4 Christmas Performances That Are Guaranteed To Get You In The Christmas Spirit

We’ve already gone about the history of the classic holiday tunes that we all grew up listening to, but who was it that got us listening to them in the first place?

These songs have been in the public domain for years, and we all know the words, but there’s only ever one person that can do them justice.

Burl Ives was a famous singer and banjoist who really popularized this song in the film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, where he played “Sam the Snowman”.

His character was allowed to used the banjo throughout his narration which is what Ives was most known for. This is probably where you first heard the jolly tune!

It should come as no surprise that the most famous Christmas song was performed at one time by the Fab Four!

There have been many other covers by artists over the years, but the song also has the noteriety for being the first song played in outer space! In 1965, the crew aboard the Gemini 6 played their rendition of Jingle Bells after spotting an “unusual object” flying out of the North Pole.

Nat King Cole actually released 3 different versions of this song. The first was in 1946, but Cole hated it so much he demanded that they redo it. They tried again in 1953, this time with a whole orchestra arrangement instead of just a string section like the first time.

Finally, they gave it a final go in 1961 and created what has become the definitive version of a necessary Christmastime classic.

Bing Crosby has actually sang many, many holiday melodies over the years, but this is considered to be his crowning achievement. Songwriter Irving Berlin also believed that this was not only the greatest song he ever came up with, but maybe the best anyone has ever written!

Which of these Christmas carols is your absolute favorite? Share this with your friends to get them into the holiday spirit!

Meghan Markle Is Breaking Royal Tradition In More Ways Than One

The world is officially gushing over the latest royal engagement, and a lot of it has to do with the bride-to-be, Meghan Markle. A proud feminist, an American, and a celebrity in her own right, she brings a new face to the monarchy that suits Prince Harry and his youthful intricacies.

But there are some things about this couple that are breaking new ground in the way that the royals handle things.

ABC News

Clearly, Meghan is not the same as princesses past, but this minor difference has been seized upon by both contrarians and supporters to the engaged couple.

Growing up in the working class is the polar opposite of what the British royal family  could ever imagine. Meghan’s father was a lighting director, and her mother a social support worker and yoga instructor.

Meghan worked her way into show business and has now reached amazing heights, but it is definitely not the typical royal story.

While not completely unheard of, a prince marrying a divorcee is always going to cause a stir at the reception. Meghan was previously married to producer Trevor Engelson, and while it is obvious that Prince Harry has no concerns, the Queen notably skipped Prince Charles’ wedding ceremony because of Camilla Parker-Bowles former marriage. Will she miss this one too?

There hasn’t been an American union to the royal family in over 80 years, but the circumstances were much more unusual then, in a time where it would have been much more scandalous.

When King Edward VIII decided he wanted to marry the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson, he in fact abdicated the throne and became the Duke of Windsor in order to marry her.

American celebrities have been quick to congratulate the trans-Atlantic couple on their upcoming marriage.

Are you surprised by any of these facts?

1994 Olympic Judge Opens Up About Tonya Harding’s Broken Lace Incident

Tension between figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan started weeks before the 1994 Winter Olympic Games were scheduled to begin in Lillehammer, Norway.

On January 6th, Kerrigan had just completed a practice session when she was vicioulsy attacked by a hitman named Shane Stant. The assailant fled the scene, but video footage of Kerrigan crying and asking, “Why? Why me?” was later leaked to the public.

Everyone was quick to point fingers at her rival, Tonya Harding, for being the behind the attack that almost knocked Kerrigan out of the competition. Harding denied the allegations, but investigators later confirmed that in addition to Stant, Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly and bodyguard, Shawn Eric Eckardt, were responsible for “the whack heard around the world,” as the media often dubbed it.

si.com

In exchange for a lighter sentence, Gillooly testified against Harding. She then pleaded guilty and was placed on a three-year probation plus 500 hours of community service. She also received a $100,000 fine, and was banned from the USFA for life.

However, depending on who you ask, Harding’s punishment came much earlier.

In what could be touted as karma, Harding came in eighth place and missed the podium after a mishap occurred on the ice: her skate lace broke and she wasn’t allowed a redo. Kerrigan, on the other hand, took home the silver medal.

E Online/Daily Mail

Now, 23 years since the scandal, Harding is back in the spotlight thanks to the new biopic I, Tonya, which shies away from painting the disgraced skater as a villain. The renewed public interest in the story prompted one of the Olympic judges to share her recollection of the famous broken lace incident. Audrey Williams, now 85, also opened up about her feelings towards Harding in the interview with Cosmopolitan.

Williams told the publication that Harding shouldn’t have been allowed to participate in the Olympics at all because she was the subject of an ongoing investigation. She revealed that all of the judges felt the same way, but neither the U.S. Figure Skating Association nor the Olympic Committee did anything to stop her.

“There were a lot of athletes that certainly didn’t get the attention they should have got because of the Kerrigan and Tonya Harding mishap, and that was really sad,” Williams said.

The New York Times

As for the broken lace incident, Williams admitted that she “just couldn’t believe it,” noting that Harding has pulled a similar “trick” in the past.

Williams explained, “I was a referee at a Skate America in Dallas, and she missed her triple axel, and she came up [and] said her blade was loose. I didn’t feel any weakness on the blade. And so I gave it to an international skating union man that was there and I said, ‘You try it.’ And he said, ‘Let’s let her have another chance.'”

The Canadian judge added that Harding always came up with a “problem” whenever things didn’t go her way.

“I only saw her do it twice, but I know she did it other times — either her dress or her skate blade or her lace [had a problem]. And it was the lace at the Olympics,” she said.

Autostraddle

Williams recalled the dramatic moment Harding lifted up her skate to show the judges the broken lace, but no one was buying it. She said that it didn’t make “any difference in the way that she [skated]; she didn’t really skate that well. She didn’t get her triple axel in, so it didn’t change where I had her.”

When asked if Harding would’ve had a better chance at making it on the podium if Kerrigan wasn’t attacked and she skated her best, Williams replied, “No. There were too many better skaters.”

As for Harding’s innocence, Williams said, “I just don’t know. I can’t honestly say one way or the other. I hope she didn’t. But I can’t say she didn’t. We’ll never know.”

Do you believe that Tonya Harding’s lace was really broken?

10 Towns With Names So Funny You’ll Be Convinced They Aren’t Real

Have you ever wondered where (or what) your town got its name from? In most cases it often dates back to where it’s located, or maybe even to an event that happened in the area hundreds of years ago. However, in the case of these 10 towns, we’re pretty sure somebody was just having a good laugh.

