Friday, May 31, 2013

Brutal Execution Methods - 2

Colombian Necktie

This method of execution is one of the goriest. The victim’s throat is slashed, often with a knife but really any sharp object would do, and then their tongue is pulled out through the open wound. During La Violencia, a Colombian period of history fraught with killing, this was the most common form of execution. It is used mainly to intimidate others who encounter the body after the fact.

Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered

The penalty for high treason in England, to be hanged, drawn and quartered was a common occurrence during medieval times. Although it was abolished in 1814, this form of execution was responsible for hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of deaths. The process was as follows. First, the victim is dragged on a wooden frame, called a hurdle, to the place of the execution. Second, the victim is hanged by the neck for a short period of time until nearly dead (hanged). Third, the disembowelment and castration occur, where afterward, the entrails and genitalia are burned in front of the victim (drawn). Finally, the body is divided into four separate parts and beheaded (quartered).

Cement shoes

Introduced by the American Mafia, this method of execution involves placing the victim’s feet inside of cinder blocks and then filling them with wet cement and then throwing him or her into the water. This form of execution is still practiced today, and even created the term “someone who sleeps with the fishes” as a euphemism for the dead.


The guillotine is one of the most notorious forms of execution. Made up of a razor sharp blade attached to a rope, the victims head was placed in the middle of the frame and then the blade dropped with efficiency, causing the person to be decapitated almost instantly. The guillotine is a seemingly humane method of execution until you consider that people potentially are still alive for a few moments following the act. Crowds have reported that people who had been guillotined would blink their eyes or mouth words shortly after their heads had been cut off. Experts theorized that the swiftness of the blade had little impact on the brain, and didn’t cause loss of consciousness. One doctor even reported witnessing a man’s execution, and when he called the prisoner’s name after his head was detached, the prisoner made eye contact with him, even focusing his pupils. It must be pretty weird to know that your head is no longer attached to your body!

Republican Marriage

The Republican Marriage might not be the most gruesome death on this list, but it is certainly one of the most interesting. Originating in France, this form of execution was common in Revolutionary France. It involved tying together two naked people, a male and female usually of a similar age, and drowning them. In some cases, usually where water wasn’t available, the couple would be run through with a sword.


This ancient method of execution is one of the most well known methods, obviously mainly due to the execution of Jesus Christ. Crucifixion consists of the victims hands and feet being nailed into a wooden cross and then being hoisted into the air. The victim is then left to hang there until death, which usually took days, and often meant dying of thirst before anything else.

The Brazen Bull

The Brazen Bull, sometimes known as the Sicilian Bull is one of the cruelest methods of torture and execution out there. Designed in ancient Greece, solid brass was cast into the shape of a hollow bull, with a door on the side that opened and latched. To begin the execution, the victim was placed inside of the brass bull and a fire was set underneath. The fire was heated until the metal was literally yellow, causing the victim to “roast to death”. Yum. The bull was designed so that the screams of the victim would come out sounding musical for the enjoyment of the executioner. Naturally enough, the inventor of this form of punishment ended up being executed inside of the Bull, which was all too predictable. You live by the horns, you die by the horns. While this is a tough list to rank, we feel comfortable putting The Brazen Bull in the top spot

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Brutal Execution Methods - 1

Buried Alive

Being buried alive starts out our list of executions. Dating back to times B.C., this punishment has been used for individuals as well as groups. The victim is usually tied up and then placed in a hole and buried. One of the most recent and disturbing uses of this form of execution was the Nanjing Massacre during World War II, when Japanese soldiers buried groups of Chinese civilians alive in what was referred to as the “Ten Thousand Corpse Ditch”.

Snake Pit

One of the oldest forms of torture and execution, snake pits were a very common form of capital punishment. Convicts were cast into a deep pit with venomous snakes, dying after the irritated and poorly fed snakes attacked them. Several famous leaders have been said to die this way, including Ragnar Lodbrok, the Viking warlord, and Gunnar the king of Burgundy. Some variation on the traditional snake pit is being thrown into a small pool of water containing water snakes.

The Spanish Tickler

This torture device was commonly used in Europe during the Middle Ages. Used to tear open the victim’s skin, this weapon could rip through anything, including muscle and bone. The victim was tied up naked, sometimes in public, and then the torturers begin mutilating them. Usually starting on the limbs and working inward, the neck and face were always saved for last.

Slow Slicing

Ling Chi, translated as “slow slicing” or “the lingering death” was described as the death by a thousand cuts. Practiced from 900 AD to 1905, this form of torture and execution is similar to The Five Pains, but drawn out over a much longer period of time. The torturer slowly cuts and removes several body parts, extending the victims life and torture as long as possible. According to Confucian principle, a body that is cut into pieces cannot be whole in the spiritual afterlife, making the form of execution one that still tortures the victim in the afterlife.

