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Anoka man’s 2350-pound pumpkin carved to break more records – Minneapolis Star Tribune10.31.20

When life gives you a 2,350-pound pumpkin, Travis Gienger figures you should carve it.

Gienger grew the gourd that won the 47th annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off this month in California, then hauled it back home to Anoka, his hometown and self-proclaimed Halloween Capital of the World, to earn even more glory.

Gienger enlisted the help of his friend Mike Rudolph to carve a tiger out of the pumpkin, which he had nicknamed Tiger King. He hopes to set Guinness World Records for the largest and the heaviest pumpkin ever carved.

"It's not every day you get to see something like this," Gienger said Friday at his garage in Nowthen while watching Rudolph turn his prized pumpkin into a work of art.

Tiger King will be on display Saturday, starting at 11 a.m., for the 100th annual Anoka Halloween Grand Day Parade. Due to the pandemic, this year's parade will be a drive-by experience with several locations set up for people to see from their cars. Gienger's pumpkin will be at Mauer Main Chevrolet, 435 W. Main St.; more details on the parade are available at

Rudolph started carving around 10 a.m. Friday after a fork lift and skid steer propped up the 6- by 6-foot pumpkin, more than a metric ton of fruit. An opening was cut through the thick skin so Gienger could harvest 200 seeds for people around the world who inquired about buying them, he said. Some seeds will be donated and others Gienger plans to keep for another growing season, to see if he can top Tiger King.

Six months ago, he planted an $80 seed that came from a 1,501-pound Wisconsin pumpkin. With Gienger's care and mastery as a horticulture teacher at Anoka Technical College, he produced his 2,350-pound beauty the heaviest pumpkin weighed this year in North America that earned him the world title and a $16,450 grand prize.

Tiger King and Gienger have since gained national attention. They were recently featured on the Drew Barrymore Show, and he received a call from the people at Tiger King, the popular Netflix show and the inspiration for the pumpkin's name. He shares frequent updates about his pumpkins on social media, where he has a growing fan base.

On Friday, a wheelbarrow full of pumpkin guts rested beside Rudolph as he used clay sculpting tools to create a furry texture and add a 3-D quality to the face. He carved into the evening, clocking more than eight hours to get the job done.

"Teeth are the most tedious," he said. "The goal is to start with ten fingers and end with ten fingers."

Rudolph has been carving Gienger's pumpkins for more than a decade, some of the largest being over 1,000 pounds, but he said it was an honor to carve Tiger King. Family and friends stopped by to watch the process of bringing the great pumpkin to life.

"It's a long journey coming to an end, but it's a cool ending," Gienger said.

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The Met’s ‘About Time’ exhibit proves nothing in fashion is ever quite new – New York Post10.31.20

Finally! The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its latest Costume Institute show Thursday, after multiple delays and a canceled gala due to COVID-19. And its only fitting, since the exhibit is all about ... time.

About Time: Fashion and Duration marks the Mets 150th anniversary, and the exhibit reflects 150 years of fashion, culling largely from the Costume Institutes own archive. Yet instead of a straightforward timeline showing the progress of trends and silhouettes, About Time has a more eclectic approach, showing how fashion like history continually repeats itself.

In essence, the show is a meditation of fashion and temporality, said curator Andrew Bolton in remarks to the press earlier this week, drawing out the tensions of change and endurance [as well as] ephemerality and persistence.

The show is organized chronologically, starting with a bustled mourning dress from 1870 and ending with a silk rose-shaped frock by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton from 2019. Yet a second, parallel timeline runs throughout the show, juxtaposing these looks marking the passage of time with similar creations from an entirely different time period. Bolton chose 120 mostly black ensembles, to emphasize their changing silhouettes and interconnection.

On one hand, the exhibit is proof of that old adage great artists steal, showing that even the most iconic, boundary-pushing garments (from Jean Paul Gaultiers cone bra for Madonna to Gianni Versaces va-va-voom safety pin dress) had taken inspiration from more antique duds. Yet, it also shows that pretty much every single fad is ripe for resurrection. Its not just the timeless artifacts that get recycled again and again the little black dress, the smoking jacket, the tweed skirt suit but the most outre, ridiculous and dated, too: bulbous bustles, constricting corsets, padded hips, a World War I-era Red Cross uniform copied by designer John Galliano in ... 2020?

Well, why not? As Bolton said, Time exists as a continuous flow.

Here, a look at some of the exhibits most famous styles, and how they continue to proliferate today.

About Time runs through Feb. 7, 2021. Timed tickets are required for entry to the exhibition and are available at MetMuseum.orgor, for members and New York State residents, on site.

Elizabeth Hurley caused a sensation when she arrived at the 1994 premiere of the film Four Weddings and a Funeral in this salacious sheath with skin-baring slits held together by oversize safety pins. Yet Versace wasnt the only designer to combine hardware, exposed skin and high fashion. In 1977, British designer Zandra Rhodes debuted her torn punk wedding dress, adorned with beaded safety pins and ball-chain fringe. And in 1884, a young socialite named Virginie Gautreau scandalized le tout-Paris when her portrait painted by John Singer Sargent debuted, showing her in a revealing black dress with a sweetheart neckline and bejeweled shoulder straps, which bears more than a striking resemblance to Hurleys equally shocking frock.

