Δευτέρα, 27 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Oscar Chichoni

Oscar Chichoni (1957- ) is an Argentine illustrator of comic books and science fiction magazines and books. He published his first comic books pictures at the age of 17 for the Argentine publisher Record, and soon his work was paralleled to that of some famous authors like Alberto Breccia, Juan Zanotto and Juan Giménez. Following this period as a comic book artist, Chichoni devoted himself to painting and began to draw book covers for several publishers, becoming soon renowned in all the world for his powerful and well-detailed anatomies. In the second half of the 1980s he moved to Europe, collaborating and winning various awards. His main collaboration is for the Italian editor Arnoldo Mondadori's science fiction series Urania and its spin-offs. Since 1995, Chichoni has been working as free-lance, mainly as conceptual creator for films. He collaborated on the graphic part of the videogames Starship Titanic by Douglas Adams and Broken Sword 3. He won an Academy Award as art director for the film Restoration by Michael Hoffman. In 2000 he published Mekanika, his first collection of artworks. Chichoni's best-known style combines mechanical intricacy and sensuality in a striking statement of Art Deco reborn. He is a man of many pencils, and is capable of countless other styles hard-edged, gothic, impressionist, almost anything that might fire the imagination.

 Visit his SITE for more of his works

Δευτέρα, 20 Ιανουαρίου 2014

The Mummies of Venzone

For hundreds of years, a mystery surrounded the cathedral of Venzone, a small city in the province of Udine, Italy. Instead of decomposing normally, bodies buried in the tombs beneath the cathedral were perfectly preserved and still recognizable decades later, a fact which led the townspeople to periodically retrieve and commune with their dead loved ones. In modern times, scientists finally traced the source of this wonder to Hypha tombicina, a microscopic, parasitic fungus that rapidly dehydrates the bodies before decomposition can even begin. source

Κυριακή, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Typhoid Mary

 this is an illustration that appeared in The New York American (1909, 20 of June)
Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869 – November 11, 1938), better known as Typhoid Mary, was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected some 50 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. She was forcibly isolated twice by public health authorities and died after a total of nearly three decades in isolation.

Exactly how many people were infected or killed by her is not known. She refused to cooperate with health authorities, withheld information about her past, and used different pseudonyms when she changed cities. Three deaths have been definitively attributed to her, with estimates running as high as 50. Mallon was the first healthy typhoid carrier to be identified by medical science, and there was no policy providing guidelines for handling the situation. Some difficulties surrounding her case stemmed from Mallon's vehement denial of her possible role, as she refused to acknowledge any connection between her working as a cook and the typhoid cases. Mallon maintained that she was perfectly healthy, had never had typhoid fever, and could not be the source. Public-health authorities determined that permanent quarantine was the only way to prevent Mallon from causing significant future typhoid outbreaks.

A historical poster warning against acting like Typhoid Mary
Today, Typhoid Mary is a generic term for anyone who, knowingly or not, spreads something undesirable. In August 2013, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine announced they were making breakthroughs in understanding the exact science behind asymptomatic carriers such as Mary. The bacteria that causes typhoid may hide in macrophages, a type of immune cell.

Individuals can develop typhoid fever after ingesting food or water contaminated during handling by a human carrier. The human carrier may be a healthy person who has survived a previous episode of typhoid fever yet who continues to shed the associated bacteria, Salmonella typhi, in feces and urine. Washing hands with soap before touching or preparing food, washing dishes and utensils with soap and water, and only eating cooked food are all ways to reduce the risk of typhoid infection.

Read all her story in wikipedia

Κυριακή, 5 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Paul Koudounaris-Empire of Death-Heavenly Bodies

Paul Koudounaris is an author and photographer from Los Angeles. His charnel house and ossuary research and photos have made him a well-known figure in the field of macabre art, and he is a leading expert in the history of bone-decorated shrines and religious structures. He obtained a PhD in Art History from UCLA in 2004, with a specialty in Baroque-era Northern European Art. In 2006, he started extensively studying the use of human remains in religious ritual and as a decorative element in sacred spaces. He began writing about and photographing them for European newspapers such as The Prague Post, but in particular for magazines which specialized in the paranormal, such as the Fortean Times, including cover stories on sites in Europe, Asia, and South America. At the same time, he was compiling material for the first ever history of bone-decorated religious structures, visiting over 70 sites on four continents, some of which had never before been photographed or open to the public. He wrote two books about, full of stunning photographs.

The Empire of Death

In 2011, his research and photos were published by Thames and Hudson as The Empire of Death, the title taken from a caption at the Catacombs of Paris, one of the sites included in the book. The book included other famous ossuaries, such as the Sedlec Ossuary and the crypt of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, where he had been granted special permission by the monastery and Italian cultural authorities to photograph. A host of similar, previously unknown sites were also included in the book, however, and the text created a context for understanding the construction of these types of elaborate ossuaries as a Catholic phenomenon that was initiated during the Counter-Reformation.

Heavenly Bodies

His book Heavenly Bodies was released in 2013, and delved even deeper into study of obscure macabre art history by presenting the extraordinary story of a group of skeletons taken from the Roman Catacombs in the seventeenth century and completely decorated with jewels by teams of nuns. The book described how these extravagant cadavers, known as catacomb saints, were often mistakenly identified as Early Christian martyrs, then sent primarily to German-speaking lands where they were decorated and placed into Catholic Churches. Such skeletons are scarcely known nowadays, having been mostly removed and destroyed during the Enlightenment, but Koudounaris tracked down all the surviving examples and photographed them for the book. The title received a tremendous amount of press on its release, and Koudounaris was dubbed "Indiana Bones" by the UK press, in reference to his curious and macabre discoveries.