By V-J Day, September 2, 1945, Corsair pilots had amassed an 11:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft. The aircraft’s distinctive inverted gull-wing design allowed ground clearance for the huge, three-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller, which spanned more than 4 meters (13 feet). The Pratt and Whitney R-2800 radial engine and Hydromatic propeller was the largest and one of the most powerful engine-propeller combinations ever flown on a fighter aircraft.
Charles Lindbergh flew bombing missions in a Corsair with Marine Air Group 31 against Japanese strongholds in the Pacific in 1944. This airplane is painted in the colors and markings of the Corsair Sun Setter, a Marine close-support fighter assigned to the USS Essex in July 1944.
Overall: 460 x 1020cm, 4037kg, 1250cm (15ft 1 1/8in. x 33ft 5 9/16in., 8900lb., 41ft 1/8in.)
All metal with fabric-covered wings behind the main spar.
R-2800 radial air-cooled engine with 1,850 horsepower, turned a three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller with solid aluminum blades spanning 13 feet 1 inch; wing bent gull-shaped on both sides of the fuselage.
Whether known as the Warhawk, Tomahawk, or Kittyhawk, the Curtiss P-40 proved to be a successful, versatile fighter during the first half of World War II. The shark-mouthed Tomahawks that Gen. Claire Chennault’s "Flying Tigers" flew in China against the Japanese remain among the most popular airplanes of the war. P-40E pilot Lt. Boyd D. Wagner became the first American ace of World War II when he shot down six Japanese aircraft in the Philippines in mid-December 1941.
Curtiss-Wright built this airplane as Model 87-A3 and delivered it to Canada as a Kittyhawk I in 1941. It served until 1946 in No. 111 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. U.S. Air Force personnel at Andrews Air Force Base restored it in 1975 to represent an aircraft of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force.
Donated by the Exchange Club in Memory of Kellis Forbes.
This item a featuring with L’Homme Magazine SL August 2014
L’HOMME SL Magazine is The Authority in Second Life’s Mens Fashion.
It aims to keep the men of Second Life inspired and informed on current trends in male fashion across the grid,and provide male models with an opportunity to showcase their styling abilities.
Please check this site and see the awesome designer and model and photographer:) issuu.com/lhommemagazinesl/docs/lhommemagazinesl_august2014
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For the technology company, see Apple Inc. For other uses, see Apple (disambiguation).
"Apple tree" redirects here. For other uses, see Apple tree (disambiguation).
"Apple blossom" redirects here. For other uses, see Apple Blossom (disambiguation).
Malus domestica a1.jpg
Species: M. pumila
Malus communis Desf.
Malus domestica Borkh. nom. illeg.
M. frutescens Medik.
M. paradisiaca (L.) Medikus
M. sylvestris Mil.
Pyrus malus L.
Pyrus malus var. paradisiaca L.
Pyrus dioica Moench
The apple tree (Malus pumila, commonly and erroneously called Malus domestica) is a deciduous tree in the rose family best known for its sweet, pomaceous fruit, the apple. It is cultivated worldwide as a fruit tree, and is the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian traditions.
Apple trees are large if grown from seed. Generally apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and uses, including cooking, eating raw and cider production. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit’s genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.
Worldwide production of apples in 2014 was 84.6 million tonnes, with China accounting for 48% of the total.
1 Botanical information
1.1 Wild ancestors
3 Society and culture
3.1 Germanic paganism
3.2 Greek mythology
3.3 Christian art
5.3 Maturation and harvest
5.5 Pests and diseases
8 Human consumption
8.1 Popular uses
8.2 Organic production
8.4 Health effects
8.6 Toxicity of seeds
10 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Blossoms, fruits, and leaves of the apple tree (Malus pumila)
The apple is a deciduous tree, generally standing 1.8 to 4.6 m (6 to 15 ft) tall in cultivation and up to 12 m (39 ft) in the wild. When cultivated, the size, shape and branch density are determined by rootstock selection and trimming method. The leaves are alternately arranged dark green-colored simple ovals with serrated margins and slightly downy undersides.
Blossoms are produced in spring simultaneously with the budding of the leaves, and are produced on spurs and some long shoots. The 3 to 4 cm (1.2 to 1.6 in) flowers are white with a pink tinge that gradually fades, five petaled, with an inflorescence consisting of a cyme with 4–6 flowers. The central flower of the inflorescence is called the "king bloom"; it opens first, and can develop a larger fruit.
The fruit matures in late summer or autumn, and cultivars exist with a wide range of sizes. Commercial growers aim to produce an apple that is 7.0 to 8.3 cm (2.75 to 3.25 in) in diameter, due to market preference. Some consumers, especially those in Japan, prefer a larger apple, while apples below 5.7 cm (2.25 in) are generally used for making juice and have little fresh market value. The skin of ripe apples is generally red, yellow, green, pink, or russetted although many bi- or tri-colored cultivars may be found. The skin may also be wholly or partly russeted i.e. rough and brown. The skin is covered in a protective layer of epicuticular wax. The exocarp (flesh) is generally pale yellowish-white, though pink or yellow exocarps also occur.
Main article: Malus sieversii
The original wild ancestor of Malus pumila was Malus sieversii, found growing wild in the mountains of Central Asia in southern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Xinjiang, China. Cultivation of the species, most likely beginning on the forested flanks of the Tian Shan mountains, progressed over a long period of time and permitted secondary introgression of genes from other species into the open-pollinated seeds. Significant exchange with Malus sylvestris, the crabapple, resulted in current populations of apples being more related to crabapples than to the more morphologically similar progenitor Malus sieversii. In strains without recent admixture the contribution of the latter predominates.
In 2010, an Italian-led consortium announced they had sequenced the complete genome of the apple in collaboration with horticultural genomicists at Washington State University, using ‘Golden Delicious’. It had about 57,000 genes, the highest number of any plant genome studied to date and more genes than the human genome (about 30,000). This new understanding of the apple genome will help scientists in identifying genes and gene variants that contribute to resistance to disease and drought, and other desirable characteristics. Understanding the genes behind these characteristics will allow scientists to perform more knowledgeable selective breeding. The genome sequence also provided proof that Malus sieversii was the wild ancestor of the domestic apple—an issue that had been long-debated in the scientific community.
color photograph of a hand holding a red apple
Wild Malus sieversii apple in Kazakhstan
The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern present-day Turkey. The apple tree was perhaps the earliest tree to be cultivated, and its fruits have been improved through selection over thousands of years. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Kazakhstan in 328 BCE; those he brought back to Macedonia might have been the progenitors of dwarfing root stocks. Winter apples, picked in late autumn and stored just above freezing, have been an important food in Asia and Europe for millennia.
Apples were introduced to North America by colonists in the 17th century, and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625. The only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called "common apples". Apple cultivars brought as seed from Europe were spread along Native American trade routes, as well as being cultivated on colonial farms. An 1845 United States apples nursery catalogue sold 350 of the "best" cultivars, showing the proliferation of new North American cultivars by the early 19th century. In the 20th century, irrigation projects in Eastern Washington began and allowed the development of the multibillion-dollar fruit industry, of which the apple is the leading product.
Until the 20th century, farmers stored apples in frostproof cellars during the winter for their own use or for sale. Improved transportation of fresh apples by train and road replaced the necessity for storage. In the 21st century, long-term storage again came into popularity, as "controlled atmosphere" facilities were used to keep apples fresh year-round. Controlled atmosphere facilities use high humidity, low oxygen, and controlled carbon dioxide levels to maintain fruit freshness.
Society and culture
Main article: Apple (symbolism)
Illustration of girl in a red dress, holding 3 candles in one hand and a basket of apples in the other
"Brita as Iduna" (1901) by Carl Larsson
In Norse mythology, the goddess Iðunn is portrayed in the Prose Edda (written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson) as providing apples to the gods that give them eternal youthfulness. English scholar H. R. Ellis Davidson links apples to religious practices in Germanic paganism, from which Norse paganism developed. She points out that buckets of apples were found in the Oseberg ship burial site in Norway, and that fruit and nuts (Iðunn having been described as being transformed into a nut in Skáldskaparmál) have been found in the early graves of the Germanic peoples in England and elsewhere on the continent of Europe, which may have had a symbolic meaning, and that nuts are still a recognized symbol of fertility in southwest England.
Davidson notes a connection between apples and the Vanir, a tribe of gods associated with fertility in Norse mythology, citing an instance of eleven "golden apples" being given to woo the beautiful Gerðr by Skírnir, who was acting as messenger for the major Vanir god Freyr in stanzas 19 and 20 of Skírnismál. Davidson also notes a further connection between fertility and apples in Norse mythology in chapter 2 of the Völsunga saga when the major goddess Frigg sends King Rerir an apple after he prays to Odin for a child, Frigg’s messenger (in the guise of a crow) drops the apple in his lap as he sits atop a mound. Rerir’s wife’s consumption of the apple results in a six-year pregnancy and the Caesarean section birth of their son—the hero Völsung.
Further, Davidson points out the "strange" phrase "Apples of Hel" used in an 11th-century poem by the skald Thorbiorn Brúnarson. She states this may imply that the apple was thought of by Brúnarson as the food of the dead. Further, Davidson notes that the potentially Germanic goddess Nehalennia is sometimes depicted with apples and that parallels exist in early Irish stories. Davidson asserts that while cultivation of the apple in Northern Europe extends back to at least the time of the Roman Empire and came to Europe from the Near East, the native varieties of apple trees growing in Northern Europe are small and bitter. Davidson concludes that in the figure of Iðunn "we must have a dim reflection of an old symbol: that of the guardian goddess of the life-giving fruit of the other world."
Heracles with the apple of Hesperides
Apples appear in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit. One of the problems identifying apples in religion, mythology and folktales is that the word "apple" was used as a generic term for all (foreign) fruit, other than berries, including nuts, as late as the 17th century. For instance, in Greek mythology, the Greek hero Heracles, as a part of his Twelve Labours, was required to travel to the Garden of the Hesperides and pick the golden apples off the Tree of Life growing at its center.
The Greek goddess of discord, Eris, became disgruntled after she was excluded from the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. In retaliation, she tossed a golden apple inscribed Καλλίστη (Kalliste, sometimes transliterated Kallisti, ‘For the most beautiful one’), into the wedding party. Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Paris of Troy was appointed to select the recipient. After being bribed by both Hera and Athena, Aphrodite tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. He awarded the apple to Aphrodite, thus indirectly causing the Trojan War.
The apple was thus considered, in ancient Greece, to be sacred to Aphrodite, and to throw an apple at someone was to symbolically declare one’s love; and similarly, to catch it was to symbolically show one’s acceptance of that love. An epigram claiming authorship by Plato states:
I throw the apple at you, and if you are willing to love me, take it and share your girlhood with me; but if your thoughts are what I pray they are not, even then take it, and consider how short-lived is beauty.
— Plato, Epigram VII
Atalanta, also of Greek mythology, raced all her suitors in an attempt to avoid marriage. She outran all but Hippomenes (also known as Melanion, a name possibly derived from melon the Greek word for both "apple" and fruit in general), who defeated her by cunning, not speed. Hippomenes knew that he could not win in a fair race, so he used three golden apples (gifts of Aphrodite, the goddess of love) to distract Atalanta. It took all three apples and all of his speed, but Hippomenes was finally successful, winning the race and Atalanta’s hand.
Adam and Eve by Albrecht Dürer (1507), showcasing the apple as a symbol of sin.
Though the forbidden fruit of Eden in the Book of Genesis is not identified, popular Christian tradition has held that it was an apple that Eve coaxed Adam to share with her. The origin of the popular identification with a fruit unknown in the Middle East in biblical times is found in confusion between the Latin words mālum (an apple) and mălum (an evil), each of which is normally written malum. The tree of the forbidden fruit is called "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" in Genesis 2:17, and the Latin for "good and evil" is bonum et malum.
Renaissance painters may also have been influenced by the story of the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides. As a result, in the story of Adam and Eve, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, the fall of man into sin, and sin itself. The larynx in the human throat has been called the "Adam’s apple" because of a notion that it was caused by the forbidden fruit remaining in the throat of Adam. The apple as symbol of sexual seduction has been used to imply human sexuality, possibly in an ironic vein.
Main article: List of apple cultivars
Red and green apples in India
There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples. Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock. Different cultivars are available for temperate and subtropical climates. The UK’s National Fruit Collection, which is the responsibility of the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, includes a collection of over 2,000 cultivars of apple tree in Kent. The University of Reading, which is responsible for developing the UK national collection database, provides access to search the national collection. The University of Reading’s work is part of the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources of which there are 38 countries participating in the Malus/Pyrus work group.
The UK’s national fruit collection database contains a wealth of information on the characteristics and origin of many apples, including alternative names for what is essentially the same ‘genetic’ apple cultivar. Most of these cultivars are bred for eating fresh (dessert apples), though some are cultivated specifically for cooking (cooking apples) or producing cider. Cider apples are typically too tart and astringent to eat fresh, but they give the beverage a rich flavor that dessert apples cannot.
Commercially popular apple cultivars are soft but crisp. Other desired qualities in modern commercial apple breeding are a colorful skin, absence of russeting, ease of shipping, lengthy storage ability, high yields, disease resistance, common apple shape, and developed flavor. Modern apples are generally sweeter than older cultivars, as popular tastes in apples have varied over time. Most North Americans and Europeans favor sweet, subacid apples, but tart apples have a strong minority following. Extremely sweet apples with barely any acid flavor are popular in Asia and especially Indian Subcontinent .
Old cultivars are often oddly shaped, russeted, and have a variety of textures and colors. Some find them to have a better flavor than modern cultivars, but they may have other problems which make them commercially unviable—low yield, disease susceptibility, poor tolerance for storage or transport, or just being the ‘wrong’ size. A few old cultivars are still produced on a large scale, but many have been preserved by home gardeners and farmers that sell directly to local markets. Many unusual and locally important cultivars with their own unique taste and appearance exist; apple conservation campaigns have sprung up around the world to preserve such local cultivars from extinction. In the United Kingdom, old cultivars such as ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ and ‘Egremont Russet’ are still commercially important even though by modern standards they are low yielding and susceptible to disease.
See also: Fruit tree propagation and Malling series
An apple tree in Germany
Blooming apple tree on Kota Batu, Indonesia
In the wild, apples grow readily from seeds. However, like most perennial fruits, apples are ordinarily propagated asexually by grafting. This is because seedling apples are an example of "extreme heterozygotes", in that rather than inheriting DNA from their parents to create a new apple with those characteristics, they are instead significantly different from their parents. Triploid cultivars have an additional reproductive barrier in that 3 sets of chromosomes cannot be divided evenly during meiosis, yielding unequal segregation of the chromosomes (aneuploids). Even in the case when a triploid plant can produce a seed (apples are an example), it occurs infrequently, and seedlings rarely survive.
Because apples do not breed true when planted as seeds, grafting is generally used to produce new apple trees. The rootstock used for the bottom of the graft can be selected to produce trees of a large variety of sizes, as well as changing the winter hardiness, insect and disease resistance, and soil preference of the resulting tree. Dwarf rootstocks can be used to produce very small trees (less than 3.0 m (10 ft) high at maturity), which bear fruit earlier in their life cycle than full size trees. Dwarf rootstocks for apple trees can be traced as far back as 300 BC, to the area of Persia and Asia Minor. Alexander the Great sent samples of dwarf apple trees to Aristotle’s Lyceum. Dwarf rootstocks became common by the 15th century, and later went through several cycles of popularity and decline throughout the world. The majority of the rootstocks used today to control size in apples were developed in England in the early 1900s. The East Malling Research Station conducted extensive research into rootstocks, and today their rootstocks are given an "M" prefix to designate their origin. Rootstocks marked with an "MM" prefix are Malling-series cultivars later crossed with trees of ‘Northern Spy’ in Merton, England.
Most new apple cultivars originate as seedlings, which either arise by chance or are bred by deliberately crossing cultivars with promising characteristics. The words ‘seedling’, ‘pippin’, and ‘kernel’ in the name of an apple cultivar suggest that it originated as a seedling. Apples can also form bud sports (mutations on a single branch). Some bud sports turn out to be improved strains of the parent cultivar. Some differ sufficiently from the parent tree to be considered new cultivars.
Since the 1930s, the Excelsior Experiment Station at the University of Minnesota has introduced a steady progression of important apples that are widely grown, both commercially and by local orchardists, throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Its most important contributions have included ‘Haralson’ (which is the most widely cultivated apple in Minnesota), ‘Wealthy’, ‘Honeygold’, and ‘Honeycrisp’.
