Saturday, July 31, 2010

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Embroidered Shirt - Women's Polo Shirt with theatre masks Review

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  • Please note in the diagram that the picture that will be embroidered is the one blown up in the diagram - not the small image on the shirt.

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Update Post: Jul 31, 2010 14:10:07

Friday, July 30, 2010

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Angel Dlx Theatre Headwear Halloween Mask Review

Angel Dlx Theatre Headwear Halloween Mask Feature

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Beautiful, gorgeous plastic mask with character specific glitter detailing and matching glamour style wig. A perfect dressy combo for your next elegant costume party affair.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Check Out New Yellow Feather Bird Mask with yellow beak

New Yellow Feather Bird Mask with yellow beak Review

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Description:These Brand new Feather Mask is great for all the special occasions like Mardi Gras, Halloween Party, Costume Party, X'mas Party, Sports Events, Dress Up, Masquerade Party, Halloween, New Years, Christmas, Glamour, Photographer Prop, Dance Recital, Wedding and all kind of occasionsDimension:Approximate width with feather(from left to right) about 10" (28cm) Approximate height with feather (from top to bottom) about 11" (29cm)

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Update Post: Jul 29, 2010 10:40:12

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Check Out Angel Dlx Theatre Headwear Halloween Mask

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Beautiful, gorgeous plastic mask with character specific glitter detailing and matching glamour style wig. A perfect dressy combo for your next elegant costume party affair.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Classical Athens to Modern One

"Just as eyes are trained to astronomy, what are the ears to perceive the movements of harmony." This quote belongs to the Athenian philosopher Plato, who possesses the highest figure in his time in the town that gave birth to democracy. The ideas around an architecture of parameters studied and balanced for a time in which the sage lived with Socrates and Aristotle differentiated way. This moment marks the zenith that Greece has had in its history, more refreshing than any other and that the Roman empire for centuries used this extension to the thinking in the West.

In these days of apathy the Athenian capital stretches slowly, but steadily. It is the epicenter of thinking, knowing and dedicated to the daily lives of its inhabitants, totaling nearly four million. Byzantine conquests enriched the past despite the political struggles that still exist between Turkey and the country and around the city today is a mixture of survival, rundown myth, and racial variety.

The desire to discover what lies beneath the ruins in Athens is a constant traveler who gets surprised by the way the most advanced social thought public education participates in the elitism of the port of Piraeus or small restaurants of the low of the Acropolis.

The first thing the visitor, a lover of the classical past of the city should do is make a booking in the Plaka. The hostels in Athens, located in the winding streets of the place, offering access to the ancient Greek city and revolve around 10/15 Euros.

Then our meeting will begin with the city. The metro network (single ticket 0.80 EUR), tram and bus service is remarkable and is the best option (even reach the city from the airport) to scroll. To delve into classical Athens, we know that we will move one or two areas where the development of our legs is important.

The pedestrian zone is around the Acropolis has an area of over three miles. By acquiring entry (General 12 EUR, Sundays and students free) walks around the ancient Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus by it would be advisable to begin the journey to reach the top of the polish (the acropolis). The vision of the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and Erechtheion (adorned with the rostrum of the caryatids) will be our reward in addition to the magnificent view it gives us the rise of the Gulf Sarano. On the hill, we will run into the theater where playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes premiered many of his works, the Theater of Dionysus.

The agora to which we referred earlier, and whose function was public communication among its inhabitants, is the valley between the Acropolis and the hill of Philopappou. The latter is the eponymous name funerary monument that we cannot ignore.

In the current political center of Athens are Plato's Academy, reconstruction of Théophile Hansen in 1887 as a library, and the National Archaeological Museum (EUR 7 general admission, free EU student). Parts like the funeral mask of Agamemnon or the Zeus of Artemision are headquartered in place, althoughm ost of the city's treasures were looted in the colonial period and taken to other cities. See, for example, the headquarters of the Elgin Marbles, the British Museum in London.

XXI century Greeks were aware of being the origin of language, culture and pace of life, but today nothing extrapolated. The appointment of Socrates "I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, if not the world" would be understood today pursuant to globalization, but not in the sense that the teacher of Plato meant to express universal ideas a city and country, classical Athens and Greece in half the world.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Changing Phases of Vietnamese Art

The evolution of Vietnamese art is a relatively modern event in history. From its inception in 1925, and up till 1945, the epoch of the history of Vietnamese painting coincides with the history of the Fine Arts College of Indochina (FACI), which is the cradle of the huge wave of revolution in the field of Vietnamese art. It were the pioneering works of Victor Tardieu (1870-1937) and Josheph Inguimberty (1896-1971) that led to the flowering of the new tradition called the Vietnamese art.

A genius in oil paintings, Victor Tardieu had a keen knowledge of Oriental art. His paintings were simple yet tasteful, reflecting a sense of space. While some of the later Vietnam artists like Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, Vu Cao Dam, Le Thi Luu were influenced by Tardieu; Ngoc Van, Nguyen Gia Tri, Tran Van Can, Luu Van Sin devoted themselves to Inguimberty. Prior to the establishment of he FACI, the Vietnamese art was not heading to any particular direction. It was the foundation of this institution that taught the future artists the conception of the Beautiful. Within a brief period of twenty years, Vietnamese painters were on the lookout for a model in ancient or modern times, in West or East. In no time were they familiar with all the growing trends in the history of modern art and literature. Be it fauvism, cubism, abstractionism, surrealism, expressionism, symbolism, or futurism, Vietnamese art began absorbing all the characteristics of these major modern trends.

The Vietnam Revolution contributed much to the growth of Vietnamese art. The contemporary Vietnam artists stood for the cause of the revolution (1945), and voiced their grievances through works of art. A movement among the artists to support the Viet Minh gained ground in Hanoi with uncommon speed. The national exhibition solemnly organized at the Municipal Theater of Hanoi in August 1946 gathered the works of various genres by the patriotic artists of Vietnam: oil painting, pumice lacquer, gouache, water color, wood cutting, most of them treating subjects relating to the struggle of Vietnam for a new life. In 1948, after three years of war, the second national exhibition of fine arts was organized in a forest of palm trees (Xuan Ang village, Phu Tho province) with about 100 pictures, including silks, wood engravings, and propaganda drawings. The Third Exhibition was organized in Chiem Hoa, on the occasion of the anniversary of the day of national resistance.

The Vietnamese painters offered their support whole-heartedly for nine years against their enemy. With revolutionary optimism and confidence as their spurs, the Vietnam artists flew high on their quest for freedom and were ultimately victorious in directing their art to the service of their fatherland.

With the success of the revolution in 1954, the 5th National Exhibition of Fine Arts was organized at the municipal theatre of Hanoi. This also provided an opportunity to review the artistic works of those who had expressed their feelings in canvas during the resistance war. The loss of To Ngoc Van, during the revolution, was too great for the Vietnamese painting to compensate. The Fine Arts College of Vietnam experienced a change in authority under Tran Van Can. After 1975, the National Fine Arts College of Saigon merged with the National Decorative Arts School of Gia Dinh to become the Fine Arts College of Ho Chi Minh City, now the Fine Arts University of Ho Chi Minh City.

