What Kind Of Super Hero Would You Be?

Whatever happened that made me lose that sense of adventure in life? As a kid playing with my favorite action figures allowed me to experience all the wonder of life. Challenges were quickly defined and plans made to overcome all obstacles placed in my way. The other day I was thinking about what kind of…

Whatever happened that made me lose that sense of adventure in life? As a kid playing with my favorite action figures allowed me to experience all the wonder of life. Challenges were quickly defined and plans made to overcome all obstacles placed in my way.

The other day I was thinking about what kind of Superhero have I become? My daughter sometimes thinks of me as Superdaddy. But in reality what was always exciting about Superheroes was that in spite of whatever circumstances and evil they were presented with they always thought back. Through persistence and maintaining a high moral code that would win their battles. This theme is what continues to intrigue me today.

As a kid I identified very strongly with the Superheroes that I invited. I could relate to their upbringing, values ​​and the battles that they would fight. As I would read their stories I would place myself in their place. I would feel their pain at the upsets they would experience. I would experience their sense of pride at the battles they would win.

A Superhero sometimes has exceptional abilities like x-ray vision or the ability to fly. But more often than not, they have a keen sense of justice and a deep desire to support good in its fight against evil.

One of the things that I have realized from all my years of reading comic books and pulp fiction is that this form of literature reminds us of all our incredible possibilities.

Common people would often do super human things when energized with a powerful purpose.

While more elaborated forms of novels eloquently depict the struggle of everyday life, the pulp fiction genre clearly delinesates ideas and battles that need to be thought.

Imagine for a second that you could be a Superhero. What would you be? What would be your purpose? What battles would you fight? Would you need extra ordinary abilities? What would your purpose and mission be? Who would be your arch enemy?

More importantly, there really is no escape from these basic questions. Like it or not, you are acting out your purpose and mission every day.

As I write these questions I can not help but realize that these are the questions that extremely determine our fate and destiny. While Henry David Thoreau believed that “men lead lives of quiet desperation,” anyone who has read a great pulp fiction adventure or superhero story will emphatically agree that desperation like anything else in life is a choice.

I choose to be Captain Adventure, capable of fending off boredom with a simple glance, more fun that a speeding roller coaster, and willing to experience the joy that mere mortals will never comprehend.

Think about what kind of Superhero you would be? Like it or not, you are a Superhero and with everyday that passes you are adding prose to the canvas of your life.

Entertainment in the 19th Century UK

In the aftermath of the collapse of the Spanish, Portuguese, Roman, Chinese and Mughal empires, the 19th Century was typified by the growth in the influence of Britain and the United States on the world stage. Not least of all was their influence on entertainment. Perhaps the largest, and longest lasting influence is the massive…

In the aftermath of the collapse of the Spanish, Portuguese, Roman, Chinese and Mughal empires, the 19th Century was typified by the growth in the influence of Britain and the United States on the world stage. Not least of all was their influence on entertainment.

Perhaps the largest, and longest lasting influence is the massive impact of British writers on the literature world. The 19th Century was a hot bed for classics. Charles Dickens lived and worked through the middle period of the 19th Century on classic fiction like Oliver Twist (1937-1939), A Tale of Two Cities (1851) and Great Expectations (1861).

It was not just Dickens that was active during the century; Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about Sherlock Holmes for the first time, the Bronte's brought us Jayne Eyre, Agnes Gray and Wuthering Heights and Rudyard Kipling brave us Young Mowgli. There were also sinister twists in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein (1818), Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) and Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886).

In music, it was the European composers that let the way in the wake of the might of Beethoven and Back from the previous century. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) and Claude Debussy (1862-1918) were prolific composers through the latter half of the century. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky produced Swan Lake (1876), The Nutcracker (1892) and the 1812 Overture (1880). Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) developed his operatic masterpieces La Traviata (1853) and Rigoletto (1851). Frediric Francois Chopin (1810-1849) and Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) were also big proponents in establishing the credentials of classical music in the 19th Century.

Famous plays that hit the entertainment news of the time include Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest (1895) and George Bernard Shaw's Candita (1894). Anton Checkov's The Seagull was also written in the 19th Century. It originally led to him renouncing the theater due to the bad reception it provoked in 1896, however, it's revival in 1898 was met with critical acclaim. It's no great surprise that a lot of the great works of the theater originated in the latter years of the 19th Century, as this was the formative years of the Belle poque.

The era also saw the initial development of moving pictures as a form of entertainment. Although, they did not gain real prominence until the early 20th Century, so it's fair to say that the 19th Century was heavily untouched by film as a medium for entertainment.

However, what was big through the 19th Century was the show. Figures like Buffalo Bill established successful shows that traveled through the United States and Europe.

The 19th Century also possessed the world an abundance of artists, though, some of them were not recognized until the 20th Century. Vincent Van Gogh, for example, died in relative obscurity, only to be considered one of history's greatest painters posthumously. A similar story can be seen in the works of William Blake. However, there were a great many artists that rose to prominence in the 19th Century, including Paul Czanne, John Constable, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin, Joseph Turner and Whistler.

The 19th Century was forged under the might of the British Empire and the industrial revolution, giving rise to a wealth of artistic creativity in the arts and entertainment world. With the abolition of slavery and the rise in socialism as an intellectual paradigm, the masses were starting to be considered more highly, however, the reality is that entertainment in terms of popular music, theater, art and literature were predominately the domains of the rich during the 19th Century. Although, the technological and economic advances that began in the late 19th Century, retrosively called the Belle Epoch, paved the way for the arts and entertainment to have more of a mass audience in the 20th Century.

