Tag: Europe

The Eve of the Dead Souls

Every year in late October, when nature is almost ready for the winter and days shorten considerably, marks the end of autumn as everything falls deeper into hibernation. Along with the fog gates to the other world are opened and it is time to expect our ancestral spirits. Hosting the feast for the dead at the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia is a tradition on this Eve and celebrated by singing in honour of our ancestors together with folk groups.

Automaton for Marie Antoinette and exclusive mechanisms

Sublime Dreams of Living Machines. Part I. Not so long ago, a short video of a truly uncanny dulcimer-playing wind-up automaton made for Marie Antoinette in 1784 appeared online. The queen was no stranger to extravagance, we know, but why this machine, this wonderful human-like machine, which must have taxed the greatest artisans and mechanics of her time? What was its appeal?

The Saint Who Saved The Sailors

Samuel Plimsoll (1824 – 1898) was an English politician and social reformer. He is best remembered for having devised the Plimsoll line. This is a painted watermark on a ship’s hull indicating the ship’s maximum safe draught. If the weight of a loaded cargo pressed the vessel’s hull down beyond the watermark it was forbidden to leave port and would not be insured against its loss.