After the phase of upheaval in the history of Vietnamese art, there have been some brilliant efforts of revival in recent times. A new breed of modern Vietnam artists have started embracing new themes centered on man in different situations. A good amount of credit also goes to the French and Italian painters who have inspired these artists to draw inspiration from the daily humdrum of human life. Vietnamese art has thus marched forward towards a progressive realism and has allowed the spectators to identity the work of art with their lives.

Suzanne Macguire is an Internet marketing professional with expertise in content development and technical writing in a variety of industries. Vietnamese Art Gallery

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Brief History of Theatre Masks

Theatre masks are an important part of our dramatic history. Nearly every ancient culture used some form of theatrical mask in rituals. Rituals, it has been determined, were the thing which allowed theatre to develop. Rituals were, in other words, primitive theatre.

Because this theatre was 'primitive', acting, as a skill and an art, had not yet been developed. Therefore, the person on stage did not know how to not be himself and the audience was not yet trained to imagine that he were the character he was playing. They used theatre masks as a way to let the audience know what character it was that they were watching.

Masks have generally been used as a significance of character. They let the audience know who the actor is portraying. Though this is not always true. They sometimes have additional uses. For example, the ancient Greek theatre masks had a unique oval shaped mouth which functioned as a megaphone, allowing all of the hundreds of thousands of spectators to hear what was going on.

Theatre masks did not stop being used once the art of acting was developed, nor once microphones became standard on stages. They are still in use today and are used by many theater companies. One of the best known uses of masks in today's theatre is in 'The Lion King' on Broadway.

The use of masks in theatre has a rich background and an even richer future. This article only touches on the fascinating history which these masks hold.

Learn more about the history of theatre masks and more at

Friday, July 23, 2010

Richard Wright Coming of Age in a White-Dominated South and Equipping Himself For Fighting Racism

Richard Wright, grandson of a slave was born and spent the first years of his life on a plantation near Natchez, Mississippi. The family's extreme poverty forced them to move to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1913 when Richard was six years old. Soon after moving, his father, a former sharecropper, abandoned the family, leaving his mother to support them alone.

His family moved to Jackson, Mississippi to live with relatives. Wright's entire life was fraught with such continual moving from town to town and staying with relatives, being boarded in orphanages, and hostels, incurring cleavages with family members and teachers, fighting incessantly with bullies, white street gangs,as much as his constant fight against hunger, hypocrisy, parental neglect and the trauma of living in a household of multiple sick members and coping with the drudgery of Christian fundamentalism

So when at the age of 15, Wright started expiating his feelings by writing his first story "The Voodoo of Hell's Half-Acre", and it was published in Southern Register, a local black newspaper, he had little support and encouragement from his family He had to develop a high level of motivation and daring , to go ahead forging notes with the signatures of whites to borrow books from the library for him to satisfy his unquenchable thirst for great literature.

Richard keeps steadily growing physically, socially, psychologically as well as emotionally. He begins to feel his hormones surging forth in church and he starts lusting after the elder's wife and is sexually stimulated by the "sweet sonorous hymn."

Richard soon starts finding new ways of spending his leisure hours untill one day, he decides to write a story about an Indian girl who commits suicide by drowning herself. As he reads the story to a young woman next door, Richard experiences a strange feeling of gratification at his accomplishment.

Richard enters the fifth grade of the Jim Hill School in Jackson, at the age of 13 two years behind his age group. On his first day, at the school, he takes the challenge to fight with two of the school bullies. In spite of all this, he does well in school, gains confidence and within two weeks is promoted to the sixth grade. . In addition, he delivers newspapers and works briefly with a traveling insurance salesman.

Most of Richard's schoolmates work mornings, evenings and Saturdays to earn enough money for buying clothes, books and lunch. But his Granny, being a Seventh Day Adventist, does not allow him to work on the Sabbath. Unable to work, Richard goes hungry during school while all his schoolmates buy and eat their lunch.

Richard begins friendships here, some of which were to last into his adulthood. (Dick Jordan, Joe Brown, Perry Booker, D.C. Blackburn, Lewis Anderson, Sarah Mc Neamer, and Essie Lee Ward.)

A classmate seeing Richard's unfortunate condition, and wanting to help him out of it tells him to take up a job selling papers published in Chicago. Richard realizing that he could thus make money as well as read the magazine/comic strip accompanying it, welcomed the idea. With Granny's approval, he starts selling the papers in the "Negro areas for a dime each, reading only the magazine supplement until a family friend points out to him the racist orientation of the articles in it. Richard then throws his paper away and never sells them again.

Richard continues to excel at his studies and keeps reading through volumes of books. Once whilst his Granny was trying to slap him for interceding in a religious debate between her and Aunt Addie, Richard ducks in time to avoid her blow whilst Granny slides down the porch steps, a long drag that left her barely conscious and bed-ridden for six weeks. An irrate Aunt Addie then confronts Richard: "You are evil! You bring nothin' but trouble!" threatening to beat him, thus forcing Richard for a month or so to be carrying a kitchen knife with him to bed for protection.

Family life continues to be difficult, although his mother's health improves slightly. He travels briefly during summer in the Mississippi Delta region as "secretary-accountant' to an insurance agent, Brother Mance, this permitting him to know the rural South much better. But he was greatly dismayed at the illiteracy, ignorance and naiveté he encountered among the black plantation families there. The money he earned quickly disappears and Brother Mance dies leaving Richard jobless once again.

The next year Richard begins the seventh grade. He begins to feel his hunger gnawing at his stomach once again. His grandfather falls seriously ill and dies. After being wounded in the Civil War, he had never received his disability pension in spite of decades writing to the War Department for it. For decades, Grandpa would write to the War Department to claim his pension, with no luck. Whilst his grandpa was ill, the family wrote letters, drew affidavits, and held conferences in an ill-fated attempt to claim his pension. After coming home from school one day, Richard is told to go upstairs and say good-bye to Grandpa. After that Richard is sent to tell Uncle Tom who upon his arrival with the news, shows nothing but anger thus reinforcing Richard's realization that he always seems to provoke hostility in others.

Richard's Granny now gets compelled to allow him to work after school and on Saturdays, although reluctantly. He was first interviewed for the job of chore boy by a white woman who had the temerity of asking him if he steals and serves him stale bread and moldy molasses for his breakfast Richard confirmed her racist intolerance when she expressed her astonishment at his desire to be a writer by asking him rather audaciously, "Who put such ideas into your nigger head?" Richard decided against the job at once and never returned to it. He now took another one running errands and serving food for a white family. After work he would be so tired that he found it hard to keep up with his studies. He thus managed to earn enough to buy textbooks, food, and clothes. At midday recess in school he would now show off by buying his own lunch and school books and putting on his new clothes.

His mother begins to recover and is soon well enough to attend a Methodist church to Granny's disapproval. Richard keeps accompanying her there until to please her he gets himself baptized there. He obliges not because of faith, but because all his schoolmates socialized at church meetings. During a religious revival, Richard is forced to converting and being baptized by his mother as well as the entire black community. In the meantime, Richard avidly reads pulp novels, magazines, and anything he can get his hands on.

