Archive for the History Category

USA Haunts…St. Augustine Lighthouse

Posted in History, October with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by Mj Rains

8-27-2010 013image

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is known to be haunted…and an amazing tourist attraction besides. My father, who just turned 79, boasted of climbing a few years ago the amazing spiral staircase (a Wit favorite!) within this cool historic tower.

spiral stairs and orbI asked my dad, who has a yen for the creepy stuff as well,  if he felt any ghostly specters about after that 100+ step climb… He said he had a strange feeling up there, a chill on his shoulder…but he didn’t see anything. A great shot was taken of a specter peeking over the upper banister, one of many photos of apparitions in this historic dwelling…ghost

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Paris: Kicking it at the Moulin Rouge

Posted in History with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2014 by Mj Rains

Theadora outdoes all her glorious Paris articles with this romp into the history of the Moulin Rouge…don’t miss it!!

Paris: People, Places and Bling

Epic Weepie: Moulin des amours, Tu tournes tes ailes (Moulin Rouge, Tino Rossi, 1951) Images: T. Brack’s archives

Life Magazine, 1946 (Donna Atwood and Bobby Specht)

By Theadora Brack

Embracing ice skates, glitter, and sequins, this week, let’s glide on up to the  Moulin Rouge, sitting pretty in the hills of Montmartre. That’s right. Get ready for some more time travel as smooth and exciting as a vintage Johnny Weir solid gold triple axel. He is still my hero. However, did you catch Yevgeny Plushenko shining like a diamond as he skated to the “Tango de Roxanne” from Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack (2001)? His quad toe / triple toe possessed mass appeal in my book. Love will lift us up where we belong! Indeed!

You will be missed, Monsieur.

Now, let’s grab soda pops at the nearby Monoprix, and commandeer a bench with a view of the centuries-old…

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Posted in History with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by Mj Rains

A sentimental journey through Parisian bike history by my favorite French girl Theadora Brack…

Paris: People, Places and Bling

By Theadora Brack

Celebrating the new bike lanes on the right bank in Paris, let’s take a sentimental journey!  Pop open a Coke, crank up Claude Debussy’s “Petite Suite,” and prepare for some bumpy late 19th century time travel along avenue Foch. This centuries-old promenading stretch is my favorite spot for gazing up at the Arc de Triomphe. Each time I tumble flat.

Pump it up

Don’t forget les bicyclettes. Ladies, this includes you! By the 1890s, thanks to the introduction of the Starley Rover Safety Bicycle and its handsome pneumatic tires, “all Paris was a-wheel,” and women were not only pedal pushing in public but also “unblushingly” flaunting menswear or something “alarmingly” like it. Oh, la la.

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Radio Active Beauty…

Posted in Fashion, History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2012 by Mj Rains

Delving into the beauty world with my new job has drawn me to a fascination with historic beauty products, and imagine my delight when this Wit came across a deliciously strange article called 8 Fascinating French Beauty Fads.  #3 of the 8 fascinations had me spell-bound.

In 1932, Dr. Alfred Curie launched a Tho-Radia line of beauty products that were made from, you guessed it, radio-active materials such as thorium chloride and radium bromide. Thorium is a radio-active chemical element named after the God of thunder, Thor, and has been experimented with as an alternate source for nuclear power plants. Pure thorium is a silvery-white metal that maintains a lovely luster for a long time…which was no doubt why Alfie injected it into his cream, cleansing milk, face powder, lipstick, and even toothpaste (the thought makes me cringe…).

Radium Bromide is a bromide salt discovered in 1898 by Pierre and Marie Curie, who curiously are no relation to our French doctor Alfie. This salt form of radium keeps the chemical from turning black and made the radium easier to work with, though it was highly radio-active and so dangerous in that it could explode under certain conditions.

So, was Tho-Radia guaranteed to make you glow?

Tho-Radia promised lighter and brighter skin. The ads featured a glowing (no pun intended) woman who taunts, “Stay old if you want.”

Or, uh, what?…die trying?

For more interesting French beauty fads of the past, some literally worth dying for, check out People, Places and Bling, for a most interesting, and a bit creepy, article.

xoxo, Wit

Posted in History with tags , , , , , , , on April 15, 2012 by Mj Rains

Great post and tribute to Titanic by Slim Paley. Be sure to read the original love letter…and view the film at end! Chills…

Slim Paley

The R.M.S. Titanic departs Southhampton

Have you caught the “Titanic Fever” that’s going around or were you not even aware that this coming Sunday, April 15th, marks the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the most infamous ship of all time?

A photograph of a postcard written and mailed by passenger Ann Marie Perreault 3 days before the sinking of the Titanic.

My husband, somewhat of a “Titaniac”, has recorded no less than 10 documentaries, specials, or movies airing this week, and that’s just on TV. Our London correspondent R.B. (a mutually obsessed friend) is keeping us abreast of all happenings “Titanic” on that side of the pond, including the 4 part series that explores the tragic event from the perspectives of different passengers in each episode. I won’t spoil the ending, but there is a bit of a twist.

Perhaps you’ve already seen the newly released 3-D…

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