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The Quick 10: 10 Hermits

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Don't you ever have days where you'd just like to chuck it all and go live in a hut in Hawaii or something? I know lots of hermits end up in the mountains, but that's not for me. If I'm going to live off the land with absolutely no possessions, I at least want to be somewhere enjoyable. Here are 10 people who actually followed through on that urge - I tried to avoid hermits of the spiritual kind because there are a ton of them.

harrill1. Robert Harrill was just the average down-on-his luck guy "“ he had some crappy jobs and a failed marriage. But unlike most people, he decided to scrap society and go live in the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area in North Carolina at the age of 62. He lived off of oysters and planted a vegetable garden; his home was an abandoned WWII bunker. But he didn't avoid people the way most hermits do: he had tons of visitors and even a guestbook for them to sign. He was arrested as a vagrant several times, but was able to successfully defend himself in court nearly 100% of the time. Eventually, they just gave up trying to prosecute him. Sadly, he was discovered dead in 1972, his body bloody and covered in wounds. The official cause of death was listed as a heart attack, but most people think he was intentionally beaten to death by a group of men.

2. Noah John Rondeau was famous as the hermit of the Adirondack Mountains. Prior to hermithood, Rondeau was a guide in the western Adirondack High Peaks, which served him well when he retreated from society. He started living alone in the Cold River area in 1929 and was so reclusive that he even coded all of his journals with ciphers. The Conversation Department kicked him out in 1950, at which time 67-year-old Noah John started working as Santa Claus in Wilmington, N.Y. This didn't really create enough of an income for him to live off of, though, and he eventually went on welfare. Although he died in 1967, his ciphers weren't cracked until 1992.

penn3. William Wilson, AKA the Pennsylvania Hermit, is a tragic tale. In 1784, his sister, Elizabeth (sometimes called Harriot), gave birth to twin boys out of wedlock. In October of the same year, she disappeared for a few days to supposedly meet with the boys' father, but when she returned, the babies were gone. Their bodies were found in the nearby woods, and of course, the guilty finger was pointed at Elizabeth. She was found guilty of the horrendous offense a year later and was sentenced to death. William had been working out of town and didn't find out about his sister's problem until a couple of months after the sentencing, where he was able to extract the truth from her "“ the boys' father met her in the woods and killed the babies, then told Elizabeth to keep quiet about the whole thing. William immediately started procedures to have Elizabeth declared innocent but had to ride around from town to town finding witnesses and talking to judges and things like that. The story goes that he rode back into town yelling "A pardon! A pardon" just after Elizabeth had been hanged. His horse freaked out when it saw Elizabeth's swaying body and bucked him off; he landed facedown in the mud underneath her body. When he came back up, his hair had turned white and he was babbling gibberish. I'm sure these dramatics have been added after the fact, but there is definitely some historical fact in there. William withdrew from society several months after that and lived in a cave in Welsh Mountain. He died on October 13, 1821, with the Harrisburg Intelligencer reporting his strange behavior after his sister's death.

4. Willard Kitchener MacDonald was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, but hid in a shack near Gully Lake in Canada for more than 60 years. His reasoning? He wanted to avoid fighting in WWII. His records are a little sketchy, as you imagine a hermit's might be, but it's believed that he took up residence in the shack sometime between 1944 and 1950. He lived there alone until 2002, when his hut perished in a forest fire, taking his few possessions with it. The County then built him a little cabin, but in 2003, when some people tried to make him seek medical help, he fled back into woods. His dead body was found on June 27, 2004.

lucas5. James Lucas was known as the Hermit of Hertfordshire, which I think has a great ring to it. He kind of sounds like the Howard Hughes of Victorian England "“ he had an education, he studied medicine and was very social and pleasant to be around. But all of this changed when his mother died. He had always been known as a bit eccentric, but her death brought it out a thousandfold. He didn't allow her to be buried for three months, was terrified of all of his living relatives and locked himself in his mansion. He slept in the kitchen on a bed of ashes and stopped wearing clothes, save for a blanket that he sometimes wrapped around himself when he needed to appear at his window. He was rich enough to hire two armed guards to stop people from intruding upon him, but he did enjoy visitors from time to time "“ Charles Dickens among them. He died in 1874 and a large sum of money was found hoarded in his living room.

