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Digital Time – Boldriaan [schaakkunst.nl]

Ballet dancers – Irma Stern

Flowerseller – Irma Stern

 

The Hunt – Irma Stern



Chess is an art. Chess is a science. Chess is music.  Chess is a game. Chess is cool. Chess is fun. Chess is Chess! There are always people ‘arguing’ about what Chess actually is and I really find these ‘conversations’ [if you can call it a conversation] really boring. I think it’s mainly bored people on chess sites just wasting time around topics like these. The same with ‘men are better than women’ – also one of the most boring topics. Can Chess players not have more intelligent conversations in the Chess forums than these boring topics? – or is it just me in a ‘mood’.[haha]

Here’s some musical fun!  Click on this link for the  FUN  and enjoy! The link will open in a new window and you need to use your mouse to click the rain drops and you create your own melody too.

From a document found on the US Chess_trust site, I’ve copied a few paragraphs, but once again, this is just another ‘confirmation’ of what I’ve said in many entries on my blog before. So much evidence is available – research done by many people in the past and you will find plenty of documents on my blog to support it – to prove the benefits of chess for children and their learning. These quoted paragraphs are just a tiny drop in the bucket of all the evidence available. Whilst it’s Easter Holiday, I feel to take time out to enjoy a ‘trip’ to some fine ‘art galleries’ and fine  ‘music theatres’ of the ‘world’ and would like to share with you Irma Stern’s art. I’ve found you some info about Irma Stern on Wikipedia and her house [now an art gallery-museum]-link can be found near the bottom of this entry too. The three music files are some of my favourite music and it’s by Waldo de los Rios [and his orchestra] and you can read about the Toy Symphony on my blog on the link at the bottom of the entry. [copy/paste the link in your browser]. These files are not complete files – as you will notice. I hope you can hear the clock – at the start of the first file. Haydn’s ‘Clock’. [Turn the volume up if you don’t hear the clock] Lastly, I had to add a file from Mantovani and his orchestra: Elizabeth Serenade

She was born in Schweitzer-Renecke, a small town in the Transvaal, of German-Jewish parents. Her father was interned in a concentration camp by the British during the South African War because of his pro-Boer leanings.[1] Irma and her younger brother, Rudi, were thus taken to Cape Town by their mother. After the war, the family returned to Germany and constant travel. This travel would influence Irma’s work.

In 1913 Stern studied art in Germany at the Weimar Academy, in 1914 at the Levin-Funcke Studio and notably from 1917 with Max Pechstein, a founder of the Novembergruppe. Stern was associated with the German Expressionist painters of this period. She held her first exhibition in Berlin in 1919. In 1920 Stern returned to Cape Town with her family where she was first derided and dismissed as an artist before becoming an established artist by the 1940s.

In 1926 she married Dr Johannes Prinz her former tutor, who subsequently became professor of German at the University of Cape Town. They were divorced in 1934.

Irma Stern travelled extensively in Europe and explored Southern Africa, Zanzibar and the Congo region. These trips provided a wide range of subject matter for her paintings and gave her opportunities to acquire and assemble an eclectic collection of artifacts for her home. Stern was to travel extensively in her lifetime: in 1930 to Madeira, in 1937 and 1938 to Dakar, Senegal, 1939 Zanzibar, 1942 Congo, 1945 Zanzibar, 1946 Central Africa, 1952 Madeira, 1955 Congo, 1960 Spain and 1963 France. Stern travelled extensively in South Africa, for example in 1926 to Swaziland and Pondoland, in 1933 to Namaqaland, in 1936 generally, and in 1941 to the Eastern Cape. In 1931 she visited Madeira and Dakar, Senegal, in 1937 and 1938. Irma Stern refused to either travel or exhibit in Germany during the period 1933 – 1945. Instead, she undertook several exotic journeys into Africa; going to Zanzibar twice in 1939 and 1945 and then planned three trips to the Congo region in 1942, 1946 and 1955. These expeditions resulted in a wealth of artistic creativity and energy as well as the publication of two illustrated journals; Congo published in 1943 and Zanzibar in 1948.

