Occasionally, people will go down in history for some great deed or misdeed without anyone ever knowing who the hell they were. Some went out of their way to remain anonymous, others died before they could leave any contact information, and still others fell victim to the fact that we, as a species, really only started keeping reliable records about a hundred or so years ago. Which is too bad, because we would love to know the real identities behind . 6. The Man in the Iron MaskBelieve it or not, the bucket headed French prisoner made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio in The Man in the Iron Mask (and, to a lesser extent, Alexandre Dumas) was actually a real person. Despite what the movies might have you believe, nobody has any goddamn idea who he was. We just know that he was apparently a high level prisoner who for some mysterious reason had to have his head covered at all times in that iron helmet. Which is kind of bizarre, if you think about it. It gets even more bizarre when you consider that the guy apparently looked like this. It started in 1698, when a prisoner using the pseudonym Eustache Dauger (which on paper looks heroically similar to "Mustache Danger") was transported to the Bastille, the 17th century French equivalent of a maximum security prison. He had already spent between two and three decades (old timey records are, at best, imprecise) rotting in various jails across the country. According to legend, he showed up already locked in the iron mask (which looked like an Iron Man Mark I helmet) and was immediately tossed in a cell, forbidden to speak to anyone except to ask for food, water, or a pot to make poopies. "OK, I filled the pot. Now can I have my stale bread and water?" And . that's all we know. Nobody discussed who the hell he was or what he had done or why he needed to be dressed like a very lazy knight. He was listed in the Bastille records as "Prisoner 64389000," which, in addition to being difficult to fit into a song, is a completely sterile piece of information. He was forbidden to ever show his face to anyone, and some prisoners claimed he had two armed guards with him at all times should he ever try to take the mask off. In that event, we assume they would aim for his chest, or shove their musket barrels into his iron eyeholes. Dauger (or whatever his name truly was) died in 1703, which, as keen eyed readers may notice, means he sat in the Bastille with his head in a fucking crock pot for four dick punching years. The subsequent 300 years have done nothing to uncover the mystery of his identity, either there were few solid facts about the man to begin with, and three centuries of retellings laced with spirited embellishments have seriously diluted what little we had to go on. At least they permitted him the dignity of shoe and knee bows. The popular theory is that he was some kind of high level political prisoner, hence the need to conceal his identity. However, nobody can quite agree on exactly who that famous inmate might have been, with some of the wilder guesses ranging from Oliver Cromwell's son to the older brother of King Louis XIV himself (Dumas' novelization of the DiCaprio movie is based on that second idea). All we really know about him is from letters written by the Bastille's governor and from his fellow prisoners spreading the story, and those testimonies are contentious about whether his mask was even made of iron to begin with. To be fair, "The Man in the Black Velvet Vanity Veil" doesn't carry quite the same level of mystery and intrigue. 5. The Isdal WomanIn 1970, a group of hikers outside of Bergen, Norway, suddenly came upon the charred, naked corpse of a woman in the middle of the Isdalen Valley. The body was nicknamed the Isdal Woman, presumably because "Joanie Storm" was considered too disrespectful to her memory, and the investigation that followed was so bizarre and surreal that it was more like a television series by David Lynch than actual police work. Maybe it's time to take Detective Lynch off this case. First, the items scattered around her body might as well have been arranged to spell "ambush murder" on the ground next to her. Bottles of gasoline and liquor, a mostly incinerated passport, and enough sleeping pills to kill a Hollywood screen legend were found close enough to have been hastily dropped by a stab bandit upon hearing the echo of approaching footsteps. But the Isdal Woman herself was difficult to identify, immolated remains notwithstanding her fingerprints had been sanded away, and apart from evidence of some work that might have been done in Latin America, her dental records returned no matches. It seemed like investigators had caught a break when two of her suitcases were discovered in a safety deposit box at a train station, but all of the clothing packed inside had been stripped of their labels. There was a prescription bottle, but the identifying label that might have contained her name and address had been peeled off. In addition, the police found several fake passports adorned with entrance stamps from Moscow (this was back during the Cold War, so fake passports from Russia were highly suspect), and there were 500 deutschemarks sewn into the lining of one of the bags. She also apparently wore a collection of wigs and wrote notes to herself in code. Either she was James goddamn Bond or her murderer was playing an elaborate practical joke. Jag Gundu/ Images Entertainment/ Images A woman who travels the world under an assumed name with a collection of wigs? Sounds mighty suspicious. Furthermore, despite a pool of over 100 eyewitnesses who all claimed to have seen her on the days leading up to her death, nobody could agree on anything except a general description of what she looked like, which usually boiled down to some variation of "an attractive foreign lady in her 30s or 40s." She might have been German, or Italian, or French, or she just might have known how to speak those languages. She used a handful of different names, all fake, during her stay in various hotels around Norway, and the primary witness, an Italian photographer who had dinner with the Isdal Woman