Dreaming

I do enjoy winter but now I can’t wait for the chill to end. We are in that phase where talk of snow is on the lips of many and I am extremely excited about the prospect of booking a holiday soon. One because I didn’t get the chance to go away last year, and two, for all the reasons listed above. Nothing beats a trip involving a beach somewhere sunny.

the beach

 

Girl Time/Mate time

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Go topless

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Or go all out?

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Wear something eye-catching

 

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Be seductive with sand

 

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Keep hydrated

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Leave it on a day like this

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Hurricane Carol. Brooklyn, New York. 31 Aug 1954.

 

 

Keep your wits about you and play safe

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Drowning victim Mary Eschner is being revived by Margaret Bourke-White. Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. 1951.

 

 

Stand on a guy’s head

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Think of the fish. They matter too!

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Damion berger.

The Last Supper

It must be the bizarre combination of two essential factors in every life no matter who or where you are that has me and others intrigued about this subject. One happens to be an event that is commonly feared and mystified to extremes. The other is something that the majority of us look forward to – the juxtaposition of the two is already becoming crystal clear. People seem to be fixated with conveying the prison last meal and it probably has a lot to do with the myriad of contradictions engrossed in its ritual.

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Food is a fixture in our routine so it seems logical to ensure that it is enjoyed to the fullest with varieties of flavour and texture. Although, essentially food is simply a source of energy so we can continue living. To have a last meal just before you are put to death seems a bit pointless if you consider this angle. It has been reported that Barry Lee Fairchild, a convicted rapist and murderer believed “It’s just like putting gas in a car that don’t have no motor.” As pointless as it may sound there are books, articles and art projects all with the focus of this backwards regulation. Even the states of Arizona, California and (formerly) Texas have official websites publishing choices. To know what someone’s last dying wish is intrigues us, and it happens to fulfil this urge even more so when there is a common ground such as food.

Mat Collishaw

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Historically, it was meant to act as a way to solidify forgiveness from the accused towards those who were systematically and physically involved in affirming the death sentence. By accepting the meal, prisoners are accepting their fate and making peace with the culpable parties. It was also thought the offering would deter the spirit from haunting those responsible and prevent its return as a malevolent spirit. In the past in parts of Europe, this would mean offenders physically sitting down with the hangman or headsman and sharing a drink or a meal! In Eighteenth century Bavaria you’d have a drink in your cell before the meal with your headsman. It was called St John’s Blessing in memory of St John the Baptist who forgave those who were about to behead him. Nowadays we seem to focus much more on the American last meal even though of course America is not the only place where the death penalty is still permitted. It does however stand as the only place where we are made aware in such detail of how it functions with regards to the meal.

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Food is social, cultural and can at times have political substance. There are those who decline a request of a special meal and there are those that speak volumes with what they desire. A person’s diet can have a lot of hidden clues as to who that individual is, the common phrase “you are what you eat” comes to mind. It isn’t a phrase born out of futility. You can find out a person’s: cultural and/or geographic location, social status, histories, economic status and some argue even an educational background can be deduced from a meal.

no seconds – henry Hargreaves

The name states a clear impossibility but there is something deeper. It also pays a sort of homage to Ricky Ray Rector who 
claimed he was saving his pecan pie for later. Prior to his execution date it was argued he should escape the penalty 
because his brain was impaired due to a failed suicide attempt. His pecan pie comment was seen as evidence his punishment 
was unjust by those in his defence.