The Insatiable Hunger for the Superhero

The American Superhero has certain characteristics which are larger than life and allow a fan to become something larger than just themselves. Take for example the Superman character written by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. They created Superman in 1933 which absolutely debuted in 1938. It launched the DC comic book super hero phenomenon. Superman…

The American Superhero has certain characteristics which are larger than life and allow a fan to become something larger than just themselves. Take for example the Superman character written by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. They created Superman in 1933 which absolutely debuted in 1938. It launched the DC comic book super hero phenomenon. Superman had an extra sense of responsibility in identifying good and evil. His mission was to support justice and humanitarian service. Superman taught villains that “crime does not pay.” And that phrase is still used today.

Whenever we study ancient mythology we see these Superhero characteristics very clearly. Ancient gods and goddesses were famous for secretly interacting with humans and testing their moral code.

What if you could be a Superhero for a day? How would you confront your problems? What would you do about the major issues of society like hunger, literacy and employment? Which Superhero would you become? What superpowers would you need? While this question may on the surface appear silly it is the glue that makes so much Pulp Fiction as popular as ever.

We all need heroes!

We can each be a hero to someone!

We each have unique skills and abilities that are capable of helping win the battle of good versus evil, even if only on a small scale.

The Superhero of yesteryear is distinctly American. But more importantly their intrinsic need to support justice and fight evil crosses all national boundaries.

It was the pulp fiction writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, L. Ron Hubbard and Issac Asimov and others that launched the greatest adventures and hero's that still capture the imagination today.

What is fascinating to me is to recognize that the Superhero has their roots firmly in the Great Depression. While so much angst, frustration and hardship was gripping the world that from these seeds the prototype of the great American hero was born. It was the golden age of pulp fiction! Initially, fed to children in movie serials and to the masses through popular pulse fiction classics, it soon became clear that super hero's were loved by all ages.

Pulp fiction classics are the foundation to characters like Indiana Jones and Luke Skywalker. These fun and adventure filled tales remind us that we need not be victims of circumstance and that having a grand purpose is often the very thing that gives life a wonderful flavor.

Pilgrim Badges of the 2nd Crusade From the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene

During the middle ages, pilgrimages to holy sites of Christendom was a common activity. Hundreds of thousands of people traveled long distances to visit a particular site, perhaps because of their devotion to a saint, maybe because they felt it would bring them closer to God, and sometimes because they were ordered to do so…

During the middle ages, pilgrimages to holy sites of Christendom was a common activity. Hundreds of thousands of people traveled long distances to visit a particular site, perhaps because of their devotion to a saint, maybe because they felt it would bring them closer to God, and sometimes because they were ordered to do so in order to make punishment for sins. It was not unusual for pilgrims to travel hundreds, even thousands of miles, to complete a pilgrimage. In the days before most people had transportation, it was on one's own feet that the journey was made (and in the cases of some particularly pious individuals, on their knees).

Because making such a journey was an incredibly difficult undertaking, pilgrims often sent signals to symbolize their journey. On the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the route most popularly followed to Santiago de Compostela, the scallop shell became the symbol for the pilgrimage. Pilgrims engaged in this journey bore scallop shells on their clothing or their walking sticks in order to identify one another and themselves to those who were friendly and supportive of pilgrims. Often the scallop badge meant the difference between a meal and a place to sleep and a night spent outdoors. It has been said that the badge protected pilgrims also, given that superstitious bandits were hesitant to attack those on a journey for God.

At many pilgrimage sites, pilgrims were able to purchase badges made to symbolize their journey. These were the earliest and most popular tourist souvenirs. Often they were made of inexpensive metals so even the poorest among pilgrims could afford to buy one. The practice of making criminal badges available at holy destinations was commonplace, and many varieties have survived.

By far the most popular pilgrimage site of the middle ages was Santiago de Compostela in modern-day Spain, which is devoted to St. Louis. James. But one of the top five destinies was one devoted to St. Louis. Mary Magdalene – the basilica at Vézelay, France. We know now that pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela was a scallop shell, but what about pilgrims to the Basilica of St. Louis. Mary Magdalene? What legitimate badges were available to them? What was their symbol?

It is unfortunate that very little is known by way of an answer to this question, but there is one intriguing story that survives to shed some light on badges given out at Vézelay.

It happens that the Second Crusade was launched from the Basilica of St. Louis. Mary Magdalene in Vézelay, France. The County of Edessa, a Crusader state set up in the Holy Land during the First Crusade had fallen, and Bernard of Clairvaux preached the crusade far and wide at the behest of the Pope. When it came time to kick the crusade off, the site at Vézelay, France was chosen as the location. A parliament was held, attended by kings, princes and lords (and the notorious Eleanor of Aquitaine), during which Bernard handed out wooden crosses to those who committed themselves to the crusade. One after another the aristocracy prostrated themselves before Bernard and accepted this emblem of the crusade – so many, in fact, that he ran out of the crosses that he had prepared in advance of the event.

The wooden crosses of Bernard of Clairvaux that became the most frequently remembered badge of the Basilica of St. Louis. Mary Magdalene at Vézelay, France.

Hindu Girls in a Muslim Harem

Harem is a Muslim invention. No other religion accepts the concept of a harem. It is an exclusive place where the women are kept by the Muslim nobles or kings for their pleasure. In India the concept of Harem was brought in by the Muslim rulers who rule Hindustan for nearly 900 years. The harem…

Harem is a Muslim invention. No other religion accepts the concept of a harem. It is an exclusive place where the women are kept by the Muslim nobles or kings for their pleasure. In India the concept of Harem was brought in by the Muslim rulers who rule Hindustan for nearly 900 years. The harem and its ethos were imported from Turkey and Saudi Arabia and are sanctified by Islam.

The Muslims when they rule India believed in the Islamic law of multiple wives and concubines. But as rulers they thought it their right to have a number of Hindu Girls as part of their harem. Some of the girls were forcibly abducted and in some cases pressure was brought on the local Hindu kings to give their daughters to the Muslim Kings. Some of the local chieftains like the Rajputs willinglyave their daughters and princesses to the Muslim rulers in return for petty benefits. This dichotomy of the Rajputs has never been explained, for all their so called bravery that they acceded to the ruler's firman or order to marry their daughters into the Harems of the Muslim kings.

