Strutting Tom and his conspicuous bulges

image found here

In 1951, a scandalous love triangle hit the Hollywood headlines. Barbara Payton had a reputation for sleeping with almost every man she met before she became engaged to the suave and debonair Franchot Tone….

Franchot Tone had gone to New York on business when Barbara attended a Hollywood pool party, where she met B-Movie actor Tom Neal. According to an Exposed Magazine article, she had spotted the muscular and handsome Neal in the pool, “displaying his masculinity via a brief pair of bathing panties. Babs took one look,” and uttered the legendary statement: “It was love at first sight. He looked so wonderful in his trunks that I knew he was the only man in my life.” Exposed went on to say: “The memory of whatever Tone resembled in his undies was blurred by strutting Tom’s conspicuous bulges.” The passionate duo quickly started an affair.

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Barbara proposed marriage to Tom Neal, broke her engagement with Franchot, then went back and forth between the two actors several times, pitting one against the other.

The triangle exploded one night in front of Barbara’s home when Tom Neal assaulted Franchot Tone and beat the living daylights out of him. Franchot was hospitalized and remained comatose for 18 hours. Public sympathy went against Tom Neal because he had been a boxer in his younger days. There was little sympathy for Hollywood’s ‘bad blonde” either. Their careers were as good as finished as lurid stories of the incident splashed across the country’s newspapers.

Much to everyone’s shock, Franchot Tone married Miss Payton although the marriage lasted only two months. Tom Neal was named co-respondent in their divorce. Franchot used explicit photographs to prove his course of action and then spitefully mailed dozens of pictures of Barbara in compromising positions with Tom Neal to heads of major studios to destroy her chances of ever working in Hollywood again.

images found here

The Tom and Barbara affair continued for another four years. When they finally split, Tom married for a second and then a third time, ultimately shooting his last wife in the head and serving six years in prison for manslaughter.

Meanwhile, Barbara forged on…..

“In 1962 she was arrested several times for prostitution, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness. In ’63 she published an infamous memoir and was attacked by a trick, receiving 38 stitches in a knife wound. Barbara died in 1967, of heart and liver failure, aged just 39

Published in: on March 20, 2010 at 7:33 am  Comments (38)  
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corset friday 19.3.2010

all photos of nursemyra taken by syncopated eyeball

and healingmagichands has got a real treat for us today

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 7:22 am  Comments (48)  
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like a cat around a cream jug

In 1929 Werner Forssmann*** was a surgical intern working at Auguste Victoria Home near Berlin.

image found here

“He was interested in the feats of Chaveau and Marey, who were the first to achieve measurement and recording of blood pressure from the interior of the heart of a living animal.

Marey inserted a tube into the horse’s circulatory system at the jugular vein, guiding it downward until the top, equipped with a balloon, was actually positioned inside the right ventricle. The balloon responded to the pumping action of the ventricle and sent the impulse through the catheter to a toy drum that Marey was holding near the opposite end of the tube.

Marey’s apparatus found here

With this process in mind he approached his superior for approval to try an experiment on a human using the antecubital rather than the jugular vein. When permission was refused he  decided to go ahead with the procedure by experimenting on himself.

image found here

This would involve enlisting the help of a surgical nurse and to this end he started to prowl round Nurse Gerda Ditzen like a sweet toothed cat around the cream jug. He persuaded her to be his accomplice and such was her faith in him that she wanted to be the experimentee. Agreeing that the nurse would go first, Dr Forssmann strapped her to the table as though that were a prerequisite for the procedure.

image by Karin Szekessy

He then moved behind her head, anesthetized his own arm, punctured his vein and in the space of a moment pushed the catheter down more than a good foot inside. Facing the wrath of Gerda, he untied her and she helped him to the x-ray room where he pushed it in almost to the two foot mark and took x-rays as documentary evidence.

