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An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.

George Santayana

This week’s post is about Pop Art: we have to choose one artist and one or more paintings/sculptures that he did and relate them with our blog’s theme.

I’ve chosen Claes Oldenburg and hereafter you’ll see a brief biography and the analysis of some of his works mixed with some of my points of view.


  • Name: Claes Thure Oldenburg
  • Born: January 28, 1929 in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Field: Sculpture, Public Art
  • He lived in New York, Oslo, Chicago
  • He trained in the Latin School of Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University
  • In 1976 he began working with Coosje van Bruggen (a sculptor, art historian, and critic), whom he married in 1977
  • He used as his subject matter common and commercial objects in his urban surroundings (one of the principles of pop art and this way he was contributing to its expansion in America)
The use of everyday objects is a mean of expression. By using them in many of his works, Claes is criticizing people and also how they can transform in their minds such simple objects like for example an umbrella or an ice cream in something so needed, so big.
That’s why his works are all in large scale: he portrays what happens in the mind of the consumerist.
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The work I’ve chosen was the Hat in Three Stages of Landing 

Sculpture’s description: three identical sculptures with a single abstract hat form, perforated by holes to suggest a colander and let the sky through it to pattern the shadow below. Formed of aluminum and set at three elevations 80 feet apart on top of double stanchions.

Local: The site chosen by the Salinas Outdoor Sculpture Advisory Committee was a park area in front of a new auditorium and community center at the edge of town, a setting with tall eucalyptus trees edged with stables, adjoining the stands of the California Rodeo.

Salinas is a place where hats are essential because of the many works out-of-doors.

The subject of a hat fit well into this approach. It could be seen as if thrown from the Rodeo stands, descending in stages like a balloon or small plane landing on the grounds of the park.


The appearance of our Hat was controversial because we turned the curve of the brim over, facing it down to suggest a saddle and also placed the crease in the Hat crosswise to its path, liberties we defended in writing to the committee with success. 

Claes Thure Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

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From my point of view, besides giving an interesting detail to the landscape, these three hats are pretty useful in the hot sunny days:

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So why I have chosen Claes Oldenburg?

His works, besides being “simple” (the use of daily objects in very large scale), are very original and a soft critic to society and its obsession with consumerism. If some people look at his works and say something like “omg there’s nothing more ordinary and simple thing” and “I can’t believe it, they could have occupied this place with something more useful” well it’ll only show their lack of depth view and they’ll see that they were criticizing themselves because they buy all these “simple”, “ordinary” and “useless” things. 

This way he glorifies the insignificant, while playing with it.

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The fashion besides the art

The famous cowboy (/cowgirl) style doesn’t exist only in the old west movies. It was the choice of some famous brands such as Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbana in very recent years: 2010 and 2011.

Characterized by the cowboy hat, with a light shirt and jeans combined with the typical cowboy boots.

It’s original and, if well combined with the clothes, this hat gives an elegant style. 

The boots are kinda interesting but I think that only combine well with all the other cowboy clothes. 

However I need to say that it isn’t such a light style to use every day. 

Dolce & Gabbana Spring Fashion 2010:

I love both these styles, besides thinking that in the right picture the boots could be in other style. 

Ralph Lauren Spring 2011 Collection presents Cowgirl Fashion:

If honestly I don’t like to much these clothes… The coat reminds me an old bed sheet. 

It’s more a safari style than properly cowboy…

From Elle España:

I love these clothes and I do not mind having equal 🙂

Adam Kimmel – Spring/Summer 2010 – Collection Cowboy:

It was missing a more masculine and less teenage clothes in the fashion world.

To finish this post I selected a very elegant and popular celebrity with a cowgirl style: Kate Middleton

I love it! The white fits well on her. She don’t need to be always with dresses to look elegant like a princess.

Bibliography

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claes_Oldenburg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coosje_van_Bruggen
http://poparthistory.webs.com/claesoldenburg.htm
http://ficpopart.blogspot.pt/search/label/Claes%20Oldenburg
http://www.owensvalleyhistory.com/cowgirls01/cowgirl01_m.jpg
http://img.alibaba.com/photo/315598404/princess_cowgirl_hat_BSH_0372_.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Xd2tr8jvrfw/TDFq6oR_IHI/AAAAAAAAB6c/J0Owk1FpPeA/s400/Reba+Cowgirl+Hat.jpg
http://www.fashion-stylist.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/image/Gant_pre-fall_collection.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_8pZbCBP6KeE/Sd-rLqj_VMI/AAAAAAAAAmA/psso4DuWIr4/s400/cowgirl+chic.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5LPyMfqKW_A/TY-LVQr_qyI/AAAAAAAAAhY/AbdE1Rfz84Q/s1600/RalphLauren-cowgirl.jpg
http://www.southmoltonststyle.com/2011/04/key-look-cowgirl.html
http://fashioninyear.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/picture-of-kate-middleton-cowgirl-look-Kate-Middleton-with-Cowgirl-Fashion.jpeg
http://dudicas.blogspot.pt/2009/06/cowboy-fashion.html

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Following the interpretation of our extensive reading for this period: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote, was been given to us the task of researching more about what could be the “Tiffany’s”.

