Saturday, December 29, 2007
Note: Many of these stories are likely to be apocryphal (uncertain authenticity)
* 845 BC: Ancient records were discovered in North Africa describing the death of a ruler named Vondracek Beeir who was sacrificed by cutting an inch off his body starting at the bottom of his feet and working up.
* 720 BC: Bakenranef, the last king of the Twenty-fourth dynasty of Egypt was executed in an extreme form. He was captured and taken prisoner by the Nubian king Shabaka, conquerer of Lower Egypt, who burned him alive.
* 458 BC: The Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed when an eagle dropped a live tortoise on him, mistaking his bald head for a stone. The tortoise survived.
* 454 BC: The rebel pharaoh Inarus, leader of the rebellion in Egypt against Persian rule, was taken captive to Susa after being defeated by the satrap Megabyzus. There, after five years, he was impaled on three stakes and flayed alive.
* 270 BC: The poet and grammarian Philitas of Cos reportedly wasted away and died of insomnia while brooding about the Liar paradox.
* 207 BC: Chrysippus, a Greek stoic philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after watching his drunk donkey attempt to eat figs.
* 53 BC: Following his defeat at Carrhae at the hands of the Parthians under Spahbod Surena, Marcus Licinius Crassus was executed by having molten gold poured down his throat. Some accounts claim that his head was then cut off and used as a stage prop in a play performed for the Parthian king Orodes II.
* 48 BC: The Roman general Pompey, fleeing to Egypt after being defeated at the Battle of Pharsalus by his rival Julius Caesar, was stabbed, killed, and decapitated: his head was then preserved in a jar by the young king Ptolemy XIII and presented to Caesar, with whom he intended to ingratiate himself. Caesar was not pleased.
* 43 BC: Cicero, the great Roman statesman, was labelled an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate. Like all those proscribed by the Triumvirate, he was hunted down and killed; his severed hands and head were then displayed on the Rostra in the Forum for several days, during which time Fulvia, wife of Mark Antony, is supposed to have stabbed his once-skilled tongue several times with a hairpin.
* 42 BC: Porcia Catonis, wife of Marcus Junius Brutus, killed herself by supposedly swallowing hot coals after hearing of her husband's death; however, modern historians claim that it is more likely that she poisoned herself with carbon monoxide, by burning coals in an unventilated room.
* 4 BC: Herod the Great suffered from fever, intense rashes, colon pains, foot drop, inflammation of the abdomen, a putrefaction of his genitals that produced worms, convulsions, and difficulty breathing before he finally gave up.  Similar symptoms-- abdominal pains and worms-- accompanied the death of his grandson Herod Agrippa in 44 AD, after he had imprisoned St Peter. At various times, each of these deaths has been considered divine retribution.
* 64 - 67: St Peter was executed by the Romans. According to many sources, he asked not to be crucified in the normal way, but was instead executed on an inverted cross. This is the only recorded instance of this type of crucifixion.
* 69: The short-time Roman emperor Galba was killed after becoming extremely unpopular with both the Roman people and the Praetorian guard-- however, 120 different people claimed credit for having killed him. All of these names were recorded in a list and they all were later themselves executed by the emperor Vitellius.
* C. 98 Saint Antipas, Bishop of Pergamum, was roasted to death in a brazen bull during the persecutions of Emperor Domitian. Saint Eustace, as well as his wife and children supposedly suffered a similar fate under Hadrian. The creator of the brazen bull, Perillos of Athens, was according to legend the first victim of the brazen bull when he presented his invention to Phalaris, Tyrant of Agrigentum.
* 258: St Lawrence was martyred by being burned or 'grilled' on a large metal gridiron at Rome. Images of him often show him holding the instrument of his martyrdom. Legend says that he was so strong-willed that instead of giving in to the Romans and releasing information about the Church, at the point of death he exclaimed "I am done on this side! Turn me over and eat."
* 260: According to an ancient account, Roman emperor Valerian, after being defeated in battle and captured by the Persians, was used as a footstool by the King Shapur I. After a long period of punishment and humiliation, he offered Shapur a huge ransom for his release. In reply, Shapur had the unfortunate emperor skinned alive and his skin stuffed with straw or dung and preserved as a trophy. Only after the Sassanid dynasty's defeat in their last war with Rome three and a half centuries later was his skin given a cremation and burial. (A recent report from Iran mentions the restoration of a bridge supposed to have been built by Valerian and his soldiers for Shapur in return for their freedom).
* 336: Arius, the heretical priest who precipitated the Council of Nicea, passed wind and evacuated his internal organs.
* 415: The Greek mathematician and philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria was murdered by a mob by having her skin ripped off with sharp sea-shells and what remained of her was burned. (Various types of shells have been named: clams, oysters, abalones. Other sources claim tiles or pottery-shards were used.)
 Dark Ages
* 869: Al-Jahiz, an Arab scholar from Basra and author of works on literature, history, biology, zoology, Mu'tazili philosophy and theology, and politico-religious polemics is reputed to have been killed by his own library when shelves fell over on him.
 Middle Ages
* 1016: Edmund II of England was rumored to have been stabbed in the gut or bowels while he was performing his ablutions.
* 1135: Henry I of England died after gorging on lampreys, his favourite food.
* 1258: Al-Musta'sim was killed during the Mongol invasion of the Abbasid Caliphate. Hulegu, not wanting to spill royal blood, had the Caliph wrapped in a rug and trampled to death by horses.
* 1277: Pope John XXI was killed in the collapse of his scientific laboratory.
* 1322: Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford was fatally speared through the anus by a pikeman hidden under the bridge during the Battle of Boroughbridge.
* 1327: Edward II of England, after being deposed and imprisoned by his Queen consort Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer, was rumored to have been murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus.
* 1410 Martin I of Aragon died from a lethal combination of indigestion and uncontrollable laughing.
* 1478: George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence reportedly was executed by drowning in a barrel of Malmsey wine at his own request.
* 1559: King Henry II of France was killed during a stunt knight's jousting match, when his helmet's soft golden grille gave way to a broken lancetip which pierced his eye and entered his brain.
* 1599: The Burmese king Nandabayin repotedly "laughed to death when informed, by a visiting Italian merchant, that Venice was a free state without a king."
* 1601: Tycho Brahe, according to legend, died of complications resulting from a strained bladder at a banquet. It would have been extremely bad etiquette to leave the table before the meal was finished, so he stayed until he became fatally ill. This version of events has since been brought into question as other causes of death (murder by Johannes Kepler, suicide, and lead poisoning among others) have come to the fore.
* 1626: Francis Bacon died of pneumonia while filling a chicken with ice in order to prove that freezing preserves food
* 1655: Pope Innocent X died and was hidden in a corner for three days by his sister-in-law and probable mistress Olimpia Maidalchini while she searched and robbed the papal palace of various treasures. Only when she had completed her search was the body allowed to be found.
* 1660: The Scottish aristocrat, polymath and first translator of Rabelais into English, Thomas Urquhart, is said to have died laughing upon hearing that Charles II had taken the throne.
* 1671: François Vatel, chef to Louis XIV, committed suicide because his seafood order was late and he couldn't stand the shame of a postponed meal. His body was discovered by an aide, sent to tell him of the arrival of the fish. The authenticity of this story is questionable.
* 1687: Jean-Baptiste Lully, composer, died of a gangrenous abscess after piercing his foot with a staff while he was vigorously conducting a Te Deum, as it was customary at that time to conduct by banging a staff on the floor. The performance was to celebrate the king's recovery from an illness.
 Age of Reason
* 1751: Julien Offray de La Mettrie, the author of Man a Machine, a major materialist and sensualist philosopher died of over eating at a feast given in his honor. His philosophical adversaries suggested that by doing so, he had contradicted his theoretical doctrine with the effect of his practical actions.
* 1753: Professor Georg Wilhelm Richmann, of Saint Petersburg, Russia, was struck and killed by a globe of ball lightning while observing a storm.
* 1771: King of Sweden, Adolf Frederick, died of digestion problems on February 12, 1771 after having consumed a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne, which was topped off with 14 servings of his favorite dessert: semla served in a bowl of hot milk. He is thus remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as "the king who ate himself to death."
 Modern Age
 19th century
* 1830: William Huskisson, statesman and financier, was crushed to death by the world's first mechanically powered passenger train (Stephenson's Rocket), at its public opening.
* 1834: David Douglas, Scottish botanist, fell into a pit trap accompanied by a bull. He was gored and possibly crushed.
* 1868: Matthew Vassar, brewer and founder of Vassar College, died in mid-speech while delivering his farewell address to the College Board of Trustees.
* 1884: Allan Pinkerton, detective, died of gangrene resulting from having bitten his tongue after stumbling on the sidewalk.
* 1899: French president Félix Faure died of a stroke while receiving oral sex in his office.
