Double Dad

December 27th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

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The Nazarene Movement

December 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

“Italia und Germania” (1828) Johann Friedrich Overbeck

The Nazarene Movement is the name commonly given to a group of 19th century German Romantic painters. This group consisted of the artists Johan Friedrich Overbeck, Franz Pforr and Johan David Passavant, amongst others. Forming an artistic cooperative in Vienna, in 1810 the group moved to Italy, where they occupied an abandoned monastery, San Isidoro in Rome. The group was also known as The Brotherhood of St. Luke and The Duereristen – dissatisfied with the teaching at the Academy in Vienna, overseen by Friedrich Heinrich Fueger ( a pupil of Anton Rapheal Mengs (1728-1779), described in 1780 as “the most notable painter of his century and of comparable stature and importance to Raphael and Apelles in the total history of art”) these artists (as well as Ludwig Vogel, Johann Konrad Hottinger, Joseph Wintergerst and Joseph Sutter) began to get together privately, away from the Academy, to critique each others work, and stood united in their opposition to the Academy and a desire to create a Christian art of honesty and spirituality, with Fra Angelico as their ideal. In line with this religious drive, the group took to wearing monk-like cloaks, growing long flowing hair (presumably ‘like Jesus would have’?) and living in single cell’s within the monastery, eating together at night, and reading and drawing in the refectory. They gave themselves the name The Brotherhood of St. Luke (Patron saint of painters), but later changed it to The Duereristen – the tag “Nazarene’s” was given to them by others, in a disparaging  manner by their detractors. Overbeck thought “the artist must transport us through Nature to a higher idealised world” and members of the group went on to complete commissions for King Friedrich Wilhelm IV and King Ludwig I.

According to Wikipedia “The artistic achievement of the Nazarenes is difficult to evaluate; their finished paintings appear less impressive with the perspective of history than they did to their contemporaries. Awkward composition, weak colouring and derivative themes detract from the challenge of their work in its time. However, the programme of the Nazarenes—the adoption of honest expression in art and the inspiration of artists before Raphael—was to exert considerable influence in Germany, and in England upon the Pre-Raphaelite movement. In their abandonment of the academy and their rejection of much official and salon art, the Nazarenes can be seen as partaking in the same anti-scholastic impulse that would lead to the avant-garde in the later nineteenth century.”

“Self-portrait with Family” (1820) Johann Friedrich Overbeck

“Portrait of Franz Pforr” (1810) Johann Friedrich Overbeck

Peter von Cornelius

“The Wise & Foolish Virgins”(1813) Peter von Cornelius

“Mignon” (1828) Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow

“The Road to Emmaus Appearnance” (1837) Joseph von Führich

“Portrait of Klara Bianka von Quandt” (1820) Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

“The Wedding at Cana” (1820) Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

“Germania” (1848) Philipp Veit

“Self-portrait” (1779) Anton Raphael Mengs

Loot – Libyan Antiquities

December 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

At the end of November, officials of the new Libyan National Transitional Council announced they had recovered a number of archaeological artefacts ‘stolen’ by troops loyal to Colonel (do we drop that bit now?) Gaddafi. Apparently, they were on their way to the airport, to go somewhere to sell them, and ‘help fund their campaign to hold power’. Although, in this article from the Tripoli Post Saleh Algabe, Director of the State Antiquities Department, says several times that they do not know how much the artefacts are worth. Earlier in the year, ancient coins, jewellery and statuettes were stolen from a bank vault in Benghazi. It seems that looting hasn’t reached the levels of that in Iraq, with Algabe saying Libyan people themselves had taken it upon themselves to protect their heritage. Algabe also added that although they dated to the Roman era, they exhibited clear signs of local influence. “This confirms the role of Libyans in civilization,” he said.

Libya has a number of Roman archaeological sites, and indeed there was a Libyan-born Roman Emperor, the 21st, Septimius Severus. And in ancient Greek times, there was the colony of Cyrene. The British Museum has a few artefacts from Cyrene, including the Panathenaic prize amphora below.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) recently released figures relating to the cost of British military involvement in the recent Libyan conflict/war/intervention/revolution. Between March and September, £240,000,000 was spent, split between operational costs (£110,000,000) and the cost of replacing munitions (£130,000,000). There were approximately 2,400 sorties, with over 500 targets hit. The cost of an hour’s sortie for aircraft ranges from £25,000 p/h for a Sentinel, to £70,000 p/h for a Typhoon. One tomahawk missile costs between £870,000 and £1,100,000. The cost of running HMS Triumph per day is £200,000. (all figures from the BBC – see here)

The good news for those interested in reducing the UK’s deficit is that the operation cost £20,000,000 less than the government estimated in June.

Septimus Serverus

Leptis Magna Arch of Septimus Severus

RAF Sentinel

RAF Typhoon


HMS Triumph

Dire Straits – “Brothers in Arms”

December 9th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms Original by chaddi

A great Miami Vice episode starring Bruce “D-Day” McGill from Animal House, and the song plays while Crockett and Tubbs discover an Edgar Allen Poe inspired ending.
– Dan, Towson, MD

This is a classic. I am big fan of Dire Straits. Listen to “Six blade knife” by the same group and you will appreciate the guitar mastery of Mark Knopfler.
– hasani, london, United Kingdom

I agree with Phillip, this song looks very much like Bird of Paradise!
– Miglena, San Jose, CA

The lyrics dont match The Falklands, rather: On the second side of the album, three songs (“Ride Across the River”, “The Man’s too Strong” and “Brothers in Arms”) are lyrically focused on the guerrilla wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua of the 1980s. The title of the album was inspired by a conversation in which Knopfler’s father remarked, “We shouldn’t be at war with our brothers in arms.”

