Mexico City celebrates first day of the dead parade
"Mexico's capital has held its first Day of the Dead parade, complete with floats, giant skeleton marionettes and more than 1,000 actors, dancers and acrobats in costumes.
Tens of thousands of people turned out to watch the procession, which included a phalanx of Aztec warriors with large headdresses doing tricks on rollerblades.
Such a spectacle has never been a part of traditional Day of the Dead celebrations.
The idea for the parade was born out of the imagination of a scriptwriter who worked on last year's James Bond movie Spectre.
In the film's opening scenes, shot in Mexico City, Bond chases a villain through crowds of revellers in a parade of people in skeleton outfits and floats.
It is a bit of a feedback loop: Just as Hollywood dreamed up a Mexican spectacle to open the film, once millions had seen the movie, Mexico had to dream up a celebration to match it.
"When this movie hit the big screen and was seen by millions and millions of people in 67 countries, that started to create expectations that we would have something," said Lourdes Berho, CEO of the government's Mexico Tourism Board."
and the same day, more or less, this happens -
Earthquake measuring magnitude 6.6 strikes central Italy
|The Basilica of St Benedict in Norcia has been destroyed|
The USGS said the quake was centred 68 kilometres east southeast of Perugia at a depth of 1.5 kilometres.
The quake brought down buildings in a number of places, and emergency services were checking to see if there were any casualties, Italy's Civil Protection Department said."
|Mexico City celebrates first day of the dead parade|
The writing's on the wall, or all just bricks in the wall?
The singer expressed some backlash at his vocal performance, feeling it was "horrible to sing" as the notes are "just so high"."
|Nuns stand next a partially collapsed wall following the earthquake in Norcia, Italy.|
Weakened by repeated powerful jolts in recent weeks, many of Norcia's churches, monasteries and chapels were wrecked.
"We thought it was the end of everything," said 74-year-old Sister Maria Raffaella Buoso after being evacuated from the Monastery of the Poor Clares of Santa Maria della Pace."
And another nightmare could be just around the corner.
|October 31st, 2016 - January Friday the 13th/20th, 2017?!|
|No way out of this nightmare?|
|Happy Halloween, especially to all you zombies|
"CSIRO researchers are using visions of the undead and the human face to teach a machine what terrifies us most.
Nightmare Machine is an algorithm-based piece of artificial intelligence, or AI, created by a team of researchers at CSIRO and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that spontaneously generates zombie faces out of human ones and transforms images of places into visions of the inferno.
Dr Manuel Cebrian Ramos, a research scientist at Data61, the CSIRO's digital and data innovation group, and his colleagues fed 200,000 images of normal human faces into the machine's neural network to teach it to recognise faces.
The algorithm was then able generate faces at random according to what it had learnt.
They then added a single zombie face, giving it slightly more weight in the neural network than the others to turn human faces into zombies."
Day of the Dead's darker side
"In Mexico City's most notorious district, the home of the Holy Death cult, Day of the Dead celebrations have a distinctly darker edge. And now the "phenomenon" is spreading."
"With roots in Mexico's criminal and prison cultures, Santa Muerte is represented as a skeleton figure clad in a wedding dress, staring out at her followers with a come-hither leer.
Pilgrims in their thousands gather at Tepito's Santa Muerte shrine to celebrate its November 1 anniversary.
They say the "skinny lady" looks after them, curing disease, bestowing good fortune and even finding an adept lawyer when police are in pursuit."
"The Catholic Church has declared Santa Muerte to be blasphemous.
But such edicts have not stopped the cult's popularity from growing in this largely Catholic nation.
After all, Holy Death appeals to outlaws, the shunned and the dispossessed.
In Mexico, she has many to choose from, especially among the people of Tepito.
Despite the Vatican's censure, Sante Muerte's devotees are happy to flaunt their fealty to this Mexican folk saint, proudly displaying tattoos, body piercings and garlanded effigies."
|A political cartoon in the local Brisbane newspaper, Oct 31st, 2016|