The state of TIAH
August 31st, 2006
in 1888, the first victim of the hideous murderer known as Jack the ripper is found in the Whitechapel area of London. Mary Ann Nichols, who had turned to a life of prostitution in her youth, was found cut to pieces on Buck’s Row. Her murder was followed by several others, and then the killings stopped for several years. The murders remained unsolved for many years until the killer published, of all things, a children’s book in which he wrote a cryptic confession of his dark deeds. Thomas Wyndham, a detective at Scotland Yard with a fondness for puzzles and cryptograms, was reading the edition of Alice In Wonderland known as Nursery Alice to his daughter when a passage on the page seemed to leap out at him; he rearranged the words and it turned into a confession of ominous portent. He and a colleague paid a visit to author Charles Dodgson, and after hours of questioning, the author broke down and confessed everything, also implicating his friend, Thomas Bayne, a colleague from Oxford. The sensational capture of the elusive Jacks stunned the world of children’s literature, and Dodgson’s work was pulled from publication; it is read today only by criminal pathologists seeking insight into the twisted mind of this terrible murderer.
in 1959, advice columnist and back-to-basics advocate Gari Strawn was born in Houston, Texas. After marrying young and poor, Strawn started living as close to the earth as possible, making all her family’s clothes, recycling materials, cooking all meals from scratch, and, in later days, growing food and generating power from various natural and renewable resources. She started an advice column in the Houston Post on natural living, and it quickly spread to hundreds of papers around the country and the world. Although this made her and her family quite well-to-do, the only changes that Strawn allowed in her private life was the acquisition of more land on which to practice her back-to-basics philosophy. The Strawn movement is credited with the popularity of many of the more stringent environmental laws we live under today, “to ensure that the planet we live on doesn’t run out of resources before we can pass it on to our children.”
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