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Piercings

February 21, 2019

Often an initiation rite or to demonstrate a hierarchy within ethnic groups, piercings have been traveling through time. There are  many types of piercings, nose, ears, navel, ….

Piercings around the world

Straight to the pyramids to discover the origin of navel piercing. An ornament intended only for Pharaohs and royal families.

Piercing comes to us from tribal origins like tattooing and scarification. In many tribes these practices were used for purely aesthetic reasons or for rituals to affirm their belonging to a particular tribe, as well as their hierarchical position.

Nose: There are 2 piercings on the nose. Coming from the religious and cultural practices of the indigenous tribes of America and India, it was common to see this piercing among men and women who wore it as a religious symbol and to represent their civil status. Nowadays, it is common in the faces of recognized artists and people who wear it for style or to be fashionable.

  • Nosetril : Indian and Pakistani women are known for their pierced nostrils. In the Amazon, there are also men, especially in the Cashinawa tribe, carrying feathers in their noses. It was mainly reserved for the upper castes. It arrived in Europe during the hippy years, when the cool baba came to seek a new spirituality in Goa or elsewhere.

  • Septum: This piercing is performed in the central gosling of the nose. In New Guinea, the Papuans wore bone or wooden jewellery. A ring or horseshoe can be placed on it.

Lips: The entire lip contour can be devotional. Some places have special names. for African tribes, lip piercing was a way of imitating their Gods, so the implementation of these was exaggerated. They are worn in several shapes: in the middle of the lip, on one side or underneath it.

Labret (lower lip): The Eskimos sometimes wore a bone jewel under the lower lip. The same practice is found among some African and Amazonian tribes, but with wooden jewellery. Some tribes pierce their lower lip and enlarge the hole to insert a wooden tray.

Madonna: This piercing is done above the lip to give the illusion of a fly.

Medusa: This piercing is done from the lip above the nose.

Tongue: This practice is said to be inspired by a Mayan ritual in Central and South America. In the days of the Aztecs and the Mayans, priests pierced their tongues to communicate with the gods. It’s also symbol for the pacts and communications with the Gods of the indigenous Mesoamerican and North American tribes. They were the first to wear them here and once the tongue was pierced, blood was used to perform the rituals. Today, wearing a tongue piercing has a sexual connotation, since it represents sensuality and has a stimulating effect during intimate intercourse.

Ear: Since the dawn of humanity, women and men have pierced their earlobes. In the majority of primitive tribes, the holes are gradually widened by the wearing of jewellery of ever-increasing diameter. There are also cases of cartilage piercing, especially among the Massais in Africa. It is also possible to pierce all the folds of the ear. It was also commonly  worn by sailors. This piercing was supposed to improve vision by passing through a meridian energy point. (It hasn’t been proven!)

Belly button: According to Doug Malloy, one of the precursors of piercing in the USA, the wearing of jewellery on a belly button would go back to ancient Egypt. This information has not been confirmed. On the other hand, he would have discovered this practice in Hawaii at the beginning of the 20th century. It is the most used and preferred piercing for women, this piercing expresses the sensuality and beauty of the woman.

Nipple: Still according to Doug Malloy, nipple piercing is thought to have its origins in the early Christian era in some Roman legionaries. This practice also appeared to be in effect in Queen Victoria’s court. It also comes from Central America, where the population used it during the rite of passage as an adult.

Arcade piercing: despite its popularity among men, women also wear them. We pierce our arches vertically, horizontally and diagonally. It is also considered a symbol of revolt, freedom and trust. But I didn’t find any tribal origins.

The use of this accessory dates back to the time of ancient civilizations, such as the Mayans and Aztecs, who used it to perform religious practices to honour and thank their Gods.                             The use and meaning of piercings can be related to religious, cultural or simply fashion, the latter being the most common. The current influence and popularity of piercings has aroused the interest of many people to adopt them as a decorative symbol. Now piercing has become a fashion that too often is worn by individuals without real traits of character; for others piercing is equivalent to something frightening.