LancasterOnline

You probably just snickered as much as I did at this name, but its origins are decidedly more tame than its name would suggest. The town was originally called Cross Keys, and it changed its name in 1814. Some say it’s because of the “Enter Course” sign that was above its old racetrack, while others say it’s for the original meaning of “intercourse” – which meant “everyday social and business connections and interactions.”

Evolution Control

Sure would hate to say you came from there, wouldn’t you? It’s an abandoned ghost town that formed around the Ryan’s Camp logging camp. Because of its remote location, it was often said that only an idiot would move there.

Toad Suck

This one dates back to the days of riverboats. The town sits on the edge of the river, and its tavern was a frequent stop for the sailors, who would apparently “suck on the bottle [of alcohol] until they swelled up like toads.”

Bell County

So, for starters, the town is located in Texas’s Bell County, and was the home of general store owner Zulius Bell and his nephew Bert. One day they Bells commissioned a sign for their general store, which ended up being of two bells with “Ding Dong” written underneath. The name stuck as the town expanded.

The names just get more ridiculous from here…

CTV

This name kind of makes sense if you know old French, and even then only barely. A “haha” is an archaic French term for an obstacle or dead end, which in this case (for explorers in the area) was Lake Témiscouata.

Mississippi Travel

Travelers on their way to Mobile in the 1800s would often stop into the “Hot Coffee Inn,” where owner Levi Davis would offer them ginger cookies and, of course, a cup of its eponymous drink. As a town sprouted up around the inn, the name stuck.

Imgur

This ghost town that now just consists of a few residents and a church got its name in the early 1900s, after general store owner Marvin Cornelius gave a cookie to a young boy, who exclaimed, “I don’t want to leave Cookietown.”

Daily Mail

This village in southwestern England was used to house members of the Royal Air Force during World War II. Author Christopher Hitchens actually lived there in his youth, and laments the town’s unfortunate name in his autobiography.

CTV

This town dates back all the way to as early as 1711, and its name can likely be traced to a phallus-shaped pin stuck in the edging of a row boat to act as a pivot for the oar. Fun fact: Dildo Island is just off the coast!

Wikimedia

While those who suffered through the water crisis would probably just describe the entire state as “Hell,” there actually is a town bearing that name (only 294 miles from Paradise no less!) Soon after Michigan gained statehood, founder George Reeves was asked what he thought the town he helped settle should be called and replied, “I don’t care, you can name it Hell for all I care.” The name became official on October 13, 1841.

Which name do you have the hardest time believing is true?

15-Year-Old Brooke Shields Was The Center Of A Massive Controversy, But Now No One Remembers Why

At one point in the ’80s, supermodel and actress Brooke Shields was arguably the most famous teenager on the planet. However, her road to stardom was paved with a number of controversies.

Managed by her mother, Teri, Shields had her first taste of the limelight as a model for a soap ad at the age of eleven months. She continued to appear in ads as a toddler, and at the tender age of 10, the child model posed nude in a series of photographs taken by Garry Gross. Teri commissioned the photos in 1975 because she wanted to turn her little girl into a star.

A few years later, Shields was 12 when she made her silver screen debut in Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby (1978). That’s also when she got caught in the middle of her first scandal.

See, Shields played the role of a preteen prostitute, Violet, in the red-light district of New Orleans, and although she garnered critical acclaim, many members of the public were furious.

In an interview she gave a few years ago, Shields recalled her mother saying that as long as she liked the role she played, “then f**k ‘em if they can’t handle it.”

With her mom cheering her on, Shields landed an even more controversial role as Emmeline Lestrange in the film adaptation of Henry De Vere Stacpoole’s novel “The Blue Lagoon.” She was just 14-years-old at the time, but had to film a number of nude scenes. The production team found it challenging to keep her covered so they had to tape her long hair on her breasts during topless frontal shots.

The infamously sexy film shocked the audience when it premiered in 1980, and decades later, an adult Shields was implicated in some legal matters concerning child sexual exploitation.

Famed film critic Roger Ebert gave the movie 1.5 stars, and said that it “made him itch,” while popular gossip columnist Rona Barrett claimed “it borders on kiddie porn.”

The negative reviews did not seem to phase the film’s director, Randal Grease Kleiser or thousands of moviegoers, who helped make it a box-office success.

“It’s an R-rated film I hope parents take their kids to see,” said Kleiser. Well, he was right. The movie grossed over $58 million in the U.S. and Canada, and even got nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

Shields soon started appearing on the front page of newspapers and magazine covers, including The New York Times and People. All of these publications addressed Shields’s underage nudity, and the notorious sex scene that scandalized viewers.

The film’s creators and Shield’s later testified in front of U.S. Congress that many of her nude scenes were done by a body double.

“You sort of desensitise yourself to anything sexual. In Blue Lagoon, I’m using a glue gun, taping my hair, anything I can so my body doesn’t show I have boobs,” Shields said in an interview with The Guardian. And I didn’t realise I was doing it, because I was a kid. I was in a cocoon with my mom.”

However, amidst all the frenzy, Shields’s stage mother was negotiating a modelling contract for a provocative campaign that would change her life forever, and turn her into a household name for years to come.

In 1980, Shields’s mother signed a career-boosting opportunity for her daughter to appear in a series of Calvin Klein ads. At the time, Klein was the first high-fashion designer to launch a diffusion denim line, so Shields had a unique opportunity to make an even bigger name for herself by being the face of the company.

However, what many people did not expect was the overtly sexy print advertisements and commercials that would follow.

Photographer Richard Avedon took a series of snaps of a 15-year-old Shields posing in interesting positions while wearing the skin-tight designer jeans. Some of these photos were then accompanied with provocative tag lines, including one where Shields asks, “Do you want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing!”

Not everyone was on board with these campaigns and the commercial was immediately banned by ABC and CBS, because network executives and some viewers believed the ad was insinuating that an underage Shields wasn’t wearing any underwear, which was deemed inappropriate.

When Klein was asked why he opted to market his denim line in that fashion, he replied, “Jeans are sex.” He added, “The tighter they are, the better they sell.”

He wasn’t exaggerating when he made that famous statement. The buzz-worthy campaigns featuring Shields helped the brand rake in $2 million in sales every month, according to Vogue. The iconic too-sexy-for-TV ad became cemented in popular culture, and even today, it is referred to as “one of the most memorable commercials ever.”

Just when Shields and Calvin Klein thought the hype had died down, the Justice Department launched an investigation into the brand’s exploitation of underage models. The case did not get much traction and was eventually dropped.

What all these controversies really did was help the young model and starlet catapult to fame. She became of the world’s biggest celebrities, but she admitted that she is “still kind of shocked” that the ad campaign “became so legendary.”

