Archive for the ‘LifeBlog’ Category

10 Things To Remind You Of The 1980s

Posted: September 23, 2012 in LifeBlog

It doesn’t matter when you were born, everyone seems to have an affinity with a certain decade, although it is more often than not the one which occurs during adolescence that leaves the biggest imprint and the seemingly happiest memories.

It may have been the time when you discovered just what having a crush on someone felt like – or even worse, finding out that the feelings are not reciprocated.

It is normally a time when your hormones are all over the place, rash and spontaneous decisions make perfect sense and a time when you were going through the rebellious stage that was probably a nightmare for your parents.

While all of these things may have happened – some more extremely than others – they ran their course and promptly dissolved into the annals of memory.

These memories, no matter how deeply stored, can be immediately sparked by the mere sight or sound of something that they instantly recognise as a blast from the past.

With this in mind, here are just a few things that might act as a trigger for anyone who was a child or young adult of the 1980s.

Trivial Pursuit

Image:  Leo Reynolds (Flickr)

Image:  jon_a_ross (Flickr)

Image:  sparetomato (Flickr)

This was the board game that was an instant hit when it was launched and has carried on in the same vane right up until the present day. It proved to be so successful that between 1983 and 1985, the makers produced a staggering 30 million games and it has been sold in 26 countries in 17 languages.

Playing the game involves answering trivia questions from 6 categories so that you can move your little plastic counter around the board. The 6 categories in the original Genus edition were Geography, Entertainment, History, Art & Literature, Science & Nature and Sports & Leisure and the colours associated with them were brown, blue, green, orange, pink and yellow.

Knight Rider

Image: kenjonbro (Flickr)

Image:  timmurlaugh (Flickr)

Image:  raramaurina (Flickr)

The television series Knight Rider very quickly amassed a massive following for 2 very different and very distinct reasons.

The first was the fact that David Hasselhoff was playing the lead role, much to the delight of the female half of the viewing figures. The second – and from every young boy’s point of view, definitely more important –  was KITT, the stunning customized Pontiac Trans AM that could talk.

The programmes began in September 1982, fighting crime and seeking justice through 4 seasons and a total of 86 episodes until April 1986. The popularity of the series lives on as today there are still websites run by fans and even people building their very own KITT.

My Little Pony

Image:  Lisa Brewster (Flickr)

Image:  Svadilfari (Flickr)

These little things, launched in 1983, took toy shops by storm and the race was on for every parent to get their little darling the specific coloured mane and body that she wanted, no matter what the cost.

Like an equine version of Action Man in so much as you could actually get accessories for them like scooters and brushes to keep their lovely manes looking their best, as well as clothing, bedding and room decorations.

Band Aid

Image:  Back2Black Festival (Flickr)

Image:  ocad123 (Flickr)

Image:  ocad123 (Flickr)

The original Band Aid was the cream of British and Irish musicians who got together on November 25th 1984 to record a song that would make millions for charity.

It came about as a result of a news report by Michael Buerk that Bob Geldof of Boomtown Rats fame watched about the famine in Ethiopia.

So moved was Geldof that he knew that he had to do something to help and with the assistance of ex-Ultravox singer Midge Ure, it was game on. They hastily wrote the song – ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ and quickly pulled together the stars of the day, getting them all to put their egos to one side and stand together to support the cause.

The artists were only too pleased to give their time for free and even the studios gave them a maximum of 24 hours free of charge to record and mix the record.

The UK government, under Mrs Thatcher, originally refused to waive the VAT on the single, but soon realized how unpopular this decision was and eventually conceded, giving the tax back to the charity.

The single went on to become an instant hit and rocketed to the top of the charts, easily surpassing the hopes of those involved with it.

Cabbage Patch Dolls

Image:  CAPL

Image:  Jacob Whittaker (Flickr)

Image:  B Inspired Vintage (Flickr)

These odd looking little dolls are probably the most popular toy of the whole of the 1980s. They were, to say the least, not the prettiest dolls ever made, yet they seemed to have a curious attraction that made every little girl want one.

Such was the demand for these not-so-cuties that mothers literally had to fight to get them when they came into the shops. Parents even turned to the so called Black Market and paid many times more than the retail price, which could amount well over $200, just to make sure that their daughter wouldn’t be disappointed on Christmas morning.

Commodore 64

Image:  zawtowers (Flickr)

Image:  JaulaDeArdilla (fotopedia)

This 8 bit home computer took the world by storm when it was released in August 1982 and went on to become the bestselling personal computer of all time. It had 64 kilobytes of RAM – hence the name – and sound and graphics that were a lot better than those of its competitors.

By today’s standards, they were positively archaic, but at the time they were state of the art and everybody wanted one. Their popularity was such that during the period 1983 to 1986, there was in excess of 2 million units being sold each year, with a staggering 15 million units sold over the Commodore 64′s lifetime.

Sony Walkman

Image:  Mike Licht, (Flickr)

Image:  go_offstation (Flickr)

Image:  rockheim (Flickr)

Today, you can listen to music on your cell phone as you walk, but in the 1980s things were so very different, especially when you remember that the cell was not even around – if you wanted to listen to music on the go, without lugging your old radio around with you, a Sony Walkman was what you needed.

This not-so-small by today’s standards music player was. at the time, thought of as state of the art technology. It is worth remembering that the walkman played cassettes which, with the best will in the world, provided nowhere near the quality that you get today, especially with the constant, quiet hissing sound.

It was, however, a breakthrough which proved to be more than popular and meant that more and more advanced versions were introduced until the mass popularity of the CD took over in the 1990s.

Swatch Watches

Image:  bgautrea (Flickr)

Image:  sergis blog (Flickr)

Image:  Alaskan Dude (Flickr)

How can anyone form the 1980s forget the brightly coloured, plastic Swatch watches that kids simply had to have? Available in every garishly loud colour that you could possibly think of – it would seem the louder the better – kids were eager to be seen as fashion setters and went as far as wearing two Swatches at the same time (or if they had the Pop Swatch, they would simply attach it to their clothing).