Coco Chanel created timeless fashion, which is why nearly a century after her little black dress, shes still being copied. Take her signature wool suit, which debuted in 1954, consisting of a boxy cardigan-like jacket and a straight skirt. No less than Jacqueline Kennedy wore a knockoff the infamous bubblegum pink suit she was wearing when her husband was assassinated in 1963. (Although Jackies did come from a genuine Chanel pattern.) When Karl Lagerfeld took over the storied House of Chanel in 1982, he immediately shortened the suits hem to micro proportions. Other designers have put a postmodern spin on the classic, rendering it in garish McDonalds colors (a la Jeremy Scott) or shredding it and turning it inside-out (a la Junya Watanabe). Current muse Kristen Stewart has worn infinite variations herself, including this one in pale pink satin that she styled without a shirt underneath how au courant!

Sometimes its the least practical items that end up coming back into fashion again and again. Take the ostentatious waistcoats and riding jackets of late 17th and early 18th century France, stiffly embroidered with flowers and worn with frilly lace collars. Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII, was photographed wearing this decorative puff-sleeved silk velvet riding jacket by Morin Blossier in 1902. In 2003, Italian designer Roberto Cavalli did an Edwardian frock coat in denim worn with cut-offs, and in 2018 Louis Vuitton director Nicolas Ghesquire showed a series of jacquard-woven silk jackets and waistcoats paired with athletic shorts and sneakers directly inspired by the historic garments in the Mets collection.

Believe it or not, Madonnas signature cone bra which she wore for her 1990 Blond Ambition tour wasnt all that original. The bras creator, Jean Paul Gaultier, had debuted an even more exaggerated version of the silhouette in his 1984 fall runway collection, featuring corseted crushed-velvet dresses with the cartoonish conical cups inspired by the perky-breasted sweater girls of the 1940s and 50s. Punk provocateur Vivienne Westwood debuted a similar, more demure version of the high-fashion cone bra in the early 1980s. And back in 1949, the American couturier Charles James known for his classy ballgowns debuted his Tulip dress, featuring a conical bust that looks almost exactly like Gaultiers later boundary-pushing creation.

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Boxing: Exhibition will be real thing, say Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr – Sportsnaut10.31.20

(Reuters) A charity bout between former champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. next month is being billed as an exhibition but both boxers described it as war on Thursday, promising to hold nothing back even if they have to fight under womens rules.

The boxing greats, now into their 50s and well past their primes, will return to the ring at the Staples Center in Los Angeles as the main event on a Nov. 28 card that will also have YouTube celebrity Jake Paul (1-0) taking on former-NBA dunk champion Nate Robinson on his professional debut.

On their resumes, Tyson, the first heavyweight to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and Jones Jr., who simultaneously held a record seven belts, would be a mouthwatering spectacle.

But 54-year-old Tyson, once known as the baddest man on the planet, has not fought since a loss to Kevin McBride in 2005 while 51-yer-old Jones Jr.s last fight came in 2018.

Still both boxers, as well versed in the art of promotion as the sweet science, did their best to drum up interest in the pay-per-view event, making it clear they are preparing to fight not spar.

Listen, I dont know what you are talking about (it) not a real fight, said Tyson, during a conference call. You got Mike Tyson and Roy Jones and Im coming to fight and I hope hes coming to fight and thats all you need to know.

Im ready to do this and Im feeling great. Were ready to go to war.


The exhibition will be dressed up as the real thing with the bout overseen by the California State Athletic Commission and scored by a panel of three champions using the WBCs remote scoring program.

The winner will take ownership of the Frontline championship belt.

Jones Jr. spent more time praising Tyson than baiting the former champion.

I am preparing like I prepare for any other fight because I am fighting the great Mike Tyson, how can you not prepare for that, said Jones Jr.

I would be stupid to not spar when you are going to face the hardest puncher you are probably ever going to face in your life.

Who goes into the ring with the great legendary Mike Tyson and thinks, alright this is an exhibition.

The only thing that really seemed to get under the skin of both men was the fact they are being made to box under womens rules with two-minute rounds for the eight-round fight.

Im not happy at all, thats for women, fumed Jones Jr. Were not women, we are two of the best to ever do it so why we got to do two-minute rounds?

Jones Jr. said getting in the ring with Tyson allowed him to tick an item off his boxing bucket list.

For his opponent, the charity bout has much greater purpose.

Mike Tyson is preparing to meet God eventually and before he does he has things he wants to accomplish and this exhibition is one of them, he said.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond)

Boxing: Exhibition will be real thing, say Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr - Sportsnaut


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Everyone Needs a Buddy – The New York Times10.31.20

TWINSWritten by Varian JohnsonIllustrated by Shannon Wright

Everything has changed, is changing.

Young people are adapting to virtual school sessions, socially distanced play dates and visits with loved ones through Zoom. Change itself seems to be the only constant these days. And its a reality that is well reflected in the lives of Maureen and Francine Carter, twin sisters in Twins, the first book of the graphic novel series by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright. Maureen and Francine (who now wants to be called Fran) are more like best friends than sisters. Their whole lives theyve done everything together. But at the start of sixth grade, things just arent the same.

Maureen, the thinker, wants to keep things just the way they are. The plan was to have the same class schedule as her sister so they could eat lunch together and she is perfectly OK with keeping their same group of friends (coordinated outfits and all). Francine, the talker, craves independence. She has a new style and is perfectly fine having a different class schedule. The close bond they have is at stake when both girls decide to run for class president. All this change leaves Maureen wondering if she is losing her best friend. Will these external changes dent their actual relationship?

Johnson is a wonderful storyteller whose humor is poignant and refreshing. He respects his young readers, knowing they can handle characters who dont always get it right: Adults make mistakes, friends dont necessarily say the right words and sisters arent always honest with each other.

Wrights colorful illustrations interplay with the text in clever and commanding ways. Her art is an accurate representation of the real world bodies are a variety of sizes; skin tones and hair textures are diverse. The visual details that capture Black girlhood help us understand the Carter family: hair bonnets for bedtime, the wide-toothed comb on the dresser, the mothers variety of headwraps and headbands.

