Many Interesting Facts

Interesting and free educational stuff I find on the web

Valentine’s day gifts: few facts to think about

What’s all the fuss about gifts for Valentine’s Day?

1. It is expected people in USA will spend more than one hundred dollars per person on Valentine in 2014 for fourth year in a row. Although we could not imagine Valentine’s day without roses and greeting cards, the most money will go for jewelry and partying. Don’t worry, there will be still more than one billion dollars spent on cards, flowers (roses in all shades of red and pink are on the top of the list) and – surprise – candy! About one point five billion dollars for each area, if we want to go into details…

2. While we are already dealing with details, we could add gentlemen spend approximately twice as much for Valentine’s Day than ladies. Best spenders are adults from 25 to 34 years old who spend money on kids, parents, significant others, friends, colleagues and pets. How important is this holiday on emotional level tells a result of interesting survey which shows 15 percent of women send flower to themselves and more than half declared they would dump their boyfriends if they wouldn’t give them anything on Valentine’s Day.


3. Did you know more than one third of consumers buy Valentine’s Day gifts on-line? Electronic gift cards are rapidly growing in popularity. Apparently this sort of romantics has long-term consequences. Valentine’s Day is best day for selling condoms and March is best month for selling pregnancy tests. Knowing the tradition of Valentine’s comes from roman Lupercalia, a festival of health and fertility, this can’t be a surprise at all!

4. Every tenth young adult admits he or she feels depressed on Valentine’s due loneliness. About forty percent of people have at least some negative thoughts about this special holiday. Out of this fact another holiday grew up. It’s called Anti-Valentine’s Day and it is rapidly becoming as commercialized as the Valentine’s Day. Because: let’s face it – single, married, dating, whatever, we are all emotional beings after all.

5. Celebrating it or not, just like every other day we will be happier with something tasty at hand. Tasty on Valentine’s Day spells C.H.O.C.O.L.A.T.E. and everybody knows chocolate can have positive effect on our moods. It’s a proven fact chocolate relieve pain and less than two centuries ago even doctors prescribed chocolate to people without luck in love. But we can actually have both. A big box of candy shared with our significant others!


Myths and Fairy Tales

Fairy Tale as Myth, Myth as Fairy Tale?

In one of my older posts, about Cupid and Psyche I already presented an old myth which can also be considered as one f the oldest fairy tales. The myth about Cupid and Psyche has been retold in many popular fairy tales and The Beauty and the Beast is most known of all.

amor and psyche picture

But this is not the only myth which could serve as a base to this particular fairy tale and its wider family of tales about animal grooms. I’ll provide graphic material and some common points for five (yes, one for each finger!) well known myths from Greek and roman mythology which could be easily recognized in main points of the tale about the Beauty and the Beast (of course I am talking about ‘original’, Madame LePrince de Beaumont, not the Disney’s version with pretty different point of view).

Beauty and the beast by anne anderson


1. Aphrodite and Hephaestus

Aphrodite is Greek goddess of love, pleasure and beauty (her name is Venus in roman mythology). She is very beautiful and won the infamous apple of discord leading to Trojan war.

Hephaestus (Vulcan in Roman myths) is god of artisans, blacksmiths and volcanoes. He was so ugly as a baby even his own mother rejected him.

Nice start for unusual romance, right?

Hephaestus and Aphrodite inspired hundreds of artist and here are some examples of their work:

hephaestus in his workplacevulcans-forge

Hephaestus in action by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) on the left and by Diego Velazquez (1599-1660). He made a lot of impressive products, but most of artists were most fascinated with next scene:


It’s a classic love triangle with three powerful gods in the corners: Hephaestus as cheated husband, Aphrodite as unfaithful wife and Ares as her lover. Drawing by Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872). Of course the ‘in flagrante’ scene is even more attractive…


The left painting above is work of Alexandre Charles Guillemot (1786 – 1831) and the right is signed by Francois Boucher (1703–1770). Please note how artist tried to emphasize the contrast with portraying Aphrodite in very light and Hephaestus in very dark colors. This trend is obvious even in more ‘domestic scenes with the same characters.

vulcan and venusvenus is visiting vulcanvenus and vulcan tiepolo

Names of the artists from left to right: Pieter Thijs (1624–1677), David Teniers the Elder (1582–1649) and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770). All three used the dark against light effect. In last case we can even notice Aphrodite is sitting on white cloud. This trend will be obvious in next myths related with the fairy tale about Beauty and the Beast too.

