April142014
April132014

lacartetreizieme:

history-and-shit:

A female “vampire” unearthed in a mass grave near Venice, Italy, may have been accused of wearing another evil hat: a witch’s.

The 16th-century woman was discovered among medieval plague victims in 2006. Her jaw had been forced open by a brick—an exorcism technique used on suspected vampires in Europe at the time.

The discovery marked the first time archaeological remains had been interpreted as those of an alleged vampire, project leader Matteo Borrini, a forensic archaeologist at the University of Florence in Italy, said when the skull was first revealed in March 2009.

New investigations have now shed light on who this “vampire” was, why people may have suspected her of dabbling in the dark arts, and even what she looked like.

"There is a piece of history to rewrite, to see this individual again after 500 years and also try to understand why the myth of vampire started," Borrini says in a new National Geographic Channel documentary. 

Borrini found the vampire skull while digging up mass graves on the Venetian island of Lazzaretto Nuovo. 

Belief in vampires was rampant in the Middle Ages, mostly because the process of decomposition was not well understood, Borrini says.

For instance, as the human stomach decays, it releases a dark “purge fluid.” This bloodlike liquid can flow freely from a corpse’s nose and mouth.

Since tombs and mass burials were often reopened during plagues to add new bodies, Italian gravediggers saw these decomposing remains and may have confused purge fluid with traces of vampire victims’ blood.

In addition, the fluid sometimes moistened the burial shroud near the corpse’s mouth so that the cloth sagged into the jaw. This could create tears in the cloth that made it seem as if the corpse had been chewing on its shroud.

Vampires were thought by some to be the causes of plagues, and the superstition took root that shroud-chewing was the “magical way” that vampires infected people, Borrini said.

Inserting objects—such as bricks and stones—into the mouths of alleged vampires was thought to halt the spread of disease.

To flesh out more details about the Venice vampire, Borrini assembled a team of scientists.

Paleonutritionists pulverized some of the woman’s remains—discovered along with the skull—to look for certain elements in food that settle in the bones and endure after death.

The team found that the woman had eaten mostly vegetables and grains, suggesting a lower-class diet.

DNA analysis revealed that the woman was European, and a forensic odontologist ascertained the woman’s age by examining the skull’s long canine teeth with an advanced digital x-ray device.

The results showed that the woman was between 61 and 71 years old when she died. Borrini was “quite shocked” by this finding—most women didn’t reach such advanced ages in the 16th century, he says in the documentary.

In medieval Europe, when fear of witches was widespread, many people believed the devil gave witches magical powers, including the ability to cheat death.

That means such a relatively old woman—suspected after death of being a vampire—may have been accused in life of being a witch, the researchers say.

But old age alone probably wouldn’t spur an accusation of witchcraft, said Jason Coy, an expert in European witchcraft and superstition at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, who was not part of the new study.

Though average life expectancy in 16th-century Europe was low, around 40, that doesn’t mean most people died at 40, he said via email. It means infant mortality was high, bringing down the average. If people lived past childhood, they stood a good chance of living into their 60s.

So the Venice vampire was old, but not “freakishly so,” Coy said.

Rather, Europe’s misogynistic society specifically linked old women with witchcraft, because people “assumed that old women—especially widows—were poor, lonely, weak, and unhappy, and thus could be lured by the devil’s promises of wealth, sex, and power into forming a pact with him,” Coy said.

At the height of the European witch-hunts, between A.D. 1550 and 1650, more than 100,000 people were tried as witches and 60,000 were executed—the vast majority of them old women.

Germany was the witch-hunt heartland, Coy said. Italy was relatively “mild” in its treatment of witches, although the country was also rife with superstitions and protective charms. 

In many historical references of the time, witches were said to eat children—possibly the origin of the Hansel and Gretel story, he added.

"So you could say that there is a tenuous link between flesh-eating zombies like your ‘Venetian vampire’ and witches: They were both feared for breaking the ultimate taboo—eating human flesh."

For the last step in forensic archaeologist Borrini’s work, he called on 3-D imaging experts to produce a digital model of the skull.

He then put markers where muscle attachments would have existed to reconstruct and rebuild the Venice vampire’s face. The result was the face of an “ordinary woman,” which perhaps brings the accused some “historical justice” centuries after her death, he said.

"It’s very strange to [leave] her now," he lamented, "because after this year it’s sort of a friendship that’s created between me and her."

Oh Haaaaaaaaazelllllllllllll…

Heh. Heh heh heh heh.