Having one on your jeans or t-shirt was seen as a radical fashion statement and was sometimes accentuated by the addition of one to wear in your hair as a pony tail band.

Their popularity has seen something of a resurgence lately and although popular, it hasn’t been on the same level as originally in the 1980s.

Rubik’s Cube

Image:  huangjiahui (Flickr)

Image:  rustybrick (Flickr)

This iconic puzzle had the inane ability to either make you or break you according to whether or not you could actually solve it.

Created in the mid-1970s by Ernő Rubik as an educational tool, Rubik didn’t know at the time that his creation would be one of the best-selling toys of the 1980s and go on to sell over 350 million worldwide.

DeLorean DMC-12

Image:  Jack_Snell (Flickr)



The De Lorean DMC-12 is probably best remembered as the car that was used in the ‘Back To The Future’ films. There were only around 9,000 of them built in Belfast between 1981 and 1982, most of which were destined for the North American market, with very few constructed for other parts of the world.

Interestingly, it was the only model that the failed De Lorean Motor Company produced and was famous for having a distinctive stainless steel body and gull wing doors. Unfortunately, the gull wing doors weren’t exactly family-friendly and the stainless steel body panels meant that at the time they were very difficult to paint, so every single model produced looked exactly the same.



It’s no secret that some of highest paid jobs come from the sports industry. Athletes can make millions of dollars for each season they play, and that’s not even including other income sources like endorsement deals. Basketball and the NBA are no exceptions.

Whether or not you agree with the high salaries athletes can make, let’s take a look at exactly how high those salaries can go in the world of basketball. Here are ten of the currently highest paid NBA basketball players. (You can look up the highest paid NBA players in previous seasons too if you’re interested.)

1. Kobe Bryant

Salary: $28,700,000

Kobe Bryant

Credit: Stefanoaica Ionut (via Flickr)

Kobe Bryant plays shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.  He was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets straight out of high school and immediately traded to the Lakers in 1996.  In his past 16 seasons in the NBA he has won the championship five times, led the league in scoring twice, and made 14 all-star teams.

2. Dirk Nowitzki

Salary: $20,907,128

Dirk Nowitzki

Credit: Keith Allison (via Flickr)

Dirk Nowitzki plays power forward for the Dallas Mavericks.  He joined the NBA in 1998 after playing in a professional league in Germany, where he is from.  He is the highest paid foreign player in the NBA.  When the Mavericks won the championship in 2011, Nowitzki was named MVP of the finals.  He was league MVP in 2007, and is an 11 time all-star.

3. Gilbert Arenas

Salary: $20,807,922

Gilbert Arenas

Credit: Keith Allison (via Flickr)

Gilbert Arenas last played for the Memphis Grizzlies and is currently a free agent.  He has played for several teams throughout his NBA career, which began when he was drafted in 2001.  During his second year in the NBA he was named Most Improved Player, and he has made three all-star teams.  Most of his career has been spent with the Washington Wizards.

4. Amar’e Stoudemire

Salary: $18,948,799

Amar'e Stoudemire

Credit: Bryan Horowitz (via Flickr)

Amar’e Stoudemire is a power forward and center for the New York Knicks.  He was drafted in 2002 and spent the first 8 seasons of his career with the Phoenix Suns.  Stoudemire then became a free agent before signing with the Knicks.  His contract with the Knicks is estimated to be about $99.7 million over 5 years.  Stoudemire was named Rookie of the Year, and has been on 6 all-star teams despite previous injuries.

5. Joe Johnson

Salary: $18,038,573

Joe Johnson

Credit: Keith Allison (via Flickr)

Joe Johnson was drafted in 2001 by the Boston Celtics and has spent time with the Celtics, the Phoenix Suns, and the Atlanta Hawks. He will play next season for the Brooklyn Nets.  He has made 6 all-star teams.  In 2010 Johnson signed a 6 year, $119 million contract with the Hawks which made him one of the top paid players in the league.

6. Carmelo Anthony

Salary: $19,450,000

Carmelo Anthony

Credit: Keith Allison (via Flickr)

Carmelo Anthony plays small forward for the New York Knicks.  He spent most of his career with Denver, after being drafted in 2003.  Anthony was traded to the Knicks in 2011.  He has made 5 all-star teams and has spent time playing with the U.S. national team along with many of the other top NBA players.

7. Dwight Howard

Salary: $19,261,200

Dwight Howard

Credit: Keith Allison (via Flickr)

Dwight Howard is a center/power forward who has spent the entirety of his career (until now) playing for the Orlando Magic.  Next season he will join Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.  Howard was drafted by the Magic in 2004.  He is known for his excellent defense, being named Defensive Player of the Year 3 times and playing on 6 all-star teams.

8. Chris Paul

Salary: $19,261,200

Chris Paul

Credit: Keith Allison (via Flickr)

Chris Paul plays point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers.  He is also an excellent bowler and a spokesperson for the United States Bowling Congress.  He was drafted 4th overall by the New Orleans Hornets in 2005.  He was named Rookie of the Year during his first season, and he has made the all-star team in 5 seasons.  He spent 6 years with the Hornets before being traded to the Clippers (before the start of the 2011 season).

9. Pau Gasol

Salary: $19,000,000

Pau Gasol

Credit: Keith Allison (via Flickr)

Pau Gasol is the only other foreign player to make the list of top paid NBA players.  He plays power forward and center for the Los Angeles Lakers.  Gasol is from Spain, and before joining the NBA he played for Barcelona (which won the Spanish National Cup championship in 2001).  He entered the 2001 NBA draft where he was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies.  He’s played for the Lakers for the last 5 seasons, winning 2 championships with L.A., and he was named Rookie of the Year in 2002.

10. Elton Brand

Salary: $18,160,354

Elton Brand

Credit: Keith Allison (via Flickr)

Elton Brand is a power forward who has played for several teams in the NBA.  He was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1999 and was named Rookie of the Year.  He then played for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers.  He is a two-time NBA all-star and he was given the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2006.