In this case Tiffany is related to Tiffany & Co., a well known American jewelry and silverware corporation.

Now we are asking: why “Tiffany”? Is the store’s name only linked to its creator’s name? Does Tiffany has some other meanings besides the obvious? Is there something hidden besides this mere superficial view? We will see it below…

The origin and meaning of the word “Tiffany”

Epiphany (holiday): traditionally falls on 6 January, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ.

Tiffany also means three, the trinity and 3 is considered the “perfect number”.

But over the years the name Tiffany has acquired more and more different associations: sexy, pretty, loyal, intelligent person…

Usually a very loyal, sweet, and compassionate girl, that finds the beauty in everything. people whom usually doesn’t trust many guys. She usually has many acquaintances, but very few best friends. They are always opened minded and easily satisfied.Absolutely adorable. 

This way we can associate Tiffany to someone who has good taste, to richness and to perfection.

What is Tiffany & Co.?

– also known colloquially as Tiffany or Tiffany’s;

– is a luxury American multinational jewelry and silverware corporation;

– sells jewelry, sterling silver, china, crystal, stationery, fragrances, personal accessories, as well as some leather goods;

–  is renowned for its luxury goods, especially for its diamonds, diamond jewelry, and especially its diamond engagement rings;

–  Tiffany markets itself as an arbiter of taste and style.

The store’s “1st steps”

–  was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young

– Space:  New York City

– Time: 1837

–  the store initially sold a wide variety of stationery items

– firstly operated as Tiffany, Young and Ellis, the name was shortened to Tiffany & Co. in 1853 when Charles Tiffany took control.

Tiffany’s chronological main events:

– 1845 – the first Tiffany mail order catalog, known as the “Blue Book,” was published in the United States. It is still being published today.

The catalog was one of the first catalogs to be printed in full color and was free until 1972

– 1867 – Tiffany & Co. was the first US firm to win an award for the excellence in silverware at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.

– 1878 – Tiffany won the gold medal for jewelry and a grand prize for silverware at the Paris Exposition, which gave the Tiffany name added prestige.

– 1868 – Tiffany was incorporated.

– 1887 – Tiffany bought the French Crown Jewels which attracted publicity and further solidified the Tiffany brand’s connection to quality diamonds.

– 1902 – Louis Comfort Tiffany (the son of Charles Tiffany) became the company’s first official Design Director.

– 1956 – legendary designer Jean Schlumberger joined Tiffany. Andy Warhol collaborated with Tiffany to create Tiffany holiday cards.

– 1978 – Tiffany & Co. was sold to Avon Products Inc.

– 1984 – in this year’s Newsweek article, it was noted that the Fifth Avenue Tiffany store had began stocking so many inexpensive items. Customers complained about declining quality and service.

– Avon sold Tiffany to an investor group led by William R. Chaney.

– 1987 – Tiffany went public again.

– 2008 – the Japanese mobile phone operator SoftBank and Tiffany & Co. had collaborated in making a limited 10 model-only cellphone, containing more than 400 diamonds!

Playing “Sherlock Holmes” in fashion

Tiffany’s have lots of beautiful jewelry. Lots! It was difficult for me to choose, but after many investigations and comparisons, here I’ll present my final analysis and conclusions:

  • They have many jewelry with the key or lock design. Symbolically it means secrets, luck, the feeling of having something that belongs to you and, therefore, when you have something your and from Tiffany’s it gives you a feeling of happiness.
  • The “3 things” are very abundant here: 3 circles, 3 diamonds, 3 clover leafs… 3 – perfection.
And actually the use of just 3 makes the jewels look harmonious and perfect to us. 
-
  • The symmetry: another allusion to perfection.
 
I especially love the 1st one, the heart, because of the colors, the beautiful design 
and the lock detail that is there. 

All the jewelry that I had mentioned above is perfectly made. This gives to the person that uses it a feeling of superiority, perfection. We can even relate this to America in the 50s: the wish/the need to have more and better, the consumerism and nothing is better than have a Tiffany’s object and show your “power” to the world.

