Saturday, 18 October 2014


For those coming here and wondering what it's all about - well in a nutshell it's about this ebay scammer called Amir Tofangsazan who sold a broken laptop and thought he got away with it... 4 million site hits between this and the parent site (dormant for over a month now) and we're still waiting for the little toe sucker to make good. Probably the easiest way to understand things is to click on the picture on the left and see what Wikipedia has on on the big text to see the current Wikipedia stuff, anyway, I'm just trying to make this site as interesting as possible for daily visits until Amir raises his perverted thieving head again!
post or read comments here email me
LATEST, LATEST, LATEST UPDATE (thanks again to Von) link

LOOKS LIKE THE LITTLE THIEVING SHIT MOVED ONTO BIGGER SCAMS! - I'll try and get some more info but if any of you have a friendly journalist friend they can apply for the court documents here. Thanks to 'anonymous' for the tip. If you click on the earliest archive on the right you can get a good idea of what this guy was all about. He was even interviewed on BBC radio were he denied everything (it's somewhere in the archives). I for one am very happy he was denied bail and hope he goes to prison where his homo-erotic tendencies and foot fetishes will have another outlet.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014


The Most Common Ways We Fool Ourselves About Money

The Most Common Ways We Fool Ourselves About MoneyEXPAND
Money sure can feel like a rational thing: You earn it, you spend it, and hopefully you're saving some of it. But would it surprise you to know that you are probably making a lot of irrational decisions too? Here are a handful of common psychological traps we may fall into—and how to help outsmart your brain.
This post originally appeared on LearnVest.
"Doing money the right way is actually very, very hard," says Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist and professor at Duke University. "Money is all about opportunity cost. Every time we spend money on one thing, we don't have money for something else. Thinking about all the things we're giving up is very complex."
In other words, the decisions you're making about money may not be as straightforward as you think. Let's look at the most the common mental traps that we're all susceptible to.

Mental Accounting

What it looks like: You might be guilty of mental accounting if you've ever created a special "money jar" (or account) to set aside savings for a big vacation while still carrying credit card debt. Or refused to spend an inheritance to pay down your student loans. In other words, you treat some money as more special than other money based on subjective criteria, such as how it will be spent or where it came from.
"We have trouble taking it all into consideration when we're making decisions in the moment," says Brad Klontz, Psy.D., a financial psychologist and associate professor at Kansas State University. "Instead of looking at our net worth or our assets as being in one bucket, we put them into different buckets, and we attach all sorts of meaning to those buckets that may not be in our best interest in terms of financial health."
How to help stop fooling yourself: Since this is an unconscious activity, it can be hard to reverse the tendency. However, you can use mental accounting to your advantage. Research shows that if you create a savings account attached to a very specific savings goal, such as money for a child's college fund, you will save dramatically more for it.
Also note that "it is good to set aside money in an emergency savings fund, even if you are carrying credit card debt," says Natalie Taylor, a Certified Financial Planner™ with LearnVest Planning Services. "It's a common question I get from clients." Here's more on how to prioritize your different financial goals, like retirement, debt and savings.

The Anchoring Effect

What it looks like: You estimate the value of something based on irrelevant information (e.g., the "anchor"), such as the price you paid for it, the cost of something else you own, or what someone told you it was worth.
For example, if you buy a stock for $50, you may tend to "anchor" the value of that stock around that number and feel that the stock is doing well if the price is above that number and doing poorly if it falls below. Similarly, if a salesperson names a price for a used car, you might use that as the standard for the rest of your negotiations, even if the initial price is more than the car is actually worth.
Another example? Stats like the fact that the average American wedding costs $30,000. You might establish your expectations based on that fact, rather than sticking to your own budget. "It's all emotional and tied to our experiences, then we start making judgments based on it," Klontz says. "But it's very arbitrary and individual."
How to help stop fooling yourself: Be aware of your mood—and your emotional tendencies. Studies have shown that when we're depressed, we're more likely to fall into the habit of anchoring. Similarly, people who tend to score high in agreeableness and openness on psychological profiles are more susceptible to being swayed.
Also, check in with yourself to make sure that logic, not emotion, underlies your spending decisions. An objective professional, such as a financial planner or a realtor, can give you an idea of the actual value of an item as it compares to the market.

