With any luck I will have some time tomorrow to actually get something decent written, but here were some interesting things I spotted on my recent jaunt to London.
Ancient Middle and South America was the Land of Fucknuts Insanity. I have no trouble at all believing aliens went there and built pyramids and carved pictures of landing pods and space suits, because some outside influence had to have turned these people into utter, utter freaks. There was a violation of the Prime Directive performed here that would have made James Kirk shit in his velour.
You can’t really see it here (I wanted to get a good shot of the rattle and the head), but there’s a mirror mounted under this huge granite rattlesnake so you can see up underneath it (the mirror would not, obviously, have been there in its original placement at the base of a pile of baby skulls or as the centrepiece of a wreath made out of dismembered corpses studded with diamonds). Because apparently they carved the inside part as well, so this huge too-heavy-to-lift decoration wasn’t just a solid stone base, it was actually shaped like a coiled snake inside and out.
This was obviously because the guy who made it was afraid of being butchered with a wooden knife if he did a mediocre job. The same goes for this guy:
The craftsman who turned this human skull into a googly-eyed Ninja Turtle used the most insanely tiny bits of lapis or jade tile to do the mosaic, you almost couldn’t see it. I lost SAN just looking at this thing, so I can only imagine the absolute foaming madness of the guy who ordered it, and the pant-soiling terror of the poor bastard who made it.
Never let it be said, however, that the Aztecs didn’t have a couple of interesting ideas. Okay, I didn’t upload the picture of the actual monkey skull here because it was just too horrifying – they did a similar mosaic job on it, then at some later point they put garnets inside the mouth and lined that fucker with shark’s teeth – but the label was intriguing.
You also don’t want to know what was in the Isla de Sacrificios case.
We move out of Crazyland and into 19th Century Britain [/poker face].
I found this sugar bowl to be quite adorable, and they were selling replicas of it at the British Museum gift shop (along with just about every form of Rosetta Stone merchandising you can possibly imagine). It’s nice to know that this kind of social justice crusade is nothing new … but then again, it’s also depressing to know that this kind of social justice crusade is nothing new.
 In fact, they were selling Rosetta Stone USB hard drives and I had this brilliant idea. What if you got one of them, and then uploaded an Ancient Egyptian, Demotic, and Ancient Greek dictionary onto it? Heck, they were 2 gigabytes, throw in an English dictionary and a bunch of other stuff as well. Then bury it for archaeologists to dig up in another 2,000 years. I called it … the Meta Rosetta. Thank you and good night.
We move out of the British Museum and into Wood Street (no real reason or continuity here), where I was quite tickled by the decoration on this building.
Finally, on our trip home, I was lucky enough to have the lone remaining empty seat on the plane right next to me. Not only did this afford me the luxury of getting up and going to the toilet (directly behind us, since we were right at the back of the plane) without disturbing anyone, it also gave me a place to put my jacket and hat. We were a bit starved for space since there was no luggage compartment above us so our bags had to go halfway up the aisle in an empty spot in the luggage racks, but the spare seat meant I could at least have some of my stuff to keep me entertained during the endless 2-hour flight.
It also allowed me to get my brand-new bowler hat home without it getting crushed.