Lee Harvey Oswald In A Soviet Union Factory, 1960

January 15, 2014

Lee harvey Oswald Soviet Union Factory

While much reviled in the United States, those who knew JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald when he lived in the former USSR had little other than positive things to say about him. While Oswald considered himself a Marxist revolutionary, many saw him as a lonely, isolated young man just looking to belong somewhere.

So desirous of remaining in the USSR was Oswald that when his travel visa expired and his application to be a KGB officer was denied, he slashed his wrists. Not wanting to cause an international incident, the KGB allowed Oswald to stay, and assigned him a less-than glamorous position at a radio factory in Minsk. Oswald was so revered that many in Minsk have requested that reporters covering Oswald’s time there leave flowers at Oswald’s grave in their name.

The 7 Craziest Dictators In History

January 14, 2014
Craziest Dictators Hitler

Source: The Mirror

Picking the seven craziest dictators in history is, unfortunately, quite the task. There are so many of them to choose from, and the atrocities they committed should have had them committed to a psych ward. How can one compare Adolph Hitler’s extermination of more than six million people to another despot’s decision to name a country’s capital airport and streets after himself as well as changing the names of the months, including one for his mother?

Craziest Dictators: No Bones About It

Craziest Dictators Turkmenbashi

Source: Flickr

Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan is often cited as one of the world’s most deranged dictators. Among his actions after naming himself Turkmenbashi (Leader of All Ethnic Turkmen) and declaring himself president of Turkmenistan for life after the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, Niyazov set out to create a new image for his country of five million by quite literally making it in his own image.

Craziest Dictators Turkmenbashi Face

Source: CDN

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7 Unknown Women Scientists Who Changed Your Understanding Of Reality

January 12, 2014
Women Scientists Diagram

Source: UNESCO

How many female scientists can you name that aren’t Marie Curie? Even today, the stigma about women in science persists, but each of the women in this list have directly contributed to the lexicon of modern life.

Unknown Women Scientists: Ada King, Countess of Lovelace

The only legitimate child of the infamously promiscuous Lord Byron, Ada King was raised by her mother, Anne, after her father abandoned them when Ada was only a month old. Anne wanted to quell any potential bohemian characteristics that Ada might have inherited from her poet father, and thus engaged her daughter in heavy logical and mathematical studies. Ada’s talents were recognized early on, and Ada became a close colleague of Charles Babbage after he learned of her talents from her famous tutors.

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Iranian Child Soldiers In The Iran-Iraq War

January 11, 2014

Iranian Child Soldiers Iran Iraq War

Following the political and social turmoil that was the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iraq was on the opportunistic offensive. Fearful that its own oppressed Shia population might rise up against the state and desirous of achieving the status of premier Persian Gulf state, Iraq attacked Iran without any warning on September 22, 1980.

Iran retaliated quickly–and unconventionally–and even used child soldiers in the process. While the minimum fighting age was 16, it was not uncommon to see 12 year olds engaged in battle, donning “keys to paradise” distributed by the Ayatollah for use in heaven upon their virtually assured death. Often used as human mine clearers, estimated death tolls of these children soldiers are as high as 100,000.

Mapping The Forced Removal Of Native Americans

January 9, 2014

Native American Forceful Removal

The question of how Native American tribes might “fit in” to the newly-formed United States had been on the minds of US political leaders since its infancy. Up until Andrew Jackson’s presidency, it was Thomas Jefferson’s view–that, as long as these tribes assimilated or became “civilized”, they would be permitted to remain east of the Mississippi River–reigned supreme.

In 1830, however, Jackson adopted a much harsher stance and primarily forced the big five “civilized” tribes that had all resided east of the Mississippi for thousands of years–the Chocktaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and Seminole–west of the Mississippi River in his genocidal and jingoistic Indian Removal Act. Over 25,000 Native Americans died as a result.

Nelson Mandela Following His Life Sentence In 1964

January 5, 2014

Nelson Mandela After Life Sentencing

On June 12, 1964, Nelson Mandela and other members of the African National Congress were sentenced to life in prison for sabotage against the state. While Mandela’s attorney said that the “accused represent the struggle of their people for equal rights”, the judge remained unfazed.

Responding to the court’s decision to condemn Mandela and his cohorts to life behind bars, Mandela invoked the following defense: “I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites.”

In 1990, Mandela was released from prison, and went on to serve as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.