Of all the superstars who helped shape and define popular culture in the 20th century, few lasted as long in the spotlight — and even fewer were as enigmatic — as Francis Albert Sinatra.
On the anniversary of Sinatra’s death, LIFE.com presents rare photos, from 1965, of the man LIFE magazine called “the most controversial, powerful and surprising entertainer around.” Sounds about right….
See more photos here.
Not published in LIFE: Frank Sinatra and his dog, Ringo, at Sinatra’s home in Palm Springs, California, in 1965.
This absolute babe is Jan Karski, a prominent member of the Polish resistance during the Second World War.
Not just satisfied with sabotaging or harassing the local occupiers like lesser mortals after escaping the Russians and Germans as a prisoner of war, Karski got in touch with the exiled Polish government to report for duty. During the first four years of the war, he embarked on terrifyingly badass missions to provide the Allies with information about life in occupied Poland, more importantly about the Nazi extermination of Jews in his country. Undeterred by the Gestapo breaking every bone in his lovely face, Karski dedicated his career as a Resistance fighter to making the Holocaust public even before the war ended. Though not Jewish himself, he smuggled himself into the Warsaw Ghetto twice and the Belzec extermination camp to gather information, which he then snuck out of the country and brought to Allied government officials as far as Roosevelt in Washington DC.
After reading his 1944 autobiography Story of a Secret State, I discovered that my new history crush was, coincidentally, my mum’s Theory of Communism lecturer at Georgetown, where he taught for about forty years after the war. In her words, ‘He was a god’ and had ‘intense blue eyes’ (weird inherited history crush? I think so). Even Obama has the hots for Jan Karski - he’s awarding him a posthumous Presidential Medal of Honour in a few weeks. Can you blame him? Check those cheekbones.
Wow. Badass, indeed.
A two-day-old baby Asian elephant gets used to his wobbly legs while exploring his enclosure at Tierpark Berlin zoo. The male elephant calf, who does not have a name yet, weighs 102kg and is 91cm tall Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 - April 12, 1975): She was not only an extremely talented singer, dancer, and actress; she also served as a spy for France in WWII. Unable to have children of her own, she adopted 12 children from around the world and lived with them in a castle in France. She was married to men four times and also had several notable female lovers, including French writer Colette as well as Frida Kahlo.
She also used her influence to support the Civil Rights Movement, refusing to perform for segregated audiences and speaking at the 1963 March on Washington with MLK Jr.
Handy Guide to Reading Science News!
Someone very smart once said (paraphrasing here): “Your head should be open to new ideas, but not so open that your brains fall out.”
Keep these tips in mind when you read science news, and beware alarmism. You don’t have to stop feeling amazed and awed to be a little cautious and skeptical. I’ll be posting more tips like this in the future.
(via Double X Science)
I know I already posted this a month or so ago, but I feel compelled to share it again. This is a trailer for the movie I Am Big Bird,a documentary on the life of Caroll Spinney. Even if you haven’t watched Sesame Street since you were a child, this trailer is guaranteed to make you emotional. It looks like it’s going to be a really splendid documentary.