There is a knowing here that goes beyond the authors own experience as a twin himself. It is the sober understanding that for many Black girls, a joyful, everyday moment like shopping at the mall can turn quickly into a reminder that this world is not always welcoming. When Maureen goes to the mall with her friends, a white clerk ignores them and helps a white customer instead. This moment happens quickly, with no foreshadowing. Just as in life, no one knows when micro (or macro) aggressions will happen; they come when least expected and leave the targeted person upended.

When Maureen makes her campaign speech to become class president, she promises to start a sixth-grade buddy system so that students have support while adapting to all the newness. In her speech, Maureen says, Lets be honest, everyone needs a buddy! And shes right. There is so much happening in the world. Many of our young people are feeling uncertain and anxious. Young readers need a friend, a special buddy, to help them navigate this new norm. This book is a comforting companion.

Twins is a page-turner with moments that make you laugh out loud. Anyone with a sibling will appreciate the sarcastic and witty banter of these sisters. And all children will relate to the politics of where to sit in the cafeteria. While the reader learns that all twins arent the same and have different interests and needs, the reader also sees the subtle truth that Blackness is not a monolith, that there is no such thing as acting like a girl and that the one thing all people want is to be accepted for who they truly are.

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Frances Hardening Defense of Cartoons of Muhammad Could Lead to A Trap – The New York Times10.31.20

NICE, France When the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in early September, it triggered a chain of events that included two stabbings, protests in Muslim nations, the boycott of French goods and criticism from allies. Tensions rose higher when one young Islamist extremist beheaded a teacher near Paris this month, and another slit the throats of two people and fatally stabbed another inside a church in the southern city of Nice this week.

But French officials have not only defended the right to republish the cartoons, some have gone further including regional leaders who announced that a booklet including those images would be handed out to high school students as a commitment to defend the values of the Republic.

In the tortured 14-year history of the cartoons in France, the response to the images there has undergone a profound transformation. Once denounced by the head of state for provoking and disrespecting Muslims, and later held at a cautious distance by other officials, the same drawings are today fully embraced across the political establishment often conflated with Frances commitment to freedom of expression.

The caricatures have put France at a dangerous impasse, widening its divide with Muslim nations and leaving many French Muslims feeling alienated. To Muslims outside France, and some inside, the cartoons are simply provocative and gratuitous insults leveled at their faith. One drawing depicts the Prophet Muhammad carrying a bomb in his turban.

The hardening of Frances defense of the images has also set it apart even from the United States and other Western democracies that, faced with increasingly diverse societies, have become more cautious about speech that could be considered offensive, especially to racial, ethnic, religious or other minorities. Many French regard those attitudes as a form of American political correctness that threatens French culture.

On Friday, a day after a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant killed three people at the main basilica in Nice, police announced they had arrested a second suspect. About 50 people gathered in front of the church to pay tribute to the dead. What started as a moment of solidarity was interrupted by a couple of local residents who blamed Islam for the attack to the protest of bystanders. A veiled woman called on people not to conflate Muslims with terrorists.

The mayor of Nice said the Constitution should be modified so that France could properly wage war against Islamist extremists. Frances hard-line interior minister, Grald Darmanin, set the tone by declaring, Were at war, against an enemy who is both inside and outside.

The martial language reflects an overall hardening of the French view of radical Islam. The fierce defense of the caricatures has put the French in a position with little room for maneuver, where any compromise could be seen as undercutting a core value Frances strict secularism, called lacit.

Pierre-Henri Tavoillot, a philosopher and expert on lacit at the Sorbonne University, said that the conflict over the caricatures has led France into a trap.

In fact, they have become symbols and that turns the situation into a conflict, he said. But its a conflict that in my opinion is inevitable: if French lacit gives up on this point, it will have to give up on all the others.

He added, If we abandon caricatures, for a French person, were abandoning freedom of expression, the possibility of criticizing religions.

In 2015, the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the killing of a dozen people including cartoonists and columnists led to mass mobilization in Paris under the banner of Je suis Charlie, or I am Charlie.

Representatives from Muslim countries like Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan and Qatar joined that march against terrorism and for freedom of speech. But all of these countries have in recent days criticized the republication of the caricatures, arguing that they offended Muslims.

The editors at Charlie Hebdo republished the same cartoons to mark the start of a long-awaited trial of alleged accomplices in the 2015 attack, saying they were affirming Frances democracy.

The republication was quickly followed by a high-profile speech by President Emmanuel Macron detailing his plans to combat Islamism, and the governments widespread crackdown on what it described as Islamist individuals and organizations moves that contributed to the change in perspective abroad.

The publication and the republication are not the same thing, said Anne Giudicelli, a French expert on the Arab world who has worked for the French foreign ministry. The republication by Charlie Hebdo is seen as an obstinate will to continue humiliating. Thats what is different from 2015. Now there is the sense that France has a problem with Islam whereas, in 2015, France was the victim of terrorists.

Angered by the republication, a Pakistani asylum-seeker stabbed two people outside the former offices of the magazine, and a refugee of Chechen descent beheaded a middle-school teacher who showed in class two Muhammad caricatures, including one depicting him naked on all fours.

Freedom of speech or the freedom to say blasphemous things about religion is considered a tenet of French democracy, which was established by eradicating the power of the monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church, and has steadily become a pillar of Frances secularism, or lacit.

Rooted in a law established in 1905 when France lacked a significant Muslim community French secularism separated church and state and was based on the idea that faith is a private matter and must therefore be restricted to the private sphere, Mr. Tavoillot, the philosopher, said.

