The Folded Paper World of Origami

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Derived from the Japanese words that mean “folding paper,” the goal of origami is to transform a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Use of cuts, glue, and markings are usually discouraged. The small number of basic origami folds can be combined in a variety of ways to make intricate designs. Generally, these designs start with a square paper sheet whose sides may be of different colors, prints, or patterns. Traditional Japanese origami has been practiced since the Edo period has often been less strict about these conventions, sometimes even cutting the paper or using nonsquare shapes to start with. Nonetheless, while the traditional origami is derived from the Edo period with a reference from a 1680 poem, the practice is said be introduced by Buddhist monks in the 6th century. At first, origami was only used in religious ceremonies due to the high price of paper. Though they were also used at weddings and as gifts by the upper classes. Anyway, look into Pinterest and you’ll find plenty of origami designs and types. So for your reading pleasure, I give you a treasure trove of creations from the world of origami.

  1. You’d fall for this paper raccoon.

Seems like this little guy’s searching for some nearby trash can. Since raccoons normally go for the scraps.

2. Apparently, origami has gone to the dogs.

These seem like different types of dogs. Includes Boston Terrier, Bulldogs, and Pug.

3. Perhaps you’d want something from a diamond box.

Yes, you can make boxes from origami. Yet, this shape might be more complicated.

4. Care to see a magnificent creature like this on the savannah?

Here we have an origami rhino. Have it cast a shadow and you’d mistake it for the real thing.

5. Any Catholic would love to have an origami of their favorite saint.

This is an origami of Saint Francis of Assisi. Includes a dog and bird.

6. A griffin always shows its fantastic wings.

I can guess because of the beak. Yet, this one even sports antlers for some reason.

7. You won’t be hearing these bluebirds sing.

Since they’re made of paper. But they nonetheless look quite graceful.

8. Wonder what’s hiding within these hearts.

Each of these even have a bow on them. And they’re all in shades of pink.

9. There are hundreds of folds within a bonsai.

Doesn’t have a lot of leaves on its branches. Yet, it’s a great work of paper art.

10. A hippocampi rises majestically from the sea.

You could call it a seahorse, but that term is already taken. So we call it a hippocampi, which comes from the Greeks.

11. Hope this frog can hop into your hearts.

This one is teal with yellow stripes on it. Yet, its eyes have a certain intensity.

12. Even in paper, a dragon is a sight to see.

This is of a Chinese dragon which is more serpent like. But not as dangerous as its western counterpart.

13. You won’t hear these brass bells ring.

Since they’re made of shiny paper. But they’re nicely topped with a blue bow.

14. An origami Christmas tree must have a star that stands out.

This one has paper folded in tiers. Yet, the golden star almost steals the show.

15. This crow has a piece of gold in its mouth.

Or is it a raven? Since you can’t always tell in these artistic creations. But I’m sticking with crow just to be safe.

16. Bet you wouldn’t play on this grand piano.

Probably smaller than it appears. But at least it incudes a row of keys.

17. Any Catholic would want this paper Virgin Mary.

This is Mary, Queen of Heaven. She wears a crown and a veil of stars.

18. Perhaps you might want to enjoy a bouquet of irises.

And you don’t even need a vase for these. Just some paper to hold it together.

19. This silver angel always delights.

She has silver wings and bows to pray. Perfect for topping an origami Christmas tree.

20. Bet you never saw a duck like this before.

This is just a plain white duck with yellow beak and feet. Yet, this waterfowl will get soggy if submerged.

21. You wouldn’t want to run into this this Imperial fighter.

I’m sure making this harder than it looks. But it proves futile if it defends the Death Star.

22. Some might prefer a modest donkey.

Well, this donkey seems to have a rather long neck. Yet, it can be rather stubborn.

23. You’ve probably never come across this unicorn.

Yes, this is an origami unicorn. Yet you have to admire its mane and tail.

24. You don’t want to put this waterlily in the pond.

The flower is periwinkle. Though it’s not set on a lily pad.

25. These paper flamingos are particularly striking.

They have a light pink body and bright pink legs. And no, you can’t use them for croquette mallets.

26. I’m sure nobody could resist this rat chef.

I guess this is Remy the Rat from Ratatouille. By the way, rats don’t do well in the kitchen.

27. Perhaps you might go for an origami of Our Lady of Fatima.

Not familiar with the legend of Fatima. Except that involves the Virgin Mary appearing in front of some kids.

28. You’ll be mesmerized by this origami star.

Perfect for any origami Christmas tree. Yet, involves a lot of complex folds.

29. You’ll be nuts over this origami animal.

Since it’s a paper squirrel. Too bad, it can’t find any kind of paper acorns.

30. Apparently, this fish has jumped out of the pond.

I think this is based on a real fish. But I’m afraid you won’t be frying this one since it’s made of paper.

31. I’m sure you wouldn’t see this Snoopy dance.

Since he’s an origami work. But certainly captures the true Snoopy likeness.

32. This paper Batman will always loom on Gotham City.

Of course, he only has a cape and cowl. But with origami, you have to improvise.

33. You’ll probably gawk at this majestic whale.

This is an origami of a blue whale. It’s perhaps the biggest animal on earth.

34. A lone flower can always blossom.

Not sure what flower this is supposed to be. But you have to admire the white petals.

35. Want to sit on this lily pad?

Though you wouldn’t want to put it on a pond. Goes well with an origami frog.

36. This origami cow will give you something to moo about.

This is an origami cow. Has spots, horns, and a sunny disposition. So cute.

37. Care for an origami rose?

These come in a wide array of colors. And none without stems or thorns.

38. How about a bear standing on its hind legs?

Guess this is an origami grizzly bear. Even has its own tree stand.

39. Anyone would be envious of this golden sabertooth.

this origami sabertooth is made from golden paper. But nonetheless looks fierce.

40. This origami penguin will warm your heart.

This little guy has his own tuxedo. And yes, it’s adorable as can be.

41. Bet you can’t believe seeing an origami orchid.

You can see a cascade of paper yellow flowers from the stem. Yet, please handle this pot with care.

42. Care to see a crawling black bear?

Then again, there are a few species of black bears. I’m just referring to the one from North America.

43. No one can resist these colorful gems.

They’re all in bright colors, too. Yet, these gems may be hard to fold.

44. There’s something batty about this origami.

Well, it’s an origami bat. And while they normally have black, gray, or brown fur, this one is purple.

45. A paper phoenix is always a majestic sight to behold.

This one comes with a very long tail. But if it burns, don’t bet on it rising from the ashes.

46. Any Formula 1 fan would love this paper race car.

Not very familiar with that kind of racing. Since the dominant auto racing in the states is usually NASCAR.

47. You’ll never forget this paper animal.

This is an origami elephant. And it’s gray with ears, trunk, and tusks.

48. You’d be pressed not to love these paper mammoths.

Not sure if they’re woolly. But both adult and calf have a similar set of tusks.

49. There’s nothing as graceful like an origami swan.

This is made from white and gold paper. And the folds are quite intricate.

50. Who wouldn’t what this rainbow chest of drawers.

I don’t think you can fit anything inside these. But they’re rather adorable.

51. This Emperor penguin always comes with its 2 chicks.

Okay, they may be in origami. Yet, everyone loves penguins so I couldn’t leave it out of this post.

52. For a simple paper design, a pig might suit you.

It’s made from a simple piece of pink paper. And yes, it can stand on its own 4 feet.

53. This little girl always loves her bird in her hand.

Bet this is made from a brown paper bag. Yet, you can’t help but admire this origami masterpiece.

54. This green dragon is a force to be reckoned with.

This one stands on its hind legs. And its chest is folded like a book.

55. A paper giraffe always stands tall.

Sure it may not have any spots. But it’s nonetheless quite amazing.

56. You’d be squawking over this colorful macaw.

Since the macaw is among the more colorful parrots around. Got to love its wings.

57. A lone fox always sits with grace.

You can see its ears, nose, and tail. Though you can’t help but behold how amazing it is.

58. Care for an origami spoon?

You wouldn’t want to eat with these. But they seem rather simple to make.

59. Nobody could resist this paper rubber duckie.

Of course, you wouldn’t want to have it at bath time. But it’s nonetheless so adorable.

60. You won’t believe how many kinds of horses you will find.

These origami horses come in all kinds of sizes and colors. But they’re all made of construction paper.

61. You can’t bomb a Death Star without an X-Wing fighter.

Indeed, it lacks markings. But it’s almost a dead ringer to the real thing.

62. You can’t go on a mission without this little droid.

Since R2-D2 is always saving everyone’s ass. And he never seems to get credit for anything he does that’s crucial to the plot.

63. You’ll have a hump of a time finding this camel.

Yes, it’s an origami camel. But good luck relying on this guy in the desert.

64. The mouse always gets the cheese.

Though the cat isn’t far behind. And yes, they’re all made out of paper.

65. Hope you can wish this paper couple well.

This is an origami bride and groom. Great as a wedding cake topper, so to speak.

66. Seems like these birds are coming to feed.

Consists of 4 types of birds. And yes, they’re all painted in glorious colors.

67. You can’t help but love these Japanese beauties.

All of them have their own hair and a rich kimono. Though many don’t have arms.

68. Best to watch out for this jellyfish.

Relax, it’s an origami jellyfish. So it won’t hurt you a bit.

69. Bet you don’t want to cross this scorpion.

Okay, this is a paper scorpion. Scary, but won’t hurt you.

70. Get a load of this majestic Pegasus.

This winged horse sports a folded paper pair of wings. And it’s made from off white paper.

71. This paper collie is always a faithful friend.

Sure it might not save your kid from a well. But it’s quite creative nonetheless.

72. Didn’t know anyone had a wide paper wardrobe.

Yes, these are origami clothes. And they can be in so many bright colors.