Present Bias

What it looks like: Present bias means you have difficulty postponing immediate returns, or delaying gratification. In one famous experiment, researchers put children in a room with a marshmallow and told them that if they didn't eat the marshmallow until the researcher returned, they would get two marshmallows. Guess what? Most of the kids ate the marshmallow. People tend to choose the good option today over the better option tomorrow. This can make saving for future goals—such as retirement—tough because we'd probably rather have nice dinners out today.
How to help stop fooling yourself: A big part of present bias is emotion—we want it and we want it now. Excitement and fear can tend to make it worse. "Studies have shown that if you're really scared or excited, it shuts off your prefrontal cortex, which is the part of your brain that needs to be activated so you don't respond in this natural human way," Klontz says.
If you're making money decisions when you're emotional, consider taking a little time to calm yourself and approach a purchase rationally. Is it something you can afford? Is spending this amount of money on this item something you would recommend that a friend do? "It's also helpful to have specific short-term goals paired with long-term goals," says Taylor, "For example, every time I put a dollar toward retirement, I put 50 cents into my 'fun' account."

Status Quo Bias

What it looks like: People usually prefer the things they know over the things they don't know, even if other options are superior. For instance, if you've always had your 401(k) money in one mutual fund, you may be resistant to moving it to another mutual fund, even if the other option is a better choice. "The definition of stress is any change to which we need to adapt," Klontz says.
How to help stop fooling yourself: Bring in a professional. Recognize that your brain is probably going to steer you toward the wrong investment choices, but that a financial planner isn't emotionally tied to your stocks and bonds. "You have to distrust your instinctual automatic response," Klontz says. "You have this force inside you that will try to sabotage you by making these predictable errors that are irrational."

Restraint Bias

What it looks like: We may overestimate our ability to resist temptation. Someone who is trying to curb spending may still go shopping with friends or leave three credit cards in her wallet, and when she spots a cute pair of shoes, her restraint can go right out the window. The problem is, we have a finite amount of self-control, and we can deplete our reserves. "If you've just successfully resisted temptation at dinner, then you go shopping, you may be less self-controlled than if you'd skipped dinner," explains Cunningham.
How to help stop fooling yourself: One tip to helping avoid restraint basis is to not deplete your willpower. In other words, the fewer decisions about money we need to make every day, the more likely we may be to make smarter choices.
That's why you should consider "paying yourself first," to help make sure your money goes toward your most important goals. By automating your savings and retirement contributions, you probably won't be confronted with the decision to put that $200 toward your 401(k) or a night out on the town. Here's more info on how to automate your savings.

Ownership Effect

What it looks like: You may tend to place a higher value on the things you own, because you own them. For instance, someone who has lived in a house for a couple of decades, raising children and making happy memories there, will probably be likely to inflate the value of the home beyond what the market will pay for it. You may also find that people selling things secondhand have an unrealistic idea of what something is worth.
How to help stop fooling yourself: Have an item you want to sell—whether a house or your vintage stamp collection—appraised by a professional, or do the research and see what the market is paying for something you're selling. Unfortunately, happy memories do not up the price—except in your own head.

Kate Ashford is a freelance journalist who writes about personal finance and health. She's a contributing writer for Money, and her work has appeared in more than 20 national magazines and newspapers, including Family Circle, Fitness, Good Housekeeping, Health, More, Parade, Parents, Real Simple, Redbook, Self, Shape, Woman's Day, and Women's Health. Online, she's been a contributing blogger on AOL and
LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc. that provides financial plans for its clients. LearnVest Planning Services and any third-parties listed, discussed, identified or otherwise appearing herein are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other's products, services or policies.

