What Does ‘Dord’ Mean?
Feb28

What Does ‘Dord’ Mean?

What does ‘dord’ mean? Well, it was in the dictionary but nevertheless, ‘dord’ means nothing. I don’t mean by this that it means ‘nil’ or that it means ‘zero’ – it simply isn’t a word. No such word exists. So why was it in Webster’s Dictionary for five years? And what’s more, how did a non-existent word get in there in the first place? It must be  pretty...

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Who Was Barbara Payton?
Feb27

Who Was Barbara Payton?

Who was Barbara Payton? There are some strange and often sad stories that have come out of what was called the Golden Era of Hollywood. Barbara Payton’s is one of them. Blonde and attractive Barbara, seen here with Gregory Peck, was sure of her own stardom. She bought into the Hollywood press releases about herself. She thought she was a huge star. Yet today, hardly no-one remembers the name and she died alone aged only thirty...

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The Curious Love Life of Fabulous Fanny Cradock
Feb26

The Curious Love Life of Fabulous Fanny Cradock

The curious love life of bigamist Fanny Cradock Fanny Cradock was known as the first TV celebrity chef. She appeared on her show along with her ‘husband’, Johnny. Although he was her real-life partner, they were not married – a fact that could have scandalised some viewers when their show started in 1955. In fact, Fanny had first been married at the age of seventeen – to an RAF pilot. Accounts vary regarding...

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Murder in Miami: Christopher Wilder the Beauty Queen Killer
Feb26

Murder in Miami: Christopher Wilder the Beauty Queen Killer

Murder in Miami: Christopher Wilder the Beauty Queen Killer. Christopher Wilder was rich. His friends described him as charming and gallant. He lived a playboy life in South Florida, living well and racing sports cars. He was particularly fond of beautiful young women. In the nineteen eighties he was still in his thirties and living in Boynton Beach in Florida. Murder at the 1984 Miami Grand Prix This was the second motor racing event...

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Concert for George
Feb25

Concert for George

The George Harrison Memorial Concert. On the first anniversary of George Harrison’s death, his family and friends took part in a huge concert to celebrate his life and his music. Hundreds of people attended the event which was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Millions more have seen it since. You can see the full, two hour plus video below. The concert had been organised largely by Eric Clapton who acted as musical...

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Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti
Feb24

Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti

42 Years Ago – Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti At 4pm every weekday evening the parade across the fields began. The schoolkids from the village south of town would walk the two miles down into the hill, past the burned out coal mine and up the other side. In age they ranged from 11 to 18; all in school uniforms of black,gray and navy blue, with a hint of the fashions of the day. In February 1975 Maggie Thatcher had been...

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Art Matters: L.S. Lowry on Match Day
Feb23

Art Matters: L.S. Lowry on Match Day

Andy Royston’s back on the terraces with one of England’s most beloved painters, L.S. Lowry. One cold and rainy evening in West London I found myself wandering towards a set of bright floodlights shining above the houses. Brentford FC were playing Gillingham in some cup game and Griffin Park was offering tickets on the turnstiles. So in I went, picked up a cup of Bovril from the Ealing Road end and, as the drizzle faded...

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Who Was Kenneth Williams?
Feb22

Who Was Kenneth Williams?

Who was Kenneth Williams? Kenneth Williams was a much-loved British actor and comedian. But somehow, he was so much more than that. It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that he was an institution. He was certainly an original, that’s for sure. Starting his career in the theatre, he first found fame on the radio in the nineteen fifties. And one absolutely hilarious character he portrayed in the early sixties...

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Jeanne Louise Calment
Feb21

Jeanne Louise Calment

Jeanne Louise Calment: The oldest woman. You might have read my colleague Merry’s recent article about what’s supposedly good for us and what is damaging to our health.The article is called Food for Health. It’s a great read – why do scientists and nutritionists keep giving us conflicting advice? Instead of listening to them, let’s take a look at Jeanne Louise Calment, until her death she was the...

