Sunday, November 24, 2013

Torre Guinigi

The Guinigi Tower (photo by John Arne Eidsmo)

The Torre Guinigi is one of the most important towers of Lucca, Italy (streetview). The tower, built in stone and brick, is one of the few remaining within the city walls. The main characteristic is the garden with seven oaks on the roof .

At the beginning of the fourteenth century, Lucca was proud of the more than 250 towers that enriched the city. This tower was built by the Guinigi family, then the most powerful and influential in the city. The tower represented the prestige of the family and was the largest in Lucca. Among the medieval towers belonging to private families, it is the only one that has not been severed or destroyed in the sixteenth century. The tower has been donated to the local government by the last descendents of the Guinigi family.

Torre Guinigi (source)

The tower rises to 44.25 meters, standing out from all the buildings of the historic center. On top of the tower is the hanging garden, consisting of a walled box filled with earth, in which seven oak trees were planted. It is not known exactly when the garden was laid out, but in an image contained in the Chronicles of John Sercambi (XV century), one can see that among the many towers of Lucca there was one crowned with trees. The view from the top is outstanding.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gene Tierney Day !

Gene Tierney by Eliot Elisofon, 1942. 

Birth name: Gene Eliza Tierney
Occupation: Actress
Birth date: November 19, 1920
Birth place: Brooklyn, New York

Gene Tierney by Horst P. Horst, 1940.

Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Weight: 117 lbs.
Hair color: Reddish-brown
Eye color: Green

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mary Thurman

Mary Thurman (Photoplay magazine, January 1921)

Mary Thurman (April 27, 1895 – December 22, 1925) was an American actress of the silent film era. She died at the age of 30 of malaria in New York. She had been ill for approximately one year after making a motion picture in Florida.

For more photos of Mary Thurman see Mary Gets a Bob

For more magazine covers see The Bees Knees Daily

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Lake Natron

Calcified Dove (photo by Nick Brandt) 

Lake Natron in northern Tanzania (map) takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) thrown in. Temperatures in the lake can reach 60 °C, and its alkalinity is between pH 9 and pH 10.5. The lake’s high levels of natron come from volcanic ash from the nearby Ol Doinyo volcano, and they've given the water a very unusual side effect: the sunlight reflecting off of the lake caused most of these birds to crash into the water, after which they are completely calcified and preserved. Photographer Nick Brandt arranged the unlucky birds in poses and photographed them.

Calcified Eagle (photo by Nick Brandt) 

Some more photos here.

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