“Ride Across the River” is built on an off-beat rhythm. The song uses immersive Latin American rain forest imagery, accompanied by pan flute and eerie background noises, to allude to the elements of guerilla warfare.
– Craig, Perth, Australia

I like to think the final scene as a sunrise rather than a sunset.
– PossibleParenthesis, London, United Kingdom

I don’t know if he (Knopfler)meant them to or not but I always felt that three of the last 4 songs on the album (Brothers in Arms) went together in a story arc. Ride across the river is about a man who becomes involved in a guerilla war on the side of a warlord “the man” At some point our narrator betrays this leader and during the song The mans too strong he is on trial for this action and awaiting his death sentence. Brothers in Arms completes this arc as our narrator is dying and looking back on everything that led him to this point.
– Robert, Reynoldsburg, OHN

this song is an ENGLISH song sung by an ENGLISH band. i am proud of this status and this song has a lot of meaning to me. england fight for what is right and that willnever change
– ted, surrey, United Kingdom

I have this one on Super Audio CD, and it REALLY comes alive on a 5.1 sound system.
Knopfler’s nearly whispered vocals set the mood perfectly.
Great lyrics, that work for whatever conflict du jour is going on, not just the Falklands.
Then, he executes that gentle, mournful, wailing guitar.
Absolutely spellbinding piece of understatement.
Oh, and the thunder at the beginning blasts out of the rear speakers on the SACD, too.
– oldpink, New Castle, IN

As someone from the United States, i do not feel much of the emotional attachments to this song, but i do sense a very relaxing mood in this song, and such a true voice from Mark.
– Anthony, North Cape May, NJ

Well, i?m an argentinian. I know this song is about war in general, and especific about the war over MALVINAS or FALKLANDS. My contry in that moment was under a dictator, we went into a war with a country that also was under a dictator “maggie”. This was one of the most stupid war of all time. Divided to nations, ment to be brothers. I think that mark song is great peace of art, not olly a good song, it?s the true, and when art tells you the true, there?s nothing more realistic than that.
I know most of argentinians now hates english people for that war! i also know that the war at the time was not approved by british people. of course we can discuss about who has the right over the land, but it doesnt have to be that way.
They were brothers fighting against brothers.
I cry every time i hear the song, its more than just a song, its important that we are able to have these art manifestations, these social manifestations, in order not to forget the mistakes of the past!
listen to this song, think about the war out there, happening at this very moment, cry with me brother, not a paralizeing cry, but the one that makes you stand up and claim for the end of the war between brothers!!
– fredy, neuquen, Argentina

The song was written during the Falklands war, which caused huge rifts amongst the Brits. After the “victory”, the returning soldiers were almost hidden & ignored by the Govt., instead of being welcomed as returning heroes. The Falklands are small, cold, rocky, misty & mountainous islands off Argentina. Song was inspired by Knopfler’s father remarking “We shouldn’t be making war on our brothers in arms.”
– Ali, Melbourne, Australia

To me the song is also about [senselesness] of fighting in a war. About my father who was a professional soldier. About Balkan war. About my [real!] brothers and me when our father had died. About being not alone; being “here” with everyone!!! [and it is -of course- a great piece of music] Tears often …
– Ben Dirks, Nijmegen, –

This song is covered beautifully by Croatian group “Zlatni Dukati” and translated in Croatian as “U oruzju brat”. Great to hear this song played in “Tamburica” style, big “mandolin” tapestry on which song is layed. Lyrics are translated almost literally; at the end though there is a “slight” twist that I really do not like, but I found that out way AFTER I started to love this version. So now I listen to it with mixed feelings sometimes [sometimes I just enjoy]
– Ben Dirks, Nijmegen, –

Not that it actually matters, but my understanding is that this song specifically refers to the Yom Kippur War. Knopfler is Jewish, although of Hungarian descent, and this song seems to speak to the hopelessness of war, and the struggle of Israel to find peace. The irony of the song asking the question, “Why do we make war with those we identify with the most, our Brothers in Arms?”
– Matt, Boston, MA

This song was featured in an episode of the West Wing titled “Two Cathedrals”. Probably one of the greatest hours of television ever filmed.
-Danny, Miami, Fl.

brilliant song no matter what war its based on chris uk
– christopher, stoke on trent, United Kingdom

The Live version “On The Night” CD is the best !!! Please take a look, you will cry…
– Cristian, Santiago, Chile

Possibly the most peaceful and relaxing song ever.
– Victor, Vienna, VA

I dunno, Victor — if you completely ignore the lyrics, perhaps it could be argued that the music could be considered peaceful… but combine the music with the lyrics and I can’t imagine anyone’s considering the song to be other than heart-rending and chilling. I’ve never seen the video, but based on the descriptions I’ve read here today I’d say that Dire Straits did not intend this to be peaceful or relaxing, but thought-provoking and disturbing (as exquisitely beautiful as it is).
– J, Wynnewood, PA

the interpretation of this song differs greatly from one person to another. This is what i see in this:

first we need to consider two possible meaning for “brothers in arms” – 1)guys wearing weapons(soldier, my soldier brother)
2)and normally unseen, a true brother. one who has been taken to our arms (here meaning hands)

so in the first stanza, “brothers in arms” is used with the second meaning.
The soldier is in mountains. its high. but its mist covered. (shows the disability to ‘see’). But his heart craves for the lowlands and valleys, where everything is simple and clear. Thats his home, where he truly belongs. He dont want to be in the heights. Some day he will return to his true home, and he will not have to burn the ‘to be brothers in arms’, will not have to kill the ones, who will be his brothers one day.

The second stanza is about soldier brothers. who fought together with him, for someone else’s war
He describes the scary face of war. and remembers with grattitude that, you, my soldier brother, you did not left me alone though it was all death and destruction around. you were always with me.

third stanza says about the meaninglessness of all these barriers -cultural/geographic/political. Thought the world is one we live in entirely different worlds for each other. Here an interesting usage is for the sun. Sun is something through which we usually understand the world around us. It depicts people who shows and shapes the real world to the distorted one. The world with so many barriers which is fed to our mind.

The last stanza is where the magic comes. Its a tragic ending. “NOw the suns gone to hell” (the hatred of the soldier about the distorted view of the world – “let it go to hell”) and moon riding high. But sadly, soldier has to leave now as every man has to die.
“Every man” – not every one 🙂 men fight war, some one else’s war. and they have to die (decided by someone else, normally)
and in startlight (there is no sun to show you the world now, you are free to see the world in your own perspective) and every line in your palm (we fight war with hands, we kill with hands. but we were too busy killing that we didnt notice its written inside it) that we are fools to make war on our brothers in arms (again the second brother. human brother)

sun -person/ideologies/beliefs which draw barriers in the actual world
moon, starlight – absence of every stupid things like those, a pure mind

perhaps the most meaningful lyrics written in an english song. an evertime classic. the best music.

and @kenny, dublin, Ireland
no wonder my brother. This song so touching.
you are very lucky if u still can cry. Lot of people cant
– anotherguy, MOJAVE, China

Great song and guitar solo…
– Mateusz, Adamin, Poland

this is a very moving song. An all time classic.
– Rick, London, England

i cry everytime i hear this song it just reminds me of my own brother its just great no words to describe it
– kenny, dublin, Ireland

Beautiful, very emotional song. I first thought it was two about brothers who had been in brawl with each other all their lives, but finally make peace because they feel that ‘they’re fools to make war’. Nice interpretation of the lyrics of course, but when I saw the video I realized it was a reference to war.
Still, I think my interpretation is more tearjerking. :p
– T. Michels, Venlo, Netherlands