“For me, it was just a huge job I went to after school at 3 o’clock. The one with my leg up, I just remember my arm hurting,” Shields told New York Post. “You can’t plan on being iconic.”

She also still can’t wrap her mind around why people were so appalled by her pose and tagline.

“The controversy [over saying ‘You wanna know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.’] didn’t surprise me because I’d had experience with it since I was 11,” Shields admitted. “The pants came above my belly button—even the one with my shirt open, you didn’t see anything. Compared to the things I’d done before, this was like being in winter gear.”

Compared to print ads and commercials today, Shields’s Calvin Klein campaign would very likely be acceptable. But no matter how much time has passed, underage nudity will always be frowned upon, and that’s something she’s been living with all these years.

The Truth Behind The Scandalous Photos That Cost Vanessa Williams Her Miss America Crown

In 1984 Vanessa Williams was crowned Miss America, making her the first black woman to successfully win the title.

She swept the preliminaries, beating out other women in the swimsuit competition as well as the talent portion by singing “Happy Days Are Here Again”.

Even though she won the contest fairly, she was criticized because of her skin color. She stated that “there were a lot of people that did not want me to be representative of the United States and Miss America.” It wasn’t only the white population who were upset with her win. “There were a lot of people who had issues. I was too light. My eyes were the wrong color. My hair wasn’t the right texture and getting criticism for being who I was,” Williams said.

But the hateful attacks weren’t the only thing the young woman had to deal with. About two months before the end of her reign, Williams received word that nude photos of her were going to be published in Penthouse. She had no control over the photos, had given no consent to the magazine to run them, but apparently that wasn’t going to stop them.

Penthouse

Williams wrote an essay talking about everything that happened, and how these pictures even came to be. She revealed that it all started when she was looking for a summer job in between semesters at Syracuse University.

“I saw an advertisement in a local newspaper reading ‘models wanted,’ so I called up and talked to Tom Chiapel, who was the photographer and part-owner of TEC studios. He said to come down for an interview,” Williams wrote. “I went to the studio and he said that I would need a portfolio. I asked my parents and they agreed to put up the money. It was a little over $100. My dad gave me a check. When I returned later to pick up the proofs, Tom Chiapel indicated that he needed a makeup artist. He offered me an audition, so I came in and did a face. He decided to have me work for him as a makeup artist-receptionist.”

She worked for him full-time, and Chiapel asked her multiple times to pose nude for him. Williams was only 19 years old at the time. “He assured me that none of the photographs would ever leave the studio. He assured me. I did a photographic session by myself,” Williams wrote. “I felt uncomfortable and awkward when I saw the proofs. I didn’t bring them home because I didn’t want anyone to see them.”

But that wouldn’t be the last time he would ask.

After a week, Chiapel asked her to pose again, this time with another model. He claimed it was for silhouettes. “The light would be behind the models. I was reluctant, but since he assured me that I would be the only one to see them and I would not be identifiable in the photographs, I agreed. He had also gotten another model to agree to this.”

She said, “The shots were posed. There was no activity throughout the whole session between me and the other model. The session lasted maybe an hour. That was the extent of it. When I saw the printed negatives on the contact sheet, they were in silhouette form. There was no way that either of us could be identified. That’s the bottom line.”

She never signed anything to release the photos. “I trusted him not to do anything with the photographs. That was my error,” Williams wrote. “I did not give my consent to him or Penthouse to ever have them published, used in any magazine or in any way. Nothing. I signed an application giving my height, weight, color of hair and my talents.

She left the studio on good terms, not knowing what would happen two years later. She never told anyone about the pictures until the rumors started to come up, and then she felt completely betrayed. “I feel as if I were just a sacrificial lamb. The past just came up and kicked me,” she wrote. “I felt betrayed and violated, like I had been raped.”

People Weekly

Williams revealed that it was “the worst thing that has happened in my life,” but she wasn’t going to give up. “I can’t go any place but up. I’ve hit rock bottom.” She was pressured by the Miss America Organization to step down as the reigning Miss America. She only had two months left to go before a new winner would be crowned, but they didn’t want their name tarnished.

Shortly after the scandal broke, Williams launched a lawsuit against the photographer who sold the images of her. The $400 million lawsuit was filed against both Penthouse magazine and Tom Chiaped, but only a year later Williams ended up dropping the suit. “It was a no-win situation,” says Williams,. “Besides, I didn’t feel like reliving all this stuff again, five years down the line. I just wanted to get on with my life. So many people have gotten burned by those people that I think they’ll eventually get it in the end and die a slow, painful death.”

After the scandal, she decided that she wasn’t going to let it stop her from continuing on in her career. She released a successful album and she started acting. You might remember her from the shows Ugly Betty or Desperate Housewives, or from the 2000 remake of Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson.

Recently, the Miss America Organization actually took it upon themselves to apologize to Williams for forcing her to step down. During the 2016 pageant, executive chairman, Sam Haskell, made a public apology to the former winner. “You have lived your life in grace and dignity and never was it more evident than during the events of 1984 when you resigned,” Haskell said. “Though none of us currently in the organization were involved then, on behalf of today’s organization, I want to apologize to you and to your mother, Miss Helen Williams. I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be.”

It took the organization over 30 years to forgive Williams for something she had no control of at the time. Luckily Williams has been able to move on with her life and come out stronger than before. “Obviously I’m more seasoned and less trusting, and—I don’t want to say bitter, but a little harder,” she said.

15 Facts About Rock Hudson That Will Make You Wish He Was A Star Of Today

Rock Hudson was the biggest male star in Hollywood during the 1950s and 1960s. He was considered the biggest “heartthrob” of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and it helped him land some massive movie roles in films such as: Magnificent Obsession, All That Heaven Allows, and Giant. He also starred in three films alongside Doris Day that would set the tone for what we now know as romantic comedies: Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, and Send Me No Flowers.

People

Hudson was a Hollywood trailblazer, and his legacy will be forever felt, not just for what he did on screen, but also because of what he chose to do with the rest of his life.

Here are 15 facts about Rock Hudson that will have your jaw hitting the floor.

Ravepad
Encyclopedia Britannica
猫眼专业版
www.pineshistory.org
Goodreads
CMG Worldwide
Chatter Busy – blogger
VOA News
eBay
Queerty
The Rock Hudson Project – WordPress.com
Waldina
News Flash
Flickriver
Hornet

A bonus piece of Rock Hudson trivia:

in a lonely place

What was your favorite Rock Hudson movie? Let us know in the comments.

