The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'secret history'
You know that familiar red two-lobed heart symbol seen on Valentine's Day cards, bumper stickers, and in confectionery form? Well, apparently that's no heart; that's booty:
The familiar double-lobed heart symbol seen on Valentine's Day cards and candy was inspired by the shape of human female buttocks as seen from the rear, according to a professor of psychology who studied the origin, history and symbolism of the Feb.14 holiday.
"The twin lobes of the stylized version correspond roughly to the paired auricles and ventricles (chambers) of the anatomical heart," Pranzarone said, but added that the organ "is never bright red in color" and its "shape does not have the invagination at the top nor the sharp point at the base."
Pranzarone indicated that the ancient Greeks and Romans could have originated the link between human female anatomy and the heart shape. The Greeks, he said, associated beauty with the curves of the human female behind.
Is the English town of Hertford, on the outskirts of London, the secret base of the Knights Templar, home to a vast network of secret tunnels and possibly the secret of the Holy Grail?
Someone in Hertford is now claiming to be the Templar order, which they say went underground when the church suppressed it; furthermore, they have written to the Vatican, demanding an apology for their persecution, and claim that "things are about to happen that will deserve attention".
"The vast majority of Templars either escaped, or didn't escape, but survived," Acheson says. So how did they end up in Hertford? History records that a number of them were imprisoned in Hertford Castle, but how did Hertford become a centre of operations? "I can't really tell you that. All I can tell you - it's going to be quite vague - is that they flourished in western Europe." He explains that there is a stained-glass window in St Andrew's Church, just down the street, that contains a clear metaphorical allusion to the Holy Grail, and a cryptic hint that it might be hidden in Hertford. In the picture, Acheson adds, Jesus and Mary Magdalene are looking at each other "in a very meaningful way". (Later, I find the window, interrupting local parishioners who are decorating the church for Christmas. I think I can see what Acheson means about Jesus's expression, although mainly he just looks a bit depressed.)
Public accountability is a laudable goal, but it's hardly something you expect from the secret rulers of the universe. Indeed, when a group of amateur archaeologists recently announced their intention to investigate Hertford's tunnel network, someone posted a message on a local website warning that anyone who tried would be "dealt with". The message read: "Anybody intending to find out more, let alone discover hidden areas of the labyrinth, should check their life insurance policy very carefully indeed."
The tantalisingly mysterious word "labyrinth" in the warning does raise some questions. I wonder whether the upcoming great revelation is going to be a Templarland theme park or similar tourist trap to attract Da Vinci Code fans and the well-off and credulous.
Acheson takes me on a walking tour of Hertford, and proves a knowledgeable guide, but a frustratingly cryptic one, too. So I decide to take matters into my own hands and head for Monsoon. Gemma, the manager, responds far more patiently to Grail-related inquiries than might arguably be her prerogative. There's no tunnel beneath the shop, she insists, "just the store room" - but it's "definitely haunted. When we have sales meetings there you can hear someone walking over our heads, or doing the vacuuming. But upstairs, the shop's closed and empty."
The authors of 1980s-vintage Merovingian-bloodline conspiracy-theory-of-history classic Holy Blood, Holy Grail are suing Dan Brown for plagiarism, claiming that he plagiarised their "research" into the Priory of Sion, the Knights Templar and the suppressed bloodline of Jesus Christ, in his best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code. Though, by doing so, aren't they effectively acknowledging that their research is a work of fiction? After all, one can't claim ownership of actual historical facts, can one?
Recently, claims have been coming to light that a lot of exotic inventions really came from Britain; first we had the mediæval English origins of curry, and the Scottish origins of the Afro-American musical tradition. And now a popular history author wants to add the boomerang to the list of British inventions, on the strength of rock carvings in the West Yorkshire moors depicting four-armed boomerangs. (Mainstream archæologists, however, believe that the swastika-like design was merely a common motif in Greek and Roman mythology.) Do you suppose that the contemporary two-armed design came about to make them more compact and easier to ship from England to Australia?
(Hmmm; someone should do up "historical" boomerangs made of brass or porcelain or somesuch and adorned with British imperial designs; lions, cannon, Union Flags, and such, which, in this alternate universe, could have been issued to British explorers.)
A new book from the Disinformation troublemakers: 50 things you're not supposed to know, with "irrefutable evidence" of factoids like "Nearly all American milk-cows are infected with Bovine Leukemia Virus", "Pope Pius II wrote a best selling erotic novel", and "One of the heroes of 'Black Hawk Down' was a convicted child molester". (via bOING bOING)
A Yale professor of music claims that African-American gospel music emerged from Scottish traditions, rather than African ones. Professor Willie Ruff, a renowned jazz musician, claims that the style of religious song that grew in black gospel churches in the American south owes more to Presbyterian traditions brought to the South by emigres from Scottish island communities (who worked as overseers on plantations) than the traditions brought from Africa by slaves.
"I have been to Africa many times in search of my cultural identity, but it was in the Highlands that I found the cultural roots of black America.
"When I finally met Donald, we sat down and I played him music. It was like a wonderful blind test. First I played him some psalms by white congregations, and then by a black one. He then leapt to his feet and shouted: `That's us!' "When I heard Donald and his congregation sing in Stornoway I was in no doubt there was a connection."
I'm not entirely sure how much credence to give this story (on one hand, it seems a bit like the thing about curry being a mediæval English invention; on the other hand, the arguments look superficially very plausible), though it's certainly intriguing. Though if it's true, it may explain the uncanny popularity of gospel-influenced soul music in northern Britain. (via 1.0)
Japanese journalist buys a vintage map of Tokyo, and notices inconsistencies between the locations of subway lines. Digging a little deeper, he comes to the conclusion that there is a secret network of tunnels beneath Tokyo, dating back decades, whose existence is still being actively covered up by governmental authorities. So he publishes a book about this, only to find himself virtually blacklisted by the media. Is Shun Akiba a paranoid crackpot of some sort (like the ones you hear complaining that the establishment is "suppressing" their revolutionary new theory of physics), or is there really a conspiracy of silence about the tunnels under Tokyo? (I recall that Japan doesn't have a strong tradition of transparency in government.)
Another mystery solved: If you've ever wondered what that "GUMPY IS BACK AND HE'S NOT HAPPY" billboard in Richmond meant (it was around too long to be a teaser for an ad campaign), the latest issue of 3RRR's subscriber magazine has the answer. Gumpy, it turns out, was one of the members of 1980s Beastieesque rap act Mighty Big Crime (best known for their single 16 Tons), and then went on to form teeny-bopper hippie-retro-kitsch band the Freaked Out Flower Children (best known for having professional scantily-clad blonde Sophie Lee in its lineup). Not quite Bill Drummond, but...