and form one of the most famous romances in history.

The story goes like this: Cleopatra made a bet with Antony over whether she could spend a small fortune in a single meal. She was determined to impress him and so at dinner time, she brought forth one of the largest pearls then known. She dropped it into a glass of wine, then drank the concoction down. He was, needless to say, impressed. The catch is that she might have made the cocktail using red wine vinegar, in order to dissolve the pearl, instead of plain wine.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 07:58:06 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/how-wine-changed-the-world/laura-allan
<![CDATA[12 Surprising Facts About Emiliano Zapata, Mexico's Reluctant Revolutionary]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/surprising-emiliano-zapata-facts/philgibbons

Chances are you've heard the name Emiliano Zapata but don't know that much about him. But the man, a staunch idealist who became a reluctant revolutionary, had a massive impact on Mexican history. He was a freedom fighter who, in no uncertain terms, changed the course of history. So maybe now you're interested in learning some badass Emiliano Zapata stories and surprising Emiliano Zapata facts? 

Admittedly, "badass" is a relative term for Zapata. He wasn't kicking down doors with a six shooter in each hand, or rolling into town pumping out rounds from his shotgun while smoking a giant Cuban cigar. Rather, Zapata was a compassionate idealist who fought for the rights of the common people. Despite his lasting national importance, Zapata saw himself as little more than a local leader. But also, come on, raising an army and taking the fight to wealthy and oppressive forces is totally badass. 

Read on to learn all about the life and exploits of this legendary Mexican revolutionary. Amidst the chaos and corruption of early 20th century Mexico, Zapata stuck to a fundamental vision and simple concepts concerning freedom and economic justice. He is a remarkable historical figure, revered Mexican symbol of national pride.   

12 Surprising Facts About Emiliano Zapata, Mexico's Reluctant Revolutionary,

Women Were Heavily Involved in Zapata's Army (Though Weren't Treated Very Well)

Known as Soldaderas and/or Adelitas, women served many functions during the Mexican Revolution, ranging from camp followers who provided companionship and domestic help to combatants (although female combatants were rare). Zapatistas were not known for their sensitivity in acquiring female followers.  If a village filled with women resisted joining the movement, they used threats and intimidation. Even soldaderas who joined with their husbands led a difficult life. It's said horses were treated better than women in Zapatista camps, because they were worth more. 

His Manifesto on Land Reform Cemented the Zapatista Revolutionary Movement

During the early years of his uprising, Zapata allied himself with Francisco Madero, an opponent of Porfirio Diaz, hoping to push for the enactment of land reform through political channels. Madero didn't follow through on promises, so Zapata broke with him, regrouped in the mountains of southern Mexico, and announced the Plan de Ayala, in 1911. The plan, basically a political platform, called for all stolen land to be returned to the people, and for one third of large haciendas to be nationalized. Those landowners who refused to comply would have all their land seized and nationalized. 

Zapata intended to impose his plan on Madero by force. However, as fate would have it, Madero was deposed and executed by another strongman, Victoriano Huerta. Huerta was so despised, he united the revolutionary armies of Mexico against him.  

Previous to the drafting of Plan de Ayala, Zapata had no written mission statement. Thus, the plan served as something of a manifesto, concretely declaring the beliefs at the heart of the Zapatista movement, which continue to affect Mexican politics and social life into the 21st century. 

Despite Revolutionary Tendencies, Zapata Wasn't a Marxist

Some associate Zapata with Marxist intellectuals and revolutionaries like Vladimir Lenin or even Che Guevara, though in reality, he was was a farmer and entrepreneur. He took up arms to right the perceived mistreatment of his neighbors and the unfair confiscation of land, not to herald the dawn of a political revolution.   

Zapata disliked the tyranny of a brutal central government that favored the wealthy over the peasantry; an anarchist, possibly, but Zapata was no Marxist. One famous attributed quote: "One of the happiest days of my life was when I made five or six hundred pesos from a crop of watermelons I raised all on my own."

Zapata was, at his heart, a socialist, who believed in fair access for all to the means of production, which he believed would lead to prosperity for the community.   

He's Responsible for One of the Most Famous and Misattributed Quotes Ever

The quote "I'd rather die on my feet, than live on my knees"  has been attributed to several high profile 20th century revolutionaries, including Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Spain's La Pasonaria (Dolores Ibarruri). Aeschylus wrote something sort of similar in Prometheus Bound ("For it would be better to die once and for all than to suffer pain for all one's life.") and French socialist François-Noël Babeuf famously said "Ne vaut-il pas mieux emporter la gloire de n'avoir pas survecu a la servitude?" (roughly: "Would it not be better to take the glory of not having survived a bondage?"), which have similar sentiments to the famous quote, despite the different wording. 

So where does this quote really come from? Look no further than Emiliano Zapata, who said "Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas," which translates quite literally to "I prefer to die on my feet than live on my knees." A nice summation on Zapata's views of his revolutionary activity, and staunch refusal to live a life of servitude to wealthy landowners. 

His Guerrilla Army Took Land Back from Wealthy Thieves and Redistributed It to the People

Land reform was the main component of Zapata's political beliefs, as exemplified by his movement's slogan, Tierra y Libertad (Land and Liberty). His followers were known as Zapatistas, peasants who were determined to redistribute land taken over by wealthy landowners who ran huge tracts known as haciendas. 

As Zapata himself famously said, "The land belongs to those who work it with their hands." These words have been evoked as recently as the 1990s by Mexican writers and radicals seeking rights for workers and indigenous people throughout the country. The fight for land ownership expanded from Zapata's village to consume all of Mexico; the cause of ownership and guerilla practice of seizing land was one of the main catalysts for the Revolution in 1910. 

He Was a Bit of Dandy, Because He Believed His Position Called for It

Zapata dressed like a traditional Mexican charro, or horseman, with tight black pants, silver buttons, a large brimmed circular sombrero, a linen shirt and jacket, a colorful scarf around his neck, polished boots and spurs, and, most importantly of all, a pistol tucked into his belt. He did so, he said, because he wanted to wear his best clothes, like the chief of any village. With a long handlebar mustache, Zapata had the appearance of the quintessential Mexican Revolutionary. 

Like Most Mexican Revolutionaries, Zapata Was a Stubborn Bastard

When Victoriano Huerta, who seized control of Mexico in a counter-revolutionary coup, was defeated and fled in June 1914, the country was in the position to create a new constitution and government. At first, Zapata, Villa, Venustiano Carranza, and others revolutionary leaders worked toegether.

However, as Carranza maneuvered his way toward the presidency, and Zapata suspected his Plan de Ayala would become a matter of little importance to the central government, things began to fall apart. Both Zapata and Villa broke away from the new government, which was supported by the United States. Zapata's rationale was his steadfast refusal to accept anything other than the complete implementation of his plan, and his belief that the new government had little concern for agrarian issues. 

Villa and Zapata were wary of one another, yet suspected they would need one another's support to stand up to Carranza. They met at the Presidential Palace in Mexico City on December 7, 1914, forming tentative agreement to unite that never amounted to anything. In the wake of the agreement, Zapata returned to Morelos, which he had been granted control of after Huerta fled, and focused on implementing land reform. Meanwhile, Villa suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of Carranza at the Battle of Celaya in April 1915, ending his aura of invincibility.

The defeat placed pressure on Zapata; with Villa neutralized, Carranza turned attention to Zapata, sending troops into Morelos, attempting to capture or kill Zapata and his rebels.

He Was Assassinated by the Federal Government, Cementing His Folkloric Outlaw Status

In 1916, Carranza sent General Pablo Garza to Morelos in an attempt to destroy the Zapatista movement. Supporters of Zapata were to be massacred or shipped out of the state to serve elsewhere as slave labor. Zapata lost control of the state, but the brutality of the occupying Federal troops allowed for a gradual counterattack and a reestablishment of the Zapatistas by the end of 1916.  

Outside Morelos, the revolution was dissipating, as many grew tired of constant violence, chaos and death. For two years, Zapata survived, fighting the Carrancistas to a stalemate. In early 1919, as a harsh winter and influenza epidemic wiped 25% of the population of Morelos, Zapata's situation grew tenuous. He began to negotiate with a potential Federal turncoat, Colonel Jesus Guajardo, in response to Guajardo's offer to defect with men and weapons.  

Zapata put Guajardo through an elaborate test to determine whether was sincere, then decided to meet him. Zapata was greeted with a hail of bullets. 