2. Acis and Galatea

Galatea is a sea-nymph, Acis is a son of Faunus and another sea-nymph. They are both beautiful and in love with each other. If we already have two Beauties, where is the Beast?

Polyphemus, Cyclop, known from encounter with Odyssey enters. Big, ugly, with only one eye, he suits the role of the Beast perfectly.


Polyphemus and Galatea painted by Gustave Moreau (1826-1898).

We have another love triangle, this time with two lovers and one ugly guy who wants the girl for himself. There are several version of this myth available, but Acis doesn’t survive any of them. Polyphemus trows a rock on him and Galatea turns blood from Acis’ body into river which is still called Acis. It is in Sicily, just like volcano called Etna. Polyphemus is very likely personification of this volcano. Big, ugly, with only one eye, remember?

acis-and-galatea-storyacis and galatea pictures

On the left: Johann Carl Loth (1632-1698), on the right: Francois Perrier (1590-1650). And another pair of paintings with Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) and Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665).

acis und galateaacis and galatea myth

In last two paintings the connection of the Cyclop with the volcano is obvious. All five paintings share light tones of ‘The Beauty’ and dark, sometimes almost camouflage colors for ‘The Beast’.

3. Zeus and Europa

In this story Zeus changes his appearance in bull (Beast) to charm Europa and it worked so well, he made her a queen of Crete…

europa and zeusthe rape of europa

On the left we can see very special illustration from very special illustrator Virginia Frances Sterrett (1900-1931). This is the first example of Beauty being portrayed in darker tones than the Beast. Although the myth clearly say Zeus turned himself in white bull, Frederik De Wit (1630-1706) managed to show him darker than the Beauty. And same stands with next four examples.

abduction of europathe abduction of europa

You don’t have to know the whole story to show who is the victim and who is the intruder in these paintings by Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre (1714-1789) on the left or Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669) on the right. We can’t continue without Tiziano Vecellio (cca1489–1576), more known as Titian who made the painting on the left and Peter Paul Rubens (1577 –1640) who copied it to make the result on the right:

zeus and europe by titianteus and europa by rubens

Colors are not the same, but Europa is obviously lighter than anything else on both paintings. europa and jupiter

To be fair, it seems Europa didn’t suffer too much in her role of her victim.

Let’s check the last painting. Work on the left is signed by Guido Reni (1575-1642).

She is still white, but her smile shows a lot too.

Just like in a fairy tale about the Beauty and the Beast.

Maybe she was a victim at first, but later things changed…

4. Apollo and Daphne

The myth about Apollo and Daphne is another interesting twist on the theme about Beauty and the Beast. Apollo insulted Eros who punished him with a lot of creativity. Apollo fell in love with nymph Daphne who couldn’t stand him. So Apollo chased her as we can see on the painting by Francesco Albani (1578–1660):

apollo chasing daphneThis scene of course inspired many artists…

apollo & daphne Peter Paul Rubensapollo and daphne by waterhousedaphne and apollo by lefevre

Artists from left to right: Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), John William Waterhouse (1849–1917) and Robert Lefevre (1755–1830). But the chase is not the main point. This story becomes really charming after Daphne realizes she can’t escape. So she turns into a laurel tree! You may even notice first changes of this famous metamorphoses at her fingers, but these will become much more evident in next series:

apollo chasing daphne by benedetto lutiapollo and daphne by gianbattista tiepoloArtists: Benedetto Luti (1666–1724), Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770) above and Paolo Veronese (1528–1588) and Antonio del Pollaiolo (1431–1498) below.

painting by Paolo Veronesepainting by Antonio del PollaioloHer transformations is obvious. We have more!

daphne apollo berninipainting by Carl Christian Klassmetamorphoses of daphne

Let’s name the painters from left to right: Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702–1789), Carl Christian Klass (1747–1793) and Antonio del Pollaiolo (1431–1498). While she is seeking for help at first two paintings, she looks pretty calm on the last one. She is safe now. Please note: painting by Liotard is actually painting made by famous sculpture made by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) who made even more famous sculpture of David.

