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4 World Leaders & Their Killers' Brutal Punishments

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With the media throwing Jodie Foster a coming out party this week, John Hinckley's name has been in the news. The man who shot President Reagan has been featured here on mental_floss before, when we compared his sentence to the punishments of others who also took down heads of state. Here are four examples where unsupervised parental visits were not allowed.

1. Leader: King Charles I
Killer: Oliver Cromwell

When the monarchy was restored in 1660, Cromwell was already dead, probably of malaria. But his corpse was exhumed for his part in the execution of King Charles I. On January 30, 1661 "“ the twelfth anniversary of Charles' death "“ Cromwell was posthumously hanged, then drawn & quartered. For good measure, his severed head was displayed on a pole outside Westminster Abbey until 1685.

2. Leader: Abe Lincoln
Killer: John Wilkes Booth

booth.jpgTwelve days after gunning down Honest Abe, Booth was found hiding inside Richard Garrett's barn outside Bowling Green, Virginia. The barn was set ablaze and Booth was shot in the spine. His body was buried inside a prison cell and twice exhumed for re-identification amid rampant "Booth Lives!" speculation. Four accomplices were hanged, including the woman whose tavern Booth visited while on the lam. And Samuel Mudd, the doctor who treated Booth's broken leg, received a life sentence, though he was pardoned by Andrew Johnson four years later.

3. Leader: William McKinley
Killer: Leon Czolgosz

leon.JPG About 45 days after fatally wounding President McKinley, Czolgosz took a seat in the electric chair. His trial lasted less than nine hours, from jury selection to conviction. His corpse was doused with sulfuric acid, which completely dissolved the body.

4. Leader: King Louis XV
(Would-be) Killer: Robert-François Damiens

Planning a school assembly to discourage today's kids from becoming tomorrow's assassins? This is the example your local community theater troupe should re-enact. I'll let the Wikipedians describe the horrors that met Monsieur Damiens, who made a half-hearted attempt on the life of Louis XV in 1757:

"He was first tortured with red-hot pincers; his hand, holding the knife used in the attempted murder, was burnt using sulphur; molten wax, lead, and boiling oil were poured into his wounds. Horses were then harnessed to his arms and legs for his dismemberment. Damiens' joints would not break; after some hours, representatives of the Parlement ordered the executioner and his aides to cut Damiens' joints. Damiens was then dismembered, to the applause of the crowd. His trunk, apparently still living, was then burnt at the stake."

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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