Thursday, September 30, 2010

veni... vidi... verba-verti...

Veni, Vidi, Verba Verti

9/30/2010 12:01:00 AM
Ut munimenta linguarum convellamus et scientiam mundi patentem utilemque faciamus, instrumenta convertendi multarum nationum linguas creavimus. Hodie nuntiamus primum instrumentum convertendi linguam qua nulli nativi nunc utuntur: Latinam. Cum pauci cotidie Latine loquantur, quotannis amplius centum milia discipuli Americani Domesticam Latinam Probationem suscipiunt. Praeterea plures ex omnibus mundi populis Latinae student.

Hoc instrumentum convertendi Latinam rare usurum ut convertat nuntios electronicos vel epigrammata effigierum YouTubis intellegamus. Multi autem vetusti libri de philosophiade physicis et de mathematica lingua Latina scripti sunt. Libri enim vero multi milia in Libris Googlis sunt qui praeclaros locos Latinos habent.

Convertere instrumentis computatoriis ex Latina difficile est et intellegamus grammatica nostra non sine culpa esse. Autem Latina singularis est quia plurimi libri lingua Latina iampridem scripti erant et pauci novi posthac erunt. Multi in alias linguas conversi sunt et his conversis utamur ut nostra instrumenta convertendi edoceamus. Cum hoc instrumentum facile convertat libros similes his ex quibus edidicit, nostra virtus convertendi libros celebratos (ut Commentarios de Bello Gallico Caesaris) iam bona est.

Proximo tempore locum Latinum invenies vel auxilio tibi opus eris cum litteris Latinis, conarehunc.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Opening of the new rooms devoted to Classical Greek and Hellenistic art | Louvre Museum

The museological approach

Housed in the southwest corner of the Cour Carrée (Sully wing), this ensemble comprises two galleries formerly part of the royal apartments and leading to the famous Caryatids Room, thus completing the chronological presentation of ancient Greek art.

The first gallery, to the north (Rooms 7–12) is part of the wing built for the Renaissance palace. This restructuring offers an authentic journey through the Greek world of the period from the Parthenon to the conquest of Greece by Rome. Each room brings together artifacts from a specific part of the Greek world in a range of materials and media, including vases, jewelry, sculpture and architecture. The visitor will discover art from Athens and central Greece, the Greek cities of southern Italy, Macedonia and northern Greece, Asia Minor and all of the Hellenistic Near East, and Greek Egypt and Cyrenaica (modern Libya). 

More recent and running parallel to the first, the second gallery, to the south (Rooms 13–16), was inaugurated in the early 19th century, with courtyards being transformed into the Musée des Antiques, whose contents included the Borghese Collection. Today's refurbishing presents Roman copies of vanished masterpieces of Classical Greek sculpture; it follows a thematic path dedicated to the gods and heroes of mythology and ending in the Venus de Milo room, with the famous statue returning to the place it occupied from 1824 to 1848. In the newly rediscovered niches of the original building the history of the statue's finding is shown, together with images of Aphrodite from the Hellenistic period.

The itinerary then continues through the remodeled Caryatids Room, where the replicas of Hellenistic Greek sculpture are on display. Highlighting some of the oldest rooms in the museum, this new project improves public access to works sometimes overshadowed by the fame of the Venus de Milo, while at the same time making the latter easier to find.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

South Cornwall: the perfect break UK

A trip to the Roseland Peninsula in many ways represents a journey back to what Cornwall was like before camper van-toting surfers, inebriated teenagers and DFL (Down From London) families invaded the county. From bustling St Mawes to sleepy Portloe, this corner of south Cornwall is characterised by castle ruins, lush gardens, fishing villages, thatched cottages, coastal walks and wild beaches, and favoured by one of the mildest climates in Britain.


London in a new light

Taxis on Bishop's Bridge Road, queuing for Paddington Station


A picturesque time at the Impressionist Normandy Festival

 In the footsteps and on the canvases of Monet, Pissarro and provincial artists, past and present intertwine.


By Mike Ives Special to the Los Angeles Times

Last spring in the Paris Metro, I paused to admire a colorful advertisement for the Impressionist Normandy Festival, a celebration of the region's role in the Impressionist painting movement.

My brother Davey, an art history major at Connecticut College, was contemplating an ad for detergent. "Hey, bro!" I called. "Check this out."

Whenever I see Impressionist paintings at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the airy brushstrokes transport me to the late 19th century French villages. So I was intrigued to learn that until late September, the festival will celebrate Impressionist painters and their favorite muses: the Seine Valley, the medieval city of Rouen and seaside towns along France's northern coastline.

