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by George Bost
Basie was an American jazz pianist and composer who became one of the premier swing bandleaders of his time. After working in dance halls and vaudeville in New York City, Basie moved to Kansas City, a major jazz center, where he formed his own band. Under his leadership, they broadcast from the Reno Club in Kansas City, where a radio announcer dubbed him “Count.” According to one story, the band came up with what signature song while improvising to fill time on the radio show? More… Discuss
Wall Street is a narrow street in lower Manhattan, New York City, extending east from Broadway to the East River. It is the center of one of the greatest financial districts in the world. As the first permanent home of the New York Stock Exchange, the term “Wall Street” has come to denote US financial interests. Many New York financial firms, however, are no longer headquartered on Wall Street, but elsewhere in Manhattan, Connecticut, or New Jersey. Where did Wall Street get its name? More… Discuss
The Pulitzer Prizes—prestigious awards presented annually by Columbia University for achievements in American journalism, literature, and music—were created by journalist and publisher Joseph Pulitzer, whose will funded the establishment of Columbia’s school of journalism as well as the prizes. Ironically, Columbia had rejected donation offers from Pulitzer during his lifetime because, as one of the originators of yellow journalism, he was regarded as unscrupulous. What do prizewinners receive? More… Discuss
+ ICYMI @washingtonpost tally of fatal police shootings includes 49 people who had no weapon http://t.co/HeANZLocl2 pic.twitter.com/7rx49RGAqt
The Nutcracker, a celebrated ballet by Tchaikovsky, tells the story of a young girl whose Christmas gift of a nutcracker turns into a prince and leads her to a magical land. In 1954, George Balanchine choreographed and premiered his New York City Ballet version, which was later made into a feature film. Mikhail Baryshnikov choreographed another enormously popular version for the American Ballet Theatre. What novel instrument did Tchaikovsky use in the Nutcracker score? More… Discuss
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Song titles for Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker in order:
1. Op. 71 – 2. March 0:00
2. Op. 71 – 4. Dance 2:47
3. Op. 71 – 5. Scene & The Grandfather Dance
4. Op. 71 – 6. Scene
5. Op. 71 – 7. Scene
6. Op. 71 – 8. Scene
7. Op. 71 – 12. Arabian Dance, “Coffee”
8. Op. 71 – 13. Waltz Of The Flowers
9. Op. 71 – 14. Pas De Deux
10. Op. 71 – 15. Closing Waltz & Grand Finale
Tiffany & Co. is a jewelry and silverware company. It was founded in New York City in 1837 and, today, has stores in major cities all over the world. The corporation has an agreement with the Tahera Diamond Corporation to buy or market the entire production of Canada’s Jericho Diamond Mine. The Tiffany flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue at 57th Street is a popular tourist attraction, largely as a result of what 1961 movie? More… Discuss
This story is part of Solving for XX, a CNET special report exploring what people and companies are doing to make the tech industry more diverse, more equitable and more welcoming to women.
Yvonne Brill was a rocket scientist. Literally. In the 1970s, she invented a propulsion system that kept satellites from wandering out of orbit. Today’s satellites still rely on the technology. Her work was so important, President Barack Obama awarded her the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2011, the highest honor the United States can give a citizen for contributing to technological progress.
But when The New York Times wrote Brill’s obituary in March 2013 — an honor reserved only for the most influential newsmakers — the first mention was of her “mean beef stroganoff,” followed by a comment about her following her husband from job to job and taking off eight years from work to spend time with her family. A list of Brill’s professional accolades didn’t come until later.
Readers recoiled, taking to Twitter, Facebook and emails to accuse the newspaper of gender bias. The New York Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, who comments on the paper’s approach to writing stories, said the piece “had the effect of undervaluing” Brill’s work. The Web version of the story was changed.
At 7:25 p.m. on May 6, 1937, the giant German airship Hindenburg burst into flames and crashed to the ground as it attempted to dock with a mooring mast at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. Carrying 36 passengers and 61 crew, Hindenburg left Frankfurt on May 4 for its first transatlantic voyage of the 1937 season. A total of 36 died when the fire ignited the 16 hydrogen-filled cells and destroyed the zeppelin in only 34 seconds. The true cause of the disaster remains a mystery, although crash investigators considered claims that Hindenburg was lost due to sabotage or an accidental charge of static electricity.
