Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Bangladesh & Brunei’s Iftar


In Bangladesh, a wide variety of foods is prepared to break the fast at Maghrib time. Some of the common iftar items from Bangladeshi cuisine include Piyaju (made of pulse, onion and pulse powder), Beguni (made of eggplant and pulse powder), Jilapi, Muri (puffed crunchy rice grains, usually spiced with onion, garlic, chilli and other iftar items), Haleem, dates, samosas, Dal Puri (a type of lentil based pastry), Chola (cooked chickpeas), traditional Bengali sweets and different types of fruits such as watermelon. Drinks such as Rooh Afza and lemon sharbat are common on iftar tables across the country. People like to have iftar at home with all family members and iftar parties are also arranged by different offices and organisations.


In Brunei, iftar is called "sungkai". Traditionally this is held in the mosque or masjid for those who have prayed. In the mosque, a buffet is prepared by the government and local residents. Before the iftar, the beduk must be heard as a signal for beginning sungkai. Sungaki also means when a person decided to break their fast during daylight hours (the prescribed fasting time). Bruneians usually celebrate sungkai in restaurants (with reserved seats).


See also: Idul Fitri, Hamper Hari Raya, Hari Raya Hampers

What is Muslim Qasida???

Qasida (also spelled qasidah), in Arabic: قصيدة, plural qasā'id, قــصــائـد; in Persian: قصیده (or چكامه, chakameh), is a form of poetry from pre-Islamic Arabia. It typically runs more than 50 lines, and sometimes more than 100. It was later inherited by the Persians, where it became sometimes longer than 100 lines and was used and developed immensely.

Qasida is often panegyric written in praise of a king or a nobleman. This kind of qasidah is known as a madih meaning praise. Qasidas have a single presiding subject, logically developed and concluded.

The classic form of qasida maintains a single elaborate meter throughout the poem, and every line rhymes. These poems are considered some of the most elaborate in the world.

In his 9th century Kitab al-shi'r wa-al-shu'ara' (Book of Poetry and Poets) the Arabic writer ibn Qutaybah says that (Arabic) qasida are formed of three parts: - They start, he says, with a nostalgic opening in which the poets reflects on what has passed, known as nasib. A common concept is the pursuit of the poet of the caravan of his love; by the time he reaches their campsite they have already moved on. - The nasib is usually followed by the takhallus - a release or disengagement. The poet often achieved this disengagement by describing his transition from the nostalgia of the nasib to the next portion of the poem. The second section is rahil (travel section) in which the poet contemplates the harshness of nature and life away from the tribe. - Finally there is the message of the poem, which can take several forms: praise of the tribe, fakhr; satire about other tribes, hija; or some moral maxims, hikam.

While many poets have intentionally or unintentionally deviated from this plan in their qasida it is recognisable in many.

One of the most popular and well known qasidas is the Qasida Burda ("Poem of the Mantle") by Imam al-Busiri.


See also: Lebaran, Hari Raya, Ramadan Gift

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thaipusam Festival

Thaipusam (Tamil: தைப்பூசம்) is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community during the full moon of the Tamil month Thai (January to February). It also speaks of this festival as the Thaipooyam or Thaippooyam language Malayalam.

The word comes from the Thai pusam name of the month, Thai and pusam, which refers to a star which is at its highest point during the festival.

It commemorates both the birth of Murugan, also known as Subrahmanya, the youngest son of the god Shiva and his wife Parvati, and the opportunity during which Parvati gave Murugan a spear (vel) for that it can defeat the devil Surapadman.


Skanda (or Murugan) was created during one of the battles between the Asura (demon spirits) and Deva (gods). At one point, the gods were defeated repeatedly by the Asura. The Deva were unable to resist the onslaught of the forces deployed by the Asura.

In desperation, they prayed to Shiva, so he gives them a leader who, by his heroic command, to give them victory over the Asuras. Shiva granted their request, creating the powerful warrior Skanda, pulling his own power (Shakti Achintya).

Skanda took command of the gods, and knew how to instill the necessary momentum to defeat the forces of Asura.


See Also: idul fitri, hamper hari raya, hari raya hampers

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Turkish Eid ul-Fitr Celebration

In Turkey, where Ramadan celebrations are infused with more national traditions, and where country-wide celebrations, are referred to as Bayram. It is customary for people to greet one another with "Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun" or "Bayramınız Mübarek Olsun" ("May Your Bayram Be Holy"). "Mutlu Bayramlar" ("Happy Bayram") is an alternative phrase for celebrating Bayram.

