5 Unusual Snowmen Approaches

Olaf represents innocent love1Well, what can one think of in the middle of summer? Ice cold drinks, lonely beaches, surfing, tanning? Not really, as this post is going to be all about snowmen. Snowmen in the middle of summer are a great reminder of the days when one can only survive dressed up in multiple layers. This seems so far away right now; nevertheless, a quick chat on 5 unusual snowmen approaches that can definitely be a sip of fresh cold air.

The most famous snowman nowadays has to be Olaf, from Frozen. But Olaf stands for innocent love, not to mention that fact that he’s one-year old. So let’s take care of the veterans, shall we?

 1. The first recorded snowmen

One of the inspirations for this article comes from Bob Eckstein’s book, The history of the snowman. The first recording ever of a snowman comes from an illuminated manuscript dated 1380, that can now be found in the Royal Library at The Hague. The manuscript includes a grotesque cartoon snowman alongside a solemn passage about Jesus Christ. This is par excellence the earliest known drawing of a snowman and it has been interpreted as an anti-Semitic representation of a Jew being melted by fire. Sorry about that!

Moreover, according to Eckstein, the first recorded indecent snowmen and snow-women were created back in 1511, when the residents of Brussels, in a fit of anti-establishment anger, filled the city streets with hundreds of pornographic and political snow sculptures.

As far as Italy is concerned, a heavy snowstorm apparently hit Florence in 1494. The city’s ruler of that time, Giovanni di Lorenzo di Piero de Medici, asked a teenage friend to build a snowman in the palace courtyard. The 18-year-old was forced to create a snow sculpture that observers reckoned as the most beautiful snowman that had ever been made. The young sculptor was none other than Michelangelo.

Eckstein’s book describes a snowman calamity in North America during the 1689–1697 war between England and France. On February 8, 1690, while 25 militiamen were on duty in Schenectady, New York State, protecting 150 civilian inhabitants, the weather was so cold that the village gates had frozen open. But the sentries did not believe anyone could be out and about on such a night and so went off to warm themselves, leaving two rifle-wielding snowmen on guard.

Unfortunately the “snow patrol” didn’t fool a 200- party of French Canadian soldiers and Native Americans, who silently passed through the gates, robbed and burned the village, killing 60 villagers and taking 27 prisoners with them.

3. Snowmen in horror states

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Unfortunately, sweet old snowmen have appeared in several horror stories as Yeti. No matter if this means their playing in Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon, featuring a killer Yeti and a football team involved in a plane crash trying to survive in the Himalayas.

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Yeti is a Pixar star as well, starring in Monsters Inc. and having John Ratzenberger doing its voice. That’s definitely a cool one.

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How about Hugo from The Abominable Snow Rabbit in Chuck Jones’ run of The Looney Tunes? That’s a classical to remember.

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And last, but not least, let’s not forget Scooby-Doo and his horror adventures. During their never-ending encounters with all sorts of monsters, Yeti just had to be one of them. The first time was in 1970 in That’s Snow Ghost, and then again in the far more recent, direct-to-video, Chill Out, Scooby Doo.

 4. Snowmen in Art

Here are some paintings by US artist Graham Dale. The images speak for themselves J

5. Snowmen in your Back Yard

I found the cosiest homemade pictures of friendly snowmen here and here, should you be interested in how the Japanese build their own.

22 Famous Epitaphs That Will Make you Fall in Love With their Authors

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Whether you like it or not, we all get there sooner or later. Out time here is limited, despite out forgetting this all the time. Nevertheless, here are some memorably funny or deep or sad epitaphs found on gravestones all around the world. This is all that’s left of them, eventually, apart from memories or photos for the 20th century’s deceased. So here they are: 22 famous epitaphs that will make you fall in love with their authors.  This one is for your followers to see and remember.

For those of you who don’t know it, according to good young Wikipedia, an epitaph is “a short text honoring a deceased person, strictly speaking that is inscribed on their tombstone or plaque, but also used figuratively. Some are specified by the dead person beforehand, others chosen by those responsible for the burial.”

Old historical epitaphs

 

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Man has always had his humour at hand. And it’s just so admirable to see a grave message from the 18th – 19th century containing so much wit.