Impressionist Normandy presents linked museum exhibitions, concerts, outdoor balls and thematic "Impressionist Itineraries," or self-guided walking-driving tours. Over three days in June, I followed two of the itineraries highlighting two themes: "Gardens" and "The Moment."

Some of the gardens are in Giverny, a touristy town about 50 miles west of Paris and a former hotbed of Impressionist activity. Claude Monet lived in Giverny from 1883 until his death in 1926. After touring his house, Davey and I wandered through his backyard, where Monet composed some of his most iconic paintings. Walking among the artist's bamboo trees and azalea bushes, we followed a babbling brook until we reached his famous waterlily pond.

I had seen Monet's waterlily canvases at the Met in New York and the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, so his pond seemed vaguely familiar, like a place you remember from childhood. The scene probably didn't look too much different, I realized, than it had in the 1880s. I marveled at how the painter's hand had magically evoked all those subtle ripples and reflections —

Splash! Plunk!

"A fish!" a little boy observed. "Did anyone see?"

Our next .....

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New Orleans' French Quarter: A novel place, still

New Orleans' French Quarter: A novel place, still

Literary New Orleans

William Faulkner's home during the 1920s is now a bookshop. (Jay Jones)

Reporting from New Orleans —

Despite its name, Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" isn't a play so much about a geographic destination — Desire Street — as a place in the heart. In the Crescent City, both perspiration and sensuality still ooze from the pores, despite the scars from 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

The curious mix is as palpable for today's visitors as it was for the various famous writers who once lived and worked in the Vieux Carré. The character — and characters — who inspired literary greats such as Williams and William Faulkner remain, as do the houses in which the men toiled amid the city's sounds, smells and — of course — oppressive heat.

The charming, now-famous neighborhood would be unrecognizable to its earlier residents. Before a pricey transformation into a tourist district after World War II, the French Quarter was an urban slum not much different from other poor areas of New Orleans.

"This was a dump. The whole French Quarter was a dump," notes Joanne Sealy, the literary expert who runs the appropriately named Faulkner House Books, a tiny shop on the ground floor of the narrow house in which the author lived during the 1920s.

Places to visit

Faulkner House Books: 624 Pirates Alley, between Royal and Chartres streets in the French Quarter; (504) 524-2940,

Williams' apartment: 632 St. Peter St. A plaque marks the home in which Tennessee Williams wrote "A Streetcar Named Desire" in 1946.

The French Quarter: best savored on foot. Besides walking tours, horse-drawn carriage rides also provide informative journeys through the narrow streets.

The St. Charles streetcar: a good way for visitors to rest their weary feet while enjoying a trip from Canal Street to Uptown, past stately homes and Loyola and Tulane universities.

New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau: (800) 672-6124,

"It was a small boarding house, four stories, a rabbit's warren," Sealy adds.

In a letter to his mother, Faulkner wrote, "I have a whole floor. Two rooms, a court [yard], and a kitchen." The shared bathroom was — and still is — up a steep flight of stairs.

"This really was the place to be in the '20s if you couldn't go to Paris," Sealy says of the French Quarter. "Prohibition didn't mean boo."

From the front of his flat in Orleans Alley — city fathers renamed it Pirates Alley in the '40s to add what Sealy calls "pizazz" — Faulkner could look out onto what remains the city's most famous landmark: the towering St. Louis Cathedral. Jackson Square was only steps away. The park remains the bohemian gathering spot it was in Faulkner's day, although the surrounding streets now are home to trendy boutiques and restaurants instead of bleak warehouses.

Sure, visitors can buy the latest bestseller at the bookshop. But it's better known as a repository for exhaustive collections of the works of Faulkner and Williams, who during the 1940s lived just one block away on St. Peter Street. Some of their first editions are under lock and key in an adjoining hallway.

"The only [Faulkner] first edition I don't currently have is 'Absalom, Absalom!'" Sealy tells a potential customer over the phone. "That runs about $3,500."

The well-read bookseller says Faulkner's works often convey an indomitable human spirit — not unlike that of the people who have rebuilt in the wake of the hurricane and the events that followed.

"He points out the mistakes we've made," she observes. "His characters face unimaginable trials and tribulations but keep getting up again."

If Faulkner's novels are analogous to man's basic goodness, Williams' plays reflect a grittier reality. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning "Streetcar," a modern tragedy unfolds through the often-bleak existences of Stanley, his wife, Stella, and her older sister, the libidinous and, alas, mentally ill Blanche.

"What you are talking about is brutal desire — just — Desire! — the name of that rattle-trap street-car that bangs through the Quarter," Blanche DuBois intones in "Streetcar."

