Daily Archives: January 24, 2018

Watch “Ana Vidović – Guitar Artistry in Concert” on YouTube


Smoking even 1 cigarette a day increases heart disease, stroke risk, new research shows – ABC News


http://abcnews.go.com/Health/smoking-cigarette-day-increases-heart-disease-stroke-risk/story?id=52588722

Smoking even 1 cigarette a day increases heart disease, stroke risk

PHOTO: A young woman is pictured smoking a cigarette in this undated stock photo.STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

A young woman is pictured smoking a cigarette in this undated stock photo.more +

For those who find it too hard to quit cigarettes cold turkey, the strategy is often to cut back instead — perhaps even to as little as one cigarette per day.

Now, new research published this week in the medical journal BMJ shows that this cutting back may not improve health as much as many people might think. In fact, this study suggests that smoking just one cigarette a day carries approximately 50 percent of the added risk of developing heart disease and stroke that comes with smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

It’s new research that counters what many people have previously thought: that smoking less means proportionately fewer risks to their health.

To investigate the effects of smoking one cigarette a day, researchers at the UCL Cancer Institute at University College London looked at 141 former studies that examined the risk of stroke and heart disease associated with smoking one, five or 20 cigarettes per day.

PHOTO: A hand is pictured holding a burning cigarette in this undated stock photo.STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

A hand is pictured holding a burning cigarette in this undated stock photo.more +

Their results show that men who smoke one cigarette per day have a 46 percent increased risk of heart disease and a 25 percent higher risk of stroke when compared to a nonsmoker. For women, the results were even more staggering — a 57 percent higher risk of heart disease and a 31 percent higher risk of stroke compared to nonsmokers.

These results suggest that in order to truly reduce the long-term risks of smoking cigarettes, cutting back might not be good enough — and the only effective measure is to quit entirely.

Principal study author Allan Hackshaw, deputy director of the University College London Cancer Trials Centre, said he was personally motivated to conduct this study given his many friends and family members who have cut back on — but not quit — their smoking habits.

PHOTO: A cigarette sits in an ashtray in this undated stock photo.STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

A cigarette sits in an ashtray in this undated stock photo.

“For people who smoke, they should try to use whatever help they can find in order to quit — even if that includes using e-cigarettes — if it leads them to quit completely,” he said.

“I hope people can use this information in a positive way that encourages them to stop smoking entirely.”

Experts not involved with the study said the findings are important. Dr. John Spangler, professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, said one could think about the results of the study in terms of a car accident.

“If you could choose, do you want to be hit by a freight train or a minivan?” Spangler said, adding that when it comes to smoking just one cigarette a day, “Yes, it is less risky, but it’s still very risky.”

“If a patient says to me, ‘I want to quit smoking 20 cigarettes a day, but I think I can only cut down to one [cigarette] a day,’ I tell them that there is some harm reduction,” Spangler said. “But you also don’t want to let them off the hook with just one cigarette a day since that causes many problems.”

As for the benefits of quitting completely, Hackshaw noted that such a strategy can even help reverse much of the damage caused by decades of smoking within just a few years.

“By stopping altogether, people can get rid of most of the risks they acquired over the years from smoking cigarettes,” he said.

To learn more about safe and effective measures to quit smoking, call 1-800-QUIT or make an appointment to talk with your doctor.

Trump says he could push back DACA deadline, wants $25 billion for border wall

PHOTO: A demonstrator holds a sign saying PlayJeff Malet Photography via Newscom

WATCH White House to release ‘legislative framework’ on immigration

President Trump Wednesday expressed optimism about reaching a bipartisan deal on immigration, suggesting he is even open to granting citizenship to Dreamers after a 10- to 12-year period as part of a comprehensive plan.

He also told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl that — if a deal is in sight — he is open to extending the March 5 deadline for ending the DACA program that protects some 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. He said DACA recipients shouldn’t worry.

“Tell them not to be concerned. Tell them not to worry, we’re going to solve the problem,” he told reporters at an impromptu White House news conference.