Burning at the Stake

Death by burning has been used as a form of capital punishment for centuries, often associated with crimes such as treason and witchcraft. Today it is considered cruel and unusual punishment, but before the 18th century, being burned on the stake was common practice. The victim is tied to a large stake, frequently in the center of town or anywhere with onlookers and then lit on fire. It is considered one of the slowest ways to die.


Commonly practiced in South Africa, Necklacing is unfortunately still quite common today. Necklacing consists of a rubber tire, filled with gasoline, being forced around the victim’s chest and arms, and then being set on fire. Necklacing essentially causes the body to be turned into a melted mess, which is why it comes in at number 10 on our list.

Execution by Elephant

In South and Southeast Asia, the elephant has been a method of capital punishment for thousands of years. The animals were trained to execute two ways. Slowly, in a prolonged manner, dismembering and torturing or by crushing, which killed the victim nearly instantly. Usually employed by royalty, these elephant assassins only heightened the fear of royalty to the common people, proving that they even had the ability to control wild animals. The concept was eventually adopted and finessed by the Roman military to deal with deserting soldiers.

The Five Pains

This form of Chinese capital punishment is a relatively easy concept to grasp. It starts with the victims nose being cut off, then one hand and one foot, and finally, the victim is castrated and cut in half across the waist. Inventor of this punishment Li Si, a Chinese Prime Minister, was eventually tortured and then executed this way.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Renewable Energy In Highways

Solar Arch on Highways

The Solar Arch is a concept formulated by industrial designer Tyson Steele. It will provide covering for rural roads, that in turn can generate renewable solar energy for off-grid highway lighting. The Solar Arch can also supplement electricity demands in neighboring low capacity required areas.

Jet Stream Super-Highway

Conceived by industrial designer David Huang, this unique concept features vehicles extracting energy from the road infrastructure and roads in turn drawing energy from the environment. Based on an open-return wind tunnel design that produces a continuous stream of air flow from the environment, the roadway is shaped like a half-pipe in cross section. It has a series of solar-powered turbines and fans hovering above to push air into the road pathway, in addition to continuously drawing air at a controlled rate by outer drawing vents on the flanks – forming a cycle effect.

Green Roadway Project – Solar and wind generators mounted on Highways

Contrived by inventors Gene Fein and Ed Merritt, this progressive project is based upon the green dictum of endless highways becoming metamorphosed into renewable energy generators, which could one day power our cities with clean energy and can also offer electricity for roadside charging of electric vehicles.

E Turbine on the Highways

Conceptualized by industrial designer Pedro Gomes and aptly named the E Turbine, it is basically a wind generation system that uses the air movement emanated from passing traffic to produce and accumulate energy. Supposedly it can also work with street and road lighting, information panels and emergency phones.

Solar Roadways

The Solar Roadway is a prototype of an ‘intelligent’ road with solar panels imbued onto the road itself. Along with generating clean electricity, these panels can also provide data about damages and other information, by the help of microprocessing boards embedded in them.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

World View

See how a question poses problems in different parts of the world!!!

A worldwide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was:

'Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?'

The survey was a huge failure,

In Africa they didn't know what 'food' meant,

In India they didn't know what 'honest' meant,

In Europe they didn't know what 'shortage' meant,

In China they didn't know what 'opinion' meant,

In the Middle East they didn't know what 'solution' meant,

In South America they didn't know what 'please' meant,

And in the USA they didn't know what 'the rest of the world' meant!

Monday, May 27, 2013


Size: Indeterminate, but includes a good part of Milwaukee, Antarctica, and some French islands

The internet has become a veritable playground for amateur nation builders, as new countries—many of which exist only on paper—can use websites and blogs as a way to build up their populations and drum up support for their cause. There is perhaps no better example of this than Talossa, an upstart country formed in 1979 by then-14-year-old Robert Ben Madison of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It officially seceded from the United States in the same year (though, as its website states, the U.S. didn’t seem to notice) and established itself as a constitutional monarchy with “King Ben” as its head. In the beginning, Talossa was just a joke hobby (the original “Kingdom” consisted of Madison’s bedroom), but in 1995 Talossa became the first micronation to get a website, and from there its legend and its membership grew rapidly. Soon, it had developed a cult following, and conventions called Talossafests were regularly held in and around Milwaukee.

