Sunday, July 6, 2008


Maimonides (1135-1204), or Moses ben Maimon, was the greatest Jewish philosopher of the Middle Ages. His commentaries on, and codification of, the rabbinic tradition established him as a major religious authority in Judaism. in bahasa ]

Maimonides was born at Cordova, Spain, on March 30, 1135. From his father, Rabbi Maimon ben Joseph, he received his early education in Mathematics, and astronomy as well as in rabbinic literature, which interpreted the jewish scriptures and defined the Iaws and ritual of the Jewish community. Living in southern Spain, Maimonides also came into contact with Greek, and Arabian philosophy, especially the thought of Avicenna.

In 1148, when Maimonides was 13, the Almohads conquered Cordova, then his family moved abroad. After 12 years of wandering from town to town in southern Spain, the family finally settled at Fez in Morocco. During this period of wandering, Maimonides wrote a treatise on the Jewish calendar and began his commentary on the Mishnah, a codification of the Jewish Oral Law arranged according to subjects.

Jewish faith is different to Christian faith, and would never be the same, especially with their theology. Rarely jews willing to convert to Christianity, that's why many of them tend to die in the Crusade I era, rather than abandon the Jewish faith or undergo martyrdom, Maimonides and his family sailed to Palestine on April 18, 1165, arriving at Acre a month later. The next year the family settled at al Fustat (Old Cairo) in Egypt, where Maimonides was to remain for the rest of his life. After the death of the father in 1166, the family was supported for a time by Maimonides's younger brother, David, who engaged in the jewel trade. David died by drowning while on a voyage to the Indonesia, and the accompanying loss of the family's resources as well as those of other investors forced Maimonides into a career in medicine. Maimonides soon became the personal physician of al Qadi al Fadil, the vizier of Saladin. Shortly thereafter, Maimonides was made the head of all the Jewish communities in Egypt, a nonsalaried position which he held until his death.

Settling at al Fustat allowed Mainionides to complete his commentary on the Mishnah, which appeared in 1168 and soon became popular among the Jewish communities of the Mediterranean worId. About 1180 Maimonides completed his code of the Jewish law, which had a similarly favorable reception.

The major work of Maimonides, The Guide of the Perplexed, was completed in 1190 and published in Arabic. In this work Maimonides tried to reconcile faith and reason. It was written for those who possessed a firm knowledge of the Jewish faith, mathematics, and logic but Who, having little or no knowledge of physics and metaphysics, believed that religion and philosophy contradicted each other. Maimonides believed that philosophy, properly understood and used, supported rather than destroyed the faith. In order to demonstrate this, he adopted many of the arguments for the existence of God and the nature of the human soul found in such Arabian philosophers as al Farabi and Avicenna. Where philosophical demonstration is inconclusive, as in establishing the eternity of the world or the doctrine of creation.

Maimonides died at al Fustat on Dec, 13, 1204, and, after a period of mourning in the Jewish community in Egypt, his body was transported to Palestine and buried at Tiberias in Galilee. His Guide became the fundamental text for medieval Jewish philosophy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Arthur O. Lovejoy

Arthur Oncken Lovejoy (11873 1962), American philosopher, helped establish the history of ideas as a separate scholarly field. in bahasa ]

Born in Berlin, Germany, on Oct. 10 1873, Arthur Lovejoy emigrated to the United States. He received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California in 1895. In 1897 Harvard awarded him a master of arts degree. After studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, he organized a department of philosophy at Stanford University in California. However, he resigned to protest what lie felt was an unfair dismissal of a colleague. From 1901 to 1908 Lovejoy taught at Washington University in St. Louis. After 2 years at the University of Missouri, lie moved to Johns Hopkins University, where he spent the rest of his teaching career, with occasional trips to Harvard as visiting lecturer.

For many years Lovejoy's primary influence came through his teaching and short articles, as well as through the History of Ideas Club he helped organize at Johns Hopkins. Not until relatively late in life did he publish book length expositions. The Revolt against Dualisms (1930) reflected his desire to establish a philosophical position somewhere between the popular extremes of "idealism" (which made the universe dependent upon consciousness) and "realism" (which argued for an objective existence independent of consciousness). His philosophical focus on the transitional dimension of being and knowledge coincided with his interest in intellectual history.

In numerous essays and two books, Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity (1935) and The Great Chain of Being (1930), his most important work, Lovejoy elaborated a scholarly discipline best described as the study of the history of ideas. Whereas most intellectual historians had emphasized the external relationship of thought to environment, Lovejoy stressed internal analysis to demonstrate how the meaning of ideas changes through the ages and how “unit-ideas” manifest themselves in the thought of men outside the philosophical profession.

Essentially, his was a philosopher's method, which may explain why historians and literary experts in the field did not often attempt to duplicate his approach. The Great Chain of Being evoked much admiration but lilttle imitation; the Journal of the History of Ideas, which Lovejoy helped found and edit, maintained his high standards of philosophical analysis. He died on Oct. 30, 1962.

Name: Arthur Oncken Lovejoy
Born: 10-Oct-1873
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: 30-Dec-1962
Religion: Unitarian
Occupation: Historian
Nationality: United States
University: BA, University of California at Berkeley (1895)
University: MA, Harvard University (1897)
University: Sorbonne
Professor: Stanford University (1899-1901)
Professor: Washington University in St. Louis (1901-07)
Professor: University of Missouri (1908-10)
Professor: Philosophy, Johns Hopkins University (1910-38)

Journal of the History of Ideas Founder (1940-)
American Civil Liberties Union

Author of books:
The Revolt Against Dualism (1930)
Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity (1935, with George Boas)
The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea (1936)
Essays in the History of Ideas (1948)
Reflections on Human Nature (1961)
The Reason, the Understanding, and Time (1961)


Macbeth was king of Scotland from 1040 to 1057. Although he is best known through the Shakespearean drama bearing his name, his historical importance lies in the fact that he was the last Celtic king of Scotland. in bahasa ]

The career of Macbeth is hidden in obscurity, but certain facts make it clear that Shakespeare's portrayal of the character of the man is at marked variance with reality. Macbeth was a person of great importance before he became king. As holder of the office of mormaer of Moray by virtue of inheritance from his father, he was a district chieftain and one of a handful of the most important men of the realm. His own ancestry could be traced back to royalty, and he was cousin to Duncan I (reigned 1034 1040), whom he served as commander of the royal army. His wife, Gruoch, was also descended from royalty. Macbeth came to represent opposition to the king at several points: in him northern and Celtic sentiments found a defender against southern and Saxon influences supported by Duncan; and Macbeth had personal claims to kingship in his own name and in that of his stepson, Lulach.

There was some questions about the rights of Duncan to be king since, as grandson of Malcolm II, he represented the first instance of the rule of primogeniture in the history of the Scottish crown. The usual principle of succession required that the crown pass to a collateral of the king, not to heirs of the direct line. As Macbeth pressed his claim, he had tradition on his side; he won the crown by slaying Duncan at Bothgowanan in 1040.

During Macbeth's reign there was only one native uprising, that led by Abbot Crinan, Duncan's father. The realm was peaceful enough for Macbeth to make a pilgrimage to Rome in 1050. An invasion from Northumberland in the name of Duncan's son, Malcolm (later, Malcolm III), was repulsed in 1054. A second invasion, in 1057, led by Malcolm was successful, and Macbeth fell in battle; but rather than accept the "Saxon" Malcolm, Macbeth's supporters took Lulach for their king. Within a few months Lulach was defeated, and Malcolm was able to inaugurate the Canmore dynasty.

This dynastic revolution seems to be the basis for the identification of Macbeth as a monster and usurper. When later Canmore kings fought Celtic forces of decentralization, they exalted their ancestor Duncan and developed a hostile vision of Macbeth, the last Celtic king, so as to discredit the Celtic cause. The first written picture of Macbeth in this new light came in the Scotichronicon of John of Fordun (ca. 1380). From this base the legend grew until it reached its fullest statement in the writing of Raphael Holinshed, the immediate source for Shakespeare.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mata Hari

Matahari was born as Margaretha Geertruida on August 7, 1876 in Leeuwarden Holland (the Netherlands).
She was the second child of Adam Zelle and his wife Antje van der Meulen (inter-race decent of Manado and Holland) and only sister of four Zelle boys. Her father was a wealthy businessman. Margaretha Geertruida (MataHari), throughout her youth was accustomed to servants and a life full of luxury and aristocracy. She was affectionately called M'greet. As she later recalled, her father seemed to regard her as "an orchid among buttercups." in bahasa ]

Initially, she enjoyed a privileged childhood but when she was thirteen years old, her father's business failed and he left home. Two years later, her mother died.

Sent to live with relatives, she started training as a schoolteacher. However, she was dismissed following an indiscreet affair with the headmaster. Then, at the age of eighteen, she responded to a newspaper advertisement on behalf of an army officer seeking marriage for the purpose of career advancement. So, she met 38-year-old Captain Rudolph MacLeod, a Dutchman of Scottish ancestry, and on 11 July 1895, they married.