Asked about citizenship, Trump said, “We’re going to morph into it. It’s going to happen.”

“Over a period of 10 to 12 years if someone does a great job, they’ve worked hard, it gives incentive to do a great job. If they’ve worked hard they’ve done terrifically, whether they have a little company, or whether they’ve worked, whatever they’re doing, if they do a great job I think it’s a nice thing to have the incentive of after a period of years being able to be a citizen,” Trump said.

Trump’s comments came after the White House, earlier in the day, announced it would release its own plan for a compromise on immigration policy Monday that it said both Democrats and Republicans could support and would end the debate that led to last weekend’s government shutdown.

The move comes after members of Congress on both sides have criticized the president for not being clear about what he wants in an immigration deal.

Trump also said Wednesday night that he does not believe Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s statement that his offer to fund a border wall is now off the table as part of an immigration deal, saying he said he made the offer to the president to avoid the government shutdown.

“No. I don’t [believe the wall is off the table]. In fact, I just watched Joe Manchin and he said Schumer does not mean that, and said it very strongly,” Trump said.

The president suggested despite the acrimony between he and Schumer during the shutdown fight, he’s even ready to extend an invitation for a White House meeting again soon.

“Sure, I like him,” Trump said, laughing. “I grew up with Schumer.”

Trump said he will ask for $25 billion to build the wall, but “will build it way under budget.”

If Congress doesn’t come up with a legislative solution for the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients they could face deportation after the March 5 deadline. In the shorter term, the temporary spending resolution ends on Feb. 8, raising the possibility of another government shutdown if there is no bipartisan agreement.

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn hinted at what Republicans and the president could propose in a new immigration deal on the Hill on Wednesday, telling reporters that if Congress wants a bipartisan solution for DACA recipients, Republicans will want something close to a 10-year appropriation for a U.S.-Mexico border wall and security funding.

Even Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., a trusted Trump ally on Capitol Hill, told ABC News Tuesday night that Republicans needed some guidance from the president on what he wants.

“The president has given us his general outline of what he’s interested in but you can’t do a bill based on a general outline and at some point we’re going to need more specificity from him,” Kennedy said. “And I’m not complaining, I’m just saying at some point we’re going to need to know exactly what the White House is thinking because who wants to pass a bill only to have it vetoed.”

Cornyn also said on the Senate floor Wednesday that Congress will need at least two more short-term spending deals before Democrats and Republicans can come to any sort of agreement to fund the government, raise spending caps, address immigration and DACA, and fund disaster relief.

“As a result of the shutdown, the Democratic leader — who said he voted against the four week continuing resolution because he didn’t like continuing resolutions — he’s guaranteed us at least two more continuing resolutions, even if the spending caps were agreed upon in the next few days,” Cornyn said.

ABC News’s Mariam Khan, Jordyn Phelps, John Santucci, Devin Dwyer, and Cindy Smith contributed to this report

.

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Chinese officials engaged in ‘takeover’ of Tibetan Buddhist monastery: Human Rights Watch


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-religion-rights/chinese-officials-engaged-in-takeover-of-tibetan-buddhist-monastery-human-rights-watch-idUSKBN1FE0BV

Donald Trump warns Turkey over Syria incursion: White House | News | DW | 25.01.2018


http://m.dw.com/en/donald-trump-warns-turkey-over-syria-incursion-white-house/a-42297988

DW

Trump warns Erdogan over Syria incursion: White House

Getty Images/AFP/N. Al-Khatib

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again been urged to “de-escalate” his military assault on Afrin, a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria.

Following similar calls from other world leaders, US President Donald Trump spoke by phone to his Turkish counterpart on Wednesday, and called on the Ankara government to “limit its military action and avoid civilian casualties,” according to a White House statement.

Read more: Turkey’s military offensive against Kurdish-held Afrin: What you need to know

Anti-American rhetoric

Trump also warned Erdogan about “the destructive and false” anti-American rhetoric which he said was emanating from Turkey, as the two NATO allies find themselves at odds over territory close to the Turkish border which is controlled by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Washington relies on the YPG, the major force within the alliance of Syrian Democratic Forces, fighting against the “Islamic State” (IS) militant group in Syria.