O.K., back to Daphne’s metamorphoses. apollo-and-daphne-myth

She became a tree.

Apollo was still in love.

And he was god, remember?

So he made her a very special tree.

Just to celebrate his eternal love.

This is why laurel tree is evergreen!

Leaves of laurel and sad songs are still Apollo’s consolation…

5.  Hades and Persephone

Myth about Persephone in the role of Beauty is just another story which echoes through fairy tales. Hades is of course in the role of the Beast, but we can compare this myth with another fairy tale – about Little Red Riding Hood. Well, we can but we will not, because this post is starting to become too long and it is probably the best to see how painters saw the story…

Persephone by Dante Gabriel RossettiPersephone (Proserpina) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

Yes, she was young and beautiful, goddess of fertility, but god of the Underworld (Hades) abducted her.  Ulpiano Checa (1860–1916) portrayed this scene in particularly spectacular way:

Abduction of Persephone by Ulpiano ChecaJust for the record, names of the horses are: Aethon, Alastor, Nycteus and Orphnaeus. Persephone is of course painted in whitish tones.

proserpina abducted by plutohades takes persephone

hades persephone rubensOn the left: Joseph Anton Koch (1768–1839), on the right from up to down: Friedrich Preller the Elder (1804–1878) and Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640). As you may notice there is another person involved. This is her mother Demeter, goddess of the harvest who managed to make a deal with Hades (who is probably the second most powerful god after Zeus). Persephone can return on Earth but only for part of the year, another part she has to spend in the Underworld. This is why we have seasons of the year. This is also how mythologists interpret the story about Red Riding Hood.

return of persephone by Frederic Leightonmarriage of persephone by henry siddons mowbray

The return of Persephone is portrayed by Frederic Leighton (1830–1896) and the marriage of Persephone by Henry Siddons Mowbray (1858–1928). Did Persephone love Hades eventually? We’ll never know!

But we do know the Beauty loved the Beast and this, my friends, is fine example of similarities and differences between myths and fairy tales.

History of Fireworks

Interesting Facts about Fireworks

History is full of important events and celebrations and it seems fireworks accompany most of them, at least in last centuries…

Fireworks at Victoria Day

1. Fireworks were invented in China. A legend says a cook accidently spilled some saltpeper (sometimes us as spice) on fire and was fascinated with colors of the produced flames. Later it was discovered saltpeper, sulphur and coal in enclosed space (for instance in a bamboo stick) explode and around 6th century China already used this knowledge in wars. The same idea was used at celebrations, especially for New Years, just not against enemies, but to scare evil spirits.

independence day san diego

2. One of main beauties of fireworks are different colors of their sparkles. Color comes from ions changing energetic states from higher to lower while releasing some energy in the form of light. Every ion can be credited for different color (or shade) and here are some ions with corresponding colors:

  • aluminium (or magnesium or titanium) … silver / so called electric white
  • barium (chloride) … green (in this case color comes from chloride)
  • calcium (chloride) … orange
  • cesium (chloride) … indigo blue
  • copper (chloride) … blue (this color is hardest to achieve)
  • lithium (carbonate) … red
  • potassium (nitrate) … purple
  • sodium (nitrate) … gold / yellow
  • strontium (carbonate) … red (brighter than lithium)

While chemistry and physics behind pyrotechnics can be quite complicated, many fascinating effects can be achieved with relatively simple but clever planning. Blue for instance can be problematic because the salt (copper chloride) is unstable at high temperatures and the color is hardly visible at lower temperatures.

fireworks yokota

3. Approximately nine out of ten fireworks still come from China, which is by far largest supplier in the world. Business with fireworks is worth about one billion (thousand millions) dollars in USA only. There are several fireworks competitions held every ear all over the world. World Pyro Olympics in Manila, Phillipines, is probably the most prestigious of all.

consumer firework

4. When you are dealing with fireworks, you should always think about safety first. Even static electric of syntetic clothes can make them explode. About half of injuries related to fireworks are among younger than 15 years. Don’t forget pets which are much more sensitive to noise than people, and pollution of the air! Some modern fireworks use compressed air instead of gunpowder.

catherine wheels fireworks


5. Fire is traditionally and symbolicaly an element for getting rid of the old and making space for new. New Year, important milestones (think about Independence Day in USA or fall of Bastille in France) in the history of specific country or personal achievements (like marriage or promotion) are typically related to fireworks.


