Harry Houdini Born March 24, 1874

Harry-Houdini_Water-TortureHarry Houdini AKA Erik Weisz was born on March 24, 1874 in Budapest Hungary.  His parents were Mayer Samuel Weiss a rabbinical lawyer and Cecilia Sterner.  Erik was the fourth of seven children.  The family moved to the United States in 1878 and settled in Appleton Wisconsin where his father got work as a Rabbi.

The position of Rabbi would not last long and the family found themselves living in poverty in Milwaukee.  At this time Erik whose first name would slowly change to Harry ran away from home.  He changed his last name to White and was trying to make it to Galveston Texas.  This however did not occur and the family had again moved, this time to New York, Harry would soon join them there.

In New York, Harry’s father found work on a sawing bench, Harry was working as a tie cutter and was now in his teens.  It was during this time that Harry read the Memoirs of Robert Houdin, a famous French magician.  Harry became fascinated with the working of illusion and a dream began.

Harry soon adapted a stage name by adding an I to Houdin and Harry Houdini was born.

Harry’s first act was that of a team called The Brothers Houdini, but this was not actually the case.  He performed the act with a co worker by the name of Jacob Hyman.  The crowd pleaser of the act was The Metamorphosis.  This was a substitution trunk trick which supposedly csat Harry $25.00.  Hyman was soon replaced by Harry’s real brother Theo, who was nick named Dash.

The real Houdini Brothers then began to perform in a number of venues including the midway of The Columbia Exposition in 1893 and Coney Island.  It was in Coney Island that Harry would meet Bess Rahner, a showgirl in an act called The Floral Sisters.  After a brief three week courtship the couple was married much to the dismay of Bess’s family who were Catholic.

The act was now renamed The Houdini’s and Bess and Harry traveled the country getting any work they could.  They would, of course, do the standard act that Harry had created, but they also worked in other show business venues including doing comedy sketches and card tricks.  Harry even masqueraded as Projea The Wild Man of Mexico in a circus sideshow.

In 1899 Harry was seen by Martin Beck, A Vaudeville great.  Beck told Harry to get rid of the magic act part of his performance and start concentrating on The Metamorphosis and Harry’s handcuff escapes which had become a staple of the act by this time.  Harry took the advice and Beck booked Harry in his circuit of theaters in the west.  Harry soon began to promote his act by escaping the handcuffs in local jails using actual police cuffs.  This gave Harry plenty of press coverage and insured an audience for his shows.

Soon Beck booked Harry for a tour of Europe, but when the Houdini’s reached London they found that the bookings had not actually been secured.  So, Harry came up with a plan and ended up escaping handcuffs at the great Scotland Yard.  The European act was then insured complete success

Returning to The United States Harry quickly went to work to secure his fame in his adapted country.  He was invited to escape from the infamous Murderers Row after he had had successfully escaped from the cells of many other prisons.  The prison was along the eastern branch of the Potomac River in Washington and the cell Harry would escape from once held the man who had assassinated President James Garfield.  Harry did not only escape the cell, he also rearranged all the other prisoners in the wing, moving them from one cell to another.

According To John Cox, “Now it wasn’t just handcuffs that harry could be challenged with.  It was anything man could devise.  He freed himself from government mail bags, a giant football, riveted boilers, packing crates, a convict ship, and an iron maiden.  In New York he escaped from a packing crate after it was nailed shut, and dropped into a river.  He would later escape from a straightjacket while suspended by his ankles 100s of feet in the air.  All of his outdoor escapes drew tens of thousands of spectators.  Before long, Houdini was the highest paid entertained in Vaudeville”

Harry’s working life continued to be along the lines of escape artistry and magic, but his personal life took a different turn.  In the early part of the twentieth century, society had become much involved in what is known as spiritualism.  Spiritualism allowed you to connect to the world of the dead through a medium.  Harry had worked much of his life around circus people and magicians and he knew most of this was fakery.  He set out to debunk the whole thing.  And he had great success, exposing some of the most notable mediums of the time.

Harry at one time became great friends with the author of The Sherlock Holmes series of books and stories, Arthur Conan Doyle.  The friendship was strained however as Doyle believed in spiritualism and Harry did not.  One has to ask, what Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes would think of his creator’s beliefs.

Houdini would go on to perform many other escapes even going so far as to allow himself to be buried in a coffin under a tone of sand.  In 1926 Houdini was performing in Montreal Canada.  A college student entered his dressing room and, believing that Harry could with stand any blow to his stomach. the student struck him several times.  Harry ignored the pain and went on stage and then with a fever well over a hundred degrees Harry went to perform in Detroit Michigan.  It was there with a fever of 104 degrees that Harry gave in and went to the hospital.

