Tag Archives | History

The Nazis’ Bizarre Plan To Breed Giant Angora Rabbits

angora rabbitsSecret Nazi pets, as revealed by the Daily Mail:

A bizarre Nazi plan to breed giant Angora rabbits in concentration camps to provide fur-lined clothing for Hitler’s armed forces has been unearthed in a German archive.

‘Operation Munchkin’, as it was known, was the brainchild of sinister S.S. chief Heinrich Himmler who was had a career as a trained chicken farmer before he became the architect of the Holocaust.

He ordered a breeding programme for the rabbits and specified that they were to be raised in luxury just yards away from the where crimes against humanity was taking place.

The plans were detailed the ‘Angora book’ which was discovered hidden at Himmler’s home on the fringes of the Tegernsee lake in Bavaria in 1945. A chart in his book counted 6,500 rabbits by the end of 1941 and 25,000 by 1943.

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Bill O’Reilly Has A New Book Claiming That Jesus Died In Protest Of High Taxes

killing jesusI can’t even. Via the Daily Beast, early Christianity expert Candida Moss reviews a new scholarly work for the Fox News crowd:

Jesus was killed because of taxes. That’s more or less the message of Bill O’Reilly’s new book. In Killing Jesus: A History, Bill O’Reilly and writing partner Martin Dugard bring us their long-awaited “accurate account of not only how Jesus died, but also the way he lived.”

The basic argument is that Jesus died because he interfered with the taxation-heavy Roman revenue stream. The reason the Jews eagerly anticipated the Messiah, writes O’Reilly, is, “When that moment arrives, Rome will be defeated and their lives will be free of taxation and want.”

It’s true that the people did long for the Messiah and that the majority of them were poor and oppressed. But even if the Romans had been overthrown the people would have still been paying tithes to Jewish authorities to sustain the Temple, as Biblical and Jewish laws demand.

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When Sugar Was Marketed As Healthy Eating

Buzzfeed has a collection of magazine advertising from the 1950s through 1970s run by the American Sugar Association’s PR division, Sugar Information. For decades sugar was aggressively advertised to consumers (specifically women) as a healthy source of energy and weight loss, providing the “natural energy” needed by busy kids and parents while containing less calories than “fattening” foods such as apples and grapefruit (no, really). Someone you know struggling with obesity? They better up their soda intake:

sugar

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The Forgotten Radical Science Movement

science for people

Via the Guardian, Alice Bell on the 1970s movement involving some of the UK’s top scientists:

“We have to face the fact that there is a crisis in science today.” So said Maurice Wilkins on 19 April 1969 as he opened the one-day inaugural meeting of the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science (BSSRS). That’s Nobel Prize winner Maurice Wilkins. Other early supporters of the Society included JD Bernal, Francis Crick, Julian Huxley and Bertrand Russell.

The hall was full to overflowing with more than 300 delegates. Two hundred signed up there and then, with membership reaching over a thousand by the following year. They started publishing a newsletter and BSSRS branches popped up across the country.

What distinguishes the BSSRS from other campaigns is that it was not simply a matter of scientists calling for more research funds or demands for their voice in public policy. Rather, they aimed to open up the politics of science to scrutiny so it might change and improve.

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Non-Human Holders Of Political Office

mule_voteIs human status a requirement for holding the reigns of power? Via Wikipedia, a brief look at notable and heroic non-human electoral candidates:

Incitatus, the horse of Caligula, who it is alleged became a consul and a priest.

Boston Curtis, a brown mule, was offered as a candidate for a Republican precinct seat in Milton, Washington in 1938, winning 52 to zero.

In 1967, an Ecuadorian foot powder company advertised its product, Pulvapies, as a mayoral candidate in the town of Picoazá. Surprisingly, the foot powder won by a clear majority.

Pigasus the Immortal, a boar hog that the Yippies nominated as a candidate in the U.S. presidential election, 1968.

The mayor of Sunol, California was, for ten years (1981–1990), a black Labrador-Rottweiler named Bosco.

Tião, a bad-tempered chimpanzee, was put forward by the fictional Brazilian Banana Party (Partido Bananista Brasileiro, actually the satirical group Casseta & Planeta) as a candidate for the Rio de Janeiro mayoralty in 1988.