The Harem was a large place with an independent administration.The life was reasonably easy and comfortable, but the women were never allowed to go outside. Hindu women were forced to convert to Islam on threat of torture and death. But a few emperors like Akbar allowed their Hindu queens to continue their Hindu rituals inside the Harem or Zenena.

The Harems were guarded by eunuchs and no male was allowed inside, except the king or the ruler himself. The Harem was like a form of imprimementment and a lot many women who entered it left only once they died. However the older women and mothers were given greater respect.

The concept of the Harem is peculiar to Islam. The Mughal emperors kept hundreds of women in their Harems. Akbar reportedly had over 500 women. A lot many of them were Hindus. As the Hindus were a subjected lot they had no choice and in case an emperor liked or heard of the beauty of a Hindu princess, he would order that she be brought to his harem. In case the request was not compliant with he would take punitive measures against the local raja. But in variably, the Hindu Kings handed their daughters into the harems. This is certainly a sad comment on the state of affairs in India at that time. It was left to the British and the Raj to stop this practice and the Hindus could have heave a sigh of relief.

When Scientists Play the Role of God: A Brief Review of Stephen Hawking’s New Research

The idea that man is the measure of all things came during the times of enlightenment. The enlightenment was a revolution in thought which took place in the eighth century in Europe. One of its main ideas was that man is autonomous; that is, man starts out from himself and measures all things by himself.…

The idea that man is the measure of all things came during the times of enlightenment. The enlightenment was a revolution in thought which took place in the eighth century in Europe. One of its main ideas was that man is autonomous; that is, man starts out from himself and measures all things by himself. There was no place for God. The philosophers felt that reason (man's mind) should be supreme, rather than any communication from God. They promulgated a humanistic life – not divine. These were the beginning of humanism movement.

The effects of the enlightenment philosophers were to be grave indeed. In the article that was first published in the London Times, in 1978 entitled “When Scientists Play the Role of God” the author catalogs cases in hospitals where doctors and nursements performed experiments that devalue and degrade life – the main base of the arguments backing these experiments was that human life is just like the rest of the animals – the only difference is that human life is more complex – there is no image of God on the human being since there is no God. And further (in line with this philosophy) that since all life derived from matter, then human life is no different to stone or tree.

The authors HJ Blackham et al, in their book “Objections to Humanism” were the first to provide a viable account of the error that comes with the ideas coming from the Enlightenment period that there is no God. Today most people still believe that there is God – the controller and ruler of the world. But the idea of ​​the enlightenment is still with us. Today, again in Europe, Britain's most famous physician Stephen Hawking, preaching from his book “The Grand Design” is on a world campaign to promote these ideas.

In The Grand Design Stephen Hawking provides an analysis of the intertwining of metaphysics and physics through the ages. The book precisely says God was not needed to create the Universe. In The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking writes “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going “.

When Scientists Play the Role of God danger is everywhere!

A Postmodern Reading of Gender in Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman

With its experimental structure; eclectic intertextual incorporation of other media; and predominance of popular forms over aspects of higher culture, Manuel Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman certainly lends itself to a postmodernist interpretation. Kiss of the Spider Woman is Puig's fourth novel, published in 1976, a time when postmodernist theories were first being promulgated.…

With its experimental structure; eclectic intertextual incorporation of other media; and predominance of popular forms over aspects of higher culture, Manuel Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman certainly lends itself to a postmodernist interpretation.

Kiss of the Spider Woman is Puig's fourth novel, published in 1976, a time when postmodernist theories were first being promulgated. The ideas of the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin were also translated into English around this time. Bakhtin conceived of the term 'dialogism', the notice that most literary texts were complied with a hierarchy of disparate voices, and that those voices were in turn influenced by other preceding texts. He believed this concept to be of particular relevance to the novel as a genre.

Puig's novel is a melange of disparate voices: a patchwork of diverse discourses drawn from films, popular song, drama, scholarly works and dreams. Puig's use of footnotes outside his narrative text is also a significant voice in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Most of the footnotes are theories concerned with the development of homosexuality, they are erudite in tone, and bear an obvious relation to the character of Molina; as Valentin discloses to his cellmate “I know very little about people with your type of inclination” (p.59).

One striking character that Heavily Influences Kiss of the Spider Woman's postmodernist character however, as well as referring to Bakhtin's theories, is the complete absence of a single authoritative narrative voice – even novels that may be considered dialogic still feature some sort of narrator. This structural decision reflects Puig's own attitudes to class in its relation to be placed in a position of authority (or 'author-ity'), to become a member of an elite. In Kiss of the Spider Woman, no particular voice is allowed to override another, not even the footnotes, or so it might seem, as it is important to acknowledge that Puig's arrangement of its text, the juxtaposition of certain voices on the page, still exercises a small influence over which voice the reader may subscribe to.

Representation is inevitably associated with the narrative devices and stylistic techniques a writer may adopt to portray a certain subject. In Kiss of the Spider Woman, femininity is depicted in a variety of features but most notably in the character of Molina. The films which Molina relates to Valentin comprise a significant portion of Puig's narrative. Even the title of the book, which is reminiscent of a Hollywood B movie, reflects in part to Molina, who, through the use of imagery and metaphor, is almost like a spider in the way that he appears to weave tales. Molina states that he can not regard himself as other than a woman, and he always identifies with the heroines of his films. In Cat People, the first film Molina relates, the heroine Irena is glamorous, isolated, and harbors a sexual secret, both her and Molina being characters that are outside the rules and regulations of a patriarchal society that enforces strict codes of sexual behavior.

