For the medieval man and woman, the eyes and their gazes were an important part of sexuality. In her book, Medieval Life, Roberta Gilchrist explains that according to medieval theories about sight, “the eye was not a passive receiver but was instead active in sending out rays of sight toward the object of vision. The very act of looking could stimulate desire in the observer and the observed.” Women were typically advised to avoid looking at men so as not to tempt them.
I want to be adorned.
Step Inside London’s Felt Cornershop
Look closely at a corner shop in East London and you’ll see everything is not as it seems. The Cornershop, opened in a derelict store in Bethnal Green by artist Lucy Sparrow (@sewyoursoul), is actually an art installation which consists of 4,000 items all handmade from felt! From Heinz Baked Beans to Digestive Biscuits, everything in the shop is hand-stitched and the whole shop took Lucy eight months to assemble.
“I wanted to create something that surrounded people completely,” says Lucy, whose first job was in her local corner shop. “I hope this project reminds people just how much the cornershop cements life in local communities.” The installation runs until August 31.
The attention to detail in this installation is *amazing*! -Emily
"Do you remember the happiest moment of your life?"
"One day, I was sent home from my final exams because my mother had not been able to pay the registration fees. On the way home, a man came up to me and asked what was wrong. ‘Nothing,’ I told him. He asked me again. So I told him that I’d been sent home from school. He then gave me the money I needed to take my exams. I’d never seen him before, and I’ve never seen him again."
Being good to each other is so important, guys.
that went to a weird place
Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the Field’s Medal, shares how she fell in love with math and what inspires her.
Learn more about Maryam Mirzakhani at wired.
Important, always-relevant comic done by the wonderful Ursa Eyer.
When people I don’t know well tell me my daughter is beautiful (and she is) I try and add “and so brave too!”
There were big differences in the content related to Ferguson on Twitter and Facebook. Was the reason what users wanted from each, or the sites’ algorithms?
Personally I save 95% of my political posts for this tumblr. Ferguson has really affected me and it’s now all over my Twitter too (which I usually only use to reply to my friends who prefer that platform). I posted one thing on facebook about helping to get #blacklivesmatter to trend on facebook but deleted it after it’s usefulness was over. I really try to keep Facebook as a place for personal updates with people I have face to face relationships with. Facebook is more pleasant for me that way and I wish more people would choose other social media for most of their off handed political “sharing.” I hate that share button unless it actually includes something personal written to accompany it.
Art by Elin Denise (tumblr)
Although she was a powerful abbess, Héloïse d’Argenteuil is best known as half of a tragic love story. Héloïse was already an exceptionally learned young woman when she met Peter Abélard, a famous teacher. Peter was attracted to Héloïse from the start and he convinced her uncle and guardian Fulbert to lodge him in exchange for tutoring Héloïse. A clandestine sexual relationship developed and Héloïse became pregnant. To appease Fulbert, the couple agreed to marry but demanded the marriage be kept secret so it would not harm Peter’s advancement in the Catholic Church.
The couple covertly married and Peter’s sister adopted their son Astrolabe. Héloïse went to stay at a convent which led Fulbert to believe she had been cast off by Peter. Enraged, Fulbert and his friends broke into Peter’s room as he slept and castrated him. Traumatized and shamed, Peter fled Paris and joined a monastery in Saint-Denis. Although Héloïse did not feel called towards the religious life, under pressure from Peter, she took holy orders and became a nun.
For ten years there was no communication between the two as Peter advanced as a scholar and Héloïse rose to the rank of prioress. In 1129, Héloïse’s group was forced out of their convent at Argenteuil. Peter offered them the Oratory of the Paraclete, site of his former monastery, to start a new convent. The two began a correspondence. Héloïse’s letters were passionate and plaintive. Peter’s responses encouraged her to direct her fervor towards God. Eventually their correspondence lost its deep emotion, focusing more on the Héloïse’s role as abbess.
Peter’s career as a scholar ebbed and flowed over the years. He was controversial enough to be briefly excommunicated before his death in 1142. Héloïse became abbess and eventually grew her convent to include six daughter houses. She died in 1164. There is a monument to the couple at Père-Lachaise, although some believe one or both is buried at the Oratory of the Paraclete. The fate of their son Astrolabe is almost entirely unknown, but a letter from Peter the Venerable to Héloïse suggests Astrolabe may have also joined the Church.
Notes: The couple is usually referred to as Héloïse and Abélard, but as Cool Chicks from History always uses first names the couple is referred to here as Héloïse and Peter. For centuries Héloïse was believed to be 17 years old at the time of the affair while Peter was 36. More recent scholarship suggests Héloïse was closer to age 27 when the affair began.