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Our journeys are about making choices. Whether it is a choice about where to go, how to go or when to go, the choice determines our outcome. Soul satisfying journeys are mindful trips that include self-awareness and a look within ourselves. This pertains to any journey, be it from place to place, action to action or decision to decision. The sum of our choices constitutes our life. The journey we take from start to finish. We may not always make the proper choices, but we are always allowed the ability to make another. No matter how far down the “wrong” road we may be, this road we chose, we chose for a reason. Here in lies life’s lessons. Learn the lesson, then make your next choice. This is how we discover the daily journeys in a span of time that is ours and ours alone.[peacefulmind.com]


Friday evening – time to relax! End of week – or start of new week? And I wonder what it is to take a soul trip – just to somewhere inbetween nowhere. I wonder how it is to go to a place you haven’t been to, a foreign country and just explore – do what you want to do and when you want to do it – and keep a journal of who you meet etc!
Mark Twain said:’Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’

What I’ve read this week -which I believe: God will never take away something without giving something better in its place.
I’m a girl. I overreact. I underestimate. I overestimate. I over think everything. I dream big. And when I say I love you, I’m not lying. Sometimes silence is the best way to let someone know they did you wrong. Its simple… Never lie to someone who trusts you, and never trust someone who lies to you. We all blame society but the truth is, we are society. When you’re down to nothing, God is up to something. The faithful see the Invisible, Believe the Incredible and then receive the Impossible.

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Magic Today

My favourite radiostation is Magic 105.4 and they played earlier tonight – on my way home – again some of  my favourite music of course. Earlier this year I blogged about wine – Luddite – some red South African wine that was given as a pressie. When I listened to the music – Red Red Wine, it was the Luddite image that came to my memory. The chess-image-compilation was created when I was in a Fireworks-mood and thought to share it again – whilst in a mood to create something – again. [lol] It is that time of year again – when people want to drink as they have a reason to drink again…so, don’t go beyond your limit, especially when you have to drive! Enjoy the music whilst on holiday taking a bath-with-a-view in the Kruger National Park [see image from Yahoo]


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Alexandra Kosteniuk: The current Woman’s World Chess Champion – see her blog-link on my blog’s sidebar.

 

A nurse playing chess with a patient – WWI

Women at Chess in London
London, June 24 – The fourth round of the International Women’s Chess Tournament, played in this city this evening, was finished with the following results:
Stevenson beat Thomas in a Giuoco Piano after twenty-nine moves. Gooding beat Muller-Hartung in a French defense after fifty-three moves. Bonnefin beat Hooke in a Ruy Lopez after forty-eight moves. Fagan beat Watson in a French defense after seventy-four moves. Finn beat Forbes-Sharpe in a two-knight defense after forty-three moves. Rudge beat Field in a Giuoco Piano after twenty-nine moves. Fox beat De La Vigne in an irregular opening after thirty-one moves.
Appended are the scores up to date: 1897


*Games left unfinished
The New York Times
Published June 25, 1897
Click
HERE to read the news article in PDF-format. Links will open in a new window.

Giuoco Piano - Chess Opening

Giuoco Piano – Chess Opening – image: Wikipedia

I’m not familiar with this name as a chess opening, I’ve heard/read about many chess openings, but this one was new to me.

The Giuoco Piano is a chess opening characterized by the moves

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Bc5
Instead of 3. … Bc5 it is possible for Black to play 3… Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 ( Two knights defence ) or 3. … Ne7 4.d4 d6 5. h3 Nf6 6.Nc3 0-0 7.0-0 exd4 ( Hungarian defence )

The Giuoco Piano (Italian: “quiet game”) is the oldest recorded opening. The Portuguese Damiano played it at the beginning of the 16th century and the Italian Greco played it at the beginning of the 17th century. The opening is also known as the Italian Game, although that term is sometimes used more generally to describe the position after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4. The Giuoco Piano was popular through the 19th century, but modern refinements in defensive play have led most chess masters towards openings like the Ruy Lopez that offer White greater chances for long term initiative.

White’s “Italian bishop” at c4 prevents Black from advancing in the center with …d5 and attacks the vulnerable f7 square. White plans to dominate the center with d2-d4 and to attack the Black king. Black aims to free his game by exchanging pieces and playing the pawn break …d5, or to hold his center pawn at e5.

Source: Wikipedia

Another champ…

MRS. HARRISON TRIUMPHS

February 27, 1938, Sunday

 Defeats Miss Lesley in Women’s Title Chess Tourney.  Mrs. Edna Harrison continued her winning streak in the preliminaries for the Hazel Allen championship trophy at the Marshall Chess Club yesterday, defeating Miss Dora Lesley in the seventh round. Mrs. Harrison now has scored 6 1/2 points.

Click here to view the source.

Mar 5, 1986 – Lyudmila Rudenko, the first women’s world chess champion, has died at age 81, the official Soviet news agency Tass reported Tuesday. The news agency said she died Sunday in Leningrad. A native of the Ukraine, she won the first world chess competition for women in 1950,

was a Soviet chess player and the second Women’s World Chess Champion from 1950 until 1953. Rudenko held the FIDE International Master and Woman International Master titles.

Born in Lubny in the Poltava region of Ukraine, in the Russian Empire, her father taught her to play chess at age 10 although at first she was more serious about swimming. After grammar school, she moved to Odessa and took a degree in economics. Rudenko became the Odessa swimming champion in the 400m breaststroke. Her professional career would be as an economic planner for the Soviet Union, and chess would remain a hobby.

She began playing tournament chess in 1925 after a move to Moscow. She then moved to Leningrad where she met and married scientist Lev Davidovich Goldstein; in 1931 they had a son. In Leningrad in 1929 she began training with chess master Peter Romanowski. She would not reach the peak of international women’s chess until she was about 40 years old.

Source: Wikipedia – Vera Menchik died during a German air raid in Kent.

Lasker and Women …

Among the women fond of chess of this country, mrs J W Showalter has long been considered the champion chess player. At present she is engaged in a little match with Lasker who has to concede to her the odds of a knight. Mrs Showalter has so far won two games, while her opponent has registered an equal number of wins.

Read the NYTimes-article dated 1890’s here.

On this Google-link you will find more links about the history of women in chess to follow up.

 
To explore some chess openings, click on this link from the site of chessgames. To enjoy your chess openings, I have three music files to share with you which you might want to listen while exploring some chess openings. Choose the music to open your chess dance floor and have a ball! The first song is a famous song – Zorba’s Dance. The second, a South African golden oldie – Helloh-A  and Strauss – The Skaters Waltz. I will of course choose the music of Strauss to open my chess dance floor. On rainy days like today, Amazon can be sure of making their money out of me when it comes to music!

Image:chess.com


Zorba’s Dance by Mikis Theodorakis
from the CD: Memories from Greece  – see the youtube-link for the dance.

I once tried to teach this dance to 10 year old kiddies for our class assembly – see this video….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkHfKjwPHXo

Sharon Tany and Billy Forest – Helloh-A


The Skaters Waltz – Mantovani and his orchestra.
If you prefer a different Waltz to open your chess ball, enjoy this link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJNcomorvjg

The Sicilian Defence: Eduard Gufeld – a book I found on Amazon about openings.


Click here to take a look inside  Modern Chess Openings or to order it from Amazon. The Giuoco Piano (“quiet game”) is even chapter 2 in this book!

Something to do on a rainy day!

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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
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