Tag Archives: Jack the Ripper

Criminals Could be Identified ‘Through Reflection in Victims’ Eyes’

Reflections in the “dark mirror” of a person’s pupil could be used by police to identify criminals, piece together crime scenes or link networks of suspects.

According to the study, led by Dr Rob Jenkins at the University of York, we are able to able identify people reflected in the pupils of photographed subjects with a surprising degree of accuracy.

Jenkins and the University of Glasgow’s Christine Kerr photographed eight people.

They found that test subjects were able to identify the image of someone they already knew in the enlarged pupil reflection 84% of the time.

When they did not know the person reflected, they were able to identify them against a passport photo 71% of the time.

“The pupil of the eye is like a black mirror,” Jenkins said. “Eyes in the photographs could reveal where you were and who you were with.”

“In the context of criminal investigations, this could be used to piece together networks of associates, or to link individuals to particular locations,” Jenkins told Kurzweil Artificial Intelligence.

The reflections could be particularly useful in child abuse or kidnapping cases, where a victim is photographed by a criminal.

“Reflections in the victim’s eyes could reveal the identity of the photographer,” said Jenkins.

“Also, around 40 million photographs per day are uploaded to Instagram alone.

“Faces are among the most frequently photographed objects. Our study serves as a reminder to be careful what you upload.”

The photographs were taken with a high-end 29 pixel camera, but the study’s authors noted that as high-res cameras become more common in mobile phones, so better images may become more readily available to police.

Source – International Business Times, 28 Dec 2013

It might be noted that this idea is not new – police took photographs of the eyes of Mary Kelly, Jack the Ripper victim in 1888, working on the theory that the last thing a person saw might be imprinted somehow in the eyes.

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Almanac – June 16

BLOOMSDAY – in 1904  James Joyce began a relationship with Nora Barnacle and subsequently used the date to set the action of his novel Ulysses; this date is now traditionally called Bloomsday.

 

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1816 – Lord Byron read Fantasmagoriana to his four house guests at the Villa Diodati –  Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairmont, and John Polidori –  and issued his challenge that each guest write a ghost story, which resulted  in Mary Shelley writing the novel Frankenstein, John Polidori  the short story The Vampyre, and Byron the poem Darkness

 

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1829 – Geronimo born. A prominent leader of the Bedonkohe Apache who fought against Mexico and the United States for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars.


Geronimo” was the name given to him during a battle with Mexican soldiers. His Chiricahua name is often rendered as Goyathlay or Goyahkla  in English.

 

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1881 – Marie Laveau died. Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo, renowned in New Orleans.


Of her magical career there is little that can be substantiated. She was said to have had a snake she named Zombi after an African god. Oral traditions suggested that the occult part of her magic mixed Roman Catholic beliefs, including saints, with African spirits and religious concepts.


Her daughter Marie Laveau II (1827 — c. 1895) also practiced Voudoun, and historical accounts often confuse the two.  Some believe that the mother was more powerful while the daughter arranged more elaborate public events (including inviting attendees to St. John’s Eve rituals on Bayou St. John), but it is not known which (if not both) had done more to establish the voodoo queen reputation.


Marie Laveau was reportedly buried in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans in the Glapion family crypt. The tomb continues to attract visitors who draw three “x”s (XXX) on its side, in the hopes that Laveau’s spirit will grant them a wish.

Some  researchers claim that Laveau is buried in other tombs, but they may be confusing the resting places of other voodoo priestesses of New Orleans.

 

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1963 – Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.


During her three-day mission, in Vostok 6,  she performed various tests on herself to collect data on the female body’s reaction to spaceflight.


After the dissolution of the first group of female cosmonauts in 1969, she became a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding various political offices. She remained politically active following the collapse of the Soviet Union and is still revered as a heroine in post-Soviet Russia.

 

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1999 – Screaming Lord Sutch died. Cult English singer and musican, and founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, who he served as its leader from 1983 to 1999, during which time he stood in numerous parliamentary elections.


Sutch was also a pioneer of pirate radio in the UK, and worked with the legendary record producer  Joe Meek.


His album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends was named – unfairly ! –  in a 1998 BBC poll as the worst album of all time, despite the fact that Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding and Nicky Hopkins performed on it and helped write it.


Sutch suffered from depression and committed suicide by hanging.

