Sunday, 22 April 2012

Jack the Ripper.

"One day men will look back and say I gave birth to the twentieth century" - Jack the Ripper (1888)

This is the most fascinating serial-killer of all time, and one of the most mysterious one. You all know those murders occurred in London more than a hundred years ago, but still they remained popular nowadays so my post is about the immortal Jack the Ripper. 

So, why does he remain so popular? 

The Ripper killed 9 women, but there is some controversial in this matter because there were no proves and not enough evidence to accuse him, but there are five women that are accepted as his "work":

Mary Ann Nichols, murdered Friday, August 31, 1888.

Annie Chapman, murdered Saturday, September 8, 1888.

Elizabeth Stride, murdered Sunday, September 30, 1888.

Catherine Eddowes, also murdered in the same date as Elizabeth.

Mary Jane Kelly, murdered Friday, November 9, 1888. 

All of these victims were prostitutes. Some studiers think that his motivations were psychosexual in nature and also because prostitutes were easy to target. We don't know who he was, but surprisingly, nowadays we have a full understandings of hos modus operandi. He stood faced to face with his victims.When they were occupied, he would grab their throat and strangle them until they where knock off and sometimes dead. Then he would cut the throat of his victims when they were on the ground, from their right to the left side of their throat.

He never had sexual intercourse with none of his victims, but he had the pleasure to take a "trophy". He removed the genitals from the victim and then took a piece of their viscera. The incisions were very meticulous and precise, most of the surgeons who were in the case and who examined the victims believed the killer knew what he as doing, and had some kind of knowledge of anatomy of the body.

He was probably the first serial-killer to appear in a big city and the press, reporting his crimes, created the name "Ripper" and his myths. The name appeared on a letter send by someone claiming to be the killer, signing it with "Jack the Ripper". Some people think this was a fake letter but we will never know for sure. He became the "new thing" in that time. People didn't want to know about the conflict between liberals and social reformers, people wanted blood, chaos and something new. Well they had something , terrifying and quite fascinating at the same time.

There were suspects but they were never formally charged because there was no proof, and one day the killings stopped. The reason, we don't know. Some theories say that he continued to kill under a different method, another says he died (natural causes or suicide) and yet another on says that he was caught but it was never made public by the press or the police because it was a powerful man. But one thing remains for sure, we will never know who Jack the Ripper was and that's what keeps the myth and legend alive. 

Thursday, 5 April 2012


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Sunday, 1 April 2012


Scientific name: Cinnamomom verum

Cinnamon is originally from the island of Ceylon, where cultivation was concentrated until the sixteenth century. To corner the cinnamon trade, the Portuguese occupied the island in 1518, after having visited it in 1506 and seen how rich in cinnamon it was. The Dutch occupied the island in 1556, and control of the cinnamon market passed to them. 

It is thought that as early as the sixteenth century the Portuguese had already introduced cinnamon to Brazil, possibly brought by Jesuits. In 1750, Rocha Pitta states that the cinnamon tree arrived «in Brazil by royal order a few years ago», but »they are already so numerous in Brazil that they far outnumber those in Ceylon», from which one can conclude that the plant was already widely distributed. Bernardinho Gomes tells us that many of the cinnamon trees  in Brazil «seem very old, and many undoubtedly date from the days of the Jesuits». There are indications that in 1682, of the cinnamon plants brought from India, «only one survived, at Quinta do Tanque belonging to the fathers of the Companhia de Jesus».

 It was introduced to Java, possibly in 1825. It was introduced once more to Brazil, Angola and São Tomé from Ceylon at the beginning of the eighteenth century, by royal order, and was to be accomplished in the utmost secrecy, owning to the barriers of the Dutch erected to prevent the removal of cinnamon seeds or plants from the island. The aim of introducing thus and other spices into Brazil was to create a Portuguese spice-production zone to replace that which they had lost in the East. 

During my research I found this challenge on the web. The challenge was to swallow a spoon with cinnamon. Well this is kinda funny so It deserves to be here.