Monthly Archives: August 2012

Jack The Ripper

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The name ‘Jack the Ripper‘ has become the most infamous in the annals of murder. Yet, the amazing fact is that his identity remains unproven today. In the years 1888-1891 the name was regarded with terror by the residents of London’s East End, and was known the world over. So shrouded in myth and mystery is this story that the facts are hard to identify at this remove in time. And it was the officers of Scotland Yard to whom the task of apprehending the fearsome killer was entrusted.

They may have failed, but they failed honourably, having made every effort and inquiry in their power to free London of the unknown terror.

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Over the years the mystery has deepened to the degree that the truth is almost totally obscured. Innumerable press stories, pamphlets, books, plays, films, and even musicals have dramatised and distorted the facts to such a degree that the fiction is publicly accepted more than the reality.

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124 years ago early this morning Jack the Ripper claimed his first victim. Ripperologist JON REES looks at the horrific murder of Mary Ann Nicholls that began what we now know as the Whitechapel Murders.

August 31st, 1888 approximately 3.40am:

Two cart drivers named Charles Cross and Robert Paul on their way to work pass through Bucks Row and come across what they think is a tarpaulin. On closer examination they realise it is a woman with her skirts raised. Thinking she is alive and drunk, they lower her skirts and plan to inform the first policemen they come across, doing so by informing PC Jonas Mizen. In the meantime PC John Neil has come across the woman during his beat, and when Mizen arrives Neil has summoned PC Thain to assist. The three police constables discover what the cartmen missed in the sparsely lit street. The womans throat had been cut and she was dead.

Mary Ann Nichols (known as Polly) was a 43 year old casual prostitute (like many of the poor women of the East End at the time). She was an alcoholic and following her divorce at the start of the 1880s she spent most of her time in workhouses or lodging houses, living off charitable handouts or through her meagre earnings as a prostitute. On the night of her death she had been turned out of her lodging house on Thrawl Street as she did not have the money needed for her doss (she later told a friend she had earned it four times that night but each time spent it on drink). She believed she would have no problem earning the money though as she had a “jolly bonnet” which she thought made her look appealing to potential customers.

Dr Llewelyn arrived on the scene at 4am and determined Polly had been dead for about an hour and the cause of death to be the result of two cuts to the throat. When Polly’s body was removed to the mortuary it was discovered that severe abdominal mutilations had also taken place.

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“Five of the teeth were missing, and there was a slight laceration of the tongue. There was a bruise running along the lower part of the jaw on the right side of the face. That might have been caused by a blow from a fist or pressure from a thumb. There was a circular bruise on the left side of the face which also might have been inflicted by the pressure of the fingers. On the left side of the neck, about 1in. below the jaw, there was an incision about 4in. in length, and ran from a point immediately below the ear. On the same side, but an inch below, and commencing about 1in. in front of it, was a circular incision, which terminated at a point about 3in. below the right jaw. That incision completely severed all the tissues down to the vertebrae. The large vessels of the neck on both sides were severed. The incision was about 8in. in length. The cuts must have been caused by a long-bladed knife, moderately sharp, and used with great violence.

No blood was found on the breast, either of the body or the clothes. There were no injuries about the body until just about the lower part of the abdomen. Two or three inches from the left side was a wound running in a jagged manner. The wound was a very deep one, and the tissues were cut through. There were several incisions running across the abdomen. There were three or four similar cuts running downwards, on the right side, all of which had been caused by a knife which had been used violently and downwards. The injuries were from left to right and might have been done by a left-handed person. All the injuries had been caused by the same instrument.” – The Times report on the inquest, 3rd September 1888.

The police had no suspects for Polly’s murder and rumours of a fiendish villain named Leather Apron began to fill the East End. Though he did not yet have his name, Jack the Ripper had struck and the Whitechapel murders had begun.

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Mooooo

xxx

High Speed Liquid

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German photographer Heinz Maier says that he began taking photographs less than a year ago in late 2010. He claims to not know what direction he’s heading in just yet, right now he’s experimenting with macro photography, mostly insects, animals, and these delicate high speed water droplets. There are so many things happening here to make these photographs simply outstanding: the lighting, the colors, the occasional use of symmetry in the reflection of water, let alone the skill of knowing how to use the camera itself. It’s hard to believe these aren’t digital.