You know I knew as soon as I saw that top picture that you’d reblogged it just for me!

2PM

Submission: It’s Self-Parody, Right?

Seriously:

"I feel like there are a lot of issues of privilege around phone communication that don’t get explored very often, so here’s a thread in which we can talk about our experiences."

She’s read Shakesville Koolaid, and she’s playing “Gotcha!” with us, right?

I’ll admit to some phone-related anxiety that can make it difficult sometimes to call people, but there’s no way I’d call people who don’t have that anxiety ‘privileged’. Anyone else sick of the way Melissa waters down the concept?

(Source: shakesvillekoolaid)

April112014

spiritscraft:

spiritscraft:

gratefulsusann replied to your post“Pagan/witch pet peeve of mine”
You r so correct!! I just quit reading/following all those ppl who r preaching like they have the experience. I asked some of them & found there interest began “8months ago” I was blown away by there idiocy.
Length of practice doesn’t matter much alone. Someone could have practiced for 10 years, but still not gained experience in the things they recommend.

Also someone who has only been practicing 8 months could have read an excellent professional herbal (and taken notes!), attempted to brew wine and learned how it works, and taken three semesters of history. 8 months is pretty much a year of university, so someone can have gained a lot in that time if they apply themselves. They could be more of an expert than a person who has been practicing for decades but never challenged themselves and just parrots information they have never backed up.

Sadly, most often, both the new person and the long-time person don’t know what they are talking about either. It takes a lot of critical thinking and independent practice and research to traverse the pagan/witchcraft sphere.

You know what, though? Even if eight months is equivalent to a year at a university, that still makes them only a sophomore, who are of course proverbial for thinking they know everything when they really don’t. So I don’t know. I do think experience (which simply takes time) is very important.

In a related rant that is I’m sure going to win me many friends, I’m sick of ‘elders’ who are actually in their thirties. Sure, maybe they have a PhD, and who knows they could even have twenty years of experience by then if they started early enough, but that’s not what being an elder is about. Being an elder is about wisdom, which takes experience, yes, but more importantly comes from having perspective on that experience. Which again, simply takes time.

1AM

Oy five hours in the emergency room only for them to announce she was fine and could go home. People, don’t let the histrionic narcissists in your life get old.

1AM
skankyblankie:

The Guitar!!!  Well, I’m assuming, since he seems to always jump during this song.  Which, of course, is the best!

Yeah that was for The Guitar.  Also, whoever took this must have been like a foot to my right.  Was it the guy with the really nice camera that JL complimented?

skankyblankie:

The Guitar!!! Well, I’m assuming, since he seems to always jump during this song. Which, of course, is the best!

Yeah that was for The Guitar. Also, whoever took this must have been like a foot to my right. Was it the guy with the really nice camera that JL complimented?

(Source: selfcallednowhere)

1AM

skankyblankie:

They Might Be Giants performing "Birdhouse In Your Soul" on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, 1990. 

Love the bedroom eyes in #2! And Flansy’s smile in #4!

Oh I don’t know I think the best thing about #2 is the look on JF’s face. I mean don’t get me wrong JL is of course astonishing gorgeous but that little raised eyebrow flick just screams Did somebody say ‘threesome’?

(Source: 1980snewwave)

April82014

atlasobscura:

Inns to Die For: America’s Hotels with Haunting Histories

There are American inns thought to be haunted from the Red Garter, a former bar and bordello in Williams, Arizona, where an old call girl — Evie — is said to lurk, to the Historic Farnsworth House in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which is thought to be crowded with the ghosts of Confederate solders and those who cared for them. But few sites in stand out in macabre hotel lore like the Lizzie Borden House.

The 31-year-old Lizzie Borden was arrested for killing her father and stepmother — Andrew and Abby Borden — in their Fall River, Massachusetts home in 1892. The two were murdered in a manner similar to the Moores and their guests: thrashed in the head with repeated hits from a hatchet.

For the complete roundup of America’s darkest hotels, keep reading on Atlas Obscura…

That was my ninth cousin thrice removed, you know. No, I’m not kidding. I am related to Lizzie Borden.

(via arse-moriendi)

April62014
7PM

The Andypology: A Reader’s Guide

1purp0se:

So Andy posted an apology.  Let’s call it the Andypology for ease of reference.  This Andypology sounds good, no doubt about it.  It even sounds almost genuine.  Almost.

