October 15th, 2009

meteor

Astro-Porn of the Day: Piro Piro Beneath the Magellanic Cloud

Here's a beautiful photo of the Southern Hemisphere sky over a moai statue on Rapa Nui. The Pacific island is also known as "Easter Island" by Westerners and "Mata-Ki-Te-Rani" ("Eyes Looking at Heaven") by ancient Polynesians. In this photo, the Large Magellanic Cloud and two bright stars (Canopus and Sirius) rise behind the maoi named "Piro Piro."

Click the image to see the story. Photo by Stéphane Guisard.

At least 288 stone moai statues once stood upon massive ahu or stone platforms, spaced approximately one-half mile apart in around the perimeter of the island. These Stone-Heads average 14 feet tall and 14 tons heavy, carved from Rano Raraku volcanic stone. It would have taken dozens or hundreds of people to drag the maois across the island; considering that the population probably stood around 3000, that's a pretty massive undertaking.

Anthropologists theorize that the inhabitants arrived on this once-forested island about 300AD, built the first maois about 500AD and the last ones about 1650AD. The culture that built the maoi began to self-destruct sometime after Dutch explorer Jakob Roggeveen found the island in 1722 and Cook's visit in 1774, when many of the maois had been toppled. The history of Rapa Nui that we know about is tragic and - like so many such stories - reflects poorly on human nature. Check out this wiki article to get an overview. It includes slavery and plague.

Here's a map of Rapa Nui, showing its location in the Pacific:

Click the image to see the Wikipedia article and a larger version of the map.

Anthropologists believe the statues personified the religious and political power of their ancestors. Ancient Polynesian religions often believed that such carved objects were repositories of sacred spirit, imbued with a magical spiritual essence called "mana" (recognize that, gamers?), and the design of these statues is similar to styles found elsewhere in Polynesia.

Enough history: Check out the beauty of this shot. The silent and still personification of all this painful history standing beneath the distant and timeless stars makes for a pretty picture, eh?

Chris
DevilDoll

It Starts With Murder... Wednesday the 21st!

The Lawrence Journal-World writes a great review of this movie! "Take an Agatha Christie mystery, inject it with John Waters' raunchy camp, bathe it all in primary colors and fake blood, and you've got something resembling the new film out of Lawrence, 'It Starts with Murder'!"

Click the image to see the story.

"It Starts With Murder" is Lawrencian Rob Gillaspie and Scarum Harum Productions' first feature film. The big gala opening takes place next Wednesday, October 21, at 6:30pm at Liberty Hall. And it's only $1 to attend!

Rob and Curvacia VaVoom also lead the band The Spook Lights, playing with a bunch of other bands at the Jackpot on Halloween (Saturday, October 31) at 10:00pm.

Like self-conscious camp? Then check out the NSFW trailer:


Should be a hoot. If you're in Lawrence next Wednesday, come on over and join the fun.

Chris

PS: Guess who can't sleep? *sigh*