Apples have been acclimatized in Ecuador at very high altitudes, where they can often, with the needed factors, provide crops twice per year because of constant temperate conditions year-round.
Belle de Boskoop
See also: Fruit tree pollination
Apple blossom from an old Ayrshire cultivar
Orchard mason bee on apple bloom, British Columbia, Canada
Apples are self-incompatible; they must cross-pollinate to develop fruit. During the flowering each season, apple growers often utilize pollinators to carry pollen. Honey bees are most commonly used. Orchard mason bees are also used as supplemental pollinators in commercial orchards. Bumblebee queens are sometimes present in orchards, but not usually in enough quantity to be significant pollinators.
There are four to seven pollination groups in apples, depending on climate:
Group A – Early flowering, 1 to 3 May in England (Gravenstein, Red Astrachan)
Group B – 4 to 7 May (Idared, McIntosh)
Group C – Mid-season flowering, 8 to 11 May (Granny Smith, Cox’s Orange Pippin)
Group D – Mid/late season flowering, 12 to 15 May (Golden Delicious, Calville blanc d’hiver)
Group E – Late flowering, 16 to 18 May (Braeburn, Reinette d’Orléans)
Group F – 19 to 23 May (Suntan)
Group H – 24 to 28 May (Court-Pendu Gris – also called Court-Pendu plat)
One cultivar can be pollinated by a compatible cultivar from the same group or close (A with A, or A with B, but not A with C or D).
Cultivars are sometimes classified by the day of peak bloom in the average 30-day blossom period, with pollenizers selected from cultivars within a 6-day overlap period.
Maturation and harvest
See also: Fruit picking and Fruit tree pruning
Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock. Some cultivars, if left unpruned, will grow very large, which allows them to bear much more fruit, but makes harvesting very difficult. Depending on the tree density (number of trees planted per unit surface area), mature trees typically bear 40–200 kg (88–441 lb) of apples each year, though productivity can be close to zero in poor years. Apples are harvested using three-point ladders that are designed to fit amongst the branches. Trees grafted on dwarfing rootstocks will bear about 10–80 kg (22–176 lb) of fruit per year.
Crops ripen at different times of the year according to the cultivar. Cultivar that yield their crop in the summer include ‘Gala’, ‘Golden Supreme’, ‘McIntosh’, ‘Transparent’, ‘Primate’, ‘Sweet Bough’, and ‘Duchess’; fall producers include ‘Fuji’, ‘Jonagold’, ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Red Delicious’, ‘Chenango’, ‘Gravenstein’, ‘Wealthy’, ‘McIntosh’, ‘Snow’, and ‘Blenheim’; winter producers include ‘Winesap’, ‘Granny Smith’, ‘King’, ‘Wagener’, ‘Swayzie’, ‘Greening’, and ‘Tolman Sweet’.
Commercially, apples can be stored for some months in controlled-atmosphere chambers to delay ethylene-induced ripening. Apples are commonly stored in chambers with higher concentrations of carbon dioxide and high air filtration. This prevents ethylene concentrations from rising to higher amounts and preventing ripening from occurring too quickly. Ripening continues when the fruit is removed from storage. For home storage, most cultivars of apple can be held for approximately two weeks when kept at the coolest part of the refrigerator (i.e. below 5 °C). Some, including ‘Granny Smith’ and ‘Fuji’, can be stored up to a year without significant degradation.
Pests and diseases
Leaves with significant insect damage
Main article: List of apple diseases
See also: List of Lepidoptera that feed on Malus
Apple trees are susceptible to a number of fungal and bacterial diseases and insect pests. Many commercial orchards pursue an aggressive program of chemical sprays to maintain high fruit quality, tree health, and high yields. A trend in orchard management is the use of organic methods. These prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides, though some older pesticides are allowed. Organic methods include, for instance, introducing its natural predator to reduce the population of a particular pest.
A wide range of pests and diseases can affect the plant; three of the more common diseases/pests are mildew, aphids and apple scab.
Mildew: which is characterized by light grey powdery patches appearing on the leaves, shoots and flowers, normally in spring. The flowers will turn a creamy yellow color and will not develop correctly. This can be treated in a manner not dissimilar from treating Botrytis; eliminating the conditions which caused the disease in the first place and burning the infected plants are among the recommended actions to take.
Aphids: There are five species of aphids commonly found on apples: apple grain aphid, rosy apple aphid, apple aphid, spirea aphid and the woolly apple aphid. The aphid species can be identified by their color, the time of year when they are present and by differences in the cornicles, which are small paired projections from the rear of aphids. Aphids feed on foliage using needle-like mouth parts to suck out plant juices. When present in high numbers, certain species reduce tree growth and vigor.
Apple scab: Apple scab causes leaves to develop olive-brown spots with a velvety texture that later turn brown and become cork-like in texture. The disease also affects the fruit, which also develops similar brown spots with velvety or cork-like textures. Apple scab is spread through fungus growing in old apple leaves on the ground and spreads during warm spring weather to infect the new year’s growth.
Among the most serious disease problems are fireblight, a bacterial disease; and Gymnosporangium rust, and black spot, two fungal diseases. Codling moths and apple maggots are two other pests which affect apple trees. Young apple trees are also prone to mammal pests like mice and deer, which feed on the soft bark of the trees, especially in winter.
Apple production – 2014
Country Production (millions of tonnes)
Source: FAOSTAT of the United Nations
Main article: List of countries by apple production
World production of apples in 2014 was 84.6 million tonnes, with China producing 48% of this total (table). Other major producers with 6% or less of the world total were the United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.
Apples, with skin (edible parts) Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 218 kJ (52 kcal)
Dietary fiber 2.4 g
Vitamin A equiv.
Pantothenic acid (B5)
Water 85.56 g
Fluoride 3.3 µg
Link to Full Nutrient Report of USDA Database entry
μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
A typical apple serving weighs 242 grams and provides 126 calories with a moderate content of dietary fiber (table). Otherwise, there is generally low content of essential nutrients (table).
See also: Cooking apple and Cider apple
An apple core, the remainder of an apple that has been mostly eaten
Apples are often eaten raw. The whole fruit including the skin is suitable for human consumption except for the seeds, which may affect some consumers. The core is often not eaten and is discarded. Cultivars bred for raw consumption are termed dessert or table apples.
Apples can be canned or juiced. They are milled or pressed to produce apple juice, which may be drunk unfiltered (called apple cider in North America), or filtered. The juice can be fermented to make cider (called hard cider in North America), ciderkin, and vinegar. Through distillation, various alcoholic beverages can be produced, such as applejack, Calvados, and apfelwein. Apple seed oil and pectin may also be produced.
Apples are an important ingredient in many desserts, such as apple pie, apple crumble, apple crisp and apple cake. They are often eaten baked or stewed, and they can also be dried and eaten or reconstituted (soaked in water, alcohol or some other liquid) for later use. When cooked, some apple cultivars easily form a puree known as apple sauce. Apples are also made into apple butter and apple jelly. They are also used (cooked) in meat dishes.
In the UK, a toffee apple is a traditional confection made by coating an apple in hot toffee and allowing it to cool. Similar treats in the U.S. are candy apples (coated in a hard shell of crystallized sugar syrup), and caramel apples, coated with cooled caramel.
Apples are eaten with honey at the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year.
Farms with apple orchards may open them to the public, so consumers may themselves pick the apples they will purchase.
Sliced apples turn brown with exposure to air due to the conversion of natural phenolic substances into melanin upon exposure to oxygen. Different cultivars vary in their propensity to brown after slicing and the genetically engineered Arctic Apples do not brown. Sliced fruit can be treated with acidulated water to prevent this effect. Sliced apple consumption tripled in the US from 2004 to 2014 to 500 million apples annually due to its convenience.
Organic apples are commonly produced in the United States. Organic production is difficult in Europe, though a few orchards have done so with commercial success, using disease-resistant cultivars. A light coating of kaolin, which forms a physical barrier to some pests, also helps prevent apple sun scalding.
Apples are a rich source of various phytochemicals including flavonoids (e.g., catechins, flavanols, and quercetin) and other phenolic compounds (e.g., epicatechin and procyanidins) found in the skin, core, and pulp of the apple; they have unknown health value in humans.
Ideain (cyanidin 3-O-galactoside) is an anthocyanin, a type of pigment, which is found in some red apple cultivars.
Phlorizin is a flavonoid that is found in apple trees, particularly in the leaves, and in only small amounts if at all in other plants, even other species of the Malus genus or related plants such as pear trees.
Preliminary research is investigating whether nutrients and/or phytochemicals in apples may affect the risk of some types of cancer.
One form of apple allergy, often found in northern Europe, is called birch-apple syndrome, and is found in people who are also allergic to birch pollen. Allergic reactions are triggered by a protein in apples that is similar to birch pollen, and people affected by this protein can also develop allergies to other fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Reactions, which entail oral allergy syndrome (OAS), generally involve itching and inflammation of the mouth and throat, but in rare cases can also include life-threatening anaphylaxis. This reaction only occurs when raw fruit is consumed—the allergen is neutralized in the cooking process. The variety of apple, maturity and storage conditions can change the amount of allergen present in individual fruits. Long storage times can increase the amount of proteins that cause birch-apple syndrome.
Different kinds of apple cultivars in a wholesale food market
In other areas, such as the Mediterranean, some individuals have adverse reactions to apples because of their similarity to peaches. This form of apple allergy also includes OAS, but often has more severe symptoms, such as vomiting, abdominal pain and urticaria, and can be life-threatening. Individuals with this form of allergy can also develop reactions to other fruits and nuts. Cooking does not break down the protein causing this particular reaction, so affected individuals can eat neither raw nor cooked apples. Freshly harvested, over-ripe fruits tend to have the highest levels of the protein that causes this reaction.
Breeding efforts have yet to produce a hypoallergenic fruit suitable for either of the two forms of apple allergy.
Toxicity of seeds
The seeds of apples contain small amounts of amygdalin, a sugar and cyanide compound known as a cyanogenic glycoside. Ingesting small amounts of apple seeds will cause no ill effects, but in extremely large doses can cause adverse reactions. There is only one known case of fatal cyanide poisoning from apple seeds; in this case the individual chewed and swallowed one cup of seeds. It may take several hours before the poison takes effect, as cyanogenic glycosides must be hydrolyzed before the cyanide ion is released.
An apple’s side, stem end, and interior
The proverb "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", addressing the health effects of the fruit, dates from 19th century Wales, according to Caroline Taggart, author of “An Apple a Day: Old-Fashioned Proverbs and Why They Still Work”. The original phrase, Taggart said, was: "Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread". In the 19th century and early 20th, the phrase evolved to “an apple a day, no doctor to pay” and “an apple a days sends the doctor away”, while the phrasing now commonly used was first recorded in 1922.
Applecrab, apple–crabapple hybrids with the good eating qualities of the apple parents
List of apple dishes
List of apple cultivars
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Malus pumila Mill. (accepted name)
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Grand Valley State University digital collections- diary of Ohio fruit farmer Theodore Peticolas, 1863
I finally came unhinged in the dentist’s office — one of those ritzy pediatric practices tricked out with comic books, DVDs and arcade games — where I’d taken my 3-year-old daughter for her first exam. Until then, I’d held my tongue. I’d smiled politely every time the supermarket-checkout clerk greeted her with ”Hi, Princess”; ignored the waitress at our local breakfast joint who called the funny-face pancakes she ordered her ”princess meal”; made no comment when the lady at Longs Drugs said, ”I bet I know your favorite color” and handed her a pink balloon rather than letting her choose for herself. Maybe it was the dentist’s Betty Boop inflection that got to me, but when she pointed to the exam chair and said, ”Would you like to sit in my special princess throne so I can sparkle your teeth?” I lost it.
”Oh, for God’s sake,” I snapped. ”Do you have a princess drill, too?”
She stared at me as if I were an evil stepmother.
”Come on!” I continued, my voice rising. ”It’s 2006, not 1950. This is Berkeley, Calif. Does every little girl really have to be a princess?”
My daughter, who was reaching for a Cinderella sticker, looked back and forth between us. ”Why are you so mad, Mama?” she asked. ”What’s wrong with princesses?”
Diana may be dead and Masako disgraced, but here in America, we are in the midst of a royal moment. To call princesses a ”trend” among girls is like calling Harry Potter a book. Sales at Disney Consumer Products, which started the craze six years ago by packaging nine of its female characters under one royal rubric, have shot up to $3 billion, globally, this year, from $300 million in 2001. There are now more than 25,000 Disney Princess items. ”Princess,” as some Disney execs call it, is not only the fastest-growing brand the company has ever created; they say it is on its way to becoming the largest girls’ franchise on the planet.
Meanwhile in 2001, Mattel brought out its own ”world of girl” line of princess Barbie dolls, DVDs, toys, clothing, home décor and myriad other products. At a time when Barbie sales were declining domestically, they became instant best sellers. Shortly before that, Mary Drolet, a Chicago-area mother and former Claire’s and Montgomery Ward executive, opened Club Libby Lu, now a chain of mall stores based largely in the suburbs in which girls ages 4 to 12 can shop for ”Princess Phones” covered in faux fur and attend ”Princess-Makeover Birthday Parties.” Saks bought Club Libby Lu in 2003 for $12 million and has since expanded it to 87 outlets; by 2005, with only scant local advertising, revenues hovered around the $46 million mark, a 53 percent jump from the previous year. Pink, it seems, is the new gold.
Even Dora the Explorer, the intrepid, dirty-kneed adventurer, has ascended to the throne: in 2004, after a two-part episode in which she turns into a ”true princess,” the Nickelodeon and Viacom consumer-products division released a satin-gowned ”Magic Hair Fairytale Dora,” with hair that grows or shortens when her crown is touched. Among other phrases the bilingual doll utters: ”Vámonos! Let’s go to fairy-tale land!” and ”Will you brush my hair?”
As a feminist mother — not to mention a nostalgic product of the Grranimals era — I have been taken by surprise by the princess craze and the girlie-girl culture that has risen around it. What happened to William wanting a doll and not dressing your cat in an apron? Whither Marlo Thomas? I watch my fellow mothers, women who once swore they’d never be dependent on a man, smile indulgently at daughters who warble ”So This Is Love” or insist on being called Snow White. I wonder if they’d concede so readily to sons who begged for combat fatigues and mock AK-47s.
More to the point, when my own girl makes her daily beeline for the dress-up corner of her preschool classroom — something I’m convinced she does largely to torture me — I worry about what playing Little Mermaid is teaching her. I’ve spent much of my career writing about experiences that undermine girls’ well-being, warning parents that a preoccupation with body and beauty (encouraged by films, TV, magazines and, yes, toys) is perilous to their daughters’ mental and physical health. Am I now supposed to shrug and forget all that? If trafficking in stereotypes doesn’t matter at 3, when does it matter? At 6? Eight? Thirteen?
On the other hand, maybe I’m still surfing a washed-out second wave of feminism in a third-wave world. Maybe princesses are in fact a sign of progress, an indication that girls can embrace their predilection for pink without compromising strength or ambition; that, at long last, they can ”have it all.” Or maybe it is even less complex than that: to mangle Freud, maybe a princess is sometimes just a princess. And, as my daughter wants to know, what’s wrong with that?
The rise of the Disney princesses reads like a fairy tale itself, with Andy Mooney, a former Nike executive, playing the part of prince, riding into the company on a metaphoric white horse in January 2000 to save a consumer-products division whose sales were dropping by as much as 30 percent a year. Both overstretched and underfocused, the division had triggered price wars by granting multiple licenses for core products (say, Winnie-the-Pooh undies) while ignoring the potential of new media. What’s more, Disney films like ”A Bug’s Life” in 1998 had yielded few merchandising opportunities — what child wants to snuggle up with an ant?
It was about a month after Mooney’s arrival that the magic struck. That’s when he flew to Phoenix to check out his first ”Disney on Ice” show. ”Standing in line in the arena, I was surrounded by little girls dressed head to toe as princesses,” he told me last summer in his palatial office, then located in Burbank, and speaking in a rolling Scottish burr. ”They weren’t even Disney products. They were generic princess products they’d appended to a Halloween costume. And the light bulb went off. Clearly there was latent demand here. So the next morning I said to my team, ‘O.K., let’s establish standards and a color palette and talk to licensees and get as much product out there as we possibly can that allows these girls to do what they’re doing anyway: projecting themselves into the characters from the classic movies.’ ”
Mooney picked a mix of old and new heroines to wear the Pantone pink No. 241 corona: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan and Pocahontas. It was the first time Disney marketed characters separately from a film’s release, let alone lumped together those from different stories. To ensure the sanctity of what Mooney called their individual ”mythologies,” the princesses never make eye contact when they’re grouped: each stares off in a slightly different direction as if unaware of the others’ presence.