Photo: National Archives
Gotham City is a fictional city that is best known as the home of DC Comics’ Batman character. Gotham is known to be architecturally modeled after New York City, but with exaggerated elements and styles. Gotham also sometimes serves as a nickname for New York, and was first popularized as such by the author Washington Irving. What is Arkham Asylum? More… Discuss
Cartoon Movie Batman works desperately to find a bomb planted by the Joker while Amanda Waller hires her newly formed Suicide Squad to break into Arkham Asylum to recover vital information stolen by the Riddler.
Best Cartoon Movies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE_eF…
When Jack McGurn, a member of Al Capone’s gang, was almost killed by members of rival George “Bugs” Moran’s gang, Capone decided to retaliate by luring Bugs and some of his men to a warehouse and killing them. On the day of the massacre, Capone’s men thought that the rival crime boss had entered the warehouse and opened fire. They killed seven men but not Bugs—he had grown suspicious and changed his plans. One of the seven victims initially survived, despite how many gunshot wounds? More… Discuss
In January 1998, President Clinton was questioned in a civil suit charging him with sexual harassment. Before the Grand Jury, he denied having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which turned out to be untrue. The US House of Representatives impeached Clinton on December 19, 1998, charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice. In 1999, two impeachment counts were tried in the Senate, which voted to acquit Clinton. Who is the only other US President to have been impeached? More… Discuss
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.
|Cultural Landscape and Archeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
The taller of the two Buddhas of Bamiyan in 1976
|Criteria||i, ii, iii, iv, vi.|
|Inscription||2003 (27th Session)|
|History of Afghanistan|
The Buddhas of Bamiyan (Persian: بت های باميان – but hay-e bamiyan) were two 6th-century 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), the statues represented the classic blended style of Gandhara art.
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.
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, after the Taliban government declared that they were idols. 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, 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.
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. 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, 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. 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.
Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang visited the site on 30 April 630 AD, 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. 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.
In 1221 with the advent of Genghis Khan “a terrible disaster befell Bamiyan,” 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.
The enormous statues, the male Salsal (“light shines through the universe”) and the (smaller) female Shamama (“Queen Mother”), 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.
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. 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.” In early 2000, local Taliban authorities asked for UN assistance to rebuild drainage ditches around tops of the alcoves where the Buddhas were set.
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.
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. Saudi Arabia and the UAE later condemned the destruction as “savage”. 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. Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf sent Moinuddin Haider to Kabul to try to prevent the destruction, by arguing that it was un-Islamic and unprecedented. 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.
A statement issued by the ministry of religious affairs of Taliban regime justified the destruction as being in accordance with Islamic law. 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.
The statues were destroyed by dynamite over several weeks, starting on 2 March 2001, 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.” 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. 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.
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.” 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.”
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.”
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”. 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.”
|The Four Main Sites|
|Four Additional Sites|
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.
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.
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.
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.
After the destruction of the Buddhas, 50 caves were revealed. In 12 of the caves, wall paintings were discovered. 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.
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, typically less than 1 mm across. 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) and oils, probably derived from walnuts or poppies. 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. 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. The discovery may lead to a reassessment of works in ancient ruins in Iran, China, Pakistan, Turkey and India.
Initial suspicion that the oils might be attributable to contamination from fingers, as the touching of the painting is encouraged in Buddhist tradition, was dispelled by spectroscopy and chromatography giving an unambiguous signal for the intentional use of drying oils rather than contaminants. Oils were discovered underneath layers of paint, unlike surface contaminants.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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. Some people, including Habiba Sarabi, the provincial governor, believe that rebuilding the Buddhas would increase tourism which would aid the surrounding communities.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Buddhas of Bamiyan.|
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
— Catholic News Agency (@cnalive) February 3, 2015
The Yaya Matsuri, held in Owase, Japan, during the first week in February, features mikoshi (portable shrines) carried through the streets by groups of young men who meet and deliberately crash into each other. The festival takes its name from their shouts—”Yaya! Yaya!”—as they run into one another. Several special events, including dances, are held during the five-day festival. On the last night, there is a ceremony at the Owase Shrine to determine who will participate in the festival the next year. More… Discuss
— ✍ Bibliophilia (@Libroantiguo) February 1, 2015
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A college student who rode an Amtrak train through New York to last Sunday has the measles, prompting health officials to warn anyone who came in contact with the patient to watch for signs of the illness.
The Bard College student took the No. 283 Empire line train from Penn Station at 1:20 p.m. Jan. 25. The train made stops in Yonkers and Croton-Harmon before continuing to Poughkeepsie, Rhinecliff and the Albany area.
