The Great Auk was a large flightless bird that lived on remote islands across the North Atlantic. In 1844, a group of Scottish fishermen captured the last Great Auk in the British Isles. They kept the bird tied up for three days until an ominous storm arose. Believing the bird was a witch responsible for their predicament, the men clubbed it to death.
I finally finished Thylacinus cynocephalus. Also known as the thylacine, tasmanian tiger, and tasmanian wolf.
Paraphrased from Wikipedia:
Now extinct, the thylacine was once the largest known carnivorous marsupial. It was the last extant member of its family, Thylacinidae; specimens of other members of the family have been found in the fossil record dating back to the early Miocene.
Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributing factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat. Despite its official classification as extinct, sightings are still reported, though none have been conclusively proven.
The thylacine is a candidate for cloning and other molecular science projects due to its recent demise and the existence of several well preserved specimens.
Here is a compilation of all five known Australian silent films featuring the thylacines, shot in Hobart Zoo, Tasmania. The last known thylacine, nicknamed Benjamin, died in captivity in 1936.
Written in the Bones. New comic, written by Christopher M. Jones & illustrated by Carey Pietsch.
I’m hoping to have printed copies of this at MOCCA, ABPCC, and TCAF this spring, and SPX in the fall! More info to come.
Me and Carey worked really hard on this comic; if you got something from it I’d love for you to reblog it, and maybe even buy a copy from Carey when she’s in town or even if she’s not. Thanks so much for reading.
Katzenclavier, or Cat Piano
Wood engraving from La Nature, 1883:
An octave’s worth of cats arranged in a row with their tails stretched behind them. And a keyboard fitted out with sharpened nails would be set over them. The struck cats would provide the sound. A fugue played on this instrument—when the ill person is so placed that he cannot miss the expression on their faces and the play of these animals—must bring Lot’s wife herself from her fixed state into conscious awareness…
The Irish werewolf is different from the Teutonic or European werewolf, as it is really not a “monster” at all. Unlike its continental cousins, this shapeshifter is the guardian and protector of children, wounded men and lost persons. According to some ancient sources, the Irish werewolves were even recruited by kings in time of war. Known in their native land as the faoladh or conroicht, their predatory behaviour is typical of the common wolf, not beneath the occasional nocturnal raid on local sheep or cattle herds. If attacked or surprised while in wolf form, they usually simply run off because this causes them to shift back into their more vulnerable human form. However, after changing back into a man or woman, evidence of their lupine adventure remains on their bodies. If wounded, the injury remains. If they kill a sheep or cow, the telltale bloodstains stay on their faces and hands.
The most famous of the mythical Irish werewolves are the people of Ossory (modern day Kilkenny) whose legends live on even today. Among other lingering tales, the Ossory folk were documented by none other than Giraldus Cambrensis who, in the year 1185 transcribed what was no doubt a much older, oral folktale. According to Giraldus, the Ossory werewolves worked in pairs, male and female. A chosen couple lived as wolves for seven years before returning to human form to be replaced by a matched set of two others. During their time as wolves, they fed from the herds but this was taken as their due for watching over wandering children, healing the wounded, and guiding lost strangers to safety.
Despite the fact that this is a pre-Christian folk belief, the Irish werewolves eventually gained a reputation for being under a curse from either St Natalia (St Nailè) or, naturally, St Patrick as punishment for some vague transgression committed long ago. If you read Giraldus’ account of these creatures, it is easy to separate what may be the original tale from his preachy commentary at the end.
Giving you a more realistic vision of what you’ll find upstairs. A lot less hipster performance art, a lot more 4th grade birthday party.
Were the First Artists Mostly Women?
That’s the conclusion behind new analysis of cave painting handprints by Penn State’s Dean Snow. Several years ago, a British biologist found that men and women’s hands differed in the relative lengths of their fingers. Men tended to have a ring finger that was longer than their index finger (although I do not).
When Snow applied that pattern to the measurements of handprints found in prehistoric cave art (similar to the example above from France’s legendary Chauvet Cave), he found that the pattern more closely resembled female hand ratios. Were our first artists women?
It’s an intriguing hypothesis, but there are alternative explanations. Perhaps these handprints belonged to adolescent boys, sneaking into dangerous caves and doing a little “five-finger graffiti”? As more cave handprints are analyzed, perhaps the dusty picture will become a little bit clearer.
The ultimate question, of course, is why did they draw such things? No handprint can tell that story, buried in history, hidden in the dark shadows of ancient caves.
Oh, and I command you to watch Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams. It’s a dream journey back in time, through the lens of cave art.
(more on the handprints at National Geographic)
Быль: Поздняя ночь. Мне 6 лет. Я стою у окна на втором этаже панельного корпуса пионерлагеря Звездочка. Я с ужасом вглядываюсь во мрак ночного леса. Там, у кованой ограды лагеря, застыл черный силуэт человека. До него не меньше сотни метров и его лицо неразличимо, но я уверен, что Он смотрит прямо на меня. От страха у меня онемели ноги, и я не могу сдвинуться с места.
Сон: Мне 44 года. Я стою, держась за кованые прутья высокого забора у края черного леса, по которому блуждал несколько дней. Я всматриваюсь в серые корпуса панельных построек. Они кажутся мне очень знакомыми. В одном из окон ближнего здания на втором этаже я вижу бледное лицо испуганного ребенка. Он смотрит прямо на меня.
(in a weird google translation)
True story : Late Night . I’m 6 years old . I stand at the window on the second floor of the panel housing asterisk summer camp . I was horrified gaze into the darkness of the night forest . There, at the wrought-iron fence of the camp , stood a black silhouette of a man . Before him, no less than a hundred yards , and his face is indistinguishable , but I ‘m sure he is looking directly at me. From the fear of my legs went numb , and I can not move.
Dream : I am 44 years . I ‘m holding on to the bars of the wrought iron fence at the high edge of the black forest, through which wandered a few days. I peered into the gray hull of panel buildings. They seem very familiar to me . In one of the windows near the building on the second floor I see the pale face of a frightened child . He’s looking right at me.