His uncle, Thomas Wilson and family came in and rented the upstairs in Spring 1923. He threatened to beat up Richard for being rude which makes the defiant and horrified Richard to take with him two razor blades threatening in turn to fend him off with..

Towards summer 1923 Ella Wright suffered another paralytic stroke, and the family moved from Natchez to Jackson, then to Elaine, Arkansas, and back to Jackson to live with Wright's maternal grandparents, who were restrictive Seventh-day Adventists. The next year Richard obtains a job in a brickyard bringing pails of water to the thirsty black laborers. But one day he is bitten in the thigh by the white boss's dog. He receives no treatment, but a cool racist rebuff when he reports the matter to the supervisor,: "A dog bite can't hurt a nigger."

Wright experienced sporadic schooling throughout his young life due to their family's constantly moving. He attains the eighth grade at Smith Robertson Junior High School, Jackson, a school founded and built by a former slave by that name who became a successful local barber and community leader. It is the first black institution of its kind in Jackson dating back to 1894. Until he could afford a bicycle Wright had to walk several miles daily to and from the school.

He soon begins working for the Walls, a white family whom he finds kindly and so served them for two good years. Then out of job again he begins brooding over the prospects of a Negro living in a white-dominated society like theirs. In the process during the winter he came to write a short story, entitled, "The Voodoo of Hell's Half-Acre," published in the spring of 1924 in the Jackson Southern Register, a local black newspaper in three parts, with no surviving copies left. Wright was at the age of fifteen, when he wrote it.

When his fellow pupils read it they remained baffled as to Richard's motivation for writing. His staunchly religious grandmother, kept books out of the house and thought fiction was the work of the devil had brought all the household over to her conviction against Richard's creativity. So even his family did not give him any encouraging words as they joined his grandmother in believing the story was part of the devil's work. Richard thus grows more isolated by his progress from his immediate family and friends. But this did not frustrate his quest for advancing in that realm. His dream of writing continues to grow, despite the many forces against him: the stifling educational system in the South, discouragement from those around him and the stifling Jim Crow laws. He soon realized that with proper reading materials he could teach himself well.

Various demeaning jobs, one of which involved him delivering racist newspapers to the colored community, and family alienation, accelerated his escape into horror and mystery short stories and those of Edgar Allan Poe. He said that as a youth he "could not read enough of them." This sparked Wright's interest in defining his experience, through writing, as a poor black boy in a southern state, experiencing racial tension. He continued writing his own short stories. These frightened his simplistic grandmother who could not understand why her grandson was interested in writing about mystery and horror. Wright as a defensive move, kept any aspirations he had to be a writer to himself after his first experience with publication.

Richard now begins to seriously reflect upon the fact that racism and prejudice are products not only of the attitude of whites in the South but are products of the educational system. Black children are taught in ignorance, with no goals or motivation to grow as intellectuals. To Wright, the educational system that nurtured him was corrupted since it was solely geared to teaching them to remain ever subservient. He thus kept wondering as to why the whites decided to keep blacks in perpetual darkness. Here, he formed some lasting impressions of American racism before moving back to Memphis in 1927. While in Memphis he worked as a dishwasher and delivery boy and for an optical company. Tired of segregation law he became determined to leave the South before he would irretrievably overstep the bounds of the Jim Crow restrictions on blacks.

Richard's inability to cope with the tedium of Mr Bibb's job forces him into idleness again It is summer again and Richard now inquires of Mrs. Bibbs - his employer - whether her husband has a job opening at the sawmill. But the next day, Richard is warned of the hazards of working there by a black saw mill worker revealing his own hand with three fingers missing. Richard leaves and does not return.

The next afternoon, Richard seeing Ned Greenley, his classmate, sitting on his porch gladly approaches him but is shocked to learn from him that Ned's brother, Bob, who has been a hotel porter has been murdered by some white men who disapproved of his activities with a white prostitute. Richard thus becomes more conscious about the brutality of the racially oppressive South. The murder of Bob Greenley is elevated to myth-like status in Richard's mind. Because he has never witnessed the racial brutality and misconduct of Southern whites, his fears are heightened. But he soon realizes that he must learn to behave "correctly" for the sake of preserving his own life.

Richard's isolation from his family becomes more apparent to him when one day after talking to his cousin Maggie, he accidentally overhears Uncle Tom scolding her for conversing with him and warning her that Richard is a "dangerous fool" from whom he expects her "to keep away." When Richard's brother, Leon, returns home from Chicago, having become aware that the family seems to love and approve him more than they do him, joins Uncle Tom and the other family members in their opposition to Richard..But his isolation from his own family became a source of Richard's strength. At a young age, he learned out of necessity to be independent and willing to fight.

When Richard graduates from school, he is elected valedictorian of his class. The school principal approaches him with a pre-written speech to read at the graduation ceremony which Richard refuses to read thus forfeiting an opportunity to attain a teaching position. When the principal summons him into his office and hands him an already prepared speech, Richard is stunned. He refuses to read it, despite pressure from his family and peers like Griggs, another boy in school, who decided to recite one of the principal's speeches.. So on the day of graduation, Richard not caring a bit about possible consequences delivers his own speech 'The Attribute of Life' , dressed in a new suit, and leaves the platform immediately afterwards.

Anxious to earn money, Richard starts working as a porter in a clothing store catering to "Negroes on credit" under an unrepentantly racist boss who contemptuously slaps, kicks and sacks blacks at the slightest instance. One morning, he witnessed the boss and his son brutally kicking, slapping and dragging a black woman into the back of the store to rape her. A white policeman looks on unperturbed until at the end of their act when he arrested the woman charging her for being drunk.

Another incident occurs when Richard was returning from delivering supplies to negroes and he was approached by a car filled with white boys who whilst questioning him over his bicycle that he was pulling along, asked him whether he cared for their whisky. Upon his answering them without addressing them as "sir." Richard has a whisky bottle broken on his head and left bleeding.

Each day, hatred builds in Richard for the whites. The boss's son even fires Richard for not laughing and talking "like the other niggers."

Next time he runs into whites was on one Sunday evening while returning from a delivery trip when he is accosted by white youths who warn him to tell his boss to stop sending him to white neighborhoods at night.

Richard who continues to witness the wrong and brutal treatment of black s everywhere is driven off several jobs because white people do not approve of the way he acts; for he does not know how to laugh or talk like "the other niggers.". This was what he learnt when Richard runs into his old classmate, Griggs, who criticizes him for not learning to get around "white folks." Warning that he was already in their black books he told him that he would do well for himself to think before he speaks and, to think before he acts, Griggs reveals that underneath his innocent demeanor, he too hates white people, but keeps it concealed.

Griggs then obtains Richard a position as an intern in an optical shop. The boss, Mr. Crane, a Yankee, hires Richard immediately and he starts earning five dollars a week. Though Mr.Crane, is decent,. Pease and Reynolds ¬ two white workers at the shop ¬keep harassing Richard and causing nothing but trouble for him. Both make degrading racial comments in front of him and threaten to kill him for failing to call Pease "Mister Pease" (even when Richard had not forgotten).In the end Richard who was really serious in learning leaves the job out of fear crying on his last walk home from work.

