October 15 1917 Mata Hari executed

Craig Hill Training Services

On October 15th 1917, Mata Hari, the archetype of the seductive female spy, was executed for espionage by a French firing squad at Vincennes outside of Paris.

She first came to Paris in 1905 and found fame as a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances.

She soon began touring all over Europe, telling the story of how she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient dances by a priestess who gave her the name Mata Hari, meaning “eye of the day” in Malay.

In reality, Mata Hari was born in a small town in northern Holland in 1876, and her real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle.

She acquired her superficial knowledge of Indian and Javanese dances when she lived for several years in Malaysia with her former husband, who was a Scot in the Dutch colonial army.

Regardless of her authenticity, she packed dance…

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Palaeolithic animators at work 30,000 years ago?

The Heritage Trust

Amanda Crum writing in WebProNews reports that –

News out of France concerning Prehistoric cave drawings that were animated by torch-light is taking the art history world by storm, and has overwhelmed this artist to the point of awe.

The cave drawings were found by archaeologist Marc Azema and French artist Florent Rivere, who suggest that Palaeolithic artists who lived as long as 30,000 years ago used animation effects on cave walls, which explains the multiple heads and limbs on animals in the drawings. The images look superimposed until flickering torch-light is passed over them, giving them movement and creating a brief animation.

“Lascaux is the cave with the greatest number of cases of split-action movement by superimposition of successive images. Some 20 animals, principally horses, have the head, legs or tail multiplied,” Azéma said.

Full article here. See also our earlier feature on the bowl discovered in a…

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Real People in False Events: Joan of Arc




“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it.”– Joan of Arc


 Before writing this post, the little I knew of Joan of Arc wouldn’t fill a thimble. The information I was hoping to get from my old copy of The Book of  Saints proved skimpy and too parochial for my purpose. Turning to film, I decided to watch (again) the two best known classics about the Maid–the colorful Joan of Arc (1948), starring the late Ingrid Bergman, and the silent masterpiece, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1924), with the acclaimed Italian stage actress Renee Falconetti in the stark black-and-white title role. Their unedited versions had just been released, and I heard they were the nearest one could get to visualizing the real Joan. To be sure, there were other movies (some I…

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