Ancient Egyptian Afterlife Beliefs of the Underworld

Ancient-Egyptian-underworld-afterlife

The ancient Egyptians believed that if a body was properly preserved, the soul would recognize it later on in the underworld allowing for reunification. It was believed that when a king died, they would be united with the sun and became merged into one being, the sun god. On the day that a king passed, it was believed that said king would have to journey into the underworld and pass 12  gates, 1 for each hour of the night. It took purity, magical knowledge, and strength to pass from one level to the next. During the first dynasty pharaohs took with them weapons and treasure as well as food, wine, and beer, and perhaps most surprising, sacrificed servants. Archeologists believe that servants were killed so that they could serve the pharaoh in the afterlife. The servants were buried near the pharaoh so that they would be close by when needed. The pharaoh Djer (pronounced “jer”) was the last pharaoh to practice human sacrifice. Djer had 300 subsidiary burials, many of whom were sacrificed intentionally, but some who are believed to have been family and close friends who had already passed and had their bodies relocated to the site at which Djer was buried

Pablo Picasso’s Politically Charged Guernica Painting

Pablo-Picasso-Guernica

On April 26, 1937, Guernica, Spain was severely bombed due to civil conflict brought on by World War II. The Basque town of Guernica was openly hostile towards General Francisco Franco’s ideologies, and because of this, Franco unleashed a 3.5 hour bombing raid upon this defenseless city, with help from German allies. In total, 1650 people were killed, 900 injured, and most of the township was destroyed, an event which sparked international outrage. Pablo Picasso created a piece of artwork as sentiment towards anti-war and anti-violence entitled “Guernica”. Picasso understood that artwork and politics rarely go together hand in hand and so he created not a piece of aircraft and bombs but rather of horses and swords, as he was determined not to create artwork which could be used as propaganda in the future. The bull depicted within the painting is designed to represent Franco and his military powers and the suffering horses and weeping woman symbolize the people of Spain. Picasso’s Guernica work became a timeless masterpiece and a copy of it is on display at the United Nations world headquarters in New York City, United States of America. The Guernica painting was covered briefly with a veil during 2003 when U.S. General Colin Powell announced the United States’ decision to invade Iraq. The Guernica image was seen as incendiary commentary and therefore intolerable during this chaotic period. The Guernica painting has become a symbol of protest to violence, war, and military regimes, not just for every country in the world, but of the 20th century and beyond

Effects of the Atomic Bomb Dropped Upon Nagasaki, Japan During World War II

Nagasaki-Japan-World-War-II

The atomic bomb dropped upon Nagasaki, Japan on August 6, 1945 was detonated a few thousand feet above the ground as the bomb would have primarily been absorbed by the Earth if it were permitted to touch down. Because the detonation occurred within the air, the force of the first and second blast waves flattened everything within its path. The blast was so bright that atomic shadows were left from anything casting a shadow during the detonation as the light and heat which were the primary components given off during detonation, did not shine as brightly upon the shadows as they did upon everything else. For a few short seconds, the highly enriched uranium created temperatures of tens of millions of degrees Celsius, as if reaching into the core of the sun and dropping that power into the Earth’s atmosphere for a brief moment. The blast emitted was hot enough to melt and fuse anything in touched including granite, steel, iron, glass, clay, and tile

Albert Einstein’s Autopsy

Albert-Einstein

Albert Einstein died of heart failure at the age of 76. Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who performed Einstein’s autopsy removed and held onto Einstein’s brain without telling his superiors, colleagues, or Einstein’s next of kin. When Einstein’s family found out about this event via media news coverage which stated that Einstein’s head was concave during cremation, they were understandably outraged. Harvey sold Einstein’s family upon the idea of allowing him to study Einstein’s brain under the conditions that Harvey never make a profit from doing so, nor use it to garner personal fame. Einstein stated prior to his death that he wished to be cremated as he did not want people visiting his gravesite in reverence or worship of his brilliance. Harvey was not a neurologist by specialty and because of this he had a friend who was a neurosurgeon help him slice Einstein’s brain into 240 cubes and then created at least 12 sets each containing 200 microscopic slides. Harvey was hoping that top researchers from around the world would voluntarily analyze segments of Einstein’s brain to collectively come up with a reason for his brilliance but to his surprise he found that no one wanted to be associated with the project or Harvey himself

Tibetan Sky Burial

Tibet

Tibetan culture has a ritual called the “sky burial” in which people who have died are brought up to places within the mountains which have special meaning, and are then cut into pieces by somebody trained to do so, after which their bodies are left to be eaten by the surrounding vultures and dogs of the mountains. It may sound barbaric to a person who identifies with western culture, but this practice is an important part of Tibetan tradition as it holds true significance to the Tibetan people