Top Photo: Lady wheeling her Blitz Proof Pram in London, 1940.
Second Photo: Ladies having the length of their swim tunics checked during the 1920s in the U.S.
Third Photo: Young lady with her dolly after a Blitz raid London, 1940.
Final Photo: A lady who actually survived going over Niagara Falls in that Barrel.
Charlie Chaplin and Claire Bloom in the 1952 film Limelight. The following year he was banned from returning to the US and settled in Switzerland. Photograph: Allstar/United Artists/Sportsphoto.
MI5 opened a file on Charlie Chaplin while he was being hounded by J Edgar Hoover’s FBI for alleged communist sympathies.
The FBI, which described the star of Modern Times and The Great Dictator as one of “Hollywood’s parlour Bolsheviks”, asked MI5 for information to help get him banned from the US.
The results, including information gathered through eavesdropping, are contained in an extensive personal MI5 file released on the National Archives.
“Chaplin has given funds to communist front organisations … He has been involved in paternity and abortion cases,” an MI5 liaison officer in Washington warned in October 1952. MI5 noted that a decade earlier Chaplin had told the Los Angeles branch of the National Council of American Soviet Friendship: “There is a great deal of good in communism. We can use the good and segregate the bad.”
Papers have been withheld from Chaplin’s MI5 file to protect the names of informants though there are unexplained, probably inconsequential, references to Jimmy Reid, the communist Scottish trade unionist; Larry Adler, the harmonica virtuoso who left his native US where he was branded a communist and blacklisted; and Humphrey Lyttelton, the Eton-educated jazz musician who once described himself a “romantic socialist”.
MI5 concluded that Chaplin was not a security threat.
Mark Bustos, a hair stylist in New York, spends his Sundays (the only day he has off of work) walking the city’s streets giving haircuts to the homeless – people who couldn’t otherwise afford them.
Bustos got the idea after visiting family in the Phillippines in 2012 and renting a barber to give haircuts to needy local children.
He says that his most memorable “client” was a man named Jemar Banks;
“He didn’t have much to say throughout the whole process, until after I showed him what he looked like when I was done…The first thing he said to me was, ‘Do you know anyone that’s hiring?’“
An artist’s representation of tiny homes to be constructed in Gosford. Photograph: Tiny Homes Foundation.
When pious architects choose to direct their talents toward a higher calling, they tend to do so in the form of towering cathedral spires, awe-inspiring sermon halls and grandiose vaulted ceilings.
Derek Mah, an associate at NBRS Architecture, went for something a little more humble. At a Sunday sermon about two years ago at Community Church Hornsby, on the northern fringes of Sydney, he was approached about using his skills not to devise great big buildings in the name of God, but tiny houses for the homeless.
The suggestion came from a friend in the congregation – David Woolridge, who, as Mah put it “has always been passionate about trying to get guys off the street and helping them out. He came up to me and said he’d gotten an idea about how to solve homelessness”.
It is a vision about to be realised in Gosford, on the New South Wales central coast, where three to four “tiny homes” that each take up just 14 square metres will be completed next month as the first project of Woolridge’s Tiny Homes Foundation, designed in partnership with NBRS Architecture.“Think of the house as a shoebox,”
The word “shoebox” isn’t usually a selling point in real estate parlance, but Mah uses it in this case with pride, given the long-term objective of the project is to enable housing to be provided to as many of Australia’s estimated 105,000 homeless people as possible in a country where building isn’t cheap, and land is eye-wateringly expensive.
Each tiny house costs less than $30,000 to deliver, and the small size of the building means it can be squeezed onto excess council-owned land not suitable for conventional housing, at potentially no cost.
1920: Ray “Chappie” Chapman, shortstop for the Cleveland Indians baseball team, was killed when a submarine ball thrown by Carl Mays hit him in the temple. Chapman collapsed at the plate, and died about 12 hours later. He remains the only major league baseball player killed by a pitched ball.
1920: Dan Andersson, a Swedish author, died of cyanide poisoning while staying at Hotel Hellman in Stockholm. The hotel staff had failed to clear the room after using hydrogen cyanide against bed bugs.
1920: Alexander I, King of the Hellenes, was taking a walk in the Royal Gardens, when his dog was attacked by a monkey. The King attempted to defend his dog, receiving bites from both the monkey and its mate. The diseased animals’ bites caused sepsis and Alexander died three weeks later.
1923: Frank Hayes, a jockey at Belmont Park, New York, died of a heart attack during his first race. His mount finished first with his body still attached to the saddle, and he was only discovered to be dead when the horse’s owner went to congratulate him.
1923: George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, died allegedly because of the so-called King Tut’s Curse after a mosquito bite on his face, which he cut while shaving, became seriously infected with erysipelas, leading to blood poisoning and eventually pneumonia.
1925: Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart, a circus strongman and Jewish folklore hero, died after demonstrating he could drive a spike through five one-inch (2.54 cm) thick oak boards using only his bare hands. He accidentally pierced his knee and the rusted spike caused an infection which led to fatal blood poisoning.
1926: Phillip McClean, 16, from Queensland, Australia became the only person documented to have been killed by a cassowary. After encountering the bird on their family property near Mossman in April, McClean and his brother decided to kill it with clubs. When McClean struck the bird it knocked him down, then kicked him in the neck, opening a 1.25 cm (0.5 in) long cut in one of his main blood vessels. Though the boy managed to get back on his feet and run away, he collapsed a short while later and died from the hemorrhage.
1926: Harry Houdini, the famous American escape artist, was punched in the stomach by an amateur boxer. Though this had been done with Houdini’s permission, complications from this injury may have caused him to die days later, on 31 October 1926. It was later determined that Houdini died of a ruptured appendix, though it is contested as to whether or not the punches actually caused the appendicitis.