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the work of history

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    String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11 Andante cantabile (1871), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 

    Borodin Quartet


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    I honestly am not the best person to ask for book recs, especially regarding specific topics, so I always feel clueless when people come to me for recommendations (unless it’s movies in which case I have lots), though tbh looking through the references/further reading section of the Wikipedia page has always helped me as a jumping-off point (for general topics).

    as always I can only ask: does anyone know of anything relevant?


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    Hi! First, I don’t know how the app review process differs entering from high school as an undergrad versus transferring from community college, but I imagine they’re looking for the same qualities. GPA is a factor but, as with a lot of/most private schools, the review process is holistic (case in point my grades were terrible). Excluding donating money for a new building I don’t think there’s anything specific you can do to better your chances in any concrete way, except presenting yourself as the kind of student they think would benefit from the environment and would also benefit the environment. 

    I mean I don’t think that JHU has wildly different standards or expectations for its applicants than any of its peer institutions, although I get the feeling that they’re a little bit more forgiving regarding grades if you seem like the kind of student who has proven their interest in a certain area, or if you really strongly voice your interest in a certain area. (I mean, I put this blog on my application - I’m not sure if the application people even looked at it, but I hope they did.) So if you have any concrete experience or proven interest in the area you want to go into I would definitely play that up. Otherwise my only advice is to be as genuine as possible in the written portions, like try to come off as a real person, but that’s just general advice.

    Good luck!


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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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    The Rhinegold & the Valkyrie (1910) cover and title pages illustrations by Arthur Rackham


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    unhistorical:

    The Empyrean, from The Divine Comedy (1861-1868), Gustave Doré

    The Empyrean, “from the Medieval Latin empyreus, an adaptation of the Ancient Greek ἔμπυρος empyrus ”in or on the fire (pyr)”, is a region described in the the Paradiso portion of Dante’s Divine Comedy as a place beyond even the highest spheres of Heaven, the dwelling place of God and angels. In The Divine Comedy, Dante is “enveloped by [a] veil of radiance” as he ascends to the Empyrean.

    Some medieval writers conceived of it as a celestial sphere formed from pure fire, but others contested that it burned with light rather than elemental fire, as Thomas Aquinas described in the Summa Theologica"wholly luminous… that heaven is called the empyrean, not from its fiery heat, but from its brightness". 


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    Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, dies at 110

    Herz-Sommer, who was born in 1903 to a German Jewish family in Prague, was also an accomplished pianist. While held in Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp with her son and husband, she continued performing music until the camp’s liberation in May 1945 by Soviet troops. As a musician she was a part of the distinctive cultural community that developed over the course of the war in the Theresienstadt ghetto-concentration camp settlement. She was one of less than 20,000 people out of 140,000 to survive Theresienstadt, which served largely as an intermediate holding camp for prisoners who would be transported to camps like Dachau and Auschwitz. 

    Herz-Sommer is the subject of The Lady in Number 6, currently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).


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    Sunlight on the Coast (1890)


    Northeaster (1895)


    Summer Squall (1904)


    Gulf Stream (1899)


    West Point, Prout's Neck (1900)


    Sunlight on the Coast (1890)

    Winslow Homer (February 24, 1836 - September 29, 1910)

    In dark, cold solitude of winter months… I thank the Lord for this opportunity for reflection.


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    Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 1 (1835), Frédéric Chopin


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    Swan Lake, Op. 20 (1877), Introduction & Act I, No. 1 Scène.

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (Лебединое озеро) premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on March 4, 1877. This original performance was poorly received by both critics and audience members, who considered Tchaikovsky’s score too complicated to dance to, although other aspects of the production were criticized as well, including the staging and performances. In 1895, two years after the composer’s death, a revival premiered in St. Petersburg, edited by Riccardo Drigo and choreographed by Julius Reisinger. Most modern productions of Swan Lake are based in some part on the 1895 revival version.


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    Swan LakeOp. 20 (1877), Act I, No. 2 Valse


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    Mendeleev's 1871 table

    March 6, 1869: Dmitri Mendeleev presents his periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society.

    Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist and, from 1865 to 1890, a professor at the Saint Petersburg State University. Along with German chemist Julius Lothar Meyer, he formulated the system to classify and organize the approximately 56 known chemical elements on which the modern standard periodic table is based. Mendeleev’s system differed from previous attempts to organize the elements in that his principal organizing factor was atomic mass, which led him to logically group elements based on “an apparent periodicity of properties”. In the presentation entitled “The Dependence Between the Properties of the Atomic Weights of the Elements (March 6, 1869) in which he introduced the basic principles of his system, he noted:

    Elements which are similar as regards their chemical properties have atomic weights which are either of nearly the same value (e.g., Pt, Ir, Os) or which increase regularly (e.g., K, Rb, Cs).

    In addition, by noting gaps in his periodic table, he was able to predict the existence of (and leave spaces for) then unknown elements, among them gallium and germanium - which he respectively referred to as ekaaluminium and ekasilicon. Mendeleev’s accurate predictions of the existence and specific qualities of undiscovered elements based on gaps in his groups was one significant difference between his and Meyer’s table, which was otherwise similar and actually introduced earlier.

    The element mendelevium (atomic number 101), discovered in 1955, was named for Mendeleev. 


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    Swan LakeOp. 20 (1877), Act I, No. 3 Scène


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    Hm I’m not sure what classic movie means, so I’m just going to go with the general time period (silent-1950s/60s) rather than the style (also I understand - I haven’t watched that many older or non-Hollywood movies):

    - I love the original Scarface (1932). It’s pretty ugly and violent, but that in itself is interesting because it was released during the early years of the Hays Code, before it was stringently enforced, so it’s fascinating to see what kind of stuff managed to make it through before the code really took effect. Like the Hays Code prohibited depictions of “sex perversion” but there is straight-up incest in Scarface. But anyway, it also feels pretty modern and not dated at all.

    Citizen Kane (1941), I guess, I think I’m hesitant to put it down here because of the whole ~greatest movie of all time~ thing that of course is always going to color your watching it. But in addition to being important and great in the overall scheme of the development of film narrative and cinematic techniques and all that it’s actually also just a great and enjoyable movie.

    - I watched Charlie Chaplin movies a lot as a kid, but my favorites of those are The Gold Rush (1925), Modern Times (1936), and The Great Dictator (1940).

    The Birds (1963) is a personal favorite of mine, of course not as iconic as other Hitchcock films, but I enjoy rewatching it, also probably partially because of a childhood nostalgia factor.

    - The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1964) which are two of my favorite movies of all time. They’re very different, but I watched them together, and they’re both kind of trippy (in different ways) Cold War films so I associate them with each other. Also, they’re not dated at all either, especially The Manchurian Candidate, which is really great, like they’re both very Cold War-ish, you couldn’t remove them from the historical context, but at the same time they feel modern.

    Broken Blossoms (1919) is this old D.W. Griffith film that is extremely dated, especially in its depictions of its nonwhite characters, but I think it’s a fascinating film, maybe both as a movie and also as a product of the innovations/limitations of film in that stage. I read that a lot of German Expressionists were influenced by this film like Soviet montage filmmakers were influenced by Intolerance, so that’s also something interesting to note. 

    - Two films that I’ve been like “OK I’m going to sit down and watch these” about for the past months: Black Narcissus (1947) and The Seventh Seal (1957). 

    If you’re just looking for a place to start though, I think you could just pick and choose off AFI’s great movies lists or something, just what looks interesting to you. But also remember that non-Hollywood/American films and filmmakers exist. Or look at Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list and change the filter to 1914 to ~1965 haha.. this sounds like terrible advice but you can’t really do anything to watch movies but just go and find and watch them.


