Saturday Scenes

Wed 29 December 2010

25 December

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:40

The 25th of December is notable for many different holidays and observances.

It is the Catholic Feast Day of St Anastasia of Sirmium. It is the Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the Taiwanese Constitution Day. It was the date of the Malkh-Festival – the birthday of the sun – for the Vainakh people. It is Quaid-e-Azam’s day in Pakistan. And it is the first day of the Cali Fair in Colombia.


It is also the last Saturday of the year and thus the final Saturday Scene collection for 2010. Thank you to all of you who took part in making this wonderful set to end the year:

Take a moment to look at the feeds of our talented photographers:

Let’s start 2011 with a bang! Take a photograph on New Year’s Day and tweet the link @Satscenes with a location.

Wed 22 December 2010

The Coed Butcher

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 22:45

On the 18th of December 1948, Edmund Emil Kemper the Third was born. As a child, he amused himself by stabbing the cat and acting out bizarre sexual rituals with his sisters’ dolls. When he was 15, he shot his grandmother in the head when she asked him not to shoot the birds. When his 72-year-old grandfather arrived home, Edmund Kemper shot him as well, apparently to spare him finding his wife dead. Then he phoned his mother and told her what he had done.

His mother defended him vehemently and after less than 5 years in prison, he was released into her care and his records expunged.

Eight years later, he began murdering female students in California. He abused their bodies in his mother’s home and buried the heads in his mother’s garden. He joked later that his mother “always wanted people to look up to her.” He picked up over 150 hitchhikers and murdered six of them.

Finally in 1973 he attacked his mother in her bed, battering her to death and using her decapitated head as a dart board. After this, he became “discouraged”. He contacted the police and confessed that he had murdered his mother.

Edmund Kemper, known as the Coed Butcher — Time Bomb — Crime Library on

But the officer who took the first call believed it was a prank, says David Everitt in Human Monsters. He suggested the young man call again later. Kemper did so, but once again had a difficult time convincing the person at the other end of the line to take him seriously. Those who knew him believed it was all some practical joke. He continued to place calls until he was able to persuade an officer to go check out his mother’s house.

The other crimes were swiftly discovered and he was found guilty of eight counts of murder. He was held in the cell next to another murderer, John Linley Frazier, and angrily accused the man of stealing his body-dumping sites.

Although various body parts from the victims had been discovered and it was clear there was a killer in the area, Kemper was considered above suspicion until he turned against his mother. So you know … if the holidays get you down and you feel like killing your family? Make sure your mother is on your side. (My son is reading this over my shoulder and asking if you are interested in donating to his therapist fund.)

Moving right along, here are the wonderful Saturday Scenes from all around the world for you:

Shouldn’t you save a photograph of your day-to-day life for posterity? It’s easy!

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url and the location
  4. Bookmark for future descendants to find

I’m looking forward to seeing your photograph in the next edition!

(And be nice to your mothers!)

Wed 15 December 2010

Llywelyn the Last

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:16

On the 11th of December 1282, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd was ambushed and killed during the Battle of Orewin Bridge. Llywelyn was the last prince of Wales as an independent principality before it was conquered by Edward I of England in 1283. After his death, his head was severed and encircled with a ring of ivy, to be carried by a horseman to the Tower of London as a mockery of Merlin’s prophecy that a Welshman would ride, crowned, through the streets of London. This prophecy of a Welshman as King of England was fulfilled in 1485, when Henry Tudor became king.

Llywelyn’s head remained on display at the gates of the Tower of London for at least 15 years. History is silent as to what happened to it from there but I suspect it has something to do with the ravens.

What happened to Llywelyn’s body, on the other hand, remained a mystery for centuries. Edward I would not have allowed the Welsh to have a formal burial for their fallen leader so the body was spirited away.

It wasn’t until the beginning of the 19th century that the body was discovered buried in a stone coffin. The headless corpse is believed to still be resting there … under a pub in a Cardiff council estate.

Last true Welsh prince buried under pub? – Wales News – News – WalesOnline

In the 13th century the site would have been a monastic grange. In later years it would become the home of notorious pirate Sir Henry Morgan, but nowadays it is the site of a reputedly haunted pub on the Llanrumney housing estate.

And exactly 728 years later on the 11th of December 2010, fine photographers from all over the world (including two in Wales!) ran around like headless princes in order to bring you a Saturday Scene. Take a look:

I prophesy that these people will take many more photographs in the future:

Coming up: an end-of-year round-up including the submitters with the most SatScenes in 2010. You’ve got two more Saturdays left to show your dedication to the cause!

It’s easy to take part: simply take a photograph on a Saturday and send the url to @SatScenes along with a location. Follow SatScenes on Twitter to see all the photographs as they arrive and check out the Saturday Scenes list for an introduction to all our recent submitters.

Wed 8 December 2010

Modern Day Mysteries

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:49

On the 4th of December in 1872, the Mary Celeste was discovered drifting with torn sails towards the Straits of Gibraltar. There was no one on board.