 Here lies Ann Mann/ Who lived an old maid/But died an old Mann. (1767) Here lies my wife/ Here lies she/Hallelujah! Hallelujee! (In a Leeds graveyard, 1861)

Here lies my wife/ I bid her goodbye/ She rests in peace/ and now so do I. (Unknown source)

Sacred to the memory of my husband John Barnes who died January 3, 1803/ His comely young widow, aged 23, has many qualifications of a good wife, and yearns to be comforted. (A cemetery in Vermont)

Reader if cash thou art/ In want of any/ Dig four feet deep/ And thou wilt find a Penny. (John Penny’s epitaph in Wimborne, England)

I told you I was sick! (A cemetery somewhere in Georgia)

Here lies one Wood/ Enclosed in wood/ One Wood / Within another. / The outer wood / Is very good: We cannot praise / The other. (Winslow, Maine)

Come blooming youths, as you pass by, / And on these lines do cast an eye. / As you are now, so once was I; / As I am now, so must you be; / Prepare for death and follow me. (Effie Jean Robinson, Waynesville, North Carolina) – This one is cynical indeed. That’s one someone felt free to add the following: To follow you / I am not content, / How do I know / Which way you went.

Hooray my brave boys / Lets rejoice at his fall. / For if he had lived / He would have buried us all. (On a gravedigger’s stone)

Here lies / Johnny Yeast. / Pardon me / For not rising. (John Yeast, Ruidoso, New Mexico)

Here lies an Atheist / All dressed up / And no place to go. (In Thurmont, Maryland)

 

Epitaphs of famous people:

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For one who would not be buried in Westminster Abbey: / Heroes and Kings! / your distance keep; / In peace let one poor Poet sleep, / Who never flatter’d Folks like you: / Let Horace blush, and Virgil too. (Alexander Pope (1688-1744)).

My Jesus, mercy (Al Capone)

The best is yet to come. (Frank Sinatra)

That’s all, folks! (Mel Blanc, the voice of cartoon character Porky Pig)

I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter. (Winston Churchill)

She did it the hard way (Bette Davis)

Hey Ram (Meaning Oh, God, Mahatma Ghandi)

Truth to your own spirit (Jim Morrison)

Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty I’m Free At Last (Martin Luther King Jr.)

Never born, / Never died: visited the planet earth between December 11, 1931 and, January 19, 1990. (Osho)

I told you so, you damned fools (H. G. Wells)

All these people did leave something behind. They reflect a somewhat interesting and positive attitude towards death, turning it into something less scary, at least from my point of view.

8 Absolutely Horrible Methods of Execution

Here’s a reminder of mankind’s most cruel inclinations: 8 absolutely horrible methods of execution that were used throughout the world.

The United States is the only major country in the Western world that still allows capital punishment. However sadistic and extremely painful methods have been abolished in most countries that still use this type of punishment. Revolting as it may seem, besides the US, other countries that use such extreme punishing methods nowadays are China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. According to Amnesty International, executions occurred only in 11% of countries worldwide in 2013.

#1. BOILING

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In execution by boiling, the condemned is left naked and then placed in a vat of boiling liquid that could be oil, acid, tar, water, or molten lead. During the reign of King Henry VIII it was a punishment especially reserved for poisoners.

#2. FLAYING

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The flaying method is very ancient. Actually the apostle Bartholomew was flayed and then crucified upside down. His skin and bones can still be found in a Cathedral in Sicily. Basically the skin of the criminal used to be removed from their body while the victim was still alive, with the use of a very sharp knife. The skin was usually kept intact, as a proof of the deed. Afterwards they were then left to die from either shock or infection.

#3. STONING

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Stoning is a method of capital punishment where the condemned is violently attacked with stones until he is practically buried alive. Sudan is one country that uses stoning as part of their punishment for homosexual behavior, particularly against women. Afghanistan seems to have inclinations towards this brutal practice, as an 84-year-old man charged with homosexual activity was killed in Kabul a few years ago.

#4. NECKLACING

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Necklacing is an execution method in which a rubber tyre forced over the arms is and chest of the victim. The tyre is filled with gasoline, and is set of fire. It was a common practice in South Africa during the 1980s and 1990s. It was also used in Brazil, Haiti and in Nigeria during Muslim protests.

