A bit of Arab history
A bit of Arab history, for the curious ones.
Muhammad was born by the end of the 6th century, and in the 7th century founded the Islamic religion. This unified the whole of the Arab peninsula, which then went on a conquering spree all over the north of Africa, and almost Europe. (I already mentioned that from 611 to 1492 there was a war in Spain against the more invaders, which the Catholic kings won). While the whole of Europe was engulfed in the Middle Ages, which were a time of cultural, economic and social stagnation, the Arab kingdom was on the rise. They established the Caliphates, monarchies all in unity with the Islamic community, Ummah, with the same religion and culture. In order these were, the Four Orthodox Caliphates, elected by the religious community, Omeya Caliphate, with its capital in Damascus, Abbasi Caliphate, bringing the Islamic religion to the east, Fatimi Caliphate, with its capital in Cairo, Caliphate of Cordoba or Al-Andalus, located in Spain, and the Ottoman Caliphate.
Yes, the one who blocked trade routes in the 15th century, invaded the decaying Byzantine empire through the Anatolia peninsula and the one from Assassin’s Creed. The Ottoman empire grew to its time of splendor in the 15th century, by the end of the 17th century the Ottoman empire had begun decaying, and by WWI it couldn’t hold together. And it wasn’t until the 19th century that Europe started recolonizing the North of Africa. The Ottoman empire finally collapsed in 1924, and became the Republic of Turkey. Egypt was of the English, Morroco was of the Spanish and French, Western Sahara of the Spanish, Mauritania of the French, Libya of the Italians, Northern Sudan of the English, Syria of the French, Lebanon of the French, Jordanian of the English, Iraq of the English, Somalia of the Italians, French and English.
After 1924, all the countries started a process of independence that led to the organization they have today, as of 1945. Even though, in the next decades they would all suffer coups and state of emergency declaration which would help the rules perpetuate their rule and lead, ultimately, to the Arab Spring.
Comments and questions are really welcome!
Cinematography (Film History) Part 2
The film’s silent era lasted from the late 19th century, to the 1920’s. During those first years in the 20th century, films were accompanied by live musicians, sound effects, and sometimes commentary by the showman or projectionist. In 1907 there were about 4,000 small “nickelodeon” cinemas in the United States. In the beginning, the “programme” made up of a few films to be shown in the cinema, would be changed twice a week, but with the rising of this business, there was a time when programmes were changed five times a week.
In the US, the biggest film companies decided to join and form the Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) to combine all their patents and use them to “control the American film business”. But due to the increase of new and independent film companies in a short time, the MPPC had effectively been defeated in its plan to control the whole United States market.
The reel of film, of maximum length 1,000 feet which usually contained one individual film, became the standard unit of film production and exhibition in this period. But around 1910, films longer than one reel began to appear. One example of a four-reel film was The Story of the Kelly Gang, made in Australia, in 1906. More multi-reel films were made in Europe than in the United States after 1906, because the MPPC insisted on working on the basis of one-reel films up until 1912.
Throughout the 1910s, new American film companies appeared, with a different vision. Some filmmakers began to have a special interest on a specific genre when developing films. Others moved from New York (which up to that point it was the place where most film productions were carried out) to California, to escape the monopoly of the Edison Company. There were even companies who wanted to make films using only the best dramatists, artists and actors. And because of the wild film boom, other countries decided to join Britain, France, and the United States in the film production. Some of these were Italy (Giovanni Pastrone), Denmark (Ole Olsen, Viggo Larsen), Sweden (Charles Magnusson, Victor Sjostrom, Mauritz Stiller), Rusia (Aleksandr Drankov, Aleksandr Khanzhonkov), and Germany (Oskar Messter).
Puerto Rico History II (Tainos)
We’ve talked about one side of those who make up Puerto Rico, the Spanish. But when they first got here, there were people already living here, the Tainos (the indigenous race). These Tainos came from the Arawaks, and they populated all of the Caribbean Islands. There were Tainos in Puerto Rico, Jamaica and a bit of Cuba. In Cuba were also the Guanahatabeyes, in La Espanola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) were the Macoriges, Ciboyenes and some Tainos.
Before the Tainos became what they were when they were found, they evolved from a different civilization of Igneris, and Sub-Tainos. Taino meant, in their language, “good”, as they were very good people, very friendly, unlike some other indigenous societies. They were organized in Yucayeques, which meant “City of Yuca” (Yuca is a very good viand, know in english as Cassava). They lived off agriculture, in Conucos, where they planted, most of it was Yuca.
Yucayeques were small villages composed of the Batey (central plaza), Barbacoas (guarding posts), Conucos (where they planted), Guatu (central fire), Bohios (houses), and the Caney (house of the Cacique or Guare, leader).