As you can see, piercing has a valuable history in its use, so if you want to wear one, it is recommended to take into account the chosen body part and its meaning.

Clara.

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If we were not human

February 12, 2019

In  this particular article, you will find something new compared to other types of blog. You already had one article presenting the blog’s promotion of the year but I found great the idea that you could learn some more about each of us. If you want to, you just have to read. Enjoy !

                            food   ;    place   ;   star   ;      color   ;   music     ;      word   ;   animal

Clara :            pesto  ;  Italy ; De Niro’s wife ;  black   ; darling nikki ;  pédiluve ;  cat

Lauriane : fajitas ;  Amsterdam ; Brad Cooper ; blue ; baby I’m yours ; saperlipopette ; cat

Marie-Amélie : carbonara ; St-Sebastian ; Anne Hathaway ; blue ; wait ; roundabout ; marmot

Dimitri   :   caviar ;  Tchernobyl ; Lénine ;  red ;  USSR anthem ; kalachnikov ; bear

Julie :          maki ;   Tarragone ;  Shailene Woodley ; blue ; éternelle ;  bow ;   wolf

Emma :  pasta bolognese ; Italy ; Billie Eilish ; purple ; bellyache ;     leek       ; dolphin

Alice :        crême brûlée ; Iran ; Christian Lacroix ;  white ; Shallow ; orchid ;    cat

Fleur-Lou : chocolate ; her bed ; Lady Gaga ;    pink ;    talk to me ;    cloud ;     corgi

Lila-Marie :lemon pie; Time Square ; Emma Watson ; grey ; dear future husband ; morbleu; butterfly

Mme Dalle : religieuse café ; Bourges ; Rosa Parks ; blue ; the Corrs; bummer ; cat

                                A movie ;                                          A sentence ;
Clara :               Princesse Mononoké                    “n’est pas mafieu qui mange cannellonis izy”
Lauriane :           The Pianist                                        “pierre qui roule n’amasse pas mousse”
Marie-Amélie ;  Le Tombeau des Lucioles              “graisser la patte”
Dimitry ;         Goodbye Lenin                        “la vodka sans la bière, c’est de l’argent jeté par la fenêtre”
Julie ;              Vampire Academy                           “il fait dos dans le froid” (Mr Espinosa)
Emma ;             Moulin Rouge                                   “water isn’t wet”
Alice ;                Peau d’Ane                                        “j’ai sauté avec des kangarous” (Mr Espinosa)
Fleur-Lou ;        Corpse Bride                                   “flemme”
Lila-Marie ;       Ne Le Dis à Personne                    “à toute berzingue”
Mme Dalle ;    Gone With the Wind                       “carpe diem”

Hope you know a little more about each of us now !

 

Lila-Marie

Archery

February 7, 2019

The word comes from the Latin arcus meaning ‘bow’ or ‘arch’.

Historically, archery was used for hunting and combat and was invented in the late Palaeolithic or early Mesolithic periods. The oldest signs of archery’s use in Europe date back to around 10,000BC, while in Asia and the Middle East evidence suggests archery originated even earlier. In modern times, it is mainly a competitive sport and recreational activity.

For example, archery is considered as a martial art in Japan. This traditional activity is named “kyujutsu” (the art of the bow) but is known as “kyudo” (the way of the bow). The kyudo bow is around 2 m .

Moreover, we can emphasize that few Greeks Gods like Apollo, Artemis, Cupid  had a bow for attribute.

In France, archery clubs are the result of years of history. The start of companies of archery is known at the end of the Revolution of 1789, where the compagnies of archery became military. Many soldiers at the end  of their careers in the army created companies through the country.

In 2017, in France, 75.459 members got their licence in the FFTA ( Fédération Française de tir à l’arc) , 71% of men and 21% of women. The international competitions are organized by the organization WorldArchery which counts 159 national federations  over the world.

Archery is not only a hobby; archery is used to hunt.

Moreover, I can say that archery is not only a sport, it’s  a sport with a way of thinking.

  • Danger : Archery is very addictive.

