Tag Archive | travel

Parthenogenesis: Everyday Immaculate Conception

In deference to all those who will be spending Valentine’s Day very much alone… What follows is a series of post of animals who are doing just fine, all on their own. But first, to make it easier, let’s define some terms.  Parthenogenesis, from the Greek meaning “virgin birth” is an odd quirk of embryonic […]

Torture: The Head Crusher

The head crusher was a torture device commonly used primarily by the Spanish Inquisition. The victim’s chin was placed over a bottom bar and the head under a upper metal cap. A screw was then slowly turned, which gradually compressed the head between the bar and cap. It is said that first, the victim’s teeth were smashed and the jaw crushed. Next, the eyes would be […]

Torture: Crocodile Shears

The crocodile shears were a torture instrument usually reserved for men. These shears were made of metal, and operated very similarly to pincers. The insides of the blades/mouth were lined with smaller spikes. After being heated, the crocodile shears were applied to the victim’s penis, which was then ripped from his body. This instrument is said to have been used […]

Torture: Strappado

Because not all torture methods ended in death and dismemberment  A form of torture wherein the victim’s hands are tied behind their back with rope. The rope is then passed over a pulley and they are left to hang up by the wrists. The are two common variations of this device. In the first, the victim was […]

Torture: Spanish Donkey

The Spanish Donkey, also known as the Wooden Horse (and possibly the Morgan’s Mule used on Confederate prisoners during the Civil War) is said to have been used primarily during the Spanish Inquisition. As pictured, it had a triangular wooden shape, pointing upward, and is mounted on horse-leg like support poles. The upward point was sharpened […]

Divination: An Introduction

Divination is the technical term for what most people would call fortune telling, but the reality of what divination is, is a bit more complicated than that. Most realistic practitioners will admit that most forms of divination simply offer a guideline, and the reader is simply interpreting the probable outcome based upon the forces presently […]

Famadihana and the Black Plague in Madagascar

Although it may not be news to anyone anymore, Madagascar is still battling the worst outbreak of Bubonic plague in the last 50 years.  And yes, it is that Bubonic plague. The one that killed over 50 million people across Europe in the 14th century, not accounting for the unknown destruction it caused in Asia, […]