Daily Archives: October 31, 2012

Texas To Arrest U.N. Unilateral Imposition Of Election Observers: While Obama Pulls A Stalin And Sends The Presidential Election Counting To Convicted Felon George Soros In Spain!

Political Vel Craft

Texas authorities have threatened to arrest international election observers, prompting a furious response from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

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Politics Untitled #2

Plutocrats: Our New Secessionists

The Pacific Bull Moose

“Revolt of the Rich”
Mike Lofgren

The American Conservative
August 27, 2012

A brilliant piece by Lofgren, the kind that underscores how being “pro-business” does not mean being a supporter of the new American Plutocracy. A sample quote:

Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?

The question facing the nation, then, is why have we allowed an elite to build a disproportionate influence on our society, in contravention to everything for which our Constitution stands?

What we need to do now is draw…

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Quotation: Francis Bacon on the man’s way to power

By indignities men come to dignities.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) Discuss

Today’s Birthday: JOHN EVELYN (1620)

John Evelyn (1620)

From 1631 until his death in 1706, Evelyn kept a diary that is today an invaluable source of information on 17th-century British social, cultural, and political life. He corresponded frequently with Samuel Pepys, another now-famous diarist of the time. Living as a wealthy country gentleman in Deptford, he wrote about 30 books on various subjects including reforestation, vegetarianism, and numismatics. In 1661, he wrote the Fumifugium, believed to be the first book written on what topic?More… Discuss


Leiden University Library Opens in the Netherlands (1587)

The city of Leiden played a prominent role in the revolt that would create an independent Dutch nation. In 1575—a year after Leiden had survived a siege by the Spanish—Prince William the Silent founded a university in the city. Today, Leiden University is the oldest in the Netherlands. Its library, once housed in a single room, is now home to a monumental collection of books, manuscripts, maps, and letters—some of which are centuries old and very rare. What was the library’s first book? More… Discuss


The Sistrum

The sistrum is a percussion instrument that functions much like a tambourine. Often made of metal, it consists of a handle and a U-shaped frame run through with thin, loosely set crossbars. The crossbars can have little metal rings or loops on them, and when the sistrum is shaken, the crossbars and loops jangle. The sistrum was used in ancient Sumer, Rome, and Egypt, and some Egyptian goddesses were depicted holding the instrument. What churches still use the sistrum in religious services? More… Discuss

 From New England comes Douglas Irvine, a composer, sound artist and instrument maker, the sounds that he creates are inspired on the musical traditions of ancient Middle Eastern cultures, like ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. This record have a great aura, with different sensations, its ritualistic, relaxed, deep, dark, ethereal and mystic. This are some of the old instruments that you could ear on this great record that e real advice: bass lyre, bells and miscellaneous percussions, shoulder harp, clappers, pan pipes, double Oboe etc. Ambient Egypt is a varied collection of musical soundscapes inspired by ancient Egyptian traditions.

Although music existed in prehistoric Egypt, the evidence for it becomes secure only in the historical (or “dynastic” or “pharaonic”) period–after 3100 BCE. Music formed an important part of Egyptian life, and musicians occupied a variety of positions in Egyptian society. Music found its way into many contexts in Egypt: temples, palaces, workshops, farms, battlefields and the tomb. Music was an integral part of religious worship in ancient Egypt, so it is not surprising that there were gods specifically associated with music, such as Hathor and Bes (both were also associated with dance, fertility and childbirth).

All the major categories of musical instruments (percussion, wind, stringed) were represented in pharaonic Egypt. Percussion instruments included hand-held drums, rattles, castanets, bells, and the sistrum–a highly important rattle used in religious worship. Hand clapping too was used as a rhythmic accompaniment. Wind instruments included flutes (double and single, with reeds and without) and trumpets. Stringed instruments included harps, lyres, and lutes–plucked rather than bowed. Instruments were frequently inscribed with the name of the owner and decorated with representations of the goddess (Hathor) or god (Bes) of music. Both male and female voices were also frequently used in Egyptian music.

Professional musicians existed on a number of social levels in ancient Egypt. Perhaps the highest status belonged to temple musicians; the office of “musician” (shemayet) to a particular god or goddess was a position of high status frequently held by women. Musicians connected with the royal household were held in high esteem, as were certain gifted singers and harp players. Somewhat lower on the social scale were musicians who acted as entertainers for parties and festivals, frequently accompanied by dancers. Informal singing is suggested by scenes of workers in action; captions to many of these pictures have been interpreted as words of songs. Otherwise there is little evidence for the amateur musician in pharaonic Egypt, and it is unlikely that musical achievement was seen as a desirable goal for individuals who were not professionals.

The ancient Egyptians did not notate their music before the Graeco-Roman period, so attempts to reconstruct pharaonic music remain speculative. Representational evidence can give a general idea of the sound of Egyptian music. Ritual temple music was largely a matter of the rattling of the sistrum, accompanied by voice, sometimes with harp and/or percussion. Party/festival scenes show ensembles of instruments (lyres, lutes, double and single reed flutes, clappers, drums) and the presence (or absence) of singers in a variety of situations.