Archery value are:

  • Precision
  • Intensity
  • Innovation
  • Heritage
  • Fairplay
  • Sport for all

As a sport, archery requires skills of precision, control, focus, repetition and determination. It can be practised by all, regardless of age, gender or ability, and is a widespread pastime in both developed and developing countries.

Two famous kinds of bow are known over the world : the recurve bow

and the compound bow:

But we can also speak about the older bow which is the traditional  long bow used through the centuries.

In the archery world, few types of competitions are known :

  • target archery outdoor (10, 15, 20 25, 50, 70m)  or indoor (18m)
  • Flight and clout archery :Flight and clout archery are both competed over long distances. In clout archery atheletes shoot at a flag and concentric circles placed in the ground at distances of over 150 meters.
  • 3D archery : The targets used in this kind of competition are shapes of animals in foam. The number of points is different for each part of the « animal ».
  • Field archery: Field archery is the format of modern archery that takes place on a multi-target courseset out over all kinds of terrain including fields, woods and forests.
  • Ski & run archery  : Both ski and run archery combine basic archery with endurance races. Ski archery takes place in similar venues to cross-country skiing while run archery events are held on long-distance running tracks or courses. Athletes stop at stations to shoot at targets, usually at short distance, with basic bows.

For the competitions, archers are categorized by their age and  bow categories. They shot their arrows in different sizes of targets (80 cm, 60 cm, 40 cm of diameters and trispots) and distances (when it is an outside competion.)

One of the most important points in this sport is the technique and the material of the archer. To illustrate this idea, we can quote that each arrow is adjusted to the archer with many factors : the type of bow, the draw check, the draw weight… and the material of the arrow : feather, plastic, carbon, wood is adapted to the kind of bow. Futhermore it’s important  for the archer to know the construction and the different parts of his bow.

Warning : I thinks it’s important to remind you  that archery is not a game; bows and arrows are not toys , they are weapons !

This sport has been  included in the Olympic Program since 1900. Only recurve archery is in the program. It is a competition for men and women, individual and team. And in 1960 it became a new discipline in the Paralympic Games.

Archery is featured in folklore around the world, Robin Hood being probably the most famous archer. Based in Nottingham forest, he used his bow to steal from the rich and give to the poor, while combatting the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

We have other archers in the modern culture : The Hunger Games with Katniss Everdeen, the series Arrow with Oliver Queen,  Legolas the elf archer in the trilogy of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit  or Susan Pevensie in Narnia.

To conclude,  in my opinin archery is a great sport with many advantages and a good spirit ; the same thing during competitions.

Julie

The French New Wave

January 26, 2019

I have always been passionate about twentieth century movies; black and white movies, Marilyn Monroe, Anna Karina, Belmondo… they’ve always fascinated me. And over the years, I finally found the directors that I appreciate the most including Jacques Demy, Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, etc…

They were directors who marked the XXth century and who constituted a separation with the traditional pre-war cinema. This movement developed in the late 50s, after World War II. They formed together a group  called the “New Wave” in reaction to the required rules, and the lack of natural environment in the movie. They wanted to create something new, captivating and true in which the spectators could recognize themselves in the characters.

The “New Wave” is a term which refers to the anticonformism will of young directors to bring novelty to the French cinema. It’s characterized by the rejection of the status quo (present situation) and the appearance of important innovations. The filmmakers wanted to abolish fireworks and narrative conventions which define the traditional cinema. The cinematographic language became more contemporary, the reality was shown sincerely  and the scenes shot were often trivial moments of everyday life. They also had a preference for the natural light and real filming locations. These filmmakers also proved that they didn’t need the mainstream studio to produce successful films on their own terms. They were considered  the true founders of modern independent films and to watch them for the first time is to rediscover the cinema.

The first who participated in this new cinematographic revolution were François Truffaut with notably Les Quatre Cent Coups, Jules et Jim or La nuit américaine and Jean-Luc Godard who realised Pierrot le fou or Le Mépris. But my favorite is another one who succeeded in taking the spectator to another time, another area and another story: Jacques Demy. He did notably Peau d’âne, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg – musicals – and La baie des anges.