He Was a Relatively Humble Guy in a Time of Chaotic Political Hubris

From May of 1911 until May 1920, Mexico had nine presidents, most of whom served for very brief periods. Zapata's lifetime was an era rife with generals raising their own armies, military coups, fleeing dictators, foreign intervention, multiple fronts of sectarian violence, and political chaos. However, unlike most power players of the time, Zapata had no political ambitions. His army was relatively disorganized, and he saw himself as nothing more than a local village leader trying to create a dialogue that might lead to political reform. He was a reluctant national figure in an era of ridiculous political hubris. 

That said, as you'll learn as you read on, Zapata was also stubborn as a goddamn mule, and refused to budge on land reform. 

His Honest Attempts to Protect His Village's Way of Life Turned Into a Revolution

Emiliano Zapata was born August 8, 1879 in Morelos, a state just south of Mexico City in south-central Mexico. His family lived for several generations in the tiny pueblo of Anenecuilco, where they raised and trained horses. The Zapatas weren't wealthy, but neither were they peons, the indentured peasant farmers who were virtually slaves.  

Zapata's father died when Emiliano was 17, making him the breadwinner of the family. At age thirty, he was named leader of the town council of his village, and resolved to do something about his townspeople's economic oppression. When his discussions with governmental officials went nowhere, he and 80 fellow townspeople armed themselves and began to take back expropriated property, or land taken from the people.  

Under the leadership of dictator Porfirio Diaz, large landowners known as Hacendados frequently expropriated land from the peasant community, ignoring laws and property rights.  Zapata's peasant army, which grew exponentially as he continued reclaiming stolen land, was one of the many factors prompting Diaz to flee the country, setting off the Mexican Revolution.  

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 07:23:01 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/surprising-emiliano-zapata-facts/philgibbons
<![CDATA[12 Symbols and Codes Hidden in Renaissance Art That You Never Would Have Noticed]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/renaissance-art-symbols-and-codes/kellen-perry

Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code has been thoroughly debunked as being nothing but a “beach book” with no basis in reality (despite Brown's claims of a scholarly pedigree). Brown’s become something of a joke to actual art history scholars, mainly because he made the general public start thinking there were mysterious codes and symbols in Renaissance art—and hidden meaning in art in general—when there largely isn’t. There’s no doubt, of course, that artists use symbolism in their work and have for centuries, but it’s not the coded biblical messages and prophesies that a lot of people think.

There are, however, other examples of hidden meanings, messages, and “Easter eggs” in Renaissance art that are pretty damn cool, even if they don’t tell us when the world will end or where the treasure is buried. Read on for some of the coolest—and totally legit—examples of secrets hidden in Renaissance art.

12 Symbols and Codes Hidden in Renaissance Art That You Never Would Have Noticed,

Arnolfini Portrait

If you look closely at the background of The Arnolfini Portrait, you’ll notice some writing on the wall (top right) and a small mirror (bottom right).

The writing means “Jan van Eyck was here 1434,” which means it’s the artist “tagging” the wall of his own painting. Beyond that, if you look in the mirror, you’ll notice—and this is only noticeable using a magnifying glass with a physical copy—that van Eyck managed to paint a pretty accurate reflection of the scene in the mirror, including what appears to be a tiny self-portrait.

One controversial theory for van Eyck's “tagging” is that the painting was meant as a legal record of the marriage of the couple depicted, Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife, and van Eyck signed his name as a witness to the marriage, which is a pretty cool thought.

The Creation of Adam

Everyone’s familiar with Michelangelo’s famous image, The Creation of Adam, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, featuring God in his nightgown reaching out to touch the finger of Adam. But have you ever wondered what’s going on behind God? Why such a weird cluster of cherubs? What does it mean? Art experts think the likeliest answer is that Michelangelo, who had dissected human bodies in the past, meant for the shape to a be a giant brain. It’s a pretty compelling argument, especially when you see diagrams detailing the similarities.

The Ambassadors

It sounds like something you’d find in a cheesy haunted house: an old painting with a hidden skull, visible only as you ascend the stairs. But that’s exactly what’s going on in The Ambassadors. It’s called anamorphosis, a piece of visual trickery where an artist intentionally creates a distorted image that is “reconstituted” if looked at from the right perspective. See that strange smear of white and black at the feet of the titular ambassadors? The image on the right is what it looks like when viewed "correctly."

Spooky! Scholars are torn about why, exactly, Holbein would include this little illusion. Some say he might have just been showing off.


Caravaggio’s painting Bacchus features pretty much what you’d expect in a portrait of the Greek god of wine: a big goblet of vino, a bowl of fruit, a chilled-out Dionysus in a toga, and a tiny artist drowning in a carafe. Wait—what?

Do you see him? It’s hard to photograph clearly, but it’s Caravaggio at age 25, according to art restoration experts. Tiny little Caravaggio was first spotted by a restorer cleaning the painting in 1922, but “poor restoration efforts” in the years that followed made him practically invisible. In 2009, researchers used a technique called reflectography to catch a glimpse of the diminutive self-portrait as Caravaggio  intended. He appears, actually, to be not inside the carafe, but a reflection on the carafe, ”with an arm held out towards a canvas on an easel.”

Netherlandish Proverbs

The Netherlandish Proverbs is essentially a giant game of Where’s Waldo? with literal illustrations of Danish proverbs and idioms instead of... whatever Waldo was supposed to be. It’s chock full of little scenes of peasants being absolutely ridiculous, but if you look closely, each scene actually illustrates a proverb.

Some are still in use today (in slightly modified forms) such as “Killing two flies with one stroke" (top right). But some are pretty obscure, like “They both crap through the same hole” (bottom right), meaning they’re “inseparable comrades.” The Wikipedia page for The Netherlandish Proverbs has an excellent breakdown of the 112 proverbs found in the painting. Scholars think Bruegel may have hidden even more that have yet to be found.

Benvenuto Cellini: Perseus with the Head of Medusa (1545)

At first glance, Perseus with the Head of Medusa, as the name implies, features two faces: mythological Greek hero Perseus and hideous snake-haired Gorgon Medusa, recently beheaded. But if you take a peek at the back of Perseus’s helmet, sculptor Benvenuto Cellini left a little surprise...

Hello! It’s Cellini’s bearded self-portrait. Cellini also signed his name on Perseus’s belt, just in case anyone forgot who made this bronze masterpiece.

Angolo Bronzino: An Allegory with Venus and Cupid (1545)

Christopher Cook claims in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine that An Allegory with Venus and Cupid is actually all about syphilis. Nearly every detail, he argues, suggests that the real “lesson” of the piece is that “with unchaste love comes not only joy and pleasure, but also painful consequence.” There is plenty of creepy evidence to back this up, including the thorn that is piercing the small child’s foot next to Venus. The kid is “foolishly indifferent to the damage,” perhaps as a symbol for “syphilitic myelopathy and nerve damage.” Regardless of Bronzino’s intentions with the painting, there’s one hidden element that is spooky as hell when you see it:

The little girl is actually a monster.

Albrecht Durer: Young Couple Threatened By Death (Promenade) (1498)

If you look closely at Young Couple Threatened by Death (Promenade), you’ll notice some writing on the lady’s dress.

The seemingly gibberish phrase “O NORICA 9” can be seen, along with a brooch and a few symbols, across her shoulder and left breast. What does that mean? The meaning of “O” and “9” is unclear, but NORICA is Latin for “from Hungary,” which is a nod to the artist’s homeland. It’s also a clue that the woman, despite her telltale “Nuremberg hat,” is not actually from Nuremberg. So it’s doubly scandalous, because the headgear on display here also indicates that the dude is a bachelor and the lady is married. Uh oh!

Michelangelo: Zechariah (1508-1512)

Author and Vatican scholar Roy Dolinger spent six years investigating Michelangelo’s work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for his book The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican and made some pretty neat discoveries. Among them was a putti (small angel) “making the fig”—sticking your thumb between your index and middle fingers, the Renaissance equivalent of flipping someone off—behind the back of the prophet Zechariah.

Why? Michelangelo modeled Zechariah on the then-current Pope, Pope Julius II, also known as Il Papa Terribile, the Fearsome Pope. It was Michelangelo’s way, Dolinger argues, of insulting the Pope in a subtle way. The gesture is so small that’s it’s difficult to see from the ground, which would be the only way Il Papa Terribile would have ever seen it.