At the hospital it was discovered that his appendix had ruptured and he had appendicitis, after a second operation to save him Harry Houdini died on Halloween 1926.  His last words were reported as being “I’m tired of fighting.”

Harry Houdini Born March 24, 1874 was contributed by a Myth

The 4 best roles of Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone has more or less admitted that his days of being an action hero are over after confirming that he will no longer be playing the iconic John Rambo ever again. On the UK chat show, The Jonathan Ross Show, he also stated that he plans to act in movies that have a stronger dramatic theme.

The 69 year old actor, who is born from Italian heritage, won a Golden Globe award for his latest movie, Creed, a spinoff to his hit boxing themed movie series, Rocky. He has also been nominated for an Oscar award for Best Supporting Actor for the same picture. Stallone has had an illustrious career so far, and it will be interesting to see how it continues from here.

Although it is strongly believed that both his career and his acting ability is one dimensional, let’s examine those claims by delving into some of his best work to see if that holds up to scrutiny.

1. Rocky

The one that started it all, Rocky has a heavy historical making of process that almost saw Stallone never get to play the title character! The Rocky films have been heavily parodied throughout the years, and one would be forgiven for mostly referring to the unrealistic fight sequences to come to the conclusion that the Rocky movies, especially the sequels, are nothing but cheesy B-fiction. But the original installment had a substantial dramatic approach that was mainly character driven. The fight scenes at the end were narratively told with a highlight effect with the exception of the first and last rounds. It was really only from the third film on that things started to go toward the route of fantastical, as even the first sequel contained many elements that the first picture employed.

2. Copland

Copland was sadly the start of Stallone’s 1990’s demise, and it was unjustifiably so. You have to give credit where it’s due when an actor, mainly known for playing peripheral characters, dips his toe in deeper waters. Copland is a relatively indeterminate film about police corruption in New Jersey. Stallone plays half deaf sheriff, Freddy Heflin. Instead of seemingly infinite shootouts and car chases, Copland is a dramatic thriller that takes its time to unfold. But sadly for Sly, the film sunk and has disappeared without much of a vocal recalling from anybody. That is a shame, but that goes to show the extensive damage that stereotyping can achieve. Do your best to seek this one out should you be in the least bit curious!

3. Daylight

This road tunnel disaster movie was released in 1996 and was probably the last great action film that Stallone acted in that decade before roaring back ten years later with Rambo in 2008. Kit Latura is a former fire commander who was once involved in a rescue attempt that went tragically wrong. When a tunnel in New York City collapses and attempts to persuade the authorities that he should be involved doesn’t materialise, he sets about going it alone to search for any survivors and getting them out. Daylight’s narrative always made sure that the action scenes had their consequences for the characters involved, some really serious in particular. But being a disaster picture, one should expect that. It is a little more serious than what Sylvester had done up to that point, possibly with the exception of the 1980’s film, Over The Top due to that film’s own main theme of what a devoted father would do to get rightful custody of his son. Right up until the end, you never know whether Kit will ever make it out alive with the rest of them! Daylight is one of those movies you watch every time it shows on television.

4. Creed

Okay, so the author here admittedly thought that the new Rocky spinoff was rather dry and could not connect with the film’s main protagonist. But there must be a reason why Stallone was nominated for an Oscar and has already won a Golden Globe award for it! Being mindful to not include any spoilers due to Creed’s still current release, the character of Rocky Balboa has to fight a battle that is a lot different to what he has faced before, all the while training the son of his former nemesis, Apollo Creed. Sometimes there was a feeling of Deja Vu when watching this movie, and memories of Rocky V may come to the minds of a few, but Creed was still different enough to separate itself in particular from the creative camp feeling of Rocky III and Rocky IV and is more in line with Rocky Balboa and the first two installments. Creed 2 is set for a 2017 release with Stallone again taking a close back seat.

The post The 4 best roles of Sylvester Stallone appeared first on Age of The Nerd.

Pop-Up Masturbation Booth Opens In New York City

GuyFi1

(PCM) Yes, this is probably as disgusting as it sounds! Sex toy company Hot Octopuss has placed what appears to be a phone booth at the corner of 28th and Fifth Avenue, however it’s purpose is definitely not for making a phone call. The purpose of the booth is to give users a place to shell out some self-love in a private setting when they are unable to make it back to the safety of their bedrooms and/or bathroom stalls at work.

The company claims that they had the idea after a Time Out survey revealed that 39% of men admitted that they masturbate a work.  Hot Octopuss figured they would save them that embarrassment and just create a private booth right on the street.

The booth contains a folding chair and a computer for looking up just what you would imagine and it has already been getting a ton of “traffic”! We are hoping that is more out of curiosity, however you never know these days!

