Inside The Troubled Lives Of America’s Blind Bluesmen

Given the time and place from which they hailed, it’s not too surprising that many of the best blues musicians were blind. As it happens, blindness was just the beginning of their problems.

Blues Blind

YouTube/ATI Composite

Racism, hunger, oppression, random bouts of syphilis — the life of a typical 1920s blues guitarist was not exactly a barrel of laughs. So just imagine how much worse it was being blind. Back then, a great many of them were: Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson…in fact, just scroll down the Blues Hall of Fame list and every third musician seems to be preceded with the word “blind.”

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The Human Cost Of A Century Of Chemical Warfare

Chemical weapons have given people nightmares for the past 100 years — those who are lucky enough to survive them, that is.

Chemical Weapons Iranian Soldier

Wikimedia Commons

Chemical weapons hold an especially dark place in the history of warfare. Bullets, bombs, and landmines all have their own terrors, but there’s nothing quite like an invisible cloud of death to spread panic and disrupt soldiers’ discipline. In a serious chemical attack, the air itself becomes hostile to life, and unseen poison seeps through every gap and crack to silently kill unprotected people.

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