Life finally changed, they had two children, a son Norman born on 30 January 1897 in The Netherlands. This bundle of joy brought happiness in their lives and what’s more the MacLeods were now close together, but in financial crisis due to the expenses of wedding and honeymoon and finally a baby too. As revealed by her later, at the time of divorce, Margaretha cried bitterly and pointed out that when Margaretha had given birth to a baby, John was having sex with a native girl in the next room. After five months of the baby’s birth they finally decided to shift to the Dutch East Indies. Margaretha thought this was going to be a great adventure. She now turned 20 years old while John was 41. After having shifted to the East Indies, a daughter Jeanne-Louise born on 2 May 1898 on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies. Jeanne was nicknamed ‘Non’, that is an abbreviation for a Malayan word ‘Nona’, which means a young girl. However, things were not much different for Margaretha. There were daily fights and arguments and of course some unpleasant situations still continued.

Life was now slowly changing for Margaretha. She was now a mother too apart from being a wife. Rudolph was slowly realizing what it meant to marry an exceptionally pretty girl and the one who was very young too. Rudolph had experienced many such incidents when men on streets had tried to flirt with Margaretha, and Rudolph, left with no choice, had to defend her honor. When things started going beyond his control he started accusing Margaretha of flirting with other men. He had a Casanova kind of an attitude, and he did not change much after marriage. His old ways and habits stuck to him like glue. He was many times accused of being too rough with his wife by many of his friends. He used to accuse Margaretha in public too.

John then got transferred to Medan, another city. Margaretha would be called there later and in the meanwhile he would get settled in Medan. Margaretha, however left their home and started living with the Van Rheedes. Van Rheedes served as the chief accountant for the Dutch army in the East Indies. This was the time when Margaretha really did what she liked. She used to like dressing in the native ‘Sarong’ and ‘Kabaja’, in English those dresses would be a skirt and a blouse. Also among the usual other dresses were laced up, tight-fitting corsets. She enjoyed the brightly patterned clothing. Her keen interest got her invitation to one of Javanese dance dramas and it went on for days and days. Slowly her fascination for history, language and culture of Indonesia grew and slowly and secretly she started learning Malay bit by bit, though she could not speak much of the language fluently but she somehow could manage to speak a word here and there.

Time passed and her knowledge too increased. Many a times at parties in the local club, when soldiers and their wives were being entertained by the native folk dance performers, Margaretha would often join them in their dances, flailing herself about uninhibitedly to the delight of the on lookers. To her relatives, in 1897, Margaretha wrote about she being asked to dance by the officers in the Dutch East Indies, and she also mentioned that she had taken the name ‘Mata Hari’ which in Malay meant ‘the eye of dawn’. Interestingly, Margaretha was attracted towards Hindu mythology and would hunt around the town for people who would translate the dance dramas to her. This interest of hers made her identify herself more and more to the Hindu pantheon. At times when she was alone in her room, she would perform the slow, hypnotic dances and most of the time the only musical accompaniment were the sounds of an orchestra in her head. With her soul too now being too much attached to the dancing and herself being attracted to the Hindu mythology, Margaretha realized that she was becoming more or less an ‘Apsara’, or a Celestial Dancing Girl, whose moments of happiness could be realized only when she was dancing for the Gods.

John, meanwhile was busy with his life in Medan, he was sending no money to his wife or children. Margaretha had no financial support from her husband. It was very embarrassing for her. On the other hand, John used to write to his relatives, and in those long letters, he complained about Margaretha’s lack of maternal instincts. In his letters he wrote her in detail how she should be prepared to clean the house herself, and also mentioned that though being a Garrison Commander’s wife, she should not neglect her duties as a mother of two children.

It was just almost one month that Margaretha had settled in Medan, catastrophe struck, on 25 June 1899, the two-and-a-half year old son Norman died of the poison, but the little girl survived the accident because she had not consumed much of the supper. Investigation reports revealed that the poison found in the sauce which was consumed with rice. Rumors spread. One of them was, John had beaten up a native soldier, and incidentally this soldier was in love with the children’s nurse. The nurse, in order to take revenge of her lover being beaten up, had poisoned the children. The nurse, however, remained the prime suspect of the homicide. She was never charged for the accusations and the case was never resolved. John on the other hand, used to accuse Margaretha for being careless about the children, which was the reason why their child died. John was transferred back again to Java to a village called Banyu-Biru. Finally after having thought over it for a long time and considering their life together being not so fruitful, the two decided to go for a legal separation.

Life continued, but Margaretha could not forget the time she had in Holland. She used to request frequently to return to Holland, and finally after too much of persistence her wishes were granted and in March 1902, they boarded a naval transport to Amsterdam. She thought at least there would be no separation if they were on home ground. John and Margaretha were tired of the life they had in the Indies, there were many sad memories associated with it. Even after reaching Holland, the couple fought incessantly. One fine day when Margaretha returned home, she was shocked, her apartment was empty, and John had gone away with their four-year-old daughter. Margaretha, after hard efforts tracked them down, but it was in vain, a separation was slapped on her face brutally. However, she was returned her daughter and was promised monetary support but that never reached her.

John cruelly put an advertisement in the Amsterdam newspapers : “I request all and sundry not to supply goods or services to my estranged wife Margaretha MacLeod-Zelle.” He also spread the word that it was Margaretha who had deserted him. She looked for some employment but found nothing. Unable to feed or clothe Non, she reluctantly returned her to John.

Margaretha was now on her own. She had been separated and penniless, she had no work skills and there was hardly any future for this 27-year-old lady. She recalled, in the East Indies, how intrigued she became as she read the Dutch newspapers that presented the easy life in Paris, then the center of culture and the arts. Anonymous writers had written about the huge volumes of talent and arts and those being highly appreciated there. She had in her mind a vague picture towards that unknown land that she had never seen but she was sure that perhaps she had a better future there, and finally she decided to leave for Paris and try her luck there.

She moved to Paris where she performed as a circus horse rider, using the name 'Lady MacLeod'. Struggling to earn a living, she also modelled for the portraitist Antonio de La Gandara.

From 1905, she eventually won fame as an exotic Oriental-style dancer. It was then that she adopted the stage name Mata Hari, which means 'sun' in Indonesian and Malay (literally 'eye of the day'). For her act, she posed as a princess from Java of priestly Indian birth, pretending to have been initiated into the art of sacred Indian dance since childhood. Although the explanations were fiction, the act was spectacularly successful because it elevated erotic dance to an acceptably respectable status, and so broke new ground in a style of entertainment for which Paris was to be world famous.

The Mata Hari was also a successful courtesan and had relationships with many military officers, politicians and others in influential positions in many countries, including France and Germany.

Mata Hari the double agent
During World War I, The Netherlands maintained neutrality and, as a Dutch subject, Margaretha Zelle was able to cross national borders. To avoid the battlefields, she would travel between France and The Netherlands via Spain and England, and her movements inevitably attracted suspicious attention. On one occasion, when interviewed by British intelligence officers, she admitted to working as an agent for French military intelligence, although the latter would not confirm her story.

In January 1917, the German military attaché in Madrid transmitted radio messages to Berlin describing the helpful activities of a German spy, code-named H-21. French intelligence agents intercepted the messages and, from the information they contained, were able to recognise H-21 as the Mata Hari. Remarkably, the messages were in a code that German intelligence knew had been broken by the French, leaving historians later to suppose that the messages were contrived so that, in the event that she was working for the French, her French paymasters would identify her as a double agent and neutralise her. On 13 February 1917, she was arrested in her Paris hotel room. At the time of her arrest, France was at a low point in the war. Morale was down, there was seemingly no end in sight, hundreds of thousands of both Central Powers and Anglo-Russian Entente forces had died, and there was a hunger for a scapegoat. The now-famous Dutchwoman seemed to fit the role. The famous Mata Hari was put on trial, accused of spying and so causing the deaths of tens of thousands of soldiers. Although it has been speculated since that there was no concrete evidence, she was nevertheless found guilty and was executed by firing squad on 15 October 1917, at the age of 41.

For reasons of national security, the evidence was heard in secret and, to this day, the judicial files remain closed. What is known about her wartime activities from other archives makes flimsy evidence, and historians have found nothing to indicate that the Mata Hari ever passed any significant information to either side. It is more likely that she accepted payment from both sides but failed to satisfy her paymasters. Certainly, the trial occurred at a time when the war was not going well for France, and for the French government it was very convenient to focus blame for military failures on the treachery of spies. The conviction of the Mata Hari provided a high-profile example, and enhanced the public image of French counter-espionage capabilities.

The fact that a former erotic dancer had been executed as a spy immediately provoked many rumours. One is that she blew a kiss to her executioners, although it is more likely that she blew a kiss to her lawyer, who was a witness to the execution and a former lover of hers. Another rumour claims that, in an attempt to distract her executioners, she flung open her coat and exposed her naked body.

A third rumour had it that the Mata Hari was unusually composed at the execution, refusing to be tied or blindfolded – and that this is because the firing squad was to be bribed to use blanks for a fake execution, but the plan failed. However, the tale bears a suspicious resemblance to a plot in Puccini's earlier opera, Tosca.

The enduring legend and popular culture
Naturally, popular imagination was fired by the idea of an exotic dancer working as a lethal double agent, using her powers of seduction to extract military secrets from her many lovers. This image has made the Mata Hari an enduring stereotype of the femme fatale.

