Chalcedony Statuette of a Herm of Herakles, Roman Imperial, 2nd Century AD
While sculptures of bronze and marble are among the most well-known artistic legacies of Greece and Rome, ancient artists also produced fine works of sculpture in other materials such as terracotta, ivory, gold, silver, glass, and rare or semi-precious stone. Some artists possessed the remarkable skills needed to transform hard stone into miniature sculpture worthy of comparison with the finest works in bronze and marble. This extraordinary and finely made statuette of Herakles is just such an object. It stands out as a masterwork, even when considered among the small number of other stone statuettes that are known, and testifies to the superior talent of artists who created such luxuria during the Roman Imperial Period. This type of herm representing Herakles first appears in the Greek Hellenistic period and becomes prevalent during Roman Imperial times. This herm is supported by a golden pedestal of 18th century date, following a custom of the time for mounting such rare objects.
Jokes about dragons are an ace thing? What vital piece of knowledge am I missing?
It’s a smaller association, but dragons have been associated with asexual culture for some time. I don’t think there’s any big symbolism behind it, it most likely started when people joked about how we’re more into dragons than sex, and it took off.
It might have also gotten highlighted by how, traditionally, dragons aren’t ‘born’ or reproduced. As reptilian non-animals, dragons exist as forces of nature, like thunderstorms or tsunamis. So their existence has no sexual energy. Depending on the dragon, of course.
It also runs on the association of queer people and monsters. The lgbt+ community has long since studied monsters and their symbolism, and compared it to our own philosophy. Monsters exist beyond the binary, and many of them were designated evil or destructive because they challenged social norms. Demons encouraged anarchy and ruling from beyond a shepherd’s hand, werewolves a transformation into a freed impulsive nature, mermaids the duality of identity, and so on.
When asked what fans can expect from the latest instalment of Thor, director Taika Waititi somewhat unhelpfully says it will be “Taika-esque”.
Asked if he could perhaps describe it in literally any other way, he laughs. “I can’t! There’s no way!”
As far as whetting the appetites of Marvel fanatics goes, it’s a little counterproductive. Thor: Ragnarok will be watched by many more people who are familiar with the franchise than those who know Waititi’s work – but this may be the film that makes the New Zealand director a household name.
The big-budget Thor is a far cry from the Flight of the Conchords, of which Waititi wrote and directed a few episodes, and from What We Do In The Shadows, the 2014 vampire mockumentary he made with Jemaine Clement. And it’s almost the antithesis of Hunt for the Wilderpeople: the family friendly little-Kiwi-film-that-could, which was a surprise hit at box offices around the world last year.
But while the types of projects may differ wildly, his treatment of them – the bit that makes them “Taika-esque” – doesn’t. Even Waititi’s government-funded anti-drug-driving campaign, Tinnyvision – made in collaboration with Snapchat in 2014 – has the same warm, sly humour of his features.
And yet, after 41 years’ experience of being “Taika-esque” himself, he still struggles to describe it.
“If someone asked, ‘What are your films like?’, the best I can come up with is that they’re, like, a fine balance between comedy and drama. And they deal mainly with the clumsiness of humanity.”
Well, that’s definitely true of Tinnyvision.
As evidenced by his decision to set Ragnarok outside the Marvel universe – a ballsy move, given the size of the fandom and budget in question – Waititi is one to do things his own way. And it’s paying off.
‘To what degree do you think being Christian is compatible with being Buddhist?
I think it is quite possible. There are also things Buddhists can learn from the experience of our Christian brothers and sisters. Recently, during a visit to a Catholic monastery, I found that the monks I met there had many things in common with Tibetan Buddhists. With some aspects, such as poverty and contentment, I find the ways of the Christian monks to be better than those of our own monks. I think some Tibetan monks have perhaps a bit too much comfort. Just as Tibetan monks could learn a few things in this respect from Christian monks, Christian followers could in turn learn certain techniques for developing love, compassion, one-pointed concentration, and for improving altruism, from their Tibetan counterparts. I think with these topics it is possible to borrow those techniques specific to Buddhism, and I have Christian friends who do this. When different religions come together, there is a great deal they can learn from each other.’
- The Dalai Lama, Beyond Dogma, The Challenge of the Modern World.
There are 50’s sci-fi movies with wonderful titles like The Monster that Challenged the World and IT! The Terror from Beyond Space.
I poke fun at how irrelevant or misleading some of them are, but I actually love
them: there’s nothing to entice me to see a silly movie than a
deliriously hyperbolic title! Then there’s this film, Twelve to
the Moon, which is about twelve people going to the moon. No
points for the title guy.
“Come my child.” A voice called out to me. A figure held out her hands in an attempt to embrace me within her warm light. “you have lived a virtuous life… it is time for you to rest now.” I stood up only to look her in the eyes with fire and life still burning in mines to say “I must apologize heavenly mother” within a dedicated voice. “but my time is not now.” I turned around to steadily walked to the edge of the paradise. “I thank you for the offer, but i have business elsewhere and ive come too far to fail.” I said while clinching my fists. without a seconds hesitation I jumped from the paradise into the unknown.