Top Ten Armies in the World

Posted: September 23, 2012 in LifeBlog

Nearly every country in the world has its own army to protect its interests against internal and external enemies. The top ten armies of the world were chosen based on their military history, current operations and size of force as well as their reputation as a military force. Most of these armies were involved in the major conflicts of the modern day world including World War I, World War II and the Korean War. In addition, many of these armies have been involved in conflicts fighting for their own country’s independence.

#10: Pakistan

Brazilian Army

Pakistan’s Army was founded in 1947 and maintains a force of over 500,000 strong who have all volunteered for service.

Pakistan’s military history includes conflicts with its bordering neighbors of Afghanistan and India, the Gulf War and Mogadishu, Somalia in the early 90s.

Pakistan has also served as an ally to the United States in the Global War on Terrorism by assisting in fighting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and along the border of Pakistan.

#9: Israel

Israel is the only country in the world that requires military service from both male and female citizens with few exceptions.

The Israel Defense Force was founded in 1948 and maintains an active duty force of over 100,000.

The Israeli military history includes the Arab-Israel War, the Six-Day War and numerous conflicts with Lebanon and Palestine. The United States remains one of Israel’s largest allies.

#8: Russia


Russia has undergone numerous changes throughout its military history dating back to 863. The modern day army is known as the Russian Ground Force and was founded in 1992.

Previous Russian military organizations, including the Red Army, have been involved in regional conflicts, both world wars and the Cold War. Before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, it was the known as the superpower of the world and had surpassed the United States in terms of the number of soldiers and nuclear weapons.

The Russian Ground Force is staffed through mandatory service; though many in the country have either deferred under exceptions or offered bribes to officials not to serve.

#7: Turkey

The Turkish Army dates back more than 2,000 years. The modern day Turkish Army is one of the few notable armies that stayed neutral during World War II.

Although the Turkish Army was involved in the Korean War, the largest conflict in the 1900s was in the Turkish Independence War where it fought Russia, Britain, Greece, France and Italy along its borders.

Military service in Turkey is required with few exceptions and it has resulted in Turkey having the second largest ground force in NATO.

#6: North Korea

The North Korean People’s Army was established in 1939 and has an impressive force of more than one million soldiers. When reserve unit numbers are counted in this total, estimates are more than seven million soldiers who could be activated if needed.

Major conflicts in North Korea’s history are the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Tensions between North and South Korea still exist today and, technically, the conflict has not officially ended between the two.

North Korea has confirmed its nuclear and chemical weapons capability in recent years with threats against various countries including the United States, mainly for its alliance with South Korea.

#5: Germany

The German Army has one of the most notable histories with the rise of Hitler. The German Army was responsible for the start of World War II when it invaded Poland.

After the War ended, Germany was in a divided state and formed the West Germany Army.

After reunification in the 1990s, the armies from the east and west were combined into the current German Army. The current military force in Germany numbers over 200,000 active soldiers.

#4: India

The Indian Army dates back to the Stone Age. Today, it is known as being the largest all volunteer ground force in the world with more than 1,000,000 active duty soldiers.

India has never had to institute a draft to staff its ground force. The Indian Army has been involved in both world wars as well as several conflicts to fight for its own independence.

Pakistan has been its target on more than one occasion in its military history.

#3: United Kingdom

The British Army was organized in 1661 and has been involved in various conflicts including the Napoleonic Wars, Revolutionary War and both world wars.

The British Army has had a significant presence in Northern Ireland and the Balkans while standing beside the United States in the Gulf War in the 1990s as well as the Global War on Terrorism after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The active duty force of the British Army is more than 100,000 strong, making it the second largest army in the European Union behind France.

#2: China

The People’s Liberation Army of China is the largest in the world numbering over two million soldiers even after significant cuts in forces in recent years.

The Chinese Army was established in 1927 and involved in the Sino-Japanese conflict, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam.

While technically service is required for all men over the age of 18, China has never had to draft soldiers as there has always been more than enough Chinese men who have volunteered for military service to their country.

#1: United States

The United States Army dates back to 1775 when the Continental Army was created to fight in the Revolutionary War. The U.S. Army has participated in every major world war, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War and the Global War on Terrorism.

The current active duty force for the U.S. Army numbers over 500,000 with a combined total of over one million with Reserve and National Guard soldiers.

The modern day Army is an all volunteer force with permanent posts throughout the United States as well as Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Japan and Korea.

All pictures are courtesy of MorgueFile.

Amazons were the female warriors that lived in Anatolia (Anatolia is the name of the region of today’s Asian part of Turkey) around 2nd millennium BC. They are believed to be the daughters of god Ares (the god of war) and Harmonia. They disappear from the historical records from Anatolia after the 7th century BC.

Amazons first appear in around the foothills of Caucasus Mountains and then move to the Black Sea coast to Themiscyra which is accepted by historians as the lands of Amazons. Themiscyra of the ancient times is referring to today’s Terme River in the black sea region of Turkey between Sinop and Ordu cities.

There are different opinions about the origin of the name ‘Amazon’. According to the most popular theory, the word ‘Mazon’ means breast and a-mazons were the females without a breast. They were cutting one of their breasts to use their weapons more efficiently. According to another point of view, the prefix ‘a’ is used to strengthen the word mazon – breast to emphasize the female warriors fighting like a man. When we look at the sculptures of Amazons from different times and geographies, the Amazon ladies are depicted with two breasts generally which supports the second theory.

Amazons were living apart from men, and using men only to proliferate by sleeping with a man they liked once a year. If they had a son, they would leave him to the father, and they only accepted females to their society.

The Amazons are seen on history stage in several different myths and stories. Hercules, the son of Zeus, was born from an affair of Zeus with a human being named Alcmene. Hera, the official wife of Zeus tried to take revenge from Hercules all the time and gave Hercules 12 tasks to complete, wishing Hercules would be dead by the end. One of the missions was to get back the golden belt from the Amazon queen Hippolyte. Hercules and Theseus went to the land of Amazons and they were welcomed very friendly. Hercules took the golden belt from the queen as a gift. But this time Hera was frustrated, she changed herself into an Amazon and caused a massive disorder which ended by the killing of queen Hippolyte by Heracles. Theseus kidnapped the Antiope, the sister of the queen, to Athens and with the leadership of Orithtya, Amazons attacked Athens to get back Antiope which takes place as a historical fact in the writings of Socrates. Following this story, according to a powerful theory, on their way to Athens or back, Amazons established Ephesus as well as many other cities around the same location.

