The Ghost Army

Ghost Army documentaryIt’s the spring of 1945 and the Allies are putting on a show. There are hundreds of US tanks and trucks, radio transmissions are coming fast and furious, and the sounds of a massive military operation can be heard far and wide. The catch? None of it, not even the tanks, is real.

They’re a brilliant deception created by artists known as the Ghost Army, whose inflatable weapons and scripted soundtracks fooled the Nazis and saved countless lives (some of those young artists went on to become household names, like fashion designer Bill Blass).

This short clip from the Ghost Army documentary tells a bit more of this fascinating tale.

Gladiator Girls

Jean-Leon Gerome - Pollice Verso painting 500The roar of the crowd rises in the Roman arena. Two gladiators face each other, swords at the ready. At the end of the bloody fight the victor’s helmet will be tossed to the ground—to reveal the face of a young woman.

Not much is known about the female gladiators of ancient Rome, but this Discover article tells the fascinating story of two women who fought and died by the sword.

Mozart’s Sister

Mozart family portraitThe story of Mozart doesn’t usually include the other musical prodigy that toured with him. It was his sister, Maria Anna—and she was as much a musical genius as her famous brother. In fact, she was sometimes billed as the main attraction when they played for the courts of Europe. But women weren’t supposed to perform in public, and once she turned 18 she never toured again. The Guardian has more on the lost genius of Maria Anna Mozart.