Inside The Life Of A Twenty-Something Hillary Clinton

There was a time when all Hillary Rodham Clinton wanted to do was finish her freakin’ dissertation.

The year was 1969. The place, Wellesley College. Hillary Rodham was not just trying to finish her senior thesis, but also prepare to speak at her graduation: the first student to be asked to do so in the university’s history. Even at twenty-two, there was something about her that made people pay attention.

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The Weird And Wonderful Houses Of Pablo Neruda

Neruda Homes Chascona Eyes

A row of eyes watches over La Chascona, a house designed for an affair. Source: Flickr

The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda was infatuated with being unusual. He would only use green pens to draft his poems, and he even gave himself his own name. His parents had chosen to call him Ricardo Eliezer Neftali Reyes y Basoalto, but Ricardo Reyes re-christened himself as Pablo Neruda as a teenager.

In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Neruda said, “I did not learn from books any recipe for writing a poem.” The same holds true for designing his homes. Full of strange collections of shells, beetles, colored glass, and mementos of life on the sea, Neruda’s three spectacular houses – Isla Negra, La Sebastiana, and La Chascona – are profoundly odd. They are as original as his silky verse.

Isla Negra

Neruda Houses Arches Isla

Archways leading around the back of Isla Negra and offering a glimpse of Neruda’s collection of colored glass. Source: Flickr

The author of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, The Book of Questions, The Captain’s Verses, and dozens of other books spent his twenties as a diplomat. His posts included Burma, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Spain. When he returned to Chile at the age of thirty-three, he wanted a home where he could write. He found it on the Pacific coast, south of Valparaiso in central Chile.

Neruda Homes Isla Negra

Isla Negra, Neruda’s beloved home on the Chilean coast. Source: Flickr

Neruda called his coastal chateau Isla Negra. It isn’t on an island, and the house is painted blue, but Neruda gave the place this name because of its black rocks and because, for him, it was an isle of isolated calm. He lived there, off and on, from 1937 until his death in 1973.

Neruda Street Sign

This street sign leads to Isla Negra. Source: Flickr

Set on a sandy knoll on the edge of the ocean, Isla Negra reflects Neruda’s devotion to the deep. The house itself is designed as ship, with narrow passageways and wood-plank floors. Sails, tusks, ships-in-bottles, shells, and artifacts from the poet’s world travels brim from the shelves and nooks of each room. Neruda collected ship figureheads, and these carved wooden women, mermaids, and sirens appear throughout the sprawling home. When he entertained guests, he would call himself the “Captain” and sometimes even dressed in costume.

Cut Out Figures

All of Neruda’s homes had weird cutouts like these at Isla Negra. Source: Flickr

Neruda also kept a private bar at Isla Negra. Decorated with the same nautical knickknacks as the rest of the house, the bar has another distinguishing feature. When a friend died, Neruda would carve his name into the support beams above the bar. Visitors to the house today can see seventeen names scratched into the wood.

Neruda Homes Captains Bar

Neruda’s “captain’s bar” at Isla Negra. Source: Wikimedia Commons

1928 England Lives On In Timeless Autochrome Photos

england in color flags

CLIFTON R. ADAMS/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE/CORBIS
Britannia and her colonies and dependencies portrayed by the players in Southampton, Hampshire. Source: Mashable

At the behest of National Geographic, Clifton R. Adams spent the late 1920s and early 1930s in England, where he photographed the country’s farms, towns and the people who composed them. Using an emerging process known as Autochrome, Adams’ color images were stunning for the time, and remain beautiful examples of early color images today.

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