Friday December 15, 2017

Garbologists find roots of modern waste by digging through Victorian-Era garbage

In the Victorian Era, the civilization made a permanent shift towards a throwaway society, and the production of waste only began to increase from this point in the timeline

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Victorian era Mineral bottles. Image source: Tom Licence
  • Garbology is the “study of a culture or community by analysis of its waste”
  • The Museum of Brands in Notting Hill, West London boasts a collection of 12,000 unique items like cartons, boxes, paper cups tins etc
  • The Victorian era also marked the rise of the packaging industry

East Anglia, a rural area north of London, became a place of historical interest for Tom Licence and his research team, What East Anglia Threw Away, early 2016, when a scavenging streak for Victorian Era trash gripped their minds. “We’re aware that there’s a dump close to the cottage, and that’s part of our interest, but also we’ve set up a little history group, and we’ve been working on the history of Castle Rising ever since”, says Sylvia Cooke, who came to East Anglia about 14 years ago.

“We are pioneering garbologists”, says Tom Licence with a friendly laugh. Garbology is the “study of a culture or community by analysis of its waste”. The Victorian Era, which spanned through the years of 1837 till 1901, witnessed a crucial shift of consumer patterns – with an increase in wealth and the Industrial Revolution, the civilization shifted from making things at home to buying them at grocery markets and shops. This era also marked the rise of the packaging industry.

As people began to gain awareness about germs and hygiene, they became distrustful of local vendors and grocers,some of whom added spurious ingredients to increase the weight of the product. A packaged product guaranteed it hadn’t been tampered with, and hence more trustworthy. Moreover, it also ensured that the manufacturers were able to design and control their own brand. The means of packaging then involved bottles and tins, or small containers which couldn’t be reused and hence found their way into what is now called as Victorian Era trash.

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The importance of collecting and preserving garbage from those olden days was cleverly identified by Robert Opie, a social historian, who founded the Museum of Brands in Notting Hill, West London. The museum boasts a collection of 12,000 unique items like cartons, boxes, paper cups tins etc. which documents the progression of brands of some of the world’s most popular companies like Cadbury. The museum assumed a larger space recently to accommodate the growing interest. The colour on these packaging materials dim as war years are approached, The Guardian reports. “It’s a portal into your own past”, Robert Opie says.

Victorian Era
Dundee Marmalade tin containers. Image courtesy: Tom Licence

In the Victorian Era, the civilization made a permanent shift towards a throwaway society, and the production of waste only began to increase from this point in the timeline. Before this time, humans produced next to no waste at all. In large cities like London, there was a systematic disposal of waste, but in the rural areas like East Anglia, it wasn’t economical to supply ash carts to every household, so the people here would dig up pits in nearby areas and bury their waste there. This is one of the primary reasons why Tom Licence and his local volunteers targeted East Anglia.

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Tom Licence also has knowledge of similar findings all over the world. There have been people from California and India who show an interest in Garbology. A worker digging up the Earth for the construction of the Olympic Stadium in Brazil found packaging products that originated all the way from England. Licence believes this was the time when trade flourished, and the human carbon footprint made its stamp on the face of the Earth for the first time in history.

Discoveries made by garbologists in England have helped them analyse the living patterns of the civilizations in the British subcontinent, dating all the way back to the Victorian Era. If similar expeditions were to be carried out in all places over the world, it would help us comprehend a much better understanding of how humans led their lives in respective countries, and that would indeed be interesting to the historian palette.

-by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter:@saurabhbodas96

ALSO READ:

  • I coined the word garbology to mean the study of the garbage of the rich and famous but you folks are doing a great job in retro-garbological pioneering. Congratulations!

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Thanksgiving Day Across the World

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated across the world and for each country, it has its own tale and tradition around food and days.

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Thanksgiving Day celebrations
Happy Thanksgiving Day, Wikimedia Commons

Thanksgiving Day. The name stands for itself as the day to give thanks and is celebrated as a national holiday in many countries like United States of America, Canada, Netherlands, Philippines, Grenada, Liberia while similarly named festival exists in Germany, Japan, and United Kingdom.
Thanksgiving holiday remains a day to give thanks at the close of the harvest season.

America
The official date for the American Thanksgiving that exists today was set by President Roosevelt to be on the fourth Thursday in November instead of the last Thursday in November as decided by President Lincoln as thanksgiving date.
But their thanksgiving is surrounded by a debate over the nation’s first celebrations and the two places embroiled in this debate are New England and Virginia as both the places provide certain proofs of being the spot for nation’s first celebrations for Thanksgiving.

Canada
Canadian Thanksgiving tradition is celebrated in the true spirit of giving thanks at the close of the harvest season. It is believed that due to the geographical differences from the USA, Canada’s Thanksgiving arrives on the second Monday in October as that is the close of their harvest season.