before she died (and who had previously been questioned in an unrelated rape case), said she was an antiques collector from South Africa on a sightseeing trip, but he couldn't remember any useful details. "She liked dousing herself in lighter fluid and smoking cigars. D'ya think that might be relevant?" She was last seen hiking in evening wear (which, generally speaking, is not the attire one selects to go traipsing through a rocky forest of mystery in the middle of the night), being closely followed by two large men in black clothing. Her body was discovered a few days later, burned to a cinder, laced with alcohol and sleeping pills, and with evidence of blunt force trauma on the back of her neck. The police were so baffled by every single facet of the case that they literally gave up, ruling the Isdal Woman's death a suicide because, hey, why not. 4. Perseus, the Soviet Spy in the Manhattan ProjectIn the 1940s, the United States was hip deep in the Manhattan Project, a top secret research program into melting our enemies with righteous waves of screaming atomic fire. Plenty of other countries were curious as to what in the savage bulldog farts the Americans were doing with an army of scientists in the middle of the goddamn desert, the Soviet Union chief among them. Fortunately for the Soviets, one of the top scientists involved in the project was actually working for them, feeding them sensitive information the whole time. Unfortunately for the USA, they never found out which scientist it was. Who wants to bet it was this weird looking guy? All we know is that he went by the code name Perseus. He was in place from 1943 to 1946, nearly the entire duration of the Manhattan Project. And unlike other Soviet moles, who were quickly discovered once World War II came to an end, the Americans had no idea that Perseus even existed until some former KGB officials spilled the beans in 1991. government has ever kept and went tap dancing off into the sunset for almost 50 years before anybody realized he'd taken anything. According to secret KGB documents that were decrypted during a code breaking project known as Venona (because cryptographers specialize in nonsense words), Perseus was among the high level scientists at the White Sands missile testing site in New Mexico, as well as the main research facility in Los Alamos, which means he had firsthand access to pretty much everything. The information he gathered (along with that collected by the three spies who eventually got busted) not only gave the Soviet Union an extra year's head start to develop their own nuclear program, but also gave Josef Stalin enough time to practice his "I'm totally surprised" face for when President Truman revealed the atomic bomb to him at the Potsdam Conference in 1945. 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Here Your Best Choice To Buy Men Nike Free Run 3 Anthracite Gray Reflect Silver New Green,Men Nike Free Run 4.0 V2 Pure Platinum Reflect Silver Soar Blue Pets are allowed but can not have ANY contact with the children. They must be "locked up" out of sight/reach. A kennel or baby gate won't do, they have to be in a seperate room with a closed door. The explanation I got for the shoe thing was because if we have to evacuate the house, it is a safety hazard to wait around to get shoes on. Uhm, why in the world would I wait for shoes? I am very worried about little fingers getting stepped on and the kids getting hit in the face (or where ever) with shoes! Oh, and when I had my inspections. I was told I could use the curved diaper pad on the floor. but when Enviromental Health came, he said I HAD to have the pad up off the floor. WTF? Because you WANT the baby to fall off a changing table and onto the floor? He said I had to put it ontop the washer/dryer or buy a changing table. At Carson, they leaned way more to the "home" side of FCC. We also have to keep track of shot records on our own, even though CYS does it. Each kid in care has to have an up to date shot card that WE are responsible for. so lame. They are also very strict about lesson plans here. And they've set our rates for us. At Carson, we could charge what we wanted the norm was $125/week for FT infant. You know, I would have thought it was so much more uniform than it is. But I guess like everything else military, it's not! LOL We can have pets, but they don't necessarily have to be locked away. Dogs yes, cats, no (they just can't have access to the litter box. well, duh). wading pools are not allowed. At all. That sucks, b/c my DD hates the sprinkler and wants to swim (well not now, b/c it's cold out :) ) i'm not sure about the shoe thing, but, honestly. i'd rather my kid have scratched up feet or something than have to worry about keeping shoes on everyone in an emergency. For the shoes (AF) I was told because they might step on a nail outside. I had another provider who traditionally they do not wear shoes in the home. She had them all take them off. Here I have them wear harder sloed slippers or crocs (for now). I can't wait to move offbase (one day). An affiliated provider doesn't allow her kids to wear shoes and she is okay. I hate double standards. Not sure if the regualtions for the Army SAY that they have to wear shoes or not but I know the AF one DOES NOT. Therefore technically they can't force me to make them wear shoes. I've been doing them for 4 yreas now. I would refuse to do that. The kitchen and stuff is still part of my HOME. Not put ugly signs all over it. They can kiss me rear. LOL Pets my dog has grown up with this so he is use to be seperated. The cat hangs out in my bedroom during the day. always used the pad on the floor. EH is smoking something. Again it's people who "think" they can dictate the rules. I hate how we have to follow whims of idiots who have never done this or even had children. Exactly Melissa you don't! : ) I say you pick your battles. My coordinator always has a "ton" of suggestions and it drives the new provider's insane cause they always think they HAVE to do what she says. There are things she'll mention in my home and if I want to I will do it but if it doesn't work for