All used images are in public domain!

Take care!

Edmund Evans and Myles Birket Foster

Myles Birket Foster (1825-1899) and Edmund Evans (1826-1905) were among most prominent creators in the second half of 19 century. Birket Foster was probably most important water colourist of his time and Evans best engraver and most influential printer who should be credited as one of the fathers of the picture book as specific media. They both worked at Ebenezer Landells (1808-1860) as apprentices and formed lifelong friendship.

Although both extremely talented for engraving Evans and Birket Foster honed their skills in different directions. First became printer who wanted to produce quality books for the masses and was one of pioneers of color printing, second became painter and illustrator. Edmund Evans managed to take full advantage of chromoxylography, printing techinique which was initially developed for cheap serials but allowed pretty amazing results with clever usage of color mixing. Myles Birket Foster soon became interested in water coloring, but transferred his sense for details from engravings to painting canvas where he created totally new style which made him extremely popular.

This two important men collaborated at several projects and I decided to present two of the earliest.

First is the book written by another amazing person, Ida Pfeiffer (1797-1858). This lady from Vienna, Austria traveled to the countries and places where only most brave men dared to go. Just for reminder: we already presented some works of another interesting lady from the same era: Mary Louisa Molesworth, who also traveled a lot but used her experience to write romantic novels and moralistic stories for young ladies. Book, written by Ida Peiffer is different. It is classical travelogue. Visit to the Holy Land, Egypt, and Italy was published in 1852 by Ingram Cooke & Co., London. Birket Foster made illustrations and Evans engravings. These are the results:

jerusalem by birket foster



a visit to the holy land by ida pfeiffer

Title with credits


burial place at scutari by birket foster

Burial Place at Scutari


the dead dea by birket foster

The Dead Sea


mount carmel by birket foster

Mount Carmel


lebanon by birket foster



baalbec by birket foster



isthmus of suez by birket foster

Isthmus of Suez

We should note Myles Birket Foster traveled a lot too. His paintings were made all over the Europe (he especially liked Venice, Valley of Rhine and Swiss lakes) and North Africa.

One of his next collaborations with Evans has similar scenery with religious background. He was again illustrator and Evans wood engraver. The book is titled Sabbath Bells Chimed by Poets and it was published in 1856 by Bell and Daldy (London) and D. Appleton and Co. (New York). It is another presentation of Birket Foster’s love to landscapes and Evans’ printing skills. It’s a collection of poems by various authors, all related with Sundays, prayer and contemplation.

sabbath-bells the-sabbath-1 sabbath-morning a-churchyard-scene sunday-walks the-sabbath-2 the-church-bells the-village-church the-sunday-mornings-walk the-sunday-evenings-walk sunday the-sabbath-bells a-winter-sabbath-walk the-beauties-of-natureMain complaint to Birket Foster’s work is probably idealized presentation of nature but we have to admit his sense for details is astonishing. These early projects of Edmund Evans and Myles Birket Foster are relatively hard to find in good condition, so if you find one of fist editions in your attic, handle it with care. It just might be several hundred or even thousand dollars worth…

Now you know!

Fun and interesting facts about turkeys

Thanksgiving is always a bad news for a turkey, so it is appropriate to give it at least five minutes of glory. Here are …

Top seven interesting facts about turkeys

1. A turkey is native to America. It was first domesticated in Mexico and introduced to Europe in the 16th century with return of conquistadors. It came to England from Mediterranean sea and people bought these new birds (to them) from so called Turkey merchants. So they called them Turkey birds and soon they shorten it to turkeys. In many other languages (including Turkish) a turkey is called bird from India from then unanimous belief they were brought from India, which was only later corrected to actually be a new continent – America. Turkeys were brought to USA from Europe, not directly from Mexico.

