“1990s Punks of Belfast.”

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Photographer Ricky Adam captured the punk scene in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which was centred on the Warzone collective and its spittle-flecked venue, Giros.
Here he gives the background to each image.
‘I got my first camera in 1997. I just snapped photos here and there: I was more into the music and drumming in bands. I didn’t really know what I was doing, which in some ways was quite good.
There’s an innocent youthfulness that comes through.’
A book, Belfast Punk, is out now, published by Damiani.
All photographs: Ricky Adam

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‘This is Mero, vocalist with the band Knifed. I just remember turning around and these kids appeared from nowhere during a break in the set.
Mero started asking them if they were enjoying the show, much to the amusement of the crowd. Probably scarred them for life’
See more images via Out of step: the 90s punks of Belfast – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian

Fountains Abbey.

BAhbCVsHOgZmSSJIdXBsb2Fkcy9wbGFjZV9pbWFnZXMvYTk2MDk5ZDMzNTE0MzhhZmY0Xzc4MTE1NTQ4NjBfY2JiMGY3NTY3Y19iLmpwZwY6BkVUWwg6BnA6CnRodW1iSSIKOTgweD4GOwZUWwc7BzoKc3RyaXBbCTsHOgxjb252ZXJ0SSIQLXF1YWxpdHkgOTEGOwZUMAFounded in the 10th century, the ornate religious complex known as Fountains Abbey remained in active use for over 400 years and miraculously continues to stand in much its original form despite being denounced in the 1500’s.
The 70-acre site known collectively as Fountains Abbey was originally nothing more than some wooden church buildings resting on a verdant field.
The abbey was slowly expanded and converted to stone materials across its centuries of use, experiencing fires and destruction from religious opponents, each time rebuilding the abbey a bit greater.
At its height, the church complex was the largest and richest abbey in all of England, yet it was so large that it was also known to be in varied states of disrepair as no one seemed to be able to keep up the maintenance of the aging complex.
It wasn’t until Henry the VIII ordered the dissolution of all monasteries in the 1500’s that the abbey finally shut down.
After the mandated abandonment, portions of the site were destroyed, but the majority remained and over the ensuing centuries, a water garden was built around the ruins which would become almost as famous.
Despite the abandonment, the ruins ended up being fairly well maintained thanks to the care of the garden in which is was now simply a massive feature.
Thanks to this, the Fountains Abbey is the largest remaining abbey from its time and also the most well preserved.
While it is a popular tourist spot, it is also often used in television and film projects.
via Fountains Abbey | Atlas Obscura.

“Sony Photo Images”.

josemariaperez2017sonyworldphotographyawardsThe 2017 Sony World Photography Awards are accepting entries in the professional category until January 10, 2017.
However, these stunning images give us a preview of what’s in store for the tenth anniversary of the competition.
A manta ray swimming in the Indian ocean, Indonesia

A manta ray swimming in the Indian ocean, Indonesia

There are four sections for entry—Professional, Open, Youth, and Student—which allow for a wide range of photographers to expose their talents to the international photography community.
Zelda Cheatle, a UK-based curator chairing the professional competition, shares that in judging the work, “I will be looking for originality of thought and execution, clarity of vision—a clear concept that translates well into pictures on the wall or on the screen.

Part of the series 'The Flower Keepers', a personal series exploring my imagination and thoughts, creating whimsical characters in a world filled with flowers.

Part of the series ‘The Flower Keepers’, a personal series exploring my imagination and thoughts, creating whimsical characters in a world filled with flowers.

Simplicity, good craftsmanship and sometimes its wit, or compassion, ingenuity, luck or good judgement—but a good picture always stops you in your tracks.
“The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in April 2017.
In addition, all winning and shortlisted images will be exhibited at the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House in London.
See and read more via Striking Early Highlights of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards – My Modern Met

Death and Life in Shelley’s “Frankenstein”.

