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1  Politics / Tea Party, Libertarian, Constituion Parties & Ron Paul / Fox blames weather for weak turnout at tea party rally on: March 31, 2011, 03:07:17 pm
Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:00 PM EDT

Fox blames weather for weak turnout at tea party rally
by Jed Lewison for Daily Kos
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permalink 193 Comments

Tea party organizers had high hopes for their rally today in Washington, DC—high enough hopes that they arranged for Fox to give it live coverage.

Then something sad happened. Just a few dozen people showed up. And Fox, naturally, blamed the weather:

Yeah, the weather really killed the rally. Just like the only reason the rallies were so big in Wisconsin was its gorgeous mid-winter weather (complete with sunny blue skies and palm trees!).
Or here's another thought: maybe the tea party fizzle has something to do with the fact that the tea party isn't popular anymore.,-sunny-weather
2  Media & Film / Documentary / Trinity and Beyond on: December 07, 2010, 01:32:01 pm
Trinity and Beyond

Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie is a 1995 American documentary film directed by Peter Kuran and narrated by William Shatner. Using restored archive footage, the film traces the development of nuclear weapons and their testing, from America's Trinity test of 1945 (hence the title) to the first Chinese atomic bomb test in 1964. Kuran's commentary on the DVD version claims that the DVD replaces some of the original footage with better-quality versions. The film has also since been released on Blu-ray, offering the highest quality visual experience available on home media.

Included is footage of nuclear tests starting with the May 1945 trial run to Trinity (the first atomic bomb), a 100 ton TNT blast used to scale and calibrate the Trinity device, and ending with the last U.S. atmospheric nuclear detonation (called Tightrope) of the Nike Hercules air defense missile in 1963. Also included are test series in the South Pacific, and footage of the firing of the U.S. Army's atomic cannon at the Nevada Test Site in 1953, and color images of multi-megaton high altitude air bursts over Johnston Island just before the limited test ban treaty went into effect (banning all except underground detonations) in 1963.

The film's publicity claims that much of the American footage is newly declassified and previously unseen. Kuran's research brought him into contact with many of the cameramen who photographed the American tests, leading to the production of another documentary, Atomic Filmmakers, which featured their reminiscences of working on the program. A new patented image restoration process was used for the first time to improve considerably the image quality of old and fading film stock.[1]

The film's music (composed by William Stromberg) was performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, symbolizing the end of the cold war. The score was later used in some trailers for the X-Men movies.

3  The Crusades, Templars & the Holy Grail / the Da Vinci Code / Re: Vitruvian Man on: October 01, 2010, 01:29:50 pm
The multiple viewpoint that set in with Romanticism has convinced us that there is no such thing as a universal set of proportions for the human body. The field of anthropometry was created in order to describe individual variations. Vitruvius' statements may be interpreted as statements about average proportions. Vitruvius takes pains to give a precise mathematical definition of what he means by saying that the navel is the center of the body, but other definitions lead to different results; for example, the center of mass of the human body depends on the position of the limbs, and in a standing posture is typically about 10 cm lower than the navel, near the top of the hip bones.

Leonardo's drawing combines a careful reading of the ancient text with his own observation of actual human bodies. In drawing the circle and square he correctly observes that the square cannot have the same center as the circle,[6] the navel, but is somewhat lower in the anatomy. This adjustment is the innovative part of Leonardo's drawing and what distinguishes it from earlier illustrations. He also departs from Vitruvius by drawing the arms raised to a position in which the fingertips are level with the top of the head, rather than Vitruvius's much lower angle, in which the arms form lines passing through the navel.

The drawing itself is often used as an implied symbol of the essential symmetry of the human body, and by extension, of the universe as a whole.

It may be noticed by examining the drawing that the combination of arm and leg positions actually creates sixteen different poses. The pose with the arms straight out and the feet together is seen to be inscribed in the superimposed square. On the other hand, the "spread-eagle" pose is seen to be inscribed in the superimposed circle.

The drawing was in the collection of Giuseppe Bossi, who illustrated it in his monograph on Leonardo's The Last Supper, Del Cenacolo di Leonardo Da Vinci libri quattro (1810).[7] The following year he excerpted the section of his monograph concerned with the Vitruvian Man and published it as Delle opinioni di Leonardo da Vinci intorno alla simmetria de'Corpi Umani (1811), with a dedication to his friend Antonio Canova.[8]

After Bossi's death in 1815 the Vitruvian Man was acquired, along with the bulk of his drawings, by the Accademia.