cave6. Valerio Ricetti lived a hermit life in New South Wales, Australia, like it was a fairytale "“ he turned a cave into an amazing dwelling that included a chapel, landscaping, terraced gardens and stairs. He lived in his little utopia for at least six years, until he fell and broke a leg. A passerby found him and took him to the hospital, which is how his hermitage was discovered "“ he had to give an "address" and his amazing work was discovered. He was unable to pay the doctor but instead sneaked into town and worked on his garden at night when no one would notice him. He and the doctor became good friends and he eventually became more sociable, even working for a while. Government officials deemed him harmless (and highly skilled in stonework), but he definitely had some mental problems "“ he had to quit his job because there was apparently a man and a woman in the sky who told him that his work in the cave wasn't finished. He ended up taking the money he had earned at his job to go visit his brother in Italy but never came back to his cave Deemed "Hermit Cave," the humble abode now has a place on the New South Wales State Heritage Register.

7. Manfred Gnädinger was a hermit who lived in the village of Camelle south of Germany. No one in the village knew where he had been beforehand, but he arrived wearing nice clothes and appeared to be well-educated. The story is that when a teacher in town rejected him, he built himself a little hut on the beach and lived there for the next 40 years. He wore only a loincloth and was a vegetarian who only ate what he grew. When the Prestige oil tanker sank in the Atlantic Ocean in 2002, it claimed Man (as he was known) as one of its victims along with a plethora of natural wildlife. OK, it's not like he drowned in oil or anything like that, but it's locally believed that Man was so devastated by the destruction to his natural habitat and the environment that he died. And it's true, he was found dead in his hut just a month after the oil spill.

8. Despina Achladioti was a Greek woman born on the island of Kastellorizo in 1890. Just before the start of WWII she said to the deserted island of Rho with her husband and her mom. The three of them lived off of goats, chickens and a garden for a couple of years, but after just two years on the island both her mother and husband died. Despina stayed on the island, though, and made it her mission to fly the Greek flag every single day. When she died in 1982, the Greek military rewarded her with a burial on the island with full military honors.

ted9. Ted Kaczynski, AKA the Unabomber, lived alone in a cabin with no electricity or water in Lincoln, Montana, for a good 25 years before he was arrested for all of the bombings he perpetrated. When he was captured and later asked about how he felt about being in prison, he said,
"What worries me is that I might in a sense adapt to this environment and come to be comfortable here and not resent it anymore. And I am afraid that as the years go by that I may forget, I may begin to lose my memories of the mountains and the woods and that's what really worries me, that I might lose those memories, and lose that sense of contact with wild nature in general. But I am not afraid they are going to break my spirit."

10. Herman's Hermits. Sorry, I couldn't resist. "Herman" is actually Peter Noone, but he became known as Herman after a pub owner told Noone that he looked like boy Sherman from The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Noone misheard and thought he said "Herman." "Hermits" was chosen simply for the alliteration.

Have a good Q10 suggestion for me? Send me a Tweet!

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30 Memorable Quotes from Carrie Fisher
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Just days after suffering a heart attack aboard a flight en route to Los Angeles, beloved actress, author, and screenwriter Carrie Fisher passed away at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016. Though she’ll always be most closely associated with her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, Fisher’s life was like something out of its own Hollywood movie. Born in Beverly Hills on this day in 1956, Fisher was born into show business royalty as the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds.