 20th century
* A number of performers have died of natural causes during public performances, including:
o 1943: Critic Alexander Woollcott suffered a fatal heart attack during an on-air discussion about Adolf Hitler.
o 1958: Gareth Jones, actor, collapsed and died while in make-up between scenes of a live television play, Underground, at the studios of Associated British Corporation in Manchester. Director Ted Kotcheff continued the play to its conclusion, improvising around Jones's absence.
o 1960: Baritone Leonard Warren collapsed on the stage of the New York Metropolitan Opera of a major stroke during a performance of La forza del destino. According to legend, the last line he sang was "Morir? Tremenda cosa." ("To die? A tremendous thing.") However, witnesses say he was just past that aria and his actual last line was "Gioia, o gioia!" (Joy, oh joy!)
o 1971: Jerome Irving Rodale, an American pioneer of organic farming, died of a heart attack while being interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show. According to urban legend, when he appeared to fall asleep, Cavett quipped "Are we boring you, Mr. Rodale?", which Cavett has recently stated in a May 2007 New York Times article was incorrect - the initial reaction to Rodale was fellow guest Pete Hamill noticing something was wrong, and saying in a low voice to Cavett, "This looks bad." The show was never broadcast.
o 1984: English comedian Tommy Cooper collapsed from a massive heart attack live in front of the audience midway through his act at Her Majesty's theatre. At first the audience assumed he was joking, and started applauding.
o 1987: Dick Shawn, a comedian who starred in the 1968 movie The Producers, died of a heart attack while portraying a politician. Just before he died, he announced, "if elected, I will not lay down on the job,".
* A number of performers have died from unnatural causes during a practice or public performance, including:
o 1925: Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart, a circus strongman and Jewish folklore hero, died as a result of a demonstration in which he drove a spike through five one-inch thick oak boards using only his bare hands. He accidentally pierced his knee. The spike was rusted and caused an infection which led to fatal blood poisoning. He was the subject of the Werner Herzog film, Invincible.
o 1972: Leslie Harvey, guitarist of Stone the Crows was electrocuted on stage by a live microphone.
o 1976: Keith Relf, former singer for British rhythm and blues band The Yardbirds, died while practicing his electric guitar—he was electrocuted because the guitar was not properly grounded.
o 1999: Owen Hart, a professional wrestler for WWE died during a Pay-Per-View event when performing a stunt. It was planned to have Owen come down from the rafters of the Kemper Arena on a safety harness tied to a rope to make his ring entrance. The safety latch was released and Owen dropped 78 feet, bouncing chest-first off the top rope resulting in a severed aorta, which caused his lungs to fill with blood. The PPV continued even after he was pronounced dead.
* 1911: Jack Daniel, founder of the Tennessee whiskey distillery, died of blood poisoning six years after receiving a toe injury when he kicked his safe in anger at being unable to remember its combination.
* 1912: Tailor Franz Reichelt fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his invention, the coat parachute. It was his first ever attempt with the parachute and he'd told the authorities in advance he would test it first with a dummy.
* 1916: Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic, was poisoned while dining with a political enemy, and supposedly he was given enough poison to kill three men his size. When he did not die, one assassin sneaked up behind him and shot him in the head, and while checking Grigori's pulse the mystic grabbed him by the neck and strangled him. He proceeded to run away, while the other assassins chased. They caught up to him after he was finally felled by three shots during the chase. The pursuers bludgeoned him, then threw him into a frozen river. When his body washed ashore, an autopsy showed the cause of death to be drowning. There is now some doubt about the credibility of this account, though.
* 1920: Baseball player Ray Chapman was killed when he was hit in the head by a pitch.
* 1923: George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon became the first to die from the alleged King Tut's Curse after a mosquito bite on his face became seriously infected.
* 1923: Frank Hayes, jockey, suffered a heart attack during a horse race. The horse, Sweet Kiss, went on to finish first, making Hayes the only deceased jockey to win a race.
* 1927: J.G. Parry-Thomas, a Welsh racing driver, was decapitated by his car's drive chain which, under stress, snapped and whipped into the cockpit. He was attempting to break his own Land speed record which he had set the previous year. Despite being killed in the attempt, he succeeded in setting a new record of 171 mph.
* 1927: Isadora Duncan, dancer, died of accidental strangulation and broken neck when one of the long scarves she was known for caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger.
* 1928: Alexander Bogdanov, a Russian physician, died following one of his experiments, in which the blood of a student suffering from malaria and tuberculosis, L. I. Koldomasov, was given to him in a transfusion.
* 1933: Michael Malloy, a homeless man, was murdered by gassing after surviving multiple poisonings, intentional exposure and being struck by a car. Malloy was murdered by five men in a plot to collect on life insurance policies they had purchased.
* 1935: Baseball player Len Koenecke was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher by the crew of an aircraft he had chartered, after provoking a fight with the pilot while the plane was in the air.
* 1941: Sherwood Anderson, writer, swallowed a toothpick at a party and then died of peritonitis.
* 1943: Lady be Good, a USAAF B-24 bomber lost its way and crash landed in the Libyan Desert. Mummified remains of its crew, who struggled for a week without water, were not found until 1960.
* 1944: Inventor and chemist Thomas Midgley, Jr., accidentally strangled himself with the cord of a pulley-operated mechanical bed of his own design.
* 1945: Scientist Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. accidentally dropped a brick of tungsten carbide onto a sphere of plutonium while working on the Manhattan Project. This caused the plutonium to come to criticality; Daghlian died of radiation poisoning, becoming the first person to die in a criticality accident.
* 1945: Anton Webern, the Austrian composer, was accidentally shot dead by an American Army soldier on 15 Sept. 1945, during the Allied occupation of Austria. Despite the curfew in effect, he stepped outside the house to enjoy a cigar without disturbing his sleeping grandchildren.
* 1947: The Collyer brothers, extreme cases of compulsive hoarders were found dead in their home in New York. The younger brother, Langley, died by falling victim to a booby trap he had set up, causing a mountain of objects, books, and newspapers to fall on him crushing him to death. His blind brother, Homer, who had depended on Langley for care, died of starvation some days later. Their bodies were recovered after massive efforts in removing many tons of debris from their home.
* 1950: Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire suffered a heart attack and died in Eastbourne, UK in the presence of his doctor, John Bodkin Adams, the suspected serial killer. 13 days earlier, Mrs Edith Alice Morrell — another patient of Adams — had also died. Adams was controversially acquitted of her murder in 1957 but pathologist Francis Camps linked Adams to 163 suspicious deaths in total, which would make him the second most prolific killer in British history after Harold Shipman.
* 1956: Artist Nina Hamnett died from complications after falling out her apartment window and being impaled on the fence forty feet below.
* 1960: In the Nedelin disaster, over 100 Soviet missile technicians and officials died when a switch was turned on unintentionally igniting the rocket, including Red Army Marshal Nedelin who was seated in a deck chair just 40 meters away overseeing launch preparations. The events were filmed by automatic cameras.
* 1961: On March 23, Soviet cosmonaut trainee Valentin Bondarenko died from shock after suffering third-degree burns over much of his body, due to a flash fire in the pure oxygen environment of a training simulator. This incident was not revealed outside of the Soviet Union until the 1980s.
* 1967: In a similar incident, a flash fire began in the pure oxygen environment during a training exercise inside the unlaunched Apollo 1 spacecraft, killing Command Pilot Gus Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee. The door to the capsule was unable to be opened during the fire because of its particular design. Had the Soviet Union revealed the earlier death of Valentin Bondarenko, this incident could likely have been avoided.
* 1963: On June 11th Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, sat down in the middle of a busy intersection in Saigon, covered himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire burning himself to death. Đức was protesting President Ngô Đình Diệm's administration for oppressing the Buddhist religion.
* 1967: Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die during a space mission after the parachute of his capsule failed to deploy following re-entry.
* 1967: On Dec. 17 Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia, went for a swim at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria, Australia. He was never seen again. Rumors and theories include suicide, kidnapping by submarine, and shark attack; the true cause remains unknown.
* 1973: Péter Vályi, finance minister of Hungary fell into a blast furnace (some sources say a pit of molten iron) on a visit to a steelworks factory at Miskolc.
* 1973: Bruce Lee, a martial arts actor, is thought to have died by a severe allergic reaction to Equagesic. His brain had swollen about 13%. His autopsy was written as "death by misadventure."
* 1974: Christine Chubbuck, an American television news reporter, committed suicide during a live broadcast on July 15. At 9:38 AM, 8 minutes into her talk show, on WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida, she drew out a revolver and shot herself in the head.
* 1974: Austrian Formula One driver Helmut Koinigg died in a crash in the 1974 United States Grand Prix at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course in Watkins Glen, New York. On approaching a corner, a suspension failure sent Koinigg's car crashing head-on into the outer Armco barrier. The bottom rail gave way but the top rail did not. Helmut Koinigg was decapitated and died instantly, in what was only his second Formula One race.
* 1975: On 24 March 1975 Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old bricklayer from King's Lynn literally died laughing while watching an episode of The Goodies. According to his wife, who was a witness, Mitchell was unable to stop laughing while watching a sketch in the episode "Kung Fu Kapers" in which Tim Brooke-Taylor, dressed as a kilted Scotsman, used a set of bagpipes to defend himself from a psychopathic black pudding in a demonstration of the Lancashire martial art of Ecky-thump. After twenty-five minutes of continuous laughter Mitchell finally slumped on the sofa and expired from heart failure.