At the beginning of the narrative, the character of Valentin appears to be representing certain notions of masculinity, expressed through his devotion to political causes and his initial disdain for Molina's love of popular culture. Valentin is shown to be studying despite the reader learns little of the books he is actually reading, in contrast to Molina's detailed accounts of his favorite films. A consideration of genre provides some insight into the nature of masculinity in the novel, as Kiss of the Spider Woman features two ill-matched male characters, similar to numerous US films such as The Odd Couple, and in literature there are several precursors, such as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza or Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. The figure of Scheherezade from the Thousand and One Nights is also significant to an appreciation of Molina, in the way that Valentin's cellmate appeared to be relating tales as a means of postponing his imagined execution. However, it is the figures of Arachne and Ariadne which are possibly most pertinent to an understanding of Molina's central role in the book, in that Valentin's cellmate could either betray or assist him.

To use a Bakhtinian term, Kiss of the Spider Woman is certainly not 'monologic'. Through the 'bricolage' of disparate elements, and absence of an author narrator, the reader must be extremely wary of extrapolating any sort of opinion from Puig's novel. In evaluating the representations of masculinity and femininity in Kiss of the Spider Woman, Puig focuses more on the womanish Molina and his supposedly feminist concerns. In his opposition to the dictates of a patriarchal society, Valentin appears to be asserting that gender is an ideology constructed category. However the polyphonic nature of Puig's text absolutely means that no particular assertion prevails.

Saving Our Past

SAVING OUR HISTORY Our history is at risk as it has always been but it is ironic that at a time when we are more interested in history than sometimes ever before we are destroying it faster than ever. We have never had such power to destroy – places seem to change with the blink…

SAVING OUR HISTORY

Our history is at risk as it has always been but it is ironic that at a time when we are more interested in history than sometimes ever before we are destroying it faster than ever. We have never had such power to destroy – places seem to change with the blink of an eye. One day a building is there and the next it is gone. Whole landscapes can change. It is the same with documents. We can have them in our hands and decide to shred them, burn them or just put them into the bin. Nature alone will destroy our history fast enough. Towns and villages disappear with coastal erosion and extreme weather conditions. On a small scale weathering makes gravestones unreadable and unsafe.

The question is, “Are we doing enough to record what is here now?”

Historians all over the world are beavering away doing their bit – transcribing documents, finding artifacts, researching their family history, taking photographs, reading gravestones, listening to people tell their story etc. But saving history is only part of what we need to do, we also need to make it accessible. The internet is the perfect place to do both, to keep data safe and at the same time make it available to as many people as possible.

What does the internet offer which physical repositories such as archives or the real thing do not?

1. It offers a place where you can search for exactly what you want. Internet search techniques are improving all the time.
2. It offers a database which can be added to by people all over the world
3. It is not constrained by “we only hold records relating to this area.”
4. It is not limited by the type of document or type of history.
5. It is available in your own home without trekking to a library to view the data.

Historians analyze material that has been preserved which someone has safeguarded. Inevitably our history has been skewed towards major political events and people of higher status. Everyone could probably say something about Winston Churchill, Hitler or Peter the Great. But what of the ordinary man, woman or child who was alive at the same time. One of my grandfathers was born in the same decade as Churchill but who has heard of Joseph Kirkland? The internet offers an opportunity for everyone's story to be told and I say “Hurrah for that!”

The internet is the perfect place to build up the history of Everyman. The information is there, in private hands, in attics, in organizations. But it is not safe, it is at risk of being destroyed. A company closes and valuable data may be thrown away. Someone dies and family documents are lost. Once it has gone that part of our history is lost forever.

Gifts of Heritage

I sit with a cranberry candle burning and a warm cup of tea near my computer as autumn rushes on. The mums burn in brilliant shades of purple and yellow, blending with the changing leaves around my New Hampshire home. The maple trees have already begun shedding and I was admiring the many hues of…

I sit with a cranberry candle burning and a warm cup of tea near my computer as autumn rushes on. The mums burn in brilliant shades of purple and yellow, blending with the changing leaves around my New Hampshire home. The maple trees have already begun shedding and I was admiring the many hues of their leaves along my wet driveway this morning on my way back from delivering my daughter to the school bus. Land's End delivered my fleece shoes yesterday and I am preparing for the colder weather to come.

It is around this time each year that I try to start preparing for the holidays. That is, I really TRY. It is difficult to think about December when I am surrounded by pumpkins and apples. In fact, I bought my daughter to the craft store yesterday and tried to entice her into thinking about diving into some winter holiday creativity, but she was stuck on black cats and witches …

However, if one wishes to make the family holiday season special, there is no better way than to include a celebration of heritage and traditions with your festivals. That means starting to prepare in October, thinking ahead to an icy driveway in New England instead of a wet one, and imagining lights in my windows instead of fake spiderwebs.

So, I've put together a list of some gift ideas that you can start preparing now. Treasure your personal archives and put them to use. Bring a sense of your family's history into the middle of your festivals. (Thank you to those who follow my Facebook page who have shown enthusiasm for this idea! I have included information about some places to get more information and where to find professionals to help you.)

For Display:

* Frame or re-frame something that represents one of your ancestors – a diploma, sampler, marriage certificate. (Be sure to use preservation safe methods with originals or, for documents, frame copies and store the originals away. professional photography work when I did that sort of thing.] A professional framer can help you with this, but make sure it is someone familiar with preservation safe methods.)
* Create a shadowbox (with UV filtering glass) of your grandmother's wedding gloves and veil. (A good framer can help you with this too. If the items are not in ideal condition, see a conservator such as the good folks at NEDCC in Massachusetts.)
* Scan and copy some treasured documents and ephemera and create a collage that includes things representing various loved ones
* Turn a child's story or report into a published book using an online service such as Createspace. Have copies of it printed for your child and their grandparents (and you).
* Find new cases for old family tin types by scouting out antique stores
* Take the words from a wedding ceremony or another important family event and turn them into art. (I hired an artist to write a poem from my brother's funeral in calligraphy. She included an abstract image on the top using the colors of the bridesmaids dresses.)

