Tuesday, May 21, 2013

An Entirely Random Collection of Fascinating Things and People

There are some subjects guaranteed to stop me in my tracks and grab me, no matter what I'm doing. I could be in the middle of washing the dishes, and if a story comes on about Bettie Page, next thing I know I'm standing in the middle of the kitchen, dish soap dripping from my sponge.

So, let's start with her:

1. Bettie Page - Known as the dark version of Marilyn Monroe, Bettie was an extremely bright student in Tennessee. She moved to New York as a secretary, but she soon discovered she could earn a lot more money from modeling - particularly in the nude. 

Her pictures fascinate me because she just has that certain alluring something - her stills stand out, with that signature hairdo and the lovely smile. Bunny Yeager, one of Bettie's most famous photographers, described her as a beauty tanned from head to toe, who used to walk on her tippy toes to the beach for shots. 

She also fascinates me because of her disappearance from public. Years later she reemerged, to describe her shock at having become an iconic sex symbol.
She's known for the pin-ups, but just look at this breath-taking, innocent shot.

2. Space - Could never become an astronaut, thanks to my complete inability to understand calculus or chemistry, but fire up Apollo 13 and I'm hooked for the next 120 minutes. The space program of the 50's and 60's, as well as continued work on the space station and Hubbell are amazing - our reach towards a new stage, one I hope we'll continue to make.
courtesy of alanbeangallery.com
 and I just love the fact that  Alan Bean paints space pictures.

3. Old pocket watches: A friend once described them as "mysterious," and she was right. Old watches hold mysteries, ones you unlock with a tiny, golden key. Often there is a forgotten inscription inside, often with three letters, sometimes a quote or motto.
from 1900, showing my favorite part: the innards.

4. King Henry the Eighth - He was a fat old dork with a stinky leg, but I find his reign mesmerizing. Philippa probably has a lot to answer for there. Her, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (and I'm still trying to reconcile him with the grossly huge, smelly monarch in her final book on his wives.)
Looks quite different in his portraits.

5. Bathyspheres. I researched them for The South Sea Bubble, and I discovered what a fascinating history they had. Not only that, but the inventors were incredibly brave: at the depths they achieved, if there had been a breach in the machine water would have shot straight through their bodies, vaporizing them.
courtesy of taminglight.com

6. Lord Byron - I'm not a fan of his poetry one little bit, no I'm not. Still, anyone who was seduced by his governess, was killed by too much leeching by his doctor, wrote about vampires, and had so much influence in Greece that he was publicly mourned there after his death is fascinating. 
And what is up with those little curls? Yuck!

7. Huge medieval letters, decorated with animals, flowers, and weird little men. I realize I'm probably alone in this.
from The Book of Kells

8. Chocolate - truly fascinating. Probably not alone in this one.


Connie J Jasperson said...

You're not alone on the Lord Byron, Chocolate, Apollo 13, pocket watches or anything listed in this post! It's guaranteed festival of shiny things!!!

Unknown said...

You are certainly not alone about the image from the Book of Kells. I think it's one of the most beautiful things made by man.

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