As micronations go, Talossa features one of the most fully realized cultures. Fans have traced its “history” back to the Berbers, written a national anthem (“Stand Tall, Talossans”) and, most impressively, composed a 25,000-word dictionary of their own invented language, the so-called Talossan Tongue. As one of the world’s oldest micronations (Madison claims to have coined the term), Talossa has become famous the world over, but it has not been without controversy: in 2004, a group of citizens rebelled against the crown and formed the Republic of Talossa, and it seems that a rival Kingdom has also recently sprung up—all only online, of course.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ancient coins of Rome

These erotic coins were used in ancient Rome for the services of prostitutes.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Shalimar Garden

The Shalimar Garden is a Persian garden and it was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in Lahore, modern day Pakistan. Construction began in 1641 A.D. (1051 A.H.) and was completed the following year. The project management was carried out under the superintendence of Khalilullah Khan, a noble of Shah Jahan's court, in cooperation with Ali Mardan Khan and Mulla Alaul Maulk Tuni. The Shalimar Garden is laid out in the form of an oblong parallelogram, surrounded by a high brick wall, which is famous for its intricate fretwork. The gardens measure 658 meters north to south and 258 meters east to west. In 1981, Shalimar Gardens was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Lahore Fort, under the UNESCO Convention concerning the protection of the world's cultural and natural heritage sites in 1972

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

At 836,000 square miles in size, Greenland is the world’s largest island, but its tiny population of 57,000 people means that it’s also the most desolate. And of all the towns in Greenland, perhaps none is as remote (or as difficult to pronounce) as Ittoqqortoormiit, a small fishing and hunting village located on the island’s eastern shore, to the north of Iceland. The town is part of a municipal district roughly the size of England, but it has a population of only slightly more than 500 people, meaning that each person technically has more than 150 square miles to call their own. Residents make their living off of hunting polar bears and whales, which are prevalent in the area, and by fishing for Halibut during the warmer months. Ittoqqortoormiit lies on the coast, but the seas surrounding it are almost perpetually frozen, leaving only a three-month window when the town is easily accessible by boat. There is an airport some 25 miles away, but flights are rare. For the most part, the town, one of the northernmost settlements in the world, is completely isolated in the vastness of the tundra.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spring Offensive

Also known as the Ludendorff Offensive or the kaiserschlacht (Kaiser’s battle), the Spring Offensive was launched, as its name suggests, in the Spring of 1918. Germany’s back was against the wall; the country was suffering from a British blockade of its ports, and it had lost so many men that the German army was having to recruit old men and young boys to fight at the front lines. In addition, the arrival of thousands of fresh troops from the United States was paving the way for a certain Allied victory. The German high command knew the only way to win the war was to defeat the Allies with a major offensive before the Americans could be fully deployed. German general Erich Ludendorff was chosen to plan the offensive, which was launched on 21 May, 1918. The plan was for a major push against the Somme front held by the British, with three other attacks intended to divert Allied attention from the main push. It was hoped the attack against the Somme would break the Allied lines, breaking the British army and forcing the Allies to seek armistice terms. Using fast moving “stormtroopers”, the Germans initially made significant advances, pushing the Allies back and gaining a huge chunk of land in World War I terms. However, the operation lacked clear goals, and the Germans ended up moving so fast that they were unable to transport enough supplies to maintain the advance. Also, they failed to provide fast moving units, such as cavalry, to exploit their gains. The Allies eventually dug in and halted the German advance, ending the offensive with the Germans in a weak position to defend when the final push of the war was made. The Germans lost over 680,000+ casualties in the push, mostly to the stormtrooper units leading the assaults, while the Allies lost a combined 850,000+. The attack failed in its goal to break the Allied forces, and combined with fresh American troops, the Allies were ready to make the final assault against the Germans.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Alan Smithee

Director Alan Smithee has enjoyed a long and varied career, which has seen him make everything from feature films to television pilots, cartoons, and music videos. He’d be one of Hollywood’s most prolific filmmakers if not for one key fact: he doesn’t exist. Since 1968, directors who wish to have their name removed from the credits of their films have used the name “Alan Smithee” as a pseudonym. Alan Smithee was first employed by Don Siegel on the film Death of a Gunfighter, and it’s since been used whenever a director feels that their creative control over a film project has been compromised to the extent that the final product is no longer their work. With this in mind, Alan Smithee now has 73 directorial credits on the website Internet Movie Database, including such lamentable productions as Hellraiser: Bloodline and Solar Crisis, along with TV projects including episodes of The Cosby Show and MacGyver. Mainstream directors like Michael Mann and Paul Verhoeven have also used the credit in instances where movies like Heat or Showgirls are significantly edited for exhibition on television. The Director’s Guild of America officially abandoned Alan Smithee in the late nineties, after the release of a film called An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn drew unwanted attention to the name. Since then, unhappy filmmakers have chosen their own pseudonyms, but others continue to use Alan Smithee as a sort of tribute. In fact, since 2000, the phantom director has racked up a further 18 film credits.

Friday, May 17, 2013

World’s Tallest Living Horse

Radar, a Belgian draught horse, is the World’s Tallest Living Horse. This huge horse, at 6ft 71/2in from hoof to shoulder, is from Mount Pleasant, Texas. At 2,400lb, he has a giant appetite to match, putting away 20 gallons of water a day and 18lb of grain.