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Carnival: don masks and costumes, join free-spirited parade and street party, jolly fun before Lent

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Carnival is a Western Christian festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide (or Pre-Lent). Carnival typically involves a public celebration and/or parade combining some elements of a circus, masks, and a public street party. People wear masks and costumes during many such celebrations, allowing them to lose their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity. Excessive consumption of alcohol, meat, and other foods proscribed during Lent is extremely common. Other common features of carnival include mock battles such as food fights; social satire and mockery of authorities; and a general reversal of everyday rules and norms.  read more »

Photos: "still alive?" "defying gravity" "chicken farm" "vinegar cancer test" "female martial artist" "goth festival"...

matador gored by bullNimes Pentecost Feria, France: brave French matador Juan Leal vs. bull

bridge collapse: into river but atop the car
Luck. Atop a car that fell into the Skagit River: the I-5 bridge collapse

 Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ 2013Defies Gravity. ‘Dancing With The Stars’ finals: 20May2013

Chicken Farm, Pennsylvania
chickens provide the fertilizer on this Pennsylvania farm: the Chesapeake Bay

a simple vinegar test for cancer
simple vinegar test slashed cervical cancer death rates by 1/3: study of 150,000 women

Left: visitors of a Wave-Gothic meeting arriving in Leipzig, Germany; Right: martial artist Michelle Yeoh stunning at 2009 premiere of Vengeance
(L) Martial artist Michelle Yeoh stunned in a sexy nude Roberto Cavalli gown at the 2009 premiere of Vengeance. (R) Wave and Goth Festival: Leipzig, Germany;

Roger Federer at the French Open
Roger Federer set a new standard of excellence in men's tennis: 2013 French Open  read more »

Flawless and faultless beauty - seals: creatures of Nature, children of Snow. Photo: cutest adorable baby seal with big smile

*update* 04 August 2014 DailyMirror: Surfing SEAL surprises duo by climbing on board and riding the waves for almost an hour

*update* 12 March 2013

all smiles: Harp Seal pup smiling for the camera in East Canada
tickle my tummy: Harp Seal rolls over in Canada snowy wastelands, looks like he is asking for a belly rub
time for a little nap: puffed up and sleepy this seal pup catches forty winks in Canadian winter sun

What's wrong with us? Who are we to stand by and watch the brutal clubbing of flawless and faultless beauty - seals: creatures of Nature, children of Snow? From StopTheSealHunt: "Sadly, in Canada close to 300,000 poor, defenseless baby seal pups (most between 2 weeks and 3 months of age) are brutally murdered every year in the annual, government-sanctioned commercial seal hunt - all for the sake of fashion, vanity, politics, money and greed. Many are even skinned alive while conscious. (What kind of heartless human being could even think of doing such a thing!?)"

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Meet the incredible smiling seal!  read more »

Comfort food - 14th Chocolate Show opens in Paris with 400 exhibitors & 140 chocolatiers from around the world

Former Miss France 2007 Rachel Legrain-Trapani presents a creation by Jean Doucet and Ghraoui Chocolatier at the 14th Salon du Chocolat (Paris Chocolate Show) in Paris October 28, 2008

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The 14th edition of the Chocolate Fair has opened in Paris featuring 400 exhibitors and 140 chocolatiers from around the world, featuring displays and mountains of chocolate, top pastry chefs and sculptures. Visitors will be able to sample treats, creamy truffles and steaming cups of hot chocolate.

"It may be doom and gloom for everybody else, but for us all is well," said Gilles Marchal of luxury French chocolate-maker La Maison du Chocolat, speaking as the annual Paris chocolate show opened Wednesday. "Chocolate is a comfort-food," he added. "There has been no drop in sales."

in these troubled times, chocolate-makers are walking on the wild side with weird flavours such as cauliflower

The French have had a long-standing love affair with chocolate since its introduction to the country by Anne of Austria in 1615. It was presented as a wedding gift upon her marriage to Louis XIII. Anne of Austria only married him on condition that she could bring her own chocolate supplies from Spain. By the mid-1600s, the chocolate drink had gained widespread popularity in France.  read more »

At New York Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2009 (photos), designers bend fashions to fit a slimmer economy

Ralph Lauren spring/summer 2009 collection at New York fashion week

Vera Wang

Pamella Roland

Tuleh

Ralph Lauren spring/summer 2009 collection

Michael Kors

Complete coverage at New York Times with slideshows

Photos courtesy of Louis Lanzano/Associated Press, Getty, Firstview, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, and Telegraph UK

Related Article: Ralph Lauren at New York Fashion Week (with video)

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