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January 31 2018



When an earthquake happens coffins become underground maracas.

thanks for that not at all terrifying image 

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Portrait of Ludger Sylbaris, 2010, volcanic sand. —Rafal Bujnowski

Colors now has a fantastic online contingent, check it out.


May 7th, 1902:
A 27-year-old named Ludger Sylbaris gets tight and starts a barfight in St. Pierre, Martinique. Police arrive and lock Sylbaris in an underground solitary confinement cell.

May 8th, 1902:
Sylbaris wakes up sweating. It’s a late summer morning, but the sky is black. Sylbaris’ cell is stuffy, perhaps because, outside, the top of nearby volcano Mount Pelee has blown off in a mushroom cloud. Superheated gas curls down into the city. Screams fade in and out. Sylbaris urinates on his clothes to keep them from spontaneously combusting.

May 12, 1902:
Rescuers hear Sylbaris crying through the rubble and dig him out. He is the only survivor in a city of 30,000. After being pardoned for his crimes, Sylbaris goes on to gain celebrity for Barnum and Bailey’s Circus as “the man who lived through Doomsday”. His act: posing in a replica of the underground jail cell.

So sometimes it pays to get into barfights.

When Sylbaris received documents stating that he was pardoned, the judge said “If God forgave him, what can I do?”

January 30 2018

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Helmets of the Great War.

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Fokker DVII, on Strafing Run over Trenches by Michael Turner

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from “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen, 1917

January 29 2018

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Gas-mask-wearing French soldiers go over the top during the battle of Verdun. Printed in L’illustration, January 1, 1917

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January 28 2018

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Edmund Blunden, Undertones of War

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French soldier smoking in a trench heaped with corpses, near Souain, France, 1916

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a cautious Canadian soldier

January 27 2018

Now the mud at Passchendaele was very viscous indeed, very tenacious, it stuck to you. The mud there wasn’t liquid, it wasn’t porridge, it was a curious kind of sucking kind of mud. When you got off this track with your load, it ‘drew’ at you, not like quicksand, but a real monster that sucked at you.
— Jack Dillon, Lewis Gunner
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I saw a man this morning
    Who did not wish to die
I ask, and cannot answer,
    If otherwise wish I.

Fair broke the day this morning
    Against the Dardanelles;
The breeze blew soft, the morn’s cheeks
    Were cold as cold sea-shells.

But other shells are waiting
    Across the Aegean sea,
Shrapnel and high explosive,
    Shells and hells for me.

O hell of ships and cities,
    Hell of men like me,
Fatal second Helen,
    Why must I follow thee?

Achilles came to Troyland
    And I to Chersonese:
He turned from wrath to battle,
    And I from three days’ peace.

Was it so hard, Achilles,
    So very hard to die?
Thou knewest and I know not—
    So much the happier I.

I will go back this morning
    From Imbros over the sea;
Stand in the trench, Achilles,
    Flame-capped, and shout for me.
— Patrick Shaw-Stewart’s only known poem, written at Gallipolli, July 13th, 1915. He was later killed on December 30th, 1917 in France, after having his ear torn off by shrapnel just minutes before and refusing to go to a casualty clearing station.

January 26 2018

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A Great War-era cigarette card in tribute to South Africa

see more of the series here

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Olesya Nickolaeva

amazing gallery

I preferred my own kind of death, the kind that comes late….in twenty years….thirty…maybe more…to this death they were trying to deal me right away…eating Flanders mud, my whole mouth full of it, fuller than full, split to the ears by a shell fragment.

Journey to the End of the Night, Louis-Ferdinand Céline

The wound from the shell fragment he mentioned gave him problems the rest of his life, including horrible headaches and tinnitus.

January 25 2018

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rrenactors at Yorkshire Wartime Experience by James Pawlowski

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