It is also worth noting that not all of the ladies are of royal extraction. Part of the genius of ”Princess” is that its meaning is so broadly constructed that it actually has no meaning. Even Tinker Bell was originally a Princess, though her reign didn’t last. ”We’d always debate over whether she was really a part of the Princess mythology,” Mooney recalled. ”She really wasn’t.” Likewise, Mulan and Pocahontas, arguably the most resourceful of the bunch, are rarely depicted on Princess merchandise, though for a different reason. Their rustic garb has less bling potential than that of old-school heroines like Sleeping Beauty. (When Mulan does appear, she is typically in the kimonolike hanfu, which makes her miserable in the movie, rather than her liberated warrior’s gear.)
The first Princess items, released with no marketing plan, no focus groups, no advertising, sold as if blessed by a fairy godmother. To this day, Disney conducts little market research on the Princess line, relying instead on the power of its legacy among mothers as well as the instant-read sales barometer of the theme parks and Disney Stores. ”We simply gave girls what they wanted,” Mooney said of the line’s success, ”although I don’t think any of us grasped how much they wanted this. I wish I could sit here and take credit for having some grand scheme to develop this, but all we did was envision a little girl’s room and think about how she could live out the princess fantasy. The counsel we gave to licensees was: What type of bedding would a princess want to sleep in? What kind of alarm clock would a princess want to wake up to? What type of television would a princess like to see? It’s a rare case where you find a girl who has every aspect of her room bedecked in Princess, but if she ends up with three or four of these items, well, then you have a very healthy business.”
Every reporter Mooney talks to asks some version of my next question: Aren’t the Princesses, who are interested only in clothes, jewelry and cadging the handsome prince, somewhat retrograde role models?
”Look,” he said, ”I have friends whose son went through the Power Rangers phase who castigated themselves over what they must’ve done wrong. Then they talked to other parents whose kids had gone through it. The boy passes through. The girl passes through. I see girls expanding their imagination through visualizing themselves as princesses, and then they pass through that phase and end up becoming lawyers, doctors, mothers or princesses, whatever the case may be.”
Mooney has a point: There are no studies proving that playing princess directly damages girls’ self-esteem or dampens other aspirations. On the other hand, there is evidence that young women who hold the most conventionally feminine beliefs — who avoid conflict and think they should be perpetually nice and pretty — are more likely to be depressed than others and less likely to use contraception. What’s more, the 23 percent decline in girls’ participation in sports and other vigorous activity between middle and high school has been linked to their sense that athletics is unfeminine. And in a survey released last October by Girls Inc., school-age girls overwhelmingly reported a paralyzing pressure to be ”perfect”: not only to get straight A’s and be the student-body president, editor of the newspaper and captain of the swim team but also to be ”kind and caring,” ”please everyone, be very thin and dress right.” Give those girls a pumpkin and a glass slipper and they’d be in business.
At the grocery store one day, my daughter noticed a little girl sporting a Cinderella backpack. ”There’s that princess you don’t like, Mama!” she shouted.
”Um, yeah,” I said, trying not to meet the other mother’s hostile gaze.
”Don’t you like her blue dress, Mama?”
I had to admit, I did.
She thought about this. ”Then don’t you like her face?”
”Her face is all right,” I said, noncommittally, though I’m not thrilled to have my Japanese-Jewish child in thrall to those Aryan features. (And what the heck are those blue things covering her ears?) ”It’s just, honey, Cinderella doesn’t really do anything.”
Over the next 45 minutes, we ran through that conversation, verbatim, approximately 37 million times, as my daughter pointed out Disney Princess Band-Aids, Disney Princess paper cups, Disney Princess lip balm, Disney Princess pens, Disney Princess crayons and Disney Princess notebooks — all cleverly displayed at the eye level of a 3-year-old trapped in a shopping cart — as well as a bouquet of Disney Princess balloons bobbing over the checkout line. The repetition was excessive, even for a preschooler. What was it about my answers that confounded her? What if, instead of realizing: Aha! Cinderella is a symbol of the patriarchal oppression of all women, another example of corporate mind control and power-to-the-people! my 3-year-old was thinking, Mommy doesn’t want me to be a girl?
According to theories of gender constancy, until they’re about 6 or 7, children don’t realize that the sex they were born with is immutable. They believe that they have a choice: they can grow up to be either a mommy or a daddy. Some psychologists say that until permanency sets in kids embrace whatever stereotypes our culture presents, whether it’s piling on the most spangles or attacking one another with light sabers. What better way to assure that they’ll always remain themselves? If that’s the case, score one for Mooney. By not buying the Princess Pull-Ups, I may be inadvertently communicating that being female (to the extent that my daughter is able to understand it) is a bad thing.
Anyway, you have to give girls some credit. It’s true that, according to Mattel, one of the most popular games young girls play is ”bride,” but Disney found that a groom or prince is incidental to that fantasy, a regrettable necessity at best. Although they keep him around for the climactic kiss, he is otherwise relegated to the bottom of the toy box, which is why you don’t see him prominently displayed in stores.
What’s more, just because they wear the tulle doesn’t mean they’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. Plenty of girls stray from the script, say, by playing basketball in their finery, or casting themselves as the powerful evil stepsister bossing around the sniveling Cinderella. I recall a headline-grabbing 2005 British study that revealed that girls enjoy torturing, decapitating and microwaving their Barbies nearly as much as they like to dress them up for dates. There is spice along with that sugar after all, though why this was news is beyond me: anyone who ever played with the doll knows there’s nothing more satisfying than hacking off all her hair and holding her underwater in the bathtub. Princesses can even be a boon to exasperated parents: in our house, for instance, royalty never whines and uses the potty every single time.
”Playing princess is not the issue,” argues Lyn Mikel Brown, an author, with Sharon Lamb, of ”Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters From Marketers’ Schemes.” ”The issue is 25,000 Princess products,” says Brown, a professor of education and human development at Colby College. ”When one thing is so dominant, then it’s no longer a choice: it’s a mandate, cannibalizing all other forms of play. There’s the illusion of more choices out there for girls, but if you look around, you’ll see their choices are steadily narrowing.”
It’s hard to imagine that girls’ options could truly be shrinking when they dominate the honor roll and outnumber boys in college. Then again, have you taken a stroll through a children’s store lately? A year ago, when we shopped for ”big girl” bedding at Pottery Barn Kids, we found the ”girls” side awash in flowers, hearts and hula dancers; not a soccer player or sailboat in sight. Across the no-fly zone, the ”boys” territory was all about sports, trains, planes and automobiles. Meanwhile, Baby GAP’s boys’ onesies were emblazoned with ”Big Man on Campus” and the girls’ with ”Social Butterfly”; guess whose matching shoes were decorated on the soles with hearts and whose sported a ”No. 1” logo? And at Toys ”R” Us, aisles of pink baby dolls, kitchens, shopping carts and princesses unfurl a safe distance from the ”Star Wars” figures, GeoTrax and tool chests. The relentless resegregation of childhood appears to have sneaked up without any further discussion about sex roles, about what it now means to be a boy or to be a girl. Or maybe it has happened in lieu of such discussion because it’s easier this way.
Easier, that is, unless you want to buy your daughter something that isn’t pink. Girls’ obsession with that color may seem like something they’re born with, like the ability to breathe or talk on the phone for hours on end. But according to Jo Paoletti, an associate professor of American studies at the University of Maryland, it ain’t so. When colors were first introduced to the nursery in the early part of the 20th century, pink was considered the more masculine hue, a pastel version of red. Blue, with its intimations of the Virgin Mary, constancy and faithfulness, was thought to be dainty. Why or when that switched is not clear, but as late as the 1930s a significant percentage of adults in one national survey held to that split. Perhaps that’s why so many early Disney heroines — Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Wendy, Alice-in-Wonderland — are swathed in varying shades of azure. (Purple, incidentally, may be the next color to swap teams: once the realm of kings and N.F.L. players, it is fast becoming the bolder girl’s version of pink.)
It wasn’t until the mid-1980s, when amplifying age and sex differences became a key strategy of children’s marketing (recall the emergence of ” ‘tween”), that pink became seemingly innate to girls, part of what defined them as female, at least for the first few years. That was also the time that the first of the generation raised during the unisex phase of feminism — ah, hither Marlo! — became parents. ”The kids who grew up in the 1970s wanted sharp definitions for their own kids,” Paoletti told me. ”I can understand that, because the unisex thing denied everything — you couldn’t be this, you couldn’t be that, you had to be a neutral nothing.”
The infatuation with the girlie girl certainly could, at least in part, be a reaction against the so-called second wave of the women’s movement of the 1960s and ’70s (the first wave was the fight for suffrage), which fought for reproductive rights and economic, social and legal equality. If nothing else, pink and Princess have resuscitated the fantasy of romance that that era of feminism threatened, the privileges that traditional femininity conferred on women despite its costs — doors magically opened, dinner checks picked up, Manolo Blahniks. Frippery. Fun. Why should we give up the perks of our sex until we’re sure of what we’ll get in exchange? Why should we give them up at all? Or maybe it’s deeper than that: the freedoms feminism bestowed came with an undercurrent of fear among women themselves — flowing through ”Ally McBeal,” ”Bridget Jones’s Diary,” ”Sex and the City” — of losing male love, of never marrying, of not having children, of being deprived of something that felt essentially and exclusively female.
I mulled that over while flipping through ”The Paper Bag Princess,” a 1980 picture book hailed as an antidote to Disney. The heroine outwits a dragon who has kidnapped her prince, but not before the beast’s fiery breath frizzles her hair and destroys her dress, forcing her to don a paper bag. The ungrateful prince rejects her, telling her to come back when she is ”dressed like a real princess.” She dumps him and skips off into the sunset, happily ever after, alone.
There you have it, ”Thelma and Louise” all over again. Step out of line, and you end up solo or, worse, sailing crazily over a cliff to your doom. Alternatives like those might send you skittering right back to the castle. And I get that: the fact is, though I want my daughter to do and be whatever she wants as an adult, I still hope she’ll find her Prince Charming and have babies, just as I have. I don’t want her to be a fish without a bicycle; I want her to be a fish with another fish. Preferably, one who loves and respects her and also does the dishes and half the child care.
There had to be a middle ground between compliant and defiant, between petticoats and paper bags. I remembered a video on YouTube, an ad for a Nintendo game called Super Princess Peach. It showed a pack of girls in tiaras, gowns and elbow-length white gloves sliding down a zip line on parasols, navigating an obstacle course of tires in their stilettos, slithering on their bellies under barbed wire, then using their telekinetic powers to make a climbing wall burst into flames. ”If you can stand up to really mean people,” an announcer intoned, ”maybe you have what it takes to be a princess.”
Now here were some girls who had grit as well as grace. I loved Princess Peach even as I recognized that there was no way she could run in those heels, that her peachiness did nothing to upset the apple cart of expectation: she may have been athletic, smart and strong, but she was also adorable. Maybe she’s what those once-unisex, postfeminist parents are shooting for: the melding of old and new standards. And perhaps that’s a good thing, the ideal solution. But what to make, then, of the young women in the Girls Inc. survey? It doesn’t seem to be ”having it all” that’s getting to them; it’s the pressure to be it all. In telling our girls they can be anything, we have inadvertently demanded that they be everything. To everyone. All the time. No wonder the report was titled ”The Supergirl Dilemma.”
The princess as superhero is not irrelevant. Some scholars I spoke with say that given its post-9/11 timing, princess mania is a response to a newly dangerous world. ”Historically, princess worship has emerged during periods of uncertainty and profound social change,” observes Miriam Forman-Brunell, a historian at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Francis Hodgson Burnett’s original”Little Princess” was published at a time of rapid urbanization, immigration and poverty; Shirley Temple’s film version was a hit during the Great Depression. ”The original folk tales themselves,” Forman-Brunell says, ”spring from medieval and early modern European culture that faced all kinds of economic and demographic and social upheaval — famine, war, disease, terror of wolves. Girls play savior during times of economic crisis and instability.” That’s a heavy burden for little shoulders. Perhaps that’s why the magic wand has become an essential part of the princess get-up. In the original stories — even the Disney versions of them — it’s not the girl herself who’s magic; it’s the fairy godmother. Now if Forman-Brunell is right, we adults have become the cursed creatures whom girls have the thaumaturgic power to transform.
In the 1990s, third-wave feminists rebelled against their dour big sisters, ”reclaiming” sexual objectification as a woman’s right — provided, of course, that it was on her own terms, that she was the one choosing to strip or wear a shirt that said ”Porn Star” or make out with her best friend at a frat-house bash. They embraced words like ”bitch” and ”slut” as terms of affection and empowerment. That is, when used by the right people, with the right dash of playful irony. But how can you assure that? As Madonna gave way to Britney, whatever self-determination that message contained was watered down and commodified until all that was left was a gaggle of 6-year-old girls in belly-baring T-shirts (which I’m guessing they don’t wear as cultural critique). It is no wonder that parents, faced with thongs for 8-year-olds and Bratz dolls’ ”passion for fashion,” fill their daughters’ closets with pink sateen; the innocence of Princess feels like a reprieve.
”But what does that mean?” asks Sharon Lamb, a psychology professor at Saint Michael’s College. ”There are other ways to express ‘innocence’ — girls could play ladybug or caterpillar. What you’re really talking about is sexual purity. And there’s a trap at the end of that rainbow, because the natural progression from pale, innocent pink is not to other colors. It’s to hot, sexy pink — exactly the kind of sexualization parents are trying to avoid.”
Lamb suggested that to see for myself how ”Someday My Prince Will Come” morphs into ”Oops! I Did It Again,” I visit Club Libby Lu, the mall shop dedicated to the ”Very Important Princess.”
Walking into one of the newest links in the store’s chain, in Natick, Mass., last summer, I had to tip my tiara to the founder, Mary Drolet: Libby Lu’s design was flawless. Unlike Disney, Drolet depended on focus groups to choose the logo (a crown-topped heart) and the colors (pink, pink, purple and more pink). The displays were scaled to the size of a 10-year-old, though most of the shoppers I saw were several years younger than that. The decals on the walls and dressing rooms — ”I Love Your Hair,” ”Hip Chick,” ”Spoiled” — were written in ”girlfriend language.” The young sales clerks at this ”special secret club for superfabulous girls” are called ”club counselors” and come off like your coolest baby sitter, the one who used to let you brush her hair. The malls themselves are chosen based on a company formula called the G.P.I., or ”Girl Power Index,” which predicts potential sales revenues. Talk about newspeak: ”Girl Power” has gone from a riot grrrrl anthem to ”I Am Woman, Watch Me Shop.”
Inside, the store was divided into several glittery ”shopping zones” called ”experiences”: Libby’s Laboratory, now called Sparkle Spa, where girls concoct their own cosmetics and bath products; Libby’s Room; Ear Piercing; Pooch Parlor (where divas in training can pamper stuffed poodles, pugs and Chihuahuas); and the Style Studio, offering ”Libby Du” makeover choices, including ‘Tween Idol, Rock Star, Pop Star and, of course, Priceless Princess. Each look includes hairstyle, makeup, nail polish and sparkly tattoos.
As I browsed, I noticed a mother standing in the center of the store holding a price list for makeover birthday parties — $22.50 to $35 per child. Her name was Anne McAuliffe; her daughters — Stephanie, 4, and 7-year-old twins Rory and Sarah — were dashing giddily up and down the aisles.
”They’ve been begging to come to this store for three weeks,” McAuliffe said. ”I’d never heard of it. So I said they could, but they’d have to spend their own money if they bought anything.” She looked around. ”Some of this stuff is innocuous,” she observed, then leaned toward me, eyes wide and stage-whispered: ”But … a lot of it is horrible. It makes them look like little prostitutes. It’s crazy. They’re babies!”
As we debated the line between frivolous fun and JonBenét, McAuliffe’s daughter Rory came dashing up, pigtails haphazard, glasses askew. ”They have the best pocketbooks here,” she said breathlessly, brandishing a clutch with the words ”Girlie Girl” stamped on it. ”Please, can I have one? It has sequins!”
”You see that?” McAuliffe asked, gesturing at the bag. ”What am I supposed to say?”
