Millie McCoy and Christine McCoy were American conjoined twins who went by the stage names “The Two-Headed Nightingale” and “The Eighth Wonder of the World”.
Millie and Christine were born on July 11, 1851, to parents who were slaves on the plantation of Mr. Alexander McCoy. The plantation was near the town of Whiteville, North Carolina, which resulted in the girls also being referred to as The Carolina Twins. Prior to the sisters’ birth, their mother had borne seven other children, five boys and two girls, all of ordinary size and form.
They were sold to a showman named Joseph Pearson Smith at birth, but were soon kidnapped by a rival showman. The kidnapper fled to the United Kingdom but was thwarted, since the United Kingdom had outlawed slavery in the 1830s.
Smith traveled to Britain to collect the girls and brought with him their mother, Monimia, from whom they had been separated. He and his wife provided the twins with an education and taught them to speak five languages, dance, play music, and sing. For the rest of the century, the twins enjoyed a successful career as “The Two-Headed Nightingale”, and appeared with the Barnum circus. In 1869, a biography on the twins, titled History and Medical Description of the Two-Headed Girl, was sold during their public appearances.
The origin of the pirate flag has been lost. It is thought that pirates originally used a red flag, which was also common in naval warfare, to signal that no quarter would be given. This red flag was called Joli Rouge (pretty red) by the French, and may have been corrupted into English as Jolly Roger. From the red flag it seems that individual pirates began to develop their own personal flags in order to terrify their foes into a quick surrender.
The skull and bones was also used in captains’ logbooks to indicate the death of a sailor.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria (fourth century) was challenged to a debate with fifty pagan orators, all of whom she converted to Christianity. Here she counts off the points of her dispute to two men who wear haloes as an indication of their conversion by her arguments (and future martyrdom by Emperor Maxentius). Two diminutive donors wearing the habits of Franciscan tertiaries kneel at the left.
The German light flame thrower of the First World War was operated by two men: one carried the tank of compressed nitrogen, the other aimed the hose. Early models had to be lit by hand, which proved dangerous. Later versions incorporated an automatic ignition system. First tested against the French at Verdun in February of 1915, the two man flame thrower (Kleines Flammenwerfer) proved to be a terrifyingly effective weapon.
The Nebra sky disk is a bronze disk of around 30 cm diameter, with a blue-green patina and inlaid with gold symbols. These are interpreted generally as a sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars (including a cluster interpreted as the Pleiades). Two golden arcs along the sides, marking the angle between the solstices, were added later. A final addition was another arc at the bottom surrounded with multiple strokes (of uncertain meaning, variously interpreted as a Solar Barge with numerous oars, as the Milky Way, or as a rainbow).
The disk is attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, and associatively dated to c. 1600 BC. It has been associated with the Bronze Age Unetice culture.
The disk is unlike any known artistic style from the period, and had initially been suspected of being a forgery, but is now widely accepted as authentic.
‘Good and evil doesn’t have a grey zone. Killing and stealing is bad. Violence is never “good” or necessary unless it is used to defend against killers and thieves. Indeed, that is the morality behind the “just war” principle as defined by international laws and treaties.
Yet, this simple concept of right and wrong gets muddled by differing ideas about religion, patriotism, economics and many other divisions. The “just war” rule has crumbled under the ambitions of empires throughout history. The American-led Anglo Saxon empire is no different.
This empire has been brutally conquering and colonizing territory since the fall of Rome. However, it has only gained an American face in the last century. The United States quickly emerged as the world’s “superpower” primarily through its economic might. For some time, many believed the U.S. to be a shining example of economic freedom for other nations to emulate. Indeed, America was eager to promote “economic freedom” globally to open new markets for U.S.-based corporations.
When foreign leaders refused to allow these corporate interests into their country, those leaders were replaced through a variety of covert actions. The form of government that would be installed did not matter to the empire makers so long as the corporate interests were served. In most cases these nations simply surrendered to the seemingly unlimited power of the almighty dollar, thus camouflaging the traditional method of forceful empire building.’
If you’re a fan of seeing old photographs overlaid on top of modern day ones, you’ll love this new project by Google. Called Historypin, it’s an interactive, crowd-sourcing movement where you go to upload your old photos, add your stories and then geo-tag them onto Google maps. What exactly is the point? To bridge the gap between generations. As of right now almost 15,000 photos and stories have been pinned. I love this
“Using thirteen engraved stones of basalt and granite, the Japanese American Historical Plaza in Portland tells an important story of the Japanese in Oregon. Landscape architect Robert Murase created the theme and design of the plaza to tell the story of the hardships suffered by Japanese immigrants and the indignities imposed by the incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II. The plaza shows how the rights of Japanese Americans on the West Coast were denied, and honors the bravery of those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces while their families were in the camps.
The story continues with poems inscribed on stones. The stone at the center of the plaza lists the ten internment camps. The base of this stone is surrounded by flagstones with jagged sides laid out in irregular patterns reflecting the broken dreams of the internees.
Poets Lawson Inada (Ashland), Shizue Iwatsuki (Hood River, deceased), Masaki Kinoshita (Portland, deceased), and Hisako Saito (Portland, deceased) composed the inscribed poems.
Murase was inspired to design the plaza while attending a Day of Remembrance memorial, which Japanese American communities hold throughout the country to remember February 19, 1942, the day President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. The order was the first step that led to the imprisonment of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. In March, 1942, the U.S. Army posted exclusion orders in towns and cities on the West Coast, advising all persons of Japanese ancestry to prepare to be evacuated from their homes and businesses.
The Historical Plaza, which presents poems of Japanese experiences, is a permanent reminder of the importance of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The last stone has a bronze plaque with excerpts from the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which includes an apology for the unlawful imprisonment of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II. “
According to a Portland news website, the Plaza “bear[s] the great national legacy as the first memorial to civil liberties.”