Of course, they lived with social strata. At the top of the pyramid were the Guoxeris, which meant the Cacique and his family. He had absolute power over religious things, political and economical. He declared war, and started the batu (a ball game, and parties)(Tainos loved to party). Mantuheris came next in the pyramid. They were the warriors who also worked on agriculture. The Baharis was composed of the Bohique and his family, he was the medical witch of the tribe. He was the one who started the Cojoba, a ritual where Tainos cleared out their stomachs and inhaled some drug to communicate with the gods. The Naborias were the lowest in society. They were the ones that worked in construction and hunted and fished.
Its very important to know that they celebrated a lot of Areytos (parties) and they were very good and friendly people, as that was one of the things that Puertorican culture adopted for some time. Of course, now they are all a bunch of as*holes as everywhere on Earth, but oh well…
Please, ask questions, it pleases me. :)
Puerto Rico History
To know Puertorican history, you must first know a bit of background history from Spain. At the start of the VII Century, Spain was undergoing a bit of a civil war. It started when in 611 a.D. Muslims invaded Spain. The Arabs had a constant war with Spanish Christians until the time of the Reconquest. In January 2th 1492, Christians at last won the war, after vanishing the last more king (Boabdil) from Granada.
In 1469, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabel of Castile married and established the Tribunal of the Holy Inquisition, and started to win the war against the Arabs. And they united Castile and Aragon to form Spain!
You must know that since 1485, a Genovese explorer, called Christophorus Colombus (Cristopher Colombus, or Cristobal Colo’n)(born in 1451) wanted to explore the other side of the Earth in search of a route connecting to the Indies, since after the end of the Mongol Peace, the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the Ottoman Turks Invasion, the route for all those spices was cut off, the “Silk Road”. Christopher looked for help form the king of Portugal, Henry, but was rejected.
Also, you must know that this was a time were a lot of advances in maritime travel were made. This was possible thanks to a Portuguese named Henry the Navigator, who founded the School of Navigation of Sagres.
So, Colombus seeked an audience with a lot of kings, but they all rejected him. It wasn’t until April 1492, that the Christian Kings of Spain, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabel of Castile, agreed. They signed the Capitulations of Santa Fe, where the Kings agreed to name Colombus viceroy of all the land he found, 8% of all possessions found, and agreed to let his kids inherit that.
In his first voyage, he took 3 ships, La Nina, La Pinta and La Santa Maria. They reached America October 12th 1492, passing by Guanahani (San Salvador), Cuba and La Espanola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Then, in Tortuga (close to Haiti), La Nina crashes, and the Fort of Nativity is built. December 24th 1492.
August 1493, the Kings authorized a second voyage, and he took more ships and men to populate the land. It wasn’t until November 19th 1493 that he discovered Boriquen, later named San Juan Bautista, and know named Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico.
June 7th 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed, where Portugal and Spain divided the Earth between them, with the Church’s consent.
After the third a fourth voyage, the Kings took away all he had and imprisioned him, later liberating him until his death, obviously his kids gained nothing. This as because the Kings thought that that was too much power and money for him. :/
This is just the first part. Remember I will always answer questions! Click here!
I’m getting bored and tired of writing of the same stuff.
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Cinematography (Film History Part I)
As you may know, I’m a HUGE fan of films (well, maybe you didn’t know that, but now you do.:P). So, I decided to write a bit about its history. Haven’t you wondered what was the very first film ever made, and who made it? Or what about the very first video cameras?
Cinematography is indeed a huge part of the communication and entertainment media. It has but diminished in popularity over the years. And ever since the first video camera was invented, people have tried to improve these tools, for better picture quality, and expand the different uses of film art. A few of these technological precursors are the pinhole camera, and the camera obscura.
After realizing that capturing an image was possible, people wanted to know if they could also capture “moving” images. Simon von Stampfer makes this idea possible, by creating the very first stroboscopic disc. It consists of two disks: One with slits around its circumference, and another with images in frames of motion. When the slitted disk is turned on the same axis as the image disk, the view through the slits gives the impression of a continuously moving image. Other models of this disc, as well as the device used to project the images produced on the disk, were made along the years. Examples of these devices are the fantoscope, the kinematoscope, the phasmotrope, and the praxinoscope.
