Photo of the Day

Photo Of The Day

1887 "Setting up the Bow-Net." IMAGE: PETER HENRY EMERSON/ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY/SSPL/GETTY IMAGES

1887. “Setting up the Bow-Net.” IMAGE: PETER HENRY EMERSON/ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY/SSPL/GETTY IMAGES

1885-1888

Life on the Norfolk Broads

Idyllic Images of the Waterways of Eastern England

Peter Henry Emerson promoted photography as an independent art form, rather than one that is dependent on the tradition of painting. He developed a theory of naturalistic photography’ and took photographs of working figures in natural settings, particularly in East Anglia.

Peter Henry Emerson was born Pedro Enrique Emerson in Casa Grande, La Palma, Cuba, on 13 May 1856, to a British mother and an American father of significant means. Following a brief period in the United States, the family went to England, where Peter Henry was sent to Cranleigh, a public school in Surrey. After a short time at King’s College, London (1874), he studied Medicine at Clare College, Cambridge (1874-79), and, embarking then on a career as a gentleman of letters, first bought a camera at the age of 26 to aid him with one of his hobbies, ornithology. However, he became completely devoted to photography, and rose to become one of the most influential photographers in nineteenth-century Britain.

Although Emerson essentially remained an amateur, he did publish eight books during his lifetime such as Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads (1886) and Pictures of East Anglian Life (1888), and exhibited regularly until 1900. Much of his work focused on the rural life of East Anglia, and should be seen as a life- long anthropological study of the region’s people and traditions. This scientific approach to his photography tallies with his reputation as an academic with a fearsome intellect, and he became a well-known, somewhat notorious figure in the photographic circles at the end of the 1880s.

One of the notable characteristics of Emerson’s work was its simple technique and brutal honesty it was this that caused ruptures in the photographic industry at the time. British photography had long been trying to achieve an equal academic reputation to painting and in Emerson’s eyes, through the work of pictorialist photographers such as Henry Peach Robinson, had grown complex, derivative, and over-produced – some of Robinson’s images were compilations of up to 20 negatives. Upon his election to the Council of the Photographic Society in 1886, Emerson began a series of public lectures denouncing this method. His book Naturalistic Photography (1889) further expounded his views, celebrating a simpler, one-shot technique that celebrated the photograph for what it was. The effect of the book was described at the time as like dropping a bomb shell at a tea party’ Emerson was advocating a completely new approach to photography.

The honesty behind Emerson’s work was also reflected in subject matter that featured real, working people rather than staged models in costumes.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo of Nancy Wake's Forged Identity Card, photographer unknown.

Photo of Nancy Wake’s Forged Identity Card, photographer unknown.

“The White Mouse”

Nancy Grace Augusta Wake

Heléne (SOE)
Andrée (French Resistance/SOE Identity)
White Mouse (Gestapo in France)
Witch (Operation:)

‘Freedom is the only thing worth living for. While I was doing that work I used to think that it didn’t mater if I died, because without freedom there was no point in living’.
Nancy Wake

Nancy Wake was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 30 August 1912. She lived and was educated in Sydney. In 1932 Wake married a French businessman, Henri Fiocca. In 1940, she joined the French resistance movement. Between 1940 and 1942 she worked manning the dangerous escape routes through France and helped save the lives of hundreds of Allied Troops.

Code-named the “White Mouse” by the Gestapo, Nancy Wake is one of the most decorated women of the Second World War. She received the George Medal, 1939–45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, British War Medal 1939–45, French Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, French Croix de Guerre with Star and two Palms, US Medal for Freedom with Palm and French Medaille de la Resistance for her courageous endeavours. Wakes’ medals are on display in the Second World War gallery at the Australian War Memorial.

The Gestapo called her “The White Mouse” for the way she deftly avoided their traps. Nancy Wake, 98, died of an infection Aug. 7. 2011, in London, and was one of the most effective and cunning British agents working in German-occupied France during World War II.

A sultry glamour girl before the war, she married a French playboy industrialist whose tastes, like hers, ran to caviar and champagne midmorning and love in the afternoon. They were living in southern France when the war ignited.

