My Discoveries! Stephen Hawking

What to say about this man?  He is amazing, that much is obvious.  Last night I watched a documentary he wrote and narrated.  First off, I thought he was younger.  I am not sure why I thought this, but I am not the only one.  When I asked my mum how old she thought he was, she said around 45-50.  He was born in 1942, which makes him 72.

In the video he told how even with the limitations he has, which are more than most anyone I even hear of, he still gets up each day and goes to work.  I am 51 and with just my simple issues (as compared to him) I have a hell of a hard time just getting up to take the dog out.

In looking over his Wikipedia bibliography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking) I notice I might not agree with all his beliefs and causes.  This fact does not lessen the individual at all.  When so many curl up and complain of small frustrations in their lives, want instant pain relief, and cannot function without a perfect body, he has kept active, has a great sense of humor, and has kept of keeping on.

I was looking forward to the new movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch already, but now I am really excited for it.

My Discoveries! Willard State Hospital

I ran across a FB post on a photograph exhibit of suitcases found in an attic at Willard State Hospital.  The photographer, Jon Crispin, documents items left by patients who died or left the hospital.  The website for the exhibition, The Willard Suitcase Exhibit, offers not only pictures, but history of some of the patients, pictures and history of the hospital, interviews (offered in Mp3 format) from some of the staff, and much more.

Mlle MadelineA tragic life of a very educated woman is also shown here.  Mademoiselle Madeline (Mlle. Madeline) graduated from the Sorbonne in France.  She came to America, had good jobs and lived a full life.  The Depression hit, and she got lost in it.  She couldn’t find work, according to her file, her employers considered her “odd, tactless, and domineering.”  This seems quite an expected commentary for an educated and independent woman of this time.  Her history further describes how so ended up at Willard: Unable to find steady work during the Depression, Madeline was referred to the Emergency Work Bureau. They found her unemployable, and referred her for outpatient mental health treatment; this led to her 1931 admission to the psychiatric unit at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.  After being put on anti-psychotic drugs for being basically stubborn and not willing to just stay in an institutional life, she had a serious reaction.  Her face and hands began to twitch, and she ended up having a grimace on her face (tardive dyskinesia).  She was then given ‘attitude therapy’ to try to get her to stop the grimace.  She ended up dying in care, which lasted 47 years.  Her gravesite is unknown.

What is really sad is the average patient stay was 30 years!  I have a hard time really wrapping my head around being in a hospital of any kind for 30 years.  In just reading some of the histories offered, the ignorance of the time is just so unreal.  One patient, Fraulein Theresa, was stated as being, “noisy, resistive, ugly, and delusional.”  Some of the other patients are referred to as just being noisy, but basically normal.

Faulein Theresa- Jon Crispin
Faulein Theresa- Jon Crispin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Dmytro - Jon Crispin
Mr. Dmytro – Jon Crispin

Another patient, Mr. Dmytro, who was originally from the Ukraine spoke with such a heavy accent, the staff had problems communicating with him.  So…he was thus made to endure 20 electroshock treatments, which did not help at all.

These patients listed on the website lived and died in this hospital.  For a time they were even unpaid laborers for the hospital.  From the information offered, it appears the last patient left in 1995.  I would think some place like this would fit in with the 19th century.  It is hard to believe this state of affairs lasted so long.

From just the few cases shown and the pictures of the cemetery, it is clear many patients will never be accounted for to bury properly.  Such a sad life for so many people.

As you look at the pictures and listen to the voices, try to embrace the history offered here.  These are lessons we can learn from right now.  Much the same is now happening in the criminal justice system.  People are being sentenced to jail and prison for very minor infractions, then being tossed around until they are so acclimated to prison, they know no other life.  I could go on and on with this subject, but I will not bore you.  Appreciate the art of Jon Crispin, and all the history offered on his page.

My Discoveries! Bridgend, Wales

This is a really sad discovery.  I had never heard of The Bridgend Suicides, and I guess the reason why is due to the date of the release of the below mentioned film.  Bridgend, was released on November 11, 2014, and since I don’t live in the U.K. I was never introduced to this tragedy.  It appears People Magazine ran a story about it, as did many U.K. papers. 

I have studied the suicides of teenagers which often occur within days and weeks of each other.  This phenomenon happens quite frequently on Native American and Alaskan Native lands.  There are specialists who will attend to the young people specifically right after the death/suicide of a fellow peer on the Native American lands.  I am not so sure about what happens on Native Alaskan lands, as they have been reported to be somewhat closed off to the ‘white man’ for research purposes. 