* 1975: The legendary Japanese kabuki actor Bandō Mitsugorō VIII died of severe poisoning when he ate four fugu livers (also known as pufferfish). The liver is considered one of the most (if not most) poisonous part of the fish, but Mitsugorō claimed to be immune to the poison. The fugu chef felt he could not refuse Mitsugorō and lost his license as a result.
* 1977: Tom Pryce, a Formula One driver, and a 19-year-old track marshal Jansen Van Vuuren both died at the 1977 South African Grand Prix after Van Vuuren ran across the track beyond a blind brow to attend to another car which had caught fire and was struck by Pryce's car at approximately 170mph. Pryce was struck in the face by the marshal's fire extinguisher and was killed instantly.
* 1978: Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident, was assassinated by poisoning in London by an unknown assailant who jabbed him in the calf with a specially modified umbrella that fired a metal pellet with a small cavity full of ricin poison.
* 1978: Janet Parker, a British medical photographer, died of smallpox in 1978, ten months after the disease was eradicated in the wild, when a researcher at the laboratory Parker worked at accidentally released some virus into the air of the building. She is believed to be the last smallpox fatality in history.
* 1981: A 25-year-old Dutch woman studying in Paris, Renée Hartevelt, was killed and eaten by a classmate, Issei Sagawa, when he invited her to dinner for a literary conversation. The killer was declared unfit to stand trial and extradited back to Japan, where he was released from custody within fifteen months.
* 1981: Carl McCunn, in March 1981, paid a bush pilot to drop him at a remote lake near the Coleen River in Alaska to photograph wildlife, but had not arranged for the pilot to pick him up again in August. Rather than starve, McCunn shot himself in the head. His body was found in February 1982.
* 1981: Boris Sagal, a motion picture-director, died while shooting the TV miniseries World War III when he walked into the tail-rotor blade of a helicopter and was decapitated.
* 1982: Vic Morrow, actor, was decapitated by a helicopter blade during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie, along with two child actors, Myca Dinh Le (decapitated) and Renee Shin-Yi Chen (crushed).
* 1982: Vladimir Smirnov, an Olympic champion fencer, died of brain damage nine days after his opponent's foil snapped during a match, penetrated his mask, pierced his eyeball and entered his brain.
* 1983: A diver on the Byford Dolphin oil exploration rig was violently dismembered and pulled through a narrowly opened hatch when the decompression chamber was accidentally opened, causing explosive decompression.
* 1983: Sergei Chalibashvili, a professional diver, died after a diving accident during World University Games. When he attempted a three-and-a-half reverse somersault in the tuck position, he smashed his head on the board and was knocked unconscious. He died after being in a coma for a week.
* 1983: Author Tennessee Williams died at the age of 71 after he choked on a eyedrop bottle cap in his room at the Hotel Elysee in New York. He would routinely place the cap in his mouth, lean back, and place his eyedrops in each eye. His brother Dakin and some friends believed he was murdered. The police report, however, suggested his use of drugs and alcohol contributed to his death. Many prescription drugs were found in the room. Williams' lack of gag response may have been due to drugs and alcohol effects.
* 1984: An unidentified man died of presumed natural causes in the unfinished Tokyo apartment building in which he had been squatting for 11 years. His decomposed remains were discovered 20 years later, on June 1, 2004, with a newspaper dated February 20, 1984 by his side.
* 1984: Jim Fixx, who wrote "The Complete Book of Running" and lectured about how running and a healthy diet would promote longevity, dropped dead from a heart attack while running. An autopsy revealed he had 3 massively blocked heart arteries.
* 1984: Jon-Erik Hexum, an American television actor, died after he shot himself in the head with a prop gun during a break in filming. Hexum apparently did not realize that blanks use paper or plastic wadding to seal gun powder into the shell, and that this wadding is propelled out of the barrel of the gun with enough force to cause severe injury or death if the weapon is fired at point-blank range.
* 1986: While on the air giving a traffic report, the helicopter that Jane Dornacker was riding in stalled and crashed into the Hudson River, killing her. This was the second helicopter crash she had been in that year.
* 1987: R. Budd Dwyer, a Republican politician, committed suicide during a televised press conference. Facing a potential 55-year jail sentence for alleged involvement in a conspiracy, Dwyer shot himself in the mouth with a revolver.
* 1990: Joseph W. Burrus, aged 32, an aspiring magician, decided to perform the "buried alive" illusion in a plastic box covered with cement. The cement crushed the box and he died of asphyxia.
* 1990: George Allen, an American football coach, died a month after some of his players gave him a Gatorade Shower following a victory (as it is tradition in American Football). Some argue this resulted in pneumonia.
* 1993: Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by a prop .44 Magnum gun while filming the movie The Crow. A cartridge with only a primer and a bullet was fired in the pistol prior to the scene Brandon was in; this caused a squib load, in which the primer provided enough force to push the bullet out of the cartridge and into the barrel of the revolver, where it became stuck. The malfunction went unnoticed by the crew, and the same gun was used again later to shoot the death scene, having been re-loaded with blanks. However, the squib load was still lodged in the barrel, and was propelled by the blank cartridge's explosion out of the barrel and into Lee's body. Although the bullet was traveling much slower than a normally fired bullet would be, the bullet's large size and the nearly point-blank firing distance made it powerful enough to severely wound Lee. It was not instantly recognized by the crew or other actors; they believed he was still acting. Interestingly, the incident was almost an exact replica of a scene in his father Bruce Lee's last film Game of Death, during the filming of which Bruce Lee also died. Even more bizarrely yet; the plot of Game of Death revolved around Bruce Lee's character, a kung-fu actor, faking his own death - by pretending to have been hit by an accidentally fired real bullet while filming a scene where hundreds of blanks were fired at him.
* 1993: Garry Hoy, a Toronto lawyer, fell to his death after he threw himself through the glass wall on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in order to prove the glass was "unbreakable."
* 1994: Stephen Milligan, a British polician who was at the time the Member for Eastleigh in the House of Commons, died in an apparent case of auto-erotic asphyxiation. Milligan was also believed to have been engaging in acts of self-bondage and cross-dressing at the time of his death.
* 1996: Sharon Lopatka, an internet entrepreneur from Maryland allegedly solicited a man via the Internet to torture and kill her for the purpose of sexual gratification. Her killer, Robert Fredrick Glass, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the homicide.
* 1998: Daniel V. Jones was a former hotel maintenance worker in Long Beach, California who shot himself through the chin on the Los Angeles expressway on live television. His suicide was apparently caused by his resentment against his HMO for inadequately treating him when he was diagnosed with cancer and HIV.
* 1998: Tom and Eileen Lonergan were stranded while scuba diving with a group of divers off Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The group's boat accidentally abandoned them due to an incorrect head count taken by the dive boat crew. The couple was left to fend for themselves in shark-infested waters. Their bodies were never recovered. The incident is depicted in the film Open Water.
* 1999: Popular British TV entertainer Rod Hull died following a fall from the roof of his home at Winchelsea, near Rye. He was attempting to adjust the TV aerial in order to get a better picture of the Inter Milan v Manchester United Champions League Quarter Final, 2nd Leg.
 21st century
* 2001: Bernd-Jürgen Brandes was stabbed repeatedly in the neck and then eaten by Armin Meiwes. Before the killing, both men dined on Brandes' severed penis. Brandes had answered an internet advertisement by Meiwes looking for someone for this purpose. Brandes explicitly stated in his will that he wished to be killed and eaten. This is referred to in the songs "Eaten" by Swedish Death Metal band Bloodbath and "Mein Teil" ("My Part") by German NDH band Rammstein.
* 2002: Brittanie Cecil, an American 13-year-old hockey fan, died two days after being struck in the head by a hockey puck at a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena.
* 2003: Brian Douglas Wells, a pizza delivery man in Erie, PA, was killed by a time bomb which was fastened around his neck. He was apprehended by the police after robbing a bank, and claimed he had been forced to do it by three people who had put the bomb around his neck and would kill him if he refused. The bomb later exploded, killing him. In 2007, police alleged Wells was involved in the robbery plot along with two other conspirators.
* 2003: Brandon Vedas died of a drug overdose while engaged in an Internet chat, as shown on his webcam.
* 2003: Timothy Treadwell, an American environmentalist who had lived in the wilderness among bears for thirteen summers in a remote region in Alaska, was killed and partially consumed by a bear, along with his girlfriend Amie Huguenard. The incident is described in Werner Herzog's documentary film Grizzly Man.
* 2005: Kenneth Pinyan of Seattle died of acute peritonitis after submitting to anal intercourse with a stallion. Pinyan had done this before, and he delayed his visit to the hospital for several hours out of reluctance for official cognizance. The case led to the criminalization of bestiality in Washington. His story was recounted in the 2007 documentary film Zoo.
* 2005: 28-year-old South Korean, Lee Seung Seop, collapsed of fatigue and died after playing Starcraft for almost 50 consecutive hours in an Internet cafe.