Bard, a liberal arts college in Dutchess County, has held an immunization clinic for students.
Anyone who might have come into contact with the student and is not fully vaccinated or unsure of their vaccination status is urged to see a doctor, health officials said.
The disease is highly contagious and can take several days after exposure to develop. It causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body.
Measles has infected 84 people in 14 states this year
|Definition:||(adjective) Unreasonably irritable or ill-tempered.|
|Synonyms:||peevish, testy, cranky, fractious|
|Usage:||After their fight, her friend came to make amends, but she was feeling petulant and sulky and ignored him. Discuss.|
Elizabeth Jane Cochran—better known by her pen name, Nellie Bly—was a pioneering investigative reporter. She feigned insanity in order to be committed to the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on New York City’s Blackwell’s Island and expose the institution’s horrific and abusive treatment methods. In 1889, she embarked on a 24,899-mile (40,071-km) journey around the world inspired by the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days. Her trip, however, was somewhat shorter. How long did it take? More… Discuss
Fabbrica di paste #watercolor #pencil #illustration #pasta #Italy pic.twitter.com/xV0N7C2aXq
— Virginia (@myartpainting) January 16, 2015
The Good Things and the Bad Things of Today:
Beautiful things today: the sparrows that seek and found crumbs of food provided just in time, religious songs of women that fill my heart with joy and hope, the elderly gentlemen who smile at me.
The colorful fruits in stalls, the flame of the candle that doesn’t extinguish, greeting without exception everyone who who was here before me my time, the heavenly part of the sky.
The reflection of the sun on the bells, the wind that refreshes the skin, a mother holding the hand of his son, the marijuana that grows wild.
The bleating of goats, the sound of cymbals and drums, children laughing merrily.
A homeless man on the street who loves me!
The bad things of today are those who do not want to see!!!
New Rule Leaves Drivers Furious and
Warning: Do Not Pay Your Next Car Insurance
Bill Until You Read This…
January 14, 2015
(California): This is the one simple truth car insurance company don’t want you to know. If you are currently insured, drive less than 35 miles/day and live in a qualified zip code you can receive some huge discounts. Also, if you have no DUI’s on your record, you may qualify for some of the biggest discounts of all. But do you think your car insurance company will tell you that?
When drivers enter their zip code and vehicle information at Provide-Insurance.com many are shocked at the results they find. Most just can’t believe that the available rates are in fact real, but the truth is rates have dropped significantly for many people over the past 12 months. Also, thanks to new program policies it’s now easy to save up to 45% with rates as low as $9/week.
We had Kristen Pereira, our in house financial expert, test these types of services out. She came back a few days later to report a number of exciting things – including that she will now save over $400 during the next year. She found many others who have done the same.
Does this mean Kristen was overcharged by her previous insurance company? Well, it’s possible since they neglected to share with her a number of lower cost insurance options. When confronted, she was told in a hesitant voice,”There are just so many options, and I didn’t think you would be interested in that specific one.” continue reading here
The ban on students having cell phones in New York City’s public schools will soon end, with mayor Bill de Blasio announcing that phone regulation will be up to school principals. Each principal is free to create a policy or use a default one that allows students to bring their phones, so long as they are not used during school hours. The new rules are scheduled to go into effect in March. Currently, many students pay a small fee to leave their phones at a storage location—typically a grocery store or a roaming van—during the school day. More… Discuss
|William Randolph Hearst|
|Hearst in 1906, photograph by James E. Purdy|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York‘s 11th district
March 4, 1903 – March 4, 1907
|Preceded by||William Sulzer|
|Succeeded by||Charles V. Fornes|
|Born||April 29, 1863
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Died||August 14, 1951 (aged 88)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
|Political party||Democratic Party (1896–1935)
Independence Party (1905–1910)
Municipal Ownership League (1904–05)
|Spouse(s)||Millicent Willson Hearst (1903–1951)|
|Relations||Phoebe Apperson Hearst, mother
George Hearst, father
Patty Hearst, granddaughter
Anne Hearst, granddaughter
Lydia Hearst-Shaw, great-granddaughter
Amanda Hearst, great-granddaughter
Marion Davies, mistress
|Children||George Randolph Hearst (1904–1972)
William Randolph Hearst, Jr. (1908–1993)
John Randolph Hearst (1910–1958)
Randolph Apperson Hearst (1915–2000)
David Whitmire Hearst (1915–1986)
San Simeon, California
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Occupation||Businessman & publisher|
William Randolph Hearst (/ˈhɜrst/; April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) was an American newspaper publisher who built the nation’s largest newspaper chain and whose methods profoundly influenced American journalism. Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887 after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. Moving to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer‘s New York World that led to the creation of yellow journalism—sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world.
