Postcard Stories

Star in the making
Greek actress Tonia Sotiropoulou missed out on the role of Sévérine when French actress Bérénice Marlohe landed the part but the casting director saw potential and told Sotiropoulou’s agent that she should resubmit for the film because they might be able to find another part for her. Sotiropoulou can be seen in a brief scene with 007 Daniel Craig in James Bond Skyfall. The cocktail-sipping Bond is featured holding a Heineken.

Two Mona Lisas
This combination of two photos shows on the left, a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci representing Mona Lisa, displayed during a presentation in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 27, 2012 and on the right a photo of the Mona Lisa painting by Da Vinci hanging in the Louvre in Paris. The Mona Lisa Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Zurich, presented what it claims is a predecessor of the world's most famous portrait. But even the experts brought in by the foundation weren't sure about that claim just yet.-AP
(Photo courtesy of The Mona Lisa Foundation)

'SlutWalk' rallies take place around the world. Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Berlin on September 15, 2012 to express their anger over sexual violence. Slutwalk, a movement across the world calling for equal rights for sex and genders' respect, was born after a policeman advised young women to "avoid dressing like sluts" in Canada in April 2011.
La Divina
The world-famous soprano Maria Callas was suffering from a rare disease of vocal cords and did not “kill” herself from grief for Onassis, a study by the University of Bologna revealed. Two professors studied the records of the famous singer and her voice changes in the last 18 years of her life using the latest technology and have concluded that Maria Callas was suffering from a rare disease that affects muscles and tissues. Long intake of cortisone, which is used for symptomatic treatment of the disease, seems to have caused the premature death of the world famous singer. Callas died on September 16, 1977 in Paris at age 53.

Dancing Satyr
One of the greatest artworks from the Ancient World, the bronze sculpture 'Dancing Satyr' was discovered by fisherman Francesco Adragna and his crew while on a fishing expedition off the coast of Sicily in 1998. Shrimps and crabs spilt from its mouth and ears as it came to the surface. The 2300-year-old satyr, a sort of man-goat cross, is slightly larger than a life-size human. It is cast in bronze and its alabaster eyes are still in place.
Bronze sculpture was regarded as the pinnacle of Ancient Greek art but almost none survives because the sculptures were subsequently melted down so that the raw materials could be reused. The few monumental bronzes that do survive from the period are nearly all recognizably related to each other in style and impact, from the formidable Riace Warriors to the similarly imposing statue of Zeus or Poseidon now in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. The 'Dancing Satyr' will be displayed for the first time in the UK at the Royal Academy of Arts' 'Bronze' exhibition in London which runs from September 15 - December 9, 2012. (AFP/ Will Oliver)

Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance, the two-sentence loyalty oath, was penned not by the Founding Fathers in 1776, but a fascist preacher more than 100 years later. The original recommended posture was with a straightened arm raised upward and outward, Iit was changed to the hand over the heart during World War II after the Nazis adopted the original as their salute?
Francis Bellamy, a minister who was thrown out of his Baptist post because of sermons describing Jesus as a socialist, and his friends got President Benjamin Harrison to incorporate Bellamy's pledge into the 400th anniversary celebration of Columbus' arrival in the New World. It has been recited in public schools ever since. In 1954, amid anti-communist fervor, President Eisenhower and Congress added "under God" at the behest of a Presbyterian minister, George MacPherson Docherty. -NPR 
Photo: Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, onstage with her friend and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention

Infidel tomatoes
A Salafist Muslim traditionalist group, calling themselves the Popular Egyptian Islamic Association, apparently finds tomatoes offensive if they are cut in such a way that reveals the shape of a cross. The group originally posted a photo on Facebook of a tomato cut in half and a message, reading: "Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian…
"[God help us]. I implore you to spread this photo because there is a sister from Palestine who saw the prophet of Allah [Mohammad] in a vision and he was crying, warning his nation against eating them [tomatoes]…"
The association later posted this response: "We didn't say you can't eat tomatoes. We said don't cut it in [such a way that reveals] the cross shape."
Redhead Day
In Holland, they celebrate redheads-- scarlet, ginger, the color red in general. Every year  Redhead Day, a festival in the city of Breda, brings together hundreds of redheads from over 50 countries. The Redhead Day 2012 took place on September 2. Festivities include fashion shows, art exhibitions, lectures about red hair and much more!  Less than 2 percent of the world’s population has red hair.
(Photo courtesy of

