Screams, this creative design blog, features photography of Mt. Etna in Sicily by Lukas Furlan

Driving to Tonare di Scopello, a stunning Italian mansion on North-West coast of Sicily, I thought life couldn’t get much better. Blue skies accompanied blue sea and gentle wind made the sun’s heat quite comfortable. Then while climbing a hill with the aroma of wine in the air from vineyards either side of the road, my Fiat Panda’s tyre burst. Peh, pssssssst.

I was with my girlfriend of the time and thought shit, I’ve never changed a tyre before. Being able to change a tyre is something modern man is expected to know how to do. It’s as if it’s a default part of the male education, just like learning to tie a tie or drinking whiskey.

I got out the car and opened the boot. There was a spare, a wench and a jack. Thankfully it wasn’t difficult. I lifted the car with the jack, popped off the nuts with the wench, and changed the tyre for the spare. Three inches of nail was wedged in the track of the wheel.

Before long we headed off again at a slower pace soaking up the sights and smells. Beautiful and green, Sicily is home to much ancient culture and I’ve always regretted not going to see Mount Etna.

The tallest active volcano in Europe, great Roman poet Virgil described it erupting in Aeneid (the earliest first-hand description we have of it; read the translation by Robert Fagles):

A spreading bay is there, impregnable
To all invading storms; and Aetna’s throat
With roar of frightful ruin thunders nigh.
Now to the realm of light it lifts a cloud
Of pitch-black, whirling smoke, and fiery dust,
Shooting out globes of flame, with monster tongues
That lick the stars; now huge crags of itself,
Out of the bowels of the mountain torn,
Its maw disgorges, while the molten rock
Rolls screaming skyward; from the nether deep
The fathomless abyss makes ebb and flow.

Such vivid imagery of its eruptions had always come to mind when calling Mount Etna to mind, either that, or green grassy slopes scattered with sheep. I suppose when thinking of what Nature should look like I’ve always had a presupposition to words shared by Spanish playwright Pedro Calderon de la Barca, “Green is the prime colour of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”

What I had never considered, nor seen, was that Mount Etna is covered in snow.

Lukas Furlan is an Italian landscape photographer who has captured these fantastic photographs of Mount Etna in its snowy glory. A student of photography in Vienna, his landscapes have already been featured on Bēhance and now, more importantly, Screams:

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Screams, this creative design blog, features Chris Beatrice, children’s book illustrator and his latest series for Maurice the traveling mouse: The Muuha of Bang Bua

Rudyard Kipling, most famous for authoring The Jungle Book, once said, “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”

The use of narrative and story-telling in history is something I’ve become interested in after reading Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall. England’s history written for children, it condenses two thousand years and more into a flowing story, weaving through myths and fairytales while maintaining strong accuracy and educational value.

It’s a children’s book through-and-through yet reading it aged 24, it was the first time I’d stayed interested, captivated even, in English history. The role of the illustrator became apparent as a core part of the book’s appeal. The pictures of Kings and Queens and bloody battles made it easier to remember but also gave Our Island Story a quality that made you want to cherish it as if it were a piece of art. In 2005, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph ran a campaign with its readers to commission a re-print of the original 1905 version complete with illustrated artworks (available only on Amazon UK). It was this that I bought.

Chris Beatrice is a children’s book illustrator and creative designer from Massachusetts in USA I have found in my ongoing quest. An incredibly talented painter (sometimes digital) and gifted story-teller, Beatrice is the man behind the front covers of many classic children’s books including Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Daniel DeFoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant.

In 2013 his illustrations for Maurice’s Valises helped earn it USA Book Award for Best Children’s Picture Book (fiction), and here on Screams I feature his latest paintings for the story of the traveling mouse, Maurice Goes To Bangkok: The Muuha of Bang Bua.

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Art: Ewelina Kotra

Sleep less. It sounds counterintuitive but if you’re waking up feeling tired, you may in fact be sleeping too much.

The answer to how to wake up not feeling tired is to ensure you wake at the end of a ~90 minute sleep cycle.

As I wrote in How To Record Your Dreams, sleep is made of two main parts: quiet and active sleep (a.k.a REM – rapid eye movement). In a normal stretch of sleep, say eight hours, you go through five cycles of alternating quiet and active sleep.

Each cycle lasts about 90 minutes and it’s when you’re in deep sleep that your brain is most active and dreaming. This active sleep (REM) phase extends in length and frequency toward morning.

Immediately after a period of REM sleep you are most awake and it’s at this point you should try to set your alarm and get out of bed. If you wake up half-way through an REM sleep phase you’ll wake up feeling groggy and this can last the entire day.

Keep reading to see a graph and learn how to wake up not feeling tired.

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