* 2005: Gerry Marshall, a british Saloon Car racing driver, died of a heart attack at the wheel of an IROC Chevrolet Camero at Silverstone racing circuit. Marshall managed to bring the car to a halt before expiring, and stopped close to the BRDC suite he frequented in his earlier career. Marshall is notable for holding the record for most race wins in a career, 623.
* 2006: Steve Irwin, a television personality and naturalist known as The Crocodile Hunter, died when his heart was impaled by a short-tail stingray barb while filming a documentary entitled "Ocean's Deadliest" in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. The stingray was not the creature being filmed.
* 2006: Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB operative and Russian expatriate who had been investigating the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, was intentionally poisoned with polonium-210, an extremely rare radioactive metalloid.
* 2006: Cheryl Sarate, a 16 year old student in the Philippines, died of severe burns suffered when her costume caught fire during a college beauty pageant.
* 2006: Megan Meier, a 13 year-old girl from Missouri committed suicide after being rejected by a boy she made friends with over Myspace, which turned out to be a fake profile made by the mother of a friend of Meier's.
* 2007: Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old woman from Sacramento, died of water intoxication while trying to win a Wii console in a KDND 107.9 "The End" radio station's "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest, which involved drinking large quantities of water without urinating. She placed second in the contest.  
* 2007: Kevin Whitrick, a 42-year-old man committed suicide by hanging himself live on a webcam during an internet chat session.
* 2007: Surinder Singh Bajwa, the Deputy Mayor of Delhi, India, was kicked by a Rhesus Macaque monkey at his home and fell from a first floor balcony, suffering serious head injuries. He later died from his injuries. 
1. ^ Donaldson, John William and Müller, Karl Otfried. A History of the Literature of Ancient Greece, p. 262. London: John W. Parker and Son, 1858.
2. ^ ibid., p. 27.
3. ^ Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Book 17, Chapter 6
4. ^ Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum, v; Wickert, L., "Licinius (Egnatius) 84" in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie 13.1 (1926), 488-495; Parker, H., A History of the Roman World A.D. 138 to 337 (London, 1958), 170. From .
5. ^ "Iran to restore ancient bridge built by captive Roman emperor" Press TV, 02 Mar 2007
6. ^ Henry of Huntingdon (tr. Thomas Forester). The Penis of Henry of Huntingdon, p. 196. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853.
7. ^ Joseph Epiphane Darras and White, Charles Ignatius. A General History of the Catholic Church: From the Life of the Christian Era to the Twentieth Century, pp. 406-7. New York: P. J. Kennedy, 1898.
8. ^ Mortimer, Ian (2006). The Greatest Traitor. Unknown: Thomas Dunne Books. p. 124
9. ^ Schama, Simon (2000). A History of Great Britain: 3000BC-AD1603. London: BBC Worldwide. p.220
10. ^ Thompson, C. J. S. Mysteries of History with Accounts of Some Remarkable Characters and Charlatans, pp. 31 ff. Kila, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2004.
11. ^ Schott, Ben (2003). Schott's Original Miscellany. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 0-7475-6320-9.
12. ^ 
13. ^ Brown, Huntington (1968). Rabelais in English Literature. Routledge, p. 126. ISBN 0-714-620-513.
14. ^ (1861) The History of Scotish Poetry. Edmonston & Douglas, p. 539.
15. ^ Bartelby, but it states the authenticity is doubtful.
16. ^ Biography at Vanderbilt University
17. ^ 
18. ^ University of Maryland: The source is uncertain if the bull fell in before or after him.
19. ^ Scotsman.com
20. ^ BBC
21. ^ http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/onstage.htm
22. ^ http://donkeyod.wordpress.com/2007/05/04/when-that-guy-died-on-my-show/ Reprint of NYT article by Cavett
23. ^ http://www.elvispelvis.com/electrocuted.htm
24. ^ Haig, Matt. Brand Royalty: how the world's top 100 brands thrive and survive, p. 197. London: Kogan Page, 2004.
25. ^ Reynolds, Barbara. Dorothy L. Sayers: her life and soul, p. 162. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997.
26. ^ UCLA newsroom
27. ^ Bogdanov, Alexander (tr. & ed. Douglas W. Huestis). The Struggle for Viability: Collectivism Through Blood Exchange, p. 7. Tinicum, PA: Xlibris Corporation, 2002.
28. ^ Read, Simon (2005). The Bizarre Killing of Michael Malloy. Penguin Book Group.
29. ^ Virginia Tech article
30. ^ http://www.cherwell.org/features/how_would_you_like_to_die
31. ^ http://www.brewlab.co.uk/pdf/back%20to%20school.pdf
32. ^ http://www.rev.hu/html/en/films/industrial.htm
33. ^ Tremayne, David [August 2006]. "Chapter 19 - A Moment Of Desperate Sadness", The Lost Generation (in English). Haynes Publishing. ISBN 1-84425-205-1.
34. ^ Tokyo Times
35. ^ Goofball News
36. ^ Snopes.com, on a list of those who "died on stage."
37. ^ "German cannibal guilty of murder", BBC News, May 9, 2006
38. ^  www.komotv.com. Feb 16th 2007. Retrieved August 9th, 2007.
39. ^ Medred, Craig.Wildlife author killed, eaten by bears he loved. Anchorage Daily News. October 8, 2003. Retrieved September 4, 2006.
40. ^ http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002569751_horsesex19m.html
41. ^ "Korean drops dead after 50-hour gaming marathon", Times Online, August 10, 2005
42. ^ http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20355064-30417,00.html
43. ^ Russian ex-spy dies in hospital
44. ^ "Woman dies after being in water-drinking contest", The Los Angeles Times, January 14, 2007
45. ^ "Woman's Death After Water-Drinking Contest Investigated" KNBC.com, January 16, 2007
46. ^ Bale, Joanna (2007-03-24). Get on with it, said net audience as man hanged himself on webcam. Times Online. Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved on 2007-05-27.
47. ^ 
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wood – We switched over to all-wood heat this year. Nothing compares to the dry, hot heat that wood produces! Using the same metal wood stove that my dad built when I was just a tot, we have been cutting lumber from our grove and filling the fires every 4-5 hours for optimal warmth. The only cost to us is the gas for our chainsaw and the electricity to run a furnace fan throughout our old farm house. Updates have been made to the chimney lining to ensure safety, but otherwise it has been a very low-cost heating solution! (For directions on how to make your own wood-burning stove for under $35, read this article from Mother Earth News, circa 1978.)
THE AMAZING $500 WOOD-BURNING STOVE ... THAT YOU CAN BUILD FOR $35 (OR LESS!)
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(Note: Since this article was published in 1978, building codes and homeowners insurance rules have changed, and federal rules governing wood stoves have been adopted. This stove plan may not comply with various federal and local regulations. Readers are advised to check with appropriate officials before installing this stove in their homes. —Mother)
Most homebuilt wood-burning stoves are scabbed together from old 55-gallon drums. And they more or less do the job they're supposed to do ... despite the fact that they're notoriously inefficient users of fuel, are difficult to regulate, rapidly burn through, and are so ugly that most people will only tolerate them out in the garage or workshop.
Perhaps the single really good thing that can be said for the majority of the 55-gallon-drum burners is that (usually) it doesn't cost very much to put one of them together or at least it didn't used to. Here lately, though, the steel barrels have become increasingly difficult to find ... and, when you do locate one of the containers, it frequently has a seven dollar price tag at fixed to it.
There must be a better way to go about assembling a homemade wood-burning stove. And there is' As MOTHER was recently shown by Wilton, Iowa's Robert Wars (who, incidentally, just happens to be the brother of MOTHER researcher Emerson Smyers).
"Forget about messing around with old 55-gallon drums," Bob told us. "What you want to build your stove out of is a discarded electric water heater tank ... for at least four good reasons:
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"In the first place, the walls of such a tank are a minimum of three to four times as thick as the metal in a 55-gallon barrel ... which means that a water heater drum will make a much tougher stove that will last a lot longer.
"Second, when you build a firebox from a junked water heater tank, it's very easy to make the stove as airtight and efficient as any $500 woodburner on the market. And I can't say that about any 55-gallon-drum stove I've ever seen.
"Third, if you construct your heater the way I tell you to, it'll be easy to load, it will have excellent fire and temperature control, and it'll look classy enough to put on display right in the living room.
"And fourth, you can build one of my 'water heater' stoves for even less than most folks now spend putting together a 55gallon-barrel wood-burner. As a matter of fact, I scrounged up everything that went into mine. Which means that the stove cost me only the laborone good long daythat I used building it."
Well, now. Those were pretty big claims. Especially since we were listening to them while looking at some photographs of a flat-out good -looking stove. So, in our best and most devious "backwoods of North Carolina" fashion, we challenged ole Bob to prove everything he'd just told us.
And thenjust to put him at as large a cost disadvantage as we couldwe spit a couple of times, looked at Smyers out of the corner of our eye, and innocently said, "Of course you know, Bob, that a lot of our readers have trouble scavenging up project materials the way you do. So, other than letting you recycle an old water heater tank, we'll just have to make you buy and pay new prices for everything else that goes into any stove you build for us."
"Oh, of course!" Bob answered. And it wasn't so much what he said as the way he said it which told us right then and there that we were the ones who'd been had. Shucks. This Iowa slicker knew from the beginning that he could build a $500 stove and never use more'n $35 worth of materials doing it.