Almost one hundred solo exhibitions were held during her lifetime both in South Africa and Europe: including Germany, France, Italy and England. Although accepted in Europe, her work was unappreciated at first in South Africa where critics derided her early exhibitionsin the 1920s with reviews titled “Art of Miss Irma Stern – Ugliness as a cult”.

The Irma Stern Museum was established in 1971 and is the house the artist lived in for almost four decades. She moved into The Firs in Rondebosch in 1927 and lived there until her death. Several of the rooms are furnished as she arranged them while upstairs there is a commercial gallery used by contemporary South African artists.

On the 8th of May 2000, one of her works sold at Sotheby’s South Africa in Johannesburg for an all time record of R1.7 million.[2] This record was soon broken, however, and in March 2007 Stern’s work was sold for R6.6 million.[3] Stern’s Gladioli was sold for an all-time high of R13.3 million in October 2010[4], but was then followed by the sale of Bahora Girl for R26.7 million later that month[5] – both were also records for sales of South African art at the time.

Quote from the Chess document, you can find it at the end of the entry. It is a PDF document and will open in a new window.

Chess clearly is a problem-solving tool, an “ideal way to study decision-making and problemsolving because it is a closed system with clearly defined rules” (Horgan, 1988). When faced with a problem, the first step is to “analyze [it] in a preliminary and impressionistic way: sizing up the problem” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), possibly looking for patterns or similarity to
previous experiences. “Similarity judgements may involve high levels of abstract reasoning” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3)

When faced with a problem, the first step is to “analyze [it] in a preliminary and impressionistic way: sizing up the problem” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), possibly looking for patterns or similarity to previous experiences. “Similarity judgements may involve high levels of abstract reasoning”
(Horgan, 1988, p. 3). As in mathematics, which might be defined as the study of patterns, pattern recognition in chess is of prime importance in problem solving. After recognizing similarity and pattern, a global strategy can be developed to solve the problem. This involves generating alternatives, a creative process. A good chess player, like a good problem solver, has “acquired a vast number of interrelated schemata” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), allowing for good alternatives to quickly and easily come to mind. These alternatives must then be evaluated, using a process of calculation known
as decision tree analysis, where the chess player/problem solver is calculating the desirability of future events based on the alternative being analyzed. Horgan (1988) found that “the calculation may go several to eight or ten moves ahead. This stage requires serious concentration and
memory abilities…[or]…visual imagery” (p.4).

The mathematics curriculum in New Brunswick, Canada, is a text series called “Challenging Mathematics” which uses chess to teach logic from grades 2 to 7. Using this curriculum, the average problem-solving score of pupils in the province increased from 62% to 81%.

Click on the following link Why Chess to read more to convince yourself why Chess is so important for children to develop their thinking/reasoning skills at a young age.

http://www.irmasternmuseum.com/artist.htm

https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/waldo-de-los-rios/

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dance_alone

The Dancer: Image: noise.net/featured-work.asp?artist_id=8618&category_id=4

This entry is quite an odd entry. I have a few snippets of music files which I truly enjoy and they are some of the about 2GB music files on my MP3-player. The first file is the Elizabeth Serenade, then you can listen to “The mouth organ boy” – by Vicky Leandros. The 3rd song is by Laurika Rauch..”The song of the trains” and then you can enjoy Jackson Browne’s “For a dancer”- a bit down in this entry!