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There is Victor Feguer whose meal features above and who asked for a single olive with the pit in Iowa, 1963. It is questioned whether he actually ate it as some say the olive was found in his suit pocket after and others claim it was just the pit. Fegeur’s decision may have been based on the symbolism of rebirth as well as his apparent notion of peace. It is ironic as he was the last person to be executed in Iowa, so his death does mark a sort of rebirth with the abolition of an old system. Francois Mitterand (the 21st French President) who was not being executed but rather died of prostate cancer, had an extravagant last meal in 1996 consisting of oysters, foie gras, capon and roasted Ortolan. Ortolan is a small French songbird that was and is still illegal to kill/eat in France due to their endangered status. Apparently perceived as representing the soul of France, it is not only these factors that would have caused controversy. There is a connection this bird has to another bird of Mitterand’s meal -foie gras, in the specific and somewhat gruesome way in which it must be prepared. The bird is placed somewhere dark with an abundance of millet, the darkness causes a reaction in the ortolan where it constantly eats. It is then drowned in Armagnac, plucked, roasted and should be eaten whole. Adolf Eichmann, a senior Nazi official with major participation in the organisation of the Holocaust, who was executed in Israel, 1962, refused something to eat and instead asked for a bottle of dry, red, Israeli wine, apparently finishing half of it. Red wine is associated with blood and/or life, this symbolism exists outside the terms of Christianity. Therefore it feels like more than just coincidence that the only thing Eichmann consumed was red wine from an established nineteenth century Israeli winery.

Julie Green – the last supper

Starting in early 2000s, Green paints the meals in monochrome in support of the death penalty becoming abolished. Her 
objective is to paint 50 a year until the practice is ended. She paints past and modern executions. The physical form of the
 plates puts the numbers of lost life in perspective. The plates are a luxury the executed will never see, and while the 
condemned or their food choices may be presumed/considered to be unrefined, the style is a nod to the delicate method found 
in China. She has begun to visit exonerated inmates to find out what they had as their first meal on release and paints 
these in colour.
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Alabama, 2003.

From food available in the cafeteria. Chose a turkey bologna sandwich with tomatoes and cheese, french fries, and an orange drink. Later, from a vending machine, got a Reese's Cup, pretzels, and grape Sunkist drink.

From food available in the cafeteria. Chose a turkey bologna sandwich with tomatoes and cheese, french fries, and an orange drink. Later, from a vending machine, got a Reese’s Cup, pretzels, and grape Sunkist drink.

Alabama 2006.

Alabama, 2006.

Georgia, 2011. Refused to request a meal and asked to have the same meal as the other inmates - a cheeseburger, slaw, baked beans, potatoes and cookies.

Georgia, 2011. Refused to request a meal and asked to have the same meal as the other inmates – a cheeseburger, slaw, baked beans, potatoes and cookies.

Virginia, 2009. No final meal request because he remained hopeful to the end that he would not be executed.

Virginia, 2009. No final meal request because he remained hopeful to the end that he would not be executed.

Virginia, 1998.

Virginia, 1998.

Illinois, 1995. Filet mignon (medium well) with mushrooms, shellfish, baked potato, sour cream, brussels sprouts, salad with Italian dressing, corn on the cob, pistachio ice cream, cannoli.

Illinois, 1995. Filet mignon (medium well) with mushrooms, shellfish, baked potato, sour cream, brussels sprouts, salad with Italian dressing, corn on the cob, pistachio ice cream, cannoli.

Washington, 1993. Salmon, potatoes, vegetable, green salad, dessert.

Washington, 1993. Salmon, potatoes, vegetable, green salad, dessert.

Florida, 2009. Fried chicken, banana split ice cream and some water.

Florida, 2009. Fried chicken, banana split ice cream and some water.

Louisiana, 1999. Snickers candy bars, Baby Ruth candy bars, Hershey candy bars, chocolate ice cream, coconut pie, lemon pie, Cokes.

Louisiana, 1999. Snickers candy bars, Baby Ruth candy bars, Hershey candy bars, chocolate ice cream, coconut pie, lemon pie, Cokes.

Kentucky, 1997. Cheesecake.

Kentucky, 1997. Cheesecake.

Indiana, 2007. Pizza and a birthday cake shared with 15 family and friends. A prison official said "He told us he never had a birthday cake so we ordered a birthday cake for him."

Indiana, 2007. Pizza and a birthday cake shared with 15 family and friends. A prison official said “He told us he never had a birthday cake so we ordered a birthday cake for him.”

Indiana, 2001. German ravioli and chicken dumplings prepared by his mother and prison dietary staff.