The Voynich Manuscript (1404–1438)

Everything about the so-called Voynich manuscript is cryptic and mysterious, earning its reputation as “the ultimate work of outsider art.” It’s written in an unknown language—still not deciphered—by an unknown author. The illustrations and diagrams appear to be scientific in nature, but no one knows for sure what they’re meant to display, or who actually drew them. Carbon dating tells us that it’s from the early 15th century, but no one knows where, exactly, it originally came from. Some experts—such as William F. Friedman, “chief cryptologist for the American military in both world wars”—think it’s an attempt at creating an artificial language.

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:12:49 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/renaissance-art-symbols-and-codes/kellen-perry
<![CDATA[Belle Movie Quotes]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/belle-movie-quotes/movie-and-tv-quotes
"Belle" movie quotes tell the true story of an illegitimate mixed-race girl raised by aristocrats in the 1700s. The historical drama, based on the true life of Dido Elizabeth Belle was directed by Amma Asante and written by Misan Sagay. "Belle" premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival before its May 2, 2014, theatrical opening in the United States and June 13, 2014, opening in the United Kingdom.

In "Belle," Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) finds his illegitimate daughter living in poverty and takes her to live with his uncle, William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson). While Lady Mansfield (Emily Watson) isn't too keen on inviting the girl into their home, they all agree that the girl deserves this life as she is blood. They name her Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and raise her alongside their other niece Lady Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon).

But having a black child in the house makes things difficult. She is not treated as an equal but is treated better than the house slaves and is not presented for marriage like Elizabeth but is still considered part of the family. This makes it especially difficult for Dido to learn her place in the world, which still looks down upon those of color. So when Dido has a choice of husbands, between one who is, as Lord Mansfield puts it, is on her level in Oliver Ashford (James Norton) and someone who accepts her but is not of their rank in John Davinier (Sam Reid), Dido is especially torn. This also puts a strain on Lord Mansfield who as Lord Chief Justice is presiding over a slavery case that could advance abolition forever.

"Belle" is just one of several spring 2014 films worth seeing as is "Walk of Shame," "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," "Locke," "Brick Mansions," "The Other Woman," "Transcendence," "A Haunted House 2," "Heaven is for Real," "Draft Day," "Under the Skin," "Dom Hemingway," "Joe," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Sabotage," "Noah," "Blood Ties," the "Veronica Mars" movie, "Need for Speed."
Belle Movie Quotes,

Laws That Allow Us to Diminish the Humanity
John Danvier: "Laws that allow us to diminish the humanity of anybody are not laws."

John Danvier speaks in court on the slavery case being heard by Lord Mansfield. John is trying to make slavery illegal and that puts Lord Mansfield in a delicate position.
Do You Love Her?
Lady Mansfield: "Do you love her?"
Lord Mansfield: "As though she were created of you and me."

Lord Mansfield is facing a tough decision as Lord Chief Justice with consequences that could advance abolition. Having a niece of color, one he loves as if she were their own daughter, makes this tough, especially in the 1700s.
Now We Have Two Nieces in Our Guardianship
Lady Mansfield: "Born on English soil?"
Lord Mansfield: "Indeed. He discovered her mother aboard a captured English slave ship."
Lady Mansfield: "So, now we have two nieces in our guardianship."
Lord Mansfield: "Elizabeth was in much need of a companion."
Lady Mansfield: "And that is what we shall say when questions are asked."
Lord Mansfield: "We shall say that in accordance with her birthright, she is entitled to live beneath this roof. That is the nature of order."
Lady Mansfield: "And where in that order should her color be placed, above or below her Murray bloodline? Marriage?"
Lord Mansfield: "Impossible. Any match her other origins shall attract would surely disgrace her and the family's rank."
Lady Mansfield: "And when we are no longer here, no husband, who will take care of her then?"

Lady and Lord Mansfield discuss how they will handle things when their nieces Elizabeth and Dido grow up. Though they have the same life now, once they are older everything will change.
I Know Very Little of Her
John Davinier: "What of your mother?"
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "I know very little of her other than the color she has given me."
John Danvier: "Then at least you know she was beautiful."

New suitor John asks Dido about her mother, someone she knows very little about. His reaction to what she does know about her mother surprises Dido.
Why Do You Not Dine With Your Family Ever?
Oliver Ashford: "Why do you not dine with your family ever?"
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "Because that is not correct."

Oliver asks Dido why she is treated as a second-class citizen even under her family's roof. Dido doesn't completely understand, just knows that it's she is not equal.
I Am Not An Unwanted Maid
Lady Mansfield: "We are to attend London for the season."
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "We are to finally come out."
Lord Mansfield: "Elizabeth is to come out."
Lady Mansfield: "Dido is to not."
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "But why?"
Lord Mansfield: "You understand the ways of the world for a female, Dido. Elizabeth has no inkling."
Lady Mansfield: "You are to meet as many gentlemen as possible before we make the match."
Lord Mansfield: "When all this has gone to her father, there will be nothing left for her."
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "And me?"Lady Mansfield: "Any gentleman of good breeding would be unlikely to form a serious attachment to Dido and a man without would lower her position in society."
Lady Elizabeth Murray: "She is not merely my cousin, mama."
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "Papa, please"
Lady Elizabeth Murray: "She is my sister."
Lord Mansfield: "These are the keys of the house."
Lady Elizabeth Murray: "I cannot attend London without her."
Lord Mansfield: "They have hung at the waist of your aunt for 30 years."
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "I am Lady Mary. I am not an unwanted maid."
Lord Mansfield: "Lady Mary is too old to continue in charge of the house. You may pick up your duties on your return."
Lady Mansfield: "Lord knows I'll need the two of you to keep each other out of trouble."
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "Are you punishing me?"

Dido is saddened and frustrated to learn that her cousin Elizabeth will be coming out in London while she will not. Neither Dido nor Elizabeth understand why they will take different life paths and neither are happy about it.
What Is Right Can Never Be Impossible
Captain Sir John Lindsay: "Do not be afraid. I am here to take you to a good life, the life that you were born to."

Captain Sir John Lindsay: "I beg you, uncle. Love her as I would were I here and in sure that she is in receipt of all that is due to her as a child of mine."
Lord Mansfield: "Do you have in mind my position?"
Lady Mansfield: "That is simply impossible."
Captain Sir John Lindsay: "What is right can never be impossible."
Lady Mansfield: "What shall she be named?"
Captain Sir John Lindsay: "Dido Belle Lindsay"
Lord Mansfield: "She takes your name?"
Captain Sir John Lindsay: "I am not ashamed."
Lady Mansfield: "We will call her Dido."

After finding his daughter living in poverty, Captain Sir John Lindsay takes Dido and drops her off at the home of the Mansfields. While the new living arrangement doesn't go over too well with Lady Mansfield, Captain Sir John Lindsay explains that it is the right thing to do.
You Break Every Rule When It Matters Enough
Lord Mansfield: "You would risk your position for a man without name?"
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "He speaks a voice for people who do not have one."
Lord Mansfield: "There are rules in place which dictate how we live."
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "You break every rule when it matters enough, papa. I am the evidence."

Dido and Lord Mansfield argue over Dido's choice between marrying into a family with the prominence as theirs or marrying a lawyer who he considers beneath her. As she points out, like he did, sometimes she needs to break the rules.
I Don't Know That I Find Myself Anywhere
Lord Mansfield: "I've enabled every rule of convention so that you shall know exactly where you belong."
Dido Elizabeth Belle: "I don't know that I find myself anywhere."

Lord Mansfield tries to explain to Dido that he raised her to know where she fits in the world. But really, she was raised as different from everyone and now is lost as to where she belongs.
Don't You Care What People Will Say?
Oliver Ashford: "Will you do me the honor of taking some air with me?"
Lord Ashford: "Don't you care what people will say?"
Lady Elizabeth Murray: "What should anyone say?"

When Oliver asks for some time with Dido, Lord Ashford is quick to state his disgust that Oliver would spend time with someone of color, especially in public. Having grown up with Dido like a sister, Elizabeth is unaware of his prejudice.