On my way out of the mall, I popped into the ” ‘tween” mecca Hot Topic, where a display of Tinker Bell items caught my eye. Tinker Bell, whose image racks up an annual $400 million in retail sales with no particular effort on Disney’s part, is poised to wreak vengeance on the Princess line that once expelled her. Last winter, the first chapter book designed to introduce girls to Tink and her Pixie Hollow pals spent 18 weeks on The New York Times children’s best-seller list. In a direct-to-DVD now under production, she will speak for the first time, voiced by the actress Brittany Murphy. Next year, Disney Fairies will be rolled out in earnest. Aimed at 6- to 9-year-old girls, the line will catch them just as they outgrow Princess. Their colors will be lavender, green, turquoise — anything but the Princess’s soon-to-be-babyish pink.
To appeal to that older child, Disney executives said, the Fairies will have more ”attitude” and ”sass” than the Princesses. What, I wondered, did that entail? I’d seen some of the Tinker Bell merchandise that Disney sells at its theme parks: T-shirts reading, ”Spoiled to Perfection,” ”Mood Subject to Change Without Notice” and ”Tinker Bell: Prettier Than a Princess.” At Hot Topic, that edge was even sharper: magnets, clocks, light-switch plates and panties featured ”Dark Tink,” described as ”the bad girl side of Miss Bell that Walt never saw.”
Girl power, indeed.
A few days later, I picked my daughter up from preschool. She came tearing over in a full-skirted frock with a gold bodice, a beaded crown perched sideways on her head. ”Look, Mommy, I’m Ariel!” she crowed. referring to Disney’s Little Mermaid. Then she stopped and furrowed her brow. ”Mommy, do you like Ariel?”
I considered her for a moment. Maybe Princess is the first salvo in what will become a lifelong struggle over her body image, a Hundred Years’ War of dieting, plucking, painting and perpetual dissatisfaction with the results. Or maybe it isn’t. I’ll never really know. In the end, it’s not the Princesses that really bother me anyway. They’re just a trigger for the bigger question of how, over the years, I can help my daughter with the contradictions she will inevitably face as a girl, the dissonance that is as endemic as ever to growing up female. Maybe the best I can hope for is that her generation will get a little further with the solutions than we did.
For now, I kneeled down on the floor and gave my daughter a hug.
She smiled happily. ”But, Mommy?” she added. ”When I grow up, I’m still going to be a fireman.”
– by Peggy Orenstein, for the New York Times Magazine (December 2006)
The fifth installment of Indica Mc Lemmon and Tio Tonto in Fidel’s Evil Plan.
They trudged onwards, Che suspended on a stretcher gasping for air, abusing one of the last of his inhaler’s and trying to regain a semblance of normal breathing amid the dust laden air.
The sand canyons had been a big shit, the sadness and terror had left them drained. Struggling against the rhythmic rocking of the stretcher he fumbled though the yellowing torn pages that his men had found in the around the ravaged skeleton, may be they would shed some light on the tragedy that had befallen them. Now the situation was all in all desperate, nothing in the boy scouts manual or all the survival courses he’d suffered had prepared him for this. Yes, they were suffering, suffering terribly, finally Che was in his element, doing what he was made for, doing what he did best.
A caravan of camels approached in their direction but halted to survey them from a high dune ridge. Drovers pointed fiercely at them and began yelling hysterically. Some goaded their stead’s to turn about whilst others scuffled around unable to control their groaning complaints. Chattering in high unintelligible voices it seemed as if something had provoked an argument, it rippled though them, inevitably giving way to angry shouted curses.
Canes swished though the air landing on faces and flanks of the distraught camels. In response many screamed with anguish and spat their filthy spray around. A collective consensus of camel hysteria finally unleashed a riot of pissing and shitting before they stampeded over the horizon despite Che’s suffering desperadoes frantic imploring.
Stoically Che took one of the grimy pages and read….
First the Jeep, no exhaust… insufferable pollution, honestly, really insufferable.
One week flopping about on cantankerous foul camel…..noxious unending farting…..what an unforgivable atrocious antisocial disposition for any living creature…..My foulest experience ever.
Sociologically, it goes to say a lot about the unmannered distrustful disposition of the Arab owners and their short tempers. No surprise, I’m the first to study these animals and there contrary evolution.
“some kind of capitalist scientist out of touch with the proletariat, but he’s right about camels and the Arabs” Che picked another paper this one in fading type.
New research published, Cambridge professors.
Frankly, no surprise to me. Rather amusing…..data refers to area in which I shall be encumbered investigating camels.
Research on Sauropods, Diplodocus, (the largest of the dinosaurs), trundled around grazing here, Mesozoic period 150 to 65.5 million years ago.
Extensive studies correlate size, calculate density of population, digestion diet….. Excitingly explosive conclusions.
Size, 20-45 tonnes…Big?..even in comparison to my wife!
Digestion tracts on industrial level….with out a doubt similar to wife?
Fact: vegetation of period contained vast quantities of cannaboids. Exasperated appetite….infinite in the case of wife, without the cannabis! Digestion system proposed to support body mass:
Microbial fermenting type stomachs to aid the digestion. Undoubtedly the same as camels and wife.
Result…evolution under the influence of a cocktail of alcohol+dope?? ha ha.
Methane: produced on scale unsurpassed in the history of planet… Obviously have no study data on my wife!
Extinction: not the result of meteorite impact.
Extinction cause, ignition of methane by lightning… resulting in Yucatan creator…global dimming.
Wonder if same can be achieved with wife?
Che wondered the same as he took another hit on his inhaler and fumbled for another crumpled sheet of paper.
An Australian company dealing in carbon emissions, propose the culling of 1.2 million non indigenous feral camels to reduce methane emissions.
Australia’s answer to Kyoto treaty!! Ha Ha.
The feral camels are responsible for equivalent 1.5 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
The local population sharing the camel saturated terrain’s known as “Rotten Thousand Egg Basin” applaud the programs proposals, code named, “operation omelette”.
Local population lobby courts of human rights.
May be I can lobby them on the same grounds regarding my beloved wife!!!
Largest contributory factor in ozone depletion.
Immense ozone layer hole over the south pole grows directly proportional to the camel population.
I suspect the presence of an ozone hole directly over my beloved!
Che threw the remnants of one of Cubans finest away and took a puff on his inhaler. The rest of the papers were illegible.
The camels didn’t like it!!, that much was obvious, but they didn’t like the stinking filthy goat tanning factory either where they spent most of their time stabled. It’s terrible smell combined with their own considerable ceaseless potent farting made the area unbearable to passers by ten miles up wind.
The camels endured each day endlessly sucking in and spitting out the stables stench of toxic debilitating gases, but they never truly got used to it, constantly yearning for the vast open desert and its pure uncontaminated air.
That smell of the stables now held little in comparison to the smell they had to contended with, the vast sand dunes themselves seemed to be closing their ranks, cringing, the sand rippling in response. The smell was hundreds of times more potent, in fact simply indescribable.
It was told by an aged sun shrunken traveller who pass though thet desert, that the only smell worse than a dead goat tanning factory is that of a wailing whaling ship. He couldn’t imagine that, Ali had never seen one, let alone smelt a dead whale or heard a fisherman wailing in distress from the smell of dead whales. It probably had a very fishy dead fish smell he thought. But then again he’d never smelt a fishy fish alive or dead.
Right now Ali himself was choking, gagging on the tear provoking smell,…. uncontrollably gagging, the camels were farting unnaturally biting their riders and spitting viscously to rid the putrid taste from their mouths.
This smell had nothing to do with dead fly bloated, stinking, putrefying bodies of goats nor of fishy fish dead whales for that matter, I mean, this just wasn’t, couldn’t be natural no?
His grandfather had taught him in his old age of the evil demons that dwelt in the desert hidden within the yellow dust filthy “haboob’s”, with their dreadful god fearing vomit shit smell and diabolical tricks.
Ali’s camel enthusiastically and repeatedly tried to turn and bite him any which way it could, spraying its green slimy spit in all directions as they broached the summit of a dune. He pulled him back noticing copious tears running down its checks, the camel struggling to blink them away, it was suffering from extreme distress that much was obvious. It was bloody crying! Tears running down its cheeks and dripped to the sand below.
It was crying from the dreadful smell that killed the air dead!
Down in the valley struggled the dirt dirty filthy devils, now and again one of them broke away to squat, defecating and screaming a spine chilling mystical ear piercing chant marking their territory as a no man’s land.
It seemed as if the devils were all but naked, rag bedraggled bodies a bright pink glow in the sunlight, they staggered sluggishly along in a strange ceremonial manner, hobbling, stumbling, their legs stretched apart uttering strange excruciating groans.
Ali’s camel bucked and turned about again, a whiplash of tears flew about it drenching the sand, it’s mind connecting the unsupportable smell with a certain horrifying annihilation, it pissed and defecated abundantly there and then.
Put a little more concisely, it Fucking freaked out.
Ali had seen enough of these horrendous demons, he was fucking terrified as well, tears now clouded his own eyes running down his cheeks. Shouting a curse “A thousand farts of flatulent camels on you” at the devils below he flicked his cane to the camels flanks furiously, ferociously, furiously, sadistically. No matter which, total panic had seized him and his companions. They turned about spinning on cringing sand grains and galloped away down wind as fast as possible. May be, may be they could escape some how.
Che’s men waved and jeered franticly imploring rescue but the Arab camel train rapidly disappeared into the distance, it was the third camel train that had done the same. What was wrong with them!? Fucking fuzzy wuzzies.
Dehydration had taken it’s toll, they were now five bedraggled thirsty desperate souls. They’d thrown away every thing they were unable to carry including their useless sand blocked fire arms.
All the chocolate, beans, liquorish and water had been consumed the previous day.
Che was not improving, he’d gotten though another two inhalers controlling the curse of his life, Asthma. It seemed to have the habit of debilitating him at exactly the wrong moment, be it on a mission of national importance or a few seconds before orgasm whilst liberating the sexual libido of some bourgeoisie princes or the other. The sky maintained its mustard post apocalyptic colour, dust thick. But they were close to the dig now.
Ahmid had finished his morning prayers, raising his head his attention was caught by the groaning site hut door swinging too and throw. He scuttled off leaving his confederates of the humanitarian flight team, taking the opportunity to catch up on his diary. Entering into the gloom of the hut he spied a table and set his diary upon it….
It had all begun when he’d picked the dirty damp paper from the gutter, his eye by sheer chance caught the job offer, which was obliviously a sign from God.
The money was crazy, all training free, health cover for his family, pensions and accommodation for them for life. “A short contract” it said. The job description was not too clear but it stated in capital letters, “No previous experience necessary….secure life time employment”.
More than a bit contradictory, but what did Ahmid care he was finished with the poverty of the streets of Deli. He had to secure this job and escape to a new life.
He some how passed the intensive interview impressing them with his loving obedient fealty to God. Just a matter of days latter he was flying free to a deserted location high in the mountains of Pakistan.
So frilled with his turn of fortune was he that he threw himself with total dedication and blind obedience at the challenges facing him. The training was hard and demanded his total dedication, he was treated kindly by the his trainers who were farther like kind, but stern when it came to his lessons and prayers.
So he took to flying like he was born for it. Day after day the lessons increased his knowledge, he enjoyed the freedom in the clouds he was loving the whole experience, but for one inconsistency, he was never taught how to land. They said that bit was the easiest bit, too easy, it really wasn’t to be bothered with.
After six months the day came when he had to attend a private interview, there his teachers explained that after performing Gods work he was to be a martyr. His reward was to be paradise, married to 72 dark eyed virgins and he would become very famous for his sacrifices to gods wishes.
It was at that point that he started to dream of the book he would write, the Hollywood film that would follow bringing him untold wealth.
After his martyrdom he would publish it, there would be book signings, lectures, his life would be perfect, riches and family. A long life of caring for his loved ones, his mind ran wild with his dreams hardly able to contain himself waiting for this great day of his martyrdom when he would begin his new happy life.
His training had been completed in record time and they had been sent here to this archaeological dig by the great Al Fuk-eda to condition their minds and bodies with hard labour to purify themselves before the great day came.
As he finished his entry for the day he sat back and the loose legged stool on which he sat complained a bit, complained fervently then twisted and collapsed, he followed it to the floor and giggled at the scene pushing himself upright as an unusual brilliant light caught his eye from under the table. He bent there and retrieved a handful of blistering bright glistering gems, a necklace of gems in curious shapes rather like the shape of his own precious scrotum.
The gods wouldn’t leave him alone, heaping more and more good fortune on him, surely he was touched by them. With this gift, on top of the seventy two wide eyed virgins, on top of the martyrdom, on top of his fame, on top of his book, his Hollywood movie, his life was a dream of fabulous good fortune.
He held the prize in his hand, another step forwards to a glorious future and then feeling light headed he decided to close his tired eyes for a few minuets.
The clothes, bodies, guns had disappeared, The Pope was efficient systemically as ever, he scoured the area and declared, “someone’ll pay with worthless life, no a one mess me boy”
Tio Tonto was still breathing sighs of relief, not knowing which sigh may be his last, good, good, the guns out of the way was a gift from heaven as far as his future quality of life was concerned. He had to placate him, yes, if he could build some kind of relation with him?
“This is such a weird place man, I wouldn’t be surprised if your clothes hadn’t been taken off for top of the line laundering.” he joked
The Pope gave a sideways glance of contemptible menace. “Find some a thing to cover your tools o I rip em off.
“Yeah yeah, you are quite right really, really we have to maintain some kind of decency, dignity right, I mean YOU are quite right, yes, got you, yes.”
“shut a fuck up”
They looked around and came up with different solutions the Pope fashioned banana skins to lace around his mid drift and hang down covering his modesty. Tonto chose, would you believe fig like leaves and a creeper.
“Lets a out o this poofta palace before I kill a some one, I still got a itch.”
Tonto jumped to attention and obediently followed the Pope. The tunnel was long and gloomy with many turning’s, twenty minuets later they were approaching the brightness of daylight.
As Tonto wandered along his mind tried to reason why he was still alive, he tried employing different philosophical tools, rationality, Plato’s logic, Game theory but he wasn’t too good at that thinking kind of stuff, “Anyway, I mean, a homicidal maniac in a banana skirt clutching a flea bitten teddy bear. What the fuck.”
“or may be my lucks changed, he’s simply lost his mind, oxygen starvation of the brain or he feels some kind of debt for his life na? Fuck, I’m alive, what the fuck”
The fruit he’d eaten started to rumble in his stomach a common problem for him, his digestive tract sent it’s disapproval of the fruit to his anus and he let squeak a little one as they strode into intense sunlight in a neglected corner of the ruins. Motifs of the extended scrotum sect adorned the walls along with those mystical spirals that fine craftsmanship had etched untold millennium before.
“What are we going to do?” he enquired politely.
The Pope remain silent he seemed to be concentrating on something, a noise, he turned right following it into a day lit open passage way which rose slowly.
Now a distant voice was audible in the distance. The Pope responded immediately.
“Fucking kill bastards, robbed a my suit. Leave a man no a dignity I’ll strip skin. I pull neck.” The Pope appeared to be a man of few well chosen colourful words.
He tossed the bear at Tonto, he didn’t realise he’d been carrying it, his rage growing with each step as the noise grew louder, a drunken slurring, not really following any tempo.
The Pope strove on purposefully, leaving Tonto straggling behind so he double paced to catch up but only lagged further behind. The passageway was now became an ancient street of dwellings with ruined tumbled down walls shoulder high.
The slurring grew louder, it was Indica, off his head and out of his mind, in fact his minds tenancy these days was so infrequent as to warrant a temporary forwarding address.
At an intersection of streets a hand attached to a black suit flashed out from the shadows grabbing Tonto by the neck, thrusting him high against a wall, he dropped the bear and held the vial vile high in the air.
The dirty smoke stained hand was strangling him with it’s iron vice grip.
Pummelling the Cuban suit with his other hand had no effect, air was no longer arriving to fill his lungs he was loosing.. he audibly farted as on the other side of the wall Indica amused himself.
He had his whip in hand lounging in a deck chair with sun parasol above, empty tequila bottles strewn about, the loud fart like sound stalled him a second, seemingly familiar, before he dismissed it and continued. He’d been practising his wrist action all afternoon with the bottles precariously placed on the wall… Indica was in a dreadful state, a mess, high on ecstasy for five straight days, he had very little idea of where he was or what the fuck he was doing. He probably didn’t give a shit either.
He flicked his whip at the bottle topped wall and it returned with a glass vile which fell to his lap. He only just noticed the vile as he was already into a return hit, but now the vial held all his available concentrated attention. In the mean time, the whip had by happen chance coiled it self around the neck of the Cuban suit, Indica yanked back eager to examine the contents of the vile, the sudden resistance to the whip collapsed his deck chair but he instinctively held on to the whip. Result, one Cuban suits neck snapped with a resounding crack and amazing proficiency.