8 Celebrities Who Worked As Truckers Before They Got Famous

They started from the bottom and eventually managed to summit the mountain. Celebrities were not always celebrities (at least back then you had to work for it), and some of them had rather interesting jobs before they got their first big break.

Before rising to stardom as an actor and comedian, Chase held down a wide range of normal person jobs. At different points in his younger years, he worked as a cab driver, construction worker, wine salesman, motorcycle messenger, and of course as a truck driver. Imagine getting a cab ride from Chevy Chase.

TV Guide

We all remember Neeson for his iconic roles, specifically when he played Oskar Schindler in the Oscar winning film Schindler’s List and more recently from his starring role in the Taken series. But while he was back in Ireland, before he had risen to fame as an action star, he worked as a forklift operator at the Guinness Brewery, and also as a trucker.

CNN.com

Before the world famous director would go on to make movies like Titanic and Avatar, he was in college majoring in physics. He was working as a truck driver in order to support his hobby of making films, and after seeing Star Wars he decided it was time to take his chance so he quit trucking and jumped into film making.

Vulture

Sean Connery, the Scotsman who played the original British super-spy James Bond, was actually already a tough S.O.B, before he broke into the film industry. He was the son of a truck driver, and after he left her Majesty’s Royal Navy, he went into the family business. Luckily for us, he decided to pursue an acting career as well.

Daily Mirror

Isn’t it surprising to see who people were before they got wildly famous? Keep reading to see who else drove the big rigs before making it big.

Mortensen was literally all over the map before becoming a famous actor. He was born in New York, raised in Argentina, moved back to New York, and then took off to his father’s homeland in Denmark. It was in Denmark that he worked as a flower salesman and truck driver in Copenhagen. Weird…

IndieWire

Richard Pryor died as one of comedy’s most iconic legends. He was controversial before it was “cool” to be so. But before he was rocking sold out shows all over the continent, he was a truck driver, a factory worker, and was even in the army for a little while. He was tossed out of the army for stabbing another soldier during a random fight.

NPR

The original “beefcake”, Rock Hudson was grinding it out as he tried to make a breakthrough in Hollywood. He just up and moved to Hollywood with hopes of becoming a star, but as with most aspiring actors, he found out that it wasn’t going to be that easy. He worked as a truck driver throughout the city, and he would often park his truck outside of Hollywood movie studios during his off time.

Legacy.com

The King of Rock and Roll wasn’t always the king. In fact, he wasn’t much of anybody before making it as a musician. Back in the mid fifties, Elvis worked as a long haul driver for the Crown Electric Company, making around $1 per hour, just trying to grind out an existence. He once had a band member tell him to stick to trucking because he would never be able to make it in the music industry. Boy, wasn’t that guy’s face red a few years later.

Famous Biographies

It just shows you that sometimes you have to grind through crap in order to make your dreams come true.

The Dark Truth About Elvis Presley’s Controversial Manager

Elvis Presley is known as the King of Rock and Roll, but in order to get that title he had to work hard. For his entire career, there was one man by his side, pushing him to do more and helping him achieve a level of fame that was unheard of at the time. However, that man is probably one of the most controversial characters in history.

Colonel Tom Parker signed on as Presley’s manager in 1956. Ever since, the mystery surrounding him has everyone wondering what the truth is. With so much controversy spanning so many years, it’s a lot to break down, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started with the truth about where he came from.

Colonel Tom Andrew Parker claimed to have been born in Huntington, West Virginia. He said he worked with carnivals, helping out with elephants and even managed a palm-reading booth, before he realized his talents as a music promoter.

The problem was, if anyone had ever bothered to look into his past, they would find that there was no Tom Parker from West Virginia.

Parker hadn’t even been a Colonel in any military! While he had served in the U.S. Army, he never made it past the rank of private, and was actually released from the army after being diagnosed as a psychopath following a “psychotic breakdown” in the 1930s. When the draft of World War II came around, he allegedly ate so much that he ballooned up to 300 pounds so he would be considered unfit for service.

However the truth about his identity didn’t come out until after Presley’s death. The Colonel made it well into retirement before anyone realized that Parker wasn’t who he claimed to be.

It turned out that “Colonel Tom Parker” was actually not born in West Virgina, but actually was Andreas van Kuijk, born in the Netherlands.

It’s suspected that the Colonel was an illegal immigrant, and worked for a travelling carnival when he first arrived in the country.

However the rumors of his criminal past are even more terrifying than his secret identity…

Colonel Tom Parker has a reputation that few people would be able to handle. Not only did he have a secret identity, but there were actually rumors that Elvis’s manager was actually responsible for an unsolved murder back in his hometown.

The evidence is questionable, but even his family admits that there is a possibility that it’s true.

It started with an anonymous tip to a newspaper that said, “At last, I want to say what was told to me 19 years ago about this Colonel Parker. My mother-in-law said to me, if anything comes to light about this Parker, tell them that his name is Van Kuijk and that he murdered the wife of a greengrocer on the Bochstraat….This murder has never been solved. But look it up and you will discover that he, on that very night, left for America and adopted a different name. And that is why it is so mysterious. That’s why he does not want to be known.”

When the reporter who received the tip looked into this alleged murder, he discovered that there was in fact an unsolved murder that took place on the same date that Parker left the country. A 23-year-old newlywed named Anna van den Enden who was beaten to death in her living quarters in the back of her greengrocer’s on the Bochstraat.

It was reported that the body was discovered in a ransacked house, with pepper all around the body, which suggests the murderer was cautious about the police dogs picking up their scent.

Years later, Parker’s former assistant, Byron Raphael, would speak up about his temper. “In those fits of rage, he was a very dangerous man, and he certainly appeared capable of killing. He would be nice one second, and stare off like he was lost, and then–boom!–tremendous force. He’d just snap. You never saw it coming. Then five minutes later, he would be so gentle, telling a nice soft story.”

Parker has never been officially connected to the murder, even though many people believe he was responsible.

This wasn’t the only questionable thing he’s done either. He also had a questionable marriage shortly after his arrival in America…

While working on the carnival circuit, Parker met Marie Francis Mott. Mott had been married before and had a son who lived with her. What Parker didn’t know, was that his new partner had actually given up her second son for adoption because he was born with a disability.

It’s believed that Parker chose this family to marry into not because he was in love, but instead because becoming a part of a “ready-made” family would help him disguise his illegal status.

The issue is that people actually doubt the legality of their marriage. Parker claimed to have been married in Tampa, Florida in 1932, but when the marriage was investigated later, no records were found. The records were checked between 1927 to 1946, but nothing was there.