2. There is also a popular myth about turkey being a candidate for USA national symbol instead of bald eagle. The fact is Benjamin Franklin questioned the bald eagle as being appropriate because this bird has questionable moral. It is not a hard worker but rather lazy robber and also a coward which can be banished out of the area by much smaller birds. Benjamin Franklin was also unhappy with the design. Bald eagle looked to him more like a turkey, which, by the way is much more proud and brave enough to attack an armed solder to protect his territory, so it seemed better symbol than eagle to Franklin but he never suggested it becomes one.

3. Wild turkey is biggest game bird in America. It can fly relatively fast (up to 55 mph or 88 kph) but only on short distances. It is fast on feet too. With 25 mph (about 40 kph) it is faster than fastest sprinters among humans even without doping! Turkeys can be loud too. Their gobbles and clucks can be hear more than mile (about 1.6 kilometers) away. This way they can show their presence to females and competing males.


Turkey is magnificent bird

4. It roosts in the trees but nests on the ground because poults can’t fly for the first month or so although they are able to search for food on their own within 24 hour after hatching. All this time mothers stays with them to protect them and keep them warm. Mothers stay around their little ones for about one year and turkeys maintain strong social bonds. Fathers (called toms or gobblers) don’t interfere with families because they mate with as many hens as possible. Domesticated turkeys can’t fly due their weight.

5. Male turkeys are much larger than female turkeys. Their feather can be of yellow, red, purple, green, copper, bronze, gold color. They use to show up like peacocks. Hens on the other side prefer camouflage colors like brown and gray. On very rare occasions we can find wild albino turkeys.

6. Average turkey in store has 15 pounds (7 kilograms). It takes about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of feed to achieve this mass. Such turkey has roughly 70 percent of white and 30 percent of dark meat. Because whire meat is more popular, through many years of selection turkey breasts became so huge they get in the way and male can’t mount on female. Domesticated turkeys are in almost all cases product of artificial insemination. Prize of such meet is only about one third of the price of the so called heritage turkeys (they were ‘made’ the natural way).


Turkey is Thanksgiving’s guest of honor

7. Domesticated turkeys are of weak health. Probably thanks to their obesity they have chronic problems with joints, hearts and breathing and even the pardoned turkeys (it is a tradition an American president pardons two on every Thanksgiving) die relatively soon (about a year) after time when they would be slaughtered anyway. Because the pardoning is for the show only two birds are always pardoned. One for the public and other as backup. The birds are selected for pardoning at birth and are trained for public appearances with crowd, flash lights and loud sounds.

J. J. Grandville

J. J. Grandville (1803-1847) was one of the most influential caricaturists and illustrators in France in 19th century.

Some quick facts…

Real name: Jean Ignace Isidore Gerard

Date of birth: 13 September

Date of death: 17 March

Married: twice (first wife died after the birth of their third child)

Children: four (all sons, three of them died before they reached the age of five)

Artistic education: by his father

Most influenced by: physiognomy and zoology

Specialty: drawings of anthropomorphic animals

Breakthrough in his career:  The Metamorphoses of the Day (Les Metamorphoses du jour) in 1829


Periodicals he was working for: La Caricature, L’Artiste, La Silhouette, Le Charivari

Major books he illustrated: Beranger’s Songs, Perrault’s Mother Goose, Fontaine’s Fables, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe

His most important works: Les Metamorphoses du jour (Metamorphosis of the day), Scenes de la vie privee et publique des animaux (Scenes from the private and public lives of animals), Les Fleurs animees (Personification of flowers), Un Autre monde (The other world)

Some of the illustrators influenced by him: Edward Lear, John Tenniel, Beatrix Potter, Walt Disney

Cultural movements inspired by his work: Surrealism, Dadaism

We can enjoy in all 70 lithographs from ‘The Metamorphoses’ in the next gallery (you can click every caricature to enlarge it):

Word ‘metamorphose’ means transformation, radical change, to become something totally different than before. It suits the situation in France right after the publishing of this book very well. In 1830 Louis Phillipe I became a king, the liberal spirit soon started to vanish and caricaturists portrayed him as a traitor.