Referred to as both Şeker Bayramı ("Bayram of Sweets") or Ramazan Bayramı ("Ramadan Bayram"), Eid in Turkey is a public holiday, where schools and government offices are generally closed for the entire period of the celebrations.

It is a time for people to attend prayer services, put on their best clothes (referred to as "Bayramlık", often purchased just for the occasion) and to visit all their loved ones (such as friends, relatives and neighbors) and pay their respects to the deceased with organized visits to cemeteries, where large, temporary bazaars of flowers, water (for watering the plants adorning a grave), and prayer books are set up for the three-day occasion. The first day of the Bayram is generally regarded as the most important, with all members of the family waking up early, and the men going to their neighborhood mosque for the special Bayram prayer.

It is regarded as especially important to honor elderly citizens by kissing their right hand and placing it on one's forehead while wishing them Bayram greetings. It is also customary for young children to go around their neighborhood, door to door, and wish everyone a happy Bayram, for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as Baklava and Turkish Delight, or a small amount of money at every door, in an almost Halloween-like fashion.

Municipalities all around the country organize fundraising events for the poor, in addition to public shows such as concerts or more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theatre and even performances by the Mehter - the Janissary Band that was founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire.

Helping the less fortunate, ending past animosities and making up, organizing breakfasts and dinners for loved ones and putting together neighborhood celebrations are all part of the occasion, where homes and streets are decorated and lit up for the celebrations, and television and radio channels continuously broadcast a variety of special Bayram programs, which include movie specials, musical programming and celebratory addresses from celebrities and politicians alike.


See also: Idul Fitri, Hamper Hari Raya, Hari Raya Hampers


The Takbīr or Tekbir (تَكْبِير) is the Arabic name for the phrase Allāhu Akbar (الله أكبر). Usually translated "God is [the] Greatest," or "God is Great", it is a common Islamic Arabic expression, used as both an informal expression of faith and as a formal declaration.

The form Allāhu is the nominative of Allah "[the one] God".

The form akbar is the elative of the adjective kabīr "great". As used in the takbir it indicates the superlative (best), usually translated as "greatest". The term takbīr (تَكْبِير) itself is the stem II verbal noun (tafʿīlun) of the triliteral root k-b-r "great."

In the English version of Ibn Qayyim's book "The Way to Patience and Gratitude", it is stated in the footnotes that "Allahu Akbar" translates into "Allah is Greater". In the Second Edition on page 463, it quotes:

"...I preferred using 'the Greater' to the 'the Greatest', as it is commonly used. Allahu Akbar literally means, "Allah is Greater" with the comparative mode. Yet, this does not mean that He (Glory be to Him) is not the Greatest, nor does it mean that there is anything that is put in comparison with Him. This is because when the Muslim says it, he means He is "Greater" than anything else, which, consequently, means He is the Greatest. This use gives more influence. This may be why it is used in Arabic this way, otherwise it should have been used as "Allahu al-Akbar", in the superlative mode. Surely, Allah Knows best. (Translator)..."


See also: Lebaran, Hari Raya, Ramadan Gift

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Liturgical Cycle of the Liturgical Year

The liturgical cycle divides the year into a series of seasons, each with their own mood, theological emphases, and modes of prayer, which can be signified by different ways of decorating churches, colors of Paraments and Vestments for clergy, scriptural readings, themes for preaching and even different traditions and practices often observed personally or in the home. In churches that follow the liturgical year, the scripture passages for each Sunday (and even each day of the year in some traditions) are specified by a list called a lectionary.

Among non-Catholic Western Christians, Anglicans and Lutherans have traditionally followed the lectionary since the days of the Protestant Reformation. Following the Roman Catholic liturgical reform of the Roman Rite instituted by Pope Paul VI in 1969, the adoption and use of lectionaries in other Protestant churches (Methodist, Reformed, United, etc.) increased. In particular, the growing influence of the Revised Common Lectionary led to a greater awareness of the Christian year among Protestants in the later decades of the 20th century, especially among mainline denominations.


See also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist

The Liturgical Year

The liturgical year, also known as the Christian year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches which determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read. Distinct liturgical colours may appear in connection with different seasons of the liturgical year. The dates of the festivals vary somewhat between the different churches, though the sequence and logic is largely the same.

