Monday, June 18, 2012

Haurvat, Healers’ Day in Iran

Haurvat, or Haurvatat, is celebrated on the 18th of June. At this moment the Sun is in the 28th grade of the Gemini zodiac sign.

It is known as the healers’ day. The true healer is the one who heals the body, the soul and the spirit. In the Slavic myth, there is dead water and living water. Dead water resurrects and living water fills with energy. This day, water obtains healing capacities. It can cleanse from any kind of filth and it reconstructs the structure of our cells. This is the so called “dead water”. If you drink water on this day, you fill yourself with harmony, get rid of any kind of splits, physical pain and psychic contradictions. Haurvat resurrects faith, restores the lost values, purifies and transforms your soul.
The main element of this day is water. The color is blue. The quality is perfection.

On this day, people must unify themselves for the purpose of peace, help and selflessness. Everyone is supposed to drink from the same bowl – be it juice, milk, water or any other drink. It is good  to eat first fruit. The holiday is celebrated from dawn till sunset. They also burn four candles on this day. 

It is believed that on this day it is possible to look inside the Haurvat bowl and see a better world inside it. 

                            Zoroastrianism: An Introduction (I. B. Tauris Introductions to Religion)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

70 years ago Walt Disney's Bambi was shown on big screens

The animated film "Bambi" based on the book by an Austrian author Felix Salten, was Walt Disney's favorite film. The story tells the life of a beautiful deer, its parents, its friends and its foes.
Disney started the creation of the film in 1936, but because of technical issues had to put it off till 1942. During the work the animators had to study hard the habits, the movements and the anatomy of different animals. For this purpose, two four-month-old deers were sent to Disney from the zoo. Soon the studio turned into a real zoo. There were two skunks, squirrels, birds, rabbits, chipmunks, owls and other forest animals. During the work on the film about four million drawings were made.
The opening night took place on June 14, 1942. "Bambi" was nominated in three categories: the best song, the best music and the best sound. The film got no award. The first year of the film was a failure. Yet, it became popuar later on and with time, became a cult film. In 1948 the cartoon received the Golden Globe Award.
One copy of "Bambi' was Disney's gift to the USSR (now Russia).


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Birthday of Gojko Mitic

Gojko Mitic
Gojko Mitic is a Serbian actor, director, author, stuntman. Gojko is well-known for his roles of Indians.
He was born on June 13, 1940, in the family of a Serbian farmer, Kingdom of Yugoslavia. From his childhood, Gojko  loved sports, was passionate about football and gymnastics. He dreamt of becoming a sports trainer.
From 1960 he worked as a stuntman in the cinema. His debut in the cinema began with the English movie Lancelot and the Queen.
At the beginning of 1960s Red Westerns featuring Native Americans became popular in Europe. It was at this time that the actor moved to Berlin where he worked for DEFA studios. In 1965 Gojko played the part of an Indian chief in the movie "The Sons of Great Mother Bear". The film was a big success. The next movie was "Chingachgook, the Big Snake", adaptation of the novel by Cooper.
Clear silhouette, great body, courage and nobility, proud glance, excellent body management and acting talent made Gojko favorite of millions of viewers. In 1980s and 1990s some movies with Gojko were taken to the USA.
Gojko has also worked in theater, tried his hand at directing of children's movies and sports program hosting.
He lives in Berlin.


Friday, June 8, 2012

102 Years Ago John Wood Campbell Was Born

John Wood Campbell was an American science fiction writer and editor-in-chief of the famous magazine "Astounding Science Fiction". He actually created the range of works that are admitted as modern classical science fiction.
John Wood Campbell was born in Newark, New Jersey. He started writing being a student at Massachusetts Technology University. In 1932 he received the diploma of a physician and by that time he had become a famous science fiction writer.
His first story was published when he was 19. The first stories of Campbell were about cosmic adventures. Then, he took a pseudonym Don A. Stuart and began publishing a different kind of stories. The most famous story of that time is "Who Goes There?" which is till now believed to be one of the best thriller stories.
In September 1937 Campbell became editor in chief of the magazine "Astounding" and began to reform it by bringing it to a new level. He introduced the "mutant" column for unusual stories and renamed the magazine from "Astounding Stories" into "Astounding Science Fiction".
Campbell published stories of the new writers: Asimov, Van Vogt, Robert Heinlein. Very often these stories were authors' debuts. What Campbell did resembled a revolution but he was never wrong.
In 1940s "Astounding" became the best science fiction magazine. Later on, Campbell founded another magazine called "Unknown", which was fully dedicated to fantasy.
During years of his work Campbell didn't write, dedicating himself to publishing of others' stories. But the time spent was worth it. He became part of the world literature.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bach Festival in Leipzig