Around 1835 caricature was practically banished and J. J. Grandville (by the way, J. J. stands for Jean-Jacques) turned to illustrating books. He produced many great illustrations for children books, including fables by La Fontaine (who also wrote for adults, illustrations of his Tales are available here) but his most important works are the ones made for adults.

Here is a link to free scan of Scenes from the private and public life of animals (in French) and I promise I will add another interesting link or two very soon.

Facts about water

Interesting facts about water

We can’t imagine life without water (before you disagree, please don’t forget beer is also for the most  part made of water) and I decided to put together a post about water facts, accompanied with some of the best photos available on-line.

All photos are of course public domain and royalty free, but I wouldn’t mind if you give me a nice credit for anything interesting you might find on this page.

Here we go with some fascinating numbers:

– more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface is covered with water,

– there is more water under the surface than on the surface,

– human body is 70 percent made of water (newborns even more),

– only 3 percent of water on our planet is drinkable (most of it we use it for washing, watering and other non-drinking related goals),

– quality standards of drinking water are falling rapidly.


Abundance of water on our planet can be deceptive

Water and health:

– we can live without food for months, but without water for only about a week,

– if we drink too much water, we can destroy the balance of electrolytes in organism and die,

– every fourth person on Earth doesn’t have daily access to clean, drinkable water,

– more than four millions of people die every year because of water related diseases,

– four out of five diseases in developing world are directly related with water,

– regular hands washing is single and most effective prevention for most of diseases.


Majority of diseases is related with water

And now for the statistics…

Longest rivers in the world

1. Nile … 6.650 km (4.130 miles) … world longest river and longest river in Africa

2. Amazon … 6.400 km (3.975 miles) … second longest river and longest river in America

3. Yangtze … 6.300 km (3.920 miles) … Asia’s longest river

4. Mississippi – Missouri … 6.275 km (3.900 miles) … longest river in USA and North America

5. Yenisei … 5.540 km (3.450 miles)

6. Yellow River … 5.465 km (3.400 miles)

7. Ob … 5.410 km (3.365 miles)

8. Parana … 4.880 km (3.030 miles)

9. Congo … 4.700 km (2.920 miles)

10. Amur … 4.450 km (2.760 miles)


Photo of Saratov bridge across Volga

And here is the photo of Volga, the longest river in Europe (3.645 km or 2.265 miles) but only the 17th in the world.

All used photos are public domain and the come from my favorite sources: Pixabay and Wikimedia. Thanks!

Pink Tones: List of Different Shades with Names

Here we have huge list of different shades of pink which is of course far from being complete. I decided to call in 50 shades of pink, but it we could easily count up to one hundred and more. But let’s start at the beginning…

What two colors make pink?

This one is easy. By definition pink is mix of red and white. If we ask how many parts of red and how many part of white do we need, things can get a bit complicated. Only varying of these percentages can make hundreds of hues of pink. Well, if we add a bit of yellow or blue or even both (besides red the only basic colors) things can become really complicated. interesting.

Let’s start with first set of pink tones in no particular order:


It is obvious some shades can be very pale and sometimes they don’t really look pink at all or they look pinkish only in the combination with some other color. As you may notice, there is a set of numbers and characters (actually only numbers in hexadecimal code) which can be of big help when we want to get certain colors in our on-line projects.

And here are their common names:

FAEBD7 Antique White              
F2BB66 Macaroni and Cheese
E2A76F Brown Sugar
DEB887 Burly Wood
FFCBA4 Deep Peach


Despite some similarities we are now dealing with two completely different sets of colors:

EE9A4D Sandy Brown
C19A6B Camel Brown
C47451 Orange Salmon
C36241 Rust
FFEBCD Blanched Almond


Everything is still brownish, so instead of saying this or that kind of pink we should use next names:

FFE5B4 Peach
E67451 Sunrise Orange
FF7F50 Coral
F9966B Light Salmon
E18B6B Dark Salmon

Ready for more lively tones?