#5. BRAZEN BULL

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The Brazen Bull was invented in the 6th Century BC. It was a large brass bull, completely hollow inside, provided with a door on the side, large enough for a man to enter. Once the condemned was inside the bull, a fire would be lit beneath it. Thus the man was roasted to death. Moreover inside the head of the bull, there were a series of tubes and stops designed to amplify the screams of the victim and make them sound like the roar of a bull.

#6. LING CHI

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Ling Chi is basically execution by slow cutting. It was practiced in China until 1905. The criminal is tight to a cross, and the executioner, armed with a sharp knife, begins by cutting from the fleshy parts of the body, such as the thighs and the breasts. After this he removes the joints and the nose, ears, fingers and toes. Then the limbs are cut off, the elbows and knees, the shoulders and hips. Finally, the victim is stabbed to the heart and his head cut off. According to Confucian principles, someone executed like this will not be capable of finding piece and wholeness in his afterlife, either.

#7. THE BREAKING WHEEL

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The breaking wheel was a mediaeval execution device. The criminal would be attached to a cartwheel with his arms and legs stretched out along the spokes. The wheel turned while a heavy metal object would break the victim’s bones in various parts of the body between the spokes.

After the shattering was complete, the wheel would be hoisted to the top of a pole for birds to eat the, sometimes still living, body.

#8. SAWING

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The sawing execution method was used in the Middle East, Europe, and some parts of Asia. It was also used in the Roman Empire, being Emperor Caligula’s favorite punishment method.

So the criminal, hung upside-down had a large saw cutting his body in half, starting with the groin, all the way to the head. Because the person was hanging upside-down, the brain received sufficient blood to keep them alive until the saw finally reached the main blood vessels in the abdomen.

7 Ugliest Shoes on the Planet

When it comes to ugly, shoes can have a horror impact, because an ugly shoe is definitely life changing. You will never forget such an experience. So here they are: the 7 ugliest shoes on the planet!

 Louis Vuitton – Daisy Half Boots

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If a combination between oriental home slippers and UGGs are what you are looking for, well these comfy, yet horrible boots is the perfect match for you. The fringe in the back gives them the feminine touch any lady longs for in a shoe. They’re pink, they are cozy and they have golden hills for a confident walk through life. And the perfect thing as far as these Daisy Hallf Boots are concerned is the fact that none other than Louis Vuitton designed them. I definitely cannot appreciate style.

Mexican Boots

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Let us not neglect our male fans. Here you have the famous, yet extremely ugly male Mexican boots, or botas vaqueras exoticas as they are called by their fans. This trend has apparently extended to Texas, Tennesse or Oklahoma, parts where one can usually run into a lot of Mexican immigrants.

Moreover there’s also a dance competition that has them in the spotlight. There’s one contest that rewards the Mexican with the longest and most beautified sharp boots. These exotic boots are enhanced with all sorts of glittering little stones. The most popular ones are provided with LEDs and mirrors. The longest end can reach 6 inches. And apparently, the ladies are drawn to the men who wear these like a magnet.

Iris Schieferstein’s Vegas Girl Heels

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When goats are your passion, you should try these on. Taxidermy encountered fashion in the most stylish manner. They definitely have a dark side, goat hoof reminding everybody of bad old Satan. Lady Gaga is likely to have at least ten pairs of these. I’m not being rude here; it’s just that she seems to have a special connection with hoofed animals, that’s all. The model she ordered is actually a custom, heel-free version with pink laces. So back to nature, everybody and start wearing some good old animal style goat boots!

P.S. They are actually crafted from real horse hooves.

Doggy Style Shoes

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If you’re fond of dogs and you know it, you should get a pair of these. They look like your dog, but they could be your absolute doggy high heels. They’re ugly, they have no style, no pleasant proportions and last but not least, they are provided with a tongue! Their hills are the dog’s ears and their edge is the dog’s nose. How amazing is that? Amazingly ugly I’d say…

Anna Korshun’s Gray Ankleboots

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If you’ve always been fascinated by the shoebox and not the shoes inside, this is you chance to express yourself! These Belarusian designer’s ankleboots draw “from communist upbringing,” and the idea was that the austerity would eliminate fashions’ seasonal whims. It actually just looks like the model’s wearing a shoebox. But hey, who am I to judge?