Featured in the Miami Vice episode “Out Where the Buses Don’t Run”. Great episode, one of the best of the series.
– Pete, Saint Paul, MN

I love this song even though it’s pretty quiet.
– Joe, Vancouver, Canada

Great, great song. Mark Knopfler is one of my favourite guitarists. Up there with Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. The film clip for this song is amazing too, I love the bid where it kinda ‘flies’ up to him playing on the cliff and the skulls in the waves. Amazing song by an amazing band.
– Dev01d, Wollongong, Australia

The Solo at the end is very atmospheric, one of the most underated solo? of all time great one.
– Joakim, Gothenburg, MD

This song, which includes on of my all-time favorite guitar licks (right after the “And we have just one world but we live in different ones” line), is also centrally featured on a great Due South episode, “I Coulda Been a Defendant”:
If you like this song, and know someone like me who has the Due South disease (buys all the available DVD’s) you should really check this episode out.
– geoff, san Francisco, CA

The video was a tour de force in animation production. It consists of scratchy pencil line-drawings, and rotoscoped images of the band. Images of war and death permeate the video, with waves of foam becoming skulls, trenchcoated doughboys rising from the trenches to go over the top into battle, and disembodied hands breaking the shackles of oppression. Incredible.
– Robert, Puyallup, WA

Thanks Daryl. Now for my follow up question – which is the better song? I like Bird of Paradise at least twice as much as Brothers in Arms 🙂
– Phillip, Sydney, Australia

I second that Phillip. It certainly has some similarities. Well spotted.
– Daryl, Stoke, England

This song sounds a little like “Bird Of Paradise” by Snowy White that came out a few years earlier in 1983. Anyone else make that comparison?
– Phillip, Sydney, Australia

First featured in “Miami Vice” in an episode about a guy Crockett knew who went nuts.
– Brian, Shaker Heights, OH

this is the best song of all time,just listen and enjoy!!
– n.b, gloucestershire, England

Possibly the most peaceful and relaxing song ever.
– Victor, Vienna, VA

The song was also featured in an episode of The West Wing.
– Sandra, Tel Aviv, Israel

Sexy Model in Randan Discotheque T-shirt Controversy

December 9th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

We donated some t-shirts to an appeal from the Pop Cop, which will be donated to refugees and asylum seekers, and an attractive lady was forced into posing with a disco ball as well as our tshirt…

Wikipedia Random Articles Essay 2 – From ‘Scytale’ to ‘Sempronius, New York’

December 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


In cryptography, a scytale (/ˈskɪtəliː/, rhymes approximately with Italy; also transliterated skytale, Greek σκυτάλη “baton”) is a tool used to perform a transposition cipher, consisting of a cylinder with a strip of parchment wound around it on which is written a message. The ancient Greeks, and the Spartans in particular, are said to have used this cipher to communicate during military campaigns.

The recipient uses a rod of the same diameter on which he wraps the parchment to read the message. It has the advantage of being fast and not prone to mistakes—a necessary property when on the battlefield. It can, however, be easily broken. Since the strip of parchment hints strongly at the method, the ciphertext would have to be transferred to something less suggestive, somewhat reducing the advantage noted.


Sparta (Doric Σπάρτα; Attic Σπάρτη Spartē) or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c. 650 BC it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece.

Given its military pre-eminence, Sparta was recognized as the overall leader of the combined Greek forces during the Greco-Persian Wars. Between 431 and 404 BC, Sparta was the principal enemy of Athens during the Peloponnesian War, from which it emerged victorious, though at great cost. Sparta’s defeat by Thebes in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC ended Sparta’s prominent role in Greece. However, it maintained its political independence until the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC.

Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and constitution, which completely focused on military training and excellence. Its inhabitants were classified as Spartiates (Spartan citizens, who enjoyed full rights), Mothakes (non-Spartan free men raised as Spartans), Perioikoi (freedmen), and Helots (state-owned serfs, enslaved non-Spartan local population). Spartiates underwent the rigorous agoge training and education regimen, and Spartan phalanxes were widely considered to be among the best in battle. Spartan women enjoyed considerably more rights and equality to men than elsewhere in the classical world.

Sparta was the subject of fascination in its own day, as well as in the West following the revival of classical learning. Sparta continues to fascinate Western Culture; an admiration of Sparta is called laconophilia.

Lacedaemon is now the name of a province in the modern Greek prefecture of Laconia.


The provinces of Greece (Greek: επαρχία, “eparchy”) were sub-divisions of some the country’s prefectures. From 1887, the provinces were abolished as actual administrative units, but were retained for some state services, especially finance services and education, as well as for electoral purposes. Before the Second World War, there were 139 provinces, and after the war, with the addition of the Dodecanese Islands, their number grew to 147. According to the Article 7 of the Code of Prefectural Self-Government (Presidential Decree 30/1996), the provinces constituted a “particular administrative district” within the wider “administrative district” of the prefectures. The provinces were finally abolished after the 2006 local elections, in line with Law 2539/1997, as part of the wide-ranging administrative reform known as the “Kapodistrias Project”, and replaced by enlarged municipalities (demoi).


Count Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias (Greek: Κόμης Ιωάννης Αντώνιος Καποδίστριας Komis Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias; other English transliterations include John Capodistrias, Johannes Capodistrias and Joannes Capodistria; February 11, 1776 – October 9, 1831) was a Greek diplomat of the Russian Empire and later the first head of state of independent Greece.

Kapodistrias’ mother was Adamantine Gonemis (Αδαμαντία (Διαμαντίνα) Γονέμη), daughter of the noble Christodoulos Gonemis (Χριστόδουλος Γονέμης). The Gonemis were a Greek family originally from the island of Cyprus, they had migrated to Crete when Cyprus fell to the Ottomans in the 16th century. They then migrated to Epirus when Crete fell in the 17th century, finally settling on the Ionian island of Corfu. The Gonemis’ had been listed in the Libro d’Oro Golden Book since 1606. In 1802 Ioannis Kapodistrias founded an important scientific and social progress organisation in Corfu, the “National Medical Association”, of which he was an energetic member. In 1799, when Corfu was briefly occupied by the forces of Russia and Turkey, Kapodistrias was appointed chief medical director of the military hospital.

