Making the Best of the Situation
Heine Braeck, 33, from Sarpsborg, Norway, has been without a right arm since he lost it during a freak accident when he was 13. Now he has decided to make the stump look like a dolpin’s head with the help of Bulgarian tattooist Valio Ska.
(Source: The Huffington Post)
Spectacular Display of the Northern Lights in Norway
It is easy to see why our ancestors were in awe of this magisterial display. Cowering lest they be sucked into the skies, they imagined that what they were seeing were the spirits of the dead; they saw warriors with burning swords, shoals of shimmering fish, the reflections of departed maidens. They felt it was dangerous to be outside.
Curious History: The World’s Longest and Shortest Named Cities
The second longest geographical name that is accepted in the world is “Taumatawhakatangihangak oauauotamateaturipukaka pikimaungahoronukupokaiwhe nua kitanatahu” (85 letters) which is a hill in New Zealand – it is a maori phrase which translates to “place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as land-eater, played his flute to his loved one”. It was the longest until recently (though the Guinness Book of Records still regards it as the longest).
A city in Thailand is called Krung thep maha nakorn amorn ratana kosinmahintar ayutthay amaha dilok phop noppa ratrajathani burirom udom rajaniwesmahasat harn amorn phimarn avatarn sathit sakkattiya visanukamprasit (163 letters). This translates to “The land of angels, the great city of immortality, of devine gems, the great angelic land unconquerable land of nine nobel gems, the royal city, a pleasant capital place of the Royal Palace, eternal land of angels and reincarnated spirits predestined and created by the highest Devas.”
The shortest named city is simply “Å” it is located in both Sweden and Norway. In Scandinavian languages, “Å” means “river”. The image above is one of the newly replaced road signs for the area – they are frequently stolen for their novelty value.
The Scream, 1895
Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863–1944)
Curious History: The extreme familiarity of this image today makes it hard to realize how shocking it and other works by Munch were when they were created slightly over a hundred years ago. Munch’s art represented his own emotions, mostly the darker ones of fear, dread, loneliness, and sexual longing, with extraordinary expressiveness. The screaming figure personifies existential horror. A precursor of this image is a drawing of a man (Munch himself) on a similar bridge, with a blood-red sky above. A text accompanying this drawing states:
“I walked with two friends. Then the sun sank. Suddenly the sky turned as red as blood … My friends walked on, and I was left alone, trembling with fear. I felt as if all nature were filled with one mighty unending shriek.”