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Saturday, 1 December 2012

Sepia Saturday 154; Bridges of sighs;

The most famous or infamous Bridge of  Sighs.

The Bridge of Sighs,  Ponte dei Sospiri 
is a bridge located in Venice. The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone and has windows with stone bars. It passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace. It was designed by Antoni Contino(whose uncle Antonio da Ponte had designed the Rialto Bridge and built in 1602.
The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge name, given by Lord Byron in the 19th century, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken 

 down to their cells. In reality, the days of inquisitions and summary executions were over by the time the bridge was built and the cells under the palace roof were occupied mostly by small-time criminals. In addition, little could be seen from inside the Bridge due to the stone grills covering the windows.
A local legend says that lovers will be granted eternal love and bliss if they kiss on a gondola at sunset under the Bridge Of Sighs.



Hertford Bridge,
 popularly known as the Bridge of Sighs, is a skyway joining two parts of Hertford College over New College Lane in Oxford, England. Its distinctive design makes it a city landmark.

The bridge is often referred to as the Bridge of Sighs because of its supposed similarity to the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice. However, Hertford Bridge was never intended to be a replica of the Venetian bridge.
There is a false legend saying that many decades ago, a survey of the health of students was taken, and as Hertford College's students were the heaviest, the college closed off the bridge to force them to take the stairs, giving them extra exercise. However, if the bridge is not used, the students actually climb fewer stairs than if they use the bridge.





The Bridge of Sighs in Cambridge
is a covered bridge belonging to St John's College of Cambridge University. It was built in 1831 and crosses the River Cam between the college's Third Court and New Court. The architect was Henry Hutchinson]
It is named after the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, although they have little architecturally in common beyond the fact that they are both covered. 
A common myth states that it was the students who named this bridge "bridge of sighs," as the context of its existing within the college grounds means that the "sighs" are those of pre-exam students. This belief probably has much to do with the function of the bridge—linking two quadrangles of St John's College together in a covered path, as opposed to Kitchen Bridge, which is an open-air bridge. Students are rumoured for their sighs on proceeding from their quarters on the Backs to the tutor's offices in the main college quadrangle.






Långholmsbron 
 is a bridge in central Stockholm, Sweden. Connecting the major island Södermalm to the minor island Långholmen.
The bridge was formerly called Spinnhusbron ("The spinning house Bridge") in reference to the precursor to the Långholmen prison, and, popularly, Suckarnas bro ("The Bridge of Sighs"), also in reference to the prison. 






The Virginia Street Bridge in Reno, Nevada,
known for being the place where newly-divorced women coming from the Washoe County Courthouse would toss their wedding rings into the Truckee River.


Now, build a bridge and walk over to Sepia Saturday 154

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Thursday; new shoes...


come on ...walkies...

The oldest known leather shoe, about 5500 years old, found in Armenia.



The foot contains more bones than any other single part of the body. Though it has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in relation to vastly varied terrain and climate conditions, the foot is still vulnerable to environmental hazards such as sharp rocks and hot ground, against which shoes can protect.


The earliest known shoes are sandals dating from approximately 7,000 or 8,000 B.C. The world's oldest leather shoe, made from a single piece of cowhide laced with a leather cord along seams at the front and back, was found in a cave in Armenia in 2008 and is believed to date to 3,500 B.C. Ötzi the Iceman's shoes, dating to 3,300 BC, featured brown bearskin bases, deerskin side panels, and a bark-string net, which pulled tight around the foot.
 However, it is estimated that shoes may have been used long before this, but it is difficult to find evidence of the earliest footwear due to the highly perishable nature of early shoes. By studying the bones of the smaller toes (as opposed to the big toe), it was observed that their thickness decreased approximately 40,000 to 26,000 years ago. This led archaeologists to deduce that wearing shoes resulted in less bone growth, resulting in shorter, thinner toes. These earliest designs were very simple in design, often mere "foot bags" of leather to protect the feet from rocks, debris, and cold. They were more commonly found in colder climates.

Many early natives in North America wore a similar type of footwear known as the moccasin. These are tight-fitting, soft-soled shoes typically made out of leather or bison hides. Many moccasins were also decorated with various beads and other adornments. Moccasins were not designed to get wet, and in wet weather and warm summer months, most Native Americans went barefoot
As civilizations began to develop, thong sandals (the precursors of the modern flip-flop) were worn. This practice dates back to pictures of them in ancient Egyptian murals from 4,000 B.C. One pair found in Europe was made of papyrus leaves and dated to be approximately 1,500 years old. They were also worn in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus Christ. Thong sandals were worn by many civilizations and made from a wide variety of materials. Ancient Egyptian sandals were made from papyrus and palm leaves. The Masai of Africa made them out of rawhide. In India, they were made from wood. In China and Japan, rice straw was used. The leaves of the sisal plant were used to make twine for sandals in South America, while the natives of Mexico used the Yucca plant.

The foot contains more bones than any other single part of the body. Though it has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in relation to vastly varied terrain and climate conditions, the foot is still vulnerable to environmental hazards such as sharp rocks and hot ground, against which shoes can protect.


