American Occupation of Mexico

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Cultural farming

Cultural Farming


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Benito Mussolini could be Barack Obama

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The legacy of imperialism still haunts every street in Rome

The Long View: My dad, I'm afraid, had a soft spot for Mussolini, especially when Benito crushed the "commies".

Robert Fisk



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The 'Year Without a Summer'

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April 1, 2013

In many parts of the country winter refuses to release its icy grip, and records are being broken for spring’s late arrival. Although we know that spring and summer will come eventually, we are still a far cry from rivaling the “Year Without a Summer.”

That year was 1816. It was near the end of the Little Ice Age, a period that began around 1350 AD. It was also in the middle of what became known as the Dalton Minimum, an unusual period of low solar activity named after English meteorologist John Dalton that lasted from 1790 to 1830.

But the main contributor to the unusually cold year was the volcanic winter caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora, located on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. In April of 1815, it erupted in what was one of the two largest eruptions in the past 2000 years, and the largest eruption in recorded history. This eruption had a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 7, which is a supercolossal event. The highest VEI number ever assigned has been an 8, a mega-colossal event — an example is the Yellowstone eruption in 640,000 BC. For point of reference, the eruption of Mount St. Helens ranks a 5 on the logarithmic scale.

The amount of volcanic ash spewed into the atmosphere by Mount Tambora lowered global temperatures by as much as 0.7–1.3 °F. Much cooler temperatures in many parts of the world the year after the eruption led to worldwide harvest failures, which is why that year is also known as the “Poverty Year.”

The parts of the world most affected were the northeastern United States and Canada, and parts of Western Europe. The northeastern U.S. was enveloped in a persistent dry fog known as a “stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil” due to the sulfur that was discharged into the atmosphere from the eruption. Neither wind nor rain would disperse this fog that reddened the daylight and made it possible for people to observe sunspots with the naked eye.

Snow fell on June 6, 1816 in New York and Maine, while Quebec City received nearly a foot of snow. June frost led to widespread crop failure, which led to high prices as well as a food shortage. Ice could be found on lakes and rivers as far south as Pennsylvania in the month of August.

Across the pond, cooler- and wetter-than-normal conditions led to the failure of the crop harvests for potatoes, wheat, and oats in Ireland and Great Britain, leading to the worst famine of the century. Frost was present throughout the summer months. Hungary saw brown snow, while Italy saw red snow, both due to the volcanic ash in the atmosphere. London also reported snow — in August.

The Far East was not immune. China’s rice crop suffered due to unusually low temperatures leading to famine there as well, and snowfall was reported during the summer. Snow and frost were even reported in Taiwan, which is normally tropical.

The explosion of Mount Tambora was heard up to 1,600 miles away. Ash fell over 800 miles away. The volcanic eruption has been blamed for up to 71,000 deaths. Besides the famine caused by the temporary climate change, the volcanic eruption is also blamed for the severity of the typhus epidemic in Europe and the Mediterranean in the years immediately following; and for a new strain of cholera that broke out in India because the normal monsoon season was disrupted.

The U.S. saw a migration of farmers from the New England states to the Midwest as one of the major long term effects of the eruption; and it was during that cold, rainy summer in Geneva, Switzerland that Mary Shelley began writing her most famous work: the novel Frankenstein. 


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'Lynch started off as an artist, and when you remember this, his films make much more sense – if that is the word. One of the things you notice, secondarily, about Eraserhead is how little dialogue there is in it.'

'The point is that Lynch prefers the image to the word. His favourite directors, he has said, are Tati, Herzog and Kubrick, all of whom can be said to use silences of varying lengths to great effect. (Although the relentless background noise of his films, continuous in Eraserhead, sporadic in, say, Blue Velvet, most notably as a precursor to sexual violence, shows how interested he is in different kinds of silence: the "room tone", which film-makers have to be very careful to match when shooting the same scene from different angles.) He is also a great fan of Francis Bacon, which comes as no surprise when you look at the mutant baby in Eraserhead, which recalls nothing so much as the painter's Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion.'

