Houdini’s Straitjacket Escape. Invented in Yorkshire
Mar31

Houdini’s Straitjacket Escape. Invented in Yorkshire

Houdini’s straitjacket escape. Invented in Yorkshire It’s true. One of the great Harry Houdini’s most impressive escape acts was born Sheffield, Yorkshire. Houdini was born in Budapest – the family later moved to the United States – but he often performed in the British Isles. It was when he was performing in Yorkshire that one of his greatest stunts was created – the famous straitjacket escape. In...

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The DeAutremont Twins
Mar30

The DeAutremont Twins

Who were the DeAutremont brothers? Twins Ray and Roy were just twenty three when they attempted one of the most daring robberies in America. Their brother Hugh, who accompanied them, was a mere nineteen. The crime they committed in 1923 would have been laughable in its ineptitude had they not happened to kill four men during the debacle. But what of their earlier criminal career? This too proves without doubt that the DeAutremont...

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Take a Walk in the Park Day
Mar29

Take a Walk in the Park Day

A Walk in the Park. You might be getting tired of all the national days that seem to keep popping up.  It makes one wonder if anyone can pick a day, name it and claim it.  Nonetheless, any day to get outside in the fresh air or to enjoy visiting a park is one we should all support. After the winter we’ve seen this past season, I bet everyone is anxious to get outside. Maybe that is why they schedule Take a Walk in the Park Day for...

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Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, A Book Review
Mar29

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, A Book Review

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, A Book Review. A Virtual Classroom? Would send your children to virtual school?  Can you picture it?  It sounds intriguing when you first think of it.  No more bullying, less distractions, right?  Yet in a virtual world would it be too isolating?  Could there be a balance?  Would class size matter then?  Would teachers like it better? That is one of the considerations you will find as you read Ready...

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Princess Mary
Mar28

Princess Mary

 Who was Princess Mary? It’s likely that you’ve never heard of England’s Princess Mary but it’s highly possible that even after all these years you are familiar with the story of her brother. For Princess Mary was the sister of Edward VIII, the English king who famously abdicated so that he could marry his American mistress, Wallis Simpson. When you look at the photograph of her on the right, you can see the...

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The Dreamland Fire of 1911
Mar27

The Dreamland Fire of 1911

Coney Island: The Dreamland Fire, 1911. Have you ever thought, like me, that places such as fairgrounds, circuses and amusement parks have a vaguely creepy side to them? At these places, much of what we see is illusion. Nothing is as it appears to be. This was especially the case in the early nineteenth century and in Victorian days. Dreamland, a huge amusement park on Coney Island, was the perfect example.In many ways, it was...

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All About Spinach in “The Spinach Collection” Cookbook
Mar26

All About Spinach in “The Spinach Collection” Cookbook

Leafy Green Power Plant Want your family to eat more vegetables?  Leafy greens especially are considered the top food you can eat for nutrition.  Excellent for heart health and brain health both, it is important to include it in your diet as often as possible. I started including spinach in more meals when I was reading up on Alzheimer’s Prevention. If you have experienced Alzheimer’s or dementia with a family member or friend, you...

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The Lewis N. Clark Waterproof Magnetic Pouch
Mar26

The Lewis N. Clark Waterproof Magnetic Pouch

Lewis N. Clark Waterseals Magnetic Self-Sealing Waterproof Pouch A “Must Have” to Protect Your Phone From The Elements Summer is coming! Prepare now! If you enjoy the outdoors, you will appreciate this handy and effective waterproof case. Camping, biking, hiking? Those are each occasions where your phone might get wet. Going to the beach or for a swim? Between the sand and the water, this should be an essential. The case...

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Didier Peroni and Gilles Villeneuve
Mar26

Didier Peroni and Gilles Villeneuve

Team orders in Formula One. At time of writing (July 2016) there’s a lot of mayhem going on about imposing team orders at the Mercedes Formula One HQ.  Now team orders are a subject of a very long article, or even a book, but today I want to talk about motorsport history — and the team orders at the Grand Prix of Imola in 1982. In that year, Didier Pironi of France and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve were team-mates driving for...