E78A61 Tangerine
FFB6C1 Light Pink
FF69B4 Hot Pink
FF00FF Magenta
F1DDCF Champagne Pink

Maybe I shall add magenta is kind of another bordeline case. It has certain amount of blue which pushes pink to the family of violets.

Ready for next set?


And the corresponding names:

E77471 Light Coral
F75D59 Bean Red
FF1493 Deep Pink
E55451 Valentine Red
C24641 Cherry Red

Please note these numbers and names are not absolute because there are several coexisting standards for both, for example, i have found two completely different colors with the same name (carnation pink) in the list of html codes of colors, third on Wikipedia and fourth on the list of Crayola colors. I bet  professional designer can add two or three more examples without too many troubles.

We can still learn:


Having a lot of blue and yellow we are close to brown again. Check the list:

7D0552 Plum Velvet
7F4E52 Rosy Finch
B38481 Rosy Brown
C5908E Khaki Rose
C48189 Pink Bow

And another one series of five:


Kind of classic, right?

F1DDCF Champagne Pink
FDDDE6 Piggy Pink
F4C2C2 Baby Pink
EFBBCC Cameo Pink
FF91AF Baker-Miller Pink

Baby Pink is of course ‘default color’ of bay girl’s clothes and was first used in 1928. It is among the most popular colors for clothes. Baker-Miller Pink (named after US Navy officers) is on the other side used to paint the walls of correctional institutions. The reason is its effect on emotions. While it can help to calm down many people, some of them can actually get irritated with the sight at it. Maybe you know it by one of another names: Schauss Pink, Drunk-Tank Pink or simply P-618.

Ready for more?


The common names are appropriately girlish:

C48793 Lipstick Pink
FCDFFF Cotton Candy
FFDFDD Pink Bubblegum
FBBBB9 Misty Rose

Another set is special because the tones / tints / hues / shades of pink are named by countries.


These are:

F7BFBE Spanish Pink
E4007C Mexican Pink
F77FBE Persian Pink
F64A8A French Rose
A8516E China Rose

We could present even more examples, because some cities are proudly connected with specific shades of pink too, but I would like to finish with a set of pink tints inspired by flowers and fruits. Although have already seen several and there are more (you can find full set of fuchsia shades for instance) we are approaching to our main goal – 50 shades of pink – this will be the last series for this post.


E799A3 Pink Daisy
FFA6C9 Carnation Pink
F19CBB Amaranth Pink
FC6C85 Watermelon Pink
FF77FF Fuchsia Pink

Did you find all the pink tones you were looking for?

William Wallace Denslow and Frank Baum in the Land of Oz

Meet the Wizard(s) of Oz!

Actually there were two original wizards behind the curtain when the magic of Oz originated: author Lyman Frank Baum and illustrator William Wallace Denslow. They were both extremely talented, both very successful, both very self confident, but with very different egos.

W. W. Denslow lived life to the full potential, being married three times, buying his own island and being self proclaimed king, but Baum was different, always focusing on his work (personally taking care of copyrights of his books for instance) and especially on his audience. How many writers personally answered on hundreds of fan letters? Well, he did just that!

There collaboration on the first book of Oz wasn’t their first. Father Goose, His Book, was bestseller of 1899 sold in more than 175 thousand copies and publisher expected The Wizard should surpass magical number of 250 thousand.  Baum and Denslow were so sure they have a winner, they payed the money for color pages inserted in the book which was initially planned as black and white from their own pockets.

This was even more important because the specific areas of Oz were painted with different colors: Emerald City was Green, East blue, West yellow, South red and Kansas grey. Yes, the movie with a combination of black and white with colors wasn’t so original after all…

The resulting book was spectacular success.


“I am the Witch of the North.”


“You must be a great sorceress.”


“I was only made yesterday.”


“This is a great comfort.”


“You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”


The stork carried him up into the air.


“Permit me to introduce to you her Majesty, the Queen.”

cowardly-lion-and-others at-the-table-eating

The lion ate some of the porridge.


The Soldier with the green whiskers led them through the streets.