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Cardiac, by Jeffrey Monaghan
Feb21

Cardiac, by Jeffrey Monaghan

On Tour with “Cardiac” Cardiac is a thoroughly suspenseful novel. In great part because of how personal it is. It isn’t that uncommon to read a plot where someone is blackmailed or coerced into doing something wrong.  Sometimes with threats to your life.  Bad enough, but what if someone could  control your pacemaker?  That would surely bring that tension up several notches, right along with blood pressure. Once anyone has...

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Britain’s Got Opera!
Feb20

Britain’s Got Opera!

Britain and opera. In 1990. I still lived in the UK and a friend from America was visiting. I remember him being amazed because the most popular song at the time – it was in the charts, played on the radio and was a favourite on pub jukeboxes – was Nessun Dorma performed by Luciano Pavarotti. ‘Only in England’ he would say ‘could the most popular song be an aria from a Puccini opera’. But was this a...

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World Cup Heroes: Jimmy Greaves
Feb20

World Cup Heroes: Jimmy Greaves

From the point of view of a ten year old in the thrall of World Cup football it was hard to believe that Jimmy Greaves – that amiable joker on Saturday lunchtime telly, where he presented a football show called ‘On The Ball’ – was a genuine England football legend. Dad was sanguine. “You should have seen him play back in the day. He was amazing. He would have been playing in that 1966 World Cup Final if...

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Omega-3 Supplements for your Dog’s Health
Feb19

Omega-3 Supplements for your Dog’s Health

  Dogs need Omega-3 in their diets too We give our little dog a splash of Welactin’s Natural Omega3 Supplement every day with her meal. A veterinarian first suggested it to us as a supplement, and we love it. Actually, so does our dog! It is part of the reason she still looks like a puppy when she is ten years old. We first got it as an overall health supplement. It is made of salmon or fish oil, so we know it is good for...

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Was Karen Silkwood Murdered?
Feb19

Was Karen Silkwood Murdered?

Who was Karen Silkwood? Many people believe that she was murdered. Let’s look at her background first. She began working at an Oklahoma chemical plant in 1972.  The facility was responsible for producing plutonium pellets for use in nuclear reactors. Yes, frightening. As did her colleagues, she joined the union and became concerned about the levels of safety for the workers employed in the factory who were exposed to dangerous...

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Vintage Television: Bill Cullen
Feb18

Vintage Television: Bill Cullen

Vintage television: Who was Bill Cullen? Bill Cullen was a well-known and very popular television personality during the sixties and seventies in the USA. He was a game show host and was often featured as a panellist on other shows, once of which was his appearances as part of the panel on I’ve Got A Secret. But Bill Cullen had a secret of his own When he was just a small child, he contracted polio. This meant that he had...

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Tom Keating: Art Fraud
Feb17

Tom Keating: Art Fraud

Tom Keating: Criminal or hero? In the nineteen sixties and seventies, Tom Keating made a very handy living as an art forger. But was he a criminal or was he simply exposing the shady side of the art world? He painted fakes in the style of several well known painters (whose works were valuable and in demand) and sold them without exactly revealing that they were ‘home made’. How much of a crime is that, exactly? Well, in...

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Grimm Woods, by D. Melhoff, A Review
Feb17

Grimm Woods, by D. Melhoff, A Review

On A Virtual Tour with D. Melhoff If you’ve read any of the Grimms Fairy Tales, you probably remember them as stories for children with lessons in each. While that isn’t how they were written—early on most were considered inappropriate for children—the adaptations we see today, in movies or children’s books are generally more uplifting stories. Grimm Woods brings those tales into a gruesome, very adult novel, all set in a park created...

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Back Blast, by Mark Greaney: A Review
Feb16

Back Blast, by Mark Greaney: A Review

Court Gentry, The Gray Man The Gray Man is back. And truly back this time–to the United States. After five years eluding his own government, working on his own, Court Gentry has come home. Still hunted, he has finally returned to find out why. Back Blast, released February 16th, 2016, is the fifth in the Gray Man series. Mark Greaney has created a terrific character in Court Gentry. Each book has been an exciting thrill ride....

