Posts Tagged ‘Garden of the Hesperides’

plato beauty

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According to Plato, Beauty was an idea or Form of which beautiful things were consequence.

Beauty by comparison begins in the domain of intelligible objects, since there is a Form of beauty. The most important question is: what do all of these beautiful things have in common?. To know that is to know Beauty.

The Theory of Forms maintains that two distinct levels of reality exist: the visible world of sights and sounds that we inhabit and the intelligible world of Forms that stands above the visible world and gives it being. For example, Plato maintains that in addition to being able to identify a beautiful person or a beautiful painting, we also have a general conception of Beauty itself, and we are able to identify the beauty in a person or a painting only because we have this conception of Beauty in the abstract. In other words, the beautiful things we can see are beautiful only because they participate in the more general Form of Beauty. This Form of Beauty is itself invisible, eternal, and unchanging, unlike the things in the visible world that can grow old and lose their beauty.

Plato’s account in the Symposium connects beauty to a response of love and desire, but locate beauty itself in the realm of the Forms, and the beauty of particular objects in their participation in the Form. 

Beauty’s distinctive pedagogical effects show why Plato talks about its goodness and good consequences, sometimes even its identity with “the good” (Laws 841c; Philebus 66a–b; Republic, 401c; Symposium 201c, 205e).

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In Plato´ Symposium, Socrates claims to be quoting his teacher Diotima on the subject of love, and in her lesson she calls beauty the object of every love’s yearning.

She spells out the soul’s progress toward ever-purer beauty, from one body to all, then through all beautiful souls, laws, and kinds of knowledge, to arrive at beauty itself.

By going through these stages, one will ascend from loving particular kinds of beauty to loving Beauty itself, from which all beautiful things derive their nature.

Diotima suggests that a life gazing upon and pursuing this Beauty is the best life one can lead.

In the Symposium, the Form of Beauty is the final stage in the lover of knowledge’s ascent toward Beauty.

He begins by loving particular bodies, moving from there to bodies in general, to particular minds, to minds in general, to laws and practices, to knowledge, and finally to the knowledge of the Form of Beauty. The ascent is one of increasing generalization where one’s love of beauty comes to embrace more and more things.

Ultimately, however, one’s love of beauty will embrace only one thing, the Form of Beauty, but one will recognize in this Form all that is beautiful. 

There is, besides, a sense of what Beauty may be: the signs of measure and proportion signal its presence and it is linked with goodness and justice.

Beauty here is conceived as perfect unity, or indeed as the principle of unity itself. 

Plato´s Beauty Theory, as it appears in the Symposium, holds that the Beautiful is an objective quality which is more or less intensified in and exemplified by beautiful or less beautiful objects respectively. Beauty itself exists independently of the object’s relationship to a perceiver or of its being a means to some end.

The Beautiful, then, regardless of what it is, exists as a thing in itself, separate from and supreme in relation to the beautiful objects which are beautiful by somehow sharing in its being. 

There is something innate and yet external to a beautiful object. Its beauty is there independently of a perceiver, and its being beautiful or not does not depend upon personal evaluations

Plato´s ideas could be considered as a sample of the prevailing classical conception.

According to it, Beauty consists of an arrangement of integral parts into a coherent whole, according to order, proportion and symmetry.

The ancient Roman architec Vitruvius gives as good a characterization of the classical conception in its underlying unity:

Order is the balanced adjustment of the details of the work separately, and as to the whole, the arrangement of the proportion with a view to a symmetrical result.

Proportion implies a graceful semblance: the suitable display of details in their context, when everything has a symmetrical correspondence.

Symmetry also is the appropriate harmony arising out of the details of the work itself: the correspondence of each given detail to the form of the design as a whole.  (Vitruvius, 26–27)

Plato regarded beauty as objective in the sense that it was not localized in the response of the beholder.  

In spite of Plato´s theories, we should now wonder if Beauty is an Universal Quality recognizable per se …  

In other words… Is Beauty a relative assessment, which lies in the eye of the beholder…

If we believe so, then we should conclude that Beauty is created by a subjective judgment, in which each person determines whether something is beautiful or not. 

If we agree with Plato, and therefore state that Beauty is pattern or form from which all beautiful things are derived, then we are assuming that Beauty is an objective feature.

By that our postulate would be that most perceivers would agree when it comes to determine whether something or someone is beautiful or not.