Jacques Demy

He was born on June, 5th 1931, at Pontchateau (Loire Atlantique). He grew up in a dream world which he made by himself, and when he was young, created shows and dress marionette. Later, he created a lot of movies which became classic and approached subjects and issues of life. In his movies, he tackled many themes which encouraged the spectator to think and have reflection. For instance, in La baie des Anges, Demy talks about the theme of addiction and obsession through the universe of gambling in Cannes. The character at the beginning disdains his friend, who every week goes to the casino and loses a lot of money. But we will see that this prejudice turns against him; in fact it’s a reflection that the director proposes to us, a reflection about us finally. On the contrary, Peau d’âne presents a fantastic universe, with anachronism and beautiful outfits. It’s a dream world that Demy created, but which interrogates however the relationship that the girls have with their dads. Les Demoiselles de Rochefort is about two twins who dream to leave their town to go to Paris and try their luck in music and dancing and also to find true love. In this movie, Demy pushes us to believe that everything is possible and life is only made up of coincidence. Finally, Les Parapluies de Cherboug  is a colored movie, cheerful and happy but at the same time serious and deep. Indeed, he approaches the theme of war, separation, absence but mainly of hope.

To conclude, Jacques Demy is a timeless director full of hope, humanity .

“Wanting happiness is already a little bit of happiness.” – Jacques Demy.

Alice.

A pastel Singapore by Nguan

January 24, 2019

Nguan and his kind of fairy-tale : “I wanted Singapore to look like an illustrated fairy-tale” the photographer once said.

Immediate boarding with the one who chose to sublime the triviality of a town and its inhabitants. Direction South Asia to have a look at an emotional trip full of pretty colors and symbolism.  

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "nguan singapore"

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "nguan singapore"

Walking far from the usual modern architecture pictures we are used to seeing from this city-State, we are closer to an exhibition looking like a documentary. Indeed, the photographer coming from there chose to embody his new theme in pale and sweet colors. “Every corridor is like a street on its own,” he explained.

"Every corridor is like a street on its own," said Nguan.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "singapore nguan"

But actually, seeing these perfect compositions reflecting the meticulous work of Nguan, we are at the same time facing the reality of life. Taking the time to analyze them properly, we may notice first the simplicity and the softness of these different shots but with hindsight, peeping through a crack or looking at a passer-by somewhere, the darker side of these pictures strikes us immediately. 

Nguan - Singapore

Nguan - Singapore

His wonderful project just proudly gave birth to a book where you can rediscover some of his photographs, named of course “Singapore”.  You can get it on the author’s blog (http://www.nguan.tv/blog/)  (if still available given its success). 

Lila-Marie

Stockholm : The place to be

January 12, 2019

During my holidays, I went to Sweden and more precisely,  to Stockholm, a very organised capital that is not overly covered by tourists…

It is the perfect destination in October because later on it would be too cold; it was already only 0 degree in the morning so you have to prepare yourself for those temperatures. It is time to put on our warm gloves and caps! We enjoyed hot drinks – hot chocolate was my favorite 🙂 – in the morning, to warm up and start the day in a very good mood.

WARNING: If you are skittish, take jumpers and everything with it! (  advice that is to be taken seriously 😉 )

Activities to do in town:

  • The ABBA Museum is a must see. It is where the band was formed.

  • The Vasa museum, which is very interesting, is a very huge and impressive place.
  • A boat afternoon on the river to see Stockholm from another point of view.

  • Visit the Nobel Prize Museum which opened in 2001 and is situated in the old Stockholm center. When I went to it, an important part of the exhibition concerned M. Luther King’s life and actions.

 


PS: I have a little preference for the Vasa museum because seeing a ship that has been preserved since the 17th century is not something you can see everyday; I thought it was amazing! There is all a story over it. This is why I encourage you to go and see with your own eyes! ( a picture doesn’t totally reflect the reality )

Hotel on a boat: an originally way to discover the town:

During my stay, my parents and I slept in a room on a boat that, in the past, was used for fishing. Almost everything was rebuilt to be a comfortable and welcoming place but you could still see the infrastructure hadn’t changed. However, you could deduce from the size of  the room that it was used before by a crew, so small it was, but I liked it because it was a very different concept from being in a basic hotel.