 

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Almanac – January 08

1697Last execution for blasphemy in Britain; of Thomas Aikenhead, student, at Edinburgh. He had been indicted in December 1696, the indictment reading:

That … the prisoner had repeatedly maintained, in conversation, that theology was a rhapsody of ill-invented nonsense, patched up partly of the moral doctrines of philosophers, and partly of poetical fictions and extravagant chimeras: That he ridiculed the holy scriptures, calling the Old Testament Ezra’s fables, in profane allusion to Esop’s Fables; That he railed on Christ, saying, he had learned magick in Egypt, which enabled him to perform those pranks which were called miracles: That he called the New Testament the history of the imposter Christ; That he said Moses was the better artist and the better politician; and he preferred Muhammad to Christ: That the Holy Scriptures were stuffed with such madness, nonsense, and contradictions, that he admired the stupidity of the world in being so long deluded by them: That he rejected the mystery of the Trinity as unworthy of refutation; and scoffed at the incarnation of Christ.

Thomas Babington Macaulay said of Aikenhead’s death that “the preachers who were the poor boy’s murderers crowded round him at the gallows, and. . . insulted heaven with prayers more blasphemous than anything he had uttered.”

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 1843 – Frederick Abberline born. A Chief Inspector for the London Metropolitan Police and was a prominent police figure in the investigation into the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888. As such he’s been represented (sometimes not very authentically) in numerous works of literature, cinema and television.

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1880 – Joshua A. Norton died. The self-proclaimed Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, was a celebrated citizen of San Francisco, California, who in 1859 proclaimed himself  Emperor of the United States  and subsequently Protector of Mexico. Although he had no political power, and his influence extended only so far as he was humored by those around him, he was treated deferentially in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented.

Norton collapsed at a street corner, and died before he could be given medical treatment. The following day, nearly 30,000 people packed the streets of San Francisco to pay homage.

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1896 – Paul Verlaine died. French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.

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1897 – Dennis Wheatley born. English author whose prolific output of stylish thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world’s best-selling writers from the 1930s through the 1960s. His Gregory Sallust series was one of the main inspirations for Ian Fleming’s James Bond stories, but he’s perhaps better known for titles such as The Devil Rides Out, To The Devil – A Daughter, and  The Ka of Gifford Hillary. He even had a crack at the nascent UFO market (Star Of Ill-Omen, 1952).

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1935 – Elvis Presley born.

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1947 – David Bowie born.

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1948 – Kurt Schwitters died. German painter who  worked in several genres and media, including Dada, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography and what came to be known as installation art.

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1981 – A local farmer reported a UFO sighting in Trans-en-Provence, France, claimed to be “perhaps the most completely and carefully documented sighting of all time”.  

Renato Nicolaï, a fifty-five year-old farmer, heard a strange whistling sound while performing agricultural work on his property. He then saw a saucer-shaped object about eight feet in diameter land about 50 yards (46 m) away at a lower elevation.

According to the witness, “The device had the shape of two saucers, one inverted on top of the other. It must have measured about 1.5 meters in height. It was the color of lead. This device had a ridge all the way around its circumference. Under the machine I saw two kinds of pieces as it was lifting off. They could be reactors or feet. There were also two other circles which looked like trapdoors. The two reactors, or feet, extended about 20 cm below the body of the machine.”

Nicolaï claimed the object took off almost immediately, rising above the treeline and departing to the north east. It left burn marks on the ground where it had sat.

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Almanac – November 09

1623 – William Camden died. English antiquarian, historian, topographer, and officer of arms. He wrote the first chorographical survey of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and the first detailed historical account of the reign of Elizabeth I of England.

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1877 – Allama Muhammad Iqbal born.  Philosopher, poet and politician  in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. He is considered one of the most important figures in Urdu literature,  with literary work in both the Urdu and Persian languages.

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1888 –  Mary Jane Kelly murdered, generally considered the last known victim of Jack the Ripper.

Or was she ? Although the victim was found in Kelly’s room, the body was badly mutilated,  there were supposed sightings of her after she was dead, leading to the theory that someone else was using her room for purposes of prostitution and got unlucky. If Kelly did survive, she vanished from history at that point.

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1918 – Guillaume Apollinaire died. French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother.
Among the foremost poets of the early 20th century, he is credited with coining the word Surrealism and writing one of the earliest works described as surrealist, the play The Breasts of Tiresias (1917) . Two years after being wounded in World War I, he died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 at age 38.