Many years would pass before the now standard procedure of cardiac catheterisation would be fully exploited but recognition of Dr Forssmann’s pioneering work came in 1956 when he shared a Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology.

image of Forssmann receiving Nobel Prize found here

*** Extract from an article by Diana Berry found here

the odd habits of two Irishmen

Richard Whately (1787-1863) was the Archbishop of Dublin. He was also a spiritualist.

image found here

“The Archbishop had been long a believer in Mesmerism, and latterly in clairvoyance and Spiritualism. “He went from one extreme to another, until he avowed an implicit belief in clairvoyance, induced a lady who possessed it to become an inmate of his house, and some of the last acts of his life were excited attempts at table-turning, and enthusiastic elicitations of spirit-rapping.”

A favourite amusement of the Archbishop’s was to study the phrenological developments of his comrades; and on one occasion, referring to the peculiarly flat-topped head of a neighbour, he propounded what he called the “new phrenological test ” :- ” Take a handful of peas, drop them on the head of the patient; the amount of the man’s dishonesty will depend on the number which remain there. If a large number remain, tell the butler to lock up the silver and plate.”

He lived on Marlborough Street in Tyrone House, not so very far from Cavendish Row where the eminent chemist and geologist, Richard Kirwan (1733-1812) had lived.

On Wednesdays, at six o’clock, he received his friends. “At 7:00 the knocker was removed from the hall-door to prevent latecomers from being admitted. If his guests had not departed by 9:00 pm he put on his pajamas and escorted them to the door.

Kirwan was found on these occasions reclining on a couch rolled in a cloak, with another cloak covering his lower limbs, and wearing a hat, and with a blazing fire in the room at all seasons. Mr. Kirwan had a great abhorrence of flies, and he allowed his servants a small premium per dozen for each one they could kill and bring to him.

His servant, Mr Pope, slept in the same bedroom and was instructed to wake him every two hours to pour hot tea down his throat. Most likely by accident, Pope would often miss Kirwan’s mouth and dump the tea in his eyes, on his nose, and hair making a horrible mess in the bed. The purpose of all the tea drinking (camelliaphagia) was to sustain internal body heat throughout the night.

spiky teapot by Alex Metcalf found here

Published in: on March 17, 2010 at 9:00 am  Comments (35)  
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the proximal end of a donkey’s tail

Li Shih-Zhen’s Compendium of  Materia Medica took 27 years to write, including 10 years which he spent entirely indoors.

According to traditional Chinese pharmacological literature, pubic hair was claimed to be therapeutic, with power to cure snakebite, difficult birth, abnormal urination, the yin-yang exchange disorder and the ox that suffers from bloating.

image by Ferry Bertholet found here

The following were almost certainly used as medicine in 16th century China: human dandruff (best taken from a fat man), human knee dirt, ear wax, perspiration, old drumskins (ashed and applied to the penis for difficult urination), the juice squeezed out of pig’s faeces and dirt from the proximal end of a donkey’s tail.

image found here

During the same era in Europe, human fat was thought to be good for rheumatism and joint pain. Dutch army surgeons in the war for independence from Spain used to rush on to the field with their scalpels and buckets in the aftermath of a battle.

more butter sculpture to be found here

Then druggists would fancy up the goods by adding aromatic herbs and lyrical product names such as “Woman Butter” and “Poor Sinner’s Fat”. They also sold menstrual blood as “Maid’s Zenith” and prettied it up with rosewater. One recipe of the time called “Spirit of the Brain of Man” included not only brain membranes, arteries, veins and nerves but also peony, black cherries, lavender and lily.***

Black Cherry Comic found here

*** from Mary Roach’s book Stiff

Published in: on March 16, 2010 at 7:51 am  Comments (38)  
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diane and me

Some people think that after we die we reincarnate in similar looking bodies. Actually we don’t even have to wait for our earlier body to die before we get reincarnated as Joseph Myers points out when he talks about Madonna and Marilyn Monroe

“Many who may consider themselves knowledgeable concerning reincarnation have no real background of research or study. But they make assumptions which they believe have validity. The assumption that a soul-entity cannot possibly be reborn before the passing of the previous physical body is an example of such.