David Lynch: director of dreams

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Return from Fishing

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Meta Warrick Fuller

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Meta Warrick Fuller was a black female artist who specialized in sculpture. Born in Philadelphia in 1877, her career peaked during America’s Gilded Age, a time when more women were trained as artists than ever before. She attended the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Arts in 1897 (now Pennsylvania College of Art) before traveling abroad to study in Paris in 1899. Warrick studied at the Académie Colarossi for sculpture and La Ecole des Beaux Arts for drawing. It was during this time that she met Auguste Rodin, who encouraged her to continue the sculptural realism that she loved. This advice invigorated her art. With her new confidence, she exhibited at Samuel Bing’s L’Art Nouveau Gallery in Paris in 1900.

Meta Warrick returned to Philadelphia in 1902. Eleven years after her return she married Dr. Solomon Fuller of Massachusetts. In 1910 she created signature piece, Ethiopia Awakening which in many ways anticipated the Harlem Renaissance two decades later. As the depiction of an ancient black Egyptian coming back to life, this piece exemplifies a determination to shatter Africa’s association with slavery and ignorance. In the time that Fuller created this piece, only Ethiopia of all the African nations had successfully maintained its independence against European imperialists.  Fuller created the piece as a historical validation and celebration of Africans and their connection to African Americans.  

In a similar vain, Fuller also completed a commemorative plaque in honor of Emperor Menelik II of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1912. In the 1930s and 1940s, Fuller became increasingly active in church work and as a result her sculpture took on a religious theme that manifested itself in her version of the Pieta in 1930. Fuller retired from her work in the 1950s to care for her ailing husband and to recover from her own bout with tuberculosis. In the 1960s she returned to sculpture, creating tributes to the civil rights movement before dying in 1968 at age 90.

Renée Ater, “Making History,” American Art (Vol 17 Issue 3, Fall 2003); Sharon E. Patton, African American Art(Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1998). 


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Miriam Makeba

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4 March 2013

The birthday of Miriam Makeba, the late singer and civil rights campaigner, has been commemorated with a Google doodle.

Makeba was born in Johannesburg on 4 March, 1932. In 1960, the South African government cancelled her passport to prevent her returning to her home from her travels overseas. She returned after the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990.



Miriam Makeba

South African diva Miriam Makeba is well known throughout the world known as the Mama Africa and the Empress of African Song. Born in 1932 in South Afica, she first came to the public's attention as a featured vocalist with the Manhattan Brothers in 1954. She soon left to record with her all-woman group the Skylarks while touring Southern Africa with Alf Herberts' African Jazz and Variety, an 18 month tour that launched the careers of many African artists.

In 1959, Makeba's incredible voice help win her the role of the female lead in the show, King Kong, a Broadway-inspired South African musical. She then went to conquer America where she sang at President Kennedy's birthday and worked in New York with Harry Belafonte creating such classics as "The Click Song" and "Pata Pata".

In 1963 she testified about apartheid before the United Nations, as a result the South African government revoked her citizship and right of return. She stayed in the U.S. and married Stokely Carmichael, a Black Panther leader. That began her exile from her South African homeland. After harassment by U.S. authorities she fled to exile in Guinea.

Makeba returned to world prominence when she performed with Paul Simon on the Graceland tour. Finally in the late 1980's she returned to her homeland as a free South African.


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New Spray Paint Pieces on Canvas





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Naked Black Woman cake


17 April 2012

Swedish minister denies claims of racism over black woman cake stunt

Calls for Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth to resign over role in art event supposedly highlighting female genital mutilation and racism


Sweden's minister of culture has been accused of racism after cutting a cake depicting a naked black woman.

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth was taking part in an event at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the capital's museum of modern art and home to works by Picasso and Dalí. She was invited to cut the cake, an art installation meant to highlight the issue of female genital mutilation. She began, as instructed, by taking a chunk from the cake's "clitoris".

The artist, Makode Aj Linde, who created the installation for World Art Day on 15 April, took part in the cake-cutting, with his blackened face and head sticking up next to the cake's stomach and arms. The cakes "insides" were a gruesome red. A video shows him screaming loudly every time a visitor hacks off another slice of the cake.

Linde posted photos of the "genital mutilation cake" on his Facebook page. But the images provoked a furious response, with Sweden's African-Swedish Association describing it as "a racist spectacle".

A spokesman for the association, Kitimbwa Sabuni, told Sweden's The Local newspapers: "In our view, this simply adds to the mockery of racism in Sweden."

