Elizabeth Báthory is a Hungarian countess who purportedly tortured and murdered hundreds of young women in the 16th and 17th centuries. She is one of the most infamous figures in history. Her crimes caused her to become a legendary and feared figure. Even after the legends have been lifted, her crimes still seem unimaginable.
Báthory was born in 1560 to a well-established family. Her family had produced many powerful people in her time, including the Kings of Transylvania and Poland. She was married off for political reasons to Count Ferencz Nadasdy. Elizabeth’s interest in torture began when she realized there were torture devices that were kept in the castle. She watched her husband torture prisoners on these claw-like pincers (resembling an iron maiden).
After the death of her husband, Elizabeth feared that age would take away her beauty. Infuriated, she struck one of her servant girls so hard that some blood dripped from her face onto Elizabeth’s hand making her believe that the blood that fell on her made her skin look younger. Till that day, Elizabeth Báthory killed many peasant women, bathing in their blood.
The influence of The Blood Countess in popular culture has been notable from the 18th century to the present day. Since her death, various myths and legends surrounding her story have preserved her as a prominent figure in folklore, literature, music, film, games and toys (the Queen in Snow White or Countess Dracula).
Shunga = bunga bunga!
Kawanabe Kyōsai, Comic Shunga Painting, c 1871-1889, ink and color on paper. Isabel Goldman collection, on view at The British Museum until 5 February 2014
wow. I don’t usually reblog photography but this is meaningful and really hits you.
The Loneliest Whale in the World.
In 2004, The New York Times wrote an article about the loneliest whale in the world. Scientists have been tracking her since 1992 and they discovered the problem:
She isn’t like any other baleen whale. Unlike all other whales, she doesn’t have friends. She doesn’t have a family. She doesn’t belong to any tribe, pack or gang. She doesn’t have a lover. She never had one. Her songs come in groups of two to six calls, lasting for five to six seconds each. But her voice is unlike any other baleen whale. It is unique—while the rest of her kind communicate between 12 and 25hz, she sings at 52hz. You see, that’s precisely the problem. No other whales can hear her. Every one of her desperate calls to communicate remains unanswered. Each cry ignored. And, with every lonely song, she becomes sadder and more frustrated, her notes going deeper in despair as the years go by.
Just imagine that massive mammal, floating alone and singing—too big to connect with any of the beings it passes, feeling paradoxically small in the vast stretches of empty, open ocean.