This tree produces 40 different types of fruit
Award-winning artist Sam Van Aken has grown a new variety of fruit tree that produces 40 different types of stone fruit each year.
An art professor from Syracuse University in the US, Van Aken grew up on a family farm before pursuing a career as an artist, and has combined his knowledge of the two to develop his incredible Tree of 40 Fruit
In 2008, Van Aken learned that an orchard at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station was about to be shut down due to a lack of funding. This single orchard grew a great number of heirloom, antique, and native varieties of stone fruit, and some of these were 150 to 200 years old. To lose this orchard would render many of these rare and old varieties of fruit extinct, so to preserve them, Van Aken bought the orchard, and spent the following years figuring out how tograft parts of the trees onto a single fruit tree. 
Working with a pool of over 250 varieties of stone fruit, Van Aken developed a timeline of when each of them blossom in relationship to each other and started grafting a few onto a working tree’s root structure. Once the working tree was about two years old, Van Aken used a technique called chip grafting to add more varieties on as separate branches. This technique involves taking a sliver off a fruit tree that includes the bud, and inserting that into an incision in the working tree. It's then taped into place, and left to sit and heal over winter. If all goes well, the branch will be pruned back to encourage it to grow as a normal branch on the working tree.
After about five years and several grafted branches, Van Aken's first Tree of 40 Fruit was complete.
Aken’s Tree of 40 Fruit looks like a normal tree for most of the year, but in spring it reveals a stunning patchwork of pink, white, red and purple blossoms, which turn into an array of plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries and almonds during the summer months, all of which are rare and unique varieties. 
Not only is it a beautiful specimen, but it’s also helping to preserve the diversity of the world’s stone fruit. Stone fruits are selected for commercial growing based first and foremost on how long they keep, then how large they grow, then how they look, and lastly how they taste. This means that there are thousands of stone fruit varieties in the world, but only a very select few are considered commercially viable, even if they aren't the best tasting, or most nutritious ones. 
Van Aken has grown 16 Trees of 40 Fruit so far, and they’ve been planted in museums, community centres, and private art collections around the US. He now plans to grow a small orchard of these trees in a city setting.
Of course, the obvious question that remains is what happens to all the fruit that gets harvested from these trees? Van Aken told Lauren Salkeld at Epicurious:
"I've been told by people that have [a tree] at their home that it provides the perfect amount and perfect variety of fruit. So rather than having one variety that produces more than you know what to do with, it provides good amounts of each of the 40 varieties. Since all of these fruit ripen at different times, from July through October, you also aren't inundated."
Read the rest of the interview here.
Source: EpicuriousTED
amazing photoshopping


10 Things to Do With Banana Peels

10 People You Probably Didn’t Know Were Black

French novelist Alexandre Dumas, author of "The Three Musketeers," was the son of Gen. Alexandre Dumas and the grandson of a Haitian woman.
Kean Collection/Getty Images

10 People You Probably Didn’t Know Were Black

What does it mean to be black? Is it determined by the color of your skin, by your heritage or by the ethnic group with whom you most identify? And how does the "one-drop rule" -- the idea that even a smidge of black ancestry makes you black -- figure into this scenario?
In the American South, during the era of segregation, laws in many states mandated that a person who was at least one-sixteenth black (i.e. had a great-great grandfather or grandmother who was black) or some other tiny amount of black blood was considered black and therefore subject to the discriminatory laws that whites were not. This was informally known as the "one drop" rule [source: Davis]. Light-skinned African-Americans in the past might have determined whether it made more "sense" to embrace their black heritage, Jim Crow laws and all, or to try and "pass" for white for more economic opportunities but at the cost of cutting themselves off from family and culture.
Today with the segregation laws scrapped, the choices are more nuanced. Where a person is raised, or who raised her might determine which ethnic group she identifies with. Or she may feel she shouldn't have to pick one group over the other.
While it hasn't always been in vogue to claim all the branches of one's family tree, embracing a multicultural past is becoming increasingly common. Take Hollywood, for example. Gone are the days of film stars escaping outdated perceptions by denying their ethnicity. Many of today's celebrities are racially ambiguous, from Mariah Carey to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Today, we're sharing the stories of 10 people (past and present) you may not have known were black. Let's start with an illustrious French family.
Gen. Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, fighting off the Austrian army, at the bridge of Clausen in Tyrol, on 17 January 1797.
Leemage/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