She hid downed Allied servicemen at her home and led them over the Pyrenees to the safety of neutral Spain. She later helped organize thousands of French resistance fighters known as the Maquis, by meeting Allied arms drops, distributing weapons and training 7,000 partisans in preparation for the Normandy invasion.

She earned decorations from the British, French and American governments; she was belatedly honored in Australia, where she had grown up. Exact figures are hard to establish, but she was reported to have helped save many hundreds of lives.

Nancy was an ardent warrior, possessed of an endless appetite for sensation.

As her involvement in the war deepened, Ms. Wake was trained by the British to kill with her bare hands (she delivered a fatal karate chop to a sentry at an arms factory), parachute into enemy-held territory and work a machine gun.

She chomped on cigars and bested guerrilla fighters in drinking bouts. She travelled nowhere without her Chanel lipstick, face cream and a favorite red satin cushion.

“She is the most feminine woman I know until the fighting starts — then she is like five men,” a colleague in the French resistance once said.

With her highly motivated force, Ms. Wake planned and executed a successful raid on a Gestapo garrison and an arms factory in central France in 1944.

The Gestapo placed a large bounty on her head. That she evaded capture and death added to her mystique; one-third of the 39 women serving in the British Special Operations Executive in France did not come home.

She was dauntless. When a German counterattack against the Maquis disrupted lines of communication, Ms. Wake covered 200 kilometers by bike over hostile ground to get and receive crucial messages. She slept in haystacks or in the open during her 72-hour journey, which resulted in reestablishing radio contact with London.

The nature of her work made Ms. Wake cautious. Three French women came to her attention for possibly being spies. Under her interrogation, she became satisfied two were telling the truth. She sentenced the third to death by firing squad.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

First claim: In an interview to be with CBS', Charles Cullen at first says he thought he was helping people by ending their suffering.

First claim: In an interview, Charles Cullen at first says he thought he was helping people by ending their suffering.

The Tainted Kidney

Charles Edmund Cullen (born February 22, 1960) is a former nurse who is the most prolific serial killer in New Jersey history and is suspected to be the most prolific serial killer in American history. He confessed to authorities that he killed up to 40 patients during the course of his 16-year nursing career. But in subsequent interviews with police, psychiatric professionals, and journalists Charles Graeber and Steve Kroft, it became clear that he had killed many more, whom he could not specifically remember by name, though he could often remember details of their case. Experts have estimated that Charles Cullen may ultimately be responsible for over 300 deaths, which would make him the most prolific serial killer in American history

Cullen, is serving eighteen consecutive life sentences in a New Jersey penitentiary. Behind bars, he can no longer take life, yet he’s found a way to give it—in the form of an organ transplant. But no one wants to give him the chance to play God again.

The Angel of Death looks sleepy. His face shows nothing. His eyes are closed. Charles Cullen sits motionless in the wooden defendant’s chair of the Somerset County Courthouse as, hour after hour, his victims’ families take the stand. They read poems and show photographs, they weep and yell. If Cullen hears them, he doesn’t say; he never does. During his years in custody, Cullen has never apologized or made excuses. He has never issued a statement, offered a public word, never faced the families of his victims. In fact, the only reason he’s in court today is because he wants to give away one of his kidneys.

To that end, he has cut a deal with prosecutors, agreeing to appear at his sentencing on the condition that he be allowed to donate an organ to the dying relative of a former girlfriend. To many of the families of his victims, this deal is a personal insult—the man in shackles still calling the shots, the serial-killer nurse wanting to control the fate of yet another human life. But for the families of his New Jersey victims, this is the first and last chance to confront Charles Cullen. So they are here, and they are angry.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

November 1925. Tutankhamun's burial mask.The photo above was taken just as King Tut’s coffin lid was taken off. Tutankhamun is seen lying intact with a 24-pound burial mask made of solid gold. Photo colorizer Jordan Lloyd of Dynamichrome was recently commissioned to digitally color reconstructed photos of the discovery and exploration of Tutankhaten’s tomb starting in 1922. The project took several months, and a great deal of research was done into finding accurate color references for things seen in the photos. Image by Harry Burton. ©The Griffith Institute, Oxford.

