Haunted house that takes people’s picture as they’re walking through.
Haunted house that takes people’s picture as they’re walking through.
I love the inclusion of modern technology into the scene. It’s wonderful.
Yes, this is exactly what I’m trying to do with secret project number one.
Yes, perfect. Good.
sudden flashbacks to Everworld
This is a thing that I’ve been dwelling on: the alternative development of aesthetics.
The short and sweet version is that we tend to associate certain patterns of clothing, decoration, and ritual with different kinds of behavior. It’s a worldwide thing, and mostly unconscious. Men around the world wear European suits when they’re doing business, unless they have a particular reason not to. Facial tattoos are for ‘primitive’ tribes and members of Western countercultures. Essentially the same furniture and building styles are seen throughout the wealthy parts of the world, and showing the different methods used by other cultures is meant to show how primitive they are.
This is all, of course, horseshit. Art, fashion, motifs—they’re all just the window-dressing of a culture, and say little about how advanced or worthwhile it is. The prevalence of European styles in architecture and clothing isn’t because they’re just better than the rest of the world’s styles, it’s because European culturally brutalized the rest of the world and other cultures had to change to blend in.
What if things had turned out differently? What if some culture had stood as another example of what could be? What if more and more advanced technology had been molded into those alternate aesthetics? What might the world have seen?
(Slightly tangentally: This is why I’m okay with Zecora in MLP. Her aesthetic is indicative that there are cultures in that world that haven’t been homogenized by imperialism. That seems like an excellent thing.)
The Lowry and 35W Bridges in Minneapolis, Minnesota following the passing of the equal marriage laws. Minnesota is the 12th state to accept same-sex marriages (but by far the most fabulous, although that may be my biased opinion).
Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy, in case you hadn’t heard. How dare she remove those ticking time bombs from her chest, amiright? Like, hasn’t she learned by now that her body is public domain and we all get to vote on what she does with it? Sheesh, how selfish can ya get.
These photos capture the scene at the Capitol yesterday when the Minnesota Senate voted to legalize same-sex marriage, becoming the 12th state to do so.
Proud of my state. Looking at the alternative viewpoint signs in this photoset. “Don’t erase moms and dads” REALLY? Yes, by allowing same sex couples to legally get married, all the heterosexual couples will vanish into the void. Also: woman+man=child? The people who argue that only a marriage between a man and a woman for the purpose of producing children should be allowed are infuriating.
By that rhetoric infertile couples shouldn’t get married. I guess my parents shouldn’t have gotten married? I guess there’s only one way to have a family and if you’re infertile or homosexual sucks to be you. Neener neener. Wow. FOR SHAME.
Tolerance, equality, love and commitment vs. poor rhetoric and a misplaced sense of persecution.
Amid a cascade of cheers and applause, Gov. Mark Dayton legalized same-sex marriage in Minnesota on Tuesday surrounded by thousands of gay and lesbian supporters and advocates.
“By your political courage, you join that pantheon of exceptional leaders who did something extraordinary,” Dayton said. “You changed the course of history for our state and our nation.”
Dayton signed the marriage measure at a historic outdoor ceremony, a day after the Senate and House passed the proposal.
Minnesota will become the first Midwestern state to legalize same-sex marriage by legislative vote and the 12th state in the nation to recognize such unions. Dayton’s action technically repeals a state statute that had prohibited same-sex marriage.
Mummified child in the crypt of Church of St. Casimir the Prince in Krakow
Modification of the last infographic. Congressladies + men = still a ways to go.
Source: Office of the Clerk
This is the most beautiful infographic I’ve ever seen. Paging I Love Charts!
This is fantastic.
Mysterious mysteries? Not entirely.
Greetings gentle readers! Today’s post is inspired by a lovely list-type article advertising ‘10 Civilizations that Disappeared Mysteriously’.
If you look at the list, every single one of these cultural groups/civilizations’ eventual disappearance can be explained by one main thing: climate change. Sure, you can throw in a couple of other factors but the common thread in all of them is that after however many years of existence and habitation, once the water goes away so to do the people. Let’s take a quick look, shall we?
1. The Maya
The Maya had a long and well-documented history and existed for several thousand years and their area of influence extended from Mexico down into Central America. However, all good things must eventually come to an end. Continual climate change starting around 900AD meant that over the following years and years, the rains were less frequent, the harvests were smaller and smaller and warring became more commonplace as people fought for dwindling resources and land. The arrival of the Spanish didn’t help matters much either. The Maya are actually still around, they just don’t have the grand empire they did back in the day. Just take a trip down to the Yucatan, Belize or Guatemala and you can hang out with the people who are descendants of those awesome Maya!
2. Indus Valley Civilization
This usually refers to the citizens of Harappa. They too had a thriving civilization with grand cities, arts, industry and all that good stuff…however climate change struck here too. Dwindling rains meant that their farms couldn’t support the massive populations and eventually people left for other areas of the Indus Valley.