The association has demanded her resignation. In a statement, Sabuni said the association doubted a cake party meant to highlight the issue of female genital mutilation had achieved its aim. Instead, the cake was just "a racist caricature of a black woman". He said the minister's decision to take part in a dubious event with cannibalistic overtones showed her "incompetence and lack of judgment".

Sabuni told the newspaper: "Her participation, as she laughs, drinks and eats cake, merely adds to the insult against people who suffer from racist taunts and against women affected by circumcision."

Adelsohn Liljeroth, however, said she sympathised with the association's criticisms but denied she had done anything wrong. Speaking to the TT news agency, she conceded the cake installation was provocative and rather bizarre, and said she had been invited to speak about artistic freedom and the right to offend.

She added: "They wanted me to cut the cake." Ultimately, the artist was to blame for any confusion, she said, arguing that the situation had been misinterpreted. "He claims that it challenges a romanticised and exoticised view from the west about something that is really about violence and racism," she said. "Art needs to be provocative."

Sabuni dismissed the remarks, according to Swedish media reports, and called the minister's comments "extremely insulting". He added: "Sweden thinks of itself as a place where racism is not a problem. That just provides cover for not discussing the issue, which leads to incidents like this.

"To participate in a racist manifestation masquerading as art is totally over the line and can only be interpreted as the culture minister supporting the Moderna Museet's racist prank," he said.


The 'cake' of a naked black woman made by an artist, Makode Aj Linde Link to video: Swedish minister accused of racism over cake stunt

Swedish Cultural Minister eating a slice of “Black Woman” cake with a male artist in Blackface.


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Birds filled with plastic waste


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Water is a woman...


tonight, shadow, close the door and shut up

The Lord is far, the sky is humates, wheat is bitterly,

Water is a woman

and other bread I have not


I sharpening dream with a edge of heart

and do not know

fallen dust is from the heart or dream…

one tear is transform in the snow under the eyelids,

drain on the shoulders of which will never grow wings


the wall from tomorrow, keep one mirror with

the melancholy of Adam

I me climb on her frame, I licking and my tongue a bleeding

the smell of close for dream seems damp incense


shadow, close the door and shut up

The Lord is away, the watch of trickles ball of fire on his chest

and another day I have not




Picture: Anne Hathaway who is set to star in a movie adaptation of Shakespeare play The Taming Of The Shrew. 

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Jones The Cat


Prometheus or How The Corporation Defeated The Alien

Read Alien, retold from the cat’s perspective

Alien, From The Point Of View Of Jones The Cat


19:47 Posted by Jan Boeykens in Actualiteit, Film, Jones The Cat | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Kourtney Roy: Portraits of the Artist

16-Dec-kourtneybed.jpg23 Dec 2012

On the second floor of a small apartment building in Montreuil, a suburb east of Paris, there’s a tiny two-room flat with a small diamanté ‘K’ on the front door. This is where Kourtney Roy lives and works. 

Roy belongs to a generation of female photographers whose very existence is changing the face of fashion photography. The old cliché of the male photographer thrusting his lens at a supine female model is becoming a thing of the past.

Her fashion photography (which includes work for Dior and glossies such as Wallpaper*) is splendid, but it’s Roy’s art photography that is really attracting attention. It’s been featured in exhibitions this year in Paris, Deauville and Milan.

Particularly remarkable are her self-portraits, in which she poses, lost in thought, in empty rooms or on deserted beaches.


Read the full article by Anne Billson on:



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Anne Billson: self portrait - zelfportret


A remake of one of Anne Billson's self-portraits (1982).

Anne Billson is a film critic, novelist and photographer whose work has been widely published. She has lived in London, Tokyo, Paris and Croydon, and now lives in Brussels.

Anne Billson's blog:


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Mind-Controlled Robot


José del R. Millán, a professor at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne has unveiled a robot that can be controlled by the brain waves of a paraplegic person wearing an electrode-fitted cap. A paralysed man at a hospital in the town of Sion demonstrated the device, sending a mental command to a computer in his room, which transmitted it to another computer that moved a small robot 60 kilometres (37 miles) away in Lausanne.


The system was developed by Professor José Millán who should not be unknown to our fellow readers. Millán specialises in non-invasive interfaces between machines and the brain, and he had been involved in projects such as the multitasking BCI or developing BCI for Nissan cars to read the driver’s mind.