This is a compelling and chilling documentary.  One of the deaths, a young man who talks in the first half of the film, is especially chilling.  The film left me with all sorts of questions about the socioeconomic causes, biological causes, psychological issues, and even entertaining some conspiracy theories which are frequently tossed around in the U.S., namely poisoning the water/air, or some sort of nefarious testing on the youth.  Please watch if you can.  It is offered on all sorts of venues, I watched mine off Netflix.   

Bridgend, the Movie

Since 2007 ninety-nine young people have been found hanged in Bridgend, South Wales. Most of the victims knew each other, and with few exceptions, none of them left notes. Many in the town believed a serial killer was at large, others assumed it was a suicide cult. The deaths have struck fear and unrest into the hearts of most. Headlines splashed across the UK have earned Bridgend the nickname: Death Town.

Bridgend is the groundbreaking documentary that investigates the events that caused the sleepy little town to become the subject of gruesome speculation across the United Kingdom. Many of the victims were pretty young girls who typically do not commit suicide by violent methods. The film traces their final hours and shines a light on a shocking story that needs to be told.

My Discovery: Pope Joan

I know, I am always starting new serials, bear with me. 

I am coming across topics/issues which I have never heard of before.  They may be way out there, controversial, or just interesting to me, and I am okay with any of these.  I am just sharing because the topic/issue appealed to me, and since you follow me, I am assuming you are a bit out there like me.  No one is required to like all of the posts, or comment on all of them.  I am just sharing!

 

This first one really caught me by surprise.  I have always enjoyed and been fascinated with the story of Joan of Arc, be it Hollywood presented or History Channel.  The Pope Joan really seemed odd to me, and the evidence shown is really compelling. 

Pope Joan

Pope Joan Biography

Folk Hero, Religious Figure, Pope (b. c. 853)

Pope Joan is a Medieval religious leader believed by some to have been a female pontiff who reigned over the Roman Catholic Church, who dismisses her as myth.

Pope Joan is a Medieval religious leader believed by some to have been a female pontiff who reigned over the Roman Catholic Church, who dismisses her as myth. She allegedly assumed the name John Anglicus, disguising herself as a man and eventually becoming pope. It is believed that her story was discovered when she gave birth to her child, which led to her immediate execution.

Medieval religious leader. Pope Joan is believed by some to have been a female pontiff who reigned over the Roman Catholic Church for a short time in the mid-800s. But her existence has been dismissed by the church as purely a myth. Still others point to evidence in documents and artwork that indicates a woman once held the highest position in the church.

It is thought that she grew up in Mainz, Germany, and studied Greek and Latin at a monastery founded by English missionaries. At the time, girls were not educated so Pope Joan may have disguised herself as a boy in order to pursue her studies. She allegedly fell in love with a monk and went with him to Athens disguised as a fellow monk. Assuming the name John Anglicus, she later moved to Rome. A talented scribe, she worked as a papal notary and rose up the ranks within the Vatican, eventually becoming a cardinal.

Elected pontiff around 855, Pope Joan supposedly reigned as Pope John VIII. Sources vary on the length of her time at the helm of the church from a few weeks to more than two years. Some theorized that her term came between Pope Leo IV and Benedict III. Unfortunately, according to the stories, her secret was uncovered during a papal procession. Pregnant at the time, Pope Joan was on her way to the Church of the Lateran in Rome when she began having contractions. Learning that the pope was having a baby, the people reacted in horror. Most reports indicate that she was killed that day, either by stoning or by being dragged behind a horse. Later popes avoided the crossroads where Pope Joan was supposedly killed, which was called the Vicus Papissa, or street of the female pope.

For centuries, the mystery of Pope Joan has lingered. Author Donna Woolfolk Cross spent seven years researching the female pontiff mystery and the related time period for her historical novel Pope Joan (1996). She told ABC??s Primetime Live that she believed that Pope Joan was a real person based on the material available, having found ??over 500 chronicle accounts of her existence.?? Mentions of Pope Joan can be found in a book by poet Giovanni Boccaccio and many other sources and images of a female pontiff can be seen in numerous artworks, including sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini at the Basilica in St. Peter??s Square.

A feature film about this legendary figure is reportedly in the works, based on Cross??s novel.

http://www.biography.com/people/pope-joan-279083#profile