Showing posts with label Medieval. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Medieval. Show all posts

September 12, 2018

What's The Big Fascination?




From Victoria's Secret to colorful art renditions, medieval metal, and cross-dressing on the neighborhood corner...

This does not seem to be about being angels, unchaste, or even "sexy-wexy "(as I think my mother-in-law calls it). 

So I really have to ask what is all the fascination about here?

Culturally, we seem to be a little OCD. 

If Martians visited us, I don't think they would understand us at all.

Frankly, I'm not sure that I do either!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 5, 2018

Cracking Heads--In War and Work

Thought this was an amazing painting of the medieval battlefield.

The warrior in the center is using his war hammer to literally split heads open.

Not only for physical fighting (i.e. life and death), I've heard this term in the past used in the office setting:
"Cracking heads" to get things done. 

While war is war, I don't think that getting to progress in the office ever merits cracking anyone's head--let along with a battle hammer. 

Yes, people can be stubborn and occasionally pose obstacles to moving forward, but that is what communication skills and persuasion are for.

You have to seriously question the leadership and sanity of anyone who thinks and talks about hurting people at work. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 3, 2018

Labor Day @ Maryland Renaissance Festival













(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 7, 2018

Spiked Battle Hammer

Saw this at the Maryland Renaissance Festival and thought this was a notable weapon/art piece. 

It's a War (Battle) Hammer with a spike on one side and an animal head for the hammer on the other. 

TV shows like Vikings and Z(i.e. zombie) Nation have made these sort of famous again.

It's sort of crazy the things people used in the past to fight and kill with. 

Imagine getting clobbered with one of these...ugly!

But before guns, when the battle was up close and personal, what choice did people really have to defend themselves with.

It was life or death...and many in the most gruesome ways ended up the latter. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 24, 2018

Iron Maiden Torture


Check this out. 

This is called an Iron Maiden.

It is from Nuremberg, Germany. 

This one is from Medieval times, but they were apparently still around even in the 19th century!

It has 14 spikes on the inside that were designed to pierce the eyes, throat, and heart. 

People placed for torture and death in the Iron Maiden sarcophagus would be completely mutilated. 

Is this one of the reasons that so many people suffer from claustrophobia?  

I remember seeing in a movie where someone was placed in a dungeon cell, but this one was carved into the rock wall horizontally. 

The prisoner would be forced to lie down in it with iron bars caged over the side vertically. 

S/he could not sit up, roll over, or move. 

Can you imagine the sheer terror and torture?

How people could be so evil and inflict such suffering on others and often for crimes like heresy is extremely hard to understand. 

Why in G-d's name does anyone call it the "good 'ol days?" 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 3, 2016

Last Man Standing Wins

So it has always amazed me how until modern times, armies would line up and face-off on the battlefield to basically bash each others skulls in. 

Whether in medieval times or in the civil war...it goes something like this. 


- Red coats line up on this side. 

- Blue coats line up on that side. 

- Everyone pull out their weapons.

- Scream your bloody heads off.

- And run towards each other swinging. 

- The last man standing from either side is the winning army!

How brilliant is that? 

Basically, mass suicide for both sides (like trying to take the hill running straight into machine gun fire). 

These days, there is a notion at least of using stealth, smart bombs, and sending in drones or robots, so as not to risk real people's lives unnecessarily. 

But I guess that takes the fun out of it--can't slice and dice and smash the enemy with your bare hands.

Last weekend, I watched people who like to fight the old fashioned way, dress up in medieval gear, take their sides on the field in the park, and go at it. 

They had swords, and clubs, and javelins, and bow and arrows, and more.  

They even had roles, and one guy I talked to was actually the king for one side of the fight--and apparently you have to earn that role in battle and in council vote. 

On the battlefield then the people get together and go at it hitting each other with some pretty scary weapons that fortunately are (mostly) padded, but still they seemed to get some pretty good zets!

Honestly, it sort of looked like a lot of fun and good exercise, but probably (more than) a little dangerous too. 

I saw one combatant coming off the field, taking off his outfit as it was pretty hot out, and he literally had layers of shielding on, so aside from seeing them take hits again and again, I could see that they felt they needed the protection. 

What was also interesting watching this--and I understand sometimes they get about 150 people on the field at a time to go at it--is that people seem to really want to go back in time to the way things were...more natural, more real, and even more deadly--up close and personal!