The same technology can be used to drive a wheelchair, Millan said. ”Once the movement has begun, the brain can relax, otherwise the person would soon be exhausted,” he said. But the technology has its limits, he added. The brain signals can be scrambled if too many people are gathered around a wheelchair, for example.

While the human brain is perfectly capable of performing several tasks at once, a paralyzed person would have to focus the entire time they are directing the device.

“Sooner or later your attention will drop and this will degrade the signal,” Millan said.

To get around this problem, his team decided to program the computer that decodes the signal so that it works in a similar way to the brain’s subconscious. Once a command such as ‘walk forward’ has been sent, the computer will execute it until it receives a command to stop or the robot encounters an obstacle.

Professor José del R. Millán, Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne

The robot itself is an advance on a previous project that let patients control an electric wheelchair. By using a robot complete with a camera and screen, users can extend their virtual presence to places that are arduous to reach with a wheelchair, such as an art gallery or a wedding abroad.

The robot itself is an advance on a previous project that let patients control an electric wheelchair. By using a robot complete with a camera and screen, users can extend their virtual presence to places that are arduous to reach with a wheelchair, such as an art gallery or a wedding abroad.


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Milky Way

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An illustration of the Milky Way based on photographs taken by the Spitzer space telescope. It shows our Sun in the side arm called 'Orion Spur', below the light-coloured centre of the galaxy. The abbreviation 'ly' provides the distance in light years; one light year corresponds to around 9.5 trillion kilometres.


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Birth of the Universe

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Omega Centauri (ω Cen) or NGC 5139 is a globular cluster in the constellation of Centaurus, discovered by Edmond Halley in 1677 who listed it as a nebula. Omega Centauri had been listed in Ptolemy's catalog 2000 years ago as a star. Lacaille included it in his catalog as number I.5. It was first recognized as a globular cluster by the English astronomer John William Herschel in the 1830s. ("Omega Centauri" is a Bayer designation, even though the object is a cluster.)

Orbiting the Milky Way, it is both the brightest and the largest known globular cluster associated with our galaxy (1.6 Em). Of all the globular clusters in the Local Group of galaxies, only Mayall II in the Andromeda Galaxy is brighter and more massive.  ω Centauri is so different from other galactic globular clusters that it is thought to be of different origin.

It is located about 15,800 light-years (4,850 pc) from Earth and contains several million Population II stars. The stars in its center are so crowded that they are estimated to average only 0.1 light years away from each other. It is about 12 billion years old.

Omega Centauri is one of the few globular clusters visible to the naked eye and appears about as large as the full Moon.  Kapteyn's star, which is currently only 13 light years away, is thought to originate from Omega Centauri.

The cluster is strongly rotating, with a peak rotational velocity of 7.9 km s−1. The mass distribution inferred from the kinematics is slightly more extended than, though not strongly inconsistent with, the luminosity distribution.

A 2008 study presented evidence for an intermediate-mass black hole at the center of Omega Centauri, based on observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope and Gemini Observatory on Cerro Pachon in Chile. Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys showed that stars are bunching up near the center of Omega Centauri, as evidenced by the gradual increase in starlight near the center. Using instruments at the Gemini Observatory to measure the speed of stars swirling in the cluster's core, E. Noyola and colleagues found that stars closer to the core are moving faster than stars farther away. This measurement was interpreted to mean that unseen matter at the core is interacting gravitationally with nearby stars. By comparing these results with standard models, the astronomers concluded that the most likely cause was the gravitational pull of a dense, massive object such as a black hole. They calculated the object's mass at 4.0 x 104 solar masses.

However, more recent work has challenged these conclusions, in particular disputing the proposed location of the cluster center.  Calculations using a revised location for the center found that the velocity of core stars does not vary with distance, as would be expected if an intermediate-mass black hole were present. The same studies also found that starlight does not increase toward the center but instead remains relatively constant. The authors noted that their results do not entirely rule out the black hole proposed by Noyola and colleagues, but they do not confirm it, and they limit its maximum mass to 1.2 x 104 solar masses.

It has been speculated that Omega Centauri may be the core of a dwarf galaxy which was disrupted and absorbed by our Milky Way galaxy. Omega Centauri's chemistry and motion in the galaxy is also consistent with this picture. Like Mayall II, Omega Centauri has a range of metallicities and stellar ages which hints that it did not all form at once (as globular clusters are thought to form) and may in fact be the remainder of the core of a smaller galaxy long since incorporated into the Milky Way.

