Amongst the canals of Lake Xochimilco, south of Mexico City, there are artificial islands called chinampas
were invented by the Aztecs as a way to increase agricultural production, and while most have been converted for residential or commercial use, there is one that stands apart: Isla de las Munecas (The Island of the Dolls)
. Home to hundreds of terrifying, mutilated dolls
, their severed limbs
, decapitated heads
, and blank eyes
, and nearly every available surface
. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A
on Feb 17, 2013 -
"The word reclaim came up more than once to describe the rising tide. It is a revealing word, more narrative than simply descriptive: it hints at some larger backstory, some plot twist in a longer saga about our claims and the water’s counterclaims to the earth.… This story was already ancient when it was adapted for the biblical text—which is to say, it records a very old fear. Like all old fears, it has the uncanny feel of a vivid memory. It may be a memory of an actual flood in an actual Sumerian city, Shurrupal, ca 2800 B.C.E. In fact, it may be even older than that."
posted by the mad poster!
on Nov 13, 2012 -
For your listening pleasure, I present to you the Zelda Rag
, performed (with no prior practice) by Tom Brier. When that gets old, there's also a ragtime adaptation of the horse race theme
from the Ocarina of Time that is not to be missed. And if Zelda's too easy, you can try the theme from Ghosts and Goblins
. And, finally, an actual rag from Final Fantasy VI: the Spinach Rag
. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu
on Dec 26, 2010 -
He's Now in the Great Screening Room in the Sky
Dino de Laurentiis has passed on, aged 91.
Over 150 films produced
. He gave this young guy
a second chance
after this bomb
. One of his movies had the best Haniball Lektor/Lector ever
. He worked with Fellini, Pacinio, Redford, Schwarzenegger, Bridges, (Jeff), Raimi, and Fonda, (Jane). Goodnight, sweet prince of cinema.
posted by jettloe
on Nov 11, 2010 -
"The ability to convey the depths of despair, the heights of jubilation and the serenity of an abiding faith are all that is required to be known as “The Voice.” Unfortunately, very few possess the ability to do all that and what’s more unfortunate, we lost one of those few–possibly the best of those few–with the death of Vern Gosdin
at the age of 74." [more inside]
posted by dawson
on Apr 29, 2009 -
The stuff of legend, Van Halen's "No brown M&Ms" concert rider (most recently mentioned on MetaFilter here
) has made the rounds by word of mouth, and word of internet, for years. Now, the Van Halen 1982 World Tour backstage rider has been found. It consists of 53 typewritten pages and contains the M&Ms prohibition - which actually says M & M's (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES)
- as well as other interesting demands, excerpted at The Smoking Gun. Via
posted by amyms
on Dec 12, 2008 -
As those of you on the wrong email lists can probably guess, Snopes is overflowing with gang initiation
rumors. What you may not know is that the New Jersey police recently arrested
someone spreading those stories for "causing false public alarm." [more inside]
posted by tkolar
on Dec 7, 2008 -
epic poem Idylls of the King,
Lyonesse is the place where the final, epoch-shattering battle between Mordred
and King Arthur
takes place. In the older Arthurian romances, Lyonesse
is the birthplace of Sir Tristan
, and it is supposed to have bordered Cornwall
in the southwest of England. No historical evidence of Lyonnesse has been found, and the academic consensus seems to be that the French author
of the Prose Tristan
got his British geography catastrophically wrong, and that he really meant Lothian in Scotland.
that Lyonesse was a real realm which once reached from the Scilly Islands
to Land´s End.
The people of Penzance
and southwestern Cornwall certainly seem fond of stories about sunken lands
, church bells in the deep
, and drowned forests.
According to family legend
, the ancestor of the local Trevelyan family
was a sole survivor who rode across the causeway to Cornwall as Lyonesse crumbled into the sea behind him.
posted by the_unutterable
on Sep 27, 2008 -
: See folk tales, myths and legends from around the world, brought to life by twenty Australian animators.
posted by dhruva
on Jan 2, 2007 -
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, but do you know Stekkjarstaur
, Ketkrokur and Kertasnikir? They're the Jolasveinar
, the impish "Yuletide Lads
" of Iceland
, and those are only some of their many names. During the thirteen days before Christmas, legend says that they do their best to monkeywrench the celebrations
with hijinks like stealing sausages, milk, and candles, and peeping into windows and up skirts
. The children of gruesome child-eating trolls Gryla
and Leppaludi, who were known for snatching naughty children
, the elves got their start in the 17th century. In the years since, their image has apparently mellowed, and now they leave children presents in their shoes and limit themselves to mild pranks.
posted by Miko
on Dec 22, 2006 -
Little visual miracles.
For more than forty years that most American of photographers, Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters Lee Friedlander
, has recorded modern American
urban life -- with its jumble
, and cars
, and television sets
. He likes to turn a common blunder of amateurs
-- photographing something nearby with one's back to the sun
-- into a leitmotif
. His shadow plays the role of alter ego
, sticking to the back of a woman's fur collar, clinging to a lamppost as a parade of drum majorettes passes by, reclining like a stuffed doll on a chair. Clever jigsaw puzzles, his pictures frequently reveal themselves to be laconic, austere poems
to what Friedlander
has termed "the American social landscape
',' meaning mostly ordinary places and affairs. "Friedlander," an exhibition of more than 480 photographs and 25 books
covering decades of work, runs at MoMA through Aug. 29, before traveling to Europe until 2007. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Jun 14, 2005 -
My Back Pages
--Interesting in his own right Eyolf Østrem
still maintains the fan's fan tab, chords and music site, the standard by which all others are judged. I just revisited it the other night, while trying to recall how that little run in Dylan's version of Delia
went, and dang, if it didn't have the back story
of that ballad. I love this kind of stuff. The source of that account, John Garst, is the folklorist king of such research--he puts John Henry
at a railroad tunnel near Leeds, Alabama, just east of Birmingham on September 20, 1887, for example. Murder and heroic death ballad back stories are of extreme interest to me, so I decided to post a few more here: Frankie and Albert
, Frankie and Johnny
, Casey Jones
and Stagger Lee
. Did I say I love this kind of stuff?
posted by y2karl
on Sep 23, 2004 -