In both East and West, the dates of many feasts vary from year to year, usually in line with the variation in the date of Easter, with which most other moveable feasts are associated. The extent to which feasts and festivals are celebrated also varies between churches; in general, Protestant churches observe far fewer than Catholic and Orthodox, in particular with regard to feasts of the Virgin Mary and the other Saints.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Magnolia Description

It is a great and beautiful tree, pyramidal, up to a height of 30 m to 25 m in cultivation.

Its foliage is evergreen. Its leaves are entire margins smooth, elliptical shape obovate, long 10-20 cm, leathery, glossy green on upper surface, hairy, red ferruginous tomentose and often on the underside.

Flowering, which appears quite late on mature trees, to 25 years (except for some early cultivars), lasts all summer, from June to September or November. (In the southeastern United States, flowering is late April to July). The flowers are large, up to 25 cm diameter, white, very fragrant and highly decorative. Each flower remains a single day on the tree, but they are constantly renewed.

The fruit ovoid, somewhat resembles a conifer cone. First yellowish green, he blushed gradually while its scales are opening to release seeds bright red.

The tulip-laurel is, if we except the conifers, one of the few trees temperate evergreen.

Tree of temperate and tropical climates, it prefers full sun exposure, and proximity to flowing water. In France, it is hardy up to Ile-de-France, where he suffers from severe cold, however. Farther north, it grows and flourishes less evil.

Prefers soils with neutral or acidic pH, but can tolerate moist soil pH is fairly high, up to pH 8. He loves siliceous.

See Also: Lebaran, Hari Raya, Ramadan Gift

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Unique Chinese Bread

Mantou often referred to as humbao or Chinese steamed bun/bread, is a kind of steamed bun originating in China. It is typically eaten as a staple in northern parts of China where wheat rather than rice is grown. It is made with milled wheat flour, water and leavening agents. In size and texture, they range from 4 cm, soft and fluffy in the most elegant restaurants, to over 15 cm, firm and dense for the working man's lunch. (As white flour, being more heavily processed, was once more expensive, white mantou were somewhat of a luxury in pre-industrial China.)

Traditionally, mantou, bing, and wheat noodles were the staple carbohydrates of the Northern Chinese diet, analogous to the rice which forms the mainstay of the Southern Chinese diet. Mantou are also known in the south, but are often served as street food or a restaurant dish, rather than as a staple or home cooking. Restaurant mantou are often smaller and more delicate and can be further manipulated, for example by deep-frying and dipping in sweetened condensed milk.

They are often sold pre-cooked in the frozen section of Asian supermarkets, ready for preparation by steaming or heating in the microwave oven.

A similar food, but with a filling inside, is baozi. In some regions, mainly in Southern China, mantou can be used to indicate both the filled and unfilled buns.


See also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist

The Variety of Sourdough Breads Recipes

Aside from what might be called plain sourdough bread, there are a number of other breads that use similar starters and techniques. Amish Friendship Bread uses a sourdough starter that includes sugar and milk. However, it is further leavened with baking powder and baking soda, making it more of a quick bread. The German Pumpernickel is traditionally made from a sourdough starter, although modern pumpernickel loaves often use commercial yeasts, sometimes spiked with citric acid or lactic acid to inactivate the amylases in the rye flour. Also, the Flemish Desem bread is a popular form of whole-wheat sourdough, though cultured in a much less liquid medium.

Other recipes use starters that aren't actually truly natural leavens. The Italian Biga and French Poolish add sourdough-like flavors to breads by allowing the yeast a lengthy half-day or longer fermentation. Unlike a true sourdough, these recipes usually start with commercial yeast, and cultivation of lactobacillus bacteria is generally an incidental effect.


See also: International Flower Delivery, Florist, Flowers Discount Code

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Old Garden Roses (Continued)