Indica had no idea what had happened, his eyes were hunger fixed on the vile, that could only mean one thing, drugs. So snapping the top off, he downed it in one, just as a huge Cuban dressed in banana leaves rounded the corner.
In a rage The Pope strode towards him evil purpose in his eyes.
Tonto having shacken off the suited corpse rounded the corner gasping for breath with the flea bitten pudgy brown bear clasped to his chest.
But Indica was already high in the air, the Popes hand held him suspended, a puppet dangling, strangling and crushing his wind pipe, his powerful right hit Indica in his still enormous throbbing swollen balls.
A snapping jab, his well practiced favourite a warm up for more intimate torture and it was charged with all his herculean muscular power.
A scream of screams commanded the air, cut though it, silenced nature’s hum and filled the air with a shrilling whining pitiful distress.
In all those years on the confession line the Pope had never ever heard anyone filled with such pitiful anguish, the bare bones of a soul moving from desperation to total resignation of its horrendous fate.
It shocked The Pope, he trembled, horrific images of all his victims on a speeded up confession line seemed to cry out to him at once, a unified pathos, a plea to respect the sanctity of life, a cry for the family misery he had inflicted, a cry for the children he had orphaned. Now he yearned to let each and every one of those victims free, free from what were his own, evil, cruel, ignorant hands. To liberate their souls from their dyeing suffrage, pain and hopelessness. To lay to rest their mangled desecrated corpses, he wanted to undo everything, Yes undo everything, every single evil deed of his life’s work. The Pope dropped Indica.
He staggered back overwhelmed, his mind screaming escape from its incriminations, accusations, of the tortured inferno that had been his life’s work.
Tonto arrived Hmm… “Hey Indica may I present to you my good friend The Pope.”
Indica stared upwards vacant, then his eyes focused, then he lost consciousness.
“Ah…ha, probably not the best moment for that I guess.” Mused Tonto.
The Pope was on his knees hands covering his face crying uncontrollably, a baby lost in it’s own private world of hysterical self pity.
Ahmid awoke to pain, pain he’d never before known, his eyes lowered to the source and his jaw fell open, ripping his bursting clothes away revealed a sight that no man should suffer to see. His balls were enormous, humongous, swollen, throbbing red and over run by small sucking white snails.
Panic filled his brain, he crawled to the door, tears washing his face, what he saw was something from nightmares. The recreation area for the workers was a slaughter house of dead and semi naked wounded, some crawling in desperation to the “Never land” of hope, all of them had huge grotesque distended scrotum’s plastered in white small snails.
A terrifying chorus of pain filled groans incessantly bombarded his ears.
“Ahmid, Ahmid help me for the love of god, help me” Ahmid pulled himself to the source of the pleas to find his beloved friend and confident Alle…”I’m sorry really sorry, I didn’t mean….well I couldn’t help…I took it, I took it, forgive me Ahmid.”
“What did you take?”
“That cursed devils necklace.”
“I showed it to Acba, he took it from me, stole it from me and was murdered for it. Now look,” signing the hell around them, “what did I do?”
“There was a riot, they all wanted it, none wanted to share. Our greed has destroyed us all, look,… look around, look at the blood and horror, the curse has worked it’s way on all of those who touched it, who craved it. All will die a horrible death Ahmid, God has looked into our souls and what he’s seen has unleashed his vengeful wroth.”
“I came here with you to work gods word Ahmid. No one but me new of the true nature of our mission, so it was I alone who deceived you all, but I had to do it in the name of our beloved God.”
“Ahmid we were here hiding before our mission, we were to sacrifice our lives for the truth and glory of our God.”
“We weren’t here to fly humanitarian relief aid flights, like I told you all. We were to destroy the twin pillars of capitalism, the symbol of the westerns worlds decadence it’s den of inequity, it’s betrayal of all that God stands for in his glory. Yes, I Lied, we were to fly our aircraft into the twin O.Bz-C.Bz on Oxford street in the infidels land of the British martyring ourselves in the name of God.”
Ahmid’s dreams collapsed, imploded, popped. It had all been lies, lies, lies, he didn’t understand this terrible world and wanted out, he embraced his distraught friend and said,
“But I don’t understand, O.Bz – C.Bz? What about my book the movie?, my martyrdom and the virgins?
Especially the 72 wide eyed virgins?”………..
Fatty Chole started his first burger bar van in Finsbury park road, a happy good humoured overly large man who was said to eat more than he served.
He got….. BIGGER.
When people talk about expanding their business, they are normally referring to its business potential, but in the case of Fatty… he had said this as a matter of literal fact as he simply could no longer access the interior of the burger van.
A triple width isle was required.
The customized enlarged van caused crowds of curious lonely social out casts to descend on the bar, soon the scene around it began to look like something akin to an air crash disaster scene.
It became a magnet for all the sight seeking weird-os that crawl out from the shadow land of low self esteem. Seeking to be the first to pass on precious inconsequential information that might aid them in elevating their prestige within pathetic social peer groups.
In this case the precious gem of information was the truly scandalous unbelievable physical dimensions of Fatty.
In consequence, rumours grew, clandestinely whispered, endlessly exaggerated in their circulation, debating the validity of Fatties size, but it was one of those very rare cases where the hype was actually born out by the reality. The second such example since Bruce Springsteen.
No matter Fatties weight, the clientèle overwhelmed his capacity to keep up with the demand for his burgers, there was no longer time to eat in between clients.
Business grew along with Fatty, those extra slices of bacon on top of triple burgers became lashings of half cooked bacon, blocks of creamed cheese, tripe, cream sauces with pig lard and cow drippings. It was time to make a bold move he was advised, and so he decided to open the first retail outlet of what would become a world wide monopoly in record time.
Deciding to ignore pleas from friends, acquaintances alike to call the business the “Fat Fatty Fats Burger Bar”. He opted for the more contentious name of………….
“THE OBESCITY BURGER CHOLESTERAL BAR.”
Which was abbreviated to catchy O.Bz.-C.Bz
This came at a time when medical science had just revealed the dire consequences of a high cholesterol diet to the heart and hence life. Fatty mused “Life is a “gamble” nothing more, its so much fun and so is the cholesterol roulette wheel, come on jump on, lets slag up those arteries to a mere squirt, rip those flapping heart valves apart, damp those heart muscles down to a mere irregular flutter”.
There was no holding him back now. The press clamoured for wide angled photos and quotes as he franchised his business.
But when he advertised his product as having,
“A guarantee of certain death at an early age from all cholesterol related cardio vascular diseases”.
The media went crazy, he had the curious, the dedicated, fat and the thin, arriving in droves. They all left with their cholesterol time bomb months advanced and their hunger sated.
Fatty and his food chain eventually gave birth to spin off businesses, the greatest success being the popular…
“Pure Cholesterol Consumption Competition” a big brother scenario centred around the gross gluttony of obese contestants, although the sex scenes were severely edited as unpalatable to the masses, it still arrived to a world wide stage of one hundred millions viewers, bumping the Simpson’s and dragons den into well deserved obscurity.
The politically correct, “The Big campaign against the Discrimination of Slightly Overly Large and Upwards People”, wanted to close him down for running a business based, as they saw it on discriminatory propaganda aimed at ridiculing the obese, but one look at its owner, his weight and eating habits refuted all of their carefully planed accusations.
The franchise won various awards for its interior design. Check outs that even allowed Fatty to wobble though them unhindered, he provided over sized chairs to accommodate its more dedicated customers, reinforced toilet facilities together with doors to accommodate all. The toilets contained innovative sanitary receptacles for its bulimic clients with mouthwash facilities all located beside privacy booths to hide the shame of their uncontrollable copious consumption of his burgers.
His final genius was to gain a pharmaceutical licence to dispense statin’s directly to the public at all of his outlets shooting down complaints from the multitude of medical foundations trying to close him down.
If you could eat three O.Bz-C.Bz. in an hour with out puking, you got an extra free, (bulimic’s excluded), but no one, no one including the owner ever achieved such an unimaginable feat of gluttony.
The business went viral, it was the ultimate decadence in calorific cholesterol soaked cuisine, the addicted gluttonous human debris produced provoked the “twelve lighter steps program” self help group to quickly cover the country, which were in the main totally unsuccessful in weaning its members off the burgers, in fact in its third year there was still not one soul prepared to honestly pick up his one month clean star.
The health issues regarding the franchise became even more notorious than the Catholic condoned Aids epidemic in Africa, the World Health Organisation ruled it the public health enemy No. One.
Each casualty hit the headlines, there were exploding hearts, stomachs and respiratory failures. Medical Emergency Teams parked adjacent to the out lets awaiting the constant flow of near and out right deaths. Fatties in house retained lawyers became famed for their callousness in defence of the food chain
With outlets in sixty five countries including Biafra, which was about as sick a joke as one could make, although the business still made a profit, frequented by the corrupt elite, (Idi Amin flew in twice a week for a quick bight, two burgers with all the trappings and several take a ways).
Fatty became rich.
He commented, “Well yeah O.K., So I’m only the seventeenth richest man on the planet but I won the Guinness book of record as the worlds fattest man “hands down”. “I’m no egoist, “to be the worlds best and first only once, is enough for me”.
This was the gluttonous capitalistic monstrosity of decadence that had been the target of Al Fuk-eda, as far as he was concerned, it represented the pinnacle of western societies capitalistic debauchery and as such it was a legitimate target for destruction.
Tio had pleaded with The Pope for twenty minuet’s before he had consented to help, his main complaint was not over helping, he just didn’t want to come anywhere near Indicas naked body, but now he tentatively grasped his bare shoulders forcing him down doubled over a suitable rounded boulder his head laying between his banana leaved frocked waist.
Tio took the super spears flame thrower lighter and pulling Indica’s balls from between his legs in a tricky dexterous pincer movement using thumb and forefinger. The operation began, roasting away the remaining snails plastered to the rear of Indica’s scrotum.
The smell and Indica’s constant unconscious efforts to escape the heat of the flame sent him too and throwing between him self and The Pope, so what with his writhing groaning it rendered the operation instantly forgettable. The Pope constantly protested pulling and pushing Indica around to counteract his writhing s.
The operation was nearly completed and as if in celebratory acknowledgement Indica relaxed, then awakened screaming at his pain and causing him to fart prodigiously!
Tio’s cognitive circuitry instantly processed the inputting data and sent an “all events evasion action” alarm to his central nervous system which responded by flooding his body with adrenalin. Quite a good manoeuvre all in all, but there was a side effect, a tensioning in his gut which rapturously, instantly expelled all the gaseous ballast stored in his larger intestines. The super spears lighter then did what it did best, the explosion was expansive and instantaneous, needless to say stimulating to all parties present, leaving the three of them with little need to attend to excess’s of private hair growth for many a month to come.
They had arrived placing Che’s stretcher close to the rim of the crater. Cono went off on a reconnaissance searching for water and anything else that may be useful. The group was in a bad way Che was semi lucid, but with the return of cono carrying fresh water their recovery was rapid and within two hours Che was sitting up ready to take command.
They had to secure Fidels bear no matter what, that was the primary objective of operation “Desert Wind” nothing else mattered, the D.N.A was in its pampas, he was the only one apart from Fidel with this intelligence, he just hoped they were in time and that the red herring vile had done its work.
He shifted over to the rim of the excavation and with his high power binoculars and surveyed the scene below.
As he focussed the fine precision glass he pointed them in the direction from which a constant groaning and pleas for help came from, the focus snapped an image into being. Two gay Arab labourers embracing each other naked from the waste down crying hysterically, whilst around them lay seventy or eighty bodies some obviously departed for the next world, judging by the blood stained earth around them.
Limbs were severed, knives, axes, shovels protruded from their savaged bodies, clubs lay in the hands of the dead, “Some serious shit had gone down here, but what had started the massacre”.
Some where crawling, all were naked below the waste and what shockingly caught his attention now, was frankly beyond belief, they all had balls far beyond elephant size.
He moved the binoculars around the area, “fuck a what a the fuck” his words mumbled past his lips. What he saw was incredible, he simply couldn’t believe his eyes.
The living and dead were all afflicted alike, the unlucky living writhed in uncontrollable pain sobbing, others were simply uncontrollably crying calling for their mothers and others seemed to be crawling aimlessly having been forced to abandoned their minds due to pain, their huge grotesque balls left large gouged rutted trails in the dust behind them.
All of them stretched out their legs to the maximum to accommodate the rampant cancer that lay between.
A group of three now caught his attention on the other side of the excavation he flicked the lenses around to the source refocusing, the first thing he saw was The Pope, “thank god” he thought, before he realised that he was dressed in banana leaves and bending over a naked body.
“oh man this a place is so a fucked up a man”
Che could now see that the man straddling the boulder from the positioning of the bodies seemed to be giving an enthusiastic blow job, The Pope had him by the shoulders pushing and pulling at the body, “My god I just a cant believe, The Pope a poof no!, but what a the fuck”, his mind was in complete confusion nothing seemed real here “The Pope getting a blow job man!” but then a scream echoed around the excavation and the face of Indica Mc lemmon appeared from the banana leaves between The Popes legs. “No, Oh a No”,
“The Pope and Indica?”
He panned to the pudgy man at the other end of Mc lemmon and felt an incredulity cross his mind until he understood, the pudgy one although dressed for an orgy in fig leaves had a flame thrower of some kind in his hand and was torturing Indica burning his balls.
“Now that’s more like it” thought Che, the scene now made better sense, he felt guilty for thinking of The Pope as he had. The Pope would always be the same, given a chance to inflict pain and horror he would always be out there ahead of the others camping out at the head of the queue, top of the class.
A huge ball of red flame suddenly exploded enveloping the pudgy one and Indica, “Fuck” thought Che “They’re not fucking about down there, Guess we can relax The Popes got things under control”.
Tio jumped back the hair on his chest had disappeared his fig leaves had curled at the intense heat, he swiped at his body instinctively as The Pope brushed away the remnants of his eyelashes and chest hair.
“Hey Che I found some salt tablets on the dashboard of the Jeep over there, take this you need it”. Che knocked back the ecstasy pill, one of the last from Indica’s stash and passed the glasses to cono…a few minutes latter he was giggling a bit weirdly and said, “wow man that’s some wild party down there. What we do”.Che looked over smiled and said, “tell every one to relax, get a good nights sleep, it seems like everything’s under control. The Popes on the job!”
But the reality was that not one of Ches team were under control and nor would they be for the next forty eight hours.
Dawn broke, Tonto and The Pope shouldered Indica between them, they were making their way towards the incline when Tio broke away for a moment stooping to retrieve something strewn in the dust.
Che heard a Jeep door slam, he rose a little to stare over the top of a wall, watching them laughing yeah, great The Popes got the bear. Great we can get out o here but we just gotta finish this party first, he continued to juggle bare full breasted cono up and down on his dick. He was raving like a loony as were the rest of his men, everything seemed so great, the dawn, yeah, the desert, yeah, wow man this was some kind of scene going down here yeah, I mean a real a groovy scene man…..he took another shot from his inhaler then lit one of Cubans finest and disappeared…..
All rights reserved,Copyright by Tio Tom Tomlinson. 2.03.2013.
All rights reserved, copyright by Tio Tom Tomlinson. 19.5.2012.
If some one enjoys this non sense or not please drop me a line with your comments to email@example.com
Surprisingly, because the metals are such perfect expressions of archetypal energies, we can actually learn quite a bit about people by studying the properties of metals and the behavior of planets. That same correspondence exists in the human temperament. For instance, the leaden person is someone who has, like Saturn, lost their bid to become a star. They have accepted a mere physical existence and believe the created world is all that counts. The positive characteristics of the saturnine person are patience, responsibility, somberness, structure and realism, true knowledge of history and karma. The black messenger crows of Chronos bring black moods, depression and despair to us, but they also alert us to illusion and fakeness in our lives.
