Thursday, June 24, 2010

Get to Know United States of America

With the final segment of the First Round games in the World Cup, we are getting some tickets punched for the second round.  Let's learn a little something about the country of the United States of America.  (more fun facts can be found here)

1.  The Greatest Nation in the World.  Despite crazy high unemployment, an education system that is getting increasingly backward and parochial, two wars, a health care system that is based on profits not healthcare, and a burgeoning political movement that seems rooted in a purposeful misreading of the country's founding documents--Greatest Nation Ever.

2.  A lot of the heroes in American History are known by Americans by the time they leave elementary school; but usually the story is a bit of a lie, either directly or via omission.  My favorite example is that of Helen Keller--a woman almost every American knows; hardly anyone knows that she was a dedicated and active socialist and labor leader her entire adult life.

3.  Home of one of the first known serial killers in the world, H.H. Holmes.  Holmes was something out of an over-the-top murder mystery book--he even built himself a murder house for the purposes of luring young women from the Chicago's World Fair of 1893.   Seriously--it was a fucking murder house, built to spec:  "a maze of over one hundred windowless rooms with doorways opening to brick walls, oddly angled hallways, stairways to nowhere, doors openable only from the outside, and a host of other strange and labyrinthine constructions."  That doesn't mention the sound-proof rooms, the pits of acid, the rooms with asphyxiating gas lines, etc.  I don't know how it hasn't been made into a movie yet.  If you haven't read "The Devil in the White City", you really should.

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