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1953 – Dylan Thomas died.  Welsh poet and writer.  A post mortem gave the primary cause of death as pneumonia, with pressure on the brain and a fatty liver as contributing factors.

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1967 – First issue of Rolling Stone Magazine  published.

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Almanac – October 15

1764 – Edward Gibbon observed a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspired him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

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1844 – Friedrich Nietzsche born.  German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist. He appears in the following video – can you spot him ?

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1881 – P. G. Wodehouse born. English humorist, whose body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He enjoyed enormous popular success during a career that lasted more than seventy years and his many writings continue to be widely read.

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1888 – The “From Hell” letter sent to investigators of the Jack the Ripper murders. Postmarked on 15 October 1888, the letter was received by George Lusk, then head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, the following day.Though hundreds of letters claiming to be from the killer were posted at the time of the Ripper murders, many researchers argue that the “From Hell” letter is one of a handful of possibly authentic writings received from the murderer.

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1917 – Mata Hari died. Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” Zelle, better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy who was executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I. It’s quite possible that she was used as a scapegoat by the French military authority to obscure the failing of the French military operations at the front.

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1938 – Fela Kuti born. Nigerian multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of Afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick.

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1965 – The Catholic Worker Movement staged an anti-Vietnam War rally in Manhattan including a public burning of a draft card; the first such act to result in arrest under a new amendment to the Selective Service Act.

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1966 – Black Panther Party was created by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.

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Almanac – September 30

Today is Blasphemy Day.
Blasphemy Rights Day International, on  which individuals and groups are encouraged to openly express their criticism of, or even disdain for, religion. It was founded in 2009 by the Center for Inquiry  in Amherst, New York.

Ronald Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry said regarding Blasphemy Day, “We think religious beliefs should be subject to examination and criticism just as political beliefs are, but we have a taboo on religion,” in an interview with CNN.  The day was set on September 30, to coincide with the anniversary of the publication of satirical drawings of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, resulting in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.

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Evidently a good day to premiere something…

The Magic Flute [Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart] in Vienna in 1791.
The Pearl Fishers [Georges Bizet] in Paris, 1863.
Porgy & Bess [George Gershwin], Boston, 1935
– The first demonstration film of Cinerama – the imaginatively titled This Is Cinerama – in New York, 1952.

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1888 – The deaths of  Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes, generally considered the third and fourth victims of Jack the Ripper, though its theorised that Stride may not have been a Ripper victim.

 

 

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1955 – James Dean died. American film actor and  a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his stardom were as loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955), and as the surly ranch hand, Jett Rink, in Giant (1956). Dean’s enduring fame and popularity rests on his performances in only these three films, all leading roles. His premature death in a car crash cemented his legendary status.

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1967 –  The BBC’s  Light Programme, Third Programme and Home Service were replaced with BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
BBC Radio 1 – the official answer to the outlawed  pirate pop stations –  was also launched with Tony Blackburn (himself an ex-pirate) presenting the first show, and the first record played was…

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Almanac – September 8

1873 – Alfred Jarry born. French writer.  Best known for his play Ubu Roi (1896), which is often cited as a forerunner to the surrealist theatre of the 1920s and 1930s, Jarry wrote in a variety of genres and styles including plays, novels, poetry, essays and speculative journalism. His texts present some pioneering work in the field of absurdist literature
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He also  invented ‘Pataphysics – a philosophy or pseudophilosophy dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics – “the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments.”  Jarry considered Hippocrates of Chios and Sophrotatos the Armenian as the fathers of this “science”.

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1888 –  Annie Chapman murdered – generally reckoned to be the second victim of Jack the Ripper.

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1944 –  London is hit by a V-2 rocket for the first time. Launched  from The Hague  at 6:43 p.m. it  landed at Chiswick, killing 63-year-old Mrs. Ada Harrison, 3-year-old Rosemary Clarke, and Sapper Bernard Browning on leave from the Royal Engineers.

1966 – The Severn Bridge  is officially opened. A motorway suspension bridge spanning the River Severn and River Wye between Aust, South Gloucestershire (just north of Bristol) in England, and Chepstow, Monmouthshire in South Wales, via Beachley, Gloucestershire, a peninsula between the two rivers.

 

I’ve walked across it twice – once in each direction.

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1999 – Moondog died. Born Louis Thomas Hardin, he was a blind American composer, musician, poet and inventor of several musical instruments.

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