While we have already discussed the planetary archetypes, it is worth reminding ourselves at this point exactly how the alchemists looked on the relationship between the planet and its metal. They believed that the metals had the same “virtue” as the corresponding planet, that a single spirit infuses both the planet and the metal. In other words, the planet was a celestial manifestation and the metal a terrestrial manifestation of the same universal force. Therefore, the metals are the purest expression of the planetary energies in the mineral kingdom, which is the basis for material reality on earth. The next stage of evolution on our planet is the plant kingdom, and the alchemists assigned a metal and its corresponding planet to describe the characteristics of every known herb, flower, and plant. Similarly, on the next level in the evolution of matter in the animal kingdom, all creatures carry their own metallic or planetary signatures, which are expressed in their behavior. In human beings, the alchemists referred to the sum total of the cosmic signatures of the metals as a person’s “temperament.” Originally, that word referred to the metallurgical process of “tempering” or mixing different metals to produce certain characteristics in an alloy. Although the alchemists considered lead the lowest of the base metals, they treated it with a great deal of respect, as they did its corresponding planet Saturn. Lead was said to carry all the energy of its own transformation, and it was that hidden energy that the alchemists sought to free. To the alchemists, the ancient metal was a powerful “sleeping giant” with a dark and secret nature that encompassed both the beginning and end of the Great Work.
Lead is the heaviest of the seven metals; it is very tied to gravity, form, and manifested reality. It is also a very stubborn metal known for its durability and resistance to change. Lead products dating from 7000 BC are still intact, and lead water pipes installed by the Romans 1,500 years ago are still in use today. Alchemists depicted lead in their drawings as the god Saturn (a crippled old man with a sickle), Father Time, or a skeleton representing death itself. Any of these symbols in their manuscripts meant the alchemist was working with the metal lead in the laboratory or a leaden attitude in his accompanying meditation.Lead is a boundary of heaviness for matter. Metals of greater atomic weight are too heavy and disintegrate over time (by radioactive decay) to turn back into lead. So radioactive decay is really a Saturnic process that introduces a new characteristic in the metals – that of time. All the hyper-energetic metals beyond lead are trapped in time to inexorably return to lead. There is no natural process more unalterably exact than radioactive decay. Atomic clocks, the most precise timekeeping devices we have, are based on this leaden process. Geologists measure the age of radioactive rocks by how much lead they contain, and the age of the earth is estimated by taking lead isotope measurements. In many ways, lead carries the signature of Father Time.Native lead, which is lead metal found in a chemically uncombined state, is actually extremely rare. It is found in the earth’s crust in a concentration of only about 13 parts per billion. Lead does not form crystals easily, and thus the pure mineral form is very rare and extremely valuable as rock specimens. Such elemental lead can also be found in very unusual “metamorphosed” limestone and marble formations that are equally rare.Surprisingly, lead is in the same group in the Periodic Table as gold, and when it occurs in nature, it is always found with gold and silver. In fact, the chemical symbol for lead (Pb) is from the Latin word plumbum, which means “liquid silver.” We derive our words “plumbing” and “plumb bob” from the use of lead in those applications. In the smelting of silver, lead plays an important role by forming a layer over the emerging molten silver and protecting it from combining with the air and splattering out. The volatile molten lead covering is gradually burnt away, until only the pure silver metal “peeks out” (in the smelter’s terminology) in a stabilized form. Thus, lead protects and even sacrifices itself for the nobler metals.The planet Saturn and its metal and the planet have the same symbol (L) in alchemy. The Hermetic interpretation is that the symbol is basically the cross of the elements that depicts the division between the Above and Below or spirit and matter. The lunar crescent of the soul is below the cross, representing the manifestation (or entrapment) of soul below in matter. Despite these associations with the noble metals, lead itself never makes it to such heights among the metals. The silvery luster of fresh cut lead quickly fades, as if it were “dying” before your eyes. Furthermore, alchemists considered lead to be “hydrophobic” or against the life nourishing archetype of water. Lead ores lack the slightest water content and tend to form machine-like structures.The most common ore of lead is galena, which also contains the noble metals silver and gold. Galena is lead sulfide, a favorite of rock collectors because of its distinctive cubic shapes, characteristic cleavage, and high density. In fact, the structure of galena is identical to that of natural table salt. The two minerals have exactly the same crystal shapes, symmetry and cleavage, although galena crystals are thousands of times larger. Some galena may contain up to 1% silver and often contains trace amounts of gold. The large volume of galena that is processed for lead produces enough silver as a by product to make galena the leading ore of silver as well Galena definitely has the signature of lead. Its color is silver gray with a bluish tint. The luster ranges from metallic to dull in the weathered faces, and the isometric crystals are opaque to light. The massive crystals of galena almost always take the form of a cube or octahedron, and the cleavage is perfect in four direction always forming cubes. Because of the perfect cleavage, fractures are rarely seen and the dark crystalline structure is nearly perfect.Lead is also found in other sulfuric minerals like calcite and dolomite, as well as lead oxidation minerals such as and anglesite and cerussite, which is found in the oxidation zone of lead deposits usually associated with galena. Some formations show cerussite crusts around a galena core as if the act of oxidation was frozen in time. Cerrussite is lead carbonate and also a favorite of rock hounds. Its very high luster is due mostly to the metallic lead content, and just as leaded crystal glass sparkles more brilliantly because of its lead content, so too does cerussite. Cerussite has one of the highest densities for a transparent mineral. It is over six and a half times as dense as water. Most rocks and minerals average only around three times the density of water. Cerussite is famous for its great sparkle and density, and its amazing twinned (or double) crystals. The mineral forms geometrically intricate structures and star shapes that simply amazing to behold – sometimes the twinned crystals form star shapes with six "rays" extending out from the star.When freed from its ores, lead metal has a bluish-white color and is very soft – capable of being scratched by a fingernail. With its dull metallic luster and high density, lead cannot easily be confused with any other metal. It is also malleable, ductile, and sectile – meaning it can be pounded into other shapes, stretched into a wire, and cut into slices. However, lead is a dark, sluggish, base metal. Of the seven metals, it is the slowest conductor of electricity and heat, the least lustrous or resonant. Its Saturnic signature of heaviness is expressed not only in its being the heaviest metal but also in its tendency to form inert and insoluble compounds. No other metal forms as many. Although it tarnishes upon exposure to air like silver, lead is extremely resistant to corrosion over time and seems to last forever. Lead pipes bearing the insignia of Roman emperors, used as drains from the baths, are still in service. The surface of lead is protected by a thin layer of lead oxide, and it does not react with water. The same process protects lead from the traditional “liquid fire” of the alchemists – sulfuric acid. In fact, lead bottles are still used to store the highly corrosive acid. Lead is so inalterable, that half of all the lead in the world today is simply recovered from scrap and formed directly into bullion for reuse.Lead is truly a destroyer of light. It is added to high-quality glassware (lead crystal) to absorb light reflections and make the glass clearer. Lead salts in glass are not changed by light but change light itself by absorbing it. Incoming light in lead crystal meets with high resistance, but once it is within the glass, light is immediately absorbed or dispersed without any reflected light escaping. Sheets of lead are also impermeable to all forms of light, even high energy X-rays and gamma rays, which makes lead the perfect shield against any form of radiation and is why it is used to transport and store radioactive materials.Lead is an extremely poor conductor of electricity and blocks all kinds of energy transmission. Indeed, one of the signatures of lead is its ability to “dampen” or absorb energy. Unlike other metals, when lead is struck, the vibrations are immediately absorbed and any tone is smothered in dullness. Lead is an effective sound proofing medium and tetraethyl lead is still used in some grades of gasoline as an antiknock compound to “quiet” the combustion of gasoline.Thin lead sheets are used extensively in the walls of high-rise buildings to block the transmission of sound, and thick pads of lead are used in the foundations to absorb the vibrations of street traffic and even minor earthquakes. Lead sheets are widely used in roofing to block solar rays, and lead foil is used to form lightproof enclosures in laboratory work. Ultimately, lead corresponds to the galactic Black Hole that absorbs all forms of radiation and light.Lead reacts with more chemicals than any other metal, however, instead of producing something new and useful, lead “kills” the combining substance by making it inert, insoluble and unable to enter into further chemical reactions. Its salts precipitate out of solutions heavily and copiously. Lead has the same effect in the plant kingdom. It accumulates in the roots and slows down the “breathing” process in plants. Young plants are adversely affected by even the smallest amount of lead in the soil.Lead is poisonous and accumulates over time in the bones of the human body, where it cannot be flushed out. It has also been found in high concentrations in gallstones and kidney stones. The old alchemical graphic for lead – a skeleton – was grotesquely appropriate. The symptoms of lead poisoning (known as “Saturnism”) are lack of energy, depression, blindness, dizziness, severe headaches at the back of the head, brain damage, attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities and mental retardation, antisocial behavior and anger, atrophy of muscular tissue and cramping, excess growth of connective tissue resulting in a rigid appearance, rapid aging, coma, and early death. Rats fed only 5 parts per million of lead had a lifespan 25% shorter than normal rats. Children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, and it is believed to be an important factor in stillborn fetuses. Children with more than just 0.3 parts per million of lead in their blood suffer a significant slowing of brain function and corresponding drop in IQ. Lead in paint has caused mental retardation and premature aging in hundreds of children who ingested old flaking paint from the walls of their homes. Lead paint was used extensively until the poisonous effects were documented in the 1960s. Because of its lasting durability, lead paint is still used outdoors in advertising and the yellow lines on highways and curbs. The subtly controlling aspect of those applications is another signature of lead and of “leaden” persons in general.Not surprisingly, lead has found use as an insecticide and was even once considered for use as a military weapon. Lead metal reacts violently with fluorine and chlorine to form the highly poisonous gases, lead fluoride and lead chloride. Lead is also used in all kinds of ammunition – another appropriate application of lead’s esoteric signature as Father Time and the Grim Reaper. There are many research studies linking lead exposure to anger and violence, especially in adolescents. One recent study of all counties in the United States conducted by Colorado State University revealed that the murder rate in counties with the highest lead levels were four times higher than in counties with the lowest levels of lead.More benevolent uses of lead are in storage batteries, covering for underground and transoceanic cables, waste plumbing, shielding around X-ray equipment and nuclear reactors, solder, pewter, fine lead crystal glass, and flint glass with a high refractive index for achromatic lenses.Even the elemental metal carries the seed of its own redemption. The alchemists knew that Fire is lord over lead, for the metal has a low melting point and is easily separated from its ore by roasting in an open flame, and the metal itself melts in a candle flame. Lead expands on heating and contracts on cooling more than any other solid heavy metal. (Silver is the opposite and is considered an antidote to lead.)Perhaps owing to its dual nature, lead carries deeply hidden within its structure the fire of its own transformation. Many lead salts reveal a whole rainbow of brilliant colors, with the solar colors of yellow, orange, and red predominating. This is why lead has been used in paints for so many centuries. Finely divided lead powder is pyrophoric (“fire containing”) and easily catches fire or erupts spontaneously in flames. When made into a fine powder, lead metal must be kept in a vacuum to keep from catching fire. Otherwise, it ignites and burns down to a bright yellow ash, revealing its deeply hidden solar signature. So, the wonder of lead is that hidden deep inside the gray, dead metal is a tiny, eternal spark that is the seed of its own resurrection. In the eyes of alchemists, this makes lead the most important metal despite its unattractive darkness. For dull lead and gleaming gold are really the same things, only at different stages of growth or maturity.The Secret Fire inside lead is really the alchemical basis for transforming lead into gold, and correspondingly, gives mankind hope for its own spiritual transformation. That tiny spark of light in the darkest part of matter makes resurrection part of the structure of the universe. So, deep down inside, the metal lead also yearns to be transformed. It wants to rise in the air and fly, leave matter and form behind, and be free as Fire. Lead unites two contrasting forces: rigid heaviness and revivifying inner fire. Archetypically, the lead process is concerned with death and resurrection. Greek myth says that after death our soul is put on a scale, and the weights of the scale are made from lead, the metal that carries Saturn’s signature.Lead is used in magical rituals, spells, and amulets to promote contact with deep unconscious levels (the underworld), deep meditation, controlling negativity, breaking bad habits and addictions, protection, stability, grounding, solidity, perseverance, decisiveness, concentration, conservation, and material constructions (buildings). Pick up a hunk of lead and the first thing you notice is its weight – its connection to gravity. It is that connection to something beyond matter and light, the very form of the universe that is the physical basis for this experiment. During the winter months, preferably on some clear night in late January or early February, go outside and find the planet Saturn in the northern sky. Relax and try to focus all your attention on the golden sphere. Relax completely with an open and quiet mind. Become empty and let the planet influence you. Do this until you feel a real connection with the distant planet. Continue gazing upon Saturn and place a piece of lead metal in your hand. You should be able to feel a strange resonance building. That eerie, cold vibration is not your imagination. It is what alchemists refer to as the “call of lead.” You are experiencing the metal’s true signature or living correspondence with its planetary twin.The strange connection between lead and Saturn has been documented by modern scientists, who have shown that lead compounds react differently depending on Saturn’s position in the sky. For instance, solutions of lead nitrate produce the greatest weight of crystallization (or manifestation) during February, when Saturn rules the sky, and the least during June, when Saturn is barely visible. Lead compounds also exhibit different properties when Saturn aligns with other planets. For example, lead sulfate solution rises 60% higher on strips of filter paper during conjunctions of Saturn with Mars than at other times. It is also known that the ease of making lead solutions (the “solubility coefficient” of lead) varies with the position of Saturn relative to the other planets. NASA is even considering a series of astrochemical experiments to see if the Saturn-lead effects become more pronounced in outer space.Surprisingly, because the metals are such perfect expressions of archetypal energies, we can actually learn quite a bit about people by studying the properties of metals and the behavior of planets. That same correspondence exists in the human temperament. For instance, the leaden person is someone who has, like Saturn, lost their bid to become a star. They have accepted a mere physical existence and believe the created world is all that counts. The positive characteristics of the saturnine person are patience, responsibility, somberness, structure and realism, true knowledge of history and karma. The black messenger crows of Chronos bring black moods, depression and despair to us, but they also alert us to illusion and fakeness in our lives. Surprisingly, because the metals are such perfect expressions of archetypal energies, we can actually learn quite a bit about people by studying the properties of metals and the behavior of planets. That same correspondence exists in the human temperament. For instance, the leaden person is someone who has, like Saturn, lost their bid to become a star. They have accepted a mere physical existence and believe the created world is all that counts. The positive characteristics of the saturnine person are patience, responsibility, somberness, structure and realism, true knowledge of history and karma. The black messenger crows of Chronos bring black moods, depression and despair to us, but they also alert us to illusion and fakeness in our lives. Surprisingly, because the metals are such perfect expressions of archetypal energies, we can actually learn quite a bit about people by studying the properties of metals and the behavior of planets. That same correspondence exists in the human temperament. For instance, the leaden person is someone who has, like Saturn, lost their bid to become a star. They have accepted a mere physical existence and believe the created world is all that counts. The positive characteristics of the saturnine person are patience, responsibility, somberness, structure and realism, true knowledge of history and karma. The black messenger crows of Chronos bring black moods, depression and despair to us, but they also alert us to illusion and fakeness in our lives. Because the lusterless metal is so “dead” and resists interaction with other substances, it is used as containers for acids, like automobile batteries, and is used as a lining in pipes that carry corrosive substances. Similarly, the lead tempered person is like an acid-proof container that stores up caustic feelings and anger. Phrases like “acid tongued” and “vitriolic” have their origins in this alchemical process of storing negative emotional energy.On the psychological level, lead is symbolic of a person’s inertness and unwillingness to change. There is a denial of all higher or spiritual energies, and the alchemists often portrayed the leaden person as lying in an open grave or hopelessly chained to matter in some way. A feeling of being trapped in material reality is symptomatic of a leaden attitude. Leaden people are stubborn, unyielding, and often control other people by making them wait. They must always be right, rarely accept blame or admit to being in error, and have no real regard for the truth of a situation. They may be religious but not spiritual. They tend to be suspicious of genius and inspiration, which they will often attribute to fantasy, They feel threatened by freedom of thought and expression, and sometimes use ridicule or try to “push people’s buttons” to control it. They tend to be very uncreative, judgmental, and smug.On the other hand, leaden people are grounded, earthy, and practical. They are good friends during times of bereavement – a rock of support at funerals and deathbeds. Such people secretly crave stimulation, excitement, and new ideas. They gravitate to people who supply energy and entertainment in their lives. This craving for stimulation often makes them focus on nervous energy instead of higher inspiration. Therefore, Saturn’s children can be very reactive and excitable instead of lethargic, as they try to escape from their prison of matter.As soon as bright, fresh lead metal is exposed to air, it forms a dull-gray oxide layer called the “litharge” that resists any further chemical interaction. In alchemy, air is associated with spiritual energy, and lead reacts to it by instantly forming a barrier or blocking it. Likewise, one of the distinguishing characteristics of someone with a lead temperament is their lack of interest in spiritual ideas. There is also a general lack of interest in life in general, and leaden people often seem lazy, lethargic, or unresponsive.In the individual, lead absorbs the inner light or insight necessary for personal growth and blocks all outside “radiations,” such as attempts at spiritual instruction by others. Because psychological lead absorbs both the deeper vibrations of intuition and higher spiritual energies and aspirations, the person with a lead temperament is uninspired, unimaginative, and lacks that creative spark so necessary for positive change. Before long the lead person starts to feel trapped in his or her dull environment and seeks out excitement, death-defying feats, lively people, and challenging conversation. Their favorite color is often red, and unconsciously, they are seeking the alchemical element of Fire. Fire is one of the Four Elements that represents activity, energy, creative thinking, and transformation. Fire is the tool alchemists use to begin the transmutation of lead into gold as well as transform leaden consciousness into a golden awareness of higher reality. In the laboratory, the changes in the metal and in the alchemist take place simultaneously. Otherwise, there can be no real transformation. The alchemists transmuted the Lead temperament using the Fire operation of Calcination. Physically, lead and Saturn rule the bones, teeth, spleen, and slow chronic processes such as aging. The therapeutic effects are contracting, coagulating, drying, and mineralizing. Saturn-ruled plants enhance the structures of life. They give a sobriety of disposition, en-abling one to see limitations. These plants give steadiness, solidity of pur-pose, subtlety, diplomacy, patience, and an ability to work on the physical plane better.Saturnic or leaden energies are needed for those who have a hard time finishing pro-jects or for those with plenty of ideas but never realize them. Alchemists seeking to produce physical effects found in saturnine elixirs the essential vibratory rate that enabled materialization. Alchemists seeking to produce physical effects found in saturnine elixirs the essential vibratory rate that enabled materialization. Generally speaking, any other elixir mixed with a Saturn elixir will be earthed, which makes them of great value when working on physical plane phenomenon. Their physical therapeutic properties become refrigerant, anti-pyretic, sedative, styptic, and astringent.For instance, if one mixes a saturnine elixir with a mercurial one, the alchemists believed it would release knowledge contained in secret magical manuscripts or in ancient hermetic traditions, because the Saturn-Mercury vibration contains all hidden knowledge of an esoteric nature within it. Alchemical oils were mixed in the same way. For example, to treat leukemia, alchemists would prescribe an equal mixture of lead oil and gold oil. The alchemists made an Oil of Lead that was good for “growth of bones after breaking, strengthening the skeleton, osteoporosis and atrophy of the bones, stimulation of the spleen, drying tissue, reducing secretions and discharges, stopping bleeding, reducing fever, increasing patience, and stopping visions and an overactive imagination.” They also suggested it for hallucinations due to neurological disorders that have delirious after-effects such as encephalitis and post-traumatic stress syndrome. In the “like cures like” philosophy of homeopathy, lead is used to treat sclerosis, the hardening of bones and arteries, which is the hallmark of old age and signature of lead. The homeopathic name of lead is Plumbum metallicum. Native tin is known as stannum, which is the Latin word for tin and also gives the metal its chemical symbol (Sn). The alchemical symbol is K, which shows the lunar principle of soul above the cross of the elements or emerging from the darkness of matter.