Amazons are taking place at the famous Troy war around 1200 BC. They are believed to help Hector against Achilles. Queen Penthesilea was shot to death from her breast just after she injured Achilles. On her last moments, Achilles took of her helmet and saw the beauty of Penthesilea and fell in love with this woman that he just killed.

In all around the world, at the famous museums, one can see the sculptures of these female warriors of Anatolia made by several artists at different times. One of the beautiful reliefs of Amazons that were carved on the Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus Ancient City is now displayed at the local museum of Ephesus in Selcuk, Turkey.



Alexander – even today, 23 centuries after his death, his name still has the power to inspire. His achievements have stood the test of time and remain amongst the most remarkable in the whole annals of military history. With an army of typically only around 40,000 men, he conquered the largest, richest and most powerful empire the world had ever seen; and all of this in less than a decade.

When Alexander became king, his military career began when he launched a campaign against Macedonia’s northern neighbours. This is a campaign that we know little about, but we can assume that it was remarkably successful given that Antipater, his regent, never had any difficulty from that region. From there, Alexander marched in central Greece, and sent a terrible message with the destruction of the ancient city of Thebes.

In 334, Alexander crossed the Hellespont and invaded Asia. He soundly defeated the Persians in large set-piece battles at the Granicus River, Issus and finally Gaugamela in 331. During this period he also captured the great fortresses of Halicarnassus, Tyre and Gaza. After the death of Darius, Alexander spent several years campaigning in Afghanistan and India; a brutal period culminating in the defeat of the Indian king Porus at the battle of the Hydaspes.

In India, the army had finally had enough and refused to march further into the unknown. They turned back and made a disastrous march through the Gedrosian Desert. After a final siege during which Alexander was struck by an arrow that punctured his lung, he returned to Babylon where he died in 323.

Alexander’s incredible string of successes was not accidental; listed here are the 10 main reasons for them (in no particular order). You can find out more about Alexander as a military commander in my books, The Army of Alexander The Great and The Sieges of Alexander The Great, both published by Pen & Sword.

1. Philip of Macedon

Philip, Alexander’s father, was one of the finest military minds of the ancient world; but he is completely overshadowed by his son. Philip took a broken kingdom that was about to be overrun by foreign enemies, and turned it into the most powerful state in Greece. Shortly before his death he sent an expeditionary force to Asia Minor to conduct an initial campaign against the Persians whilst he prepared for a larger invasion.

Had Philip lived – he is believed to have been buried at Aigai – he clearly would have expanded upon this expeditionary campaign with a full scale invasion. It is always interesting (but ultimately fruitless) to speculate how Philip would have fared compared to Alexander.

Alexander had a first rate military education watching the successes of his father, and evidently was worried that there would be nothing left for him to conquer if his father continued too long; the assassin’s blade ensured that this would not be the case.

Could Alexander have achieved what he did without his father’s foundation? This is a difficult question to answer, but I would suggest that Alexander had the ability, but his character would likely have let him down. Alexander clearly had the ability to reorganise the army and to develop innovative strategies and tactics as required, as well as his natural military genius. We must recognise, however, that it would certainly have taken rather longer because the army would have needed to be trained and turned into the machine that Philip had already created, and the question also remains as to whether Alexander would have had the patience to delay his ambition; patience is not a trait that Alexander ever demonstrated to any great degree.

2. The Army

Alexander’s greatest inheritance was the Macedonian army. At the time of the invasion of Asia Minor, the historian Diodorus tells us that it consisted of 5,100 cavalry and 32,000 infantry. This was a respectable size by Greek standards, but tiny in comparison with the number of troops Darius could put in the field. Of the 37,100 troops, the Macedonian contingent was relatively small: 1,800 Companion Cavalry and 12,000 infantry. These were by far the most important troops Alexander commanded, and the main weapon with which he gained an empire.

This army was a very complex organisation of interlocking and mutually supportive parts. Alexander created what was probably the first combined arms force in world history: he developed a series of units that excelled at specific tasks, but retained tremendous operational flexibility. Individual units were highly trained and some were highly specialised: the hypaspists, for example, were employed to maintain a cohesive link with the Companion Cavalry during the set-piece battles; if they failed then a gap would have opened in Alexander’s line that the Persians could have exploited.

Light infantry, specifically the Agrianians, were assigned specialised tasks, and even fought alongside the cavalry units at Gaugamela. Later the Dahae horse archers were deployed with devastating effect against the Indians at the Hydaspes. The heavy infantry could operate together, or as individual taxis (battalions). Each of the individual units of Alexander’s army were dangerous if engaged independently, but when combined formed an army that was one of the finest the world had yet seen; when this was coupled with the tactical genius of an Alexander, the results are there to see. Each element of the army was highly trained and supported every other element. This was a true combined arms force as described The Army of Alexander The Great.

3. Persistence

Another, perhaps more accurate word, would be stubbornness. Alexander was remarkably stubborn and never let any obstacle, be it natural or manmade, stand in his way. When faced with the city of Tyre, he refused to allow it to remain a “free city” offering safe harbour to both Greek and Persian fleets. He did not possess any significant navy at the time so he set about constructing a mole to join the island fortress to the land. Later in his career, we see a string of similar sieges on the north-east frontier and in India where he had to build a series of wooden bridges over deep ravines. He repeatedly captured seemingly impregnable fortresses, like Aornus, and never accepted any obstacle as being insurmountable.