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Pavlova: Grand Prix Gourmet, Australia
Mar25

Pavlova: Grand Prix Gourmet, Australia

Pavlova: Grand Prix Gourmet, Australia We know that this delightful confection was created in honour of the Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova. This was at some time in the nineteen twenties when she had a successful tour of Australia and New Zealand. Both countries claim the dish as their own and the reality has never been one hundred percent established but what is certainly for sure is that the dish is delightfully sinful...

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Gunmetal Gray, by Mark Greaney
Mar25

Gunmetal Gray, by Mark Greaney

Have You Met The Gray Man? Court Gentry, The Gray Man, has returned in another exciting, fast moving thriller from Mark Greaney. Book Six in the series is every bit as exciting as the first. What a delight it is to delve into another series book written by a favorite author. You know the feeling if you like to follow a character. Each book you start, you know you will enjoy the characters, the author’s writing, and the excitement...

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The Triangle Fire
Mar25

The Triangle Fire

Death in Manhattan: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Disaster. Thirty five horse-drawn fire fighting vehicles were dashing through the streets of Manhattan.  It was March in 1911 and the streets were quiet on that Saturday afternoon. But nevertheless, the firefighters were unable to save lives that day. They were headed towards the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where fire had broken out in the ten-storey building. The business, which made...

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John Harrison: The Yorkshireman and the Moon
Mar24

John Harrison: The Yorkshireman and the Moon

The Yorkshireman who made space exploration possible Neil Armstrong, shortly after he had returned from his historical journey to the moon, dined at 10 Downing Street – the residence of the British prime minister. In his speech, he paid tribute to the Yorkshireman who had made space exploration possible; John Harrison. As you can see from his portrait above, John Harrison was born in the seventeenth century.  This was in the...

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Joan Crawford
Mar23

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford: Loves and private life. Legendary Hollywood actress Joan Crawford was the subject of  vitriolic exposé book written by her adopted daughter. Whether these revelations are true is a matter of conjecture but Christina claimed that her mother had adopted her and other children to enhance her fame, rather than because of maternal feelings. The book reveals stories of abuse and tells of Joan’s affairs – with both...

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Karl Wallenda
Mar22

Karl Wallenda

 The Flying Wallenda Family Karl Wallenda was born in Germany in 1905 to a circus family. He was the patriarch of the famous – and often tragic – performing Wallenda family. His descendants are still performing to this day. He started performing when he was just six years old. This is a family tradition that has been continued. When he was still a teenager, he formed his own act which included his brother and a young girl...

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How to Hull Strawberries
Mar21

How to Hull Strawberries

The best way to prepare strawberries. It’s so very easy to hull strawberries to prepare them for your favourite recipes. Use this method and you’ll have even more recipes at your fingertips. By removing that hard central core cleanly, you’ll be able to make strawberries stuffed with ice cream or chocolate or any other inventive ideas that will surely occur to you. See the image above – aren’t those...

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Mangrove Lightning, by Randy Wayne White
Mar21

Mangrove Lightning, by Randy Wayne White

Book 24 in the Doc Ford Series Randy Wayne White’s latest novel has arrived! Mangrove Lightning makes the twenty-fourth book in his bestselling “Doc Ford” series. Can you imagine how well he knows his characters by this time? Every quirk, every strength—and weakness—must come as naturally as it would if you were writing about family. The same must be true about the Florida setting. He lives where he writes, knowing all the little...

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Dr Buck Ruxton
Mar21

Dr Buck Ruxton

Dr Buck Ruxton. Murderer. When we were kids, we used to sing a daft little song about Dr Buck Ruxton. We had no idea what it was about really. It was only later that I discovered that Ruxton was actually a murderer whose case had caused a sensation in England in the nineteen thirties. Ruxton was born in India and given the somewhat elaborate name of Buktyar Rustomji Ratanji Hakim. He studied medicine in India and then went to...