After two years of revolutionary freedom, triggered by the French Revolution and the ascendancy of Napoleon, in 1799 Russia and the Ottoman Empire drove the French out of the seven Ionian islands and organised them as a free and independent state – the Septinsular Republic – ruled by its nobles. Kapodistrias, substituting for his father, became one of two ministers of the new state. Thus, at the age of 25, Kapodistrias became involved in politics. In Cephallonia he was successful in convincing the populace to remain united and disciplined to avoid foreign intervention and, by his argument and sheer courage, he faced and appeased rebellious opposition without conflict. With the same peaceful determination he established authority in all the seven islands.


The French Revolution (French: Révolution française; 1789–1799), was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France that had a major impact on France and indeed all of Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years. French society underwent an epic transformation as feudal, aristocratic and religious privileges evaporated under a sustained assault from radical left-wing political groups, masses on the streets, and peasants in the countryside. Old ideas about tradition and hierarchy – of monarchy, aristocracy and religious authority – were abruptly overthrown by new Enlightenment principles of equality, citizenship and inalienable rights.

The French Revolution began in 1789 with the convocation of the Estates-General in May. The first year of the Revolution saw members of the Third Estate proclaiming the Tennis Court Oath in June, the assault on the Bastille in July, the passage of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in August, and an epic march on Versailles that forced the royal court back to Paris in October. The next few years were dominated by tensions between various liberal assemblies and a right-wing monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.

A republic was proclaimed in September 1792 and King Louis XVI was executed the next year. External threats also played a dominant role in the development of the Revolution. The French Revolutionary Wars started in 1792 and ultimately featured spectacular French victories that facilitated the conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries and most territories west of the Rhine – achievements that had defied previous French governments for centuries.

Internally, popular sentiments radicalized the Revolution significantly, culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins and virtual dictatorship by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror from 1793 until 1794 during which between 16,000 and 40,000 people were killed. After the fall of the Jacobins and the execution of Robespierre, the Directory assumed control of the French state in 1795 and held power until 1799, when it was replaced by the Consulate under Napoleon Bonaparte.

After the Napoleonic Wars and ensuing rise and fall of Napoleon’s First French Empire, a restoration of absolutist monarchy was followed by two further successful smaller revolutions (1830 and 1848). This meant the 19th century and process of modern France taking shape saw France again successively governed by a similar cycle of constitutional monarchy (1830-48), fragile republic (Second Republic) (1848-1852), and empire (Second Empire) (1852-1870). The modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. The growth of republics and liberal democracies, the spread of secularism, the development of modern ideologies and the invention of total war all mark their birth during the Revolution.

Symbolism in the French Revolution – Liberty Cap

The Liberty cap, also known as the Phrygian cap, or pileus, is a brimless, felt cap that is conical in shape with the tip pulled forward. The cap was originally worn by ancient Romans and Greeks. The cap implies ennobling effects, as seen in its association with Homer’s Ulysses and the mythical twins, Castor and Pollux. The emblem’s popularity during the French Revolution is due in part to its importance in ancient Rome: its use alludes to the Roman ritual of manumission of slaves, in which a freed slave receives the bonnet as a symbol of his newfound liberty. The Roman tribune Lucius Appuleius Saturninus incited the slaves to insurrection by displaying a pileus as if it were a standard. The pileus cap is often red in color. This type of cap was worn by revolutionaries at the fall of the Bastille. According to the Revolutions de Paris, it became “the symbol of the liberation from all servitudes, the sign for unification of all the enemies of despotism.” The pileus competed with the Phrygian cap, a similar cap that covered the ears and the nape of the neck, for popularity. The Phrygian cap eventually supplanted the pileus and usurped its symbolism, becoming synonymous with republican liberty.


The Phrygian cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with the inhabitants of Phrygia, a region of central Anatolia. In the western provinces of the Roman Empire it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty, perhaps through a confusion with the pileus, the felt cap of manumitted (emancipated) slaves of ancient Rome. Accordingly, the Phrygian cap is sometimes called a liberty cap; in artistic representations it signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty.

The Phrygian cap has been used to symbolize liberty in numerous countries of the Americas. For example, starting in 1793 United States of America coinage frequently showed liberty wearing the cap or, on many 19th Century pieces, holding it on a Liberty Pole. The cap’s last appearance on circulating coinage was the Walking Liberty Half Dollar, which was minted through 1947 (and reused on the current bullion American Silver Eagle). The U.S. Army has, since 1778, utilized a “War Office Seal” in which the motto “This We’ll Defend” is displayed directly over a Phrygian cap on an upturned sword. It also appears on the state flags of West Virginia (as part of its official seal), New Jersey, and New York, as well as the official seal of the United States Senate, the state of Iowa, the state of North Carolina (as well as the arms of its Senate,) and on the reverse side of the Seal of Virginia.

In 1854, when sculptor Thomas Crawford was preparing models for sculpture for the United States Capitol, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis (later to be the President of the Confederate States of America) insisted that a Phrygian cap not be included on a statue of Freedom on the grounds that, “American liberty is original and not the liberty of the freed slave“. The cap was not included in the final bronze version that is now in the building.


The Walking Liberty half dollar was a silver 50-cent piece or half dollar coin issued by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1947; it was designed by Adolph A. Weinman.

In 1915, the new Mint Director, Robert W. Woolley, came to believe that the act granting him the authority to replace coin designs that had been in use for 25 years also required their replacement after that period. He therefore began the process of replacing the Barber coinage: dimes, quarters and half dollars, all bearing similar designs by long-time Mint Engraver Charles E. Barber, and first struck in 1892. Woolley had the Commission of Fine Arts conduct a competition, as a result of which Weinman was selected to design the half dollar.

Weinman’s design of a Liberty striding towards the Sun proved difficult to perfect, and Treasury Secretary William G. McAdoo, whose department included the Mint, considered having Barber create his own design. Mint officials were successful in getting Weinman’s design into production, although it never struck very well, which may have been a factor in its replacement by the Franklin half dollar beginning in 1948. Nevertheless, art historian Cornelius Vermeule considered the piece to be among the most beautiful US coins. Since 1986, Weinman’s obverse design has been used for the American Silver Eagle.


William Gibbs McAdoo, Jr. (October 31, 1863 – February 1, 1941) was an American lawyer and political leader who served as a U.S. Senator, United States Secretary of the Treasury and director of the United States Railroad Administration (USRA). By virtue of his position as Secretary of the Treasury, in August 1914, he served as an “ex-officio member” on the first Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC.

He was admitted to the bar in Tennessee in 1885 and set up a practice in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In the early 1890s, he lost most of his money trying to electrify the Knoxville Street Railroad system. In 1892 he moved to New York City, where he met Francis R. Pemberton, son of the Confederate General John C. Pemberton. They formed a firm, Pemberton and McAdoo, to sell investment securities.


