Why did this celebrity astrologer kill her family?

From Rolling Stone: “Sharonda had struggled with substance abuse when Danielle was a teenager, and had not been present for much of her life; they had only started speaking again in 2015, around the time Danielle had her first child. As part of an effort to reconnect with her daughter, Sharonda had set off on her own spiritual journey. She would eventually call herself a psychic, appointing Danielle as her guide. On April 8, Sharonda received a phone call from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office: Danielle, 34, had driven her car into a tree at high speed and did not survive the impact. Danielle’s partner, Jaelen Chaney, 29, had been found in their apartment stabbed to death. Her two children appeared to have been pushed out of a moving car, and, while the nine-year-old only had a few cuts, the eight-month-old died.” 

The man who sat by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel every day for forty years

The Cabanas at the Beverly Hills Hotel Receive a Retro-Glam Makeover ...

From The New Yorker: “For forty-two years, from the time he discovered the hotel, in 1950, until it closed, last December 30th, Irving’s days had been as well ordered and as predictable as the Sun King’s. At seven o’clock every morning, wearing one of the many perfectly fitted tropical-weight suits that have been a special affection of his since a memorable day in the nineteen-thirties, he would stroll over from his house, in the lower reaches of Beverly Hills; enter the hotel under the long, sloping green-and-white striped awning that extended all the way from the driveway, above Sunset Boulevard, to the main entrance; turn right in the lobby; and arrive at the Polo Lounge. Occasionally, when the weather was particularly fine, he would take his breakfast outside, under the great Brazilian peppertree on the curving flagstone Polo Lounge patio.”

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Why is a small park in Delaware dedicated to Bob Marley?

From Atlas Obscura: “The King of Reggae. The Prophet. And…Delawarean? Yes, Bob Marley, the internationally famous reggae superstar, was also an off-and-on resident of Wilmington, Delaware, for more than a decade, working everyday jobs to earn money, sometimes using an alias. This part of his history was little-known both during his lifetime and even today, and one of the few reminders of the great singer’s time in Delaware is found at the playground in front of his former home. Bob Marley’s Delaware story actually begins with his mother, Cedella Booker. Cedella met her future husband, Wilmington resident Edward Booker, in 1955, while visiting her sister. After leaving the father of Bob’s future bandmate, Bunny Livingston (Wailer), Cedella would move to North Wilmington in the early 1960s.” 

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Lynn Conway was a pioneering microchip designed and transgender-rights activist

Lynn Ann Conway, Professor Emerita of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor poses for a portrait at the University of Michigan’s North Campus. Conway is an American computer scientist, electrical engineer and transgender activist. Photo by Marcin Szczepanski

From UMich: “Lynn Conway has been called the hidden hand in the 1970s chip design movement that made today’s consumer electronics and personal computing devices possible. he joined Michigan Engineering’s faculty in 1985 as associate dean for instruction and instructional technology. While she retired in 1998, Conway remained an influential part of the community—advising faculty members, speaking at events and even having lunch with students on occasion. As a young adult, Conway was one of the first Americans to undergo a modern gender transition, and in her retirement she became an outspoken advocate for transgender rights. Conway kept a low profile, especially after she was fired from IBM for being open about her transition in 1968 (the company apologized in 2020) and her contributions were overlooked for a long time.”

A plantation owner asked a former slave for help and got this letter in response

slavery - Foreign Policy Research Institute

From Now I Know: “In or around 1831, Jordan Anderson — a young boy at age 7 or 8 — was sold into slavery, becoming the property of a general named Paulding Anderson. When the general passed away, his son Patrick inherited his estate, including Jordan (who was given his owners’ last name). Jordan would work in the Anderson family’s service for three decades, until 1864, when Union soldiers freed him and the rest of the slaves. After the war, Patrick Anderson’s farm fell on hard times, and he wrote to Jordan, asking him to return to the plantation to work, with no mention of pay. Jordan had started a new life as a free man in Ohio, and was working for an abolitionist named Valentine Winters. Jordan replied to Patrick via a letter, and Winters urged his employee to allow newspapers to republish the letter. The full text is here.”

Amelia Earhart showed the American public that flying was for everyone

Amelia Earhart

From JSTOR Daily: “The daring of women like Earhart, whose aviation career brought increasing fame throughout the 1920s and 1930s, challenged the stereotype of an aviator as male. Rickety early planes were the territory of men who were not ordinary mortals, and the combat planes of World War I further convinced the world that only men could fly. These associations with danger and death made flight fascinating, but not necessarily a must-do for a nervous public. At the time, women were assumed incapable of doing anything a man couldn’t already handle. If the fragile sex could hurtle through the air in newfangled planes, the logic went, so could men. Women like Earhart were clearly extraordinary. But in some ways the public had to overlook their powers and abilities in order to get up the gumption to fly themselves.”

Rock music: This phonograph can play the surface of a rock

Acknowledgements: I find a lot of these links myself, but I also get some from other newsletters that I rely on as “serendipity engines,” such as The Morning News from Rosecrans Baldwin and Andrew Womack, Jodi Ettenberg’s Curious About Everything, Dan Lewis’s Now I Know, Robert Cottrell and Caroline Crampton’s The Browser, Clive Thompson’s Linkfest, Noah Brier and Colin Nagy’s Why Is This Interesting, Maria Popova’s The Marginalian, Sheehan Quirke AKA The Cultural Tutor, the Smithsonian magazine, and JSTOR Daily. If you come across something interesting that you think should be included here, please feel free to email me at mathew @ mathewingram dot com

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