He was twice elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives, and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 1905 and 1909, for Governor of New York in 1906, and for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1910. Nonetheless, through his newspapers and magazines, he exercised enormous political influence, and was famously blamed for pushing public opinion with his yellow journalism type of reporting leading the United States into a war with Spain in 1898.
His life story was the main inspiration for the development of the lead character in Orson Welles‘s film Citizen Kane. His mansion, Hearst Castle, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Simeon, California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, was donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, and is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours. Hearst formally named the estate La Cuesta Encantada (“The Enchanted Slope”), but he usually just called it “the ranch.”
His paternal great-grandfather was John Hearst, of Scots-Irish origin, who emigrated to America with his wife and six children in 1766 and settled in South Carolina. Their immigration to South Carolina was spurred in part by the colonial government’s policy that encouraged the immigration of Irish Protestants. The names “John Hearse” and “John Hearse Jr.” appear on the council records of October 26, 1766, being credited with meriting 400 and 100 acres (1.62 and 0.40 km2) of land on the Long Canes (in what became Abbeville District), based upon 100 acres (0.40 km2) to heads of household and 50 acres (200,000 m2) for each dependent of a Protestant immigrant. The “Hearse” spelling of the family name never was used afterward by the family members themselves, or any family of any size. A separate theory purports that one branch of a “Hurst” family of Virginia (originally from Plymouth Colony) moved to South Carolina at about the same time and changed the spelling of its surname of over a century to that of the emigrant Hearsts. Hearst’s mother, née Phoebe Elizabeth Apperson, was of Irish ancestry; her family came from Galway. She was the first woman regent of University of California, Berkeley, funded many anthropological expeditions and founded the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.
Following preparation at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, Hearst enrolled in the Harvard College class of 1885. While there he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, the A.D. Club (a Harvard Final club), the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, and of the Harvard Lampoon before being expelled for antics ranging from sponsoring massive beer parties in Harvard Square to sending pudding pots used as chamber pots to his professors (their images were depicted within the bowls).
Searching for an occupation, in 1887 Hearst took over management of a newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner, which his father received in 1880 as repayment for a gambling debt. Giving his paper a grand motto, “Monarch of the Dailies,” he acquired the best equipment and the most talented writers of the time, including Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, Jack London, and political cartoonist Homer Davenport. A self-proclaimed populist, Hearst went on to publish stories of municipal and financial corruption, often attacking companies in which his own family held an interest. Within a few years, his paper dominated the San Francisco market.
Early in his career at the San Francisco Examiner, Hearst envisioned running a large newspaper chain, and “always knew that his dream of a nation-spanning, multi-paper news operation was impossible without a triumph in New York.” In 1895, with the financial support of his mother, he bought the failing New York Morning Journal, hiring writers like Stephen Crane and Julian Hawthorne and entering into a head-to-head circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer, owner and publisher of the New York World, from whom he “stole” Richard F. Outcault, the inventor of color comics, and all of Pulitzer’s Sunday staff as well. Another prominent hire was James J. Montague, who came from the Portland Oregonian and started his well-known “More Truth Than Poetry” column at the Hearst-owned New York Evening Journal.
When Hearst purchased the “penny paper,” so called because its copies sold for only a penny apiece, the Journal was competing with New York’s 16 other major dailies, with a strong focus on Democratic Party politics. Hearst imported his best managers from the San Francisco Examiner and “quickly established himself as the most attractive employer” among New York newspapers. He was generous, paid more than his competitors, gave credit to his writers with page-one bylines, and was unfailingly polite, unassuming, “impeccably calm,” and indulgent of “prima donnas, eccentrics, bohemians, drunks, or reprobates so long as they had useful talents.”
Hearst’s activist approach to journalism can be summarized by the motto, “While others Talk, the Journal Acts.”