In addition to her work in front of the camera, Fisher built up an impressive resume behind the scenes, too, most notably as a writer; in addition to several memoirs and semi-autobiographical novels, including Wishful Drinking, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, The Best Awful, Postcards from the Edge, and The Princess Diarist (which was released last month), she was also an in-demand script doctor who counted Sister Act, Hook, Lethal Weapon 3, and The Wedding Singer among her credits.

Though she struggled with alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness, Fisher always maintained a sense of humor—as evidenced by the 30 memorable quotes below.

ON GROWING UP IN HOLLYWOOD

“I am truly a product of Hollywood in-breeding. When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result.”

“I was born into big celebrity. It could only diminish.”

“At a certain point in my early twenties, my mother started to become worried about my obviously ever-increasing drug ingestion. So she ended up doing what any concerned parent would do. She called Cary Grant.”

“I was street smart, but unfortunately the street was Rodeo Drive.”

“If anything, my mother taught me how to sur-thrive. That's my word for it.”

ON AGING

“As you get older, the pickings get slimmer, but the people don't.”

ON INSTANT GRATIFICATION

“Instant gratification takes too long.”

ON THE LEGACY OF STAR WARS

“People are still asking me if I knew Star Wars was going to be that big of a hit. Yes, we all knew. The only one who didn't know was George.”

“Leia follows me like a vague smell.”

“I signed my likeness away. Every time I look in the mirror, I have to send Lucas a couple of bucks.”

“People see me and they squeal like tropical birds or seals stranded on the beach.”

“You're not really famous until you’re a Pez dispenser.”

ON THE FLEETING NATURE OF SUCCESS

“There is no point at which you can say, 'Well, I'm successful now. I might as well take a nap.'”

ON DEALING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

“I'm very sane about how crazy I am.”

ON RESENTMENT

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."

ON LOVE

“Someone has to stand still for you to love them. My choices are always on the run.”

“I've got to stop getting obsessed with human beings and fall in love with a chair. Chairs have everything human beings have to offer, and less, which is obviously what I need. Less emotional feedback, less warmth, less approval, less patience, and less response. The less the merrier. Chairs it is. I must furnish my heart with feelings for furniture.”

“I don’t hate hardly ever, and when I love, I love for miles and miles. A love so big it should either be outlawed or it should have a capital and its own currency.”

ON EMOTIONS

“The only thing worse than being hurt is everyone knowing that you're hurt.”

ON RELATIONSHIPS

“I envy people who have the capacity to sit with another human being and find them endlessly interesting, I would rather watch TV. Of course this becomes eventually known to the other person.”

ON HOLLYWOOD

“Acting engenders and harbors qualities that are best left way behind in adolescence.”

“You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.”

“It's a man's world and show business is a man's meal, with women generously sprinkled through it like overqualified spice.”

ON FEAR

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

ON LIFE

“I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”

“No motive is pure. No one is good or bad-but a hearty mix of both. And sometimes life actually gives to you by taking away.”

“If my life wasn't funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”

“I shot through my twenties like a luminous thread through a dark needle, blazing toward my destination: Nowhere.”

“My life is like a lone, forgotten Q-Tip in the second-to-last drawer.”

ON DEATH

“You know what's funny about death? I mean other than absolutely nothing at all? You'd think we could remember finding out we weren't immortal. Sometimes I see children sobbing at airports and I think, 'Aww. They've just been told.'”

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As a recurring feature, our team combs the Web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, October 21.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

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iphone Cable, Pecosso Lightning Cable : 3 Pack (10ft/6ft/3ft) Lightning to USB Fast Charging Cable, Nylon Braided Sync Cord Combination for iPhone 7/7plus/6s/6s plus/6/5s/iPad/iPod/Beats Pill - Black for $6.49 (list price $11.10)

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Energizer AA Batteries, Double A Battery Max Alkaline (24 Count) E91BP-24 for $13.99 (list price $28.61)

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ThermoPro TP03A Digital Food Cooking Thermometer Instant Read Meat Thermometer for Kitchen BBQ Grill Smoker for $11.99 (list price $29.99)