I also have a poem! “The Night Mail”. I had to teach this poem to Y4’s a few years ago and when I searched for the poem, I found it on a website which was about the Night Mail…Royal Mail! It was such interesting reading – the history of the night mail, but what was sad, was the fact that the services of the Night Mail train were terminated. The same time it was about to be terminated,  I came across the site and the poem. There was an abundance of info on that site, but it seems to me that the site, where I found the poem, doesn’t exist anymore! What a shame! I could find you a newspaper article about this train- at least! The poem by Auden is about this train! The Royal Night Mail was about the train from London to Scotland/Wales…see the youtube movie-links at the bottom of this post… and there are even more movies on youtube to be seen! Do enjoy it! Enjoy the music here too! Wherever you go this week, make sure you “make a joyful sound”! – see the lyrics of “For a Dancer”.

 


Night Train
(Commentary for a G.P.O. Film, July 1935)

by W.H. Auden (1907 – 1973)

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.

Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient’s against her, but she’s on time.

Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,

Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.

Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.

Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.

In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.

Dawn freshens. Her climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
Men long for news.

Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or visit relations,
And applications for situations
And timid lovers’ declarations
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Notes from overseas to Hebrides
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring,
The cold and official and the heart’s outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.

Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston’s or Crawford’s:
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
And shall wake soon and long for letters,
And none will hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

It was one of the world’s great railway journeys, but you could not book a seat on it. It inspired two of Britain’s greatest 20th-century poets, and Britain’s most infamous bunch of 20th-century villains. It rushed through the darkness, utterly reliable, while the rest of us slept. But last night it ran for the last time.


Please click
HERE to read more about the last Night Mail train from London. The link will open in a new window.

nightmail

Night Mail Image: See more images on this link….http://flickr.com/photos/scardy/421208053/in/set-72157594588477493/


Image: buckinghamcovers.com

jacksonbrowne

Jackson Browne

For a Dancer..by Jackson Browne

Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I dont remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must have thought you’d always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you’re nowhere to be found

I dont know what happens when people die
Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It’s like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can’t sing
I can’t help listening
And I can’t help feeling stupid standing round
Crying as they ease you down
cause I know that youd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(right on dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(theres nothing you can do about it anyway)

Just do the steps that youve been shown
By everyone you’ve ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Anothers steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone

Keep a fire for the human race
Let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know what will be coming down
Perhaps a better world is drawing near
And just as easily it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don’t let the uncertainty turn you around
(the world keeps turning around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you’ll never know.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zmciuKsBOi0
The poem on this link on youtube.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AlG4dLxHjCY
The Royal Mail on this youtube-link.

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wikimusicguide.com/images

I got this cd of Jim Brickman from an American chess player-friend about a year ago. I’ve rediscovered the music and want to share a few tracks (some tasters) with you. The music is beautiful, relaxing, soothing…. Enjoy!


Amazing Grace


You never know

 All I ever wanted

 Please click here to visit his site…the link will open in a new window.

“In you I see the beauty of nature and the love of God” …beauty is in your heart and not in the mirror.

Tracks on the cd:
1. If you believe
2. Journey
3. Amazing Grace
4. All I ever wanted
5. Crossroads
6. You never know
7. By Chance
8. Angel Eyes
9. Bittersweet
10. Dream come true
11. Joyful
12. Picture this
13. By heart
14. Shades of white
15. Another Tuesday morning
16. Devotion
17. Glory (Duet with David Benoit)
18. We exalt Thee

Image: farm3.static.flickr.com/2207/2286429154_f9c9f2dd5a_b

Thousands of years ago the Celtic ancestors placed great value on spiritual friendships. The Gaelic word for this was…Anam Cara. The link will open in a new window.

Anam Cara Blessing

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth in your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light, and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration, and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected.
May your soul calm, console, and renew you.