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Fresh Lobster and Salmon Ravioli
Mar20

Fresh Lobster and Salmon Ravioli

Fresh Lobster and Salmon Ravioli recipe. This recipe is extremely delicious and very special. They make these ravioli in Genoa, on the Ligurian coast in Northern Italy, where my parents were born. If you’re looking for something really impressive for a special occasion, then this is the perfect dish. The very special main ingredients, lobster and salmon, speak for themselves, and anyone who loves seafood will love these. If you...

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Who Was Ruth Snyder?
Mar20

Who Was Ruth Snyder?

Who was Ruth Snyder? When you realise that the image above shows the final moments of Ruth Snyder’s life, then it becomes evident that she was a murderer. She was executed on January 12th, 1928 at Sing Sing. She was the first woman to be executed using the electric chair. Her lover, Henry Judd Gray, suffered the same fate. Together, they had murdered Ruth’s husband. The story had begun ten years before the executions....

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Chicken Dijon with Snap Peas
Mar19

Chicken Dijon with Snap Peas

A Delicious, Fast Chicken Dijon Dinner Tender, moist chicken breast with fresh sugar snap peas and mushrooms in a tasty light sauce. Sound interesting? It tastes wonderful! My husband was the creative cook in our household. He made a dish very similar to this. We would seriously sigh through every bite, it was so delicious. This recipe is similar only I’ve added vegetables and a slightly different flavor with dijon. I was so...

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Who Was Edgar Rice Burroughs?
Mar19

Who Was Edgar Rice Burroughs?

Who was Edgar Rice Burroughs? Edgar Rice Burroughs was one of the most successful American authors of the twentieth century. Although he wrote about several subjects, he will always be mainly remembered for his Tarzan series. Burroughs was born into a wealthy Chicago family. However, he was considered the black sheep of the family.  He took to heart the advice ‘go west, young man’ and spent time working in ranches and...

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Goodbye Chuck Berry
Mar18

Goodbye Chuck Berry

To mark the passing of rock-n-roll legend Chuck Berry, Andy Royston takes another listen to the man’s first big hit. It was a spring day in Chicago’s South Side, just off 47th St, then the home of the blues. Some guy up from St. Louis walked in the door on a mission to see Leonard Chess, owner of Chess Records to see if he could make a deal. His name? Chuck Berry. The night before Berry had been watching Muddy Waters at...

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King George I of Greece and the British Royal Family
Mar18

King George I of Greece and the British Royal Family

King George I of Greece and the British Royal Family. What does King George I of Greece have to do with the British royal family of today?  Did you know that most of the royal family are descended from him? This is because he was the grandfather of today’s Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. He became ruler when he was just seventeen and remained on the Greek throne until he was assassinated. It seems strange to us today, but...

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Reinhard Hardegan, George Betts and the Sinking of the SS Muskogee
Mar18

Reinhard Hardegan, George Betts and the Sinking of the SS Muskogee

The sinking of the SS Muskogee. On March 22nd 1942, the commander in charge of a German U-boat, twenty eight year old Reinhard Hardegan, spotted an American oil tanker. It was its job to prevent America sending oil to Britain for the war effort. Slowly, he turned his submarine towards the ship. The ship was the SS Muskogee, a merchant ship that had been pressed into service to transport oil to war-stricken England. There were thirty...

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Who Was Oleg Cassini?
Mar17

Who Was Oleg Cassini?

Who was Oleg Cassini? Oleg Cassini and Grace Kelly If anyone today is familiar with the name of Oleg Cassini, that’s probably because he was the couturier of Jackie Kennedy; he designed those strange clothes she was so fond of that look so odd to us today. But what’s much more interesting – and slightly scandalous – is the affair he had with actress Grace Kelly before she became Princess Grace of Monaco. In...

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Green Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mar16

Green Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I saw this recipe I just had to try it. Mint chocolate chip is a favorite in our house. With St Patrick’s Day coming I thought I’d make a batch to see how they’d go over in case I need to make more. They turned out delish! I even shared some with my a neighbor who looks forward to my treats since I started sharing with them. These were fun to mix up. I’ve never made cookies with the green coloring in them...