The Tinsmiths worked for three days and four nights.


The monkeys caught Dorothy in their arms and flew away with her.


“Exactly so! I am a humbug.”


“I feel wise indeed.”


These people were all made of china.


“You must give me the Golden Cup.”

We all know how the story ends, right?

It was of course only a beginning for Frank Baum but he and Denslow came into disagreement after a stage version of Wizard of Oz and their collaboration stopped before the next book from the series was made.

There are thirteen books of Oz written by Baum and several dozens by other authors. Denslow was replaced with John Rea Neill who was soon called “The Royal Illustrator of Oz” and many others followed.

Here is a link to some cute coloring pages made after Neill’s work and another link if you want to make a step further…

Oz is now important part of American and world culture heritage, but everything started with this book presented above. Pure magic, right?

Witches in art

Witches inspired many artists and I will present some of their works with few facts about magic, witchcraft and similar stuff. All paintings on this page are in Public Domain because their authors are dead for more then 70 years. All can be found on Wikimedia, great repository of knowledge, but not so great index of stored material.

As we can see on next painting by Francisco Goya (1746-1828), witches often perform their rituals in groups called covens.

coven of witches

The Coven by Francisco Goya

Ladies are not alone. This painting shows their worship of the devil who joined them in the form of a goat. The connection between witches and devil was introduced only around the year 1000 AD. This is probably connected with belief this year will bring the end of the world but we’ll not go into details. Goat is not the only creature, associated with witches.

male witch

Male witch on the broom

This one flies with a bat. Work is signed by Cosmas Damian Asam (1686-1739) and is typical baroque. Note the muscles!

sourcer and dragon

Sourcer and dragon

This time with a dragon. Painting is made by Franz Karl Spitzweg (1808-1885).

witch and scarecrow

Witch and a scarecrow in the snow

And with a scarecrow! (By the way, I hope, you recognized the style of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1939), one of the founders of German Expressionism.

Witchcraft can be done in groups or solo. Here is another assembly:

assembly of witches

An assembly of the witches

The painting above is another example of baroque art. This time this is work by Frans Francken (1581-1642). Let’s take a look at another work of Francisco Goya:

witches sabbath

Witches’ Sabbath

Naming this kind of gathering Sabbath clearly alludes on Jews who were appropriate scapegoats for Christians for many centuries.  The reason for this is partly in their knowledge of science which was often misunderstood as magic.

preparation of love potion

Love potion

A skilled witch was able to save or take lives thanks to her knowledge of herbs. The painting above is work of Evelyn de Morgan (1855-1919). Although witchcraft was never exclusive to fair sex (check paintings above again), ladies were most of the history (which predates Christianity for many centuries) in vast majority. Association of women with magic is almost for sure a consequence of the biggest miracle women were able to perform – giving birth.

I will substantiate this theory with interesting fact – Hecate, the goddess of sorcery was originally a goddess of wilderness and childbirth. Here we can see how William Blake (1757-1827) portrayed her:


The Triple Hecate

Talking about famous witches we must also mention Circe, dangerous mistress of Odysseus:

circe john william waterhous

Circe offering the cup to Odysseus

Painting is made by John William Waterhouse (1849-1917), who also signed next work of art:

jason and medea

Jason and Medea

Antique was not the only time appropriate for witches. Arthurian legends are loaded with poitions, spells and magic. The most famous sorceress was Morgan le Fay:

morgan le faye

Morgan le Fay

This painting was made by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys (1829-1904). Of course we can’t conclude our journey without witches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth:

macbeth banquo sisters

Macbeth and Banque meet the weird sisters

The painting above is work from John Wootton (around 1682-1764), the next painting is from Daniel Gardner (1750-1805).

thee witches

The three witches

And here is a sorceress from the Bible, the famous witch of Endor:

witch of endor

Witch of Endor

The biblical scene with Saul in trouble was painted by Alessandro Magnasco (1667-1749) and the next one is made by Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge.

witch of endor

Witch of Endor

We could go on and on but this should be enough for today. If you are already in the right mood, you can put suitable witch costume on and start partying…

For everybody else: good night:)