Erdogan meanwhile accuses the YPG of being allied to a three-decade Kurdish insurgency in southern Turkey.

Together with aligned Syrian rebel fighters, Turkey began an air and ground operation in Syria’s Afrin district on Saturday to root out what Ankara says are Kurdish “terrorists” who are threatening security in the country.

The offensive has opened a new front in Syria’s multi-sided, seven-year war and complicated US efforts in Syria.

Read more: Syrian conflict: Where does the Assad regime stand on the Afrin offensive?

Amid rising tensions, Trump urged Turkey to “exercise caution and to avoid any actions that might risk conflict between Turkish and American forces.”

Erdogan urged Trump to halt Washington’s weapons support to the Kurdish militia, according to the White House.

Erdogan vows to press on

In separate comments, The Turkish leader wowed to extend the military operation to Manbij, a separate Kurdish-held enclave some 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Afrin, where some US forces are positioned alongside the SDF.

Read more:Kurdish-dominated SDF accuses Turkey of backing ‘IS’ with Syria assault

Kurdish leaders meanwhile have demanded that Washington rein in Turkey, and vowed to resist its cross-border operation.

Shervan Derwish, a spokesman for the Manbij Military Council, said his forces are on “full alert” in case Turkey moves on the city.

“We are in constant contact with coalition forces, who are conducting patrols on the front lines and aerial patrols — their troops are still in Manbij,” Derwish told the German news agency dpa by phone.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said in its latest death toll report that some 125 people were killed over the last five days in the Afrin region, among them Turkish-backed Syrian rebels.

Strong resistance

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the advancing Turkish troops are facing stiff resistance in Afrin, while the SOHR reported Turkish airstrikes had been witnessed in nearly 20 villages.

On Wednesday evening, rockets fired from Syria killed two people and wounded 11 more in the Turkish border province of Kilis.

mm/se (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

DW
Trump warns Erdogan over Syria incursion: White House

Getty Images/AFP/N. Al-Khatib
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again been urged to “de-escalate” his military assault on Afrin, a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria.

Following similar calls from other world leaders, US President Donald Trump spoke by phone to his Turkish counterpart on Wednesday, and called on the Ankara government to “limit its military action and avoid civilian casualties,” according to a White House statement.

Read more: Turkey’s military offensive against Kurdish-held Afrin: What you need to know

Anti-American rhetoric
Trump also warned Erdogan about “the destructive and false” anti-American rhetoric which he said was emanating from Turkey, as the two NATO allies find themselves at odds over territory close to the Turkish border which is controlled by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Washington relies on the YPG, the major force within the alliance of Syrian Democratic Forces, fighting against the “Islamic State” (IS) militant group in Syria.

Erdogan meanwhile accuses the YPG of being allied to a three-decade Kurdish insurgency in southern Turkey.

Together with aligned Syrian rebel fighters, Turkey began an air and ground operation in Syria’s Afrin district on Saturday to root out what Ankara says are Kurdish “terrorists” who are threatening security in the country.

The offensive has opened a new front in Syria’s multi-sided, seven-year war and complicated US efforts in Syria.

Read more: Syrian conflict: Where does the Assad regime stand on the Afrin offensive?

Amid rising tensions, Trump urged Turkey to “exercise caution and to avoid any actions that might risk conflict between Turkish and American forces.”

Erdogan urged Trump to halt Washington’s weapons support to the Kurdish militia, according to the White House.

Erdogan vows to press on
In separate comments, The Turkish leader wowed to extend the military operation to Manbij, a separate Kurdish-held enclave some 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Afrin, where some US forces are positioned alongside the SDF.

Read more:Kurdish-dominated SDF accuses Turkey of backing ‘IS’ with Syria assault

Kurdish leaders meanwhile have demanded that Washington rein in Turkey, and vowed to resist its cross-border operation.

Shervan Derwish, a spokesman for the Manbij Military Council, said his forces are on “full alert” in case Turkey moves on the city.