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Bauhaus Surrealist Prisons Of The Spanish Civil War

prisonNot that I condone mental torture, but there is something appealing about anarchists using modern art as a weapon against the fascist war machine. From the Guardian archives:

A Spanish art historian has uncovered what was alleged to be the first use of modern art as a deliberate form of torture — mind-bending prison cells were built by anarchist artists 65 years ago during the country’s bloody civil war.

Bauhaus artists, as well as the surrealist Luis Bunuel and his friend Salvador Dali, were said to be the inspiration behind a series of secret cells built in Barcelona and elsewhere.

Most were the work of an enthusiastic French anarchist, Alphonse Laurencic, who invented a form of “psychotechnic” torture, according to the research of the historian Jose Milicua.

Mr Milicua’s information came from a written account of Laurencic’s trial before a Francoist military tribunal. Laurencic, a painter, created his so-called “coloured cells” as a contribution to the fight against General Franco’s rightwing rebel forces.

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Secret Agenda in Syria?

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Is there a secret agenda afoot in America’s rush to war in Syria?
In an August 2013 article titled “ Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization.
The “end-game” would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and “usury” – charging rent for the “use” of money – is viewed as a sin, if not a crime. That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen.
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How The Occult Brought Cremation To America

cremationVia the Huffington Post, Mitch Horowitz reveals how the practice of cremating the dead came to the United States – partially as an anti-vampire measure – and kindled anti-pagan riots and panic in New York City:

Cremation was introduced to America in the 1870s by a retired Civil War colonel, Henry Steel Olcott, with a deep interest in the esoteric and paranormal. Since leaving the military, he had become an investigator of ghostly phenomena and a globetrotting advocate for the rights of Hindus and Buddhists.

While cremation possessed ancient roots, it was little known among Americans. Indeed, to most late nineteenth-century Westerners, the concept of cremation seemed otherworldly and even un-Christian.

But Olcott saw cremation (mostly) as a social reform: more sanitary than burial, a deterrent to disease, and a help in freeing up land and labor from inefficient burials. And then there was the deterrence of vampirism, which Olcott took seriously: “…there are no vampires save countries where the dead are buried.”

To promote the practice, Olcott organized the nation’s first public cremation service — or “pagan funeral,” as the press called it — at New York’s Masonic Hall on the westside of Manhattan.

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Dressing Up For the Reaper: How Embalming Makes the Dead Look Alive

DR's. C. B. CHAMBERLIN & Benjamin F. LYFORD DEMONSTRATING THEIR EMBALMING TECHNIQUE

DR’s. C. B. CHAMBERLIN & Benjamin F. LYFORD DEMONSTRATING THEIR EMBALMING TECHNIQUE

The Complete history of preserving the bodies of the recently deceased. Including a step by step process.

via Gizmodo

President Abraham Lincoln died on April 15th, 1865, mere hours after John Wilkes Booth inflicted the mortal gunshot wound, but his body had to survive a 19-day train ride across the country before being laid to rest in Springfield, Ill. And thanks to a recent discovery by a Union surgeon, the president looked as serene when he arrived as when he left. Death is never pretty, but we sure can come close.

Barring intervention, Lincoln’s corpse would have been well into the decomposition process a fortnight after death. Various chemical processes and bacterial endeavors leave the body swollen with gas, blotched skin, sunken eyes, and a host of other deformities. However, the embalming process perfected by Dr. Thomas Holmes of Columbia University put the kibosh on that deterioration, preserving the corpse long enough to reach its final destination.

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Groundbreaking Geniuses And The Drugs They Say Inspired Them

drugsThis is your brain on drugs, via Alternet:

Sigmund Freud — Cocaine. To Freud, cocaine was more than a personal indulgence; it was a veritable wonder drug, and for many years he was a huge proponent of its use in a wide array of applications. Freud’s paper titled “Uber Coca” in 1884 was one of the first to propose drug substitution as a therapeutic treatment for addiction.

Francis Crick — LSD. Evidently, Crick – of the DNA-structure discovering Watson, Crick, and Franklin – at one point told a close friend that Cambridge University’s researchers often used LSD in small amounts as “a thinking tool” and he had actually “perceived the double-helix shape while on LSD.”

Thomas Edison — Cocaine Elixers. Thomas Edison was one of many people of the period known to regularly consume the cocaine-laced elixir “Vin Mariani,” a Bordeaux wine treated with coca leaves.

Steve Jobs — LSD.

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