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History's Mysteries:
Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes is familiar to almost everyone. Its history begins with the siege of Demetrios Poliorketes, successor of Alexander the Great, in 305 BC. When Demetrios was defeated, he abandoned all his siege machinery in Rhodes. The Rhodians decided to express their pride by building a triumphal statue of their favorite god, Helios. Twelve years were needed to complete it.

From its building to its destruction lies a time span of merely 56 years. Yet the Colossus earned a place in the famous list of Wonders. The Colossus of Rhodes was not only a gigantic statue. It was a symbol of unity of the people who inhabited that beautiful Mediterranean island of Rhodes. A strong earthquake hit Rhodes at around 226 BC. The city was badly damaged, and the Colossus was broken at its weakest point - the knee. The Rhodians received an immediate offer from Ptolemy III Eurgetes of Egypt to cover all restoration costs for the toppled monument. However, an oracle was consulted and forbade the re-erection. Ptolemy's offer was declined.

For almost a millennium, the statue lay broken in ruins. In AD 654, the Arabs invaded Rhodes. They disassembled the remains of the broken Colossus and sold them to a Jew from Syria. It is said that the fragments had to be transported to Syria on the backs of 900 camels. It has long been believed that the Colossus stood in front of the Mandraki harbour, one of many in the city of Rhodes, straddling its entrance. Given the height of the statue and the width of the harbour mouth, this picture is rather impossible. Moreover, the fallen Colossus would have blocked the harbour entrance. Recent studies suggest that it was erected either on the eastern promontory of the Mandraki harbour, or even further inland. In any case, it never straddled the harbour entrance.

Although we do not know the true shape and appearance of the Colossus, modern reconstructions with the statue standing upright are more accurate than older drawings. Although it disappeared from existence, the ancient World Wonder inspired modern artists such as French sculptor, Auguste Bartholdi, best known by his famous work, the 'Statue of Liberty' in New York. Today, the Colossus is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a masterpiece of art and engineering.

By Nishita Aurnab
Sources: Disney's Encyclopedia and Rhodesguide.com

Of slaving men and blue-blooded women

So you think men rule the world and do and say whatever they like. Below, it is clearly illustrated that such a concept is as fake as Neil Armstrong playing golf on the moon.

1. Ever noticed how women cry and almost every time they cry in a place where they will be noticed and heard? Sometimes they walk out so abruptly and go to a corner, it is almost assured they will cry. They are not trying to hide their tears, but drawing you near them. When men rarely cry, it is either alone or when they need attention. Women cry to make men feel bad. That is mean. And they cry to get their tasks done and wishes fulfilled. That is meaner.

2. Women don't know how to forgive. When we forgive someone for something, we know that it can't be brought up in the future. That is the essence of forgiveness. Do women know that simple fact? Hell no! Whatever you did 100 years back and were forgiven for and if you do something not evenly remotely connected to it 100 years later, your previous foolishness will be brought, rest assured. Because 'just because they forgave you doesn't mean what you did was right and should be forgotten.' Oh no, the guilt-trip is a journey lasting forever, gentlemen.

3. You know that it's a fact that men are struck by lightning, 6 times more than women? That's because even though we are the 'allegedly' dominating force, we are thrown out of our houses or hide in the fields, even during thunderstorms, thus we get hit by lightning so many times. Get this: We are not the dominating force. We are not the head of the household. That is EXACTLY what they want us to think we are, but we are not. Lord knows, we are not.

4. Talking of unfair, how come women always get the better restroom? I went to a restaurant once and the men's room didn't have a toilet, but just holes in the ground and muck all around. I heard the girl's room had gold-plated toilet seats and was always kept neat. What is up with that?

5. Women make liars. That is a fact. That is a straight up, west-side, east-coast, no shizzle, no fizzle, fact. 'Does this make me look fat?' We know it does, only because you eat 300 pounds a day, but we must say that it doesn't make them look fat. 'Did you eat the cake I made for the guests?' Yes, of course we did but we must say 'No.' And the ever famous 'Did you look at that very attractive girl in very provocative clothing, who is hotter than Kim Basinger and Alicia Silverstone?” “No dear, I did not. Who are you talking about?' we shall say. All lies and they know it. But they must push us all the way to HELL.