“We are in constant contact with coalition forces, who are conducting patrols on the front lines and aerial patrols — their troops are still in Manbij,” Derwish told the German news agency dpa by phone.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said in its latest death toll report that some 125 people were killed over the last five days in the Afrin region, among them Turkish-backed Syrian rebels.

Strong resistance
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the advancing Turkish troops are facing stiff resistance in Afrin, while the SOHR reported Turkish airstrikes had been witnessed in nearly 20 villages.

On Wednesday evening, rockets fired from Syria killed two people and wounded 11 more in the Turkish border province of Kilis.

mm/se (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

Recommended
Erdogan: ‘Ground operation on Syria’s Afrin has begun’
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SDF accuses Turkey of backing ‘IS’ in Syria
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Turkey threatens Kurdish-held area in Syria
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The Latest: Turkey’s Erdogan says he warned Trump over Syria
Associated Press
Trump warns Erdogan to avoid clash between U.S., Turkish forces
Reuters

Erdogan: ‘Ground operation on Syria’s Afrin has begun’DWSDF accuses Turkey of backing ‘IS’ in SyriaDWTurkey threatens Kurdish-held area in SyriaDWThe Latest: Turkey’s Erdogan says he warned Trump over SyriaAssociated PressTrump warns Erdogan to avoid clash between U.S., Turkish forcesReutersu

What Is the Sign of the Cross?


https://catholicexchange.com/what-is-the-sign-of-the-cross-2

What Is the Sign of the Cross?

The Sign of the Cross is a Christian ceremony that represents the Passion of our Lord by tracing the shape of the Cross with a simple motion.

It is a ceremony, I say, and here is what is meant by that term. A skillful manager assigns to each of his subordinates his proper task, making all of them useful, not only those who are vigorous and energetic, but also those who are less so. Similarly, the virtue of religion, hav­ing for its proper and natural work to render to God the honor that is His due, draws up each of our virtuous ac­tions into its own work by directing them all to the honor of God. Religion makes use of faith, constancy, and tem­perance for the good deeds of testimony, martyrdom, and fasting. These actions are already virtuous and good in themselves; religion merely directs them to its particular intention, which is to give honor to God. Yet not only does religion make use of actions that are in themselves good and useful; it also employs actions that are indiffer­ent or even entirely useless. In this regard the virtue of re­ligion is like that good man in the Gospel (Matt. 20:6–7) who hires the lazy and those for whom others had found no use to work in his vineyard.

Indifferent actions would remain useless if religion did not employ them, but once put to work by it, they become noble, useful, and holy, and henceforth capable of earning their daily wage. This right of ennobling ac­tions which if left to themselves would be only common and indifferent belongs to religion, the princess of the virtues. It is a sign of her sovereignty. It is religion alone that makes use of such actions, which are — and are prop­erly called — ceremonies as soon as they enter into her service. Truly, inasmuch as the whole man with all of his actions and belongings ought to give honor to God, and inasmuch as he is composed of soul and body, interior and exterior, and in the exterior there are indifferent actions, it is no wonder that religion — having the duty to sum­mon man to pay this tribute — demands and receives in payment exterior actions, indifferent and bodily though they be.

Let us consider the world at its birth. Abel and Cain made their offerings (Gen. 4:3–4). What virtue called upon them to make these offerings if not religion? A little while later, the world came forth from the ark as from its cradle, and without a moment’s delay an altar was arranged and several animals were immolated upon it in a holocaust whose sweet odor was received by God (Gen. 8:18–21). In train there followed the sacrifices of Abraham (Gen. 12:8; 13:18; 22:13), Melchizedek (14:18), Isaac (26:25), Jacob (28:18; 33:20; 35:14), and the change and washing of the clothes associated with it (35:2–3). The greater part of the Law of Moses was taken up with ceremonies. Let us now come to the Gospel. How many ceremonies do we see there in our sacraments (Luke 22; John 3), in the healing of the blind (Mark 8), the raising of the dead (John 11:35–44), and the washing of the Apostles’ feet (John 13:4–5)?