4. Genius

This is a much over-used word in today’s society, but by whatever measure we employ, Alexander was without question a military genius, perhaps the greatest the world has ever seen. Alexander was the finest strategist and tactician the ancient world had yet seen. He repeatedly demonstrated an ability to successfully fight campaigns in every theatre of war the ancient world had to offer (although his naval experience was limited to the later stages of the siege of Tyre), and to continuously adapt his strategies and tactics to every emerging circumstance.
Alexander also demonstrated an ability to analyse the evolving circumstances that the Afghanistan region presented, and changed the organisation of the army to deal with the new threat of guerrilla warfare. Alexander’s sense of timing during his set-piece battles was also remarkable. The timing of his decisive cavalry charge was always immaculate, and the result devastating. He had a genius for analysing a situation and instantly making a judgement of what was needed. His set-piece battles are analysed in my forthcoming book The Field Campaigns of Alexander the Great.

5. Adaptability

I touched on this in an earlier point, but Alexander showed throughout his career an amazing ability to adapt to changing situations and circumstances. He essentially used a relatively small number of successful tactics and tactical ideas, but these were constantly being adapted and modified as circumstances changes.

Alexander’s fundamental tactic was to attack in more than one direction simultaneously. We see this in his set-piece battles where he times his attacks so that the Companion Cavalry strike the flank of the enemy infantry at the same time the heavy infantry attack from the front. The battle of Issus – depicted on the Alexander sarcophagus – is a perfect example of this; this battle is a series of brilliantly executed flanking manoeuvres.

We also see this during his many siege operations. At Tyre, Alexander attacks from the mole, but also had artillery, siege towers and scaling ladders mounted on ships so the fortress can be attacked from multiple directions. This happens at Gaza too, where the city is attacked from all directions to distract from the main thrust of the assault.

6. Sub-commanders

Alexander’s sub-commanders are a remarkable array of talented individuals, many of whom became kings in their own right after Alexander died and his empire was broken up. These successors, the so called diodochi, included men like Antipater, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Antigonas, Perdiccas and Lysimachus and Cassander. Any successful general required his subordinates to have some measure of ability. He needed his orders to be conveyed to the rank and file, and he needed them to be carried out. This would not have happed with a rather less talented bunch. There is no question it helped Alexander to have commanded such a talented group of individuals, but the question for another day must be: would these men have been kings and statesmen without Alexander? We will never know, but their careers were certainly helped by the Great Macedonian.

7. Logistics

We hear very little about the Macedonian logistics system in the sources, but we know that it was very good because we also hear of very few instances where it failed and the army struggled. The baggage train, which the Macedonian army could not have done without, was kept to a minimum size during Alexander’s early career, following reforms by Philip. This enabled the army to move rapidly and strike without warning. It also meant that the army could move quickly from region to region without exhausting the resources of any area.
The main example of the failure is the march through the Gedrosian desert. Many died of thirst or hunger during the march. The army and the logistics system were simply not prepared for this environment. This is an example of Alexander’s stubbornness getting the better of him. Apart from the (usually) excellent supply of food and water, we hear almost no examples of a lack of horses, weapons or armour. The only possible hint of difficulties is in India when the army rebelled against the prospect of further conquest.

8. Blitzkrieg

This is a concept that we usually associate with the German army of World War II, and the changes that Heinz Guderian introduced. In the most basic of terms it revolved around rapidity of movement and the concentration of force. Alexander was its first exponent in history. The Macedonian army under Alexander was capable of remarkable feats in terms of their rate of march. They frequently exceeded 30km per day, and could keep this up for several days allowing them to arrive at a battlefield long before they were expected, and before the enemy was prepared. When news reached Alexander that Thebes had rebelled, he was in the Balkan region, having recently captured Pellium. He marched 390 km in 13 days to arrive at the walls of Thebes before they had properly prepared their defences. This is a remarkable rate of march, but when we consider the mountainous terrain of the Greek mainland, it is even more amazing. During the brief siege, the troops showed no signs of fatigue, either.

9. Motivational Leadership

Alexander had remarkable personal charisma; he had an almost superhuman ability to inspire his men to ever greater pinnacles of achievement. He led an army from the Balkans to the heart of India before they showed any major signs of discontent. When they left Macedonia in 334, many did not return home, and those that did had been away for 10 years or more.
Alexander’s ability to inspire his men is one of his most admirable qualities. He did this in a number of ways; certainly he made speeches before battles, all ancient commanders did, but more than this he made a point of leading from the front. He never expected his men to undertake any dangers that he was not prepared for himself. He was the first over the wall at the siege of the city of the Mallians, for example. He also made a point of trying to remember the names and achievements of some of his rank and file, and to comment to them whenever he had the opportunity. This is a tradition that was carried on during the Roman period and became the hallmark of a good general.

10. Luck

Anyone who is successful in any field needs luck, and Alexander was no exception. He is certainly lucky to have survived as long as he did; he was wounded by almost every weapon of war available to the ancient world, and came so very close to being decapitated at the battle of the Granicus in 334. He is also lucky he had Philip for a father, and that he inherited the finest war machine the world had yet seen. Xenophon’s march to Cunaxa had demonstrated that the Greeks were capable of defeating the Persians, if only someone could unite (or conquer) the Greeks long enough to do it. Philip looked like he could have been that man, but in the end Alexander was the one to finally bring down the Persian Empire. Alexander’s career represents a remarkable nexus of events rare in history. He was exactly the right man in the right place at the right time, and he grasped his opportunity for immortality.

Article by Stephen English.
Stephen English is the author of ‘The Army of Alexander the Great’ , ‘The Sieges of Alexander the Great’ and ‘The Field Campaigns of Alexander the Great’.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way.

From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard – This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.

Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings – Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends – Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier
This is a surprisingly common one.

Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.

They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.


There’s something that sets CIA agents apart from the rest of us. They are tough, smart, and can improvise during difficult situations. In some ways, they are a lot like entrepreneurs. This means that if you want to become an entrepreneur, it might be useful to start thinking like a CIA agent. Here are some things you can learn from the CIA and their agents.

#1 – Be realistic about what the job requires


When people think about the CIA, what comes to mind is what they see on TV: excitement, travel, and glamor. But if that were true, everyone would want to be a CIA agent. The truth is that becoming a CIA agent takes years of hard work, dedication, and focus.

