Many Interesting Facts

Interesting and free educational stuff I find on the web

Month: September, 2012

Wagner and Ring of Nibelungs

Wagner wrote many amazing musical pieces and many of them are available on-line on really good service offering free music for educational purposes. It is called Musopen and it is available here.

Wagner’s most known work is probably series of four operas called The Ring of the Nibelung (Der Ring des Nibelungen). These epic operas are based on characters from Norse mythology and inspired many other artistic works.

The titles are:

The Rhine Gold (Das Rheingold)
The Valkyrie (Die Walkuere)
Siegfried
The Twilight of the Gods (Goetterdaemmerung)

Among my favorites are two books illustrated by the man, who is probably most melted with mythology among all illustrators. This is Arthur Rackham and I have chosen to copy illustrations from both books (they are in Public Domain on terms author + 70 years) available through another astonishing service called Archive.org.

So here we go with first book, where we can find the stories of Rhine Gold and Valkyrie:

These are the scenes from Rhine Gold (order is important, from the top to the bottom).

And here are the scenes from Valkyrie:

Are we ready for next one? We have two titles again. First is Siegfried:

I believe one illustration is missing. Maybe some other time?

If you are familiar with the story we can see Bruennhilde in The Valkyrie being punished and Siegfried as hher rescuer in next story. Actually this is a story of Sleeping Beauty for grown ups.

So we have only the last one to check – Twilight of the Gods:

Well, one illustration is missing from this part too. I guess we can’t have everything…

Enjoy!

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About Werewolves

Yes, you are right – werewolves!

(All graphic material in this post is in Public Domain because authors declared it as Public Domain or they are dead at least 70 years. If you want to use it for you on-line web projects, feel free to take it. I don’t want anything in return. A link to this post or blog would be nice, but it is entirely up to you.

All text in this post is mine. It is copyrighted. If you want to use any part of it, contact me before you use it. I don’t bite. But I can!)

It seems a lot of people still search the info about Werewolves, apparently around two and a half millions pet month! Well, there are movies and sports teams with this name, but I have a ground to believe a lot of these searches are related with mythical creatures with supernatural features.

I decided to make an article on this subject and my first task was to find some really nice photos, illustrations or clip arts of werewolves.

It wasn’t easy, but I managed to get some pretty impressive graphic material which I will present with resources (just scroll over the photo to get a link) and some random facts about werewolves!

Here we go:

Full moon is related with supernatural

Full moon is related with supernatural

In moonlight everything looks different

In moonlight everything looks different

It seems werewolves are somehow connected with full moon. We all have seen movies where people change into wolves when the moon starts to shine, but as far as I had a chance to find in old documents, this is ‘invention’ of modern era. In old time a werewolf was a werewolf at any time, day or night, when he wanted.

The case of Peter Stubbe (aka Peter Stumpp)

The case of Peter Stubbe (aka Peter Stumpp)

This is probably most famous case against any werewolf. Peter Stubbe (Stump) admitted he (after torturing) was a werewolf, he have killed and eaten 18 or more (some sources are talking more than 30) people, mostly children and he was sentenced to death. His punishment was comparable with his crimes. His skin and flesh was torn with pincers, his arms and legs cut off and at the end they have cut his head. Some say his daughter was executed too and this woodcut suggests exactly that.

Not very nice time to live, right?

Werewolf is hanged

Werewolf is hanged

The werewolf above was just hanged…

Werewolves were often portrayed as huge monsters

Werewolves were often portrayed as huge monsters

Werewolf hunting was popular sport

Werewolf hunting was popular sport

Many statues depicting werewolves are still around

Many statues depicting werewolves are still around

In medieval Europe werewolves were common problem. When people started systematically kill wolves, stories about werewolves started to fade away. What about before?

It all started with Lycaon

It all started with Lycaon

Were (old English man) + Wolf = WereWolf

Were (old English man) + Wolf = WereWolf

Lycaon was cursed and became a wolf

Lycaon was cursed and became a wolf

Myth of Lycaon tells a story about a king who tried to test gods. He served human flesh (his own kid) to Zeus and Zeus punished him!

Lycaon should not mess with gods!

Lycaon should not mess with gods!

Werewolf was a name for people who committed serious crimes and were expelled from communities (villages) and forced to live in wilderness. Anybody who have met a werewolf was allowed to kill him, but werewolves sometimes attacked peasants or travelers and they were true, although not supernatural danger.

Werewolf loves to eat, but most of all he loves to kill!

Werewolf loves to eat, but most of all he loves to kill!

Some places were literally infested with werewolves

Some places were literally infested with werewolves

After 17 th century when man to wolf encounters became rare, stories about werewolves became rare too.

Cannibalism was often connected with werewolves

Cannibalism was often connected with werewolves

But from time to time strange thing were still happening…

Scientists tried to explain some phenomena with hallucinogenic drugs, like nightshade (Atropa belladonna):

Deadly nightshade

Deadly nightshade

Or ergot fungus (Claviceps purpurea):

Claviceps purpurea could cause mass hallucinations

Claviceps purpurea could cause mass hallucinations

Some cases related to werewolves can be explained with using (voluntary or not) these drugs, but most not.

So what is the main cause?

This is Anubis, Egyptian protector of the dead

This is Anubis, Egyptian protector of the dead

We can find hybrids of humans and animals in all cultures.

This comes from north:

Ever heard about berserkers?

Ever heard about berserkers?

It seems fear, respect and superstition goes together in human consciousness forever. Fear of wolves is closely connected with seeings of werewolves. In areas without wolves other predators got similar roles: lions, crocodiles, hyenas…

Weretiger

Weretiger

Yes, this suppose to be a weretiger. As it stands for wolves, tigers are not typical human predators. But from time to time a tiger becomes a human hunter and this can be a good start of a legend.

So beware of the full moon!

Howling at the moon

Howling at the moon

Full moon on the city

Full moon on the city

They can come in the city too!

Werewolf can enter your house

Werewolf can enter your house

Beware of death messengers…

Owl and full moon

Owl and full moon

Wolf or werewolf?

Wolf or werewolf?

This could be somebody you know…

Full moon again?

Full moon again?

Will you sleep with your light on tonight?

Why I like WordPress?

Because it is great blogging platform. I have tried many others and only Blogger (Blogspot) comes near. There are several cool new kids in town with really fancy options but they can’t compete with WordPress.com

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Why I prefer WordPress?

– I use it for years and it was NEVER down.

– It has traffic. Search engines apparently love it.

– It is easy to use.

– It has 3 GB free space, what is not the most of all services, but it is enough for most humans anyway.

– WordPress has many cool widgets. When i grow up, I’ll learn to use them to full advance.

– It is free, what is just the right price for me at the moment.

If you want to start a blog and don’t know what service is right for you, this is the one: WordPress.com

In next post I’ll try to present more cool facts from the Web. Fair enough?