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Some will say that in these things God did what He pleased and that no consequences for our practice can be inferred from them. Yet here is St. John baptizing (Mark 1:4), and St. Paul having his hair cut in accord with a vow (Acts 18:18) and then praying on his knees with the church in Miletus (Acts 20:36). All of these actions would have been sterile and fruitless in themselves, but employed in the work of religion they became honorable and effica­cious ceremonies.

Now here is what I have to say: the Sign of the Cross of itself has neither strength, nor power, nor any quality that merits honor, and, furthermore, I confess that “God does not work by figures or characters alone,” as the au­thor of one treatise says, and that “in natural things the power proceeds from the essence and quality of the thing, while in supernatural things God works by a miraculous power that is not attached either to signs or to figures.” But I also know that God, in making use of His miracu­lous power, very often employs signs, ceremonies, figures, and characters, without attaching His power to those things. Moses touching the rock with his staff (Exod. 17:6, Num. 20:11), Elisha striking the water with Elijah’s coat (2 Kings 2:14), the sick having recourse to St. Peter’s shadow (Acts 5:15), to St. Paul’s handkerchiefs (Acts 19:12), or to the robe of our Lord (Matt. 14:36), and the Apostles anointing the sick with oil (Mark 6:13): what were these other than pure ceremonies, which had no natural power and were nevertheless employed unto miraculous ends? Is it necessary for us to say that the power of God was tied down and bound to these ceremonies? On the contrary, it would be more fitting to say that the power of God, by making use of so many different signs and ceremonies, shows that it is not bound to any one of them alone.

Our Five Points

Five points have thus far been made. First, the Sign of the Cross is a ceremony. In its natural quality a cross-like motion has nothing in it that is either good or evil, praiseworthy or blameworthy. How many times is such a motion made by weavers, painters, tailors, and others, whom nobody honors or troubles for it? It is the same with the cross-like shapes and figures that we see in ev­eryday images, windows, and buildings: these crosses are not directed to the honor of God or to any religious use. Yet when this sign is employed so as to give honor to God, even though it be indifferent in itself, it becomes a holy ceremony, one that God uses to many good ends.

Second, this ceremony is Christian. The Cross, to­gether with all that it represents, is folly to the pagans and a scandal to the Jews. Under the Old Law and under the law of nature, the death of the Messiah was heralded in different ways, but these signs were only shadows and confused, obscure marks compared with those we now use, and, moreover, they were not the ordinary ceremonies of the Old Law. The pagans and other infidels have also sometimes made use of this sign, but as something bor­rowed, as a sign not of their religion but of ours, and in this way the traitor himself confesses that the Sign of the Cross is a mark of Christianity.

Third, this ceremony represents the Passion. In truth, this is its first and chief end — that upon which all the others depend and which serves to differentiate it from several other Christian ceremonies that serve to repre­sent other mysteries.

Fourth, it represents the Passion by making a simple motion, which is what differentiates the Sign of the Cross from the Eucharist. For the Eucharist represents the Pas­sion by the perfect identity of the one who is offered in it and the one who was offered on the Cross, which is none other than the same Jesus Christ. The Sign of the Cross, however, represents the Passion by a simple motion that reproduces the form and shape of the Crucifixion.

Fifth, the Sign of the Cross consists in a motion, which is what differentiates it from permanent signs, engraved or marked out in enduring materials.

Making the Sign of the Cross

As a rule, the Sign of the Cross is made in the follow­ing way. It is made with the right hand, which, as Justin Martyr says, is esteemed the more worthy of the two. It is made either with three fingers, in order to signify the Blessed Trinity, or five, in order to signify the Sav-ior’s five wounds; and although it does not much matter whether one makes the Sign of the Cross with more or fewer fingers, still one may wish to conform to the com­mon practice of Catholics in order not to seem to agree with certain heretics, such as the Jacobites and the Ar­menians, who each make it with one finger alone, the former in denial of the Trinity and the latter in denial of the two natures of Christ.

