Showing posts with label literature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label literature. Show all posts

Thursday, April 23, 2009

7 English Words and their Biblical Hebrew Origin


English is the world's unofficial "lingua franca" - a language used to communicate between people not sharing a mother tongue. Some English words are used in almost every country and by every nationality. We say OK and Cowboy knowing these words will be understood just as if they were in the listener's native language. The English language originated from several dialects which were brought to the British Isles by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the beginning of the 5th century. It was heavily influenced by the Old Norse language of Viking invaders. However, there are also English words originating in other languages, sometimes very ancient ones. The following are 7 interesting English words and examples from their Biblical Hebrew origin.



The English word Armageddon derives from the Hebrew word combination of Har Megido (הר מגידו) meaning Megido Mountain, the biblical location of an apocalyptic battle.
See also:



The English word Botany derives from the Greek word Botane, meaning a plant or herb. Yet, an earlier source for this word is the Boten – a spoken Hebrew word for Peanut that also appears in the bible. The word Batata, BTW, means Sweet Potato in both Arabic and spoken Hebrew.



Hebrew-Phoenicians were great traders throughout the known world and this is clearly seen in the English word Market that comes from the Latin word Mercari meaning to trade. But hey… where did Mercari came from? Right from the Hebrew-Phoenician word Mokher (מכר) meaning sells or someone who sell. This original Hebrew word has turned into many associated modern words including Commerce, Market, Mart, Mercantile, Mercenary, Merchandise, Mercer, Merchant, Mercury and even Mercy.



The English word Maven comes from the Hebrew word Mevin (מבין) meaning understands or one who understands.



Yes. We are not sure if that is a big surprise but as if inventing the word marketing is not enough, the ancient Hebrew people were also the first to come up with the word Money that comes from the Hebrew word, Mone (מונה), meaning counts or counter. Also the Latin word Moneta meaning Mint and Money comes from a Phoenician Hebrew origin.



The English word Mystery comes from the Biblical Hebrew word Mistor (מסתר) meaning a secret hiding place. The word Mistorin (מסתורין), BTW, means Mystery in both Biblical Hebrew and modern spoken one.



Lastly, the English word Satan comes from the Biblical Hebrew word… Satan (שטן) meaning, well… Satan as we know it.
For more about the English and Hebrew languages see:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

This My Heart: How to Blend Native American and Zen Buddhist Wisdom with Modern Painting and Video-Art

It blends Native American and Zen Buddhist wisdom with modern painting and video-art in a most fantastic mix. It illustrates a thrilling song - written and performed by Joy Harjo - with the modern paintings of an intriguing artist Tim Williams. Since today, This My Heart of Harjo's latest album Winding Through the Milky Way is also a video-art by founder of independent music community Project Bluebird as well as a song writer and singer Nancy Pontius. We really think you should check this one out:

Joy Harjo, shown in the above photo montage, is a Tulsa-born American poet, musician, and author of Native American ancestry. She has edited literary journals, written poems, authored screenplays and performed tenor saxophone with the band Poetic Justice and has recently been named by the United States Artists Rasmuson Fellows to receive a (nice!) $50K grant in recognition of her cultural contributions. Winding Through the Milky Way is, in Harjo's words "a little road music to accompany us as we make the timeless journey between Earth and Skyis" and available for listening here. Check on this recent video Interview with Harjo about Winding Through the Milky Way.

Tim Williams is an American artist and bookseller from Missouri, USA. Also known as 'shitao' on social media platforms Stumbleupon and Flickr, and similar to Pontius and Harjo, Williams has made the Internet his gallery and uses it to extensively share his paintings and river photography with all of us. We just love it when an artist does that. The original Shitao, in case you wonder, was an (important) late 17th century Chinese painter. Shown above: Self-portrait 2006 by Shitao (the living one).