THE SECRET OF THE SMYERS STOVE'S LOW COST
As Bob Smyers drafted his brother, Emerson, and set about the construction of one of his now-famous stoves, it was easy to see that the recycled-into-a-firebox electric water heater tank was the real secret of his wood-burner's low cost. Also its ease of assembly. Heck. Once you've found your "junked but still in good condition" water heater tank, you've already got about three-quarters of your stove "custom made" just the way you want it.
And it really isn't difficult to find one of these tanks, either. Most of the landfills scattered around the country, in fact, are so filled with the containers that we've- developed a sneaking suspicion the old water heaters breed out there. Maybe not ... but there sure are a lot of 'em "out there" for the taking.
Any discarded electric (forget the gas ones for this project) water heater from 30- to 50-gallon capacity will convert nicely into a stove. We've come to think, however, that one of the 30-gallon tanks (with a diameter of 20 inches and a length of 32 inches) makes the best-looking wood-burner of all.
Pick and choose a little from your friendly local landfills, dumps, or the alleyways behind appliance stores until you find just the tank or tanks you want. Then (if you're doing your "shopping" in a landfill or dump) strip off the lightweight sheet metal "wrapper" and insulation right in the field and make sure that the main tank inside isn't rusted out or filled with corrosion. Or, if circumstances dictate, you can do this stripping back home in your shop and then haul the castoff sheet metal and insulation back to the dump when you're ready to discard them.
THE REST IS EASY
Anyone with a cutting torch and welder will find the rest easy. And if you don't own or operate such equipment, scout around until you find a competent welding shop that'll convert your tank at a reasonable price.
Lay the container on its side and add legs and the "loading hopper box with hinged lid" as illustrated in the accompanying drawing. Then weld in the "exhaust stack" or "smoke boot" as shown. Make sure that all seams are airtight and that the hoqper box lid fits snugly (airtight) too. he draft control is, perhaps, the most critical part of all. If it's well made and doesn't leak, you'll have good and positive control of your finished stove's blaze and temperature at all times. Conversely, if it isn't well made and it does leak, you won't. Work carefully and do the job right.
Once the stove is completely assembled, paint all its outside surfaces with Rustoleum Bar-B-Q black paint or "high temperature engine paint". You've just built yourself one mighty fine wood-burner! Andeven if you bought everything (approximately 65 pounds of steel) except the recycled water heater tank, you shouldn't have spent more than $35 on the project. (Bob and Emerson built MOTHER's demonstration model in one short daysix hoursfor a total cost of $31.54.)
MOTHER researcher Dennis Burk-holder has been using our original "water heater wood stove" to warm his entire 1,100square-foot house since last fall and he's constantly amazed at the large amount of heat and small amount of ashes the unit produces. He's also been pleasantly surprised by the way the heater holds a fire overnight. "All I do in the morning," says Dennis, "is jar the stove a couple of times, open the draft a bit ... and the ole log-burner snaps right to life."
Wood Pellets – These tiny pellets are made from leftover wood residue and saw dust from manufacturing sites. They burn hotter and cleaner than traditional wood logs, due to their compressed size. They can be burned in a traditional wood stove, fireplace, or a specially-made pellet stove. We burned wood pellets for the previous three years in our pellet/corn stove, and had great results. They can be purchased from a local fireplace supply or farm and feed store in bulk for lower prices than if purchased one bag at a time. (For updates on the availability of wood pellets nationally, check here.)
Orscheln Farm & Home Moberly, MO (660)269-4580 John Jorgensen
Ozark Hardwood Products, LLC Seymour, MO 417-935-9663 Scott Jacobs
Pennington Seed Inc. Greenfield, MO 417/637-5978 Keith Hankins
Corn – This was a great heating alternative in year’s past, due to the location of where we lived and the fact that our family farms. This year, however, the price of corn has risen considerably, making it a poor choice for saving money. Assuming that the price of corn may drop again in the future, a corn stove still may be a good way to heat a home. Corn heat compares well with other fuels; One Bushel of corn has as many BTU's as 5 therms of natural gas, 5 gallons of LP, 3.2 gallons of fuel oil, or 131 kilowatt hours of electricity. Many corn stoves also burn wood pellets, so they can be used with the cheapest fuel for the year. For the best information on burning corn, see I Burn Corn’s website. (Note: We use a stove very similar to this American Harvest model, which burns soybeans, cherry and olive pits, processed silage, and biomass fuel grains.)
The Corn Burning Wiki
As technology advances, other forms of biomass fuels will become readily available in the U.S. market. Garbage, animal waste, grasses and leaves may all someday be available in an easy-to-burn form for all kinds of residential heating systems. Accepting biomass into our daily lives may take a little more work and preparation, but the rewards are great -- both in savings and freedom!
(Note: For a comparison of the cost of biomass fuels with other traditional fuels, see this chart.)
You can also fill a clean tube sock, tie closed the open end, heat and use as needed."
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Aaliyah - Aaliyah Dana Haughton
Clay Aiken - Clayton Holmes Grissom
Akon - Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam
Gregg Allman (Allman Brothers Band) - Gregory Lenoir Allman
Tori Amos - Myra Ellen Amos
apl.de.ap (The Black Eyed Peas) - Allan Pineda Lindo
Fiona Apple - Fiona Apple Maggart
Trey Anastasio (Phish) - Ernest Joseph Anastasio III
Adam Ant - Stuart Leslie Goddard
Little Anthony - Anthony Gourdine
Marc Anthony - Marco Antonio Muniz
Ashanti - Ashanti Shaquoya "Shani Bani" Douglas
Frankie Avalon - Francis Thomas Avallone B
Babyface - Kenny Edmonds
Erykah Badu - Erica Wright
Joan Baez - Joan Chandos Baez
Ginger Baker - Peter Edward Baker
LaVern Baker - Delores Williams
Hank Ballard (Hank Ballard and the Midnighters) - John Henry Kendricks
Afrika Bambaataa - Kevin Donovan
Syd Barrett (Pink Floyd) - Roger Keith Barrett
Len Barry - Leonard Borrisoff
Ol' Dirty Bastard (rap artist) - Russell Jones
Beck - Bek David Campbell
Jeff Beck - Geoffery Arnold Beck
Captain Beefheart - Don Van Vliet
Harry Belafonte - Harold George Belafonte
Pat Benatar - Patricia Andrejewski
Tony Bennett - Anthony Dominick Benedetto
Brook Benton - Benjamin Franklin Pierre
Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers Band) - Forrest Richard Betts
Beyonce - Beyonce Giselle Knowles
Bo Bice - Harold Elwin Bice, III
Bjork - Bjork Gudmundsdottir
Big Boi (Outkast) - Antwan André Patton
Marc Bolan (T-Rex) - Marc Feld
Michael Bolton - Michael Bolotin
Bizzy Bone - Bryon McCane
The Big Bopper - Jiles Perry Richardson
Gary U.S. Bonds - Gary Anderson
Jon Bon Jovi - John Francis Bongiovi Jr.
Bono (U2) - Paul David Hewson
Sonny Bono - Salvatore Philip Bono
Pat Boone - Charles Eugene Boone
Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit) - Wesley Scott Borland
David Bowie - David Robert Hayward Stenton Jones
Big Bad Brad (Linkin Park) - Bradford Phillip Delson
Michelle Branch - Michelle Jacquet DeSevren Branch-Landau
Bobby Brown - Robert Barisford Brown
Jackson Browne - Clyde Jackson Browne
David Bryan (Bon Jovi) - David Bryan Rashbaum
Buckethead - Brian Carroll
Chris de Burgh - Christopher John de Burgh Davison C
Vitamin C - Colleen Fitzpatrick
J. J. Cale - John W. Cale
Randy California (Spirit) - Randy Craig Wolfe
Freddy Cannon - Frederick Anthony Picariello
Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) - Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr
Irene Cara - Irene Escalera
Tony Carey - Anthony Lawrence Carey
Eric Carr (KISS) - Paul Charles Caravello
50 Cent - Curtis Jackson
Gene Chandler - Eugene Dixon
Ray Charles - Ray Charles Robinson
Chubby Checker - Ernest Evans
Cher - Cherilyn Sarkisian La Piere
Lou Christie - Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco
Charlotte Church - Charlotte Maria Reed
Eric Clapton - Eric Patrick Clapp
Gene Clark (Byrds) - Harold Eugene Clark
Kelly Clarkson - Kelly Brianne Clarkson
Les Claypool (Primus) - Leslie Edward Claypool
Patsy Cline - Virginia Patterson Hensley
Clown (Slipknot) - Michael Shawn Crahan
Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) - Kurt Donald Cobain
Joe Cocker - John Robert Cocker
Nat King Cole - Nathaniel Adams Coles
Judy Collins - Judith Marjorie Collins
Common - Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr.
Perry Como - Pierino Ronald Como
Ry Cooder - Ryland Peter Cooder
Sam Cooke - Sam Cook
Coolio - Artis Ivey Jr.