  • Some Tiffany’s ads:
This is a recent ad which shows a simply and “normal” woman wearing Tiffany’s jewels. These jewels highlight her, because without them she will be like “just a simply and common woman”: 
These two pictures are such different as the difference between the sky at night without and with stars. 
As we can see this is an old ad but the main goal that appears nowadays was also present in those times: the union between love and diamonds, richness and happiness. The presence of the angels makes some kind of an union between the Human beings and the Gods, like, by having a Tiffany’s object, we’ll be closer to perfection. This ad and its message remembers me the Marilyn Monroe song: “Diamonds are girl’s best friend”.
These two ads also associate love and happiness with Tiffany’s products. It’s a bit ridiculous if we analyze it deeper: it’s like they’re suggesting that if you buy a Tiffany’s gift to your love you’ll be even more in love and the world around you will be more perfect, like in a dream. 
These are just announcement techniques which main goal is to persuade people to buy their products in order to have something (to which actually you don’t need to buy the product to have it). 
In a white, snowy and softy nature, an innocent child, almost like an angel, is looking at “us”, holding a sled full of…expensive Tiffany’s gifts!! Yep, this picture we only would be able to imagine in dreams, but the sentence “blue is the colour of dreams…” is almost like making a link between imagination and reality throughout Tiffany’s products. 
This gives us the feeling that buying these gifts we were be like in a dream, happy and building this way some kind of a perfect world. 

So do you still think that this store’s name is just linked to its creator?… From my point of view it isn’t. Tiffany is also related to perfection and to being seen as a God/Goddess.

Bibliography:

http://www.karipearls.com/tiffany-co.html
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tiffany
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiffany_%26_Co.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lewis_Tiffany
http://www.tiffany.com/
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_UWMa8EAJdSI/TRA7f1A2tdI/AAAAAAAANBc/yzJ4K5HV614/s640/scanbydressdesigndecor_tiffanyandco_v2.png
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-W9r79FY3zSk/TrcPNOGhnvI/AAAAAAAAEwI/gC2RkV6lTms/s400/tiffany-key-pendant-necklaces.jpg

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Imagine yourself traveling back in time … going to the post World War II (to the 1947 more or less)! You would see that the point of view of the people of those times, when it comes to fashion (specially the women’s fashion), is all about comfort and simplicity:

As you can see, it is a continuation of the fashion of the 40s. Women seemed to have their cloths inspired in the men ones or in the military and civilian uniforms. It was a little bit heavy, rough and dark (with no bright colors) since it was a period during and after the war.

You, a futuristic person, with a more eccentric spirit and a more diversified imagination, of course will be expecting something more sophisticated, more luxurious, more feminine!

And this is when appears a person who, despite not coming from the future, had really great and evolved ideas. I am talking about the genius: Christian Dior!

For the “fashion beginners”, who didn’t know, here you have briefly who was Christian Dior: 

Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Dior

Dior was able to give to women a different way of being seen by the society, a different way of being themselves, Dior gave to women a New Look!

New Look

This was the name given to the first Christian Dior’s collection, launched in the Spring of 1947.

I wanted my dresses to be constructed, molded upon the curves of the feminine body, whose sweep they would stylize. 

-Christian Dior

Featuring rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and very full skirt, the New Look celebrated ultra-femininity and opulence in women’s fashion. Dior offered not merely a new look but a new outlook.

After the WWII was needed a rebirth of everything, including fashion. Everybody wanted to forget all the bad things which occurred during that war and so Dior selected the best time to introduce to the world how a real and modern lady should be like.

The “New Look” was based in some Victorian fashion details and was characterized by:

  • Sloping Shoulders

square vs sloping

Inspired by pre-Civil War fashions, the sloping shoulders give a more soft and feminine look.

  • Tiny Waists

A tiny waist (with the help of corsets) is an essential part to outline the women’s figure.

  • Full Hips

All Dior’s designs require some sort of added fullness to the hip area.

This highlighted even more an “8” figure to the women’s body.

  • Full Busts

Most women wearing The Look also used push-up bras to help fill out their bust line.

As we can see, the race to the “perfect forms” had begun!

  • Full Skirts

These skirts were twelve inches or less from the ground.

Another important clothing of The New Look was the petticoat, reminiscent of early Victorian petticoats.

New Look fashion followers also favored petticoats in brightly colored shades (especially red and green) just like their Victorian ancestors.