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Joseph Lister Publishes Antiseptic Surgery Article on March 16, 1867
Mar16

Joseph Lister Publishes Antiseptic Surgery Article on March 16, 1867

Can you imagine going to a hospital where there were no facilities to wash your hands?  Can you imagine that for the doctor as well?  Back in the mid 1800’s that was the case.  Even a broken leg in those days would often mean infection, amputation, and a fifty percent chance of death. We take for granted that our medical staffs have sterilized equipment and their hands between patients.  So much so that it doesn’t often occur to me...

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The Museum of Extraordinary Things
Mar16

The Museum of Extraordinary Things

 The Museum of Extraordinary Things: Review This book, written by Alice Hoffman, is an exceptional fiction, bracketed at the beginning and the end with real events. It’s hard to know which are the more horrifying sections – the fact or the fiction. Set in the early years of the twentieth century. the book tells of a strange character indeed – a man who makes his living at Coney Island running a sideshow of...

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Grasshopper Pie for St. Patrick’s Day
Mar15

Grasshopper Pie for St. Patrick’s Day

 Grasshopper Pie for St. Patrick’s Day When you’re thinking of special foods for St. Patrick’s Day, don’t forget the dessert. This recipe for cool, creamy pie is perfect for your celebration table. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also green, in keeping with the festivities of the day. There are two versions of this dreamy, minty dessert to be found here; one made with Creme de Menthe and one made...

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Buy an Irish Dog Coat for your dog
Mar15

Buy an Irish Dog Coat for your dog

St. Patrick’s Day Dog Coats Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all the way. Buy an Irish Dog Coat for your dog. Make your dog a lucky dog, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style with an Irish Dog Coat. Your pup will love you when the cold March winds blow and he stays warm. There are Irish Dog Coats for every size of dog…just make sure you get the right size. If it’s too small, it won’t keep them warm, and...

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Pregnant Women on Television in the 1960s
Mar15

Pregnant Women on Television in the 1960s

Why Lucy was ‘enceinte’ in the nineteen fifties. One of the most popular TV shows in the nineteen fifties – if not the most popular – was I Love Lucy starring married couple, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. At the time, they were the most powerful people in the world of television. In 1952 the couple discovered that they were expecting a baby. This was great news for them. They already had a small daughter, born...

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St. Patrick’s Day: Books to Celebrate Ireland
Mar15

St. Patrick’s Day: Books to Celebrate Ireland

If you’ve never been to Ireland, you probably have your own image of it in your mind.  The view I see is one of green hills, windy cliffs, little cottages and villages, and smiling faces.  Hopefully one day I’ll get to see it in person and pass some time there.  Not being a city person, the wandering  roads hold much appeal. While the beauty is undeniable, it hasn’t always had a happy history.  It wasn’t so long ago that the IRA was...

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Who Was Percy Shaw?
Mar15

Who Was Percy Shaw?

Who was Percy Shaw? If you’re from Yorkshire, like me, the chances are that you know perfectly well who Percy Shaw was – and what he invented. If  you don’t know who he was,there’s still the strong likelihood that you see and use his most famous invention every day. There must be millions of them throughout the world. Although you see them every day, you might be so familiar with them that you don’t even...

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The Lewis N. Clark Mini Cross-Body Bag
Mar14

The Lewis N. Clark Mini Cross-Body Bag

Lewis N. Clark Does It Again When my mini cross-body purse arrived today, I couldn’t wait to unpack it. I’d been looking for a smaller sized purse that would hold all I need, yet would be easy and light to carry. As you can see in the video below, the Lewis N. Clark mini cross-body bag is nylon, ideal for travel because it is lightweight. Perhaps as important these days, it offers RFID protection for your credit cards. Of course that...

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The Day Michael Caine Discovered a Family Secret
Mar14

The Day Michael Caine Discovered a Family Secret

The day Michael Caine discovered a family secret. When actor Michael Caine and his younger brother, Stanley, were growing up in London, on every single Monday their mother used to go to visit their Aunt Lil. The two boys never thought anything about it – it was simply part of the family routine. But many years later, in 1991, the actor found out the truth.She had been going somewhere very different indeed. Michael Caine was in...