Without needing to take a side, we can say that it is both things…

Beauty couldn´t be entirely subjective—that is, if anything that anyone holds to be or experiences as beautiful is beautiful then it seems that the word has no meaning, or that we are not communicating anything when we call something beautiful except perhaps an approving personal attitude. 

In addition, though different persons can of course differ in particular judgments, it is also obvious that our judgments coincide to a certain extent.

Either way, what we can certainly state is that our attraction to another person’s body increases if that body is symmetrical and in proportion.

In this sense, there are certain aesthetical features which might entail Beauty.

Scientists believe that we perceive proportional bodies to be more healthy. This is suggested in the following famous image showing an idealized human body within a square and a circle.

Leonardo da Vinci‘s drawings of the human body emphasized its proportion. The ratio of the following distances in the above Vitruvian Man image is approximately the Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

With the math behind it, the symmetry of your face can be measured. The closer this number is to 1.618, the more beautiful it is…

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The Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

The Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

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The Vitruvian Man, drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci, showing the body dimensiones, according to the Golden Ratio.

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myths on beauty

Following up with the previous philosophical introduction, I would like to bring to the spotlight a few greek mythological myths and certain thoughts, with regard to the idea of Beauty.

Firstly, the most well known case of the Judgement of Paris and the story of the Golden Apple of Discord.

The Judgement of Paris was a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses of Olympus–Aphrodite, Hera and Athena–for the prize of a golden apple addressed to “the fairest”.

While Paris inspected them, each of the goddess attempted with her powers to bribe him; Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite, offered the world’s most beautiful woman.

On a side note, It is worth noting how mant times “Beauty” appears in this myth.

At the end, Paris chose Aphrodite, who was the Goddess of Love and Beauty, and Helen of Troy, who was considered the most beautiful woman, was bestowed on him, in exchange.

As to the beautiful Helen of Troy, she was also known as the face that launched a thousand ships, therefore somehow associated with features such as discord and betrayal.

The reason behind such reputation is that Helen of Troy was married by the time of the deal among the Prince of Troy and Aphrodite.

Hence Paris decided to abduct her, event which would eventually lead to the Trojan War

In this sense, the Golden Apple was the biggest but also the most controversial prize. Besides and presumably, in the mythology surrounding “the Judgement of Paris”, the goddess of Discord Eris managed to enter The Garden of the Hesperides, which was Hera´s orchard, and plucked one of the fruits . We can therefore see why that golden apple go was also known as the Apple of Discord.

As to other quarrels originated due to similar smug assumptions involving Beauty, I would like to mention two cases, which are very similar when it comes to events and their consequences.

The first one features Myrrha, who was Adonis biological mother.

Myrrha’s mother had said that her daughter was even more beautiful than Aphrodite which angered the Goddess of Love, who cursed Myrrha to fall in love and lust after her father.

Thus, Myrrha became pregnant and gave birth to Adonis, who was raised by Aphrodite. 

Adonis was very handsome, so, further on, Persephone was taken by his beauty, reason which brought a new quarrel among goddesses. In this case, between Aphrodite and Persephone.

Secondly, we have the well known myth of Perseus´beloved, Andromeda.

Her mother, Cassiopeia had offended the Nereids by boasting that Andromeda was more beautiful than they, so in revenge Poseidon sent a sea monster to ravage Andromeda´s father kingdom.

In all cases, Beauty causes troubles. We could say that it puts in the seeds of conflict.

Its counterpoint and collateral effect is jealousy. But also a sense of unnecessary pride and vanity seems to be present here.

Beauty claims to be defined in an extended way beyond itself… It needs to be recognized.

We could say that Beauty is defined by and to the Other.

Thus, in this order of ideas, we could think that Beauty seems to be an existentialist way to experience the Beautiful. 

Intersubjectivity defines Beauty and the Other’s look constitutes the world and the beautiful as objective. This is because the Look tends to objectify what it sees.

Undoubtedly, there are subjective elements which help us define Beauty… But those ones, as Social Constructivists would state, are not necessarily individual but colective and cultural.

On the other hand, one can not deny that certain general and universal features, are linked to the idea of Beauty. 

Therefore and figuratively speaking, I believe that  Beauty would be a sui generis concept, constituted mainly by objective and intersubjective variables, which may vary according to time and contexts.

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►Gallery: “Some Greek Myths based on Beauty”:

(Click on the images for further details)

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►Playtime!:Is your face geometrically beautiful?:

Supposedly, when it comes to Beauty, the simplest measurement is the length of your face divided by the widest part of your face.