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:24:47 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/belle-movie-quotes/movie-and-tv-quotes
<![CDATA[Famous Suicides List]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/the-suicide-club-famous-suicide-victims/notable-famous-deaths
Famous suicides list is a list of famous people who committed suicide - celebrities and historical figures - with photos. The complete list of the most famous suicides in history, including a lot of Hollywood suicides. What celebrities have killed themselves? Some of these famous suicides happened by overdose of sleeping pills or drugs; many of those who took their own lives were consumed by depression. An actor or two on this list was also believed to have killed himself, though the results of his death report has been disputed. The list below shows all celebrity suicides and all other notable people who ended their lives. What celebrities have committed suicide? This list also includes information about the methods of committing suicide used by each of these famous people who killed themselves. This list includes notable actors, musicians, and other famous professionals that are victims of suicide. If you find this list interesting, check out these lists of famous suicide notes and of these suicidal celebrities who attempted to kill themselves.

Famous Suicides List,

Albert Ayler
American jazz saxophonist, jumped into New York City's East River
Alice de Janzé
American heiress, committed suicide with a firearm.
Assia Wevill
German born lover of English poet Ted Hughes; murder-suicide of her daughter with Hughes, gas
Chris Acland
British drummer for the band Lush, hanging
Chris Benoit
Professional wrestler, hung himself after murdering his wife and son.
Butch Trucks

Drummer for the Allman Brothers Band, shot himself in West Palm Beach, FL, on January 24, 2017.

Ahn Jae-hwan
South Korean actor, carbon monoxide poisoning
Antonin Moine

Clara Bloodgood

Clayne Jeffs
Nephew of Warren Jeffs, committed suicide with a firearm after admitting that Warren Jeffs had sexually assaulted him as a child.

Sun, 23 May 2010 18:33:00 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/the-suicide-club-famous-suicide-victims/notable-famous-deaths
<![CDATA[Republican Candidates Who Could Actually Win the General Election]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/republicans-who-could-win-the-2016-general-election/mike-rothschild
Could Trump win the general election? What about Ben Carson? Or Marco Rubio? Which Republican candidate actually has the best chance to win the election in 2016? First, they need to emerge out of a crowded field that's so big it can't fit on one stage. Then they'd have to rally the GOP base around them. Only then will a Republican who could win the election emerge.

Many of the Republican candidates in the 2016 election are polling so poorly that they only show up on poll results with an asterisk. Others are getting only one or two percent of the projected vote. If these candidates are barely alive in their party's primary election, can they win the general election if nominated?

Here's your chance to pick the Republican candidates for the 2016 election who could potentially be victorious. Vote up the Republicans with the best chance to win, and vote down those who would have little to no chance against their Democratic opposition.

Republican Candidates Who Could Actually Win the General Election,

Bobby Jindal
Ended campaign on November 17, 2015
Chris Christie
Ended campaign on February 10, 2016
George Pataki
Ended campaign December 30, 2015

Jeb Bush
Ended campaign February 20, 2016

Jim Gilmore
Ended campaign on February 12, 2016

John Kasich

Lindsey Graham
Ended campaign on December 21, 2015
Marco Rubio
Ended campaign on March 15, 2016

Mike Huckabee
Ended campaign on February 1, 2016

Rick Santorum
Ended campaign on February 3, 2016

Mon, 26 Oct 2015 09:06:17 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/republicans-who-could-win-the-2016-general-election/mike-rothschild
<![CDATA[The Craziest Things That Have Ever Happened on the Floor of Congress]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-things-on-the-floor-of-congress/aaron-edwards

While it's easy to point to the House of Commons as the craziest legislative body in the western world, the US Congress is no slouch. Brawls, filibusters, fights, and bizarre bills are among the more outlandish things you may have heard about Congress, and with more than two hundred years of history, Washington has seen it all. The craziest things that happened in Congress went down for all sorts of reasons, though mostly it boils down to a few people really hating each other.

Civil Rights bills, sex scandals, and corruption have provided plenty of impetus for drastic action in the past, much like a call to action against gun violence inspired members of the Senate to stage a sit in on the floor in June 2016. But if you think that was wild, just wait until you see some of the crazy stuff below.

The Craziest Things That Have Ever Happened on the Floor of Congress,

Strom Thurmond Pissed in a Bucket to Keep a Filibuster Going

For those who don't know, a filibuster occurs when a member of Congress attempts to postpone a vote by continuously speaking. As long as the member in question holds the floor, other members can't do anything but listen. The catch is, the person speaking can't stop to do anything, including eat or go to the bathroom, lest they yield the floor.

When Strom Thurmond (D- SC) saw the Civil Rights Act of 1957, he knew he had to filibuster the hell out of it, because he's a complete jerk (actually more a blatant racist). Good ol' Strom set the record for the Senate's longest filibuster, speaking for 24 hours and 18 minutes.

When he had to pee, Thurmond kept one foot on the Senate floor and pissed into a bucket held by an intern in the Senate cloakroom. Despite Strom's harebrained effort, the bill still passed. Thurmond was re-elected again and again until 2003.

Pistols Were Drawn Over a Slave Bill

They say you know you're doing something right when you make enemies. In politics, that's especially true. Well, Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton and Mississippi Senator Henry S. Foote hated each other, so at least one of them was doing something right.

When tensions over the Compromise of 1850 (which was all about drawing lines regarding which states were free or had slaves) reached a breaking point, Foote drew his pistol and pointed it at Benton, who screamed "Let him fire! Let the assassin fire!" Foote was wrestled to the floor and disarmed him. Talk about drama.

Theodore Bilbo Uses Nazis as an Excuse to Suggest Deporting Black Citizens

It's no secret have been people in the United States government who are racist, but it used to be really bad. Take Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, for instance. He once asked for $250 million to deport all the African Americans in the United States to Liberia. His inspiration? Germany's new Nazi regime. "Germans appreciate the importance of race values. They understand that racial improvement is the greatest asset that any country can have."

Just a few years later, he filibustered an anti-lynching bill.

The Civil War Started with a Senate Floor Brawl

Shortly after the caning of Charles Sumner, in the lead up to the Civil War, tensions between northern and southern representatives worsened drastically. In this climate, a string of insults traded by Pennsylvania Representative Galusha Grow and Lawrence Branch of North Carolina erupted into a brawl. It was essentially a 19th century wrestling match on the floor. Representative Keitt hit the floor after one punch, Rep. John F. Potter (whose nick name was Bowie Knife) jumped into the brawl "striking right and left with vigor," and Congressman John Covade (R-PA) threatened to "brain" someone with a spittoon.

The fight eventually ended and tensions eased, that is, until it became the bloodiest war in American history.

John Boehner Openly Handed Out Lobbyist Money

It's kind of an unspoken truth that lobbyists control a good portion of the government. The legislative branch has been especially susceptible to their whims, but sometimes it's so blatant you can't help but be in awe. In the '90s, it seems John Boehner was literally handing out bribe checks from the tobacco lobby to fellow representatives, right on the floor of the House. When the New York Times investigated, Boehner's Chief of Staff said the money was a contribution from tobacco PACs. Boehner went on to become Speaker of the House.

The Expulsion of Congressman James Traficant

James Traficant (D-OH) was a bit of a character. Not only did he have the most ridiculous hairpiece in modern politics, he was corrupt as hell. In fact, he was convicted in federal court of bribery and taking kickbacks, which frowned upon. The House voted to expel Traficant 420-1. Hey, at least he had one fan. It was Gary Condit of California. What? Yeah, no idea.

And what's so crazy about this, you may ask? The fact that it never happens. In fact, Trafiant was only the fifth member of the House to be ousted in its history. Getting fired from Congress is like winning the lottery: everyone does stuff to increase the odds of it happening, but it never actually matters. Here, he clearly did enough that being a rich and white politician couldn't protect him, which is pretty impressive.

In the wake of the expulsion vote, Traficant proclaimed his innocence, but it did little to dissuade the motion.

Matthew Lyon Spit in a Guy's Face and Fought Him with Tongs

Back in the early days of Congress, members had a bit of the British adventurous spirit. One of the most famous incidents of this era occurred in 1798, when Vermont Representative Matthew Lyon spit tobacco juice in Connecticut Representative Roger Griswold's face. Griswold, pissed, came at Lyon with his cane. Lyon grabbed a pair of fire tongs and the two had a quick duel before they were separated and expelled. What had the men so heated it came to spits and blows? Apparently, a debate concerning the diplomatic approach to France. C'est la vie.