Richard experiences racial violence firsthand when he begins to work in town. Inexperienced in his new environment, he finds it difficult to act "properly" the way Griggs acts. Even when he tries to conform, he is not subservient enough. Richard must learn to mask his hatred and true feelings to be able to survive.

Richard's next job is that of a helper in a drugstore. But without knowing the right words to say to his white boss, he loses this job soon enough. He grows more conscious of the roles that other Black Boys assume in their jobs. Soon, Richard takes a job as a hall boy at the same hotel where Bob Greenley had been killed by whites. At his job, Richard socializes with the other black workers. To avoid confrontation, Richard had to obey the white watchman and ignore their action when they slapped the behind of one of the maids that he was escorting home one night..

Determined to make more money, Richard sacrifices his morals and begins to sell bootleg liquor to white prostitutes in the hotel.. He takes another job at the theater in town, where he gets involved in a ring scamming tickets. As a ticket collector, Richard saves tickets to re-sell at the front counter. Quickly, he amasses enough money to move out on his own. He does so, promising to send for his mother when he earns enough.

Richard comes to realize the social cycle in the relationship between whites and blacks. The black workers that Richard observes fall into stealing and cheating because they feel justified by the poor treatment they receive from their white bosses. In turn, the white bosses feel justified in their racist attitude to black workers who cheat and steal. Richard then falls in line with the typography when he steals a gun and in concert with others, robs a college store stealing foodstuffs and fruit juice and thereafter leaving Jackson.

In November of 1925, Richard arrives in Memphis, Tennessee ready to live on his own. He walks down Beale Street - a street notorious for its bad reputation - until he sees a large house with a sign: "ROOMS." Not knowing whether it is a boarding house or a whorehouse, he is hesitant to enter until a large "mulatto" woman beckons him in. The woman, Mrs. Moss, lives with her daughter, Bess, in the house.. Both soon strike Richard as the nicest, simplest people he has ever met. Richard secures a room for himself here. They rent the upstairs room to Richard. His landlady, Mrs. Moss, wishes to have Richard marry her daughter, Bess. But Richard shows no interest..

Even when they invite him to eat meals with them,.Richard refuses. He is uncomfortable with the over-loving attitude of Mrs. Moss toward him. Richard is irritated by her "peasant mentality," but is tempted to take advantage of her. When he tells Bess that he wishes to be friends, she decides that she hates him. Although Mrs. Moss and Bess express compassion and love toward Richard, he regards them with contempt. Mrs. Moss and Bess seem simple and uneducated, almost to the point of ignorance to him. They seem to be in a world of their own. With a house of their own, they can afford to live comfortably without being afraid - or even aware - of the racial prejudice of the South.

Remembering his failed attempt at becoming skilled in the optical trade, Richard decides that he will try to break into the trade again in Memphis, which is not such a small town like Jackson. While running errands and washing eyeglasses, he learns how to contain the tension he felt in his relations with whites. "The people of Memphis had an air of relative urbanity that took some of the sharpness off the attitude of whites toward Negroes," but there was tension nonetheless. There, Richard obtains a job at another optical company. His job is progressing until one day, the head foreman ¬ Mr. Olin ¬ lies to him that Harrison another black boy ¬is going to kill him. Mr. Olin constantly tries to provoke the two black boys into killing each other; until finally, he offers them five dollars each if they will box with each other. Harrison and Richard agree, fighting to the point of exhaustion. Richard is afraid that Bess has told her mother about their fight. Mrs. Moss questions Richard why he does not like Bess, saying that she only wishes that her daughter would marry somebody like him. Fed up with her pressures, Richard threatens to move out of the house but both Mrs. Moss and Bess beg him to stay.

Richard finds a job as a cleaning boy at a hotel in town, where he encounters other black boys his age. One boy named.Shorty surprises him by degrading himself,in allowing a white man to kick him in the ass for a quarter. Richard leaves to take a job at the theater, where he is involved in a ticket scam.from which he makes enough to move to Memphis

Meanwhile, Richard finds a dishwashing job at a cafe in Memphis. On his way to work, he encounters another young black man looking for a friend. The two wander down toward the rivers edge and find a bottle of bootlegged liquor which they sell to a white man nearby, agreeing to split the five-dollar profit. It is only when the other boy does not return with the money, Richard realizes that he has been scammed.

With more than he ever had before, Richard is able to buy magazines and books from secondhand bookstores. At his job, he would observe the other Black Boys who work around him. This included Shorty, the fat pale-faced, Chinese-looking boy who operated the elevator. He would entertain the white men by allowing them to kick his behind for a quarter. Other men who worked in the building were: an old man named Edison; his son, John; Dave, the night janitor. They discuss the rules of the whites with a sense of hatred, but accepted their boundaries because they realize the importance of money.

Richard is now reading very widely Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, The American Mercury and other magazines. While reading a critique on a white writer, H.L.Mencken titled "Mencken is A Fool" written by a fellow whiteman, Richard impressed by the criticism on Mencken long noted as a critic of the whites in the south becomes interested in H.L. Mencken. He goes to an Irish-Catholic man Mr. Falk and asks him to lend him his library card as blacks were forbidden from borrowing books from the library. So using this card Wright forged notes to the librarian : "Dear Madam: Will you please let this nigger boy have some books by H. L. Mencken?" Through this method Wright seeks out Mencken's Prejudices and A Book of Prefaces and is particularly impressed by Mencken's iconoclasm and use of words as weapons.Thus entering the realm of literature,. he began to read contemporary American literature as well as commentaries by H. L. Mencken, which struck him with particular force. After reading Mencken's A Book of Prefaces, Richard yearns to know more about the authors he alludes to: Conrad, Lewis, Dostoyevski, Flaubert, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Sherwood Anderson,the elder Alexander Dumas, Frank Harris, and O. Henry.. Richard sits up in his room, eating out of cans while reading great literary works and feeding his hunger. During these years he read widely as he had decided to become a writer. However, he continued to teach himself, secretly borrowing books from the whites-only library in Memphis. "My days and nights were one long, quiet, continuously contained dream of terror, tension, and anxiety," he later wrote in his autobiography BLACK BOY .

A turning point in Richard's growth and maturation is when he discovers the power of words - a discovery that changes his entire outlook on his own life and those around him. Whereas his hunger had previously consumed him, Richard finally begins to satiate his thirst for knowledge through his reading, learning more than any of his years in formal schooling had ever taught him. Although his reading isolates him even more from those around him and the black community, he develops a profound understanding of himself and his environment.

Soon, Richard decides to leave for the North. That winter, Richard's mother and brother move down to live with him. His brother obtains a job and the two decide to start saving to move North. Richard tells none of the white men on his job of his plans, knowing it would put him in danger. He tries to think of a way to live and refuses to stay in the south, to submit and be a slave, thereby forgetting all what he had read. He wonders how much longer he will have to stay in the South.