73. You’ll be jumping over this kangaroo.

Not sure if it comes with a pouch. Though it is a marsupial from Australia.

74. Would you like some ice cream?

Of course, you can’t eat it. Since it’s made out of paper. But it’s a rather ingenious design.

75. Anyone would adore these paper Dalmatians.

They even have spots and collars to show. And they’re standing on a green sheet of paper.

76. There’s no creature more magnificent than the mighty polar bear.

And it’s standing on its own hind legs. Yet, I’m sure global warming won’t help its survival odds.

77. What’s not to love about rainbow rabbits?

And they’re all in a circle for all to see. And yes, they’re quite cute.

78. Celebrate the holidays with this origami nativity scene.

Includes all the important figures. While the angel flies above watching them.

79. Per chance you might come across a mighty moose.

This is a gray moose. Since it’s made from gray construction paper.

80. You might run into this ravenous wolf.

Indeed, it’s a gray wolf. And I think it’s waiting for the pack.

81. You’d think this animal is as pretty as a peacock.

This one is made out of blue and peacock blue paper. And the folds are quite intricate as you see.

82. You’d be amazed by these autumn leaves.

These are all in fall colors. Though they’re all maple leaf shaped.

83. You’d go a long way with this dachshund.

It’s in black and brown paper. But it’s okay to pet it if you want to.

84. Care for a couple of purple tulips?

Like how these two are in a nice purple paper vase. So pretty.

85. Perhaps you’d like to have one of these cactus flowers.

Each of these cacti are in a shade of green. And each sits on a flower pot.

86. There’s nothing more spectacular like the mighty king of the jungle.

He even sports a mane with folds. Nonetheless, best you don’t touch it.

87. These origami pill boxes will come in handy.

Comes in standard and rainbow. And unlike the standard plastic ones, they don’t pose a great threat to the planet.

88. This origami deer certainly impresses.

Yes, the antlers are amazing. But you wouldn’t find a deer with a rack like that in PA.

89. You’d love to see this blackbird take flight.

This bird has its wings spread out. Though I don’t think it can fly.

90. Care for some rainbow candy?

Though none will contain any bon bons. Which is just fine since I’m more of a chocolate fan.

91. This paper Doberman stands in a dignified pose.

Indeed, it’s got quite a neck. But doberman fans can’t help but love it.

92. A mighty tiger always shows its stripes.

Though I’d use a brighter orange for the tiger. But it’s quite amazing.

93. Nobody could ever resist this panda bear.

It even has its own bamboo. Still, you knew I had to get to the panda at some point. So cute.

94. Hope you can light up with these paper lamps.

Technically, they’re lamp shades. Each is folded in its own way.

95. With the Holy Spirit, God will find a way.

Well, it’s an origami of the Holy Spirit. The white bird is supposed to be a dove.

96. How could anyone not love this sheep?

Well, it’s a paper sheep. So you won’t get any wool from it.

97. Do you want to build a snow man?

These are origami snowmen. And yes, they have scarves, hats, and smiling faces.

98. This orca rises to catch a fish.

You’d almost think it was a photograph of nature in action. But the orca is made of paper.

99. Hope you’d love to see these boxes.

They’re in different colors and have rather intricate folds on them. Love the purple ones.

100. Anyone would adore this purple flower in their home.

Has dark purple in the center and lavender petals. So pretty.

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The Art of LEGO

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They may be indestructible plastic blocks that hurt like hell when you step on them. But these colorful interlocking bricks from Denmark have had a special place in our hearts along with their yellow minifigure figurines. Since 1949, these bricks can be assembled and connected in a variety of ways to construct objects, vehicles, buildings, and even working robots. Anything built can be taken apart for another day. As of 2016, Lego has produced over 600 billion bricks while supporting movies, games, competitions, and 6 Legoland amusement parks have been developed under one of the world’s most powerful brands. And it’s because these bricks are so versatile that several people with too much time on their hands have turned the iconic LEGO into the realm of art with sculptures, models, dioramas, and mosaics. Many of these may imitate existing cultural artifacts and every day objects. Others have their own original design. But each is worth marveling at in its own way. So for your own reading pleasure, I give you a treasure trove of Lego works of art.

  1. You’d almost think Whistler’s mother would come to life in the brick.

Kind of seems a bit life size and 3-dimensional. But almost appears you’re in the room with her.

2. Perhaps a small Lego country church may suit you.

These Lego buildings can be small enough for a table top. While some can be large to take up a whole room. Also, there seems to be a wedding taking place here.

3. Try breaking off a piece of this Kit Kat Bar.

Sure you can’t eat it. Since it’s made out of plastic bricks. But it’s quite interesting to look at.

4. You’ll never have to water a Lego bonsai.

Such a delicate structure that you’d almost mistake it for the real thing. Yet, at least it’s easy to maintain since you don’t have to water it.

5. Feel free to color your world with these crayons.

Actually you can’t do that since they’re made of Legos. But one of them is slightly unwrapped.

6. Looks like Mt. Brick Helens has finally blown its top.

Got to like the Lego clouds. Wonder how the artist managed to keep the whole thing on balance.

7. You’d almost swear that this Lego King Tut façade is straight from Ancient Egypt.

Well, it’s certainly quite colorful. And King Tut seems like he’s smiling at this angle.

8. Perhaps you can use a lawn mower for your grass.

You’d almost think it was a real lawn mower. But it’s mostly made from Lego and can’t actually cut grass.

9. A Concorde jet can travel at supersonic speeds.

Unfortunately, you can’t fly on one of them. But you have to admire this LEGO model.

10. Live on Tape from the Brick Sullivan Theater in New York City, it’s Stephen Colbert.

Can’t get through the Trump Administration without this guy. Still, like how they use a pair of glasses for his Lego bust.

11. Bird lovers will enjoy this perched blue jay.

Indeed, this is a small creation. But it’s nonetheless lovely to look at. So pretty.

12. Take a glance at this Lego sailing ship.

This one has tall sails and a red hull. However, I have to admit it looks great on a shelf.

13. Be careful with this Ming vase.

Actually it’s made from sturdier stuff than porcelain. But you don’t want to drop it either.

14. Behold, the ruins of ancient Greece.

Wonder if this is supposed to be a Lego version of the Athenian acropolis. Nonetheless, it almost seems like the real thing.

15. “Help! There’s a giant gorilla climbing the Empire State Building!”

As we all remember that iconic scene from King Kong. And yes, it’s all in Lego and in a large warehouse.

16. Perhaps this ornate clock will tell you the time of day.

Yes, it’s a Lego cuckoo clock. But unlike what Harry Lime says in The Third Man, it wasn’t invented in Switzerland.

17. How about a bear head on your wall?

Don’t worry, it’s just made out of Lego bricks. Yet, it carries an expression of a bear in the headlights after it shit in the woods.

18. Here’s Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear like you’ve never seen them before.

Since 1995, Woody and Buzz have been close friends and icons at Pixar and Disney. And they’re quite giant size in Lego.

19. If you love Virginia, take some time to see Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful Monticello.

Yes, it’s a scaled down Lego model. But you have to admire the close resemblance.

20. Care to explore this jungle waterfall?

Can’t believe you can make such a landscape with such bricks. Love the waterfall and trees.

21. This Lego moon base is out of this world.

Though it seems more like a galactic metropolis than anything. But it’s amazing to see with its colorful towers.

22. If you’re a fan of The Hobbit, you might enjoy this magnificent village.

It’s the village you see near the dwarf’s mountain city. You know the one that has Smaug and a shitload of treasure.

23. Anyone can admire a graceful Bald Eagle.

And it’s perched on a ledge. Still, it’s the animal symbol of the USA. And it’s no wonder.

24. All aboard to an exotic location on this Lego Cruise Line.

And yes, it’s surprisingly huge. But you really don’t want things going wrong on a cruise ship vacation.

25. If you’re from the Philippines, you’d smile at this Lego map.

It’s a map of the Philippines with some of it’s structures on it. I’m sure anyone from that country would enjoy this work of art.

26. This Lego Cinderella would outshine at any brick ball.

Well, she certainly has the Disney charm in her blue dress. But once she leaves her glass shoe, you’ll be scrambling to search for her.

27. Nobody can resist these Lego penguins.

Comprises of an adult emperor and chick. And yes, they’re just as adorable as the real thing.

28. A Lego Hogwarts castle is certainly a place for magic.

And yes, it’s simply massive as you can see. In some pictures, it even lights up.

29. Any Hobbit would love to live at Lego Bag End in the Shire.

Well, this is a small model. But it’s akin to a lovely hobbit hole in the countryside.

30. Dr. Seuss fans would rejoice with this Lego Sam I Am.

But I would rather not try his green eggs and ham. Because I don’t want to get any bad case of food poisoning.

31. This small Dresden cathedral seems almost heavenly.

Yes, it’s an amazing Lego replica. But I hear the rest of Dresden isn’t quite as picturesque.

32. You will thaw over this Lego polar bear mom with her cubs.

Too bad these beautiful creatures are losing their habitat due to climate change. Since they rely on the ice so much in their Arctic home which is melting at record rates.

33. I guess this is a modest dwelling for a samurai.

Sure it’s not as spectacular as the other Japanese Lego structures. But you have to love the garden and bridge on this.

34. You might gaze at the Washington Mall.

Of course, the Washington Mall is much bigger than that. Yet, this one includes the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

35. Anyone would marvel at this Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.

This one has a nest of eggs. nearby. Yet, it’s a prehistoric Lego masterpiece.

36. Get a load of this giant Blackberry phone.

He even has his own face in the screen. And it’s all made out of Legos.

37. Check these Lego sculptures from a galaxy far, far away.

These consist of Darth Vader and Chewbacca. And I’m sure the Force is strong with them.