For more about Joy Harjo see her official website here and MySpace here. For more amazing art by Tim Williams including paintings, photographs and what he refers to as "digital constructions" see shitao on Flickr and StumbleUpon. For more about Project Bluebird and Nancy Pontius see MyIndiRadio and ProjectBluebird on YouTube.

Friday, September 26, 2008

5 Creepy Cannibalism Themes in Classic Fairy Tales That Will Give Your Children, and You, Nightmares

This is a guest post by Sher D Fly

The fairy tales that we used to read when we were children are quite terrifying, with elements of violence and even cannibalism in them. Most of these tales now have been revised to suit the young readers. Nevertheless, these fairy tales with cannibal characters could really scare your children and give them nightmares.

The Juniper Tree
(German fairy tale, compiled by Brothers Grimm)

Cannibal character:
The stepmother who served her husband her a special homemade black pudding made from her stepson's body.

The story: A man lost his wife after giving birth to a son. He remarried and together they had a daughter. However, the stepmother was jealous of the son and somehow tricked him to death and blamed her own daughter. The stepmother then convinced the daughter that it was her fault and turned the stepson's dead body into black pudding, which was served to the husband. The daughter then buried the stepbrother's bones under a juniper tree. A magical bird flew out of the tree and dropped a millstone, which killed the stepmother. The bird then transformed itself to become the boy.

Hansel and Gretel
(German fairy tale, compiled by Brothers Grimm)

Cannibal character:
The witch who loves to eat kids. She enticed children using her house made of sweets and candy.

The story: Due to poverty, Hansel and Gretel were abandoned several times by their own father (after being persuaded by their stepmother). They both managed to come home by following pebble trails left by Hansel. However, they could not go home one day after Hansel left trails of breadcrumbs, which were eaten by animals. Lost in the woods, they reached a house made of sweets and candy. They ate the sweets and candy without knowing that an evil witch owned the house.

The witch caught them and put Hansel in the cage to fatten him up before baking him up, while Gretel became her servant. The witch checked on Hansel daily by touching his finger to ensure that he is fat enough to be baked. Due to poor eyesight, the witch could not see that Hansel had actually tricked her by giving bones instead of his own finger. Meanwhile, Gretel had an idea and somehow tricked the witch to get into the oven and killed her. They left the place and managed to get home.

Jack and the Beanstalk
(English fairy tale, compiled by Benjamin Tabart)

Cannibal character: The giant who loves to eat English men.

The story: A poor boy called Jack met a stranger who offered him magic beans in exchange of the family's only cow. He traded the cow with the magic beans. His mother was very angry and threw the beans out of the house. The next morning, a huge beanstalk grew outside their house. Jack climbed up the beanstalk, which extended up to the clouds, and reached a house owned by a cannibal giant. The giant can sense the presence of human and would say:
Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!
I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he 'live, or be he dead,
I'll grind his bones to make my bread.
Jack went there several times to take gold coins, a hen which laid golden eggs and a magic harp. One day, he was caught for stealing and managed to escape. The giant chased Jack down the beanstalk but Jack managed to reach down first, chopped the beanstalk which then fell and killed the giant.

Snow White
(German fairy tale, compiled by Brothers Grimm)

Cannibal character:
The stepmother who demanded to eat her stepdaughter's heart.

The story: Snow White was a princess who had a very cruel stepmother. The stepmother (or the queen) owned a magic mirror. She would ask the mirror on daily basis on who is the most beautiful person in the world - the answer would always be the queen herself. However, one day the mirror told the queen that her stepdaughter, Snow White is the most beautiful person. She got really angry and asked one of her guards to bring Snow White into the forest and kill her without the king's knowledge. She demanded the guard to bring her Snow White's heart as proof.

Nevertheless, the guard released her into the forest and brought back the heart of a boar. The heart was prepared by the cook and consumed by the queen. Later, the queen was informed that Snow White was still alive in the woods, living with seven dwarfs. The disguised queen went to see Snow White and gave her a poisoned apple. The dwarfs found her unconscious, but were not able to revive her. They thought that she had died and put her in a glass coffin. A prince saw the coffin and managed to revive Snow White in the end. The queen was later punished to death.

