Showing posts from June, 2010

The History of Candles

Since candles were invented, their usability in human culture and societies continues to diversify. At the beginning, it was only about the light. But at that time light was very essential for human existence. And it would not be wrong if I say that candles provided the base of today's modern world. And according to National Candle Association now there are more than 300 candle manufacturers in the U.S. alone. Earliest use of candles is associated with ancient Egyptians. Dated from the 4th century B.C., Clay candle holders have been found in the Egypt.  In the early stage there was no wick, they were made up of tallow of sheep and cattle as it became hard. A tallow candle, to be good, must be Half sheep's tallow and half cow's.  That of hoggs makes them gutter, Give an ill smell and a thick black smoak Author Unknown - 18th century According to the research on ancient civilization, Roman Empire invented first candle wicks. They melted the tallow to a liquid state and po

Wordless Wednesday - Portrait of Tsaritsa Maria Fyodrovna

Portrait of Tsaritsa Maria Fyodrovna circa 1800's by Ivan Karmskoi

Selene of Alexandria

SELENE OF ALEXANDRIA 'Selene of Alexandria' by Faith L. Justice, is a historical novel, a straight one if you are into genres and subgenres, which is set in Alexandria during the fifth century. Selene is only fourteen, when she makes a serious decision concerning her life. She wishes to defy her class's expectations by becoming a physician. At those times, this is an absolute No-no. She finds support in Hypatia, the famous female mathematician and philosopher. She convinces her father to allow her pursuing her goal in a time, in which the Catholic Church is torn in sects, and Byzantine is all that remained from the Roman Empire. Soon, Selene finds herself amidst the struggle for power. Embedded in the history of Alexandria, we watch Selene come to age. We experience the violence and fanaticism, tearing through the young church and the few remaining pagans. Selene is the strong and very independent woman type, maybe a tiny bit too modern in her ways; however, Faith manages

Chopines - Platform Heels Renaissance Style

Chopines were platform shoes worn by women in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.   They protected the shoes and dress from mud and street soil.   Chopines were usually put on with the help of two servants.  They caused an unstable and inelegant gait.  Women who wore them usually were accompanied by a servant or attendant upon whom they could balance themselves. In Venice, the chopine was worn by women of the nobility and courtesans.  The chopine became a symbolic reference to the cultural and social standing of the wearer; the higher the chopine, the higher the status of the wearer.   17th Century Venetian Chopines This high shoe allowed a woman to literally and figuratively tower over others.  During the Renaissance, they became a regular article of women's and became more and more loftier as the years went on.  Some were over 20 inches in height.  Shakespeare joked about the extreme height of the chopines by using the word altitude in Hamlet when the prince greets a

Wordless Wednesday - Drusilla

  Drusilla by John Godward  

104 Year old Film from 1906 San Francisco

Imagine sitting on this cable car as it slowly drives down Market Street at the Embarcadero Wharf in San Francisco in 1906. This film was "lost" for many years. It was the first 35mm film ever, taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car. This film was produced only four days before the Great California Earthquake and then shipped by train to New York for processing. The date was verified by weather conditions and license plates. I very much enjoyed seeing some of the hats the ladies are wearing. Notice how it's the men who take the risks when crossing the street. The ladies do it much more cautiously. And towards the later part of the film, you'll see a hair-raising manuevre by a car as it squeezes between the main cable car and one that is fast approaching! What a fascinating treasure of history! Enjoy!

Bridget Bishop 1692

Bridget Bishop was born sometime between 1632 and 1637, and during her life, she married three times, but never had any children.  After her first two husbands died, she married Edward Bishop, a sawyer or wood cutter. During the Salem witch trials, she received the most accusations.  The accusations against her were exceptionally vehement and viciousos - not so much as it pertained to being a witch, but more because of her flagrant and body lifestyle and risky form of dress.  She liked to wear red and kept the rumours flying with tales of her numerous and public fights with her husbands, the wild parties in her home till the wee hours of the morning, her love of drink and her passion for the sinful game of shovel board.  To make matters worse, she, a mere woman, owned two highly successful taverns! In the Puritan society in which she lived, her blatant disregard for propriety soon brought much unwanted attention to her.  Before long, her dubious character came under speculation bec

The Love Story of Romeo and Juliette

Romeo and Juliet is an enduring tragic love story written by William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. Shakespeare borrowed his plot from an original Italian tale.  It is believed Romeo and Juliette were based on actual characters from Verona.  The Montague and Capulet families are feuding.  The Prince of Verona intervenes and declares that any further fighting will be punishable by death.  When the Count of Paris approaches Lord Capulet about marrying his daughter, Juliet, he is wary of the request because she is only thirteen.  Capulet asks the Count of Paris to wait another two years and invites him to attend a ball.  Lady Capulet and Juliet's nurse urge Juliet to accept Paris' courtship. In the Montague house, Benvolio talks with his cousin Romeo , Lord Montague's son, about Romeo's recent melancholy.  Benvolio discovers Romeo's unrequited infatuation for a girl named Rosaline, a niece of

Wordless Wednesday - Rome Trevi Fountain