New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. The home of the United Nations Headquarters, New York is an important center for international affairs and is widely deemed the cultural capital of the world. The city is also referred to as New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the state of New York, of which it is a part.


New York (/njuː ˈjɔrk/; locally IPA: [nɪu ˈjɔək] or [nuː ˈjɔrk]) is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation’s third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east. The state has a maritime border with Rhode Island east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario to the north and west, and Quebec to the north. The state of New York is often referred to as New York State to distinguish it from the city of New York.


There are 62 counties in the State of New York. The first twelve counties in New York were created immediately after the British takeover of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, although two of these counties have since been abolished. The most recent county formation in New York was in 1914, when Bronx County was created from the portions of New York City that had been annexed from Westchester County in the late 19th century and added to New York County. New York’s counties are named for a variety of Native American words, British provinces, counties, cities, and royalty, early American statesmen and military, and New York State politicians.

Cayuga County 011 Auburn 1799 Onondaga County The Cayuga tribe of Native Americans 80,026 864 sq mi
(2,238 km2)


Cayuga County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. It was named for one of the tribes of Indians in the Iroquois Confederation. Its county seat is Auburn.

When counties were established in the Province of New York in 1683, the present Cayuga County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of the present state of New York and all of the present state of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766 by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770, by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont.

On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Tryon County, contained the western portion (and thus, since no western boundary was specified, theoretically still extended west to the Pacific). The eastern boundary of Tryon County was approximately five miles west of the present city of Schenectady, and the county included the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and the area west of the West Branch of the Delaware River. The area then designated as Tryon County now includes 37 counties of New York State. The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York. In the years prior to 1776, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In 1784, following the peace treaty that ended the American Revolutionary War, the name of Tryon County was changed to Montgomery County in honor of the general, Richard Montgomery, who had captured several places in Canada and died attempting to capture the city of Quebec, replacing the name of the hated British governor.


Richard Montgomery (December 2, 1738 – December 31, 1775) was an Irish-born soldier who first served in the British Army. He later became a brigadier-general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and he is most famous for leading the failed 1775 invasion of Canada.

Montgomery was born and raised in Ireland. In 1754, he enrolled at Trinity College, Dublin, and two years later joined the British army to fight in the French and Indian War. He steadily rose through the ranks, serving in North America and then the Caribbean. After the war he was stationed at Fort Detroit during Pontiac’s War, following which he returned to Britain for health reasons. In 1773, Montgomery returned to the Thirteen Colonies, married Janet Livingston, and began farming.

When the American Revolutionary War broke out, Montgomery took up the Patriot cause, and was elected to the New York Provincial Congress in May 1775. In June 1775, he was commissioned as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army. After Phillip Schuyler became too ill to lead the invasion of Canada, Montgomery took over. He captured Fort St. Johns and then Montreal in November 1775, and then advanced to Quebec City where he joined another force under the command of Benedict Arnold. On December 31, he led an attack on the city, but was killed during the battle. The British found his body and gave it an honorable burial. It was moved to New York City in 1818.


The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.

Main article: Financial costs of the American Revolutionary War

The British spent about £80 million and ended with a national debt of £250 million, which it easily financed at about £9.5 million a year in interest. The French spent 1.3 billion livres (about £56 million). Their total national debt was £187 million, which they could not easily finance; over half the French national revenue went to debt service in the 1780s. The debt crisis became a major enabling factor of the French Revolution as the government could not raise taxes without public approval. The United States spent $37 million at the national level plus $114 million by the states. This was mostly covered by loans from France and the Netherlands, loans from Americans, and issuance of an increasing amount of paper money (which became “not worth a continental.”) The U.S. finally solved its debt and currency problems in the 1790s when Alexander Hamilton spearheaded the establishment of the First Bank of the United States.


Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757  – July 12, 1804) was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America’s first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. As Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the primary author of the economic policies of the George Washington Administration, especially the funding of the state debts by the Federal government, the establishment of a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. He became the leader of the Federalist Party, created largely in support of his views, and was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Hamilton served in the American Revolutionary War. At the start of the war, he organized an artillery company and was chosen as its captain. He later became the senior aide-de-camp and confidant to General George Washington, the American commander-in-chief. He served again under Washington in the army raised to defeat the Whiskey Rebellion, a tax revolt of western farmers in 1794. In 1798, Hamilton called for mobilization against France after the XYZ Affair, and secured an appointment as commander of a new army, which he trained for a war. However, the Quasi-War, although hard-fought at sea, was never officially declared. In the end, President John Adams found a diplomatic solution that avoided war.

Born and raised in the West Indies, Hamilton came to North America for his education, sponsored by people from his community. He attended King’s College (now Columbia University). After the American Revolutionary War, Hamilton was elected to the Continental Congress from New York. He resigned to practice law, and founded the Bank of New York. He was among those dissatisfied with the first national governance document, the Articles of Confederation. While serving in the New York Legislature, Hamilton was sent as a delegate to the Annapolis Convention in 1786 to revise the Articles, but it resulted in a call for a new constitution instead. He was one of New York’s delegates at the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the new constitution in 1787, and was the only New Yorker who signed it. In support of the new Constitution, Hamilton wrote many of the Federalist Papers, still an important source for Constitutional interpretation. In the new government under President George Washington, he was appointed the Secretary of the Treasury. An admirer of British political systems, Hamilton was a nationalist who emphasized strong central government, and successfully argued that the implied powers of the Constitution could be used to fund the national debt, assume state debts, and create the government-owned Bank of the United States. These programs were funded primarily by a tariff on imports and later also by a highly controversial excise tax on whiskey.

Embarrassed when an extra-marital affair with Maria Reynolds became public, Hamilton resigned from office in 1795 and returned to the practice of law in New York. However, he kept his hand in politics and was a powerful influence on the cabinet of President Adams (1797–1801). Hamilton’s opposition to John Adams helped cause Adams’ defeat in the 1800 elections. When Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied in the electoral college, Hamilton helped defeat his bitter personal enemy Burr and elect Jefferson as president. After opposing Adams, the candidate of his own party, Hamilton was left with few political friends. In 1804, as the next presidential election approached, Hamilton again opposed the candidacy of Burr. Taking offense at some of Hamilton’s comments, Burr challenged him to a duel and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died within days.

In 1787, Hamilton served as assemblyman from New York County in the New York State Legislature and was the first delegate chosen to the Constitutional Convention. Even though Hamilton had been a leader in calling for a new Constitutional Convention, his direct influence at the Convention itself was quite limited. Governor George Clinton’s faction in the New York legislature had chosen New York’s other two delegates, John Lansing and Robert Yates, and both of them opposed Hamilton’s goal of a strong national government. Thus, whenever the other two members of the New York delegation were present, they decided New York’s vote; and when they left the convention in protest, Hamilton remained but with no vote, since two representatives were required for any state to cast a vote.