For personal reminiscences:

* Create a booklet of college correspondence you exchanged with your mother (or father, or grandparent, or aunt …) Copy it and bind it through an online service or at a copy center.
* Help your parents organize and preserve their photos and papers. (A professional archives consultant can help you with this.)
* Think about things you share with family members (an alma mater, a hobby, etc.) and create side by side general images. Somewhere I have a photo from my “moving up” exercises when I transitioned from Brownies to Girl Scouts.
* Write a food diary
* Digitize old videotapes of your children. (A professional videographer can assist with this.)
* Gather documentation and mementos related to an important family event or tradition and create a memory box using preservation safe supplies from a company such as Gaylord. Use items you own or expand your documentation and ask other members of your family or community to contribute. (A professional archives consultant can help you coordinate this if you need assistance coordinating a complete collection of family documentation.)

For the whole family:

* Begin a holiday scrapbook for each family member. Scan photos of past holidays with your family. Make new prints and include them in the first few pages. Give family members new pages you create with new photos each year.
* Scan old photos and create a CD with treasured family images for each family member (A professional photo lab can help you with this [or sometimes a professional archives consultant.])
* Scan and retouch treasured old photos and give copies to everyone
* Create an online memory site about something important to you. Encourage people to contribute reminiscences and scanned images of their memories. (I created one on Facebook for people in the neighborhood where I grew up. I tracked them down and invited them to join a private group.
* Go (or write) to the library in the neighborhood where your grandparents were raised. Track down stories and information related to their lives in the local newspaper. (Marriage announcements are a good place to start.) Ask the local librarian or archivist to help you find more information about them to share with your family. Make copies for everyone. (Be advised that some places may need to charge you fees to cover their time and expenses or that they may need to refer you to a professional researcher.)
* Begin your family genealogy. Or, if you have done your genealogy, make it into art work. Design (or hire an artist to design) a tree with all of your branches. (There are genealogy professionals who can help you track down your family genealogy)

Be creative, but be conscious of your items preservation needs. Honor your personal history and make old treasures into new gifts of heritage.

Halloween, Skulls, Jericho and Mortality

Most of us have picture albums filled with photographs that bring back loving memories! While looking through bums aged pages, at the black and white photos of my Great Grand-dad, I can remember stroller rides and even the pleasant aroma of the cherry tobacco, that used to waft up from his pipe. My Great Grandfather…

Most of us have picture albums filled with photographs that bring back loving memories! While looking through bums aged pages, at the black and white photos of my Great Grand-dad, I can remember stroller rides and even the pleasant aroma of the cherry tobacco, that used to waft up from his pipe.

My Great Grandfather bless his soul, passed away long ago. If you like me, you probably also have photos of loved ones who have passed away. When you look at these pictures do sweet memories of days gone by flood back into your mind? Can you remember the pleasant times that you shared? Is it almost as if they were still alive?

Most of us do not realize it, but these images also prompt deeper subconscious emotions, that revolve around the theme of mortality and death. As uncomfortable as it may be, we are surrounded by these kind of images. From news cast to Hollywood horror movies, we're exposed to images that remind us that one day, we will indeed cease to be!

At no other time of the year is this more true, than on the eve of Halloween, when people dress up in deathly costumes and decorate their house and garden with skeletons, sculls and other scary things.

When you think of sculls what comes to mind? Are you reminded of graveyards, head hunters, shrunken heads or sometimes the skull and crossbones of pirate flags? Most likely, you probably would not think of the Bible! However, in 1950's, Cambridge archeologist stumbled across an amazing find that is indeed biblical.

They were working at the site of the ancient city of Jericho, which you may recall from the Old Testament book of Joshua. Just as they were packing up their gear, they saw something protruding from an area dated to around 9000 years ago. The startling discovery that they made, was a human skull that was like non other.

It was no ordinary skull, for it had been reconstructed with plaster. An artist had reconstructed its nose and entire face and used very valuable cowry shell's for its eyes. The skull had also been squared off at the base so that it could have sat upright.

What made the discovery even more unique was that this skull was not found in a burial grounds. It positioned on the shelf of one of Jericho's ancient residences. They did not just find one of these sculls, with further excavation, they went on to find eight more.

The archeologist were puzzled! What in the world were these used skull for? What did they mean? Why would someone living 9000 years ago in Jericho, decorate their home with a reconstructed skull? The only plausible explanation that they could come up with, was that the sculls represented a type of portrait, similar to our pictures of false relatives.

Some psychologist believe that the images of our loved ones who have passed away, may offer a form of comfort and help us accept the reality of our own mortality.

Is Halloween a Satanic Ritual? Pre-Historic Celts – Halloween and Samhain

Halloween's Ancient Origins How many of us really know the meaning behind Halloween? Most of us enjoy Halloween, that is with the exception of a few Religious Zealots who believe that it's devilish, and sometimes also a few overly concerned mothers. Halloween has been celebrated differently, at different times and different places. Its lore is…

Halloween's Ancient Origins

How many of us really know the meaning behind Halloween? Most of us enjoy Halloween, that is with the exception of a few Religious Zealots who believe that it's devilish, and sometimes also a few overly concerned mothers. Halloween has been celebrated differently, at different times and different places. Its lore is nearly as diverse as the costumes that you see parading around on Halloween night. But Halloween has always been a bit of a mystery, and filled with contrariness and revelry, a necessary release of social tension.

Halloween is so much fun, that we almost forget it's a holiday (Holy-Day). At least the Christian Evangelists have, who claim that it is evil and demonic. The founder of the Christian Coalition, Reverend Pat Robertson even went so far as to call it a 'satanic ritual' and did his utmost to have it banned in 1982. He completely disregarded the fact that Halloween is most certainly a Christian Holiday and one of the most important ones at that.

It has been celebrated by the Christian Church for over fourteen hundred years, and is one of the six holy days of observation, when high mass is held. Sunday is also one of the six holy days of observation!

