I'm a 25-year old guy with Asperger's Syndrome living in West Virginia. My interests include anime and manga, Japanese culture and language studies, Marcel Proust, Chris Marker (who finished what Proust started), pre-war blues and gospel music, old-time Appalachian folk music, fairy tales, ancient and medieval epic poetry, roleplaying games, survival-horror games, interactive fiction, weird fiction, horror literature, silent films, feminism, flea markets, retrogaming, and western cartoons. I have other interests besides these but I really think that's enough for now.

 

odditiesoflife:

Amazingly Beautiful Monasteries

  1. Hanging Monastery - Perched precariously halfway up a cliff some 75 meters (246 feet) above the ground, this Monastery is one of the most remarkable sights in China. Consisting of a complex of 40 rooms linked together by mid-air corridors and walkways, it appears to be glued to the side of a sheer precipice. The Monastery was built in the 5th century and has there for 1500 years.
  2. Yumbulagang - According to legend, Yumbulagang was the first building in Tibet and the palace of the first Tibetan king Nyatri Tsenpo. Its name means “Palace of Mother and Son” in Tibetan. Under the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama, the palace became a monastery of the Gelugpa school.
  3. Ganden Monastery - One of the ‘great three’ university monasteries of Tibet, located at the top of Wangbur Mountain. The other two are Sera and Drepung Monasteries. In 1959 the monastery was completely destroyed by the Red Guards and the mummified body of Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Monastery, was burned. Reconstruction of the Monastery has been continuing since the 1980s.
  4. Key Gompa - A thousand year old Tibetan Buddhist monastery located on top of a hill in the Spiti Valley. The monastery has been attacked many times during its long history by Mongol and other armies and was also ravaged by fire and earthquakes. The successive trails of destruction have caused  the monastery to look like a fort, where temples are built on top of one another.
  5. Thikse Monastery - A Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Yellow Hat sect. The monastery is located in the Indus valley in India. It is a 12-story complex. One of the main points of interest is the Maitreya Temple which is installed to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to the Thikse monastery in 1970.
  6. Taung Kalat - This Buddhist monastery is one of the most breathtaking sites in Burma. To reach the monastery, visitors must climb the 777 steps to the summit. One can see the ancient city of Bagan and the massive solitary conical peak of Mount Popa, the volcano that actually caused the creation.
  7. Taktsang Dzong - Situated on the edge of a 900 meter (3,000 feet) cliff, the Monastery is an impressive sight, and is the unofficial symbol of Bhutan. It is about 2-3 hour, uphill hike from the parking lot to the monastery. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a tigress and Taktsang was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.

source

destroyed-and-abandoned:

The Bahia Honda Rail Bridge. built by Henry Flagler as part of the Overseas Railroad which was completed in 1912. The State of Florida purchased the bridge after the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and converted it to automobile use. The bridge has fallen into a state of disrepair. Florida Keys
Source:  (flickr)

destroyed-and-abandoned:

The Bahia Honda Rail Bridge. built by Henry Flagler as part of the Overseas Railroad which was completed in 1912. The State of Florida purchased the bridge after the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and converted it to automobile use. The bridge has fallen into a state of disrepair. Florida Keys

Source: (flickr)

winged-serpent:

archaeologistforhire:

erikkwakkel:

Spooky mask discovered in wall

This object is not a book, but it’s just too special not to show you. It’s a 16th- or 17th-century “visard” or disguising mask from England, which was found in a most unusual place: buried inside a thick wall, where it was hidden to ward off evil (a common practice back then). Its use at the time is equally remarkable. According to one contemporary source it was worn by ladies who had to go out after dark. The mask gave them the appearance of the devil, scaring off any evil-doers:

Writes Phillip Stubbes in his 1583 Anatomie of Abuses: “When [ladies] use to ride abrod, they have invisories, or masks, visors made of velvet, wherwith they cover all their faces, having holes made in them against their eyes, whereout they look. So that if a man, that knew not their guise before, should chaunce to meet one of them, he would think hee met a monster or a devil; for face hee can see none, but two brode holes against her eyes with glasses in them”.

The mask was discovered in 2010 and still had its glass bead attached, which the wearer held in her mouth to keep the mask in place while pretending to be the devil. Spooky, yes, but also a most intriguing artifact from ancient times.

More details about this particular mask here (via @wynkenhimself) and here (via @DerBuddler). The item was found in the Portable Antiquities Scheme website by @wynkenhimself, whose tweet and link sparked this post. More information about visard masks in this blog. Added note (EK): the latter blog refers to Randle Holme, a 17th-century scholar, who claims the masks were (also?) used for protection from the sun.

16th cent. folks, y’all weird

Not sure why the writer called this “ancient”, but it’s interesting, still.