Monday, September 29, 2014

Poison/Herb Mistress


The life of Locusta of Gaul is both outlandish and interesting. Alive during the first century, she is the first documented serial killer in history. The full count of her death total is said to have been in the thousands. Poisoning was her specialty and she used it for both pleasure and profit.
Poison Master in Rome
Locusta did have some help along the way. In order to poison thousands of people, she required a few pardons. Her first powerful ally when Empress Agrippina who hired her to poison Emperor Claudius. His death cleared the way for Nero – Agrippina’s son – to become the next emperor. With Nero in power, Locusta was pardoned and free to keep adding to her long list of victims. Nero himself even hired her to poison his step brother Britannicus.
Reputation and Referrals
She was widely known as a poisoning expert and quickly obtained many referrals and assignments from the emperor. Poisoning kept her busy, but she also began teaching others her craft. Emperor Nero opened a school dedicated to teaching the art of mixing toxins and herbs. At this school, she shared her knowledge with others. However, her time of notoriety and acceptance was short lived.
Demise and Fall of Locusta
Once the Roman Senate decided to get rid of Nero, he took his own life and left Locusta without a powerful ally. She was sentenced to suffer for her mass murders and died a violent death. The actual details of her death are not completely known however, her final ‘job’ was the preparation a poison kit for Nero to take before his sentencing. Unfortunately he didn’t have the kit with him when he was brought to trial for his crimes. It was only a matter of time until Locusta, too, was brought to trial.

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Monday, September 22, 2014


Creature - Human Shapeshifters

Shapeshifting is a concept that is very popular in mythology and is present in almost all cultures. This transformation from one type of being into another form entirely is considered to be supernatural. This means that creature-human shapeshifters transform from creature form into humans. This ability is found in mythology and folklore and is a popular component of storytelling in different societies. This concept is nothing new and has been in existence since the Middle Ages. However, it is still common today in fantasy fiction novels.
This feline-human shapeshifter has been around for centuries, but the phrase werecat was popularized in 1970. This popularization became known as the werewolf and took on a new meaning as a mythological creature. The species of the feline in question can range from domestic cat to lion and tiger. All mythical felines fit the description and these type of shapeshifters were seen to be witches. During the witch trials there were werecats believed to be among the humans.
This hyena-human shapeshifter is a part of African folklore and mythology. This type of shapeshifting creature is slightly different than what is common in other culture and folklore. Most werewolves are originally human and transform into wolf, but the werehyena is different. This type of being is said to be a hyena that can simply disguise itself to take the human form. Ancient myths even suggest that it was believed some villages were filled with werehyenas only and they simply disguised as humans when they were seen.
A werewolf is one of the most popular shapeshifting creatures and is a part of mythological folklore that has transformed into pop culture. This type of human has the ability to transform into a wolf or wolf-like creature. This can be done willingly or the result of some type of curse. This type of folklore was first popularized in European folklore and was developed even further at the time of the medieval period. The belief in a werewolf was said to increase the belief in witches and all things supernatural.
Once the witch trials were over, it became evident that the study of werewolfs was important to folklore studies. It is still come for modern horror literature to elude to this type of shapeshifting being. A wolf-human shapeshifter might be the most well-known creature of its kind in folklore and current popular culture.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Food Art: Food Lore

Artist Hong Yi

Food can be the stuff of art. Just ask Hong Yi. This artistic free spirit takes food art to new levels. Malaysian born artist and architect, she uses all types of unconventional objects to create her artwork. The use of food shows her creativity has a ‘no boundaries’ approach that has helped to break some of artistic barriers.  

Is That Art?

Hong Yi  -  whose nickname is Red - has achieved recognition for her food creations, but she uses all types of objects in her artwork. In her own words: “I like to paint but not with a paintbrush.”

Her portraits of Chinese film director Zhang Yimou created with bamboo and socks and a picture of a Taiwanese musician made by staining a canvas using only a coffee cup are truly a thing of beauty. Her unique techniques and unquestionable creativity combine to produce almost unbelievable results.

Food Challenge

Hong Yi took her food art abilities to new heights recently by completing a 30 day food challenge. During this artistic challenge she created 30 different artistic creations using food alone. The plate was her canvas and all artwork was created using edible items. Even though Yi had used food for her artistic creations before, she gives the phrase playing with food new meaning.  

Critics of Hong Yi

Artist Hong Yi is praised by many for her creativity, but she is not free from criticism. There are some reviewers that claim her work is not actual art. Some believe a more traditional approach to art would release her true talent, but Yi stays true to her own artistic calling. Implementing inventive and unique objects into her artwork is what she does and it stands out.

And, along the way, her food artwork is so beautiful you almost don’t want to eat it.

To learn more visit her on Facebook

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