Hybrid Perpetual

The dominant class of roses in Victorian England, hybrid perpetuals (a misleading translation of hybrides remontants, 'reblooming hybrids') emerged in 1838 as the first roses which successfully combined Asian remontancy with the Old European lineages. Since re-bloom is a recessive trait, the first generation of Asian/European crosses (Hybrid Chinas, Hybrid Bourbons, Hybrid Noisettes) were stubbornly once-blooming, but when these roses were recrossed with themselves or with Chinas or teas, some of their offspring flowered more than once. The Hybrid Perpetuals thus were something of a miscellany, a catch-all class derived to a great extent from the Bourbons but with admixtures of Chinas, teas, damasks, gallicas, and to a lesser extent Noisettes, albas and even centifolias. They became the most popular garden and florist roses of northern Europe at the time, as the tender tea roses would not thrive in cold climates, and the Hybrid Perpetuals' very large blooms were well-suited to the new phenomenon of competitive exhibitions. The "perpetual" in the name hints at repeat-flowering, but many varieties of this class had poor re-flowering habits; the tendency was for a massive spring bloom, followed by either scattered summer flowering, a smaller autumn burst, or sometimes nothing at all until next spring. Due to a limited colour palette (white, pink, red) and lack of reliable repeat-bloom, the hybrid perpetuals were ultimately overshadowed by their own descendants, the Hybrid Teas. Examples: 'Ferdinand Pichard', 'Reine Des Violettes', 'Paul Neyron'.

Hybrid Musk

Although they arose too late to qualify technically as Old Garden Roses, the hybrid musks are often informally classed with them, since their growth habits and care are much more like the OGRs than Modern Roses. The hybrid musk group was primarily developed by Rev. Joseph Pemberton, a British rosarian, in the first decades of the 20th century, based upon 'Aglaia', a 1896 cross by Peter Lambert. A seedling of this rose, 'Trier', is considered to the foundation of the class. The genetics of the class are somewhat obscure, as some of the parents are unknown. Rose multiflora, however, is known to be one parent, and R. moschata (the musk rose) also figures in its heritage, though it is considered to be less important than the name would suggest. Hybrid musks are disease-resistant, remontant and generally cluster-flowered, with a strong, characteristic "musk" scent. Examples include 'Buff Beauty' and 'Penelope'.

Hybrid Rugosa

The Rugosas likewise are not officially Old Garden Roses, but tend to be grouped with them. Derived from the R. rugosa species of Japan and Korea beginning in the 1880s, these vigorous roses are extremely hardy with excellent disease resistance. Most are extremely fragrant, repeat bloomers with moderately double flat flowers. The defining characteristic of a Hybrid Rugosa rose is its wrinkly leaves, but some hybrids do lack this trait. These roses will often set hips. Examples include 'Hansa' and 'Roseraie de l'Häy'.

Bermuda "Mystery" Roses

A group of several dozen "found" roses that have been grown in Bermuda for at least a century. The roses have significant value and interest for those growing roses in tropical and semi-tropical regions, since they are highly resistant to both nematode damage and the fungal diseases that plague rose culture in hot, humid areas, and capable of blooming in hot and humid weather. Most of these roses are likely Old Garden Rose cultivars that have otherwise dropped out of cultivation, or sports thereof. They are "mystery roses" because their "proper" historical names have been lost. Tradition dictates that they are named after the owner of the garden where they were rediscovered.


There are also a few smaller classes (such as Scots, Sweet Brier) and some climbing classes of old roses (including Ayrshire, Climbing China, Laevigata, Sempervirens, Boursault, Climbing Tea, and Climbing Bourbon). Those classes with both climbing and shrub forms are often grouped together.


See also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist

The Old Garden Roses

An Old Garden Rose is defined as any rose belonging to a class which existed before the introduction of the first Modern Rose, La France, in 1867. In general, Old Garden Roses of European or Mediterranean origin are once-blooming woody shrubs, with notably fragrant, double-flowered blooms primarily in shades of white, pink and red. The shrubs' foliage tends to be highly disease-resistant, and they generally bloom only on two-year-old canes. The introduction of China and Tea roses from East Asia around 1800 led to new classes of Old Garden Roses which bloom on new growth, often repeatedly from spring to fall. Most Old Garden Roses are classified into one of the following groups.


Literally "white roses", derived from R. arvensis and the closely allied R. alba. These are some of the oldest garden roses, probably brought to Great Britain by the Romans. The shrubs flower once yearly in the spring with blossoms of white or pale pink. The shrubs frequently feature gray-green foliage and a climbing habit of growth . Examples: 'Alba Semiplena', 'White Rose of York'.


The gallica or Provins roses are a very old class developed from R. gallica, which is a native of central and southern Europe. The Apothecary's Rose, R. gallica officinalis, was grown in monastic herbiaries in the Middle Ages, and became famous in English history as the Red Rose of Lancaster. Gallicas flower once in the summer over low shrubs rarely over 4' tall. Unlike most other once-blooming Old Garden Roses, the gallica class includes shades of red, maroon and deep purplish crimson. Examples: 'Cardinal de Richelieu', 'Charles de Mills', 'Rosa Mundi' (R. gallica versicolour).