The Mary Celeste and the Dei Gratia both took on board cargo at New York and had similar courses planned, through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean. The Mary Celeste took on her cargo (1,701 barrels of commercial alcohol bound for Genoa) and left port on the 5th of November. There were ten souls on board, including the captain’s wife and young daughter. The Dei Gratia departed a week later.

The Dei Gratia had an uneventful journey until the afternoon of 4 December 1872, when the crew sighted the Mary Celeste, which should have reached her destination by now. They could not see any crew sailing the ship, nor were there signs of distress. The chief mate boarded the Mary Celeste and reported that the ship was still seaworthy but appeared to have been abandoned: the lifeboat was missing as were the ship’s papers (excepting the log book), the sextant and the marine chronometer. There was a frayed rope found trailing behind the ship.

The stores held plenty of supplies for the journey and personal possessions were untouched. However, when the cargo was unloaded, nine barrels of the alcohol were empty.

The Story of the “Mary Celeste” by Charles Edey Fay – Google Books

To quote Dr. Cobb: “I think that the cargo of alcohol, having been loaded in cold weather at New York, early in November, and the vessel having crossed the Gulf Stream and being now in comparatively warm weather, there may have been some leakage, and gas may have accumulated in the hold. The Captain having care for his wife and daughter, was probably unjustifiably alarmed and, fearing a fire or an explosion, determined to take his people in the boat away from the vessel until the immediate danger should pass.

There were storms reported in the area. According to Fay, Cobb believed that when the wind picked up, the sails filled and the Mary Celeste gathered speed and turned which caused the rope to fray and break.

“When the tow-rope parted, these people were left in an open boat on the ocean as the brig sailed away from them. The wind that took the vessel away may have caused sea enough to wreck them. Nothing has appeared in all these sixty-seven years to tell us of their end.”

Others, however, have pointed out that the hatch was closed and the crew of the Dei Gratia did not report any unexpected issues in the hold, let alone strong fumes. It will probably always be a mystery.

And there’s another mystery that shares the same date…

On the 4th of December 2010, thirty individuals all decided to take interesting photographs of the everyday world around them and every single one is fascinating.

Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself:

Take a look at the Twitter streams of our contributors and say hello:

Also check out the Saturday Scenes list which includes everyone who has participated this year.

If you’d like to be included, just take a photograph on a Saturday and send the link to @SatScenes with your location. We’d love to see what you see!

For high quality, completely obligation-free nagging, DM SatScenes with your time zone and preferred nag-time and I’ll drop you a line every Saturday. Never miss a Saturday Scene opportunity again!

Thu 2 December 2010

Barlaam and Josaphat

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:43

The 27th of November is the Christian Feast Day of Barlaam and Josaphat.

Barlaam and Iosaph form the basis of a collection of parables which was adapted to a Christian epic in the 10th century. It became known as Barlaam and Josaphat in Western Europe after its translation into Latin in 1048.

The story is substantially as follows: Many inhabitants of India had been converted by the Apostle St. Thomas and were leading Christian lives. In the third or fourth century King Abenner (Avenier) persecuted the Church. The astrologers had foretold that his son Josaphat would one day become a Christian. To prevent this the prince was kept in close confinement. But, in spite of all precautions, Barlaam, a hermit of Senaar, met him and brought him to the true Faith. Abenner tried his best to pervert Josaphat, but, not succeeding, he shared the government with him. Later Abenner himself became a Christian, and, abdicating the throne, became a hermit. Josaphat governed alone for a time, then resigned, went into the desert, found his former teacher Barlaam, and with him spent his remaining years in holiness. Years after their death, the bodies were brought to India and their grave became renowned by miracles. Barlaam and Josaphat found their way into the Roman Martyrology (27 November), and into the Greek calendar (26 August). Vincent of Beauvais, in the thirteenth century, had given the story in his “Speculum Historiale”. It is also found in an abbreviated form in the “Golden Legend” of Jacobus de Voragine of the same century.

The Catholic Forum has The Golden Legend available online in English: The Golden Legend: The Story of Barlaam and Josaphat.

The interesting thing about this collection is that Wilfred Cantwell Smith traced the roots to a Sanskrit Mahayana Buddist text which was known in Muslim Baghdad in the 8th century as Kitab Bilawhar wa-Yudasaf in Arabic. This Christianised adaptation a few hundred years later is based on extracts of Buddha’s life and his parables.

Barlaam and Josaphat were adopted as unofficial saints with 27th of November as their feast day … thus making Buddha a saint of the Christian Church.

I think that’s kinda neat.

The 27th of November is also a great day for photography. On the 27th of November 2010, these wonderful people took a break from feasting and photographed the wonders in the world around them:

I wonder what their Twitterstreams will look like after centuries of transcriptions and translations:

It’s easy to take part: simply take a photograph on a Saturday and send the link to @SatScenes to be included.

NEW: For high quality, completely obligation-free nagging, DM SatScenes with your time zone and preferred nag-time and I’ll drop you a line every Saturday. Never miss a Saturday Scene opportunity again!

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