Photo: The globular cluster Omega Centauri — with as many as ten million stars — is seen in all its splendour in this image captured with the WFI camera from ESO's La Silla Observatory. The image shows only the central part of the cluster — about the size of the full moon on the sky (half a degree). North is up, East is to the left. This colour image is a composite of B, V and I filtered images. Note that because WFI is equipped with a mosaic detector, there are two small gaps in the image which were filled with lower quality data from the Digitized Sky Survey.



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Photo:  small region inside the massive globular cluster Omega Centauri (NGC 5139). This is one of the first images taken by the new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), installed aboard Hubble in May 2009, during Servicing Mission 4. Hubble observed Omega Centauri on July 15, 2009, in ultraviolet and visible light.


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Onvernietigbaar destructief monster ontdekt !


Als je een mailtje ontvangt genaamd 'Invitation', ook al wordt het door een vriend gestuurd, dan mag je dat NIET OPENEN !  Zet  je computer meteen uit!!!

Het gaat hier namelijk om een virus dat door CNN werd aangekondigd en gisteren door McAfee werd ontdekt.  Dit virus vernietigt de Zero Sector van de Harde schijf, waar de vitale informatie is  opgeslagen.  Er is nog geen 'reparatie' mogelijk voor de schade aangebrachrt door dit monsterlijke virus.

Microsoft klasseerde het virus als het 'meest destructieve virus aller tijden'.

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Robert Schuman

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'World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it'.

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Activist Ai Weiwei became an Internet master

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Censorship cannot be an all-knowing eye, and people are having very interesting conversations even within the firewall...

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Salvador Dali: Alice in Wonderland...

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George Orwell

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Why I Write

From a very early age, perhaps the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer. Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books.

I was the middle child of three, but there was a gap of five years on either side, and I barely saw my father before I was eight. For this and other reasons I was somewhat lonely, and I soon developed disagreeable mannerisms which made me unpopular throughout my schooldays. I had the lonely child’s habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary persons, and I think from the very start my literary ambitions were mixed up with the feeling of being isolated and undervalued. I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts, and I felt that this created a sort of private world in which I could get my own back for my failure in everyday life.Nevertheless the volume of serious — i.e. seriously intended — writing which I produced all through my childhood and boyhood would not amount to half a dozen pages. I wrote my first poem at the age of four or five, my mother taking it down to dictation. I cannot remember anything about it except that it was about a tiger and the tiger had ‘chair-like teeth’ — a good enough phrase, but I fancy the poem was a plagiarism of Blake’s ‘Tiger, Tiger’. At eleven, when the war or 1914-18 broke out, I wrote a patriotic poem which was printed in the local newspaper, as was another, two years later, on the death of Kitchener. From time to time, when I was a bit older, I wrote bad and usually unfinished ‘nature poems’ in the Georgian style. I also attempted a short story which was a ghastly failure. That was the total of the would-be serious work that I actually set down on paper during all those years...

The Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it...

What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing...

The problem of language is subtler and would take too long to discuss. I will only say that of late years I have tried to write less picturesquely and more exactly. In any case I find that by the time you have perfected any style of writing, you have always outgrown it. Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole...

All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand...'


George Orwell: ‘Why I Write’, 1946

First published: Gangrel. — GB, London. — summer 1946.


George Orwell - Animal Farm: A fairy story:


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Aldous Huxley


Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. Huxley spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death.

During the First World War, Huxley spent much of his time at Garsington Manor, home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, working as a farm labourer. Here he met several Bloomsbury figures including Bertrand Russell and Clive Bell. Later, in Crome Yellow (1921) he caricatured the Garsington lifestyle. In 1919 he married Maria Nys, a Belgian woman he met at Garsington; they had one son. The family lived in Italy part of the time in the 1920s, where Huxley would visit his friend D. H. Lawrence. Following Lawrence's death in 1930, Huxley edited Lawrence's letters (1933).

Works of this period included important novels on the dehumanising aspects of scientific progress, most famously Brave New World, and on pacifist themes (for example, Eyeless in Gaza). In Brave New World Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of mass production and Pavlovian conditioning. Huxley was strongly influenced by F. Matthias Alexander and included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza.