John O’Donohue

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Sleep and His Half Brother Death
John William Waterhouse
http://www.illusionsgallery.com/sleep.html

Image: dreams.co.uk
 How do you feel about sleep? Sometimes I can go a whole night without sleep, but I will surely feel knackered two days later! I love being in bed at night when the rain is tapping on the roof. Weekends I like to lie in…and then get a nice breakfast in bed! …now to the music!  I’ve these wonderful music, two tracks from a chess friend and he also sent me the third track by Hennie Bekker and suddenly! I found myself busy with an entry on sleep!! I even found you an interesting link about the stages of sleep and one about sleep deprivation…that’s for me, actually…lol! It was truly not my intention to blog about sleep when I uploaded these snippets of music, but at the end, after  searching for some images, I came across these interesting info and sites and thought to share it with you as it was interesting to me.  I  blog about stuff which I enjoy/find interesting…apart from chess…my blog is sort of a “gathering space” for info I want to refer back to, but also in the hope that other people will find it useful too or will enjoy it at least. In the same process, I also found music for children with Aspergers! I’ve worked with children with Aspergers syndrome, Down Syndrome and also Autistic children and they are all a pleasure to work with!

I’ve come across music for  ASD– the link will open in a new window – which you will find in this post. You can read more  about ASD on the link and there’s another link in this post for you to follow up too, if you are more interested in Autistic children.
Seven hours sleep a night helps reduce heart problems. Read the article…the link will open in a new window.

Image…see more fantastic images here..http://photo.net/photodb/member-photos?user_id=941594

Firstly, enjoy “Sea of Dreams”…this track is about 5 min, but you get to listen to only a taster of it, as well as the other tracks. Tranquil Realms is about 11 min but the taster only about 2 min. For Afrikaans speaking people, I wonder if you can remember the Afrikaans poem about sleep! Please find it at the bottom of my post, a wonderful poem by DF Malherbe! In this poem he asks God to shut his eyes one day like the little girl’s when she falls asleep…
On my blog on this link you can read about dreams…the link will open in a new window.

Sea of Dreams..by Angelle

Sleepy Time…by Angelle

Hennie Bekker…Tranquil Realms

Read on this link about sleep cycles. The link will open in a new window. Read on this pdf-link on wiki about dreaming.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikibooks/en/e/ef/Lucid_Dreaming.pdf

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior
Sarah Ledoux
Sleep deprivation is a commonplace occurrence in modern culture. Every day there seems to be twice as much work and half as much time to complete it in. This results in either extended periods of wakefulness or a decrease in sleep over an extended period of time. While some people may like to believe that they can train their bodies to not require as much sleep as they once did this belief is false . Sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, especially the brain, so that it may continue to function optimally. After periods of extended wakefulness or reduced sleep neurons may begin to malfunction, visibly effecting a person’s behavior. Some organs, such as muscles, are able to regenerate even when a person is not sleeping so long as they are resting. This could involve lying awake but relaxed within a quite environment. Even though cognitive functions might not seem necessary in this scenario the brain, especially the cerebral cortex, is not able to rest but rather remains semi-alert in a state of “quiet readiness” . Certain stages of sleep are needed for the regeneration of neurons within the cerebral cortex while other stages of sleep seem to be used for forming new memories and generating new synaptic connections. The effects of sleep deprivation on behavior have been tested with relation to the presence of activity in different sections of the cerebral cortex.
The temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex is associated with the processing of language. During verbal learning tests on subjects who are fully rested functional magnetic resonance imaging scans show that this area of the brain is very active. However, in sleep deprived subjects there is no activity within this region. The effects of this inactivity can be observed by the slurred speech in subjects who have gone for prolonged periods with no sleep .
Please click HERE more about sleep deprivation and brain behaviour…the link will open in a new window.

The music in ‘Sleep’ has been designed to be physically relaxing – the program features no distracting surprises and feels like slow, steady breathing, to help transport the listener away from the stresses of the day towards restful sleep.

This CD, with music composed by Hennie Bekker, incorporates scientific principles of sonic response, and is designed to nudge your mind toward deep and refreshing sleep.

On this link you can listen to more snippets of his music. The link will open in a new window.