In the same way, it’s easy to think that entrepreneurship is all about having “The Perfect Idea” and raking in millions as a result. But, successful entrepreneurship requires a lot of diligence and work. Watch or read biographies of successful entrepreneurs and see for yourself that sacrifices were made in order for them to reach that level of success.

#2 – People skills are just as important as technical skills


CIA agents are great at reading people. They can sense their strengths, weaknesses, and quickly judge if they’ll be an asset or a threat. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need the same skills during hiring, negotiations, and day to day operations.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the smartest person in the room – without people skills, you will never gain the trust and respect of those around you.

#3 – Be reliable

CIA Agent leonardo dicaprio

Unlike what the Hollywood movies would have you believe, good agents are reliable. They don’t miss appointments, forget equipment, or give in to distractions. Doing these things could lead to death. Or worse, war.

While entrepreneurship may not nearly be as dramatic, you still need to be reliable – especially when dealing with customers. This means meeting or exceeding their expectations so that they can trust you when the next transaction comes around.

#4 – Have integrity

cia agent advice

Both businessmen and CIA agents need to make the hard decisions that most don’t really want to make. Are you going to compromise what’s best for the long term just to get some short term gains? Will you work with employees who are affordable or with employees whom you know will get the job done?

Just as a CIA agent is loyal to his or her country, so should you be loyal to your business’ goals and those whom you conduct business with.

#5 – Surround yourself with satisfied and competent people

trust cia

Nothing ruins a good mission like someone who’s negative, unhappy, or downright incompetent. This is true whether it’s an intelligence mission or a business mission.

When the people around you are smart, confident, and happy about their choices, their enthusiasm is infectious and will only feed your company’s energy.

#6 – Learn other languages

cia business

The best CIA agents can switch from English to French to Farsi in a few seconds. This helps them understand background conversation and blend in when they are in a foreign country.

As an entrepreneur, you’re going to need to learn how to do this if you want your business to operate worldwide. In fact, odds are you won’t have a choice but to work with contractors, customers, and employees from all over the globe – that’s what it’s like to do business today. And, if you’re going to do it successfully, you need to learn how to communicate well with the various people you’ll be in business with in your own country and in the international markets.

#7 – Foster connections in your community

cia social media network

The CIA and other intelligence agencies are one big community. This helps them share information and consult each others’ expertise whenever needed.

Entrepreneurs have to do the same. For example, you might be a great leader, but what if you don’t have the accounting or legal skills to run a business? Or, you might be great at marketing, but what if you aren’t a good designer? You need to find smart, talented people to compensate for the skills and know-how that you lack. To do that, you’ll need to mingle with other entrepreneurs, seek referrals, and get tips on where to find the best people to work with.

#8 – Be financially secure and responsible

cia money

Preserving your integrity isn’t all about willpower, it’s also about preventing any issues that may make you weak. A financially troubled CIA agent is a liability. It’s easy for malicious organizations to trap, blackmail, or lure a good agent who has money problems.

The same goes for entrepreneurs. If you’re strapped for funds, you might get tempted to take from the till or you might make the wrong calls just to keep your cash flow going.

#9 – Keep your track record clean

cia track record

The CIA usually performs thorough background checks on people who want to become agents. They look for signs of a criminal history, drug charges, and other negative activities. This is because the CIA needs to be 100% sure that their agents are accountable, honest, and loyal.

It pays for Entrepreneurs to be vigilant in this area. Business is such a public activity that people are going to unearth negative things about you. The more successful your business is, the more likely this is to happen. To protect yourself and your business, you need a clean record or the cleanest it can be.

#10 – Never stop learning

If a CIA agent stopped keeping up with the latest international intelligence gossip, fighting methods, and equipment, he or she could die in the field.

The same is true for entrepreneurs who get complacent and think that once their business takes off, they no longer have to learn anything new. But with technology constantly changing and with a newer batch of entrepreneurs launching startups every year, you’ll get left behind if you don’t put in the effort to keep up with trends.

#11 – Be physically fit and healthy

the Expendables cia agent

When you’re running errands, working day and night, and obsessing about every detail of your business, it’s easy to forget about your physical fitness. You might think that you no longer have the time or energy to take care of your health. The truth is that your physical health is tied to your mental and emotional health – which you need to run your business.

Just as an agent has to keep fit whether there’s a mission or not, you also need to keep working out. This ensures that when there’s a fight, you’re ready in a heartbeat.


the power of giving back

Even after obtaining what may be considered as ‘enough’ for personal fulfillment, many still feel a void inside them that yearns to be filled. This is where the power of giving is then realized.

Anyone Can Give

Some people would be inclined to think that only those who are sufficiently endowed financially should give to charity. But one must always remember that giving starts form personal will or from the heart, a thing that every human being has no matter their financial or material standing. So long as whatever is given, whether a service or material gift, makes a positive impact and difference on the life of the recipient, then it qualifies to be a charitable gift. But it must be given unconditionally without any expectation of a reciprocal action from the receiver.

At the same time, you do not have to move far from where they are in order to find a worthy cause in which to exercise charity. Numerous statistics are produced each year that show various problems people face all over the world. These people are all around us. They are hardly a few meters away. For example, statistics show that one out of four people in the world are facing starvation. This means that starving people are just within our reach. What then prevents us from engaging in acts of charity?

Why Don’t Some People Give?

While a good number of people will give out selflessly despite their meagre capabilities, others who may even be more endowed do not give to charity. They claim that they first have to achieve substantially at a personal level before they can give to others. They seem to follow the idea developed in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In this, one rises through several levels of needs. After one need is fulfilled, then they move to the next level until they reach the peak in this pyramid of needs.

This kind of outlook would be too narrow to allow someone to give. This is because the complex nature of the human being forces us to seek for more, no matter what we may already have. As such, the urge to get more may never end. This is why some people never give to others. They do not realise that the path of self-fulfilment starts right at the bottom of the pyramid and that is where giving should start, not after you have fulfilled all of your possible personal needs.

