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  • Caldwell Idaho Christmas light display reflects in a local stream
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    Cadwell,

    Idaho

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    Foot roasting is a method of torture used since ancient times. The torture takes advantage of the extreme sensitivity of the sole of the foot to heat. The Romans immobilized the prisoner and pressed red-hot iron plates to the soles of his feet. The Spanish Inquisition bound the prisoner face-upward to the rack with his bare feet secured in a stocks. The soles of the feet were basted with lard or oil and slowly barbecued over a brazier of burning coals. A screen could be interposed between the feet and the coals to modulate the exposure, while a bellows controlled the intensity of the flame. A version that consisted of a chair with an integrated foot stocks was referred to as the Spanish chair, but this is readily confused with the Iron chair. By way of contrast, in the Brittany chair, the coals were held in a movable iron tray which could be cranked upward until it actually made contact with the feet. Added diversions included placing slivers of hot coals between the toes, or suspending the prisoner head-downward and placing hot coals directly on the soles. The destruction of the Order of the Knights Templars is credited largely to foot roasting, which was committed with savagery literally sufficient to drive the sufferers to insanity; to add to the hideous cruelty, many Knights also had their toes denailed.Foot roasting remains a popular technique of torture to this day. During the Cold War, KGB torturers made use of metal clothes irons heated red-hot and applied directly to the naked soles or explored the delicate webbing between the prisoner's toes using either a soldering iron or an electric wood-burning pencil.
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