In part to aid in his political ambitions, Hearst opened newspapers in some other cities, among them Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. The creation of his Chicago paper was requested by the Democratic National Committee, and Hearst used this as an excuse for Phoebe Hearst to transfer him the necessary start-up funds. By the mid-1920s he had a nation-wide string of 28 newspapers, among them the Los Angeles Examiner, the Boston American, the Atlanta Georgian, the Chicago Examiner, the Detroit Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Washington Times, the Washington Herald, and his flagship the San Francisco Examiner.
Hearst also diversified his publishing interests into book publishing and magazines; several of the latter are still in circulation, including such periodicals as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Town and Country, and Harper’s Bazaar.
In 1924 he opened the New York Daily Mirror, a racy tabloid frankly imitating the New York Daily News, Among his other holdings were two news services, Universal News and International News Service, or INS, the latter of which he founded in 1909. He also owned INS companion radio station WINS in New York); King Features Syndicate, which still owns the copyrights of a number of popular comics characters; a film company, Cosmopolitan Productions; extensive New York City real estate; and thousands of acres of land in California and Mexico, along with timber and mining interests.
Hearst’s father, US Senator George Hearst, had acquired land in the Mexican state of Chihuahua after receiving advance notice that Geronimo – who had terrorized settlers in the region – had surrendered. George Hearst was able to buy 670,000 acres (270,000 ha), the Babicora Ranch, at 20–40 cents each because only he knew that they had become much more secure. George Hearst was on friendly terms with Porfirio Díaz, the Mexican dictator, who helped him settle boundary disputes profitably. The ranch was expanded to nearly 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) by George Hearst, then by Phoebe Hearst after his death. The younger Hearst was at Babicora as early as 1886, when, as he wrote to his mother, “I really don’t see what is to prevent us from owning all Mexico and running it to suit ourselves.” During the Mexican Revolution, his mother’s ranch was looted by irregulars under Pancho Villa. Babicora was then occupied by Carranza’s forces. Phoebe Hearst willed the ranch to her son in 1919. Babicora was sold to the Mexican government for $2.5 million in 1953, just two years after Hearst’s death.
Hearst promoted writers and cartoonists despite the lack of any apparent demand for them by his readers. The press critic A. J. Liebling reminds us how many of Hearst’s stars would not have been deemed employable elsewhere. One Hearst favorite, George Herriman, was the inventor of the dizzy comic strip Krazy Kat; not especially popular with either readers or editors at the time of its initial publication, it is now considered by many to be a classic, a belief once held only by Hearst himself.
Two months before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, he became one of the sponsors of the first round-the-world voyage in an airship, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin from Germany. His sponsorship was conditional on the trip starting at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, NJ, so the ship’s captain, Dr. Hugo Eckener, first flew the Graf Zeppelin across the Atlantic from Germany to pick up Hearst’s photographer and at least three Hearst correspondents. One of them, Grace Marguerite Hay Drummond-Hay, by that flight became the first woman to travel around the world by air.
The Hearst news empire reached a circulation and revenue peak about 1928, but the economic collapse of the Great Depression and the vast over-extension of his empire cost him control of his holdings. It is unlikely that the newspapers ever paid their own way; mining, ranching and forestry provided whatever dividends the Hearst Corporation paid out. When the collapse came, all Hearst properties were hit hard, but none more so than the papers; Furthermore, his now-conservative politics, increasingly at odds with those of his readers, only worsened matters for the once great Hearst media chain. Having been refused the right to sell another round of bonds to unsuspecting investors, the shaky empire tottered. Unable to service its existing debts, Hearst Corporation faced a court-mandated reorganization in 1937. From that point, Hearst was reduced to being merely another employee, subject to the directives of an outside manager. Newspapers and other properties were liquidated, the film company shut down; there was even a well-publicized sale of art and antiquities. While World War II restored circulation and advertising revenues, his great days were over. Hearst died of a heart attack in 1951, aged eighty-eight, in Beverly Hills, California, and is buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.
Ticker-tape parades were originated in New York City by Grover Whalen, the city’s official greeter from 1919 to 1953. The welcome ceremonies he staged for Charles Lindbergh and returning soldiers from both world wars, among others, featured a festive snow of confetti—originally ticker-tape from stockbrokers’ offices in lower Manhattan—thrown onto the parade from the tall buildings along the route. Today the parades most often fete sports champions. What is the “Canyon of Heroes“? More… Discuss
Civil War Photography
Alexander Gardner probably took this chilling photograph of Confederate dead awaiting burial on September 19, 1862. It and several others shot immediately after the Battle of Antietam show the first dead soldiers ever captured on film.