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    International Women’s Day was first celebrated in the early 20th century in several nations, organized by various different groups and coinciding with a period of rapid growth for many different women’s rights organizations and movements.  In 1908, the women’s committee of the American Socialist Party designated February 28 as a National Woman’s Day. In 1911, at the Second International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen, European socialist leaders proposed that an International Women’s Day be recognized March 8 of the following year. Early on, the holiday was explicitly concerned with class and women workers; although the Conference of Socialist Women declared that its "foremost purpose [must] be to aid the attainment of women’s suffrage", delegate Alexandra Kollontai, justifying the need for such a day, wrote in a 1913 Pravda article:

    What is the aim of the feminists? Their aim is to achieve the same advantages, the same power, the same rights within capitalist society as those possessed now by their husbands, fathers and brothers. What is the aim of the women workers? Their aim is to abolish all privileges deriving from birth or wealth…

    Let a joyous sense of serving the common class cause and of fighting simultaneously for their own female emancipation inspire women workers to join in the celebration of Women’s Day.

    The widespread commemoration of International Women’s Day waned in some countries after the 1920s and 30s, although the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China each declared that it be celebrated as a national holiday. The upsurge in feminist activity in the 1960s and 70s also marked, in the Western world, the mainstream rediscovery of the event, which the United Nations adopted as an official commemorative day in 1977. 

    The theme for International Women’s Day 2014 commemorations, as set by the United Nations, is “Equality for women is progress for all.”


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    Swan LakeOp. 20 (1877), Act I, No. 4 Pas de Trois


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    March 9, 1945: Operation Meetinghouse begins.

    The first bombings conducted by the United States over Japan came in the form of the Doolittle Raid, a 1942 air raid that succeeded in boosting American morale but caused very little long-lasting damage to targeted Japanese cities. Systematic strategic firebombing campaigns by Allied forces began in the last months of the war. The bombing campaign dubbed Operation Meetinghouse, which struck Tokyo on March 9-10 with incendiary bombs and firestorms, was of an entirely different nature and more closely resembled the 1945 bombing of Dresden

    On March 9, 1945, around 330 B-29s (the plane that carried out the majority of bombings in Japan, including the final atomic strikes over Hiroshima and Nagasaki) launched an attack on the Japanese Home Islands from U.S. outposts in the Mariana archipelago. The bombers carried out low-altitude raids over Tokyo using incendiary bombs, which were gruesomely effective against the tightly-packed and highly-flammable buildings that were common in Japan. The manner in which the bombings were carried out also made it impossible to avoid devastating civilian populations. There was no way to accurately target, with these napalm bombs, factories and industrial buildings, and avoid civilian areas. Fiery infernos burned on the ground, reaching 1,000 ° C, and wind swept burning debris and “clots of flame” into the air, setting everything surrounding alight. Civilians threw themselves into canals and any nearby water in attempts to escape the burning, but still stacks of incinerated bodies piled up in the streets. Curtis LeMay, who executed the strategic bombing campaign in the Pacific Theater, described the victims as having been “scorched and boiled and baked to death. An estimated 80,000 - 100,000 (according to the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police) died in that overnight air raid, during which some 4,500,000 pounds of incendiaries were dropped in three hours.

    The stench of burning human flesh was reportedly so strong that the Americans bomber pilots flying thousands of feet overhead could smell it. 

    The firebombing of Tokyo, which was followed by similar bombings in Nagoya, Osaka, and Kobe, was the deadliest air raid of World War II. It was only the beginning of a firebombing campaign that targeted and destroyed Japanese cities both large and small throughout the spring and summer until the capitulation of the Japanese Empire in August of 1945. In a memorandum dated June 17, 1945, Bonner Fellers - a U.S. Army strategist on psychological warfare - described the American firebombing campaign of Japan as “one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings of non-combatants in all history.”


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    Swan LakeOp. 20 (1877), Act I, No. 5 Pas de Deux


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    Swan LakeOp. 20 (1877), Act I, No. 6 Pas d’Action, No. 7 Sujet, & No. 8 Danse des Coupes


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    Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955)

    To inquire after the meaning or object of one’s own existence or that of all creatures has always seemed absurd from an objective point of view. And yet everybody has certain ideals which determine the direction of his endeavors and judgments. In this sense I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves - this ethical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty and Truth.


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