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Franklin D. Roosevelt: Assassination Attempt
Feb16

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Assassination Attempt

FDR saved in Miami. When Franklin D Roosevelt was elected to office  he planned to relax a little before his inauguration. That was to take place in March 1933 so the month before, he accepted an invitation to go on a fishing trip to South Florida. Eleven days into the trip the yacht he was on, the Nourmahal, docked in pier one at Miami harbour. Roosevelt planned to speak briefly in Bayfront Park to which he travelled in an open car....

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British Money Before Decimalisation
Feb15

British Money Before Decimalisation

British money before decimalisation In a strange British perverse way, those of us who remember the ‘old money’ took a secret delight in its complexity. Today, it’s easy. Like dollars and cents, there are one hundred pennies to the pound. Arithmetic is simple. Foreign visitors are no longer baffled. The old system, which evolved relatively naturally sounds quite bonkers, but even the most innumerate people (such as...

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Graham Hill
Feb15

Graham Hill

Graham Hill On December 5th, 1975, racing driver Graham Hill was due to appear at a ceremony at which the British Racing Drivers Club was going to honor his achievements as a racing driver. Hill had won the  Grand Prix Championship, the Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours race during his racing career. But instead, over two thousand of his friends and colleagues attended his funeral. He had retired from racing just five months...

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Who’s Flying Your Plane?
Feb14

Who’s Flying Your Plane?

Meet Kate McWilliams and Luke Elsworth I remember many years ago hearing a strange story about a commercial flight – the passengers refused to fly because the pilot was a woman. In preparing to write this article, I went to Google to determine just when that was.  I couldn’t find that information. But what I did find was something even more weird. In 2014, a passenger left a sexist message for the female pilot who had just...

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A Ship Called Rothko: Artwork by Andy Royston
Feb14

A Ship Called Rothko: Artwork by Andy Royston

A Ship Called Rothko: Artwork by Andy Royston I’ve loved the work of Mark Rothko for as long as I can remember. The last time I recall one of the artist’s works selling it was at Christie’s in New York. The price was a cool $86.9 million. This price set a record for the top price paid for artwork produced after World War Two. Therefore I think it’s pretty safe to assume that there won’t be a genuine...

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Louis le Prince: The Man Who Invented the Movies
Feb14

Louis le Prince: The Man Who Invented the Movies

 Who invented motion pictures? Some people would say it was Thomas Edison who invented the movies. Others might mention the Lumière brothers. But in fact,  movies – motion pictures – were invented by the man you see on the left. Two of his films, taken in 1888, survive. But Louis le Prince is rarely credited with the invention and more than that, his story ends with his mysterious disappearance. Was this foul play because...

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Book Review: The Testament, by John Grisham.
Feb14

Book Review: The Testament, by John Grisham.

One of Grisham’s Best The Testament is one of my favorite books by John Grisham. He’s so well know for his legal thrillers, like The Firm, The Client, or A Time to Kill. This story has an unusual twist to it though. Less time in the court room, and plenty of adventure in the Pantanal area of the Brazilian wetlands. Not what you might expect. I loved it! A billionaire announces his last will and testament to his money...

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Lunch with Hitler
Feb14

Lunch with Hitler

Traudl Junge was only twenty two years old when she became one of Adolf Hitler’s private secretaries. This was in 1942. The secretaries had little work to do and one of their duties was to dine with Hitler to keep him amused, keep his mind off the war for a short while and of course, to supply him with an audience. Initially Traudl found her boss to be rather charming and pleasant company. This was to change as the war...

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The Busby Babes & the Munich Air Disaster
Feb14

The Busby Babes & the Munich Air Disaster

The Busby Babes & the Munich Air Disaster. A plane accident in 1958 took the lives of eight football players from the Manchester United team.Two others were so badly injured that they never played  again. Staff from the football club died too, as did several respected sports journalists. The football players in the Manchester United team who were killed were all in their twenties, the youngest being twenty-one. The team were known...

