Daily Archives: February 10, 2015

If you care about God’s handiwork you’ll protect nature, Pope says


If you care about God‘s handiwork you’ll protect nature, Pope says
Lake Mountain Mist Nature (CC0 1.0).

By Ann Schneible

.- Set to finish his encyclical on the environment next month, Pope Francis said during his daily Mass at the Vatican on Monday that Christians who fail to safeguard nature do not care about God’s handiwork.

“A Christian who does not protect creation, who does not allow it to grow, is a Christian who does not care about God’s labors” which are borne out of God’s love for us, the Pope said Feb. 9.

His remarks were based in part on the day’s first reading from Genesis 1:1-19, comparing God’s creation of the universe with the Jesus’ “re-creation” of that which “had been ruined by sin.”

Pope Francis announced to journalists on his way to the Philippines last month that plans to have his much-anticipated encyclical on man’s relationship with creation finished in March. 

More here

Advertisements

Portal:Christianity/DYK Archive ( From Wikipedia)


Wednesday

…that the Bible was the greatest passion of Sir Isaac Newton, who said, “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired… I study the Bible daily”?
…that the Black Madonna of Częstochowa is credited with miraculously saving the Polish monastery of Jasna Góra (English: Bright Hill) from a Swedish 17th century invasion, known as The Deluge?
…that taking $370m in the United States, Mel Gibson‘s film The Passion of the Christ became the highest-grossing R-rated film ever made?
…that, with 74% of its population Catholic and 15.4% Protestant, Brazil has the largest Christian population in the world?

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 : St. Scholastica


Image of St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, consecrated her life to God from her earliest youth. After her brother went to Monte Cassino, where he established his famous monastery, she took up her abode … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

February 11

660 BC   Traditional founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu Tenno.
1531   Henry VIII is recognized as the supreme head of the Church of England.
1805   Sixteen-year-old Sacajawea, the Shoshoni guide for Lewis & Clark, gives birth to a son, with Meriwether Lewis serving as midwife.
1809   Robert Fulton patents the steamboat.
1815   News of the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812, finally reaches the United States.
1858   14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous, a French miller’s daughter, claims to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes.
1903   Congress passes the Expedition Act, giving antitrust cases priority in the courts.
1904   President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims strict neutrality for the United States in the Russo-Japanese War.
1910   Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and Eleanor Alexander announce their wedding date–June 20, 1910.
1926   The Mexican government nationalizes all church property.
1936   The Reich arrests 150 Catholic youth leaders in Berlin.
1939   The Negrin government returns to Madrid, Spain.
1942   The German battleships Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and Prinz Eugen begin their famed channel dash from the French port of Brest. Their journey takes them through the English Channel on their way back to Germany.
1945   The meeting of the President Franklin Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Marshal Joseph Stalin in Yalta, adjourns.
1951   U.N. forces push north across the 38th parallel for the second time in the Korean war.
1953   Walt Disney’s film Peter Pan premieres.
1954   A 75,000-watt light bulb is lit at the Rockefeller Center in New York, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Thomas Edison’s first light bulb.
1955   Nationalist Chinese complete the evacuation of the Tachen Islands.
1959   Iran turns down Soviet aid in favor of a U.S. proposal for aid.
1962   Poet and novelist Sylvia Plath commits suicide in London at age 30.
1964   Cambodian Prince Sihanouk blames the United States for a South Vietnamese air raid on a village in his country.
1965   President Lyndon Johnson orders air strikes against targets in North Vietnam, in retaliation for guerrilla attacks on the American military in South Vietnam.
1966   Vice President Hubert Humphrey begins a tour of Vietnam.
1974   Communist-led rebels shower artillery fire into a crowded area of Phnom Pehn, killing 139 and injuring 46 others.
1975   Mrs. Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to lead the British Conservative Party.
1990   South African political leader Nelson Mandela is released from prison in Paarl, South Africa, after serving more than 27 years of a life sentence.
Born on February 11
1535   Gregory XIV, Roman Catholic Pope.
1800   William Henry Fox Talbot, photography pioneer, produced the first book with photographic illustrations (The Pencil of Nature).
1833   Melville Weston Fuller, eighth U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice.
1847   Thomas Alva Edison, prolific American inventor who jointly or singly held over 1,300 patents.
1855   Josephine Marshall Jewell Dodge, American educator, pioneer in the concept of day nurseries for children.
1898   Leo Szilard, physicist, instrumental in the Manhattan Project.
1907   William J. Levitt, U.S. businessman and community builder who led the postwar housing revolutions with his Levittowns.
1908   Phillipe Dunne, screenwriter and director (How Green Was My Valley).
1912   Roy Fuller, poet and novelist.