It appears to have been a case of overlap with regard to Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. Marilyn Monroe died in 1962 but Madonna was born four years earlier in 1958. The character, talent and physical appearance, combined with the memories experienced by Madonna, appear to validate the reality of this being a case of an overlapping rebirth.

According to brianstalin, beautiful and troubled 1920s actress and part time lesbian Tallulah Bankhead has been reincarnated as beautiful and troubled part time lesbian actress Anne Heche, Tallulah’s father is now Lindsay Buckingham and her mother is Stevie Nicks, both members of Fleetwood Mac. What a fascinating line of thought, I think I might run with it…..

Tallulah found here and Anne found here

Diane Keaton is several years older than me, but in the past my resemblance to her, especially in the role of Annie Hall, was often remarked upon. From this, can I deduce that I am in fact the reincarnation of Diane Keaton? Let’s see where we overlap.

She had a love affair with Woody Allen (I have an infatuated lesbian parrot named Woody), her mother was a Methodist homemaker, her father an Irish American Catholic (same as my parents), she appeared in a series of deodorant commercials (I use deodorant!), she has a reputation for eccentricity (well, blow me down, so do I), she likes vintage clothing and gloves (me too), she directed episodes of China Beach and Twin Peaks (I have been to China Beach and have a copy of Twin Peaks)…..

Twin Peaks in Ares Vallis, Mars found here

Who have you been reincarnated as?

Published in: on March 15, 2010 at 7:05 am  Comments (62)  
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a shamrock the size of a dahlia

Jack Doyle was an Irish singer, actor and boxer also known as the Gorgeous Gael.

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“At the age of 19 he missed out on the British Heavyweight title to the holder, Welshman, Jack Petersen. Witnesses claim that he had done most of his warming up in a pub not far from the bout. Within the opening seconds he knew he was in trouble and decided to take the easy way out. He was disqualified for repeatedly punching low.

Shortly after, his singing voice was discovered and his soft tenor voice and handsome looks were selling out the London Palladium and the Royal in Dublin. But his love for the drink and generous nature soon started to take its toll on his health.

He returned to Ireland with his new girlfriend Movita Castaneda, a member of the Mexican aristocracy and Hollywood starlet who would later marry Marlon Brando. Following a celebrity wedding in Dublin’s Westland Row Church they toured both sides of the Irish Sea, selling out music halls and opera houses.

image of Movita with Clark Gable found here

Life changed again for Jack; Movita left him, he went down in the first round of a professional fight after turning up drunk, and then spent time in jail for punching out a Garda detective. Patrick Campbell tells here of his attempt at a comeback with a brand new fighting act.

“There was a skirl of bagpipes and six Irish laborers in saffron kilts marched in, blowing the martial air O’Donnell Abu. Behind them, gleaming in a white silk robe and a heavy coating of bottled suntan, tramped the Gorgeous Gael, with a shamrock the size of a dahlia embroidered over his heart. The procession made one circuit outside the ring and was about to embark upon another when a female fan in the front row put out her foot and tripped up the leading piper, who fell on his bag and burst it. Most of the other pipers fell on top of him. Unruffled as ever by adversity, the Gael stepped over them and climbed into the ring……

image found here

He had a number of successful scuffles against elderly and mainly bald Hungarians, Greeks and Turks, causing many of them to retire by falling on them from his full height while he, and they, thought he was merely maneuvering for a wristlock.

Mr Campbell relates the thrilling tale of a fight with Two-Ton Tony Galento which ends badly for our hero. Or did it?

image of Galento found here

Galento, dressed in black fur and purple wool trunks, certainly did look extremely frightening. It might have been this that decided Jack to stake all on one desperate throw. He sprang forward and with a display of strength that brought gasps from the girls raised Two-Ton Tony about shoulder high.

