Saturday Scenes

Wed 23 February 2011

Matters of the Heart

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:43

On the 19th of February in 1859, Daniel Edgar Sickles was acquitted of murder on the grounds of temporary insanity. It was the first time this defense had been successfully used in the US. Sickles was an American politician who was surrounded by controversy and scandal, starting with his marriage to Teresa Bagioli when she was 16 and he was 33. The New York State Assembly criticised him for his relationship with prostitute Fanny White. He reportedly took the prostitute with him to England (leaving Teresa behind) and presented her to Queen Victoria under a false name.

Meanwhile, Teresa took up with the district attorney Philip Barton Key, the son of Francis Scott Key who composed the “Star Spangled Banner”. Although Sickles approved of the friendship, he became outraged when he received a “poison pen letter” informing him of Teresa’s affair with Key. Teresa confessed that she had been secretly meeting him in a house on 5th Street. The following day, Sickles shot his wife’s lover in Lafayette Park across the street from their home, where Key was apparently signalling Teresa with a handkerchief.

His lawyer put forward that Sickles had the right to defend his property, that it was justifiable homicide and that Sickles had been temporarily driven insane by his wife’s detailed confession. The defense was successful.

AmericanHeritage.com / A HUSBAND’S REVENGE

“There can be no excuse for the adulterer. He commits a three-fold crime: a crime against the woman whom he misleads, a crime against the man whom he dishonors, a crime against society which he disorganizes… In these latter days experience proves that in all such cases society will justify the infliction of the last penalty by the husband. Whatever may have been the character of Mr. Sickles, there is not a jury in the United States or in Europe which would convict him even of manslaughter. In the face of so decided a public sentiment, is it worth while to argue further on the question?”

Harper’s Weekly, March 12, 1859, p. 162

The local newspapers proclaimed that Sickles was not a criminal, he was a hero. Key, who was a known ladies man could no longer mislead the wives of Washington and Sickles was right to challenge his enemy.

The jury agreed and Sickles was acquitted. Sickles forgave Teresa, much to the dismay of the public and he was denounced by the newspapers who had proclaimed him an American hero. Their reconciliation was considered outrageous where the murder and acquittal were not.

Meanwhile, on the 19th of February 2011, these great photographs were taken by SatScene submitters all over the world.

You’d have to be crazy to shoot them down!

These are the Twitter users who have confessed to taking the photographs:

And hey you, yes you!

Take a photograph on Saturday!

(To be included in Saturday Scenes, just send an @reply to SatScenes with a link to the photo and the location. We’d love to see your corner of the world!)

Wed 16 February 2011

Falling Stars

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:02

On the 12th of February in 1947, one of the largest meteor showers in recent history took place in a small mountain range called the Sikhote-Alin.

This mountain range in the Russian Far East is “one of the most extraordinary temperate zones in the world” and the host to reindeer, bears, boars, Manchurian moose, leopards and tigers. Apparently, wolves are scarce because the tigers keep killing them to get rid of competition.

On the 12th of February in an isolated area of Sikhote-Alin, a large meteorite streaked across the sky, brighter than the sun and visible for miles around. It exploded at around 5 km altitude and a hundred tons of of meteorite iron crashed to the ground. The site is the largest crater field known, with over 106 impact craters. The largest crater is 28m in diameter and 6m deep.

Eyewitness Korney Shvets described the impact.

Sikhote-Alin Revisited

“I saw blue flame sparkling in the sky because the meteorite was burning, and there were little fires trailing behind the main body. The windows of the bakery where I was working with my mother and brother trembled. A metal door of the oven flew open, and several hot charcoals fell out onto the floor. I was only 17 at the time, and I was scared because we thought it was an atomic bomb from the Americans. It was soon after the bomb fell on Hiroshima.”

The fragments of the meteorites are scattered, some are in Russian museums, others have been found on the Russian market (sold illegally) for up to eight dollars a gram. It is believed that there are still some 70 tons of meteorite iron buried in the earth at the crash site.

And on 12th of February in 2011 these twenty-seven sexy people sent gorgeous photographs like blazing meteors through the Twittersphere.

I’m not exaggerating, take a look!

These are the rock-solid people who submitted their scenes:

We want to see MORE photographs of more places!

Simply take a photograph on Saturday and tweet the url to @SatScenes to be included.

Follow SatScenes for more details and you’ll never miss another edition.

Wed 9 February 2011

Runebergintorttu for Everyone!

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:55

On the 5th of February in 1804, Johan Ludvig Runeberg was born in Jakobstad, Kingdom of Sweden. He died in 1877 in Porvoo, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire. The Republic of Finland declared independence after his death, in 1917.

Runeberg wrote romantic poetry about ordinary people, farmers and soldiers, and in 1860 he wrote the poem upon which the Finnish national anthem is based.