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.tvCrygHS.dpuf

today’s photo: The Airship USS Macon Crashes (Image: National Archives)


The Airship USS Macon Crashes


On its 55th flight, the airship USS Macon crashed on February 12, 1935. While off Point Sur, California, a gust of wind tore off the ship’s upper fin, which deflated the gas cells and caused the ship to fall into the sea. Most of Macon’s 83 crewmen were rescued from the waters, but two of them died in the accident. The U.S. Navy had suffered the loss of the airship Shenandoah in 1925 and Akron in 1933. Some considered airships too dangerous for the program to continue at that point, and work on them in the United States halted temporarily.

Image: National Archives

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day?podMonth=2&podDay=11&pod=GO#sthash.pMfctVIU.dpuf

today’s birthday: Manuel Noriega (1938)


Manuel Noriega (1938)

Noriega was a Panamanian general and the country’s de facto military leader from 1983 to 1989. A one-time operative for the CIA, he was implicated in drug trafficking, the sale of US secrets to Cuba, and other illegal activities. Following the murder of a US marine on the streets of Panama City, Noriega was captured and brought to America to stand trial for drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering. What other countries have convicted Noriega of crimes in absentia? More… Discuss

quotation: ” We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance….”E. M. Forster


quotation

We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.E. M. Forster (1879-1970) Discuss

Nelson Mandela Is Freed (1990)


Nelson Mandela Is Freed (1990)

As a young man, Mandela was an active opponent of South Africa’s apartheid regime. Initially committed to non-violent struggle, he became the leader of the armed wing of the African National Congress after the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, when police opened fire on several thousand protesters. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1964, but international pressure led to his release in 1990. Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected his country’s first black president in what year? More… Discuss

health news: Canes and Walkers May Increase Fall Risk


Canes and Walkers May Increase Fall Risk

Many elderly people use canes and walkers to get around, but a new study reveals how dangerous these aids can be when used without proper training. Untrained users tend to drag the cane or walker, thus creating a dangerous gait pattern that increases the risk of falling. The study focused on 43 older adults in an assisted living facility and found that those using walking aids were nearly four times more likely to fall than those without aids. Experts recommend training individuals to use such devices as well as instructing them in balance recovery and gait exercises. More… Discuss

article: Phrenology


Phrenology

Phrenology is the study of the shape of the human skull in order to draw conclusions about particular character traits and mental faculties. Phrenologists believe that traits like intelligence are mirrored through elevations in the skull overlying particular areas of the brain. German physiologist Franz Joseph Gall developed the theory around 1800, but modern neurology and physical anthropology regard phrenology as a form of quackery. What is the difference between phrenology and craniometry? More… Discuss

word: bravado


bravado

Definition: (noun) Defiant or swaggering behavior.
Synonyms: bluster
Usage: In a moment it was hand-to-hand fighting, and Trent was cursing already the bravado which had brought him out to the open. Discuss.

From BBC : Asia shares subdued on Greek worries


Asia shares subdued on Greek worries http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31397237

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Halliburton to cut up to 6,400 jobs


Halliburton to cut up to 6,400 jobs http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31381925

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Espionage case puts metadata on trial


Espionage case puts metadata on trial http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-31141256

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Cornered Greeks brace for confrontation


Cornered Greeks brace for confrontation http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31398869

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Window-Shopping Through the Iron Curtain


Window-Shopping Through the Iron Curtain http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-31315094

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : The town destroyed to stop black and white people mixing


The town destroyed to stop black and white people mixing http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31379211

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : The bull whose semen is worth $3,000 a shot


The bull whose semen is worth $3,000 a shot http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31107115

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : ‘Smart’ insulin hope for diabetes


‘Smart’ insulin hope for diabetes http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31291722

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Spider-Man swings into Marvel films


Spider-Man swings into Marvel films http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-31356142

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Alabama gay marriage plans in chaos


Alabama gay marriage plans in chaos http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-31376340

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Man charged with Graham murder


Man charged with Graham murder http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-31384457

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : US news anchor Williams suspended


US news anchor Williams suspended http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-31398866

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Jon Stewart to leave Daily Show


Jon Stewart to leave Daily Show http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-31396423

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Ruling due in Belgian Islamist trial


Ruling due in Belgian Islamist trial http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31378724