We are so much in a virtual world or like Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX and Tesla) said living in a simulation, that there is just a wild yearning and craving to get back to nature, basics, and what's tangible and real. 

Even if it means bashing heads on a hot Summer's day...and reenacting the times of lore...put your smartphones down and pull out your swords and clubs--it's a new day and age. ;-) 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 16, 2015

Mano A Mano

So this is what it comes down to.

Man against man.

A fight to unseat and prevail against one's ultimate opponent. 

Each one bravely charging forward into the fight. 

Armed and dangerous. 

Both shielded, but not fully protected. 

One will be going down hard and maybe not coming up again. 

Good versus evil. 

Repeated over time as the war of attrition plays out. 

The heavenly battle taking place among mere mortal agents. 

Until eventually the righteous triumph over the selfish, lusting, and greedy villains.  

In didn't start in Medieval times and it won't end until it's over and won, and it will be won for G-d's sake. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 15, 2015

Acrobatic Fun





This was a cool show we saw at the Maryland Renaissance Festival this past weekend. 

The show combined some nice acrobatic tricks with a good sense of humor. 

The torture and killing was nasty in the medieval ages, but at least they took the edge off with some daring and showmanship in the joust and on stage. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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May 29, 2015

Pain Pain Go Away!

So I am more the emotional type who cries at sad songs or heroic endeavors. 

But with the hip surgery, I have to admit that I have had some moments of literally screaming pain. 

The surgeon said he did about a full half hour of cauterization to prevent another bleed (hematoma) and infection that happened last time...so not sure if this is causing the extra-extra sting. 

Usually when they ask my level of pain, I say like 2-3, because I imagine a 10 being some horrible torture like being sawed in half (while hung upside down--actually saw this in a movie) or flayed of your flesh, burnt alive at the stake, or quartered by horses--or countless variations on these.

Let's just say, the medieval tormentors had this torture stuff down.

In a way, I almost feel guilty expressing my post surgical pain (sort of child's play) relative to these made-to-order cruelties.

Of course for pain, the doctors give you medicine, but honestly I don't like to take these because of side-effects and even addictive properties. 

But the nurse and physical therapist told me not to let the pain get ahead of me, because then it is harder to control it (and also harder to do the full PT and get the benefits from it).

In the hospital, I was amazed that some people had so much pain (i.e. me) and others just sat there in PT seemingly shrugging off the whole experience. 

Still I made it the full loop with the walker the first day (which the therapists told me is maybe 3x what most others do at that point).

Another thing that I am thinking about with pain, is how do you compare emotional and physical pain--which is worse?

The loss of loved ones, deep disappointments, suffering with sickness or disability, anxiety and depression can certainly cause a lot of pain inside--those are the screams that often no one hears.

Also, that hurt can often lead to physical sickness and bodily pain and vice versa--so they are not mutually exclusive.

My father used to tell me that "When you have your health you have everything."

I think this is partly because if you don't have your health, you can't really do or enjoy much else anyway--so good health is sort of a precursor to all other activities and pursuits.

Probably the worst pains are the ones where their is simply no hope of getting better...and you just have to accept the loss or the end. 

The corollary that my father taught me was "Where there is life, there is hope!"

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 5, 2014

Let Me Out Of Here

I took this photo in Las Olas. 

This statue of a women in a crate, peering out, is so eerie and awesome to me. 

Reminds me so much of Medieval times when people were punished by being locked up and confined in cages or very narrow prison spaces. 

Talk about claustrophobia?

Anyway, not sure if she is being shipped out or ready to be displayed, but either way, this lady wants out, I am sure. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 5, 2014

Saw It Right Off

This was something amazing that really gave me pause. 

In the physical therapy center, hanging on the wall, encased in this wooden box.


A saw from the civil war that was used by the doctors of the time to amputate soldiers legs and arms. 


The saw was so ominous looking, especially with it's design of medieval-looking torture, it's raw industrial quality, and the age and rust. 


I could literally envision the utter fright on the faces of the young men upon seeing the doctor approach with this tool. 


They would give you a piece of wood to sink your teeth into, so you wouldn't bite your tongue off when they started sawing away at your limbs.


Not sure how people lived like this...not all that very long ago. 


(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

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