At great speeds I passed the heavens, the abysmal of outter space, the earth I once and hope to call again home, to the great depths, until i reached it. I crashed down, knee and hand onto the scorching ground only to be met with pillars of fire. Demons sang song of my arrival “they jumped they jumped ” “i wonder what their here for i wonder what their here for”
The land I came across was like no other. In the distance there was only torchered souls being burned for what seemed like an eternity in a sea of flames burning hotter than the pillars before me. The ground began to split only to let out a rush of hot wind. I looked with conviction through the burning gust to see two giant hands with claws that could pierce even the thickest armor rise from the ground. The great beast rose from the crack and growled "FOOLISH CHILD, YOU HAVE FORESAKEN AN ETERNITY OF PARADISE ONLY TO LEAP TO MY DOMAIN? TELL ME WHY MORTAL.“ With my knees bent and my fists to my side as if ready for a fight I spoke "YOU KNOW WHAT I’VE COME FOR DEMON” The beast bellowed “EVERY OTHER HAS FAILED, NOW THEY SUFFER. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK TO BE DIFFERENT?” I yelled “I AM NOT EVERY OTHER” The great beast laughed, looked at me with excitement and spoke"Very well mortal.“ He screeched "O GREAT FORBIDDEN ONE, ANOTHER MORTAL WISHES TO CHALLENGE YOU!”
From beyond the mountains topped with lava, sea of fire, it came crashing to me. A giant serpent that brought no caution to the wind as it crashed through everything from human souls to winged demons. It hungered for battle. It appeared before me levitating at side with the great beast, glaring at me.The monster gave me a wicked grin only to raise its head and let out a blood thirsty war cry.
I readied myself by putting my body in a stance as if ready for a fight not just for my life, but for my soul. I clinched one fist behind me and looked The forbidden one in its red glowing eyes that would shake men to the core as i whispered “Giratina”
The great beast spoke “FOOL. IF YOU FAIL YOU SHALL SPEND ALL OF ETERNITY IN MY DOMAIN” As the beast began to approach me, teeth ready for battle, wings ready for war, I smirked, as inside my clinched fist was a master ball.
Aside from the challenge of living,
ventures lie skimming the surface
where open sunlit waters…sparkle
where gentle sunlight caresses your face
where warm winds stream through your hair
with the promise of twilight
that fades in the sky
folding the thickness of the day
into a whispered dream
a dream that fits in my hand
held close to my heart
where I count
the playground of stars…
Julia bounced around a little on the crisp white sand of one of the beaches in the virtual world. She was beyond ready to start the challenge, but she knew from the past that there was usually a slight break in between the start of the episode and the start of the challenge. Julia decided that now would be a swell time to get to know some of the other contestants, and she zipped over to the first person she saw. Tapping them on the shoulder, she grinned as they turned around. “Hey there!!! I’m Julia!”
Audition for the second generation of Platinum Happy!
July 12th has arrived, and the auditions for the second generation of Platinum Happy are officially open! After an exciting start for Platinum Happy, filled with several fun releases and group activities, we are on the search for our next generation of net idols to join this dynamic group!
For those who are unfamiliar with our group (and those of you who fall into this category should definitely check out our releases!), Platinum Happy is a net idol group, focused on producing high-quality releases, showcasing the skills and personalities of our members, and celebrating the fun of being an online idol. Our musical releases are centered around the J-pop genre. So far, we have produced numerous cover songs and are excited to release our first original single later this summer! In addition to our music, members participate in multiple activities, ranging from a challenge series, regular social media updates, and beyond. We’re aimed at making an interactive community where our idols and fans/viewers can meet!
With a strong member focus, we are interested in supporting our idols as they strengthen and showcase their skills, talents, and interests— whatever they may be. We are dedicated to helping our idols flourish and show the world their idol personas!
Do you have aspirations of becoming a net idol and having the chance to develop your online idol presence? Then, we invite you to audition for our second generation! Auditions open on Sunday, July 12 and run until 11:59 PM PDT on Saturday, August 15. The audition process involves the completion of an audition form, along with the submission of at least one audition song of your choice. To access the audition form and for more specifics on audition requirements, please click HERE.
If you have any questions about the audition process or Platinum Happy in general, we are more than happy to answer, so don’t be shy! Feel free to leave a comment below, email us at email@example.com, or send us an ask through our Tumblr. No matter your experience level, if you’re interested in joining our group, we would love to receive an audition from you. Good luck to all interested applicants! We’re so excited to hear from you all and begin the process of selecting our next generation of net idols. Thank you once again to all of our fans and viewers for your support, especially in this exciting time as the group advances forward into a bright future!