The reason why some people do not give is because they act out of a consciousness of scarcity, they believe that they do not have it in them to give, that they have nothing of value to share with the rest of the world and that they have to be a certain type of person to give or that there is not enough to go around. All of this is far from the truth, anyone and everyone has something they can offer one another.

Giving Has Immense Personal Benefits

As stated earlier, giving does not necessarily mean giving out money or material items. People give not because they have but because they have that inherent urge to give. In fact, many well-known philanthropists did not start their charity work when they got rich. They probably didn’t know that they would become rich even when they started charitable work.

Even without any material gift to offer, sharing your ideas can have immense personal benefits. Ideas can transform others greatly. Many great things that have been achieved in the world emanated from simple ideas. The benefit of sharing your ideas is that the effect will somehow boomerang back to you. By listening to your own ideas repeatedly as you share with others, you may eventually be inclined to put them in practice yourself with wonderful results. You will be unlocking your own potential of self fulfilment. It may eventually seem like a miracle but that is how selfless giving works.

By giving out what you have without expecting anything in return, you start living a meaningful life. You get to realise your true calling in a life and world full of challenges. If you find meaning in the lives of those in need and do something about it, you will also find meaning in your own life. You find yourself in better health and peace and you achieve more happiness. That is the magic of selfless giving.

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran


Mornings are a great time for getting things done. You’re less likely to be interrupted than you are later in the day. Your supply of willpower is fresh after a good night’s sleep. That makes it possible to turn personal priorities like exercise or strategic thinking into reality.

But if you’ve got big goals–and a chaotic a.m. schedule–how can you make over your mornings to make these goals happen?

Because I write about time management frequently, I’ve gotten to see hundreds of calendars and schedules over the years. From studying people’s morning habits, I’ve learned that getting the most out of this time is a five-part process. Follow these steps, though, and you’re on your way to building morning habits that stick.

1. Track Your Time

Part of spending your time better is knowing how you’re spending it now. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that nutritionists tell you to keep a food journal because it keeps you from eating mindlessly. It’s the same with time. Write down what you’re doing as often as you can. Use my spreadsheet, a Word document, or a pad and pen.

While measuring your mornings, try tracking your whole week. The reason? The solution to morning dilemmas often lies at other times of the day. You may be too tired because you’re staying up late. But if you look at how you’re spending your nights, you’ll notice that you’re not doing anything urgent. The Daily Show can be recorded and watched earlier–possibly while you’re on the treadmill at 6:30 a.m.

As for the mornings themselves, you can be organized but still not be spending them well. Question your assumptions. You may believe that “a man who wants to keep his job gets into the office before his boss” because that’s what your father did, but your boss may be disappointed that he doesn’t get the place to himself for an hour first! If you decide that something is a top priority, do it, but understand that we have to do few things in life.

2. Picture the Perfect Morning

After you know how you’re spending your time, ask yourself what a great morning would look like. For me, it would start with a run, followed by a hearty family breakfast. After getting people out the door, I’d focus on long-term projects like my books. Here are some other ideas for morning enrichment:

For personal growth:

  • Read through a religious text: Sacred texts can teach us about human nature and history, even if they’re not from a religion you subscribe to. If they are, pray or meditate and get to know your beliefs in a deeper way.
  • Train for something big: Aiming to complete a half-marathon, a triathlon, or a long bike ride will keep you inspired as you take your fitness to the next level.
  • Do art projects with your kids:. Mornings don’t have to be a death march out the door. Enjoy your time with your little ones at a time of day when you all have more patience.

For professional growth:

  • Strategize: In an age of constant connectivity, people complain of having no time to think. Use your mornings to picture what you want your career and organization to look like in the future.
  • Read articles in professional journals: Benefit from other people’s research and strategic thinking, and gain new insights into your field.
  • Take an online class: If a job or career change is in your future, a self-paced class can keep your skills sharp.

3. Think Through the Logistics

How could this vision mesh with the life you have? Don’t assume you have to add it on top of the hours you already spend getting ready or that you’ll have to get to work earlier. If you fill the morning hours with important activities you’ll crowd out things that are more time intensive than they need to be. Map out a morning schedule. What time would you have to get up and what time do you need to go to bed to get enough sleep? As for the mornings themselves, what would make your ritual easier? Do you need to set your easel next to your bed? Can you find a more cheerful alarm clock or one you can’t turn off so easily?

It’s easy to believe our own excuses, particularly if they’re good ones. Come up with a plan and assemble what you need, but whatever you do, don’t label this vision as impossible

4. Build the Habit

This is the most important step. Turning a desire into a ritual requires willpower. Use these fives steps to optimize your routine:

  • Start slowly: Go to bed and wake up fifteen minutes earlier for a few days until this new schedule seems doable.
  • Monitor your energy: Building a new habit takes effort, so take care of yourself while you’re trying. Eat right, eat enough, and surround yourself with supportive people who want to see you succeed.
  • Choose one new habit at a time to introduce: If you want to run, pray, and write in a journal, choose one of these and make it a habit before adding another.
  • Chart your progress: Habits take weeks to establish, so keep track of how you’re doing for at least thirty days. Once skipping a session feels like you forgot something–like forgetting to brush your teeth–you can take your ritual up a notch.
  • Feel free to use bribery: Eventually habits produce their own motivation, but until then, external motivations like promising yourself concert tickets can keep you moving forward. And keep in mind that your morning rituals shouldn’t be of the self-flagellation variety. Choose things you enjoy: your before-breakfast ritual has the potential to become your favorite part of the day.

5. Tune Up as Necessary

Life changes. Sometimes we have to regroup, but the goal is to replace any rituals that no longer work with new ones that make you feel like every day is full of possibility.

That is ultimately the amazing thing about mornings–they always feel like a new chance to do things right. A win scored then creates a cascade of success. The hopeful hours before most people eat breakfast are too precious to be blown on semiconscious activities. You can do a lot with those hours. Whenever I’m tempted to say I don’t have time for something, I remind myself that if I wanted to get up early, I could. These hours are available to all of us if we choose to use them.

