Tasi`s Musings, December, 2014 Greetings from Merida
Tasi’s Musings, December, 2014
Greetings from Merida
One of the more fascinating true stories from the Mayan culture are the
famous singing crystal skulls pictured below. Some of the skulls are
believed to be between 5,000 and 36,000 years old. Found near the
ancient ruins of Mayan civilizations, they apparently hold a profound
mystery. Mayan pottery and Mayan masks are replete with skulls.
Indeed human skulls are one of the most pictured objects dealing with
religious rites of pre-Columbian cultures. But the crystal skulls are
different. They seem to defy logic. Everything that is known about
lapidary work indicates that the skulls should have been shattered
fractured or fallen apart when carved.
Many of the indigenous people speak of their remarkable magical and
healing properties. Legend also has it that a great power emanates from
the group when all are joined side by side and that in effect the skulls continuously seek to be reunited.
The skull reunion legend has some rather peculiar bits of history behind it. One story goes that a
“singing” noise can be faintly heard when one skull comes into proximity of another skull.
Indeed, this remarkable feature was how a “fake” was discovered. When an owner lent his skull
to a museum for public exhibition in the 1950’s, it supposedly began “singing” when it came into
contact with two other skulls that had also been lent for exhibition. Supposedly upon the
attempted return of the skull to its owner, he noticed that it would no longer sing when placed
next to the other two skulls. An examination latter revealed that in effect, the skull had been
switched by a museum employee who had replaced the original with a fake copy. Fortunately,
the authorities were able to recover the original and the owner was satisfied of its authenticity
when it once again began to “sing” when it was in the proximity of other skulls.
Researchers found that the skull had been carved
against the natural axis of the crystal. Modern
crystal sculptors always take into account the
axis, or orientation of the crystal’s molecular
symmetry, because if they carve “against the
grain,” the piece is bound to shatter — even
with the use of lasers and other high-tech cutting
To compound the strangeness, HP could find no
microscopic scratches on the crystal which
would indicate it had been carved with metal
instruments. Their best hypothesis for the skull’s construction is that it was roughly hewn out
with diamonds, and then the detail work was meticulously done with a gentle solution of silicon
sand and water. Best estimates for the exhausting job, assuming it could possibly be done in this
way, would have required about 300 years of man-hours to complete.
Under these circumstances, experts believe that successfully crafting a shape as complex as the
Mitchell-Hedges skull is impossible; as one HP researcher is said to have remarked, “The
damned thing simply shouldn’t be.”
These and many more fascinating stories await you at Magic in Merida from February 11-15,
In the News
What’s the Fitting Room Policy for Transgender Women. At Petticoat Fair in Austin,
Texas this year, a retail worker suggested that transgender woman, Kylie Jack, have
reassignment surgery if she wanted a bra fitting. Suffering a salesperson who refuses to serve
you, or asks you for your license is a continually popular dehumanizing bonus that comes with
your dressing room experience if you’re transgender. Some stores feel that women might have
trouble focusing on whether or not their ballet skirt fits when there’s a possible penis next door.
Others are all good with providing stellar service and access for whoever rolls in.
Styleite cold called six mass market stores — H&M, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Victoria’s Secret,
Forever 21, and American Apparel to get their policies on serving transgender women.
We don’t want to be girls. We just want to be cute!” The future of crossdressing in Osaka.
I’m not sure there isn’t some truth in this for many of us. First we had the CD waitress bars, now
we have the “Girls Clubs” in Tokyo. There’s something to be said for the Japanese approach to
Early transgender celebrity Christine
Jorgensen was once one of the most famous
women in the world. Here’s an interesting
piece from the Advocate about Christine. If
you don’t know the story of this early
pioneer, now is the time to learn. (Note from
Tasi: Christine was not the first sexual
reassignment surgery on a transsexual)
LGBT Study. Public support for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
people in the United States has increased significantly over the last three decades, according to a
new study released today by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. National trends
suggest that increased support for LGBT rights is not exclusively due to a generational shift, but
due, in part, to a broad cultural shift towards acceptance that has impacted people of all ages and
ideologies in the country.
Inspiring Women of the Year. Nicole Maines, 17, who is
transgender, made headlines earlier this year when she and
her family won a long-standing lawsuit against her school
after she'd been directed to use the staff bathroom instead
of the girls' restroom. Click to see more inspiring women.