Such of the enduring popularity is owed to the film entitled "Mata Hari", released in 1931 and starring Greta Garbo in the leading role. While based on real events in the life of Margaretha Zelle, the plot was largely fictional, appealing to the public appetite for fantasy at the expense of historical fact. Immensely successful as a form of entertainment, the exciting and romantic character in this film inspired subsequent generations of storytellers.

Eventually, the Mata Hari featured in more films, television series, anime series, and in video games series Read or Die, and in video games —but increasingly, it is only Margaretha Zelle's famous stage name that bears any resemblance to the real character.

Many books have been written about the Mata Hari; some of them serious historical and biographical accounts, but many of them highly speculative.

The finale was full of drama. On October 15, 1917, Mata Hari refused both blindfold and tether and blew a kiss to the firing squad before they pulled the trigger. Rumors say that one soldier, overcome by the idea that his rifle had fired the fatal bullet, fainted after the act ! Was she spying for the Germans or French ? The legend of the world’s most famous female spy lives on.

Here are pop cultures refer to the legend
- In the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale, the fictional character Mata Bond was the daughter of Mata-Hari and James Bond. She was a dancer just like her mother, but not a terribly good spy.

- Mata Hari has also been mentioned on the television series Charmed. The character Phoebe becomes possessed by Mata Hari's spirit.

- Mata Hari appears as a spy in the first two games of the Shadow Hearts video game series, under her true name, though Anglicised to Margarete Gertrude Zelle. In the first game, she also joins the party early on.

- In the Indiana Jones series, it is said in the novels that as a teenager, Indiana lost his virginity to Mata Hari.

- In the Young Indiana Jones Cronicals episode 'Demons of Deception' the 22 year old Indiana Jones meets and falls in love with Mata Hari in Paris during military leave from the front.

- Mata Hari is mentioned in "Like It or Not" a song from Madonna's Confessions On A Dance Floor. "Cleopatra had her way, Mata Hari too. Whether they were good or bad, is strictly up to you. In the same meaning, she is mentioned in "Shake Your Bon Bon", a song by Latin singer Ricky Martin.

- Another mention in music comes in the Mary Prankster song Mata Hari, discussing the reaction of society to openly sexual women.

- The song As You Turn To Go by The 6ths contains the lines "I know I'm not supposed to say I'm sorry, I know you've had more loves than Mata Hari".

- The Kingpins, one of Canada's most famous Ska bands, paid tribute to the spy in a song titled "Mata Hari" off of their first full length album Watch Your Back.

Mata Hari is mentioned in musician Warren Zevon's 2002 album My Ride's Here in the song entitled Genius.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Eleanor Aquitaine

Eleanor Aquitaine (1122-1204) is Queen of French and of England either, she was the power behind the thrones. She influenced the govern of four Kings two of which was her husbands, and the other two was her sons. Pretty duchess governed region of Aquitaine had never been happy to the last, but has been true politician of the England history. in bahasa ]

She was born in 1122 in the wealthy of Aquitaine duchy, which is now South of French, Eleanor is daughter of Duke William. At the time she’s born, French devided into a couple of duchies (independent federal countries). Each duchy were governed by a duke or duchess, which is dedicated to the King of French. The strongest one and the most vast duchy of all was Aquitaine, which for some reasons is more important than French.

From the early age Eleanor Aquitaine had been interested more to politics and defense rather than to "working woman". She has a slim posture and feminine manner, and also best in horse riding and archery. Duke William could be dissappointed of not gotten any son, despite of Eleanor had been grown up, he should be thanked for his fortune having daughter like her. Since her mother passed a way, Eleanor getting more attached to her father. She used to came accompany with her father on many royal visits all over Aquitaine regions; and spent alot of attention on how the Duke handle imperial duties for his people. Eleanor mostly popular among Aquitaine folks. For that reason, at the time Duke William gone in 1137, the people of Aquitaine were ready to widely opened their arms having Eleanor replace over her father’s throne, to be duchess leading her country.

There had been a serious case at the day of Duke William was passing a way. Eleanor had making love with a charm knight named Richard, whose social degree was assumed not appropriate to be a duchess husband. It hadn’t been long that Duke William worried about Eleanor acquainted to Richard, but do nothing to stop them up. Soon after Duke William dead, some of parliament leaders decided that Eleanor couldn’t dedicated to a knight as humiliate may bring to the kingdom was assumed. Beautifull, Rich, and politically as an important person, she was a heaven grant to be saved only for the highest valueable prince might proposed.

Eleanor’s love to Richard should be stopped. A rumour told that Richard was killed in the very eyes of frightening Eleanor one night just when the couples striving for a secret dating. And Richard had gone, after all. Not so long, the fifteen years old Eleanor got married with Prince Louis, the French throne’s heir. Politically, this marriage is a prospectfull strike at least. To unify the wealthy and huge of Aquitaine duchy to the reign of French territory, was meant to balance the Duke Normandia has, of Geoffrey Plantagenet. (Normandia similar to Aquitaine, was one of the powerful duchy in West Europe, and Plantagenet is the one who loved war, to win more lands for his reigns).

A couple of days after Eleanor married to Prince Louis, crowning ceremony of eighteen years old Prince Louis then provided and earn him the King of French namely Louis VII. (His father, King Louis VI, passed a way after 30 years reigned). The Young Louis who is shy, calm, and introvert is actually an intelligence one, but he is mostly influenced and driven by two priests namely Odo and Bernard.

Eleanor the Queen find the French Palace in gloom. She has a good friend in the palace, a knight named Amaria. If chances were given, Queen Eleanor could've been made it for a couple of time --equipped with her political knowledge-- she's actually would like to give her favours for Louis on governing his new kingdom, but the King’s advisors wouldn’t allowed her giving favours in politic, as they assumed she would gives him bad favour. According to them, the Queen is just a fun seeker with her untrusted moral attitude.

Louis VII could be love his beautiful Queen with all his love, as a normal man. But now he’s a cold, not a romantic, and not a pleasurable person. And Eleanor, whose in her full adolescence, thought she had trapped in an unhappy marriage. "I thought I’ve married a King," she once said, "but he actually is a monk rather than a groom!" Having small affection from her husband, Eleanor spent most of her days chat for hours with her guard, Amaria, on love stories and knights. The Queen several time has cynical to French Palace’s formalisms and stubbs, she spent more times having fun, listening musics, joking and singing romantical songs and poets of idols. King Louis didn’t agree with his wife routines, but let it go anyway.

Queen Eleanor actually was an intelligence, educated, had studied to almost all Universities in Paris, the city which has a few group of masters from entire of Europe learn theology, philosophy, and state law of their founders. Women might join and listen those meeting and arguing, but prohibited sharing their opinions. This was dissappointing for Eleanor who used to speaks openly, even if she does join it, she has to bite her tongue not to talk.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008


The German poet, dramatist, novelist, and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749‑1832), who em­braced many fields of human endeavor, ranks as the greatest of all German poets. Of all modern men of genius, Goethe is the most universal. in bahasa ]

The many sided activities of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stand as a tribute to the greatness of his mind and his personality. Napoleon I's oft quoted remark about Goethe, made after their meeting at Erfurt- "Voila un homme!" (There's a man!)—reflects later humanity's judgment of Goethe's genius. Not only, however, does Goethe rank with Homer, Dante Alighieri, and William Shakespeare as a supreme creator, but also in his life itself— incredibly long, rich, and filled with calm optimism— Goethe perhaps created his greatest work, surpassing even his Faust, Germany's most national drama.

Goethe was born in Frankfurt am Main on Aug. 28, 1749. He was the eldest son of Johann Kaspar Goethe and Katharina Elisabeth Textor Goethe. Goethe's father, of Thuringian stock, had studied law at the University of Leipzig. He did not practice his profession, but in 1742 he acquired the title of kaiserlicher Rat (imperial councilor). In 1748 he married the daughter of Frankfurt's burgomaster. Of the children born to Goethe's parents only Johann and his sister Cornelia survived to maturity. She married Goethe's friend J. G. Schlosser in 1773. Goethe's lively and impulsive disposition and his remarkable imaginative powers probably came to him from his mother, and he likely inherited his reserved manner and his stability of character from his stern and often pedantic father.

Goethe has left a memorable picture of his childhood, spent in a large patrician house on the Grosse Hirschgraben in Frankfurt, in his autobiography Dichtung und Wahrheit. He and Cornelia were educated at home by private tutors. Books, pictures, and a marionette theater kindled the young Goethe's quick intellect and imagination.

During the Seven Years War the French occupied Frankfurt. A French theatrical troupe established itself, and Goethe, through his grandfather's influence, was allowed free access to its performances. He much improved his knowledge of French by attending the performances and by his contact with the actors. Meantime, his literary proclivities had begun to manifest themselves in religious poems, a novel, and a prose epic.

In October 1765 Goethe—then 16 years old—left to Frankfurt for the University of Leipzig. He remained in Leipzig until 1768, pursuing his legal Studies with zeal. During this period he also took Iessons in drawing from A. F. Oeser, the director of the Leipzig Academy of Painting. Art always remained an abiding interest throughout Goethe's life.

During his Leipzig years Goethe began writing light Anacreontic verses. Much of his poetry of these years was inspired by his passionate love for Anna Katharina Schonkopf, the daughter of a wine merchant in whose tavern he dined. She was the "Annette" for whom the collection of lyrics discovered in 1895 was named

The rupture of a blood vessel in one of his lungs put an end to Goethe's Leipzig years. From 1768 to the spring of 1770 Goethe lay ill, first in Leipzig and later at home.

