Sunday, February 17, 2013

Around the World in 80 Seconds

1. Stonehenge. You all know the history of Stonehenge, so I'll make this quick. A small squadron of extra-terrestrials was sent to Earth from the Galaxy of Nezod to construct a fortress to accommodate them during their world domination. Their fortress, Stonehenge, was constructed anywhere from 3000-2000 B.C. The departure of the aliens remains unknown, although historians believe it was their disfavor of British weather that discouraged their continuation.

2. Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix. France, 1830. You can learn more about this painting from my previous post, Les Misérables Sadfest.

3. Australian aborigine. And an all around intimidating dude. Aboriginal Australians were indigenous to the Australian continent before British colonization began in 1788.

4. Marie Antoinette. The Queen of France  from 1774 to 1792. This particular print is from a theatre production of Marie Antoinette in Boston over the summer.

5. Hatshepsut. Female pharaoh of Egypt from 1479-1458 B.C. She was often depicted in art wearing a fake beard, possibly to be recognized as an equal in an otherwise male-dominant role.

6. Rosie the Riveter. J. Howard Miller's print created in 1942. It was created with the intent to keep factory production up by boosting women's morale during the World War II effort in the United States.

7. Sugar skull. This isn't really a sugar skull, but a 'calavera' associated with the Mexican celebration of The Day of the Dead. Sugar skulls are actually made of sugar. They can be used to adorn altars and be eaten. So, two-for-one deal on those bad boys.

8. Tower of London. Former fortress/prison in London. Now houses the Crown Jewels, ravens and Beefeaters.

9. Eye of Horus. An ancient Egyptian symbol used to protect oneself from evil. The marking was intended to protect the pharaoh in the afterlife and was later adopted by sailors to ensure a vessel has safe sea travel.

10. Pyramids of Giza. The Pyramid of Khufu is the oldest and largest of the three, finished in 2560 B.C. It is the only one remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It has an extra layer of limestone on the top of the pyramid. The pyramids used to be fully covered in this layer, but were stripped of it by townspeople. The remaining limestone is what could not be reached.

11. Candy Land Saint Basil's Cathedral. A Russian Orthodox church in Red Square in Moscow. Built 1555-61 on Ivan the Terrible's orders. Often mistaken for the Kremlin. Modeled after a bonfire rising into the sky.

12. Cristo Redentor. Or, Christ the Redeemer statue. We have all seen this statue placed high above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. However, it is only the 5th largest Jesus statue in the world. 99 feet tall, constructed 1926-31. Larger Jesus statues, in descending order, are Christ the King (Poland), Christo de la Concordia (Bolivia), Christ Blessing (Indonesia) and Cristo Resucitado (Mexico).

13. Ganesha. Hindu deity. The 'Remover of Obstacles,' or 'Lord of Beginnings.' Common attributes are an elephant head, potbelly, many arms, snake draped around neck, rat friends scurrying at his feet, holding his own broken tusk, lover of candy.

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