Interesting Facts About Mahatma Gandhi

April 8th, 2012 No Comments   Posted in Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Mahatma Gandhi, India’s Father of the Nation, led the country’s independence movement through ‘Satyagraha’, resistance to oppression through mass civil disobedience, and ‘ahimsa’, total non-violence. He has inspired movements for civil rights across the world.

Born on October 2, 1869, at Porbandar, Kathiawar in western Indian state of Gujarat, to Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai, he was married at the age of 13 to 14-year old Kasturbai Makhanji. He had four sons.

Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience in South Africa, in the resident Indian community’s struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers in protesting excessive land-tax and discrimination by the British government.

In 1921, he assumed the leadership of the Indian National Congress and led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, for expanding women’s rights, for building religious and ethnic amity, for ending untouchability, and above all for achieving the independence of India from foreign domination.

Gandhi led the Non-cooperation movement in 1922. To protest the British-imposed salt tax, he led the 400 km Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, on numerous occasions, in both South Africa and India.

Gandhi, a practitioner of non-violence and truth, advocated that others follow the principles. He lived modestly and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and social protest.

Gandhi was also a prolific writer. For decades he edited several newspapers including Harijan in Gujarati, Hindi and English; Indian Opinion while in South Africa and, Young India, in English, and Navajivan, a Gujarati monthly. He also wrote a few books including his autobiography, An Autobiography or My Experiments with Truth.

On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was shot and killed on the grounds of the Birla Bhavan (Birla House) in New Delhi.

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Interesting Facts About Elvis Presley

February 9th, 2012 No Comments   Posted in Salvador Dal??

Salvador Dali

Elvis Presley was a legendary American singer, actor and musician. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music. Elvis is also known for his good look, and he is often recognized as a sex symbol of all time.

Famously known as ‘Elvis’ and sometimes referred to as ‘The King of Rock n Roll’ or ‘The King’, he is an international cultural icon.

He had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he has been inducted into four music halls of fame.

Born on January 8, 1935, at Tupelo, Mississippi, the United States, to Vernon Elvis Presley, a truck driver and mother Gladys Love Smith, a sewing machinist, he was influenced by gospel music. His favourite singer was legendary Southern Gospel singer Jake Hess.

Presley began his career as one of the first performers of rockabilly and recorded his first song “My Happiness” with “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”, on July 18, 1953.

“All Shook Up”, “(Let me Be Your) Teddy Bear” and “Too Much” were his hits in 1950s and his record sales grew quickly during that period. In 1956, Presley launched his career as a film actor.

He was married in 1967 to Priscilla Presley and their only child, Lisa Marie, was born on February 1, 1968. Health problems, drug dependency and other factors led to his death at age 42 on August 16, 1977.

Elvis set records for television ratings, concert attendance, and recordings sales throughout his career. Even long after his death, he is still one of the most recognized face on the earth.

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7 Interesting Facts About Pablo Picasso

January 28th, 2012 No Comments   Posted in pablo picasso

pablo picasso

1. Pablo Picasso‘s Full Name is Extremely Long

Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuseno Maria de los remedies Ciprano de la Santasima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruiz y Picasso! That was quite a mouthful! Pablo Picasso‘s name is one of the longest ever recorded for an artist or any person for that matter. His name is a combination of respect for Spanish and Christian sainthood and family heritage. There are a few names of important saints and beloved relatives, his mother and father’s names, and the rest are a combination of ideas and personal characteristics, in which the Spanish believed are best included in a birth name. Inevitably, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and Pablo Picasso and his long name illustrated that saying, in the grandest of fashions.

2. Baby Pablo Almost Stillborn

When baby Pablo was born, the midwife actually thought that he was stillborn and left the newborn genius on a pediatrician table and was not given another thought! The midwife went to Pablo‘s mother to inform her of the sad news, and a miracle occurred during this time. Pablo‘s uncle was also the attending physician who delivered the baby! Dr. Don Salvador is credited with saving the life of newborn Pablo.

3. Little Picasso‘s First Spoken Word ‘Pencil’

Picasso‘s early childhood developmental years were filled with education and wonder! His very first spoken-word was ‘piz’ or ‘pencil’, in English. If this was not a clue to the future-occupation and career-path of young Picasso, then nothing short of having a label on his back that said ‘artist-to-be’ would have been any clearer!

