4XXQueen of Hearts is one of my favorite vintage stores to visit, with aisles and aisles of booths inside what was once a supermarket. I wait on pins and needles for their dealers to bring out their Halloween goods each year, not just to be able to purchase something cool and old but also to see their displays. Although some years have been better, this time around they still did not disappoint. Step in for a look!
In 1845, a German fossil collector named Albert C. Koch exhibited what he called Hydrarchos sillimani at the Apollo Saloon on Broadway. His claimed “sea serpent” was 114 feet in length. Harvard anatomist Jeffries Wyman descended on the specimen, quickly debunking it as a collection of bones artfully assembled from prehistoric whales, mainly Basilosaurus.
Infamous composer Beethoven died on March 26, 1827, at age 56. At Beethoven’s own request, an autopsy was performed on March 27,1827 by Dr. Johann Wagner. The autopsy revealed a severely cirrhotic and shrunken liver,and various other afflictions; there were so many that there is much dispute about the cause of Beethoven’s death; alcoholic cirrhosis, syphilis, infectious hepatitis,sarcoidosis and Whipple’s disease have all been cited as possible culprits. Heavy metal contamination is also thought to be a contributing factor in Beethoven’s death as these were commonly used in the medicine of the time. It has also been theorized that he consumed large amounts of lead from illegally fortified wine(lead was often used to sweeten cheap wine in those times, although it was outlawed to do so).
This past weekend Steve and I got to do something special together. We went to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and it was glorious. I wanted to share some photos I took of the star exhibit, in the sunlit central atrium of the museum, called Giants of the Mesozoic. (click the link for better close-up photos)
Translated literally as “ghost whale”, the Bakekujira are animated whale skeletons.that swim near the ocean’s surface, rising as they did in life when they would have had to breathe. Often, a host of eerie birds and strange fish accompany them. Bakekujira appear on rainy nights near coastal whaling villages.