me then she knows I will not change it for her. Same goes for the nutso's who do our DOD inspections. Always changing and writing us up for stuff they think of on the spot. (Like removing the propane tank from the COVERED grill because the 2 yr old might try to turn it on when we evacuate for a fire drill. Um okay. That makes me think that I have it pretty good here. The thing that drives me absolutely nuts is it is okay today, but maybe not tomorrow. I mean, really, my house has not changed. Why in the world was it okay 2 months ago to do the exact same thing I'm doing right now. And, then there is the outside thing. Can't use my fenced in backyard because the kids might get a splinter, but it's okay to play out front right beside the road. My daycare parents were like uh, yeah we'll take the splinters over the trip to the ER. All of the BS!! We have "the people" from GA coming to do inspections they are the bigwhigs so trainers have been out doing inspections yesterday and today. well, i had one yesterday. Granted, I'd much rather HER say stuff than "the people", but still. Counters and table were too cluttered. My sewing machine was out (sitting on the counter where a child "could" climb onto a chair and get to the needle). I had contact re wetting drops in the cabinet. Food (sack of potatoes and boxed juice, my family's food NOT fcc stuff) was on the floor of the pantry. Men Nike Free Run 3 Anthracite Gray Reflect Silver New Green Sometimes a little kid will deliberately be bad just to get attention from her teacher or parents. This seems to be the philosophy of a Daily Beast column by Zachary Karabell, which uses what seems to be some deliberately bad economic analysis to tell us things are really pretty good. The piece begins with the incredible assertion: years from now, when we look back at 2011, it may be remembered as one of the best worst years of the early 21st century. You be hard pressed to come up with an extended period where people were more negative, yet remarkably, in the United States at least, not much actually happened. No, 2011 looks better than 2009 and 2010 and certainly better than ending of 2008, but most of the country would be hard pressed to find a reason to put 2011 ahead of any of the years prior to the crash. The unemployment rate for the year is likely to average above 9.0 percent. The number of people who are involuntarily underemployed has generally been 8.5 and 9.0 million, close to double the pre recession level. Millions more have given up looking for work altogether. Real wages have been stagnant or falling for the last 4 years, with little prospect of turning around any time soon as the high rate of unemployment continues to depress wages. In addition, tens of millions of baby boomers are approaching retirement with almost nothing to support themselves other than their Social Security. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, the median older baby boomer (ages 55 64) had just $162,000 in wealth. This is roughly enough to buy the median home. This means that if this household took all of their wealth, they can pay off their mortgage. They would then be completely dependent on their Social Security to support them in retirement. And, half of older baby boomers have less wealth than this. In short, most of the country is looking at a situation where they are desperate for work or fearful about losing their job. Older workers are looking at a retirement where they are not far above the poverty level, even after spending a life working in middle class jobs. The bad attitudes toward this situation are not the result of "groupthink" as the column asserts, they are the conclusion of people better able to understand the economy than Karabell. For extra credit in the acting up department Karabell throws in a few broad assertions that are simply wrong. For example he tells us that: Overall growth for the next year is shaping up to be 2 percent, give or take. That is pretty lame compared to the heady days of the 1990s or even the mid 2000s. But those seemingly halcyon periods benefited from bubbles, whether the stock market and telecom spending in the 1990s or the housing and debt inflated growth of the mid 2000s. So while activity now doesn look so good by those comparisons, it is actual economic activity undistorted by bubbles. It as if the economy of the past 20 years was wearing platform shoes ( she like 6 feet tall it looked a lot bigger than it was. Actually 2.0 percent annual growth would look bad compared to the 80s, the 70s, the 60s, and the 50s. It is simply a very bad growth rate. is between 2.0 and 2.5 percent. Labor force growth is averaging around 0.7 percent. This means that we need growth of around 2.5 3.0 percent just to keep even with the growth of the labor force. At a 2.0 percent growth rate unemployment will be rising, not falling. This has nothing to with platform shoes, it's arithmetic. Furthermore, given the severity of the downturn we should be seeing growth in a 5 8 percent range to get the economy back to its potential level of output. People should be outraged at the thought that the economy might only grow at a 2.0 percent rate. Karabell also tells readers: It is also true that we have a structural jobs issue, but not an issue of making things and innovating. If we had a structural jobs issue then there would be sectors of the economy where large numbers of jobs are going unfilled, workers are putting in long hours, and wages are rising rapidly. This would be the result of the labor shortages in these areas. We don't see any major sectors that fit this bill. That implies that the problem is not one of structural unemployment but simply a lack of demand. We just need the government to spend more money, the Fed to be more aggressive in pushing down long term interest rates or boosting inflation, or a decline in the value of the dollar to boost exports. We can also put more people to work by having people work shorter hours through work sharing. Saying the problem is structural is simply wrong and points people away from the obvious solutions.
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