Links, Curiosities & Mixed Wonders – 19

Boy, am I bored. Luckily, there’s a new collection of links on Bizzarro Bazar.” (Photo: Tim Walker)

Forget icecream: to fight the heat, nothing better than some icy and chilling reads, directly from my (mortuary) freezer!

  • James Hirst (1738-1829) used to ride on a bull he had trained; he kept foxes and bears as pets; he built a wicker carriage so large that it contained a double bed and an entire wine cellar; he installed a sail on his cart, so as to navigate on land, but at the first road bend he ended up flying through a tailor’s window; he saved himself from a duel to the death by placing a dummy in his place; he received dozens of garters from English noblewomen in exchange for the privilege of standing inside his self-constructed eccentric coffin; he refused an invitation from the King because he was “too busy” teaching an otter the art of fishing. (I, on the other hand, have vacuumed the house today.)
  • Jason Shulman uses very long exposures to photograph entire films. The result is spectacular: a one-image “summary” of the movie, 130,000 frames compressed in a single shot. “Each of these photographs — says Shulman — is the genetic code of a film, its visual DNA“. And it is fascinating to recognize the contours of some recurring shots (whose imprint is therefore less blurry): the windows of the van in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the static scenic desing in Méliès movies, the bokeh street lights of Taxi Driver. And I personally never thought about it, but there must be so many close-ups of Linda Lovelace in Deep Throat, in order to make that ghostly face appear… (Thanks, Eliana!)

  • Since we’re talking about photography, take a look at Giovanni Bortolani’s manipulations. In his Fake Too Fake series he has some fun slicing up and reassembling the body of beautiful male and female models, as in the example above. The aesthetics of fashion photography meets the butcher counter, with surreal and disturbing results.
  • It’s still taboo to talk about female masturbation: so let’s talk about it.
    A nice article on L’Indiscreto [sorry, Italian only] recounts the history of female auto-eroticism, a practice once considered pathological, and today hailed as a therapy. But, still, you can’t talk about it.
  • While we’re at it, why not re-watch that nice Disney cartoon about menstruation?
  • I thought I’d found the perfect summer gadget, but it turns out it’s out of stock everywhere. So no beach for me this year. (Thanks, Marileda!)


  • You return to your native village, but discover that everyone has left or died. So what do you do to make this ghost town less creepy? Easy: you start making life-size rag dolls, and place them standing motionless like scarecrows in the fields, you place them on benches, fill the empty classrooms, you position them as if they were waiting for a bus that’ll never come. Oh, and you give these puppets the faces of all the dead people from the village. Um. Ms. Ayano Tsukimi is so lovely, mind you, and her loneliness is very touching, but I haven’t decided yet whether her work is really “cheerful” and poetic, as some say, or rather grotesque and disturbing. You decide.
  • If you can readItalian well, there is a beautiful and fascinating study by Giuditta Failli on the irruption of the Marvelous in medieval culture starting from the 12th century: lots of monsters, skeleton armies, apparitions of demons and ghosts. Here is the first part and the second part. (Thanks, Pasifae!)

  • What is this strange pattern above? It is the demonstration that you can always think outside the box.
    Welcome to the world of heterodox musical notations.
  • But then again music is supposed to be playful, experimental, some kind of alchemy in the true sense of the term — it’s all about using the elements of the world in order to transcend them, through the manipulation and fusion of their sounds. Here’s another great nonconformist, Hermeto Pascoal, who in this video is intent on playing a freaking lagoon.
  • I am going to seek a great perhaps“, said François Rabelais as he laid dying.
    Now I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark“, Thomas Hobbes whispered.
    Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!” Karl Marx muttered in his last breath.
    Have you prepared your grand, romantic, memorable last words? Well, too bad that you probably won’t get to say them. Here is an interesting article on what people really say while they’re dying, and why it might be important to study how we communicate during our last moments.
  • Speaking of last words, my favorite ones must be those pronounced by John Sedgwick on May 9, 1864 during the Battle of Spotsylvania. The heroic general urged his soldiers not to retreat: “Why are you dodging like this? They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” Soon after he had said this, a bullet reached him under his left eye, killing him on the spot.

Sedgwick: 0 – Karma: 1.

  • Let’s get this party started!” These cheerful and jovial gentlemen who, with admirable enthusiasm, pop their eyes out of their sockets with knives, are celebrating the Urs festival, an event held every year at Ajmer in Rajasthan to commemorate the death of Sufi master Moʿinoddin Cishti. You can find more photos of this merry custom in this article.
  • And finally here is a really wonderful short film, recommended by my friend Ferdinando Buscema. Enjoy it, because it is the summary of all that is beautiful in mankind: our ability to search for meaning in little things, through work and creation, and the will to recognize the universal even in the humblest, most ordinary objects.


Ultime parole

Ecco una lista delle ultime parole profferite da alcuni condannati a morte, nel momento dell’esecuzione, nello stato del Texas:

Go ahead? – Avanti.

Nothing I can say can change the past. – Nulla di ciò che dirò può cambiare il passato.

I done lost my voice. – Ho perso la voce.