The main (but by no means only) problem with this apology is that at no point does he actually apologise for the allegation he made, or retract the false claim that he was 17 when his sexual relationship with Abbey began.  There is ample proof from Andy himself that the allegation is false, as well as timelines and his date of birth which have long been on public record.  He refuses to acknowlege this clarity and he acts like he’s conceding that others might be right, though he can’t swear to it.

One thing to bear in mind when reading is that the Andypology has a number of audiences. 

  1. Abbey.  This is a response to her invitation to apologise.
  2. Andy’s followers.  This is further proof to those already convinced that Andy has changed.  From now on, if anyone claims that Andy has never accepted culpability or apologised for his actions in the past, Andy’s followers can point to this.  He did apologise, they can say.  You just refuse to believe him because you have it in for him.  You’re twisting his words.  You refuse to give him a chance.  It’s also because of his followers that he must continue to pretend that he’s not sure if he was 17 or 18 when he met Abbey.  If he were to acknowledge the truth now, they might start wondering if he’s lied to them, and he can’t have that.
  3. Everyone else.  Everyone who has ever pointed out that Andy has never apologised to his most well-known victim.  Here it is.  Has he apologised to Abbey?  It certainly looks like it.  It’s in the title of this post, even.  “Not me, not in my name, and I’m sorry.”  Sorry for what?, is the question we should be asking.
  4. And that subgroup of “everyone else” that sees through the continued bullshit.  The people who refuse to take this apology at face value and who are now going to become further entrenched as the Them to Andy’s Us.  We know how he loves to create Us v Them scenarios to keep his followers close.  And now, by posting about his apology and showing how it is not genuine, we at this blog once more become the big mean Them out to get Andy.

We acknowledge that role we play in Andy’s Us v Them.  But the only way to avoid playing any role is not to comment at all, and given the stakes, we’re not willing to do that

I also want to draw attention to the fact that, when an anon asks Andy about how to go about apologising, the first thing he mentions is the “wording”.  Not how you feel about it.  Not how you hurt others.  But the wording, how it will come across, and how to avoid legal ramifications.  Not one shred of consideration for remorse, shame, guilt, emotion.  Very revealing.

So with all that in mind, let’s take a closer look and see what the Andypology is really doing, and more importantly, what—if anything—it’s really apologising for.

Read More

Okay, I don’t know this dude from Adam and I wasn’t there for any of the stuff from years ago, but I’ve read a bit about it recently and this guy sounds like a younger clone of that asshole Hugo Schwyzer, who is a known narcissist and sociopath. So I just wanted to point out that if this Andy guy is a sociopath and narcissist (i.e. has anti-social personality disorder and/or narcissistic personality disorder), which it certainly sounds like he does, then he is never going to change. He can’t. Personality disorders (with the exception of borderline personality disorder) are permanent conditions that can’t be changed or even mitigated. All therapy does for someone with NPD is teach them better ways to manipulate people. It’s a fundamental brokenness in the brain. That’s for all the people out there saying this guy has changed and that everyone deserves another chance. I’m pretty sure that people like him literally cannot change.

Second, again, I don’t know this guy or his particular narcissitic/sociopathic modus operandi but this line from his ‘apology’ tells me all I will ever need to know about him:

I’m so incredibly sorry that this happened

Bad things that narcissists cause are always just these things that happen, like rain, or snow, or night falling. It is never their fault. That might be one of the most characteristic things about narcissists (at least in my experience, which comes from having two in my immediate family); well, that and lying. They are completely, pathologically, allergic to responsibility, and will do whatever it takes (lie, project, minimize, shift blame, &c) to avoid it, which is exactly what this asshole sounds like he’s doing.

So yeah. I don’t even know the guy, but from what I’ve seen of him I wouldn’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth, least of all such a transparently manipulative ‘apology’.

April52014
8PM
8PM
skankyblankie:

Holy crap, those eyes!  They are amazing!  I swear he could do intricate surgery with these laser beams coming out of his head!

Like two collapsing stars

skankyblankie:

Holy crap, those eyes! They are amazing! I swear he could do intricate surgery with these laser beams coming out of his head!

Like two collapsing stars

(Source: selfcallednowhere)

3PM

They lie in all the pools, pale faces, deep deep under the dark water. I saw them: grim faces and evil, and noble faces and sad. Many faces proud and fair, and weeds in their silver hair. But all foul, all rotting, all dead. A fell light is in them.

Tolkien was at the Somme.

(Source: vega-ofthe-lyre, via goddess29)

April42014
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