The Maasai are a nomadic people whose skill at surviving in the African bush is legendary. After days of careful planning, the skilled Maasai warrior rises early before dawn. Only the bravest warrior undertakes a solo hunt to demonstrate his skill and courage in front of his peers. He sets off on his journey before the women awake and sneaks out of the village on his lone quest to find a lion's footprints. Warriors respect the life-bearing females and hunt only the males. Across the dry lakebed of the Amboseli basin the sun's burning rays create a curtain of reflection. The warrior digs the bottom of his spear in the ground to steady himself, and raises one hand to his eyes to shield them from the sun. From his vantage point behind a rock he squints through the haze, unsure if he sees a lion or if it is a mirage. Eager for the glory that will ensure him respect from the tribe for the rest of his life, the warrior presses on in search of the lion. He crosses the plains (now part of the Game Reserves Kenya), and enters deep into the forest.
In the later Middle Ages there was an alliance of trading guilds that controlled all of the business over Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea region. This was the Hanseatic League. Hansa is a German term for "guilds. The Baltic Sea area had always been the subject of piracy, raids and unorganized trade but the scale of these ventures never reached an international scope. The Hanseatic League changed all that. In 1158-59 the German town of Lubeck, now the second largest city in northern Germany, was rebuilt by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, after he had captured it from Adolf the Second of Holstein. This would one day be the cornerstone of the league. Henry the Lion was one of the most powerful princes in his time (b. 1129- d. 1195) and is known as the founder of Munich and Lubeck. Lubeck became a central point for all sea trade coming in and out of the Baltic and most of the cities surrounding the Baltic Sea recognized this and enjoyed their own success from joining into an alliance.
Growing up as a kid you probably imagined yourself at one point or another as a marauding Viking warrior. Of course, naturally you had your impressive horned helmet carried into battle as well. But is this helmet a myth popularized by Hollywood, or is there some historical fact to it? All archaeological evidence suggests that Viking warriors did not wear horns on their helmets. Of course, there are practical reasons for this as well. Any battle smart warrior would know that having horns jetting out from your helmet would give the enemy a place to grasp and throw you around. In battle, Vikings wore standard Sutton Hoo type helmets that did not have horns. Before the horn myth was made popular, Viking helmets were shown to have wings on them. This is also not historically accurate.But where did these myths come from? Old texts suggest that priests may have worn headdresses with horns for religious ceremonies. They may have been worn for decorations as well. However, what got the myths going was the ancient Romans and Greeks who came back from Britain saying the soldiers and people wore outlandish headdresses and helmets.
The Roman empire span for almost 700 years from the time of its founding to the fall in 476 AD. You can bet that there were significant changes in the design of the entire roman soldier outfit, from the type of armor they wore to the helmet they used to protect their head.The Roman Empire started to show its beginnings sometime in the 3rd century BC. However, it started out just in the Italian peninsula, and there were three major powerful families: the Julii, Scipii, and Brutii. During this time soldiers of these three inner factions of Rome wore armor and helmets quite different from what you might think of on a legionnaire. They wore a chainmail armor called Lorica Hamata, and their helmets were more rounded and did not have the neck protection seen in later times. Also, most soldiers wore a single red feather/plume that jetted out from the back of the helmet. After the Marius Reforms in 106 BC, the dress of the Roman soldier began to change. The Imperial Roman armies were formed and Lorica Segmentata came into being.
Ralph Abernathy was the black man most recognized as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s second-in-command. It's easy to see him being King's Vice President, had the good doctor ever attained the White House. In his last speech on April 3, 1968, MLK said, "Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world." Abernathy's family has stated he loved them dearly, and that he risked everything for the American Civil Rights Movement - hard as it was. Abernathy had introduced him before King gave his last life's speech. He was the first person out on the motel's balcony when MLK was shot, and they went back to well before the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Abernathy was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery around 1951, and while living there, he formed a close and enduring partnership with Dr. King, who wasn't famous until the years of the bus boycott. At the time, King was pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, also in Montgomery. He "hung out" with many other reverends and pastors, both black and white, during the course of his brief but firebrand and "righteous" political career.