Starting from this period, Huxley began to write and edit non-fiction works on pacifist issues, including Ends and MeansAn Encyclopedia of Pacifism, and Pacifism and Philosophy, and was an active member of the the Peace Pledge Union.

In 1937, Huxley moved to Hollywood, with his wife Maria, son Matthew, and friend Gerald Heard. He lived in the U.S., mainly in southern California, until his death, but also for a time in Taos, New Mexico, where he wrote Ends and Means (published in 1937). In this work he examines the fact that although most people in modern civilisation agree that they want a world of "liberty, peace, justice, and brotherly love", they have not been able to agree on how to achieve it.

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Kurt Weill


The composer Kurt Weill was born today March 2 1900. Best known for his collaborations with Bertolt Brecht on The Threepenny Opera,Rise and Fall of the City of MahagonnyDer Jasager and The 7 Deadly Sins, Weill was a committed socialist, who believed music must serve a socially useful purpose. However, it was politics that eventually split the brilliant partnership of Brecht and Weill, as the musician felt the playwright was pushing too far to the left without question, or as Weill joked, he felt unable to set the Communist Party Manifesto to music.

Weill was married to the brilliant actress and singer, Lotte Lenya, who starred in The Threepenny Opera and later played the SMERSH assassin, Rosa Klebb in the Bond movie, From Russia With Love. With the rise of Hitler, the couple quit Germany and moved to America, where they worked in Hollywood (as did Brecht).

Though Weill’s music is best associated with cabaret and political theater of Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s (influencing John Kander and Fred Ebb’s musical Cabaret), he also wrote two symphonies, several cantatas, a great number of songs, set the poetry of Rilke and Walt Whitman’s Song of Myslef to music, and worked with Ira Gershwin on the Hollywood musical Where Do We Go From Here?. Weill died of a heart attack in 1950.

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Lord Byron

Byron_in_Albanian_dress_Size4.jpgLord Byron in Albanian dress, by Thomas Phillips, 1813, collection of the British Embassy, Athens, via Wikipedia

Lord Byron's first collection of poems, Hours of Idleness, appeared in 1807. The poems were savagely attacked by Henry Brougham in the Edinburgh Review. Byron replied with the publication of his satire, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809).

In 1809 Byron set on his grand tour where he visited Spain, Malta, Albania and Greece. His poetical account of this grand tour, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812) established Byron as one of England's leading poets.

Lord Byron scandalized London by starting an affair with Lady Caroline Lamb and was ostracized when he was suspected of having a sexual relationship with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, who gave birth to an illegitimate daughter.

Byron attending the House of Lords where he became a strong advocate of social reform. In 1811 he was one of the few men in Parliament to defend the actions of the Luddites and the following year spoke against the Frame Breaking Bill, by which the government intended to apply the death-penalty to Luddites. Byron's political views influenced the subject matter of his poems. Important examples include Song for the Luddites (1816) and The Landlords' Interest (1823). Byron also attacked his political opponents such as the Duke of Wellington and Lord Castlereagh in Wellington: The Best of the Cut-Throats (1819) and the The Intellectual Eunuch Castlereagh (1818).

In 1815 Byron married Anne Isabella Milbanke but the relationship came to an end the following year. Byron moved to Venice where he met the Countess Teresa Guiccioli, who became his mistress. Some of Byron's best known work belongs to this period including Don Juan. The last cantos is a satirical description of social conditions in England and includes attacks on leading Tory politicians.

Lord Byron also began contributing to the radical journal, the Examiner, edited by his friend, Leigh Hunt. Leigh Hunt, like other radical journalists had suffered as as result of the Gagging Acts and had been imprisoned for his attacks on the monarchy and the government.

In 1822 Byron, Leigh Hunt, and Percy Bysshe Shelley travelled to Italy where the three men published the political journal, The Liberal. By publishing in Italy they remained free from the fear of being prosecuted by the British authorities. The first edition was mainly written by Leigh Hunt but also included work by William HazlittMary Shelley and Byron's Vision of Judgement sold 4,000 copies. Three more editions were published but after the death of Shelley in August, 1822, the Liberal came to an end.