Jean Baubrot, a leading historian of French secularism, said that the idea was to give precedence to the state. Modern France considers that it established itself against religion, he said.

Frances strict secularism has also been indirectly strengthened by the increasing secularization of French society. Only 8 percent of French people regularly practice their faith today, according to a 2016 report by the Paris-based Institut Montaigne.

But how lacit is lived and enforced has hardened in reaction to the rising number of Muslims in France, Mr. Baubrot said. Today about 10 percent of Frances population is Muslim, and they are much more religious than their Christian or Jewish counterparts. The report found that 31 percent of Muslims visit a mosque or prayer hall once a week.

French secularism holds dear the right to criticize all religions though not believers. The line is often difficult to draw, and has left many Muslims feeling personally insulted with the publication of caricatures of Muhammad.

Complicating matters is that France does curb some freedom of expression banning, for example, attacks on people for their religion or skin color, and forbidding Holocaust denial.

The teacher who was beheaded had used two caricatures of Muhammad from the pages of Charlie Hebdo in a class on freedom of expression, angering many Muslim students and parents. The government regarded his killing as an attack on the state since public schoolteachers have played a key role in teaching about secularism.

A few days after the killing, the leaders of Frances 13 regions announced that they would publish a booklet for high school students featuring the Muhammad caricatures.

The art of caricature is an old tradition that is part of our democracy, said Iannis Roder, a middle school history teacher and a member of the Council of the Wise, created by the government in 2018 to reinforce lacit in public schools.

He added that he faced increasing difficulties teaching freedom of expression and the right to caricature because of a greater penetration of religiosity among many students who call themselves Muslims.

But Mohammed Moussaoui, the president of the French Council of Muslim Faith, said that there should be limits to offensive satire when it comes to religious beliefs. Limiting the publication of cartoons of Muhammad avoids fueling extremism, he said.

I dont think this is the right way to explain freedom of expression to children, Mr. Moussaoui said of the caricatures in an interview with France Info. The duty of brotherhood imposes on all to renounce some rights.

In a subsequent statement, Mr. Moussaoui said that his suggestion to renounce some rights had been clumsy. But he added: If freedom of expression gives the right to be satirical or humorous, we can understand that cartoons putting a prophet who is fundamental to millions of believers in suggestive and degrading postures cannot fall within this right.

As the caricatures have acquired a powerful symbolic significance since the 2015 attacks, it has become politically difficult to raise questions about them.

Clmentine Autain, a far-left lawmaker from the party France Unbowed, said that the debate over terrorism and secularism is dominated by emotion and is no longer rational.

Some politicians are using lacit as a way to ostracize all Muslims, she said. My concern is that, by doing this, a number of Muslims are being sent back into the arms of radicals.

Antonella Francini contributed research from Paris.

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Monster Madness 2020: Here are the ultimate slasher horror icons (across categories) – PennLive10.31.20

Its that time of year for Monster Madness, where we celebrate, even out of fear (lol)" the horror movie icons that remain as the ultimate slashers of the genre. PennLive asked you all who are the scariest movie monsters across categories, heres how they rank across our categories!

Leatherface in "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" in 1974, played by Gunnar Hansen.

While the Universal classic movie monsters had been around for decades, Leatherface became one of the first masked slasher horror movie monsterspaving the way for monster madness.

He first appeared in the horror classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in 1974, and was played by Gunnar Hansen. Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper created the cannibalistic character who wears the skin of others as a mask, inspired by real-life serial killer Ed Gein.

Though Leatherface is iconic, he places at no. 3 in the silent, but deadly category.

Jason in the "Friday the 13th" reboot in 2009, played by Derek Mears.

Fun fact: Jason Voorhees wasnt the original killer in the Friday the 13th franchise. It was his mother, Pamela Voorhees, who wanted revenge for his drowning in Crystal Lake, due to the camp counselors not watching the deformed child in 1957.

Jason first appeared in Friday the 13th Part II in 1981, with a potato sack for a mask, avenging the death of his mother. He killed any teenager who enjoyed sex, drugs and booze, and who dared step on his camping site. The iconic hockey mask first appeared in Friday the 13th Part III in 1982.

Jason never says a word, and he has the body count to back up being silent, but deadly. Though, he placed at no. 2 in our Twitter poll, with only 14.3% of the vote.

Michael Myers in "Halloween" in 2018. The 2018 film is a direct sequel to the original 1978 classic. Nick Castle reprised his role as Michael Myers/The Shape.

Michael Myers a.k.a. The Shape a.k.a. The Boogeyman wins in the silent, but deadly category with 82% of the vote. While The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Black Christmas serve as the blueprint for 70s slasher, the successful release of Halloween in the late 70s popularized slasher horror movies moving into the 80s. Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises followed Halloween alongside a string of b-level slashers in the early-to-mid 80s, and Hellraiser and Childs Play in the late 80s.

Michael began his murderous rampage at the young age of 6stabbing his teenaged sister with a butcher knife to death on Halloween, before stalking a babysitter (later revealed to be his baby sister before the retcon) named Laurie Strode in the original film and Halloween II," 15 years later.

Like Dr. Loomis famously said in the original film:

Christian Bale played Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho" in 2000.

Wealthy and successful and murderous. That describes Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. He doubles as a Wall Street investment banker and a serial killer. He also suffers from psychosis, and he hallucinates. The film is based on the novel, garnering praise for its adapted screenplay and Bales performance. Though, while regarded as a film, Bateman places last in the realistic serial killer category.

Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins, in 1960's "Psycho."

Okay, so while Psycho is regarded as a psychological horror thriller, the film definitely has early elements of slasher.