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Pie recipes – for Pi Day!
Mar13

Pie recipes – for Pi Day!

Pie recipes – tried and tested    CLICK HERE FOR PIE RECIPES Articles are added to JAQUO every day and many of those are recipes – because we love to eat. And we love to share our favourite recipes with you. There’s nothing like homemade food and that seems to apply particularly to pies. Twenty years ago,it was no longer fashionable to cook – we ate out or we zapped frozen meals in the microwave. Those...

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Irish Ice Cream and Chocolate
Mar13

Irish Ice Cream and Chocolate

Irish Ice Cream and Chocolate recipe This is our absolutely favourite dessert. And that’s not just because it’s delicious. It takes only a few minutes to make and yet it’s elegant enough to serve at your next dinner party. It’s also a wonderful finale to a romantic dinner a deux. You can make this ahead by assembling the ice cream and the chocolate in attractive glassware and then keep them in the fridge...

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Honoring our Military and Police Dogs
Mar13

Honoring our Military and Police Dogs

Today is National K9 Veteran’s day.  As much as we love our pets, it’s a day we should all honor.  The tasks our military and police dogs take on are some of the worst, and some of the most effective.  Today, I’d like to honor them with some excellent books that feature these K9’s. While they’ve been used, probably throughout time, for various tasks from carting things, patrolling boundaries, etc., today they are honed into such...

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Odette Sansom: WW2 Spy
Mar13

Odette Sansom: WW2 Spy

Odette Sansom Hallowes: Odette was tortured by the Gestapo in the Second World War and sent to a concentration camp where she was sentenced to death. She never gave in and managed to survive – and save others – purely by her wits. In 1942, she had made sure that her three daughters were safe and well-cared for and left England to risk her life helping others. Odette was French by birth.She had married an Englishman and...

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Don De Lion – Don Drummond and the Skatalites
Mar12

Don De Lion – Don Drummond and the Skatalites

Andy Royston takes another listen to one of Jamaica’s pioneer musicians and the scandal that shook the music. Extrovert, eccentric and self-taught Don Drummond’s trombone style has an earthiness and songlike quality that makes it immediately identifiable. His melodies are so simple, so perfectly constructed and memorable. Don Drummond was able to channel emotions from gentility to absolute rage through his music with as...

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The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864
Mar11

The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864

The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864. At about 5.30 in the afternoon of 11th March, quarryman William Horsefield  noticed a crack in the embankment of the Dale Dyke Dam, part of a recently built reservoir near Sheffield in Yorkshire. It was only a small crack, he reckoned that he’d be able to slip the blade of a penknife into it and that’s all but nevertheless, he alerted some of the men who worked at the dam. Just over an...

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Was Victor Hervey, 6th Marquess of Bristol: The Real Pink Panther?
Mar10

Was Victor Hervey, 6th Marquess of Bristol: The Real Pink Panther?

Was Victor Hervey, 6th Marquess of Bristol: The Real Pink Panther? He was born into money. He was titled. Yet Victor Hervey became a jewel thief and was the person who masterminded several robberies of a high-class nature. When he was only twenty three years old he was sent to jail. Two years before he was sentenced to prison, he had been declared bankrupt – he had squandered the family money. What was he to do? Well, his...

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A Fine Year For Murder, By Lauren Carr, A Review
Mar10

A Fine Year For Murder, By Lauren Carr, A Review

And “A Fine Year for Murder” It Is What fun it is to be back with Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton. The newlyweds in Lauren Carr’s newest series, The Thorny Rose Mysteries, are a hit with fans!  This time Jessica and Murphy will find their still new relationship tested as violence from the past invades their present. The Story The Past: As the book begins, a young girl is hiding, cowering in terror.  Another is screaming. Present...

