Archives For Hot dead chicks

Submitted for your approval is a new batch of Hot Dead Goodness. Today we have three Hot Dead Guys and three Hot Dead Chicks—a little something for everyone.

Huxley

Aldous Huxley

We begin with Aldous Huxley…über-intellect, philosopher, and author. Best known for his anti-Utopian novel Brave New World. Also well known for his prodigious and copious drug use. Less well known for his 1940 screenplay for Pride and Prejudice, starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. Should be known best for his brooding good looks, penetrating gaze, and general hotness.

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh

Next up we have Sir Walter Raleigh (or Ralegh, as it was originally spelled). Well known for his dalliance with Queen Elizabeth I (“Virgin Queen” my ass). Also known for his ill-fated expedition to settle Roanoke Colony in North Carolina (what kind of dipstick sends people to set up shop on the North Carolina coast during hurricane season, anyway???). Should be best known as Hot Elizabethan Studmuffin.

Our third Hot Dead Guy was chosen with Leo in mind, because I know of his fondness for hot prisoners and ex-cons.

John O'Reilly

John Boyle O’Reilly

John Boyle O’Reilly was a Fenian who was imprisoned in 1866 for his role in an Irish plot to rebel against British troops. This didn’t exactly endear him to the British, and for his troubles he got a prison sentence and subsequent transportation to Australia as a political criminal. O’Reilly escaped from prison in 1869 and made his way to the United States, where he continued to advocate for Irish independence. Now tell me you wouldn’t have enjoyed solitary confinement with this fine felon.

And now, the ladies…

Alice2

Alice Roosevelt

First, Alice Roosevelt…she was the oldest child of Teddy Roosevelt, and man, was she a piece of work. She had a throw pillow that was embroidered with “If you can’t say something nice, then sit next to me.” I mean, look at this haughty broad. You just know she’d rip you to shreds. Her forked tongue often got her in trouble and she was embroiled in multiple scandals throughout her life, but she didn’t care. Alice lived without restrictions. And she was hot.

Next, may I present Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood legend and science geek. During World War II, she devised a method of preventing radio-guided torpedoes from being jammed by the enemy: a device that would constantly change the radio frequency so that enemy equipment couldn’t get a fix on it.

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

She received a patent for her “frequency hopping” system. It was never used by the United States Navy, but many modern communications devices use a system very similar to it today. Hottie Hedy had beauty AND brains.

Jennie Jerome

Jennie Jerome

Last but by no means least, we have Jennie Jerome. Who??? Well, Brooklyn-born Jennie was from a well-to-do family, and being a fine specimen of female pulchritude, she had a variety of suitors. In 1874, she met Lord Randolph Churchill—the man who would soon become her husband. They soon had a son, Winston. You may have heard of him. (By the way, smart money says that Winston was conceived BEFORE the wedding of his parents…) Jennie was notorious for her sexual appetites as well as for her impossibly tiny waist (thanks to some seriously impressive corsetry). Her second and third husbands were both 20 years her junior, and she was once described as having “more of the panther than of the woman in her look.” Who knew Winston’s mom was such a live wire?  And so hot??

This lovely lady is our newest Hot Dead Chick in more ways than one—she’s the newest addition to the Weebles family, and she’s also the most recently deceased. She died on October 13, 2009, which makes her the youngest member of the gang.

Margaret Ann Hamilton Tunner

Photo from the Woman’s Collection, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX

I have a particular soft spot for her because she was a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during World War II. The WASP were civilian women who volunteered to fly military planes in support of the armed forces; while the men were at war there was a shortage of pilots on the homefront, and these women answered the call. They ferried new aircraft from the factories to the air bases, served as test pilots, and taught the fellas a thing or two about having the Right Stuff.  I had the privilege of meeting a few of these trailblazing women several years ago when I was working on a museum exhibition about the WASP.

When she joined the WASP in 1943, Tunner had already been a licensed pilot for several years. As a WASP she had the distinction of checking out on the most sophisticated aircraft, including the P-51, P-47, and P-39 fighters and the B-17 and B-24 bombers. Not all of the women were rated to fly all of these planes; Tunner was one of the few. That makes her even hotter, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Now here’s the sucky part. By the end of 1944, a lot of male pilots were coming home from the war and they wanted to take over the work that the WASP were doing. So Congress abruptly and unceremoniously ended the WASP program. And because the WASP were civilians, they received no military benefits after disbanding. To add insult to injury, they had to pay their own way back home. Basically the government said, “You’re on your own, ladies—good luck with that.” Douchebags.

These heroic women were forgotten for more than 30 years. But in 1976, the US Air Force finally started accepting women for flight training and the press referred to them as “the first female pilots.” Former WASP pilots swarmed (you should pardon the pun) the media to set the record straight.

In 1977, Tunner and several of her fellow flygirls went a step further and appeared before Congress to demand that the WASP be acknowledged as a military entity. With the help of Senator Barry Goldwater, who had been a pilot himself during WWII, they succeeded in getting Congress to grant them veteran status with all of the benefits attached. The WASP finally received the recognition that they should have had so many years earlier.