It was a period of serious introspection. The An acreontic playfulness of verse and the rococo manner of his Leipzig period were soon swept away as Goethe grew in stature as a human being and as a poet.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Elijah Muhammad

Elijah Muhammad (1897 1975) was the leader of the Nation of Islam ("Black Muslims") during their period of greatest growth in the mid 20th century. He was a major advocate of independent, black operated businesses, institutions, and religion. in bahasa ]

Elijah Muhammad was born Elijah (or Robert) Poole on October 7, 1897, near Sandersville, Georgia. His parents worked as sharecroppers on a cotton plantation; his father was also a Baptist preacher. As a youngster Elijah worked in the fields and on the railroad, but he left home at age 16 to travel and work at odd jobs. He settled in Detroit in 1923, working on a Chevrolet assembly line.

Poole and his two brothers became early disciples of W.D. Fard, the founder of the Nation of Islam. Fard, of mysterious background, appeared in Detroit in 1930, selling silk goods and telling his customers in Detroit is African American ghetto of their ancestral "homeland" across the seas. Soon Fard began holding meetings in homes, and then in rented halls, telling his listeners tales purporting to describe their nonwhite kin in other lands and urging them to emulate these brothers and sisters in such matters as dress and diet. Fard proclaimed Islam the one correct religion for African Americans, denouncing Christianity as the religion of the slavemasters. His meetings became dominated by his bitter denunciations of the white race. Soon Fard announced the opening of the Temple of Islam. It featured much antiwhite invective and embodied an unorthodox form of Islam, but the movement also emphasized African American self help and education.

Fard disappeared, as mysteriously as he had arrived, in the summer of 1934. The movement he had founded quickly developed several factions, the most important of which was led by Poole, who had become a top lieutenant to Fard and whose name along the way had been changed to Elijah Muhammad. The movement had long had a policy of requiring members to drop their "slave" names.

Settling in Chicago, away from hostile Muslim factions in Detroit, Muhammad built what quickly became the most important center of the movement. Chicago soon featured not only a Temple of Islam, but a newspaper called Muhammad Speaks, a University of Islam (actually a private elementary and high school), and several movement owned apartment houses, grocery stores, and restaurants. Temples were opened in other cities, and farms were purchased so that ritually pure food could be made available to members. The movement was a sharply disciplined one. Members had strict rules to follow regarding eating (various foods, Such as pork, were forbidden), smoking and drinking (both banned), dress and appearance (conservative, neat clothing and good grooming were required), and all kinds of personal behavior (drugs, the use of profanity, gambling, listening to music, and dancing were all outlawed).

Muhammad also revised the theology of the movement. Under his system, Fard was proclaimed the earthly incarnation of Allah, the Muslim name for God; (Elijah) Muhammad was his divinely appointed prophet. Muhammad also taught that blacks constituted the origin beings, but that a mad black scientist named Yakub had created a white beast through genetic manipulation and that whites had been given a temporary dispensation to govern the worId that period. That period, however, was due to end soon; now the tirne was at hand for blacks to resume their former dominant role. It was understood that violent war would be likely before the transition could be completed. In the meantime, Muhammad advocated an independent nation for African Americans.

In 1942 Muhammad was one of a group of militant African American leaders arrested on charges of sedition, conspiracy, and violation of the draft laws. He was accused of sympathizing with the Japanese during World War II and of encouraging his members to resist the military draft. He had, indeed, argued that all nonwhites are oppressed by whites, and that it made no sense for African Americans to fight those who were victims of white racism as much as they themselves were. Muhammad was certainly no pacifist, but he argued that the only war in which African Americans should participate would be the coming “Battle of Armageddon," in which blacks would reassert their rightful superiority. For his words and actions Muhammad spent four years, from 1942 to 1946, in federal prison at Milan, Michigan.

Factions occasionally withdrew from Muhammad's movement. In the early 1960s Muhammad came to be overshadowed by the charismatic Malcolm X, leader of the New York Temple. Tensions between Malcolm X and Muhammad’s leadership grew; finally, after Malcolm X commented that John F. Kennedy's assassination was a case of "the chickens coming home to roost," Muhammad suspended him. Shortly thereafter, in 1964, Malcolm X founded his own movement, which moved toward a more orthodox form of Islam. However, Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965.

Elijah Muhammad died on February 25, 1975. After his death the leadership of his movement passed to his son, Wallace (now Warith) Deen Muhammad. The younger Muhammad renamed the movement the World Community of Al-Islam in the West, and then the American Muslim Mission; he also began to call blacks "Bilalians," after Bilal, to have been an African follower of the Prophet Muhammad. Warith Muhammad relaxed the strict dress code, abandoned resistance to military service, encouraged members to vote and to salute the flag, and even opened the movement to whites. In general, he made the movement much more conventionally Islamic.

Many members were disturbed at the movement's new, moderate direction and withdrew to form more traditionalist splinter groups. The most important of them retained the old name, the Nation of Islam, and was led by Louis Farrakhan (born Louis Eugene Walcott of British West Indian Parents in 1934). Farrakhan generally retained Elijah Muhammad’s ideas and practices, including the strict behavioral rules. He achieved prominence when he became a major adviser to Jesse Jackson during the latter's presidential campaign in 1984. At that time Farrakhan aroused controversy, particularly for his reported death threats directed at Jackson’s Jewish critics.


Pocahontas (ca. 1595 1617) was the daughter of a Native American chief in Virginia at the time of its colonization by the British. Her marriage to an English settler brought 8 years of peace between the Indians and the British. in bahasa ]

The real name of Pocahontas was Matoaka. As a child, she was called Pocahontas, meaning "playful one," and the name stuck. Her father was Powhatan, chief of a confederation of Algonquian tribes that bore his name.

In 1607 English colonists sent by the Virginia Company founded Jamestown. Pocahontas often played at the fort. In 1608, according to a story of debated authenticity, she saved the life of Capt. John Smith, who had been captured by Powhatan's warriors and was to be clubbed to death. The salvation of John Smith was. the salvation of Jamestown colony.

Relations between the Native Americans and the colonists were not smooth in Virginia, however. In 1613, while Pocahontas was visiting the village of the Potomac Indians, Capt. Samuel Argall of the vessel Treasurertook her prisoner as security for Englishmen in Indian hands and for tools and supplies which the Indians had stolen. She was taken to Jamestown as a hostage. There she was treated with cour tesy by the governor, Sir Thomas Dale, who was touched by her gentility and intelligence. After instruction in the Christian religion, she was baptized and took the name Rebecca.

John Rolfe, a gentleman at Jamestown, fell in love with her and asked Dale for permission to marry her. Dale readily agreed in order to win the friendship of the 'Indians, although Pocahontas may have been married earlier to a chief named Kocoum. Powhatan also consented, and the marriage took place in Jamestown in June 1614 in the Anglican church. Both Native Americans and Englishmen apparently considered this a bond between them, and it brought 8 years of peaceful relations in Virginia.

In 1616 the Virginia Company wished Pocahontas to visit England, thinking that it would aid the company in securing investments from British financiers. Rolfe, Pocahontas, her brother in law Tomocomo, and several Indian girls sailed to England. Pocahontas was received as a princess, entertained by the bishop of London, and presented to King James I and Queen Anne. Early in 1617 Pocahontas and her party prepared to return to Virginia, but at Gravesend she developed a case of smallpox and died. She was buried in the chancel of Gravesend Church. Her only child, Thomas Rolfe, was educated in England, and he returned to Virginia to leave many descendants bearing the name Rolfe.


Philip (died 1676), Native American chief, led his Wampanoag tribe and their allies in a losing fight against the encroachments of New England colonists. in bahasa ]

Philip was born probably at the tribal village of the Wampanoag Indians at Mount Hope, R.I. His father, Massassoit, sachem (chief) of the tribe, took his two Sons to the Plymouth settlement and asked that they be given English names; the elder son was renamed Alexander, and the other was called Philip.

Alexander became sachem of the Wampanoag upon the father’s death. In 1661, however, Alexander was arrested by the Plymouth Bay colonists; on the way to Plymouth he sickened and died suddenly, causing the Native American to believe that he had been poisoned. The next year Philip became sachem.

As sachem, Philip renewed his father's treaty with the colonists and lived peacefully with them for 9 years. But gradually Philip became hostile to the whites because their increasing numbers resulted in scarcity of game, failure of the Native Americans' fisheries, and encroachment on Native American lands. Purchasing English goods or guns with land, the Native Americans were gradually being forced into marginal swamplands.

Philip's arrogance contributed to the growing tensions. He declared himself the equal of his "brother," Charles II. He also began plotting against the settlers. In 1671 he was summoned to Taunton, Mass., and confronted with evidence of his plotting, but he was released after signing a statement of submission, paying a fine, and surrendering part of his tribe's firearms.

The open break between the two races came in 1675. Philip's former secretary, Sassamon, was murdered by the Wampanoag, who believed that Sassamon had betrayed Native American secrets to the settlers. Three Wampanoag braves were executed for this crime. Philip reacted by sending his tribe's women and children to live with the Narragansett Indians and by making an alliance with the Nipmuck. On June 24, 1675, their attack on a colonial village triggered King Philip's War.

