The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women
by Kate Moore
496 pages
Sourcebooks

The true story of the Radium Girls, women who worked in radium dial factories in the early 20th century. These “shining girls” hand-painted glow-in-the-dark clock faces, unwittingly poisoning themselves while their bosses, aware of radium’s deadly effects, kept their distance.

From the book description:

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive ? until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives…

The Radium Girls book
Buy now on Amazon

MORE: Cult of Weird Recommended Reading

Amelia Earhart photo debunked

Blogger Debunks the Amelia Earhart Photo

The photo purported by a recent History channel documentary to show Amelia Earhart was printed in a book two years before she vanished.

It’s been 80 years since Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan vanished without a trace on the last leg of their attempt to circumnavigate the globe. While we’re always eager for new evidence that may finally solve the mystery, it seems the photo unveiled by Monday night’s History channel documentary “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” is not it.

A researcher discovered the photo misfiled (definitely a conspiracy) in the National Archives. It depicts natives standing on a pier in the Marshal Islands, among them two blurry figures that may be American. In the water, a Japanese boat identified as the Koshu appears to be towing a barge carrying a plane resembling Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10-E Electra.

Throughout the special, experts examine the photo for authenticity and compare it to known photos of Earhart and Noonan. The result is a compelling narrative that reveals the duo were captured by the Japanese military in the Marshall Islands. Meanwhile, US intelligence did nothing for fear that the codebreaking efforts that allowed them to crack Japanese transmissions would be discovered.

This narrative is supported by claims the Marshall Islands natives have been making for years. The only problem is that by Tuesday, the morning after the documentary aired, a Japanese blogger’s quick search had already identified the photo as having been printed in a book in 1935, two years before Earhart’s final flight.

History channel responded to the claim on Twitter:

It was followed up with this:

Meanwhile, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has been continuing to investigate the theory that Earhart and Noonan made an emergency landing on an atoll in the Pacific where they eventually died. Last month TIGHAR lead an expedition to the uninhabited island of Nikumaroro, where bones believed to match Earhart’s measurements were found beneath a tree (and subsequently lost) in 1940.

The team brought four forensic dogs trained to detect the smell of human bones. They centered on an area identified in 2001 where excavations revealed evidence of an American castaway, such as glass jars, a woman’s compact, a jackknife, and the remains of campfires.

As soon as the dogs began working the site, National Geographic reported Friday, the dogs hit on a spot at the base of a ren tree where Earhart may have died.

They didn’t find any bones, but dirt was collected which may yield DNA samples for analysis.

Don Q Inn plane

The Story Behind the Plane at the Don Q Inn Hotel in Wisconsin

The retired military cargo carrier was featured in car commercials with Farrah Fawcett before it came to rest at the Don Q Inn.

Funerary Fragrance incense from Dead Sled Brand

Dead Sled Unveils New Collection of Funeral-Inspired Incense

A new collection of incense inspired by the funerary arts, with scents like Ashes & Urns, Calming Spirits, and Graveyard Queen.

Our friends over at Dead Sled Brand have lifted the veil on their latest abomination: A delightfully dark and enchanting collection of hand-dipped incense from the grave. The Funerary Fragrance collection consists of 8 provocative scents conjuring autumn and death to “calm and sooth your living corpse.”

Maybe you’re looking to invoke that old hearse smell – try the “Deluxe Interior” scent. How about graveside flowers and blossoming trees at midnight? That’s “Graveyard Queen.” Or you might be in the mood for something sweet, with pumpkin spice and burning leaves – pick up a pack of “Halloween Treat.”

The other scents from the sweet hereafter are Ashes & Urns, Calming Spirits, Funeral Parlour, Mortician’s Friend, and Toe Pincher.

Funerary Fragrance incense is available over at the Dead Sled shop right here.

Diver rides a pryosome

Weekend Weird: Aztec Skull Tower, Invasion of the Sea Pickles, Bigfoot Bounty, and More

A bounty on Bigfoot, transcribing magical manuscripts, Aztec skull tower unearthed, and more in this week’s roundup of weird news.

Okay, so “sea pickles” aren’t exactly invading in the War of the Worlds sense that I envision, but it’s perfectly normal to feel a little on edge when unholy monstrosities like pyrosomes start encroaching on territory they don’t naturally inhabit, right? I’ve seen enough body snatcher flicks to know how this goes: First the California coast, then our brains.

As one commenter noted, these Borg-like manifestations of pure (though mostly benign) evil are making their way into the frigid waters of Canada and Alaska as well, where fishermen call them “sea c*cks.”

I may be alone in this, but I would rather not have a sea c*ck squirming around in my feeble gray matter, you know? Take heed climate change deniers (and Flat Earthers, too, just for good measure) change your ways before we all have c*cks in our brains.

And now for this week’s roundup of weird news and media:

‘Sea pickles’ are invading the coast of Northern California

Legendary Aztec tower of skulls unearthed in Mexico

Dead Sled Brand has unveiled a line of incense inspired by the funerary arts

Newly discovered photo suggests Amelia Earhart may have survived

A story of self-sacrifice and bubonic plague

Health vlogger accidentally poisons herself during live stream

Own a piece of the Evil Dead 2 cabin

Why Roman concrete has resisted the elements for thousands of years

Skeletons of 5,000-year-old Chinese ‘giants’ discovered

The true story of the Donner party

Hobby Lobby busted for smuggling ancient artifacts

Chicago library needs help transcribing magical manuscripts

Are we on the verge of another cluster of UFO sighting reports?

Pennsylvania man offers $1 million bounty for Bigfoot

A high-altitude balloon crashed in Roswell in 1947, but the aliens never left

3D forensic technology reconstructs face of 1,600-year-old Peruvian mummy

Cult of Weird readers share their local legends

Cult of Weird on Instagram

The carousel at the House on the Rock

This week’s featured WEIRD BOOK

Atlas of Cursed Places
The Atlas of Cursed Places is the perfect travel guide for the dark tourist, complete with vintage maps, illustrations, and the history behind haunted and deathly places all over the world.
Buy it now on Amazon

Robert Damon Schneck, the “Historian of the Strange,” shared this clipping from the July 6, 1912 edition of the Topeka Daily Capital:
Man mistakes fireworks for candy

Find some weird news or media? Submit it right here.