A Big White Lie

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A jawdropping story from the Orlando Sentinel:

Every family has its secrets. There are things parents never tell children. There are lies that become family legend. There are stories that were never meant to be told.

Judith Hartmann’s secret, when she married Bill Myers in 1959, was that she was pregnant by a black man.

When the baby born to two white parents came out black, the secret became a lie.

Throughout his childhood, David Myers was told that his skin color was a disease called melanism. He was lucky, his mother said, because the skin discoloration was all over his body, instead of just splotches of brown like most people had.

So despite his dark skin, Myers grew up in white, middle-class neighborhoods in Ohio and New York believing he was white.

(via Metafilter)

Famous Unsolved Codes and Ciphers

Excellent compilation including this gem:

Oak Island Money Pit Cipher Stone (solved, though alleged treasure still unrecovered) – In 1795, a teenager discovered a deep pit on Oak Island in Nova Scotia, along with hints that there was a great treasure at the bottom. Over the next two hundred years, multiple well-financed attempts have been made to learn what is hidden, but have been repeatedly foiled due to the unstable nature of the surrounding land, and the tendency for deep tunnels to suddenly flood with water. Something is obviously there, because various tantalizing artifacts from 300 years ago have been obtained, such as a pair of scissors, an encrypted stone tablet, barriers of oak logs, and other man-made objects deep below the ground. In 1976, a camera lowered into a subterranean chamber allegedly recorded images of wooden chests, tools, and a body, before the unstable land again collapsed the exploration tunnel. And in 2002, a report was supposedly produced by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute with more recent information. In any case, along with large amounts of money which have been sunk into this quest, multiple lives have also been lost attempting to solve the mystery.

(via del.icio.us/user24)

Pi to 1,000,000 Decimal Places

I’ll give you the first thousand:

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781
6406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231
7253594081284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109
7566593344612847564823378678316527120190914564856692346034861045432664
821339360726024914127372458700660631558817488152092096282925409171
536436789259036001133053054882046652138414695194151160943305727036
575959195309218611738193261179310511854807446237996274956735188575
272489122793818301194912983367336244065664308602139494639522473719
070217986094370277053921717629317675238467481846766940513200056812
714526356082778577134275778960917363717872146844090122495343014654
958537105079227968925892354201995611212902196086403441815981362977
477130996051870721134999999837297804995105973173281609631859502445
945534690830264252230825334468503526193118817101000313783875288658
753320838142061717766914730359825349042875546873115956286388235378
75937519577818577805321712268066130019278766111959092164201989

Oops, helps if I give you the link.

Lucha Libre

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In This Corner, in the Flouncy Skirt and Bowler Hat…

EL ALTO, Bolivia – In her red multilayered skirt, white pumps and gold-laced shawl, the traditional dress of the Aymara people, Ana Polonia Choque might well be preparing for a night of folk dancing or, perhaps, a religious festival.

But as Carmen Rosa, master of the ring and winner of 100 bone-crunching bouts in Bolivia’s colorful wrestling circuit, she is actually dressing for a night of mayhem.

With loyal fans screaming out her name, she climbs the corner ropes high above the ring, bounces once for momentum and flies high, arms outstretched for maximum effect. To the crowd’s delight, the dive flattens her adversary, María Remedios Condori, better known as Julia la Paceña (Julia from La Paz).

(via Grow a Brain)