Archive for April 28th, 2011

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Trip-Trapping Across The Bridge

April 28, 2011

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century moated castle in East Sussex, England. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. Of quadrangular plan, Bodiam Castle has no keep, having its various chambers built around the outer defensive walls and inner courts. Its corners and entrance are marked by towers, and topped by crenellations. Its structure, details and situation in an artificial watery landscape indicate that display was an important aspect of the castle’s design as well as defence. It was the home of the Dalyngrigge family and the centre of the manor of Bodiam.

Dryad's Saddle

Image Credit: A Fungus Among Us

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A Hare Past a Freckle

April 28, 2011

The Persistence of Memory ~ Salvador Dali 1931

 

Old rules and habits

have to be rejected and dismissed,

so that something new can be created.

~ Michael Cretu, Enigma

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The Trouble with Troubadours

April 28, 2011

The Color of Pomegranates

Watch on YouTube

A Georgian-born Armenian, Paradjanov (1924-1989) was one of the most controversial directors of the Soviet era. He was jailed for nearly five years on suspicions of homosexuality, illegal trading in antiques, and incitement to suicide, among other vague charges. After making a few documentaries and features in a roughly Socialist Realist idiom, Paradjanov came into his own style in 1964 when he made Tini zabutykh predkiv/Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, a dream-like film that combines expressionistic camera techniques, ethnography, and the logic of folktales. The film was released to great international acclaim, and is credited with founding the new “pictorial school” of ’60s Soviet cinema. At home, however, the film was attacked by the authorities for what was interpreted as a prioritisation of aesthetics over ideology, and was subsequently banned.

Sergei Parajanov: persecuted by pigeons

Image Credit: Hydra Magazine [where Britney Spears calls us to dance in the face of the apocalypse] oh…okay….after the Royal Wedding but.

Chastened, Paradjanov left the rigid confines of Moscow and Kiev for his ancestral home, Armenia, to make The Colour of Pomegranates in the same vein as Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. But even there, he faced constant harassment by government officials, and was denied basic filmmaking equipment, lighting, and adequate film stock. Disgusted with the experience, he wrote to the director of the State Film Committee:

I was thirty-nine when a sad set of circumstances forced me to come to Erevan. I am now forty-two… It’s hot. Peaches are two rubles a kilo. I’m suffocating in schemes and poorly ventilated hotel rooms, keeping company with cockroaches. I strongly urge that Sayat-Nova be banned and that I be sent back to Kiev. I am willing to abandon the cinema.

His words were prophetic. The controversy over The Colour of Pomegranates instigated his trial and imprisonment, and he would be forbidden from making films for the next 15 years.

Sayat Nova

The film at the heart of all of this controversy is a biography of the Armenian troubadour-poet Aruthin Sayadian (1712-1795), who was known as Sayat-Nova. Born in the capital of Georgia, Tiblisi, Sayat-Nova began his career as a wool-dyer in his family’s trade. Educated in literature by the Armenian Church, he composed hundreds of songs and poems and would rise to become a poet in the royal courts of Tiblisi and Telavi in Eastern Georgia. In his later life, after the death of his wife, Marmar, Sayat-Nova became a monk at the Haghpat monastery. He lived there until his death at the hands of the Persian army, when Agha Mohammed Khan sacked Armenia . His songs continue to be sung in the Caucasus today. [Swiped from Senses of Cinema]

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Of Great Social & Political Import

April 28, 2011
The Mercedes Benz S280, 1997

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends.
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV?
“Dialing for dollars” is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until 3.
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town?
I’m counting on you Lord, please don’t let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town?

Everybody

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends.
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

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Galileo’s goof or a clever concealment?

April 28, 2011

Galileo knew he had discovered a new planet in 1613, 234 years before its official discovery date, according to a new theory by a University of Melbourne physicist.

Professor David Jamieson, Head of the School of Physics, is investigating the notebooks of Galileo from 400 years ago and believes that buried in the notations is the evidence that he discovered a new planet that we now know as Neptune.

Galileo was observing the moons of Jupiter in the years 1612 and 1613 and recorded his observations in his notebooks. Over several nights he also recorded the position of a nearby star which does not appear in any modern star catalogue.

“It has been known for several decades that this unknown star was actually the planet Neptune. Computer simulations show the precision of his observations revealing that Neptune would have looked just like a faint star almost exactly where Galileo observed it,” Professor Jamieson says.

But a planet is different to a star because planets orbit the Sun and move through the sky relative to the stars. It is remarkable that on the night of January 28 in 1613 Galileo noted that the “star” we now know is the planet Neptune appeared to have moved relative to an actual nearby star.”

There is also a mysterious unlabeled black dot in his earlier observations of January 6, 1613, which is in the right position to be Neptune. [read more]

A Muse. Me?

Consider some of the events of the early 17th Century, preceeding Galileo’s almost discovery of Neptune, and just after:

The Authorized King James Version is an English translation by the Church of England of the Christian Bible begun in 1604 and completed in 1611.

1613: The Time of Troubles in Russia ends with the establishment of the House of Romanov which rules until 1917.

1620: The Puritan Pilgrams arrive at Cape Cod in the Mayflower. Consider the legacies of the Mayflower Compact and Thanksgiving (carving pumpkins selling for $26 in Australia in 2010!)

And let’s not forget Galileo’s Troubles from 1610, the stress of which may have made his discovering a new planet that proved Copernicus’ theory all that more tricky and maybe not a smart thing to announce.  ‘

There is never a moment in life when things are not changing. Though we long for and clutch at comfort and predictability, still events move forward within the medium we call time. Time is how we measure our experience, our movement between our evolving points of view and the understandings that follow, and ultimately the medium in which we learn to live in the Eternal NOW. [read more at Aquarius Papers]