Tunner continued to fly until the end of her life, and her obituary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch tells a very cool story.  For her 78th birthday she was granted special permission to co-pilot an F-15. Before the flight, the pilot asked her if she preferred a conventional takeoff or a rapid takeoff using the fighter jet’s afterburners. She chose the rapid takeoff. Kickass!

Here’s to you, Margaret Ann. You were gorgeous, but more importantly, you got it done. Thank you.

It’s 4:30am and I can’t sleep. I woke up about an hour ago and have been up ever since. I didn’t get home from work until 10pm last night so I’d really prefer being asleep right now. But I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to have some quality time with the Weeblettes, one of whom is trying to climb on my lap even though my laptop is already on my lap.

So here’s a blog entry from a few months ago. Because you never know when this travel advice will come in handy.

Packing for a trip through time

Also, there is nothing good on television at 4:30-5:00am. I guess the networks feel that if you’re awake at this time, you deserve crappy programming. Unless this is their way of trying to be helpful, airing stuff that would be more likely to put you to sleep. Either way, sucks.

I’ve been remiss in introducing you to sufficient numbers of fine dead ladies, so here’s my first effort at rectifying the situation:

Vinnie Ream

First of all, she has a fantastic name. That’s the name she went by, although her full legal name was Lavinia Ellen Ream Hoxie, which is a neat name in itself.

Anyway, Ms. Ream was a very talented sculptor. But this beauty was ballsy too. When she was only 16 she wangled herself an opportunity to create a bust of Abraham Lincoln, and she was granted a half-hour audience with the president every day for five months. That takes some serious cojones. Ever see the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the U.S. Capitol rotunda? That’s her work. She was 18 when she won the commission to create this piece in 1866, becoming the first woman and youngest artist ever to be awarded a federal art commission. Mary Todd Lincoln wasn’t pleased about the selection of Ream for the 1866 comission. But Mrs. Lincoln was a hot mess, so I’ll cut her a little bit of slack here. (I’ll write more about this crazy woman in another entry.)

The sculpture of Lincoln propelled Ream to fame. She would go on to create pieces for Ulysses S. Grant, Franz Liszt, Horace Greeley, George A. Custer, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Thaddeus Stevens, Peter Cooper, and Ezra Cornell, among others. She received her second federal commission in 1875 to create a life-size statue of Admiral David Farragut. When she died in 1914, Ream had just completed her third federally commissioned sculpture, of Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet.

Here is another lovely, long-dead lady.

Pauline Cushman

Now this was a cool chick. Pauline Cushman was an actress whose Northern theater company often performed in the South during the Civil War. She became well acquainted with many Southerners in her travels, and it occurred to her that her acting skills put her in a perfect position to spy for the Union. After making arrangements with Union officers, she posed as a Southern sympathizer and quickly ingratiated herself with Confederate soldiers. Unfortunately she was no Mata Hari; she was caught carrying drawings she had made of Rebel fortifications. She was tried and convicted as a spy, and was sentenced to hang. Luckily for her, the Confederates holding her had to flee from advancing Union forces and they left her behind.

Cushman received a hearty welcome when she returned north—Abraham Lincoln even made her an honorary major in the Union army. She wore her major’s uniform (see above photo, taken by the famous Civil War photographer Mathew Brady) on the lecture circuit, where she regaled audiences with her adventures as a spy. The rest of her career was pretty unremarkable, and later in her life she turned to drugs and alcohol. She died in 1893 at the age of 60 from an intentional drug overdose. A sad ending for a brave, beautiful woman.

After posting several bits of male eye candy, it’s time to give the ladies a chance. So without further ado, may I present the following hot dead chicks for your consideration:

Ada Lovelace

Ada was the only legitimate daughter of Lord Byron, but that’s not why she was famous. From an early age she showed an aptitude for math and science. In 1833, when she was 17, she met Charles Babbage, who had just invented one of the world’s first computers, a contraption called the difference engine (which was basically a primitive calculator). Babbage was at work on a new computer called the analytical engine, and he told her about it. She was intrigued. She took his ideas and ran with them, eventually coming up with a program for his machine. Unfortunately the analytical engine was never completed, but Ada Lovelace is still considered to be the very first computer programmer. One of the original Geek Grrls, and a darned good looking one too.

Emma Hamilton

I’ll be honest, I don’t like this broad. She was basically a kept woman for many years before she married one of her keepers, Sir William Hamilton, an English ambassador living in Naples. While in Naples she became acquainted with Admiral Horatio Nelson of the Royal Navy. Lord Nelson had a wife in England, but that didn’t stop him from getting busy with Lady Hamilton. Pretty soon they were living as a couple, but oddly, they lived with Sir William (who was either the most understanding husband ever or the biggest doormat on earth). They lived very happily until Lord Nelson shipped out in 1803, at the start of the Napoleonic Wars. Nelson was killed during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Emma ultimately ended up penniless and died of alcoholism in 1815. Sad ending, and even though she was a homewrecker, she was a pretty hot piece.