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.