The New York State Legislature is the term often used to refer to the two houses that act as the state legislature of the U.S. state of New York. The New York Constitution does not designate an official term for the two houses together. It says only that “legislative power is vested in the senate and assembly.” The legislature is seated at the New York State Capitol in Albany.


The Constitution of the State of New York establishes the structure of the government of the State of New York, and enumerates the basic rights of the citizens of New York. Like most state constitutions in the United States, New York’s constitution’s provisions tend to be more detailed, and amended more often than its federal counterpart. Because the history of the state constitution differs from the federal constitution, the New York Court of Appeals has seen fit to interpret analogous provisions differently from United States Supreme Court’s interpretation of federal provisions.

New York State has had five constitutions, adopted in 1777, 1821, 1846, 1894, and 1938. In the 20th century alone it held three constitutional conventions, the efforts of two of which (1915 and 1967) were rejected by the electorate. The constitution produced by the 1938 convention (itself substantially a modification of the 1894 constitution), as modified by subsequent amendments, the latest of 2002, now forms the fundamental law of the State.

Currently, the New York State Constitution has 56,326 words, including the title.


New York has one of the most extensive and one of the oldest transportation infrastructures in the country. Engineering difficulties because of the terrain of the state and the unique issues of the city brought on by urban crowding have had to be overcome since the state was young. Population expansion of the state generally followed the path of the early waterways, first the Hudson River and then the Erie Canal. Today, railroad lines and the New York State Thruway follow the same general route. The New York State Department of Transportation is often criticized for how they maintain the roads of the state in certain areas and for the fact that the tolls collected along the roadway have long passed their original purpose. Until 2006, tolls were collected on the Thruway within The City of Buffalo. They were dropped late in 2006 during the campaign for Governor (both candidates called for their removal).


The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is responsible for the development and operation of highways, railroads, mass transit systems, ports, waterways and aviation facilities in the U.S. state of New York. This transportation network includes:

  • A state and local highway system, encompassing over 110,000 miles (177,000 km) of highway and 17,000 bridges.
  • A 5,000 mile (8,000 km) rail network, carrying over 42 million short tons (38 million metric tons) of equipment, raw materials, manufactured goods and produce each year.
  • Over 130 public transit operators, serving over 5.2 million passengers each day.
  • Twelve major public and private ports, handling more than 110 million short tons (100 million metric tons) of freight annually.
  • 456 public and private aviation facilities, through which more than 31 million people travel each year. It owns two airports, Stewart International Airport near Newburgh, and Republic Airport on Long Island. Stewart is currently leased to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The history of the New York State Department of Transportation and its predecessors spans over two centuries:

  • In 1781, the Office of Surveyor General was reorganized from its colonial Dutch and English beginnings to survey lands that had been vested in the state during and following the Revolutionary war.
  • In 1810, the Erie Canal Commission was established to build the Erie Canal, and afterwards the canal commissioners oversaw maintenance and enlargement of the canals
  • In 1848, the Office of State Engineer and Surveyor succeeded the Surveyor General’s Office.
  • In 1878, the Superintendent of Public Works took over the competences of the canal commissioners.
  • In 1907, the Public Service Commission assumed responsibility for the economic and safety regulation of privately operated transportation; railroad and bus safety inspection; and, approval for the installation of protection for or elimination of at-grade rail highway crossings.
  • In 1909, the New York State Department of Highways was established by the Highway Act.
  • In 1927, the Department of Public Works took over the competences of the State Engineer and Surveyor, unifying responsibility for highways, canals and public buildings,
  • In 1967, the New York State Department of Transportation was formed to deal with the state’s complex transportation system, and absorbed among others the Department of Public Works.


The New York State Engineer and Surveyor was a state cabinet officer in the State of New York between 1848 and 1926. During the re-organization of the state government under Governor Al Smith, the office was abolished and its responsibilities transferred to the Department of Public Works which was absorbed in 1967 by the New York State Department of Transportation.

The office was established as Surveyor General in 1781.

Until 1822, the Surveyor General was appointed by the Council of Appointment for an indefinite term. The second holder of the office, Simeon De Witt, was considered the most qualified person for the office, and was re-appointed without regard to party politics. Even the Bucktails did not oust him when they were struggling with his first cousin DeWitt Clinton. The office was at first mostly occupied with surveying the uncharted area of the State and issuing official maps. In 1817, the Surveyor General became a member of the Erie Canal Commission.


Simeon De Witt (December 25, 1756 Wawarsing, Ulster County, New York – December 3, 1834 Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York) was Geographer and Surveyor General of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and Surveyor General of the State of New York for the fifty years from 1784 until his death.

De Witt held four slaves at his residence in Albany, New York but by 1810 he had freed them, a common practice of the area. They continued to work in his household. He owned a considerable amount of land in the Finger Lakes area and is considered one of the founders of Ithaca, New York. He was often given credit for giving Classical antiquity Greek and Roman names to the twenty-eight central New York Military Tract townships that his office mapped after the war (to be given to veterans in payment for their military service). More recently, credit has been given to his clerk Robert Harpur, apparently a reader of classical literature (Lemak 2008:245).


The Military Tract of Central New York, also called the New Military Tract, consisted of nearly two million acres (8,000 km²) of bounty land set aside to compensate New York’s soldiers after their participation in the Revolutionary War.

The United States Congress had already guaranteed each soldier at least 100 acres (0.4 km²) at the end of the war (depending on rank), but by 1781, New York had enlisted only about half of the quota set by the U.S. congress and needed a stronger incentive. The state legislature authorized an additional 500 acres (2 km²) per soldier, using land from 25 Military Tract Townships to be established in central New York State. Each of the townships was to comprise 100 lots of 600 acres (2.4 km²) each. Three more such townships were later added to accommodate additional claims at the end of the war.

The townships were at first numbered (1 through 28), but were later given (mostly) classical Greek and Roman names, along with a few honoring English authors:

1. Lysander
2. Hannibal
3. Cato
4. Brutus
5. Camillus
6. Cicero
7. Manlius
  8. Aurelius
9. Marcellus
10. Pompey
11. Romulus
12. Scipio
13. Sempronius
14. Tully
15. Fabius
16. Ovid
17. Milton
18. Locke
19. Homer
20. Solon
21. Hector
22. Ulysses
23. Dryden
24. Virgil
25. Cincinnatus
26. Junius
27. Galen
28. Sterling


Sempronius is a town in Cayuga County, New York, USA. The population was 895 at the 2010 census. The town was named after a Roman military and political leader by a clerk interested in the classics.