For a long time Lord Byron had supported attempts by the Greek people to free themselves from Turkish rule. This included writing poems such as The Maid of Athens (1810). In 1823 he formed the Byron Brigade and joined the Greek insurgents who had risen against the Turks. However, in April, 1824, Lord Byron died of marsh fever in Missolonghi before he saw anymilitary action.

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William Golding

William Golding.jpg


Golding Lord of the Flies.jpg

As a child and adolescent, William Golding, like others in the innocent years before the War, had a fundamentally simple conception of the world. During the years before the massive cruelty, devastation, and destruction wrought by World War II, the prevailing concept of man and society included two basic viewpoints: man was essentially good and society was inherently evil. Golding's belief in this concept can be seen in his childhood reading choices, which included  adventure stories like Tarzan of the ApesCoral Island, and Twenty Thousand, as well as in Lord of the Flies. (enotes.http://www.enotes.com/flies/overview)
The novelpublished in 1954, is set at a time when Europe is in the midst of nuclear destruction. A group of boys, being evacuated from England to Australia, crash lands on a tropical island. No adults survive crash, and the boys, led by the slightly older and more mature boy, Ralph, are forced to fend for themselves and survive against both the island and each other. In order to create some sort of structure and governing system, Ralph decides that the group of boys should form a tribe, and that each person in the tribe has a specific role, that each must carry out, in order for the tribe to function correctly. However as the story progresses, the darker, brutal, and ruthless behaviors of human nature begin to surface in each of the boys, especially an older boy named Jack. The extreme striving and wanting of supreme power begins to surface in Jack, creating conflict between Ralph, who is trying to keep some sort of structured system, and Jack, who wants nothing more than to control all the boys on the island. Eventually the animalistic, ruthless, human nature-derived behaviors are almost always present in all but a few boys, however Jack and his newly founded tribe become jealous and angered at Ralph and the few remaining boys who stand by him, and soon the two groups become engage in a heated conflict (http://students.westport.ct.us/fitzgerald/LordOfTheFlies....).  
The story of The Lord Of The Flies explains to the reader human society is plagued by a lust for power and greed and needs structure, democratic government and education in order to avoid descent into chaos, disorder, and evil.

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Nina Hagen




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Axel Springer - Springer-Verlag


„Jeder hat das Recht, seine Meinung in Wort, Schrift und Bild frei zu äußern“
Medienmonopole – eine Gefahr für die Demokratie
Von Eckart Spoo 

Bundestagsvizepräsident a. D. Dr. Burkhard Hirsch sowie der Rechtsanwalt und Buchautor Dr. Heinrich Hannover haben am 8. Mai den "Grundrechte-Report 2008 - Zur Lage der Bürger- und Menschenrechte in Deutschland" der Öffentlichkeit in Karlsruhe vorgestellt. Für ihren kontinuierlichen Einsatz für ein liberales Rechtsstaatsverständnis waren die Autoren und Herausgeber im April Jahres mit der Theodor-Heuss-Medaille ausgezeichnet worden. Im folgenden Artikel aus dem Grundrechte-Report geht es um Probleme der Pressefreiheit, die von den Medien üblicherweise nicht thematisiert werden. – Die Redaktion.  

In der verfassungspolitischen Diskussion über die Pressefreiheit ist selten von der Freiheit des einzelnen Journalisten die Rede, oft aber vom Grundrecht aller Menschen in Deutschland, sich aus einer Vielzahl und Vielfalt von Publikationen umfassend zu informieren, um sich am gesellschaftlichen Leben, besonders an der politischen Meinungs- und Willensbildung, aktiv beteiligen zu können. Als 1965 der konservative Journalist Paul Sethe (Mitherausgeber der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung) die Pressefreiheit suchte, fand er sie weder bei den Journalisten noch bei den auf Medien angewiesenen Bürgerinnen und Bürgern, sondern schon damals erkannte er, unter den realen Verhältnissen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland sei Pressefreiheit „die Freiheit von 200 reichen Leuten, ihre Meinung zu verbreiten“ bzw. durch von ihnen bezahlte Journalisten verbreiten zu lassen. Falls diese Definition zutrifft, wäre unser aller Grundrecht zum Privileg einer kleinen Gruppe von Unternehmern verkommen, die nach ihren Interessen öffentliche Meinung formen. Das Grundrecht wäre also in sein Gegenteil verkehrt. Tatsächlich erhob schon damals der Verband Deutscher Zeitschriftenverleger den Anspruch: „Pressefreiheit bedeutet nur, daß jeder, der will und kann, eine Zeitung oder Zeitschrift herausgeben darf.“ Ähnlich äußerte sich in jener Zeit der erste Großverleger der Bundesrepublik, Axel Springer.