It is suspected that they performed a “carny wedding,” where the bride and groom declared themselves married without any legal authority.

They stayed together for a while, but in the 1960s, Mott started to display signs of dementia and Parker distanced himself from her.

After Mott died in 1986, Parker wed his long-time secretary Loanne Miller in 1990.

The couple’s choice of living in Las Vegas might have had to do with Parker’s consistent gambling issues, that had a huge impact on the man’s life…

Parker is suspected of having suffered from a nearly debilitating gambling addiction. It’s even thought that the reason why he got Presley to sign up for a residency at a Las Vegas hotel was to help cover the debt he had accumulated.

He was known to spend 12-14 hours a day gambling, betting huge amounts of money. When Elvis died, Parker apparently owed $30 million. He would play roulette for hours, with crowds of people watching him lose. One Las Vegas hotel manager once said “The Colonel was one of the best customers we had. He was good for a million dollars a year.”

By the time he passed away, Parker’s estate was worth about $1 million. While that may sound like a good chunk, he earned over $100 million in his lifetime and that was all that was left.

But all of this is nothing compared to his treatment of Elvis Presley…

He has been called a con artist so many times that the words have basically lost all meaning.

The Colonel first learned of Elvis in 1955, but at the time his manager was the guitarist in the band who was just trying to protect him from music promoters who would take advantage of him. Shortly after, Presley was signed to Sun Records with Sam Phillips as his manager.

The problem was that Presley’s fame was growing too quickly, and it was getting harder for Phillips to keep him at his record label. It was then that Parker came into the picture. He started helping out with the booking and promotions of the young star’s performances, but quickly it evolved into something more.

When Phillips admitted he wanted out, he said that he would let Presley leave the contract for a $40,000 buy out. Obviously at the time, this was considered a huge amount of money and it was hard to find a buyer.

Parker stepped up, and tried to find the money, but  it wasn’t easy. Eventually he convinced RCA to buy out the contract and successfully nabbed the management position for himself. He made it very clear to the people around him that Elvis Presley wasn’t signed to RCA, instead Presley was signed to the Colonel.

Honestly, the corruption just kept getting worse. His treatment of Elvis throughout his career was something that people still talk about to this day…

in 1956, Elvis became a star with his first single “Heartbreak Hotel,” and Parker was able to secure Presley with fees that made him the highest-paid star on television.

Shortly after, he decided to turn Elvis Presley into a brand name. Suddenly the singer went from being almost unknown to having over 75 different products with his face on them. Everything from charm bracelets to record players were created, and brought in $22 million by the end of 1956. Parker had contracted the items in a way that got him 25{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} of the profits.

He even took advantage of the people who hated Elvis, creating “I Hate Elvis” badges that he sold to all the people who weren’t a fan. Literally no stone was left unturned.

Presley had wanted to make movies since he started, but when Parker finally got him a movie deal, he had some interesting demands. While Presley wanted to be a serious actor, Parker consistently persuaded him into singing in each and every movie.

He convinced Elvis to join the army

Parker was thrilled when Elvis was drafted to the army, hoping it would help challenge the rebellious nature of the singer. He convinced Presley to sign up as a regular soldier even though Presley wanted to join Special Services. Parker said that it would give ammunition to those who were criticizing him.

He used everything as a media stunt, including Presley’s induction day and the day Elvis received his Army haircut. Parker and RCA worked to keep Elvis relevant while he was abroad, and released several new songs over the two years he was gone. Parker was invited to visit Elvis in Germany, but he refused to leave the country. Looking back, it’s assumed that it was because of his illegal status, but at the time they didn’t know that. However the entire time Elvis was away, Parker was worried that he would realize that his contract that allowed him to receive his 25{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} commission would be revealed as excessive.

He didn’t care about the quality of the movies

No matter how much Elvis complained about the movies he was forced into making, Parker refused to do anything because they made money.

When Elvis’s earnings started to waver, Parker sent Presley’s Cadillac on tour, selling it to RCA for $24,000 to promote the latest film.

Wage hike

In 1967, Parker renegotiated his contract with Presley, increasing his commission from 25{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} to 50{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} of Elvis’s earnings. His argument was that now that he only had time for the one client, he was only earning one fee.

Parker convinced Elvis to get married

After seeing the publicity that came out of Frank Sinatra’s marriage to Mia Farrow, Parker thought that it was time for Presley to bring his private relationship with Prescilla Beaulieu out of the shadows. Even though she was ten years younger than him, they hoped that the wedding would draw enough attention to spark his career.

Extra Wages

Every time that Presley signed a better deal, Parker would find a way to improve it for himself. When Elvis increased his wage for his 1972 Las Vegas residency, Parker managed to secure himself a $50,000 bonus as a “consultant to the hotel chain.”

The near end of their relationship

Parker and Presley’s relationship came to an end in the 70s because of Elvis’s prescription drug use. It’s thought that Parker either didn’t know how to help, or just didn’t want to cause negative publicity that would limit Elvis’s earning potential. They almost stopped working together in 1973 when Parker quit, but he then demanded a $2 million buy out to get out of the contract.

After two weeks they put it behind them, when Presley’s father claimed that Elvis didn’t have the money to buy him out.

Career-long ban on touring abroad

Because Parker refused to travel out of America, that meant Elvis wasn’t allowed to leave the country to perform. He only ever performed in three venues outside of America, and all of them were in Canada.

It’s thought that the only reason Elvis could come to Canada was because at the time you didn’t need a passport to cross the US-Canada border. Because Parker was an illegal citizen, he wasn’t able to obtain a passport, making it impossible for him to travel with his client.

After Elvis died, Parker refused to let up. There are rumors that he had little to no reaction when he heard the news, as well as others where he said “Why, I’ll go right on managing him!”

He anticipated a huge increase of interest in the singer, and apparently headed to Graceland for the funeral wearing a Hawaiian shirt and baseball cap.

At the funeral, he didn’t take even a moment to grieve his client. Instead, he convinced Presley’s father to sign over the control of Elvis’s career.

In Presley’s death, Parker still managed to hold onto his 50{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} control over the singer’s estate. Parker had managed to create a company with Elvis before he passed that was responsible for the merchandising rights, but the Colonel was the controlling partner. Presley’s family sued the manager, claiming that his actions cost the Presley family millions in unearned income.

Whether you consider him the ultimate conman, or a marketing genius, Colonel Tom Parker made a mark on the entertainment industry. Did you realize that he was such a controversial figure in Elvis Presley’s life?

They Turned A Missile Silo Into A Gorgeous Home, And Now You Can Stay There Too

A school teacher in Wabaunsee County, Kansas has made history lovers’ dreams come true by transforming a Cold War-era missile silo into a luxury Airbnb location.

Matthew Fulkerson converted the missile silo – which housed a nuclear warhead 65 years ago – into an underground mansion for short-term rentals.

According to the Associated Press, the idea came into fruition when Fulkerson, 37, asked his neighbors, Ed and Dianna Pedon, if he could turn the converted missile base into an Airbnb. While the couple had owned and lived in their makeshift home since 1994, they were intrigued with the idea.

Exterior of the Airbnb
Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital

Dubbed the “Subterra Castle,” the schoolteacher intends to have the rental become more than just a pit stop for visitors passing through town.

“I see it as becoming a destination,” Fulkson said.

Take a look inside Subterra’s extravagant interior, and see for yourself the unique digs.

Indoor entrance to Airbnb
Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital
Airbnb entrance
Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital

Fulkerson said the Subterra is the only Airbnb located in a converted missile silo, and offers a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Interior of missile Airbnb
Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital

The rental site offers a spacious main-floor bedroom, and a full kitchen for guests to prepare their meals.

It also offers a small fireplace that is perfect to achieve the “nice, cozy feeling in the fall and winter months,” Fulkerson told The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Airbnb's kitchen
Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital

The Subterra has already received widespread attention from several media outlets, including CNN, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic.

Reception area of the Airbnb
Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital

If the Subterra proves to be more popular, Faulkerson said, “we are considering using both apartments upstairs and down, especially because some people really want the experience of sleeping underground.”

Airbnb guest bedroom
Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital

Inexpensive compared to most hotels, you can book the Subterra for only $145 a night.

Outside entrance to the Airbnb
Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital

Would you stay at the Subterra Castle Airbnb?

Gene Kelly Was A Star During The Golden Age Of Hollywood But He Harbored Some Dark Secrets

When you think about Gene Kelly, you think of one of the stars during the golden age of Hollywood, of both the stage and screen. Men wanted to be him, women wanted to be with him, and that perception really helped cement his legacy in the annals of Hollywood lore.

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A recent biography, He’s Got Rhythm, has shed some light on who the man was beyond the bright lights of the red carpet. According to the book, not only was Kelly a star, but he also had a huge ego, and an even more massive temper.

The book was written with the help of interviews with Kelly’s family and close friends. The authors, Cynthia and Sara Brideson, were also able to some how dig up previously unpublished sources. It has made for a very interesting and enlightening read.

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But what evidence did the authors manage to find that would prove that the allegations of his anger and ego were true? One of Kelly’s former co-stars gave an interesting anecdote about what it was like to work with him. “Cyd Charisse claimed that her husband always knew when she had been dancing with Gene Kelly if she came home with bruises and with Fred Astaire if she came home unmarked,” say the authors.

But was it just his anger and his ego that Kelly was hiding? Not according to the book.

Another hidden secret that the book brings to light is that Kelly apparently enjoyed the company of younger women. Even though most of the evidence was anecdotal, one fact plays into this idea. When Kelly was 77 years old, he married 33-year-old Patricia Ward, a woman he had previously hired to help him write his memoirs.

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One of the few things that Kelly spoke of regretting, was neglecting his daughter. After serving in WW2, he sent his daughter to live with his wife’s parents, and would only visit her occasionally. He owned up to his failed attempt at fatherhood, he called it “selfish, unfatherly neglect. Betsy and I just wanted to have a good time.”

It turns out that Gene Kelly wasn’t quite the man that he appeared to be.

Drawings By Presidents Trump and Kennedy Are Expected To Sell For Thousands, And You’ll Wonder Why

The leaders of the free world are known for their strength, diligence, charisma, and their intellectual capacity. However, their artistic ability is rarely spoken about.

That may change fairly soon, as an art auction show will be featuring pieces from both of the these presidents alongside one another. Their original pieces will be displayed and sold at Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political Memorabilia auction.

The first comes from President Trump, however it was created before he was elected to the Oval Office. Trump donated the piece to a charity in 2005, and though it is merely a doodle, it is expected to fetch at least $15,000 at the event. It actually looks quite good.

The piece was drawn over a decade ago and featured the New York City skyline alongside the Hudson river, complete with the city’s iconic yellow cabs, pedestrians, and even some trees in a tender reflection of the city he was born in.

However, it is believed that even with the high estimated value, the work of former president John F. Kennedy will sell for many times more than the amount Trump’s piece will get.

John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States from 1961 until 1963 when he was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. He was a statesman for many years before and is remembered for the incredible political legacy that he left behind.

He supported the Civil Rights Movement, oversaw the Cuban Missile Crisis, and led the country in one of the most perilous times in its young history, the Cold War.

In this exhibit, however, it is his artistic prowess that is on display. The original oil painting was created in 1955 and bears his signature. The landscape is of an unnamed coastal city, and is only one of two paintings ever made by the late president.

It is expected to sell for over $50,000 at the auction, after hanging at his brothers, Robert F. Kennedy’s home for years.

Which picture do you think is better? Share your opinion in the comments!

The Truth Behind Our Favorite Christmas Carols

Picture this: In a matter of weeks, you’ll be cozied up under a blanket, Christmas tree lit up with lights, cookies and eggnog next to you, and you’ll be watching the snow falling down through the window. Then, you’ll begin to hear the soft rising of voices outside, and you’ll know it’s Christmastime.

We love carolers and their songs that somehow always sound better than on the radio. The classics we all love to hear coming from our fellow man make the season so much more special. But did you ever wonder where some of these songs come from?

This popular song was composed by German teacher Franz Gruber in 1818 when he was asked by a priest to perform at Christmas eve mass.

Many legends have arisen about the church’s organ breaking down just before Christmas eve, with Gruber writing the song to give the people something to sing without accompanying music.

A more recent addition to our classic holiday line-up, A Holly Jolly Christmas came out in 1962, written by Johnny Marks, but was most famously performed by Burl Ives in the Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Probably the most well-known Christmas song in the world, it comes from American songwriter James Lord Pierpont, who released it as One Horse Open Sleigh in 1857.

Funnily enough, it was originally written as a Thanksgiving song. You’ll notice that there’s no mention of the yuletide holiday in the lyrics!

When Bob Wells and Mel Tormé wrote this tune, it was during one of the hottest summers on record. It was 1945, and the two songwriters were spending some time cooling off, when they though maybe thinking about colder times would help make them feel a little less warm.

Within the hour they had this classic carol written, and it certainly felt a little more like winter.

Written during the Second World War, Irving Berlin wanted to reminisce about a time of old-fashioned traditions. He apparently woke up his secretary in the middle of the night after creating his now-signature song.

“Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I’ve ever written—heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody’s ever written!”

Which of these is your favorite carol?

The True Story That Inspired ‘The Sound Of Music’ Is More Dramatic Than The Movie

If you’ve seen The Sound of Music – and odds are good that you’ve watched it a few dozen times – you’re probably in love with its timeless romance and classic songs.  

Since the movie’s release in 1965, it has become one of the most successful films of all time. And the endless copies my family bought on VHS and DVD probably helped a lot.

But when I watched the movie growing up I always wondered: what happened to the von Trapps after the movie ended?

The surprising answer is that the famous singing family moved to America.

See, The Sound of Music, along with the Broadway play and German film that inspired it, are based on the real life story of Maria von Trapp, her husband Georg, and their children.

Maria von Trapp (back row, far left) with her children.von Trapp family

Like in the movie, Maria was a nun who joined the von Trapp household as a tutor (not a governess) for the widower’s seven children.

Unlike the classic film, Maria and Georg did not exactly fall head over heels for each other, as Maria confessed in a book about her life.

“I really and truly was not in love,” she wrote. “I liked him but didn’t love him. However, I loved the children, so in a way I really married the children.” But even their real love story had a Hollywood ending.

“[B]y and by, ” Maria remembered, “I learned to love him more than I have ever loved before or after.”

But their romance wasn’t the only detail about the von Trapps that Hollywood changed. Their dramatic escape from Austria went very differently in real life.

To start with, the movie played fast and loose with the ages, genders, and personalities of the von Trapp children.

Johannes, the youngest von Trapp boy, said that imagining his shy, older sister Agatha performing “You Are Sixteen” left the family “rolling in the aisles in stitches” when they saw the movie.

And while Georg von Trapp had seven children from his first marriage, he went on to have three more with Maria, who was married to him for over a decade before the family fled Austria.

The details of their escape from the Nazi-occupied country are also very different from the movie, but still thrilling.

There was no hike over the alps like in the movie. Instead, the family boarded a train for a singing tour in Europe, and never came home again.

Maria and Georg with their extended family.von Trapp family

The von Trapps settled in America, where their family still runs Vermont’s Trapp Family Lodge to this day.

After Georg died, Maria von Trapp wrote a bestselling book about her life to pay the bills, which was eventually adapted into the movie.

So what did the real Maria think about the film’s take on her life?

Maria says she wasn’t as “ladylike” as Julie Andrews played her, and Georg wasn’t as stern as Christopher Plummer’s character, but she enjoyed the movie anyways.

“Everyone thinks the Sound of Music was exactly the way things happened,” Johannes explained.

“This was the Hollywood version of the Broadway version of the German film version of the book that my mother wrote.”

Does this change the way you see the movie? I still love it, no matter what!

[H/T: BBC, National Archives]

New Colorized Photos Bring History’s Most Graphic Moments To Life

It is a common complaint that today’s youth are so disconnected to the past. They seem to believe that the world has just arrived into the state it is in today, and that it is so easy to change simply because they would like it to.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. The world has been through a lot in the last 100 years, and older generations seem to be a lot more patient with the transitions that have occured.

In a world of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, it’s no wonder that young people today are so impatient and distracted. But maybe, a new collection of photographs will help bridge the gap between the present day and the past.

In his new book, Retrographic: History in Colour, Michael Carroll wanted to take some of the most important moments of the last 163 years and colorize them, in order to humanize a period of time that most people only ever read about.

When you realize that some of these moments actually happened, the photographs become chilling to look at.

Some of these pictures illustrate people that have become more famous for the events they were a part of than simply who they were as people.

Photography has always been a tool for humanizing the figures we see as idols, and sometimes we lose sight of the past because of how flat it can appear in black and white.

This photo from 1907 of Maud Wagner, America’s first professional female tattoo artist, tell a story that black and white simply could not capture.

Like the fact that she began her career as a circus performer. An acrobat and contortionist, this led to her meeting her husband, Gus Wagner, “the most artistically marked up man in America.”

They had their first date “in exchange” for lessons in tattoo art. After they were married, they had a daughter who they taught how to tattoo at the age of 9.

Despite the invention of the tattoo machine, the family preferred traditional “hand-poked” tattoos. Not only was Wagner the first professional female artist, she was one of the last to carry on this traditional method.

Her stunning artwork, now shown in full color, give us a glimpse at someone who changed the cultural landscape of early America.

Portraits from the past, like that of notorious gangster Al Capone, help us to see that even the most infamous villains were people too.

Capone is known for running the bootlegging of alcohol in Prohibition-era Chicago. He rose to the rank of crime boss using devious and increasingly violent tactics.

Paying off local authorities, making donations to various charities, and attending public functions put Capone in the spotlight. But when he ordered the killings of seven members of a competitive crime syndicate, dubbed the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, his image was shot.

In simple photos like this one, the reputation of a killer is tamed by a calm expression, and in the pink tie, he could be mistaken for any other businessman.

The book outlines more larger than life characters, some for their amazing deeds, and others for their paranormal lifestyles.

With the photographic image, we are able to look back on history with a definitive eye. Where before, painters could shape events however they (or their leaders) liked, now the truth could be seen by all.

But what really is the truth? These images show us events that really did occur, and people who really did live. However, for some, it makes the legends seem even wilder.

In what appears to be a photo of a simple man, Grigori Rasputin, otherwise known as the “Mad Monk,” was a spiritual healer and advisor to the Russian royal family in the early 1900s.

His early life is shrouded in mystery, but somehow he managed to rise through the ranks of the Orthodox church and impress members of the social elite.

Rasputin quickly became a healer for the Romanov’s, the royal family at the time. There was much controversy at the time when it was suggested he was part of political dealings, and even had an affair with the Queen.

Though he was eventually assassinated, his legacy caused massive upheaval in Russian society. You can almost believe his spiritual powers when you look into his eyes…

Colors are amazing in their ability to carry emotion, and we have been unable to truly grasp certain moments because of how distant they looked to us in shades of grey.

Above we have a familiar sight, a military parade, complete with flags and an important officer.

This is General Patton, waving to spectators in Los Angeles, California, June 9, 1945. In four months, the Second World War would officially be over, and the horrible tragedies that America and the world had faced would begin to fade.

Share these moments from history in their true light!

9 Fruit-Cake Facts That Will Make You Love The Treat Even More

When we were younger, we all seemed to shy away from this colorful and strange ‘dessert’ that our weird relatives would bring over. As we got older though, we figured out how delicious this seasonal treat really was!

You may now understand why people love fruitcake, but what else do you know about it?

The earliest records we have of something resembling the modern-day fruitcake are recipes of Roman satura. Made with nuts, barley, fruit, and honeyed wine, many historians believe this is where we get the name satire, because of the sweet and sour elements in both!

No, the dessert your aunt brought last Christmas wasn’t made in Roman times, but it does stay very well preserved! How well? Apparently, it can last for over 25 years if stored correctly! But it’s much too tasty to last that long.

Someone has claimed that they own a fruitcake that was once a gift to President George Washington. The esteemed general sent it back however, saying it was “unseemly for Presidents to accept gifts weighing more than 80 pounds, even though they were only eight inches in diameter.”

Fruitcake has been a staple to the royal diet for many generations of rulers. Prince Albert and Queen Victoria had it at almost every major event, and Kate Middleton and her beloved Prince William even had it at their wedding!

It is likely due to how expensive the ingredients were at one point in history. Fruit, nuts, and sugar were at one point really hard to get a hold of. But that may have also been what inspired its popularity…

Many sailors travelling between the Americas and the European mainland in the 1500’s found that they were subject to a terrible sickness called scurvy. They would develop ulcers and other oral hygiene problems from not getting enough vitamins on their travels.

They found a way around this by preserving fruits in sugar, which was plentiful in the colonies. But they didn’t want to just eat the sugary fruits all the time, they needed something to expound it in. Thus, baking it into cakes became the norm for them and their families both home and abroad.

If you’ve ever offered to help bring this treat from the kitchen to the table, you’ll have an understanding of just how much food is contained within the one cake.

According to Harper’s Index, the density of fruitcake is the same as hardwood mahogany! This year, try cutting a slice off yourself, it is really thick!

It turns out this alien-looking dish has made it further into the stars than most of humanity! The Apollo 11, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, escorted a pineapple fruitcake out to the final frontier when they completed their famous spacewalk.

But they weren’t all that peckish. They ended up bringing the cake back to Earth, where it was put on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It makes you wonder if they wanted to leave it out there…

Speaking of flinging it out into the great unknown, there is a town in Colorado that has made an actual tradition of tossing their unwanted fruitcakes away in a humorous fashion.

When everyone started realizing that no one was eating their gifted fruitcakes, they decided a public stunt would make everyone feel a little better about it. Twenty years ago they began the “Great Fruitcake Toss,” and people have been lining up to throw, sling, and chuck their holiday treats, even shooting them out of a cannon!

There’s a competition between a few townships vying for the title of “Fruitcake Capital of the World,” and they’re both hard-pressed to gain the top spot.

Both Claxton, Georgia and Corsicana, Texas have been marketing themselves as leaders in the fruitcake industry. Amazingly, they each say that they produce over four million pounds of fruitcake a year!

That’s a heavy sum, and I wonder if there’s enough of a market to eat all that scrumptious pudding? If not, I volunteer!

We all know that there a reasonable (or should I say seasonable?) amount of alcohol that goes into the making of fruitcake, and it turns out, it really is the more the merrier!

The best reviewed cakes in the world turn out to be the most booze-soaked, too. Who are the bakers of these vice-filled concoctions? Monks.

Yep, the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky was rated best by food critics, and they like to add the spirits of man to their holiday offerings. Using burgundy wine, Kentucky bourbon, and sherry wine, they may keep to a life of sobriety, but they sure know what it takes to make a heavenly fruitcake!

Share if you’re already excited to dig into your fruitcake this holiday season!

“The Dick Van Dyke Show” Star Dies At 94

One of the original Queens of Hollywood, Rose Marie, has passed away at the age of 94. The famous Broadway star was a legend in the television world, with a lifelong career that eclipsed many other male actors of her era in a time when it was hard enough for women to even enter the industry.

In a professional career that spanned nine decades, her entry to fame came at age four, when she began recording songs for a sound short titled Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder.

From there, she started working with various orchestras and jazz ensembles, skyrocketing in her youth to the charts. In fact, she was the last surviving singer to have a hit from before the Second World War, before her death.

Like any other celebrity from that era, she would have some help from some questionable sources.

After cementing herself as a powerful and moving singer, Rose Marie decided to follow her passion and perform comedy shorts on the radio, before finding her way into television.

From here on out, she never looked back. While her charm was undeniable, there were rumors of assistance from famous “persons-of-interest.”

“My father worked as an arsonist for Al Capone,” she said. “I was a child star and to me Al was my ‘Uncle Al,’ my mother used to cook for all these guys.”

She had reputable friends as well. In her lifetime she knew and worked with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, and of course, Dick Van Dyke.

Her character as Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show and her semi-recurring role on Hollywood Squares were incredible chapters in an already successful career, that demonstrated her wit and poise to audiences across the country.

She made film appearances in nearly 25 films over the years, and won a variety of awards, including three Emmy nominations and her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“I play me in almost everything I do,” she had said. “I play a part to the best of my ability to get a joke out, to sell it, and to do it best.”

Rose Marie passed away in her home Thursday afternoon. Her presence will be forever missed.

What is your best memory of Rose Marie when you were growing up?

John Lennon Ignored His Astrologer Who Predicted He Was Going To Be Shot

It may be a long time before the world sees another person as talented and spiritually connected to the world as John Lennon. The musician and peace activist was the soul of The Beatles, and dedicated much of his life of trying to find the answers to life’s most troubling questions.

As an artist, he never shied away from the mystical, in his work or in his personal life. While many of his fans only saw the references to drug culture, Lennon was actually searching for connections to the unknown world.

Because of this, he sought out people who could help him see the reasons for supposedly “unexplainable” phenomena. Many of his friends shared his point of view, but none were as privy to his beliefs as his personal astrologist, Alexis (‘Magic Alex’) Mardas.

When Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono visited Greece with Magic Alex in 1969, they asked the astrologer to make some predictions about their futures.

Their spiritual guide revealed how and where Lennon was to die, and if they had kept his words in mind, maybe the superstar would still be alive today.

There are many people who don’t believe in the power of the zodiac, claiming that the predictions are vague at best. Yet those who follow the signs are able to see their relevance nearly every single day.

As for Lennon, he received a very specific warning that day. Magic Alex told the star that he would meet his end by a bullet, and that it would happen on an island.

Lennon and his wife were shocked by this revelation, and immediately backed out of a boat trip they had planned on taking around the Greek islands. Believing they had bested the universe, the couple soon forgot about the warning they had been gifted.

Eleven years later, Lennon was shot dead by deranged fan, Mark Chapman, while living on Manhattan Island, New York.

Was this just a coincidence? What do you think?