A Congressman Passed a Resolution To Donate Part Of His Murder Site to a National Park

Philip Barton Key (the son of the guy who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner) had an affair with the wife of Representative Daniel E. Sickles (D-NY), which ended when Sickles shot Key to death in front of the White House. Sickles escaped jail time by successfully pleading temporary insanity, then fought with the Union Army in the Civil War. When he returned to Congress after the war, he worked to preserve Gettysburg as a national military park, and made sure to pass a joint resolution donating a fence, to sit a few feet away from where he shot Key. It's still there in 2016.

Senator Sumner Was Beaten with a Cane

Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner was passionately anti-slavery. As the tensions that led to the Civil War intensified, so did resistance to Sumner's position. After giving a volatile speech against Kansas joining the union as a slave state, Sumner called slavery a harlot and accused South Carolina Democrat Andrew Butler of being its pimp. Chuck was from Boston, what're you gonna do? That's how they roll.

Later the same day, South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks, in an effort to defend Butler's honor, beat the crap out of Sumner with his cane, knocking him unconscious. Brooks resigned shortly after, while Sumner served for another 18 years.

A Senator Was Dragged to Work by the Police

It's well within a representative's right to not to show up for a vote. In fact, it's a tactic many use to support (or not) certain bills without attracting scrutiny. But in 1988, the Democrats weren't having it. So, Senator Bob Packwood (R-OR), who was a no show, was seized by police early on the morning of February 24, and carried to the Senate, where he was made to answer a quorum call. No one was offended by the incident, however, since Packwood was known as a corrupt politician who eventually resigned in disgrace.

Packwood himself even joked about it at the time, saying "I rather enjoyed it. I instructed four of my staff to get a sedan chair."

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 07:34:13 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-things-on-the-floor-of-congress/aaron-edwards
<![CDATA[11 Interesting Theories Historians Have Proposed About The Knights Templar]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/knights-templar-theories/morgan-deane

The original Knights Templar were a Christian military order during the Crusades, and were feared by many. These knights were famous among people living in the Middle Ages, but disbanded in the 1300s after King Philip IV of France arrested them for heresy. Many were burned alive and their deaths were shocking - so much so their legacies lived far beyond the two centuries they fought for Christianity. 

Since then, the Knights Templar have taken on an entirely different meaning - one shrouded in mystery, evil, and even treasure. Who are the Knights Templar? What did the Knights Templar do? These mercenaries fought in many wars for their religion and birthed a movement of secret societies, conspiracy theories, and religious artifacts seemingly lost to time.

11 Interesting Theories Historians Have Proposed About The Knights Templar,

Their Treasure Is Buried On Oak Island

When Sinclair allegedly came over from Europe in the late 1300s, he brought with him a trove of treasure. It's said he buried it on Oak Island, an island off the coast of Nova Scotia. According to legend, on the day King Philip indicted the Knights Templar, the Order loaded up their various treasures from their headquarters in Paris and loaded it onto boats. From there, the boats were sent to Scotland and eventually settled with Sinclair. He hid the treasure in Rosslyn Chapel.

In an attempt to start a new, utopian Order, he and the treasure - along with the Zeno brothers of Venice and handful of others - sailed to modern day Canada. The new Order did not survive, and instead of heading back to Europe they buried the treasure on Oak Island. The treasure is protected by a "Money Pit" full of complicated traps. 

Since the 19th century, treasure hunters have come to the island in hopes of finding the Order's bounty - many of whom died. In 2006, brothers Michigan natives Rick and Marty Lagina purchased a major stock in the island and got the go ahead to start excavating it. They've since starred in a TV show on The History Channel about their attempts to locate the treasure called The Curse of Oak Island

They Discovered Treasure And Knowledge While Digging Beneath Temple Mount

While the Knights Templar were still operating on behalf of Christianity during the Crusades, they used a royal palace called Temple Mount as their Jerusalem headquarters. Modern archeologists have dug underneath Temple Mount in an attempt to discover more about what life was like during that time and any artifacts the Order (or others) might have left behind. 

But some think there's more to the story. Why would modern archeologists and scholars be digging under Temple Mount? Could it be that's exactly where the Order discovered ancient records of Christianity? Possibly. Some speculate the Knights found evidence the Catholic Church was not practicing Christianity the way Jesus and his followers intended, putting the church in jeopardy. Is it possible modern governments are searching for the same sort of information as they dig under Temple Mount? 

They Found America Before Columbus

As the story goes: In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. But was he the first to officially discover America? Some believe the Knights Templar traveled to North America at least 100 years before Columbus made his infamous journey. 

Researchers Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins wrote a book about the subject titled Templars In America: From the Crusades to the New World. They believe Henry Sinclair (sometimes referred to as St. Clair), Lord of Roslin and member of the Order, set sail to America in 1396 and left proof of their visit off the Atlantic coast of both the United States and Canada. Sinclair is said to have assimilated into a native tribe in Canada where he later died. 

The Knights Cursed King Phillip And The French Monarchy

In total, King Philip rounded up more than 60 knights and killed them. While some managed to escape the trials and executions by fleeing on ships, many of those arrested on October 13 were the top knights in the organization.

One such knight was Grand Master Jacques de Molay. He was burned alive and was the last official member of the Order executed. As legend has it, de Molay screamed out to Philip and the Pope, cursing them and their families. A month later the pope died from disease and later that year Philip died in a hunting accident. All three of Philips son's died within the next two decades and were referred to as the "Cursed Kings." 

The Skulls Of The "List Of 12" Are In A French Church To This Day

Historians debate how many Knights Templar were able to escape the persecution of King Philip, though it's undisputed that at least a few were able to make it out alive. But one document called "The List of 12" that was uncovered in the 1800s by researcher Heinrich Finke specifically lists 12 knights who managed to escape. 

Many speculate they and possibly others who survived persecution fled to the French-controlled mountains to an area known as Luz. The ghost of du Molay allegedly haunts the church which stands to this day near the border of Spain and France. It's also rumored the skulls of the 12 Order survivors are buried in the church, though historians highly speculate the validity of that. 

Their Execution Was To Cover Up Information About The Blood Line Of Christ

One theory popularized in modern culture - specifically in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code - is that the Knights Templar were not killed because King Phillip didn't want to pay them what he owed them. Instead they were killed for what they knew about the secret bloodline of Christ - specifically that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child. 

The secret society that held this knowledge was called the Priory of Scion, which had deep connections to the Knights Templar. It's said all of Jesus's alleged descendants were killed off by the Roman Catholic Church. Because of this they knew they also had to kill anyone with knowledge of their existence - including the knights. Some say this was partially motivated to keep Jesus as a Christ figure and to allow Paul to ascend to power over Mary Magdalene and her decedents, presumably the children of Jesus. 

They Predicted And Possibly Caused 9/11

Conspiracy theories about the terrorist attacks on 9/11 are a dime a dozen, so it should come as no shock many believe the Knights Templar had some sort of involvement. Theorists break down the connection between the Knights Templar and the numbers nine and 11. For instance, the Order was founded in 1118, and 1+1+1+8 = 11 and the original order had nine knights. There are a slew of other numerical connections theorists make between the Knights Templar and 9/11 which you can read about here.

They Kept Their Secrets - Including The Holy Grail - In Rosslyn Chapel

Before Sinclair departed for North America, it's believed he hid many of the Order's treasures in Rosslyn Chapel. The chapel construction began in 1446 in Scotland and was at the behest of the Sinclair clan. It still stands today, and is considered one of the finest pieces of architecture in Scotland. Among its many architectural features are 213 cubes with inscriptions in them. 

Many believe these inscriptions are Order-related, and even skeptics have found them fascinating and strange. Some say the inscriptions are a code to what lies beneath the chapel. At one time, it was speculated the Holy Grail, the mummified head of Jesus, the crown jewels of Scotland, and a vast amount of treasure were stored in a tomb underneath the temple. No entrance to any tomb has ever been found. 

The Friday The 13th Superstition Began With The Knights Templar

The Knights Templar were arrested on Friday, October 13, 1307 on the orders of French King Philip IV. At the time, Philip owed the knights a substantial amount of of money. Instead of paying up he accused them of being heretics and devil worship - something that would stick with the Knights Templar throughout history - and had them arrested. They were subsequently burned at the stake. 

