At some point, most of us have dreamed of riding across the Sahara Desert and stumbling across an ancient tomb filled with national treasures and glittering gems. If you haven’t, then you’ve probably never seen an Indiana Jones movie. Paul Koudounaris, the self-proclaimed ‘Indiana Bones’, certainly takes that explorer’s vision to heart. When he’s not digging up the dirt on charnel houses, the Los Angeles-based art historian and photographer is tracking down the remains of saints scattered around the world.
Browsing ATI By curiosities
Friendly Gestures: The High Five
The high five’s origin is an extraordinarily contentious issue, given its association with camaraderie and celebration. The low five had long been used between black Americans and became popular during the Jazz Age as a response to “slap me some skin.” However, the cultural phenomenon known as the “high five” was not actually in print until 1980!
While finger-painting may seem childish to some, artist Judith Ann Braun uses her fingers to create incredible artwork and murals that are anything but. Braun, who has been quite the force in the art world for decades, ditches traditional brushes and other tools that put a distance between the artist and the art and uses only her fingers and charcoal dust to paint beautiful pieces that have been displayed in a number of reputable museums and galleries.
While slavery seems to some a relic of the past, the oppressive, dignity-robbing practice is still very much alive in the present. Today, the International Labor Organization estimates that 20.9 million men, women and children are shackled to the oppressive chain of slavery (to put this in perspective, that’s the population of Madagascar). In spite of various international conventions and treaties condemning slavery, these men and women are treated as physical property, forced to work through mental or physical threat, and suffer from being physically constrained to a specific environment until their ‘employer’ says otherwise. To learn more about it, be sure to visit CNN’s Freedom Project.
If there’s one thing at which humans excel, it’s celebrating. Hanukkah, Halloween and Easter all rock up at the same time each year, but why not extend that festive savoir-faire to those lesser known holidays, like Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, or even Fruitcake Toss Day? If you’re in the market for a few more excuses to indulge, we’ve got a whole host of weird celebration days for you.
Felt Hat Day
On 15th September each year, men and women don their brightest and best felt hats in memory of, well, felt hats. In the 19th century, felt was one of the most common hat materials worn by the gentry and public alike, but the fabric saw its sad demise as other fashion trends emerged and curried the favor of the masses. Felt Hat Day is said to commemorate this historic fashion trend and to reintroduce this neglected clothing gem to the mainstream.
Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day
It’s fair to say that at some point in our lives, we’ve all had a collection that, if others saw it, might make them question our sanity. For you, it might be old magazines, cigarette lighters or even, say, antique seat cushions. But for a handful of people, a collection is not complete until they possess those items–however obscure–in their entirety. Welcome to some of the weirdest collections in the world.
Odd Collections: Movie Cameras
Making it into the Guinness Book of Records for the eighth time in 2008 for his collection of old movie cameras, Dimitris Pistiolas’ from Athens, Greece, started collecting these vintage cinematic devices at the tender age of 15. Now a 78-year-old retired postman, his impressive collection is made up of almost one thousand different models and projectors from around the world.
The film fanatic has always had a love for cameras, so much so that Dimitris says he sacrificed his home life to fulfill his life long craze. With a haul that dates back to the 1960’s, when asked about how he found so many, he waxed like one would about finding The One: “You must search for them, chase them for many years to find them.”