4  The Crusades, Templars & the Holy Grail / the Da Vinci Code / Re: Vitruvian Man on: October 01, 2010, 01:29:13 pm
5  The Crusades, Templars & the Holy Grail / the Da Vinci Code / Re: Vitruvian Man on: October 01, 2010, 01:28:38 pm
•   a palm is the width of four fingers
•   a foot is the width of four palms (i.e., 12 inches)
•   a cubit is the width of six palms
•   a pace is four cubits
•   a man's height is four cubits (and thus 24 palms)
•   "erit eaque mensura ad manas pansas"
•   the length of a man's outspread arms (arm span) is equal to his height
•   the distance from the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of a man's height
•   the distance from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin is one-eighth of a man's height
•   the distance from the bottom of the neck to the hairline is one-sixth of a man's height
•   the maximum width of the shoulders is a quarter of a man's height
•   the distance from the middle of the chest to the top of the head is a quarter of a man's height
•   the distance from the elbow to the tip of the hand is a quarter of a man's height
•   the distance from the elbow to the armpit is one-eighth of a man's height
•   the length of the hand is one-tenth of a man's height
•   the distance from the bottom of the chin to the nose is one-third of the length of the head
•   the distance from the hairline to the eyebrows is one-third of the length of the face
•   the length of the ear is one-third of the length of the face
•   the length of a man's foot is one-sixth of his height
Leonardo is clearly illustrating Vitruvius' De architectura 3.1.2-3 which reads:
For the human body is so designed by nature that the face, from the chin to the top of the forehead and the lowest roots of the hair, is a tenth part of the whole height; the open hand from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger is just the same; the head from the chin to the crown is an eighth, and with the neck and shoulder from the top of the breast to the lowest roots of the hair is a sixth; from the middle of the breast to the summit of the crown is a fourth. If we take the height of the face itself, the distance from the bottom of the chin to the under side of the nostrils is one third of it; the nose from the under side of the nostrils to a line between the eyebrows is the same; from there to the lowest roots of the hair is also a third, comprising the forehead. The length of the foot is one sixth of the height of the body; of the forearm, one fourth; and the breadth of the breast is also one fourth. The other members, too, have their own symmetrical proportions, and it was by employing them that the famous painters and sculptors of antiquity attained to great and endless renown. Similarly, in the members of a temple there ought to be the greatest harmony in the symmetrical relations of the different parts to the general magnitude of the whole. Then again, in the human body the central point is naturally the navel. For if a man be placed flat on his back, with his hands and feet extended, and a pair of compasses centred at his navel, the fingers and toes of his two hands and feet will touch the circumference of a circle described therefrom. And just as the human body yields a circular outline, so too a square figure may be found from it. For if we measure the distance from the soles of the feet to the top of the head, and then apply that measure to the outstretched arms, the breadth will be found to be the same as the height, as in the case of plane surfaces which are perfectly square.[5]

6  The Crusades, Templars & the Holy Grail / the Da Vinci Code / Re: Vitruvian Man on: October 01, 2010, 01:28:06 pm
This image exemplifies the blend of art and science during the Renaissance and provides the perfect example of Leonardo's keen interest in proportion. In addition, this picture represents a cornerstone of Leonardo's attempts to relate man to nature. Encyclopaedia Britannica online states, "Leonardo envisaged the great picture chart of the human body he had produced through his anatomical drawings and Vitruvian Man as a cosmografia del minor mondo (cosmography of the microcosm). He believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe."

According to Leonardo's preview in the accompanying text, written in mirror writing, it was made as a study of the proportions of the (male) human body as described in Vitruvius:
7  The Crusades, Templars & the Holy Grail / the Da Vinci Code / Re: Vitruvian Man on: October 01, 2010, 01:27:50 pm

 Leonardo da Vinci
Year c. 1487
Type Pen and ink with wash over metalpoint
on paper
Dimensions 34.4 × 25.5 cm (13.5 × 10.0 in)
8  The Crusades, Templars & the Holy Grail / the Da Vinci Code / Vitruvian Man on: October 01, 2010, 01:27:05 pm
Vitruvian Man

The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci around the year 1487.[1] It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the famed architect, Vitruvius. The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man. It is stored in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, Italy, and, like most works on paper, is displayed only occasionally.[2][3]

The drawing is based on the correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry described[4] by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in Book III of his treatise De Architectura. Vitruvius described the human figure as being the principal source of proportion among the Classical orders of architecture. Other artists had attempted to depict this concept, with less success. Leonardo's drawing is traditionally named in honor of the architect.