November 1925. Tutankhamun’s burial mask.The photo above was taken just as King Tut’s coffin lid was taken off. Tutankhamun is seen lying intact with a 24-pound burial mask made of solid gold. Photo colorizer Jordan Lloyd of Dynamichrome was recently commissioned to digitally colour reconstructed photos of the discovery and exploration of Tutankhaten’s tomb starting in 1922. The project took several months, and a great deal of research was done into finding accurate color references for things seen in the photos. Image by Harry Burton. ©The Griffith Institute, Oxford.

“I see wonderful things”

Howard Carter, 1922

Entering King Tut’s Tomb

 

“My first care was to locate the wooden lintel above the door: then very carefully I chipped away the plaster and picked out the small stones which formed the uppermost layer of the filling. The temptation to stop and peer inside at every moment was irresistible, and when, after about ten minutes’ work, I had made a hole large enough to enable me to do so, I inserted an electric torch. An astonishing sight its light revealed, for there, within a yard of the doorway, stretching as far as one could see and blocking the entrance to the chamber, stood what to all appearances was a solid wall of gold.”

Howard Carter

While Howard Carter’s find of the mostly intact tomb of a pharaoh may have been lucky, it was the result of a dedicated career in Egyptology and the culmination of consistent exploration.

Howard Carter was born on May 9th, 1874 in the small town of Kensington, London, England. His father, an artist named Samuel John Carter who drew portraits (mostly of animals) for local landowners, trained Howard in the fundamentals of drawing and painting. He was Samuel Carter’s youngest son. But Howard Carter developed an early interest in Egypt, so when he was 17 years old, under the influence of Lady Amherst, a family acquaintance, he set sail for Alexandria, Egypt. It would be his first trip outside of England, and he hoped to work with the Egyptian Exploration Fund as a tracer. Tracers copied drawings and inscriptions on paper for further study.

His first assignment came at Bani Hassan, where he was tasked with recording and copying the scenes from the walls of the tombs of the princes of Middle Egypt. It is said that he worked diligently throughout the day, and slept with the bats in the tombs at night.

It was under the direction of William Flinders Petrie that Carter grew into his own as an archaeologist. Considered as one of the best field archaeologists of this time, Petrie really did not believe that Carter would ever become a good excavator. Yet Carter could have had no better teacher at this point in time. At el Amrna, Carter proved Petrie wrong by unearthing several important finds. During this training period, Carter also worked under Gaston Maspero, who would later become the Director of the Egyptian Antiquities Service.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Catt Family Bank Robbers: Father Ronald Scott Catt And 2 Children Suspected Of Multiple Heists.

Catt Family Bank Robbers : Father Ronald Scott Catt And 2 Children Suspected Of Multiple Heists. Catt, 50, and his 20 year old son Hayden are alleged to have carried out the raids while 18 year old Abigail acted as the getaway driver.

I Would Only Rob Banks For My Family

The Catts of Katy, Texas seemed to be a normal, quiet, family before their secret lives as bank robbers were revealed.

Scott Catt, 50, and his 20-year-old son Hayden and 18-year-old daughter Abby stole $100,000 in two bank robberies before they were arrested at their apartment complex.

In a confessional prison interview, Scott Catt tells  how he recruited his two children to become his accomplices in crime.

‘All I can tell you is that I thought it would help us as a family,’ Catt said.

‘I did it for the family,’ he said. ‘I swear to you, I would only rob banks for my family.’

Just after sunrise on the morning of August 9, 2012, in the Houston suburb of Katy, Scott Catt, a fifty-year-old structural engineer, was awakened by the buzzing of his alarm clock in the master bedroom of the apartment he shared with his twenty-year-old son, Hayden, and his eighteen-year-old daughter, Abby. The apartment was in Nottingham Place, a pleasant, family-oriented complex that featured a resort-size swimming pool and a large fitness center.