1st Generation Hispanics are closely in tune with their culture. Whether they are from Mexico or El Salvador, they live in the U.S. but their hearts and their minds are still back home in their native country. That is why in America there are so many languages being spoken. There is also more and more exposure to flags of other countries. The reason behind this is the First Generation mindset of not letting go of the inner culture. A first Generation Hispanic will talk openly about where they came from and how they like to visit their native land from time to time. Once they settle, 1st Generation Hispanics will settle for life and live in the same home or city for the rest of their lives. A 3rd Generation Hispanic will not be as in tune with their parents or grandparents native country. The reason is because the more assimilated they are in American culture, the more they embrace it. When Hispanics embrace and live within a certain culture, they shy away from their native culture.
Most benefactors are known for giving large amounts of money to broad humanitarian causes, but many benefactors are starting to give on a much more personal level. High society benefactors are drawing controversy from their sugar-daddy style philanthropy. From the Latin bene "good" and factor "maker", dictionary.com defines benefactor as "one who confers a benefit or benefits". Historical benefactors like Mother Theresa or Joseph Pulitzer probably come to mind when thinking about the word benefactor. Yet a benefactor doesn't always play by traditional rules. What has country clubs buzzing across the nation are personal benefactors. This type of benefactor provides financial, professional and emotional support to mostly young and attractive individuals in return for one on one companionship. These 'mutually beneficial relationships' or 'arrangements' often come with monthly allowances, multi-thousand dollar shopping sprees, world travel and even professional advancement. With a struggling economy, many young people can appreciate help with paying the rent, or even student loans.
Golu was only ten year old when India got independence from the British Colonial Masters in 1947. White sahibs and memsahibs were, gradually, leaving India. Golu's father was Mr. Benjamin's driver. Golu lived with his parents in a small cottage behind the big bungalow. When he was about 4 year old, one day, Mrs. Benjamin took him to a nearby school, where he studied for the next 10 years. White Mrs. Benjamin did not seem to be less than a fairy to Golu, and he would whisper, " Fairy mother... fairy mother... " The nation was rejoicing and feasting on 15th August 1947 because of the Independence Day but little Golu was unable to control his tears, for that very day Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin were to go back to England. For many following years, Golu had a recurring dream, almost every night. In his dream, he would find himself surrounded by lush green mountains, and a blue fairy would descend from the sky. The fairy would bring goodies for him, she would dance with him, and she would play with him, and disappear just before dawn into the oblivion.
Americana is filled with interesting people, folks who help shape our time and those who go beyond the norm, those who truly capture our hearts. Let me tell you the story of Gary Kuhre, a father, a husband and a man on a mission to raise awareness. Gary Kuhre discovered that the family's health care insurance did not cover Autism and the family discovered how much financial burden an autistic child cost. Rather than quitting in defeat and out of the love for his son, he dug down deep and his strength of character emerged. He decided to do something about it, yes a father on a mission willing to do anything necessary to help his son, even laying down his own life if necessary, if he knew his son could lead a normal life. It was out of this father's dedication, that he was willing to endure the ultimate test of devotion. One, which he was quite certain would bring awareness to Autism, indeed it was "a test of will" like no other had ever dreamed. He would walk across America from Reno to Washington DC and as you know Reno is further West than Los Angeles, due to the shape of the United States and the curvature of the Earth.
From time to time, even reputable journals run yet another sensational story about a 'new' identification of the woman in the world's best-known painting. Do you ever wonder why these stories are published? You probably share my own guess at the answer: media moguls know we are fascinated by celebrity. Celebrity stories sell! And 'Mona Lisa' has been a celebrity for much longer than Princess Diana. The first review of the famous portrait was written by the world's first art critic, Giorgio Vasari, who was born at Arezzo on 30th July, 1511 and died at Florence in 27th June, 1574. In his own time, Vasari was successful as a painter, under the patronage of the powerful Medici family. Familiar with all the foremost Florentine artists, he was a friend and admirer of Lionardo (Leonardo) da Vinci (1452 - 1519) - the great artist who made the painting known by millions as the Mona Lisa or La Gioconda. On the bookshelves of my studio is a battered but treasured edition of 'The Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects' Volume Two, published in London in 1927 (long before I was born, I should add.