So although Runeberg never lived in Finland as we know it today and didn’t learn to speak Finnish until he was an adult (he wrote in Swedish), he is the national poet of Finland. His birthday is celebrated every year with runebergintorttu (Runeberg’s Tarts), a small almond cake with raspberry jam and sugar.

In Finland, every bakery will have these single-portion cakes available for celebration. But just in case you are not in Finland, I have a recipe for making them at home.

Runeberg’s tarts are made with a special cylindrical mould but I am reliably informed that it is reasonable — if not quite traditional — to make these in a muffin tin and serve them upside down. However, enjoying the cakes with a sip of liqueur or rum is absolutely required. If you click through to Solange’s blog, you’ll find the recipe is accompanied by lovely photographs:

Le Petit Cuisinier: Runeberg’s tarts

Ingredients:
makes about 18
300g butter
4 dl dark muscovado sugar
4 eggs
5 dl wheat flour
1 dl minced almonds
16 crushed digestive cookies
3 tsp baking powder
2 dl cream
2 tsp cardamom
2 drops bitter almond extract

For the decoration:
raspberry jam or marmalade
water
powdered sugar

1. Heat the oven to 200°C.
2. Beat the sugar with melted butter into a foam, add eggs individually.
3. Mix together the dry ingredients, add cream and combine with the sugar-egg-butter mixture. Add bitter almond extract, mix well.
4. Divide into about 18 muffin cups or use silicone moulds like I did. Fill 2/3 of the cups, so the dough doesn’t rise over the edges.
5. Bake in the oven for about 15-18 minutes, try with a stick if the tarts are ready. Remove from the oven.
6. Let the tarts cool down, remove from the mould and turn over, put on a plate. Decorate the tarts with raspberry jam and icing made from powdered sugar and water. ENJOY!

Over two hundred years after Johan Ludvig Runeberg was born, on the 5th of February in 2011, people from all over the world took part in Saturday Scenes!

We have photographs of scenes spread across the globe, including England, the USA, Spain, Israel, Wales, the Philippines, Switzerland and Dubai:

These are the people who deserve extra cake:

It’s easy to take part!

1) Take a photo on a Saturday and upload it to a site like Flickr or Twitpic
2) Twitter the url for your photograph to @SatScenes
3) Watch for the next post on Twitter Blog to see a great set of all the photographs together.

I’m looking forward to seeing your scenes!

Thu 3 February 2011

Lord, Won’t You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 00:02

On the 29th of January in 1886, Karl Friedrich Benz was granted a patent for his petrol fuelled automobile.

Karl Benz rode his bicycle to University every day and began daydreaming about a vehicle for the tedious journey. Twenty years later, working with the owners of a bicycle repair shop, Benz began to design this horseless carriage, using three wire wheels and a four-stroke engine.

The Benz Patent Motorwagen was first driven in Mannheim (which is where I’m from!) and Benz began selling it to the public in July of the same year. By 1893, the Benz Velo was the world’s first inexpensive, mass-produced car. Drivers purchased petrol from pharmacies who sold it in small amounts as a cleaning product. The Motorwagen did not have gears and could not climb hills unaided.

Benz Patent-Motorwagen – Wikipedia

Bertha Benz, married to Karl, chose to publicize the Patent-Motorwagen in a unique manner—she took the Patent-Motorwagen No. 3, supposedly without her husband’s knowledge, and drove it on the first long-distance automobile trip to demonstrate its feasibility as a means to travel long distances.

That trip occurred in early August 1888, as the entrepreneurial lady took her sons Eugen and Richard, fifteen and fourteen years old, on a ride from Mannheim through Heidelberg, and Wiesloch, to her hometown of Pforzheim.

As well as being the driver, Benz acted as mechanic on the drive, cleaning the carburettor with her hat pin and using a garter to insulate a wire. She refueled at the local pharmacy in Wiesloch and as the brakes wore down, Benz asked a local shoemaker to nail leather on the brake blocks, in doing so, inventing brake lining on the way.

By 1903, Benz’s designs were already considered outdated: Gottlieb Daimler had taken the four-stroke engine a step further and patented a petrol engine which is considered the prototype for the modern engine still in use.

On the 29th of January in 2011, only 125 years later, a number of people were driven to take a photograph so that we could share scenes from Saturdays all over the world.

Driven, get it? Hah!

OK, onwards:

We have a great selection of submitters both old and new. Encourage one another!

Are you on Twitter? Then it’s easy to take part in Saturday Scenes!

1) Take a photo on a Saturday and upload it to a site like Flickr or Twitpic
2) Twitter the url for your photograph to @SatScenes
3) Watch for the next post on Twitter Blog to see a great set of all the photographs together.

I’m looking forward to seeing your scenes!

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