We shall never know what he meant to do with him, because at this moment he ran out of steam. His legs buckled. He dropped his adversary from a height of about five feet. With a thud that shook the whole arena Galento fell like a stone onto his bald skull and lay at Jack’s feet, apparently dead. Jack disentangled himself fastidiously and was walking back to his corner when he heard a hoarse cry of warning from his seconds. He swung around to see Galento coming at him like a rhino. Our man acted with his usual resource. “Stop!” he cried, throwing up his left hand. “Rib’s gone,” he panted, grasping the injured part with the other hand. The fight was over.

Afterwards Galento was in his dressing room with the accessories of a top hat and a cigar added to his purple trunks and a showgirl sitting on his knee. But there were so many girls in the Doyle shrine down the corridor, all trying to massage the injured rib, that you couldn’t even open the door. Once again it was easy to see who was the real winner.

image found here

Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 8:19 am  Comments (37)  
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no corset friday 12.3.2010

photographs of nursemyra taken by syncopatedeyeball

healingmagichands is also wearing something special this friday

Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 7:17 am  Comments (48)  
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the Lolaland that never was

Lola Montez was an Irish-born dancer who became world famous as the mistress of King Ludwig of Bavaria.

“She wanted to become an actress, but upon learning that she couldn’t act, decided to fabricate another show business career of her own design. For several years, Lola drifted about Europe taking irregular dancing engagements wherever she found them; life was interesting, and her string of lovers grew.

In St. Petersburg, Russia, Lola got a “private audience” with the Czar, and then received from him 1,000 rubles for services provided.

In Dresden, she got the composer Franz Liszt, and the two of them enjoyed a burning passion, until Lola became jealous of the attention Liszt received from his legion of admirers. To upstage him, she burst in upon a banquet he was holding for royalty, and leaped up upon the table to dance among the dishes, spilling consommé into the lap of a duke.

image found here

Liszt was so completely worn out by Lola, that as she slept, he locked her in their hotel room and fled. At the front desk he left a generous sum of money for the furniture he knew she would smash when she awoke.

Some months later, Lola resumed her dancing in Munich, but the theater manager took one look at her performance and fired her on the spot, claiming that her work was appallingly bad. Infuriated, Lola went directly to the palace to appeal her case to the King. Still in costume, she charged right into the astounded King Ludwig’s private study, demanding “justice.” Taken aback, the King clumsily inquired if her lovely figure was a work of nature or of art. Lola snatched a pair of scissors from his desk and slit the front of her dress to the waist, thrusting her dazzling bosom into the King’s face. Before she left the palace she received a substantial engagement at the Munich Theater. The manager was fired.

image found here

Ludwig fell desperately in love with Lola. He gave her an ample allowance directly from the public treasury. He built her a splendid little palace, and he himself designed a marble fountain for it which sprayed perfumed water in an arched plume. Ludwig was an aged and fading man, and Lola easily began to rule his kingdom for him, as well as his imagination.

“I will never abandon Lola,” the King said, “My crown for Lola,” he said. Indeed it cost him his crown as he was forced to abdicate. Lola made the very next (midnight) train out of town, a victim of her own political incompetence.

The severest charge against her involved the mysterious disappearance of one of her lovers from aboard a ship which was anchored in harbor at Fiji. Some witnesses mentioned a man being tossed overboard from one of the better cabins, but nothing could be clearly proven. It seems that most other passengers had been driven off by the raucous noise coming from Lola’s cabin, so there was a shortage of reliable witnesses of suitable station… Charges against her of ritual murder, performed in connection with a Black Mass held in the jungle of a nearby island, were considered to be specious, although no conclusive evidence of any sort was discovered.

At the age of 35, after having suffered through severe episodes of sickness and marriage, she needed a fresh start and set off for California and the gold rush. She opened a frontier saloon in a boisterous mining town called Grass Valley; Lola’s enterprise was a show stopper of the first order:

image found here

Louis XVI cabinets, ormolu mirrors, Ludwig’s jewels, Kanaka houseboys, a pet bear, a swan bed, gold leaf everywhere, one extra large deep-red-top billiard table with dragons carved on its legs, and every Governor, Senator or millionaire she could find and haul into the place. The nightly show had one act – Lola at her loosest. It was a hit, at last.