Norman Bates is the shy caretaker and proprietor of an old motelBates Motel. While shy, he suffered from emotional and physical abuse as a child at the hands of his mother, Norma, who taught' him sex is sinful. At the time the movie takes place, Norma is dead, but spoiler, Bates dresses up as his mother, murdering occupants of the motel.

Psycho scored Oscar nods for Best Supporting Actress (Janet Leigh, famous for the shower scene) and Best Director (Alfred Hitchcock) as well as Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography. The film was also selected for the National Film Registry and Library of Congress for being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

While being an early and iconic example of a slasher/serial killer, Norman places at no. 2 with 27% of the vote.

Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for Best Actor in 1992, for his role as Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 hit "The Silence of the Lambs."

What is with cannibalism? Leatherface may be the only horror icon that rivals Hannibal Lecter in terms of cannibalism. Though unlike Leatherface, Lecter seems more realistic as a serial killer (eek). Whats even more spooky about Lecter is that he was a forensic psychiatrist before being caught for his crimes.

Hes one of the antagonist (and somewhat one of the protagonists) of the Red Dragon novel franchise. It was in 1991 the character debuted on film with Anthony Hopkins in the Oscar-winning role in The Silence of the Lambs. In the film, he helps the FBI find other serial killers.

Dont get it twisted, hes still frigging creepy. A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." Ugh, just makes your skin crawl. Thats why he came in first place with 62%.

"Candyman" was released in 1992, starring Tony Todd in the titular role.

Hes the most sympathetic horror icon on this list. Based on Clive Barkers 1985 short story The Forbidden, Candyman was released in 1992, with Daniel Robitaille a.k.a. the Candyman as the main antagonist (played by Tony Todd). Daniel, a young Black artist in the 1800s fell in love with a white woman whose father commissioned him to paint. Hes chased by a lynch mob who cuts off his hand and smears honey all over him before bees sting him to death and they cheer on. Though, his vengeful ghost lives on and all you have to do is call his name five times in the mirror with the lights off before he appears behind you and guts you to death with his hook, which is now in place of his severed hand. The film alongside the sequels are among the first to highlight racial tensions, gentrification and anti-Black systemic racism in horror cinema. The spiritual sequel Candyman will be released in 2021.

The original Pinhead was played by Doug Bradley (also known as the Lead Cenobite) in "Hellraiser" (1987).

Barker also created Pinhead, the Lead Cenobite in the Hellraiser franchise. Hellraiser was released in 1987, at time where it was all about Freddy vs. Jason at the box office. Though, Pinhead brought something new to slasher genre. He wasnt a silent, but deadly and slightly supernatural maniac. He wasnt a wise-cracking supernatural being like Freddy or Chucky (who would premiere the following year in 1988). He was an intellectual yet commanding figure with a unique sadomasochistic look.

Pinhead was transferred into a creaturefrom his human formupon using the Lament Configuration, a box that opens up to an extradimensional realm occupied by demons. These demons use sadomasochism to feed on the souls of humans. Pinheadwhose human named is later revealed to be Elliott Spenceris also known as the Hell Priest and he wasnt playing when he says, well tear your soul apart! He beat out Candyman in a face-off focused on Barkers scariest creation.

The Ghostface killer in "Scream 2."

Like Leatherface, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and PinheadGhostface reinvented the slasher horror genre. In the Scream franchise, Ghostface is actually a moniker for several serial killers using slasher tropes to carry out their revenge plots on Sidney Prescott and friends.

The Scream franchise reinvented slasher horror by deconstructing slasher horror and its tropes, and sometimes, rewriting and setting new rules. Whats your favorite scary movie?" question and phrase is what Ghostface would use to start their slasher horror trivia games before offing their victims.

The meta series of films re-popularized slashers in the late 90s with its self-awareness. After ScreamI Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend were released and also commercially successful, while sequels to older franchises like Bride of Chucky and Halloween: H20 also experienced success.

Ghostface and (its iconic costume) became a late 90s pop culture phenomenon, even being spoofed in Scary Movie (2000). Though, Ghostface will always represent an iconic time in late 90s slasher culture, the lets play a game trope and (catchphrase) would shift from meta and self-aware to torture in the 00s. Hence, Ghostface came in 2nd in this close face-off with 43.3% of the vote.

Tobin Bell played John Kramer a.k.a. the Jigsaw Killer in the "Saw" franchise.

I want to play a game.

While the Scream franchise took meta horror games to new heights, Saw turned torture into puzzle games of live or die. John Kramer a.k.a. the Jigsaw Killer is terminally ill. Though he attempted suicide, he decides to start appreciating the life he has left by testing peoples will to live. He does this by making them torture themselves to survive or inflicting torture onto others to survive.

The torture slasher series Saw dominated the 00s and partially the 10s, grossing over $982 million globally among eight entries, according to The Numbers. Hence, Kramer wins in this category!

Pennywise the Dancing Clown is played by Bill Skarsgrd in "It" (2017) and "It: Chapter Two" (2019).

Youll float too!

Pennywise a.k.a. It was originally played by Tim Curry in the 1990 miniseries. While his performance and the miniseries were praised, Bill Skarsgrd managed to fill his clown shoes and breathe new modern day creepiness into It.

Pennywise the Dancing Clown a.k.a. is a cosmic entity of evil that pops up every 27 years in Derry, Maine to manipulate, stalk and feast on the children of the town. Originally a miniseries, the movie franchise was broken up into two films"It" in 2017 and It: Chapter Two" in 2019, grossing over $1.1 billion globally between the two films, according to The Numbers.

Though, Pennywise is more popular and creepier than ever, It did not win in the stuff of nightmares category. Though, with 46.5% of the vote, it was a close call.