The model that became the symbol of the “New Look” was the “tailleur Bar”, a coat of beige silk with tiny waist, natural shoulders and a wide pleated black skirt almost at the ankles.
Gloves, high heels and hats completed the outfit in an impeccable way. With this image of glamor was set the standard for the 50s fashion.

Paris, which had fallen from its position as the capital of the fashion world after WWII, regained its esteemed position due in part to the attention it gained from Dior’s New Look. The New Look was quickly adopted by women from everyplace in the world and this way this look had marked the 50s’ fashion and persists till nowadays as being a very luxurious look.

We went off of the war, uniforms, soldier women, the square shoulders and boxer structures time. I design femmes-fleurs, with sweet shoulders, soft busts, marked waists and skirts which explode in volume and layers.
I want to build my clothes, shaping them over the curves of the body. The woman herself will define the contours and style.

-Christian Dior

http://almanaque.folha.uol.com.br/christiandior.htm

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Bibliography:

text and ideas based on: 

http://winifredandbance.com/1940s-fashion/
http://www.bluevelvetvintage.com/vintage_style_files/tag/1940-fashion/
http://almanaque.folha.uol.com.br/christiandior.htm
http://www.vintageconnection.net/NewLook.htm
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/dior/hd_dior.htm
http://secretfantasybolsaseacessorios.blogspot.pt/2011/03/panorama-da-moda-atraves-dos-tempos.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Dior_S.A.

pictures:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_gA22PqQOrwU/THcvyE3-xAI/AAAAAAAABJs/gqQLDqtiexA/s1600/andrews-sisters-wwii1.jpg
http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQUg4L5Wgtvh5q-5FbCqhkDPALsk1F8Bo9S4HOkR6uIxZqE7HcbNKuBfXwnVA
http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg104/scaled.php?server=104&filename=6lxa8.jpg&res=landing
http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/mangone/mangonefeb1945.jpg
http://www.costumes.org/History/20thcent/1940s/sews4victory/c1945pattern.JPG
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_rrIjCzqJzi4/TBqnlMGEhOI/AAAAAAAAAUU/lcTueH3YicY/s1600/V-line+suit+1944.JPG
http://www.thewhitecabinet.com/thumbnail.asp?file=assets/images/photos/1940s/antoinette.jpg&maxx=300&maxy=0
http://blackingoutthefiction.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/133676147_8ebc6d0249.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kNo1dXol7a4/SpKKWATeKYI/AAAAAAAAAwg/MBfk0pjwc2w/s400/1940s.62134810_large.jpg
http://www.bluevelvetvintage.com/vintage_style_files/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/1940fallfashion3.jpg
http://www.operagloves.com/Fashion/20s30s40sFashion/1940sfashion-vogue03011945.jpg
http://www.bluevelvetvintage.com/vintage_style_files/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/1940allfashion2.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uH3QR9gVApI/TpXZ3KAKRbI/AAAAAAAADEY/2i8JB_rW-us/s1600/christian_dior.jpg
http://www.mutoworld.com/_uimages/NewLook.jpg
http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/.a/6a01156f47abbe970c0134862faf51970c-800wi
http://i2.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/590/draft_lens13721781module122492421photo_12857100351940s-womens-jacket.jpg
http://www.vam.ac.uk/images/image/58137-large.jpg

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Human rights are “commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being.”

-wikipedia

The Human Rights were made to be followed, to make a better world, but are they really being respected? Come and take a look to some articles plus real facts that happen/happened in our world…

According to the 7th article of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

there should be no individuals who find themselves superior. Everyone is equal, no mather the skin colour, the religion, etc. However, unfortunately, this article was violated and not just once. I’ll remember you two of the most “famous” violations and fights against discrimination:

  • 1948-1994 – Apartheid – a system of racial segregation in which the rights of the majority “non-white” inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed. An inhuman and pathetic act towards black population (which, by chance, is the majority of the population of South Africa).

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.(…)”

 -Article 1.

  • 1955-1968 – African-American Civil Rights Movement – movements in the United States aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against African Americans and restoring voting rights to them. This movement was made with the necessity of the implantation of a balanced society where everyone is equal.

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2 – Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

-Article 16.

What about the arranged marriages? And the child marriages (made with the special purpose of procreation)? Everyone should have the right of choosing the person with whom they want to be and the children marriage should be completely forbidden and people who do that should be severely punished. This situations are more seen in the central and western Asian regions.

_______________

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

-Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

-Article 19

This articles can’t be allowed in dictatorships. For example in Portugal, during the Salazarism, there was always the PIDE, an organisation which checked everything in order to confiscate things that were against that regime.