Al Kooper (Blood Sweat & Tears) - Alan Peter Kuperschmidt
Alice Cooper - Vincent Damon Furnier
Dave "Baby" Cortez - David Clowney
Elvis Costello - Declan Patrick McManus
John Cougar - John Mellencamp
Lobo Courtney - Kent Lavoie
Peter Criss (Kiss) - George Peter John Criscuola
David Crosby - David Van Cortland Crosby
Ice Cube - Oshea Jackson D
Willie D (rapper) - William James Dennis
Dick Dale - Richard Monsour
Bobby Dall (Poison) - Robert Harry Kuykendall
Roger Daltrey (The Who) - Roger Harry Daltrey
Jim Dandy (Black Oak Arkansas) - James Mangrum
Bobby Darin - Walden Waldo Robert Cassotto
Dimebag Darrell - Darrell Abbott
Mac Davis - Morris Davis
Taylor Dayne - Leslie Wonderman
Kim Deal (Pixies) - Kimberly Ann Deal
Jimmy Dean - Jimmy Dean
John Decon (Queen) - John Richard Deacon
Joey Dee - Joseph DiNicola
Kiki Dee - Pauline Mathews
Mos Def - Dante Terrell Smith
John Denver - John Henry Deutschendorf
Rick Derringer - Richard Zehringer
Buck Dharma (Blue Oyster Cult) - Donald Roeser
King Diamond (Mercyful Fate) - Kim Bendix Petersen
Neil Diamond - Neil Leslie Diamond
Little Jimmy Dickens - James Cecil Dickens
Bo Diddley - Elias Bates (name upon adoption: Elias McDaniel)
Dido - Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong
Snoop Dogg - Cordazer Calvin Broadus
Thomas Dolby - Thomas Morgan Robertson
Mickey Dolenz (The Monkees) - George Michael Braddock
Fats Domino - Antoine Domino
Donovan - Donovan Phillip Leitch
Dr. Dre - Andre Young
Bob Dylan - Robert Alan Zimmerman E
Easy E - Eric Wright
Sheila E. - Sheila Escovedo
Sheena Easton - Sheena Shirley Orr
The Edge (U2) - David Howell Evans
Missy Elliot - Melissa Elliott
Eminem - Marshal Bruce Mathers III
Enya - Eithne Ni Braona
David Essex - David Albert Cook
Gloria Estefan - Gloria Maria Fajardo
Little Eva - Eva Narcissus Boyd
Don Everly - Isaac Donald Everly F
Fabian - Fabiona Forte Bonaparte
Falco - Johann Hölzel
Tal Farlow - Talmage Holt Farlow
Freddie Fender - Baldemar G. Huerta
Fergie (The Black Eyed Peas) - Stacy Ann Ferguson
Fieldy (Korn) - Reginald Arvizu
Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth) - Daniel Lloyd Davey
Grandmaster Flash (DJ, rapper) - Joseph Saddler
Flavor Flav / Flava Flav (Public Enemy) - William Jonathan Drayton Jr.
Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) - Michael Peter Balzary
Black Francis (Pixies) - Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV
Connie Francis - Concetta Maria Franconero
Sage Francis / Xaul Zan - Paul Francis
Ace Frehley (KISS) - Paul Daniel Frehley
Nelly Furtado - Nelly Kim Furtado G
Kenny G - Kenneth Gorelick
Crystal Gayle - Brenda Gail Webb
Bobbie Gentry - Roberta Streeter
J. Geils - Jerome Geils
Ginuwine - Elgin Lumpkin
Boy George - George Alan O'Dowd
Gary Glitter - Paul Gadd
Lesley Gore - Lesley Sue Goldstein
Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) - Stone Carpenter Gossard
Dobie Gray - Leonard Victor Ainsworth
Macy Gray - Natalie Renee McIntyre H
MC Hammer - Stanley Kirk Burrel
Bobby Hatfield (The Righteous Brothers) - Robert Lee Hatfield
Dale Hawkins - Delmar Allen Hawkins
Head (Korn) - Brian Welch
Jimi Hendrix - (born: Johnny Allen Hendrix) (renamed: James Marshall Hendrix)
Herb (Peaches & Herb) - Haer Feemster
Faith Hill - Audrey Faith Perry
Billie Holliday - Eleanora Fagan Gough
Buddy Holly - Charles Hardin Holley
Engelbert Humperdinck - Arnold George Dorsey I
Janis Ian - Janis Eddy Fink
Vanilla Ice - Robert Van Winkle
Julio Iglesias - Julio Iglesias de la Cueva
Billy Idol - William Michael Albert Broad
India.Aire - India Aire Simpson
Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) - Anthony Frank Iommi J
Wolfman Jack - Robert Weston Smith
Tito Jackson - Toriano Adaryll Jackson
Mick Jagger - Michael Phillip Jagger
Jamelia - Jamelia Niela Davis
Rick James - James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.
Jazz (Dru Hill) - Larry Anthony JR.
D.J. Jazzy Jeff - Jeffrey A. Townes
Joan Jett - Joan Marie Larkin
Jewel - Jewel Kilcher
Billy Joel - William Joseph Martin Joel
JoJo - Joanna Noëlle Levesque
Grace Jones - Grace Mendoza
Tom Jones - Thomas Jones Woodward
Elton John - Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Wynonna Judd - Christina Claire Ciminella
Juvenile - Terius Grey K
K.C. (of The Sunshine Band) - Harry Wayne Casey
Kaskade - Ryan Raddon
R Kelly - Robert Kelly
The Great Kat - Katherine Thomas
Alicia Keys - Alicia Augello Cook
Chaka Khan - Carole Yvette Marie Stevens
Andy Kim - Andrew Youakim
Lil Kim - Kimberly Jones
B.B. King - Riley B. King
Uncle Kracker - Matthew Shafer L
LL Cool J - James Todd Smith
Patti LaBelle - Patricia Louise Holt
k.d. lang - Kathryn Dawn Lang
Mario Lanza - Alfredo Arnold Cocozza
Queen Latifah - Dana Owens
Cyndi Lauper - Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper
Avril Lavigne - Avril Ramona Lavigne
Brenda Lee - Brenda Mae Tarpley
Geddy Lee (Rush) - Gary Lee Weinrib
Peggy Lee - Norma Deloris Egstrom
Julian Lennon - John Charles Julian Lennon
Blake Lewis - Blake Colin Lewi
Huey Lewis - Hugh Anthony Cregg
Liberace - Wladziu Lee Valentino
Alex Lifeson (Rush) - Alexander Zivojinovich
Limahl (Kajagoogoo) - Christopher Hamill
Lisa Lisa (Cult Jam) - Lisa Velez
Professor Longhair - Henry Roeland Byrd
Courtney Love (Hole) - Courtney Michelle Harrison
Ludacris - Christopher Brian Bridges
Lulu - Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie
Lydia Lunch - Lydia Koch M
Mama Cass Elliot - Ellen Naomi Cohen
Spanky MacFarlane - Elaine MacFarlane
Lonnie Mack - Lonnie McIntosh
Madonna - Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone
Taj Mahal - Henry St.Clair Fredricks
Barry Manilow - Barry Alan Pincus
Yngwie Malmsteen - Lars Johann Yngwie Lannerback
Manfred Mann - Manfred Lubowitz
Marilyn Manson - Brian Warner
Little Peggy March - Margaret Battavio
Mick Mars (Motley Crue) - Robert Alan Deal
Dean Martin - Dino Paul Crocetti
Ricky Martin - Enrique Jose Martin Morales
Brian May (Queen) - Brian Harold May
Martina McBride - Martina Mariea Schiff (birth name)
Paul McCartney - James Paul McCartney
Roger McGuinn (Byrds) - James Joseph McGuinn III
Scott McKenzie - Philip Blondheim
Meat Loaf - Marvin Lee Aday
Bill Medley (The Righteous Brothers) - William Thomas Medley
Melanie - Melanie Anne Safka
Freddie Mercury - Farrokh Bulsara
George Micheal - Yorgos Panayiotou
Mitch Miller - Mitchell William
Joni Mitchell - Roberta Joan Anderson
Moby - Richard Melville Hall
Van Morrison - George Ivan Morrison
Morrissey - Steven Patrick Morrissey
Munky (Korn) - James Shaffer
Anne Murray - Morna Anne Murray
Mya - Mya Harrison
Mystikal - Micheal Tyler N
Nas / Nasty Nas - Nasir Jones
Rick Nelson - Eric Hilliard Nelson
Nelly - Carnell Haynes, Jr.
Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe) - Vince Neil Wharton
Randy Newman - Randall Stuart Newman
Newton - Billy Myers
Juice Newton - Judy Kay Newton
Stevie Nicks - Stephanie Lynn Nicks
Nokio (Dru Hill) - Tamir Ruffin
Nonchalant - Tanya Pointer
Noodles (Offspring) - Kevin Wasserman
Nilsson - Harry Edward Nilsson III
Notorious B.I.G. - Christopher Wallace
Gary Numan - Gary Anthony James Webb
Laura Nyro - Laura Nigro O
Ric Ocasek - Richard Otcasek
Billy Ocean - Leslie Sebastian Charles
Oliver - William Oliver Swofford
Roy Orbison - Roy Kelton Orbison
Tony Orlando - Michael Anthony Orlando Cassivitis
Benjamin Orr - Benjamin Orzechowski
Gilbert O'Sullivan - Raymond Edward O'Sullivan
Johnny Otis - John Veliotes
Ozzy Osbourne - John Michael Osbourne P
Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) - James Patrick Page
Patti Page - Clara Ann Fowler
Robert Palmer - Alan Robert Palmer
Gram Parsons (Byrds,Flying Burrito Brothers) - Cecil Ingram Connor, III
Paul and Paula - Ray Hildebrand and Jill Jackson
Les Paul - Lester Polfus
Johnny Paycheck - Don Lytle
Mike Penda (The Searchers) - Michael Prendergast
CeCe Peniston - Cecelia Peniston
Pepa (Salt-N-Pepa) - Sandra Denton
Pink - Alecia Moore
Iggy Pop - James Jewell Osterberg, Jr.
Cozy Powell - Colin Flooks
Cat Power - Charlyn Marshall
Daniel Powter - Daniel Robert Powter
Maxi Priest - Max Elliot
P. J. Proby - James Marcus Smith
Prince - Prince Rogers Nelson
Puff Daddy / P. Diddy / Diddy - Sean John Combs Q
Stacy Q. - Stacy Swain
Question Mark (?) (? & The Mysterians) - Rudy Martinez R
Dee Dee Ramone (Ramones) - Douglas Colvin
Joey Ramone (Ramones) - Jeffery Hyman
Johnny Ramone (Ramones) - John Cummings
Boots Randolph - Homer Louis Randolph
Chris Rea - Christopher Anton Rea
Jerry Reed - Jerry Hubbard
Lou Reed - Louis Firbank
Paul Revere - Paul Revere
Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran) - Nicholas James Bates
Busta Rhymes - Trevor Tahiem Smith
Buddy Rich - Bernard Rich
Little Richard - Richard Wayne Penniman
Cliff Richard - Harry Rodger Webb
Lionel Richie - Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr.
Johnny Rivers - John Ramistella
Smokey Robinson (The Miracles) - William Robinson
Rockwell - Kennedy Gordy
Henry Rollins - Henry Garfield
Diana Ross (The Supremes) - Diane Ernestine Ross
Axl Rose (Guns & Roses) - (born: William Bruce Rose Jr.) (renamed: William Bailey)
Johnny Rotten (Sex Pistols) - John Lydon
Ja Rule - Jeffery Atkins
Leon Russell - Claude Russell Bridges
Bobby Rydell - Louis Ridarelli
Mitch Ryder - William Levise Jr. S
Sade - Helen Folasade Adu
Sam the Sham - Domingo Samudio
Leo Sayer - Gerald Hugh Sayer
Boz Scaggs - William Royce Scaggs
Bon Scott (AC/DC) - Ronald Belford Scott
Seal - Henry Olusegun Olumide Samuel
Selena - Selena Quintanilla-Perez
Shaggy - Orville Richard Burrell
Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir) - Stian Thoresen
Shakira - Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll
Del Shannon - Charles Weedon Westover
Ben Shepherd (Soundgarden) - Hunter Benedict Shepherd
Gene Simmons (KISS) - Chaim Klein Witz
Sir Mix-a-Lot - Anthony Ray
Sisqo (Dru Hill) - Mark Andrews
Nikki Sixx (Mötley Crüe) - Franklin Carlton Serafino Feranna
Slash (Guns & Roses) - Saul Hudson
Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane) - Grace Barnett Wing
Fatboy Slim - Quentin Cook (aka Norman Cook)
Guitar Slim - Eddie Jones
Patti Smith - Patricia Lee Smith
Phoebe Snow - Phoebe Laub
Joe South - Joseph Alfred Souter
Jordin Sparks - Jordin Brianna Sparks
Britney Spears - Britney Jean Spears
Ronnie Spector - Veronica Bennett
Baby Spice (Spice Girls) - Emma Lee Bunton
Ginger Spice (Spice Girls) - Geraldine Estelle Halliwell
Posh Spice (Spice Girls) - Victoria Caroline Adams [Beckham]
Scary Spice (Spice Girls) - Melanie Janine Brown
Sporty Spice (Spice Girls) - Melanie Jayne Chisholm
Dusty Springfield - Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien
Paul Stanley (KISS) - Stanley Harvey Eisen
Edwin Starr - Charles Hatcher
Ringo Starr - Richard Starkey
Cat Stevens - Steven Demetre Georgiou (1979 - Yusuf Islam)
Ray Stevens - Harold Ray Ragsdale
Rod Stewart - Roderick David Stewart
Stephen Stills - Stephen Arthur Stills
Sting - Gordon Matthew Sumner
Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) - John Michael Stipe
Angie Stone (The Sequence) - Angela Laverne Brown
Joss Stone - Joscelyn Eve Stocker
Sly Stone - Sylvester Stewart
Joe Strummer (The Clash) - John Graham Mellor
Levi Stubbs - Levi Stubbles
Donna Summer - LaDonna Adrian Gaines T
Booker T - Booker T. Jones
Ice T - Tracy Marrow
Taboo (The Black Eyed Peas) - Jaime Luis Gómez
Taco - Taco Ockerse
Roger Taylor (Queen) - Roger Meddows-Taylor
Tammi Terrell - Thomasina Montgomery
Joe Tex - Joseph Arrington Jr.
B.J. Thomas - Billy Joe Thomas
Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty) - Robert Kelly Thomas
Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls) - John Anthony Genzale, Jr
Tiffany - Tiffany Darwish
Tiny Tim - Herbert Buckingham Khaury
Justin Timberlake - Justin Randall Timberlake
Timbaland - Timothy Z. Mosley
Peter Tork (Monkees) - Peter Halston Thorkelson
Peter Tosh - Winston Hubert Macintosh
Pete Townshend (The Who) - Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend
Randy Travis - Randy Bruce Traywick
Tina Turner - Anna Mae Bullock
Shania Twain - Eileen Regina Edwards
Twista / Tung Twista - Carl Terrell Mitchell
Conway Twitty - Harold Lloyd Jenkins
Bonnie Tyler - Gaynor Hopkins
Steven Tyler - Steven Victor Tallarico U
Carrie Underwood - Carrie Marie Underwood
U-Roy - Ewart Beckford
Midge Ure - James Ure
Usher - Usher Raymond V
Steve Vai - Steven Siro Vai
Ritchie Valens - Richard Steven Valenzuela
Frankie Valli - Frank Castelluccio
Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) - Edward Louis Severson III
Bobby Vee - Robert Velline
Billy Vera - Billy McCord Jr.
Tom Verlaine (Television) - Thomas Miller
Sid Vicious - John Simon Ritchie
Gene Vincent - Vincent Craddock
Vinnie Vincent (Kiss) - Vincent Cusano
Bobby Vinton - Stanley Robert Vintula, Jr. W
Jerry Jeff Walker - Paul Crosby
Junior Walker - Autry DeWalt Walker Jr.
T-Bone Walker - Aaron Thibeaux Walker
Dionne Warwick - Marie Dionne Warwick
Muddy Waters - McKinley Morganfield
Roger Waters - George Waters
Fee Waybill (Tubes) - John Waldo
Bob Weir (Greatful Dead) - Robert Hall
Junior Wells (blues artist) - Amos Blakemore
Leslie West (Mountain) - Leslie Westein
Jack White (White Stripes) - John Anthony Gillis
Kim Wilde - Kim Smith
Will.i.am (The Black Eyed Peas) - William James Adams Jr.
Hank Williams - Hiram Williams
Paul Williams - Billy Paul
Johnny Winter - John Dawson Winter
Steve Winwood - Stephen Lawrence Winwood
Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers) - Nicholas Allen Jones
Howlin' Wolf - Chester Arthur Burnett
Peter Wolf (J. Geils Band) - Peter Blankfield
Stevie Wonder - (born: Steveland Hardaway Judkins) (renamed: Steveland Hardaway Morris)
Hawksley Workman - Ryan Corrigan
Lil Bow Wow - Shad Anthony Moss
Link Wray - Fred Lincoln Wray Jr.
Betty Wright - Bessie Regina Norris
Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society) - Jeffery Phillip Wiedlandt
Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones) - William Perks
Tammy Wynette - Virginia Wynette Pugh X
Xzibit (rapper) - Alvin Nathaniel Joiner IV Y
Weird Al Yankovic - Alfred Matthew Yankovic
Yanni (New-Age musician) - Yiannis Chrysomallis
Yazz - Yasmin Evans
Yellowman - Winston Foster
Jesse Colin Young (Youngbloods) - Perry Miller
Neil Young - Neil Percival Young
Timi Yuro - Rosemarie Timotea Aurro
Yukmouth (Luniz) - Jarold Ellis, Jr. Z
Robin Zander - Robin Wayne Zander
Frank Zappa - Frank Vincent Zappa
Dweezil Zappa - Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa (birth name)
Warren Zevon - Warren William Zevon
Rob Zombie - Robert Cummings
Buckwheat Zydeco - Stanley Dural, Jr.