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The Prince & the Showgirl: Gisèle Pascal, Prince Rainier & Marilyn Monroe
Feb14

The Prince & the Showgirl: Gisèle Pascal, Prince Rainier & Marilyn Monroe

Gisèle Pascal, Prince Rainier and Marilyn Monroe In the early 1950s,Prince Rainier of Monaco was the perfect age to marry – he had been born in 1923. He was wealthy, handsome and the ruler of a magical principality. However, he was a shy and retiring man. For several years he had been living with a French actress, Gisèle Pascal and the time was approaching when he needed to marry to produce heirs to his principality. However,...

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Florida Songs: Margaritaville
Feb14

Florida Songs: Margaritaville

And before you ask, it IS a song. Sure, now you can mosey into your big-resort Margaritaville restaurant and order your “Who’s to Blame” cocktail with your Cheeseburger In Paradise, and wash it down with Landshark Lager before heading into the casino for your Mississippi Stud or Texas Hold’em. Faux air-conditioned beaches, fake palm trees, old-time photos on the wall and Hawaiian shirts on backs of the...

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Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
Feb14

Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. Many race fans will be familiar with this circuit and in 2015, the Formula One series returned to Mexico. But what do you know about the brothers after which the circuit is named? Theirs is a story that shouldn’t be forgotten. Pedro Rodríguez was born in 1940 in Mexico City. He had three brothers and a sister. However, the other brother who is also commemorated in the name of this circuit was his...

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War Hawk, by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood
Feb14

War Hawk, by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood

The Bond Between Man and Dog Tucker Wayne, a former Army Ranger, and Kane, his war dog, form a tight team once again in War Hawk. The second book in the Tucker Wayne series is another hit for the bestselling authors. The relationship between Tucker and Kane—pack–would be enough to keep me enjoying the book. The story is a most excellent bonus. Authors Rollins and Blackwood have done their research on the well trained military...

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History of Valentine’s Day
Feb14

History of Valentine’s Day

Shared by Stacey J Nelson Ph.D. From an anonymous author. Valentine’s Day – the popular festival of love and romances traces its origin to ancient Roman festival and has not been created by card companies as some people believe it to be. There are various legends associated with the festival along with the belief that birds began to mate from this day. Popularity of the Valentine’s Day festival stems from the...

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Katie Hopkins: British Broadcaster Hates Fat People
Feb13

Katie Hopkins: British Broadcaster Hates Fat People

Katie Hopkins fights obesity I have to admit that I have a sneaking admiration for people who  speak their minds on public platforms. In today’s politically correct world, it’s refreshing (and even more so if I tend to agree with their opinions). Katie, and I have to admit that I had never heard of her until this furore, spoke her mind very clearly about the obese. She declared that they were lazy and that she deplores the...

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Valentine’s Day
Feb13

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day What do you think about Valentine’s Day? Do you look forward to chocolates, gifts and romance? Or do you think is a commercialised holiday? Whatever your opinion, you’ll find plenty to do, read, watch (and eat) right here. We have some lovely recipes that are perfect for any time of year, not just for Valentine’s Day. How about some travel ideas or romantic books to read? Scroll down and see...

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The Murder of Sal Mineo
Feb12

The Murder of Sal Mineo

Who was Sal Mineo? Twenty years before he was murdered, Sal Mineo had been a Hollywood heartthrob. He specialised in playing young toughs such as his part in the James Dean movie, Rebel Without a Cause. But by the time of his murder in February 1976 his career had spent some years in decline. But he wasn’t depressed about his situation. True, he had sold his palatial home and was living in a $75 a month rented apartment but he...

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Gypsy Rose Lee
Feb11

Gypsy Rose Lee

 Stripping Gypsy Gypsy Rose Lee, or Rose Hovick as she was originally named, was the product of a driven stage mother. Rose was born in 1911 and her sister June followed a year later. After the girls’ parents were divorced, the two youngsters were made to perform on the vaudeville stage to support the small family. Rose and June’s mother is said to have had a variety of forged birth certificates for the girls to...

