LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans

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Marie Delphine Lalaurie and her third husband, a doctor, Leonard Louis Lalaurie, purchased the home at 1140 Royal Street in the early 1830s. A renowned Voodoo Queen named Marie Laveau lived just a few blocks from the Lalaurie House. Although the nature of their relationship is unknown, undoubtedly these two women met and knew each other.

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The legend goes that in the LaLaurie household, slaves disappeared on a regular basis. No questions were ever asked. Then on April 11, 1834, a slave provoked by the abuse piled upon her, set fire to the Lalaurie’s kitchen.

While trying to save items from the house, someone began whispering that servants were chained and locked up behind barred doors and would die in the fire. They searched the house  busting down the locked door to the attic. Madame LaLaurie had renovated the large room into a torture chamber of sorts where hideous procedures had been performed on many of the slaves.

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Word spread among the people of New Orleans and the LaLauries fled when a lynch mob formed. Some people found evidence that they had fled across Lake Pontchartrain and lived there, while others say she went from there to France, escaping in a horse and buggy on the night of the fire.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphine_LaLaurie

American Horror Story: Coven

Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron

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Ever think of escaping the frustrations of life?

Then head down to Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron in Sumpter, Wisconsin and hitch a ride on his space capsule. Forevertron is the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world standing 50 ft. high and 120 ft. wide. Dr. Evermor is the creation of Tom Every, a salvage expert turned artist.
For most of his life, Tom Every was a professional destroyer. He worked in Wisconsin as an industrial wrecker, demolishing old factories, breweries and any other building that stood in the way. After retiring in 1983, he decided he would dedicate the rest of his life to being a creator: Dr. Evermore, to be exact. For decades, he collected scrap metal and machines that he found interesting and historical.

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From the highway, the top of the 320-ton Forevertron is barely visible, its trans-temporal egg chamber poking up above the foliage.

Made from industrial scrap, the sculpture park includes a decontamination chamber from NASA’s Apollo project, dynamos built by Thomas Edison and scrap metal salvaged from an army ammunition plant.
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His greatest achievement is the Forevertron, “designed and built in a timeframe of around 1890 … whereas our dear doctor is a scholarly professor who thought he could perpetuate himself through the heavens on a magnetic lightning force beam inside a glass ball inside a copper egg.

Dr. Evermor believes that if he can combine magnetic force and electrical energy, he can propel himself through the heavens on a magnetic lightning force beam, that will take him to his salvation. The Forevertron is a fantastical 300-ton sculpture made of recycled parts. At the top of the Forevertron sits a glass ball inside a copper egg that is Dr. Evermor’s space capsule.  There’s also an antigravity machine, a teahouse for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to observe the event, a telescope to watch as Evermor is hurled to his meeting with God, and a listening machine that will transmit Evermor’s messages back to Earth.
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2239

Ethiopian Caterpillar

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Thought to date back as far as 1820, this incredible pre-electronic mechanical robot was made by Swiss watchmaker Henri Maillardet for sale to aristocratic Chinese buyers. The rare gold, enamel, jewel and pearl-set automaton mimics the gracious undulating caterpillar’s crawl with a clockwork powered mechanism which drives a pair of gilt-metal knurled wheels.

The body is realistically designed to represent a caterpillar comprising eleven jointed ring segments, framed by seed pearls, and decorated with translucent red enamel over an engine-turned ground, studded overall with gold-set rubies, turquoise, emeralds,and diamonds. The underside is decorated with champlevé black enamel. When the automaton movement is engaged, the caterpillar crawls realistically, its body moving up and down simulating the undulations of a caterpillar by means of a set of gilt-metal knurled wheels. The automata work is composed of a barrel, cam and two leavers all working together to create the crawling motion.

Born 1745, Maillardet was a Swiss mechanician who worked in London producing clocks and other mechanisms, including various automata, including a famous set depicting magicians and others which could write in French and English. When one was presented to Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute in 1928 it was of unknown origin; but once restored to working order, the robot itself provided the answer by penning the words ‘written by the automaton of Maillardet’.

http://www.auctionnewsnetwork.com/watches-clocks/exotic-automaton-at-sothebys-watch-sale/2047/

Unwritten Fairy Tales

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These illustrations by Mike Davis blend surrealism, religious iconography, Dutch portraiture, and a touch of fairy tale magic to create narrative paintings that seem to tell fantastical stories while stretching beyond the confines of a simple “Once upon a time…”

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Surrealism is a hard genre to define, and every artist approaches the creation of surrealist works in their own way.