Robert Englund played Freddy Krueger for nearly 20 years, from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" through "Freddy vs. Jason."

Freddy Krueger will forever and always be the stuff of nightmares...literally.

The killer reinvented horror in a world where Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers ruled slashers with the silent, but deadly and somewhat supernatural aesthetic in the early 80s. Krueger gave the sub-genre much more personality. With a burned, disfigured face and razor-sharp knife fingers, the supernatural nightmare stalker and killer was a whole other level of creepiness, compared to his slasher counterparts.

In the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Freddy stalked and murdered teenagers on Elm Street. Why? Because an angry mob of townsfolk burned and killed Freddy (a.k.a. the Springwood Slasher) upon realizing he was responsible for the killings of children around the town. Though, he would return as vengeful powerful force in the townsfolks childrens dreamskilling his victims in their dreams, and hence, in the real world. What a premise Wes Craven created.

Annabelle is featured in several films in The Conjuring Universe.

The Conjuring Universe is ever-growing with spin-offs. Currently, all eight films have taken place between 1952 and 1981. Annabelle appeared in The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2," while being the titular antagonist in the 2014 film, Annabelle: Creation and Annabelle Comes Home.

Below is the synopsis to the prequel Creation, per Rotten Tomatoes.

While the Annabelle entries in The Conjuring Universe are hits, they dont hit enough for her to win in the killer doll category.

Chucky is voiced by Brad Dourif throughout the "Child's Play" franchise, minus the "Child's Play" reboot in 2019, in which the killer doll is voiced by Mark Hamill.

The Cult of Chucky must be real. His fanbase is deadly loyal. Chucky first appeared in Childs Play" in 1988. In the original film and sequels (before the reboot), Chucky is a good guy doll possessed with the soul of a serial killer Charles Lee Ray a.k.a. the Lakeshore Strangler." The killer doll unsuccessfully tries to inhabits the body of a real-life child in order to live out his murderous life time and time again.

The wise-cracking Chucky was introduced during the height of slashers, following in the footsteps of Leatherface, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Pinhead. Still, he clearly holds a presence in the horror game.

Chucky may always be the no. 1 possessed killing doll.

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Monster Madness 2020: Here are the ultimate slasher horror icons (across categories) - PennLive


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What Day of the Dead tells us about the Aztec philosophy of happiness – Trumbull Times10.31.20

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Lynn Sebastian Purcell, State University of New York College at Cortland

(THE CONVERSATION) Growing up in the United States, I remember on Halloween my mother used to say, Honey, this is not just a day for costumes and candy. You must also remember your relatives. Know their names. She would show me pictures of great-aunts, uncles and other deceased relatives.

Meanwhile, my family members in Mexico observed Day of the Dead, a national holiday that is celebrated from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. They would build small altars at home to honor their loved ones, and put food, drinks, photos and other personal items on them. They similarly decorated their ancestors graves.

These days, I am part of a small group of researchers who are working to recover Aztec philosophy. My focus is on Aztec ethics, which the Aztecs thought of as the art of living well, but we call the pursuit of happiness.

Ive learned that Day of the Dead rituals, which date back to Mexicos pre-Columbian peoples and are observed all over the Americas, are deeply rooted in Aztec ethics.

A brief introduction to Aztec philosophy

Shortly after Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean in 1492, Spanish peoplecolonized the region. In 1521 the Aztec empire fell in a two-year war led by the Spaniard Hernn Corts.

Afterwards, Spanish priests wanted to understand the native population in order to convert them to Christianity. They painstakingly detailed the Aztecs beliefs in volumes of material written in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. The most important of these sources is the Florentine Codex, written between 1547 and 1577.

The basic problem of life for the Aztecs, according to these sources, is that humans arent perfect they make mistakes. The earth is slippery, slick, the Aztecs would say. And to avoid falling into error, people need to live a balanced life on three different levels: in their psyches, their bodies and their society.

The top individual goal in Aztec ethics, then, is for people to balance their psyche. It is done by aligning the heart, or yollotl, and face, or ixtli. By heart, the Aztecs meant thoughts and desires. By face, they meant the rational organization of those desires.

Where Day of the Dead fits in

For the Aztecs, then, a happy life is achieved through balance. Individually, this means balancing ones face and heart, but socially this involves friends, family and ancestors. Day of the Dead rituals help with this social balance.

Its important to note that the heart is a metaphor for all of the bodys desires. Also, the Aztecs did not distinguish minds from bodies. They believed each region of the body had its own mind. For example, our eyes think one way, our ears another, and our skin another way still. As the scholar Alfredo Lopz Austinargues, the Aztecs thought of consciousness as the result of this ecosystem of minds, with each mind competing for attention and expressing its own desires.

Within this ecosystem of minds, the Aztecs believed that three regions held the highest concentration of the cosmic forces that make humans living, moving beings: the heart (the physical heart, in this case), the head and the liver.

The heart houses the yolia, which expresses ones conscious and remembered personality. The head houses the tonalli, which expresses the strength of ones character and destiny. And the liver houses the ihiyotl, which is responsible for our breathing and health.

When we die, the Aztecs believed these three powers separate from our bodies. The ihiyotl, or breath, immediately rejoins nature. The tonalli, or vital strength, returns as energy to be called on in need. Ones yolia. or personality, however, travels to the land of the dead, called Mictln. There, it endures a series of trials, including hunger and cold winds.

To help in the journey, each persons yolia is accompanied by a little yellow dog and whatever offerings ones loved ones make. Thats why on various days of the year not only during Day of the Dead family members are supposed to help the yolia of recently deceased relatives by offering them food, drink and other gifts at their home shrines.