38. Anyone would love to have a moose mounted on their wall.

And it’s all made out of Lego bricks. Perfect for any cozy study or living room.

39. You don’t want to mess with the powerful Maleficent.

Since she can turn into a fire breathing dragon. And here’s a replica of her against Prince Philip.

40. Perhaps you might want to put some Legos under a microscope.

Well, this is a Lego microscope. Not sure if it works. But it’s quite cool to see.

41. Look no further for the seat of British power.

These are the Houses of Parliament and the seat of the British government, which Guy Fawkes tried to blow up. And yes, it includes the famous Big Ben Tower.

42. Care for a Lego Eggo for a complete breakfast?

Actually you don’t want to eat it since it’s made from Legos. But it has butter and syrup on it.

43. Wes Anderson fans would adore this Grand Budapest Hotel.

And yes, the Grand Budapest is in its exquisite 1930s decadent glory. Don’t ask about its concierge Gustave.

44. Didn’t know you can make a globe with plastic blocks.

You have to marvel at the exquisite detail, too. I mean the topography is almost top notch.

45. Had no idea that Santa’s workshop was an underground operation.

Has a whole assembly line and everything. And you’d think it was a lone house with a tree.

46. Explore the wonders of Lego Petra.

This is a replica of a palace that was built into a rock face. And its revelation has made it the stuff of legend.

47. You’d almost think this Starry Night mosaic is the work of a master.

Well, a master Lego artist copying from Van Gogh’s most famous work. And yes, it’s almost spot on in Lego.

48. No need to worry about this offshore oil rig.

Since it’s made of Legos and constructed just for show. So you won’t have to worry about a massive oil spill like Deepwater Horizon.

49. Someone must’ve crashed their plane.

Now they’re stranded in the wilderness and not sure where to go. But at least the plane didn’t explode upon landing in the trees.

50. With this Lego light bulb, you can light up the world.

Though you’d have to use a light bulb inside the light bulb. But it’s nonetheless amazing.

51. Want to drive this Ford Model T?

It’s more of a scaled down model made from Lego. But like the original, only available in black.

52. A rainbow pinwheel flower can always please.

And boy, what a large flower it is. Not sure if can actually turn though. But it’s pretty.

53. All aboard the RMS Titanic.

Actually, I’d rather not since I know what happened. Still, this Lego replica of the doomed ocean liner is immense.

54. You’ll probably have to assemble this one all by yourself.

Since it’s a Lego IKEA. You know the Swedish store for furniture you have to put together yourself.

55. 3, 2, 1, Houston, we have liftoff.

This is a Lego shuttle launch. Looks quite amazing in an indoor setting, doesn’t it?

56. Nobody could imagine this Lego map of the world.

This one includes the Earth’s topography. And yes, you can lay it down flat.

57. Lego American Gothic is a new twist on an iconic masterpiece.

This is in a similar mode as Whistler’s Mother. And yes, it’s quite spot on.

58. Ride along the river with this golden dragon boat.

Guess this is a Lego replica of a royal barge. Not sure where this is supposed to be from.

59. If you’re a Warhol fan, you might appreciate this Lego mosaic.

That’s the iconic Campbell Soup picture if you’re wondering. Had to include this since Warhol was a native of Pittsburgh.

60. Wonder how many are in this nesting doll.

This is a Lego Russian nesting doll. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of smaller ones inside another.

61. Perhaps you might want to live in a treehouse near a waterfall.

Indeed, it gives a rather breathtaking view. But this Lego replica can just as well be a work of art.

62. Please stop and smell the roses or tulips. I’m not sure what these are.

Since Lego flowers can be hard to identify. But they’re nonetheless pretty.

63. “That’s one small step for man..”

Care to salute a Lego astronaut? Wonder if he’s almost life size.

64. A majestic hawk can always spread its wings.

Wonder what kind of hawk this is supposed to be. Since it seems incredibly huge to be life size.

65. If you’re the proper sort, you might like Lego Downton Abbey.

Yes, there’s a Lego Downton Abbey. And I’m sure you’ll be pissed if any of the minifigs die, too.

66. Lego Santa Claus wishes you a Merry Christmas.

And he on a wintry backdrop. Still, he’s quite lifelike and life-size.

67. Lego Captain America is Marvel’s patriotic champion.

Yet, I wonder why he can’t save us from our country’s biggest threat. Like Donald Trump in the White House. Oh, wait, he’s a fictional character.

68. Set your hands on this Greek column.

Well, it’s a Lego column. And yes, it’s quite Ionic if you ask me.

69. You’d almost think you were inside a mummy’s tomb.

However, these are all made out of Legos. But the resemblance is quite close.

70. A Lego Vatican is the answer God has been waiting for.

This was made by a priest, by the way. But it’s nonetheless spectacular.

71. A Moai statue will surely please admirers.

We’re still not sure why the people of Easter Island erected these massive statues. But you can’t help but appreciate this.

72. Even Jabba the Hutt can’t resist this Han Solo in carbonite.

Yes, there’s even a Lego version for that. And yes, it’s almost life size.

73. While Harry isn’t at Hogwarts, he loves spending summers at the Weasley’s Burrow.

The Burrow may not be the most stable place. But it’s home to the Weasleys. Still, this is a great Lego replica.

74. Want to shoot some pool?

And yes, these are all made from Legos. Not sure if you can actually play with these. But they’re quite cool.

75. Travel the Mississippi River on this quaint old steamship.

While it may evoke feelings of nostalgia for a bygone time, these were very dangerous in their day. Seriously, these were prone to fires.

76. Of course, I had to include a Renaissance masterpiece.

This is the Mona Lisa in Lego form. And her smile is as enigmatic as ever.

77. Anyone want to enjoy a turkey dinner?

And yes, it seems to look quite good. Though you wouldn’t want to eat it. Care for a drumstick?

78. You have to admire these colorful parrots.

They’re even on a Lego ledge. But don’t try to get either to talk.

79. Anyone in Paris can appreciate the Arch de Triomphe.

It’s one of the most famous landmarks in Paris. After the Eiffel Tower, the Lourve, and Notre Dame Cathedral, of course.

80. Abu Simbel is a temple fit for a Pharaoh.

The temple was built by Ramses II, by the way. But this is a replica in Legoland.

81. “Someday we’ll find it, the Lego connection…”

Yes, this is Lego Kermit the Frog with a banjo. Built for the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

82. You’d be tickled by this silly old bear.

This is a Lego Winnie the Pooh. Such an inoffensive character yet he’s somehow banned in China.

83. Best you beware of this ferocious Tiger.

This one even has fangs. But it’s harmless since it’s made out of Lego.

84. Indiana Jones has just come from an epic adventure.

Wonder what kind of ancient structure he had to destroy to get that trinket. Yes, I know it belongs in a museum.

85. Care to ride in this rainbow hot air balloon?

However, I’m not sure it can float up in the air. Because hard plastic can be rather dense.

86. This Lego family is just taking a rest.

This is from a Legoland, by the way. But they seem a rather happy family.

87. Try launching this rocket, NASA.

This is a Lego replica of a Saturn V. The rocket used to launch astronauts to the moon.

88. Bet you can’t catch this Roadrunner.

And Wiley Coyote would know more than anything. Since he’s been through hell and back trying to catch this impossible bird.

89. Lo and behold, He has risen!

Here’s Lego Jesus in front of a stained glass window. And yes, he’s glorified within the white brick.

90. Anyone would be mesmerized by this snowy owl.

Don’t worry. It won’t claw or bite you. Nor will it deliver your mail.

91. Even if it leans, the Tower of Pisa will still stand.

This is a Lego version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Since it was built on rather unsteady ground.

92. Nobody could resist this ornery and adorable BB8.

BB8 is basically R2-D2 on steroids. And yes, he’s quite versatile and feisty.

93. Beware of the dreaded monster of the deep.

Yes, the Lego shark is ferocious with its sharp teeth. But it won’t hurt anyone.

94. Feel free to walk around the US Capitol.

This is the Lego US Capitol. Note the lack of protestors. Still, it looks magnificent.

95. At Legoland, your wedding will have a cake like this.

Well, it’s a Lego wedding cake that will only be used for decoration. Because hard plastic isn’t edible.

96. Many Bothams died building this.

Actually, that’s the wrong Death Star. But if you’re building a Lego Alderaan, you might want to stay clear of this guy.

97. With a castle like this, dreams will come true.

This is a Lego replica of Cinderella’s castle at Disney World. It also appears on the Disney logo.

98. Mt. Olympus is reputed to be the home of the gods.

Well, the gods of Ancient Greece. A dysfunctional family of jerks who commit incest and do whatever they damn well please no matter. Just don’t tell them you’re better than them and they will put you through hell.

99. Haiga Sophia is the jewel of Constantinople (now Istanbul).

It’s an architectural marvel known to withstand earthquakes. Nonetheless, you have to love the massive dome and minarets.

100. This painting is well worth a scream.

It’s a Lego version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream. And it’s 3-dimensional, too.

The Enchanting Winter Wonderland of Ice Sculpture (Third Edition)

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Now it’s on to ice sculpture. You might see plenty of these at special events at least at the small scale. But large ice sculptures exist as well as you see above with the ice buildings in Harbin’s International Ice and Snow Festival in China. It has increased in size over the years and has involved talented artists all over the world with more impressive techniques and pieces to show. But you have other events associated with ice sculptures as well. In the United States, you have the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska which attracts nearly 100 sculptors from around the world each year to carve ice blocks in front of 45,000 spectators. In Canada, there’s the Quebec City Winter Carnival which is regarded as one of the best in the world. And in Japan, we have the Sapporo Winter Carnival. In a small Swedish village, there’s an ice hotel that’s reconstructed each year. Anyway, for your reading pleasure, I give you another treasury of ice creations. Enjoy.