Posted from WordPress for Android


Georges Bizet — Carmen Suite, Les Toreadors

The return of the past – THE LP: The Fine Arts Quartet: Courtly Music of Mendelssohn (4/6: Four Pieces for String Quartet, op. 81) , great compositions/performance s


The Fine Arts Quartet: Courtly Music of Mendelssohn (4/6: Four Pieces for String Quartet, op. 81)

 

Beethoven piano sonata no. 18, op. 31, in E flat major, Piano: Wilhelm Kempff , great compositions/performances


Beethoven piano sonata no. 18 op. 31 in E flat major

Schubert – Overture in E minor, D. 648 , Prague Sinfonia, conducted by Christian Benda


Schubert – Overture in E minor, D. 648

Just a thought: “AUSTERITY is the direct result of cannibalistic banking (lender’s) schemes.”


Just a thought: “AUSTERITY is the direct result of cannibalistic Banking (Lender’s) schemes.”

-George-B.


Copyright © 2015 [George-B]. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

D octor Who: “the fat just walks away” Myth and all myths of loosing fat effortlessly: consumer beware!


Doctor Who – Season 4 – Episode 1 – “Partners in Crime” – Trailer [HD]

just a thought: Be the torch carrier, then you can always know you’re following the right torch!” -George-B.


just a thought:
“Be the torch carrier, then you can always know you’re following the right torch!”

-George-B.


Copyright © 2015 [George-B]. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

From BBC : Microsoft patches ‘China spy bug’


Microsoft patches ‘China spy bug’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31381892

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Nigeria to investigate ‘camp abuses’


Nigeria to investigate ‘camp abuses’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31386340

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : NY policeman charged over shooting


NY policeman charged over shooting http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-31376782

Posted from WordPress for Android

From BBC : Charles raises Saudi blogger case


Charles raises Saudi blogger case http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31339642

Posted from WordPress for Android

From NPR News


Is Now The Time To Fix Rather Than Scrap Obamacare? http://n.pr/1KDXOVn

Posted from WordPress for Android

From NPR News


In White House Memory, A-U-M-F Translates To B-U-S-H http://n.pr/1KIw143

Posted from WordPress for Android

just a thought just a thought: Christianity already lost many churches under the Yatagan. Can Christians afford to loose St.Peters Basilica too? – George-B.


just a thought: “Christianity already lost many churches under the Yatagan. Can Christians afford to loose St.Peters Basilica too?
– George-B. 


Copyright © 2015 [George-B]. All Rights Reserved.

read more  about :  Yatagan

Further reading:  HereHere

 

The Right to Human Civilization Evolution and preservation of its past : Buddhas of Bamiyan



Buddhas of Bamiyan

Historic footage of Bamiyan statues

Uploaded on Jan 25, 2007

A sequence on the Bamiyan statues from “Adventure in Afghanistan” from Hal, Halla and David Linker’s television travelogue series, “The Wild, the Weird, and the Wonderful”, circa 1973. The Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003; it is noted as being a World Heritage Site in Danger. The film clip is from the Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution collection of historical moving images.
http://siris-archives.si.edu/ipac20/i…

Buddhas of Bamiyan

 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Cultural Landscape and Archeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Afghanistan Statua di Budda 1.jpg

The taller of the two Buddhas of Bamiyan in 1976

Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iii, iv, vi.
Reference 208
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 2003 (27th Session)
Endangered 2003–present

The Buddhas of Bamiyan (Persian: بت های باميان – but hay-e bamiyan) were two 6th-century[1] monumental statues of standing buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, 230 km (140 mi) northwest of Kabul at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet). Built in 507 AD (smaller) and 554 AD (larger),[1] the statues represented the classic blended style of Gandhara art.[2]

The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco. This coating, practically all of which wore away long ago, was painted to enhance the expressions of the faces, hands and folds of the robes; the larger one was painted carmine red and the smaller one was painted multiple colors.[3]

The lower parts of the statues’ arms were constructed from the same mud-straw mix while supported on wooden armatures. It is believed that the upper parts of their faces were made from great wooden masks or casts. Rows of holes that can be seen in photographs were spaces that held wooden pegs that stabilized the outer stucco.

