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the work of history

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    South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died, South Africa’s president says.

    Mandela fought against apartheid and white minority rule in South Africa for decades, spent twenty-seven years in prison for his work, and was eventually elected President in 1994. In 1993 he and F.W. de Klerk received the Nobel Peace Prize “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”.


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    HI FOLLOWERS, sorry for rarely updating these days; hopefully after finals and such this blog will be regularly updated again, unless I die in the process, which is possible. Until then though, happy holidays!


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    unhistorical:

    HI FOLLOWERS, sorry for rarely updating these days; hopefully after finals and such this blog will be regularly updated again, unless I die in the process, which is possible. Until then though, happy holidays!

    alyosha-karamazov said:you can do it!! :)

    mermaidroar said:i feel your pain and am so sorry

    jampilot said:good luck at finals buddy!

    pilot47 said:You got this! Don’t be scurred! :D

    You’re all so sweet, thank you!

    leonychen said:Busy reading naturo

    image

    *Studying


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  • 12/15/13--14:51: R.I.P. Peter O’Toole
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    Sheherazade, Op. 35, II. The Story of the Kalendar Prince | Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    Fritz Reiner & the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


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    Tibetan depiction of Yama, mid-17th-early 18th century

    Metropolitan Museum of Art


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    Egypt & Nubia (1842-1848), David Roberts 


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    Building Fritz Lang’s Metropolis


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    January 9, 1839: The French Academy of Sciences announces the invention of the daguerreotype.

    The daguerreotype process, named for French painter Louis Daguerre, was an early and the earliest practical, widely-used photographic process. Daguerre, who began experimentation in the 1820s, formed a collaborative partnership with Joseph-Nicephore Niépce that failed to produce a reliable process before Niépce’s death in 1833, after which Daguerre continued to experiment, eventually making important headway when he accidentally placed his plates in a cabinet filled with mercury vapor. An 1837 image entitled L’Atelier de l’artiste was claimed to be the first fully developed daguerreotype produced by Daguerre’s revolutionary process, which reduced exposure times to a point that made photography relatively convenient, in addition to commercially viable. The process was announced one hundred and seventy-five years ago on January 9, 1839, the generally accepted birth year of photography.

    In one apocryphal story, the French painter Paul Delaroche, upon seeing the daguerreotype process for the first time, was said to have exclaimed

    … from today, painting is dead!

    Although invented in France, the daguerreotype (which was popularly used for portraiture) was highly popular in the United States; its popularity peaked in the 1850s - at the Great Exposition of 1851, Horace Greeley boasted“in daguerreotypes, it seems to be conceded that we beat the world”. Not long after, however, the daguerreotype process was largely supplanted by other processes.


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    unhistorical:

    January 9, 1839: The French Academy of Sciences announces the invention of the daguerreotype.

    The daguerreotype process, named for French painter Louis Daguerre, was an early and the earliest practical, widely-used photographic process. Daguerre, who began experimentation in the 1820s, formed a collaborative partnership with Joseph-Nicephore Niépce that failed to produce a reliable process before Niépce’s death in 1833, after which Daguerre continued to experiment, eventually making important headway when he accidentally placed his plates in a cabinet filled with mercury vapor. An 1837 image entitled L’Atelier de l’artiste was claimed to be the first fully developed daguerreotype produced by Daguerre’s revolutionary process, which reduced exposure times to a point that made photography relatively convenient, in addition to commercially viable. The process was announced one hundred and seventy five years ago on January 9, 1839, the generally accepted birth year of photography.

    In one apocryphal story, the French painter Paul Delaroche, upon seeing the daguerreotype process for the first time, was said to have exclaimed

    … from today, painting is dead!

    Although invented in France, the daguerreotype (which was popularly used for portraiture) was highly popular in the United States; its popularity peaked in the 1850s - at the Great Exposition of 1851, Horace Greeley boasted“in daguerreotypes, it seems to be conceded that we beat the world”. Not long after, however, the daguerreotype process was largely supplanted by other processes.


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    Rêverie (Daydream), Claude Debussy 


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    unhistorical:

    January 15, 1929: Martin Luther King, Jr. is born.

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.


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    January 22, 1875: D.W. Griffith is born.

    Called “the Teacher of us All” by Charlie Chaplin, David Llewelyn Wark Griffith was born in Kentucky to a Confederate Civil War veteran and his wife and began his creative career not as a director but a playwright. As a playwright, he was hideously unsuccessful; only one of his plays was ever performed, and it played for only two weeks. In 1907 Griffith attempted to sell a script to Edwin S. Porter, an early film pioneer who rejected the script but signed Griffith on as an actor in one of his films instead. Cinema in its primitive stages was little more than a novelty, and it was somewhat formless narrative-wise because there existed no standard ”grammar” concerning the frames, shots, scenes, and sequences that make up a movie. Some early attempts to transform film into a legitimate art form involved no less than simply performing staged theater productions in front of an immobile camera, resulting in largely unedited films composed of one or a few shots.

