Bird’s Eye: Trying to figure out what to carve in your pumpkin? Meet Ray Villafane, ex-high school art teacher who now carves pumpkins professionally, creates action figures for Marvel (et al.) and sculpts a mean Danteish devil out of sand. “He is not limited by any material,” said Villafane’s colleague Andy Bergholtz, chief sculptor for Sideshow Collectibles. “The man could sculpt the statue of David out of a stick of butter.” As well, the truth behind the dangers of Halloween…oh? Nothing here?
* Seriously Ghoulish Pumpkins
* Ray Villafane’s Pumpkin Carving Tutorial
* The Devil is in the Details (Click to enbigify)
* ‘Stranger Danger’ and the Decline of Halloween – Wall Street Journal
Sure, the folks down the street might smile and wave the rest of the year, but apparently they were just biding their time before stuffing us silly with strychnine-laced Smarties. That was a wacky idea, but we bought it. We still buy it, even though Joel Best, a sociologist at the University of Delaware, has researched the topic and spends every October telling the press that there has never been a single case of any child being killed by a stranger’s Halloween candy. (Oh, yes, he concedes, there was once a Texas boy poisoned by a Pixie Stix. But his dad did it for the insurance money. He was executed.)
…Elizabeth Letourneau, an associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, studied crime statistics from 30 states and found, “There is zero evidence to support the idea that Halloween is a dangerous date for children in terms of child molestation.” In fact, she says, “We almost called this paper, ‘Halloween: The Safest Day of the Year,’ because it was just so incredibly rare to see anything happen on that day.” Why is it so safe? Because despite our mounting fears and apoplectic media, it is still the day that many of us, of all ages, go outside. We knock on doors. We meet each other. And all that giving and taking and trick-or-treating is building the very thing that keeps us safe: community.