  1. An ice antelope can always seem majestic.

Yes, an antelope may resemble a deer. But it has horns which stay on a male for life.

2. This angel wishes all peace on earth and good will toward men.

I guess this is for Christmas. Because angels are usually seen as yuletide motifs for the holidays.

3. Seems like we have an ice statue of Santa or some wizard.

Actually this is supposed to be Dede Moroz or Grandfather Frost. He’s basically the Russian equivalent to Santa by the way.

4. How about a couple of flying fish on ice?

Yes, these animals exist by the way. Though strange, this pair looks quite graceful.

5. A harp still needs played even if it’s falling apart.

Well, there’s strings coming off it. But the guy still keeps strumming along.

6. You’d almost think this mask was a real face.

Okay, it’s an ice mask. But you have to admire the artistry on the features.

7. Bet you’ve never seen an ice ship like this before.

Well, it’s a wooden ship made out of ice. It may look awesome but you wouldn’t want to be on one.

8. Try sitting on this ice bench.

Though it may look stunning, sitting on it will give you a wet ass. Because ice is basically frozen water.

9. Surely you’d be impressed by this lovely ice ballerina.

Includes a violin and harp. Wonder if this is for a party or something. Lovely.

10. You might be enchanted by this ice fish.

This takes the notion of a frozen fish to a whole new level. But an ice fish like this is only meant for decoration.

11. Anyone from Mexico might delight in this ice display.

I’m sure this wasn’t carved in Mexico. But the image is on the Mexican flag. The eagle with the snake is based on Aztec legend.

12. Care for some tiki fun on ice?

Consists of palm trees and tiki statues. By the way, tiki statues are seen as religious icons in Polynesian culture.

13. Perhaps you might like this fancy ice parasol.

It’s made in a ice lace pattern. Still, looks incredibly delicate that you wouldn’t want to touch it.

14. Anyone would think this ice castle is magical in a fairy tale.

Yes, this is indeed amazing. And it’s lit in a wide array of colors.

15. Even sea monsters need to find love once in awhile.

Yes, this is indeed touching when you look at it. And you can’t help but love these sea monsters nuzzling each other.

16. This set of wheels is entirely frozen.

This is a car made almost entirely of ice. And it’s one you’d imagine Queen Elsa driving around in her kingdom.

17. You’ll see unicorns charging out of this ice ball.

Seems like something you’d see on top of a building. But it’s stunning nonetheless.

18. Seems like there’s a train coming around the corner.

Well, it’s a train coming out of a tunnel. And even the smoke on this is frozen solid ice.

19. Come see a knight in shining armor slay the dreaded dragon.

Yes, it’s quite stunning and dramatic. But I’m sure many of you have seen such scenes before.

20. What ice festival wouldn’t be without a couple of penguins?

They’re even surrounded by a wall of ice. But in Antarctica, they’re usually huddled around open ice.

21. You can even have a majestic Greek god encased in ice.

Not sure which one of the gods it’s supposed to be. But he looks fabulous among the columns.

22. Gaze upon this Chinese lion.

This is said to be by Ai Wewei. He’s a controversial artist in China since he’s not cool with politics there.

23. You can’t see anything more graceful than an icy mermaid.

Though she seems to have a rather weird fish tail. Nevertheless, it’s quite lovely.

24. Hang the American flag proud on this bald eagle in ice.

Well, it’s an eagle along with the guys who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. A quality American ice sculpture if there ever was one.

25. The centaur can always strum her harp.

In Greek mythology, centaurs were all guys. Just so you know. Still, this is pretty.

26. Sometimes flying on a bird puts you over the moon.

The bird’s wings are spread out in the likeness of the crescent moon. And the woman’s hair is swept up.

27. Bet you’d shudder around this ferocious shark.

Yes, that’s an ice shark. And yes, it looks quite awesome to many, particularly Jaws fans.

28. A mounted archer can always strike at any moment.

Sure arrows may not be as bad as bullets. But being shot by one can be a real pain in the ass. Or possibly kill you.

29. Seems like the mast on this ship has sprouted branches.

Yes, it seems quite unusual. But you get a lot of pieces like this at art festivals, especially if it pertains to ice.

30. Of course, you can’t express love without a couple of flamingos.

However, flamingos can sometimes change mates if there are plenty available. But at least these frozen birds aren’t of the tacky garden variety.

31. Sometimes a goat can leap over great things.

To be fair, goats aren’t seen as attractive creatures. But this looks pretty cool.

32. Perhaps this icy parrot will suit your fancy.

This is for a party, I guess. Though the parrot certainly stands out in the ice.

33. Everyone’s got to love a couple of dancing penguins.

One of them even wears a tuxedo with a bow tie. So adorable.

34. Care to build a snowman on ice?

So this is an ice snowman. Would that make him an ice man? Perhaps we’ll never know.

35. There’s no bones about this dino ice skeleton.

This is from a snow and ice event in Latvia. And I’m positive that’s probably a T-Rex skeleton on ice.

36. An ice dragon looks stunning during the night.

Of course, it’s lit up as many of these ice sculptures are. But it’s nonetheless spectacular.

37. Might want to check out the slopes sometime this winter.

This is an ice ski slope with trees, snow, and skiers. And yes, it’s supported by ice columns.

38. Anyone would want these herald angels singing on Christmas.

Well, these two angels are suited for Christmas displays. One has a horn. The other has a dove.

39. An ice display can leave so much in the rich details.

This is from Fairbanks, Alaska. And yes, it certainly depicts the kind of winter wonderland even Queen Elsa couldn’t dream of.

40. At weddings, an icy heart carriage might be a sure bet.

Well, a heart carriage can symbolize love. But an icy heart isn’t what you’d want in a spouse. Still, this is incredibly beautiful.

41. Sometimes a bird must be set free when it learns to fly.

This one has a centaur as well as flames in the back. It’s from either China or Japan. Not sure where.

42. I’m sure nobody has ever seen an ice tower like this before.

This is from the Harbin Snow and Ice Festival in China. And it’s supposed to be the world’s tallest ice tower. Because everything has to be big in China.

43. An icy skyscraper always looks better in lights.

This is supposed to be China’s largest bank by the way. And yes, it’s surely spectacular.

44. You’d swear you’ve never seen an ice palace like this before.

Actually that’s an ice replica of Haigia Sophia which is in Istanbul, Turkey. But it’s nonetheless stunning to see in lights.

45. I guess let the best bird win in this contest.

Yes, it’s another eagle ice sculpture. Because they’re majestic, fierce, and elegant to behold even in a fight.

46. A dancer always seems like a swan on the ice.

This is from a winter festival in Lake Louise Canada. And yes, she certainly has great form.

47. Whoever’s down will be raised once more.

Particularly by a bigger and stronger guy apparently. Though it kind of seems like an abduction to me.

48. How about a round on an icy carousel?

This one has animals and people all over it. Still, it’s spectacularly amazing.

49. Seems like this cat can’t reach the bird in the birdbath.

Guess someone doesn’t exercise some self control. Still, keep your cat indoors since they can kill birds outside.

50. Perhaps you might want a pool table in your ice basement.

Yes, this is an ice pool table. And it seems like you can play pool on it on cold days.

51. At night you can see a wolf howling at the moon.

Okay, this might not be true. But you have to love the moon and stars on this one.

52. An ice jaguar sports a certain elegance in its spots.

Yes, it surely seems like something you’d see in a photo. And it’s certainly fierce as it’s beautiful.

53. Some may want to ride on a majestic bird if they could.

Though this might depict a woman fighting with a vulture. Still, it’s quite stunning to look at.

54. Perhaps you want to prepare for the Winter Olympics.

Unless you’re Russia of course. Because of excessive doping. Still, this was probably made for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver back in 2010.

55. Just try balancing an umbrella on your feet for once.

That seems like next to impossible. But somehow someone can pull this off in an ice sculpture.

56. In this day in age you might want to go with this ice smart phone.

Of course, you can’t really use this since it’s made of ice. But it surely seems high tech.

57. In case you must answer the call of nature, we have this for you.

Yes, it’s an ice sculpture of a toilet. So unless you want people to see what you crapped, I suggest you not use it.

58. Amazing how an angel can catch a star from the sky.

Though she certainly seems to make it all look easy. Also, love her graceful folding wings.

59. Of course, I couldn’t leave out an ice nativity scene for the holiday season.

Sure this one may have columns instead of a barn. But it’s nonetheless heavenly for such a holy day like Christmas.

60. Every ice festival always needs a gigantic palace.

This is from the Harbin Snow and Ice Festival in China. And yes, it’s a magnificent with a bright purple roof. Love it.

The Enchanting Winter Wonderland of Snow Sculpture (Third Edition)

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Now it’s on to the snow sculpture. Though a snowman is the most famous example of one, there are plenty winter carnivals in the world where you’ll see amazing things you can do with snow. Of course, you need a lot of it which you don’t usually have in southwestern Pennsylvania. But in the United States, you’ll find plenty of snow sculptures at winter festivals in the Midwest and around the Rocky Mountains. The most famous among these is the Breckinridge International Snow Sculpture Championships in Colorado. Canada also hosts many as well with their best known being the Quebec City Winter Carnival. However, the most prolific winter art event is the Harbin International Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival in China, which is the largest of its kind in the world. But Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival also has plenty of ornate buildings of snow that make Queen Elsa’s mountain castle seem like child’s play. Anyway, for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of wondrous snow sculptures.

  1. Perhaps you want to stay safe and warm in this teepee.

Well, it’s made of snow. But it certainly seems like a cozy place to spend the night.

2. These polar bears are just relaxing on a fishing trip.

Despite that fish is a major staple in their diet. And they often use their claws to catch food.

3. You can easily marvel at this mechanical creation.

Sure it doesn’t literally work. But it’s quite detailed in the snow as you can see.