Life there:

  • During my stay, I was impressed by the very modern offices that we could see on the street during a walk.  Concerning the decoration and the furnishins, Swedish are experts. You can find many shops for it: Ikea, one of the most well-known ones, comes from there.
  • Toward the environmental issues, they are very concerned and advanced, contrary to France or most European countries. In fact, Sweden privileges sorting and recycling to minimize waste. Of course, it is well-known that Northern countries have a better way of life, with parks and green everywhere.
  • Moreover, in 1972, an environmental conference took place in Stockholm for a few days to talk about the necessity of changing our method of consumption. It shows that this country started to take really well charge of this issue a long time ago.
  • There are multiple small town centers in Stockholm.  In fact, you can find a modern and an older one. The latter permits to keep the traditional side of the city with typical houses of the time and the calm can be very apppreciated there. However, you can see the creation of new shops and buildings in the new center so this city can correspond to everyone’s need.

Lauriane

Kurt Cobain

January 10, 2019

Not long ago I read Kurt Cobain’s diary and I felt like sharing what I had learned about this singer, leader of a group that I like Nirvana.

Kurt Donald Cobain was born in 20 February 1967  in Hoquiam, North Washington. At first, the Cobains were a nice little family, happy. Kurt had a brother (but we don’t know anything about him). But then, the family moved to Aberdeen, where it rained every day, all day long, and has the highest suicide rate of the country.

His uncles and aunts initiated him to music, and supported him to follow his aspirations.

But unfortunately, everything changed. He was seven, and his parents got divorced. This split will haunt him his whole life. He even wrote on his bedroom’s walls ” I hate mom, I hate dad, dad hates mom, mom hates dad, it simply makes you want to be sad.” He said in an interview ” My childhood was pretty cool until my 8-year-old birthday.” Cobain once wrote in a letter to his father “I’ve never taken sides with you or my mother because while I was growing up, I had equal contempt for you both”. Anyway, his mom got custody.

Everything started to go crazy. He became quite unstable at 9. He was already thinking about death and said that he wouldn’t go through his 21st birthday.

He hated Aberdeen, he said that there was no passion, only alcohol, sex, and wood.

He was really into music, but the other kids didn’t care about that, and preferred football and sport. At school, he was really quiet and really withdrawn. He spent his days alone because the others were “scared” of him as he seemed extremely weird.

In 1979, his dad got custody, and it didn’t go well. Donald (Kurt’s father) and Kurt couldn’t stop fighting. His dad wanted him to give up music and to join the navy. Kurt failed the test on purpose. So he got kicked out, and lived at some friend’s under Aberdeen’s bridge (which inspired him  Something in the way) and ended up at his uncle’s who was a musician himself. His uncle offered him his firts guitar and he learned how to play Stairway to heaven first thing. He didn’t have a lot of friends but he met Buzz Osbourne (Melvins’ lead singer) and they started going out to punk and hard rock concert in the 70’s.

And so he met Chris Novoselic. Kurt wanted to build up a band called Fecal Matter. He sent a demo to Chris, and so they started a new band  called Nirvana. Chris and him started to tag cars and walls and the legendary “God is Gay” tag was born. With those “nonsenses”, he got problems with the justice and the police.

Then he dropped out of school in order to focus on music only. It was at that moment that he started doing drugs and tasting heroin. Then he went to live with his girlfriend of the time, in a teenee tiny place. He wrote “About a girl” where you can hear ” I can’t keep seeing you for free” as he lived at her place for free. Nirvana was then working on the album Bleach. He did some odd jobs, and then started to do musical tours. He got really tired and depressed.