An interesting story of Mary Jones, one of the earliest
transgender persons in American history, although
whether she was a gay crossdresser or a transsexual
woman is not know. From Una at Transascity.org
Books, Movies, and Television
Hollywood Is Ready For Trans Characters, But Not Trans Actors. Over the next year or so, two
major films focusing on transgender characters will be making their way into theaters. One, The
Danish Girl, will focus on Lili Elbe, often thought to be the first person to undergo genital
surgery to alter her physical sex. The other, Three Generations, will focus on a young trans
man’s journey through transition while his family copes with the news. Only problem is that the
roles will not be played by trans actors. Click the link for the full story.
Transgender Film Festival. Originally named the Tranny Fest, the San Francisco Transgender
Film Festival has been sharing films since 1997— providing a platform for transgender and
gender-variant filmmakers. And this year's festival will take places at the Roxie Theater on
The Danish Girl. The true story of Einar Wegener, the Danish painter, who became Lili Elbe in
1930, the first known transsexual to have SRS. British actor Eddie Redmayne was selected for
the role and he is working with the trans community to prepare for the part. This is one movie
you will not want to miss. The book is available on Amazon.
Fashion and Beauty
Meet Amanda Lepore, Fashion Icon And Nightlife Legend. HuffPost Gay Voices features
individuals that are prominent people in the New York nightlife community or have made
important contributions in the past that have sustained long-lasting impacts. This drag queen has
an amazing story and you’ll want to view the Joan Rivers video with Amanda and friends.
Fashion Rules That Knowing Women Always Follow. Follow these guidelines and you will
always be “put together” with the envy of other women. Here’s a short recap. Click here for the
Forget those lengthly beauty rituals (yes, it’s possible even for crossdressers). Aesthetic
intelligence, particularly when it comes to the visual aspects of your identity, reflects
your ability to pick up social cues and communicate effectively. Beauty rituals are tools.
Learn to use them effectively
Impeccable Grooming. I’m definitely not suggesting that you add more things to your todo list or that you must look like you just stepped out of a salon everyday. However,
prioritizing tasks and creating efficient habits around those grooming rituals, like
choosing functional hairstyles and low-maintenance nails, can actually cut down prep
time and elevate your overall appearance
Distinctive Style. Develop a go-to look so you stand out for the right reasons. Whether
it’s a particular color or silhouette, or maybe an era-inspired look, high-ranking women
from Marissa Mayer to Nancy Pelosi adopt signature looks.
Strategic Makeup. Studies have found that wearing makeup sends strong messages about
credibility and health — to both men and women. We tend to find the “natural” look
most universally appealing, but of course the “naturalness” that’s celebrated isn’t really
natural — it requires work.
Body Awareness. Your body will never be perfect (as if such a ridiculous thing exists).
And that’s something powerful women always understand: They know what looks good
on them and accept their bodies — work with it, not against it.
Quality Over Quantity. Successful women are shrewd with money, but they also know
when to open their wallets. This includes investing in quality additions to their wardrobe.
When they shop, they’re in it for the long haul and don’t have time to acquire every
season — so they need pieces to last. Most crossdressers have limited wardrobes, so buy
quality as well as pieces that can be put together in many variations.
Expert Accessorizing. From hosiery to handbags, accessories can be the single easiest
way to trip up an otherwise sharp look. They’re also the easiest way to elevate an
otherwise mediocre ensemble. Accessories are focal points, so they’re great for playing
up assets (think belts and scarves). Consider them affordable tools for transforming an
outfit from out-of-date to current, or to infuse a traditional look with some modern flair.
The Awesome Transgender Inmates at This Jail Do Fashion Shows With DIY Clothes. Prepare
to have your heart melted into fondue by prisoners who make their own clothes out of whatever
they can get their hands on. They’re creative, and they know how to sissy that walk.
First LGBT Commercial. Even drag
superstars Bianca Del Rio and Adore Delano
get cranky when they aren’t caffeinated. The
fan-favorite queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race
season 6 party with Starbucks for the coffee
company’s first LGBT commercial.
Lost in the Fifties- Another Time, Another
Place Cheri Amor and I can relate to this
video. Perhaps some of you can too. How
much do you remember?
So until next month,