Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Here’s Nine Green Things I Love!

What better way to appreciate a day of wearing green than to celebrate things that are green?
It was hard to narrow down the list, but here are nine green things that I find especially cool:

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1) Portrait of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s Monster, by Basil Gogos.
The Monster is my favorite of the “classic” monsters. I find the original movie so heartbreaking. Basil Gogos was an American illustrator best known for his portraits of movie monsters which appeared on the covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, and painted these characters in an amazing array of c Continue reading

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Dragons of Asia: The Naga!

King of Nagas, © 2015 Liz Vitale

The word “Naga” comes from Sanskrit, and nag is still the word for snake, mainly the cobra, in India’s languages. It  is a term used for  beings associated with water and fluid energy. In myths, legends, scripture and folklore, “naga”  comprises all sorts of serpent creatures, usually  dwelling in the ocean. 
All nagas are considered the offspring of the sage Kashyapa, the son of Marichi. Kashyapa is said to have had, by his twelve wives, diverse progeny that included reptiles, birds, and all sorts of other beings. They are denizens of the netherworld city called Bhogavati.

Nagas are cherished by both Hindus and Buddhists. In Hindu legend, a giant naga named Ananta serves as a coiled mattress for the god Vishnu as he sleeps and dreams the universe into creation. Another story tells of the god Krishna defeating a poisonous naga and dancing upon its head in victory.

In Tibetian Buddhism, nagas are susceptible to suffering caused by mankind’s carelessness and basic ignorance of proper conduct in nature and disrespectful actions in relation to our environment. As a result, nagas often retaliate towards humans when they behave with such ignorance.

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Dragons of Europe: Storsjöodjuret!

Storsjöodjuret,© 2015 Liz Vitale

Storsjöodjuret, or the “Great-Lake Monster”,is  reported to live in the 300-foot-deep lake Storsjön in Jämtland, Sweden. The only one of its kind in Sweden, it had its first sighting in 1635.

Storsjöodjuret is described as a serpentine or aquatic reptile with fins across its back and a doglike head. It is reported to measure approximately 20 feet long, and some accounts describe it as having several humps. There have been over 200 recorded sightings of the serpent. In 1895 a group of men,sponsored in part by King Oscar II, attempted to capture it, even constructing a huge trap. Their venture was unsuccessful,but the trapping device can still be seen in the county museum.

n 1986, the Jämtland county administrative board declared the Storsjöodjuret to be an endangered species and granted it protected status. However, it was removed from the list in November 2005.

WeirdCrest Reading List: “Wrapped for Eternity”.

When Uncle Steve and I spend Halloween night sitting out on the porch waiting for trick-or-treaters,I take reading material with me. Last night’s nonfiction entry into the Hallowe’en spirit was Wrapped for Eternity: The Story of the Egyptian Mummy by Mildred Mastin Pace.

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Wrapped for Eternity offers very detailed descriptions of how the Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead,and  how the first mummies were discovered by our present day culture. The book explains the religions connotations behind mummification and deals with the very real threat the Egyptian dead faced from tomb robbers. It is a fascinating resource for anyone interested in mummies and the Egyptian afterlife.