Crate of Curios part 44

This particular Crate is coming a day late due to a lovely long weekend away from the big city – I thought about preparing it beforehand and posting it on Sunday evening as usual and then… I decided against it. Sometimes holidays should really be holidays. However, now, as I’m returning to everyday life for a few days, the Crate is due and this time we’ll start with a look at an unusual and tragic figure from the Victorian age. Let’s get to opening it without further ado.

  1. Mary Ann Bevan started exhibiting symptoms of acromegaly soon after her marriage to Thomas Bevan in 1903. In her case it meant developing abnormal facial growth, migraines and problems with sight – however, as the disorder, that’s now known to be caused by excess growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland was not known or understood at the time, it continued unchecked. Thomas Bevan died suddenly in 1914, leaving Mary Ann and their four children without a sufficient income. Having read an American circus agent’s ad looking for the ‘Ugliest Woman on Earth’, she had her first photograph taken and sent it in. She won the competition and moved to the United States in 1920 to perform in Coney Island’s Dreamland sideshow and Ringling Brothers’ Circus freakshow, touring in the US for the most of her remaining years.

2. It’s a well-known fact that cats love boxes. It might be less well-known that big cats love them too.

3. Can slime be intelligent? Turns out that in some unusual ways it can.

4. Do you know how many autonomous areas there are in Europe? Find out with the help of this very cool map.

5. Absinthe has had a murky reputation for over a century – but does it deserve it?

6. And to finish off for this week, a little comic about language skills and confidence by Itchy Feet.

And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!

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