They were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar,[4] after the Taliban government declared that they were idols.[5] An envoy visiting the United States in the following weeks explained that they were destroyed to protest international aid exclusively reserved for statue maintenance while Afghanistan was experiencing famine,[6] while the Afghan Foreign Minister claimed that the destruction was merely about carrying out Islamic religious iconoclasm. International opinion strongly condemned the destruction of the Buddhas, which in the following years was primarily viewed as an example of the extreme religious intolerance of the Taliban. Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues.[7]

History

Further information: Buddhism in Afghanistan

 Drawing of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by Alexander Burnes 1832

 
Taller Buddha in 1963 and in 2008 after destruction

 
Smaller Buddha in 1977

Bamiyan lies on the Silk Road, which runs through the Hindu Kush mountain region, in the Bamiyan Valley. The Silk Road has been historically a caravan route linking the markets of China with those of the Western world. It was the site of several Buddhist monasteries, and a thriving center for religion, philosophy, and art. Monks at the monasteries lived as hermits in small caves carved into the side of the Bamiyan cliffs. Most of these monks embellished their caves with religious statuary and elaborate, brightly colored frescoes. It was a Buddhist religious site from the 2nd century up to the time of the Islamic invasion in the later half of the 7th century. Until it was completely conquered by the Muslim Saffarids in the 9th century, Bamiyan shared the culture of Gandhara.

The two most prominent statues were the giant standing Buddhas Vairocana and Sakyamuni, identified by the different mudras performed. The Buddha popularly called “Solsol” measures 53 meters tall, and “Shahmama” 35 meters – the niches in which the figures stand are 58 and 38 meters from bottom to top.[8][9] Before being blown up in 2001 they were the largest examples of standing Buddha carvings in the world (the 8th century Leshan Giant Buddha is taller,[10] but the statue is sitting). Since then the Spring Temple Buddha has been built in China, and at 128 m (420 ft) it is the tallest statue in the world. Plans for the construction of the Spring Temple Buddha were announced soon after the blowing up of the Bamiyan Buddhas and China condemned the systematic destruction of the Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan.

The smaller of the statues was built between 544 and 595, the larger was built between 591 and 644.[11] The larger figure was also said to portray Dīpankara Buddha. They were perhaps the most famous cultural landmarks of the region, and the site was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the surrounding cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley. Their color faded through time.[12]

Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang visited the site on 30 April 630 AD,[13][14][15] and described Bamiyan in the Da Tang Xiyu Ji as a flourishing Buddhist center “with more than ten monasteries and more than a thousand monks”. He also noted that both Buddha figures were “decorated with gold and fine jewels” (Wriggins, 1995). Intriguingly, Xuanzang mentions a third, even larger, reclining statue of the Buddha.[3][15][16] A monumental seated Buddha, similar in style to those at Bamiyan, still exists in the Bingling Temple caves in China’s Gansu province.

The destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas became a symbol of oppression and a rallying point for the freedom of religious expression. Despite the fact that most Afghans are now Muslim, they too had embraced their past and many were appalled by the destruction.[17][18][19]

Attacks on the Buddha’s statue

11th to the 20th century

In 1221 with the advent of Genghis Khan “a terrible disaster befell Bamiyan,”[20][21] nevertheless, the statues were spared. Later, the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, tried to use heavy artillery to destroy the statues. Another attempt to destroy the Bamiyan statues was made by the 18th century Persian king Nader Afshar, directing cannon fire at them.[22]

The enormous statues, the male Salsal (“light shines through the universe”) and the (smaller) female Shamama (“Queen Mother”),[23] as they were called by the locals, did not fail to fire the imagination of Islamic writers in centuries past. The larger statue reappears as the malevolent giant Salsal in medieval Turkish tales.[24]

Afghan king Abdur Rahman Khan destroyed its face during a military campaign against the Shia Hazara rebellion.[25] A Frenchman named Dureau had pictured it in 1847.[26]

Preface to 2001, under the Taliban

Abdul Wahed, a Taliban commander operating in the area, announced his intention to blow up the Buddhas in 1997 even before he had taken control of the valley. Once he was in control of Bamiyan in 1998, Wahed drilled holes in the Buddhas’ heads for explosives. He was prevented from taking further action by the local governor and direct order of Mullah Omar, although tyres were burnt on the head of the great Buddha.[27] In July 1999, Mullah Mohammed Omar issued a decree in favor of the preservation of the Bamiyan Buddha statues. Because Afghanistan’s Buddhist population no longer exists, so the statues are no longer worshipped, he added: “The government considers the Bamiyan statues as an example of a potential major source of income for Afghanistan from international visitors. The Taliban states that Bamiyan shall not be destroyed but protected.”[28] In early 2000, local Taliban authorities asked for UN assistance to rebuild drainage ditches around tops of the alcoves where the Buddhas were set.[29]

However, Afghanistan’s radical clerics began a campaign to crack down on “un-Islamic” segments of Afghan society. The Taliban soon banned all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.[30]

Information and Culture Minister Qadratullah Jamal told Associated Press of a decision by 400 religious clerics from across Afghanistan declaring the Buddhist statues against the tenets of Islam. “They came out with a consensus that the statues were against Islam,” said Jamal.