Named for Damascus in Syria, damasks originated in ancient times with a natural cross of (Rosa moschata x Rosa gallica) x Rosa fedtschenkoana. Robert de Brie is given credit for bringing damask roses from the Middle East to Europe sometime between 1254 and 1276, although there is evidence from ancient Roman frescoes that at least one damask rose existed in Europe for hundreds of years prior. Summer damasks bloom once in summer. Autumn or Four Seasons damasks bloom again later, in the fall: the only remontant Old European roses. Shrubs tend to have rangy to sprawly growth habits and vicious thorns. The flowers typically have a more loose petal formation than gallicas, as well as a stronger, tangy fragrance. Examples: 'Ispahan', 'Madame Hardy'.

Centifolia or Provence

Centifolia roses, raised in the seventeenth century in the Netherlands, are named for their "one hundred" petals; they are often called "cabbage" roses due to the globular shape of the flowers. The result of damask roses crossed with albas, the centifolias are all once-flowering. As a class, they are notable for their inclination to produce mutations of various sizes and forms, including moss roses and some of the first miniature roses (see below) . Examples: 'Centifolia', 'Paul Ricault'.


Mutations of primarily centifolia roses (or sometimes damasks), moss roses have a mossy excrescence on the stems and sepals that often emits a pleasant woodsy or balsam scent when rubbed. Moss roses are cherished for this unique trait, but as a group they have contributed nothing to the development of new rose classifications. Moss roses with centifolia background are once-flowering; some moss roses exhibit repeat-blooming, indicative of Autumn Damask parentage. Example: 'Common Moss' (centifolia-moss), 'Alfred de Dalmas' (Autumn Damask moss).


The Portland roses were long thought to be the first group of crosses between China roses and European roses; recent DNA analysis at the University of Lyons, however, has demonstrated that the original Portland Rose has no Chinese ancestry, but rather represents an autumn damask/gallica lineage. They were named after the Duchess of Portland who received (from Italy about 1775) a rose then known as R. paestana or 'Scarlet Four Seasons' Rose' (now known simply as 'The Portland Rose'). The whole class of Portland roses was thence developed from that one rose. The first repeat-flowering class of rose with fancy European-style blossoms, the plants tend to be fairly short and shrubby, with proportionately short flower stalks. Example: 'James Veitch', 'Rose de Rescht', 'Comte de Chambord'.


The China roses, based on Rosa chinensis, were cultivated in East Asia for centuries and finally reached Western Europe in the late 1700s. They are the parents of many of today's hybrid roses, and they brought a change to the form of the flower. Compared with the aforementioned European rose classes, the Chinese roses had less fragrant, smaller blooms carried over twiggier, more cold-sensitive shrubs. Yet they possessed the amazing ability to bloom repeatedly throughout the summer and into late autumn, unlike their European counterparts. The flowers of China roses were also notable for their tendency to "suntan," or darken over time — unlike the blooms of European roses, which tended to fade after opening. This made them highly desirable for hybridisation purposes in the early 1800s. According to Graham Stuart Thomas, China Roses are the class upon which modern roses are built. Today's exhibition rose owes its form to the China genes, and the China Roses also brought slender buds which unfurl when opening. Tradition holds that four "stud China" roses ('Slater's Crimson China' (1792), 'Parsons' Pink China' (1793), and the Tea roses 'Hume's Blush Tea-scented China' (1809) and 'Parks' Yellow Tea-Scented China' (1824)) were brought to Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; in fact there were rather more, at least five Chinas not counting the Teas having been imported. This brought about the creation of the first classes of repeat-flowering Old Garden Roses, and later the Modern Garden Roses. Examples: 'Old Blush China', 'Mutabilis' (Butterfly Rose), 'Cramoisie Superieur'.