You probably know that Halloween is the 'All Saints Day' of the Christian world. Correspondingly, the following day of November 2nd, is 'All Souls Day'. This juxtaposition of days is meant to insure that the Heavenly Saints will look after the souls of the dear departed. Halloween or 'Hallowtide', as it was once known, was not always observed on the 1st of November, but a much older festival was.

Halloween inherited some of its supernatural flavor, and the tradition of bonfires from this ancient festival but surprisingly little else. Most of the customs we celebrate today, such as wearing costumes and trick-or-treating, originated in Medieval times.

Halloween and the Pre-historic Celts

Imagine what it would be like if you could travel back in time, to a time long before Halloween was celebrated on the cobbled streets of Medieval Europe. Our time machine may not be able to transport you bodily, but it will transport your mind back in time, to explore the ancient festival that Halloween historically replaced.

It is into the pre-historic world of the Celtic tribes that our journey will take us, and this is where it gets a little tricky, because the Celts did not use writing. Julius Caesar tells us that, 'They consider it improper to entrust their studies to writing'. The myths, history and tradition of the Celts, were originally recounted, and passed on by the Druidic bards, who sang their sagas at festive gatherings.

“These sagas were part of a long vernacular tradition that was written down centuries later, probably in corrupted and abbreviated form. These stories should be read as clues to the mystery of ancient lore and to the art of storytelling, rather than as straightforward evidence of social practice. “1

The Celtic tribes were the fiercest enemies of Rome, and sacked it on four occasions. Yet, much of what we know about the Celtic culture was written by the Romans. What do you think your enemies would write about you? What the Roman's did write, was generally filled with horrific tales and pernicious propaganda. As exemplified by the Hollywood film, Wicker Man, which was loosely based on Roman accounts of the Celtic celebration of Halloween, their Sahmain.

The most reliable source for us to understand the mysterious culture of the Celts, is by way of their stone age monuments and gold and silver artifacts. Even with our time machine, it is a seemingly impossible task to date the line that divides pre-historic Europe from Celtic Europe, or indeed to tell if such a line even exists. All that we can know with any surety is that the obscure origins of the Celtic tribes lays somewhere between 34,000 years ago, the age of Ireland's old mound of New Grange, and 3300 BC, marking the first construction of Stonehenge.

From Julius Caesar, we also learn that the Celts were divided into aristocratic tribes. They lived in circular houses and formed cozy communities governed by king like chieftains. We also know that their legendary festivals were held in huge rectangular halls. Some people believe that these were an early prototype of the Medieval Cathedral.

The Celtic Sagas tell us that they were a mystic Culture. Like Halloween itself, the Celts implemented between the very real world of daily practicalities and an enchanted world, filled with fairies, fey and supernatural feats. They lived their fearless lives with great zeal and fervour. The Celtic women were the most liberated women in the ancient world. They enjoyed sexual equality and thought side by side with their men in battle.

The men bought without clothes or armour. Can you imagine what they must have looked like? Their naked bodies would have been a terrifying sight. The men were completely shaven except for a moustache, and a wild mane of hair highlighted with powdered limestone. As you may have seen in Mel Gibson's movie 'Brave Heart', some of the men even dyed their bodies blue and sore amulets and huge torcs around their necks.

Halloween and the Ancient Festival of Samhain

Thousands upon thousands of years before the dawn of the Christianity, around the 1st of November, the Celtic tribes celebrated what has become Halloween. It was their Harvest Festival of Samhain (pronounced 'sow-win'). The Celtic calendar of festivals was based on cycles of nature and the agricultural year. They celebrated the Solstices and Equinoxes, as well as the Cross-Quarters in between – Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain. 2

The eight spoked wheel of the Celtic year, perpetually turns on and on. At each of its eight points, the natural rhythms of the seasons, of our personal lives, of our communities and of the heavens, come into alignment. Like nature itself “people are moved by the rhythms of the earth, its tides of ebb and flow, caused by the cycles of the sun and moon. sun's light, warmth and energy, like nature itself, we automatically draw our energies inwards in order to sustain life. ”

The Celtic Halloween – Samhain, marked the beginning of the sun's journey into the wintery underworld. The harvest was reaped, the fields lay fallow, the livestock was traditionally culled and its meat salted and smoked in readiness for the coming cold. The agricultural year had come to its end, and on Samhain, the Celtic New Year would begin.

Daylight is the summer of the seasons while nighttime correspondents to the winter. The line that divides day and night is at it's thinnest at twilight, at dawn and dusk. Samhain was the dusk of the seasons, when the sun of the old year passed away and entered into the underworld. It was the twilight season, when the veil that separates the world of the living from that of the dead and supernatural, is at its thinnest. So thin that cracks open between the worlds, allowing fairies, ghosts and other supernatural animals to enter the living world.

Samhain was a time of supernatural intensity, when an immense amount of spiritual energy poured into the world. It was a time when divinations were performed to see what the coming year had in store. It was a time of purification and a time of magic and ritual to appease the dead.

In Celtic mythology, Samhain was the day when the tribal god, the Dadha, made love with Morrigan, the raven goddess of war. You may know of Morrigan because in later ages she played the role of the evil sorceress in the legend of King Arthur.

After our brief journey back in time, some of you may be thinking, that even if Halloween is not Satanic, then Samhain sure sounds like it could be. To put the matter to rest once and for all, there is no way it could be. There is no corresponding god, angel, or any utterly evil being in the Celtic pantheon. In closing, I will once again quote from Nicholas Rogers 'extraordinary book,' Halloween – From Pagan Ritual To Party Night'-

“The belief is satanic cults blossomed only in the late medieval era when it formed part of the persecutor discipline against heretics and witches – long after the demise of Samhain.” 4

Foot Notes

1. Rogers Nicholas, 'Halloween – From Pagan Ritual To Party Night', Pg 18, Oxford University Press

2. The Cross-Quarter festivals of the Celtic calendar.

A) Imbolc, the spring festival was celebrated on the 1st of February.

