you are so brave and quiet i forget you are suffering.
A couple deer | image by Mark Bridger
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Medieval world 1000 feet below the surface
Every now and then you read a story about medieval times that you are sure is made up. Here is one, but it’s not. At 1000 ft below the surface, no more than ten miles from the Polish city of Krakow, lies the Wieliczka salt mine. It’s a labyrinth of chambers and lakes, but also a place with stables for horses, a chapel (with chandeliers made of rock salt), a salt-sculpted hall seating 400, and an amazing frieze with a scene of the Last Supper, carved in a wall of rock salt (top pic). A total of nine levels contain a combined 300 kilometres (186 miles) of tunnels and some 3,000 rooms. The most astonishing thing? Much of it dates from medieval times: the structure was completed c. 1280 - and produced table salt until six years ago. A world buried below the world: am I the only one thinking Mines of Moria here?
Pics: the Frieze in the Wieliczka salt mine is from Wikipedia (here), the rest from tourist websites. More about this fascinating site in a recent CNN article, here; and on the United Nations World Heritage website, here (but don’t touch the pics).
Viking ship afloat on a sea of flames: Hundreds of Vikings march through Shetland town bearing lit torches in annual celebration of their Norse heritage at Up Helly Aa fire festival
- Largest fire festival in Europe takes place on the last Tuesday of January each year
- Hundreds of Vikings process through the streets before the event culminates with the burning of a replica ship
- The tradition originates from the 1880s and has only been cancelled a handful of times to mark the death of Queen Victoria and the First and Second World Wars
In Greek, whose color lexicon did not stabilize for many centuries, the words most commonly used for blue are glaukos and kyaneos. The latter probably referred originally to a mineral or a metal; it has a foreign root and its meaning often shifted. During the Homeric period it denoted both the bright blue of the iris and the black of funeral garments, but never the blue of the sky or sea. An analysis of Homer’s poetry shows that out of sixty adjectives describing elements and landscapes in the Iliad and Odyssey, only three are color terms, while those evoking light effects are quite numerous. During the classical era, kyaneos meant a dark color: deep blue, violet, brown, and black. In fact, it evokes more the “feeling” of the color than its actual hue. The term glaukos, which existed in the Archaic period and was much used by Homer, can refer to gray, blue, and sometimes even yellow or brown. Rather than denoting a particular color, it expresses the idea of a color’s feebleness or weak concentration. For this reason it is used to describe the color of water, eyes, leaves, or honey.
” I would love to do some comedy. I’m waiting for someone to pick up the phone and say ‘Nat, you want to do some comedy?’ I would love to do everything you’ve never see me do because I’ve never done it.”
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