According to UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, a meeting of ambassadors from the 54 member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was conducted. All OIC states – including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, three countries that officially recognised the Taliban government – joined the protest to spare the monuments.[31] Saudi Arabia and the UAE later condemned the destruction as “savage”.[32] Although India never recognised the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, New Delhi offered to arrange for the transfer of all the artifacts in question to India, “where they would be kept safely and preserved for all mankind.” These overtures were rejected by the Taliban.[33] Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf sent Moinuddin Haider to Kabul to try to prevent the destruction, by arguing that it was un-Islamic and unprecedented.[34] According to Taliban minister, Abdul Salam Zaeef, UNESCO sent the Taliban government 36 letters objecting to the proposed destruction. He asserted that the Chinese, Japanese and Sri Lankan delegates were the most strident advocates for preserving the Buddhas. The Japanese in particular proposed a variety of different solutions to the issue, these included moving the statues to Japan, covering the statues from view and the payment of money.[35]

A statement issued by the ministry of religious affairs of Taliban regime justified the destruction as being in accordance with Islamic law.[36] Abdul Salam Zaeef held that the destruction of the Buddhas was finally ordered by Abdul Wali, the Minister for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.[37]

Dynamiting and destruction, March 2001

 Destruction of the site by the Taliban

 
Site of the larger statue after it was destroyed

 
Site of the smaller statue in 2005

The statues were destroyed by dynamite over several weeks, starting on 2 March 2001,[38] carried out in stages. Initially, the statues were fired at for several days using anti-aircraft guns and artillery. This caused severe damage, but did not obliterate them. During the destruction, Taliban Information Minister Qudratullah Jamal lamented that, “this work of destruction is not as simple as people might think. You can’t knock down the statues by shelling as both are carved into a cliff; they are firmly attached to the mountain.”[39] Later, the Taliban placed anti-tank mines at the bottom of the niches, so that when fragments of rock broke off from artillery fire, the statues would receive additional destruction from particles that set off the mines. In the end, the Taliban lowered men down the cliff face and placed explosives into holes in the Buddhas.[40] After one of the explosions failed to completely obliterate the face of one of the Buddhas, a rocket was launched that left a hole in the remains of the stone head.[41]

On 6 March 2001 The Times quoted Mullah Mohammed Omar as stating, “Muslims should be proud of smashing idols. It has given praise to Allah that we have destroyed them.”[42] During a 13 March interview for Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun, Afghan Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakel stated that the destruction was anything but a retaliation against the international community for economic sanctions: “We are destroying the statues in accordance with Islamic law and it is purely a religious issue”.

On 18 March, The New York Times reported that a Taliban envoy said the Islamic government made its decision in a rage after a foreign delegation offered money to preserve the ancient works. The report also added, however, that other reports “have said the religious leaders were debating the move for months, and ultimately decided that the statues were idolatrous and should be obliterated.”[43]

Then Taliban ambassador-at-large Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi said that the destruction of the statues was carried out by the Head Council of Scholars after a Swedish monuments expert proposed to restore the statues’ heads. Hashimi is reported as saying: “When the Afghan head council asked them to provide the money to feed the children instead of fixing the statues, they refused and said, ‘No, the money is just for the statues, not for the children’. Herein, they made the decision to destroy the statues”; however, he did not comment on the claim that a foreign museum offered to “buy the Buddhist statues, the money from which could have been used to feed children.”[44]

The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas despite protests from the international community has been described by Michael Falser, a heritage expert at the Center for Transcultural Studies in Germany, as an attack by the Taliban against the globalising concept of “cultural heritage”.[45] The director general of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Koichiro Matsuura called the destruction a “…crime against culture. It is abominable to witness the cold and calculated destruction of cultural properties which were the heritage of the Afghan people, and, indeed, of the whole of humanity.”[46]

Commitment to rebuild

Though the figures of the two large Buddhas are almost completely destroyed, their outlines and some features are still recognizable within the recesses. It is also still possible for visitors to explore the monks’ caves and passages that connect them. As part of the international effort to rebuild Afghanistan after the Taliban war, the Government of Japan and several other organizations, among them the Afghanistan Institute in Bubendorf, Switzerland, along with the ETH in Zurich, have committed to rebuilding, perhaps by anastylosis, the two larger Buddhas.

Developments since 2002

In May 2002, a sculpture of the Buddha was carved out of a mountain in Sri Lanka. It was designed to closely resemble one of the Buddhas of Bamiyan.

In September 2005, Mawlawi Mohammed Islam Mohammadi, Taliban governor of Bamiyan province at the time of the destruction and widely seen as responsible for its occurrence, was elected to the Afghan Parliament. On 26 January 2007, he was assassinated in Kabul.

Swiss filmmaker Christian Frei made a 95-minute documentary titled The Giant Buddhas (released in March 2006) on the statues, the international reactions to their destruction, and an overview of the controversy. Testimony by local Afghans validates that Osama Bin Laden ordered the destruction and that, initially, Mullah Omar and the Afghans in Bamiyan opposed it.[47]

Since 2002, international funding has supported recovery and stabilization efforts at the site. Fragments of the statues are documented and stored with special attention given to securing the structure of the statue still in place. It is hoped that, in the future, partial anastylosis can be conducted with the remaining fragments. In 2009, ICOMOS constructed scaffolding within the niche to further conservation and stabilization. Nonetheless, several serious conservation and safety issues exist and the Buddhas are still listed as World Heritage in Danger.[48]

In the summer of 2006, Afghan officials were deciding on the timetable for the re-construction of the statues. As they wait for the Afghan government and international community to decide when to rebuild them, a $1.3 million UNESCO-funded project is sorting out the chunks of clay and plaster—ranging from boulders weighing several tons to fragments the size of tennis balls—and sheltering them from the elements.

The Buddhist remnants at Bamiyan were included on the 2008 World Monuments Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites by the World Monuments Fund.

Discoveries

 
Grotto painting in 2008

After the destruction of the Buddhas, 50 caves were revealed. In 12 of the caves, wall paintings were discovered.[49] In December 2004, an international team of researchers stated the wall paintings at Bamiyan were painted between the 5th and the 9th centuries, rather than the 6th to 8th centuries, citing their analysis of radioactive isotopes contained in straw fibers found beneath the paintings. It is believed that the paintings were done by artists travelling on the Silk Road, the trade route between China and the West.[50]

Scientists from the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in Tokyo (Japan), the Centre of Research and Restoration of the French Museums-CNRS (France), the Getty Conservation Institute (United States) and the ESRF (the European Synchrotron radiation facility) in Grenoble analysed samples from the paintings,[51] typically less than 1 mm across.[52] They discovered that the paint contained pigments such as vermilion (red mercury sulfide) and lead white (lead carbonate). These were mixed with a range of binders, including natural resins, gums (possibly animal skin glue or egg)[52] and oils, probably derived from walnuts or poppies.[50] Specifically, researchers identified drying oils from murals showing Buddhas in vermilion robes sitting cross-legged amid palm leaves and mythical creatures as being painted in the middle of the 7th century.[49] It is believed that they are the oldest known surviving examples of oil painting, possibly predating oil painting in Europe by as much as six centuries.[50] The discovery may lead to a reassessment of works in ancient ruins in Iran, China, Pakistan, Turkey and India.[50]

Initial suspicion that the oils might be attributable to contamination from fingers, as the touching of the painting is encouraged in Buddhist tradition,[52] was dispelled by spectroscopy and chromatography giving an unambiguous signal for the intentional use of drying oils rather than contaminants.[52] Oils were discovered underneath layers of paint, unlike surface contaminants.[52]

Scientists also found the translation of the beginning section of the original Sanskrit Pratītyasamutpāda Sutra translated by Xuanzang that spelled out the basic belief of Buddhism and said all things are transient.[53]

Another giant statue unearthed

On 8 September 2008 archeologists searching for a legendary 300-metre statue at the site of the already dynamited Buddhas announced the discovery of parts of an unknown 19-metre (62-foot) reclining Buddha, a pose representing Buddha’s Parinirvana.[54]

