Watch this video by Jason Silva, host of National Geographic's Brain Games and you'll get an idea. This video is part of his new YouTube series, "Shots of Awe". The performance philosopher uses his weekly videos to examine the human experience with energy and an uplifting sense of optimism. Enjoy. Be inspired!
Nature never ceases to amaze me! The image above was made by the Norwegian nature photographer, author, and lecturer Kjell Bloch Sandved. He photographed butterflies in over 30 countries and found all the letters of the English alphabet as well as the numbers 0-9 in patterns in the wings of live butterflies and moths.
I'll leave you today with some inspirational words from him: "To find beauty in the world, you have to look closely."
And all you need to do this is some OOMOO 30, a special type of silicone, liquid plastic and a cool record! I'm not sure I'd do this with a rare vinyl or one that I liked very much, but it's nice to know there's a way to do it. Check out the tutorial here (in Portuguese).
Whenever I feel uninspired or unhappy, I turn to William Wallace and his fellow Scottish compatriots to cheer me up. However, some time ago, I heard that there were several historical mistakes and anachronisms in the movie. Time to figure out what are they!
First of all, Wallace never had a romance with Isabel from France (portrayed by Sophie Marceau), since she only arrived in England three years after Wallace's death. And Longshanks - that was Edward the first's real nickname, along with Hammer of the Scots - wasn't dying when William was executed. He actually died in the battle of Burgh-a-Sands (Cumberland) in 1307, near the Scottish frontier, on his way to another campaign against Wallace's friend Robert Bruce.
Finally, it is most unlikely that Wallace was just a commoner. It is said that he spoke several languages and was a cultured man - as it was shown in the movie -, but that makes historians believe that he and his wife Murron (who, by the way, was no secret bride) were part of Ellerslie's aristocracy.
Using animals as a part of therapy began in the IX century, and it was first registered in Gheel, Belgium. Back then, people with special needs were allowed to take care of domestic animals.
This type of therapy resurfaced during the 1960's in the USA, when the psychologist Boris Levinson used his labrador dog Jingles to help a kid with socialization problems. The child arrived early for his appointment and, in the waiting room, encountered the dog, with whom he soon started to talk about his distresses and afflictions. The experience motivated Dr. Levinson to use Jingles as a part of the treatment for authism, and he discovered that animals provided the kids the opportunity to express their emotions. Nowadays, his theories are taken seriously and it has been proved that living with animals is good for the mental and physical health of humans of any age, no matter what problem they have.
Epitaphs are, at least for me, a nice way of leaving a message for your beloved ones to remember you. At least a cooler way than just saying when you were born and when you died. But when did this become a custom?
Allegedly, it was the Romans who began making inscriptions upon tombstones and graves - for them, it was a way of burying, along with the corpse, his/her virtues (which back then were considered to be the personal vanities and values worth of being copied by others). It was also a great way to register a person's deeds, since fame was directly associated with virtue, according to the ancient historian Tacitus.
Romans would even discuss their future epitaphs while having fun with their friends! Although they were very supersticious people, it wasn't considered a bad omen to talk about this kind of subject during parties. And there were all kinds of inscriptions: some recomended people to enjoy life as much as they could... While others cursed their enemies, wishing them several plagues from hell. Nice.
Old Alton Bridge is a historic iron through-truss bridge connecting the cities of Denton, Texas and Copper Canyon, Texas. It was built in 1884 by the King Iron Bridge Manufacturing Company, and originally carried horses and later automobiles over Hickory Creek. The bridge takes its name from the abandoned community of Alton, which between 1850-1856 was the seat of Denton County. It remained in constant use until 2001 when vehicle traffic was moved to an adjacent concrete-and-steel bridge. Prior to the new bridge, it was necessary for motorists to signal with a car horn before crossing the single lane span. Today it is a popular location for nature enthusiasts and photographers... And fans of the Goatman.
The bridge is known locally as "Goatman's Bridge", due to a legendary demonic satyr of the same name, who is popularly believed to inhabit the forest surrounding the area. An alternative legend tells of a black goat farmer, Oscar Washburn, who moved his family to a residence just north of the bridge. A few years later, he became known as a dependable, honest businessman and North Texans endearingly began to call him the Goatman. But the success of a black man was still unwelcome to many, and Klansmen in the local government turned to violence after he displayed a sign on Alton Bridge: "this way to the Goatman's". In August 1938 Klansmen crossed the bridge and kidnapped Washburn from his family. They hung a noose on Old Alton Bridge and, after securing it around his neck, threw him over the side. When they looked down to see if he had died, the noose was empty. In a panic, they returned to his family home and slaughtered his wife and children.
Locals warn that if you crossed the bridge at night without headlights, you will be met on the other side by the Goatman. Ghostly figures and strange lights are also reported in the surrounding woods. This legend results in the area around Old Alton Bridge being popular with paranormal societies and Halloween activities.
... TV shows like "Destination Truth" and "Monster Quest" should totally hire me. Just saying.
The great masters of painting have always been victims of copycats. But how do you know when you're looking at a fake painting?
Sophisticated frauds often are only unmasked with the help of multidisciplinary exams and detailed evaluations. X-rays, UV light, infra-red, grazing light and chemical analysis are some of the tests used to evaluate the fidelity of a suspicious painting. A team of scientists usually includes an art historian, a conservative, a graph documents copyst and a chemist. Each exam and their comments are reunited in reports that often have more than a hundred pages. Sometimes, though, even the specialists can't be sure about a possible fraud.
I'm not sure why I thought he wasn't a real person in the first place. Nevertheless, read on if you want to know more about him and his famous whisky!
Back in 1819, John Walker was a recent orphan who arrived in the Scottish village of Kilmarnock with his father's inheritance in his pocket. He soon became a partner and later the owner of a thriving grocery store, which was famous by its teas, wines, imported foods... And whiskeys.
In that time, however, the scotch was an oily and heavy drink, pretty hard to swalow. It was bought from local farms and stored in used wine barrels. John was one of the first men to notice that, depending on the type of barrel and storage time, the whisky became smoother and more pleasant. He also innovated by combining the drinks in a decent way - folks used to exaggerate so much back then that blending distillates was considered a crime! His creation, the Walker’s Kilmarnock Whisky blend, became famous throughout Great Britain.
John's oldest son, Alexander, learned everything about the distillery and convinced his father to leave the old store behind and focus on making and selling whisky at wholesale. John died one year later from a heart attack, but Alexander carried on the family brand. His 40-distillates blend, created in 1867, was the precursor of the Johnnie Walker Black Label. He also innovated in the design field: so that more bottles could fit in a box, he made them square and, so that more information could fit in the label, he made them diagonal. These changes contributed to make the Johnnie Walker brand easy to be recognized anywhere. By 1920, the drink was sold in 120 countries, becoming the first global brand.