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Cauliflower, Spinach and Turkey Meatballs
Mar09

Cauliflower, Spinach and Turkey Meatballs

Delicious in a Submarine Sandwich. Suggestion for the day: Add cauliflower to meatballs next time you make them! It’s fantastic! Adding fresh vegetables to ground meat is an excellent way to use less meat yet have more servings. It is also a great way to get more veggies into your diet. Wednesday was one of my marathon cooking days. While I was cooking up a few dishes using ground turkey to stash in the freezer, I decided to...

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George Burns
Mar09

George Burns

The Day I Met George Burns How Did I Manage to Meet George Burns? Read on….. In the 1980s I met Entertainer and Legend George Burns at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He was signing his book, “Gracie: A Love Story,” and as the Assistant to the Entertainment Director of the Las Vegas SUN, I went to greet him and have a chat. My department did all the SUN newspaper advertising for Caesars, and we wanted to give the red...

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India, by Debra Schoenberger
Mar09

India, by Debra Schoenberger

Spotlight on “India” A Nation Within The Pages of a Book Join us in the virtual book tour for “India,” the newest photography book from Debra Schoenberger.  Her tour from March 6th through the 24th, hosted by iRead Book Tours.  You can find interviews, reviews, and articles by the author at the numerous stops.  The full schedule is at the bottom of the page here. Step into another world It was a treat to have the...

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International Women’s Day: The Origins and Future
Mar08

International Women’s Day: The Origins and Future

International Women’s Day: The Origins and Future International Women’s Day has been an annual celebration since 1911 and each year reminds us to dedicate time to celebrate those women who have played a part to improve the world we all live in. From looking at achievement we can reflect on how far we have come and how far we have yet to climb. It began as a Socialist political event, first organized by the Socialist Party of America...

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The Adventures of Poon Lim
Mar08

The Adventures of Poon Lim

The amazing survival story of Poon Lim. On 5th April, 1943, the crew of a small Brazilian fishing vessel spotted a life raft off the coast of Brazil. When they approached it, they found that it had a single occupant – a young Chinese man called Poon Lim. He had left his homeland several years before to work on a British merchant ship as a steward. But of course, this was now the Second World War and on 23rd November, 1942 his...

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The Police Search for Charlie Chaplin’s body
Mar07

The Police Search for Charlie Chaplin’s body

Who stole Charlie Chaplin’s body? Charlie Chaplin, the Little Tramp,  died on December 25th, 1977. He was buried in Switzerland, where he had lived since the nineteen fifties. In March 1978, his body disappeared from its grave. The grave had been marked with a simple, engraved oak cross which the police took away to fingerprint. They did not reveal whether prints had been found. It’s assumed none were because the police...

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British Prince Charles Edward: Nazi
Mar06

British Prince Charles Edward: Nazi

The British prince who was a Nazi official. The grandson of Queen Victoria who was a top Nazi. Born in 1884, Prince Edward Charles was a member of the British royal family. His father, Prince Leopold, had been Victoria’s youngest son. Nevertheless, during the Second World War he was a top-ranking member of the Nazi Party. Because of this, you’re unlikely to find details of him in most history books, especially those...

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Comparing ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ & ‘The Shadow of the Wind’
Mar06

Comparing ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ & ‘The Shadow of the Wind’

Can we really compare Carlos Ruiz Zafon to Gabriel Garcia Marquez? I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude a long, long time ago and I’ve re-read it many times since then. In April 2014, I read The Shadow of the Wind. One of the things that attracted me to the book is that the blurb on the back cover compared these two books. I enjoyed Shadow and, on the evening I finished the book, was determined to read more of Carlos Ruiz...

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She Captains by Joan Druett
Mar05

She Captains by Joan Druett

She Captains: Heroines of the Sea. Prize winning historian and author Joan Druett has created a fabulous book which is chock-full of fascinating about women at sea throughout history. Seafaring was a dangerous business in times gone by and yet many women were attracted to life aboard. Some were captains – and even pirates – in their own right.Others went to sea with their husbands. All their stories are fascinating....