As previously mentioned above, the closer this number is to 1.618, i.e Golden Ratio, the more beautiful the person is…

There are countless ratios that can be measured, but the website Anaface will generate a computer calculation online of a few of these ratios, from your uploaded photo for free.

An important detail is that you ought to use the photograph URL. It didn’t work for me when I tried upload he image from my computer…

For that purpose, send yourself an email with the photograph and then copy paste its URL, as shown in the gallery.

Furthermore. keep in mind that the more horizontally your face is placed, the more reliable the results will be.

Use as a model the photograph provided in order to locate the points, especially if your ears don´t show up in the photograph due to your hair… 

Follow up the instructions and you´ll soon get your score. Click on the images in the gallery below for further details …

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►Last but not Least: Quote Challenge: Beauty:

Paul from Pal Fitness has nominated me for a so called 3-Day Quote Challenge. Please Check out Paul´s blog. He is a personal trainer and coach, who loves blogging and writing. 

The rules of this challenge are: ♠Post your favorite quotes or your own quotes for three (3) posts in a row. ♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Pass it on to three (3) other bloggers per quote, each time you post them. Or pass it to nine (9) bloggers if you choose to post all the quotes together, in the same post.
⚠ Note: I will post the three (3) quotes together. Thus I will nominate nine (9) Bloggers.
Also, I thought It would be pertinent to choose quotes on Beauty, alongside photographs taken by me, which you will be able to see in my Instagram account... All this aims to keep it on with the topic of this post… So that’s how I will do it :D. If you have been nominated, feel free to join the challenge if you feel it is worth it, want to and/or have time to do so. You can to pick out whichever creative license regarding this feature. 

My nominees for the Quote Challenge are: 1. D.G.Kaye Writer 2. Parlor of Horror 3. Course of Mirrors 4. Living the Dream 5. Solveig Werner 6. Scribble and Scrawl  7. Round World and Me 8. The Lonely Author 9. Aidyl93

►Three Quotes on Beauty by John Keats, and some Photographs:

~ Click on the images to read ~

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Links Post:
http://www.iep.utm.edu/plato/
http://www.anaface.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beauty/#ClaCon
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-aesthetics/
http://asifoscope.org/2013/05/10/on-beauty/
http://www.intmath.com/blog/mathematics/is-she-beautiful-the-new-golden-ratio-4149
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/plato/themes.html
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/symposium/section11.rhtml
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►Greek Mythology: “The Golden Apple of Discord” /

►Poetry: “Who is The Fairest?”, by Christy Birmingham:

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"The Judgment of Paris" by Guillaume Guillon Lethière (1812).-

“The Judgment of Paris” by Guillaume Guillon Lethière (1812).-

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The Garden of the Hesperides was Hera´s  orchard, where either a single tree or a grove of immortality-giving golden apples grew. The apples were planted from the fruited branches that Gaia gave to Hera as a wedding gift when Hera accepted Zeus. The Hesperides were given the task of tending to the grove, but occasionally plucked from it themselves. Not trusting them, Hera also placed in the garden a never-sleeping, hundred-headed dragon named Ladon as an additional safeguard. 

However, in the mythology surrounding “the Judgement of Paris”, the goddess of Discord Eris managed to enter the garden and pluck a golden apple.

Eris had become  disgruntled after she was excluded from the wedding of Peleus and Tetis (Achilles ‘ parents).

Angered by this snub, Eris arrived at the celebration with a golden apple, which she threw into the proceedings, upon which was the inscription Kallisti ( ‘For the most beautiful one’ or ‘For the Fairest’).

Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. Prince Paris of Troy as appointed to select the recipient. 

While Paris inspected them, each attempted with her powers to bribe him; Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite, offered the world’s most beautiful woman.

This was Helen of Sparta, wife of the Greek king Menelaus. Paris accepted Aphrodite’s gift and awarded the apple to her.

Later on, he abducted her, all of Greece declared war against Troy, causing the Trojan War and the eventual destruction of Troy. 

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"The Judgment of Paris" by Claude Lorrain (1645-1646).-

“The Judgment of Paris” by Claude Lorrain (1645-1646).-

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►A Poem By Christy Birmingham: “Who is the Fairest?”

(Based on the Greek Myth of “The Golden Apple of Discord”): 

If I transported back to mythical times,

Would I be the fairest?