Her husband having deserted her Aunt Maggie visits the family in Memphis. Her visit formed a practical basis for Richards plan to move north. Aunt Maggie and Richard would go North first. Richard then told his boss and white co-workers that he was being forced to take his paralyzed mother to Chicago. The white men then warn him that the north is no place for a black man to live. Wright recalls: "This was the culture from which I sprang. This was the terror from which I fled."

In a northbound train, Richard tries to reflect on the various forces that led him up to that point: his isolation from the Southern environment, with the only thing managing to keep him alive being the books he read. But he then realizes that he can never leave the South behind emotionally because it is the South that had raised him. The novel ends with Richard heading North: "With ever watchful eyes and bearing scars, I headed North, full of a hazy notion that life could be lived with dignity, and that the personalities of others should not be violated, that men should be able to confront other men without fear or shame, and that if men were lucky in their living on earth they might win some redeeming meaning for their having struggled and suffered here beneath the stars."

Arthur Smith was born and was schooled in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He has taught English since 1977 at Prince of Wales School and, Milton Margai College of Education. He is now a Senior Lecturer at Fourah Bay College where he has been lecturing English language and Literature for the past eight years.

Mr Smith's writings have been appearing in local newspapers as well as in various international media like West Africa Magazine, Index on Censorship, Focus on Library and Information Work. He was one of 17 international visitors who participated in a seminar on contemporary American Literature sponsored by the U.S.State Department in 2006. His growing thoughts and reflections on this trip which took him to various US sights and sounds could be read at

His other publications include: Folktales from Freetown, Langston Hughes: Life and Works Celebrating Black Dignity, and 'The Struggle of the Book' He holds a PhD and a professorship in English from the National Open University, Republic of Benin.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

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Update Post: Jul 22, 2010 05:40:32

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Bride of Leonidas

The most remarkable thing about Gorgo, wife of King Leonidas I of Sparta, is that we know anything about her at all. Herodotus and other ancient Greek historians are far more likely to mention Persian queens than the wives of Greeks - not because Persian women were more powerful than their Greek counterparts, but because Persians had several wives, and so it was sometimes useful to distinguish between them. Since Greeks had only one legitimate wife, there was no need for such clarification. Even the names of Spartan Queens are rarely mentioned. We do not know, for example, the names of either Leonidas' mother or his step-mother, the "second wife" who caused all the trouble in the Agiad family in the second half of the 6th Century BC.

The near complete absence of Greek women in ancient history (as opposed to Greek mythology and drama) is a function of the fact that ancient historians were predominantly Athenian males from the Classical or Hellenistic Periods. Athenians of these periods did not think women should be seen - much less heard - in public. Women had no public role and so no business in politics or history. As Pericles said in one of his most famous speeches, "the greatest glory of a woman is to be least talked about, whether they are praising you or criticizing you." (Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 2:46.) Gorgo was by that standard a hopeless piece of scandal.

The first time she is recorded opening her mouth, she was already interfering in the affairs of state. The powerful tyrant Aristagoras came to Sparta to request Spartan military aid for his planned rebellion against Persia and Gorgo was allowed to be present while he spoke to her father, one of Sparta's two kings. After hearing Aristagoras' case, King Cleomenes told the visiting tyrant that his proposal was "improper" and asked him to leave Sparta, but Aristagoras then started to offer Cleomenes bribes. As these became ever larger, Cleomenes appeared to be weakening until his daughter intervened, saying: "Father, you had better go away, or the stranger will corrupt you."

Gorgo allegedly offered this advice at the tender age of "eight or nine." Even if, as there is good reason to believe, Herodotus exaggerated her youth to make her father seem foolish, it would be hardly less remarkable if a maiden of 18 or 19 did what Gorgo did. In no other Greek city but Sparta would a female of any age have been allowed to be present - much less heard and heeded - at a meeting between Heads of State. Gorgo's advice was all the more remarkable because it was good. It was Athenian aid for the Ionian revolt that brought the wrath of Persia down on mainland Greece, leading some people to quip that it was easier to bamboozle thirty thousand Athenian men than one Spartan girl. Ironically, if the Athenian Assembly had been as wise as Gorgo, then Gorgo might not have lost her husband twenty years later at Thermopylae.

Perhaps the fact that she was genuinely and exceptionally bright explains why, as a wife too, she was consulted and her opinions respected. This is evidenced by the incident in which a blank wax tablet was sent to Sparta from the exiled king Demaratus then at the Persian court. "No one," according to Herodotus, "was able to guess the secret until... Gorgo, who was the wife of Leonidas, divined it and told the others that if they scraped the wax off, they would find something written on the wood underneath. This was done; the message was revealed....(Herodotus, The Histories, 7:239.)

There is little doubt, then that Gorgo was clever, but what else do we know about her?

It is safe to say that Gorgo was probably not particularly pretty. Had she been, it would have been mentioned by somebody. The beauty of other Spartan women, notably Helen and Demaratus' mother, was legendary or at least recorded. Some people have suggested Gorgo was ugly based on her name which conjures up the mythical Gorgon, a female beast with snakes for hair, so hideous that all who looked at her turned to stone. But this seems to be taking things too far in the other direction. It is hard to imagine a truly ugly woman being so well-loved by either her father or her husband - or so well adjusted and self-confident. Furthermore, we are told that men "made advances" to her, which also seems inconsistent with an unattractive woman. Gorgo was probably simply "ordinary," and so her looks were not worthy of comment.

Whatever her looks, Gorgo was the quintessential Spartan woman in spirit. She was educated, self-confident, out-spoken and involved in the body politic. She was neither vain nor materialistic. She showed Spartan scorn of affectation when she thought Aristagoras had no hands because he let a slave dress him, and when she accused an elegantly dressed man of not being able "to play even a female role."

This second quote is again very telling because it suggests Gorgo was familiar with theatre. Although most Greek plays we know of today were written by Athenian playwrights, it is highly unlikely that respectable women attended Athenian theater. As Pericles quote underlines, it was considered a disgrace for Athenian women to be seen in public - or even on the doorsteps of their homes. Therefore, even if it is just possible to imagine them (veiled and heavily escorted by their male relatives) attending tragedies, the sexual explicitness of Athenian comedies is utterly unimaginable if respectable Athenian women were expected to be in the audience. Gorgo's reference to "playing a female role," however, makes it very clear that she had seen plays performed.

There is even a chance that she saw these plays performed in Athens. We know that Leonidas' short reign began with the Persian invasion that led to the Battle of Marathon and ended with the Persian invasion that crushed him and his 300 Spartans at Thermopylae before continuing on to burn Athens to the ground. In short, Leonidas' entire reign was dominated by the Persian threat and the need for the Greek city-states to unite against the common enemy. It is reasonable to postulate that Leonidas spent a good deal of his time lobbying for support among the other important cities especially in Athens. The very fact that he was elected the commander of the coalition forces, including nominal command of the Athenian fleet, suggests that the leaders in other cities were familiar with - and trusted - him. It is not fanciful to hypothesize that on at least one of his trips to Athens, he took Gorgo with him.

The evidence that Gorgo traveled to Athens is corroborated by her most famous quote. An Athenian woman is said to have asked her why "only Spartan women rule their men?" Gorgo replied: "Because only Spartan women produce men." Since it is inconceivable that an Athenian woman would have traveled to Sparta, the only place where such an exchange could have taken place was in Athens itself.