The Robber Bridegroom
(German fairy tale, compiled by Brothers Grimm)

Cannibal character: The bridegroom and his band of robbers

The story: A poor father found a rich suitor to marry his daughter off. After being persuaded by the father, the daughter went to visit her suitor. Upon arriving at the suitor's house, a caged bird warned her that she was about to enter a murderer's house. An old lady who worked there hid the woman behind barrels while all of a sudden, a band of robbers (including the suitor) arrived at the house with another young woman. They killed the young woman and prepared the human flesh for a meal.

While preparing, the chopped finger with a ring of the dead young woman flew and landed behind the barrels. Because it was dark and they were dissuaded by the old lady not to search for it, the band of robbers ignored the finger and continued eating their meal. The old lady and the woman fled while the robbers were sleeping. On the wedding day, the woman revealed that the bridegroom was a murderer and produced the finger and ring of the dead young woman to the public. The bridegroom and his band of robbers were punished to death.

Image sources: Art of Victoria, Hobotopia, Deep End Dining, Relics of Childhood, CBSO, Manelle Oliphant, Lisa Evans, Jean Goff, Mama Lisa, Ashley Spooky, Cuckoo Comics, Adam Hart Design, Mondo

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Finger: An Imaginary Landscape of Hebrew Letters

The Finger poster

Despite being The Finger a creation of an Israeli typographic artist, logo and type designer, despite the fact it clearly corresponds with ancient Jewish culture - Rang magazine, an Iranian ezine for graphic designers, could not have avoid it and recently published a follow up story about it (screenshot below). Well, yes, art is meant to be borderless but not always is.

The Finger on Rang magazine

Homage to the Israeli poet Hezi Leskley

The Finger consists with a short formalistic movie - practically a slow and beautiful taken travel shot of what seems like a 3d model of the Hebrew word האצבע (Hebrew for "The Finger"). Directed by Oded Ezer the movie is accompanied by a poster (shown top on this article) which was designed and photographed by the artist. According to Ezer The Finger was created as a homage to the Israeli poet Hezi Leskley and is titled after Leskley first book, published in 1986. Leskley was also a talented choreographer, an art critic and one of the first homo-lesbian activists in Israel and had died of AIDS in 1994.

Oded Ezer: 'Implanting Hebrew letters into my body'

Ezer is a top line internationally known artist who's works have been covered by major media channels, described with nearly every possible superlative from "emotional and powerful" (Die Gestalten Verlag) to simply "fascinating" (The NY Times). He has won many local and international prizes, including the Gold Prize at the international design competition of the Nagoya Design Center, Japan (2000); Certificate of Excellence at the 4th annual competition of the New York Type Directors Club and Certificate of Excellence at the "Bukva raz", a type design competition, Moscow, Russia (both 2001), and the Israeli Education Ministry Prize for Design (2003). Above: "Implanting Hebrew letters into my body" (as was shown on the Berlin talk).

The Finger by Oded Ezer from on Vimeo.
See also: Oded Ezer - Stami Veklumi

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Live Fast, Die Young: 20 Great Artists that Never Reached 30

Live Fast, Die Young: 20 Great Artists that Never Reached 30

The phrase Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse, originally spoken by actor John Derek in Nicholas Ray's Knock on Any Door (1949), emphasizes how unfulfilled promises have always been fascinating and intriguing for many of us. While some great artists lived up to their full potential, sometimes through decades of fruitful careers, others have passed away long before that, leaving many of us wondering which masterpieces might have lost along with their elder years. Following are 20 great artists that enlightened our souls with their art for a short time, but signed-off to rest in peace before reaching the age of 30.

