Sunday, February 28, 2010

Home News Business Opinion Arts & Ideas Columns Vedomosti Russia’s Influence on Picasso Feted at Pushkin

of the Year of France in Russia, the bulk of works in the show are from 
the National Picasso Museum in Paris.
Denis Sinyakov / Reuters
Part of the Year of France in Russia, the bulk of works in the show are from the National Picasso Museum in Paris.
Russia’s influence on Pablo Picasso is celebrated at a new Moscow exhibit on the Spanish painter, sculptor and co-founder of the Cubism movement. Picasso paintings of bulging-eyed women and sculptures bearing his trademark triangular noses feature in a 240-piece collection of works by one of most prolific and dominant artists of the 20th century.
The largest Picasso exhibit on Russian soil in more than 50 years opened on Friday, and it was the Russian influence on Picasso — by way of his Russian wife and access to her world — that excited those in the marble halls of Moscow’s Pushkin Museum near the Kremlin, which is housing the exhibit.
“At that time, Russia was the capital of revolution, and this energy impacted Picasso greatly. It affected how he created,” Mikhail Shvydkoi, the Kremlin’s cultural envoy said.
The exhibit is one of a series of events for the Year of France in Russia.
Anne Baldassari, director of France’s National Picasso Museum in Paris, which is lending the bulk of the works, said art movements and masters in Russia such as avant-garde painters Kazimir Malevich and Vasily Kandinsky played an “undeniably large” role in Picasso’s life and inspiration.
A year after the Russian revolution of 1917, Picasso, who was born in 1881 in Malaga, Spain, married ballerina Olga Khokhlova, whose pensive glances and oval eyes came to characterize many of his painted women.
Though they separated bitterly after eight years when the painter started an affair with his 17-year-old muse, Khokhlova is believed to be the inspiration for Picasso’s mother and child themes.
Walking past the painting “Olga in an Armchair,” depicting Khokhlova with her head downturned in a drapey black and floral dress, Shvydkoi added: “He was surrounded by Russian culture, and this made him a man of the world.”
Picasso lived much of his adult life in France, but as French Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterrand put it while attending the exhibit’s opening: “Russia taught him, encouraged him, moved him.”
Works from Picasso’s five major creative periods — his blue, rose, African, Cubism and surrealism periods — are on display for three months in Moscow as the Picasso museum in Paris undergoes reconstruction.
Instantly recognizable and much-loved paintings such as 1967’s “The Kiss,” depicting a black and white lip-locked couple with vertical eyes, the Cubist “Seated Woman” from 1937, and “Jacqueline with Crossed Hands,” his 1954 painting of his second and last wife, crown the exhibit.
Russian first lady and self-proclaimed art devotee Svetlana Medvedeva, adorned with pearls and her neck rimmed in black mink, swanned through the elaborate collection but, true to form, did not utter a word.
She paused to look at the 30 paintings and 20 photographs connected directly to Russia, from when Picasso designed for Russian ballet director Sergei Diaghilev.
Minister Mitterrand added that Picasso’s relationship with Russia echoed a pre-Soviet age when the Russian elite spoke French with one another and the two countries exchanged ideas and literature.
The State Pushkin Museum contributed several of its own Picasso paintings, such as the 1903 “Old Jew with a Boy” from his more morose, reflective “blue” period.
“Picasso. Moscow. From the National Picasso Museum, Paris” runs till May 23 at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. 12 Ulitsa Volkhonka. Metro Kropotkinskaya. Tel. 697-7998.