Bach, Johann Sebastian
Bachfest Leipzig is one of the most prestigious festivals in Germany dedicated to the work of the famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach. It is held annually in the middle of June and it lasts for approximately 10 days. Every year in Germany several festivals dedicated to Bach are held but the most important is Leipzig Bach Festival. It welcomes Bach music lovers from all over the world.
The city of Leipzig is known for its culture. Its name is related to the names of Mendelssohn, Schouman, Schiller. As for Bach, the most creative period of his life was spent in Leipzig. He performed in the church of Saint Foma for 20 years and directed the boys' choir. Here, the monument of Bach is erected at the entrance. And the composer himself is buried near the alter.
Bachfest Leipzig is a festival of long lasting traditions. It took place for the first time in 1904. The slogan "Lepzig - the city of music" appeared in 1920s.
All in all, during the festival about 100 concerts and performances take place. The preference is given to the music of the 19th century but there are also jazz concerts and concerts of modern music. One of the remarkable events of the festival is medal handing to the best musicians of the year. This medal is made of Meissen china.
Every year, several festivals dedicated to Bach's music take place in Germany. Bach's music makes us think about evil and good, life and death, the question why we are here...


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pressing Iron Patented 130 Years Ago by Henry Seely

Coal iron

200 years before the invention of Henry Seely irons were made of cast iron and heated  in stoves. They lost their heat quickly and were not good for ironing of  delicate tissues. To iron one single dress, laundresses had to use several irons of different sizes and stay next to a hot stove. Soon after that, to heat an iron, they began to put coals right inside it. 
In the second half of the 19th century new irons appeared. These ones worked on gas and oil. They were not safe but they lost their heat slower. 
First electrical irons were much more efficient that their predecessors. They were heated by an electric arc. Despite this advantage, these irons were dangerous. They burned the clothes because there was no temperature regulation and they often overheated. 
In the 20s of the 20th century new type of irons appeared. These ones had temperature regulation and could be used for various kinds of tissues: silk, cotton, wool and linen. In the second half of the 20th century the steam function appeared. From that time on, quick progress took place. 
Modern irons have versatile functions including steam regulation, self-cleansing, automatic switching off and other useful functions.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Birthday of Thomas Chippendale, English furniture producer

Thomas Chippendale was an honoured furniture designer. His name became the synonym of London of the 18th century.  It was also the highest quality trademark of the epoch. The furniture constructed by the designs of Chippendale was graceful, comfortable and long lasting. 
Thomas Chippendale was born on June 5, 1718 in Otley, Yorkshire, where he lived for 21 years. He studied the craft of his father learning the secrets of joiner's work. Then he moved to London working as wood cutter. He got very passionate about this craft and later on became a very famous designer and wood cutter.
In 1749 Thomas opened his own workshop in London. The workshop of Chippendale was relatively small compared to other workshops. But he managed to create different kinds of furniture thus gaining clients. He made the stylish rokoko furniture. Also, he was able to create his own style, in which he brought together the functionality of forms, the clarity of the structure and delicate lines and pattern, using Chinese motifs combined with gothic style and rokoko. It was this style that brought him fame and memory of his name for the future generations.
A table on Chippendale's house in Otley
Chippendale wrote a book that explained furniture making from red wood - The Gentleman & Cabinet-Maker's Director
Thomas also worked as interior designer, creating skeches and furnishing Harvard palace near Leeds. 


Monday, June 4, 2012

Angelina Jolie's 37th birthday

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie was born on June 4, 1975 in Los Angeles, California, USA. Her father is a famous actor Jon Voight. Angelina's mother is also an actress whose name is Marcheline Bertrand. Although her parents got apart when Angelina was one year old, they both raised her.
Angelina debuted in the cinema in 1982 in the film Lookin' to Get Out. At the age of 11 Angelina began to study acting and continued her studies in Beverly Hills High School.
At the age of 14 Jolie began to work as a model at fashion shows, mostly in New York, Los Angeles and London. Besides, she appeared in several video clips, including Rolling Stones clips. Angelina played in a theater and worked playing short roles in films.
Angelina Jolie, Hackers
The film Hackers became an important stage of Angelina's life: it is during the shooting of this film that she met her future husband, Jonny Lee Miller.
Later on, new roles were proposed to Angelina, and this is how she became a professional actress. But real fame reached her when she played in George Wallace. Jolie received an Emmy Award nomination for her performance. One year later she got the same award for the role of Gia in the film of the same name. The film tells the tragic story of a top model who died of AIDS.
The most famous films with Jolie's performance are: Playing by Heart, The Bone Collector, Gone in 60 Seconds, Lara Croft:Tomb Raider, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Tourist.
Jolie directed In the Land of Blood and Honey. She also dubbed cartoons.
With her third husband, Brad Pitt, she has raised 6 children.
Angelina Jolie is a charity organizations establisher who travels a lot around the world.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