Salman Rushdie, after showing his opinion on The Satanic Verses, was ordered to be executed. despite of being offensive, it wasn’t against the human rights since each one is free to say their opinion. The same situation with the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons.

Internet is a great warehouse in terms of freedom of expression. You can share your opinions with the world. However, it isn’t so free as we can think: there are some countries that ban movies or video clips because of their content or message (for example the song Judas from Lady Gaga).

_______________

Besides all the negativity that I mentioned above, the world has been changing for a better side in comparison to the history before the twentieth century. If we lived in those times, we would be violating almost the entire Declaration (since it is mainly based on freedom, education and equality for all). Taking as an example the following articles

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

-Article 4.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

-Article 5.

we can say that nowadays it is seen as something inhuman but in early times slavery was a “normal” thing and torturing and executing people was seen as a something fun, accompanied by a party.

_______________

To conclude, I want you to think a little bit on the title of this post:

Human Rights = Utopia?

I am not saying that the Declaration is wrong, I just want to “open the world’s eyes” and push people to fulfill (within their possibilities) the Human Rights. All this with the goal of build a world closer to perfect, where there will be more and more happy people.

The union makes the strength!

Bibliography:

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African-American_Civil_Rights_Movement_(1955%E2%80%931968)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salman_Rushdie
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa_under_apartheid
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy
http://thehiphopdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/white-and-black-preschool-girls1.jpg
http://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2007/03/31/child-marriage_98_50.jpg
http://www.triplepundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Plaatje-Christopher-Human-Rights.jpg
http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~arihuang/academic/abg/slavery/slavery.gif
http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/21600000/Gaga-Judas-lady-gaga-21661972-500-354.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-46dE7AGVCLo/Tml6B6GRNfI/AAAAAAAAACs/KwAd28JKRtk/s1600/apartheid2.jpg

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The Street

Have you ever heard about this painting? Made in 1964 by Romare Howard Bearden, an African American artist and writer who portrayed the fight for Human Rights through art.

Now analyzing this picture, the people portrayed here may be the African American people who live in New York and this scene is passed on one New York’s street (this artist was also African American and also lived some years of his life in NY). We can see that it is a busy street, very confusing and difficult to understand if we look at it superficially.

Everyone of the 24 (it is so confused that every time I count there appears a different number) African American people are black.

This art technique is called “collage“. Firstly Bearden made a collage of various papers on cardboard, then Bearden enlarged them by means of a photographic process called photostat. Bearden called these enlargements “projections”. And after that the pictures were in black and white. Hereupon, despite all the people are black, in the picture they have both white and black skins. One of them seems to be Martin Luther King, an important personality related to the Civil Rights Movement. The junction of the two facts related above (white and black skin tone in black people and Martin Luther King) is to symbolize that there are no difference between people, particularly between whites and blacks, who are the most discriminated (the black people). Martin fought for the black people’s rights and Bearden also wants that equality.

All of these who are looking down have their faces covered or are with the eyes closed, which are signals that they do not let themselves put down. The others either are looking in front (for the picture’s observer) either they look up, like as a sign of “dream big”, about liberty, equality and in their case one thing implies the other.

In a closer plan, , we see “musicians” / people playing, smoking, but there are few, the ones who really enjoy life, because a huge number of them is working.

The conditions where they live are dire comparing with the conditions of white people and it’s almost an irony because, just in New York, about 50% are African American people.

The appearance of a black cat crossing the street can be a sign of two things. The first and more common is the superstition that, if a black cat crosses the street, you will have bad luck – the black people’s bad luck (they were treated like animals for many years and still now there are a huge number of racist people). The second thing is to join the cat with the population, since they are both black, they’re discriminated, demoted, considered “something to avoid“.

The bridge, seen in the background, in the upper right side, is the symbol of the passage from one shore to another, from a life / way of life to another. In this case the bridge is the connection between the black and white population (and this was the objective of both Martin Luther King and Romare Howard Bearden: to unite the world avoiding racism or discrimination, forming a society in which all are equal and have the same rights).

Below we have the gesture of saying “I love you” with the hands. This might be a “thank you” from Bearden to us, because if we are interpreting this picture and if we reach this point it means that we care somehow with the black people.

Some of these details are also present in other works of art of this artist. He uses them to emphasize even more the discrimination to black people.

Bibliography: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romare_Bearden 
http://www.nga.gov/feature/bearden/tech2.shtm 
http://www.artvalue.com/image.aspx?PHOTO_ID=1464274&width=500&height=500 
http://collection.mam.org/vmedia/tms768/M1996.52.jpg 
http://humanitiesusa.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/romare-bearden-the-dove-picture.jpg
http://g1b2i3.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/romare-bearden-the-street.jpg

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Today I’ll talk you a bit about the history of communications.