Scott took a shower, dried off, and ran a brush through his closely cropped, graying hair. He put on a T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and some work boots and walked into the living room, where Abby and Hayden were waiting for him on the couch. Hayden was also wearing a T-shirt and jeans, along with some slip-on tennis shoes. His short dark hair was brushed forward, splayed over his forehead. Abby, whose highlighted blond hair fell to her shoulders, was wearing a blouse, black yoga pants, and flip-flops.

“Okay, kids,” Scott said. “You ready?”

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

The Inman Twins, Doris Duke Heirs: The Poorest Rich Kids in the World. Twins Georgia and Patterson Inman, who are heirs to Dors Duke's tobacco fortune, have spoken out about the abuse they allegedly endured at the hands of their father and caretakers.

The Inman Twins, Doris Duke Heirs: The Poorest Rich Kids in the World. Twins Georgia and Patterson Inman, who are heirs to Doris Duke’s tobacco fortune, have spoken out about the abuse they allegedly endured at the hands of their father and caretakers.

The Poorest Rich Kids in the World

Twins Georgia and Patterson Inman, 17, have grown up horribly abused and neglected, but when they turn 21 they could inherit $US60 million … if there is any money left.

The twins, who are the great-niece and nephew of celebrity tobacco heiress Doris Duke. Their father, Walker Inman, inherited a portion of Doris’ $US1.3 billion fortune in 1993.

The twins claim they were bolt-locked into feces-strewn bedrooms and abused both physically and mentally by their father from the time they were two years old to 2010 when Walker died of a heroin overdose.

Their mother Daisha was forced out of the picture in 2000 after Walker allegedly kidnapped the 17-month-old twins and hired lawyers to prove Daisha was incompetent and mentally unstable. The twins were told by Walker that their absent mother was an alcoholic who gave them fetal alcohol syndrome and made them “retarded.”

  • Walker and his fifth-wife Daralee caused $US30,000 in damage to their 10,000-square-foot Afton, Wyoming home dubbed “Outlaw Acres.” It was a drug den filled with antiques, priceless artwork, and stacks of gold coins.
  • Even though Georgia and Patterson grew up with a pet lion cub (that died after Walker fed it too many hamburgers) and brought loose diamonds to school for show and tell, nannies and tutors all say the children were malnourished.
  • Walker Inman loved to blow things up. He would chuck dynamite into ponds and call it “fishing,” and had a trailer filled with explosives, artillery, and ammunition.
  • One of Patterson’s happiest childhood memories is when his father accidentally set off a tear gas grenade while trying to teach him and Georgia a lesson. The entire family had to run out of the house, and Patterson was crying from laughing while retelling the story.
  • One of Georgia’s first memories is of startling abuse: “They stuck my brother and I in hot boiling water in our bath. It felt like our skin was melting away”
  • Once, a skunk wandered into the living room, and Walker mowed it down with a machine gun.

No matter how many times these incidents were witnessed by nannies and tutors and reported to authorities, no one intervened. The Department of Family Service came to the home a few times, but Walker had always been tipped off to hide his guns and drugs.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Betty Pack— born Amy Elizabeth Thorpe. Wedding portrait of Amy Thorpe, 1936. January 1936, Betty caught the attention of MI-6 and became an “asset” – someone the Secret Intelligence Service could – and did – reach out to. As a diplomat’s wife, and a natural seductress, Betty had the ways and means to access powerful men and their military and government secrets.

Betty Pack— born Amy Elizabeth Thorpe. Wedding portrait of Amy Thorpe, 1936. January 1936, Betty caught the attention of MI-6 and became an “asset” – someone the Secret Intelligence Service could –and did –reach out to. As a diplomat’s wife, and a natural seductress, Betty had the ways and means to access powerful men and their military and government secrets.

Sexpionage

Code Name Cynthia

Also Known As:

Elizabeth Pack

Judy Brackett

Betty Pack

Betty Thorpe

 She hid Secrets in her Negligees, never wore Knickers and Seduced Countless Men to help Britain Win the War

Amy Elizabeth Thorpe Pack was one of the most successful female spies of her time, arguably any time – yet her story has rarely been told.