Tin is a shiny, silvery-white metal that is malleable, somewhat ductile and sectile, and seems like a perfected form of lead to the casual observer. In fact, the Romans called tin Plumbum album or “white lead.” Tin resists weathering and does not oxidize, and tin utensils buried underground or lost at sea in sunken ships shone like new when rediscovered after hundreds of years. “Tinkers” were gypsy craftsmen who wandered from neighborhood to neighborhood in Europe repairing tin kettles and utensils or melting them down and recasting them. Native or elemental tin is extremely rare in nature and is found with gold and copper deposits. The metal was considered “semi-noble” in ancient times and was used for jewelry in Babylonia and Egypt. The Romans used it to make mirrors, and it was used as coinage in Europe at one time.
Tin has a highly crystalline structure, and due to the breaking of these crystals, a "cry" is heard when a tin bar is bent. Unlike lead, tin has pleasing acoustic effects and is used in the making of bells. The crystals in common grey tin have a cubic structure, but when heated or frozen it changes into white tin, which has a tetragonal structure. After further heating or freezing, white tin disintegrates into a powdery substance. This powder has the ability to “infect” other tin surfaces it comes in contact with by forming blisters that spread until all the metal “sickens” and disintegrates. This transformation is encouraged by impurities such as zinc and aluminum and can be prevented by adding small amounts of antimony or bismuth to the metal. The sickness of tin was called the “tin plague” and was the scourge of tin roofs during Europe’s frigid winters. The mysterious effect was first was first noticed as “growths” on organ pipes in European cathedrals, where it was thought to be the work of the devil to disfigure god’s work.Tin metal has only a few practical uses and most tin is used in alloys. Bronze is an alloy of 5% tin and 95% copper, and the development of bronze by humans marked a new age of advancement known as the Bronze Age. Most solder is a combination of tin and lead; pewter is also an alloy of tin and lead. Other tin alloys are used to make tin cans and tin roofs, and tin has significant use as a corrosion fighter in the protection of other metals. Tin resists distilled, sea and soft tap water, but is attacked by strong acids, alkalis, and acid salts. When heated in air, tin forms tin oxide, which is used to plate steel and make tin cans. Other uses are in type metal, fusible metal, Babbitt metal, and die casting alloys. Tin chloride is used as a reducing agent and mordant in calico printing. Tin salts sprayed onto glass are used to produce electrically conductive coatings, which are used for panel lighting and for frost-free windshields. Window glass is made by floating molten glass on molten tin to produce a flat surface. A crystalline tin-niobium alloy is superconductive at very low temperatures, and shoebox-sized electromagnets made of the wire produce magnetic fields comparable to conventional electromagnets weighing hundreds of tons.The distribution of tin on earth follows an ecliptic at an angle of 23.5 º to the equator that is an exact track of the orbit of Jupiter slicing through the planet. Even stranger, these jovian forces seem to form tin veins that zigzag through the rocks in a lightening bolt pattern. This is no haphazard effect, but an astonishing confirmation of Jupiter freeing the metals from their Saturnic prison on earth. Goethe was just one great alchemical philosopher who believed this. “A remarkable influence proceeds from the metal tin,” he wrote. “This has a differentiating influence, and opens a door through which a way is provided for different metals to be formed from primeval rocks.”Tin ore minerals include oxide minerals like cassiterite and a few sulfides such as franckerite. By far the most tin comes from cassiterite or tin oxide. Reduction of this ore in burning coal results in tin metal and was probably how tin was made by the ancients. Cassiterite is a black or reddish brown mineral that has ornately faceted specimens with a greasy, high luster. It is generally opaque, but its luster and multiple crystal faces cause a sparkling surface. Cassiterite has been an important ore of tin for thousands of years and is still the greatest source of tin today. Most aggregate specimens of cassiterite show crystal twins, with the typical twin bent at a near-60-degree angle to form a distinctive "Elbow Twin." Other crystalline forms include eight-sided prisms and four-sided pyramids. Cassiterite is sometimes found in nature associated with topaz and fluorite gemstones.Tin has a surprising affinity for silica and shares its crystalline structure. In the jovian ring on our planet where native tin is found, the metal lies in silica veins of quartz and granite. In the body, high concentrations of tin and silica are found in the boundary layer of the skin, and tin reacts with silica acid in many of the “shaping” processes of growth. In the Middle Ages, sick people were served food on a tin plate and drinks in a tin vessel to help them regenerate and recover their strength. Today, we know that tin acts as a bactericide and pesticide.Native tin is known as stannum, which is the Latin word for tin and also gives the metal its chemical symbol (Sn). The alchemical symbol is K, which shows the lunar principle of soul above the cross of the elements or emerging from the darkness of matter.
Tin is a shiny, silvery-white metal that is malleable, somewhat ductile and sectile, and seems like a perfected form of lead to the casual observer. In fact, the Romans called tin Plumbum album or “white lead.” Tin resists weathering and does not oxidize, and tin utensils buried underground or lost at sea in sunken ships shone like new when rediscovered after hundreds of years. “Tinkers” were gypsy craftsmen who wandered from neighborhood to neighborhood in Europe repairing tin kettles and utensils or melting them down and recasting them. Native or elemental tin is extremely rare in nature and is found with gold and copper deposits. The metal was considered “semi-noble” in ancient times and was used for jewelry in Babylonia and Egypt. The Romans used it to make mirrors, and it was used as coinage in Europe at one time.
Tin has a highly crystalline structure, and due to the breaking of these crystals, a "cry" is heard when a tin bar is bent. Unlike lead, tin has pleasing acoustic effects and is used in the making of bells. The crystals in common grey tin have a cubic structure, but when heated or frozen it changes into white tin, which has a tetragonal structure. After further heating or freezing, white tin disintegrates into a powdery substance. This powder has the ability to “infect” other tin surfaces it comes in contact with by forming blisters that spread until all the metal “sickens” and disintegrates. This transformation is encouraged by impurities such as zinc and aluminum and can be prevented by adding small amounts of antimony or bismuth to the metal. The sickness of tin was called the “tin plague” and was the scourge of tin roofs during Europe’s frigid winters. The mysterious effect was first was first noticed as “growths” on organ pipes in European cathedrals, where it was thought to be the work of the devil to disfigure god’s work.Tin metal has only a few practical uses and most tin is used in alloys. Bronze is an alloy of 5% tin and 95% copper, and the development of bronze by humans marked a new age of advancement known as the Bronze Age. Most solder is a combination of tin and lead; pewter is also an alloy of tin and lead. Other tin alloys are used to make tin cans and tin roofs, and tin has significant use as a corrosion fighter in the protection of other metals. Tin resists distilled, sea and soft tap water, but is attacked by strong acids, alkalis, and acid salts. When heated in air, tin forms tin oxide, which is used to plate steel and make tin cans. Other uses are in type metal, fusible metal, Babbitt metal, and die casting alloys. Tin chloride is used as a reducing agent and mordant in calico printing. Tin salts sprayed onto glass are used to produce electrically conductive coatings, which are used for panel lighting and for frost-free windshields. Window glass is made by floating molten glass on molten tin to produce a flat surface. A crystalline tin-niobium alloy is superconductive at very low temperatures, and shoebox-sized electromagnets made of the wire produce magnetic fields comparable to conventional electromagnets weighing hundreds of tons.The distribution of tin on earth follows an ecliptic at an angle of 23.5 º to the equator that is an exact track of the orbit of Jupiter slicing through the planet. Even stranger, these jovian forces seem to form tin veins that zigzag through the rocks in a lightening bolt pattern. This is no haphazard effect, but an astonishing confirmation of Jupiter freeing the metals from their Saturnic prison on earth. Goethe was just one great alchemical philosopher who believed this. “A remarkable influence proceeds from the metal tin,” he wrote. “This has a differentiating influence, and opens a door through which a way is provided for different metals to be formed from primeval rocks.”Tin ore minerals include oxide minerals like cassiterite and a few sulfides such as franckerite. By far the most tin comes from cassiterite or tin oxide. Reduction of this ore in burning coal results in tin metal and was probably how tin was made by the ancients. Cassiterite is a black or reddish brown mineral that has ornately faceted specimens with a greasy, high luster. It is generally opaque, but its luster and multiple crystal faces cause a sparkling surface. Cassiterite has been an important ore of tin for thousands of years and is still the greatest source of tin today. Most aggregate specimens of cassiterite show crystal twins, with the typical twin bent at a near-60-degree angle to form a distinctive "Elbow Twin." Other crystalline forms include eight-sided prisms and four-sided pyramids. Cassiterite is sometimes found in nature associated with topaz and fluorite gemstones.Tin has a surprising affinity for silica and shares its crystalline structure. In the jovian ring on our planet where native tin is found, the metal lies in silica veins of quartz and granite. In the body, high concentrations of tin and silica are found in the boundary layer of the skin, and tin reacts with silica acid in many of the “shaping” processes of growth. In the Middle Ages, sick people were served food on a tin plate and drinks in a tin vessel to help them regenerate and recover their strength. Today, we know that tin acts as a bactericide and pesticide.