Then, on June 19, 1878, Eadweard Muybridge used a series of stereoscopic cameras to take pictures at one thousandth of a second, of a running horse, named Sallie Gardner. Muybridge placed 24 stereoscopic cameras, 20 inches apart, to cover 20 feet taken by the horse stride. The horse ran parallel to these cameras, whose shutters were controlled by a trip wire which was triggered by the horse’s hooves. 24 pictures were taken, and shown in his zoopraxiscope, consecutively, it created the illusion of a moving image
Another invention was the chronophotographic gun in 1882, created by Etienne-Jules Marey, which was able to take 12 consecutive frames a second, recording all the frames in one picture. And then, in 1888, Louis Le Prince followed by shooting the very first motion picture, using a single-lens camera that he created and patented. The film is known as Roundhay Garden Scene, and it only lasts 2.11 seconds. That same year, an American inventor named George Eastman, who had first manufactured photographic dry plates in 1878, created a more stable type of celluloid film with his concurrent developments in 1888 of sensitized paper roll photographic film (instead of glass plates) and a convenient “Kodak” small box camera (a still camera) that used the roll film. He improved upon the paper roll film with another invention in 1889 - perforated celluloid (synthetic plastic material coated with gelatin) roll-film with photographic emulsion.
These inventions are what will inspire the famous inventor Thomas Alva Edison, and his assistant, William Kennedy Laurie Dickson to construct not only a device for recording movement on film, but also one for viewing the film. Although Edison takes the credit for the invention of the Kinetograph, it was his assistant who developed this crude, motor-powered camera that could photograph motion pictures on standard Eastman Kodak photographic emulsion coated on to a transparent celluloid strip 35 mm wide. The pictures were shown in the Kinetoscope, a viewing apparatus also made by Dickson. By inserting a coin, the machine worked, and people were able to watch the moving images through a peephole in the large box. All of this happened around December, 1893. With these two machines, Dickson made his first experimental film with the Kinetoscope, called Monkeyshines No. 1, also considered the very first motion picture ever produced on photographic film in the US.
When the Kinetoscope was publicly demonstrated at Edison Laboratories, with the showing of Dickson Greeting, Edison wanted to begin the commercial operation. And on April 14, 1894, a new version of Edison’s Kinetoscope was brought to the world. It became very popular in carnivals, Kinetoscope parlors, amusement arcades, etc. The business kept expanding. Soon, on the grounds of Edison Laboratories, the very first film production studio, called the Black Maria (or Kinetographic Theater), was built, at a cost of $637.67. Its first purpose was to make film strips for the Kinetoscope. But with this studio, Edison and Dickson produced a large number of short films that became very popular in the US, and later on, Europe. However, it was Charles Francis Jenkins who invented and patented the first film projector. His invention, called the Phantoscope, first projected a movie, in 1894. The Edison Company took Jenkins’ idea, and renamed it the Vitascope, to gain more popularity.
In Europe, the film industry grew with the help of two French brothers, called Auguste, and Louis Lumière. With their invention, the cinematograph, a portable camera, printer, and projector, the Lumière brothers began exhibitions of projected films before the paying public. After them, George Méliès became the largest producerof fiction films in France, around 1898. Other producers, such as Charles Pathe, Ferdinand Zecca, Leon Gaumont, Robert W. Paul, James Williamson, and G.A. Smith, left their mark in film history expanding the film exhibtions, creating new film techniques and effects, and increasing the film duration. Another important development was the creation of nickelodeons, the first theaters in the world “devoted exclusively to exhibition of moving picture spectacles”, popularized by Harry Davis, and John P. Harris.
Then, at the start of the 20th century, the silent-film era began. And I will gladly continue with this part on a later post. :)
Capitalism is an economic system. This economic system is ruled by the idea of laissez-faire, which states that the State not intervene in the exchange and ownership of means of production. Which means that those means of production are privately owned or owned by the citizens. This implies that the citizen can decide how to use that property. Therefore the government has no control over the markets. Capitalism is the leading economic system of the world, it appeared in the late Middle Ages but flourished at the end of feudalism. This was because in feudalism, where lords owned land where serfs worked the terrain, the manors were self-sustained an there was no competition for production. This apathy for competition led to the slowing of technological advance, which made its consequence suffered in the times of the Great Famine and the Black Death. Lords desperate to repopulate their lands started renting and selling land, and giving more freedom as to the use of produce created by the serfs. This led to competition, since they started selling produce, competition for lowest prices, more efficient ways, and best technology.
Presently capitalism is the leading economic system. Especially since the end of the Cold War, where the US faced the USSR. After that the second leading economic system, communism, fell.
Capitalism has received great criticism. Especially that of unjust distribution of wealth, oligopoly, imperialism and exploitation. Capitalism provides a chance for normal citizens to go up the economic scale. The downside is that competitiveness goes up a level and unethical methods are employed in the process. Examples of those methods are the exploit of the middle class and foreign workers, corruption and fraud. Capitalism is an efficient and just economic system but the people involved in it cheat. Also competitiveness has caused the overuse of resources and exploit of Earth, causing it damage.
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