    They were not the first to innovate with film form, but D.W. Griffith and his cinematographer Billy Bitzer were two figures who helped to codify this “film grammar”, the visual language of cinema, through which complex stories and emotion could be depicted with continuity. During his career, which lasted from 1908 to 1935, Griffith directed over 500 films and utilized techniques that are standard today: combinations of shots of varying distances, tracking and panning shots, match on editing, and notably parallel editing.

    However, Griffith also infamously directed the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation, a Reconstruction-era story that glorified the Ku Klux Klan as saviors of the white South from the combined forces of brutish black freedman and scheming white Northerners. It was one of the first ever American feature-length films, and it was technically innovative but morally repugnant, containing racist depictions of African-Americans that were criticized most significantly by the NAACP, which attempted to have the film censored. In response, Griffith made his 1916 high-budget epic Intolerance, which addressed none of his criticisms and did little to mollify his critics, but was highly influential (along with Griffith’s oeuvre as a whole) to filmmakers of the school of Soviet montage editing. Similarly, his atmospheric and eerie 1919 film Broken Blossoms may have influenced the concentrated visual style of German Expressionist directors. 


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    Detail from the Nine Dragons handscroll (1244), Chen Rong

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


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    January 23, 1964: The Twenty-fourth Amendment is passed, prohibiting poll taxes in federal elections.

    On this day fifty years ago, South Dakota became the thirty-eighth state to ratify the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited the denial or abridgment of a U.S. citizen’s right to vote “by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax”.

    In many states, the poll tax emerged after the end of Reconstruction as part of Southern states’ systems of Jim Crow laws, which maintained de jure racial segregation in those states over a period of eighty years. Because of voting restrictions like poll taxes, the “grandfather clause”, and literacy tests, the black population in the South was largely disenfranchised after the end of Reconstruction despite the promise of the Fifteenth Amendment, until efforts to reverse this gained traction in the mid-20th century. In 1940, three percent of voting-age black voters were registered to vote in the South. Much of the high-profile civil rights activism that took place during the 1950s-60s involved voting rights and registration, including the 1964 Freedom Summer and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March.

    Poll taxes for state elections were ruled unconstitutional under the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment in the 1966 Supreme Court case Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections


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    The moon of Ogurusu in Yamashiro


    Cao Cao on the Yangtze River looking at the rising moon over Mount Nanping


    a fox on Musashi Plain


    Fujiwara no Yasumasa playing the flute to ward off a bandit


    Minamoto no Tsunemoto shoots a deer


    Ono no Komachi seated on a gravemarker


    Emperor Kazan fleeing to a Buddhist temple


    Chang'e, a figure from Chinese mythology, flees to the moon


    Ariko no Naishi weeps as her boat drifts in the moonlight


    the monk In’ei with the moon's reflection

    One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (1885-1892) ukiyo-e series, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (click through for descriptions)

    more in this series


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    February 4, 1861: The Confederate States of America is formed.

    In November of 1860, Abraham Lincoln, a one-term U.S. representative and candidate for the newly-formed Republican Party, was elected President of the United States with just under 40% of the popular vote. Rather than remain in a union whose president had won the election with a party promising “free labor, free land, free men”, seven southern slaveholding states seceded. The first was South Carolina, birthplace of John C. Calhoun and historical hotbed of states’ rights sentiment, and the last of the original seven was Texas, which seceded in February, a little over a month before Lincoln took office.

    Six delegates convened in Montgomery, Alabama in the chambers of the state senate on February 4, 1861. Their first meeting marked the founding of the Confederate States of America, and in the coming months the Montgomery Convention drafted a Constitution and appointed former Secretary of War and veteran congressman Jefferson Davis president opposite the comparatively inexperienced Abraham Lincoln. In his Cornerstone Speech (March 21, 1861), the Confederate States’ vice president Alexander Stephens asserted that “our peculiar institution African slavery" was the "immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution”. He also declared that the founding principle of the new Confederate state, for which hundreds of thousands of lives would soon be spent, should be the principle of black racial inferiority:

    Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.


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    Yeah, I think it was.. during one of FDR’s terms that the beginning of the term was pushed back to January instead of March 4, which was the date of the inception of the new government under the Constitution back in 1789. But like a century and a half later with better communication / transportation / logistics / etc. the lame duck period could be cut in half.


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    Pavane in F-sharp minor, Op. 50, Gabriel Fauré


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    Taira no Kiyomori’s Spectral Vision (1845), Hiroshige


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