  • Have you ever wondered of how the first phones were like?
  • Do you knew that people also communicated using only a point and a dash?
  • Do you know the real origin of the word “television”?

If you want to know more about the communications don’t hesitate and start reading! Hope you like it.

—————

Communications means any way of sending and receiving messages containing information.

There are many different ways of communicating. One of the simplest ways is by using our face, per example: smiling sends a message to other people showing him/her that you are happy. Also some basic signs made with our hands can be a starting point to communicate with other people. This is probably how people first communicated when they had to carry out joint tasks such as hunting. However, this way of communicating is a bit limited though. You cannot convey any complicated messages so, for these, you need a language.

Once you have a language, you may communicate easily, but there appears another barrier: the distance. To face that problem, firstly, people started to use smoke signals, fire, drum beats and horns (this one were firstly made from animals and then by metal).

Then people start using messengers, which also could use horses. When the Romans copied that system and called it positus, the postal service was born.

Do you know that…

…if your message is really urgent you need it to travel even faster… Solution: Homing pigeons! 

They have been used right up to the 21st century. The homing pigeons were used in both World War I and World War II to carry important messages across enemy territory.

—————

In fact, few people worked out ways of doing communications in long distances and, in the 1830s, two of the best ideas emerged: one in Britain, by Charles Wheatstone and William F. Cooke, and the other one in America, by Samuel F. B. Morse. Both of these machines were types of telegraph.

Do you know that…

…the word “telegraph” is made up of two Greek words: “tele” means “far” or “at a distance” and “graph” means “writing”? 

…the Morse code is a way of communication using just a point and a dash?

—————

About 40 years after the telegraph was first used, the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell and this way people could talk to each other over the wires.

Another 20 years after that, the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi got rid of the wires and managed to send a signal from Penarth in Wales to Weston-super-Mare in England and, in 1901, he sent a wireless signal across the Atlantic Ocean. This way Morse code could be sent by radio. This was called wireless telegraphy. Soon the two inventions of radio and the telephone were put together so that speech could be sent wirelessly too.

Do you know that…

…on March 10, 1876 the first words spoken on the telephone, by Alexander Bell himself, were: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you”. The Mr Watson in question was his assistant Thomas.

…the U.S. Supreme Court granted to Nikola Tesla the merits of establishing the radio, considering that Marconi had use 19 Tesla’s patents in his project?

   

—————

About the same time as the telephone was being worked on, another inventor, Thomas Edison, was trying to record sounds and play them back. This led to the development of the record player.

Thousands of copies of a record could be made very cheaply and so recordings became another type of mass communication. Although we can buy tapes and CDs today, there is still plenty of vinyl around.

Do you know that…

…the first records were made of wax and easily broken, but they improved over the years and were eventually made of a plastic called viny?

—————

John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, brought together a number of devices invented by others to send pictures of moving images for the first time. The BBC used his system to start television broadcasts in 1927 and started the first high-quality public broadcasts nine years later. In those days there was only one channel and you had to be quite rich to afford a TV set.

Do you know that…

…the first TV remote control, sold in the 1950s, was called the “Lazy Bones”? 

…the word “television” is truly international? It was originally a French word that is a mixture of Greek and Latin parts and was dreamt up by a Russian in 1900. 

—————

The first electro-mechanical computer was built by Konrad Zuse. In 1936, the German engineer built from relays to perform the calculations and data read from tape perforated, the Z1.

Since that computers have evolved more and more and achieved popularity by people from each age, but mostly by children (to play), teenagers (to play, chat or do school works) and adults (mainly to work).

Do you know that…

…one of the first computers had the following dimensions: 30 meters in length x 1 meter wide x 3 meters high!?

…the first use of the word “computer” was recorded in 1613, referring to a person who carried out calculations, or computations, and the word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century. From the end of the 19th century onwards, the word began to take on its more familiar meaning, describing a machine that carries out computations.

The evolution of computers: 

—————

The Internet is one of the most fabulous things nowadays. With it we can send instant messages and receive the answer in a very short period of time, know the last news, search, “travel” the world without leaving home. Of course not all speak the same language, so, with the spread of English in education, the Internet and the need of people to communicate with some foreign things to them in which they use English, this language is becoming more popular.

Do you know that…

…Queen Elizabeth II sent her first email in 1976?

…the Internet is a product of the Cold War? It was originally designed by ARPA (the Advanced Research Projects Agency), a US military research organization, as a decentralized communications network that could not be destroyed in a single nuclear attack. 

