Stuff I like Part 2: Fashion – Sunglasses

Hi everyone and welcome to part 2 of Stuff Simone Likes. Next chapter I am planning something a lil bit more scandalous however the topic today is why I like sunglasses. So without further ado…

Because Sunglasses hide your emotions: We all know sunglasses are great for when we need to look all detached and badass, cause we all know detached and badass is the epitome of cool to some people. Having a really bad or tragic day? just throw on a pair of shades and who would know?

Sunglasses effectively hide our eyes and our eyes are the windows to our souls after all. We know some poker players wear sunglasses for the same reason, why wouldn’t you want to hide your tells at the table? One thing you may not know, as early as the 12th century in China they were believed integral to the justice system.

In 12th century China judges wore early sunglasses with lenses made out of smoky quartz, so as to hide their emotions from the parties involved, allowing them to keep their verdict to themselves till judgement. Apparently these quartz sunglasses did little to stop UV rays or correct vision. Marco Polo among others commented on these early sunglasses being wore by their judges and other court staff.

Because 9 out of 10 doctors recommend them: These days medical professionals (probably 10 out of 10?) would tell us we should protect our eyes while outdoors, however wearing sunglasses for our health goes all the way back to the 18th century.

From the 1740s to his death in 1759 the British optician James Ayscough experimented with glasses with blue or green lenses. He wasn’t interested in eye protection so much as trying to find another way of correcting poor vision. In the 19th Century Europe suffered from a massive outbreak of syphilis. With the discovery of penicillin a century off some doctors turned to glasses, this time with yellow or brown lenses, to cut exposure to UV light. Sufferers of syphilis are reputed to be very light sensitive after all.

Because the job calls for it: For well over a thousand years many inuit people fashioned sun blocking glasses to allow themselves to go out into the snow to hunt. Far from traditional sunglasses they were fashioned from walrus ivory, totally covering the eyes but for two horizontal slits they could only just see out of.

While there is no doubt some early movie actors wore sunglasses to not be recognized in public one thing that has been suggested is many of them wore sunglasses off screen to hide the damage caused by standing in front of the super powerful arc lights needed to light them in early films. Of course as cameras got better less powerful lights were needed but by this point movie stars and sunglasses were synonymous.

Of course there is also our 12th century Chinese judges, aviators, drivers, even astronauts who consider a good pair of shades essential.

Because shades make for better chickens: In 1903 a gentleman by the name of Andrew Jackson Jr put in the first patent for rose tinted glasses for chickens. In the decades following millions of rose tinted glasses were sold for our chicken friends. Why? Because chickens are apparently cannibalistic and if another chicken in the coop gets injured the others will peck it to death then eat it, but if they have pink glasses on they cannot see the blood – hence no blood lust. Do they still do this? Nope, it was effectively banned in the 1980s.

Because shades are just cool: The first cheap sunglasses to hit the markets were all the way back in 1929, a gentleman called Sam Foster began selling them en- masse to the people of Atlantic city New Jersey. That shades are still en vogue today says much to me. Think of John Lennon and immediately the round rimmed “Teashade” glasses come to mind, Roy Orbison, Ray Ban Wayfarers. General Douglas McArthur and post Bealtes era Ringo Starr never seemed to be photographed without a pair of Aviators on. Thinking of aviators imagine the film Top Gun without them. John F Kennedy may have changed fashion in the western world by dispensing with men wearing hats everywhere but his widow Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis made such an impact wearing shades Jacquie O’s are still named after her. In short sunglasses are cool.
So why do I like sunglasses? in short a little of all the above. When I need to keep emotional distance from others they are there.  Because while I am totally STD free I do have incredibly light sensitive eyes, compounded with tear ducts that don’t work and outside of simply needing shades for driving or out at the beach I often need them on a cloudy day or even indoors, otherwise I will have a shocking headache by days end. Because sunglasses are just cool, full stop. Chickens? well I guess that’s just fun trivia?
Thanks for reading people, something a bit shocking in a few weeks time 🙂

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Stuff I like Part 1: Mysteries – The Georgia Guidestones

Hello there welcome to my first chapter of Stuff Simone Likes, my collection of the random things that interest me. One thing I love is a good mystery so I figured why not start with a giant monument shrouded in mystery? Seems to me there is no shortage of mysterious monuments out there in the world, give a civilization enough time to establish itself it’ll build a large structure, an arch, pyramid, maybe a load of giant heads in tribute to it’s gods, leader or maybe some other purpose. Give them a bit more time said civilization will sooner or later fall into disrepair, move on, get hit by some kind of plague, invasion or other misfortune and years on someone will come across the monument and wonder who built it and why?
One thing I find mind boggling though is someone could build a mysterious monument in this day and age, with all the planning permissions it would require, with all the rules around handling the large sums of money required to build a monument; in a world where it is almost impossible to not leave a footprint behind you that would give away just who you are or where you are from. Tell that to the people of Elbert County Georgia, USA, the home of the Georgia Guidestones.