The Town of Sempronius is in the southeast border of the county, southeast of Auburn, New York.





Wikipedia Random Articles Essay 1 – From ‘Benjamin-Ono Equation’ to ‘Nazlet Khater’

December 4th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

This is the first in a series of essays written only using Wikipedia articles, as a means to learn about one random article in Wikipedia and linking it to another random article, using only the hyperlinks on Wikipedia pages. I am an impatient man, with a passing interest in anything, but little in depth knowledge about anything. I love Wikipedia, I think its a great idea, though I am certainly aware that it is not the most academic or trustworthy learning resource. Nonetheless, it is a noble tool, with an admirable goal.

I think there’s something interesting about anything – even the most boring person on earth is interesting. I wanted to find a way to learn (quickly, and not in depth) about things, while linking them to other things. The nature of the internet and links is something that appeals to my striving to know a bit about some stuff. Much like my ‘Mosaic Music’ project, these Wikipedia essays are constructed from certain parameters; clicking ‘Random Article’ on Wikipedia twice, to generate the two subjects, then only clicking on hyperlinks to find a way from one to the other. I tried to follow a path that was not too obvious, clicking on links that were a bit rambling – I didn’t want to get from one to the other too quickly. Anyway, below is the first essay – all information is from Wikipedia (unless by some miracle I know something about a subject already) though I have allowed myself to have a bit of creativity in the actual writing. The first subjects are ‘Benjamin-Ono Equation’ and ‘Nazlet Khater’. Under this are some images related to the different pages visited.


In mathematics, the Benjamin-Ono equation is a nonlinear partial integro-differential equation that describes one-dimensional internal waves in deep water. It was introduced by Benjamin (1967) and Ono (1975). The Benjamin-Ono equation is

ut + uux + Huxx = 0 – where H is the Hilbert transform.


Internal waves are gravity waves that oscillate within, rather than on the surface of, a fluid medium. They are one of many types of wave motion in stratified fluids (another example being Lee waves). A simple example is a wave propagating on the interface between two fluids of different densities, such as oil and water. Internal wave motions are ubiquitous in both the ocean and atmosphere, where they create wave clouds. Nonlinear solitary internal waves are called solitons.

Most people think of waves as a surface phenomenon, which acts between water (as in lakes or oceans) and the air. Where low density water overlies high density water in the ocean, internal waves propagate along the boundary. They are especially common over the continental shelf regions of the world oceans and where brackish water overlies salt water at the outlet of large rivers. There is typically little surface expression of the waves, aside from slick bands that can form over the trough of the waves.

Internal waves are the source of a curious phenomenon called dead water, first reported by the Norwegian oceanographer Fridtjof Nansen, in which a boat may experience strong resistance to forward motion in apparently calm conditions. This occurs when the ship is sailing on a layer of relatively fresh water whose depth is comparable to the ship’s draft. This causes a wake of internal waves that dissipates a lot of energy.


The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain. Much of the shelf was exposed during glacial periods, but is now submerged under relatively shallow seas (known as shelf seas) and gulfs, and was similarly submerged during other interglacial periods.

The continental margin, between the continental shelf and the abyssal plain, comprises a steep continental slope followed by the flatter continental rise. Sediment from the continent above cascades down the slope and accumulates as a pile of sediment at the base of the slope, called the continental rise. Extending as far as 500 km from the slope, it consists of thick sediments deposited by turbidity currents from the shelf and slope. The continental rise’s gradient is intermediate between the slope and the shelf, on the order of 0.5-1°.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the name continental shelf was given a legal definition as the stretch of the seabed adjacent to the shores of a particular country to which it belongs. Such shores are also known as territorial waters.


The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place from 1973 through 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. The Convention, concluded in 1982, replaced four 1958 treaties. UNCLOS came into force in 1994, a year after Guyana became the 60th state to sign the treaty.To date, 162 countries and the European Community have joined in the Convention. However, it is uncertain as to what extent the Convention codifies customary international law.

While the Secretary General of the United Nations receives instruments of ratification and accession and the UN provides support for meetings of states party to the Convention, the UN has no direct operational role in the implementation of the Convention. There is, however, a role played by organizations such as the International Maritime Organization, the International Whaling Commission, and the International Seabed Authority (the latter being established by the UN Convention).

The UNCLOS replaces the older and weaker ‘freedom of the seas’ concept, dating from the 17th century: national rights were limited to a specified belt of water extending from a nation’s coastlines, usually three nautical miles, according to the ‘cannon shot’ rule developed by the Dutch jurist Cornelius van Bynkershoek. All waters beyond national boundaries were considered international waters: free to all nations, but belonging to none of them (the mare liberum principle promulgated by Grotius).


The terms international waters or trans-boundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water (or their drainage basins) transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems (aquifers), and wetlands.

Oceans, seas, and waters outside of national jurisdiction are also referred to as the high seas or, in Latin, mare liberum (meaning free seas).

Ships sailing the high seas are generally under the jurisdiction of the flag state; (if there is one) however, when a ship is involved in certain criminal acts, such as piracy, any nation can exercise jurisdiction under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction.

Several international treaties have established freedom of navigation on semi-enclosed seas.Several conventions have opened the Bosporus and Dardanelles to shipping. The latest, the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits, maintains the straits’ status as an international waterway.


The Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits was a 1936 agreement that gives Turkey control over the Bosporus Straits and the Dardanelles and regulates military activity in the region. The Convention gives Turkey full control over the Straits and guarantees the free passage of civilian vessels in peacetime. It severely restricts the passage of naval ships not belonging to Black Sea states. The terms of the convention have been the source of controversy over the years, most notably concerning the Soviet Union’s military access to the Mediterranean Sea.

Signed on 20 July 1936, it permitted Turkey to remilitarise the Straits. It went into effect on November 9, 1936 and was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on December 11, 1936. It is still in force today, with some amendments.

The convention was one of a series of agreements in the 19th and 20th centuries that sought to address the long-running “Straits Question” of who should control the strategically vital link between the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. In 1923 the Treaty of Lausanne had demilitarised the Dardanelles and opened the Straits to unrestricted civilian and military traffic, under the supervision of the International Straits Commission of the League of Nations.

By the late 1930s, the strategic situation in the Mediterranean had significantly altered with the rise of Fascist Italy, which controlled the Greek-inhabited Dodecanese islands off the west coast of Turkey and had significantly militarised the region with the construction of fortifications on Rhodes, Leros and Kos. The Turks feared that Italy would seek to exploit access to the Straits to expand its power into Anatolia and the Black Sea region. There were also significant fears of a Bulgarian rearmament. Although Turkey was not permitted to refortify the Straits, it nonetheless did so secretly.

