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11 Nineteenth-Century VP Candidates Who Vaguely Resemble Famous Actors

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In the unlikely event someone wants to make a blockbuster movie about James Polk's vice president or the running mate of the guy who lost to Franklin Pierce, we have the perfect actors.

1. John Breckinridge and Matthew Perry

John Breckinridge was the 14th vice president, and he finished second in the Presidential election of 1860, behind Abraham Lincoln.

Matthew Perry's father was a face of Old Spice in the 1970s.

2. George Dallas and Ian Holm

George Dallas was the 11th vice president, and Dallas, Texas, may be named for him, though that is a matter of debate.

Ian Holm is well known as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings; he also played Frodo Baggins in a 1980s BBC radio adaptation.

3. Thomas Hendricks and Jeff Daniels

Thomas Hendricks died in his sleep at age 66 after eight months as the 21st VP.

Jeff Daniels has been married to the same person since 1979 despite a successful career as an actor. He is also a vocal advocate of Michigan.

4. Chester A. Arthur and Paul Giamatti

Chester A. Arthur wasn't just our 21st President; he was also our 20th vice president, for the 200 days of James Garfield's term.

Paul Giamatti is impersonated by James Adomian on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast, where his resentment of the success of Philip Seymour Hoffman is a recurring gag.

5. William Alexander Graham and Jeff Bridges

William Alexander Graham was a Senator from North Carolina who was defeated as a VP candidate in 1852. He went on to be Governor of NC and Secretary of the Navy.

Jeff Bridges has six Academy Award nominations, with credits dating back to 1950 (role: "Infant").

6. Aaron Burr and Vincent Price

Aaron Burr was the third vice president and the only Founding Father to be indicted for murder and arrested for treason. He was convicted of neither.

Vincent Price was the son of the President of the National Candy Company.

7. Nathaniel Macon and Jeffrey Tambor

Nathaniel Macon was an 1824 vice presidential candidate. Earlier in his career he was an outspoken opponent to the formation of the US Navy.

Jeffrey Tambor is "no longer a Scientologist."

8. Hannibal Hamlin and Beau Bridges

Hannibal Hamlin was vice president under Abraham Lincoln.

Beau Bridges' birth name is Lloyd.

9. Herschel Vespasian Johnson and Eugene Mirman

Herschel Vespasian Johnson was the 1860 running mate of northern Democratic Presidential candidate “Little Giant” Stephen A. Douglas.

Eugene Mirman is a Russian-born comedian currently appearing on Adult Swim’s Delocated but also known for his stand-up album God Is a Twelve-Year-Old Boy with Asperger's.

10. Edward Everett and Tommy Lee Jones

Edward Everett notably spoke for 2 hours immediately before Lincoln’s 2-minute Gettysburg Address. Governor of Massachusetts and President of Harvard University, he garnered very few votes as VP candidate in 1860.

Tommy Lee Jones was friends with future VP Al Gore at Harvard College.

11. Charles Pinckney and Jay Sherman

Charles C. Pinckney was the Federalist VP candidate in 1800 with running mate John Adams.

Jay Sherman was the lead character of the 1994-95 animated series The Critic, which was created by writers of The Simpsons. On the show, Jay at one point was a writer for a film called Ghostcatchers III; a real-life script for Ghostbusters III is written but “in suspended animation,” according to Dan Aykroyd.

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A Microsoft Font Might Have Revealed Political Corruption in Pakistan
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Note to wrongdoers: Check your fonts. Right now in Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family are in legal hot water over what might be falsified government disclosures, according to Slate. The proof? The typeface used in the documents, as the investigative report submitted to Pakistan's Supreme Court notes.

Calibri, the sans-serif typeface that serves as the default for Microsoft applications, was designed in the early 2000s. But it didn't become widely available to the public until Microsoft Vista and its accompanying Office update were released in 2007.

This is where things have gotten tricky for the prime minister. His daughter may have fabricated documents that would show that she and her family had made the proper official disclosures on their finances. The documents, which were supposedly signed in 2006, were written with Calibri—a year before it was released to the public.