Hennie Bekker

African Roots
Bekker was raised in Mufulira, a Zambian copper mining town 10 miles south of the Congo border. In those early years, he was captivated by the symphonic sounds of the African wilderness, the haunting harmonies of tribal chanting and the rhythmic dialogue of drummers communicating between camps at sundown. He is a self-taught pianist who had his professional debut at age 15, spending the next decade performing with various bands throughout Zambia, Zaire, Zimbabwe and Kenya. His success as a fusion-jazz musician and band leader elevated him to become the musical director for one of South Africa’s largest record companies. Here, he added scores of film, television, radio and commercial music to his list of career accomplishments.
Read more about Hennie
Bekker here, the link will open in a new window. If you click on “home”, you will find youtube-videos of him to watch.


On the “music” link you will find more albums, even some Africa-music and snippets to listen to.

Asperger’s Syndrome is a condition that was initially described by Dr. Hans Asperger’s 1944 doctoral thesis. It was not until 37 years later, in 1981, however, that Dr. Lorna Wing used the term “Asperger’s Syndrome” in a paper that helped to introduce this condition to the English-speaking world.

As described by Dr. Wing, the primary clinical features of Asperger’s Syndrome include:
naïve, inappropriate, one-sided social interactions
limited ability to establish relationships
poor non-verbal communication
a lack of emotional empathy
pedantic, repetitive speech
intense absorption in certain subjects
clumsy, un-coordinated movements

odd postures

Currently, the prevailing view is that Asperger’s Syndrome is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder which falls at the high end of the Autism Spectrum continuum.

BEHAVIORAL DEFINITION

The autism spectrum extends from “classic autism” — which lies at the lower end of the spectrum– through ASPERGER’S SYNDROME, which is characterized as being at the mildest and highest functioning end of the spectrum –or Pervasive Developmental Disorder–Continuum

The major source of stress in life for the person with Asperger’s Syndrome is social contact, and increased stress generally leads to anxiety disorders and depression Attwood, T. Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, 1998, p. 148.
AS represents a neurologically-based disorder of development

AS reflects deviations or abnormalities in four aspects of development:

(1) Social relatedness and social skills
(2) The use of language for purposes of communication
(3) Certain behavioral and stylistic characteristics such as repetitive or persevering features
(4) Limited, but intense, range of interests

These dysfunctional features can range from mild to severe

“The Epidemiology of Asperger Syndrome: A Total Population Study” by Ehlers and Gillberg (retrieve citation) 2001), it is estimated that the prevalence of Asperger is 2.6 per 1,000 individuals. With the population of the U.S. currently estimated at 275 million (July 2000), this would mean an estimated 715,000 people are affected by Asperger’s syndrome in the U.S. alone”
Stewart, K. (2002). Helping a Child with Nonverbal Learning Disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome, p. 148

AS is characterized by:

high cognitive abilities — or, at least, “normal” IQ level
extending into the very superior range of cognitive ability
normal language function when compared to other autistic disorders
difficulties with pragmatic, or social language
a better prognosis than other Autism spectrum disorders

Please read on THIS LINK more…the link will open in a new window. Click on “products” and it will take you to the music page.


Image: babyzone.com

DF Malherbe (1881-1969)


Slaap


Wat is die slaap ‘n wondersoete ding!
Sag op haar bloue oë daal die vaak
soos maneskyn diep waterkuile raak
om daar te droom in silwer skemering.

Vir laas beef oor haar lippe ‘n fluistering:
“Nag, Pappie.” Ek merk hoe langsaam hy genaak,
wat drome soet tot werklikhede maak:
in vaderarms rus my lieweling.
Sluit so my oë, God, wanneer vir my
u Engel wenk ter laaste, lange rus
en ek van wilde woeling hier moet skei;
dat my dan stille drome huis toe sus
en sterke Hand deur duisternisse lei.
Sluit so my oë, God, as ek gaan rus.

To Sleep
by John Keats.