In April 1935, the Turkish government despatched a lengthy diplomatic note to the signatories of the Treaty of Lausanne proposing a conference on the agreement of a new regime for the Straits and requested that the League of Nations authorise the reconstruction of the Dardanelles forts. In the note, Turkish foreign minister Tevfik Rüştü Aras explained that the international situation had changed greatly since 1923. At that time, Europe had been moving towards disarmament and an international guarantee to defend the Straits. The Abyssinia Crisis of 1934–35, the denunciation by Germany of the Treaty of Versailles and international moves towards rearmament meant that “the only guarantee intended to guard against the total insecurity of the Straits has just disappeared in its turn.” Indeed, Aras said, “the Powers most closely concerned are proclaiming the existence of a threat of general conflagration.” The key weaknesses of the present regime were that the machinery for collective guarantees were too slow and ineffective, there was no contingency for a general threat of war and no provision for Turkey to defend itself.


The Abyssinia Crisis was a diplomatic crisis during the interwar period originating in the “Walwal incident.” This incident resulted from the ongoing conflict between the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d’Italia) and the Empire of Ethiopia (then commonly known as “Abyssinia” in Europe). Its effects were to undermine the credibility of the League of Nations and to encourage Fascist Italy to ally itself with Nazi Germany. The crisis brought an end to peace in Europe and it was clear by 1937 there were two defining sides in Europe.

Both Italy and Ethiopia were members of the League of Nations which was founded in 1919. Italy was a founding member of the League. Ethiopia joined September 28, 1923 seven years after Haile Selassie I was appointed Ras Tafarai Makonnen, head of state. The League had Article X, rules forbidding aggression among members.

On August 2, 1928, in addition to abiding by Article X, Italy and Ethiopia signed the Italo–Ethiopian Treaty of Friendship. This treaty declared a 20-year friendship between the two nations.

On August 27 in the same year, both Italy and Ethiopia signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact. This was an international treaty “providing for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy.”


The Kellogg–Briand Pact (also called the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War or the World Peace Act) was signed on August 27, 1928 by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Weimar Germany, the Kingdom of Egypt and a number of other countries.

The pact renounced war (very intentionally not renouncing “aggressive war” but all war), prohibiting the use of war as “an instrument of national policy”. It made no provisions for sanctions. The pact was the result of a determined American effort to avoid involvement in the European alliance system. It was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on September 4, 1928.

In its original form, the Kellogg-Briand was a renunciation of war between only France and the United States. However, Frank B. Kellogg, the U.S. Secretary of State, wanted to retain American freedom of action; he thus responded with a proposal for a multilateral pact against war open for all nations to become signatories.

The Kellogg–Briand Pact is named after its authors: Frank B. Kellogg and French foreign minister Aristide Briand.


The Kingdom of Egypt (Egyptian Arabic: المملكه المصريه) was the first modern Egyptian state, lasting from 1922 to 1953. The Kingdom was created in 1922 when the British government unilaterally ended its protectorate over Egypt, in place since 1914. Sultan Fuad I became the first king of the new state. Farouk succeeded his father as king in 1936.


Egypt (Arabic: مصر, Miṣr, Egyptian Arabic: [mɑsˤɾ] ; Coptic: Ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, Kīmi ; Sahidic Coptic: ⲕⲏⲙⲉ, Kēme), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: جمهوريّة مصر العربيّة, is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi), Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.

Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its over 81 million people live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt’s residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.

Monuments in Egypt such as the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx were constructed by its ancient civilization. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis, Thebes, and Karnak and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, are a significant focus of archaeological study. The tourism industry and the Red Sea Riviera employ about 12% of Egypt’s workforce.

The economy of Egypt is one of the most diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and service at almost equal production levels.

In early 2011, Egypt underwent a revolution, which resulted in the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power.

Main article: Prehistoric Egypt

There is evidence of rock carvings along the Nile terraces and in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BC, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers replaced a grain-grinding culture. Climate changes and/or overgrazing around 8000 BC began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralized society.

By about 6000 BC a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt. The Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are generally regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, Merimda, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade. The earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BC.



The Prehistory of Egypt spans the period of earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt in ca. 3100 BC, starting with King Menes/Narmer.

The Predynastic Period is traditionally equivalent to the Neolithic period, beginning ca. 6000 BC and including the Protodynastic Period (Naqada III).

The dates of the Predynastic period were first defined before widespread archaeological excavation of Egypt took place, and recent finds indicating very gradual Predynastic development have led to controversy over when exactly the Predynastic period ended. Thus, the term “Protodynastic period,” sometimes called “Dynasty 0,” has been used by scholars to name the part of the period which might be characterized as Predynastic by some and Early Dynastic by others.

The Predynastic period is generally divided into cultural periods, each named after the place where a certain type of Egyptian settlement was first discovered. However, the same gradual development that characterizes the Protodynastic period is present throughout the entire Predynastic period, and individual “cultures” must not be interpreted as separate entities but as largely subjective divisions used to facilitate study of the entire period.

The vast majority of Predynastic archaeological finds have been in Upper Egypt, because the silt of the Nile River was more heavily deposited at the Delta region, completely burying most Delta sites long before modern times.

The Late Paleolithic in Egypt started around 30,000 BC.The Nazlet Khater skeleton was found in 1980 and dated in 1982 from nine samples ranging between 35,100 to 30,360 years. This specimen is the only complete modern human skeleton from the earliest Late Stone Age in Africa.



Nazlet Khater is an archeological site in Upper Egypt. The skeletal remains of an individual were found at the site. The remains were dated to about 33,000 years ago.



Randan Discotheque – “The Purgatory E.P.”

December 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Here is our new 3 track EP – you can download it for free from bandcamp.

It features 3 new (ish) songs, Old & Grey, Who Took the Booze? and The Blackness. New album in the springtime


Randan Discotheque – “The Blackness” – new video and forthcoming EP

December 1st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This is a new video for a new Randan Discotheque song called “The Blackness”. The video is made up entirely of odd bits and bobs of mobile phone footage. The song is one of three which we are releasing at the start of next week on a digital download only EP called “The Purgatory EP”. We haven’t played any gigs recently for a number of reasons, but we are in the process of mixing our album, which should be released around springtime, and these three songs didn’t quite fit in – either stylistically or length-wise….anyway, the EP is free (or you can donate what you like) on bandcamp soon….

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