4. Even in winter, you can always ride the waves.

Okay, this is in Colorado during winter. But when it comes to snow creations, you can always use your imagination.

5. Winter is always the season for snowboarding.

Well, that’s more like something you’d see for a winter carnival. Though you’d kind of wish he had a helmet on.

6. Seeing these snow children is difficult to resist.

This is from Harbin in China by the way. But they’re nevertheless adorable to behold.

7. It’s never too cold for this fire breathing dragon.

Yes, it certainly looks impressive. Seems like it’s blowing through something right now.

8. Anyone from Scandinavia could marvel at this Viking head.

Of course, Vikings didn’t wear helmets in their everyday lives. But you have to awe at this Norse creation.

9. Never thought I’d see a turtle in the snow.

Because turtles don’t usually function in cold weather. But this guy seems pretty happy in its shell.

10. Elsa would be green with envy over this snow palace.

This is undoubtedly from China or Japan. But it’s nonetheless a magnificent sight.

11. This seems to be quite the roller coaster ride.

Okay, maybe not since there’s not much of a track. But the tiny snow people seem like they’re having a good time.

12. You might want to check out this snow mammoth.

Sure they may be extinct. But from what this sculpture depicts, a mammoth must’ve looked spectacular.

13. Didn’t know you can see Quetzalcoatl during a snow festival.

He’s the Mesoamerican feathered serpent, you know. And he just wants to say hello from his fire.

14. This snow dog sees its own reflection.

I’m not sure if the frame holds a mirror or not. Perhaps we’ll never know. But it certainly looks amazing.

15. Care to stay in this snowy home?

Yes, it’s another Japanese palace. Though it certainly stands out in lights at night.

16. You might come across some blossoms in the snow.

These lovely roses are from a winter festival in Japan. The detail on this is especially intricate.

17. Get a load on this giant walrus.

Someone could even stand on top of it. But those tusks are noticeably awesome.

18. A mighty eagle always stands tall with its catch.

Well, someone seems proud of itself. And the fish seems quite long.

19. Who’d thought a gorilla can be such a gentle creature?

Actually, those who study them do when you don’t piss them off. But it’s quite sweet to see this guy with a butterfly.

20. Get a glimpse of this spectacular war bonnet.

Though just to be clear, if you’re not a Plains Native American, you shouldn’t wear a warbonnet. Because that’s just straight up cultural appropriation.

21. It’s almost as if you found this mermaid on the beach.

But she’s lying in snow. Yeah, I know it’s kind of weird. Still, use your imagination.

22. Perhaps a polar bear might want a Coke.

Well, polar bears have appeared in Coca Cola commercials. So this isn’t far fetched.

23. Didn’t know mammoths would play ball in the snow.

Of course, they wouldn’t. But it’s quite amazing that it won a prize in a contest.

24. Guess someone has to blow their long horn.

This is from a 1951 winter festival. Yes, some of these events are that old.

25. Seems like the Big Bad Wolf hasn’t gotten to grandma yet.

Funny, how they don’t show the wolf dressed as the grandma in this display. Still, an awesome fairytale depiction in snow.

26. You’ll find all these otters gathered in one place.

Because otters are just brimming with cuteness. So why not make a whole snow family of them?

27. Prepared to be amazed with this spectacular snow castle.

This one would make Queen Elsa completely envious. And yes, it’s pure fairy tale magic.

28. This snow maiden could bring music to anyone’s ears.

She plays a large flute in the snow. I suppose her music is the sound of the winter winds.

29. I’m sure you’ll find this Japanese castle impressive.

Yes, it’s another East Asian styled castle. But you have to admire the roof on this.

30. You find the eagle and the wolf in union with the sun.

This is from Quebec and in a Native American style. Not sure what tribe or myth this is from though.

31. Nobody wants to run into a big fish.

Unfortunately, this guy wasn’t so lucky. Yet, this sculpture is clearly a masterpiece.

32. A snow elephant always stands tall.

Didn’t think I’d see one in the snow before. Because elephants usually live in warmer climates.

33. Nobody should miss these lovely snowbirds.

There’s a certain style to them. As if their wings consisted of lovely white fans.

34. There’s something sacred about this snowy shrine.

Well, it certainly seems like it to me. But it’s nonetheless stunning on this snowy landscape.

35. You can always use some Disney magic at any winter festival.

As you can see, this is a Disney themed snow sculpture. Includes key Disney characters and Cinderella’s castle.

36. You’ll find these two in front of a large butterfly.

I think these must be Shinto gods from Japanese mythology. Not sure what their names are though.

37. A horse can always look majestic in the snow.

Seems like it rises from the snow almost as if it’s part of it. And it has a rather amazing mane.

38. Seems like someone’s awfully close to a dragon.

Though to be fair, Asian dragons aren’t like their European counterparts. They’re more like sages than straight up villains. But nonetheless fierce.

39. Snowflakes come in all kinds of sizes.

And these are only the pretty ones you want to see. The biggest snowflakes are in the White House and the US Capitol.

40. You’ll find plenty of majestic geese flying in the sky.

Well, this is an artistic scene of a flock of birds flying. And yes, it’s certainly a masterpiece.

41. Everything seems to be under this large umbrella.

Sure it may not protect people and buildings from the rain. But you have to appreciate the artistry on here.

42. The world of dinosaurs was an especially brutal one.

Has a T-Rex attacking a Triceratops. However, if you see enough nature shows, predators usually go after the young, old, and sick for easy pickings.

43. Sometimes it takes a large stone gate.

This is a Japanese structure as far as I know. Yet, it’s nevertheless magnificent.

44. A face has become obscured among the leaves.

Though you’d be hard pressed to see. But yes, sometimes you can see sculptures like this at these winter events.

45. Elephants always have to stay together.

And I’m sure the adults are both females. Because elephant males usually hang out alone or in small groups.

46. Butterflies are beautiful on all sides.

I think there might be more than one butterfly here. But it’s quite a lovely sight in the snow.

47. Nothing pleases the soul like hanging around the fountain.

This one has children hanging around. Though the fountain is quite lovely.

48. You’d swear this giant could play beautiful music on a winter’s night.

This one has someone playing the violin in the snowly landscape. And it’s quite a magnificent sight to behold.

49. You might want to feast your eyes on some of these nesting dolls.

You can tell because one of these is inside another. And yes, they all seem to look the same.

50. Ever seen a rodeo on the snow before?

Well, the cow’s kind of weird looking. But any cowboy or girl would adore it.

51. This cat loves to play with the fish bowl.

Have to like how the bowl is almost invisible. Still, it’s quite stunning to see.

52. You’d find a moose embedded on this giant antler.

This is from Anchorage, Alaska. And yes, you can bet they probably have snow sculptures there. Lovely.

53. Someone must’ve gotten in the trash for scraps.

Well, raccoons are known to get into garbage. Yet, this is kind of amusing for some reason.

54. If you like The Force Awakens, this is the snow sculpture for you.

This one features Kylo Ren. You know the Star Wars villain who killed his own dad.

55. I’m sure anyone would want to see a snow Pegasus.

Well, it’s quite lovely to see. Still, you got to love admiring this mythological masterpiece.

56. Ahoy on the high seas!

This one depicts a sea captain with a tri-corner hat. And he has his hands firmly on the wheel.

57. Bet you’ve never seen a giant lizard in the front lawn.

Yes, this is a giant snow lizard. I’m sure it’ll be make a great conversation piece in the neighborhood.

58. Perhaps a massive Chinese temple may suit you.

Well, this seems like depicting a Chinese myth. Not sure which one though.

59. You’d be hard pressed to find a spectacular snow palace like this one.

This is from a Japanese snow festival. And yes, it’s as charming as it is beautiful.

60. I guess you’d find this snow sculpture firmly on the Dark Side.

Well, The Last Jedi is currently in theaters. So I might as well add something from Star Wars on this post.

Frosty the Snowman and His Friends (Third Edition)

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Since Christmas is only a week away, perhaps we should take a break for awhile for some winter creations. Though you can’t really build a snowman where I live during this time (since it hardly snows), it’s nevertheless part of the Christmas motifs especially with the song “Frosty the Snowman” and the cartoon adaptation. As shown, a typical snowman consists of 3 snowballs of varying size, two sticks for arms, a carrot nose, rocks for eyes and buttons, and often a hat and/or scarf. Sometimes a snowman could be depicted with a corn cob pipe but since tobacco use is low and most smokers don’t use pipes, you’re less likely to see one. Nevertheless, on a snowy day, you’ll find plenty of snowmen in all shapes and sizes. So for your reading pleasure, I give you yet another assortment of unique snowmen to enjoy.

  1. A snowman should always have a feline companion.

Funny, he has his very own snowcat. And the cat has little twigs for whiskers.

2. Care for a boat ride on the ice?

Because he’d basically melt if he was on water. Still, this is pretty clever.

3. It’s a nice day for a drink on the patio.

Looks like a family. Though it seems like one can’t reach the table while sitting.

4.  Looks like this guy’s passed out.

And he’s a against a wooden post, seemingly naked. If he was a human, he’d be arrested for indecent exposure.

5. Apparently, he always tries to be well-informed.

Seems to read “Times of Israel.” Guess he’s Jewish. Because this sure as hell doesn’t seem like Israel.

6. “Well, I guess this is in my own likeness.”

Yes, that snow dog certainly resembles that golden retriever. Though the dog doesn’t seem impressed.

7. You can actually get in this snowman.

It’s a snowman igloo. I guess this is somewhere in Alaska or Canada, where these ice homes are built.

8. “It’s snowing, Gromit.”

This is a snow Gromit. And it sure looks like the expressive dog from the claymation cartoons.

