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Florence Foster Jenkins was an American soprano who became famous for her complete lack of rhythm, pitch, tone, and overall singing ability. Despite her patent lack of ability, Jenkins was firmly convinced of her greatness. She compared herself favorably to the renowned sopranos Frieda Hempel and Luisa Tetrazzini, and dismissed the laughter which often came from the audience during her performances as coming from her rivals consumed by “professional jealousy.” She was aware of her critics, however, saying “People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.”
The M104 Wolverine is an armored combat engineering vehicle designed to provide deployable bridge capability for units engaged in military operations. The Wolverine is operated by two crewmen who sit within the hull. Both crewmen have access to the bridging controls, while the bridge itself is carried in two sections above the hull. Once a bridging site is chosen the vehicle securely anchors itself in place with a spade. The two sections of the bridge are joined together, and then the entire bridge is extended across the obstacle and dropped into place. During launch the crewmen have the ability to make minor corrections if needed. Once operations are complete the Wolverine drives across the bridge and retrieves it from the other side simply by reversing the process. The bridge can be launched in under 5 minutes or retrieved in less than 10, all without the crewmen ever leaving the safety of their vehicle.
Vivian Maier was an American amateur street photographer who grew up in France, and after returning to the U.S., worked for about forty years as a nanny in Chicago. During those years she took about 100,000 photographs, primarily of people and cityscapes most often in Chicago, although she traveled worldwide, taking pictures in each location. Her photographs remained unknown and mostly undeveloped until they were discovered by a local historian in 2007.
Ancient Evenings, a dazzlingly rich, deeply evocative novel, recreates the long-lost civilisation of Ancient Egypt. Mailer breathes life into the figures of that era; the eighteenth dynasty Pharaoh Rameses and his wife, Queen Nefertiti; Menenhetet, their creature, lover and victim; and the gods and mortals that surround them in intimate and telepathic communion. His hero, three times reincarnated during the novel, moves in the bright sunlight of white temples, in the exquisite gardens of the royal harem, along the majestic flow of the Nile and in the terrifying clash of battle. An outstanding work of creative imagination, Ancient Evenings displays Mailer’s obsession with magic, violence and eroticism and lives on in the mind long after the last page has been turned.
The maîtresse-en-titre was the chief mistress of the king of France. It was a semi-official position which came with its own apartments. The title really came into use during the reign of Henry IV of France and continued till the end of the Ancien Régime.
Maledicta, The International Journal of Verbal Aggression, is an academic journal dedicated to the study of offensive and negatively-valued words and expressions. Its main areas of interest are the origin, etymology, meaning, use, and influence of vulgar, obscene, aggressive, abusive, and blasphemouslanguage.
Manolete is considered by some to be the greatest bullfighter of all time. His style was sober and serious, with few concessions to the gallery, and he excelled at the ‘suerte de matar’—the kill.In response to Manolete’s death, General Francisco Franco, then dictator of Spain, ordered three days of “national mourning”, during which only funeral dirges were heard on the radio.
For 20 years, one man – Oxford-educated Dennis Howard Marks – was responsible for running an international drug market that shipped marijuana into the US by the ton.
Masquerade is a children’s book, written and illustrated by Kit Williams, which sparked a treasure hunt by concealing clues to the location of a jewelled golden hare, created and hidden somewhere in Britain by Williams. It became the inspiration for a genre of books known today as armchair treasure hunts. Challenged by Tom Maschler, of the British publishing firm Jonathan Cape, to “do something no one has ever done before” with a children’s book, Williams set out in the 1970s to create a book of paintings that readers would study carefully rather than flip through and discard. The book’s objective, the hunt for a valuable treasure, became his means to this end. Masquerade featured 15 detailed paintings illustrating the story of Jack Hare, who seeks to carry a treasure from the Moon (depicted as a woman) to her love object, the Sun (a man). On arriving at the sun, Jack finds he has lost the treasure, and the reader is left to find its location.
Massaro, whose shoes fetch 3,000 euros ($4,000) a pair, takes pride in the traditions of his craft, even using the old pedal-operated sewing machines from his father’s era.
Mat is the strongest form of obscene profanity used in Russian and other Slavic language communities. Mat is censored in the media and use of mat in public constitutes a form of disorderly conduct, punishable under article 20.1.1 of the Offences Code of Russia, although it is only enforced episodically, in particular due to vagueness of the legal definition.Despite the public ban, mat is used by Russians of all ages and in all social groups, with particular fervor in male-dominated military and the structurally similar social strata
Ole Mathiesen can be described as a gift from Denmark to the watch lovers of the world. A purveyor of elegant Danish watches, the Ole Mathiesen brand was founded in 1845 by Captain J.P. Christensen and the watch crafter Carl Matthaei.
The Maunsell Sea Forts were small fortified towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War to help defend the United Kingdom.
Gabriel von Max was a Prague-born Austrian painter.
His studies included parapsychology, Darwinism, Asiatic philosophy, the ideas of Schopenhauer, and various mystical traditions. At his residence in Starnberger Lake, Gabriel Max surrounded himself with a family of monkeys, which he painted often, sometimes portraying them as human. Max, along with his colleagues, often used photographs to guide painting. The great number of monkey photographs in his archive testify to their use as direct translation into his paintings. In 1908, his painting “The Lion’s Bride” became celebrated, and was depicted in motion pictures as an hommage in the Gloria Swansonfilm, Male and Female, (1919), directed by Cecil B. de Mille.
Ryan McGinley’s Sun and Health book already sells for close to $1000.
A mechanical floor is a storey of a high-rise building that is dedicated to mechanical and electronics equipment.
Polly Allen Mellen has been a stylist and fashion editor for more than 60 years at Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.
