A Big White Lie


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:


Oops, helps if I give you the link.

Lucha Libre


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)