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But after four years, the yolia finishes its journey and rejoins the fundamental energy of the universe ometeotl, or god. All that remains of the deceased, then, is their force of personality as tonalli, which, the Aztecs believed, could be called on by remembering their name.

By remembering our ancestors, Aztecs thought, we help balance our lives while were here on Earth and also support our loves ones in their afterlife. This, in essence, is the purpose of the Day of the Dead that many observe today.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here:

What Day of the Dead tells us about the Aztec philosophy of happiness - Trumbull Times


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Artist Uses a Chainsaw to Transform a Damaged Tree Into a Giant Hand Reaching Towards the Sky – My Modern Met10.29.20

Artist Simon ORourke brings new meaning to a palm tree with his massive sculpture of a hand emerging from a tree stump. Titled Giant Hand of Vyrnwy, the piece measures 50 feet tall and transforms in front of your eyes. The base of the sculpture is a standard tree; but as you gaze upward, it begins to shed its bark and eventually becomes the smooth skin of the arm and ends with the gentle creases found in the palm and fingers. This transition, between rough and smooth, has a folkloric qualityas if a giant is trying to make its way onto Earth.

Giant Hand of Vyrnwy is carved into the formerly tallest tree in Wales. In fact, thats why ORourke got to create the sculpture in the first place. The tree had been damaged by a storm and was going to be cut down, and the Natural Resource Wales was planning on commissioning an artist to carve it.

I was really excited at the prospect of carving this giant and creating a memorial for such a well-known landmark, ORourke explains. I began researching the area and found the area of woodland that contained the tree was known as the Giants of Vyrnwy. This got me thinking and I decided on a giant hand, symbolizing the giants, and the trees last attempt to reach for the sky!

To craft such an impressive piece required the right tools and a strong work ethic. A scaffold was needed to make it safe to work on, and the terrain was such a difficult one that it took two days to erect the scaffold, the artist recalls. Six days of intense work followed using chainsaws and grinders. I needed to add two pieces for the thumb and little finger, as the tree wasnt wide enough to form the whole hand. Once complete, ORourke coated the sculpture in tung oil, which is a natural plant-based oil thats safe for the environment.

Aside from being an incredible work of art, the process was a valuable reminder for ORourke. I loved working on the hand sculpture, it reminded me just how small we are compared to some of the living organisms on this planet, he says. All in all, a humbling experience!

Simon O'Rourke: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Artist Meticulously Whittles Suspended Tree Trunk Into Realistic Sculpture of Tattered Rope

Giant Lion Carved from Single Tree Trunk Took 20 People 3 Years to Complete

Chainsaw Artist Turns Tree Stump into Illusion of Bucket Pouring Water

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Artist Uses a Chainsaw to Transform a Damaged Tree Into a Giant Hand Reaching Towards the Sky - My Modern Met

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Out & About: Events and postponements in the South Bay Oct. 30-Nov. 5 – The Daily Breeze10.29.20

Oct. 30

Annual Community Show Applications: Participants may submit up to two pieces of artwork for consideration. To enter, visit Deadline for submissions is Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. Information: 310-377-9584, extension 237, or

Cancer Support- Fermented Vegetables and Digestion: Presented by Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach. Workshop led by Lilly Padilla. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 310-376-3550, Visit for more details.

Double Treat Drive-Thru Event: Presented by DoubleTree by Hilton Carson, 2 Civic Plaza Drive, Carson. 4-5 p.m.

Movie Showing: Los Angeles Arts Society presents Pop-up Drive-in cinema showing of Halloween, Gardena Cinema, 14948 Crenshaw Blvd., Gardena. 7-8:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. $25-$50. 310-217-0404 or

Movie Showing: Los Angeles Arts Society presents Pop-up Drive-in cinema showing of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Gardena Cinema, 14948 Crenshaw Blvd., Gardena. 10-11:30 p.m. $30. 310-217-0404 or

Measure Q Bond Committee Applications: For all members of the Redondo Beach community. Application forms are available at Submit form to Dr. Annette Alpern, deputy superintendent of Administrative Services, RBUSD District Office, 1401 Inglewood Ave., Redondo Beach; or email Deadline for submission is Oct. 31. Information: 310-937-1241 or see the bylaws posted at under Measure Q Bond.

Scary Stories: Through Oct. 31. To access, visit

For the Good of the Family Legacy: A workshop for couples and singles, led by Dennis J. Branconier. Presented by Mary and Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $50. 310-377-4867, extension 250, or

Movie Showing: Los Angeles Arts Society presents Pop-up Drive-in cinema showing of Halloween, Gardena Cinema, 14948 Crenshaw Blvd., Gardena. 7-8:30 p.m. $25-$50. 310-217-0404 or

Movie Showing: Los Angeles Arts Society presents Pop-up Drive-in cinema showing of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Gardena Cinema, 14948 Crenshaw Blvd., Gardena. 10-11:30 p.m. $30-$50. 310-217-0404 or

Titus Andronicus: Presented by Shakespeare By the Sea and Little Fish Theatre. 7 p.m. Register at

Trick or Treat Drive-Thru: Hosted by Gardena Elks No. 1919, 1735 W. 162nd St., Gardena. 6-7 p.m. 310-327-1919.

Trunk and Treat Party: Hosted by Justice For Murdered Children, 481 W. Second St., San Pedro. 4-7 p.m.

Dia De Los Muertos: Featuring Gabriela Crowe and Arte Delgado-Rendon, Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, 112 E. 22nd St., San Pedro. 2-4 p.m. 310-732-1270.