While many point to Friday the 13th's origin as lore from the Bible, some say the fear of the day actually is derived from the knights's arrests

They (Somewhat) Control The US Government

Many believe that after the Order officially disbanded in the 12th Century, they formed the Freemasons. Conspiracy theories surrounding the Freemasons are vast and include everything from controlling the media, elections, and universities to the popularity of celebrities

So how does this connect to the Knights Templar exactly? Well, according to conspiracy theorists the Illuminati, Freemasons, Knights Templar, and Jews are working together to establish a New World Order deeply rooted in the occult that threatens Christianity worldwide. This will be done through population control, non-religious government controls, and mind control through mass media. If this seems crazy that's because it is. Modern New World Order believers include televangelists, neo-nazis, and alt-right groups who support white supremacy. 

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 02:35:17 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/knights-templar-theories/morgan-deane
<![CDATA[People Who Made the World a Better Place]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/people-who-made-the-world-a-better-place/josh-heller
This is a list of famous people who helped heal the world. Some people have been acknowledged for their efforts with Nobel Peace Prizes. Some of these people have a long-lasting legacy that has inspired others to act. Some have invented something that made life better. All the famous people on this list have worked hard to enact change for the better.
All of the people on this list have greatly affected society, whether intentionally or not. Some set out for political change, while others just made a simple decision to not obey someone. They have all received critical acclaim in some way, so take a look, and vote up which people have had the most effect on society. 

People Who Made the World a Better Place,

Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer was a theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa during the first half of the 20th century. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his philosophy of "Reverence of Life," in which Schweitzer is quoted defining the phrase as nothing other than ethics:


"Ethics is nothing other than Reverence for Life. Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil."

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Elsa Brändström

Francis of Assisi

Fridtjof Nansen
Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, and laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize. He led the first crossing of Greenland in 1888, reaching a record northern latitude during his North pole expedition of 1893. He technique of Polar travel and innovations of gear and equipment influenced amd entire generation of explorers and expeditions of the Arctic and Antartic.
Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is known for his public preaching, being an egalitarian social reformer, a healer, a philosopher, and a leader of an apocalyptic movement. He was known for performing two major kinds of miracles: healing miracles and environmental miracles. Thought there may be contention as to whether or not Jesus was the Messiah, historians do agree that Jesus was a real political figure during the Roman Empire. 
Joan of Arc

Johannes Gutenberg
Gutenberg invented the printing press, which allowed for the creation and mass distribution of information. His invention helped to disseminate knowledge to the masses, giving the opportunity for the general public to be better informed about the world around them.
Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy was a Russian writer and philosopher who is best known for his novels Anna Karenina and War and Peace and is considered one of the greatest novelists of all time. He also became a fervent anarcho-pacifist, going on to create writings such as The Kingdom of God is Within You, which is said to have profound impacts on political activists such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Ghandi, and James Bevel.
Marie Curie
Marie Curie's pioneering research on radioactivity won her a Nobel Prize of Chemistry in 1911, the first ever for a woman. This physicist & chemist helped us to explore the unseen world. She paved the way for radiological cancer treatment, which has saved many lives.  

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 02:10:03 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/people-who-made-the-world-a-better-place/josh-heller
<![CDATA[The Top 10 Hitler Downfall Parodies of All Time]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/top-10-hitler-downfall-parodies-of-all-time/the-master
For the last few years, the Hitler Rant meme has served as the soapbox from which many geeks have found a place to have their viewpoints heard and illustrated with the passion they deserve. Taken from the 2004 movie Downfall, these videos are now being taken down from YouTube due to actions of the people who own the original content. So, while we still can, here are the 10 funniest Hitler Rant videos that are still up on YouTube. Now, last time we checked, YouTube doesn't track embeds on its player, so here, embedded, are the 10 best Hitler rant videos that are still up.

Honorable mentions to the burning man rant, the Avatar day rant, and the original XBox live ban rant -- they were funny while they were up. We'll miss you, fallen Hitler rants! But at least we have a Hitler parody or two to console us. Because who doesn't love a good Hitler spoof? Pretty much only angry little Hitler.

The Top 10 Hitler Downfall Parodies of All Time,

Hitler Rants About The Death of Michael Jackson
After losing the King of Pop RIGHT before his biggest fans were about to witness what could have possibly been one of the most important comebacks of all time, Michael Jackson died. Most people couldn't believe it, especially those who loved him enough to spend thousands on tickets for what would be his last tour.

In this video, Hitler describes what a diehard Michael Jackson fan felt when hearing the news that one of their idols had indeed died.
Hitler Rants About The New Star Trek Movie's Lack of Substance
A Star Trek geek is arguably one of the most opinionated, cynical and hard-to-please geek of any breed. One of them decided to make this very poignant (and educational, if you're not into Star Trek) Hitler Downfall rant about how the new movie bastardized the series and erased what was so great about some of the main characters.

Definitely one for the hard core Trekkers (Trekkies?) to share with people who don't understand their point.
Hitler Is Informed That Kanye West Interrupted Taylor Swift's Acceptance Speech
After Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech during the VMAs in 2009, the internet was flooded with the Kanye West Interrupts Everything meme... but Hitler was not to be left behind.

This was a lot funnier/better than most of the picture memes out there because the concept of Hitler caring about the incident in the first place is hilarious in of itself. Additionally, the fact that Hitler would be such a huge Taylor Swift fan adds to the hilarity, and makes you feel, oddly, that this Hitler character is someone you can relate with... take that how you will, but this parody is pretty well-made.
Hitler Rants About The Hitler Rant Parodies
This meme really did turn into a cavalcade of crap after a little while. People were making video parodies of Hitler's reaction on ANYTHING. From a video game multiplayer mode not getting its own dedicated servers, to the Mets losing a game, to even certain kids in their high school getting suspended.

After all this, someone made a great video of Hitler ranting about the Hitler rants, and how they'd lost their relevance due to the flooding of crap parodies that were diluting the great ones.
Hitler Is Informed That Twitter Has Gone Down Again
After tragedy strikes, Hitler is informed that he cannot Tweet about it. Hitler then goes on to rant about Twitter's consideration of their users and vocalizes the social media community's feelings towards a site they're meant to use in real-time that keeps going down.
Hitler Is Informed of The iPad's Lack of Multitasking
Everyone was disappointed by the iPad's lack of innovation and the fact that it is just a giant iPhone that doesn't use WiFi as well as it should; but nobody was more disappointed in the advent of the iPad than Hitler.

Giving voice to the tech community's woes on Apple's newest flub, this Hitler video describes, even to the layman, exactly why people are angry about the iPad.
Hitler Rants About Disney Buying Marvel
Geeks all around the internet were unbelievably put-off, angry and generally confused when Disney bought Marvel Inc. (which includes Marvel's film division as well as their comic books and all their characters therein).

In this video, Hitler was used to voice exactly what most die-hard comics fans felt, wondered and feared when they heard the potentially terrifying news.
Hitler Rants About People Forgetting His Birthday
This is one of the videos that just serves a comedic purpose instead of trying to prove a point about some timely news item.

In this video, Hitler's underlings forget his birthday and neglect to have bought him a gift. Hitler goes on a tirade explaining to them what he would've wanted for his birthday and how disappointed he is that they forgot it.
Hitler Rants About Being Banned From XBox Live
After spending all kinds of time making your XBox as great as it can be, customizing it and making it work to its optimum potential, there is nothing more frustrating than being banned from something that probably eats up all your weekends. Hitler illustrates what it feels like to lose everything that goes along with being banned from XBox Live.
Hitler Rants About the Hitler Rant Parodies Being Taken Down
Here are some other great "Hitler video reaction to the videos being taken down" (not available on YouTube's API for embedding yet):

Usually the video clip starts with someone informing him of something horrible, Hitler brushes it off as a solvable problem. Full of fear, his commanders tell him that his solution is not possible. He tells everyone who isn't important to leave and then goes on a huge tirade about something. Of course, this meme has always been in German, so people replace the subtitles in the original German film to make Hitler rant about pretty much anything. Examples include everything from Disney buying Marvel, to random movie reviews, to the lack of new features in a new tech product.

On April 21st, 2010, the hard work put into the meme started slowly being taken down from YouTube due to legal action by the German production company Constantin Film, who owns the original content -- i.e., the German film The Downfall.

Here is the hitlerrantparodies YouTube group's reaction to this legal action, in which they don't use the video, but just audio clips of the scene we've all come to know and love -- with subtitles, of course.