Balenciaga Multicolored Plastic Techno-Sandal

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At $4175, they seem the ugliest thing one can buy. They look like ski bindings, only more horribly looking and way more uncomfortable, that’s for sure. They were created in 2007, by Nicolas Ghesquiere, for a tribe of multicultural schoolgirls. Well, he definitely defied multiculturalism with these sandals.

Ahmet Baitar Bootbags

 

7 of the Ugliest Shoes on the Planet7They were reportedly inspired by Mullholand Drive. Well any absurd thing can be sustained by this argument. The movie however, despite its shallow lack of meaning, is very coherent. But let’s not beat about the bush, here. These bootbags are the thing to wear. And if you’re looking for a more rustic walk, just hold them in your hand, or if you forget your bag for groceries at home, just use one of your boots, or better both! 

3 Amazing SF Movies You Probably Didn’t Know Were Inspired by Books

 

3 SFWhenever you read a science-fiction novel, words become images in an instant. All classical limits are defied, and therefore a never-ending land of possibilities is thus revealed. Here are 3 amazing SF movies you probably didn’t know were inspired by books. Before the film industry learned how to do so many wonderful things as far as special effects are concerned, our parents and grandparents and grand grand parents were mesmerized while spending their summer holidays reading Jules Verne’s amazingly adventure SF novels. They needed no movie to show them how to imagine everything they were reading about, despite the fact that Jules Verne was talking about worlds nobody had ever heard of.

But as cinema evolved, SF books had to, just had to be screened.

 Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey

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Movie director Stanley Kubrick shook hands with writer Arthur C. Clarke, and had written a SF novel together that was instantly turned into a film. The result of their teaming up is none other than 2001: Space Odyssey, which was released in both forms in 1968. Kubrick’s intention was of sheer penetration of the audience’s subconscious, with no verbal distractions in the way. The emotional and conceptual content was to be transmitted through images only. Not classical SF ones representing sticky aliens and huge spaceships. He worked with Douglas Trumbull from NASA in order to render the exact movements of a human body in space. He also hired over 40 people on the set who had to make sure that every detail and density described in the book existed in the movie as well. All this grace is enriched by Richard Strauss’ music, underlining the grandeur of the space in such a sensitive, yet grand perspective. This is definitely one of the most amazing movies ever made.

Ray Bradburry and Francois Truffaut’s Farenheit 451

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The novel Farenheit 451 was written by Ray Bradburry and turned into a film by Francois Truffaut. This short novel began as a love letter that Bradburry wrote to books. From here it turned into an anti-totalitarianism and anti-censorship critique. The movie, starring Oskar Werner as inquisitor Guy Montag and Julie Christie as Clarissa, the one true free and fragile spirit that makes Guy question his own non-liberal ideas and beliefs. The movie is less faithful to the book as far as the romance story is concerned so that the audience can have something more obvious reason to cry. Nevertheless the bleak atmospheres of the book, as well as the never-ending tension are faithfully contained in the film, too.

Despite the fact that it was written 61 years ago, Farenheit 451 is a steadfast cultural bench and Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11 is a clear statement underlining this tribute.

Anthony Burgess and Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange

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Yes, Stanley Kubrick again! But this time with a different writer and not such a perfect coordination than his other movie mentioned above. The Clockwork Orange dispute is an eternal one because of the fact that no one has enough arguments to sustain which one was better. They are works of genius, but taken separately. There’s something different about them. Burgess’ book was released in 1962 and Kubrick’s movie in 1971 and they both are absolute masterpieces.

While Burgess accepted he felt frustrated because of the fact that none of his following books had the same success, Kubrick has no regrets whatsoever. Malcom McDowell was definitely the only man form this planet who could have portrayed the malefic Alex and his ultra-violent deeds in an unknown future with familiar references. It’s hard to talk about this book or about this movie using concrete words. It’s all about the atmosphere, the strange language they use, the tension and the incredible paradoxes. This time we have Beethoven’s 9th symphony to sharpen our emotions.