O soft embalmer of the still midnight!
Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas’d eyes, embower’d from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,
In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes.
Or wait the Amen, ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities;
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;
Save me from curious conscience, that still hoards
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed casket of my soul.

Sea of Dreams…Kelly King …I’ve found this book on google-books whilst searching for images and thought it might be on my list to read when I have more time…I’ve read a couple of books about wars…and for some reason I like to read about it…all part of history.

Sea of dreams by Martin Sramek

Dreams
by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

My Piano….by… artistnina.com

 

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Image: allposters.com

From Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, 1601:

DUKE ORSINO:
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.

Swallows in Durban – see the news article in this entry from ENS news

Enjoy “Village Swallows” by  Mantovani and his orchestra. It is a composition by Josef Strauss, one of the Strauss-brothers.

 

hmmm…just what I need…flowers and chocolates!! and on this video…the music of Strauss…”Roses from the South”

Swallow Flocks and World Cup Airport Try Coexistence

DURBAN, South Africa, November 12, 2007 (ENS) – This year, as five million barn swallows migrate from across Europe to roost in South Africa’s Mt. Moreland Reedbed, they will be greeted by air traffic controllers. The controllers will be waiting to warn pilots of the swallow flocks coming in to land so that bird-plane collisions can be avoided.

The plan to protect the birds was announced Monday at a ceremony at the reedbed, attended by the nonprofit conservation group BirdLife South Africa.

The decision to protect the swallows was made in response to global outcry last November, when BirdLife outlined its concern about the expansion of La Mercy Airport at Durban, in preparation for South Africa’s hosting of World Cup 2010.

The airport is being expanded to handle traffic expected for the soccer event and the KwaZulu Natal government wants to see the project completed by 2009.

The Airports Company of South Africa, which administers the existing Durban International Airport, owns the La Mercy land where the $8 billion King Shaka International Airport is under construction, 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Durban.

The new airport is expected to replace Durban International, which will be decommissioned. But for the swallows at the Mt. Moreland Reedbed, without special planning and accomodation, the airport would have been deadly.

Both the reed bed and Mount Moreland are situated South West of the proposed development are aligned exactly with the proposed runway and so are in the flight patch of aircraft leaving or arriving the airport.

The controllers at La Mercy Airport have been among those watching the millions of birds come in this year from all over eastern and western Europe. They will leave again at the onset of winter.
The threat that planes at an expanded La Mercy Airport would pose to the swallows roosting at the reedbed, among Africa’s largest roosts, was put across by conservationists and BirdLife partner organizations throughout Europe.The barn swallow, Hirundo rustica, undertakes one of the world’s most remarkable migrations. The birds fly thousands of miles from southern Africa in spring to breed in Europe and then repeat the feat in reverse in the autumn, to winter back in Africa.

“This has been a fantastic result, and we’re delighted to report on this outcome after a year of negotiations and meetings. The support of so many people via letters and petitions has played an important part.” said Neil Smith, conservation manager at BirdLife South Africa, which led the campaign.

The Airports Company of South Africa has been supportive of making accommodations for the birds.

“Since our campaign started, the Airports Company of South Africa has really come on board, quickly realizing the importance of this site as a reedbed of international significance,” said Smith.

Following BirdLife’s complaint, consultants were brought in to examine the roosting and flocking behavior of the swallows, using advanced radar imagery. They confirmed that constant monitoring of the swallow movements during take-off and landing of aircraft would be required.

The Airports Company of South Africa now says it will install in the airport control tower the same advanced radar technology that the consultants used to study the movement of the swallows.

This will mean that planes can take the option of circling or approaching from another angle when large flocks of swallows form over the reedbed site in the late evening.

Environmental management staff will be employed to make sure that suitable management of the reedbed continues, the airports company said.

Bird conservationists feel somewhat reassured about the swallows’ future. “Losing such a valuable site could have affected breeding swallow populations across Europe,” said Dr. Ian Burfield, Birdlife’s European research and database manager.

“Conserving migratory birds is about more than ensuring one site is protected or well managed,” said Burfield. “It takes global effort: at breeding sites, at stopover sites during migration, and at important non-breeding sites like this, where large numbers of birds roost.

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It was Monday when the music of Villa Rides suddenly – without a warning! – entered my thoughts and managed to settle there and it hasn’t left me since! When I got home, I couldn’t wait to search the internet to see if there’s somewhere a downloadable file, but to no avail! All I could do, was to order this cd to satisfy my Villa Rides-thirst! When I was at secondary school, I used to do my homework on Saturdays outside with classical music playing…picture this…a farm, huge oak trees – five of them – in front of the house, about 20m away from the house, birds chirping around you…..and you…doing homework! (I loved school homework and wished always for more! haha do you think I’m insane/crazy!?) with the music playing loudly — Villa Rides was definitely on my music-menu during homework time! Even the pesty baboons in the mountain opposite the house had come closer to take a listen! wow! hehehe…I’ve decided to be generous again and to share some tasters with you. The first one is the theme music from the movie with the same title…Villa Rides! And, best of all, I didn’t even know about this movie! I was so surprised when I discovered that it was actually from a movie with even the same title! Why am I the last person to know this! The second and third also only “tasters” from this cd.  I like Mantovani’s music and would like  to put him in the same class/category as Waldo de los Rios. This is what I call music if I have to define music! I also have more info on Fierro and Pancho Villa…very interesting – the Mexican Revolution – on which the movie was based. Do enjoy!
Enjoy the music of Mantovani and his orchestra with…Villa Rides, the theme music from the movie with the same title, Hora Staccato and the third track…Hungarian Rhapsody no2.

Rodolfo Fierro

Villa in grey suit in center. General Rodolfo Fierro at far right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodolfo_Fierro
Rodolfo Fierro (b. 1880 d. October 14, 1915) was a railway worker, railway superintendent, federal soldier and lieutenant in the army of Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution in the Division del Norte. Fierro and his counter part and fellow lieutenant, Tomas Urbina, have been cited as the two halves of Pancho Villa, Fierrorepresenting his malicious side. It is believed Fierro met Pancho Villa in 1913 following the Madero revolution. Originating from Sonora, Fierro was a former federal officer having taken part in fighting against the Yaqui Indians. Following his role as a federal officer, Fierro went on to work as a railway man, eventually being absorbed into Villa’s ranks.

Soldier
Fierro’s prominence is often cited back to the Battle of Tierra Blanca on November 23, 1913. The battle included 5,500 of Villa’s soldiers, against an estimated 7,000 federal soldiers. Before the battle began Fierro had been sent South to destroy the railroad tracks, forcing the federal soldiers to halt. As Villa flanked the well armed federal soldiers with cavalry, a locomotive filled with dynamite and percussion caps was rammed into the federal soldiers train cars, the resulting explosion caused the federal soldiers to flee to nearby undamaged train cars in retreat. Fierro is then noted as riding on horseback after the escaping locomotive, climbing on to the locomotive, running across the roofs of the train cars, and shooting dead the boilerman and conductor, pulling the train to a complete stop. All federal soldiers captured were executed and in the battle Villa captured 4 locomotives, 7 machine guns, horses, rifles and 400,000 rounds of small arms ammunition. The death toll during the battle stood around 1,000 federal soldiers killed and 300 of Villa’s.