What are the Georgia Guidestones? Essentially I think of them as a bit of a cross between Stonehenge, a modern day ten commandments and the Rosetta stone. Six giant granite slabs around 19 feet high with a capstone on the top they contain ten guidelines, presumably for a future, post apocalyptic society to live by in eight modern languages ( English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian) with a further inscription in four ancient languages (Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit and Egyptian hieroglyphs). Furthermore it is an astrological calendar, compass and clock of sorts, allowing future societies to work out where in time they are and mark out the equinoxes and the like.
A short distance away is an explanatory tablet laid in the ground which may have a time capsule under it, to be opened at an undisclosed time. It bears the message
Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason”
The ten commandments, or guidelines are as follows.

  • Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  • Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
  • Unite humanity with a living new language.
  • Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
  • Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  • Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  • Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  • Balance personal rights with social duties.
  • Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
  • Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

My own thoughts so far, lil mixed to be honest …. Environmentalism is good, reason is good. balancing rights with responsibilities good. Spiritualism without theism doesn’t seem such a bad thing. I’m presuming the author expected we would have nuked each other to way below 500,000,000 people but on the negatives I see hints of Eugenics and a call for a new world order – however it seems to call for peace, common sense rule and dispersing with dogma – I do find them an interesting conversation point 🙂

How did they get there? Well I guess this is the mystery part. In June 1979 an elegant, grey haired man walked into the offices of the Elberton granite finishing company and commissioned the piece. Giving his name as R.C Christian (a name he freely admitted was a pseudonym) he told them he was a representative for “a small group of loyal Americans” who wanted the monument built. His reason for wanting it built in Elbert county?  Apparently they had the best granite quarries in the world in Christian’s opinion.  Why did he want them built? cause they would be a guide to build a far better post apocalyptic society than we had now should the world come to sudden end. He advised Joe Fendley, the president of Elberton Granite he represented a group who had been secretly planning these guidestones for 20 years and wished to remain anonymous.
Did he remain totally anonymous? Nope, he had to give his real name to the local town banker, who agreed to forget it and destroy all documents when done – apparently he did.
The money trail to pay for the monument apparently was complex, circumlocutory; designed to make it too much bother to try and trace. I kinda imagine these days the banks, for fear of prosecution under anti money laundering laws probably would have shirked at this however apparently nothing there leads back to the true identity of the mysterious Mr Christian.
Surely R.C Christian would have been seen by many people in the area while arranging the build of this monolith? Nope he soon after disappeared from Elbert county, keeping in touch only via the banker, Wyatt Martin, president of the Granite City Bank. They kept in touch via letters and the occasional call from a payphone, usually at an airport. Apparently the two men met several times, having dinner together – however Martin’s last letter from Christian came just prior to 9/11. At this point it was presumed Christian would have been in his 80’s and may just have passed on.

So what do others make of the Georgia Guidestones? There are a load of theories out there as far as I can see, reporters and investigators have tried to find out who R.C Christian was, coming up with nothing. Some people that have been suggested, without any real evidence have included Ted Turner and mysterious plane hijacker DB Cooper. Within months of the monolith being constructed a coven of witches adopted the guidestones as a place of worship, psychics have prophesied the true meaning of the stones would be revealed 30 years from their construction (yeah right! 🙂
Some people have put it down to the work of a satanic cult, aliens among us setting up a landing zone (cause from the sky X marks the spot), An activist called Mark Dice wrote a book demanding they be “Smashed into a million pieces” Some point to it being proof there is a New World Order in vitro, working towards one world government. Others have taken it as a giant folly thought up by a bunch of rich people laughing their butts off at those who try to unravel the mystery. Another writer suggests they are the work of the Rosicrucians, an ancient Germanic secret society based round mysticism. The monument has been defaced in the past by anti NWO activists.
Whatever the case the Georgia Guidestones make my list of Stuff I like, just simply cause I like a good mystery.

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