9. You can always spend a lazy afternoon lounging in a hammock.

Well, since there’s 6 more weeks of winter, you might as well chill for awhile. This is especially if you’re made of snow. Unless you factor in climate change.

10. Don’t worry, I don’t think she’ll do anything with that pitchfork.

They’re just a humble farm snow couple. Still, got to love the snow woman’s basket hat. And her husband’s bald.

11. Someone’s trying to get a ride.

Uh, I don’t know if reaching out at the bus station will help. But it can’t hurt trying.

12. On some days, your hair can’t just be tamed.

This one even has a baby bundled up near her. So adorable. By the way, the hair is made from evergreen branches.

13. Want to go outside and play ball?

Well, he certainly seems perky. Hope he could pick up the ball.

14. Looks like someone can do a handstand.

Wonder how you build that snowman. Though I guess he’s just a mere show off.

15. You’d almost swear her hair was all twigs.

Indeed, her hair seems to go all over the place. Yet, she does have a nice smile.

16. Perhaps you might be enlightened by this snow Buddha.

Sure he knows he’ll melt once spring comes. But in the meantime, he’ll try finding some inner peace before becoming slush.

17. You can always play with these snow dogs.

These two are just dogs frolicking in the snow. So they’re not hurting anything.

18. Check out his guitar solo.

I guess he worked for the Eagles during their Hell Freezes Over tour. Though check out his twig mohawk.

19. “I’m Olaf and I give warm hugs.”

Though you might want to try skipping his Frozen short if you’re planning to see Coco. Though that is a fairly good likeness.

20. Nobody could resist these snow penguins.

They seem rather small. But you have to like the one with a bowtie on its little tuxedo.

21. Apparently, Muslim couples love to hang out in truck beds.

Well, snowmen can be Muslim, too. Though most Muslims live in place where snow doesn’t exist. Still, these are great.

22. Always try to watch your step.

Yes, someone seemed to fall into the snow. And his friend’s basically laughing about it.

23. A snow lady should always wear a sleek red dress.

Though this dress is basically spray painted. But you have to like how that girl imitates her.

24. Looks like this bearded guy’s rather disappointed.

He’s just hanging around having a beer. So it’s best not to distract him.

25. Put your legs in the air.

And yes, it’s certainly incredible. However, you can’t pull off a handstand with this body type.

26. Eek! Somebody’s shot their eye out!

Yes, that’s really gross. But the one with blood spurting out of his eye doesn’t seem to mind.

27. Seems like Elsa has been sick lately.

This is a whole army of small snowmen. And yes, they will come to you in proper weather conditions, of course.

28. Sometimes a fishing trip is all you need.

Sure they may be fishing in the baby pool. But they’re having quite the bonding experience.

29. Always seek shelter when it gets too cold.

And it seems like they’re cozying up with candles. Let’s hope they’re fake. Since we know open flames can melt them.

30. Fans of Kung Fu Panda might enjoy this snowman.

It’s a snowman version of Po from the franchise. And yes, he has his underwear.

31. Looks like this little guy’s found his snow home.

Well, this is just under a snow dog. But it nonetheless seems cozy for this dog.

32. “Please don’t feed your kid brother to the snow monster!”

Don’t worry, the pants are probably stuffed hand me downs. But it’s certainly disturbing to see.

33. Tragically, Charlie was severely injured in a cataclysmic hit and run.

Man, didn’t know snowmen can spurt out blood like that. Unsurprisingly, his friends are devastated.

34. Look out! There’s a snow shark on the loose!

Wait a minute, sharks aren’t supposed to swim in the snow. Still, this is pretty hilarious.

35. Seems like this guy had a wild night.

Yes, he’s pretty hungover right now. Must’ve been too many cold ones.

36. “Mind if I hitch a ride?”

Well, he’s riding the roof. Nevertheless, he’s so adorable on the ride.

37. You can’t resist the charm of a snow polar bear.

And like polar bears, this little guy’s threatened by climate change. And yes, it’s totally real.

38. Perhaps you might want to see a snow kangaroo?

Didn’t know that I’d see a snow marsupial (aside from the opossum). After all, I don’t think it snows like that in Australia.

39. You have to see this snow pig smile.

Well, she certainly has a radiant smile. Also love the purple buttons.

40. Perhaps we can enjoy this snowy afternoon out on the bench.

Well, this seems nice. Like the snow woman’s hat. Lovely.

41. You’d almost swear this dog is as tall as a house.

Since it seems to tower over the patio. Still, have to admire the collar.

42. This snow lizard just wants to chill for awhile.

And I see it’s smoking something in its mouth. Also, most reptiles would be inactive in cold temperatures since they’re cold-blooded.

43. My, is that a towering snowman.

It’s not the biggest I’ve seen. But it towers above that family by several yards.

44. Now that guy must’ve had way too much to drink.

When you see someone passed out with all those bottles, you need help. Snowmen are no exception.

45. “Howdy, pardner!”

This cowboy snowman has gloves and a belt. Possibly hails from the Rockies.

46. Apparently, spring is here.

And that means this snowman’s days are numbered. So he must enjoy them while they last.

47. Feel free to spare a dime for this hobo.

Didn’t know snowmen could become homeless. Thought they just hung out outdoors.

48. Looks like Fu-Manchu snowman is out for blood.

Yes, I know this looks offensive. But it’s not often you come across a snowman with severed heads.

49. Of course, you can always take a bath.

Okay, she’s showing her boobs. And now she’s embarrassed that you had to look at her.

50. Be on your guard when coming across a snow wolf.

And I see the wolf devouring a snowman right now. Yes, it’s incredibly horrific, indeed.

51. Sometimes you just want to chill on the patio.

They’re in fedora hats and drinking on their lawn chairs. And in sub-zero weather, too.

52. You’d be pressed to see a snowman in black and gold.

Seems like a Steelers fan lives here. Too bad the refs basically ruled out that one touchdown.

53. Wanna buy a snowman? Try here.

Though there’s some assembly required as you can see. Yes, you have to roll the snow balls.

54. Didn’t know I’d see a snow woman with a butterfly net.

Because butterflies don’t like winter. Still, this is kind of adorable.

55. Someone’s all prepared for the Pen’s game.

Though he doesn’t seem too happy here. Though I like his Santa hat.

56. The family that reads together, stays together.

And it seems this girl’s enjoying the time. Got to love this.

57. Look out! Snow zombies!

Somebody go get a blow torch! We’ll melt these bastards!

58. Bet you’ve never seen a snowman in the tree.

Wonder how they pulled this off. Not to mention, he’s wearing Converse tennis shoes.

59. Sometimes you can use a break from snow shoveling.

After all, shoveling snow out of the driveway’s really hard work. So it’s best to sit down once in awhile.

60. “Goodbye cruel world.”

Yes, it’s a snowman hanging himself. Guess he didn’t think the melting point couldn’t come soon enough.

The Haystack World of Straw Sculpture

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As autumn arrives, the fall festivals are in full swing. Whether it be Germany’s Ocktoberfest or some fun farm pumpkin patch with hayrides and stuff, you’ll find plenty since autumn’s usually harvest time. That and a great way to capitalize on Halloween which isn’t far behind. Nevertheless, since it’s not Columbus Day yet (or Indigenous People’s Day to those who don’t like the term), I’m not able to do the Halloween stuff which many of my readers look forward to. But earlier this week, I stumbled on a collection of straw sculptures from Japan and thought it as a way to hold me over till then. Now during the fall, farmers often collect hay to feed their livestock over the winter which consist of plants or inedible parts of plants that have been cut, dried, and stored. Farmers may typically store hay in square or round bales or in a stack. And there are people who may take a more creative approach and make sculptures. Whether they be of hay bales or for fall festivals or something else entirely. While hay sculpture isn’t as prevalent in the farm art world as crop circles, it does have some sort of presence on the Internet like Pinterest and other sites of interest. So for your reading pleasure, I give you an assortment of straw sculpture. Enjoy.

  1. Someone must’ve left a semi on the yonder field.

Actually it’s a hay made trailer truck. But it can supply a whole farm’s livestock for months.

2. When riding in a field, please don’t run into hay bales.

This scarecrow guy learned the hard way. Also, I know they used more than one bike for this.

3. Bet you don’t want to cross this wicker bull on a bad day.

Though a cow may find this guy good enough to eat. By the way, this bull is from Japan.

4. You can’t guess the length of this giant caterpillar.

Well, that one looks pretty easy to do. Just roll the bales in the right places and put a face on the front.

5. This squared bale owl will surely be a hoot.

This owl is made from square bales with some decorative additions. Like the eyes.

6. This springy straw dog is a real stretch.

Hey, that’s Slinky Dog from Toy Story. Just a few bales and a large metal coil.

7. Beware of making hay with this dairy cow.

The limbs consist of square bales. The body is a round one. But you can’t resist this bossy face.

8. This teddy bear can always beat his drum in an open field.

Well, a drum doesn’t require much since it’s round. But yes, this teddy is so adorable. Probably from Vermont.

9. This straw rat always gets the cheese.

Yes, it looks pretty creepy with red eyes and whiskers. But at least it won’t spread disease in your house.

10. This straw rabbit pulls its own cart with eggs.

Yes, this is an Easter display in hay. By that time most of the hay is usually eaten. But this is quite intricate.

11. Mater always makes hay at any time of day.

This is Mater from Cars. He’s a tow truck. And yes, he’s mostly made of bales.

12. Hop along on the Hay Bale Express.

It even has its own rails below. Consists of round and square bales with some attributes.

13. One of these bale people has all the brushes.

One has a box of cleaning brooms. The other has a role of something on a wooden stand. Not sure what it’s supposed to be.

14. A hay bear always stands proud.

Well, that’s a very intricate sculpture. And it’s standing on two legs. Bet you that would scare more crows than a scarecrow.

