These Creepy Masks Prove Just How Odd Humanity Is

June 15, 2014
Creepy Masks Scolds Bridle

Source: Boing Boing

This little item is one of the more disturbing objects on the list. A ‘Scold’s bridle’ is a fearsome looking thing from the 1500s whose purpose was to cure your gabbing woman of her nasty—and apparently singularly female—tendency to fight or gossip. When secured to the woman’s head, this contraption rendered her incapable of speaking. Occasionally, these creepy masks would be studded with spikes near the mouth, which meant that if the overly chatty female dared try to speak, she would experience immediate pain.

The mask had its origins in Britain and spread like a disease to some other European countries, with the punishment normally handed down by a local magistrate. This particular example features a bell, which was meant to draw even more attention and embarrassment unto the wearer. It continued to be used until the early 1800s as a punishment for another marginalized sect of society: the poor.

Creepy Masks Splatter Mask

Source: Listverse

While “splatter mask” sounds like a horrifying name to an object meant for a rather cruel punishment, these devices were actually protective gear worn by British tank operators in World War I. Tanks in the early 1900s had not reached their full operating or safety potential; they often broke down and could be all but destroyed by enemies’ heavy artillery.

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6 Interesting Events You May Not Have Learned In History Class

June 13, 2014
Interesting Events Body On Ground

Source: Hyper Vocal

Jonestown Massacre, 1978

Perhaps one of the most disturbing events in modern history, the Jonestown Massacre was the site of the largest recorded mass suicide and the the point of origin for the phrase “drinking the kool-aid”. On November 18, 1978, over 900 people from the settlement of Jonestown, Guyana, willingly died from cyanide poisoning.

The settlement was established by Jim Jones, a communist who founded his own church – the People’s Temple – in 1950. Jonestown was meant to be a utopia for its citizens, but as so often is the case, fell far short of its idyllic goals. Jonestown was a cesspool for illness, hard labor, overcrowded housing and food shortages. In 1978, Congressman Leo Ryan visited Jonestown as part of an investigation, but he and several members of his party died in a shooting at an airstrip outside of Jonestown.

Interesting Events Jonestown Aerial

An aerial view of the massacre.

Jones grew paranoid after the assassination, and gathered the congregation to inform them that they were no longer safe from the US government. Jones told his congregation that the only way to escape from their clutches was to commit a “revolutionary act” of suicide. Over 900 people took part. Jonestown residents infused grape flavored Flavor-Aid with cyanide and Valium, administering it to children through syringes. According to reports, 918 people died, though a few did survive.

Interesting Events Jonestown Massacre Kool Aid

Source: NPR

15 Of History’s Most Bizarre Photos

June 11, 2014
Bizarre Photos Space Chimp

Source: Imgur

1. This photo is of Ham the Chimp, the first chimpanzee to be successfully launched into space in 1961. The snapshot was taken after his return. His name is an acronym for the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center, which is the lab that prepared him for such an important mission. However, he was only given the name upon his return since officials did not want the press to have a name to use for public shaming should the mission have failed. Following the trip, Ham called Washington D.C.’s National Zoo home for 17 years. His remains may now be found at the International Space Hall of Fame in New Mexico.

Bizarre Photos Sweden Cars

Source: Imgur

2. In 1967, Sweden changed its laws so that drivers had to start driving on the right-hand side of the road. The law was implemented to accommodate left-handed vehicles, reduce collisions and keep up with the trends of neighboring countries Norway and Finland. The day the law took effect is called Dagen H, or more popularly “Högertrafikomläggningen” (“The right-hand traffic diversion”), and this picture depicts the mass confusion that ensued. While the switch appeared to be successful in the short term, accident rates and insurance claims returned to normal after a couple years—likely after Swedes grew accustomed to driving on the right hand side of the road.

Bizarre Photos London Bombings

Source: Wikipedia

3. This picture of a girl holding a doll in the rubble of her former home is one of the most poignant and disturbing images from World War Two, and one that succinctly articulates the scope of devastation following the 1940 London bombings.

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The Historic Battle Of Cowpens

June 10, 2014

Battle Of Cowpens

Outnumbered and out-resourced, the 1781 Battle of Cowpens was an essential win for the American forces during the War of Independence. Continental Army leader Daniel Morgan’s strategy — to weaken, disorganize and trap British forces “by fire” — proved to be successful. Historians would later praise the general for being the only general in American history “to produce a significant original tactical thought”.

These Early Examples Of Film Will Shock You

June 10, 2014

Roundhay Garden Scene, 1888

Before Thomas Edison revolutionized American cinema, this moving picture was in heavy circulation throughout Europe. Recorded by French inventor Louis Le Prince, the Roundhay Garden Scene is the first celluloid film created. It was filmed at 12 frames per second and only captures two minutes of footage, but depicts a gathering at the home of Joseph and Sarah Whitely in Roundhay, Leeds, England on October 14, 1888.

Monkeyshines, circa 1889-1890

The first American film ever made, Monkeyshines was the creation of William Dickson to test the Kinetograph format. Inspired by Le Prince’s motion pictures, Thomas Edison developed the Kinetograph, the first practical moving picture camera, and the Kintescope, a manual, single-viewer lighted box to display the films. Monkeyshines films were three sets of experimental movies to test whether Edison’s patented invention worked.

Dickson Experimental Sound Film, 1895

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The Most WTF Science Experiments Ever Conducted

June 9, 2014

History is filled with examples of cruel and unusual experiments performed on human beings and animals for the so-called sake of advancing science. Even at the time they were performed, such experiments should have been considered crazy. And today, at the very least they should elicit a “WTF?”. In some cases it seems that the psychology professionals administering the tests were the crazy ones—not the subjects involved. In the following experiments, the victims can be categorized into five groups: chimps, dogs, gays, unsuspecting participants and Jews.

The Chimps

WTF Science Experiments Monkeys Despair

Harry Harlow experimented on monkeys by depriving them of all stimulation for as long as a year in a device he called the ‘pit of despair.’ Source: Indian Institute of Technology

As disturbing as the experiments by Dr. Harry Harlow on rhesus monkeys were, they did generate some—albeit inadvertent—“good” results. Public outrage at Harlow’s work comprised one of the early steps toward the United States animal rights movement, which aims to wipe out the use of animals in the research, food, clothing and entertainment industries. His work is also said to be partially responsible for various ethical standards established for scientific study.

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