Jacques Mesrine was a French criminal who was also briefly active in the United States and Canada. He was responsible for numerous bank robberies, burglaries, and kidnappings, and claimed in an autobiography he wrote from prison to have committed upwards of forty murders. He was adept at disguising himself (earning himself the moniker “The Man of a Hundred Faces”) and making successful escapes from prison.
A perfect film without any errors in any department. The way it is art directed, DOPed and directed makes most of this season’s fashion collections look very sloppy. This is an extremely tight vision and very underrated.
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt was a German-Austrian sculptor most famous for his “character heads”, a collection of busts with faces contorted in extreme facial expressions.
A phenomenon native to Mexico, where it is known as a brincador (“hopper”). Physically, Mexican jumping beans resemble small Tan to brown beans. They are a seed pod in which the larva of a small moth has chewed through. The seed does not actually jump so much as wiggle because when it gets in a hot place the larva snaps its body hoping to roll to a cooler place.
Milestii Mici is a wine factory and wine collection of Moldova situated 20 km south of Chisinau near a village with a similar name. Its underground wine city in limestone is stretching for 250 km of which 120 km are currently in use.
The Miller House was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1957 and is an important residential representation of the International Style, a subtype of the Modern Movement. Of equal significance, the landscape of the Miller House, designed by famed landscape architect Dan Kiley, was one of the first and most important Modern designs in residential landscape architecture.
Minar-e-Pakistan is a tall minaret in Iqbal Park Lahore, built in commemoration of the Pakistan Resolution. The minaret reflects a blend of Mughal and modern architecture, and is constructed on the site where on March 23, 1940, seven years before the formation of Pakistan, the Muslim League passed the Pakistan Resolution.
The 65-metre high minaret, surrounded by mountains that reach up to 2400m, was built in the 1190s, entirely of baked-bricks.
José Mindlin was a Brazilian lawyer, businessperson and bibliophile, born to Ukrainian Jewish parents. He was the owner of the largest private library in Latin America, with more than 38,000 titles.
Yukio Mishima was a Japanese author, poet and playwright, also remembered for his ritual suicide by seppuku.
Antanas Mockus is a Colombian mathematician, philosopher, and politician. He was mayor of Bogotá for two (non-consecutive) terms, during which he became known for springing surprising and humorous initiatives upon the city’s inhabitants. These tended to involve grand gestures, including local artists or personal appearances by the mayor himself—taking a shower in a commercial about conserving water, or walking the streets dressed in spandex and a cape as Supercitizen. In a notable 1993 incident, when confronted with a disruptive group of students, he mooned them. He later explained his action by saying “Innovative behavior can be useful when you run out of words”, and linked it to philosopher Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of “symbolic violence.”
Rita Levi Montalcini is an Italian neurologist who, together with colleague Stanley Cohen, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of Nerve growth factor (NGF). More importantly, she’s a fucking style icon.
Moondog was a blind American composer, musician, poet and inventor of several musical instruments. Moving to New York as a young man, Moondog made a deliberate decision to make his home on the streets there, where he spent approximately twenty of the thirty years he lived in the city. Most days he could be found in his chosen part of town wearing clothes he had created based on his own interpretation of the Norse god Thor. Thanks to his unconventional outfits and lifestyle, he was known for much of his life as “The Viking of 6th Avenue”.
Charles Moore was an American photographer most famous for his photographs documenting the Civil Rights Era.
A globetrotter, diplomat, and bohemian, Morand specialized in short stories and travel essays and was one of the best-known French writers during the era between the two World Wars. His work evoked the cosmopolitan atmosphere and energetic social life of the postwar period while creating psychological portraits of hedonistic, often disillusioned characters. His witty, fast-paced descriptive prose is rich in imagery and has led some critics to categorize him as a French modernist and imagist.
Ranya Mordanova. The only model working on the scene that interests me.
The Moscow Metro is the second most heavily used in the world by daily ridership. A total of about 500 strays on average live in its stations, especially during colder months. Of these dogs, about 20 are believed to have learned how to use the system as a means of commuting. Site in Russian dedicated to these sublime creatures.
The Mosuo people are known as the ‘Kingdom of Women’ because The Na are a matrilineal society: heterosexual activity occurs only by mutual consent and mostly through the custom of the secret nocturnal “visit”; men and women are free to have multiple partners and to initiate or break off relationships when they please. The Mosuo men practice tisese which misleadingly translates as walking marriage in Chinese. However, the Mosuo term literally means “goes back and forth.” Women have the choice to invite men of interest to their private sleeping room. If the man does not reciprocate this desire, he may simply never visit the woman’s household. Men perform tisese in the true sense of the word. They can seek entry into the sleeping chambers of any woman they desire who also desires them. When feelings are reciprocal, a man will be allowed into a woman’s private sleeping area (Hua, C.) There he will spend the night and walk back to his mother’s home in the early morning.
Serge Mouille was a French industrial designer and goldsmith. He is best known for his light fixture designs.
Baron Philippe de Rothschild came up with the idea of having each year’s label designed by a famous artist of the day. In 1946, this became a permanent and significant aspect of the Mouton image with labels created by some of the world’s great painters and sculptors. More info here.
Martin Muelder. Dutch photographer who shot for Purple, 10 Magazine, French Vogue, Fantastic Man, Muse, and The Last Magazine.
Rie Munoz, a Dutch-American, was born and raised in California. She has lived in Alaska since 1951, when she traveled up the Inside Passage by steamship, fell in love with Juneau.
This book has been a classic in the former Soviet Union since it was first published in 1956, and it remains just as entertaining today. A master at making math fun for his high school students, Boris Kordemsky loaded this clever collection with a wide variety of math and logic related games and puzzles dealing with magic squares, tricky weights and measures, properties of numbers, mathematical tricks, and more.