Showing posts from January, 2018

Boiling Alive

Boiling someone alive was a rather brutal punishment used by several rulers throughout history. It is believed to be one of the slowest and most painful ways to die. The method is documented to have been commonly used throughout the world in the 16th century.

An example of a British monarch who was known to use this punishment was Henry VIII. He typically used it on individuals accused of poisoning, as he believed it to be an unforgiveable offence. Those found guilty would be suspended via a network of pulleys and ropes above a drum filled with boiling liquid, such as water, tar, acid, wine, oil, molten lead etc. As a method of psychological torture the executioner would often slowly lower the guilty towards the pot, before bringing them back up without actually plunging them into the liquid.

While being lowered towards the pot, the skin of the prisoner would begin to blister, pop, and then melt away, revealing muscles, veins and arteries that clung to the bone. If clothing is worn du…

Gaza Zoo and Its Sad End

In one of my previous posts I wrote about the Qualqilya zoo, where taxidermy is used to preserve dead animals, many of which had been killed by war, so that they can still be exhibited. Similarly, the city of Gaza and its zoo had been significantly affected by the militant conflict between Israel and Palestine, but the Gaza zoo had suffered to a much greater extent.

The zoo in Gaza opened in 2007 and many of its animals were smuggled accross the Egyptian border to create the initially thriving attraction. However, in 2008 a military offensive was launched by Israel against Hamas, which lasted 3 weeks, and during that time the zoo owner was unable to access the establishment. As a result, many animals starved to death. To preserve them, Mr Awaida (the owner) decided to resort to self-taught taxidermy using formaldehyde and sawdust.

The conditions in the area had not improved since. Due to shortages in funding many of the animals continued starving. As the animals lost during the offens…

Why I enjoy funerals more than weddings

After coming back home feeling depressed after a friend's wedding, this time I decided to write a more personal post explaining my viewpoint regarding the common events of weddings and funerals, which almost everyone attends at some point during their lifetime. In almost all cultures throughout the world weddings are associated with happiness, while funerals are portrayed as sad events, associated with grief. In my culture a typical wedding would involve the ceremony of a wedding talk where the couple are given their blessing, and signing documents, followed by a party where the guests would dance to music, eat a lot of food and drink alcohol. Meanwhile, at a funeral, the body would be lying in a casket at a hall where a goodbye speech would be given, before being sent off to be buried or cremated. The guests would then go off to a wake, or reception, where food would be provided and people would talk to each other, commemorating the life of the deceased (often crying at the same …