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Frankenstein observing the first stirrings of his creature.
Engraving by W. Chevalier after Th. von Holst, 1831. Featured as frontispiece to the 1831 edition of Shelley’s novel.
Source: Wellcome Library.
Far from the fantastic and improbable tale that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein now seems to us, the novel was declared by one reviewer upon publication to have “an air of reality attached to it, by being connected with the favourite projects and passions of the times”.
Among these were the scientific investigations into the states of life and death. Considerable uncertainty surrounded these categories. So much so that it was not far-fetched that Frankenstein should assert: “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds” (ch. 4). He was not alone in considering that the boundary between life and death was imaginary and that it might be breached.
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A watercolour by Robert Smirke depicting a man being brought in by boat apparently drowned, his wife and family grieving on the shore.
A later engraving of this scene by Robert Pollard was dedicated to the Royal Humane Society in 1787 — Source: Wellcome Library.
Worried by the potential inability to distinguish between the states of life and death, two doctors, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan, set up the Royal Humane Society in London in 1774. I
t was initially called the “Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Drowned”; its aims were to publish information to help people resuscitate others, and it paid for attempts to save lives (the Society paid more money if the attempt was successful).
Many people could not swim at this time despite the fact that they worked and lived along London’s rivers and canals.
There was an annual procession of those “raised from the dead” by the Society’s methods, which may well have included people who had intended suicide too.
One such seems to have been Mary Shelley’s mother, the feminist, Mary Wollstonecraft, who after leaping from Putney Bridge into the Thames in the depth of depression complained “I have only to lament, that, when the bitterness of death was past, I was inhumanly brought back to life and misery”.
The pun on her “inhumane” treatment may well refer to the efforts of the Humane Society in rescuing her.2 The spectacular tales of apparent resurrections from the dead by the Society fed the public’s concern that it was impossible to be sure whether a person was truly dead and, consequently, fears of being buried alive grew.
Read on via The Science of Life and Death in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein | The Public Domain Review

“Burke and Hare, Bodysnatchers.”

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William Hare and William Burke.
Between 1827 and 1828, William Burke and William Hare murdered 15 people over the course of a year to make extra money, selling the bodies as cadavers for university students to dissect.
These murders took place starting in November of 1827 to October of 1828.
At the time, it was very difficult for universities to get human bodies for students to dissect. The only ones that could legally be acquired by universities were those from executed convicts.
This had once been an adequate supply, but thanks to certain legal changes that resulted in a drastic reduction of executions and thanks to the fact that the study of anatomy had become more popular as medical science progressed, there began to exist a huge shortage of human bodies.
In order to get around this problem, college professors and private tutors would sometimes pay under the table for bodies, no questions asked.
It was not uncommon for people known as “resurrectionists” or “body snatchers” to watch cemeteries and, when a fresh body was buried, they would dig it up. They’d then take any valuables that may have been left with the person.
Finally, if the body was fresh enough, they’d take it to sell. This practice became bad enough that relatives of a deceased loved one would often stand in shifts over the grave for several days to keep the body safe from being stolen while it was still fresh.
As author Hugh Douglas noted: “(Resurrectionists) could open a grave, remove a body and restore the soil between patrols of the night watch…. Relatives of the subject could mourn by the grave the following day, unaware that their loved one was gracing some anatomy slab in Edinburgh.”
William Burke and William Hare took this practice a step further.
Rather than wait for people to die, they began a year long killing spree, providing a steady stream of bodies for Dr. Robert Knox who was a private lecturer, teaching anatomy classes to University students.
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The murder spree started relatively innocently enough. At the lodging house that Hare operated they had an elderly gentlemen named Donald who owed Hare £4 in rent when the old man died.
Knowing that one could sell a body to universities, they decided to fill the coffin with bark and steal the body to sell to make up for the loss of the rent money the dead man owed.
They originally intended to sell the body to Professor Alexander Munro of Edinburgh Medical College, but after making inquiries were re-directed to Dr. Robert Knox, a private lecturer, whose assistant instructed them to bring the body after nightfall.
When they arrived with the body, it was inspected by Dr. Knox’s assistants and Burke and Hare were offered £7.10s, which would be around £730 today, or around $1100.
Read on further via Two Men Murdered 15 People Over the Course of a Year in Order to Sell the Bodies as Cadavers for College Students to Dissect.

“The Beauty of a Child and Butterfly”.

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Summer Sharif looks at an Owl butterfly feeding on an orange during a photo call for hundreds of tropical butterflies being released to launch the Natural History Museum’s Sensational Butterflies exhibition in London in March 2016.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Source: 2016 in Review – Features — AP Images Spotlight