9  Earth Changes / Global Warming / The Flooded Earth: Our Future In a World Without Ice Caps [Hardcover] on: August 11, 2010, 03:05:08 pm
The Flooded Earth: Our Future In a World Without Ice Caps [Hardcover]
By Peter D. Ward's Review (excerpt)
From Publishers Weekly:

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"One of the more confusing aspects of the IPCC report was how far oceans will rise. The numbers in the report were not very worrisome, but many scientists said the seas could rise much further. Peter Ward tries to bring some clarity to the confusion. He says anything over 5 feet is beyond civilizations ability to deter and thus many places will be abandoned. Certain hot spots like Bangladesh, Holland, San Francisco, Venice, New Orleans and southern Florida make appearances as Ward envisions what they could look like in the future. His book is not a prediction. He offers instead scenarios that are within the realm of possibility because *they have happened before*. The geological record is chock full of evidence of rapidly rising seas. This is not debateable, it's as clear as a dinosaur bone (although some people deny dinosaurs existed). How exactly our future unfolds no one knows, Ward doesn't know either, but he looks at parallels between the past and present atmosphere and it's not pretty. One thing we are certain of however, as CO2 levels rise, so do the oceans."
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10  Maps, Explorers & Adventurers / Explorers & Adventurers / Re: Fountain of Youth on: May 19, 2010, 01:27:15 pm

Postcard from the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine
11  Maps, Explorers & Adventurers / Explorers & Adventurers / Re: Fountain of Youth on: May 19, 2010, 01:26:30 pm

en:Al-Khadir (right) and companion en:Zul-Qarnain (en:Alexander the Great) marvel at the sight of a salted fish that comes back to life when touched by the Water of Life. "When Alexander sought he did not find what Khizr found unsought". From Sikandar Nâma, the Persian en:Alexander Romance, LXIX.75

Image from
12  Maps, Explorers & Adventurers / Explorers & Adventurers / Re: Fountain of Youth on: May 19, 2010, 01:25:25 pm
^ Herodotus, Book III: 22-24
^ a b c d Peck, Douglas T. "Misconceptions and Myths Related to the Fountain of Youth and Juan Ponce de Leon's 1513 Exploration Voyage" (PDF). New World Explorers, Inc. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
^ Pedro Mártir de Angleria. Decadas de Nuevo Mundo, Decada 2, chapter X.
^ Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo. Historia General y Natural de las Indias, book 16, chapter XI.
^ Francisco López de Gómara. Historia General de las Indias, second part.
^ a b "Fontaneda's Memoir". Translation by Buckingham Smith, 1854. From Retrieved July 14, 2006.
^ Samuel Eliot Morison, The European Discovery of America: The Southern Voyages 1492-1616 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974), p. 504.
^ Florida Heritage website: Great Floridians 2000 Program-St. Augustine/Dr. Luella Day McConnell
^ Charlie Carlson (April 7, 2005). Weird Florida. New York: Sterling. ISBN 0-7607-5945-6
^ Jane Sutton (August 15, 2006). "David Copperfield 'finds Fountain of Youth'". Reuters.
^ The Fountain of Youth, 1958, directed by Orson Welles
[edit] External links
Fountain of Youth - St. Augustine, Florida
Memoir of Hernando D'Escalante Fontaneda
Article on the Fountain of Youth
Article on Al-Khidr and the Water of Life
Retrieved from ""
13  Maps, Explorers & Adventurers / Explorers & Adventurers / Re: Fountain of Youth on: May 19, 2010, 01:25:01 pm
Fountain of Youth today

The city of St. Augustine, Florida is home to the Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park, a tribute to the spot where Ponce de León is traditionally said to have landed. The tourist attraction was created by Luella Day McConnell in 1904. "Diamond Lil", as she was known, fabricated stories to amuse and appall the city’s residents and tourists until her death in 1927.[8]

Though the fountain situated there is not "the" Fountain, this does not stop tourists from drinking its water. The park exhibits native and colonial artifacts to celebrate St. Augustine's Timucuan and Spanish heritage.

