The Page

This isn’t a regular post. I just thought I would take a moment to let anyone reading this blog know that there is a Facebook page and a G+ page.

I initially made “The Page” on Facebook as a joke, but then decided to use it to post random facts about stuff. I am constantly reading about all sorts of things online, and I decided to start sharing some of it. But my post so on there were, in my opinion, too long to be statuses. So I created this blog. At first I was trying to post every night, but that became too much, and the posts ended up not being very good because I would force topics. So now I just post when I can. I don’t know if anyone reads this blog, but I do know that I have gotten several comments on some of these posts, while The Page has received zero activity since I created it. So this is me adverting the Facebook page of this blog. I sometimes do shorter posts on The Page of things that I don’t think are long enough to go into a blog post. Feel free to Like the Facebook page. Also, feel free to leave suggestions for future blog posts on the Timeline. If anyone does read this, I just want to say thank you. I have alot of fun doing this, and if even one person enjoys reading these posts of mine, then that’s just awesome.

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LZ 129 Hindenburg

On 5 October 1930, British rigid airship R101 crashed, killing 48 people. The German airship company, Zeppelin Company, purchased 5 tons of the wreckage, which they used to build their Hindenburg class airships, LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin and LZ 129 Hindenburg.

LZ 129 was initially supposed to use helium, as it’s not flammable. However, it’s more expensive as it’s only available through the United States. So hydrogen, which is cheap and easy to produce, was used instead.

On 4 March 1936, LZ 129 made it’s first test flight. Even though the name was already selected for the airship, only it’s formal registration number (D-LZ129) and the five Olympic rings (in support of the 1936 Olympics being held that August) were painted on it’s hull for the first six flights. When he heard that the name of the airship was Hindenburg (named after former German president Paul von Hindenburg), Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbelswas angry, and demanded that the airship be renamed Adolf Hitler, but was refused. Three weeks later, the name Hindenburg was painted onto the side of the airship in six foot high letters.

On 26-29 March 1936, Hindenburg made it’s public debut with a propaganda flight over Germany. After this, it made it’s first transatlantic flight on 31 March. In 1936, Hindenburg made ten round trip flights to North America. Although designed to be a passenger airship, Hindenburg was first used for Nazi propaganda by the Air Ministry.

The following year, in late March 1937, the airship made it’s first round trip to South America of the season. After it’s return, Hindenburg left Frankfurt for Lakehurst, New Jersey. On board were 36 passengers and 61 crew members. It was the first flight to North America of the season.

Because of strong headwinds, the trip was slowed down. The crew knew they had to be on time, as the return trip was already booked solid and the passengers were going to the coronation of King George VI, which was to take place on 12 May 1937.

On 6 May 1937, the airship reached Lakehurst, but was delayed due to a line of thunderstorms in the area. Around 7pm, they were given clearance to land. Landing an airship is a precise procedure, and the captain noticed that the rear of the airship was drooping. He had the crew drain water from the back to level out the ship. But the ship was still leaning slightly, so he had several crew members come from the back to the front to shift some of the weight around.

After a couple of sharp turns, the captain ordered the landing lines to be dropped. After t he handlers on the ground had grabbed the lines and was starting to lower the ship, the tail end burst into flames. In 37 seconds, the entire ship was engulfed in flames and came crashed down, most of the passengers and crew jumped out as the ship was coming down. 13 passengers and 32 crew, as well as one person on the ground, were killed.

Because of the publicity surrounding the arrival of the airship, the incident was well documented. The image of the ship exploding is perhaps one of the most famous images in history.

After the destruction of Hindenburg, airships lost their appeal, and they were discontinued. It’s sister ship, Graf Zeppelin was dismantled in 1940, never to be used as a passenger airship.

Below is a news reel of the disaster.

Christine Chubbuck

Christine Chubbuck was born on 24 August 1944 in Hudson, Ohio. In 1965, she earned a degree in broadcasting at Boston University, and worked at WVIZ in Cleveland for a year in 1966 till 1967. She attended a workshop in the summer of 1967, and worked at various tv and radio stations until 1971 when she joined WXLT-TV.

Christine started at WXLT as a reporter, but was later asked to do a morning community affairs show called Suncoast Digest,  which ran at 9:00 in the morning. It was described in the local paper as “It will feature local people and local activities. It will give attention, for instance, to the storefront organizations that are concerned with alcoholics, drug users, and other ‘lost’ segments of the community.”

In 1970, Christine attempted to kill herself by overdosing on medications, but failed. She suffered from depression and suicidal tendencies, and often talked to a psychiatrist , but her mother chose not to inform the station, as she thought it would cause Christine to be fired.

Her brother, Greg, later said that he believed the driving force behind her depression was her lack of relationships. Her 30th birthday was fast approaching, yet she had only been on two dates in her life, neither of which she was able to connect with. It is believed that she had a crush on a co-worker, George Peter Ryan, and sought his affection. However, she was hurt when she learned that he was already involved with sports reporter Andrea Kirby.

In late June, 1974, Christine asked the station’s news director if she could do a news piece on suicide, which she was permitted to do. She visited the local sheriff’s department and asked an officer about different methods of committing suicide, and the officer answered all her questions, even telling her the best type of gun to do it with.

A couple weeks later, in early July, she brought a gun into the studio and joked about killing herself. A co-worker scolded her for the comment, but she wasn’t taken seriously. On 12 July 1974, a few days after the incident, one of her stories was replaced with one about a shooting. The news director told the staff to put more of a focus on “blood and guts” stories

On the morning of 15 July 1974, Christine confused co-workers by claiming she had to read a newscast to open her program which she had never done before. She sat in the anchor’s chair and read of a few stories about shootings. Then, looking directly into the on-air camera, on live tv, she said, “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first—attempted suicide.”

She drew the revolver and shot herself behind her right ear. The on-set crew thought it was a sick joke, Then the camera operator notice the blood on the desk, and that Christine’s body was twitching, and faded to black.

The station quickly ran a standard public service announcement and then a movie. Some viewers called the police, while others called the station, believing that the shooting had been staged.

Christine Chubbuck was pronounced dead 14 hours later at a local hospital. It was later found out that her last line, as well as her suicide, was in her script, given to her by the studio.

Her family brought an injunction against WXLT to prevent the release of the video of her suicide, and a copy of the video was released to her family. The whereabouts of the original remain unknown. For the first time since 1974, Greg Chubbuck spoke publicly about his sister in a 2007 E! Entertainment Television special titled “Boulevard of Broken Dreams“.


Christine Chubbruck


The Life and Near Death of Nosferatu

 26 May 1897, a book was published by the name of Dracula by Irish author, Bram Stoker. Almost immediately, people started adapting the horror story into plays. Shortly after the novel was published, motion pictures started to catch on, and one of the first books to be adapted into film was Dracula.

In 1922, German silent film director F. W. Murnau made a film titled Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens (“Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror”). By then, Bram Stoker had been dead ten years, but his widow, Florence Stoker, was still alive, and hadn’t given permission to make the film.

The screenwriter, Henrik Galeen, had changed the names and places of the story, and even some key plot points, but the story was unmistakeably based on Bram Stoker’s novel. So Florence Stoker sued for copyright infringement, and won. The makers of Nosferatu were ordered to burn every negative and copy of the film, which they did.

However, piracy was a big thing back thing, just as it is now, and bootlegged copied of the film were hidden away. It’s because of these bootleggers that the film remains to this day, and is perhaps one of the most terrifying films of all time. It is now in the public domain, so the entire film is on youTube. Enjoy.