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BOAC Flight 911
Mar05

BOAC Flight 911

BOAC Flight 911, Ninjas and James Bond What is it about the number 911?  As well as the obvious connotation that we know nowadays, it was also the number of a scheduled passenger airliner that crashed in 1966. Then there was also the mysterious disappearance of Flight 19  just after World War Two. The numbers 9 and 1 are beginning to get a bit spooky to me. The BOAC crash was certainly tragic. The plane, which had only been airborne...

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John Lennon: The Beatles are bigger than Jesus
Mar04

John Lennon: The Beatles are bigger than Jesus

John Lennon: The Beatles are bigger than Jesus. In 1966, John Lennon was interviewed by Maureen Cleave, a friend of his, for an article entitled How Does a Beatles Live? John Lennon lives like this. In the lengthy article she spoke about his reading matter, Indian music, his Siamese cats, where he bought his clothes, films , games, his family and other trivia. The article, which was published in the Evening Standard on March 4th that...

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Hollywood’s Finest Redheads
Mar04

Hollywood’s Finest Redheads

An appreciation of big screen redheads by Andy Royston “I would always hesitate to recommend as a life’s companion a young lady with quite such a vivid shade of red hair. Red hair, sir, in my opinion, is dangerous.” P.G. Wodehouse – Very Good Jeeves “Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.”  ― Lucille Ball In 2014 something extraordinary happened. A rubescence of...

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What is a Ponzi Scheme?
Mar03

What is a Ponzi Scheme?

What is a Ponzi scheme? A Ponzi scheme is a type of fraud. Investors are encouraged to hand over their money being told they will get fabulous returns. The problem is, that there is actually no company making money to back up the claims. Charles Ponzi This scheme is named after Italian Charles Ponzi and a business venture he started in America round about 1920. As you can see from his photograph on the left,  he ended up in jail....

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Von Trapp Family Singers: The Truth
Mar02

Von Trapp Family Singers: The Truth

 What is the truth about the von Trapp Family? There can’t be many people who are unfamiliar with the story of the von Trapp Family Singers. They were immortalised in the film, The Sound of Music. How true is the story that we know so well? I have another question too – one that I’ve never heard anyone ask. We know from the film that Captain (or Baron) von Trapp was a widower who had several children. In the film, a...

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Lou Reed: A True Transformer
Mar02

Lou Reed: A True Transformer

Written on October 27, 2013 I learned, just now, that Lou died today. I never met him or even saw him perform. But in so many small ways he made my life bigger and brighter and sharper and more inspirational. I was just eleven years old and living in a small Yorkshire village miles from Lou’s great New York City. He opened my eyes to a new world. It took just one song –  Walk On The Wild Side – to opened my ears to...

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Was Carmen Nigro King Kong?
Mar02

Was Carmen Nigro King Kong?

Carmen Nigro: The man who thought he was King Kong In the early 1980s, Mrs Evelyn Nigro was thoroughly fed up of having a gorilla costume in her Chicago basement apartment. The thing was over fifty years old. It had mildew and it was getting smelly. She told her husband, Carmen – a seventy seven year old security guard, that it had to go. It was either the costume or her. It was playing havoc with her allergies. Reluctantly,...

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Yellowstone Named the First National Park on This Day in 1872
Mar01

Yellowstone Named the First National Park on This Day in 1872

The World’s First National Park On March 1, 1872  Yellowstone was named the first national park.  It was the first national park world wide, not just in the United States. It pleases me to realize that in the midst of those trying years when US Grant was president, he realized the importance of setting aside national lands for all to protect and enjoy.  To think it happened about 7 years after the civil war ended gives it...

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The Whizbang Machine, by Danielle A. Vann
Mar01

The Whizbang Machine, by Danielle A. Vann

Secrets in A Typewriter An intriguing title to a surprising novel that will appeal to adults and teens alike. What is there about the supernatural that inspires such interest? The imagination it involves? The suspense of learning what exactly it is? Perhaps simply fear of something we aren’t sure we believe. Whichever it might be for you, The Whizbang Machine includes all three. A typewriter that is meant for only one person, responds...

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