Wed, 21 Apr 2010 08:37:12 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/top-10-hitler-downfall-parodies-of-all-time/the-master
<![CDATA[The Greatest Fictional Presidents]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/greatest-fictional-presidents/ranker-characters
A list of the greatest fictional presidents. Browse through this list of the greatest fictional presidents to see those characters who served their country well. These presidents are ranked by the community in order from most popular fictional presidents to the least popular.

If you don’t agree with the rankings below, vote up the presidents that you think were the greatest, and see them rise on the list. If you don’t see the great fictional president you love on the list, go ahead and add him or her below. Some presidents are strong leaders and really help their people and country, while other presidents are so horrible that they don’t need to be doing any sort of leading. 

The great presidential leaders are the ones that you will find on this list. Cast your votes below - there's no electoral college to get in the way in this election!
The Greatest Fictional Presidents,

David Palmer

Josiah Bartlet

President Tom Beck

President Thomas J. Whitmore

President Matt Douglas

Andrew Shepherd

President James Marshall

Francis Underwood

Dave Kovic

Tom Kirkman

Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:17:24 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/greatest-fictional-presidents/ranker-characters
<![CDATA[10 Incredible Facts About the Badass Life of Amelia Earhart]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-amelia-earhart/amandasedlakhevener

Who was Amelia Earhart? She was a pioneer in flight, an author, a fashion designer, and so much more. Earhart was born in Kansas in 1897. She was the oldest of two daughters, and her mother didn't believe in raising her children to be proper and dainty little girls. Instead, they wore bloomers (pants) and had plenty of freedom to explore and do what they wanted. From the beginning, Earhart was a tomboy; she spent her free time climbing trees and sledding down hills. All of this set the scene for what came later, when she broke through the traditional wall of male-dominated aviation.

Like other badass women who make history, the life of Amelia Earhart was all about breaking the rules and setting her own records. By pursuing her dreams she made history. 

10 Incredible Facts About the Badass Life of Amelia Earhart,

She Paid For Her Own D*mn Self By Being A Truck Driver

In 1920, Earhart and her father visited an airfield in Long Beach, California. There, she experienced something that would change her life: a flight with a pilot named Frank Hawks. Earhart reflected on her first foray away from earth, claiming: "By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly." 

She was determined to learn how to fly an airplane on her own, come hell or high water. So, in order to afford the lessons, Earhart worked as a truck driver, a stenographer, and a photographer

She Somehow Survived The Unsurvivable

The Spanish flu ravaged the United States in 1918. In fact, it's considered one of the deadliest natural disasters of all time. Over 500 million people were infected worldwide, and an estimated 100 million of them were killed - most of them healthy adults without any previous medical problems. Some who survived were plagued by sinus problems, which is true of Earhart. However, she didn't let that stop her, and she wasn't felled by the flu either. Although it did take her a year to recuperate, your girl came out on top. 

She Went Hard For Women's Rights

The Equal Rights Amendment - the proposed amendment to the Constitution that would guarantee women equal rights that never actually got passed - first started getting kicked around in the early 1920s, and was officially presented to Congress in 1923. Amelia Earhart - bloomer-wearin' badass - was one of its first and most ardent supporters. Earhart was also a vocal member of the National Women's Party, which was created to get women the right to vote. 

She Might Have Survived As A Pacific Island Castaway

Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared on their way to Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. So it makes sense that the search for them took place there. However, the recent discovery of a woman's skeleton and a piece of what could be her airplane might finally be the clues that solve the mystery. These remains were found on Nikumaroro Island, an uninhabited part of Kiribati. If the bones and piece of metal turn out to belong to Earhart, they are proof that she survived for some time on the island, either alongside Noonan or on her own. 

She Wouldn't Stop Trying To Fly Around The World

In 1937, Earhart made her first attempt at flying around the world. She and her co-pilot, Fred Noonan, flew to Hawaii from Oakland, California, but stopped due to technical difficulties. Earhart refused to give up, however, and tried again a few months later after her airplane, a Lockheed Electra sponsored by Purdue University, was repaired. This time they flew in the opposite direction, heading from Miami over Africa, India, and South Asia. They made it a total of 22,000 miles. But the remaining 7,000 miles had to be flown over a precarious expanse of Pacific Ocean, and they disappeared a mere 800 miles into this part of the flight plan. Earhart was never seen or heard from again, instigating decades of questions and theories about the circumstances of her death.

She Was A Record-Setting Machine

Amelia Earhart was not afraid to set an aeronautical record, and she didn't just go for the ones set by other women either. On top of her many ridiculous accomplishments - such as flying solo across the Atlantic Ocean - Earhart set the women's autogiro altitude record, was the first person (not just the first woman) to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California, was the person to fly solo from Los Angeles to Mexico City, and set seven women's speed and distance aviation records. It's no wonder she attempted to circle the globe as her final feat of daring; she was damn good at what she did.

She Flew Across Entire Oceans Totally Alone

On May 20, 1932, Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She flew 14 hours straight from Newfoundland to Ireland while accomplishing this feat. Her intended destination, which was actually Paris, France, was changed to something closer due to icy weather. 

But history-making badasses like Earhart are never satisfied with single feats of prowess. So, one-upping herself, she later became the first person to fly across both the Atlantic and Pacific.

She Literally Rode Sleds Off Of A Roof As A Little Girl

On a trip to St. Louis as a child, Earhart saw her first rollercoaster, and she was immediately intrigued. To satisfy her craving for the height and speed of the wooden contraption, in 1904, she and her uncle built a rollercoaster-like ramp and attached it to the roof of her family's shed. Earhart fearlessly went on her ramp's maiden voyage in a wooden box. She wound up with a torn dress and a bruised lip, but declared the experience to be "just like flying." 

She Edited For Cosmopolitan Magazine When She Wasn't Setting World Records

Amelia Earhart was the kind of woman who set impossible standards for other women; she was one of those annoying "superwomen" who manages to set world records from her airplane while being impossibly stylish and effortlessly cool while on the ground. In fact, her signature gender-bending look of closely cropped hair, homemade duds, and a tough leather bomber jacket, earned her a place as an editor at Cosmopolitan magazine. Always pushing the envelope, instead of writing columns that focused on her clothes, however, Earhart used her post to extol the virtues of air travel. 

She Paid Her Success Forward By Counseling Other Women

After her Transatlantic flight, Earhart spent some time in Illinois, counseling women enrolled at Purdue University and helping them choose their ideal career paths. She also was a member of the Ninety-Nines, a group of female pilots that advanced the cause of women in aviation. Not content to glory in her successes alone, Earhart made it one of her missions to cultivate a sense of purpose, self, and worthiness in the young women around her.

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 03:53:27 PDT http://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-amelia-earhart/amandasedlakhevener
<![CDATA[9 Historical Events That Took Place At The Bar]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-events-that-happened-in-bars/chase-christy

A night out at the local dive with your friends is usually pretty predictable. You might get hit on by a creepy guy old guy that reminds you of your father; or make a fool of yourself by dancing on (and then falling off) the bar. One of your friends might even have a little too much to drink and lose their dinner out the window of an Uber.

But while your Friday nights may not be world-changing, there have been many important historical events that took place in bars all over the world, from public executions to the birth of liberation movements. Perhaps it's not surprising that, as a place where drunken crowds gather, bars have been the site of riots and brawls - but they've also served as sober meeting places for political and military figures of all types. So next time you hit the town, take a brief selfie break and look around to see if any history is being made.

9 Historical Events That Took Place At The Bar,

The St. Scholastica's Day Riot

The English city of Oxford had a history of violence between townspeople and university scholars. Violent incidents occurred between the “town” and the “gown” all throughout the 1200s, with the crown often siding with the academics. This led to an increase in the power held by the university’s chancellor and left the town’s mayor with little authority.

In 1335, some scholars voiced their unease in Oxford, which led to them gaining even more privileges from the king. Additionally, members of the University felt that the prices of food and drink were much too high, which often led to arguments between students and merchants. 

One such argument took place on February 10, 1355. Students were drinking at Swyndlestock Tavern and they started complaining about the quality of the wine. A verbal battle between the students and the innkeeper ensued, until one of the students threw some wine at the innkeeper. A fight broke out and the townsmen rang the university church bell as a plea for support. Nearly 2,000 men came in from the country to help the townspeople. The townspeople and their supporters broke into the school and killed scholars in their quarters. Roughly 63 gownsmen and 30 townspeople were killed in the mayhem.