Fierro is most known as Villa’s executioner, known as el carnicero (English the butcher).Fierro’s nom de guerra originates from a story documented by Martín Luis Guzmán. Guzmán describes events following the capture of over 300 soldiers known as Orozquistas. The captured soldiers were led into a large field with Fierro on one end, and a wall on the other. They were informed, if they were to reach the opposite end and climb over the wall they would be allowed to continue on free. In groups of ten the captured men were set out to run, Fierro alone firing his pistol at them as they ran, his soldiers handing him fresh pistols to continue firing without delay. One captive is noted as making it over the wall and to freedom, only after Fierro stopped to massage an achy trigger finger.The shooting went on for two hours. It is said that Fierro would ask each prisoner if they would rather return to their family, or join the army of Pancho Villa. Those deciding to return to their family were seem as men who would head back to their old regiment and were executed. Those choosing to join Pancho Villa were provided with a horse, a gun, and three bullets.

Other stories exist of Fierro shooting a man dead in public in the state of Chihuahua. The person, sitting across from Fierro, argued that a man shot would fall backwards, Fierro disagreed. To settle the bet Fierro shot the man, and watched as he fell forward, confirming to Fierro that he was correct.

While working as Villa’s railway superintendent, Fierro was publicly reprimanded by Villa for a train of supply water running 35 minutes late. Villa, when the train arrived is said to have shot the conductor dead as an act of vengeance for his humiliation. This incident sparked strife amongst the railway workers, who primarily supported Villa. In another incident, a drunken Fierro killed a railway worker for bumping into him, this final incident caused Villa to act. Villa permitted a judge to begin collecting evidence against Fierro into his actions, a judge who begged to be removed from the case for fear of repercussion. The case never went to trial but Fierro was removed from the position of railway superintendent. It is often stated the case was a sham, simply to continue to retain support from the much needed railway workers.

Fierro is also known for the murder of William S. Benton on February 17, 1914, an Englishman and land owner in Mexico who had his land confiscated by Villa’s forces. Numerous stories exist around what happened. Benton is cited as having stormed into Villa’s headquarters in Ciudad Juárez, demanding his land back from Villa, in which Villa refused. Following his refusal, Villa maintains Benton unsuccessfully attempted to draw a six-shooter pistol, he was wrestled to the floor and given a formal court martial and found guilty of attempted assassination, he was then executed and buried. A conflicting story exists in which Benton drew his pistol but was detained and removed from the town at night. He taken to the desert, where a hole was dug and Fierrois believed to have struck Benton in the head with a shovel, dumping into the grave without checking to see if Benton was still alive.

On October 14, 1915, Fierro died after being thrown from his horse and landing in quicksand. At the time, Fierro was marching toward Sonora when he encountered the quicksand at the Casas Grandes Lagoon. The weight of his belt, loaded with gold is said to have prevented him from being able to escape.

 Doroteo Arango Arámbula  also known as Pancho Villa

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancho_Villa

Image:tcm.com

 

Charles Bronson as Villa and Yul Brynner as Fierro

The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was fought from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836 between Mexico and the Texas (Tejas) portion of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas
Please click
ON THIS LINK to read more about it. The link will open in a new window.

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I’ve seen Romeo and Juliet ages ago, I can only recall certain parts of it, think I need to go and see it again. The Dance of the Knights is quite fresh in my mind…I’ve found the music for you to download too if you want to! Take a listen and enjoy the youtube movie. You can also read about the “Knight’s tour” in chess…almost like the “Dance of the Knights”;) The music was composed by Prokofiev and was also the theme music of the tv program  “The Apprentice”. If you click on links, it will open in a new window.

Download the music here.


Images: Wikipedia
….

History..links open in a new window.
The pattern of a Knight’s Tour on a half-board has been presented in verse form (as a literary constraint) in the highly stylized Sanskrit  poem Kavyalankara written by the 9th century Kashmiri poet Rudrata, which discusses the art of poetry, especially with relation to theater (Natyashastra). As was often the practice in ornate Sanskrit poetry, the syllabic patterns of this poem elucidate a completely different motif, in this case an open knight’s tour on a half-chessboard.

The first algorithm for completing the Knight’s Tour was Warnsdorff’s algorithm, first described in 1823 by H. C. Warnsdorff. Read more on this link.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight’s_tour

 

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