153 years ago Big Ben started

Big Ben
Punctuality is the politeness of kings. In London, this expression has a direct meaning, because out of one hundred street clocks only Big Ben on the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster is neither fast nor slow. 
Big Ben stands for the building itself as well as the clock and the bell. Although Barry was the chief architect of the Palace, he turned to Augustus Pugin for the design of the Clock Tower. The idea was to create the clock that would be the most loud one when the bell rings and the most precise. 
The Tower itself was built in 1858 while the clock started on May 31, 1859. Inside the tower, a huge bell was installed, 2 meters high, 3 meters in diameter and about 13 tons in weigh. The tower itself was 96.3 meters. The Tower's clock faces all the four directions. Each of them is 7 meters in diameter and they are made from  opal. The dials bear an inscription in Latin which means "O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First". The hands of the clock are made of iron and copper. 
Clock Tower and Big Ben
Every other day the mechanism of the clock is thoroughly examined, oiled and readjusted to the temperatrure and pressure. But even this clock is sometimes late or fast. The gap is small: it is about only 1.5 - 2 seconds. To fix the problem, you need one old penny coin. As you place it on the old pendulum, it accelerates the clock for 2.5 seconds per day. This is how the guard makes the clock precise: he either puts the coin or removes it. 
The name of the Tower is a subject to many stories. One of them refers to Sir Benjamin Hall who oversaw the installation of the Bell and who was so tall that they nicknamed him Big Ben. 
During its history, Big Ben has become the symbol of the best days of the country and also one of the symbols of Great Britain. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Birthday of Karl Faberge

Karl Faberge
Karl Peter Faberge was born on May 30, 1846 in Saint-Petersbourg, Russia. His father was a jeweler. Karl got interested in the jewelery very early and his artistic talent revealed itself already in childhood. His father provided for Karl to receive the necessary education. He studied in a German gymnasium in Saint-Petersbourg and later in France, Paris. For several years he studied jewelry in different European cities. In 1872 Karl became the manager of his father's workshop. 
Karl Faberge won his first golden medal at an exhibition in Russia where he presented women's jewelry. 
Faberge eggs
       At approximately the same time Karl began to provide the emperor's court with the jewelry. As years went, the work of Faberge got more and more popular. He was mentioned at the court and the quantity of his jewelry grew. Faberge also fixed jewelry of those working for the court thus winning trust and credibility in the Hermitage. As he had access to the collection of the jewelry in the museum, he could study the works of other jewelers and learn about their technical methods. Karl Faberge satisfied the taste of the public by providing them with all kinds of useful things: cigarette cases, lamps, bells, watches. He was very inventive and his works were of great quality and exquisite. Easy to recognize, they marked the rank of their owner. 
The famous collection of Easter eggs was created by the order of the emperor and included at least 54 eggs. Today, 45 of these eggs have been preserved. A picture of one of them exists. 5 more eggs are known by their description. There is also one unfinished egg, that was worked on during 1917. 
After Revolution in 1917, the belongings and the collections of the Faberge family were confiscated or robbed. At the end of 1917 Faberge closed his workshop in Saint-Petersbourg, gave his collection to the manager of the Hermitage and left Russia. 
He died in 1920 in Lausanne and was cremated.
In 2004, thanks to the purchase of Russian businessman Victor Vekselberg, the Forbes collection of Faberge eggs bought for 100 000 000 dollars, was returned to Russia.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hamburg International Short Film Festival

To see the maximum number of films in the minimum amount of time, head for the Hamburg International Short Film Festival, at cinemas citywide. Selected films push the boundaries of cinema and enable audiences to broaden their social and political perspectives.
Hamburg International Short Film Festival is an annual festival that takes place at the end of May. This tradition began in 1985, when the first short film festival took place. It was called "No Budget" festival. Nowadays, this festival is one of the most significant world events. Contest festival program includes several nominations. One of them is International films. There are also Low Budget Films, German films, Hamburg Films, Three Minute Films. 


Monday, May 28, 2012

This day back in 1756 mayonnaise was invented

Today, mayonnaise is so popular that it is present in almost every cuisine of the world.
There are several versions about how mayonnaise was invented. The most popular is the following. It all happened in the French city of Mahon in 1756, when the English occupied French lands. A big problem of product supply took place in the French army of Francois Arman du Plessy. Only oil, eggs and lemons were left. Because everyday omelets made soldiers sick, an order was passed to the cook to make some unusual dish from the products that they had. The cook, as he was unable to find any other products, decided to prepare a sauce from oil. The sauce turned out to be very tasty. It was called mayonnaise, as suggested by the name of the city where it was created - Mahon.
Mayonnaise consists of oil, water, egg powder, dry milk, vinegar and species.