st. vincent de paul's

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photos from some of the events that set in motion the fall of the egyptian monarchy and the 1952 egyptian revolution. content warning: graphic images.

1. an october 1951 cairo protest against britain over disputes over control of the suez canal and sudan.

2. a banner demands the release of egyptian political prisoners to meet the british in battle, during a 3-day anti-british campaign demanding the expulsion of the british from egypt and sudan, november 1951.

3. action during a 2-day outbreak of violence in the outskirts of suez between egyptian police and british troops. the following day, an angry suez mob, following a general campaign of anti-christian demonstrations and attacks fueled by chants such as “today the english, tomorrow the christians,” dragged some christian victims through the streets and killed them. A church, school, and benevolent society, were attacked, looted, and burned. january 1952.

4. egyptian police officers are marched by british troops out of the police stations of el-hamada and tel el-kebir, as part of a british hunt for snipers. the police officers were known to be harboring fedayeen. january 1952.

5. the body of american nun sister anthony of the convent of st. vincent de paul of ismailia, killed in the crossfire during a skirmish between british troops and fedayeen.

6. in retaliation, british troops moved into ismailia and cleared a large section of the city. guarded by british soldiers and herded behind barbed wire while their homes were  searched and ransacked, hundreds of egyptian families were evicted from ismailia carrying their belongings on their backs.

7. egyptians taken prisoner after a violent standoff between the british troops who had tracked the fedayeen to the local police barracks and the police officers who refused to surrender them, culminating in the storming of the barracks and the killing of over 50 egyptians. 

8. the rivoli cinema burns during what is known as the cairo fires. demonstrations in support of the fedayeen and police officers in cairo escalated into a violent rampage through downtown cairo, in which furious mobs burned down and destroyed businesses associated with the british and west, including businesses owned by egyptian jews, considered a foreign element by many.

9. the burned-out remains of the fancy cicurel department store, owned by the distinguished egyptian jewish cicurel family. favored for its european imports by the royal family, it escaped being placed under government administration in 1948, the fate of other jewish businesses. the store was the target of a muslim brotherhood bomb attack in 1948 but it was rebuilt immediately just like it was rebuilt and reopened after the cairo fire. initially favored by general muhammed naguib’s new regime, the store was placed under government sequestration during the suez war. the cicurel family managed to reopen it briefly after its confiscation but soon had to cede it to a muslim-owned company. the family moved to france the following year.

10. police drag abdulhamid metwally el mettat to prison from court, after he was convicted of distributing rags soaked in petrol to rioters during the cairo fire, and sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

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Hello my mental health warriors! Today, as part of my spring break in Provence, I visited Saint-Paul Asylum in Saint-Remy. This is the mental hospital that Vincent Van Gogh committed himself to in 1889. Shortly after Van Gogh severed his own ear, he began to have severe hallucinations which led to his residence at Saint-Paul.

The beautiful gardens of Saint-Paul Asylum inspired some of his best works of art, including Irises (featured above). However, the bizarre treatment administered (leeches, ice-baths, isolation) did little to help Van Gogh’s anxiety, manic-depression, hallucinations, and self harm. He left the asylum after a year and committed suicide soon after. 

In this time period, there were few treatments that could have helped Van Gogh. His art lives on and unfortunately his mental illness has become greatly romanticized. I’m so glad that there are now effective and appropriate treatments for the illnesses Van Gogh suffered from. Hopefully, the world won’t lose another incredible artist to mental illness, the way we lost Van Gogh.

“Be careful not to do too much. It is a ruse of the devil, by which he deceives good people, to induce them to do more than they are able, so that they end up not being able to do anything. The spirit of God urges one gently to do the good that can reasonably be done, so that it may be done perseveringly and for a long time.”
—  St. Vincent de Paul, to Saint Louise, June 1632

RIT Dye More vs. Monster High Pt 1

Like many people, I’ve been kinda excited by the announcement of RIT’s new Dye More line. Would it actually dye the hard plastic of Monster High dolls? Would I finally get to make my black werewolf OCs? I had to know! So when my parents got me a Field Trip Clawdeen for my birthday, the next logical step was to buy a bottle of Graphite Dye More and a junker stock pot ($10 on sale at St. Vincent de Paul. YAY SAINT VINNIE’S!).

Naturally, I did not start with my good doll. Science Experiment Draculaura is on the job! I started by reading the dying instructions of Lego bricks on the RIT site. I then filled my stock pot with enough water to cover the doll (8 cups) and prepared to add my dye. According to the proportions listed on the site, I needed 2 cups. A bottle of dye has 1 cup. Oops. Oh well, into the pot went the dye and on went the heat!

I brought the dye bath to a boil, killed the heat, and moved the pot off the stove. Since I wanted an idea of how quickly the parts would dye in relationship to each other, I didn’t remove the head and hands, but rather popped everything in all at once. I left the face up in place to see how that reacted. By the time the water cooled (about 20 minutes?) I had this:

The head and hands, as expected, took the dye really well. The body didn’t take it badly, but was still a decidedly a different colour. And those stubborn lower legs? Still stubborn. (Don’t mind the string around her neck - I didn’t find my slotted spoon until part way through this whole thing and needed a way to pull her out of the dye bath.)

Thinking that maybe I’d misunderstood the instructions, I put the doll back in, moved the stock pot back onto the burner, and turned the heat on. I kept a careful eye on things to make sure there wasn’t any melting and brought it back up to a boil. The body quickly turned the same shade as the hands. The lower legs slowly darkened.

Very slowly.

But hey, things weren’t melting! I was really impressed. I was about ready to proclaim this plastic indestructible when I picked her up and suddenly realized that while nothing visible was melting, her one remaining leg was decidedly…..floppy.

I did not pose her leg like that. I just picked her up and it did that on it’s own. Turns out the one plastic that responds to heat is the plastic holding the hips in place. The good news is, even with all that dying, it’s still holding, so for display dolls it’s not a super huge issue.

By this point I’d been working about an hour? Hour and a half? That’s including prep time. I decided it was time to stop. The final results:

The dyed body in the center compared to regular Draculaura and Catty Noir. As you can see, the dye had a serious effect on the stubborn lower leg, even though it didn’t quite win in the end. The rest of the body is nicely black. The finish is pretty smooth, although it’s not perfect. The flaws especially show up if you take her into the sunlight. Still, over all pretty pleasing, where it worked.

For general comparison, the dyed leg next to Jane Boolittle.