December 23, 2011
December 22, 2011
December 19, 2011
December 17, 2011
December 16, 2011
Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It lies about 1.5 km north of Venice and measures about 1.5 km (0.93 mi) across with a population of just over 5,000 (2004 figures). It is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking. It was once an independent comune, but is now a frazione of the comune of Venice.
Murano was settled by the Romans, then from the sixth century by people from Altinum and Oderzo. At first, the island prospered as a fishing port and through production of salt. It was also a centre for trade, through the port it controlled on Sant'Erasmo. From the eleventh century, it began to decline as islanders moved to Dorsoduro. It had a Grand Council, like that of Venice, but from the thirteenth century Murano was ultimately governed by a podestà from Venice. Unlike the other islands in the Lagoon, Murano minted its own coins.
Early in the second millenium, hermits of the Camaldolese Order occupied one of the islands, seeking a place of solitude for their way of life. There they founded the Monastery of St. Michael (Italian: S. Michele di Murano). This monastery became a great center of learning and printing. The famous cartographer, Fra Mauro, whose maps were so crucial to European exploration of the world was a monk of this community. The monastery was suppressed in 1810 by French forces under Napoleon in the course of their conquest of the Italian peninsula, and the monks finally expelled in 1814. The grounds then became Venice's major cemetery.
In 1291, all the glassmakers in Venice were forced to move to Murano due to the risk of fires. In the following century, exports began, and the island became famous, initially for glass beads and mirrors. Aventurine glass was invented on the island, and for a while Murano was the main producer of glass in Europe. The island later became known forchandeliers. Although decline set in during the eighteenth century, glassmaking is still the island's main industry. [Wiki]
Fri Dec 16, 2011
This week's challenge:
December 15, 2011
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Irish orator, philosopher & politician (1729 - 1797)
No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square, it would incite protests that would topple dictators and start a global wave of dissent. In 2011, protesters didn’t just voice their complaints; they changed the world. Time.com Read more:
For “once again becoming a maker of history” two sleepy decades after political soothsayer Francis Fukuyama declared Western liberalism the end point in the evolution of human society, Time magazine named “The Protester” 2011’s Person of the Year.
Nathan Schneider, author and editor with a number of publishing outfits—including ‘Waging Nonviolence,’ a blog devoted to analysis of nonviolent movements around the world—was pleased with Time’s decision. He pointed out, however, that the mainstream American press was slow to get to the uprisings at home and beyond: “As I first saw this announcement percolating on Twitter, being spread around proudly every which way by Occupy Wall Street-allied accounts, all I could think was: What took you so long? Where were you?” he asked.
“Where, I mean to say, was the American press when Tunisia—or Egypt—first started lighting up,” he continued, “when we at Waging Nonviolence were glued to Al-Jazeera and our Twitter feeds, wishing we had the means to be there ourselves? In the American news, the start of those revolutions was hardly a blip—that is, until Anderson Cooper got beaten up in Cairo.” —ARK [ Truthdig.com ]
December 14, 2011
December 13, 2011
On The Road (After the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck Mexico's western Guerrero state on Saturday night, shaking buildings and causing panic from Mexico City to the Pacific resort of Acapulco.)