While thong sandals were commonly worn, many people in ancient times, such as the Egyptians, Hindu and Greeks, saw little need for footwear, and most of the time, preferred being barefoot. The Egyptians and Hindus made some use of ornamental footwear, such as a soleless sandal known as a "Cleopatra", which did not provide any practical protection for the foot. The ancient Greeks largely viewed footwear as self-indulgent, unaesthetic and unnecessary. Shoes were primarily worn in the theater, as a means of increasing stature, and many preferred to go barefoot. Athletes in the Ancient Olympic Games participated barefoot – and naked Even the gods and heroes were primarily depicted barefoot, and the hoplite warriors fought battles in bare feet and Alexander the Great conquered his vast empire with barefoot armies. The runners of Ancient Greece are also believed to have run barefoot. 
The Romans, who eventually conquered the Greeks, and adopted many aspects of their culture, did not adopt the Greek perception of footwear and clothing. Roman clothing was seen as a sign of power, and footwear was seen as a necessity of living in a civilized world, although the slaves and paupers usually went barefoot.
 There are many references to shoes being worn in the Bible. During weddings of this period, a father would give his son-in-law a pair of shoes, to symbolize the transfer of authority. Slaves were also commonly barefoot, and shoes were considered badges of freedom since biblical times:

A common casual shoe in the Pyrenees during the Middle Ages are espadrilles. These are sandals with braided jute soles and a fabric upper portion, and often includes fabric laces that tie around the ankle. The term is French and comes from the esparto grass. The shoes originate in the Catalonian region of Spain as early as the 13th century, and were commonly worn by peasants in the farming communities in the area.

By the 15th Century, pattens became popular by both men and women in Europe. These are commonly seen as the predecessor of the modern high-heeled shoe while the poor and lower classes in Europe, as well as slaves in the New World, were barefoot.

 In the 15th century, the Crakow was fashionable in Europe. This style of shoe is named because it is thought to have originated in Kraków, the capitol of Poland. The style is characterized by the point of the shoe, known as the "polaine", which often was supported by a whalebone tied to the knee to prevent the point getting in the way while walking.
 Also during the 15th century, chopines were created in Turkey, and were usually 17.7-20.3 cm high. These shoes became popular in Venice and throughout Europe, as a status symbol revealing wealth and social standing. 

During the 16th century, royalty started wearing high-heeled shoes to make them look taller or larger than life, such as Catherine de Medici or Mary I of England. By 1580, even men wore them, and a person with authority or wealth was often referred to as, "well-heeled.
Many medieval shoes were made using the turnshoe method of construction, in which the upper was turned flesh side out, and was lasted onto the sole and joined to the edge by a seam. The shoe was then turned inside-out so that the grain was outside. Some shoes were developed with toggled flaps or drawstrings to tighten the leather around the foot for a better fit. The turnshoe method was replaced by the welted method around 1500.
Eventually the modern shoe, with a sewn-on sole, was devised. Since the 17th century, most leather shoes have used a sewn-on sole. This remains the standard for finer-quality dress shoes today. Until around 1800, shoes were made without differentiation for the left or right foot. Such shoes are now referred to as "straights.
Only gradually did the modern foot-specific shoe become standard.

Since the mid-20th Century, advances in rubber, plastics, synthetic cloth, and industrial adhesives have allowed manufacturers to create shoes that stray considerably from traditional crafting techniques. Leather, which had been the primary material in earlier styles, has remained standard in expensive dress shoes, but athletic shoes often have little or no real leather. Soles, which were once laboriously hand-stitched on, are now more often machine stitched or simply glued on. Many of these newer materials, such as rubber and plastics, have made shoes less biodegradable. It is estimated that most mass-produced shoes require 1000 years to degrade in a landfill. Some shoemakers picked up on the issue and began to produce shoes made entirely from degradable materials.
In 2007, the global shoe industry had an overall market of $107.4 billion, in terms of revenue, and is expected to grow to $122.9 billion by the end of 2012. Shoe manufacturers in the People's Republic of China account for 63% of production, 40.5% of global exports and 55% of industry revenue. However, many manufacturers in Europe dominate the higher-priced, higher value-added end of the market.
Courtesy Wikipdia

More intersting facts about footwear http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday; Bookshelf;








Beautifully written but a very disturbing novel.

 January 1692 - May 1692/ 
Page 162/ ... Within  the  week, we would hear from  Richard that on that day, on that exact hour, a four year old girl, Dorcas Good, was examined by three judges in the Salem Town jail. Her little feet and hands were bound by iron manacles so she could not send her spirit out and torment further the girls who were her accusers. They would later return Dorcas to her underground cell, where her mother had been sitting chained in the dark ...

The absence of  kindness,  feelings, humanity, is abhorable. The cruelty, harshness and meanness frightening.
Zealots and Perverts  are still around doing the work of their gods whoever and whatever they are, the nature of humans has not changed.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Loui our little holiday guest;


Open please, I am here...


...I was looking forward to this holiday...


...it was so tasty...



...if you don't mind I am a bit tired...


...now I have a little nap.


 Loui the Westie;

©Photos/text Ts

Monday, 26 November 2012