1) Jean Vigo

French film maker Jean Vigo contributed to poetic realism in film in the 1930s and influenced the French New Wave of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He died of Tuberculosis on October 5, 1934 when he was 29.
More about Jean Vigo
Picture: lucidscreening

2) Egon Schiele

Austrian painter Egon Schiele is well known for his twisted body shapes repeating in many of his paintings and drawings. Schiele became one of the notable exponents of Expressionism but died of Influenza on October 31, 1918 when he was 28.
More about Egon Schiele
Picture: myspace

3) Janis Joplin

In 2004 American singer and songwriter Janis Joplin was ranked by the Rolling Stone magazine #46 on a list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. She was a heroin addict and died of heroin overdose on October 4, 1970 when she was 27.
More about Janis Joplin
Picture: herbgreenefoto

4) Kurt Cobain

American musician, singer, guitarist and songwriter Kurt Cobain was co-founder of the Seattle based rock band Nirvana and their leading singer. Even though there are many different versions for what really happened with that shotgun on April 5, 1994 the official version is that Cobain shot himself to death when he was 27.
More about Kurt Cobain
Picture: justnevermind

5) Brian Jones

British musician Brian Jones was a founding member, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist of British rock band The Rolling Stones. Jones drowned in his own private swimming pool in Sussex, England on 3 July 1969 when he was 27.
More about Brian Jones
Picture: preciousstones

6) Jim Morrison

American singer, poet, songwriter, writer and (frustrated) film director Jim Morrison, also known as The Lizard King and Mr. Mojo Risin', was the founder, leading singer and lyricist of the legendary rock band The Doors. Considered by many as the greatest, most charismatic and influential figure in rock history, Morrison ended up with very few friends and a heart attack while bathing in a Paris hotel room on July 3, 1971. He was 27.
More about Jim Morrison

7) Jimi Hendrix

American guitarist, singer and songwriter Jimi Hendrix is considered as one of the greatest and most influential guitar artists in rock music history. According to Dr. Bannister who attended the star at the time of his death Hendrix was drowned in his own vomit, almost entirely red wine served at an earlier party. The full circumstances which led to his death, however, have never been fully uncovered. Hendrix was 27.
More about Jimi Hendrix
Picture: guitarch

8) Jean Harlow

American film actress Jean Harlow was one of the most prominent sex symbols of the 1930s. Also known as the Platinum Blonde and The Blonde Bombshell, Harlow starred in several films, mainly designed to showcase her magnetic sex appeal. She died of uremic poisoning and kidney failure on June 7, 1937 when she was 26.
More about Jean Harlow
Picture: doctormacro

9) Sharon Tate

American film actress and Golden Globe-nominated Sharon Tate was one of Hollywood's most promising upcoming stars even before her marriage to genius film director Roman Polański. She was murdered on August 9, 1969 by the Charles Manson gang. Tate was 26 years old and two weeks from giving birth at the time of her horrific death. This famous photo (from John Gilmore and Ron Kramer's Manson: The Unholy Trail of Charlie and the Family) shows Tate on the murder day.
More about Sharon Tate
Picture: lehigh

10) Georg Heym

German poet Georg Heym is known for his outstanding groundbreaking expressionist poetry. He drowned in a frozen lake during a skating trip while trying to save his friend Ernst Balcke. It was January 16, 1912 and the genius poet was just 25.
More about Georg Heym
Picture: wikimedia

11) James Dean

Double Oscar-nominated American film actor James Dean became a cultural icon following his roll as Jim Stark in Nicholas Ray's monumental film Rebel Without a Cause. He played two more pantheon rolls (Cal Trask in East of Eden and as the Jett Rink in Stevens' Giant) but was killed in a car crash accident at the age of 24. Dean was one of the most talented and original style actors Hollywood has ever seen. He was the first actor to receive an "after death" Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Actually, Dean the only actor ever received two such nominations.
More about James Dean
Picture: smu