B) Beltane, the summer festival was celebrated on the 1st of May.

C) Lughnasadh, the autumn festival was celebrated on the 1st of August.

D) Samhain, the winter festival, like our Halloween, was celebrated on the eve of October 31st and the 1st of November.

3. Paterson Jacqueline, 'Tree Wisdom', Pg 83, Thorsons – Harper and Collins

4. Rogers Nicholas, 'Halloween – From Pagan Ritual To Party Night', Pg 13

The American Dream and the Poor Whites of America: American History, Tradition and Development

There was a radical change in the Western World during the period 1880 and 1914. It was a radical change that turned out to be the profound revolution that the West has ever known. It was then that a great mass of people began to live what today we might call the modern life, a…

There was a radical change in the Western World during the period 1880 and 1914. It was a radical change that turned out to be the profound revolution that the West has ever known. It was then that a great mass of people began to live what today we might call the modern life, a life free of hardships, toil and sweat. It was this period that average people began to eat better and dress less badly, and looking up to enjoying the carefree life.

Before this period, this kind of life only reserved for the ruling elite and those who supported them. From the 1880s in America people discovered the music of jazz and the blues. Millions stared at movie screens and listened to the first talkie films. A new exciting invention called the radio broadcast news, sports, and comedy right into a family's living room. Radio, movies, and sports made new national stars. Famous sports and movie stars of the 1920s included Babe Ruth, the home-run king; Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel; Mickey Mouse; and Clara Bow. Mickey Mouse was the greatest star, but the strange thing about Mickey Mouse was that he was a mouse!

Women left their husbands at home with babies and rushed to the cinema to see Rudolph Valentino, the sensual actor, sex symbol, and early pop icon known as the “Latin Lover”. By all perspectives it was the beginning of exciting enjoyable times indeed. Beginning of a life full of fun and carefree entertainment.
But in other places, in the countryside of America, France and England the picture was different. Most people remained insignificant and large invisible. Most of them were peasants – still lived in villages, there were no changes, and they lived much like their ancestors. Their diet was largely vegetarian because meat was expensive. Their homes were primitive, many shared their quarters with the family pig or goat or chicken. Some also shared their quarters with the cow. These quarters have no windows because they could not afford them.

Many have never seen a town. They were not part of the market economy – still less the national economy. For these people national politics were meaningless – something others did far away. In other places like France these sorts of people did not even know whether they were French or Spanish or Italian, there were just human beings.

Famous Knights In English History

According to historical records, knights were brave and chivalrous men who bought and won battles, and created a niche for themselves. In simple terms, they were soldiers who rode on horseback. Medieval historical events talk about the camaraderie and courage some of the most famous knights. The training of these men was believed to start…

According to historical records, knights were brave and chivalrous men who bought and won battles, and created a niche for themselves. In simple terms, they were soldiers who rode on horseback.

Medieval historical events talk about the camaraderie and courage some of the most famous knights. The training of these men was believed to start from a very young age. Young boys, who were mentored to use these dangerous weapons, were known as squires. Once a squire reached manhood and became a knight, he protected his mentor during wars.

The knights had to follow certain codes of conduct like respecting women as well as children and shielding people from danger. Over a period of time, many knots stopped following these ground rules and used their social power to their advantage. However, some of them stuck to the honor of being a knight and saved the legacy of knighthood.

The following are some of the famous nights in World History. There is a constant debate on whether the legends are just a myth or reality.

• The Knights of the Round Table consisting of some famous people like Sir Lancelot du Lac, Sir Percival, Queen Isabella of Lyonesse and Sir Lamorak. Legends state that these knights were in search of the Holy Grail. Since Sir Lancelot was supposedly in illicit romance with the wife of King Arthur, their legacy came to an end. 'Le Morte d'Arthur' mentions about these knights but there are no sufficient evidences to prove the credibility.
• The Templar Knights were famous during the Middle Ages where they protected the pilgrims who visited Jerusalem from Turks.

An Analysis of ‘Rhapsody on a Windy Night’ From TS Eliot’s Prufrock and Other Observations

TS Eliot is regarded as an extremely important modernist writer. He inaugurated a range of narrative and stylistic techniques which exercised a significant influence over modernism in literature. This article explores the poem 'Rhapsody on a Windy Night', from Eliot's Prufrock and Other Observations , focusing primarily on the concept of time and how it…

TS Eliot is regarded as an extremely important modernist writer. He inaugurated a range of narrative and stylistic techniques which exercised a significant influence over modernism in literature. This article explores the poem 'Rhapsody on a Windy Night', from Eliot's Prufrock and Other Observations , focusing primarily on the concept of time and how it figures in the poem.

Time is undeniably associated with notions of present and past, and it plays a significant role in 'Rhapsody on a Windy Night', here in this article referred to as 'Rhapsody'. The modernist interest in time could have been argued to be partially determined by earlier scientific discoveries. The concept of time itself had been in the throes of change since the sixteenth century. However the plethora of scientific explorations and discoveries in the nineteenth century appeared to herald a new age in science. While Eliot was engaged in writing the Prufrock poems, advances in theoretical physics, such as Einstein's formulation of the Special Theory of Relativity, were transforming the understanding of time as a physical measure. However, in regards to Eliot's own interests in time, it was the French philosopher Henri Bergson who introduced the most immediate influence.

While he was still staying in America, a young Eliot made intensive visits to Europe where he attended lectures given by Bergson. The philosopher's theories on time and his attempts at defining the nature of past, present, and future manifest themselves in several of the Prufrock poems, especially 'Rhapsody', which is usually regarded as reworking some of Bergson's ideas; therefore an understanding of them is useful when evaluating Eliot's own attitudes to the present. Most of Bergson is extremely difficult to comprehend so it is beneficial to attempt a summary of his ideas before analyzing how they are represented in Eliot's poetry. In his Creative Evolution (1907) and Matter and Memory (1896) – two works Eliot was familiar with while composing the Prufrock poems – Bergson set out to define the nature of time and consciousness as experienced by human beings. He arrived at an idea he called 'le duree', meaning 'duration', a metaphysical construct which considers evolution and consciousness to be underlain by a constant flow of moments that can not be measured by clock time. In Creative Evolution , Bergson proposed the notification that an individual's natural state is change, asserting that all feelings and ideas are undergoing constant change.