So how would you like to use your mornings? This important question requires careful thinking. But once you decide, small rituals can accomplish great things. When you make over your mornings, you can make over your life. That is what the most successful people know.


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The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was shot once in the back and once in head while riding with his wife Jacqueline in a Presidential motorcade through the streets of Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested 45 minutes after the shots were fired. After hours of interrogation, in which none of the proper procedures were followed, he was accused of murder. He was killed by Jack Ruby in the garage of the police building on November 24 in front of hundreds of journalists. On November 29, President Lyndon B. Johnson created the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination. It was headed by Earl Warren, the Chief Justice of the United States, and found that Oswald was the lone shooter and that he did it from the sixth floor of the Schoolbook Depository Building with an Italian Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.

Jack the Ripper

One of the oldest unsolved murder cases in the world, Jack the Ripper instilled fear into the heart of Victorian London and still captures our imagination today. Between August and November 1888, five prostitutes were murdered in Whitechapel, an area in the East End of London. Everything about the murders seems to be shrouded in mystery, from the identity of the killer to the letters that were sent to the police. Even the number of victims is under scrutiny. It is generally accepted that there were five victims of Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper had a real effect on, not only the rest of London, but also the entire British Empire. The legend played on the fears that poverty, crime, disease and social unrest were at their doorstep, and Jack the Ripper became the personification of all these evils.

The Mystery of Stonehenge

Built in three sections over 6,400 years by the Neolithic inhabitants of Salisbury Plain in Southern England, Stonehenge has captivated visitors for thousands of years. The site contains 30 sarcens (upright stones) weighing 26 tons and 30 lintels (horizontal top stones). Each stone weighs 6 tons and was carved from bluestone from a location several miles away. The Neolithic builders were able to create a monumental that has perplexed humanity for thousands of years using only stone tools, and without using draft animals. Even after all these years, nobody really knows why Stonehenge was built. The other mysteries surrounding Stonehenge are its construction and the significance of the giant blue stones used. As a result of the recent discovery, a new theory has emerged, one that states that Stonehenge was a place to celebrate the lives of the dead.

The Lost Island of Atlantis

One of the oldest mysteries in the world, the legend of Atlantis has mystified humanity since ancient times. According to the Greek philosopher Plato, Atlantis was a large island somewhere west of the Pillars of Hercules (the Rock of Gibraltar) and the home of an incredibly advanced civilization known as the Atlanteans. Plato described Atlantis as a place of immense beauty with a palace compound in the center of three ringed canals. He said that every king that inherited the palace would add to it, trying to surpass his predecessor and by doing so they made it a palace that surpassed any other in both beauty and wealth. The Atlanteans themselves were blessed with wealth but at the same they were incredibly ambitious, constantly seeking power. Atlantis is said to have met its end when it was hit by a giant earthquake and swallowed by the sea. But is any of this the truth or is the story of Atlantis just a myth?

The Riddle of the Sphinx

When one thinks of the Sphinx, they immediately think of the Great Sphinx at Giza, but the Sphinx was a powerful symbol in Greece, Phoenicia and Syria as well. In fact Riddle of the Sphinx originates in Greek legend. According to the ancient Greeks, if a man crossed its path the Sphinx would ask, “What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three in the evening?” If they couldn’t answer, the Sphinx would devour them; however, if they answered correctly, the Sphinx would destroy itself. The only person said to survive an encounter with the Sphinx was the Greek hero Oedipus who answered “man.” Despite the riddle being solved, the Great Sphinx still poses many questions. How old is it? Who built it? And what was the purpose of the passageways?

Lost cities found beneath sands of the Sahara

Ruins from a long-lost civilization have been revealed beneath the desert sands of the Sahara. Evidence of the advanced Garamantes civilization had remained mostly undocumented due to the strict regime of Colonel Gaddafi, but now due to recent events in Libya archaeologists have a chance to finally investigate in full the secrets of this long lost ancient culture. “It is like someone coming to England and suddenly discovered all the medieval castles,” said Proffessor David Mattingly. “These settlements had been unremarked and unrecorded under the Gaddafi regime.”

Mysterious skull discovered in Peru

An elongated skull found in the city of Andahuaylillas has managed to baffle anthropologists. The skull possesses a number of unusual features including an elongated cranium, enlarged eye sockets and a set of adult teeth despite the fact that the skull appears to belong to an infant. A group of anthropologists who visited the site to view the skull allegedly concluded that it wasn’t even human while others have suggested that it could be the product of an ancient technique known as “cradle boarding” in which the child’s skull was elongated from an early age.

Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch)

Bigfoot is world-famous for spooking the bejesus out of hikers and hunters in North America and Scientists consider Sasquatch to be the result of folklore, misidentification and a whole lot of hoaxes. However, many people still believe these humanoid creatures exist around the world, just like the Yeti of the Himalayas. One of the most infamous unexplained mysteries in the world today, Bigfoot has been described as an ape-like creature, some 6-10 feet tall, weighing more than 500 pounds, and covered in dark brown or reddish hair. Witnesses give him large eyes, a heavy brow ridge and a crested head, much like a male gorilla. Footprints allegedly belonging to Bigfoot are 24 inches long.

Black Dahlia

She was known as the “Black Dahlia”. She had jet black hair and preferred black dresses and lingerie. Those who knew her best said she had a tattoo of an exotic flower on her inner thigh. She wanted desperately to be a Hollywood actress, but her fame would not come from the movies. It would come from her death, a murder which has gone unsolved for 60 years. On a cold morning in January 1947, the nude, mutilated body of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short was discovered in a vacant lot in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles. What made the murder so unique was the barbaric nature of the crime. The Black Dahlia’s body had been neatly severed in half, gutted and drained of blood. Author Lawrence P. Scherb put the unusual crime into perspective: “Her face had been very brutally cut from ear to ear in a grin. Her throat had been cut and she had been mutilated sexually. Basically, she was the worst case of a sex crime in the history of Los Angeles County.”


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