10: Gen. Alexandre Dumas

Napoleon Bonaparte was a well-known figure who rose to power during the French Revolution. But Bonaparte was not its only hero. Meet Gen. Alexandre Dumas.
Dumas was born in what is now Haiti to a white father who was a member of the aristocracy and a black mother who was enslaved. Although Dumas kept his mother's familial name, his father raised him in France, which guaranteed opportunities to people of mixed race. There, Dumas completed his education and entered the military, where he became a master of strategy and sword. Dumas rose to the rank of general, led more than 50,000 soldiers and earned a reputation for action. He reportedly captured 13 soldiers singlehandedly, rode into enemy territory to imprison 16 more and led his men up icy cliffs in the dark to surprise opposing forces [source: Taylor].
Although Dumas continued his military career in the subsequent French campaign to conquer Egypt, he attracted the ire of his chief rival, the up-and-coming Bonaparte. Whether Bonaparte was jealous of Dumas' greater height (he was over 6 feet to Bonaparte's 5' 7"), charisma or infantry skills is impossible to say. One thing is for certain, though: The competition (even if only in Napoleon's own mind) would be Dumas' undoing.
In the late 1790s, when Dumas found himself washed onto Italian shores because of an alarmingly leaky vessel, Napoleon's followers tossed Dumas into a dungeon. There he languished for two years as he suspected the prison physician of poisoning him. Although Dumas was eventually released, his military career was over. Stories of his exploits, however, inspired "The Count of Monte Cristo," a novel written by his son Alexandre, who also wrote "The Three Musketeers" [source:Damrosch].
The cover of Bliss Broyard's book about her father Anatole called "One Drop."

9: Anatole Broyard

Anatole Broyard was born in New Orleans in 1920 to light-skinned black parents, spent much of his childhood in a predominantly black Brooklyn neighborhood and then crafted a carefully constructed image devoid of his ethnic heritage.
Broyard's light skin allowed him to join the segregated Army as a white man, where he led a battalion of black soldiers. Upon his discharge from the military, he opened a bookstore in New York City's Greenwich Village, ensconced himself in the literary landscape and eventually became a copywriter at an advertising firm. Although he wrote a few short stories that were met with critical acclaim, Broyard initially struggled to complete a full-length work. The attention, however, helped him secure a job as a book reviewer with The New York Times in the early 1970s, a position he held for more than a decade.
During this time, he became one of the most influential literary critics in the U.S. And, despite rumors to the contrary, continued to live as a white man. Broyard's wife and children did not know he had been born black, nor did his colleagues or friends.
Broyard, who died of prostate cancer in 1990, never revealed the reasons for his ruse. Likely, the limited opportunities for blacks in the 1940s had something to do with his original decision. But many who knew him also believed Broyard wanted to live as a white man because he wanted to escape the expectations of race. He wanted to be known, not for being a "black writer," but a writer, period. Even his memoir, "Kafka Was The Rage," did not reveal his race [source: Gates].
"One could concede that the passing of Anatole Broyard involved dishonesty; but is it so very clear that the dishonesty was mostly Broyard's?" wrote scholar Henry Louis Gates. "To pass is to sin against authenticity, and 'authenticity' is among the founding lies of the modern age."
In 2007, his daughter Bliss published a book about her father titled "One Drop: My Father's Hidden Life -- A Story of Race and Family Secrets."
Author Malcolm Gladwell speaks at The 2009 New Yorker Festival.
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The New Yorker

8: Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell, decorated staff writer at The New Yorker and author of four best-selling books -- "The Tipping Point," "Blink," "Outliers" and "What the Dog Saw" -- won a National Magazine Award in 1999 and was named Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People" in 2005. Born in 1963 to a Jamaican mother and British father, he has found his mixed heritage to provide plenty of fodder for writing.
In "Black Like them," published in an April 1996 issue of The New Yorker, Gladwell examined the differences between American blacks and West Indians, along with observations about his childhood and family. He detailed the discrimination among his dark- and light-skinned ancestors. For example, a widow on his mother's side had two dark-skinned daughters, but once pretended she didn't know them as she made conversation with a light-skinned suitor.
Gladwell grew up in rural Ontario and contended that race there was a nonissue. "Blacks knew what I was. They could discern the hint of Africa beneath my fair skin," he wrote in his essay. "But it was a kind of secret -- something that they would ask me about quietly when no one else was around ... But whites never guessed, and even after I informed them it never seemed to make a difference. Why would it? In a town that is ninety-nine per cent white, one modest alleged splash of color hardly amounts to a threat."
That changed when he went to Toronto for university and discovered the reputation of Jamaicans who were purportedly heading Canada's drug trade. "After I had moved to the United States, I puzzled over this seeming contradiction -- how West Indians celebrated in New York for their industry and drive could represent, just five hundred miles northwest, crime and dissipation ... In America, there is someone else to despise. In Canada, there is not" [source: Gladwell].
Actress Carol Channing arrives at an awards show in Los Angeles.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