Letters discovered after Lola’s death demonstrated that all this was produced in support of a plot on Lola’s part to gain influence and assistance to “capture” California from the USA, cause it to declare independence and be named “Lolaland,” with herself as Queen.

detail of ‘Lola’ by Ren Wicks found here

Weirder delusions and fantasies soon appeared. Lola faded into mysticism and a bizarre version of astrology, taking refuge. She did revive for a short time, and wrote a book of her most important beauty secrets (to prevent wrinkles, she suggested tightly binding many thin strips of raw beef all about the face, covering it completely – except the eyes. The beef was to remain there until all the “vibrant energy” had soaked in. There was no mention of how long that might take however.)

At 43 she died of a stroke in a wretched boardinghouse, alone. Her two children, one of whom ran a lamp shade store in California, declined to claim the body. Both were “constrained by the pressures of business” the first one said, which was an interesting perspective, since the second was in jail.

Published in: on March 10, 2010 at 9:35 am  Comments (36)  
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no opium in the elevators

Wilson Mizner (1876-1933) was a well rounded scoundrel.

“In 1897, Wilson and his brothers Addison, William and Edgar, travelled north to the Klondike Gold Rush, where they bilked miners rather than looked for gold. Wilson operated badger games, managed fighters and robbed a restaurant to get chocolate for his girlfriend “Nellie the Pig” (saying “Your chocolates or your life!”)

NOT this Nellie the Pig

In 1905, Wilson showed up at a horse show where his brother Addison was ensconced in a pricey box with wealthy widow Mary Adelaide Yerkes. Addison pretended not to see Wilson, but the younger brother charmed his way into the box. He spent the night with Mrs. Yerkes, reportedly borrowing $10,000 the next morning.

Mary’s first husband, Charles Yerkes would NOT have been happy

Within a short time the 29-year-old, penniless Wilson and the 47-year-old Mrs. Yerkes were fodder for New York’s tabloids, the two having quickly married and just as hastily divorced. Wilson’s rakish lifestyle, however, soon made him a New York celebrity. He managed the Rand Hotel, one of the city’s most notorious canvasaries. “Guests must carry out their own dead” and “No opium smoking in the elevators” exhorted signs prominently posted by Wilson.

Japanese robot found here

After his career as a hotel manager ended, the snappily dressed, witty Runyonesque Wilson managed boxers, working in cahoots with New York underworld to fix the outcome of prize fights. He managed the then famous Stanley Ketchel, whose violent death occasioned one of Wilson’s more memorable quips: “Tell ’em to start counting ten over him, and he’ll get up.”

image of Ketchel found here

Perhaps Wilson’s greatest achievements in New York were the co-writing of his Broadway plays including The Deep Purple which opened in 1910 and was lauded by a Chicago critic as ‘the greatest melodrama since Sweeney Todd’. But his career as a playwright was doomed by laziness and an increasingly severe addiction to opium.

Backed by movie mogul Jack Warner and actress Gloria Swanson, Wilson opened the Brown Derby restaurant, a hangout for moviedom’s most glamorous names. Wilson regularly held court from one of the Brown Derby’s booths, where his coterie included writer Anita Loos, who described Wilson as “America’s most fascinating outlaw“.

image found here (Wilson second from right)

Whilst writing a screenplay in early 1933, Wilson learned that the destitute Addison was gravely ill. “STOP DYING,” Wilson cabled. “AM TRYING TO WRITE A COMEDY.” Shortly after Addison died, Wilson had a heart attack at the Warner studio. Asked if he wanted a priest, Wilson delivered another of his memorable lines. “I want a priest, a rabbi, and Protestant clergyman. I want to hedge my bets.” As an oxygen tent was placed over Wilson’s bed, he said “It looks like the main event.” A priest reminded Mizner that death could come at any moment. Wilson’s classic response: “What? No two weeks’ notice?

cartoon found here

Published in: on March 9, 2010 at 7:39 am  Comments (40)  
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