3. Easter Island
Rapa Nui! That’s its proper name. So many theories surround this little island but people seem to agree on a couple of factors. The island, which is pretty bare and volcanic these days, was once covered in trees. Experts and descendants of the native islanders seem to agree that while the Rapanui had a very sophisticated and thriving culture for quite some time, their lifestyle just wasn’t sustainable. For whatever reason (weather, rats from European ships, etc.) trees never managed to grow back and thus the soil was pretty much destroyed, making farming nearly impossible. Without agricultural resources to support other things like fishing, the island just couldn’t support large numbers of people so most made the long trip east to Chile. A lot of Rapanui still live on the island though, so you can totally go there and hang out with them.
4. Çatalhöyük/Çatalhüyük/Çatal Hüyük
One of the more fun words to type :P Çatalhöyük is one of the most famous ancient sites in Turkey and was once home to a thriving Neolithic culture, actually it’s the first real Neolithic city that we know of and that’s pretty awesome. From about 9,000BC to 7,000BC almost 10,000 people called this city of decorated apartments and ritual centers home. But then, you guessed it! Things changed. There’s evidence of a number of climate events during the formative years of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean that upended cultures from time to time. If you look at the evidence left behind like pottery and other daily use items, it looks like the folks from Çatalhöyük spread out and migrated to other parts of the Near East where the land and resources were better.
Woooo Amurrica! This massive ancient city in the American Midwest was characterized by large earth mounds, a bustling population of as many as 40,000 people and sophisticated works of art. While it was located next to the mighty Mississippi River, the city seemed to always have an issue with agriculture and sanitation. It’s tough to keep a large population going and eventually everyone got tired of famine and moved on to more fruitful areas along the Mississippi and its many tributaries. Fun fact: Cahokia had a ball court not unlike those found in Aztec cities in Mexico! There is indeed a cultural connection there.
6. Göbekli Tepe
A site near and dear to my heart as I worked for 2 long years to get it on TV in a proper fashion. It kind of worked. Göbekli Tepe is special because it is officially THE OLDEST site of religious/ritual use that we know of. How old, you ask? This site was built before the Neolithic/agricultural revolution, which was when we find people really settling down and building permanent structures for the first time. Now, they’ve only excavated a very small percentage of the site so speculation and theories are still running rampant but here’s what I think: If you compare the artistic designs carved onto the stone columns, you’ll notice that all the animals are ones that are very familiar to that area of the works especially the bull, which is pretty much the mascot of Çatalhöyük. There are also some sites in neighboring areas that are a bit younger (like Nevali Çori and Jericho to the south) but have very similar characteristics in their architecture and their art. Coincidence? Nope! It’s the Natufians! And as always, when the weather starts working against you, you move on to someplace that’s more hospitable.
This one is really easy. At its height, Angkor was quite possibly the biggest city in the world. This massive city complex relied heavily on a sophisticated system of irrigation to support its sprawling population and after years of consistant lack of rainfall, the inhabitants of Angkor gradually moved to other areas of Cambodia.
8. The Turquoise Mountain
I’m not entirely familiar with this site but I loves me a good Silk Road city! Add a healthy dash of Islamic Golden Age on top of that and I’m SET. I plan on reading all about this today but from what it looks like (and judging from other similar cities in the world at that time) things simply dried up once the trade routes changed and the water disappeared. Mongols may have exacerbated the situation too.
The Silk Road! Oh, Taklamakan Desert how I long to visit you. With your awesome furry camels and even more awesome Caucasian mummies with stunning tattoos…but I digress. This city had the fortune and misfortune of being an oasis and a major stop along the Silk Road. As with #8, when the trade routes change and the water goes away, so do the people. Alas…
10. Nabta Playa
Oy, this site. It’s a shame that a nice site like this has been claimed by the Ancient Alien Theorists as evidence of something or other. It’s currently located in the middle of the Western desert in Egypt, which is 100% Sahara and an otherwise uninhabitable place unless you happen to be a sand gecko or something. However, long before the Egyptian civilization existed, the area we now call the Sahara desert was actually a lush grassland that supported many species of big mammals (we have fossils, yo) and early humans! These early folks successfully domesticated cattle, created ceramic things and had a successful system of farms. Were these people part of some mysterious advanced civilization that gave rise to the great Egyptians and helped them build pyramids from Day 1? No. Were they still quite awesome for that time period (c.7000-6500 BC) and eventually settled along the Nile, in turn eventually creating what we now refer to as the Pre-Dynastic Period of Egyptian history? You bet.
So in conclusion, most ancient ‘mysteries’ can usually be attributed to climate change and the things it causes like drought, famine, war and migration. Also, ancient people were a pretty awesome bunch so make sure to give them ample credit where it’s due :)