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Richard Avedon, Marilyn Monroe, and Hollywood’s Blond Mania

In 1954, Marilyn Monroe was already a Hollywood phenomenon. In her earliest cameo in the 1950 film All About Eve, Monroe’s character is briefly introduced to Margo Channing, a grand diva of the stage played by Bette Davis, as Miss Claudia Casswell, a graduate, as her chaperone condescendingly quips, of “the Copacabana School of Dramatic Art.” Miss Casswell is then summarily dismissed, sent off in the direction of a big producer in the other room on whom she is expected to level her feminine wiles. In a ten-second cut, we watch the bit-part character becoming the outsize star who plays her. Monroe employs an arsenal of subtle optical adjustments, turning on an inner glow and flashing her most mesmerizing smile....

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Have You Ever Wondered Who Was the First Person to Eat an Oyster?

Cody Cassidy is the author of Who Ate the First Oyster? The Extraordinary People Behind the Greatest Firsts in History. Literary Hub spoke to Cassidy about some of his own “firsts.” * Literary Hub: What was the moment you first realized you wanted to write a book about “firsts”? Cody Cassidy: My ideas nearly always come while I’m reading. In this case, it was Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of all Maladies. Mukherjee begins his book with a fascinating anecdote about the first documented case of cancer, which comes from an ancient Egyptian tablet. The hieroglyph describes the patient and their disease, which is most likely breast cancer judging by the description. I found something deeply interesting not only in that...

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Up to 20 litres of water can be used when you wash dishes in a sink. For many years there has been an outcry over the lack of water conservation in South Africa, as many parts of the country were recently hit by water shortages. Yet society often overlooks the one of the simplest ways to save water — doing the dishes. And the good news is, you don’t need to buy a dishwasher (although it helps to keep costs down). Here’s a few things you can do save water while wash the dishes: Install low-flow taps Installing low-flow taps in your home is a cost-effective way to save water. Also, if you’ve ever had a problem with young kids...

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