Would I be the one to snatch the

Apple first, savoring the

Fruit, eyes and delight of all?

 

If so, I would stand above Athena, Hera and

Aphrodite, in this beauty contest that

Judges only our outer skin, revealing nothing of

Our spirits, as though denying us the

Opportunity to reveal our sweet, fruity tastes.

 

If I transported back to mythical times,

I wonder if I would also bribe Paris to win –

And what would I offer as the winning power?

Would it be savory or sweet?

 

Indeed, the golden apple caused quite the uproar,

An apple of discord not to be forgotten,

And I only hope that my winning power is

One day revealed,

As it is a blend unlike any other:

 

It is the ability to connect with you.

 

 ©2014 Christy Birmingham.-

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The poem “Who is the Fairest?” was originally written by Christy Birmingham as a recreation of the Greek myth related to the Judgement of Paris and the Golden Apple of Discord.

►About Christy Birmingham:

Christy is a freelance writer, poet and author. She lives in British Columbia, Canada. 

She writes poetry and short stories to motivate readers and to reach out to struggling women. Her intent is to spread hope and understanding about depression, abuse and other issues.

Christy has written countless poems since childhood. She is the author of the poetry collection “Pathways to Illumination” (2013), available exclusively at Redmund Productions.

You can check out Christy Birmingham´s writer portfolio here

She also hosts two great blogs: Poetic Parfait and When Women Inspire.  (You can also check out this post at Poetic Parfait: here).

Feel free to connect with Christy on social media at Twitter and Google Plus .

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“The Golden Apple of Discord”, labelled Kallisti (“For the Most Beautiful One”).-

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►Paintings : “The Judgement of Paris”:

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►Links post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_(symbolism)
http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Fi-Go/Fruit-in-Mythology.html
http://www.spiffy-entertainment.com/applediscord.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperides
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5452761_paris-golden-apple-greek-myth.html
http://poeticparfait.com/about/

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►Greek Mythology:

“Atalanta, Hippomenes,  a Footrace and Three Golden Apples”:

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"The Race between Atalanta and Hippomenes" by Nicolas Colombel (1680).-

“The Race between Atalanta and Hippomenes” by Nicolas Colombel (1680).-

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Atalanta was a great Arkadian huntress and a favourite of the goddess Artemis. Shewas exposed by her father in the wilderness at birth, but was suckled by a she-bear and afterwards found and raised by hunters.

She swore to the goddess to defend her virginity and, when Centaurs burst into her grove, destroyed them with her arrows.

Later she participated in the voyage of the Argonauts, and defeated the hero Peleus in wrestling at the funeral games of King Pelias.

When Meleagros gathered heroes to destroy the Kalydonian Boar, Atalanta joined the hunt and was the first to draw blood.

Meleagros awarded her the prize of the skin, and when his uncles tried to take it from her force, he slew them.

After the Calydonian boar hunt, Atalanta was rediscovered by her father. He wanted her to be married, but Atalanta, uninterested in marriage, agreed to marry only if her suitors could outrun her in a footrace. Those who lost would be killed. King Schoeneus agreed, and many young men died in the attempt until Hippomenes came along.

Hippomenes asked the goddess Aphrodite for help, and she gave him three golden apples in order to slow Atalanta down. 

Aphrodite gave him three golden apples – which came rom the Garden of the Hesperides, according to Servius – and told him to drop them one at a time to distract Atalanta. 

These golden apples were planted from the fruited branches that Gaia  gave to Hera as a wedding gift when Hera accepted Zeus.

The golden apples were irresistible, so every time Atalanta got ahead of Hippomenes, he rolled an apple ahead of her, and she would run after it. In this way, Hippomenes won the footrace and came to marry Atalanta. Eventually they had a son Parthenopaios.

Zeus or his mother  Rhea  turned Atalanta and Hippomenes into lions after they made love together in one of his temples.

Other accounts say that Aphrodite changed them into lions because they did not give her proper honor.

The belief at the time was that lions could not mate with their own species, only with leopards; thus Atalanta and Hippomenes would never be able to remain with one another.

►Symbolism and other facts: The Greek word χρυσομηλιά, and Latin “pomum aurantium” both literally describe oranges as “golden apples”.

The unnamed fruit of the Garden of Eden became an apple under the influence of the story of the golden apples  in the Garden of the Hesperides.

As a result, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, inmortality, temptation, sin and the fall of man. Secular art as well made use of the apple as symbol of love and sexuality. 

