John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Ten random things: July 23

Ten examples of leucippotomy:

  1. Cherhill or Oldbury white horse, Wiltshire (1780)
  2. Cleadon Hills white horse, Tyne and Wear (before 1887)
  3. Kilburn White Horse, Yorkshire (1857)
  4. Old Pewsey white horse, Wiltshire (1785)
  5. Uffington White Horse (Bronze Age, 1400 BC to 600 BC)
  6. Ham Hill or Inkpen white horse, Wiltshire (1865-1877)
  7. New Devizes white horse (1999)
  8. Marlborough or Preshute white horse, Wiltshire (1804)
  9. Osmington White Horse, Dorset (c.1808)
  10. Old Litlington white horse, Sussex (c.1838)

Leucippotomy is the art of carving white horses into chalk hills. Not something I would have thought needed a special word to describe, but what do I know?

Chalk figures have been the news of late, thanks to a publicity stunt perpetrated by the producers of The Simpsons Movie. They asked and received permission to place a 180-foot tall figure of Homer Simpson holding a donut adjacent to the Cerne Abbas Giant, a chalk figure of a tumescent male carved into a hillside in Dorset. (Check out the photo in this Sun article.) The Simpson figure is very temporary; it was painted using water-soluable paint, meaning it will wash away during the first rainstorm that comes along. Nevertheless, local pagans are outraged over what they see as disrepect for their tradition of pretending that the Giant, which historical records suggest was carved in the late 17th century, is an ancient Celtic fertility symbol.


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