4. Pablo‘s Very First Oil Based Drawing

‘Le Picador’, was created in 1890, by Pablo Picasso, at the tender age of nine. The first work by Picasso depicted a man riding a horse in the blood-sport that is bull fighting. This form of spectator-event is still widely-popular in many parts of Spain.

5. Pablo Picasso‘s ‘First Communion’ First Academic Painting

Although Pablo‘s first foray into artistic endeavors was ‘Le Picador’ at nine in 1890, his very first academic all painting was not painted until six years later. The work, ‘First Communion’, is a portrait of his mother, father, and youngest sister, all kneeling before an altar in a church setting. Pablo Picasso was only 15 when he created this masterpiece, and this work is considered one of his most-treasured of all!

6. Pablo Picasso and His Academic Career

There is little argument that Pablo Picasso was a brilliant man, yet his academic career record does not reflect this fact. Pablo had little trouble passing the entrance exams of every artistic institution of higher learning, from Madrid to Paris, which he desired to gain entry into. It was the empirically-proven mark of a tortured artist, after time and time again of Pablo burning-out and leaving school after one or two semesters. This did not make any difference after he became successful after ‘First Communion’, yet was a clear sign that brilliant individuals sometimes have difficulty in a structured formal classroom setting.

7. Pablo Picasso‘s First Job in Paris

The first job that Pablo Picasso was to be paid upon was with his landlord/art dealer, Pere Menach. The agreed-upon sum was 150 francs per month, which in today’s money, equates to about $750 USD. Not a bad sum of money back in the day and one that allowed young Pablo to exercise his creativity and to develop his personal characteristics, that would carry him through the rest of his long life.

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Interesting Facts About Adolf Hitler

January 21st, 2012 No Comments   Posted in Salvador Dal??

Salvador Dali

Adolf Hitler was one of the most important person in the world history. He was the ruler of Germany for 13 years from 1933 to 1945. Known in the history for his totalitarian and fascist dictatorship, Hitler claims that Jews were enemies of the Aryan race.

Born in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary, on 20 April 1889, Alois Hitler, a customs official, and Klara Pölzl, Hitler had a troubled childhood. He was influenced by Martin Luther. He refers to Martin Luther as a great warrior, a true statesman and a great reformer.

A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the National Socialist German Workers Party, also called the Nazi Party, in 1920. Promoting nationalism, antisemitism and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda, he gained support and became the party leader in 1921.

Hitler pursued a foreign policy with the declared goal of seizing other countries, and directed the resources of Germany toward his aim.

He invaded Poland in 1939, leading to the outbreak of World War II. Within three years, Germany and the Axis powers occupied most of Europe and large parts of Africa, East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. However, the Allies gained the upper hand from 1942 onward and in 1945 Allied armies occupied Germany from all sides.

His forces committed numerous atrocities during the war, including the killing of six million Jews, known as the Holocaust, and various other groups of people.

During the final days of the war in 1945, Hitler married his long-time mistress Eva Braun. Less than 24 hours later, the two committed suicide.

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7 Interesting Facts About Vincent Van Gogh

January 13th, 2012 No Comments   Posted in Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh

The following 7 interesting facts are taken from historical records and are not biased opinions.

1) Fell in Love with his Landlady’s Daughter in Hague

It seems that Vincent Van Gogh had a penchant for the ladies, and one of his first jobs was in an office in the City of Hague. he worked at this job for over four years until he fell in love with his landlord’s daughter and was subsequently dismissed from the company. This demonstrates Van Gogh‘s quest for love even at the expense of monetary concerns.

2) He Forever Searched for Happiness

Vincent Van Gogh was a man possessed with the notion that happiness was all that he required in this world. Far be it for anyone to argue that point, yet what is true is that he forever chased that emotion, and came up empty in the end. This craving of happiness can be seen in all of his artistic endeavors.

3) He Suffered from Schizophrenia and Other Mental Health Problems

Suffering from mental disorders such as schizophrenia affected Van Gogh his entire life and artistic career. The fabled ‘Starry Night’ rendition was actually done when he was a resident in an insane asylum in Saint-Remy, France. Many other mental disorders plagued this fantastic artist his entire life and can be easily picked out, in some of his most famous artistic pursuits. As an intelligent individual and famed artist, Vincent Van Gogh knew when to say when and admitted himself many times into mental institutions all throughout Europe. After being released from such self-imposed institutions of recovery, he showed signs of increasing improvement but these were fleeting at best. In the end, he took his own life, after a bout of depression.