The thought of Gorgo in Athens is rather like the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court. She must have been a sensation - and one imagines Leonidas with his dry sense of humor enjoying every minute of it! For example, note that the Athenian woman asked why only Spartan women "ruled" their men, implying that Gorgo had been seen giving Leonidas advice - and he had been seen to accept it, just as Cleomenes had done before him. As Gorgo's response makes clear, that willingness not to discount good advice just because it came out of the mouth of a woman is what made Spartan men more manly - at least in Gorgo's eyes! Plausibly, Spartan men, who measured their virility on the battlefield more than in the debates of the Assembly as in Athens, were less worried by the words of women.

But we should not picture Gorgo as a shrew. Gorgo's role was that of advisor, companion and lover. She is not depicted telling Leonidas off (as she did her father), but rather helping him solve the mystery of the apparently blank wax tablet and obliquely bragging about his masculinity. And while other Spartan queens (notably Helen) are accused of adultery, Gorgo is portrayed rejecting unwanted advances. She was the mother of at least one child by Leonidas, his son and heir, Pleistarchos, and there is no reason to believe this was their only child. The fact that Pleistarchos was still very young at his father's death suggests the opposite: that there either been elder children who died or had all been female. He could also have had younger siblings since these too would have been of no interest to Ancient historians since they had no dynastic role.

When Leonidas marched out to die at Thermopylae, Gorgo asked him for instructions. His answer was a final compliment to her. He said: "Marry a good man and have good children." Not sons, children. Leonidas wanted Gorgo not to mourn him but to be happy, and he valued daughters as much as sons - probably because he had learned from Gorgo the importance of clever and loyal women.

Award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader has published three novels set in Archaic Sparta that reveal an intriguing and colorful Sparta unlike the usual clich├ęs. All can be ordered from online retailers. She is currently writing a biographical novel of Leonidas. Visit her website "Sparta Reconsidered" to order her books at: Helena Schrader holds a PhD in History and works as a Foreign Service Officer.

Monday, July 19, 2010

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  • Please note in the diagram that the picture that will be embroidered is the one blown up in the diagram - not the small image on the shirt.

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Update Post: Jul 20, 2010 00:00:17

Sunday, July 18, 2010

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Reevaluating the Black Power Movement - From Mayor Richard G Hatcher to President Barack Obama

Though misunderstood and misrepresented by the media and its opponents, the 1960s Black Power movement touched every aspect of American culture, and like the "New Negro" Movement of the 1920s, African Americans came of age, becoming self-determining and racially conscious. Black people- sharecroppers, unionists, welfare and tenants rights organizers, students, intellectuals, poets, musicians and singers and politicians-grounded in the ideology of Black Power, began to organize around controlling their own lives and institutions. The movement pointedly questioned the capacity of America's democracy to extend justice, citizenship and equality of opportunity to African Americans, castigating America for its failure to live up to the principles of democracy.

Unfortunately, the confrontational style and practice the Black Power Movement has obscured its pivotal role in transforming American democracy. Yet, its cultural and political mode of thought and practice- its assertive posture, strong rhetoric and uncompromising critique-permanently altered the political landscape of America as well as the identity of African Americans. At a time when blacks were still referring to themselves as "Negroes", ashamed of being black, of their hair, and their African heritage, the movement for power by black people in 1966 roared on the national stage transforming the consciousness of African Americans. Thus, coined and popularized by Kwame Toure, Black Power captured the spirit and imagination of black people, setting a new national agenda with international ramifications.

To be sure, the Black Power movement imagined the possibilities for black empowerment and American democracy. Its unflinching call for the promotion of black history and black studies; its Pan African impulse; its far-reaching criticism of racism at home and imperialism abroad, expanded the dialogue and parameters of the black freedom struggle. Resultantly, black people began to turn inward, using their cultural strengths to push back against racism and to affirm their own humanity and to embrace an African centric worldview. So far-reaching and so expansive was the tentacles of the Black Power movement that no venue or sector was untouched by its vision and critique. The Black Power salute in the 1968 Olympic by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, for example, was the most overly political statements in the history of the modern Olympic Games. The salute was part of a protest to call attention to the injustices black Americans were facing.

Another sector heavily impacted by ideology and direction of Black Power Movement, was the music industry. The music in the late 1960s began to reflect the influence of the movement- James Brown, Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud, the anthem for the Black Power Movement, Nina Simone, To Be Young Gifted and Black, The Temptations, Message From A Black Man. Besides this, the "Natural", a hair style which evolved into a cultural and political statement for black men and women, and the dashiki, which became the dominant form of dress for African Americans, were representative of the African centric perspective of blacks.

Politically, at both the local and national level, black people started to organize around the three ends of Black Power-self-respect, self-determination, and self-defense. In 1967 the first Black Power Conference was held in Newark. A Black Power Manifesto came out of this conference, condemning "neo-colonialist control" of black populations worldwide and calling for the circulation of a "philosophy of blackness" that would unite and direct the oppressed in common cause. In 1972 Black Power advocates, organized and called for a State of the Union meeting, first National Black Political Convention. Delegates included elected officials and revolutionaries, integrationists and black nationalists, Baptists and Muslims (the widows of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X- Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz- both attended). Participants were buoyed by the spirit of possibility, and themes of unity and self-determination.

In a real sense, Black Power ushered in a new black politics. In Dark Days Bright Nights, Peniel Joseph, argues persuasively that the politics of Black Power included a "cultural ethos that redefined black identity by promoting defiantly popular images of racial pride and self-determination." Peniel adds that Black Power "waged a war of attrition to in order to implement Black Studies programs...established independent schools, educations centers, cultural centers, and think tanks...the new black politics featured alliances between elected officials and black nationalist militants, and a cultural movement that used art to expand black consciousness and helped forged an international legacy that viewed African liberation as the crown jewel of a global revolution." Peniel concludes that all of this in turn "planted seeds that partially inspired post-Black Power era anti-apartheid activisms," and that; "If the civil rights worked from the outside-in by paving the way for legal and legislative reforms, Black Power worked in reverse, imbuing the race consciousness and pride within the African American communities upon which much of contemporary black identity is based."

In brief, unlike the Civil Rights Movement, which has had its signal events incorporated into the fabric of America's political and cultural institutions and historical memory through the media and academic historians, the Black Power Movement has been defined by its excesses and demonized by the media and marginalized in history of the 1960s. Yet, failure to recognize the achievements of the Black Power Movement and rescue its legacy serves only to diminish the history of the social justice movement, including civil rights, and the contemporary racial justice movement. To be sure, this Movement made significant accomplishments in transforming African American politic and culture, and in reforming American institutions: laying the groundwork for the Jesse Jackson's candidacy for the Democratic 1984 and 1988 presidential nominations, the election of Ron Brown as the first African American chair of the Democratic National Committee, and the election of Barack Obama, the first African American elected President of the United States of America.