Indiana, 2001. German ravioli and chicken dumplings prepared by his mother and prison dietary staff.

Texas, 2008. Grilled cheeseburger, four fish patties, six hard boiled eggs and coffee.

Texas, 2008. Grilled cheeseburger, four fish patties, six hard boiled eggs and coffee.

Ohio, 2010. A porterhouse steak, fried shrimp, barbecued chicken and ribs, a large salad, potato wedges, onion rings, sweet potato pie, chocolate ice cream and Hawaiian Punch to drink.

Ohio, 2010. A porterhouse steak, fried shrimp, barbecued chicken and ribs, a large salad, potato wedges, onion rings, sweet potato pie, chocolate ice cream and Hawaiian Punch to drink.

Texas, 2001. 1 bag of assorted Jolly Ranchers.

Texas, 2001. 1 bag of assorted Jolly Ranchers.

Texas, 2000. 1 jar of dill pickles.

Texas, 2000. 1 jar of dill pickles.

New York, 1963. A pack of Pall Malls.

New York, 1963. A pack of Pall Malls.

Alabama, 2011. In the final hours before the execution, refused to eat breakfast and wasn't expected to eat dinner either, prison officials said. Did not request a special last meal, saying he was fasting today.

Alabama, 2011. In the final hours before the execution, refused to eat breakfast and wasn’t expected to eat dinner either, prison officials said. Did not request a special last meal, saying he was fasting today.

Texas, 2011. Two chicken-fried steaks, one pound of barbecued meat, a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger, a meat-lover's pizza, three fajitas, an omelette, a bowl of okra, one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream, some peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts and three root bears (after inmate didn't eat any of this meal, Texas ends final meal request option).

Texas, 2011. Two chicken-fried steaks, one pound of barbecued meat, a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger, a meat-lover’s pizza, three fajitas, an omelette, a bowl of okra, one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream, some peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts and three root beers.

Lawrence Brewer (actual meal above), a white supremacist whose crime became international news at the time of his conviction, made international news once again in 2011 with his request and its repercussions. He ordered two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions, a triple bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeños, a bowl of fried okra with ketchup, a pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread, three fajitas, a meat pizza, a pint of Blue Bell vanilla Ice Cream, a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts, three root beers. Even though some quantities were reduced due to policy it was still a hefty ask and once the feast arrived, Brewer refused to eat any of it. His bold statement resulted in such an opportunity being scrapped for future Texans. Since Brewer, death row prisoners are given the regular meal that the other inmates have, no frills, no fuss. In Brewer’s case, for me there is no question of his guilt in the atrocious crime he was accused of as he admitted he was there but denied direct involvement. If you decide to research the crime, it is clear that in the circumstances his presence would have been enough involvement to certify as guilty. What about those on death row who are accused of guilt but are actually innocent? Amnesty International and James Reynolds tackled this unfortunate reality with a series of last meals from inmates who had been killed for a crime they didn’t commit. By presenting the meals of those wrongfully killed in the same way in which it would have been served to them, we are forced to see their last moments. You look at the tray and imagine having to eat a meal knowing it will be your last even though it shouldn’t. Through the campaign, these innocent individuals and others like them are rightfully considered and reversed from condemned to helpless victims. At one point these men would have been painted as evil now instead it is those who agree with the death penalty that must re-assess their morals.

Go HERE if you are interested in knowing the faults in their cases.

Amnesty International x james reynolds

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Life, death and food, are three elements of our being where whether we like it or not,  are inescapable. It is maybe why there is a certain ease in the ability of them to be linked to one another. In major events, ceremonies or rituals of life and death, food is mostly always present. If not because of specific symbolic qualities particular foods have, food is simply a way of bringing people together, or it can help in occupying the mind and transporting the self elsewhere. However when it comes to the last meal, few of these optimistic ideals are applicable. In my research it seemed it is common for prisoners to fail at finishing a significant portion or to sometimes only be able to stomach liquids. Even food seems to lose its power when faced with certain death.

‘The underlying and compelling theme of the work is choice. What do people who may have lived for years in prison with virtually no choices at all do with this last one they’re offered?’ (The New York Times).