Axel Cäsar Springer
Foto: NRhZ-Archiv

Vor vier Jahrzehnten war die Pressekonzentration erst in ihren Anfängen, doch namentlich die wachsende Macht des Springer-Konzerns begann aufmerksame Demokraten schon zu beunruhigen – vor allem in Erinnerung daran, daß in der Weimarer Republik der vom ehemaligen Krupp-Generaldirektor Alfred Hugenberg geschaffene Pressekonzern publizistisch das Naziregime vorbereitet hatte. Immerhin gab es Ende der 1960er Jahre in großen Teilen des Bundesgebiets noch Zeitungskonkurrenz. Inzwischen aber ist das regionale Monopolblatt zur typischen deutschen Tageszeitung geworden. Inhaltlich sind die regionalen Monopolblätter einander sehr ähnlich. Merkwürdigerweise sind sie sich alle darin einig, für eine Wirtschaftsordnung zu werben, als deren Erfolgsprinzip sie die freie Konkurrenz rühmen, von der sie selber frei sind.

Springer-Demo Dutschke
Nach dem Attentat auf Rudi Dutschke – Demonstration gegen Hetz-Artikel vor dem Springer-Verlag, Foto: NRhZ-Archiv 

Zeitweilig waren die regionalen Monopolblätter noch eigenständig. Doch immer mehr von ihnen werden von großen Medienkonzernen geschluckt. Ein Beispiel: Anfang 2007 übernahm der Konzern der Westdeutschen Allgemeinen Zeitung (WAZ) in Essen die Braunschweiger Zeitung, die einzige Zeitung in der zweitgrößten Stadt Niedersachsens und Umgebung. Der Verlag der Braunschweiger Zeitung war mit etwa 25 Prozent am Harz Kurier, der dominierenden Zeitung im Südharz, beteiligt. Ein halbes Jahr später erwarb der WAZ-Konzern auch die übrigen 75 Prozent. Dieser Konzern hatte in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten Schritt für Schritt den Zeitungsmarkt Ruhrgebiet erobert – rund sechs Millionen Konsumenten, an die sich der Handel über die Zeitungen des WAZ-Konzerns wendet. 
Die größte dieser Zeitungen, eben die Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, ist in Deutschland das Tageblatt mit der zweithöchsten Auflage nach Springers Bild.

WAZ Werbung
Öffentliche WAZ-Werbung für das umstrittene Mülheimer PPP-Projekt „Ruhrbania“ – nicht nur in der Zeitung, Quelle: MBI 


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VIRUS 2/5: Metropia

Woensdag 2 mei 2012  22.50


'In memory of markus' 

Zweedse science-fiction animatiefilm uit 2009 van Tarik Saleh. Stig Larsson schreef mee aan het script. Metropia werpt een futuristische blik op een angstaanjagend Europa. De wereld zit zonder olie en de metrolijnen van Europa zijn met elkaar verbonden tot één groot metronetwerk. Het hoofdpersonage Roger vermijdt de metro liever omdat die hem in de war brengt. Hij vindt het vervelend en hoort soms stemmen in zijn hoofd. Op een dag ontdekt Roger dat zijn leven tot in detail gecontroleerd wordt en hij probeert te ontsnappen uit dit systeem. Daarvoor krijgt hij de hulp van supermodel Nina.

De gewone man in de straat stond model voor de personages uit deze animatiefilm. De foto’s die fotograaf Lind van Europese locaties trok werden met Photoshop en After Effects bewerkt. De stemmen van de hoofdrolspelers werden ingelezen door Vincent Gallo en Juliette Lewis. Het duurde 2 jaar om deze stijlvolle animatiefilm af te werken.

Genre: SF animatiefilm
Regie: Tarik Saleh
Producer: Kristina Åberg
Screenplay: Tarik Saleh, Stig Larsson, Fredrik Edin
Hoofdrollen: Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis
Jaar: 2009
Lengte: 86 minuten
Land: Zweden 


01:02 Posted by Jan Boeykens in Actualiteit, Metropia | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |