Daily Archives: May 20, 2015

From BBC news : Race to cleanup California oil spill


Race to cleanup California oil spill http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-32821384

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From BBC news : Oldest tools pre-date first humans


Oldest tools pre-date first humans

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32804177

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Haiku-History Lesson, poetic thought by George-B (The Smudge and Other Poems Page)


Haiku – History Lesson, poetic thought by George-B
(The Smudge and Other Poems Page)

Mustard in a jar

Hills covered with wild mustard

All evolves with time…

Impressions from the trail: April - Spring - 2014- A Good Year

Impressions from the trail: April – Spring – 2014- A Good Year

historic musical bits: Johannes Brahms – Symphony No.1 – Wiener Philharmoniker – Bernstein – 1981


Johannes Brahms – Symphony No.1 – Wiener Philharmoniker – Bernstein – 1981

great compositions/performances: Evgeny Kissin – Schumann-Liszt – Widmung (Liebeslied)



Evgeny Kissin – Schumann-Liszt – Widmung (Liebeslied)

Make Music part of your life: Véronique Gens: The complete “Shéhérazade” (Ravel)


 

Véronique Gens: The complete “Shéhérazade” (Ravel)

Published on Apr 1, 2014

Shéhérazade (1903):
I. Asie 00:00
II. La flûte enchantée 09:19
III. L’indifférent 12:13

Ravel, Maurice (1875-1937) -composer
Véronique Gen -soprano
John Axelrod -conductor
Loire National Orchestra

Score: http://imslp.us/php/linkhandler.php?p…

Playlist “The art of French song: Faure, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, Satie…”: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…

Ravel was drawn to the sensual allure of the Orient as early as 1898, when he composed the “Ouverture de Shéhérazade,” a work which quotes a Persian melody while drawing on the spiritual ancestry of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Sheherazade” of 1888. He returned to its title in 1903 for this cycle of three songs for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, based on the exotic texts of the French poet Tristan Klingsor. With “Shéhérazade,” his first major statement for orchestra, Ravel demonstrates his mastery of muted and climactic orchestral details, while eliciting equal measures of ecstasy and restraint for the human voice.
Like the story in Rimsky-Korsakov’s famous suite, “Shéhérazade” conjures up Eastern tales of indulgence, perversity, death and danger. The first poem, “Asie” opens with a hushed string tremolo, followed by a meandering oboe melody, establishing a seductive atmosphere of Oriental fantasy. The opening four lines are declaimed syllabically and recitative-like (“Asia, Asia, Asia/marvelous old land of nursery tales/where fantasy sleeps like an empress/in her forest filled with mystery”). Pentatonic scale figures, grace notes and fluttering strings further impart the poem’s chilling decadence, leading to an accelerating climax on the words “I would like to see those who die for love as well as those who die for hatred.” The piece falls silent and shimmers to a close, as the recitative of the opening concludes the tale over a faintly rolling timpani.
“La Flute enchantée” and “L’indifferent,” are considerably shorter than “Asie,” and each song concludes with a brief yet subtly modified reference to the opening theme. “La Flute enchantée” is a timeless portrait of a girl listening to the sounds of a flute, while “L’indifferent” — sometimes regarded as the most beautiful of all of Ravel’s songs — concerns the attraction of the unattainable. If all three of the Tristan Klingsor settings in the cycle are expressions of longing, this final one finds a particularly personal tone, through false modality, and a final pandiatonically extended triad with a major ninth. After “Shéhérazade,” Ravel wrote no song with an erotic theme until he completed “Chansons madécasses” in 1926.

Source: http://www.allmusic.com/composition/s…

Buy the CD here: http://www.amazon.com/Berlioz-Hermini…

great compositions/performances: Arabesque No. 1 from Deux Arabesques , Aldo Chiccolini


 


Debussy – Arabesque No. 1 (Ciccolini)

 

Historic musical bits: Richard Strauss: Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24, (Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della Rai Conductor Sergiu Celibidache (1970)



Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24) : Richard Strauss


 

pod-0520Amelia Earhart Flies Across the Atlantic Ocean On May 20, 1932.

Amelia Earhart lands near Londonderry, Ireland, to become the first woman fly solo across the Atlantic. In this June 21, 1932 photo, President Herbert Hoover is shown presenting the gold medal of the National Geographic Society to Earhart in Washington DC. , in recognition of her solo flight. Photo: Library of Congress – See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.CaXwBnLB.dpuf

 

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.

Today in History
May 20

325   The Ecumenical council is inaugurated by Emperor Constantine in Nicea.
1303   A peace treaty is signed between England and France.
1347   Cola di Rienzo takes the title of tribune in Rome.
1520   Hernando Cortes defeats Spanish troops sent against him in Mexico.
1690   England passes the Act of Grace, forgiving followers of James II.
1674   John Sobieski becomes Poland’s first king.
1774   Parliament passes the Coercive Acts to punish the colonists for their increasingly anti-British behavior. The acts close the port of Boston.
1775   North Carolina becomes the first colony to declare its independence.
1784   The Peace of Versailles ends a war between France, England, and Holland.
1799   Napoleon Bonaparte orders a withdrawal from his siege of St. Jean d’Acre in Egypt.
1859   A force of Austrians collide with Piedmontese cavalry at the village of Montebello, in northern Italy.
1861   North Carolina becomes the last state to secede from the Union.
1862   President Lincoln signs the Homestead Act, providing 250 million acres of free land to settlers in the West.
1874   Levi Strauss begins marketing blue jeans with copper rivets.
1902   The U.S. military occupation of Cuba ends.
1927   Charles Lindbergh takes off from New York for Paris.
1930   The first airplane is catapulted from a dirigible.
1932   Amelia Earhart lands near Londonderry, Ireland, to become the first woman fly solo across the Atlantic.
1939   Pan American Airways starts the first regular passenger service across the Atlantic.
1941   Germany invades Crete by air.
1942   Japan completes the conquest of Burma.
1951   During the Korean War, U.S. Air Force Captain James Jabara becomes the first jet air ace in history.
1961   A white mob attacks civil rights activists in Montgomery, Alabama.
1969   In South Vietnam, troops of the 101st Airborne Division reach the top of Hill 937 after nine days of fighting entrenched North Vietnamese forces.
1970   100,000 people march in New York, supporting U.S. policies in Vietnam.
Born on May 20
1663   William Bradford, printer.
1750   Stephen Girard, American financier and philanthropist.
1768   Dolley Madison, first lady of President James Madison.
1799   Honore de Balzac, French novelist (The Human Comedy, Lost Illusions).
1806   John Stuart Mill, British philospher and economist.
1818   William George Fargo, one of the founders of Wells, Fargo & Co.
1882   Sigrid Undset, Norwegian novelist (Kristin Lavransdatter).
1908   Jimmy Stewart, actor (It’s a Wonderful Life, Mr Smith Goes to Washington).

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

 

 

this pressed: Could Mother Teresa be canonized during the Holy Year for Mercy? :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

By Elise Harris

 

Vatican City, May 19, 2015 / 10:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).-

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has said that Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta could be canonized during the upcoming Jubilee for Mercy, although he clarified that no concrete plans have been made.

Fr. Lombardi told CNA May 19 that the possible canonization of Mother Teresa during the Holy Year is “a working hypothesis.”

“There is no official date but you can say that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints is studying the cause.”

When asked if there was a second miracle attributed to the nun’s intercession, the spokesman said, “The cause is in the process.”

An Italian cardinal heading one of the Vatican dicasteries who preferred to remain anonymous told CNA May 19 that the canonization was brought up during a Monday meeting between Pope Francis and the heads of various dicasteries in the Roman Curia.

According to the cardinal, the Vatican’s prefect of the Congregation of the Causes for Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, suggested Sept. 4, 2016 – which is being observed as a jubilee day for workers and volunteers of mercy – to the others as a possible canonization date, since it is close to Sept. 5, the nun’s feast day

via Could Mother Teresa be canonized during the Holy Year for Mercy? :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 


 

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Pontifical North American College in Rome on May 2, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.
Photo:  Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Pontifical North American College in Rome on May 2, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

.- One day after canonizing the first two Palestinian saints since the early days of Christianity, Pope Francis met with a group of sisters from the Holy Land – urging them to pray for peace against “white-gloved terrorism” and persecution.

Speaking of the newly canonized women, Saints Mariam Baouardy and Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, the pontiff said: “I give you a mission: pray to the two new saints for peace in your land, in order that this never ending war may end, and that there may be peace among your people.”

He made these remarks during a May 18 audience with members of the Religious Carmelites of Bethlehem and the Middle East, and the Sisters of the Rosary of Jerusalem, who were in Rome for Sunday’s canonization.

Meeting with them in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Pope urged the religious present to also pray for persecuted Christians suffering at the hands of what he described as “white-gloved terrorism.”

These Christians, he said, are “driven from their homes, from their lands, and are victims of persecution ‘with white gloves.’ It is hidden, but it is done!”

This is not the first time Pope Francis has made reference to “white-gloved terrorism.” In June 2014, he spoke of this persecution with “white gloves,” referring to those Christians forced out in a so-called “elegant way.”

The sisters present at the audience with the Holy Father were among the tens of thousands in attendance for the canonization Mass of the Palestinian sisters on May 17.

Saint Mariam Baouardy (1846-1878), canonized Sunday, was a mystic and stigmatic also known as Mary Jesus Crucified. She was a  Palestinian and foundress of the Discalced Carmelites of Bethlehem. She and her family were members of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. She spent time in France and India before helping to found the Carmelite congregation in Bethlehem in 1875.

The other new Palestinian saint, Sister Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas (1843-1927), was a co-founder of the Congregation of the Rosary Sisters. Born in Palestine, she spent much of her life in Bethlehem and its area, where she helped the poor and established schools and orphanages.

Pope Francis expressed his happiness that the sisters had made the pilgrimage for the canonization. He then recounted a story told him by Mahmoud Abbas, president of the State of Palestine, of how he left Jordan in a plane full of nuns.

“Poor pilot,” the Pope joked. “Many thanks!”

The pontiff urged those present once again to “pray much for peace,” and invited them to recite the Hail Mary with him, each in their own language.

The Palestinian women were canonized alongside two others: Saint Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve (1811-1854) and Saint Maria Cristina Brando (1856-1906), from France and Italy, respectively.

Tags: Terrorism, Persecuted Christians, Pope Francis

 

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 20th, 2015: St. Bernardine of Siena


Image of St. Bernardine of Siena

St. Bernardine of Siena

In the year 1400, a young man came to the door of the largest hospital in Siena. A plague was raging through the city so horrible that as many as twenty people died each day just in the hospital … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Words of wisdom.


The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.bmt

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From France 24 : Migrant or terrorist?


Italian police arrest Tunisia museum attack suspect

image

http://f24.my/1Hu9GL0

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From France 24 :


Netanyahu calls off segregating West Bank buses

image

http://f24.my/1R2CWKt

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Fighting HIV where no-one admits it’s a problem


Fighting HIV where no-one admits it’s a problem

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32792830

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Why some people are blaming war for… women on bikes


Why some people are blaming war for… women on bikes

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-32797265

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From BBC news : Protests grow against Internet.org


Protests grow against Internet.org

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-32795270

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From BBC news : Complaints about YouTube Kids app


Complaints about YouTube Kids app http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-32795177

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From BBC w Woman jailed for Google boss overdose


Woman jailed for Google boss overdose

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-32805400

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This Pressed: Podcast: Reporting on the NSA Before It Was Cool – ProPublica Podcast


ProPublica Podcast

Reporting on the NSA Before It Was Cool

by Nicole Collins Bronzan

ProPublica, May 18, 2015, 11:01 a.m.

David Sleight/ProPublica

As a reporter who covered the National Security Agency before before the Edward Snowden documents brought it to the mainstream, Patrick Radden Keefe of The New Yorker says it would be easy to feel jealous of the journalists breaking those stories now. “But I’ve sort of moved on,” Keefe says, “and I watch those stories with great interest.”

This week he joins ProPublica’s Assistant Managing Editor Eric Umansky and Senior Reporter Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica for a podcast on what he’s been up to since his book “Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping.”

Highlights include discussion of:

  • How technology has in some ways degraded American spying efforts. “I think there’s been a kind of notion of the technical silver bullet that has greatly endangered privacy, but also undermined national security,” Keefe says. (1:54)
  • The way he chooses his subjects — sometimes on the news, but often not. (16:51)
  • The tension between daily, incremental reporting and magazine-style coverage. “When I have a piece come out, there will always be some snarky daily reporter who will say, sort of, ‘Nothing new here, folks!’ ” (18:36)
  • His recent New Yorker story on the long conflict in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles, told through the story of Jean McConville, a former member of a secret Irish Republican Army unit who was abducted in front of her children in 1972. She was never seen again. (10:43)

Hear their conversation on SoundCloud and Stitcher, and read Keefe’s story “Where the Bodies Are Buried,” from the March 16 issue of The New Yorker.

via Reporting on the NSA Before It Was Cool – ProPublica. (Podcast)

this pressed: How Illinois’ Pension Debt Blew Up Chicago’s Credit – ProPublica


How Illinois’ Pension Debt Blew Up Chicago’s Credit

After a court ruling, the state’s legacy of borrowing to cover public employee pensions landed a $2.2 billion problem in the city’s lap.

What happens when you’ve been kicking the fiscal can down the road for years, but the road suddenly hits a dead end? That’s what Chicago – and the state of Illinois – are about to find out.

Chicago’s immediate problem is yesterday’s credit downgrade by Moody’s Investors Services, which turned its debt to junk and could force the city to immediately come up with $2.2 billion to satisfy debts and other obligations.

It’s not clear how – or if – the city could come up with that money.

When big cities have had debt crises – such as Detroit’s recent problems or New York City’s epic problems in the 1970s – states typically rode to the rescue in one way or another. But Illinois, which has the lowest credit rating of any state in the nation, says it can’t help the stricken city.

The downgrade follows a Friday decision by the Illinois Supreme Court, which invalidated state limits on cost-of-living adjustments to state pensioners. The limits were part of a slate of reforms signed into law in 2013 by then-Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, to deal with underfunded pensions.

Moody’s said the court decision was key to its downgrade because the city has been hoping to dig out of its own financial hole by reducing cost-of-living adjustments, which typically raise the cost of pensions by close to 50 percent.

Chicago’s predicament actually has its roots in a 2003 decision by Illinois to kick the pension can down the road – by borrowing money to fund pensions rather than trying to get the benefits reduced or to stepping up payments to make them financially sound.

In the ultimate can kick, the state borrowed a whopping $10 billion – the biggest bond issue in its history – on the premise that investing the proceeds would earn more than the interest on the bonds.

Unfortunately for Illinois taxpayers, the pension funds’ investments, hurt badly by the financial market meltdown of 2008–2009, have earned less than expected.

Even worse, the state gets to deduct interest and principal on the bonds – currently some $500 million to $600 million a year – from the contributions it makes to the pension funds.

The net effect: The funds are worse rather than better off as a result of the pension bonds. Unfunded liabilities swelled from $43 billion when the bonds were sold to $86 billion by 2010, state data show.

Despite that grim history, Illinois borrowed another $7.2 billion for pensions in 2010 and 2011. By the time Quinn signed reforms in 2013, the state was in major trouble, with unfunded liabilities of nearly $100 billion – about $7,500 per resident.

Illinois isn’t alone in turning to pension bonds.

In 1997, New Jersey tried to borrow its way out of pension fund problems with debts that are still being repaid. The California city of San Bernardino sought bankruptcy protection in 2012 under the weight of its pension costs, pension obligation bonds and other debts.

“The borrowing is taking the pressure off politicians from actually facing the actual reforms that need to happen on these pension systems,” said Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute in Chicago. “You’ve got a situation where the system is no longer sustainable, whether it’s New Jersey or Illinois.”

But Chicago and Illinois are the biggest examples of what happens when you can no longer kick the pension-cost can down the road. They are unlikely to be the last examples.

Cezary Podkul covers finance for ProPublica.

via How Illinois’ Pension Debt Blew Up Chicago’s Credit – ProPublica.