Restoration

The UNESCO Expert Working Group on Afghan cultural projects convened to discuss what to do about the two statues between 3–4 March 2011 in Paris. Researcher Erwin Emmerling of Technical University Munich announced he believed it would be possible to restore the smaller statue using an organic silicon compound.[11] The Paris conference issued a list of 39 recommendations for the safeguarding of the Bamiyan site. These included leaving the larger Western niche empty as a monument to the destruction of the Buddhas, a feasibility study into the rebuilding of the Eastern Buddha, and the construction of a central museum and several smaller site museums.[55] Work has since begun on restoring the Buddhas using the process of anastylosis, where original elements are combined with modern material. It is estimated that roughly half the pieces of the Buddhas can be put back together according to Bert Praxenthaler, a German art historian and sculptor involved in the restoration. The restoration of the caves and Buddhas has also involved training and employing local people as stone carvers.[56] The project, which also aims to encourage tourism to the area, is being organised by UNESCO and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The work has come under some criticism. It is felt by some, such as human rights activist Abdullah Hamadi, that the empty niches should be left as monuments to the fanaticism of the Taliban, while NPR reported that others believe the money could be better spent on housing and electricity for the region.[57] Some people, including Habiba Sarabi, the provincial governor, believe that rebuilding the Buddhas would increase tourism which would aid the surrounding communities.[57]

See also

References

Notes

  1. Kakissis, Joanna (27 July 2011). “Bit By Bit, Afghanistan Rebuilds Buddhist Statues”. National Public Radio. Retrieved 22 April 2013.

Further reading

External links

 

Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl – The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936) Documentary. News Core re-score. History.


Dust Bowl


The Dust Bowl – The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936) Documentary. News Core re-score. History.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


For other uses, see Dust Bowl (disambiguation).

 
A farmer and his two sons during a dust storm in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936, Photo: Arthur Rothstein

The Dust Bowl, also known as the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; severe drought and a failure to apply dryland farming methods to prevent wind erosion (the Aeolian processes) caused the phenomenon. The drought came in three waves, 1934, 1936, and 1939–40, but some regions of the High Plains experienced drought conditions for as many as eight years.[1] With insufficient understanding of the ecology of the Plains, farmers had conducted extensive deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains during the previous decade; this had displaced the native, deep-rooted grasses that normally trapped soil and moisture even during periods of drought and high winds. The rapid mechanization of farm equipment, especially small gasoline tractors, and widespread use of the combine harvester contributed to farmers’ decisions to convert arid grassland (much of which received no more than 10 inches (250 mm) of precipitation per year) to cultivated cropland.[citation needed]

During the drought of the 1930s, the unanchored soil turned to dust, which the prevailing winds blew away in huge clouds that sometimes blackened the sky. These choking billows of dust – named “black blizzards” or “black rollers” – traveled cross country, reaching as far as such East Coast cities as New York City and Washington, D.C. On the Plains, they often reduced visibility to 1 metre (3.3 ft) or less. Associated Press reporter Robert E. Geiger happened to be in Boise City, Oklahoma to witness the “Black Sunday” black blizzards of April 14, 1935; Edward Stanley, Kansas City news editor of the Associated Press coined the term “Dust Bowl” while rewriting Geiger’s news story.[2][3]

The drought and erosion of the Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres (400,000 km2) that centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma and touched adjacent sections of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.[4]

The Dust Bowl forced tens of thousands of families to abandon their farms. Many of these families, who were often known as “Okies” because so many of them came from Oklahoma, migrated to California and other states to find that the Great Depression had rendered economic conditions there little better than those they had left. Author John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men (1937) and The Grapes of Wrath (1939) about migrant workers and farm families displaced by the Dust Bowl.

 

Today In History: What Happened This Day In History (Tuesday, February 10, 2015)


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

February 10

1258   Huegu, a Mongol leader, seizes Baghdad, bringing and end to the Abbasid caliphate.
1620   Supporters of Marie de Medici, the queen mother, who has been exiled to Blois, are defeated by the king’s troops at Ponts de Ce, France.
1763   The Treaty of Paris ends the French-Indian War. France gives up all her territories in the New World except New Orleans and a few scattered islands.
1799   Napoleon Bonaparte leaves Cairo, Egypt, for Syria, at the head of 13,000 men.
1814   Napoleon personally directs lightning strikes against enemy columns advancing toward Paris, beginning with a victory over the Russians at Champaubert.
1840   Queen Victoria marries Prince Albert.
1846   Led by religious leader Brigham Young, the first Mormons begin a long westward exodus from Nauvoo, Il., to Utah.
1863   P.T. Barnum’s star midgets, Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren, are married.
1904   Russia and Japan declare war on each other.
1915   President Wilson blasts the British for using the U.S. flag on merchant ships to deceive the Germans.
1939   Japanese occupy island of Hainan in French Indochina.
1941   London severs diplomatic relations with Romania.
1941   Iceland is attacked by German planes.
1942   The war halts civilian car production at Ford.
1945   B-29s hit the Tokyo area.
1955   Bell Aircraft displays a fixed-wing vertical takeoff plane.
1960   Adolph Coors, the beer brewer, is kidnapped in Golden, Colo.
1966   Protester David Miller is convicted of burning his draft card.
1979   The Metropolitan Museum announces the first major theft in 110-year history, $150,000 Greek marble head.
1986   The largest Mafia trial in history, with 474 defendants, opens in Palermo, Italy.
Born on February 10
1890  

Boris Pasternak, Russian novelist and poet (Dr. Zhivago).  (Listen to Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pastenak on euzicasa! just click on the shortcut above!)