The original "Tea-scented Chinas" (Rosa x odorata) were Oriental cultivars thought to represent hybrids of R. chinensis with R. gigantea, a large Asian climbing rose with pale-yellow blossoms. Immediately upon their introduction in the early 1800s breeders went to work with them, especially in France, crossing them first with Chinas and then with Bourbons and Noisettes. The Teas are repeat-flowering roses, named for their fragrance being reminiscent of Chinese black tea (although this is not always the case). The colour range includes pastel shades of white, pink and (a novelty at the time) yellow to apricot. The individual flowers of many cultivars are semi-pendent and nodding, due to weak flower stalks. In a "typical" Tea, pointed buds produce high-centred blooms which unfurl in a spiral fashion, and the petals tend to roll back at the edges, producing a petal with a pointed tip; the Teas are thus the originators of today's "classic" florists' rose form. According to rose historian Brent Dickerson, the Tea classification owes as much to marketing as to botany; 19th century nurserymen would label their Asian-based cultivars as "Teas" if they possessed the desirable Tea flower form, and "Chinas" if they did not. Like the Chinas, the Teas are not hardy in colder climates. Examples: 'Lady Hillingdon', 'Maman Cochet', 'Duchesse de Brabant'.


Bourbons originated on the Île de Bourbon (now called Réunion) off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. They are most likely the result of a cross between the Autumn Damask and the 'Old Blush' China rose, both of which were frequently used as hedging materials on the island. They flower repeatedly over vigorous, frequently semi-climbing shrubs with glossy foliage and purple-tinted canes. They were first Introduced in France in 1823. Examples: 'Louise Odier', 'Mme. Pierre Oger', 'Zéphirine Drouhin'.


The first Noisette rose was raised as a hybrid seedling by a South Carolina rice planter named John Champneys. Its parents were the China Rose 'Parson's Pink' and the autumn-flowering musk rose (Rosa moschata), resulting in a vigorous climbing rose producing huge clusters of small pink flowers from spring to fall. Champneys sent seedlings of his rose (called 'Champneys' Pink Cluster') to his gardening friend, Philippe Noisette, who in turn sent plants to his brother Louis in Paris, who then introduced 'Blush Noisette' in 1817. The first Noisettes were small-blossomed, fairly winter-hardy climbers, but later infusions of Tea rose genes created a Tea-Noisette subclass with larger flowers, smaller clusters, and considerably reduced winter hardiness. Examples: 'Blush Noisette', 'Lamarque' (Noisette); 'Mme. Alfred Carriere', 'Marechal Niel' (Tea-Noisette). (See French and German articles on Noisette roses).


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Friday, July 23, 2010

Jacob's Ladder

Jacob's Ladder - In the violence of the Beyond
Jacob's Ladder - The power of the Hereafter (Original Jacob's Ladder) is an American thriller by Adrian Lyne in 1990, who, with disturbing images, and occasionally new extreme-lapse sequences of human movements ("Body Horror") is a kind of visual horror introduced to the cinema and influenced younger directors has (among other things was the Spaniard Jaume Balagueró in The Nameless, and Fragile), and also inspiration for the creators of the critically acclaimed video game series Silent Hill much.

The postal workers and Vietnam War veteran Jacob Singer lives in New York City. He is divorced. Singer plague visions in which he is killed in the jungle. Even in everyday life he encounters increasingly frightening unknowns that appear to be not quite human, and environmental and facilities are increasingly alien to him. His relationship with Jezebel suffers, and sometimes Jacob are not sure whether or not it changed unnatural. At times he seems to live again in the past, together with his (ex-) wife and children, of which Gabriel was actually already died in an accident (and why Jacob feels very guilty).

He tries to risk their lives and with the help of a former army chemist to discover a plot to an experiment that was where the psyche in Vietnam deployed soldiers with a drug called "the ladder" manipulated (see the biblical Jacob's ladder, from the James dreamed that angels went up and down between heaven and earth). In all of the threat, fear and uncertainty it is only as a last confidant Louis, his chiropractor and "fat cherub," unconditionally and loyally as a guardian angel to the side.

In the end, it turns out that singer was fatally wounded during the Vietnam War and the events constitute a hallucination shortly before his death. Other interpretations can see the "hallucinations" as manifest limbo or purgatory of the dying man, who by adhering to his earthly existence, with its secular doubt, guilt feelings and fears (or by the drug experimentation of the Army) the messengers of the Hereafter a terrible demonic entities responsible. Louis also tells of a medieval mystic who was of the opinion that those who can let go, the transition is not as nightmarish, but as a liberating exercise.

The structure of the narrative is based on the short story An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce (1890), in which a soldier in the American civil war at first seems to have escaped his execution, which in the end, however, as a hallucination during his death struggle turns out. A similar pattern also follows the movie Carnival of Souls (USA, 1962).

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