…the name for unwanted emails is “spam” and this name comes from a sketch performed by the British comedy team Monty Python about the tinned meat made from pork and ham, known as spam. In the sketch a couple in a restaurant tries, unsuccessfully, to order a meal that does not include spam. From this spam came to mean something that nobody wants but that is difficult to avoid!

—————

The two most important developments in communications recently have been mobile communications and computers. Mobile phones are everywhere! Computers have changed things enormously, and the arrival of the Internet and the World Wide Web have made possible e-mail, messageboards, chatrooms, websites, blogs and so on. All this new technologies have been increasingly entering into our lives and we are so addicted that seems we could not live without them. So we just need to appreciate this evolution (but trying not to get too addicted) and wonder “what next?”

—————

Bibliography:

Microsoft Children's Encarta 2007, DVD 
Rádio (comunicação), viewed 14 October 2011, http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A1dio_(comunica%C3%A7%C3%A3o) 
Computador, viewed 14 October 2011, http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computador 
Smoke Signal, viewed 14 October 2011, http://history.howstuffworks.com/native-american-history/smoke-signal.htm 
Carrier pigeon, viewed 14 October 2011, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/carrier+pigeon 
Free Morse Code Software, viewed 14 October 2011, http://www.softdistrict.com/free-morse-code-software-2/ 
Portrait of Alexander Graham Bell with Telephone, viewed 14 October 2011, http://mechanicsnationalbank.com/timeline/ 
The First Radio, viewed 15 October 2011, https://missmanganssciencesite.pbworks.com/w/page/32872079/The%20First%20Radio 
Resurgence of Vinyl Could Be Just What the Industry Needs, viewed 15 October 2011, http://www.creativedeconstruction.com/2009/06/resurgence-of-vinyl-could-be-just-what-the-music-industry-needs/ 
Remote Control History - Invention of the Remote Control, viewed 15 October 2011, http://historyc.blogspot.com/2011/01/remote-control-history-invention-of.html 
A History of TV Remote Controls, viewed 15 October 2011, http://www.electronichouse.com/slideshow/category/3891/656 
The first computer?, viewed 15 October 2011, http://www.internaldrive.com/2009/04/03/the-first-computer/ 
Evolution of Computers, viewed 14 October 2011, http://evolutionoftechnology2.wikispaces.com/Evolution+of+Computers 
Internet, viewed 15 October 2011, http://www.geomundo.com.br/geografia-30150.htm
Reflexão STC - Impacto dos Mass Media na Construção da Opinião Pública, viewed 15 October 2011, http://cncjpoli.blogspot.com/2009/11/reflexao-stc-impacto-dos-mass-media-na.html 
10 Rules to A Successful Social Media Campaign, viewed 15 October 2011, http://www.esharingmasters.com/10-rules-to-a-successful-social-media-campaign/
Mass media!!!!, viewed 15 October 2011, http://www.portalhunt.com/mass-media-2881

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This post was made with the purpose to do a little revision about the history of the English language, mixed with some fashion curiosities and historical facts. It is brief, in topics and with pictures to an easy memorizing process.

1. Pre-English period – c. 450 AD

* Here we have a Roman Invasion which joined its Latin language to the early Britain’s Celtic language (Gaelic + Welsh);
* The use of perfume dates from the Egyptian era, where they used perfume in religious rituals;
* The first written account of the Loch Ness Monster (or Nessie) was made in 565 AD.
   

2. Early Old English – c. 450-c. 850

* By this time Romans left Britain and British people faced an Anglo-Saxon invasion while their language faced the Germanic dialects. However, because of the Church, Latin wasn’t brought down and new Latin words were introduced.
The first English literary texts appeared;
* Their clothes were just like in the picture below; 
* London was important to the Anglo-Saxons as a major port, but it was not their capital city. Each Anglo-Saxon kingdom had its own capital city. Winchester, in Wessex, became the first capital of England.

3. Later Old English – c. 850-1100

* The third invasion was made by the Vikings and their Scandinavian languages. The North of England was extremely influenced by the Viking dialects, while Latin was maintained in South by King Alfred, with the translation of many Latin texts into English;
* Man used to have quite long hair and this “style” was kept throughout many years;
* Vikings probably first settled in Iceland during the 9th century and turned it into a farming and fishing community.
   

4. Middle English – c. 1100-1450

* In this period the English language was undergoing huge transformations because of the Norman Conquest. The native ruling class was largely replaced by French-speaking rulers.
Summarizing where each language was used:
– Latin > Church, education;
– French > government, bussiness/trading, court;
– English > daily life;
In Italy, in the 16th century, it was fashionable for women to colour their teeth;
* England’s oldest university is in Oxford, where teaching may have started as early as 1117.
   

