Chicago Vice Map 1

Historic Vice Maps Of Chicago

The vice maps below were created by Levee historian Bryan Lloyd. They depict all of the bars, dives, brothels, saloons, pool halls and gambling houses in the Levee and Little Cheyenne Districts of Chicago between 1870 and 1923.

Some of my favorite place names include:

  • Rose Lovejoys
  • Bed Bug Row 10¢ Cribs
  • The Badlands
  • Suicide Hall
  • The Morgue
  • Ike The Jew
  • Blubber Bob Gray’s “The California”
  • Dreamland
  • Bucket Of Blood

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Miss NASA 1971 in the Apollo 8 at the Glen Research Center

Miss NASA Beauty Pageant

Did you know NASA had some sort of Miss NASA beauty pageant? I have found very little information on the pageant but below are all the pictures I could find of Miss NASA (click for high-resolution images, as always). It appears the pageant ran from at least 1968 through 1973. I wasn’t able to find any images of Miss NASA 1972. In fact I’m not really sure there was one. The pageants seem like they might be loosely tied to specific NASA research centers (The Glen Research Center and Lewis Research Center specifically). Does anybody have any more information on this?

Update: According to doctorlinda: Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, in an opening keynote speech at NASA’s March 8th “Women@NASA” conference, did acknowledge that NASA held a “Miss NASA beauty contest” in 1968.

Miss NASA 1968/69
Miss NASA 1968/1969 with RL-10 engine display. Rocket Operations Building, Rob Control Room. Read More

Gandhi’s Seven Blunders Of The World

I recently posted about the Nine Satanic Sins so I suppose it is only proper to post about Gandhi’s Seven Blunders Of The World.

Gandhi’s Seven dangers to human virtue is a list that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi gave to his grandson Arun Gandhi, written on a piece of paper, on their final day together, shortly before his assassination. Gandhi suggested it was from these blunders springs the “passive violence” that plagues the world. The list consists of:

  • Wealth without work.
  • Pleasure without conscience.
  • Knowledge without character.
  • Commerce without morality.
  • Science without humanity.
  • Worship without sacrifice.
  • Politics without principle.
Trainwreck from "The General"

The Most Expensive Shot Of The Silent Film Era

Trainwreck from
Gif Credit: Maudit

This gif is a clip from the single most expensive scene shot in silent film history. The film is Buster Keaton’s “The General” (1926) and had a total budget of $400,000 supplied by Metro.

It was filmed in a single take with a real train and a ‘dummy’ engineer (notice the white arm hanging out the conductor’s window). It looked so realistic that the townspeople who had come to watch screamed in horror. The looks of shock on the faces of the Union officers in the film were also real because the actors who played them were not told what was going to happen to that train. Rumor has it that a spectator even fainted.

The scene was filmed in a conifer forest near the town of Cottage Grove, Oregon. The production company left the wreckage in the river bed after the scene was filmed and the wrecked locomotive became a minor tourist attraction for nearly twenty years. The metal of the train was salvaged for scrap during World War II.

On a side note, The Denver Silent Film Festival starts next week.
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Hewlett-Packard (Still) Knows Nothing About Personal Computers

Back in 1956 Bill Hewlett was approached by tech legend Frederick Terman about obtaining a computer for the Army. Hewlett responded with the letter below. It appears from tonight’s press release that 55 years later Hewlitt-Packard still knows very little about personal computing.

Hewlett-Packard Letter

The more things change the more they stay the same. Others are writing their own predictable modern day short-form letters.

Jim Gernhart: Colorado’s Living Corpse

Jim Gernhart

In 1951 Burlington, Colorado farmer James Nelson Gernhart pulled a variation of the old “Tom Sawyer” and held a rehearsal of his own funeral. The trial run consisted of eight pallbearers carrying a casket from his home to a waiting hearse, they then attended it to the local armory, where almost half of Burlington, Colo., turned out for a funeral sermon by the Rev. S.H. Mahaffey. The local newspaper also published Jim’s obituary. Jim Gernhart continued to gain fame by holding annual funerals drawing even more attention from the media. His “last” funeral was held in 1980 after his death at the ripe old age of 103.


“Real nice funeral, ain’t it?” Gernhart once remarked. “Does a man good to see so many people out to bury him.”