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World

40 Logical maps

TwistedSifter

 

If you’re a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection aims to do just that.

Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new. A few are important to know, some interpret and display data in a beautiful or creative way, and a few may even make you chuckle or shake your head.

If you enjoy this collection of maps, the Sifter highly recommends the r/MapPorn sub reddit. You should also check out ChartsBin.com. There were also fantastic posts on Business Insider and Bored Panda earlier this year that are worth checking out. Enjoy!

 

1. Where Google Street View is Available

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Map by Google

 

 

2. Countries That Do Not Use the Metric System

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View original post 740 more words

Q + A TIME

Whose world is this?

I love maps and flags. I have always found them intriguing. This meant both were innocently incorporated into my playtime with me being unaware of the economic, political and historical implications these presentations had. Unaware of inaccurate sizings and past borders.

It was probably the bright colours used for the separations that made the world seem inviting, and so in imagination games I would try and picture the way of life there. Or if I wished for the mood to become more logical, my playing would be consumed by lists of countries and capitals, attempts at matching countries to flags and placing countries in their rightful spaces. Flags are more than aesthetically appealing, they have hidden meanings from the past embedded in their colours and the objects they depict.

As time goes on, the borders that were once a complete mystery develop to becoming actualised in ways where you realise relations across countries, continents, and even regions are not as colourful as it once was assumed. There are things that have happened both within and between these places that have been purposefully forgotten. There are also others where it is maintained that “we must never forget!” in a bid to prevent the ills of history reoccurring. Wars. Wipe-outs. The marginalisation of identities. The dehumanisation of communities as a method to gain from their exploitation. Achieved, by reasoning they are lesser and therefore do not matter, or masked as a much-needed helping hand in place for their interests rather than an abuse of their human rights. The lack of praise, respect and acceptance for systems and people that are rural or indigenous. The demonisation of alternative ways of life and culture. The way in which the physical earth is disregarded as crucial so that its importance to the majority in charge is only apparent when it translates as currency. The list could go on and on. 

We will never be on the same page completely because with differences comes a difference in opinion, but as we all exist in it and have our connections to parts, understanding is key. I think it is a good sign when we can look into the implications and the histories behind a flag or a map while appreciating the unfamiliar names and the pretty colours too.

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world love

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Sustainable clothing by Iniy Sanchez. Made using a single thread so that it can be deconstructed once no longer wanted, to make way for something new!

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Must haves for a home at one point in life. Solitary moments spent planning getaways.

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Mappa by Alighiero Boetti.

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“Untitled” (Questions) by Barbara Kruger. 1991.

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BORD-ER. Burak Arikan. 2005.
Portrays restrictions and blurred lines. ‘A nation never is as sharp as its flag.’

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Butterfly wing mosaic.

Butterfly wing mosaic.

Meet the world by Icaro Doria.

Meet the world by Icaro Doria.

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La Haine.

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Pull Up To The Bumper

Vector Portraits by Andrew Bush

LA photographer, Andrew Bush, took the idea of rolling in the passenger seat while absorbing the scenes to a whole new level by attaching a camera to the side of his car. The photos illustrate an interesting balance of recording some drivers who are in their own zone, and a few who are clearly more aware of his presence.

They interest me because it is common to feel shielded in a car, safe and almost invisible. Although you do look out of the window, in some ways what is going on inside the car and the journey you are making is more important than the outside world. The car helps create a bubble. So it is a shock or feels like an invasion at times when you notice people looking in, you can become so engrossed in the bubble you forget people outside of it can still see you and thats what is good about this series. The people who don’t acknowledge Bush are too wrapped up in where they are going or what they are doing, and the people who do, look a bit peeved.

On his website, it is possible for some of the mystery of these journeys to be uncovered as we are given details of where he came across these individuals, the speed they are going, the dates and sometimes funny anecdotes or guesses. The photos were taken travelling around LA, usually at a speed in the range of 50-75 mph, though sometimes much less or motionless altogether. From 1989-97.

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