5. Early Modern English – c. 1450-1750

* The Renaissance, the Elizabethan era and Shakespeare are symbols from this period. The Renaissance “opened the eyes” to many people, the Church and Latin were replaced by a new and more modern way to look into the world. Due to maritime navigation and commerce, English was driven all around the world;
* Elizabeth I made the wearing of hats compulsory for all females over the age of seven on Sundays and holidays. Failure to do so would result in a fine;
* With the invention of printing by Gutenberg, the first book printed was the Bible (in Latin).
   

6. Modern English – c. 1750-1950

* This period was marked by the Industrial Revolution and, with it, the English emerged as the international language of advertising and consumerism;
* In their quest for an hourglass figure, some Victorian women wore corsets so tight that some suffered broken ribs;
* Thomas Edison (inventor, scientist and businessman, known for the invention of the incandescentlight bulb) was afraid of the dark.
   
   

7. Late Modern English – c. 1950

The English language was spread through various countries in the world, also varieties of English emerged before it.
The victory in the World War II brought Americanization and globalization, making an American influence throughout the world a reality;
* Fashion has increased greatly over the last years, notory in the number of fans but also in the number of people working in this field;
* Focusing more on the Human Rights theme, in recent years we can see populations with more freedom than in the previous years. The revolutions made are succeeding, however, we need to be careful not to give too much freedom.
   
   
From my point of view, all this together (parts of our subject along with fun facts) will help us memorize this part of the subject taught last week in class better.

Bibliography:

  • Texts, excerpts and ideas were taken from:
LINK UP, Texto Editores, Lda. (ed.) 2010, Carlota Santos Martins & Noémia Rodrigues (pp - 21-22); 
Where Did Perfume Originate?, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.ehow.com/about_4671841_did-perfume-originate.html; 
Nessie - The Loch Ness Monster, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.lochness.co.uk/nessie/nessie.html;
Childrens Encarta 2007, DVD;
Fashion and Beauty: Fashion Victims, viewed 07 Octber 2011, http://curiositieschamber.com/life-and-style/fashion-a-beauty.html;
Unbelievable Facts - Strange Facts - Fashion, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.britain.tv/unbelievable_facts/unbelievable_facts_fashion.shtml;
Gutenberg Bible, viewed 07 October 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gutenberg_Bible;
Stupid Facts, viewed 07 October 2011, http://mistupid.com/facts/page038.htm;
  • Images (they are all in order):
Roman Soldier, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.titchmarshprimaryschool.com/year3and4?&_id=531
Anciest Egypt, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.mitchellteachers.org/WorldHistory/AncientEgyptNearEastUnit/IllustratedJournalsAncientEgyptDailyLife.html
Anglo Saxon warrier, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.fashion-era.com/ancient_costume/clothing-saxon-frankish-anglo.htm
Viking, viewed 07 October 2011, http://tabernadoveon.blogspot.com/2010/07/culinaria-viking.html
B, viewed 07 October 2011, http://escalbibli.blogspot.com/2008/09/cuisine-mdivale-pour-tous.html
Norman Conquest, viewed 07 October 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_conquest_of_England
Oxford, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.mindsidiomas.com.br/ver_pacote.php?id=3
Queen Elizabeth I, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.thekidswindow.co.uk/News/Queen_Elizabeth_I.htm
Shakespeare, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.livroscotovia.pt/autores/detalhes.php?id=75
Mona Lisa, viewed 07 October 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mona_Lisa.jpg
Industrial Revolution, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.nettlesworth.durham.sch.uk/time/victorian/vindust.html
Thomas Edison, viewed 07 October 2011, http://caminhoseveredastk.blogspot.com/2011/09/nova-oportunidade.html
Corsets2, viewed 07 October 2011, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:THOMSON'S_crown_corset_1882.gif
Corsets1, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/18thcors.htm
Americanization, viewed 07 October 2011, http://althistory.wikia.com/wiki/American_Empire
Americanization2, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.superindustria.com/main/modules.php?name=Spaces&file=zpagesd&id_zpace=64&id_mod=265&id_x=927
Fashion1, viewed 07 October 2011, http://newfashion-lianah.blogspot.com/
Liberty, viewed 07 October 2011, http://asbarez.com/76127/statue-of-liberty-made-from-armenian-copper/
languages, viewed 07 October 2011, http://www.jamboree.freedom-in-education.co.uk/home%20university/Languages%202.htm.

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