The fighting spread to Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies, west to the Connecticut River, and north to Vermont. The Native Americans killed men, women, and children in these raids. The United Colonies of New England sent a combined army to try for a decisive battle, but Philip preferred stealth, ambush, and surprise raids in which, he generally displayed wily and effective leadership. However, he was unsuccessful in persuading the Mohegan and Mohawk Indians to join him.

The colonists tried a new strategy. On Dec. 19, 1675, Governor Josiah Winslow and 1,000 troops attacked the Narragansett village, killed 1,600 Native Americans, and captured the Wampanoag women and children, selling many of them into slavery in the West Indies and South America. They also destroyed Native American crops, offered amnesty to deserters, and advertised a reward for any Native American killed in battle.

Philip saw his army melt away. With a few faithful followers he was pursued from place to place; meanwhile, his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery. in the swamps near Mount Hope he was shot on Aug, 12,1676, by a Native American serving the colonials. Philip's body was beheaded and drawn and quartered, and his head was exhibited at Plymouth for 20 years.

Philip's war saw 12 colonial towns destroyed, thousands of deaths, and colonial debts of f 100,000. His victories were largely the result of colonial inefficiency, but the war was the result of increasing pressure for land from the growing number of British colonists in America.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Norman Rockwell

Norman Percevel Rockwell (1894 1978) is remembered for his heartwarming illustrations of American life that appeared on covers of the Saturday Evening Post magazine for many decades. Marked by nostalgia and moral fortitude, the paintings remain popular with collectors. [ in bahasa ]

When people use the expression "as American as apple pie" they could just as well say as American as a Norman Rockwell painting. Rockwell produced cover paintings for the Saturday Evening Post, a major magazine of its day, for several decades. In the process he became nationally renowned. His nostalgic vision and eye for detail brought him enormous popularity. "He created a moral myth in which people were reassured of their own essential goodness," art critic Arthur C. Danto told Allison Adato of Life magazine. "And that is a very powerful thing." Film director Steven Spielberg remarked to Adato, "Growing up, we always subscribed to the Post. He [Rockwell] saw an America of such pride and self worth. My vision is very similar to his, for the most part because of him."

Summers in the Country
Rockwell was born on February 3, 1894, in New York City. His father worked for a textile firm, starting as office boy and eventually moving up to manager of the New York office. His parents were very religious and the young Rockwell was a choir boy. Until he was about 10 years old the family spent its summers in the country, staying at farrns,that took in boarders. Rockwell recalled in his autobiography MyAdventures as an illustrator, " I have no bad memorics of my summers in the country," and noted that his recollections "all together form[ed] an image of sheer blissfulness." He believed that these rummers "had a lot to do with what I painted later on."

Rockwell enjoyed drawing at an early age and soon decided he wanted to be an artist. During his freshman year in high school, he also attended the Chase School on Saturdays to study art. Later that year he attended Chase twice a week. Halfway through his sophomore year, he quit high school and went full time to art school.

Started at Bottom in Art School
Rockwell enrolled first in the National Academy School and then attended the Art Students League. Because he was so dedicated and solemn when working at his art, he related in his autobiography, he was nicknamed "The Deacon" by the other students. In his first class with a live model, the location of his easel was not the best. The nude young woman was lying on her side and all Rockwell could see was hei'feet and rear end. So that is what he drew. Rockwell noted that, as Donald Walton wrote in his book A Rockwell Portrait, "he started his career in figure drawing from the bottom up."

At the Art Students League, Rockwell I had two teachers who had a significant influence on him: George Bridgeman, a teacher of draftsmanship, and Thomas Fogarty, a teacher Of illustration. Besides their expert instruction, Walton wrote, "they conveyed their enthusiasm about illustration."

While still at the school, Forgaty sent Rockwell to a publisher, where he got a job illustrating a children's book. He next received an assignment from Boys' Life magazine. The editor liked his work and continued to give him illustration assignments. Eventually Rockwell was made art director of the magazine. He regularly illustrated various other children's magazines after that. "I really didn't have much trouble getting started," he remarked in his autobiography, "The kind of work I did seemed to be what the magazine wanted."

Paintings Made the Post
In March of 1916, Rockwell traveled to Philadelphia to attempt to see George Horace Lorimer, editor of the Saturday Evening Post, to show him some proposed cover paintings and sketches. It was his dream to do a Post cover. So he set out to sell Lorimer on his work. Since he did not have an appointment, the art editor came out and looked at his work, then showed it to Lorimer. The editor accepted Rockwell's two finished paintings for covers and also liked his three sketches for future covers. Rockwell had sold every thing; his dream was not just realized but exceeded. This was the start of a long term relationship with the Post.

His success with the Post made Rockwell more attractive to other major magazines and he beg in to sell painting and drawings to Life, Judge, and Leslie’s. Also in 1916 he married Irene O’ Connor, a school teacher.

In 1917, shortly after the United States entered World War 1, Rockwel decided to join the navy. He was assigned to the carnp newspaper, related Walton, and he was able to continue doing his paintings for the Post and other publications. When the war ended in 1918, Rockwell got an Immediate discharge.

Top Cover Artist
After the war, besides magazine works, Rockwell started doing advertising illustration. He did work for jell-O, Willys cars, and Orange Crush soft drinks, among others. Also in 1920, he was requested to paint a picture for the Boy Scout calendar. He would continue to provide a picture for the popular calendar for over 50 years. During the 1920s RockwelI became the Post's top cover artist and his income soared. In 1929 he was divorced from his wife Irene.

In 1930, Rockwell married Mary Barstow. They had three sons over the next several years. In 1939, the family moved to a 60 acre farm in Arlington, Vermont. In 1941, the Milwaukee Art Institute gave Rockwell his first one-man show in a major museum.

Four Freedoms
After President Franklin Roosevelt made his 1941 address to Congress setting out the "four essential human freedoms," Rockwell decided to paint images of freedoms, reported Maynard Good Stoddard of the Saturday Evening Post. With the U.S. entry into World War 2. Rockwell created the four paintings during a six month period in 1942. His “Four Freedoms" series was published in the Post in 1943. The painting portrayed Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. The pictures became greatly popular and many other publications sent the Post requests to reprint.

Then the federal government took the original painting on a national tour to sell war bonds. As Ben Hibbs, editor of the Post, noted in Rockwell's autobiography, “They were viewed by 1,222,000 people in 16 leading cities and were instrumental in selling $132,992,539 worth of bonds.” Then, in 1943, his studio burned to the ground. Rockwell lost some original paintings, drawings, and his extensive collection of costumes. The family then settled in nearby West Arlington.

Wide Array of Work
Over the years Rockwell did illustrations for an everwidening array of projects. He did commemorative stamps for the Postal Service. He worked on posters for the Treasury Department, the military, and Hollywood movies. He. did mail order catalogs for Sears and greeting cards for Hallmark, and illustrated books including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

In 1953, Rockwell and family moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. In the summer of 1959, his wife Mary suffered a heart attack and died. During the I960s, Rockwell painted portraits of various political figures, including all of the presidential and vice presidential candidates. Most of these were done for Look magazine. In 1961, he was presented with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts. That same year he received an award that he especially treasured, wrote Walton. He was given the Interfaith Award of the National Conference of Christian and Jews for his Post cover paining of the Golden Rule. Also in 1961, Rockwell married a retired schoolteacher by the name of Molly Punderson.

RockwelI's last Post cover appeared in December of 1963. Over the years he had done 317 covers. 'The magazine’s circulation was shrinking at that time and new management decided to switch to a new format. After Rockwell and the Post parted ways, he began a different assignment, painting news pictures for Look. He also started painting for McCall’s.

People choice
In 1969 Rockwell had a one man show ir New York City. Art critics often were less than flattering toward Rockwell’s work; if they did not knock him, they ignored him. But the public loved his paintings and many were purchased for prices averaging around $20,000. Thomas Buechner wrote in Life, "It is difficult for the art world to take the people's choice very seriously." Rockwell himself said to Walton, "I could never be satisfied with just the approval of the critics, and, boy, I've certainly had to be satisfied without it."

In 1975, at the age of 81, Rockwell was still painting, working on his 56th Boys Scout calendar. In 1976 the city of Stockbridge celebrated a Norman Rockwell Day. On November 8, 1978, Rockwell died in his home in Stockbridge.

Buechner noted that Rockwell's art "has been reproduced more often than all of Michelangelo's Rembrandt's and Picasso's put together." In 1993, a new Rockwell museum was opened just outside of Stockbridge. Museum director Laurie Norton Moffatt cataloged his art in a two volume book, wrote Landrum Bolling of the Saturday Evening Post, and listed over 4,000 original works. As Walton wrote, throughout his life, Rockwell followed the motto: "Don't worry; just work."

fullbook story by request: YM Biography Institute Blogspot

Norman Rockwell Museum
a Blog on Four Freedom

Friday, May 30, 2008

Albert Einstein

The German-born American physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) revolutionized the science of physics. He is best known for his theory of relativity. in bahasa ]

In the history of the exact science, only a handful of men—men like Nicolaus Copernicus and Isaac Newton—share the honor that was Albert Einstein’s the initiation of a revolution in scientific thought. His insights into the nature of the physical world made it impossible for physicists and philosophers to view that world as they had before. When describing the achievements of other physicist, the tendency is to enumerate their major discoveries, when describing the achievements of Einstein, it is possible, to say, simply, that he revolutionized physics.