15. This straw sculpture is of mammoth proportions.

Guess you can pull off a wooly mammoth better than an elephant in hay. And yes, it’s supposed to be huge.

16. “We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Straw.”

Well, one of the characters is a scarecrow. But yes, you should expect Wizard of Oz hay displays like these.

17. Oscar isn’t fond of people giving him straw.

And he has “Scram!” on his trash can. Consists of a round bale on his head and in green.

18. Minion bales always assist with evil or not.

This is from Despicable Me 2. You can tell from the purple minion included.

19. This hay bunny keeps going and going and going.

You know the pink Energizer bunny always beating the drum. Apparently, there’s a hay sculpture in its likeness.

20. Looks like these straw dogs are having a good time.

That one might be hard to explain to their kids. Not sure how someone could pull that off with families around.

21. Don’t look now, but I think it’s the Loch Ness monster in that field.

Well, it’s the Loch Ness Monster made of straw. You don’t see the rest of it because it’s probably underground.

22. As they always say, hay is for horses.

Though you might not think of a horse made of hay like this one. But don’t try to ride it.

23. We all know that Jesus was born in a barn. So this nativity scene is only fitting.

This one consists of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, animals and the Three Wise Men. Just don’t put this one in a real barn if you want to use it as a Christmas decoration.

24. You can easily get inside this straw kangaroo pouch.

You can easily see the kid getting inside the pouch here. And yes, this is from Japan.

25. You might get a lot of hay from this sumo wrestler.

Though this might be the lightest sumo wrestler you see. Because those guys really pack the pounds.

26. A straw rhino always feels at home in a field.

Sure rhinos are from Africa. But this one is in Japan. Still, pretty amazing to see this in straw.

27. If you’re going out, make sure you wear your hay heels.

Okay, that’s a play on words. But this hay heel shoe almost matches the barn.

28. Imagine seeing a giant rabbit like this in your vegetable patch.

He even has a large carrot and blue jacket. Hope rabbits don’t munch on this sculpture. So cute.

29. Thomas the Tank Engine helms the straw Santa Express.

Because Thomas is the engine. And Santa is in the caboose. The rest of the train is red and green as well as covered in wreath and garland.

30. You should be mocking hay if you’re into the Hunger Games.

Well, it could be worse. It could’ve consist of Katniss in her fire dress in Catching Fire. Because hay is extremely flammable.

31. Smoke-hay the Bear is here to tell you how to prevent forest fires.

He’s kind of like Smokey the Bear. But he’s much more flammable. Because he’s made of straw.

32. Seems like this alligator really wants the rubber chicken.

This is a pretty clever scene. Hope the guy in the boat doesn’t get eaten. For that chicken doesn’t look very satisfying.

33. Now that’s what you call a real work horse.

Well, it’s made from straw and is attached to a plow. May not plow your field like a tractor. But at least you don’t need to spread manure.

34. Hope you don’t make hay over Old Glory.

This one consists of square bales for stripes and a round bale with stars. Not an exact replica but you do what you can.

35. Too bad Will-hay Nelson won’t be going on the road again.

Though you have to feel bummed he’s not made out of a certain kind of grass. However, if he lights a joint, he won’t be around much longer. Mostly because straw easily catches fire.

36. Never thought I’d see a farmer made of straw.

This one has farmers with the cow. Let’s hope one of them doesn’t sell it for magic beans. Or burns it.

37. Hop aboard on this ferris wheel of straw.

Actually I wouldn’t take my chances on that one. Seems like the seats are square bales as far as I can see.

38. Now that has to be one giant Meer cat.

Meer cats aren’t actually that big. In fact, they’re quite small. But sometimes it helps to create an impression.

39. How about build Big Ben with bales?

Sure it doesn’t ring on the hour. But you have to wonder how so much hay can stand so tall.

40. You can even get some straw via satellite.

Well, it’s a straw satellite dish. May not get any signals. But it’s amazing.

41. You have to be a pro to ride your bike on a straw arch.

I know it kind of looks impossible to come up with. But in a straw sculpture, you can do almost anything.

42. A field is an ideal place for a very hungry caterpillar.

This is from a popular children’s book about a caterpillar that eats through so much food before pupating and becoming a butterfly. This one is made of bales and has it go over a fence.

43. This hay festival is brought to you by Cheetos.

This is a hay sculpture of Chester. Notice he doesn’t have any Cheetos on him at the moment. And it kind of seems like he’s hitchhiking.

44. Bet you’ve never seen such a dragon like this before.

Though if it burns fire, it will burn itself. Still, looks pretty cool for any fantasy fan.

45. Might not want to piss off this giant cobra.

Because cobras are very poisonous snakes. Though if it goes after you, you can easily set it on fire.

46. Perhaps you might want to go in this T-Rex’s mouth.

Though chances are it might devour you. That if  this was Jurassic Park and it wasn’t made of straw.

47. How about sit down with this white tiger?

It’s mostly made of square and round hay bales. But you have to love its eyes. So cute.

48. This Vermont teddy feels fully at home with garbage.

Well, it has trash cans in front of it. But it’s nevertheless adorable. Love it.

49. Perhaps you might want to load this semi-truck.

You’d almost mistake this straw sculpture for the real thing. Though you can put in more bales for the load.

50. Funny, I thought that was supposed to be a shoe.

It actually is supposed to be a shoe house. But it’s made from round hay bales with trimmings.

51. Out in the countryside, there’s nothing like a John Deere tractor.

Well, it’s a hay Deer tractor. So it won’t exactly run. But it’s almost spot on to the real thing.

52. For a war on straw, you can’t do better than a hay bale fort.

Sure it’s not fireproof since it’s made from square bales. But you have to admire the construction.

53. Do you want fries for this hayburger?

It’s mostly a hay bale dressed as a cheeseburger. Looks delicious doesn’t it?

54. With this straw rocket, you’ll have liftoff.

Though light anything under this rocket and it’ll instantly incinerate. Though it’s a rather impressive design.

55. Win-hay the Pooh can never resist a jar of honey.

He’s made from hay bales with a jar of honey in his arms. He’s also so cute you want to hug him.

56. There’s no hay display more epic than Straw Wars.

It’s a hay display of Star Wars. I know it’s not the kind of picture you’re looking for. But you must not underestimate the ways of the Force.

57. “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.”

Bet this one was built from an abandoned structure in Montana. Though the prince will have a long climb.

58. Any druids reading this might want to have this for their harvest festival.

It’s Stonehenge made from hay bales. Won’t withstand the test of time. But doesn’t look that bad.

59. Hope this windmill doesn’t get swept by the wind.

The tower is built of hay bales. Not sure what the blades are made of. But you’d almost think it’s real until you look closely.

60. Is this a red panda or a red raccoon?

Looks more like a red panda. Yet, it has a striped tail of hay bales.

61. Seems like the Island of Misfit Toys is full of straw.

This is a take off of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas special. Kind of looks jarring to see hay instead of snow.

62. Christmas is always the time for green bales.

You can stack them up and make a Christmas tree. Though hay sculpture looks more suited for fall though.

63. I’ve seen a beached whale on TV but this is ridiculous.

Though most of these hay sculptures are in fields. Wonder if you can get inside it.

64. Though spiders can inhabit straw. All this straw made the spider.

Now this might freak people out. Giant spiders will certainly terrify the bejesus on may. Even if made from straw.

65. How about sit on this turtle’s shell?

Still, its shell isn’t rock solid. But you have to admire the design.

66. Your defenses are no match for the dreaded straw tank.

Don’t worry. It doesn’t shoot out anything. Except maybe T-shirts, I guess.

67. This straw hand gives the sign of peace.

This one uses to fingers. And it’s all made of straw. So make hay not war.

68. “We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine.”

This one is made from hay bales. After that, just add the pictures.

69. Hope this gator doesn’t swallow you up.

Relax, it’s a straw gator. You can go into its mouth. But it won’t eat you.

70. At jumbo size, you might find this ferret quite scary.

Though you have to admire how realistic it looks. Then again, it’s in a Japanese style.

71. Tokyo isn’t safe whenever this straw monster rampages the streets.

You can guess this is Godzilla, Japan’s most iconic movie monster. Though this one is only made from straw.

72. This duckie just loves to be in its little pond.

Luckily straw floats so you can see this cute little duckie. Not as big as the other straw structures. But charming.

73. Anyone can look graceful on a straw horse.

As long as the rider is also made of straw. Yet, these to really seem to go together.

74. Bet you wouldn’t see an Olmec head like this in Mexico.

Because it’s made of hay in Japan. Not an exact replica. But not bad.

75. Wonder what it’s like to take this ship on the high seas.

Almost resembles a wooden ship with folded sails. Though it’s made from hay in the hull.

76. Try to solve this riddle of the Sphinx.

You can even go inside it like these people in the eyes. But don’t try to light a cigarette inside or it’ll catch fire.

77. Nobody can resist this cuddly pussy cat.

This little guy is almost purrfect. Then again, the Japanese have a soft spot for cuteness.

78. This Triceratops could almost give you hay fever in Jurassic Park.

Yes, this is another straw dinosaur in Japan. And yes, it’s probably the closest you’ll ever see to the real thing.

79. A straw gorilla can really strike a pose.

Yes, he sure looks fierce. But I’m not sure if he’s supposed to be a straw King Kong. Wonder if he’s right next to Godzilla.

80. Try to take to the skies in this haymade biplane.

Okay, you can’t fly it. But it’s certainly a charming sculpture to behold.

