Posts Tagged ‘history’

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.



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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.”


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.


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!



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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?”



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.


  • 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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