Author, Jitahadi Imara
Jitahadi Imara is the CEO of the Kwanzaa Guide. His experience and expertise on Kwanzaa spans four decades. Mr. Imara has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Stevie Wonder's radio station, KJLH, Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce, and the American Library Association. He studied with the creator of Kwanzaa, Maulana Karenga, for over eleven years and is in frequent demand as a lecturer and workshop presenter on Kwanzaa.

More information can be obtained on Kwanzaa by going to

Friday, July 16, 2010

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Update Post: Jul 16, 2010 20:10:12

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Unusual Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day

Did you know that more greeting cards are sent and more flowers are delivered for Mother's Day than for Valentine's Day? If you think about it, it makes sense since not everyone has a lover, but nearly everyone has a mother.

Moms are there to heal our wounds, to teach us about life, and to show us love. If you're looking for a special way to appreciate Mom this year, here are three unusual ways you can celebrate and show your love with a little help from a rental projector.

1. Take Mom on a walk down memory lane.

Gather the photo books, make some scans and put together a family slideshow just for mom. It's easy to drop these scans onto CD-ROM or DVD, set it to music, and showcase the slide show on Mother's Day with a rental projector and a blank wall. Then Mom gets a keepsake DVD she can replay any time she chooses. You might decide to include clips from favorite films or home movies, childhood photographs, her wedding pictures (or yours!), funny moments, photos of loved ones who've passed away, or anything that would make mom feel warm and cozy inside.

2. Bring the movie theater home to Mom's living room.

Imagine the delight on your mother's face as she sees her favorite classic films projected onto her biggest living room wall! With rates starting at just $99 per weekend, you can surprise your mom with a rental projector. She can enjoy a good cry during "Breakfast at Tiffany's" or swoon over Jimmy Stewart as her favorite flicks are displayed in theater size and quality. Gather your siblings and Mom's relatives for family favorites like "Father of the Bride" or "Terms of Endearment" and pop a huge batch of popcorn as everyone settles in and gets comfy. Mom will love having the whole family together again, just like old times.

3. Give the gift of technology.

Can't be present with her on Mother's Day? An alternative might include sending a gift certificate for a rental projector with a list of ideas like these and a heartfelt video message (recorded onto DVD) to tell Mom how much you care, and how much you wish you could be with her for this special day.

However you choose to celebrate Mother's Day, it all starts with authentic gratitude and a special message for mom.

Need an LCD projector rental for Mother's Day or your next business presentation? Renting a projector is as easy as 1-2-3 at Discover the fast, easy, affordable, hassle-free way to procure a professional grade rental projector today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Women Play Vital Roles For Plains Indian Tribes

Everyone has heard the legendary stories about Native American females such as Pocahontas, the Indian princess who encountered John Smith, and Sacagawea, a Shoshone woman who guided Lewis and Clark across the Louisiana Territory, but little is given about their daily lives. The American Indian Culture Research Center Web site and The Wind River Rendezvous magazine have given us an inside look at the roles women played in Plains Indian tribes.

The Plains Indians lived in an area that stretched as far north as Canada down to Texas covering what is now known as the Great Plains of North America. The Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Crow, Pawnee, Sioux and Shoshone were just some of the tribes that lived on the plains.

Like many cultures, the women's main responsibilities were to bear and raise children and provide clothing, shelter and food for their families. Native American women had control over their own lives, more than white women at the time, and were recognized as a respected and vital member of the tribe.

It was the men's role to protect their families, hunt and participate in warfare. The women supported them by helping them prepare and provide them with clothing, food, weapons and prayer.

After a hunt was complete, it was the women's job to prepare the meat by skinning and cutting the animal, often a buffalo, as quickly as possible. They also preserved the hide which was tanned or turned into rawhide for clothing, furniture, tipi covers, bedding and more. No part of the buffalo went to waste, so the women also turned bones and horns into household items including cooking utensils.

If need be, women would follow their men into battle. Some were skilled fighters while others provided aid or medical attention to warriors. The women would also do what they had to, to protect their families.

As a woman becomes older, she is seen as a source of wisdom for the tribe. Some may practice medicine while most attend to their grandchild. Grandmothers teach young girls to sew, cook, tan hides and decorate in addition to educating them about the tribe's traditions. Elder women also continue to pray for the well being of their family and the prosperity of the tribe.

Want more? Check out the AICRC site to learn more about the roles of Plains Indian women and the Native American culture. With Indian Costumes, you can bring history to life! The online retailer offers authentic costumes for adults and children that are great for a theater production or a pow wow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Five Things You Didn't Know About London's the Lion King

Since its debut 10 years ago, The Lion King musical has charmed countless London theatregoers and made an indelible mark on the theatre scene. Whether you've had the pleasure of enjoying it or not, there's no escaping its enduring popularity. Featuring a compelling story, delightful musical numbers, attractive costumes and a sprawling cast, it should be at the top of the list of anyone visiting London. Below, we highlight five little-known -- but fascinating -- facts about the production.

  • Twenty-five different species of animals are represented in The Lion King. In addition to animals, this number includes fish, insects and birds. 232 different puppets are used to fill out this amazing array of creatures; full sized puppets, rod puppets and shadow puppets are all employed to breathe life into these characters, making the set teem with wildlife and lending it an unforgettable aura. You'll feel as if you've been transported to the African wild.

  • The puppets and masks used in the musical are incredibly intricate and represent thousands of hours of hard work. In fact, more than 37,000 hours in total were needed to craft these delightful costumes and creatures. The evidence supporting this detailed work is clear as soon as the curtain rises - there's no mistaking that a lot of work went into those puppets and masks.

  • It's little wonder that Lion King tickets have been such hot sellers since 1999, especially when you consider the intriguing statistics behind many of the animals portrayed in production. Snap up some last minute theatre tickets to take in the impossibly tall -- 20ft! -- giraffes featured during "I Just Can't Wait To Be King." Order your Lion King tickets early to make sure you witness the four-and-a-half metre long elephant; this incredible beast is also three metres wide, but collapses down to just 86 centimeters when it needs to pass down the narrow aisle at the Lyceum Theatre.

  • When booking last minute theatre tickets to enjoy The Lion King, keep a few of these interesting statistics in mind: 340 kilograms of rubber were used to create the many masks used during the show; 27 kilograms of grass were used to craft the Grasslands headdresses; and 106 ants are featured during the number "Ant Hill Lady." Buying Lion King tickets means enjoying all of this -- and much more!

  • Many people contribute to making The Lion King such a success. Over 1,700 people are employed worldwide thanks to the show. When procuring your last minute theatre tickets to the production, remember that 114 people have worked to prepare for the performance you are about to enjoy -- each and every time the show goes on!

Roo Sadegi is a freelance writer based in London's East End and a regular antendee at West End theatres

Monday, July 12, 2010

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Update Post: Jul 12, 2010 14:40:16

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Venetian Carnival

The time of the famous Venetian carnival is closing up. It's just the right time to recall Venice, its attractions and must-sees, its rich history and the cotemporary status of one of the world's most popular tourist destinations.

The first thing that comes to mind when speaking about Venice is "the city of canals". Its amount really strikes - 150! Don't forget about 409 bridges in Venice and you wouldn't be surprised to hear that in Venice there are no cars and buses. You can reach any point by water or by feet (Venice is not very big). Big boats called vaporetto play the role of the public transport in Venice. Small private boats are taxies. However, gondola has become the transport symbol of the city. It's a narrow, usually black, boat for water walks. It's an expensive pleasure, but it's the only way to feel the authentic atmosphere of Venice.