A fundamental rule of intelligence work is that one must not mix love and work when dealing with any intelligence target. The relationship can become dangerous to one or both of the parties if an agent develops genuine affection for a target. In wartime, this rule is even more critical, and if the agent is operating in hostile territory, the rule of avoiding romance is paramount. In spite of that, one agent broke this essential rule in wartime and lived to tell—a remarkable woman by the name of Amy Elizabeth Thorpe.

Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, Family and friends called her Betty, was a glamorous American socialite, born in Minneapolis, raised in Washington, DC, who helped the Allies win World War II. She had lots of derring-do exploits, helping the British obtain an Enigma code-breaking machine, ingeniously stealing ciphers from an embassy safe that were crucial to the successful invasion of North Africa. Time magazine, in her obituary, called her a ‘blonde Bond’ who used ‘the boudoir as Ian Fleming’s character used the Beretta.’ She lived a consequential, exciting, and intriguing life.

Cynthia and her husband travelled to European and South American posts, where she conducted a series of foreign intrigues with assorted admirers. She once wrote in her diary, “I love to love with all my heart, only I have to appear cool. Life is but a stage on which to play. One’s role is to pretend, and always to hide one’s true feelings.”

Betty found that marriage and motherhood left her unfulfilled and empty. She longed for adventure and romance, and as she strayed from her husband she felt she was always searching for her one true love. In her quest, she was introduced to a top British diplomat who quickly recognized Betty’s impressive powers of seduction. In the mid-1930’s Betty was groomed for a career in espionage against the backdrop of a world preparing for massive conflict. Over the course of World War II, Betty identified, pursued, and seduced many powerful men, including top-ranking Polish and Italian commanders. Through her series of intense love affairs, Betty uncovered privileged intelligence that would help the Allies break the top-secret codes and ciphers of the enemy troops.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Goodbye Brains .. See You Tomorrow! Eating what they produce in their gardens, singing with shots of vodka, and keeping the memories of parents, husbands, and children alive are essential to their collective nostalgia. In a small house in rural Ukraine, three old women gather together, having a blast. They dig in to a spread of home-cooked dishes and share less-than-sentimental reflections on their late husbands (“Now he’s gone and I have everything”). The Babushkas sing, and clap, and dance a little, as much as their aging limbs allow. They also drink. A lot. “Goodbye brains!” one of the women crows as she downs a shot of vodka. “See you tomorrow!” It is an endearing scene, complicated somewhat by the fact that it unfolds in one of the most toxic places on earth: the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

Goodbye Brains .. See You Tomorrow! Eating what they produce in their gardens, singing with shots of vodka, and keeping the memories of parents, husbands, and children alive are essential to their collective nostalgia. In a small house in rural Ukraine, three old women gather together, having a blast. They dig in to a spread of home-cooked dishes and share less-than-sentimental reflections on their late husbands (“Now he’s gone and I have everything”). The Babushkas sing, and clap, and dance a little, as much as their aging limbs allow. They also drink. A lot. “Goodbye brains!” one of the women crows as she downs a shot of vodka. “See you tomorrow!” It is an endearing scene, complicated somewhat by the fact that it unfolds in one of the most toxic places on earth: the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

The Babushkas of Chernobyl

A Group of Elderly Women Whose Fierce Attachment To Their Homes Could Not Be Broken — Even By The Infamous 1986 Nuclear Explosion

In the radioactive Dead Zone surrounding Chernobyl’s Reactor No. 4, defiant communities of Babushkas (in Russia, it means an old woman or grandmother) scratch out an existence and cling to their ancestral homeland.

While their neighbours have long since fled and their husbands gradually died off, this sisterhood of women labour to cultivate land deemed uninhabitable. Ignoring government orders and health warnings, the Babushkas of Chernobyl continue to forge an existence in one of the most toxic environments on earth.

The Ukrainian government allows the Babushkas to live in the exclusion zone semi-legally; long past the age of child-bearing, they pose no risk of passing radiation-induced defects on to future generations. But by and large, they are left to fend for themselves.