Flowers last longer in tin vases, and food has been preserved in the tin cans (actually a thin layer of tin on iron) for over a century. Beer (ruled by the jovial Jupiter) is said to taste best from a tin mug. Jupiter rules growth, the metabolic system, the liver, and the enrichment of the blood from food. Jupiter therapeutic effects are anti-spasmodic and hepatic. Jupiter-ruled plants preserve the body and promote healthy growth and are the natural healing herbs of the planetary system. They af-fect the mind in such a way as to promote an understanding of ritual form from the highest point of view, and religious leaders, doctors, lawyers, etc. will find great benefit from jovian herb remedies. They also attune one to the wealth vibration and open up channels for growth and expansion, materi-ally as well as spiritually.Jupiter controls the circulation of blood in the human body. If mixed with a solar herbal eider, it will give the alchemist access to the highest plane. Jupiter-Mercury combinations produce insight into the philosophical principles of any system and their part in the cosmic scheme and provide an intuitive understanding of the great spiritual masters. This particular herbal mixture also produces a lightheartedness and gaiety, which can be very useful to those with a predisposition to depression or gloominess. The physical properties of such a mixture are anabolic and antispasmodic.The alchemists made an Oil of Tin that was used to treat the liver (jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis), certain types of eczema, liquid ovarian cysts, inflammatory effusions, pleurisies, acne, water retention, and certain types of obesity. This oil was said to be excellent for someone "loosing shape." The oil was also used as a sweat inducer, wormer, antispasmodic, cathartic, and laxative.The polar (opposite) metal to tin is mercury, and Oil of Tin was said to be an excellent antidote for mercury poisoning, and likewise mercury was said to balance the bad effects of tin. Tin and mercury oil combined are said to provide deep insight and cure lightheadedness and certain phases of manic-depressive syndrome.The homeopathic form of tin is called Stannum, a remedy which is said to strengthen and regenerate muscle and brain tissue. It is also a remedy for the joints and connective tissue of ligaments and cartilage. Stannum is allegedly beneficial in liver disease and is used for congestion, hardening, encephalitis, and other illnesses where the fluid balance is upset.During the early Spring, preferably sometime in March, go outside and find the red planet Mars in the night sky. Relax and try to focus all your attention on the tiny red sphere. Relax completely with an open and quiet mind. Become empty and let the planet influence you. Do this until you feel a real connection with the distant planet. Continue gazing upon Mars and place a piece of iron in your hand or a small cast iron pot or other object but not something of made of steel or chromed. You should be able to feel a resonance building. It is what alchemists refer to as the “call of iron.” You are experiencing the metal’s true signature or living correspondence with its planetary twin. See how your feelings compare to how the alchemists felt about this powerful metal.When mixed with solar herbs, iron herbs increase energy and activate the energetic potentials of other herbs. Martian elixirs release the action poten-tial of the soul of something. When mixed with other herbs, martian herbs acti-vate the potentialities of the other herbs to a great degree making them more forceful in applica-tion and generally more active. Mars herbs are wonderful tonics when mixed with Sun herbs. The combination gives great physical energy, tones the muscles, and increases sexual potency. They also provoke self-reliance, spontaneity, and indepen-dence of attitude. If the alchemist is involved in magical evocation, a mixture of a mars, moon, and mercurial elixirs will help produce the physical plane vehicle of manifestation.Copper is a reddish-brown metal with a bright metallic luster. It is in the same group in the Periodic Table as gold, and like gold, it is remarkably ductile. It is also very malleable and sectile (it can be pounded into other shapes and cut into slices) and is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Molten copper is a sea green color, and copper tarnishes with a green color and burns with a blue-green flame with flashes of red, and the alchemists sometimes described Venus, the metal’s archetypal planetary source, as dressed in a blue cloak over a red gown.Pick up a piece of copper and the first thing you notice is its surprising feeling of warmth and moisture. It is that connection to something archetypal and nourishing that makes up the signature of this metal. It is easy to connect with copper, just as its planet (Venus) is easy to see in the sky. It is so brilliant it is often mistaken for a bright star or even a UFO. The best time to see it is in the early evening or morning when it is close to the horizon. In fact, Venus has been called both the “Morning Star” and the “Evening Star” and is associated with magical energies. It is the “first star I see tonight” upon you make you wish that will come true with the sympathetic venusian energies. On some clear night or morning, go outside and find the planet Venus. Relax and try to focus all your attention on the brilliant white sphere. Relax completely with an open and quiet mind. Become empty and let the planet influence you. Do this until you feel a real connection with the distant planet. Continue gazing upon the planet and grab a piece of copper, a fistful of pennies, or even a copper cooking utensil. You should be able to feel a warm resonance building. That deep and soothing vibration is not your imagination. It is what alchemists refer to as the “call of copper.” You are experiencing the metal’s true signature or living correspondence with its planetary twin.The venusian signature gives refinement of senses and the ability to appreciate beauty. Artists, actors, and others in the public eye will find these elixirs a great aid to performing their work. Venus herbs also enhance the taste perceptions, promote affection, give an amiable disposition, and make one more psychically sensitive to astral influences. For those who feel a lack of charm, or some of the softer human qualities, a venusian elixir will stimulate the right vibration in your aura. Venusian elixirs also promote harmony and balance within our being and in our dealings with others. Venusian elixirs are said to give access to that realm of the astral that is intimately connected with the working and forces of the most intimate magic of nature. They are a great aid to alchemists who wish to make herbal alchemy their life work, as they open up the human consciousness to the secrets of the plant kingdom. Naturalists will find these elixirs most illuminating, as they will give conscious con-tact with the various “deities” of long past nature religions.Mercury is truly unique. It is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature and the heaviest natural liquid on the planet. According to alchemical theory, all the metals began in the liquid state on deep in the earth, but only mercury was able to retain it original innocence and life force and resist taking on a final form, and for that reason, the ancients called it Mercurius vivens (the “living mercury”). This silvery liquid metal (also known as “Quicksilver”) was known to ancient Chinese and Hindus before 2000 BC and has been found in sacred tubes in Egyptian tombs dated from 1500 BC. It was first used to form alloys with other metals around 500 BC. The Greeks applied germ-killing ability of mercury in healing ointments (to the benefit of those afflicted with wounds and skin infections), and in the Middle Ages, Paracelsus used it successfully to treat syphilis. However, the ancient Romans applied mercury compounds for long-term use in cosmetics, and many beautiful women eventually died of its cumulative poisonous effects. Today, many popular brands of eye makeup still contain low levels of mercury.In the East, metallic mercury was the main ingredient in most Tantric medicinal preparations. In his travels through India, Marco Polo observed that many people drank a concoction of mercury and sulfur twice monthly from early childhood with no observable ill effects. They believed the drink gave them longevity. Tantric alchemists in India still take metallic mercury in place of food as an elixir of life, although they caution that the body must be perfectly attuned and strengthened to tolerate the intense cosmic infusion of life force. In Indian alchemy, mercury is called rasa, which refers to the subtle essence that is the origin of all forms of matter. The cosmic chaos from which the universe sprang is called the Rasasara or “Sea of Mercury.” The craft of alchemy is referred to as Rasayana or “Knowledge of Mercury.” Go outside on the night of the full moon and gaze up at the silver orb. Relax and try to focus all your attention on the surface of the moon. Relax completely with an open and quiet mind. Become empty and let our closest planetary body influence you. Do this until you feel a real connection. Now, pick up piece of silver jewelry or dinnerware, and hold it in your left hand until it gets warm. You should be able to feel a liquid-like sensation of cool metallic energy. This is what alchemists refer to as the “call of silver.” You are experiencing the metal’s true signature or living correspondence with the moon itself. Try to remember how this feels in your body. Has the taste in your mouth changed? Has your eyesight altered? How does your skin feel.The alchemists prepared an Oil of Silver they used to treat disorders of the brain and cerebellum, reduce stress, balance emotions, improve memory, treat nervous disorders and epilepsy, improve both melancholia and mania. It was also used as a physical purgative and mental purifier. It was said to affect the subconscious mind, see into the past clearly, remove fears and blockages, allow one to unwind, produce “homey” feelings, give a feeling of grace and sensitivity, and enhanced imagination.Using elaborate mixing and heating techniques, Egyptian alchemists tried making gold by changing the proportions of the Four Elements in the base metals or by attempting to speed up natural growth of lesser metals into gold. Around 100 AD, Egyptian alchemist Maria Prophetissa used mercury and sulfur to try to make gold. Around 300 AD, the alchemist Zosimos, whose recipes often came to him in dreams, was working to transmute copper. “The soul of copper,” he wrote must be purified until it receives the sheen of gold and turns into the royal metal of the Sun." A technique known as "diplosis" (“doubling”) of gold became popular. One such recipe called for heating a mixture of two parts gold with one part each of silver and copper. After appropriate alchemical charging that brought the seed of gold alive, twice as much of a gold as originally added was produced. Egyptian alchemists believed that the gold acted as a seed in metals, especially copper and silver. According to their view, the seed of gold grew, eating the copper and silver as food, until the whole mixture was transformed into pure gold.Gold is a stubbornly pure metal when it comes to reacting or even associating with “lesser” elements. That signature explains a lot of the chemical characteristics of gold. Unlike nearly every other metal, there are no plants that contain even trace amounts of metallic gold. There are very few gold ores, because the noblest metal never alloys with the baser metals, but does alloy with the noble metal silver and makes an amalgam with mercury.Gold is extremely ductile, malleable, and sectile, and so soft it can be cut with a knife, which makes gold impractical to use for tools. It is also very heavy. A gold bar is twice as heavy as an equal-sized bar of lead. Furthermore, gold embodies an inner equilibrium of forces that make it pretty much indestructible. Gold never tarnishes like copper or silver or rust like iron and, whether found buried in the ground, at the bottom of the ocean, in an ancient tomb, or in the ring on your finger, it always looks the same. It cannot be damaged by heat and was considered completely inalterable until around 1100 AD, when alchemists concocted a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids known as Agua Regia (“Royal Water”) that could dissolve gold. The immortal metal is endlessly recycled, and all the gold known today is very nearly equal to all the gold that has ever been mined. One ounce of gold can be stretched into a single wire 35 miles long, or it can be beaten to just a few atoms thick. It is the most flexible, enduring, and beautiful of all metals.
Gold shows a distinct affinity for sulfur and forms an ore with a rare element called tellurium. It is one of the few elements gold easily bonds with. In fact, telluride is rarely found without gold. Gold also appears in minerals that are part of a group of tellurium sulfides called the tellurides. However, the amount of gold in these minerals is really miniscule next to the amount of gold found in its native metallic state. Native gold seems to like the company of the purest white quartz and is also found mixed with deposits of pyrite and a few other sulfide minerals. Gold is six times rarer than silver, and it takes about three tons of gold ore to extract an ounce of gold metal.Around the world, nearly every culture associated their supreme god or goddess with gold. For many centuries only the images of gods graced gold coins, until Alexander the Great began the trend of rulers’ images appearing on gold coins around 30 BC. Even the most primitive societies recognize the sacred properties of gold. For example, the Makuna tribes of modern Brazil believe that gold contains “the light of the sun and stars." The chemical symbol for gold (Au) comes from the Latin word aurum meaning "gold.” The alchemical cipher for gold is a rendition of the sun (A), and gold was considered a kind of congealed light. Sol is the King of alchemy, and his royal purple-red color is revealed in gold colloidal solutions, and red is his symbolic color. Sol Philosophorum was the name the alchemists gave to this living spirit of gold, which they saw as the refined essence of heat and fire. Gold was known and considered sacred from earliest times. Gold became popular because it reminded people of the sun with its warm, life-giving properties. Because of its imperishability, the ancient Chinese thought that gold conveyed immortality to its owners. Egyptian inscriptions dating back to 2600 BC describe these same associations with gold. Gold replaced bartering around 3500 BC when the people of Mesopotamia started using it as a kind of money because of it eternal value. By 2800 BC, gold was being fashioned into standardized weights in the form of rings. People started carried black stones called “touchstones” onto which they scraped a piece of gold to leave a streak. Depending on the brightness of the streak, one could estimate how much gold was in the sample. Around 1500 BC, Mesopotamian alchemists discovered a process for purifying gold known as "cuppellation," which involved heating impure gold in a porcelain cup called a “cuppel.” Impurities were absorbed by the porcelain, leaving a button of pure gold behind. Later alchemists used cuppels to test the quality of their transmutations.Using elaborate mixing and heating techniques, Egyptian alchemists tried making gold by changing the proportions of the Four Elements in the base metals or by attempting to speed up natural growth of lesser metals into gold. Around 100 AD, Egyptian alchemist Maria Prophetissa used mercury and sulfur to try to make gold. Around 300 AD, the alchemist Zosimos, whose recipes often came to him in dreams, was working to transmute copper. “The soul of copper,” he wrote must be purified until it receives the sheen of gold and turns into the royal metal of the Sun." A technique known as "diplosis" (“doubling”) of gold became popular. One such recipe called for heating a mixture of two parts gold with one part each of silver and copper. After appropriate alchemical charging that brought the seed of gold alive, twice as much of a gold as originally added was produced. Egyptian alchemists believed that the gold acted as a seed in metals, especially copper and silver. According to their view, the seed of gold grew, eating the copper and silver as food, until the whole mixture was transformed into pure gold.According to the medieval alchemists, Nature sought continually to create the perfection achieved in gold, and they looked at every metal as gold in the making. Alchemists also thought that the objective of every metal was to become gold, and every metal was tested for corrosion and strength and ranked as to how far it was from gold. Many alchemists felt that mercury was the closest metal to gold and that it could be transmuted directly into gold. Their intuition was correct, for mercury can indeed be turned into gold. Gold and mercury are next to each other on the Periodic Table. Mercury is element 80 (has 80 protons) and gold is element 79 (has 79 protons). In the 1960s, physicists were able to knock out a proton in mercury atoms using neutron particle accelerators, and thereby create minute quantities of gold.Gold is at the head of the metals, paired with what in the medieval mind was the strongest planet, the Sun. The alchemists were obsessed with gold’s signature of perfection. Medieval Italian alchemist Bernard Trevisan speculated, "Is not gold merely the Sun’s beams condensed into a solid yellow?" Seventeenth-century alchemist John French asked fervently: “Is there no sperm in gold? Is it not possible to exalt it for multiplication? Is there no universal spirit in the world? Is it not possible to find that collected in One Thing which is dispersed in all things? What is that which makes gold incorruptible? What induced the philosophers to examine gold for the matter of their medicine? Was not all gold once living? Is there none of this living gold, the matter of philosophers, to be had anymore?”Gold is highly valued in the everyday world too. It is used as coinage and is a standard for monetary systems in many countries. It is used to make jewelry and artwork, and also in dentistry, electronics, and plating. Since it is an excellent reflector of infrared energy (such as emerges from the sun), the metal is used to coat space satellites and interstellar probes. Chlorauric acid is used in photography for toning the silver image. It is also used in medicine to treat degenerative diseases such as arthritis and cancer.Chemist Lilly Kolisko performed experiments with gold chloride and showed its chemical behavior coincided with events that altered the strength of the sun, such as the weakening in solar forces during solar eclipses or their increase during the summer solstice. Moreover, she found that both silver and gold salts seemed to be equally influenced by the sun. In the case of silver, it was the forms or patterns that changed, whereas in the gold, it was the colors that changed. Silver shapes moved from jagged spikes to smooth rolling forms but the colors remained hues of grey, while the basic shape of gold patterns remained the same but the colors changed from brilliant yellows through violet to reddish-purple hues. This work presents an amazing confirmation of how the King and Queen, Sol and Luna, work together in creation, with the female principle representing soul and form and the male principle representing spirit and energy. Kolisko’s innovative work with the metals is presented in the Appendix. Her work has been duplicated by dozens of other chemists and has been confirmed many times.The signatures of gold are invoked in rituals, magical spells, and talismans concerning solar deities, the male force, authority, self-confidence, creativity, financial riches, investments, fortune, hope, health, and worldly and magical power. Gold talismans can be very expensive, but you can make one of gold colored cardboard or write the symbols on it with gold paint or plate an object with gold. Gold jewelry is said to improve self-confidence and inner strength. To charge water with the signature of gold, put a gold object in a glass of water and let sit in the sunlight for 6-10 hours.During sunrise or sunset, face the sun and try to feel it archetypal presence. If not too bright, gaze into the rising or setting sun and try to see the metallic solar disk of which the Egyptian alchemists spoke. Relax and try to focus all your attention on the golden sphere. Relax completely with an open and quiet mind. Become empty and let the presence at the center of our solar system influence you. Do this until you feel a real connection with the distant sun. Continue facing the sun as you pick up a piece of gold jewelry or a vial of pure gold flakes (such as sold in some novelty shops) into your right palm. You should be able to feel a electric warmth building. That eerie, warm vibration is not your imagination. It is what alchemists refer to as the “call of gold” – the resonation of the metal with its “planet.” You are experiencing the metal’s true signature or living correspondence, and for gold, this is the most perfect expression of all materials. If you can connect with this archetype, you will realize that it a very personal as well as divine presence. As Above, so Below. This is perfection on all levels of your mind, body, and soul resonating with the perfection inherent in the Whole Universe.For those with weaker wills or loss of contact with the divine presence, gold represents a psychological cure. The solar essences gives great ambition, courage, self-re-liance, dignity, authority, and the ability to manage oneself and others. The creative principle, no matter how small and insignificant it is within us can be enhanced to a great degree by tapping into the solar archetype. Just as the Sun represents the di-vine creative force in our immediate solar system, gold represents the same thing in our inner temperament. For lasting manifestation, the golden temperament needs to be firmly grounded in the world, and the danger at this phase of transformation is that the individual become too focused on the workings Above and forget his or her connection to the real world. Gold and the blazing Sun correspond to personal ambition, courage, and creative energy and vitality, but without a constant effort to remain pure and alive in the real world, the golden temperament can quickly transmute into the leaden qualities of despair, poor self esteem, lack of confidence, and impurity. Most important for the golden temperament, however, is to realize that once having reached this plateau, one has certain personal and karmic obligations. The golden attitude of this temperament is what brings the rewards of health, wealth, and happiness through synchonistic responses from the universe. Go against these archetypal powers at this level of achievement and even the slightest deviation from the golden path of righteousness and personal integrity can have disastrous and immediate consequences. The alchemists transmuted the Gold temperament using the operation of Coagulation.Chrysotherapy is the name given to healing with gold. The mystical metal has been used for both spiritual and medical purposes as far back as ancient Egypt. Over 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians used gold in dentistry and ingested it for mental, bodily, and spiritual purification. The ancients believed that gold in the body worked by stimulating the life force and raising the level of vibration on all levels. In Alexandria, alchemists developed a powerful elixir known as “liquid gold,” which reportedly had the ability to restore youth and perfect health. In ancient Rome, gold salves were used for the treatment of skin ulcers, and today, gold leaf plays an important role in the treatment of chronic skin ulcers. The great alchemist and founder of modern medicine, Paracelsus, developed many highly successful medicines from metallic minerals including gold. In medieval Europe, gold-coated pills and “gold waters” were extremely popular. Alchemists mixed powdered gold into drinks to "comfort sore limbs," and today, it is widely used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. In the 1900s, surgeons implanted a $5.00 gold piece under the skin near an inflamed joint, such as a knee or elbow. In China, peasants still cook their rice with a gold coin in order to help replenish gold in their bodies, and fancy Chinese restaurants put 24-karat gold-leaf in their food preparations.The alchemists believed that gold represented the perfection of matter, and that its presence in the body would enliven, rejuvenate, and cure a multitude of “dis-eases.” Gold is never corrodes or even tarnishes, is completely non-toxic, and exhibits no interactions with other drugs. Gold is the only heavy metal that has a right-hand atomic spin and is therefore easily tolerated by the body.The alchemists believed that gold represented the perfection of matter, and that its presence in the body would enliven, rejuvenate, and cure a multitude of “dis-eases.” Gold is never corrodes or even tarnishes, is completely non-toxic, and exhibits no interactions with other drugs. Gold is the only heavy metal that has a right-hand atomic spin and is therefore easily tolerated by the body.Sun-ruled plants affect the soul in its positive phase of manifestation, which manifests on the personal level as our idea of ourselves as a progressive unified entity. Solar herbs help us realize our evolutionary epoch as an individual among many other individuals, helping to synthesize and synchronize our goals with those of the macrocosm. In this sense they are ego fortifiers, but with a divine purpose.Solar herbs heal inferiority complexes, bolstering people and giving them a sense of purpose beyond the norm. The Sun represents the Christ and Osiris consciousness in man, as well as Hercules in his monumental strength. For those with weaker wills, Sun ruled herbs will provide the springboard for more posi-tive action; they also bestow the quality of generosity to our souls. Solar plants, when alchemically charged, will reveal the divine purpose of our solar system, and will let you be-come aware of the will of God in manifestation. Solar essences give great ambition.