Cryptozoology Break! The Kraken

Once the most feared creature in the Nordic Seas, the Kraken was often described by bewildered fisherman as a disproportionately large squid, or octopus, or other ferocious tentacled sea monster. The stories were usually scoffed by landlovers until the Kraken was popularized by French science fiction author, Jules Verne, in his classic novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Eventually, in the late 19th century, the not quite so giant, giant squid were being discovered washed up on the shore, some at 40+ feet in length, confirming at least in part the nautical horror stories of the past. The giant squid remains an incredibly elusive creature, having only recently been documented alive, but the tall tales of the Kraken, a gargantuan ship-swallowing sea monster, have gradually been adapted into medium tales of a pretty darn big squid who dukes it out with whales.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/Giant_octopus_attacks_ship.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/Giant_octopus_attacks_ship.jpg

 

A Name You Should Know: Emma Lazarus

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Emma_Lazarus.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Emma_Lazarus.jpg

One of the first successful Jewish American authors, Emma Lazarus was a poet and essayist who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, writing numerous powerful works against anti-semitism, supporting immigrants rights, and even arguing for the creation of a Jewish homeland before the Zionist movement came into being. But she is best known for her immortal American poem, “The New Colossus” which appears on a bronze plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty. You know the one, ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’ that one. Unfortunately, many politicians currently wish to have it removed, along with the torch… to be replaced with a stop sign 🙂

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Emma_Lazarus_plaque.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Emma_Lazarus_plaque.jpg

Cryptozoology Break! The Bunyip

Australia’s native Aborigines have plenty of tales involving a ferocious freshwater creature called the Bunyip, who comes out of the water at nightfall to hunt for their children. Descriptions vary greatly, from dog-faced to reptilian to starfish shaped. Since “Bunyip” actually translates to “evil spirit”, shape-shifting is probably not out of the question. But, it is more likely the Aborigines could never accurately describe it because they were busy running for their lives in the other direction. A solid survival technique in this case.

Art by Allen Douglas

Cryptozoology Break! Kongamato

In the Jiundu swamps of western Zambia, a legendary pterodactyl-like creature known as Kongamato (“overwhelmer of boats”) had been terrifying the natives for generations. This elusive creature was known to capsize boats and deliberately pursue and destroy any poor soul who laid eyes on it. A few early 20th century explorers reported seeing and often being attacked by these crazy ugly flying monsters. Similar sightings were reported from as far away as Mount Kilimanjaro. Today, the real truth about the Kongamato remains a mystery…

You say Kongamayto, I say Kongamahto, let’s get the heck outta here!

A TMP Exclusive: The Foggy London Strut

Hey MarcoNauts, have you seen the trailer yet? It packs an olympic size punch!

See it here…

How To: Make an Authentic Renaissance Hairstyle!

From Team Marco Polo fan Janet’s YouTube channel!

History Schmistory, July 20: Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

1858 – The first ever fee was charged to see a baseball game at the steep price of 50 cents per person. Sure had to break the piggy bank for Babe!

 

Gotta' pay those nickels to see them knuckles! 'Babe Ruth in 1921,' [public domain]

Gotta’ pay those nickels to see them knuckles!
‘Babe Ruth in 1921,’ [public domain]

History Schmistory, July 18: “In Freedom We Are Born!”

1768 – The Boston Gazette published the “Liberty Song,” America’s 1st patriotic song. It was an American Revolutionary War song composed by patriot, John Dickinson. Come, join hand in hand, to sing this tune to the motherland!

History Schmistory, July 17: Starry Eyed Harvard!

1850 – The Harvard Observatory took the 1st photograph of a star (Vega). Vega is argued to be the next most important star in the sky after the Sun. Needless to say, it is a “bright spot” in history for astronomers!

What happens on Vega, didn't stay on vega!

What happens on Vega, didn’t stay on vega!

History Schmistory, July 16: Kissing Cooties Goodbye.

1439 – Kissing was banned in England to stop germs from spreading! Soon after, blowing kisses became the next best thing.

 

Enjoy my germs!

Enjoy my germs!

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