Seldec Ossuary

Hello Again!

I’m sorry that I didn’g get back to my posting last Tuesday as planned…funny story actually…I fainted in a drug store and then had to undergo some tests and such, but everythings fine and now I just get to relish in my embarassment. Haha! But anyways, I’m back in action here at Taxidermy and the 20th Century!

Okey dokey. So while I was away on vacation, I started to think about where would be some of the oddest places to travel. Of cource catacombs and haunted houses came to mind, but I was thinking about something more original, per se. So, after some digging I found what I think might be one of the absolute oddest and most beautiful places: The Seldec Ossuary in the Czech Republic.

As chance would have it, I unintentionally used a picture from the Seldec Ossuary in one of my previous posts about a wonderful Facebook page! What initially stood out to me was the artistic nature of the place. Not only is it grand and overwhelming, but it also has a sort of symmetry to it which is captivating.

The Seldec Ossuary is home to between 40,000 to 70,000 humans (well, their remains for that matter). In 1870, the Ossuary realised that it was in a bit of a disarray (a hoarders situation) and had to do something to bring some organization to the place. They hired woodcarver Frantisek Rint to “bring some order” to the place. What he ended up creating was a macebre mass of architecture.

Even though it may seem a bit like a specialised taste to want to visit a place like this, the Seldec Ossuary is actually one of the Czech Republic’s most visited attractions. It attracts over 200,000 visitors a year….hopefully i can add to that number.

Thanks for hanging in there with us!

-C

Picture Source:

http://www.izzy-loves.com/2011/01/sedlec-ossuary.html#!/2011/01/sedlec-ossuary.html

 

Unintentional Sun Damage

I’ve always been obsessed with sun protection. The last thing I want is to look like a dried out piece of leather…or better yet, in 20 years, a raisin. Among my friends I am always compared to sheets of paper…I like my animal hides tanned – not my skin. Don’t get me wrong – a girl with a perfect spray tan can be beautiful…it’s just not for me. But it’s defiantly better than a tanning bed!

For many of us, we’ve heard the importance of sunscreen and other protective measures when tanning for years, so that’s not what I’m going to focus on today. Instead, I’m going to talk about a type of (somewhat) unintentional UV exposure that can leave you just as harmed (if not more) than lying out in the sun for a day.

UV INDEX PROTECTION CHART

Gel Manicures are probably the most damaging thing I do to my skin. Every two weeks I have a gel manicure. Before I go, I protect my hands with a SPF, but even that might not be enough to protect you from the powerful rays. The lamps used to cure the nails are lower than those of tanning beds, but if using on a regular basis they can be even more harmful because of the direct and prolonged exposure.

So next time you go get exposed to UV rays remember this – skin protection is important (AND DONT LOOK INTO THE LIGHT!). Even if you get flack for it now, in 20 years, everyone will wish they had followed your example whether they have just aged badly or are having more unfortunate effects such as skin cancer. Be careful as we begin the summer!!!

-C

Photos:

http://faithfulprovisions.com/2011/06/07/sunscreen-deals-roundup/

http://www.aimatmelanoma.org/en/aim-for-answers/prevention/about-ultraviolet-radiation/the-uv-index.html

http://greenpointers.com/2012/06/11/so-addicted-gel-nails-not-for-worried-upper-west-side-jewish-ladies/

The Diamond Jubilee

As many of you probably already know, Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee this year!

When she was only 26, Elizabeth was crowned queen. At birth, she had been third in line of secession and it was extremely doubtful that she would ever gain this position. As chance would have it, however, on February 6, 1952 Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne and one year later (On June 2) she was crowned.

Today kicked off the celebrations with a visit to the Epsom Derby. Surprisingly, the Queen has attended all races here since here coronation in 1952. She even attended one only four days after she was crowned!

The Queen records an annual Christmas Broadcast at Buckingham Palace ©PA

In addition to this, numerous celebrations throughout the weekend will celebrate this rare event. On Monday, the BBC will host a concert at Buckingham Palace. On Tuesday all of the celebrations will result in the largest event yet – a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in central London and two following luncheons…not to mention all of the smaller celebrations taking place all around the world.

It is so exciting to be able to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event and an honor to take part in celebrating it.

-C

Source for information and pictures:

http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/

Quirky Victorian Etiquette

First off, my technological problems are solved!! Yippie! Not having a computer for a few days really made me realize how dependant I am on it (even though I like to think I scarcely use it). As always, this thought led me back to thinking about the “olden days” before computers and cell-phones, which led me to thinking once more about one of my favorite topics – Victorian Etiquette (yay for trains of thought!).