Image: Library of Congress
Barricaded in a freezing cold, rat-infested room inside the Alamo, the lone defender had gone almost three days without food, water or sleep after armed men had positioned themselves around the compound. Word of the standoff ricocheted across America, prompting a deluge of supportive messages for the fatigued but tenacious holdout.
“Win or lose, we congratulate you upon your splendid patriotism and courage,” read one telegram from New York signed by John B. Adams, a descendant of President John Adams. Editors from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wired San Antonio: “Commandant of the Alamo:—Will you send…a message to the women of St. Louis, who are watching with great interest your own gallant defense of the Alamo?”
The “commandant” was no military officer but a 46-year-old Texas schoolteacher named Adina De Zavala, who had commenced her one-woman siege on February 10, 1908. De Zavala replied to the Post-Dispatch: “My immortal forefathers suffered every privation to defend the freedom of Texas. I, like them, am willing to die for what I believe to be right. . . . The officers cannot starve me into submission.”
De Zavala’s impassioned statement echoed the urgent message Lt. Col. William Barret Travis had dashed off 72 years earlier, on February 24, 1836, when his 200 Texan and Tejano rebels were fortified inside the old mission, surrounded by several thousand Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
“To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World,” Travis wrote, “I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna—I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man—The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken—I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls—I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, & every thing dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. . . . If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country—Victory or Death.”
Piloting a prop plane at 30,000 feet for an hour exposes pilots to as much ultraviolet radiation as 20 minutes in a tanning bed, according to a new study. A dermatologic research team at Mount Zion Cancer Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco, reports that the incidence of melanoma among pilots and their crews is about twice that of the general population. As part of the study, the researchers tested an airplane windshield and found that it only protected against UV-B radiation, not UV-A radiation, which penetrates skin more deeply. More… Discuss
St. Adele, Widow. A daughter of King Dagobert II of Germany, St. Adele became a nun upon the death of her husband, making provisions for her son, the future father of St. Gregory of Utrecht. She … continue reading
1. Adagio, 4/8 — Allegro molto, 2/4, E minor
2. Largo, common time, D-flat major, then later C-sharp minor
3. Scherzo: Molto vivace — Poco sostenuto, 3/4, E minor
4. Allegro con fuoco, common time, E minor, ends in E major
Sinfonia n.º 9 (Dvořák)
A Sinfonia Nº. 9 em Mi menor Op. 95 Sinfonia do Novo Mundo
Symfonie č. 9 (Dvořák), Symfonie č.9, e-moll, op. 95 Antonína Dvořáka
This symphony is scored for an orchestra of the following:
2 flutes (one doubling piccolo)
2 oboes (one doubling on English horn)
2 clarinets in A and B♭ (B♭ in movement 2)
4 horns in E, C and F
2 trumpets in E, C and E♭
2 tenor trombones
tuba (second movement only)
triangle (third movement only)
cymbals (fourth movement only)
Symphony No. 9 (Dvořák)
In the days after Superstorm Sandy, relief organizations were overwhelmed by the chaos and enormous need. One group quickly emerged as a bright spot. While victims in New York’s hardest hit neighborhoods were stuck in the cold and dark, volunteers from the spontaneously formed Occupy Sandy became a widely praised lifeline.
Occupy Sandy was “one of the leading humanitarian groups providing relief to survivors across New York City and New Jersey,” as a government-commissioned study put it.
Yet the Red Cross, which was bungling its own aid efforts after the storm, made a decision that further hampered relief: Senior officials told staffers not to work with Occupy Sandy.
The waiting time for kidney transplants from deceased donors could be reduced for some of the more than 100,000 people in need in the US thanks to new guidelines. The rules for the process were recently revised by the United Network for Organ Sharing, under the direction of the US government. Patients will now be credited with time on the wait list as soon as they start dialysis, and young patients will receive healthy kidneys from young donors—a preventative measure intended to keep them from returning to the wait list for a re-transplant later in life. More… Discuss
WASHINGTON — Members of Congress, staffers and other Capitol employees stood silently on the House steps Thursday and raised their hands in the air to protest the killing of unarmed black men by police.
They bowed their heads as Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black prayed, “Forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who couldn’t speak or breathe for themselves” — emphasizing “breathe” in reference to Eric Garner, who died after a policeman grabbed him in a chokehold in New York.
“May we not forget that in our history injustice has often been maintained because good people failed to promptly act,” Black said, with well over 100 people standing behind him.