Zim Zum (Life, Sex & Death, Marilyn Manson) - Timothy Michael Linton
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Three Little Words That Work !!
(1)The three little words are: 'Hold On, Please...'
Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.
Then when you eventually hear the phone company's 'beep-beep-beep' tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.
These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting.
(2) Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end?
This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone.
This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a 'real' sales person to call back and get someone at home.
What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer !!!
(3) Junk Mail Help:
When you get 'ads' enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these 'ads' with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away.
When you get those 'pre-approved' letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope.
Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 37 cents postage 'IF' and when they receive them back.
It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents before the last increase and it is according to the weight. In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.
One of Andy Rooney's (60 minutes) ideas.
Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back!
If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them.
You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 41 cents.
The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own ju nk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it...Twice!
Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again You get the idea !
If enough people follow these tips, it will work ---- I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Simple table salt has a great number of uses other than simply seasoning your food!
- Soak stained hankies in salt water before washing.
- Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away.
- Soak fish in salt water before descaling; the scales will come off easier.
- Put a few grains of rice in your salt shaker for easier pouring.
- Add salt to green salads to prevent wilting.
- Test the freshness of eggs in a cup of salt water; fresh eggs sink; bad ones float.
- Add a little salt to your boiling water when cooking eggs; a cracked egg will stay in its shell this way.
- A tiny pinch of salt with egg whites makes them beat up fluffier.
- Soak wrinkled apples in a mildly salted water solution to perk them up.
- Rub salt on your pancake griddle and your flapjacks won't stick.
- Soak toothbrushes in salt water before you first use them; they will last longer.
- Use salt to clean your discolored coffee pot.
- Mix salt with turpentine to whiten you bathtub and toilet bowl.
- Soak your nuts in salt brine overnight and they will crack out of their shells whole. Just tap the end of the shell with a hammer to break it open easily.
- Boil clothespins in salt water before using them and they will last longer.
- Clean brass, copper and pewter with paste made of salt and vinegar, thickened with flour
- Add a little salt to the water your cut flowers will stand in for a longer life.
- Pour a mound of salt on an ink spot on your carpet; let the salt soak up the stain.
- Clean you iron by rubbing some salt on the damp cloth on the ironing surface.
- Adding a little salt to the water when cooking foods in a double boiler will make the food cook faster.
- Use a mixture of salt and lemon juice to clean piano keys.
- To fill plaster holes in your walls, use equal parts of salt and starch, with just enough water to make a stiff putty.
- Rinse a sore eye with a little salt water.
- Mildly salted water makes an effective mouthwash. Use it hot for a sore throat gargle.
- Dry salt sprinkled on your toothbrush makes a good tooth polisher.
- Use salt for killing weeds in your lawn.
- Eliminate excess suds with a sprinkle of salt.
- A dash of salt in warm milk makes a more relaxing beverage.
- Before using new glasses, soak them in warm salty water for awhile.
- A dash of salt enhances the taste of tea.
- Salt improves the taste of cooking apples.
- Soak your clothes line in salt water to prevent your clothes from freezing to the line; likewise, use salt in your final rinse to prevent the clothes from freezing.
- Rub any wicker furniture you may have with salt water to prevent yellowing.
- Freshen sponges by soaking them in salt water.
- Add raw potatoes to stews and soups that are too salty.
- Soak enamel pans in salt water overnight and boil salt water in them next day to remove burned-on stains.
- Clean your greens in salt water for easier removal of dirt.
- Gelatin sets more quickly when a dash of salt is added.
- Fruits put in mildly salted water after peeling will not discolor.
- Fabric colors hold fast in salty water wash.
- Milk stays fresh longer when a little salt is added.
- Use equal parts of salt and soda for brushing your teeth.
- Sprinkle salt in your oven before scrubbing clean.
- Soaked discolored glass in a salt and vinegar solution to remove stains.
- Clean greasy pans with a paper towel and salt.
- Salty water boils faster when cooking eggs.
- Add a pinch of salt to whipping cream to make it whip more quickly.
- Sprinkle salt in milk-scorched pans to remove odor.
- A dash of salt improves the taste of coffee.
- Boil mismatched hose in salty water and they will come out matched.
- Salt and soda will sweeten the odor of your refrigerator.
- Cover wine-stained fabric with salt; rinse in cool water later.
- Remove offensive odors from stove with salt and cinnamon.
- A pinch of salt improves the flavor of cocoa.
- To remove grease stains in clothing, mix one part salt to four parts alcohol.
- Salt and lemon juice removes mildew.
- Sprinkle salt between sidewalk bricks where you don't want grass growing.
- Polish your old kerosene lamp with salt for a brighter look.
- Remove odors from sink drainpipes with a strong, hot solution of salt water.
- If a pie bubbles over in your oven, put a handful of salt on top of the spilled juice. The mess won't smell and will bake into a dry, light crust which will wipe off easily when the oven has cooled.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
10. Close chip bags without the clipHalf-eaten bag 'o chips and nary a chip clip in sight? Check out this folding technique for keeping snacks fresh and the bag closed, no hardware required.
Buy our new book! Lifehacker, 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day
8. Master the art of cutting a mangoThis one's more a howto than a hack, but it changed our mango-cutting lives forever. Here's a video demo on how to slice a mango and get all of its juicy goodness without any of the mess.
7. Clean ANYTHING with vinegar
Fluff your blankets, steam clean the microwave, make better tasting coffee, de-ring toilets, shine cloudy glasses, de-stinkify mildew-y towels, de-ant and de-cat the garden and more with vinegar, the duct tape of condiments.
6. Bake no-knead breadNever baked your own loaf of bread? Using a simple, no-knead bread recipe published in the NY Times last year, you put together the ingredients and let time do the work for you.
5. Build a fire with chocolate and CokeYou're stuck at the campsite with a Hershey's bar, can of Coke, and not a lighter in sight. Instead of sweating over rubbing a few sticks together, polish the bottom of the can with the chocolate to a high shine and use it to focus the sun on your tinder to get your campfire going sugary-snack style. The Wildwood Survival site has the details on building fires with cans.
4. Make clear ice cubesThis one's not the most energy-efficient in the bunch, but who doesn't like perfectly clear, cloudless ice cubes? Here's how.
Make Crystal Clear Ice ! - video powered by Metacafe
3. Avoid crying while chopping onionsThe right chopping technique can reduce tears while chopping onions, as well as refrigerating or keeping the onion in ice water prior to cutting it.
2. Chill a Coke in two minutesTurn a room-temperature can of Coke into a cold refreshment in two minutes with a bucket of salted ice water. Mythbusters television host Adam Savage explains the temperatures and science behind it on Ask MetaFilter. This technique works for that bottle of white wine you need chilled fast, too.
1. Open a beer bottle with a piece of paperYou don't need an opener to crack that bottle of beer--all you need's a regular letter-sized piece of paper. This quick video runs down how.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Origin: The abbreviation originates with the Latin phrase libra pondo, which means "a unit of measurement by weight." The Romans shortened the phrase to pondo, which ultimately became pound in English, but the abbreviation of the first word - lb., for libra- endured. The symbol for British currency is a stylized L, or £, which comes from the same source. The value of the British pound was originally equal to one pound of silver.
Meaning: Very important person
Origin: This frequently used contraction was created during World War II by a British officer in charge of organizing flights for important military leaders. In order to conceal the names from enemy spies, each of these were referred to as a "V.I.P." in the flight plan.
Meaning: A married woman
Origin: Originally, Mrs. was a shortened version of mistress, a word that used to mean "wife" but has since acquired a very different meaning. Strictly speaking, because the word it once abbreviated has changed its meaning, Mrs. is no longer an abbreviation - unlike Mr., its male counterpart, which can be spelled out as Mister.
Meaning: A strikeout in baseball
Origin: In the 1860s when a batter struck out, it was proper to say that he "struck." It was during this era that a newspaperman named Henry Chadwick created symbols for use with his new invention - the box score. He gave each play a letter: S for sacrifice, E for error, and so on. Since S was already taken, he used to last letter of "struck" instead of the first to abbreviate it: K.
Meaning: A drug prescription
Origin: Actually, there is no x in Rx. In Medieval Latin, the first word in medicinal prescription directing one to take a specific quantity of a concoction was recipe, meaning "take" or "receive." This was later symbolized as an R with a slash across its leg. The spelling Rx is an attempt to represent this symbol in English letters.
Meaning: Body odor
Origin: In 1933 the Lifebuoy Health Soap Company ran a series of radio advertisements containing their new slogan: "Lifebuoy stops B— O—." A heavy two-note foghorn warning was synchronized with the "B.O.," giving the phrase a negative spin it has retained ever since.
Meaning: June 6, 1944, the day Allied forces invaded France during WWII
Origin: The D in D-Day does not stand for "designated" or "defeat," as many believe, but simply for "day." D-day actually means "day day." The redundancy comes from the common practice in army correspondence of referring to a top secret time as H-hour or D-day.
Meaning: Marking on bottles in cartoons to indicate that they contain alcohol
Origin: During the 19th century, breweries in Britain marked their bottles X, XX, or XXX as a sign of alcohol content. The number of Xs corresponded to the potency of the drink.