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, but he grew up and obtained his early education in Munich. He was not a child prodigy, in fact, he was unable to speak fluently at age 9. Finding profound joy, liberation, and security in contemplating the laws of nature, already at age 5 he had experienced a deep feeling of wonder when puzzling over the invisible, yet definite, force directing the needle of a compass. Seven years later he experienced a different kind of wonder: the deep emotional stirring that accompanied his discovery of Euclidean geometry, with its lucid and certain proofs. Einstein mastered differential and integral calculus by age 16.

Education in Zurich
Einstein’s formal secondary education was abruptly terminated at 16. He found life in school intolerable, and just as he was scheming to find a way to leave without impairing his chances for entering the university, his teacher expelled him for the negative effects his rebellious attitude was having on the morale of his classmates. Einstein tried to enter the Federal Institute of Technology (FIT) in Zurich, Switzerland, but his knowledge of nonmathematical disciplines was not equal to that of mathematics and he failed the entrance examination. On the advice of the principal, he thereupon first obtained his diploma at the Cantonal School in Aarau, and in 1896 he was automatically admitted into the FIT. There he came to realized that his deepest interest and facility lay in physics, both experimental and theoretical, rather than in mathematics.

Einstein passed his diploma examination at the FIT in 1900, but due to the opposition of one of his professors he was unable to subsequently obtain the usual university assistantship. In 1902 he was enganged as a technical expert, third-class, in the patent office in Bern, Switzerland. Six months later he married Mileva Maric, a former classmate in Zurich. They had two sons. It was in Bern, too, that Einstein, at 26, completed the requirements for his doctoral degree and wrote the first of his revolutionary scientific papers.

Academic Career
These papers made Einstein famous, and Universities soon began competing for his services. In 1909, after serving as a lecturer at the University of Bern, Einstein was called as an associate professor to the University of Zurich. Two years later he was appointed a full professor at the German University in Prague. Within another year and a half Einstein became a full professor at the FIT. Finally, in 1913 the well-known scientists Max Planc and Walter Nernst traveled to Zurich to persuade Einstein to accept a lucrative research professorship at the University of Berlin, as well as full membership in the Prussian Academy of Science. He accepted their offer in 1914, quipping:”The Germans are gambling on me as they would on a prize hen. I do not really know myself whether I shall ever really lay another egg.” When he went to Berlin, his wife remained behind in Zurich with their two sons; after their divorce he married his cousin Elsa in 1917.

In 1920 Einstein was appointed to a lifelong honorary visiting professorship at the University of Leiden. During 1921-1922 Einstein, accompanied by Chaim Weizmann, the future president of the state of Israel, undertook extensive worldwide travels in the cause of Zionism. In Germany the attacks on Einstein began. Philipp Lenard and Johannes Stark, both Nobel Prize-winning physicists, began characterizing Einstein’s theory of relativity as “Jewish physics”. This callousness and brutality increased until Einstein resigned from the Prussian Academy of Science in 1933. (He was, however, expelled from the Bavarian Academy of Science).

Career in America
On several occasions Einstein had visited the California Institute of Technology, and on his last trip to the United States Abraham Flexner offered Einstein—on Einstein’s terms—a position in the newly conceived and funded Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. He went there in 1933.

Einstein played a key role (1939) in mobilizing the resources necessary to construct the atomic bomb by signing a famous letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt which had been drafted by Leo Szilard and E.P. Wigner. When Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2 was finally demonstrated in the most awesome and terrifying way by using the bomb to destroy Hiroshima in 1945, Einstein, the pacifist and humanitarian, was deeply shocked and distressed; for a long time he could only utter “Horrible, horrible.” On April 18, 1955, Einstein died in Princeton. [The Biography Institute]

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Abraham Lincoln

"I have done nothing to make any human being remember that I have lived Yet what I wish to live for is to connect my name with the events of my day and generation, to link my name with something which will be of interest to my fellow men." in bahasa ]

These were the words of Abraham Lincoln at the age of thirty two. A series of disappointments brought him to the point of wanting to end his life. Lincoln wrote the above words when he determined to make a fresh start in life. Later, he became one of the best known and best loved presidents of the United States of America. His name is famous throughout the world as the person who ended slavery in America.

Lincoln was born in Kentucky, USA, where his father worked as a carpenter. He lost his mother at an early age, but later his father married again. Lincoln and his sister became very fond of their stepmother.

Young Lincoln grew up to be a tall man with very large feet. His clothes did not fit him properly. The sleeves of his coat were too short and his trousers also did not fully cover his legs. At first sight, he did not look at all like the great leader that he was to become.

Lincoln first saw what slavery was really like when he was hired to take a boat load of produce to the city of New Orleans in 1828. Later, on a second visit to this city, he promised himself that he would abolish this practice completely.

Lincoln had not been to school on a regular basis, but he had learned to read and write and later became a lawyer. Although he was considered to be 'a queer fellow' by the people of his area because of the way he looked and dressed, he was well liked by them. This was because he had a good sense of humour and was able to make people laugh. His first and greatest love was said to be a woman named Anne Rutledge, whose father owned the tavern in the neighbourhood where Lincoln lived. It was Anne's father who suggested that Lincoln should enter politics.

Lincoln was first elected to the legislature of Illinois in 1834. In 1838 and in 1840, he was reelected to this office. During this time, he met Stephen Douglas, the man who was to be his rival in love for a short time and in politics for a much longer time. Mary Todd, the woman with whom both these men were in love, was from Kentucky. She chose Lincoln as her husband, but their marriage was not a happy one. In 1842, a year,after his marriage, Lincoln set up practice in law with a man named William H. Herndon. A close friendship grew between these two men, which lasted until Lincoln's death. Later, Herndon wrote Lincoln's biography.

In 1846, Lincoln was elected a member of the Congress. But his membership was not renewed because he introduced a bill for ending slavery in the District of Columbia. Disappointed, he went back to practising law. He lost interest in politics for some time and became well known for his honesty as a lawyer.

However, Lincoln did not stay away from politics for long. In 1854, the issue of slavery made him join politics again. He had to compete with Stephen Douglas, who tried to appease those states in the South, which supported slavery as well as those in the North that opposed slavery. Lincoln did not believe that half of the nation could go on with the practice of slavery while the other half was against it. He felt that the nation could not exist half slave and half free. However, Lincoln was defeated in this first fight against Douglas, for a seat in the United States Senate.

Despite this defeat, in May 1860, Lincoln was named the candidate of the Republican party for the Presidential election. During this time, the Democratic party attacked him fiercely. He was called 'a third rate country lawyer', 'a person who could not speak English properly' and many such names. However, he was elected the President of the United States at the end of it all. Four days after Lincoln was elected President, the Southern states began to pull out of the Union which formed the USA. These states in the South formed a union of their own which they called a Confederacy. Lincoln, who was saddened by this, fought to stop the other states from pulling out as well. Finally, the conflict between the North and the South became so bad that it led to a civil war. Lincoln tried to avoid this war but was unsuccessful in his attempt to do so.

To understand the political background of the American Civil War, it is necessary to describe how the USA came to be formed. In the 17th century, settlers from countries like England, France, Spain, Holland and Germany came to North America, which was then a newly discovered country. Some came to find wealth, others to find religious freedom, and yet others to extend the power of their home country by building an empire. The British King ruled this new land, part of which was also called New England. After the American War of Independence was won, the independent states formed themselves into a federation called the United States of America. Each state of this new federation kept a great deal of its independence in every area of government, although these states also had a common purpose. Thus, certain matters such as defence were given to a common government which acted for all the states.

The southern part of USA, which had also joined the federation, developed its agriculture on a plantation basis with the use of slave labour. The northern part was more involved with trade and industry, although agriculture remained important. There were no slaves in the North. In time, the question of slavery became a hot issue in the new states that joined the Union, since people in those states had not as yet made up their minds on the subject. The United States' constitution stated the right of all human beings to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness', but it also upheld the right to private property. Slaves were private property. The idea that slaves were private property conflicted with the other idea that slaves were human beings with the right to liberty. This was the basic point which was argued about throughout the land.

There were many sides to this issue. Firstly, was human slavery right? By this time, slavery had been made unlawful in most countries of the world. Many people believed that it was grossly unjust to withhold the freedom of any human being. But the South had spent a lot.of money in buying slaves. Their social, economic and political life was organized around the ownership of slaves. Thus, it was not hard to see how important the practice of slavery had become to them.

There was also a political side to the problem of slave ownership by the Southern states. How practical was it to have a 'Union of states' in which some states were 'free' while others were 'slave'? Yet, this is what Lincoln's rival Douglas wanted. But the Southern states worried that with a larger number of the states in the Union being 'free', slavery would be completely abolished. They felt if this happened, they would be ruined financially, socially and politically. The only answer seemed to be to form two separate unions. But this did not work either.

Shortly after Lincoln was elected the President, the Southern states pulled out of the Union. On 12 April 1861, the South opened fire on the North at a place called Fort Sunter. The Civil War or the 'War Between the States' had begun.

