Saturday Scenes

Thu 25 July 2013

Saint of the Androgynous

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:48

The 20th of July is the Feast Day for Wilgefortis, the bearded woman. Wilgefortis was for a time considered the patron saint of “relief from tribulations,” particularly by women who wish to be liberated from their husbands.

The story goes that the teenaged girl prayed to God to disfigure her so that her father would not force her to marry a pagan prince. She took a vow of virginity and God answered her prayers by causing a full beard to grow on her chin. Her father responded by having her crucified.

However, the story of Wilgefortis was debunked in the 16th century as pure fantasy. The story, it seems, started with simple folk trying to understand why someone with a beard was wearing a dress:

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Wilgefortis

The legend is not a Christian adaptation of the Hermaphroditus of Greek mythology or of other androgynous myths of pagan antiquity, as it cannot be traced back further than the fifteenth century. It rather originated from a misinterpretation of the famous “Volto Santo” of Lucca, a representation of the crucified Saviour, clothed in a long tunic, His eyes wide open, His long hair falling over His shoulders, and His head covered with a crown. In the early Middle Ages it was common to represent Christ on the cross clothed in a long tunic, and wearing a royal crown; but since the eleventh century this practice has been discontinued. Thus it happened that copies of the “Volto Santo” of Lucca, spread by pilgrims and merchants in various parts of Europe, were no longer recognized as representations of the crucified Saviour, but came to be looked upon as pictures of a woman who had suffered martyrdom.

She was officially removed from the Church Calender in 1969, for good reason but somehow disappointing, nevertheless. These days, women wishing to be liberated from their husbands would better look to Saint Rita of Cascia, the saint of difficult marriages and impossible causes.

Speaking of impossible causes, on the 20th of June in 2013, we tried to take stunning photographs from all over the world. Look how close we came to succeeding:

And here are the sainted souls that posted them:

Why don’t you join us? It’s easy:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph to a friendly photo-hosting site
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url and location

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

Fri 19 July 2013

Dirigibles, Zeppelins and Blimps

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:45

On the 13th of July in 1919, the first airship return crossing of the Atlantic was completed by R34, which landed in Norfolk, England. This class of airships was known as the Pulham Pigs but the R34, as large as a contemporary “Dreadnought” battleship, was nicknamed “Tiny”.

On the 1st of July, the ship was ready to start its northern coastal route to America, which at the time had no experience of a rigid airship. The trip was beset with problems, including the unexpected discovery of stow-aways.

The main upset occurred at 2.00pm on the first day. It was discovered that a stowaway had managed to creep on board the ship, and hide up in-between the girders and the gasbags inside the hull of the ship. Before starting on the voyage, it was decided that some of the members of the crew, including W.W. Ballantyne , must be left behind, the numbers being limited of necessity to thirty on the voyage. Two hours before the flight, William Ballantyne managed to climb back on board the ship, and hid himself in the darkness of the ship. He had also carried with him, the crews’ mascot, a small tabby kitten called “Whoopsie”. Both of these stowaways had hidden themselves. But the cramped conditions and the fact that the smell of the gas had made Ballantyne nauseous, made him give up and come out of hiding.

The disheveled stowaway was brought in front of Major Scott and Maitland, and it was decided that there was actually nothing they could do about it. It was agreed that had they been over land then Ballantyne would have been put overboard by parachute, but as the next landfall was in fact America, he was to stay on board.

They reached Long Island, New York after 108 hours flying time. After three days rest (including hot showers and formal functions), the crew took the ship home. The journey took three days, three hours and three minutes, with the ship travelling 7,420 miles at an average speed of 43 mph.

Airman George Graham accepted responsibility for the kitten and she worked her passage throughout the rest of the voyage.

Meanwhile, on the 13th of July in 2013, SatScene participants proved they weren’t just full of hot air by submitting the following photographs:

And here are the photographers who took them:

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 the link to @SatScenes with the location
  4. Leave URL for future descendants to find

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

Fri 12 July 2013

Moving to Mars

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:47

On the 6th of July in 1997, a robot escaped was freed from the space probe and began to explore the planet. Sojourner was a six-wheeled solar-powered rover designed to explore Mars for one week, sending back images of the Martian surface. The tiny robot, weighing 22 lbs (10kg) was the first man-made craft to travel over the surface of another planet.

BBC ON THIS DAY | 6 | 1997: Mars buggy starts exploring Red Planet

The problem began when a partially-deflated airbag blocked Sojourner’s way out of Pathfinder. Then the computers on board the probe and the rover failed to talk to each other.

Finally, at 0646 BST (0546 GMT) there was a breakthrough.

Flight director Chris Salvo announced to the waiting team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California: “Six wheels on the ground.”

Sojourner explored Mars for nearly three months, covering 50,000 square yards (42,000 square metres) of territory.

On the 6th of July in 2013, thousands of square yards / metres of territory on planet Earth were covered by the collaborative efforts of SatSceners all over the world:

And these are the star-crossed explorers who took them:

We would all love to see more photographs of more places! Everyone is welcome. All you have to do is take a photograph on Saturday and tweet it to @SatScenes with the location.

Thu 4 July 2013

Squizzy Gangster

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:30

On the 29th of June in 1888, Joseph Leslie Theodore Taylor was born in Brighton (Victoria, Australia). The grandious name didn’t stick and at a young age, he received the nickname of Squizzy. When he was 16, he was arrested for “insulting behaviour” but the charges were dropped. At 17 he received his first conviction, for the theft of a “fly front grey melton cloth overcoat.” This was the start of a criminal career that lead to him becoming an “overlord” of the Melbourne underworld.

He was involved in robbery, illegal gambling and “sly grog”, with a reputation for foolproof schemes and an uncanny ability to avoid convictions for his crimes.

Squizzy Taylor – AustralianCrimes.com

The vendetta had its origins in a jewellery store robbery in 1918. It resulted in a haul of several thousand pounds worth of diamond rings, one third of which went to Squizzy Taylor for masterminding the job. A faction of the Taylor gang based in Fitzroy, dissatisfied with the division of loot from a series of robberies including this latest haul, reacted violently. Soon open warfare developed.
The following year Squizzy’s mistress, Dolly Grey, had her diamond rings lifted from her fingers as she lay in a drunken stupor. Not surprisingly Squizzy was furious. One Ted Whiting was marked down for death, as the culprit behind the act, but attempts on his life all failed.

This began an age of vendettas and murders. However, it was almost ten years later before someone finally got the upper hand. Squizzy Taylor was gunned down at age 43 under circumstances that have never been completely explained.

Meanwhile, on the 29th of June in 2013, these great photographs were masterminded by high profile Saturday Scene shooters:

And here’s the excellent (and completely above-board!) members of our Twitter gang:

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 the link to @SatScenes with the location
  4. Leave URL for future descendants to find

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

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