Miusco 5 Piece Silicone Cooking Utensil Set with Natural Acacia Hard Wood Handle for $20.99 (list price $49.99)

Utopia Kitchen Premium Class Stainless-Steel 12 Knife Set with Acrylic Stand for $35.69 (list price $299.99)

[20 Pack] 3 Compartment Meal Prep Containers BPA Free Portion Control Bento Boxes (39 Oz.) for $17.99 (list price $39.99)

Rubbermaid LunchBox Sandwich Kit, Food Storage Container, Green for $6.79 (list price $39.00)

Spiral Slicer Spiralizer Complete Bundle - Vegetable Spiralizer and Cutter - Zucchini Pasta Noodle Spaghetti Maker for $14.84 (list price $39.99)

Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet (12.5 inch) by Utopia Kitchen for $30.99 (list price $99.99)

Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Set of 3 Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers for $19.90 (list price $22.00)

Vremi 5 Piece Cheese Grater Set with Container - Microplane Zester Parmesan Cheese Shredder Vegetable Slicer Cheese Graters - Fine and Coarse Metal Hand Cheese Grater Adjustable Hard Cheese Slicer for $8.99 (list price $34.99)

ROCKSHEAT Pizza Stone Made of Cordierite for Pizza & Bread Baking Grilling. Perfect for Oven or Grill. Innovative Unique Double - faced Built - in 4 Handles Design (Rectangular 12"x15"x0.63") for $23.99 (list price $60.00)

Home-it Stainless Steel Bread Box for kitchen, bread bin, bread storage Bread holder 16.5x10x8 for $19.99 (list price $49.99)

Set of 9 Grey Beverage Chilling Stones [Chill Rocks] Whiskey Stones for Whiskey and other Beverages - in Gift Box with Velvet Carrying Pouch - Made of 100% Pure Soapstone - by Quiseen for $7.95 (list price $18.99)

HOME

TasteLife 105 GSM Deep Pocket Bed Sheet Set Brushed Hypoallergenic Microfiber 1800 Bedding Sheets Wrinkle, Fade, Stain Resistant - 4 Piece(White,Queen) for $14.90 (list price $119.90)

Zober Premium Quality Space Saving Velvet Hangers Strong and Durable Hold Up To 10 Lbs - 360 Degree Chrome Swivel Hook - Ultra Thin Non Slip Suit Hangers, Black - 50 pack for $22.95 (list price $39.99)

Cr Sleep Ventilated Memory Foam Bed Pillow with AirCell Technology, Standard, 1-Pack for $25.49 (list price $89.99)

StorageManiac Foldable Pop-Up Mesh Laundry Hamper with Reinforced Carry Handles, 2-Pack for $16.99 (list price $39.99)

Monkey Hook Picture Hanger Home and Office Pack, 30 pc set for $11.24 (list price $19.75)

Syntus Himalayan Salt Lamp Natural Crystal Salt Light Glow Hand Carved Night Lights Wall light with UL Listed Plug for Lighting, Decoration and Air Purifying for $12.99 (list price $21.99)

LED String Lights 33 ft with 100 LEDs, TaoTronics Waterproof Decorative Lights for Bedroom, Patio, Parties ( Copper Wire Lights, Warm White ) for $14.49 (list price $29.99)

Whitmor Supreme Wide Stacking Shelf, Chrome for $15.35 (list price $32.02)

Hoover FH50251PC Power Scrub Elite Pet Carpet Cleaner for $169.99 (list price $189.00)

HEALTH AND BEAUTY

Activated Charcoal Natural Teeth Whitening Powder by Pro Teeth Whitening Co® | High Quality Grey Charcoal (non abrasive and proven safe for enamel) From Coconut Shells | Manufactured in England for $12.99 (list price $29.99)

TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller (Large) - Relieve Plantar Fasciitis, Heel, Foot Arch Pain & Stress - Foot Chart & Instructions Included - Acupressure/ Reflexology Tool - Perfect Gift for $16.95 (list price $49.99)