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"Atlanta and Hippomenes" by Willem van Herp (1632).-

“Atlanta and Hippomenes” by Willem van Herp (1632).-

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►”Three Greek Myths related to Golden Apples”:

1) “Atalanta and Hippomenes´Footrace”, 2) “The Garden of Hesperides and Heracles´Eleventh Labor”, 3) “The Judgement of Paris”:

1) Goddess Aphrodite gave Hippomenes three golden apple which he used to beat Atalanta in the footrace, as he rolled them ahead of her while she was running. Hippomenes was also known as Melanion, a name possibly derived from “melon” the Greek word for both “apple” and fruit in general.

2) Heracles´Eleventh Labor was to retrieve the Golden Apples from The Garden of the Hesperides. First, he flattered the Hesperides, but they didn’t give him the apples. Then he found Atlas and convinced him to give him the sky for a little so Atlas went to see his daughters and they gave him a golden apple. Then Atlas gave the apple to Hercules).

3) The chain of events that started the Trojan War all began with a spiteful goddess and a simple appleZeus was putting together a wedding banquet for Peleus and Thetis. He planned to invite just about everyone. Everyone except Eris.

However, Eris arrived at the celebration with a golden apple from the Garden of the Hesperides, which she threw into the proceedings, upon which was the inscription καλλίστῃ (kallistēi, “For the most beautiful one”). Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite.

Zeus declared that Paris of Troy would decide who deserved the apple. Paris chose Aphrodite’s offer, so she got the apple and Paris was given Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. Paris abducted her and took her to Troy.

The Greeks’ expedition to retrieve Helen from Paris in Troy is the mythological basis of the Trojan War.

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►Slideshare: “Who was Atlanta?”:

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Click above to watch it.-

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►”Read Atalanta and Hippomenes´story on “The Metamorphoses” by Ovid”:

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Click on teh Image aboev to read Atalanta and Hippomenes´story (Book X  verses 560 to 680).-

Click on the Image above to read Atalanta and Hippomenes´story (Ovid´s “Metamorphoses”. Book X Verses 560 to 680).-

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►Links Post:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atalanta

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippomenes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_(symbolism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_apple#Oranges

http://www.pbase.com/dlcmh/c01_thethreegoldenapples

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/JudgementParis.html

http://camphalfblood.wikia.com/wiki/The_Garden_of_the_Hesperides

https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/greek-mythology-agamemnons-family-and-the-war-of-troy/

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►Last but not Least: ”Three Awards”:

I have been nominated for three Awards.

I) My dear blogger friend Sue Dreamwalker nominated me for an “Angel Award”. Check out her brilliant  site and the nomination both here. Thanks a bunch, Sue 

II) Cool blogger Deimos and Phobos has kindly nominated for the ” Black Wolf Blogger Award”. You can check out nomination and great blog here. Thank you very much.

III) I have been nominated for an Versatile Bloger Award (Trophee Version) coming from Between Sky and Earth. As I already had this award I changed its feature… Check the nomination and the sparkling blog here. Thank You.

►Here are the Awards Rules:

1) The nominee shall display the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award logo on her/his blog.

2) The nominee shall nominate ten (10) Bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

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Angel Award

Angel Award.-

►Here are my ten (10) nominees for this award:

1) Aisha´s Oasis 2)  The Tropical Flowering Zone 3) Clanmother 4) Kittykatmandoo 5) The dune mouse (CybeleMoon) 6) Tarot Psychologique 7) Wendy Mac Donald 8) Delvina Lavoie 9) En Humor Arte 10) Rotze Mardini.

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Black Wolf Blogger Award.-

Black Wolf Blogger Award.-

► My ten (10) nominees for this award are:

1) Sue Dreamwalker 2) I lost my lens cap 3) Kev´s blog 4) Chesterton´s Blog 5) Sweet as a picture 6) Marina Kanavaki 7) Inesemjphotography 8)  Between Sky and Earth 9) Todo el Oro del Mundo 10) Dina´s Illustrations.

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Versatile Blogger (Trophee).

Versatile Blogger (Trophee).-

► My ten (10) nominees for this award are:

1) Jeri Walker-Bickett 2) Eternal Atlantis  3) Apollo´s Raven 4) Agustín Ayala 5) Speedy Rabbit 6)  Talker Blogger 7) Deimos and Phobos 8) Poesiaincodice 9) Mario Aguirre 10) Nature Restores Me.

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