The mayor rode to Woodstock to seek support from the king, but he again sided with the university and gave them the power to regulate the drink prices. The mayor and his accompaniment were forced to go to the university's church every St. Scholastica’s day and swear an oath that they would observe the university’s privilege in addition to paying a fine of 63 pence. 

The Battle Of Montgomery's Tavern

In Canada, after the War of 1812, a group of politicians known as the Family Compact controlled the government and the distribution of funding and used their power to further their personal interests. This created a great deal of unrest in Upper Canada, especially amongst Protestant groups and Americans who came to Canada before the war of 1812 given that the government favored the Church of England and its supporters.

A reform movement was started by William Lyon Mackenzie, the Mayor of Toronto, and a member of the Upper Canada Legislative Assembly. In December of 1837, Mackenzie summoned his followers at Montgomery’s Tavern just outside of Toronto with the intent of regaining control of the city and establishing a new, modest government.

Montgomery’s Tavern was a two-story wooden tavern built by a man named John Montgomery in the early 1830s. It was also known as the Sickle and Sheath. It was used as a meeting place by Mackenzie and his followers off and on in 1836 and 1837.

The men commenced their march into Toronto, but 20 militiamen waited for them along Yonge street. The first two lines of men fired their guns and when they dropped down to reload the rest of Mackenzie’s militia thought they had been killed and ran away. They regrouped and prepared to fight another battle. This time Mackenzie’s men, half armed with firearms and half armed with truncheons, faced nearly 1000 militiamen. After a brief clash, Mackenzie’s men dropped their weapons and dispersed. The Militiamen and volunteers then ransacked Montgomery’s Tavern and burned it to the ground.

The Upper Canada rebellion was short-lived, but the rebellions in both Upper and Lower Canada led to the appointment of Lord Durham and the creation of the Durham Report, which proposed the idea that Upper and Lower Canada be united. It also led to a more fair and responsible government being put into place in Canada.

The Execution Of James Stanley

James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby (also known as Baron Strange for a period of time) was a Royalist commander in the English Civil War. He was the eldest son of William, the 6th Earl of Derby.

At the start of the Civil War, Stanley fought under King Charles I in Lancashire. He went to the Isle of Man in 1643 to help quell rising tensions and in 1644, he took part in Prince Rupert of the Rhine’s campaign. Under Prince Rupert’s command, James Stanley and Royalist forces took the town of Bolton, where it was alleged that nearly 1,600 townspeople were killed during and after the battle. The parliamentarians used this as propaganda against the Royalists. In 1650, Stanley was appointed by Charles II to command forces of Cheshire and Lancashire but was defeated at the Battle of Wigan Lane.

He escaped, but only to be captured near Nantwich on his way to find asylum in the north. He was court marshaled and sentenced to death for his cooperation in the Bolton Massacre and for his support of Charles II. He appealed the case in hopes of being granted a pardon, but this was denied by parliament. He was sentenced to be executed in Bolton on October 15, 1651, at the market cross in Churchgate.

It is alleged that Stanley spent his final hours in a pub called Ye Olde Man and Scythe which was owned by the Earl of Derby’s family. It is one of the oldest public houses in Bolton. After having his final meal with the innkeeper, he walked outside, where he was publicly beheaded. 

The Stonewall Riots

In the late 1960s, homosexual sex was illegal in almost every state in the US, even in private homes. New York had one of the largest gay populations, but also had some of the strictest anti-sodomy laws. The state even formed squads of police that would raid gay bars as well as use undercover officers to solicit sex from gay individuals and then arrest them if they consented.

On June 28, 1969, the police were again harassing the patrons of a gay bar in Greenwich called the Stonewall Inn. However, on this night, the patrons got fed up and began resisting the officers. A riot quickly broke out and word spread throughout the city. Other men and women in the city rushed to the Stonewall Inn to aid in the resistance against the officers. Police reinforcements arrived sometime later and dispersed the crowd. But the following night, over 1,000 men and women returned to the Stonewall Inn and protested for hours until a riot squad was called in to break things up.

The incident at the Stonewall Inn led to discussions about the rights for members of the LGBT community in America and led to the formation of the first LGBT advocacy groups in the country. Within a few years of the riots, gay rights groups had been formed in many major cities across the US.

Planning The Boston Tea Party

Located on Union Street in Boston’s North End, the Green Dragon Tavern was nicknamed “The Headquarters of the Revolution” by American statesmen Daniel Webster. Many of the Founding Fathers and other key figures from the American Revolution met here to discuss current events and create plans of action. The Boston Caucus, the Boston Committee of Correspondence, and the Sons of Liberty were among the groups of men that assembled here. In fact, the Green Dragon was the site where one of America’s most famous historical events was planned.

In 1773, the Sons of Liberty met at the Green Dragon to hash out the details of a plan to protest British Parliament’s Tea Act. The plan involved members of the Sons of Liberty dressing up as Mohawk Indians and sneaking onto the tea ships in Boston Harbor, where they would throw the chests of tea overboard. On December 16, 1773, they put their plan into action, dumping 342 chests of tea overboard into the harbor in an event that would later come to be known as the Boston Tea Party.

The Birth Of The United States Marine Corps

In 1775, the Continental Congress drafted a resolution to assemble two battalions of soldiers that would fight on both land and sea. On November 10th, the resolution was approved and Samuel Nicholas, a prominent Philadelphian and tavern owner, was commissioned as the captain of the newly formed Continental Marines.

Among his first recruits was a man by the name of Robert Mullan. Together, the two men went to the tavern and lured in potential recruits with the offering of free beer.  However, there is some debate regarding which tavern the men actually went to in order to carry out recruitment. Military lore maintains that the men did their recruiting at Tun Tavern. Tun Tavern was the first brew house built in Philadelphia and was owned by Robert Mullan. However, many historians argue that it most likely took place at a tavern called the Conestoga Wagon, which was owned by Nicholas. Regardless, the men raised two battalions of men that would become the first official United States Marines.


The UpStairs Lounge Arson Attack

It is known that members of the LGBT community in America have been subjected to appalling treatment throughout the nation’s history. However, in June of 1973, a bar in New Orleans was the site of an especially wretched and heinous demonstration of hatred toward the gay community. On the night of June 24, an unknown individual doused the steps leading up to a popular second-story gay bar called the UpStairs Lounge in the French Quarter of New Orleans with lighter fluid. The individual then rang the doorbell and ignited the fluid as he fled.

When the door was opened, a ball of flames shot into the bar and ignited the interior. Some of the patrons managed to escape out the back door, but some were trapped between the flames and the windows, which were fitted with metal bars. The fire department arrived to find over 20 badly burned bodies in the bar. The fire claimed the lives of 32 people and was the deadliest attack on the gay community until the shooting at Pulse nightclub in June of 2016.

George Washington's Farewell To His Officers

On December 4th, 1783, George Washington invited the officers of the Continental Army to the long room of the Fraunces Tavern. Fraunces Tavern was originally a house built by a French merchant in 1719 on the plot of land at 54 Pearl Street in New York. The land was later bought by Samuel Fraunces, who turned it into a tavern known originally as the Queen’s Head Tavern. Washington called the meeting to tell his officers that he would be resigning his commission after six long years of leading the men against the British and ultimately ending the war with a win over General Cornwallis at Yorktown. It was said that Washington was brought to tears as he issued his farewell to the men. Washington then left for Annapolis, where he officially resigned on December 23rd.

The Long Branch Saloon Gun Fight

“Cockeyed” Frank Loving and Levi Richardson were two men that had found their way to Dodge City, Kansas, in the late 19th century. Richardson was a buffalo hunter from Wisconsin and Loving made a living as a gambler. The two men became friends and frequented the Long Branch Saloon, where other notable figures including Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp would come to drink and gamble.

However, the friendship became strained when Richardson developed a liking for Frank’s wife, Mattie. In March of 1879, the two men got into an argument, which led to Richardson punching Loving in the face. Loving was unarmed at the time and decided to back down from the fight. However, Richardson vowed that he would kill Loving one day.

On April 5, 1879, Richardson came to the saloon looking for Loving; he got a drink and sat down by the fire to wait for Loving’s arrival. After some time passed, Richardson was getting ready to leave the saloon when Loving walked through the door. Richardson immediately started a fight with Loving and then drew his pistol. The men ran around the room shooting at one another until one of Loving’s bullets struck Richardson in the chest, killing him.

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 07:36:51 PST http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-events-that-happened-in-bars/chase-christy