The whole city is an art masterpiece; there are no ordinary, ugly buildings. Almost every structure seems to be a hotel. Even if it's a private house you surely can rent an apartment there. It's a city making living out of tourists, so the prices are high.

The centre and the heart of the city is San Marco square. Long ago Napoleon called it "the most elegant dining-room in Europe". The square really looks like salon. It's surrounded by the galleries and San Marco Cathedral. Between gallery and cathedral lies the exit to lagoon, very beautiful place. St Mark's Square is located in one of the lowest parts of the city, so is always the first to be covered in water when the acqua alta (high tide) arrives.

The place is also famous for its cafes - "Florian", "Lavena", "Quardi". "Florian" is considered to be the oldest café in Europe. Antique furniture, excellent coffee and live music are awaiting for you!
Doge's palace or Palazzo Ducale (in Italian) is an ancient building hiding medieval secrets and legends.

Rialto Bridge is one of the everlasting symbols of Venice. In Middle Ages there were several wooden bridges, but all of them were burnt. The present, stone bridge was built in the end of the XVI century. On the bridge you can find a lot of souvenir and jewelry shops.

So, now let's get back to the point. Venetian Carnival. It's on of the most popular carnivals in the world and shares its fame only with the carnival in Rio-de-Janeiro, although they are completely different. Venetian carnival covers the whole city. Colorful festive crowds fill the streets and the squares of Venice. The origin of Carnival dates back to the Middle Ages. In 1296 the last day before the Lent was proclaimed holiday.
This year the Carnival takes place from 18th till 28th December. The theme of the carnival 2006 is "The Dragon and the Lion", all the events and theatre performances are connected with the Chinese culture. The program is very diverse - from the shows on the streets for children to the luxurious parties in palaces for the adults. Costume and mask is a must!

For booking a hotel, please, go to Venice hotels page

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Society's View of Hair Loss Sufferers

The other day, I was at a friend's birthday party and met a woman who told me she had attended a racial diversity conference. She said it was at a capacity-filled theater, and there was a black-American man, maybe in his late forties, who came up to give a talk on stage at the podium.

He posed a question to the vast crowd sitting in attendance, "what is the very first thing you notice about me?" Right then an audience member bellowed out at the top of his lungs, "BALDIE!" The crowd convulsed in laughter (his purpose was to get someone to say "you're black").

Although it was an amusing incident, it hints at a rather lamentable aspect of our society: our tendency to favor those who are deemed "good-looking."

It's crucial that we remind hair loss sufferers, which may include good friends, brothers, coworkers, or acquaintances that there's no shame attached to baldness. It's not your fault. People know that. It's in the genes.

For those suffering from balding and want to do something about it, there's a viable alternative: A hair transplant. Hair transplants have vastly improved peoples' lives, from NFL players like Curt Warner (former Seattle Seahawk) to respected TV sports reporters like KCAL's Steve Hartman.

Hair transplants boost self-esteem, helps a person feel as if he can blend in more easily at social get-togethers and parties, and might better someone's chances of landing that dream job or brunch date with a prospective spouse.

At US Hair Transplant, our hair transplants are natural in that we use your own hair for the transplant. Feel free to take a look at our before and after photo gallery on our website (link below).

In certain respects, a hair transplant will make you feel as if you've been given back your youth and help you feel less self-conscious upon meeting others initially, which can make life a more pleasant experience.

Getting a hair restoration procedure is like undergoing laser eye surgery to correct eyesight, or straightening out teeth by paying a visit to the orthodontist, hair restoration surgery is a fantastic option for people who think it may enhance their lives.

Hair transplant surgeon and Medical Director of US Hair Restoration. Our goal is to re-establish a person's self-image and self-esteem through modern medical and surgical services. Our hair restoration blog is a great source for people looking into hair restoration or just curious about our practice.

Friday, July 9, 2010

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Update Post: Jul 09, 2010 10:30:12

Thursday, July 8, 2010




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Monday, July 5, 2010

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Venice Carnival

The origins of the Carnival in Venice are similar to many carnivals in the world. The Carnival starts on the last day before Lent. The origin of the festivities is the will to consume all the meat before Lent (Carne = meat Vale = farewell, hence, Carnival).

The Carnival has no obvious religious significance. It's about drinking, disorder, roll reversing, blurring social status, costumes and masks, dancing, plays, parades and festivals all over town.

During Carnival people wear masks and costumes of different kinds: Costumes that symbolize characters from mythology, costumes related to nature, to legend, to styles and historic eras, to church characters, and to characters from the comedia del Arte. The most famous character in the Carnival of Venice is the doctor wearing black robe and white mask, born after the plague in Europe, when doctors were careful not to catch the disease from their patients.

In 1980 the Carnival tradition in Venice was renewed, after a long period. The Carnival is celebrated by costume parades, Gondola sailing, games and parties in the ancient palaces.
The Carnival in Venice takes place each year in February.
During this period the streets fill with artists, acrobats and musicians and the whole city is filled with people and very lively.

Apart from all the action in the streets there are also private events such as masked balls and gala dinners.

Every year the carnival has a different topic. Last year the topic of the Carnival was theater. The topic for 2006 carnival is the dragon and the lion, and the carnival is dedicated to China.

The carnival of 2006 starts on February 23, and continues through February 28.

The events of the carnival in Venice include special activities for kids, and dancing for the young.

The traditional Venetian carnival masks are made by artists in Venice. If you want to buy a Venetian mask, go to Unicorno Magico on 373 San Polo (At the end of the Rialto market). If you want to see how masks are made of papier mache you can go into the store and see the work in process.

Rachel Deutsch is the owner and writer of []. On this site, as in others, she shares her ecperience in travel, and the interest in Italy, its history and its pleasures.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Check Out Vampyre Mask Halloween or Theatre Costume

Vampyre Mask Halloween or Theatre Costume Review

Vampyre Mask Halloween or Theatre Costume Feature

  • Watch your neck' this vampire is on the hunt. Full over-the-head latex mask, individually hand painted.

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Update Post: Jul 03, 2010 01:30:09

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Check Out New Yellow Feather Bird Mask with yellow beak

New Yellow Feather Bird Mask with yellow beak Review

New Yellow Feather Bird Mask with yellow beak Feature

  • Beautiful New Feather Bird Mask
  • Approx width with feather: 10inch
  • Approx height with feather: 11 inch

New Yellow Feather Bird Mask with yellow beak Overview

Description:These Brand new Feather Mask is great for all the special occasions like Mardi Gras, Halloween Party, Costume Party, X'mas Party, Sports Events, Dress Up, Masquerade Party, Halloween, New Years, Christmas, Glamour, Photographer Prop, Dance Recital, Wedding and all kind of occasionsDimension:Approximate width with feather(from left to right) about 10" (28cm) Approximate height with feather (from top to bottom) about 11" (29cm)

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Update Post: Jul 01, 2010 23:30:09