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Up In The Air For Valentine’s Day
Feb10

Up In The Air For Valentine’s Day

Up In The Air For Valentine’s Day Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? February 14th is here before many of us know it and you’ll be scrambling around, looking for a gift at the last minute. You’ll probably pick up some chocolates, or some flowers, or maybe even a piece of jewelry. Maybe you plan to propose on Valentine’s Day. Or maybe you just plain have no idea what to do for someone who makes your heart...

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Who Was Erik Rhodes?
Feb10

Who Was Erik Rhodes?

Erik Rhodes is one of those actors from the dim and distant past whose name no one remembers. But the instant he appears on screen you know. He was a Broadway bit-parter born in Oklahoma who hit upon a role that propelled him to stardom. He played a thick-skinned suave continental gigolos so well that he would almost steal the show from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers with the finest barrage of one-liners in movie history. Twice. Who...

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Under the Covers: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Feb09

Under the Covers: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Under the Covers: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow Andy Royston takes a listen to Carole King’s delightful song Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, and the different ways it has been covered through the years. The songs of Goffin and King are superb examples of the song writing craft of the Sixties. Finely honed to meet the demands of the clients who commissioned them, and written with the requirements of AM radio always firmly in...

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The Man in Black: The Legend of Dale Earnhardt
Feb08

The Man in Black: The Legend of Dale Earnhardt

The Man in Black: The Legend of Dale Earnhardt. It was on the third lap of the 2002 Daytona 500 that the tribute began. Fans stood silently as the NASCAR field thundered on. Fittingly the leading cars, the silver 29 and the NAPA 15 were both owned by Dale Earnhardt Incorporated – and the fans held hands aloft with three fingers high. The intent was to remember friends and heroes but at that moment they had only one man in mind....

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A Fine Year For Murder, by Lauren Carr
Feb07

A Fine Year For Murder, by Lauren Carr

Book Spotlight: On Tour With Lauren Carr We are so happy to be a part of the spotlight tour for Lauren Carr’s latest novel, A Fine Year for Murder.  As book two in her newest series, The Thorny Rose series,  we’ve been anxiously awaiting its arrival. Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton, the children of the featured characters in the Mac Faraday series and The Lovers in Crime series, were an instant hit when the two of them...

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Timeless Valentine Roses
Feb07

Timeless Valentine Roses

Roses For Valentine’s Day. Roses are a timeless gift to receive for Valentine’s Day! Us women love to get them. They look so beautiful on a table and smell so great. One year I received a variety of red and pink roses from my boyfriend. They were so pretty sitting on table. Its even fun to receive roses that you can keep forever like artificial ones or glass roses. They are a forever keepsake you’ll love. First check...

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Gladys Deacon
Feb07

Gladys Deacon

The curious life of Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough. Perhaps it became evident to Gladys that hers would be an unusual life when her father fatally shot  her mother’s lover.   Her parents were American and rich. They were in Paris in 1881 when Gladys, one of their four daughters, was born. The Deacons moved in the best social circles and their children were largely brought up and educated in France, mostly in Paris itself....

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Valentine’s Day: A Girl’s Top 5 Movie Wishlist
Feb06

Valentine’s Day: A Girl’s Top 5 Movie Wishlist

Valentine’s Day; A Girl’s Top 5 Movie Wishlist  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner what is on your wishlist? Most girls are looking for romance on Valentine’s Day so this year I have compiled a list of a girl’s favorite movie wishlist. that ooze romance. These movie selections will fit the category of the best romantic chick flicks. If you have a favorite romantic movie and don’t see it on...

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Who Was Isabella Beeton?
Feb06

Who Was Isabella Beeton?

