Rosie the Riveter Inspiration Naomi Parker Fraley Dies at 96

J. Howard Miller, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
J. Howard Miller, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The real-life inspiration behind a timeless World War II image has died at age 96, CNN reports. Naomi Parker Fraley was a California native and a wartime factory worker, but most people knew her as the real Rosie the Riveter.

Her rise to icon status began in the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941. Like thousands of women across the country, she took a job in a factory to aid the war effort. She was 20 years old when she was working in the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California, patching airplane wings and operating rivet machines. It was there that a photographer touring the station snapped the photograph that would launch countless imitations.

In the picture, Fraley is shown leaning over a machine in a jumpsuit with her hair pulled back by a red-and-white polka dot bandana. The photograph was shared in numerous newspapers and magazines and eventually adapted by artist J. Howard Miller in the famous 1943 Rosie the Riveter poster.

The image was originally used as a tool to boost wartime morale, but has since grown into a universal symbol for women’s empowerment. Rosie’s unmistakable look is still a popular source of inspiration for artists and celebrities, but until recently, no one knew the real woman behind the character.

For years, a woman named Geraldine Hoff Doyle was mistakenly identified as the woman in the Naval Air Station photograph. Only when a Seton Hall University professor named James J. Kimble unearthed the original photo with Fraley’s name in the caption was the true subject confirmed. When he reached out to Fraley with the news in 2016, it didn’t come as a total surprise to her. She had recognized herself in the photo when she saw it at a former wartime workers convention a few years earlier, even though the caption named a different woman.

According to her family, Fraley died in hospice care in Longview, Washington on January 20, the same day that hundred of thousands of protesters came out for the second annual Women’s March.

[h/t CNN]

You Can Buy an Extinct Volcano in Devon, England, for $60,000

People buy private islands, so why not buy a private volcano? Posbury Clump, a 250-million-year-old inactive volcano located in Devon, England, could be yours for the seemingly reasonable price of about $60,0000.

As Smithsonian reports, the volcano is 500 feet tall at its peak and surrounded by 4.9 acres of woodland (holly, oak, and ash trees), so you get sweeping views of the English countryside. The wooded outcrop and rolling hills make Posbury Clump look less like a volcano and more like a forest. Architects used the basalt stone from a former on-site quarry to build two of the area's most famous structures: Crediton Church and Medland Manor.

Because of its unique potassium-rich lava and other rare geological features, Posbury Clump has been designated a site of scientific interest, and as such has been formally marked for conservation.

Currently, only a few houses reside in the area, but Posbury—settled during the Iron Age, between about 800 BCE and AD 100—once housed convent Posbury St Francis, which was a part of the Posbury Clump estate. Those interested in possibly purchasing the volcano can contact agent Jackson-Stops. The cost is £50,000, or around $60,800, which is about what you'd pay to rent a studio apartment in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood for one year.

Just remember: If you do buy the volcano, you won't be the first person to purchase such a thing. According to Atlas Obscura, famed cartoonist-turned-oddities-collector Robert Ripley tried to purchase Parícutin (a baby volcano that suddenly sprung up from a cornfield in Mexico) in 1943, but was beaten to the punch by muralist Gerardo Murillo. Several individuals have privately owned New Zealand's active Whakaari volcano, and people privately own volcanoes in California and Oregon, too.

Reality Bites: A Humongous Tick That Chases Its Prey Has Been Found in the Netherlands

ironman100/iStock via Getty Images
ironman100/iStock via Getty Images

Humans have long been discouraged from tolerating the parasitic behavior of the tick. These pathogen-ridden arachnids latch onto their hosts for a blood buffet while transmitting a variety of diseases through their bites. Typically, ticks in infested areas wait for their hosts to stand or pass by and hope a bare leg presents itself.

But not all ticks are so passive. In the Netherlands, there have been reported sightings of Hyalomma marginatum, a kind of Andre the Giant of ticks that are twice the size of a more common species, Ixodes ricinus (sheep tick). Worse, they don’t sit idle. If they want to bite you, they’ll run after you.

The non-native species has been spotted twice in the past month. One was in Drenthe, a province in the northeastern part of the country, and the other was found in Achterhoek. They measure up to 0.2 inches but can grow to 0.7 inches when engorged with the blood of their hosts. The ticks are known to hide in brush. When they spot a potential meal, they run toward it. H. marginatum can detect a victim from up to 30 feet away and track it for 10 minutes before abandoning pursuit.

The species is typically found in northern Africa and Asia as well as parts of southern and eastern Europe. How did they get to the Netherlands? Researchers theorize they hitchhiked on migratory birds. And while their appearances have been scarce, they’re still a cause for concern. H. marginatum is known to harbor the virus that causes Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, which lists uncontrolled bleeding among its undesirable symptoms. The ticks, which were collected for analysis, tested negative for that disease but one was positive for the bacteria Rickettsia aeschlimannii, which causes spotted fever.

There have been no sightings of H. marginatum in the U.S., but native ticks remain a perpetual concern. If you’re outdoors, it’s always a good idea to monitor yourself for ticks and take steps to remove them safely.

[h/t LiveScience]

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