4) He Loved Japanese Artistry

The island of Japan mesmerized Van Gogh and showed in many of his paintings with cherry blossoms and other Japanese iconic artistry. Some of his best works are Japanese-themed and Pacific Island related.

5) He Loved his Brother Theo

There was no denying this, Vincent Van Gogh‘s love for his brother Theo, translated both time and space and life and death. Everything that he accomplished was directly attributed to his brother Theo, even when his brother had little or nothing to do with the accomplishment. He would often speak of his brother in the highest regard and say a finer brother a man could never have.

6) He Only Sold One Painting During His Lifetime

Vincent Van Gogh created 2000 pieces of art, 900 paintings and 1100 sketches and pencil drawings. Of those entire great works only one was sold for profit.

7) His Brother Theo’s Wife Is Actually Responsible For His Popularity Today

Six months after Vincent died, Theo died, and his wife Johanna devoted the rest of her life to getting Van Gogh the recognition she felt he rightly deserved. If it was not for her efforts, the world may not have known of Vincent‘s mastery.

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Interesting Facts About Alexander Graham Bell

January 2nd, 2012 No Comments   Posted in Salvador Dal??

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A scientist, Alexander Graham Bell is the Inventor of the telephone and telegraph. His contribution in the filed of science also includes groundbreaking work in hydrofoils and aeronautics. Bell is also credited with the invention of the metal detector, hydrofoils, and aeronautics. He became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society.

Bell’s inventions spanned a wide range of interests and included the audiometer to detect minor hearing problems, a device to locate icebergs, investigations on how to separate salt from seawater, and work on finding alternative fuels. He also worked extensively in medical research and invented techniques for teaching speech to the deaf.

Born on March 3, 1847, at Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, to Parents Alexander Melville Bell

and Eliza Grace Symonds Bell, he studied acoustics. His mother and wife, who were deaf, profoundly influenced Bell’s life’s work.

On 11 July 1877, a few days after the Bell Telephone Company was established, Bell married Mabel Hubbard at the Hubbard estate in Cambridge.

Bell was also a professor of Vocal Physiology and Elocution at the Boston University School of Oratory. In 1882, Bell became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

In 1880, Bell received the Volta Prize of 50,000 francs ($10,000) for the invention of the telephone from L’Académie française, representing the French government, in Paris. The Volta Prize was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803 to honor Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist noted for developing the battery.

Bell died of pernicious anemia on 2 August 1922, at his private estate, Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia, at age 75.

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Interesting Facts About Jennifer Lopez

December 20th, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Salvador Dal??

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Jennifer Lopez, also known as J.Lo, is an American actress, singer, record producer, dancer, fashion designer and television producer. She had been nominated for Golden Globe and Grammy Award.

Lopez is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood and has sold over 48 million albums worldwide. She won the 2003 American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and the 2007 American Music Award for Favorite Latin Artist.

Born on July 24, 1969, in New York City, to Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe Rodríguez, a kindergarten teacher, and David Lopez, a computer specialist, she has appeared in numerous films, and has won ALMA Awards for outstanding actress for her work in Selena, Out of Sight, and Angel Eyes.

Lopez made her debut in the big screen in the 1995 drama My Family and then appeared opposite Wesley Snipes in the action film Money Train. She played roles in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1996 comedy Jack starring Robin Williams, and the 1997 thriller Blood and Wine with Jack Nicholson.

She did the lead role in the 1997 film Selena for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy” in 1998.

Lopez’s debut album, released on June 1, 1999, and On the 6, a reference to the 6 subway line she used to take growing up in Castle Hill reached the top ten of the Billboard 200.

Lopez’s first marriage was to Cuban-born Ojani Noa on February 22, 1997. They divorced in January 1998. Later she had relations with hip-hop mogul Sean Combs, former backup dancer Cris Judd, actor Ben Affleck and singer Marc Anthony.

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10 Interesting Facts about Archangel Michael

December 17th, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Art History

1. The name Michael means, “Who is like God”. In the Bible he is called “one of the chief princes” (Daniel 10:13) and “the great prince” (Daniel 12:1).

2. Michael is usually shown with a sword, or carrying the scales of justice. Renaissance paintings show him wearing armor. These symbolize his strength, courage, truth and integrity. Michael is engaged in a ceaseless war against the forces of evil. His most famous example of this occurred when he cast Lucifer and his followers out of Heaven.