With the release of Nevermind in 1991, Nirvana was a resounding success and Kurt was propelled to the rank of international rock star. He quickly became the symbol of grunge and the idol of millions of young people. This made him very uncomfortable, he became stressed, and to alleviate the stomach aches that it caused him, he began to consume large quantities of heroin. It is in this context that Kurt met the singer-guitarist of the group Hole, Courtney Love (her real name is Michelle Harisson). Thus began a stormy romance between the two. On February 24, 1992, in Hawaii, they married, for better and especially for worse. They moved to Seattle to a house on Lake Washington. Courtney was pregnant, and an article in Vanity Fair claimed that she used heroin during her pregnancy. On August 18, their little girl was born in perfect health. The Cobains called her Frances Bean, in homage to the martyred actress Frances Farmer and because Kurt thought she looked like a bean on the ultrasound (hence the name bean). But the slanders of the press resulted in the child being taken from his parents, deemed irresponsible, and entrusted to Courtney’s sister. The Cobains fought all their lives and eventually got custody of Frances.

 

 

Kurt played a series of concerts after the release of In Utero in the fall of 1993, but his wife’s drugs and pressure made him wither away. The concerts were disastrous and Kurt’s condition deteriorated. In March 1994, Kurt ODed in Rome. CNN announced his death but he was simply in a coma. Some said that this overdose was a suicide attempt. He was admitted to detoxification at the Exodus Clinic in Los Angeles. On April 1, Kurt climbed the clinic wall and flew to Seattle. On April 8, his body was discovered in the greenhouse of his house in the suburbs of Seattle, with a bullet in his head, a gun to his chest, a drug addict’s kit and a suicide note next door. Kurt had been dead for three days. He was 27 years old.

The news had the effect of a bomb in the world and more particularly in Seattle where the streets were blocked for several hours. In the evening, a wake of 5,000 people was held there: Courtney distributed Kurt’s clothes to the crowd. Thus ended the life of the legend of grunge.

On March 20, 2014, according to the American channel KiroTV, almost 20 years after Kurt Cobain’s death, the American police reopened the investigation into the circumstances of the Kurt Cobain death. Why? Because 4 camera films were found in a Seattle police vault that would contain photos of where Kurt Cobain’s body was found and that would show more details than the Polaroids of the time. The theory of the criminal trail and especially the conspiracy theory seems to be about to get back on track, especially since the revelation in early May 2014 of a handwritten note by Kurt Cobain in which he described Courtney Love as “a button bitch who pumps money for drugs and prostitution”.

So actually a lot of people think that Courtney killed Kurt and disguised his death into a suicide.

As a child, Kurt Cobain had an imaginary friend Boddah, whom he described as the evil part of his psyche. It was to Boddah whom he addressed his suicide note to. Although many fans know about the famous suicide note, many don’t know that some investigators believe that the end of the note was doctored and it actually read differently.  The main body of the note was about Kurt’s relationship to music, it’s only the very small part of the note, the last four lines, that talk about his relationship to his family, and specifically Courtney and their daughter Frances. This, coupled with a handwriting practice sheet found in Courtney’s bag (which contained letters that were used in the suicide note), have led investigators and fans to believe that perhaps the last few lines were added after Cobain was already dead and the whole suicide was staged.

Little facts :

  • Hours before he was due to perform on Saturday Night Live, and one week before Nevermind hit number one on the charts, Cobain overdosed on drugs. Courtney Love found him the next morning, and revived him by punching him in the stomach and splashing cold water on his face. In July, 1993, he overdosed  again but still managed to participate in a full day of press interviews and do a live show.
  • According to Courtney Love, Cobain left behind 109 unreleased, unrecorded songs when he died. Some are just fragments of songs, some ‘music collages’, and some are acoustic numbers that Love thinks are good enough to release.
  • Kurt Cobain suffered from stage fright, and more often than not, he’d throw up before a show.
  • Smells like teen spirit was such a hit that he started hating it from hearing it too much. and this song was inspired by his girlfriend’s deodorant. *
  • Cobain wrote the song “Polly” in 1987, and he wrote it after he read an article about a 14-year-old girl getting tortured and raped. He wrote the song from the perspective of the girl.
  • Today, on Aberdeen’s sign we can see the title of one of Cobain’s songs: Come As You Are.

Clara