Hot Octopus founder Adam Lewis had the following to say about their “GuyFi” booth:

“At Hot Octopuss we are all about looking for new solutions to improve everyday life and we feel we’ve done just that with the new GuyFi booth. We hope the city’s men enjoy using the space we’ve created in whatever way they want. It’s completely free of charge… all that we ask is they thank us when they get their promotion!”

Obviously there are some strong questions about legality surrounding setting up an alleged masturbation booth in the middle of Manhattan, so of course the company has covered its’ bases by saying:

“We may be insinuating that these booths could be used in whichever way anyone would like to ‘self soothe,’…but the brand is not actively encouraging people to masturbate in public as that is an illegal offense.”

Right, sure you’re not! Either way the booth definitely has people talking and we are sure it’s just a matter of time before the protests for it’s removal begin.

Pop-Up Masturbation Booth Opens In New York City was contributed by a Myth

Village Of Whitesboro Votes To Keep Their Offensive Town Seal

Whitesboro-Seal

(PCM) Back in June an image of the town seal for the village of Whitesboro, New York was posted on Reddit and was met with immediate backlash and controversy. The seal which very much appears to show a white man choking a Native American was voted for 157 to 55 and this means it’s here to stay.

The founder of the village, Henry White claims that the seal does not feature any type of violence or choking taking place between the white man and the Native American, but rather the two are engaged in a “friendly wrestling match” … (yeah, we are not seeing that either!)

He goes on to say that those “wrestling matches” helped foster good relations between White and Native Americans.  The mayor of the village Patrick O’Conner also tends to agree that it does appear that there is a bit of strangulation going on, however he also feels that historical facts need to be taken into consideration before the seal could be permanently removed. He also says that he is not offended by it in the least.

After the Reddit posting a petition was crafted to urge the village to change the seal, however after last night’s vote it is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Village Of Whitesboro Votes To Keep Their Offensive Town Seal was contributed by a Myth

Village Of Whitesboro Votes To Keep Their Offensive Town Seal

Whitesboro-Seal

(PCM) Back in June an image of the town seal for the village of Whitesboro, New York was posted on Reddit and was met with immediate backlash and controversy. The seal which very much appears to show a white man choking a Native American was voted for 157 to 55 and this means it’s here to stay.

The founder of the village, Henry White claims that the seal does not feature any type of violence or choking taking place between the white man and the Native American, but rather the two are engaged in a “friendly wrestling match” … (yeah, we are not seeing that either!)

He goes on to say that those “wrestling matches” helped foster good relations between White and Native Americans.  The mayor of the village Patrick O’Conner also tends to agree that it does appear that there is a bit of strangulation going on, however he also feels that historical facts need to be taken into consideration before the seal could be permanently removed. He also says that he is not offended by it in the least.

After the Reddit posting a petition was crafted to urge the village to change the seal, however after last night’s vote it is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Village Of Whitesboro Votes To Keep Their Offensive Town Seal was contributed by a Myth

DUI Charge Dismissed For New York Woman Who Claims Her Body Brews Alcohol

DUI

(PCM) A New York woman was recently charged with a DUI when she blew over four times the legal alcohol limit when stopped by police, however the entire case was ultimately dismissed after it was revealed that the woman suffers from a condition known as “auto-brewery syndrome”. As it turns out, medically speaking, the woman’s body brews its’ own alcohol.

The disorder is sometimes also referred to as gut-fermentation syndrome and it is extremely rare. It occurs when abnormal amounts of gastrointestinal yeast convert common food carbohydrates into ethanol. The process is thought to take place in the small bowel, and is vastly different from the normal gut fermentation in the large bowel that gives our bodies energy.

When taken to the hospital by police the woman wasn’t showing any symptoms at all that matched her blood alcohol content, so immediately questions were raised and the doctor ordered further tests which confirmed that the woman did indeed suffer from the disorder. The woman’s lawyer was in touch with about 30 other people who suffer from the same condition. Those individuals  can function at alcohol levels such as 0.30 and 0.40 when the average person would be comatose or dying. Part of the mystery of this syndrome is how these people can have extremely high levels and still be walking around and talking and going about normal everyday life.

They do not even begin to exhibit any symptoms of being intoxicated until their bodies reach levels of about 0.30 or 0.40 and even then are only slightly wobbly on their feet. Their bodies appear to take on the abilities of a functioning alcoholic where the body is able to adapt itself to high levels of alcohol being present.

While this woman’s case was ultimately dismissed due to her medical condition, it looks like the D.A. does plan to appeal. Currently, the woman is working on treatment for her condition by using anti-fungal medications and consuming a yeast-free diet with no sugar, alcohol and extremely low carbs.

 

 

DUI Charge Dismissed For New York Woman Who Claims Her Body Brews Alcohol was contributed by a Myth

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