1893   Jimmy Durante, American comedian and film actor.
1894   Harold MacMillan, British prime minister (1957-1963).
1897   John F. Enders, virologist.
1898   Bertolt Brecht, German poet and dramatist (The Threepenny Opera).
1901   Stella Adler, actress and teacher.
1902   Walter Brattain, physicist, one of the inventors of the transistor.
1910   Dominique Georges Pire, Belgian cleric and educator.
1914   Larry Adler, harmonica virtuoso.
1920   Alex Comfort, English physician and author (Joy of Sex).
1927   (Mary Violet) Leontyne Price, opera singer.

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.9xy5kPzI.dpuf

Education – Audiobooks – (Dare to listen): Boris Pasternak Doctor Zhivago


today’s Image: The Great Migration – Library of Congress



The Great Migration

From 1910 to 1970, more than 6 million southern blacks left their rural homes in search of an urban ‘Promised Land’ in the north. The largest migration in American history was caused by the ‘push’ of hardships prevalent in the South–such as segregation, lynching and the economic hopelessness of the sharecropping system–and the ‘pull’ of opportunity in the North. Plentiful industrial jobs, although sometimes menial, often offered wages three times higher than did jobs in the South. Glowing reports from friends and family already in the North inspired increased migration. While racism, housing shortages and crime often greeted the new arrivals, they also found organizations such as the National Urban League and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) dedicated to improving the lives of black Americans.

Library of Congress

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.WpJXk4hf.dpuf

Peter, Paul, and Mary – This Land is Your Land

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 10th, 2015: St. Scholastica


Image of St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, consecrated her life to God from her earliest youth. After her brother went to Monte Cassino, where he established his famous monastery, she took up her abode … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

today’s holiday: Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck (2015)


Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck (2015)

This feast is a commemoration in Malta of the shipwreck of St. Paul on the island in 60 CE, an event described in the New Testament. Paul was a prisoner on a ship, and when storms drove the ship aground, Paul was welcomed by the “barbarous people” (meaning they were not Greco-Romans). According to legend, he got their attention when a snake bit him on the hand but did him no harm, and he then healed people of diseases. Paul is the patron saint of Malta and snakebite victims. The day is a public holiday observed with family gatherings and religious ceremonies and processions. More… Discuss

quotation: “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Mark Twain


I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) Discuss

today’s birthday: Mark Spitz (1950)


Mark Spitz (1950)

During the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, Jewish-American swimmer Mark Spitz shot to sporting fame when he captured seven gold medals, a feat unequaled by any other athlete in a single Olympiad until 2008. Spitz also set new world records for each of the events in which he took the gold. Having thus brought his total Olympic medal count up to 11—he had won two gold, one silver, and one bronze in 1968—Spitz retired from competition. What other historic event marked the 1972 Games? More… Discuss

Access Mark Spitz’s official website    HERE

this day in the yesteryear: General Tom Thumb Marries Lavinia Warren (1863)


General Tom Thumb Marries Lavinia Warren (1863)

General Tom Thumb, born Charles Sherwood Stratton, began touring with circus pioneer P.T. Barnum in 1843 at the tender age of four. Stratton’s short stature—he was a mere 3 feet, 4 inches (102 cm) tall when he died—and his comedic impersonations made him an international hit. His courtship of Lavinia Warren, another one of Barnum’s performers, led to a fashionable New York City wedding in 1863, and the pair was later received at the White House. Stratton died in 1883. What marks his grave? More… Discuss

Human Civilization: Magna Carta Copy Found in Scrapbook


Magna Carta Copy Found in Scrapbook

A previously unknown version of the Magna Carta—the most famous document in British constitutional history—has been found tucked in a scrapbook by an archivist in the British town of Sandwich. The discovery comes just days after four surviving copies of the 1215 Magna Carta went on display in London. The Magna Carta, issued in 1215 by King John of England, asserted that no one, not even the king, was above the law. The newly found version appears to have been published under King Edward I in 1300. More… Discuss