Bergson thought that an individual's memory forms a large part of this process, with past memories constantly resurfacing in a person's consciousness. It is this perpetual resurfacing of the past that plays a central role in 'Rhapsody', where, while wandering around a desolate environment, the protagonist experiences a variety of seemingly fragmented memories. In Matter and Memory Bergson endeavored to evaluate the nature of consciousness and its inefficient association with time. This was accomplished by trying to define the relationship between past, present and future. Bergson considered the true essence of time is its transitory nature. This presents a problem in identifying the exact point that could be considered 'the present'. Bergson admits that what we identify as the present is formed by sensations deriving from the past and actions directed towards the future, and it is this inherent duality that informs much of the content of 'Rhapsody'.

The poem is located in an urban environment, a setting characteristic of much modernist poetry. As with the other Prufrock poems, a defining feature of 'Rhapsody' is Eliot's perfection of a highly original and distinctly modern poetic voice. It is important to acknowledge that this poet persona is not intended to represent TS Eliot himself, but is instead a fictional construction that brings together the formal and thematic qualities of the poem. This particular poetic consciousness belongs to an alienated individual who recounts their experiences while wandering around a desolate city after midnight. The use of the word 'rhapsody' in the poem's title is somewhat ironic, in that we normally associate this word with 'enthusiasm' or 'extravagance'; the observations and recollections that the poet persona experiences appear more to do with degradation and futility, and the prevailing tone is generally bleak and depressing.

The poet persona in 'Rhapsody' is typified by a lack of control, predominately illustrated by the seeming random appearance of memories. This pervasive sense of involuntariness acts in part as a poetic expression of Bergson's theories. Bergson's idea of ​​the body acting as a conduit for a range of sensations deriving from a person's past experience is evinced in the lines 'The memory throws up high and dry / A crowd of twisted things'. In choosing to say 'the memory' instead of 'my memory', adds to the divided quality of the protagonist, as if he were composed of separated parts rather than being whole.

The reader gathers that the protagonist of 'Rhapsody' has little to no control over this incessant flow of resurfacing memories. Eliot illustrates this unpredictably of memory in several lines but perhaps most notably in the bizarre image of 'a madman shakes a dead geranium'. The geraniums become a symbol for the involuntariness of the poet persona's memory in the later lines 'The reminiscence comes / Of sunless dry geraniums'.

The street lamps the poet persona encounters play a key role in the poem. They are personified – a device that contributes to the protagonist's fragmented and dissociated nature – in the second stanza, with the lines 'The street-lamp sputtered / The street-lamp muttered / The street-lamp said'. Eliot accomplishes this disjointed effect by having the poet persona's perceptions depicted as observations from the street-lamps. For example, in the second stanza the protagonist is instructed by the street lamp to observe a woman, while in the fourth and fifth stanzas they are directed to look at a cat, and then the moon, respectively. These urban sightings are certainly seedy and depressing: the woman is clearly a prostitute; the cat is described as slipping out its tongue to devour 'a morsel of rancid butter' – an act the reader assumes to be a subjective reflection on the protagonist's own futile existence; while the moon is delineated in the most unflattering, anti-romantic hue: 'A washed-out smallpox cracks her face'. These images and those from the protagonist's memory are juxtaposed with the inexorable march of clock time, illustrated by the stark fact that most of the stanzas begin by informing the reader of the actual time.

The concept of time plays an important role in 'Rhapsody on a Windy Night'. As this article has illustrated, the notice of the present is multifaceted, when Eliot's interpretation of the theories of Henri Bergson is taken into account.

Garden Rooms In Legend

The idea of ​​garden rooms, both inside and outside, has a thread which can be traced back to Early Asian Buddhist scriptures. Padmasambhava, after an exceptional lifetime and a long final journey, was said to have settled in the copper mountain. This scene is where he delivered the Tibetan Book of the Dead, one of…

The idea of ​​garden rooms, both inside and outside, has a thread which can be traced back to Early Asian Buddhist scriptures. Padmasambhava, after an exceptional lifetime and a long final journey, was said to have settled in the copper mountain. This scene is where he delivered the Tibetan Book of the Dead, one of the most iconic Buddhist literary works.

Paul Biegel in his book, The King of the Copper Mountains, tenderly lifts this legend and expands it into a castle of rooms. As Buddha would have encouraged, all life forms are valued in the copper mountain's castle and live harmoniously together. Drawn there by an ailing, ancient king, each visitor unimports one story to the king. He seems to benefit at heart by empathizing the emotions of each tale, which imputes a little more living time to him. Each visitor is encouraged to stay at the castle, each taking up residence in a room appropriate to their needs and personality: the squirrel in the crystal room under the geraniums, the sheep in the clover room, the lion in the tower room, the wolf , the duck, dragon … the list extends until the wonder doctor returns from his hunt for the herb which will cure the king's failing heart.

On first opening the garden room, “Everybody fought: 'Oooh!' The garden room had a glass roof, and such thousands of flowers deep inside that it almost hurt to look at them. 'Nobody is allowed to walk around in here … there are no paths and the flowers would get trampled on'; said the king, in true mastery of the interdependence of all things.

The longest story, buzzed and sung by ten bumble bees, culminates in the garden room of the castle. This room, I think, is where I would find myself most comfortable among the spotted orchids, lilies, stock and freesia. Sleeping among the flowers, the ten bees would have been irrevocably content.

The King of the Copper Mountain by Paul Beigel is published by Strident.