“People always ask me: aren’t you afraid of radiation? – I ain’t afraid of anything darling”, grins Maria toothlessly. At 80 years old, her entire family has either died or moved away, and she lives alone in the heart of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. And yet she is happy. “This is all mine.. .all mine!” she exclaims, gesturing to her deserted surroundings, “thank god I returned home to my Motherland”.

There are approximately 100 returnees like Maria who live inside the exclusion zone, almost all of them are women. Having been evacuated after the reactor explosion, these Babushkas trekked up to 70 kilometres to illegally return home, climbing through bushes and digging under barbed wire. “When I came back I knelt down, grabbed a handful of soil, put it in my mouth and said ‘I will never leave here again'”, recounts Maria tearfully.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

hd-aspect-1449950955-sinatra-11

Frank Sinatra Has a Cold

In the winter of 1965, writer Gay Talese arrived in Los Angeles with an assignment from Esquire to profile Frank Sinatra. The legendary singer was approaching fifty, under the weather, out of sorts, and unwilling to be interviewed. So Talese remained in L.A., hoping Sinatra might recover and reconsider, and he began talking to many of the people around Sinatra — his friends, his associates, his family, his countless hangers-on — and observing the man himself wherever he could. The result, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” ran in April 1966 and became one of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism, a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction. The piece conjures a deeply rich portrait of one of the era’s most guarded figures and tells a larger story about entertainment, celebrity, and America itself.

FRANK SINATRA, holding a glass of bourbon in one hand and a cigarette in the other, stood in a dark corner of the bar between two attractive but fading blondes who sat waiting for him to say something. But he said nothing; he had been silent during much of the evening, except now in this private club in Beverly Hills he seemed even more distant, staring out through the smoke and semidarkness into a large room beyond the bar where dozens of young couples sat huddled around small tables or twisted in the center of the floor to the clamorous clang of folk-rock music blaring from the stereo. The two blondes knew, as did Sinatra’s four male friends who stood nearby, that it was a bad idea to force conversation upon him when he was in this mood of sullen silence, a mood that had hardly been uncommon during this first week of November, a month before his fiftieth birthday.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Elizabeth Short was known by various names: "Betty" (or "Bette"), "Beth" and, at least to some of her friends, "The Black Dahlia."

Elizabeth Short was known by various names: “Betty” (or “Bette”), “Beth” and, at least to some of her friends, “The Black Dahlia.”

She Was A Good Girl

She Was A Good Girl!

Phoebe Short

After identifying the remains of her daughter, Elizabeth (“Betty”) Short

Los Angeles, California

Jan. 15, 1947: The mutilated remains of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short are found in Los Angeles. Her murder remains unsolved.

There’s never been a shortage of suspects in the Black Dahlia murder — but police have never been able to pin the crime on any of them.

After the mutilated body of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short — cut in half at the waist and drained of blood — was found in a vacant Los Angeles lot on this day, Jan. 15, in 1947, dozens of people confessed to killing the woman who newspapers dubbed “the Black Dahlia.”

It became the most sensational murder story in a city rife with sensational murders, and fame-seekers all over town wanted to play a part. Over the years, the number of people claiming responsibility grew to hundreds, most of whom detectives ruled out almost immediately.

One promising admission came a few weeks after the murder, from an Army corporal who said he had been drinking with Short in San Francisco a few days before her body was discovered — then blacked out, with no memory of his activity until he came to again in a cab outside New York’s Penn Station. (Short, an aspiring movie star, had a fondness for servicemen, according to The Black Dahlia, the James Ellroy novel based on her murder.)

Asked if he thought he had committed the murder, the corporal said yes, and became a prime suspect until evidence emerged that he had actually been on his military base the day of Short’s death.

Then there was the woman who became convinced — in 1991, after therapy chipped away at 40-year-old repressed memories — that her late father was the murderer. Police dug up the yard of her childhood home, where she believed they’d find his weapons or the remains of other victims. They did find a rusty knife, farm tools, and costume jewelry — but no evidence to tie him to the Black Dahlia case or any other murders.

Read more »