The Christian first lifts his hand toward his head while saying, “In the name of the Father,” in order to show that the Father is the first person of the Blessed Trinity and the principle and origin of the others. Then, he moves his hand downward toward the stomach while saying, “and of the Son,” in order to show that the Son proceeds from the Father, who sent Him here below into the Vir-gin’s womb. Finally, he pulls his hand across from the left shoulder to the right while saying, “and of the Holy Spirit,” in order to show that the Holy Spirit, being the third person of the Blessed Trinity, proceeds from the Father and from the Son and is Their bond of love and charity, and that it is by His grace that we enjoy the ef­fects of the Passion.

When making the Sign of the Cross, therefore, we confess three great mysteries: the Trinity, the Passion, and the remission of sins, by which we are moved from the left, the hand of the curse, to the right, the hand of blessing.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a chapter in St. Francis de Sales’ The Sign of the Cross, which is available through Sophia Institute Press.

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St. Francis de Sales

By

St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622), bishop, Doctor of the Church, and patron of writers, was ordained a priest in 1593. He was elected bishop of Geneva in 1602. With Jane Frances Frémyot, Baroness de Chantal, St. Francis founded the Visitation of Holy Mary in Annecy in Savoy. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Lyons, France, on December 28, 1622. St. Francis de Sales was canonized in 1665.

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From The Desk of Erin Brockovich: 1. Legionella is the most well-known of a group of organisms known as opportunistic pathogens.


1. Legionella is the most well-known of a group of organisms known as opportunistic pathogens.

  1. Legionella is a common environmental microbe found in soil and water.

  2. Legionella can be found in treated drinking waters.

  3. Legionnaires’ disease is the #1 waterborne disease in the United States.

  4. Legionnaires’ disease results from water quality degradation in building water systems in the premise plumbing.

  5. Legionnaires’ disease is the result of a ‘perfect storm’…
    (a) Legionella enter in low numbers from tap water, intrusion from main breaks, cross connections, backflow, (b) Legionella bacteria colonize on pipe and other solid surfaces and grow in biofilms to high levels in utility distribution systems and in premise plumbing systems, (c) Legionella bacteria are released into the air in microscopic droplets, (d) Susceptible hosts breathe in the droplets, (e) Host immune response is unable to prevent infection; i.e. Pontiac fever (mild flu like illness, not fatal), Legionnaires’ disease (pneumonia, may lead to death)

  6. Legionnaires’ disease is preventable (WHO, US CDC)

  7. Proper disinfection is very effective at controlling fecal pathogens in drinking water.

  8. In order to comply with the USEPA Disinfection Byproduct Rule, many Community Drinking Water Systems that use surface water sources (Lakes, Rivers) started adding ammonia to drinking water instead of removing organic carbon (dirt). The ammonia sequesters the disinfection properties of chlorine forming chloramine. Chloramine is 200 times weaker than chlorine and the residual ammonia is food for bacteria.

From the Album: ‘Van Gogh Repetitions’ “Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles” (Saint-Rémy, September 1889)


From the Album: ‘Van Gogh Repetitions’
“Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles” (Saint-Rémy, September 1889) [F483] (3rd version) – Reduction of the first version meant for the Artist’s youngest sister, Wil and for his mother

First Version: Arles, October 1888. [F482]; see the painting http://bit.ly/2Bp5UkX

Second Version: Saint-Rémy, early September, 1889. [F484]; see the painting http://bit.ly/2DtL99v

“Van Gogh produced three, almost identical paintings on the theme of his bedroom. The first, in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, was executed in October 1888, and damaged during a flood that occurred while the painter was in hospital in Arles. Almost a year later, Van Gogh made two copies of it: one, the same size, is now in the Art Institute in Chicago; the other, in the Musée d’Orsay, produced for his family in Holland, is smaller.

In a letter to his brother Theo, Vincent explained what had provoked him to paint such a picture: he wanted to express the tranquillity, and bring out the simplicity of his bedroom using the symbolism of colours. Thus, he described: ‘the pale, lilac walls, the uneven, faded red of the floor, the chrome-yellow chairs and bed, the pillows and sheet in very pale lime green, the blood-red blanket, the orange-coloured wash stand, the blue wash basin, and the green window’, stating ‘I wanted to express absolute repose with these different colours’.