Who was Isabella Beeton? The ‘Isabella’ part of the name might not be familiar but many people have heard of ‘Mrs Beeton’, the Victorian lady who compiled the then best-selling book of  household management advice. But who was Mrs Beeton? It’s easy to have the impression that she was a rosy-cheeked, suitable plump, grandmotherly old lady who shared her years of experience  of cooking and managing a home....

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Giant Heart Valentine Chocolate Chip Cookie
Feb05

Giant Heart Valentine Chocolate Chip Cookie

Giant Heart Valentine Chocolate Chip Cookie I made this giant heart cookie for the first time believe it not. I’m impressed it came out really great. It’s even kind of healthy; it’s gluten free. It’s a Pillsbury brand package that was given to me. Not often I get those because I like to make cookies from scratch. It sure made it easy though to make! Spray your heart pan with a cooking spray. Just take dough out...

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The Kidnapping of Jean Paul Getty III
Feb05

The Kidnapping of Jean Paul Getty III

So that there would be no confusion between him, his father and his enormously wealthy grandfather, Jean Paul Getty III was generally known as Paul. In 1973, when he was only sixteen years of age, Paul was kidnapped by a ruthless Italian gang – but yet many people at the time believed it was a hoax. The Golden Hippie Paul lived in Rome where he became known for his hippie lifestyle. Being a Getty, it was not necessary for him to...

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The Secret Life of Charles Lindberg
Feb04

The Secret Life of Charles Lindberg

Charles Lindbergh’s secret life. Charles Lindbergh became a hero in 1927 when he flew nonstop from New York to Paris. Five years later he gained the sympathy of the public when his young child was kidnapped and murdered. Yet he fell from grace during the Second World War and after his death, his secret private life was discovered. Lindbergh had not one but three secret families. In 1941, before the United States joined the war,...

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Norman Rockwell: Fake!
Feb03

Norman Rockwell: Fake!

The Norman Rockwell painting that was a fake. Breaking Home Ties is one of America’s favourite illustrations.It was created by Norman Rockwell in 1954, originally for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. For years it was exhibited and admired by the American people but there was just one minor detail – it was a fake. More than fifty years after it had been painted, it was discovered that the artwork on display was a...

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Red Ribbons, by Louise Phillips, A Review
Feb02

Red Ribbons, by Louise Phillips, A Review

Book One in the Kate Pearson Series A killer is out there, targeting young girls, staging them with ribbons in their hair, hands in prayer. Dr Kate Pearson is a criminal psychologist, a profiler. The first murder brings her into the investigation. The second ties it to her. Kate can’t let go of it, not when the victims are children. Another woman is in s mental facility since the death of her daughter more than a dozen years...

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Valentine Ideas: Unusual & Romantic London Restaurants
Feb02

Valentine Ideas: Unusual & Romantic London Restaurants

Valentine Ideas: Unusual & Romantic London Restaurants Valentines’ Day is very special is the day for romance. We all love to put aside this special evening to be with the person we love – no one else will do. The history of Valentine goes back centuries, and people used to believe that it was in February because that was the start of bird’s mating season – how very romantic. It is a great holiday that many people look forward to...

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The Cramps – Poison Ivy’s Rockin’ Sound
Feb02

The Cramps – Poison Ivy’s Rockin’ Sound

The first I heard of The Cramps was on late night radio. The DJ on some fading pirate station was playing a massive reverb filled swamp punk number called Under The Wire, a paean to dirty phone calls. It was simultaneously subversive and hilarious. The sound was deeply familiar but disturbing and wild as if from another era. A forbidden planet. A monster from outer space. It had as much to do with old surfer music like Duane Eddy and...

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Clark Gable’s Secret Daughter
Feb01

Clark Gable’s Secret Daughter

The secret daughter of Clark Gable. In the nineteen thirties, actor Clark Gable was known as the King of Hollywood. Tall, dark and handsome, he was considered to be every woman’s dream man. Although he was married four times, for many years it was thought that he had only one child – a boy who was born four months after Clark’s death. But for many years, Hollywood insiders kept a secret – Clark Gable had...

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