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"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
… There is, at Turin, a delightful map of the eighth century with the four winds and the ocean stream as usual. The world is divided into three—Asia, Africa, and Europe. Adam and Eve stand at the top; to the right of Adam lies Armenia and the Caucasus; to the left of Eve are Mount Lebanon, the river Jordan, Sidon, and Mesopotamia. At their feet lie Mount Carmel, Jerusalem, and Babylon. …
THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD’S EXPLORATION, FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE FINDING OF THE SOUTH POLE
By M. B. SYNGE, F.R.Hist.S.
AUTHOR OF “THE STORY OF THE WORLD”
“A SHORT HISTORY OF SOCIAL LIFE IN ENGLAND” ETC.
FULLY ILLUSTRATED FROM AUTHENTIC SOURCES AND WITH MAPS
… Some say Ukrainians lost the ideological battle when they quit the traditional Rus name because the whole world knew the Old Rus state and this mixed old Ukrainian history with the Russian background.
The new word to define the nationality had always made the Ukrainian elite uncomfortable, hence the reluctance of some Ukrainian historians to use old-Ukrainian rather than old-Rus, or Ukraine-Rus rather than Kyiv Rus; which was more of a tribute to the Russian interpretation of history. Both latter terms are artificial, yet the first one sounds more familiar due to soviet history, while the second one was forgotten after the empire banned teaching Ukrainian history from the Ukrainian perspective. By contrast, the French or Germans have never been embarrassed to refer to their Gaulish or Frankish background, as old French or old German history is respectively known.
Notably, the original war between Ukrainian and Russian intellectuals for a historical memory in the 19th century was the battle for independence of the so-called Kyiv Rus heritage. Its winner got the legitimate right in the eyes of the educated part of society to stake their claim over Ukrainian terrain. …
27 January 2014 Last updated at 19:43 ET
Frost fair: When an elephant walked on the frozen River Thames
By Tom de Castella BBC News Magazine
It is 200 years ago since the last “frost fair” - an impromptu festival on a frozen Thames, complete with dancing, skittles and temporary pubs. Could such hedonism be repeated today?
Londoners stood on the Thames eating gingerbread and sipping gin. The party on the frozen river had begun on 1 February and would carry on for another four days.
The ice was thick enough to support printing presses churning out souvenirs. Oxen were roasted in front of roaring fires, drink was liberally taken and dances were held. An elephant was marched across the river alongside Blackfriars Bridge.
It was February 1814. George III was on the throne, Lord Liverpool was prime minister and the Napoleonic wars would soon be won.
People didn’t know it then but this “frost fair” - a cross between a Christmas market, circus and illegal rave - would be the last. In the 200 years that have elapsed since, the Thames has never frozen solid enough for such hedonism to be repeated.
But between 1309 and 1814, the Thames froze at least 23 times and on five of these occasions -1683-4, 1716, 1739-40, 1789 and 1814 - the ice was thick enough to hold a fair. …
Onna-Bugeisha: Japan, 19th Century (via Imgur)
“An onna-bugeisha (女武芸者) was a type of female warrior belonging to the Japanese upper class. Many wives, widows, daughters, and rebels answered the call of duty by engaging in battle, commonly alongside samurai men. They were members of the bushi(samurai) class in feudal Japan and were trained in the use of weapons to protect their household, family, and honor in times of war. They also represented a divergence from the traditional “housewife” role of the Japanese woman. They are sometimes mistakenly referred to as female samurai, although this is an oversimplification. Onna bugeisha were very important people in ancient Japan. Significant icons such as Empress Jingu, Tomoe Gozen, Nakano Takeko, and Hōjō Masako were all onna bugeisha who came to have a significant impact on Japan.” via Wikipedia
The niece of the great Mongol leader, Kubla Khan, Princess Khutulun was described by Marco Polo as the greatest warrior in Khan’s army. She told her uncle she would marry any man who could wrestle her and win. If they lost they had to give her 100 horses.