Meet Pay de Limon
Pay de Limon (Lemon Pie) is able to walk again with prosthetic legs made in the USA. Members of a Mexican drug gang allegedly chopped off Lemon Pie's front legs to practice cutting fingers off kidnapped people. The dog was found legless and bleeding in a garbage can in the city of Fresnillo.
Lemon Pie lives in the Milagros Caninos rescue shelter in Mexico City.
Photo Tomas Bravo/Reuters
It’s complicated…
Goats have climbed an argan tree near Essaouira, Morocco to eat its leaves and olive-sized fruit. Farmers collect the undigested pits that the goats spit up or excrete and split them to extract the bitter kernels inside, which they grind and press to make oil used in cooking and cosmetics. The argan tree, however, is slowly disappearing due to overgrazing by goats.
Photo: Fadel Senna / AFP/Getty Images

A cult traffic figure
Ampelmännchen (“Little Traffic Light Man”), a cult figure from the days of socialist East Germany, is the country’s first pedestrian traffic light symbol which, at 50 years old, is still going strong.
The stocky green figure in a fedora hat captured the hearts of East Germans, featuring on everything from road safety films to coloring books. The fall of the Berlin Wall almost meant lights-out for the Ampelmännchen, but post-reunification plans to replace him with a more mundane West German green man met so much resistance that he was saved. The Ampelmännchen has proved one of Berlin’s most popular exports – a memorabilia shop has even opened in downtown Tokyo.
-Sophie McGrath /BBC/ Lonely Planet Traveller.
(Photo: Siegfried Layda/Getty)
Negrito and co.
A dog named Negrito wears a straw hat and stands with a mouse on its back in Old Havana. The owner of the animals, Miguel Diaz, brings his two pets to Old Havana when he's not working to show them off to tourists and earn some extra money.
-WP (Ramon Espinosa)

Not even death…
An extremely dedicated dog has continued to show its loyalty, keeping watch on its owner's grave six years after he passed away. Capitan, a German shepherd, reportedly ran away from home after its owner, Miguel Guzman, died in 2006. A week later, the Guzman family found the dog sitting by his grave in central Argentina..
Cemetery director Hector Baccega says he and his staff have begun feeding and taking care of Capitan. "During the day he sometimes has a walk around the cemetery, but always rushes back to the grave. And every day, at six o'clock sharp, he lies down on top of the grave, stays there all night." Baccega said.
But the Guzman family hasn't abandoned Capitan. Damian says the family has tried to bring Capitan home several times but that he always returns to the cemetery on his own. (Photo: La Voz)

One man, one dog, one Facebook photo that renews the faith in good in this world. After professional photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson took this photo of her friend John Unger and his 19-year-old rescue dog, Shoep, taking one of their therapeutic evening swims in Lake Superior, she posted it on Facebook and it went viral.
(photo StonehousePhotography)

The church of Panagia Evangelistria at the Greek island of Tinos is at the center of a pilgrimage on August 15, the date of the Dormition of Theotokos. Many pilgrims make their way from the ferry platform to the church on their hands and knees either for a serious health issue blessing or as a thank you for prayers answered by the Virgin Mary..
Πολλοί πιστοί επισκέπτονται το ναό του Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου, πιο γνωστού ως Παναγία της Τήνου, τον Δεκαπενταύγουστο. Είναι πολύ συνηθισμένη η εικόνα πιστών που πραγματοποιούν τη διαδρομή από το λιμάνι μέχρι τον ναό στα γόνατα, εκπληρώνοντας κάποιο τάμα.
Photo: Έβελυν Φώσκολου / Protagon

The little girl who didn't want to get fat
French model Isabelle Caro became a symbol of the fight against anorexia when she was photographed naked for a controversial advertising campaign shot by Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani. Posters featuring her emaciated body were displayed around Milan on the eve of fashion week, sending shockwaves through the fashion industry, often criticized for failing to tackle eating disorders among models.
Despite her public determination to combat anorexia, (talk shows appearances, blog the book “The Little Girl Who Didn't Want to Get Fat”), Caro still struggled to fully overcome the disease. At the time of the campaign she weighed just 63 lb (29 kg) and had fallen into a coma the previous year.
She died at the age of 28 on November 17, 2011 but news of her death was kept secret until August 2012.
(Photo: Getty Images)

The riot dog
Loukanikos (Sausage in English), the riot dog, watches as riot policemen try to avoid an exploding petrol bomb thrown by protesters during a demonstration in Athens' Syntagma square on October 5, 2011. Loukanikos, also known as Kanellos (Cinnamon), brought a bit of cheer back to the streets, tagging alongside protesters in the city. Demonstrators poured into the streets of Athens to protest austerity measures as the country struggled to meet reform targets.
(Photo Yannis Behrakis - Reuters)

Staged suicides, real despair
A coast guard, a police officer and a firefighter stage fake suicides in front of the parliament during a rally in Athens. 
About 4,000 Greek police, coastguards and firemen protested on Septembet 6, 2012, staging fake suicides on gallows they placed outside the finance ministry and parliament to symbolize the pain of budget cuts.
The staged hangings were meant as a reminder to politicians that suicide rates have soared in Greece since the austerity measures took hold.
Photo: EPA

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