Victorian Etiquette has become a modern fixation through movies and books. We are quite familiar with it, but there are also many quirky rules that have captured my attention. Today I’m going to share some of those with you. (Some of these are from the Edwardian Era too…)

Do not beat “the devil’s tattoo” by drumming with your fingers on a table; it cannot fail to annoy everyone within hearing, and it is an index of a vacant mind. (Hill)

As the [married] couple pass out of the front door it is customary for the guests to throw after them, for luck, rice, rose leaves, flowers, old shows, ect. (Green)

A bride does not usually dance at her own wedding, but she may join in a square dance I she chooses (Hall)

It is evident, therefore, that although a man may be ugly, there is no necessity for his being shocking. (Gentlemen)

If you have any defect, so shocking and so ridiculous as to procure you a nickname, then indeed there is but one remedy – to renounce society. (Gentlemen)

No lady worthy any gentleman’s regard will say “no” twice to a suit which she intends ultimately to receive with favor. (Young)

It lies with drivers to keep clear of pedestrians. All persons have a right to walk on the highways at their own pace. Dogs, chickens, and other domestic animals at large on the highway are not pedestrians, and if one is driving at a regulation speed, or under, one is not responsible for their untimely end. (Levitt)

Be careful not to be over-nice, or you will impress people with the idea that your life began in vulgarity, and you are now trying so hard to get away from it, that you rush to the opposite extreme. (Gentleman 2)

Some people prefer children to dogs, principally because a license is not required for the former (Graham)

The skin should be cut off [a banana] with a knife, peeling from the top down, while holding in the hand. Small pieces should be cut or broken off, and taken in the fingers, or they may be cut up and eaten with a fork. (Green)

-C

Bibliography:

Hints on Etiquette and the Usages of Society by Charles William Day (1843)

A Dictionary of Etiquette by Walter Cox Green (1904)

Social Customs by Florence Howe Hall (1887)

Laws of Etiquette, or Short Rules and Reflections For Conduct in Society by a Gentleman (1836)

Our Deportment by John H. Young (1882)

The Woman and the Car by Dorothy Levitt (1909)

The Perfect Gentleman by A Gentleman (1860)

The Bolster Book by Harry Graham (1910)

A Dictionary of Etiquette by Walter Cox Green (1904)

Photo Credits:

http://mistercrew.com/blog/2010/09/29/victorian-era-style-1872/

http://abedofroses.com/tag/bb-etiquette/

http://www.victoriana.com/bridal/prints/bridalprints.htm

http://www.victoriana.com/Mens-Clothing/mens-clothing-1868.html

http://cottageinthemaking.blogspot.com/2008/11/victorian-childrens-etiquette.html

A Confession of Mortality and Dreams

After rereading many of my posts, it struck me how frequently I speak of death. This surprised me quite a bit because, if anyone, I’m someone who is obsessed with living life. With more goals and ambitions than I can count, it was shocking to see how at the same time, I appear to be death obsessed.

But that is wholly untrue. My obsession lies within the idea of embracing morality and making life worthwhile. St. Jerome was believed to keep a human skull on his desk to remind himself of mortality. So did H.L. Mencken and many philosophers. The concept is anything but new, but at the same time, I feel like it has never reached as many people as it should.

It sickens me to see people who, for the most part, go through the motions of life, never accomplishing the little things they dream of. And then it’s too late. They see that they’ve messed up, and always wonder what things could have been like.

Now I’m not advocating you quit your job and go out to become a hermit. That is far from what I am saying. Responsibilities are a part of morality. But, rather, add in what makes you happy and keeps you motivated!

With these ideas in mind, I set out on creating my own “bucket list” (it also seems like I have an obsession of taking on tasks…haha). It was around 3:00AM on Sunday when I started. I think your mind is most fresh when you are on the verge of a sleep deficiency. You are more vulnerable and honest.

My list came to be about 40 items long. Some were random and others were cliché. But all of them had meaning to me. Finally having all of this written down, it feels even more feasible.

I am tempted to share some of my own items, but at the same time, I don’t want to influence anyone’s list. You should put on it what you truly want to accomplish, not what think you should accomplish.

Go get writing! Keep it where you can see it, that way it’ll always be fresh in your mind and you’ll work towards it.

-C

P.S.: The pictures are just random from around my home of things that make me happy. Like you should make your list do. Go do it. That is all. =)