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Mooooo

xxx

Call Parade

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Call Parade is an ongoing public art project in São Paulo sponsored by Brazilian telecommunications firm Vivo, that paired 100 artists with 100 street-side phone booths giving them free reign to transform the peculiar hooded fixtures into anything imaginable.

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You can see a gallery of all 100 phones here.

Mooooo

xxx

 

49 Years on… “I Have a Dream”

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Today marks the 49th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. King stood before the Lincoln Memorial Center to deliver some of the most iconic words in our country’s history. More than 250,000 people eagerly listened as the voices of Mahalia Jackson and Joan Baez rang throughout the Lincoln Memorial.

In a time where discrimination and hate-crimes provoked the unthinkable, Dr. King stood before America and reminded an entire nation to dream. Often known by scholars as the “most important moment in civil rights history,” his words forever pressed upon us a hope for freedom and a world united in love rather than fear.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Mooooo

xxx

Beautiful Evidence

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Book artist Thomas Allen pours through old encyclopedias, primary readers and science books to extract figures for these perfectly composed illustrations.

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See the rest over on his blog.

Mooooo

xxx

iPhone Tips and Tricks: Music

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I’m going to share with you iPhone tips and tricks that will help you get the most of your iPhone.

Today’s Tips and Tricks is about:

MUSIC

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Listen to your Music

Mooooo

xxx

Mo Farah Running Away From Things

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If you are anything like me, you were glued to your TV in early August, watching with excitement as athletes all over the world competed in the Olympics. This year, British Track and Field athlete Mo Farah is one of those competitors who wowed the world. He made Olympic history by winning two gold medals in the 5,000m and 10,000m races and the athlete says, “I won the second gold on Saturday night and it became a blur after that. It all went crazy. I was so over the moon that I felt like I’d never come down.”

Farah is known as the UK’s finest ever distance runner and the world has quickly fallen in love with such an inspiring athlete. Mo Farah Running Away From Things is a blog described as “a tribute to team GB’s double olympic gold medalist Mo Farah for being a true Olympic legend and inspiring a nation.” The site was bound to happen, I mean Farah’s expression as he won the 10,000m finals is evidence of an insanely excited and stunned man who worked insanely hard to have these dreams come true.

His expression, digitally captured at the perfect moment, has fans across the world creating funny, good-natured images of Farah, running away from things including a sea of brides, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the movie Ghostbusters, and all kinds of other inventive scenes. Any ideas are welcome as long as they are a friendly tribute to Farah’s Olympic success.

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Mooooo

xxx

London 2012: The Closing Ceremony by Pictures

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On Sunday night here in London, the Olympic Games ended with closing ceremonies that reminded the world that, yes, a lot of popular music has come from Britain.

London was never going to out-Beijing Beijing, and the wisest decision was not even to attempt it. Instead, the organizers of London 2012 decided that Beijing could not out-Britain Britain, and that there was something of value for the Olympic movement and the world in that distinction.

The past 17 days have proven them right.

They have proven that the Olympics did come to their spiritual home in Britain – where rowing and fencing and tennis, not to mention the sporting ideals that underlie the entire Olympic movement, began.

They have proven that their city’s history and charm was more than enough to compensate for the lack of signature venue like the Bird’s Nest or Water Cube. Could any other city match the scenes at Horse Guards Parade or Wimbledon or the Mall?

But more than any of these things, London 2012 has proven, beyond the remotest doubt, that much if not most of Britain truly did want these Olympics in the end. Not for national pride, though that was in present in good regulation, but because it was a bloody brilliant time to be British.

“These were happy and glorious Games,” said International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge at the closing ceremonies, quoting a line from the British national anthem.

Closing Ceremony 360 picture

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Now we wait four more years to see what Rio will bring us.

Theme song of Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Mooooo

xxx

Olympic Rings Infography

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Brazilian artist Gustavo Sousa has reinterpreted the five Olympic rings as a series of infographics, comparing statistics across the five continents on his Tumblr oceaniaeuropeamericasafricaasia.

Statistical data according to this legend: (Oceania: blue, Europe: Black America: Red, Africa : yellow, Asia: green).

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Sousa has also made a video version, which sees the rings morph into each infographic in a rather pleasing way.

Mooooo

xxx

Colourful Umbrellas

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A beautiful colorful umbrellas installation in the town of Agueda in Portugal. A complete street was decorated with umbrellas suspended and floating in the air, all captured in images by photographer Patricia Almeida. To discover in detail in the following section.

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Mooooo

xxx