Apple Cider Vinegar - Pills for Weight Loss - Includes: Vitamin B6, Spirulina, Lecithin & Kelp - Helps Support Detox, Digestion & Circulation, 350 mg, 90 Capsules for $18.92 (list price $28.59)

B.I.G. Natural Pre Shave Oil, 60 ml for $12.95 (list price $25.00)

Pure Body Naturals Essential Oils Gift Set, Lavender/Tea Tree/Eucalyptus/Lemongrass/Orange/Peppermint, 6 count - 10 ml for $14.95 (list price $17.95)

Colgate Max Fresh Wisp Disposable Travel Toothbrush, Peppermint - 24 Count for $4.99 (list price $7.99)

Nano Towel Makeup Remover Face Cloth. Remove Cosmetics FAST and Chemical Free. Wipes Away Facial Dirt and Oil Like An Eraser. Great for Sensitive Skin, Acne, Exfoliating, Mascara, etc. 7 x 16" for $14.97 (list price $29.99)

CCS Blackhead Remover Pimple Extractor with Instructions for Acne Comedone Whitehead Blemish Zit Removal Tool Kit for $6.97 (list price $49.97)

Oneleaf 2PCS Professional Pedicure Rasp Foot File Cracked Skin Corns Callus Remover for Extra Smooth and Beauty Foot for $9.99 (list price $19.99)

OUTDOORS, GARDEN, AND SPORTS

Wilson Championship Extra Duty Tennis Ball (4-Pack), Yellow for $15.16 (list price $20.18)

Anker Ultra-Bright Tactical Flashlight with 1300 Lumens, Rechargeable(26650 Battery Included), IP67 Water-Resistant, Bolder LC130 LED with 5 Light Modes For Camping, Security, Emergency Use for $45.99 (list price $112.00)

Enkeeo Foldable Fishing Net Triangular Landing Net with Aluminum Pole and Nylon Mesh, 14.6" Wide for $19.99 (list price $39.99)

G4Free 12x25 Compact Binoculars(BAK4,Green Lens),Large Eyepiece Super High-Powered Field Surveillance Binoculars for $24.99 (list price $39.99)

Stansport Canteen, 4-Quart for $7.97 (list price $10.49)

HEIMDALL Safety Whistle with lanyard (2 pack) for Boating Camping Hiking Hunting Emergency Survival Rescue Signaling for $8.95 (list price $10.99)

Veegul Stylish Doctor Style Canvas School Backpack Functional Travel Bag for Men Women Semizipper Pocket x Black VG for $39.99 (list price $74.50)

Enkeeo Foam Roller 13” × 6” EVA with Grid Design Muscle Rollers for Deep Tissue Myofascial Release, Sports Massage and Recovery, Trigger Point Therapy, Pilates & Yoga, Black for $16.99 (list price $29.99)

TOOLS

Pumie Toilet Bowl Ring Remover #TBR-6 for $9.15 (list price $14.33)

Gorilla 7700104 Super Glue Gel, 20g for $5.97 (list price $14.89)

Worthington 336737 WT2301 Trigger Start Propane Torch for $16.97 (list price $19.99)

Bosch T4021 Screwdriver Bit Set, Blue, 21-Piece for $8.17 (list price $14.99)

DEWALT DW1361 Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit Set, 21-Piece for $19.99 (list price $25.99)

Tire Inflator, 3-in-1 Inflation Gun, with Gun, Locking Chuck and 2-inch Gauge, ¼” NPT and Flexible Hose (Campbell Hausfeld MP600000AV) for $9.94 (list price $13.49)

Stanley 84-056 3-Piece Bi-Material Pliers Set for $13.18 (list price $18.29)

Stanley 55-525 15-inch Super Wonder Bar Pry Bar for $9.89 (list price $13.29)

Picture Hanging Kit Asst for $9.99 (list price $12.99)

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