I would like to say goodbye. – Vorrei dire addio.

My heart goes is going ba bump ba bump ba bump. – Il mio cuore sta facendo pu-pum, pu-pum, pu-pum.

Is the mike on? – Il microfono è acceso?

I don’t have anything to say. I am just sorry about what I did. – Non ho niente da dire. Mi dispiace soltanto per ciò che ho fatto.

I am nervous and it is hard to put my thoughts together. Sometimes you don’t know what to say. – Sono nervoso, ed è difficile mettere due parole in fila. Alle volte non sai cosa dire.

Man, there is a lot of people there. – Caspita, c’è un sacco di gente qui.

I have come here today to die, not make speeches. – Sono venuto qui oggi per morire, non per tenere comizi.

Where’s Mr. Marino’s mother? Did you get my letter? – Dov’è la madre di Mr. Marino? Ha ricevuto la mia lettera?

I want to ask if it is in your heart to forgive me. You don’t have to. – Voglio chiedervi se nel vostro cuore potete perdonarmi. Non siete costretti a farlo.

I wish I could die more than once to tell you how sorry I am. – Vorrei poter morire più di una volta per dirvi quanto mi dispiace.

Could you please tell that lady right there – can I see her? She is not looking at me – I want you to understand something, hold no animosity toward me. I want you to understand. Please forgive me. – Potete dire a quella signora là – riesco a vederla? Non mi sta guardando . Voglio che capiate questo, non mi portate rancore. Voglio che capiate. Per favore, perdonatemi.

I don’t think the world will be a better or safer place without me. – Non credo che il mondo sarà migliore o più sicuro senza di me.

I am sorry. – Mi dispiace.

I want to tell my mom that I love her. – Voglio dire a mia madre che le voglio bene.

I caused her so much pain and my family and stuff. I hurt for the fact that they are going to be hurting . – Le ho causato così tanto dolore, e alla mia famiglia, e tutto il resto. Mi fa male il fatto che soffriranno.

I am taking it like a man. – Io la prendo come un vero uomo.

Kick the tires and light the fire. I am going home. – Basta chiacchiere, e accendi il fuoco. Sto per tornare a casa.

They may execute me but they can’t punish me because they can’t execute an innocent man. – Possono uccidermi ma non possono punirmi perché non possono mandare a morte un innocente.

I couldn’t do a life sentence. – Non sopporterei un ergastolo.

I said I was going to tell a joke. Death has set me free. That’s the biggest joke. – Avevo detto che avrei raccontato una barzelletta. La morte mi ha liberato. Questa è la barzelletta migliore.

To my sweet Claudia, I love you. – Alla mia dolce Claudia, ti amo.

Cathy, you know I never meant to hurt you. – Cathy, sai che non ho mai voluto farti soffrire.

I love you, Irene. – Ti amo, Irene.

Let my son know I love him. – Dite a mio figlio che gli voglio bene.

Tell everyone I got full on chicken and pork chops. – Dite a tutti che mi sono riempito di pollo e costole di maiale.

I appreciate the hospitality that you guys have shown me and the respect, and the last meal was really good. – Apprezzo l’ospitalità che mi avete dimostrato, e l’ultimo pranzo era davvero buono.

The reason it took them so long is because they couldn’t find a vein. You know how I hate needles… Tell the guys on Death Row that I’m not wearing a diaper. – Il motivo per cui ci hanno messo  tanto è che non trovavano una vena. Sapete quanto odio gli aghi… Dite ai ragazzi del Braccio della Morte che non indosso il pannolino.

Lord, I lift your name on high. – O Signore, invoco il tuo nome.

From Allah we came and to Allah we shall return. – Da Allah veniamo e ad Allah ritorneremo.

For everybody incarcerated, keep your heads up. – Per chiunque sia incarcerato, levate la testa.

Death row is full of isolated hearts and suppressed minds. – Il Braccio dlela Morte è pieno di cuori isolati e di menti soppresse.

Mistakes are made, but with God all things are possible. – Gli errori si commettono, ma attraverso Dio tutto è possibile.

I am responsible for them losing their mother, their father and their grandmother. I never meant for them to be taken. I am sorry for what I did. – Io sono responsabile del fatto che loro non abbiano più una madre, un padre o una nonna. Non ho mai voluto questo. Mi dispiace per quello che ho fatto.

I can’t take it back. – Non posso tornare indietro.

Lord Jesus forgive of my sins. Please forgive me for the sins that I can remember. – Il Signore Gesù mi perdoni i miei peccati.  Vi prego perdonatemi per tutti i peccati che riesco a ricordare.

All my life I have been locked up. – Per tutta la mia vita sono stato imprigionato.

Give me my rights. Give me my rights. Give me my rights. Give me my life back. – Datemi i miei diritti. Datemi i miei diritti. Datemi i miei diritti.  Datemi indietro la mia vita.

I am tired. – Sono stanco.

I deserve this. – Me lo merito.

A life for a life. – Una vita per una vita.

It’s my hour. It’s my hour. – È la mia ora. È la mia ora.

I’m ready, Warden. – Sono pronto, Guardiano.

Scoperto via New York Times.