12) Judy Tyler

American film actress Judy Tyler appeared in the 1957 film Bop Girl Goes Calypso but is mostly remembered for her co-starring with Elvis Presley in the movie Jailhouse Rock. After completing her part of the Presley movie filming Tyler and her husband Greg Lafayette went on a vacation. They were killed July 4, 1957 in a car accident north of Rock River, Wyoming. Tyler was only 24 when she died. She was so young she never got to watch any of her only two films.
More about Judy Tyler

13) River Phoenix

American film actor River Phoenix was an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated and was listed on John Willis's Screen World, Vol. 38 as one of twelve "promising new actors of 1986". On the Halloween morning of October 31, 1993 Phoenix died of speedball (mix of heroin and cocaine) overdose outside a Hollywood night club named the Viper Room. He was 23.
More about River Phoenix
Picture: freewebz

14) Ian Curtis

British vocalist and lyricist Ian Curtis joined the new wave band Joy Division in 1976 and quickly became their undisputed leader. Years after his death Curtis is still a major source of inspiration and a subject for many other artists. Curtis hanged himself in his own kitchen on May 18, 1980 after watching Werner Herzog's Stroszek and listening to Iggy Pop's The Idiot. Amongst suggested reasons for his suicide are epilepsy related problems and failure of his marriage. He was 23 years old.
More about Ian Curtis

15) Dominique Dunne

American actress Dominique Dunne appeared in several made for television movies, television series, and films but was most known for her role as Dana (the oldest daughter) in Poltergeist (1982). Dunne was strangled into coma on November 4, 1982 by her ex-boyfriend John Thomas Sweeney after she refused to reconcile with him. Sweeney, then a popular Los Angeles chef, strangled Dunne in the driveway of her home. She died a few days later, at the age of 22.
More about Dominique Dunne
Picture: nndb

16) Buddy Holly

American singer-songwriter and rock and roll inventor Charles Hardin Holley aka "Buddy Holly" is considered one of the most influential artists in pop music history but only lived to see about one and a half years of success. He was described as "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll" and in 2004 ranked #13 on a list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by the Rolling Stone magazine. He died in an airplane crash on February 3, 1959 on his way to Fargo, North Dakota. The plane took off in light snow and gusty winds at around 12:55 A.M., but crashed after only a few minutes.
More about Buddy Holly

17) Sid Vicious

British punk musician John Simon Ritchie also known as Sid Vicious was the bass player of the Sex Pistols and one of the most prominent prophets of the punk-rock decade. He died of heroin overdose on February 2, 1979 at the age of 21.
More about Sid Vicious
Picture: dubhthachsidheag

18) Charles Sorley

Scottish war poet Charles Sorley volunteered for military service in England during World War I and arrived at the Western Front in France as a lieutenant in May 1915. He ranked Captain at the very early age of 20 but was shot in the head by a German sniper at the Battle of Loos on October 13, 1915 and died instantly.
More about Charles Sorley
Picture: thelondonseason

19) Divya Bharti

Indian film actress Divya Bharti born Divya Om Prakash Bharti was a popular Indian film actress in the early 1990s. Bharti was already a shining star in 1990 when she was just 16 years old. In 1992 she appeared in more than 14 Hindi films which was at the time a record for a newcomer to the Hindi film industry. Bharti's career was ended in April 5, 1993 when she mysteriously accidentally fell off a 5-storey apartment building in Mumbai. She was 19 when she died.
More about Divya Bharti
Picture: treklens

20) Tara Correa-McMullen

American actress Shalvah McMullen, better known with her stage name Tara Correa-McMullen, was mostly famous for her role as gang member Graciela Reyes on the CBS TV series Judging Amy. McMullen had just about enough time to co-star with Martin Lawrence in a first feature film - Rebound - but was murdered on October 21, 2005. She was just 16 when she died.

More about Tara Correa-McMullen
Picture: minorcon

Enjoyed this article? See also: 20 (More) Great Artists that Never Reached 30