Ornate, Gruesome and Beautiful, This Is How The World Honors Holy Week

April 11, 2014
Penitents in White

Members of the “San Gonzalo” brotherhood atone for their sins in Seville, Spain. Source: The Eye

As grocery stores are filled to the brim with Peeps, chocolate treats and bunny everything, there’s no escaping the arrival of Easter. Yet for millions of people all over the world, Easter is much more than candy, colorful eggs and friendly rabbits. April 13th marks the beginning of Holy Week 2014, an annual commemoration of the days that led up to the death of Jesus Christ. Holy Week, which encompasses Palm Sunday, Holy Saturday and Good Friday, is a period of both deep sadness and anticipation of Easter’s arrival, when Christians believe Jesus was resurrected.

Holy Week is observed by Christians around the world, though the look of these ceremonies and rituals varies greatly based on geographical region, cultures, religious sects and traditions. Even the names vary greatly, as other parts of the world refer to Holy Week as Semana Santa or Great Week. Some regions (most notably Spain) perform penance processions, where penitents from ancient religious brotherhoods publicly repent for their sins. To prevent their identification, the penitents wear large hoods that look, to some, like the garb preferred by the reviled Ku Klux Klan (although the two sects have absolutely no relation).

Holy Week in Guatemala

In Guatemala City, people parade the Jesús Nazareno de la Merced statue throughout the city square as part of the Holy Tuesday procession. Source: The Eye

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10 Of The Most Famous Spies In History

April 11, 2014
Famous Spies Mata Hari Ling Down

Source: Wikipedia

These spies made a name for themselves at home and abroad for their compelling mixture of sex, scandal and secret dealings. Here are 10 of the most dubious, famous spies in history.

Famous Spies: Mata Hari, German Spy

Famous Spies Mata Hari

Source: The Guardian

Possibly one of the most famous spies of all time, Mata Hari was an exotic dancer and high class prostitute in Paris who spied for Germany during World War 1. The Dutch-born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle began her spying career after working as a courtesan to high-ranking military men and politicians. Her courtesan status and Dutch passport (Netherlands was a neutral country) allowed her to, literally, sleep with the enemy and gather intel for the German Military.

Mata Hari’s gig came to a halt in January 1917, when French intelligence intercepted a German Military Attache-encoded radio signal to Berlin which declared that they were receiving amazing information from a German spy codenamed H-21. Mata Hari was identified and arrested in a Paris hotel room on February 13, 1917. She was executed by Firing Squad on September 15, 1917 for espionage.

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Think Sea Sponges And Coral Are Boring? Think Again.

April 6, 2014

Often thought of as merely colorful backdrops to complement more “exciting” marine life like sharks and stingrays, this high-magnification video portrays coral and sea sponges in a vibrant new light. Be sure to check out more of this videographer’s work at Micro Worlds Photography.

Eloy Morales’ Phenomenal Portraits

April 6, 2014

Eloy Morales Artist Painting

Eloy Morales White Paint

Given the works’ sharp, hyperrealistic features, it would be easy to assume that these paint spattered selfies are the result of some pretty decent photography and editing. You would, however, be wrong. The images are, in fact, super-realistic self portraits painted with all the precision of a photograph. Rather than capturing himself pixel by pixel, Eloy Morales, a 40-year-old artist from Madrid, has opted to oil paint himself into pictures that wouldn’t look out of place in a photography gallery.

Eloy Morales Red Front On

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Farkas Zsolt Takes on Classic Art With Incredible 3D CG Work

April 5, 2014
Farkas Zsolt 3D CG Artwork

Source: CG Society

While the photo above might appear to be a snapshot of the Benczúr Gyula’s 1885 painting, Budavár visszavétele (Buda Repossession), it’s actually the work of 3D computer graphics (CG) artist Farkas Zsolt. What began as a challenge from his wife has evolved into a near-exact replica of the classic painting. Compare the original painting (below) with his 3D CG creation (above).

Original Painting of Battle of Buda

Source: Wikipedia

To create the CG 3D models, Zsolt first analyzed the painting’s composition and determined how the characters were positioned within the 3D space. Once placed within the program, he modelled each character with a full rig, meaning that each could be animated, and “painted them.” Despite the complexity and enormity of the project, Farkas Zsolt finished the entire picture in less than a few months.

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The 7 Best Let It Go Covers from Disney’s Frozen

April 4, 2014

Frozen just surpassed the Toy Story franchise to become the highest-grossing animated movie of all time, spurring the #CongratulationsFrozen hashtag on Twitter this past Sunday. And while fans claim that the Disney movie is one of its all-time greats, the flick’s music has been making equally big waves. Frozen‘s signature song, “Let it Go,” which was originally performed by Broadway legend Idina Menzel, won an Oscar for the Best Original Song and has been covered by hundreds of talented singers all over the world. We’ve rounded up the best “Let it Go” covers, so watch them all and pick a favorite—if you can.

1. Best Impersonator

Thanks to voice impersonator Brian Hull, viewers can hear the world’s favorite Disney and Pixar characters cover “Let it Go.” Watch below to hear Jack Sparrow, Scuttle, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse and more.

2. Coolest Collaboration

With the vocal talents of singers Alex Boyé, Lexi Walker and the One Voice Children’s Choir, this Africanized tribal cover is both unique and captivating. See the Ice King and Snow Princess collaboration below.

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