7: Carol Channing

Carol Channing, born in 1921, was already a Broadway star known for her performances in "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" and "Hello Dolly" when she learned something surprising about her heritage. Her father, George Channing, had been a light-skinned black man.
And although Channing went on to become a well-known gay rights activist, being of mixed race was something she only briefly alluded to in her memoir "Just Lucky I Guess," which was published at age 81. In it, she recounted her father singing gospel music with her and flipping from one pattern of speech in the predominantly white community to a distinctly different pattern of speech in their home.
Nearly a decade later Channing, a three-time Tony award winner, seemed to change her mind again. On a 2010 episode of The Wendy Williams Show, Channing said that her parents "had many disagreements," and before she went off to college her mother thought "she would get even with me" and warned her that if she had a baby it might come out black. Channing admitted she did not know if the story that her father was black was true, but she hoped it was [sources: ParkerWilliams].
Pete Wentz sporting his signature 'do.
David Livingston/Getty Images

6: Pete Wentz

Pete Wentz sported a signature look during the years he spent as a member of the Fall Out Boy rock band: singularly straight hair. As the band's bassist and chief lyricist, Wentz penned hit songs, including "Infinity on High," before the group's lengthy hiatus began in 2009 [source: Hasty]. Then he did something different. And we don't mean finalizing his divorce from pop singer Ashlee Simpson or forming the band Black Cards with fellow musician Spencer Peterson in 2010 [source:Gomez].
In 2011, Wentz began to forgo his strategically mussed straight locks for a more natural look: curls. He'd made no secret of the effort it required to style his hair, or the fact that he thought it was an important part of his appearance [source: Lucey]. The tight curls also prompted speculation that Wentz has black ancestors, and indeed he does.
In an interview with Alternative Press, Wentz says, "My mom, my family, is from Jamaica." His only regret? That when he spent time in Jamaica as a child, he didn't fully appreciate the musical influences of Bob Marley or the Wailers [source: Alternative Press]. Fortunately, Wentz's penchant for starting rock bands turned out OK despite this shortcoming. In addition, he's authored two books, opened a bar and runs Clandestine Industries, a book and clothing distributor [source: All Music].
Soledad O'Brien accepting the NAACP President's Award in 2007.
M. Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images

5: Soledad O'Brien

When Soledad O'Brien debuted as host of CNN's "Black in America" documentary series, she volleyed plenty of questions -- especially from the black community -- about why she should be the one to tackle the premise.
Turns out, O'Brien is black, too. She is the daughter of a black Latina mother and a white Australian father; she grew up in a primarily white neighborhood with parents who insisted she identify as black. As a mixed-race, first-generation American, O'Brien became a broadcast journalist and found herself fighting for equal coverage for people of color [source: O'Brien].
"At screenings for 'Black in America' I've heard people say, 'Well you know I never thought you were black until you did [pieces on Hurricane] Katrina and then I thought you were black.' And I'd say, 'That's so fascinating. What was it that made you think I was black?'" said O'Brien in an interview to promote "Who is Black in America?", her latest installment in the documentary series.
"And then someone else would say, 'Yeah, but she'smarried to a white man.' And I'm like 'OK, so does that make me less black and how in your mind does that math work?'"
In the end, O'Brien (who's also produced documentaries for CNN on being Latino in America) relied on a lesson learned in her childhood: "My parents taught me very early that how other people perceive me really was not my problem or my responsibility. It was much more based on how I perceived me" [source: O'Brien].
An engraving of Queen Charlotte of England, wife of King George III.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

4: Queen Charlotte of England

In the 18th century, a painting of Queen Charlotte -- wife of the British King George III -- sparked a flurry of debate because her facial features seemed more in keeping with someone of African heritage. And with good reason: It seems that Queen Charlotte was descended from a branch of a Portuguese royal family who traced their ancestry to a 13th-century ruler named Alfonso III and his lover Madragana, who was "a Moor" ( an old term for someone of African or Arabic descent) [source: Jeffries].
Some historians cast doubt on this theory but scholar Mario de Valdes y Cocom notes that the queen's personal physician said she had a "true mulatto face." Further, the royal family spelled out its link to African ancestors in a published report released before Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, in conjunction with her position as head of the Commonwealth [source:Cocom].
If correct, the royal link to black heritage would mean that Queen Charlotte's granddaughter, Queen Victoria, was of mixed race. The same goes for her still-living descendants, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William, and any future heirs.
Portrait of Alexander Pushkin, 1827.
Orest Adamovich Kiprensky/The Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images