6. Women always get their way. Like suppose you are playing this really intense car race and suddenly your sister wants you to pick her up from somewhere because its late and she forgot to ask for the car, never admitting she is stupid. Because she forgot to ask for the car and since you were irresponsible enough to never remind her, it is all your fault. She says you can finish your game and then come, but if you do that, you are dead. She tells mom about how you left her alone in the dark, and its okay that she is out late, but you are so dead for not picking her up as soon as possible.

7. Women hate knowing how they have increased in bulk but always keep a weighing machine handy and gorge down on candy. Men don't care about anything except prolonging a stroke.

8. Men get gifts for birthdays. Women get gifts for birthdays and Sundays and Fridays and Saturdays and when you do something wrong. Sometimes they get gifts because you are late. Sometimes because you are early. Sometimes because you are so punctual that you are a bore.

9. If a woman dresses up in EVEN the same color as some other women at a party, she will instantly die or be vaporized. All men usually wear black and are doing fine. What's the big deal, anyway?

10. If you get a girl a chocolate bar for her birthday she will be happy but reprimand you a month and 600 burgers later for making her fat with your stupid chocolate bar. If you don't get her a chocolate bar she will hate you because not getting chocolate means that you think she is fat. When men are presented with a chocolate bar, they eat it and throw away the wrapper. But that isn't nice, since you should give half the candy to the girl who gave it to you and save the wrapper because it is a sweet memory. And no this doesn't go both ways.

Ah…the plot thickens. Men are but slaves. Women are but Egyptian royalty. *sigh*

The writer's ideas stem from seeing fictional women so no ill will should be sent his way.

(Some background ripped from GetAmused.com)
By Osama Rahman

Myth Box:

Bloodthirsty beasties

Vampires are mythological creatures who survive by feeding on the blood of the living. In folkloric tales, the undead vampires often visited loved ones and caused mischief or deaths in the neighbourhoods they inhabited when they were alive. They wore shrouds and were often described as bloated and of ruddy complexion, markedly different from today's thin, pale vampire which dates from the early Nineteenth Century. Although vampiric entities have been recorded in most cultures, the term vampire was not popularised until the early 18th century. Early folkloric belief in vampires has been ascribed to the ignorance of the body's process of decomposition after death. However, it is Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula which is remembered as the quintessential vampire novel and provided the basis of the modern vampire legend.

Vampires were usually reported as bloated in appearance, and ruddy, purplish, or dark in colour; these characteristics were often attributed to the recent drinking of blood. Indeed, blood was often seen seeping from the mouth and nose when one was seen in its coffin and its left eye was often open. It would be clad in the linen shroud it was buried in, and its teeth, hair, and nails may have grown somewhat, though in general fangs were not a feature. Transylvanian vampires had long fingernails, while those from Bulgaria only had one nostril and Bavarian vampires slept with thumbs crossed. Moravian vampires only attacked while naked, and those of Albanian folklore wore high-heeled shoes. Mexican vampires had a bare skull instead of a head, Brazilian vampires had furry feet and vampires from the Rocky Mountains only sucked blood with their noses and from the victim's ears. Some were reported to be able to transform into bats.

One method of finding a vampire's grave involved leading a virgin boy through a graveyard or church grounds on a virgin stallion the horse would supposedly turn away at the grave in question. Generally a black horse was required, though in Albania it should be white. Vampires are said to be unable to walk on holy ground, such as those of churches or temples, or cross running water. The methods of destroying a vampire includes staking through the heart, piercing the skin, pinning the body to prevent rising, etc. So next time you are in a graveyard don't forget to look for a vampire!

By Da Weird One (source: wikipedia)

Your magic carpet

Your eloquence once
Pulled many a yarn to your loom,
But I've heard tell your tapestry split.
The flowers on your magic carpet could never bloom.

It lies: dusty, forgotten, incomplete, in your room;
I've heard it is why you no longer knit.
Your eloquence once pulled
Many a yarn to your loom.

The carpet's very aura now is one of gloom.
Lost and shattered dreams I've seen it emit:
The flowers on your magic
Carpet could never bloom.

Maybe the tassels could flutter richly like a plume,
But of that magic, I no longer see a whit;
Your eloquence once pulled many a yarn to your loom.

It could serve one day, to
Decorate your tomb,
I've felt its drabness; I've found it fit;
The flowers on your magic carpet could never bloom.

If you completed it, would you ride it- would you zoom?
Or would you clear a space in your room, and there place it?
Your eloquence once pulled many a yarn to your loom,
The flowers on your magic carpet could never bloom.

By Ahsan Sajid





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