She is beautiful still in the spring sunlight, the form, the façade, the long, lovely lines. Not young, but quite fashionable, striking the same winsome pose she held when her presence along this glittering Gold Coast stretch could stop men in their tracks. They would stand before her bewitched then, desperate for her favor. Depending on who they were, it would be granted—though not always. She could be fickle that way. But such was her power, her mystery, that she never wanted for suitors.
That was long ago. The men no longer stare. They pass now with barely a glance. These days, the four-story brick and limestone Victorian-style manor house is just a building.
But for one gilded period some 40-odd years ago, 1340 North State Parkway was much more. In the abstract, it was both the epicenter of a new sexual freedom and an object of scorn; more concretely, it was the setting for some of the most notorious, celebrity-filled parties of its time. Where else might you see Frank Sinatra chuckling at a gorgeous naked woman diving into an indoor pool filled with other gorgeous naked women? Meet Joe DiMaggio and Dean Martin and Warren Beatty and the Rolling Stones in the same ballroom? Slide down a fireman’s pole to an underwater bar lit by the sparkling green of an aquarium window through which yet more gorgeous women could be seen cavorting like so many mermaids?
The building, of course, was the Playboy Mansion—the original Playboy Mansion—at a time when its owner, a West Side boy named Hugh Marston Hefner, ruled the city, if not the world.
Back then, the Playboy imprimatur festooned Chicago and environs—lines stretched outside the Playboy Club on Walton Street; the word “Playboy” blazed atop the Palmolive Building in nine-foot-high letters. Chicago was home to the Playboy Towers Hotel and the Playboy Theater, and the 1,000-acre, 300-room Playboy resort aroused sleepy Lake Geneva. It was an era when Playboy Bunnies bicycled to Schwartz’s on Rush to pick out merry widow corsets; when Playmate centerfolds struck seductive poses in studios on the Magnificent Mile; when the TV show Playboy’s Penthouse hepped it up with jazz greats in a Loop studio.
It’s been so long since Hefner lived in the Chicago mansion that these days it’s hard to believe the place existed, much less that it still stands. And, yet, there it is, beautiful on a sunny spring day, an old flame, an apparition, a silent witness to a strange, singular era in a town she loved and lost.
The most common cause of death for American women is heart disease, which causes just over 27% of all mortalities in females. Cancer ranks just below, causing 22% of female deaths. – Provided by RandomHistory.com
Do also check out this site of a friend of mine:
Parents Who Lose a Young Child More Likely to Die Early
Research has shown that people are more likely to die following the death of a spouse, commonly referred to as dying of a “broken heart,” and a new study shows the same to be true following the death of a young child. It found that parents who lost a baby before its first birthday were up to 4 times more likely to die in the decade following the child’s death. Though the risk of death lessened over time, mothers continued to be 1.2 times more likely to die 30 years after the loss of their child. More …
Why do women have orgasms?
One of my favorite science books ever is Elisabeth Lloyd’s The Case of the Female Orgasm, which does a beautiful job of going case-by-case through postulated adaptive explanations for female orgasms and showing the deficiency of the existing body of work. It’s a beautiful example of the application of rigorous scientific logic; it does not disprove that female orgasms have an adaptive function, but does clearly show that the scientists who have proposed such functions have not done the work necessary to demonstrate that fact, and that some of the explanations are countered by the evidence. Her conclusion was that the likely explanation for the female orgasm was that it wasn’t directly adaptive: women have them because men are selected for having them, and that the women are just along for the happy ride, just as men have nipples because there has been selection for women to have them.
A lot of people detest the book, though. It does rather ruthlessly cut through many adaptive scenarios, and some people just seem to have a bias that if something exists, it must have a purpose. And for some reason, there is an odd preconception that purposeless features are counter to evolution (they aren’t).
Now there’s a new paper out by Zietsch and Santtila that purports to challenge the non-adaptive explanation. It fails. It fails pretty badly, actually. I’ll go further: I thought it was a terrible paper, especially in contrast to the clarity of Lloyd’s work. Here’s the abstract:
The Radium Girls were a group of female factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning from painting watch dials with glow-in-the-dark paint at a New Jersey factory in 1917. The women, who had been told the paint was harmless, ingested deadly amounts of radium by licking their paintbrushes to sharpen them. Some even painted their fingernails with the glowing substance. After the risks were exposed, five of the women sued their employer in a case that led to the establishment of what right? More…
Out in Silicon Valley, the last bastion of full employment, the Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerbergs of the future are staying up all night writing code in dorms.
Feross Aboukhadijeh likes to tell the story of how he got famous. It happened last fall, as he was beginning his junior year at Stanford. Google had just unveiled a feature called Google Instant, which shows search results in real time, as you type. “I thought it was kind of gimmicky,” says Feross. But it gave him an idea: If Google could pop out instant search results, why couldn’t YouTube produce instant videos? He bet a friend he could slap something together in an hour. “I lost the bet,” he says. “It took me three hours.”
The result was YouTube Instant, a site that lets you flip through YouTube videos in real time. Say you type in the letter A: The top video that begins with that letter—currently the music video for Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”—starts playing. Add a B to spell “Ab,” and you see a stop-animation set to the alphabet song. “Abd” gives you the trailer for the Taylor Lautner thriller Abduction. And so on.
YouTube Instant went live at 9:32 p.m. on a Thursday. When Feross woke up at eight the next morning, he had a bunch of missed calls. One of his transcribed voice-mails said, “interview washington post.” “I was like, Nah, that can’t be right,” he says. By the end of the day, YouTube Instant had tens of thousands of views, Feross’s name and grinning face had appeared on dozens of websites and TV shows, and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley had offered him a job over Twitter.