Defense lawyers argue, of course, that Maryam Nawaz Sharif could have just had access to Calibri before Windows Vista came out, since it was designed before 2007. The typeface's designer, Lucas de Groot, has said that the very first release he was aware of came out in 2006 as part of beta testing for the Vista operating system. But based on the sheer size of the files involved in such a beta product, it would have required "serious effort to get," a representative for LucasFonts told the Pakistani news outlet Dawn. And that would have been a super early test version, since the first public beta didn't come out until June 2006, four months after the documents were supposedly signed. Unless she was a huge computer nerd, Maryam probably didn't have access to Calibri back in early 2006, indicating the documents were faked. 

Whether you're turning in a term paper or falsifying legal documents, you're always better off going with Times New Roman.

[h/t Slate]

9 Fascinating Facts About John Quincy Adams

Today marks the 250th birthday of John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States (and son of our second POTUS, John Adams). Born on July 11, 1767 in a part of Braintree, Massachusetts that is now known as Quincy, the younger Adams was a pretty interesting guy. From his penchant for skinny-dipping to his beloved pet alligator, here are some things you might not have known about the skilled statesman.


The election of 1824, which saw John Quincy Adams face off against Andrew Jackson, is the only presidential election that had to be decided by the U.S. House of Representatives, as neither candidate won the majority of electoral votes. Despite losing both the popular and electoral vote, Adams was named president by the House.


When it comes to personal fitness, early birds have an edge. Studies have shown that morning workouts can curb your appetite, prevent weight gain, and even help you get a good night’s sleep later on. Nobody understood the virtues of morning exercise better than Adams. As America’s foreign minister to Russia, Adams would wake up at five, have a cold bath, and read a few chapters from his German-language Bible. Then came a six-mile walk, followed by breakfast. 


As president, Adams got his exercise by taking a daily dip in the Potomac … naked. Every morning at 5:00 a.m., he would walk to the river, strip down, and go for a swim. Sadly, the most famous swimming anecdote likely never happened. The story is that when Adams refused an interview with reporter Anne Royall, she hiked down to the river while he was swimming, gathered his clothes, and sat on them until he agreed to talk. But modern historians tend to agree that this story was a later invention. That’s not to say, however, that Adams never talked about Royall. In his diaries he wrote “[Royall] continues to make herself noxious to many persons; treating all with a familiarity which often passes for impudence, insulting those who treat her with incivility, and then lampooning them in her books.”


Adams installed a billiards table in the White House shortly after becoming president. The new addition quickly became a subject of controversy when Adams accidentally presented the government with the $61 tab (in reality he had paid for it himself). Nonetheless, political enemies charged that the pool table symbolized Adams’s aristocratic taste and promoted gambling.


Although Adams was nicknamed “Old Man Eloquent” for his unparalleled public speaking ability, he was terrible at small talk. Aware of his own social awkwardness, Adams once wrote in his diary, “I went out this evening in search of conversation, an art of which I never had an adequate idea. Long as I have lived in the world, I never have thought of conversation as a school in which something was to be learned. I never knew how to make, to control, or to change it.”


Adams had a pet alligator, which was gifted to him by the Marquis de Lafayette. He kept it in a tub in the East Room of the White House for a few months, supposedly claiming that he enjoyed watching “the spectacle of guests fleeing from the room in terror.”


The presidential election of 1828—when incumbent John Quincy Adams got crushed by longtime rival Andrew Jackson—is famous for the mudslinging tactics employed by both sides. Adams’s side said Jackson was too dumb to be president, claiming that he spelled Europe “Urope.” They also hurled insults at Jackson’s wife, calling her a “dirty black wench” for getting together with Jackson before divorcing her first husband. Jackson’s side retorted by calling Adams a pimp, claiming that he had once procured an American girl for sexual services for the czar while serving as an ambassador to Russia.


Next time you find yourself soaking up some rays in the Sunshine State, take a moment to thank Adams. As Secretary of State, Adams negotiated the Adams-Onís Treaty, which allowed the U.S. to acquire Florida and set a new boundary between the U.S. and New Spain. That’s right: Walt Disney World might not have been built if it weren’t for the sixth president.


Adams once reportedly stated, “The four most miserable years of my life were my four years in the presidency.” But even if he hated being commander-in-chief, Adams couldn’t bear to be out of the political loop for too long. After finishing his term as president, Adams served 17 more years in the House of Representatives, where he campaigned against further extension of slavery. In fact, he died shortly after suffering a stroke on the House floor.


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