In 1930, the residents of Dedham, Mass. paid $12,600 for a war memorial on which was inscribed the phrase "Pax Victis." But six years later a Latinist pointed out that the phrase meant "Peace to the conquered," which didn't quite sound right. It's along the lines of 'Slavery is Freedom.' So the city paid $400 to change the inscription to "Pax Victoribus" -- "Peace to the victorious." But apparently that didn't sound quite right either because eventually it was changed to read simply "Pax." [Waterville Times - Apr 16, 1936 (pdf)]
I walk past this boulder, located on the grounds of some State Offices near the Rhode Island capitol, about once a week. This week, I happened to notice it featured a plaque. Here's what the plaque says (click to enlarge):
Gift to the future? Where? Is it the boulder? But the boulder is pretty much just a bland frame for the plaque!
This appears to be nothing more than an egocentric tribute to the people involved, a way to memorialize themselves. Or am I missing something?
If your love-life needs a lift, pork is as effective as Viagra, or so said Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner last week at a press meeting to announce cheaper pork prices. In a surprise boon to local political comedy writers, President Kirchner claimed to know from personal experience that “pork consumption improves sexual activity,” before adding “I’m a pork fanatic.” Her comments were unsurprisingly echoed by Juan Uccelli, who heads up the Argentinean association of pork producers, who claimed Denmark and Japan’s “more harmonious sexual lives” were down to their high pork consumption. No word yet as to how tender Cristina likes her pork, but this surely brings a whole new layer of meaning to “baby’s got back!” (AFP).
Of course this is just another string for the bow of the world’s greatest all around superfood, bacon. And it’s not the only new talent to come to light, bacon also makes you smarter. At least it does if your mother ate it. Scientists from the University of North Carolina are claiming the micronutrient choline, which is abundant in pork products, is vital in helping foetal brain development (Telegraph).
Clearly then, the British are not eating enough bacon. Not only do they have to put up with a reputation for being lousy lovers but in a recent study for the UK’s National Farmers Union, 26% of under-16s polled said that bacon came from sheep, and 29% thought that oats grew on trees (Daily Mail).
So it is perhaps a small consolation that an English sparkling wine trounced traditional French champagnes to be crowned Champion of Worldwide Sparkling Wines in an annual competition held by Italian wine magazine Euposia. Nyetimber's Classic Cuvée 2003 beat off entries from Bollinger and Louis Roederer in a blind tasting, despite costing less than £30 per bottle (Telegraph).
Also sure to win awards is the newest attraction in Beijing, China. The “World Chocolate Wonderland” is a 20000 square metre theme park devoted to the food and boasts life-size replicas of terracotta warriors, a BMW and a basketball player caught mid-leap, all made of chocolate. The centrepiece must be an array of chocolate fountains that endlessly propel 1.5 tonnes of melted chocolate in all directions. The park is open to April, but plans to reopen next January with all new exhibits (Movie Channel).
Perhaps they’d like to bid for the chocolate and sweet reproduction of a statue of Lenin currently on display in Bucharest, Romania? The statue, which stands on the plinth that once held the real thing, is to be auctioned off to raise money for a museum of statuary from the country’s Nazi and Communist past, with “pride” of place going to a 62 foot granite bust of Lenin (Daily Express).
America has its own puny version of Stonehenge? Who knew? The Georgia Guidestones, a large granite monument in Elbert County, Georgia, is made from six granite slabs. They were built in 1979 and are engraved with ten guidelines in eight different modern languages, as well as four ancient languages, that advise people to live in harmony with humanity and nature. The four outer stones are oriented to the Sun's yearly migration and each side of the tablet is perpendicular to one of the cardinal directions. Since the creation of the guidestones, there have been a number of controversies and conspiracy theories based on what the stones were really built for and what their message means. As of November 2009, the stones were covered in graffiti and splattered paint which has not been repaired as no one seems to want to accept the responsibility. You can find out more about this monument on Google or Wikipedia.
If you're looking for an unusual gift for someone this Christmas, consider getting a FaceStatue.
Upload two mugshot photos of the face (yours or someone else's) to thatsmyface.com, and they'll use the photos to create a 3D plastic-composite face statue. Prices start at only $49 for a 1/8 size facemask, and go all the way up to $1999 for a lifesize head.
The interesting twist: you can choose to have your FaceStatue look older or younger than you actually are. Plus, you can get an African, Indian, Asian or Caucasian model of yourself.