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Some go for all out oddity, others simply tweak reality to their liking, while painter Mike Davis likes to tell a strange little tale with each of his pieces.

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His works depict a fairy tale world gone mad, and they demand a second look in order to absorb all the minor details and get an overall sense of what’s happening in each scene.

http://mikedavisfineart.com/

Balanced Rock Sculptures

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Land artist Michael Grab creates astonishing towers and orbs of balanced rocks using little more than patience and an astonishing sense of balance. Grab says the art of stone balancing has been practiced by various cultures around the world for centuries and that he personally finds the process of balancing to be therapeutic and meditative.
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Over the past few years of practicing rock balance, simple curiosity has evolved into therapeutic ritual, ultimately nurturing meditative presence, mental well-being, and artistry of design. Alongside the art, setting rocks into balance has also become a way of showing appreciation, offering thanksgiving, and inducing meditation. Through manipulation of gravitational threads, the ancient stones become a poetic dance of form and energy, birth and death, perfection and imperfection.
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Almost all of the works you see here were completed this fall in locations around Boulder, Colorado. You can see much more in his portfolio as well as several videos of him working over on YouTube.
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http://www.gravityglue.com/

Coin-Covered Wishing Trees Of Great Britain

Sticking hundreds of small denomination coins into tree trunks is apparently a popular way of getting rid of illnesses.
At least that’s what the staff at a holiday attraction in Gwynedd discovered after investigating the story behind several coin-covered tree trunks in the vicinity of Italianate village Portmeirion.

The coin-covered trees have been traced back to the 1700s, when they were apparently used as wishing trees. People believed that a person suffering from an illness could hammer a coin into a tree trunks and the tree would take the illness away, but if someone removed the coin, they themselves would become ill. Whether some folks still believe this legend, or they do it simply because it’s fun is still a mystery, but the fact is this bizarre habit has spawned some pretty unbelievable sights that apparently unique to the UK.

http://www.cracktwo.com/2012/11/britains-mysterious-coin-covered.html

Benjamin Lacombe

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Benjamin was born in Paris in 1982. In 2001, he attended the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs of Paris where he pursued his artistic education. In addition to his studies, he worked as an advertising and animated movie artist before completing his first comic series at the age of 19, along with a few other illustrated books…

His final project “Cherry and Olive”, which he has both written and illustrated, became his first children’s book and was published by Les editions du Seuil in March 2006. The following year, it was released by Walker Books (USA) and nominated one of the top 10 children’s books for the year 2007 in the United States by the Time magazine.
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Since then, Benjamin has written and illustrated numerous books. Benjamin exhibits his work on a regular basis. Among others, it has been displayed in the following art galleries: Ad Hoc Art (New York),L’art de rien (Paris), Dorothy Circus (Rome), Maruzen (Tokyo), etc…
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Benjamin lives and works in Paris with his dog Virgile, often found hiding among the pages of his books.

Il était une fois – Benjamin Lacombe from B&C on Vimeo.

http://www.benjaminlacombe.com/info_e.html

The Paris Time Capsule Apartment

An apartment left untouched for over 70 years was discovered in Paris a few summers ago. Time to unlock the vault …

The owner of this apartment, Mrs. De Florian, left Paris just before the outbreak of World War II. She closed up and shuttered her home and left for the South of France, never to return. Seventy years later she died at the age of 91. It was only when her heirs hired professionals to make an inventory of the Parisian apartment she left behind, that this time capsule was finally opened.

Inside the apartment was found a painting of a beautiful woman in a pink gown. One of the inventory team members suspected this might be a very important piece. Along with the painting, they also found stacks of old love letters tied with colored ribbon.

With some expert historical opinion, the love letters were recognized as the calling card of none other than Giovanni Boldini, one of Paris’ most important painters of the Belle Époque. The painting was his. The beautiful woman pictured in the painting was Mrs. de Florian’s grand-mother, Marthe de Florian, a beautiful French actress and socialite of the Belle Époque. She was Boldini’s muse. And, despite him being a married man, she was also his lover.
What kept her away even after the war? For all those years, her rent on the apartment in a flourishing city had been paid, but it was left frozen in time. It all sounds like the perfect mystery.


http://www.messynessychic.com/2012/05/09/the-paris-time-capsule-apartment/