There were great differences between the North and the South. The North had a much bigger white population. They were better at producing industrial goods while the South was better at agriculture. In many ways, the North had a great advantage over the South, but the army of the South was well trained and the greater part of the war took place in the South. Thus they were able to fight better. The war was not won very easily. But as we know, after some defeats, the North finally won the war. While the war was on, Lincoln, who had insisted on having an election at the end of his term of office as President, was re elected to serve another term.

In November 1863, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, Lincoln gave a speech, which became famous for all time. He spoke of “…a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” These words from Lincoln's Gettysburg address speak of the two ideals liberty and equality on which America was built.

Lincoln met with a sudden death. While watching a play with his wife, Lincoln was shot by a man named John Wilkes Booth. His death came at a time when peace had at last been brought to the USA. Perhaps this was the final blow that was needed for the complete ending of slavery in the USA. After his death, Lincoln was recognized as a great man, and the ideals he stood for were upheld by the citizens of the country.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Blaise Pascal

The French scientist and philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623 1662) was a precocious and influential mathematical writer, a master of the French language and a great religious philosopher. [ in bahasa ]

Blaise Pascal was born at Clermont Ferrand on June 19, 1623. He was the son of Etienne Pascal, king’s counselor and later president of the Court of Aids at Clermont. Blaise's mother died in 1626, and he was left with his two sisters, Gilberte and Jacqueline. In 1631 the family moved to Paris.

Young Geometer
When Pascal was 12, he began attending meetings of a mathematical academy. His father taught him languages, especially Latin and Greek, but not mathematics. This ban on mathematics merely served to whet the boy's curiosity. He experimented with geometrical figures, inventing his own names for standard geometrical terms.

In 1640 the Pascal family moved to Rouen. There, still taught mainly by his father, Blaise worked with such intensity that his health deteriorated. Nevertheless, he had arrived at one of the most beautiful theorems in geometry.

Sometimes called by him his "mystic hexagram” it is a theorem concerned with the collinearity of intersections of lines. It does not concern metrical properties of figures but is, in fact, at the very foundation of an important, and at the time almost entirely undeveloped, branch of mathematics -- projective geometry. Pascal then set to work on a book, Essay on Conics, finished in 1640, in which the mystics hexagram was given central importance. It contained several hundred propositions on conitc sections, bringing the work of Apollonius and his successors, and was remarkable not only because of the writer’s age (16) but also because of its treatment of tangency, among other things.

Jansenists and Port Royal
In 1646 Pascal's father had an accident and was confined to his house. He was visited by some neighbors who were Jansenists, a group formed by Cornelis Jansen, a Dutch-born professor of theology at Louvain. Their beliefs were contrary to the teachings of the Jesuits. The Pascals came under the influence of the Jansenists, with resultant fierce opposition to, and from, the Jesuits. Jacqueline wish to join the Jansenist convent at Port Royal. Etienne Pascal disliked the idea and took the family away to Paris, but after his death in 1651 Jacqueline joined Port Royal. Pascal still enjoyed a more worldly life, having a number of aristocratic friends and a little more money to spend from his patrimony. In 1614, however, he was completely converted to Jansenism, and he commenced an austere life at Port Royal.

Provincial Letters
In 1655 Antoine Arnauld, a prolific writer in defense of Jansen, was formally condemned by the Sorbonne for heretical teaching, and Pascal took up his defense in the first part of the famous Provincial Letters. Their framework is that of a correspondence between a Parisian and a friend in the provinces from Jan. 13, 1656, to March 24, 1657. They were circulated in the thousands through Paris under a pseudonym (Louis de Montalte), and the Jesuits tried to discover the author, whose wit, reason, eloquence, and humor made the order a laughingstock.

The Pensees
Knowledge of Pascal's personal life is slight after his entry to Port Royal. His sister Gilberte tells of his asceticism, of his dislike of seeing her caress her children, and of his apparent revulsion from talk of feminine beauty. He suffered increasingly after 1658 from head pains, and he died on Aug. 19, 1662.

At his death Pascal left an unfinished theological work, the Pensees, an apology for Christianity, in effect, which was published 8 years later by the Port Royal community in a thoroughly garbled and incoherent form. A reasonably authentic version first appeared in 1844. It deals with the great problems of Christian thought, faith versus reason, free will, and preknowledge. Pascal explains the contradictions and problems of the moral Iife in terms of the doctrine of the Fall and makes faith and revelation alone sufficient for their mutual justification.

The Pensees, unlike the Provincial Letters, were not worked over and over by their author, and in style they would not, perhaps, mark him out as a great literary figure. The Letters, however, give Pascal a place in literary history as the first of several great French writers practicing the polite irony to which the language lends itself. The Pensees could almost have been written by another man, for in them reason is ostensibly made to take second place to religion. But they are both, in their different ways, among the great books in the history of religious thought.

Later Mathematical and Scientific Work
Pascal's writings on hydrostatics, relating his experi¬ments with the barometer to his theoretical ideas on the equilibrium of fluids, were not published until a year after his death. His Treatise on the Equilibrium of Liquids extends Simion Stevin's analysis of the hydrostatic paradox and enunciates what may be called the final law of hydrostatics: in a fluid at rest the pressure is transmitted equally in all directions (Pascal's principle). Pascal is important as having forged links between the theories of liquids and gases, and between the dynamics of rigid bodies and hydrodynamics.

Pascal's principal contribution to mathematics after his entry to Port Royal related to problems associated with the cycloid—a curve, with the area of which the best mathematicians of the day were occupied. He published many of his theorems without proof, as a challenge to other mathematicians. Solutions were found by John Wallis, Christopher Wren, Christian Huygens, and others. Pascal published his own solutions under the assumed name of Amos DettonviIle (an anagram of Louis cle Montalte), and contemporary mathematicians often referred to him by this name.

The mathematical theory of probability made its first great step forward when a correspondence between Pascal and Pierre de Fermat revealed that both had come to similar conclusions independently. Pascal planned a treatise on the subject, but again only a fragment survived, to be published after his death. He never wrote at great length on mathematics, but the many short pieces which survive are almost always concise and incisive. [The Biography Institute]

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 1821) is perhaps one man whose actions have caused a lot of discord among people. People who lived during his lifetime and after his death have been faced with a dilemma about him: Was he a cruel and barbaric person who took pleasure in killing people or was he a great leader who won the hearts of his followers? He is said to have poisoned his wounded soldiers at the end of a battle. Was this because he cared so little for them or was it because he took pity on them and did not wish them to be tortured by those who captured them? He is said to have taken less food on his expeditions than was needed by his arnty. Was this because he was cruel and merciless or because he was being a realist? He might have thought that many soldiers would die in the battle they were to fight and his army would become much smaller Perhaps we shall be able to answer these questions as we read more about him. in bahasa ]

Napoleon was born in 1769 on the island of Corsica, which at that time belonged to France. He grew up during the French Revolution when the ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were spreading throughout the nation. He was sent to French military schools and by 1789 was a young artillery officer. He was recognized as a competent military leader at an early age and was given the command of the artillery in Italy in 1794. When he returned to Paris the next year, he was given command of a part of the French army. There was an uprising of the people against the government, which was in power at that time, and Napoleon took an active part in the military action that marked the real end of the revolution. In 1796, Napoleon married Josephine de Beauharnais. She was the widow of General Alexandre de Beauharnais who had been killed in 1794. Her influence with the government may have helped Napoleon become the commander of the French army, which invaded Italy in 1796.

Napoleon started his Italian campaign by invading Piedmont in Northern Italy. He gained control of Nicea and Savoy. Then he took Milan by defeating the Austrian army. By 1797, the French had gained complete control of Northern Italy. Napoleon then turned from Italy towards Vienna and forced Austria to surrender. A treaty was signed between Austria and France, which gave France control of the Ionian Islands, and in return, Venice was given to Austria.

When Napoleon returned to France, he found that the government had run into difficulties. On being asked to help, Napoleon once again organized a coup, which ended the political crisis. However, Napoleon's popularity as a great general womed the government. They wanted him out of France. He was asked therefore to invade England. But Napoleon decided to attack the British in the Mediterranean and landed at Alexandria in 1798. The British navy, commanded by Horatio Nelson, destroyed the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile. Napoleon had to leave his troops behind and escape to France. His soldiers finally surrendered to the British and Turks in 1801. It was France's first major defeat.

When Napoleon returned to France in 1799, the country had lost many battles by then. The people were unhappy and the government was unpopular. Napoleon called in troops and sent away all defiant members of the government. With this success came the beginning of a new era. A new constitution, which gave power into the hands of three Consuls, was drawn up. As an outstanding soldier and the First Consul, Napoleon became the1eal ruler of France. Within the next few years, he climbed the remaining steps to power. In 1802, he was chosen, Consul for life. By 1804, he became the Emperor. The Frenchmen were fired of the troubles and the many changes in the constitution that the country had been through. They accepted Napoleon as a dictator as he seemed likely to give them the much needed law and order.