Three lines still clatter through New Orleans, but the streetcars no longer run to Desire Street, with its gaily painted small homes. Desire Street is in the 9th Ward, but it escaped the worst of Katrina's fury. Nonetheless, at the height of a muggy and oh-so-real modern tragedy, muddy floodwaters rose over the sidewalks at some intersections, obscuring the aging ceramic tiles that spell D-E-S-I-R-E. And like a character in a Faulkner novel, this city keeps getting back up again.



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Canada's Maritime Provinces and Coastal Maine

During the autumn months, the sylvan hills and bucolic towns of Canada’s Maritime Provinces and coastal Maine are ablaze with orange, crimson, and yellow. Join us as the weather cools and the summer crowds fade for a cruising adventure to the historic communities of Eastern Canada and Maine. Stop at long-settled communities of the Maritimes, villages that still bear witness to the empires that shaped Canada, like historic Louisbourg, Nova Scotia and the old seaport of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Then cruise Maine's scenic coast to the the picturesque town of Bar Harbour for an unforgetable excusion to Acadia National Park. Spend your final day in Portland, exploring the cities lively arts district before heading to Gloucester, Massachusetts

Friday, September 17, 2010

Quebec, French and English and uniquely itself, Canada

Quebec really is its own unique culture, neither French nor Anglo Canadian, and certainly not American. No place I visited in the city so perfectly encapsulated the melange of cultures as the Cochon Dingue in the Lower Town portion of Old Quebec. Inside the atmospheric cafe (the name translates as "Crazy Pig") you could almost think you're in Paris. Coffee: strong and aromatic. Croissants: properly light and flaky. Newspaper-reading patrons: appropriate air of studied nonchalance. But one bite of the delicious, buttery toasted pain aux canneberges (cranberry bread), and you know you're not anywhere near the Eiffel Tower. Cranberries just aren't a French thing; they're a North American crop.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tours of a Lifetime

We’re traveling again. Tour operators are reporting big spikes in inquiries and bookings. But an uncertain economy, ongoing wars, and the fragile health of the planet have, perhaps permanently, reordered priorities. Travelers now seek more perspective, meaning, and challenge. They want to see the unvarnished reality of a place, not just the fantasy. Outfitters have responded by dialing down the luxury and refocusing on core offerings. Their itineraries are more innovative and experiential—aimed at developing lasting connections between people. Here are 50 of the world's best guided tours for 2010, as chosen by the editors of National Geographic Traveler magazine.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

See the Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights

The sight of the lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky will be etched in the memory of all those who are lucky enough to witness it.
The phenomenon of the Northern Lights has fascinated the Sámi people for centuries and there are more than 20 folk tales that attempt to explain their existence. In many parts of Lapland the Northern lights are known as the Firefox. Legend has it that the tail of a running fox brushing against the powder snow causes the sparks in the sky. It is also said that the Arctic Sea contains so many fish that the sun's light is reflected off their scales and creates the patterns in the sky.
Today's science means that we now know that the Aurora Borealis displays we see are caused by electrically charged particles in space hitting the earth's atmosphere. When they collide with oxygen and nitrogen particles they emit excess energy as light.
Although the Aurora Borealis can be seen from northerly parts of the United Kingdom the occurrences are rare and the intensity of the displays tend to be low. The further north you travel the better your chances of viewing the lights so all the destinations in this brochure provide great opportunities to see the Northern lights.
The optimum time to see the Northern lights is between 9pm and 1am in the morning. Be careful not to go to bed too soon or you may miss out. The intensity of the displays can vary and may start with a small stationary glow or arch in the night sky before building into a spectacular show.
The Aurora Borealis is a purely natural phenomenon and therefore cannot be guaranteed whichever destination you choose. However, the further north you travel and the further away from man-made light you are, the better your chance to see the Northern lights. Many of our destinations offer night time and overnight safaris that will give you the perfect opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis as we take you deep into the darkness (and our guides know all the best view points!).
Lying on a reindeer skin in deep snow, watching the sky shimmer and drinking hot berry juice is an excellent way to spend part of your holiday! Whatever you believe about the Aurora Borealis there is no more spectacular experience on Earth than sitting in a winter wonderland watching the lights dancing across the sky. It is truly magical! Choose from our Lapland trips below and see the Northern lights with Activities Abroad.
dedicated to my friend @Vlavo

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Notre Dame de Paris - France

Notre Dame de Paris (French for Our Lady of Paris), also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a Gothic, Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra (official chair), of the Archbishop of Paris, currently André Vingt-Trois. Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and in Europe. It was restored and saved from destruction by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. The name Notre Dame means "Our Lady" in French, and is frequently used in the names of Catholic church buildings in Francophone countries. Notre Dame de Paris was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, unlike that of earlier Romanesque architecture.
Notre Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern.
The cathedral suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1790s, when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. During the 19th century, an extensive restoration project was completed, returning the cathedral to its previous state.
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