Thursday, November 26, 2015

Marilyn Monroe & Turkey

next episode: Minneapolis

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Republic of Hatay (Hatay State)

When you look at the map of Turkey you see a little protrusion in the southern corner near the Mediterranean Sea. During the Ottoman Empire this was the Sanjak (governorate) of Alexandretta. After WW1 it became part of Syria.

The population of the Sanjak included: Turks, Arabs of various religious denominations (Sunni Muslims, Alawites, Greek Orthodox), Greek Catholics, Syriac-Maronites, Jews, Syriacs, Kurds, and Armenians.

Atatürk, founder of the state of Turkey, had his eye on this strategically located county. After a bit of ethnic clansing the sanjak declared its independence under the name Hatay State in 1938. One year later, after a more or less framed referendum, Hatay became a Turkish province.

The capital city is Alexandretta, it was founded by Alexander the Great around 330 BC. Thousand years later the Arabs conquered it and translated its name into Iskenderun (Iskender means Alexander in Arabic).

Another famous city in Hatay is Antakya, the present name for the ancient city of Antioch.

At the southeastern border of Hatay the Russian fighter jet was shot down by Turkey.

next episode: another turkey

Monday, November 23, 2015

Berlin - Führerbunker

The location of the Führerbunker, the last hideout of Hitler in May 1945 

The site remained unmarked until 2006, when an information bord was installed

(photos by RfA, 2008)

next episode: Marilyn

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gene Tierney Day !

Gene Tierney, March 11, 1946

Gene Tierney (1920–1991) was born in Brooklyn, NY on November 19, 1920. Her best known role is the enigmatic murder victim in Laura (1944).

Her first daughter, Daria, was born mentally retarded because Gene had contracted measles when pregnant during a USO. show. A woman told her later that she was so eager to see Tierney at the show that she broke quarantine).

During her first film she discovered that her voice was too high and it was suggested that she take up smoking to lower her voice. It worked, but she eventually died of emphysema.

She had her share of love affairs during her Hollywood reign, including a notorious one with John F. Kennedy before his marriage, whom she met while filming Dragonwyck (1946).

Tierney was in the throes of suicidal depression and was admitted to the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, on Christmas Day in 1957, after police talked her down from a building ledge. There she underwent the first of several lengthy treatments for chronic depression, from which she never fully recovered.

next episode: fuhrer

Saturday, November 14, 2015


African Guinea - J.B. Homann, Nuernberg (1743)

The name Guinea has always been confusing for me. Several countries are named Guinea.

South-America: Guyana
Africa: Guinée, Equatorial Guinea (2000 km apart from each other)
Oceania: Papua New Guinea

The origin of the term is uncertain. It entered English and other European languages by way of the Portuguese word Guiné, applied by fifteenth-century mariners to the African coast south of the Senegal River. How the term entered Portuguese is unknown. Some have linked it to various Berber words for dark-skinned people, others to the major commercial city of Djenné, located far inland on the Niger River. A third theory holds that 'Guinea' comes from the medieval kingdom (or empire) of Ghana, located in modern Mali and Mauritania.
A guinea (British coin)

In the eighteenth century, European geographers applied the term 'Guinea' very broadly to the West African coasts. As this area had long been the main source of gold for Europe and the Mediterranean region, British gold coins minted between 1663 and 1813 were called 'guineas', eventually valued at one pound plus one shilling.

New Guinea north of Australia (ca. 1600)

The designation of 'New Guinea' for the massive island north of Australia dates to 1545, when it was bestowed by the Spanish mariner Yñigo Ortiz de Retez on the basis of the indigenous inhabitants’ physical resemblance to the people of Africa’s Guinea coast.

Guyana in South America - Jan Janssonius (1636)

Guinea is occasionally confused with Guyana (Guiana), a term referencing the northeastern coast of South America. Both refer to coastal strips that were formerly divided among European powers:  The two terms are not etymologically related, as 'Guyana' probably stems from a local word meaning “land of many waters.”

source: GeoCurrents

next episode: Gene day

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Handsome president Franklin Pierce

Daguerreotype of President Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), holding a top hat and cane.

He was the 14th President of the United States (1853–1857) and is the only president from New Hampshire. Pierce was the only President to affirm the oath rather than swear it (instead of a bible a law book was used), and he gave his 3,319-word inaugural address from memory, without the aid of notes. Future Confederate President Jefferson Davis was a close friend and his Secretary of War. Pierce was a Democrat and a 'doughface' (a Northerner with Southern sympathies) who also served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

next episode: guinea

Friday, November 6, 2015


Capri Harbor (source)

Capri is an island on the south side of the Gulf of Naples, Italy. The main town Capri on the island shares the name. It has been a resort since the time of the Roman Republic.

next episode: handsome man

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Adrienne Dore

Adrienne Dore, 1932 (photo by Elmer Fryer)

next episode: Capri


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