She died unmarried with 10,000 horses.”
This is how I want to die. Unmarried, with 10,000 horses. There is no other way now.
(via fuckyeahwomenprotesting2)(via lightspeedsound)
Australian writer whose TV series The Shock of the New took modern art to a mass audience
… I described him in the Guardian once as writing the English of Shakespeare, Milton, Macaulay and Dame Edna Everage, and Hughes enjoyed the description. His prose was lithe, muscular and fast as a bunch of fives. He was incapable of writing the jargon of the art world, and consequently was treated by its mandarins with fear and loathing. Much he cared.
When he reached a mass audience for the first time in 1980 with his book and television series The Shock of the New, a history of modern art starting with the Eiffel Tower and graced with a title that still resounds in 100 later punning imitations, some of the BBC hierarchy greeted the proposal that Hughes should do the series with ill-favoured disdain. “Why a journalist?” they asked, remembering the urbanity of Lord Clark of Civilisation.
He gave them their answer with the best series of programmes about modern art yet made for television, low on theory, high on the the kind of epigrammatic judgment that condenses deep truths. Van Gogh, he said, “was the hinge on which 19th-century romanticism finally swung into 20th-century expressionism”. Jackson Pollock “evoked that peculiarly American landscape experience, Whitman’s ‘vast Something’, which was part of his natural heritage as a boy in Cody, Wyoming”. And his description of the cubism of Picasso and Braque still stands as the most coherent 10-page summary in the literature. …
Any idea why this particular mushroom has come to represent the entire concept of mushroom? A Google image search for “mushroom painting” yields a majority of A. muscaria-inspired images.
I can think of a few reasons why Amanita is everywhere. I can think of anthropological ones, mystically aligned ones, & some which are just silly.
1. This is the first hallucinogenic mushroom humans ever et, and it has had a profound effect. It has become an archetypal symbol (whose original meaning is mostly forgotten), even in the sad & uptight non-trippy cultures.
2. It’s so pretty!
3. Many theorize that life on this planet was seeded by comets. (All gardeners must love that theory!) Some varieties of fungus spores may be able to survive spaceflight.
A. Fungi may have been one of earth’s earliest lifeforms.
I. Hallucinogenic mushrooms may have helped form our brains.
a. They may be the source of human mysticism/spirituality.
B. We may be the far-off descendants of trippy space shrooms
I. Terence McKenna!
II. Santa Claus & his magic flying reindeer.
4. The largest organisms on our planet are vast, little-known (to non-mycologists) fungal colonies.
A. The bastards have grown so massive they’ve invaded our collective unconscious!1!!!!1!!
I. OMG!!! @_@
5. Humans are in actuality a hyper-exotic orchid species which requires - in any form - A. muscaria’s proximity.
6. Cavemen painted on the walls because they were tripping on A. muscaria
A. This is the origin of human art
7. Early Arctic Circle shamans ate Amanita & travel/led & spoke with The Spirits. This is the origin of temples & churches (Also please vide 3.a above)
8. Amanita grows damn near everywhere. It’s ubiquitous in art precisely because it’s ubiquitous!
9. God is actually Amanita muscaria (See all above & so below)
Number nine especially amuses me, because a far more ahem powerful argument can be made in favor of our Sun’s being God, and fungi prefer shade.
An Ancient Egyptian priest would naturally see no contradiction in that & insist they are both God. S/he would’ve programmed her/himself in finding and creating harmony & balance, not spotting contradictions & duality. [Gimme that old-time religion indeed, huh?]
Csar Nicholas II & King George V
Czar Nicholas II of Russia and King George V of England. Their portraits appear on many postage stamps and it is difficult to distinguish between the two men. Can you pick who’s who from this photo? The man on the left is the Czar: the uniforms may have fooled you but the royal cousins swapped them for the occasion!
It’s truly astonishing what inbreeding can do.
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