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Original author: 
Jason Lee

It took more than 12 hours by plane and long-distance bus to travel from Beijing to what is believed to be the last community authorized by Chinese government to keep guns.

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Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could step back in time? I know I never will but occasionally you come across a scene that has barely changed for hundreds of years.

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In the past, debutante balls were opportunities for introducing noble daughters to high society. Photographer Olivia Harris discovers what London’s Queen Charlotte’s Ball means to the young girls of today.

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The wooden gate was half open. I knocked on the door and entered. The room was sparsely lit. Everything in the unexpectedly small workshop was black or grey and the few things that had been colorful...

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Animal sacrifice is older than history. Human beings have slaughtered birds and livestock throughout the ages in attempt to propitiate the gods—to alter fate, to enhance fortune, to pay for sins. One of the great hymns of the Rigveda is that of the Horse Sacrifice, which only a king can perform. The rituals continue to this day, as the photographs in this collection show: in the Muslim and Hindu worlds, as well as in Judaism. The first murder related in the bible stems from jealousy over sacrifice. Cain’s sacrifice of vegetables did not please God as much as his brother’s sacrifice of animals—and so Cain slew Abel.

Of the world’s great faiths, only Buddhism and Daoism eschew rituals of animal sacrifice, indeed, the taking of any life. Indeed, according to legend, one of the Buddha’s previous incarnations gave up his life to feed a hungry tiger. The various Christian sects and denominations very rarely perform animal sacrifices. But the very Catholic societies of Spain and Latin America still hold bullfights, which are descended from pagan animal sacrifices. And, of course, at the heart of Christianity is a sacrament that is essentially a human sacrifice.

Checkout LightBox’s Animal Magic: Curious Critters. The fourth installment of recent news images that reveal the endless wonders of the animal kingdom.

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