The Confederate Monuments Must Come Down

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As you may recall, during the weekend, white supremacists descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia for a “Unite the Right” rally to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park. And as you know, they clashed with a group of counter-protesters which resulted in 3 people killed and at least 35 wounded. Nevertheless, since the 2015 Emmanuel AME Church shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, there has been more attention on Confederate symbols in public spaces. Two years ago, I wrote a post arguing why the Confederate flag is racist and why it should be removed. But it’s not the only Confederate symbol you see in the United States. Across the nation hundreds of Confederate memorials, plazas, and markers dot 31 states standing in public parks, courthouse squares, and state capitols. Plenty of cities, bridges, roads, parks, schools, counties, military bases, and other public areas are named after Confederate icons. And as of 2017, six states observe 9 official Confederate holidays. Since the Charleston shooting, at least 60 of these publicly funded Confederate symbols have been removed or renamed according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. However, as of 2016, the SPLC has documented that over 1,500 of them remain on public property including more than 700 monuments and statues.

Attempts at removing these monuments or renaming public spaces have generated considerable controversy and backlash. Some of these monuments like the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville have become rallying points for white supremacists. Yet, opposition to Confederate monument removal isn’t just limited to the radical right fringe. Southern state lawmakers have proposed legislation banning local governments from removing these controversial landmarks and symbols. One state representative from Mississippi even called for those removing Confederate statues to be lynched. Also, most of these plaques, statues, and monuments are still up thanks to the support of local residents, town councils, and even state governments. Many critics say removing a monument or flag, renaming a public place, or ending a state holiday is tantamount “erasing history.” Proponents often state that these landmarks and emblems represent history and heritage and that efforts to remove them is just political correctness gone too far.

Yet, the “heritage not hate” rationale used to justify public Confederate displays ignores the near-universal heritage of African Americans whose ancestors were enslaved in the South. It also trivializes their pain, their history, and concerns about racism. Not to mention, the “heritage” argument conceals the true history of the Confederacy and the 7 decades of Jim Crow segregation and oppression after Reconstruction. There is no doubt that the Confederacy was founded on white supremacy and that the South fought the Civil War to preserve slavery. Its founding documents and leaders made it perfectly clear. After all it was Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens who said in his 1861 “Cornerstone speech”, “Our new government is founded upon … the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” And by defending slavery with gunfire and cannons, the Confederates prolonged the life of an institution which brought indescribable suffering and horror to millions. Through waging war against the Union, they betrayed the United States and killed thousands of their fellow countrymen.
However, despite that Civil War history is well-documented, legions of Southern whites still cling to the Lost Cause myth as a noble Southern endeavor fought to defend the region’s honor and its ability to govern itself in the face of Northern aggression. This is of course, bullshit but it’s a deeply rooted false narrative resulting from many decades of revisionism in the lore and even Southern textbooks seeking to create a more acceptable version of the area’s past. According to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, 48% of Americans cited states’ rights as the reason for the Civil War despite which doesn’t hold up when you include the Fugitive Slave Act, Bleeding Kansas, and the Dred Scott Decision. Not to mention, all the pro-slavery and white supremacist sentiments in Confederate documents. Still, these Confederate monuments and symbols in the South are very much a part of that effort. Historian Thavolia Glymph noted that the Lost Cause became so endemic that it passed, “off legend as history so successfully that the legend came to be remembered as the history.” Though Southerners started honoring the Confederacy with statues and symbols almost immediately after the Civil War, most dedications of Confederate monuments and other symbols took place during the early 20th century which lasted well into the 1920s and from the early 1950s all through the 1960s. Why these periods? Well, the first spike happened during the period when states enacted Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise newly freed blacks and re-segregate society. This period also saw the dramatic resurgence of the Klu Klux Klan thanks to D.W. Griffith’s 1916 film The Birth of a Nation. The second spike in Confederate dedications happened during the civil rights movement, leading to white segregationist backlash. Even in the 21st century, these monuments keep cropping up, including 35 in North Carolina. Therefore, it’s very clear that many of these Confederate monuments and symbols exist not to honor history, heritage or the fallen but to enforce and perpetuate white supremacy through legal and even violent means.

Not only do these monuments instill white supremacy on the American landscape, they also perpetuate myths that screw up the American historical narrative known as the Lost Cause myth. When you erect a monument for someone or group, you also determine how they should be remembered as well as enshrine everything they stood for as noble and just. These Confederate monuments conjure images of resplendent generals and brave soldiers fighting for a noble but lost cause. Memorials to Confederate soldiers extol their heroism and valor or sometimes details of particular battles or local units. But some go so far as to glorify the Confederacy’s cause. One notable example is a monument in Anderson County, South Carolina reading, “The world shall yet decide, in truth’s clear, far-off light, that the soldiers who wore the gray, and died with Lee, were in the right.” But in reality, their cause was white supremacy and slavery which are anything but noble. They also conceal the economic exploitation, political oppression, and widespread violence black people faced when these monuments were built.

But while dedicating Confederate memorials for fallen soldiers is one thing, leaders are another. Many of these statues of Confederate leaders conjure a perception of them as gallant and noble heroes fighting for what was right. As an activist in Memphis told Al Jazeera, “Kids see these statues and think they’re for great people. These statues don’t say anything about the atrocities.” And they don’t usually reflect who these leaders are. Robert E. Lee is clearest example of this since he’s had more monuments and places with his name and/or likeness than any other leader in the Confederacy. And he’s certainly its most admired champion who’s continually praised as a brilliant strategist as well as a kind, benevolent figure who hated slavery and secession. But he fought for the South out of duty to the Virginia he so loved. Except that’s not the real Robert E. Lee. Lee did make some grandiose sentiments in favor of liberty on occasion. But he was not only fine with owning slaves, he fought a court case to keep his father-in-law’s slaves who’ve been promised their freedom after the old man died. He lost Documents show he was anything but the kind, benevolent man he’s portrayed as, at least as far as his family’s slaves are concerned. In fact, Lee opposed virtually any pro-emancipation cause that would’ve actually freed slaves and harshly condemned abolitionists. During his invasion into Pennsylvania, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia would abduct free blacks for enslavement. His men also massacred black Union soldiers who tried to surrender during the Battle of Crater and paraded the survivors through the streets of Petersburg, Virginia. Lee never discouraged such behavior because he didn’t believe blacks shouldn’t be treated as human beings. And he certainly believed in white supremacy after the war since he argued against black enfranchisement, raged against Republican efforts to enforce racial equality in the South, and allowed students at Washington College to establish their own Klu Klux Klan chapter, rape black schoolgirls, and attempt lynchings. Besides, when the Civil War broke out, Lee first asked permission to sit out of the war altogether. While he did anguish whether to maintain his oath of loyalty to the US Army or fight on behalf of his state and slavery, he chose the latter. Fittingly enough, he sent a letter of resignation to the War Department via slave. Lee then wrote another letter expressing that he didn’t believe Virginia yet had full justification to secede, he knew he chose against the wishes of his wife and children (as well as several other family members). Besides, Virginians like Winfield Scott, George Henry Thomas, his own cousins Fitzgerald and  Samuel Phillips Lee, future West Virginians, and 40% of Virginia’s officers remained loyal to the Union. As for being a brilliant strategist, well, despite being an accomplished tactician and winning individual battles, many historians consider his decision to fight against a more industrialized and densely populated North as a fatal strategic error. But even if he was as great military commander, Lee was still responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in defense of the South’s authority to own millions of black people. Lee’s elevation as hero is a key part of Lost Cause mythology designed to erase slavery as the cause of the Civil War and whitewash the Confederate cause as a noble one. Perhaps the most fitting monument to General Robert E. Lee is the national military cemetery on his lawn at Arlington. If you want a Confederate general to idolize, may I suggest James Longstreet? At least he embraced equal rights for blacks after the Civil War and took on white supremacists in New Orleans with an integrated police force. But that’s why Lost Cause folks hate his guts.

Even more disturbing is that many of these Confederate monuments aren’t just in the states that seceded from the Union. You have plenty in border states fighting for the Union, in Union states, and states that in 1861 were mere territories. One particular example is Kentucky whose government didn’t side with the Confederacy and two thirds of Kentuckians fought for the Union. But you wouldn’t know that from a state swamped in Confederate monuments. And one of these has to be a 35-story obelisk at Jefferson Davis’s birthplace in Fairview. In Arizona, the oldest Confederate Memorial was dedicated in 1943 while the newest went up in 2010. Of course, they were erected by the thousands of white Southerners who moved there and took their fondness for intimidating blacks with them. In Helena, Montana, a Confederate Memorial Fountain has sat in its Hill Park since 1916 which author James W. Loewen said, “tells that the Confederacy should be revered even as far north as Montana.” You might wonder why there are Confederate monuments outside the former Confederacy since they seem to no reason to exist there. But when you figure that segregation wasn’t just restricted to the South but stretched across a nation more concerned about unity in the face of foreign threats than rights for black people, it makes a lot more sense.

Nevertheless, these enduring tributes to white supremacy and black enslavement still stand in a nation that hasn’t moved past America’s original sin and has refused to address racism’s pernicious and ubiquitous nature. To say that these Confederate monuments only as New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has said, “immediately begs the questions, why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks. But as the immense presence of Confederate monuments and symbols show there’s a lot of love for the losing side of an unjust cause. There should be nothing but condemnation and dishonor for those who seceded from the Union and fought for the privilege of keeping black people under involuntary servitude. Removing Confederate symbols and monuments will not erase history nor does it denigrate anyone’s Southern heritage. But the effort to topple them is about more than symbolism. Rather it’s about starting a conversation about a community’s shared values and beliefs along with our understanding as a nation. It’s about acknowledging, understanding, and reconcile past injustices as we address those of today. And lastly, it’s about us as a people being able to choose a better future for ourselves and make right what was wrong. Our historical monuments not only depict our history but also enshrine value we choose to promote. As a nation founded on the principles of liberty, equality and democracy, these Confederate monuments stand to extol values anathema to such ideas. Confederate monuments don’t belong on a pedestal in a public space. So it’s long past time to take them down.