In the book Weird Florida, part of the Weird U.S. series by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman, author Charlie Carlson says he conversed with members of a supposed St. Augustine-based secret society claiming to be the protectors of the Fountain of Youth, which has granted them extraordinary longevity. They claimed Old John Gomez, a protagonist in the Gasparilla legend from Florida folklore, had been one of their members.[9] In August 2006, popular American magician David Copperfield claimed he had discovered a true "Fountain of Youth" amid a cluster of four small islands in the Exuma chain of the Bahamas which he recently purchased for roughly $50 million. "I've discovered a true phenomenon," he told Reuters. "You can take dead leaves, they come in contact with the water, they become full of life again. … Bugs or insects that are near death, come in contact with the water, they'll fly away. It's an amazing thing, very, very exciting." Copperfield, who turned 50 in September 2006, says that he hired scientists to conduct an examination of the "legendary" water, but as of now, the fountain remains off limits to outside visitors.[10]

The Fountain of Youth lives on as a metaphor for anything that potentially increases longevity. It is a frequently used plot device in age regression stories. Nathaniel Hawthorne used the Fountain in "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" to demonstrate that positive thinking is a far better remedy than deluded journeys to Florida for legendary cures; Orson Welles directed and starred in a 1958 TV program based on the legend;[11] and Tim Powers featured it in On Stranger Tides, a novel of 18th century pirate-voodoo adventure. In 1953, the Walt Disney Company created a cartoon entitled Don's Fountain of Youth, in which Donald Duck had supposedly discovered the famous fountain and can't resist pretending to his nephews that it really works. In 1974, Marvel Comics featured the Fountain (which works if bathed in, but cripples if drunk from) in Man-Thing and later The Savage She-Hulk. In 2005 the Fountain turned up in the DC Comics series Day of Vengeance. The fountain and its waters form the main plot device in Microsoft and Ensemble Studio's Age of Empires III campaign "Blood, Ice and Steel". Recently, characters in the 2006 Darren Aronofsky film The Fountain search for the Tree of Life to cure a brain tumor. Jorge Luis Borges refers to the Fountain of Life in a short story in the book The Aleph, in which the people who are immortal get tired of it and eventually start looking for the Fountain of Death to reverse their immortality.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, is set to be based on a journey in search of the Fountain of Youth. This was alluded to at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End where Captain Jack Sparrow had taken the map from Captain Hector Barbossa. The film is scheduled for filming in summer 2010, then released in 2011.

The common tale of the fountain of youth has also been creatively portrayed by Matt Groening in the hit series, "Futurama".

14  Maps, Explorers & Adventurers / Explorers & Adventurers / Re: Fountain of Youth on: May 19, 2010, 01:24:06 pm
It is Herrera who makes that connection definite in the romanticized version of Fontaneda's story included in his Historia general de los hechos de los Castellanos en las islas y tierra firme del Mar Oceano. Herrera states that local caciques paid regular visits to the fountain. A frail old man could become so completely restored that he could resume "all manly exercises… take a new wife and beget more children." Herrera adds that the Spaniards had unsuccessfully searched every "river, brook, lagoon or pool" along the Florida coast for the legendary fountain.[7] It would appear the Sequene story is likewise based on a garbling of Fontaneda.

15  Maps, Explorers & Adventurers / Explorers & Adventurers / Re: Fountain of Youth on: May 19, 2010, 01:23:46 pm
The story is apocryphal. Ponce de León does not mention the fountain in his writings throughout the course of his expedition.[2] While he may well have heard of the Fountain and believed in it, his name was not associated with the legend in writing until after his death. That connection is made in Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo's Historia General y Natural de las Indias of 1535, in which he wrote that Ponce de León was looking for the waters of Bimini to cure his impotence.[4] Some researchers have suggested that Oviedo's account may have been politically inspired to generate favor in the courts.[2] A similar account appears in Francisco López de Gómara's Historia General de las Indias of 1551.[5] In the Memoir of Hernando D'Escalante Fontaneda in 1575, the author places the restorative waters in Florida and mentions de León looking for them there; his account influenced Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas' history of the Spanish in the New World.[6] Fontaneda had spent seventeen years as an Indian captive after being shipwrecked in Florida as a boy. In his Memoir he tells of the curative waters of a lost river he calls "Jordan" and refers to de León looking for them. However, Fontaneda makes it clear he is skeptical about these stories he includes, and says he doubts de León was actually looking for the fabled stream when he came to Florida.[6]

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