From the time he became the Consul, Napoleon started making many important changes. Of these, codifying the French law was considered the most important. Napoleon knew that in order to bring peace and unity to France, the religious problem had to be settled. His feelings about religion were purely political. He needed the support of the peasantry, which remained firmly Roman Catholic, although the early revolutionary government had tried to abolish Catholicism. Napoleon felt he had to come to an agreement with the Pope, and in 1801 he initiated this change. Pope Pius agreed to some government role in religion - bishops were to be appointed by Napoleon, and parish priests were to be appointed, by the bishops.

In 1804, Napoleon invited the Pope to his coronation as Emperor at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. But he insisted on crowning himself at the ceremony because he thought no one in the world was good enough to crown him. Napoleon then made plans to become the ruler of Italy. When the Pope went against Napoleon's plans, he annexed the Papal States to the French empire and took the Pope into captivity in France. He held him there for five years.

For Napoleon, the main reason for education was to train for the service of the state, especially the army. He planned a system of four grades of schools. He did not return to the Church to control it had over education before. the Revolution. Although Napoleon's educational plans were never completely put into effect, by 1813, French secondary education was the best in Europe.

Napoleon had to deal with war once more. Britain (lid not trust him. The fact that France continued to have control over Holland alarmed Britain. In 1805, Britain formed a coalition against France. This coalition was made up of Russia, Sweden, the Kingdom of Naples and Austria. Already angered by attacks on him in the British press, Napoleon decided to put down Britain by an invasion. But the French fleet was badly beaten by the British in the Battle of Trafalgar. Nevertheless, Napoleon continued fighting both the Austrian and Russian armies at Austerlitz. He then went on to defeat Prussia at the Battle of.Jena and in the following June, he defeated Russia at Friedland.

In taking control of Europe, Napoleon invited the members of his family to rule in the lands he had conquered. His brother Joseph was made the king of Naples, and another brother Louis, the king of Holland. His brother in law was given a German dukedom, while a son of the Empress Josephine by her former marriage was made the Viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy. In 1910, after divorcing Josephine, Napoleon married the Austrian Emperor's daughter Marie Louise. She gave him the son that he longed for, who was later made the king of Rome.

Despite his success on the battlefield and in ruling his country, Napoleon's power was already showing signs of diminution. Britain's military strength was on the rise, but Napoleon.overlooked this fact. People hated being forced into military service. The unpopularity of his many relatives in high positions and the rise of feelings of nationalism in the states that had been captured by France also brought about his loss of control over Europe.

In Russia, Czar Alexander did not trust Napoleon. Both the rulers wished to spread their influence in Central Europe and the Mediterranean. Each feared the other, and Napoleon decided to strike first. In June 1812, Napoleon advanced into Russia. His army of more than 600,000 men had less Frenchmen than other Europeans. The Russian forces kept pushing back, thus forcing Napoleon's army to advance. After a fierce battle by the river Moskva, Napoleon entered Moscow only to find it empty. The Czar refused to make a deal with him and the city was set on fire. This forced Napoleon to face a far more terrible enemy, the Russian winter. He began his return journey in October. There was no food for his men and horses and many soldiers ran away from his army. Napoleon's army was defeated and he went back alone to Paris.

Napoleon's defeat in Russia was so great that it made his enemies come together in trying to defeat France. He raised an army again and marched into Germany. But the forces of the coalition were too strong and after a victory at Dresden, Napoleon lost the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig. Although deserted by his commanders, he fought the allies for every inch of the French territory. He finally abdicated in 1814 and was exiled to the island of Elba.

Ten months later, Napoleon escaped to France to be received gladly by the people. He organized his army again, using returned prisoners of war, and invaded Belgium. After some victories, Napoleon was finally defeated at Waterloo in 1815 by the British and the Prussians. This time he was exiled to St. Helena, a small island in the Atlantic. There he wrote his life story. He died in 1821. According to recent findings, he was poisoned by his servant.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a very competent military leader. He brought accomplishment to France. Frenchmen considered him to be the most successful ruler in their history. He stopped any return to the old order and, at the same time, did not allow the government to become disorganized. The Napoleonic pattern of centralized middle class government was copied by other European states. To this day, the army, administration, education, and law in France maintain the pattern Napoleon had set up. [The Biography Institute]

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Al-Zahrawi – the Father of Surgery

At the golden era of medieval, Moslem civilization invested a fame surgeon master into history, whose had significantly contributed to the medical surgery achievement. He had invented methods and procedures of modern surgery, and also invented a lot of surgery tools and technology. No wonder that he was wellknown as The Father of Surgery. in bahasa ]

The inventor of the modern surgeon Al-Zahrawi was born in 936 M. The west world known him as Abulcasis. He was known as a fenomenal surgeon of the time. His works and thoughts had adopted a lot to the west medical. “His modern surgeon principles once was standard sylabus of the universities in Europe,” wrote Dr. Campbell in History of Arab Medicine.

The noble surgeon original name was Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas Al-Zahrawi. He was born in 936 A.D. in Zahra, small city located 9,6 km suburb of Cordoba, Spain. Al-Zahrawi was an Arabic descendant of Ansar tribe resided in Spain. It was in Cordoba he had schooled and then gave his medical lectures, gave his public health services, and develop surgeon technology to his death.

There is so little about his youth history was revealed. In case, his hometown Al-Zahra had burned out over the wars. The history of Al-Zahrawi then written-up when Andalusia’s scientist Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm (993M-1064 A.D) enlisted him as one of a noble surgeon master of Spain in Al-Humaydi’s Jadhwat al Muqtabis a book written six decades after his death.

Al-Zahrawi dedicated some fifty years of his life to surgeon and medical teaching. His noble was brought him to the royal services of kingdom in the era of Al-Hakam II khalif of Andalus. He had not traveled a lot just like other moslem scholars of the time. His concern and focus dedication was on accident and war victims.

His colleagues confessed his genius on surgery, his ventures on medical and surgeon was so immense, his ‘treasures’ of invaluable medical bible Al-Tasrif li man ajaz an-il-talil—was an encyclopedia of medical science since then. His 30 volume books then became a standard syllabus to Europe medical school of the time.

It was the book in which he’d been in detail descripted on surgeon, orthopedic, opththalmology, farmakology, and standard medical chapters. It was also descripting about cosmetics, and more chapters include deodorant, hand lotion, hair care and hair coloring which then derivated to our modern day cosmetic products.

His day of popularity were radiant over Europe, patients and students from all parts of Europe came to him for treatment and advice. Will Durant wrote, at the time, Cordoba was a favourite for Europeans for surgery. There was more than 50 hospitals giving prime services in Cordoba.

He was a lecturer who love his students. It was then revealed in Al-Tasrif, how he care about his students queries. Al-Zahrawi ever reminded his students about necessity on building good relationships with the patients. He also reminding that a doctor should dedicated to any patients at best no matter what the social status they have.

To give their services, it is important a doctor gave a closed observation to their patients, especially on personal cases. To give such services, for sake of diagnose accuracy and possible services of the best. To hold on doctor ethics, is not to make money by doing a doctor.

The surgeon is not an all men profession. Al-Zahrawi ever remind all people not to do surgery with non-recommended paramedics or doctors. Only certified doctors were recommended to provide surgery. It was then we knew the urgency of specialist surgery doctors (surgeon) for our modern world.

“Undoubtably, Al-Zahrawi is the master of surgeon. the Father Of Surgery” said Pietro Argallata. The book of Al-Tasrif he had written were translated into Latin by Gerard of Cremona in 12 A.D., the book which delicated with illustrations, and had been the resources of medical school syllabus and doctor or surgeon references of Europe for five centuries of the medieval.

Zahrawi’s profile and principles was so fascinated among colleages and surgeon students of Europe. In the century of 14 A.D., a French surgeon namely Guy de Chauliac had compiled Al-Tasrif mostly in 200 references of his journals. Since then Al-Tasrif was a medical handbook of European surgeon society which had delivered a Renaissance era to the West on the later day. History written until sixteenth century whereas a French surgeon, Jaques Delechamps (1513 -1588 A.D.) made Al-Tasrif a reference source.

Al-Zahrawi widely known in Europe as al-Qassim or Abulcasis was passed a way in Cordoba in 1013 A.D.—just two years after the hometown invaded and destroyed by the Crusaders. Cordoba was no longer a Moslem state today, though his name had carved to be a street name of ‘Calle Albucasis’ boulevard in Spain. There is a house of number 6 was used to be Abulcasis once stayed. The house which was a historical record of the world surgeon history stamped in Spain.

The Inventor of modern surgeon science.
During fifty years dedicated his life to develop medical science, specifically in surgeon, Abulcasis invented tens of surgery modern tools. It was in Al-Tasrif medical bible, ‘the master’ created and introduced more than 200 collection set of his surgeon tools, were never been in use by predecessors medical masters.

It was recorded, during his career Abulcasis had invented at least 26 original surgery tools, they are catgut (to sew internal body organic) which is still in use in our modern surgeon today; forceps (used to lift the dead embryo. Illustrations were given in the medical bible of Al-tasrif, he was also introduced how to use ligature (the wound sewing string) to fix artery veinal bleed, surgeon needles and more medical and surgery inventions, including scalpel (surgeon knives), curette, retractor, surgical spoon, surgical hook, surgical rod, and specula. Abulcasis were also invented tools to work on uretra, on throat, on ears, etc. His contributions on medical and surgeon inventions were recorded in history.
[The Biography Institute]