Movie Showing: Los Angeles Arts Society presents Pop-up Drive-in cinema showing of Halloween, Gardena Cinema, 14948 Crenshaw Blvd., Gardena. 7-8:30 p.m. and 12:30-2 a.m. $30. 310-217-0404 or

Movie Showing: Los Angeles Arts Society presents Pop-up Drive-in cinema showing of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Gardena Cinema, 14948 Crenshaw Blvd., Gardena. 10-11:30 p.m. $30. 310-217-0404 or

Play at Home: The Velocity of Autumn, written by Eric Coble, directed by Rachel Baumsten. Presented by Torrance Theatre Company. 6 p.m. $20. 424-243-6882,

Families Connected Parent Chat: Presented by Beach Cities Health District and South Bay Families Connected. 10-11 a.m.

Virtual Happiness Chat: Presented by Beach Cities Health District. 12:30-1:30 p.m. Register at

Bohannon Lecture Series: Featuring Marilyn Lynch of the National Pork Board. Presented by the Peninsula Seniors. 10:30 a.m. Register at Use meeting ID 83759485830, and passcode 031033. Information: 310-377-3003 or

Toastmasters South Bay Club 280: 7-9 p.m. Call 310-532-1209 for link information.

Mental Health and Happiness Series: Presented by Beach Cities Health District. 11 a.m.-noon. Register at

South Bay Film Society Film Virtual Showings: Herb Alpert Is and Once Upon a River through Oct. 31; The Reason I Jump through Nov. 2; African Violet, Citizens of the World and Oliver Sacks: His Own Life through Nov. 9; and Beasts Clawing At Straws and Martin Eden through Nov. 17. Information:

Online Exhibit: Paul Jean Martel (1979-1944), Post Impressionist, curated by Aaron Sheppard. Palos Verdes Art Center/Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education, 5504 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes. Runs through Nov. 14.

Skin In The Game Exhibit: Curated by Brett Holmes. Palos Verdes Art Center/Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education, 5504 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes. Runs through Nov. 14.

Yarn Angels South Bay: Currently not holding meetings but the group continues to crochet, knit, quilt and sew for seven local charities. New members and donations are welcome. Information: contact Anna at 310-830-2190 or visit

All Palos Verdes Performing Arts events are postponed until further notice.

All events at the Redondo Beach Main Library and the Redondo Beach North Branch Library are canceled until further notice.

Send Out & About items two weeks in advance to:

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Out & About: Events and postponements in the South Bay Oct. 30-Nov. 5 - The Daily Breeze

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Review: ‘Epiphany’ art gallery and artist D’Shon McCarthy – The Flyer10.29.20


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Updated: 13 hours ago

According to the Guerrieri Student Union Art Space webpage, DShon McCarthy, a junior at Salisbury University, began exploring her love for art at the Visual Arts Program of Wicomico High School and has continued her artistic passions at Salisbury University, planning to attend the New York Academy of Art for her masters degree after graduating SU in 2022.

The following pieces within the Epiphany collection were on display at the Guerrieri Student Union Art Space.

McCarthys portraits in this collection each incorporate a set of specific and calculated set of emotions enhanced through visual elements such as her use of juxtaposition, shape and color.

One of her pieces, Detonate, features a dizzying collection of vibrant 3D shapes and flowers which evoke a sense of fluttering chaos around the self-portrait.

The environment surrounding McCarthy in this piece, as well as her facial expression, evoke a sense of uneasiness and discomfort.

Another one of McCathys pieces, Dissociate, Delusional, Deliverance, illustrated McCarthy herself, entangled in a sea of yellow and blue swirls and external magenta hands.

What excels the most in this painting is not only the juxtaposition of the 2D swirls with McCarthy and the hands 3D figures, but the eyes. The eyes within this piece truly evoke a sense of dissociation from reality.

Additionally, the power of this piece is also enhanced by the relaxed facial features that juxtapose the swirling surroundings within the pieces background.

McCarthys pieces are also enhanced by her use of self-reflection and emotion which is particularly present in her piece, Dial Tone.

In this artwork, a fractured mirror separates McCarthy from her reflection which is applying makeup.

As addressed in the Guerrieri Student Union Art Space webpage, thick layers of oil paint to are capture the various highlights and shadows of light on McCarthys skin. However, what first appears to be a scene from a typical morning routine with makeup is quickly revealed to be something more.

According to the Guerrieri Student Union Art Space webpage, a bottle of liquor sits beside McCarthy, accompanied by panicked eyes, referencing the presence of men in McCarthys life.

In addition to the self-portraits within the Epiphany showcase, McCarthy also features a portrait of her twin sister as mentioned by the Guerrieri Student Union Art Space webpage.

In Half and Half, McCarthys twin sister, DShae, is adorned with vivid, saturated flowers and butterflies, demonstrating the artists impeccable use of color.

What is most striking about McCarthys Epiphany is the artists ability to capture feelings and emotions.

The use of saturation, vibrancy and intricate shapes assist in the portrayal of stress and anxiety which is not unfamiliar to viewers, especially in modern times.

DShons artwork portrays strong emotions and feelings.

She seems to be lost in beautiful worlds which amplifies her artwork, proving to be more than just a simple self-portrait.

The art invites the viewer to dig beneath the initial image, trying to understand the artists perspective. However, it also invites viewers to reflect on themselves.

Thus, I applaud McCarthys use of shapes, textures, and shades; they not only define McCarthys world and emotions, but they also assist in creating emotions that viewers can relate to and reflect on.

A source referenced within this article has been listed below for reference.


Staff writer

Photo by Summer Shaper

2020The Flyer

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Review: 'Epiphany' art gallery and artist D'Shon McCarthy - The Flyer

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