3: Alexander Pushkin

Considered the father of Russia's Golden Age of literature, Alexander Pushkin, was born into nobility in the summer of 1799. He was the great-grandson of an Ethiopian prince named Ibrahim Gannibal, who had relocated to Russia and become a general in the army of Peter the Great [source: PBS].
Puskin became a member of a revolutionary group dedicated to social reform and wrote poems that reflected his views. His work, which included "Freedom" and "The Village," came under scrutiny by Russian authorities and led to his exile in 1820 to his mother's estate [source: Shaw].
Six years later, he was pardoned by Czar Nicholas I and free to travel; he married in 1831 and later challenged one of his wife's admirers to a duel in 1837. He died two days later from injuries he sustained in the battle. Pushkin's most famous works include the poem "The Bronze Horseman," the verse novel "Eugene Onegin" and the play "Boris Gudunov" [source: Shaw]. He also left behind an unfinished novel about his Ethiopian great-grandfather.
Michael Fosberg performing his one-man play "Incognito."
Pete Zivkov/Flckr

2: Michael Fosberg

If you're an action-movie fan, odds are you'll recognize Michael Fosberg for the roles he landed in "Hard to Kill" and "The Presidio." Fosberg, who played white characters in these movies, didn't really have to stretch for the roles. After all, he'd grown up white in an upper-class family; his mother was a brunette and his father was a fair-skinned blonde.
When Fosberg was 32, however, his parents divorced and spilled a family secret that would change the course of his life. The man Fosberg had always known as his father was actually his stepfather. His biological father and his mother had only been briefly marriedafter his unexpected conception, and Fosberg set out to find the man. When he did, he was stunned to discover his father was black.
The emotional reunion changed Fosberg's perception, not only about himself, but the world around him. It's a journey he chronicled in a memoir, "Incognito: An American Odyssey of Race and Self-Discovery." Fosberg discovered that the African-American side of his family included a grandfather who was chairman of the science and engineering department at Norfolk State University, Va., and a great-grandfather who was a star pitcher for the Negro Leagues [source: Ihejirika].
Since 2000, he's toured the nation performing a one-man play based on his life story. "It's important to embrace all of who you are," Fosberg said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.
Portrait of Alessandro de Medici, first Duke of Florence, wearing a suit of armour.
DEA/G. NIMATALLAH/De Agostini/Getty Images

1: Alessandro de Medici

An exploration of the Italian Renaissance wouldn't be complete without talking about the powerful banking and political family the Medicis. And Alessandro de Medici, the first Duke of Florence, supported some of the era's leading artists. In fact, he is one of only two Medici princes to be buried in a tomb designed by Michelangelo.
You could say Medici was the first black ruler in Italy, in fact the first black head of state in the Western world, though his African heritage was rarely talked about. He was born in 1510 to a black servant and a white 17-year-old named Giulio de Medici, who would later become Pope Clement VII. Upon his election to pope, Clement VII had to relinquish his position as Duke of Florence and appointed his son instead.
But the teenage Medici faced a changing political climate. Emperor Charles V sacked Rome in 1527, and Florentines took advantage of the turmoil to establish a more democratic form of government. Medici fled his hometown. He returned when tensions eased two years later and was again appointed by the Emperor Charles V, who offered his own daughter – also born out of wedlock -- as Medici's wife. Despite the family ties, Medici was killed by a cousin shortly after he married in 1537 [source: African American Registry].

Lots More Information

Author's Note: 10 People You Probably Didn't Know Were Black

This was a fascinating article to research, especially because I was able to delve into personal histories. I found the experiences of Anatole Broyard and Michael Fosberg to be particularly poignant: Broyard for his ability and desire to skirt the issue of being born black, and Fosberg for embracing life as a black man after growing up white. And then there's the one-drop rule. What does it mean to be black? Or, in my case, Native American? I have Cherokee blood in my veins (and probably other ethnicities I don't even know about), but was adopted by a fantastic family when I was just seven days old. Naturally, I grew up identifying with my family. The idea of biology versus environment is an interesting one. With so many factors to shape our personalities and perceptions, who's to say whether we're formed by experience or ethnicity?