Through these various colours, Van Gogh is referring to Japan, to its crêpe paper and its prints. He explained: ‘The Japanese lived in very simple interiors, and what great artists have lived in that country’. And although, in the eyes of the Japanese, a bedroom decorated with paintings and furniture would not really seem very simple, for Vincent it was ‘an empty bedroom with a wooden bed and two chairs’.

All the same he does achieve a certain sparseness through his composition made up almost entirely of straight lines, and through a rigorous combination of coloured surfaces, which compensate for the instability of the perspective.” – See more at http://bit.ly/2gTU211

Discover more illuminating differences among the three versions of ‘The Bedroom’:
– The Chair http://bit.ly/2hL28dQ
– The Bed http://bit.ly/2kXGmbV
– The Window http://bit.ly/2yulz4S
– The Floor http://bit.ly/2zvpwnQ
– The Portraits http://bit.ly/2zfCYex

“Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles” (Saint-Rémy, September 1889) [F483] (3rd version) – Reduction of the first version meant for the Artist’s youngest sister, Wil and for his mother
By Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
oil on canvas; 57.5 x 74 cm
© Musée d’Orsay, Paris
1959, cédé aux Musées nationaux en application du traité de paix avec le Japon. 1986, affecté au musée d’Orsay, Paris
http://bit.ly/2gTU211
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WEDNESDAY 24 JANUARY 2018 Saint Francis of Sales From the Gospel according to Mark (Mk 4, 1-20)


WEDNESDAY 24 JANUARY 2018
Saint Francis of Sales

From the Gospel according to Mark
(Mk 4, 1-20)

At that time, Jesus again began to teach along the sea. And a huge crowd gathered around him, so that he got into a boat and sat there, standing in the sea, while the crowd was on the shore along the shore. He taught them many things in parables and told them in his teaching: “Listen. Behold, the sower went out to sow. As it sowed, one part fell down the road and the birds came and devoured it. Another fell among the stones, where there was not much land, and immediately it came out because there was no deep soil; but when the sun rose, it remained burned and, having no root, it dried up. Another fell among the thorns; the thorns grew, they choked it and gave no fruit. And another fell on the good earth, gave fruit that sprouted and grew, and now yields thirty, now sixty, and now one hundred for one. ” And he said: “He who has ears to hear, understand!”
When he was alone, those around him with the twelve questioned him on the parables. And he said to them: “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been confided to you; to those outside instead everything is exposed in parables, because “they look, but they do not see, they listen, but they do not understand, because they do not convert and they are forgiven”.
He went on to say to them: “If you do not understand this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? The sower sows the word. Those along the way are those in whom the word is sown; but when they hear it, it is immediately satan, and takes away the word sown in them.
Likewise those who receive the seed on the stones are those who, when they hear the word, immediately welcome it with joy, but have no root in themselves, are inconstant and therefore, upon the arrival of some tribulation or persecution because of the word, immediately they break down.
Others are those who receive the seed among the thorns: they are those who have listened to the word, but the worries of the world and the deceit of wealth and all the other cravings arrive, they stifle the word and it remains fruitless.
Those who receive the seed on good ground, are those who listen to the word, welcome it and bear fruit to the extent of those of the thirty, those of the sixty, those of one hundred for one “.

Today’s Gospel does not need to comment! Jesus first teaches in parables and then explains, word by word, the meaning of the parable! What else to add?
Just an invitation! Let’s have a selfie today! Yes, a selfie! Let’s turn the lens towards us, let’s look at the screen of our smartphone and ask ourselves: what am I? Does the Word of God root in my heart and grow? Or do you die in the first storm?
Each of us will give a different answer to these questions, but beyond what will be your personal answer, know that St. Francis de Sales – which we celebrate today – would tell us this way: “We only continue to cultivate well, because there is no earth so ungrateful that the love of the cultivator is not fruitful! ” Have a nice day with Jesus.

Watch “Phoenix – Fata verde (versuri)” on YouTube


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