3. According to the apocryphal Book of Adam and Eve, Michael kept a close eye on the couple after they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. He taught Adam how to farm, and persuaded God to allow Adam’s soul to return to Heaven after he died.

4. An ancient tradition says Michael told Sarah, Abraham’s wife, that she would bear a son. Although not mentioned by name, it is believed that Michael was the “angel of the Lord” who stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, Isaac (Genesis 22:10).

5. Michael guides departed souls to the next world. This came about because, according to the Testament of Abraham, Michael told Abraham he was about to die. Abraham asked God if he could see all the wonders of the world so that he could die with no regrets. Michael developed his guiding expertise by taking Abraham on a tour of the inhabited world. Afterwards, he took Abraham home to prepare for his death.

6. Michael is believed to have rescued Daniel from the lion’s den. It is also believed that he was responsible for the plague on Egypt that ultimately led the Israelites to freedom. It was probably Michael who appeared to Joshua and called himself “captain of the host of the Lord.” (Joshua 5:13-15) Michael also appeared to Gideon and gave him the courage to fight his foes (Judges 6:11-18).

7. In the Islamic tradition, Mika’il (Michael) is in charge of the forces of nature, and has an army of angels to help him. He has magnificent wings of green topaz. Mika’il has a million tongues, each of which can speak a million languages. His long saffron hair reaches to his feet, and each hair contains a million faces. Each face contains a million eyes that cry seventy thousand tears. He takes life seriously and never laughs.

8. Joan of Arc (c.1412-1431) began hearing, and ultimately seeing, Michael at the age of thirteen. He gave her constant encouragement, and even suggested the flag she should use when leading her army.

9. Pope Leo XIII wrote a famous prayer that starts: “St. Michael, the Archangel, Defend us in battle, Keep us safe from the wickedness and snares of the devil.” He wrote this after a vision in which he saw Michael sending Satan back to hell. This prayer still provides comfort to many people.

10. Between 1961 and 1965, the Virgin Mary appeared several times to four children in Garabandal, Spain, telling them to change their way of life, make penances and attend church more frequently. Four years later, Michael appeared to the children and repeated the message. He also told them that if they prayed sincerely, they would receive whatever it was they prayed for.

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Interesting burghal of Seville

May 1st, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Art History

Seville is more correctly named Sevilla but Seville is the more common name used. This exciting city is the capital of southern Spain as well as the heartbeat of Andalucia. It is full of soul and life as it is the home of many traditions, such as flamenco, fiestas and bullfighting.
It contains many beautiful buildings that are both modern and ancient, giving different senses to its varied offerings.
Ancient Quarter
The first section to tour Seville is its ancient quarter of Jewish origin at Santa Cruz barrio. You will be amazed with the intricate network of narrow pathways that are long and winding with ancient buildings looming over you as you walk past. The streets are so narrow that its residents can lean out to shake your hand from their window.
However, these narrow pathways ensure little traffic and keep the area cool with its close and tall buildings; even in the hottest summer days. Nevertheless, it can be quite a challenge to move around the ancient quarters without a good map or guide, as the passageways are really confusing with so many through paths.
Interesting Sights
The best sight at Seville is its Cathedral which is the world’s largest standing Gothic structure and the 3rd biggest church with its side Giralda. It was originally a mosque built by Muslims who invaded the land; now the minarets of the mosque are included with the Cathedral when the Christian re-conquest conquered the town. The unique minaret was made a part of the Cathedral’s bell tower where a weather vane spots the top in a female form to represent fate. The bell tower offers amazing views of the city.
Close by is the Moorish Alcazar fortress which became King Pedro’s castle when the Christians conquered the town. Most of the Moorish influence was retained through a lot of renovation with authentic Moorish workmen hailing from Granada. It is magically beautiful on summer nights with its floodlights on.
Still another splendid building to visit is the Casa de Pilatos, or Pilatos Castle, which contains Mudéjar influence. This beautiful renaissance building houses antique furniture, silverware, paintings, ancient plates and the like. Everyone is welcome to view its outside and inside except at times when the Royal family and aristocrats make their appearance in Seville.
Seville is a must for all visitors in Spain as it is an amazing city of rich history. The locals are also very hospitable as you wander around the sites to appreciate their beauty.
There is never a dull moment at Seville as there are wonderful eateries like bars and restaurants to whet your appetite on the local fare. Be entertained by a flamenco or sevilliana while in Sevilla.

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