But in countries like Liberia, Netherlands, and Grenada, it is not just a day to give thanks at the close of the harvest season.

Liberia
In Liberia, Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated to mark the freedom from black slavery by the U.S.A. The Thanksgiving day’s date remains on the first Thursday of November and has been a tradition since 1820.

Netherlands
Netherlands celebrate thanksgiving to mark to commemorate the Pilgrims who had migrated and became residents of the city of Leiden and died at Pieterskerk. To commemorate the hospitality, the thanksgiving, a non-denominational Thanksgiving Day is celebrated as the same as American Thanksgiving Day’s morning.

But there are some countries like the Philippines where the tradition of Thanksgiving only arrived with the Americans due to it being an American colony in the early 20th century but the tradition of Thanksgiving there had seemed to die down.

Food:
The American Thanksgiving seems to dominate the Thanksgiving menu when it comes to this holiday. Their famous turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, pies, mashed potatoes, and yams are signature dishes related to this day.

Black Friday:
Not only food, American Thanksgiving has also made Black Friday, an informal day following the Thanksgiving Day to mark the beginning of their country’s Christmas season sales and it has been in the history books since 1952 such that it has become a tradition of its own now.

Thanksgiving Day remains an occasion for many families to get back together and celebrate this holiday in the spirit of one while giving the rise to the excitement of upcoming Christmas also which remains barely a month away from Thanksgiving day.

Samridhi Nain is a student of Philosophy (Hons.) from University of Delhi.

 

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Manoj Bajpayee is an amazing actor and a team player on set: Sidharth Malhotra

Sidharth Malhotra on Thursday treated his fans to a question and answer session over Twitter.

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Actor Sidharth Malhotra
Actor Sidharth Malhotra. Wikimedia Commons

November 7, 2017: Actor Sidharth Malhotra, who will be seen sharing screen space with Manoj Bajpayee in “Aiyaary”, says the National Award winning actor is amazing and a team player.

Sidharth Malhotra on Thursday treated his fans to a question and answer session over Twitter.

A user asked the “Student Of The Year” actor about his experience working with Manoj in “Aiyaary”.

Sidharth replied: “He’s an amazing actor and a team player on set.”

“Aiyaary”, set in Delhi, London and Kashmir, revolves around two strong-minded Army officers having completely different views, yet right in their own ways. It is a real-life story based on the relationship between a mentor and a protege.

Presented by Plan C and Jayantilal Gada (Pen), the project is produced by Shital Bhatia, Dhaval Jayantilal Gada, Motion Picture Capital.

When asked about the development of the film, Sidharth replied: “Awesome. Excited to show it in a few months.”

Sidharth, 32, also described his “Brothers” co-star Akshay Kumar as his “brother from another mother.”(IANS)

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You Better Not Give These Flowers to the People you Love! A Deeper look into Flowers and their Meanings

Flowers with their gorgeous hues and intricate patterns have held symbolic meanings for centuries

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Every flower conveys a deeper meaning. Hence, there are some flowers that you should not present to the people you love. Pixabay

How many times have you told your father that you love him? How often have you thanked your teacher for always being the light of your life? Was it easy telling your partner how you feel about them? As humans, our words sometimes restrict us. Overwhelmed by emotions, we find it hard to express how we feel.  We say, “I don’t have words to say.” We say we are lost for words. It is in these moments that flowers give us back the words we need. Without any formal idea, we all assume flowers and their meanings and use them to convey emotions.

We have long relied on flowers to convey emotions and messages when words failed. Haven’t you surprised your partner with a bunch of roses without a reason sometimes? Why do you instinctively carry flowers to see patients in a hospital?

flowers and their meanings
Every flower conveys a differing meaning. Pixabay

Flowers have deeper meanings and whether we know them or not, we attempt to convey our messages using gorgeous blossoms!

Flowers have a language, and the larger world understands it as Floriography.

Beginning Of The Language of Flowers

Flowers with their gorgeous hues and intricate patterns have held symbolic meanings for centuries and had been in use to convey messages in Persia and the Middle East since times immemorial. However, floriography did not see the light of the day until the late 19th century England.

It was in the Victorian Era, in societies governed by strict rules and etiquette that flowers came to have a secret language. However, it was not not easy to decode the numerous flowers and their meanings.

With the publication of various flower dictionaries, the language of flowers came to the masses, and evoked different meaning of plants, flowers and herbs. It was then that floriography emerged and spread as a tradition throughout England.

Floriography And Victorian Floral Arrangements

19th century England was nothing in ideology as depicted in the books written at the time. While books of the time were obsessed with romance, citizens did not enjoy the privilege to express affection openly; the expression of romance was relentlessly constrained in a society that had very strict rules around interaction between the genders.

Women from the Victorian Era would categorically carry small bouquets to evade the bad odor coming from the streets. The scent of the flowers would not only block the smells, but also announce their arrival through its freshness and added to their beauty.

flowers and their meanings
Women in the Victorian Era used to walk in the streets with small bouquets in their hands. These bouquets were called ‘Nosegays’ (Representative image) Pixabay

 

Nosegays, as these bouquets were called, were the first means for communicating secret messages by the use of flowers. Men would gift the women they admired with nosegays arranged in a specific pattern, conveying complex, however detailed messages.

Victorian flower arrangements had more than what met the eye. Each flower in the nosegays conveyed different meaning. Not only did the flowers alter meanings, the pattern in which they were arranged would convey different emotions.

The women-folk would indicate their response to the message by the manner in which they held the nosegays; a nosegay held against the chest would mean an acceptance of the message while holding it pointing downwards would mean a rejection.

Flowers And Their Meanings

Today, very few people can decode different flowers and their meanings. If anything at all, they know that red roses denote love, orchids are for beauty, olives mean peace and forget-me-nots are well, a reminder to never forget about me.

Choosing The Right Flowers

If paid attention, it is not very difficult to understand the different flowers and their meanings.

Convey emotions through the language of flowers; when words fall short, let the art of floriography convey what the heart desires.

But you must be careful when selecting a flower! While every flower carries a deeper meaning, not every flower may convey what you intend to.

ALSO READ These 3 Blooming Flowers Will Bring Positive Aura To Your Home!

Each flower has its own meaning, and that can vary according to the flower’s hue. Did you know that a single-colored Carnation symbolizes a ‘yes’ when a striped Carnation is associated with a firm ‘no’?

Here is a list that talks about different flowers and their meanings; a list that entails the flowers that you should better not give to someone if you wish to show your affection or convey their importance in your life,

 1. Carnations

What does the Carnation flower mean?

Carnations are found in a variety of colors and each hue symbolizes a unique and rich association. White carnations suggest pure love and innocence, whereas dark red carnations are for deep love and affection, pride and admiration.

Wondering about the meaning of pink carnations? It is believed that pink carnations first appeared on the earth with Virgin Mary’s tears and have been hence, believed to symbolize a mother’s undying love.

While carnations in general mean affection and pride, beware to never present striped or yellow carnations to your beloved.

Yellow carnations means hate. So the next time someone gets you some yellow carnations, you might as well imagine them saying, “I loathe you!”

On the other hand, striped carnations for simply mean “no”. Because they are a mix of colors, striped carnations are a gentler way to simply mean refusal. When paired with another solid color, they strongly express regret.

flowers and their meanings
Striped Carnations. Pixabay

2. Marigold

What does the Marigold mean?

Early Christians placed flowers on Virgin Mary’s altar in place of coins, which is where the flower Marigold gets its name from; it is believed to mean ‘Mary’s Gold’.

Marigold is associated with the sun – it is bright, vibrant and yellow.

However, Marigolds are also symbolic of cruelty and grief. The blooming flower is believed to denote strong passion to the extent that it transcends into jealousy, which is not a positive emotion for any relationship.

flowers and their meanings
Marigold blossoms. Pixabay

In Victorian Era, Marigold symbolized the desire for riches, and the flower is also hence believed to utter a call of desperation; definitely not an emotion you would want to present somebody.

3. Anemone

What does the anemone flower mean?

Stories about anemone flowers mostly circle around death, which is why the anemone flower is often linked with being abandoned and forsaken.

Tracing its roots in the Greek mythology, the Anemone flowers are believed to have sprung out of Aphrodite’s tears as she mourned the death of Adonis, the love of her life. Henceforth, the Anemone flowers have been interpreted as a symbol of dying love, or the departure of a love that will never return.

flowers and their meanings
Red Anemone flowers. Pixabay

A flower to express distance between two people, a bunch of anemone flowers simply mean “I feel abandoned”.

4. Yellow rose

What does a yellow rose mean?

We have all grown up believing that a red rose stands for love and affection, a white rose means purity and a yellow rose symbolizes friendship. But that is where we are wrong!

In the Victorian Era, the color yellow was associated with negative connotations, ranging from lukewarm affection to jealousy.

A yellow rose hence, represents jealousy and infidelity. It may also mean diminishing emotions, a love that is nearing its end. Yellow rose may also mean farewell, combined with a hint of sorrow.

The association of yellow rose with friendship is believed to be an invention of rose cartels to expand the sale of the flower. Surprisingly, that is the more popularly known (and believed) interpretation, too.

flowers and their meanings
Yellow Rose. Pixabay

It is not very difficult to understand the decode different flowers and their meanings. While there are numerous flowers that express affection, grief, care and concern, there are handfuls that denote negative emotions. Refer to our list the next time you wish to buy flowers for somebody and remember to never get these flowers if you wish to show your affection,

Crocus                               I need some time to think

Lavender                           I do not trust you

Tansy                                Leave me alone

Geranium                          You do not seem right for me

A dried white rose             I would literally die than be with you