Artists’ Cooperative Gallery Hosts "Second Sunday"

The Artists Cooperative Gallery of Cape May will host "Second Sunday" on March 14 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at its home in the West End Garage, 484 West Perry Street, Cape May.
"Second Sunday" featured local artists will be painter Patrica Neville, jeweler Cindy Mahoney Crawford and photographer Christine Peck.
"Second Sundays" will continue throughout the year so the community can enjoy meeting all of our artists and learn about their work," explains Diana Cutshall, manager of the gallery.
Featured artists as well as other artists from the Cooperative Gallery will be on hand to meet the public and discuss their work. Light refreshments will be served.
Patricia Neville, a native of Cape May County, studied art at York Academy of Arts and received her BFA in Art Education at Rowan University. She continues to take art workshops both locally and internationally. Her current series of oil paintings depict still-lifes reflecting her experience of nature based on the everyday findings along the beach and the bay.
Artist and teacher Cindy Mahoney Crawford received a BA in Fine Art with a focus on Drawing, Painting and Printmaking and a Masters in Education in Portland, Ore., before relocating to the Cape May area. Mahoney Crawford creates unique pieces of jewelry using a variety of materials including semi-precious stones, lucite, Swarovski crystals, glass, original photographs, cultured freshwater pearls and sterling silver.
Photographs by Christine Peck, local artist and optician, are her personal visual expressions of the world around us. Born and raised in Southern New Jersey, she was introduced to photography in high school and went on to study fine arts at Glassboro State College.
Since then, it has become a lifelong pursuit to capture the images that surround us and reproduce them in an artistic photographic form. Peck uses black and white photography to enhance details, such as in ancient architecture, while her color photographs capture nature’s broad spectrums of beauty.
The Artists' Cooperative gallery is a group of 28 local artists who have joined together to showcase and sell their work as well as educate the public about their art. The gallery is open from 10-6 p.m. Friday - Sunday. Call 609-770-8261 for seasonal hours.

The Pei master

He is one of the world's greatest architects, whose stunning buildings have sparked both wonder and controversy. IM Pei, now in his 90s, talks to Jonathan Glancey
the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, 
Pei's first major international success … the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, Colorado
'It is good to learn from the ­ancients," says IM Pei with a smile. "I'm a bit of an ancient ­myself. They had a lot of time to think about architecture and landscape. Today, we rush ­everything, but architecture is slow, and the landscapes it sits in even slower. It needs the time our political systems won't allow."
Impeccably mannered and ­quietly spoken, Pei, now 92, has walked an ­architectural tightrope for half a ­century. Marrying ancient and modern, he has created buildings as influential as the trapezoid-shaped east wing of Washington's National Gallery of Art, as ambitious as the Bank of China's soaring HQ in Hong Kong, and as controversial as the Pyramide du ­Louvre in Paris. He has won pretty much every prize his profession has to offer; last month he was presented with the prestigious royal gold medal for ­architecture, a gift of the Queen, ­presented by the Royal Institute for British Architects. "A wonderful honour," he says, when we meet in London's Mandarin Oriental hotel, "for someone who hasn't really built here."
Born in Canton, south-east China, in 1917, Pei is the son of a banker and an artistic mother, who would take him to see dreamy Chinese gardens and ­mountainside shrines. "These have always been the most important ­inspiration to me as an architect," says Pei. "I have never forgotten those gardens: wonderful marriages of ­man-made and natural design. I've come back to them again and again; they are my guide as much as the work of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, who I admired as a young architect newly arrived in the US."
Despite being offered a place at ­Oxford, the lure of America proved too strong for the young Pei. "I liked the America of Bing Crosby, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton – it was all a dream, of course, but a very alluring dream for a young man from Canton." It drew him to San Francisco, and from there to a string of east coast universities, where he studied under Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. His intention had been to return to China, but war broke out and he stayed on to become a US ­citizen, setting up his own practice in 1960.
A rose-red vision in the Rockies
Pei's reputation was made with the opening, in 1967, of his bold laboratories for the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado. Clad in local stone that goes from pink to rose-red to ruddy brown with the passing sun, these geometric labs look and feel like an extension of the Rocky Mountains; yet they are defiantly man-made, right down to the slits and chutes cut into their walls. "When I first came to this awe-­inspiring landscape," says Pei, "it was as if I was standing with my mother again, on a sacred mountainside in China." This being Colorado, though, he looked for inspiration locally. "I ­visited the nearby Indian pueblos," he says, referring to the 13th-century Native American cliff dwellings, "and absorbed their forms and structure."
Pei was 50 when the labs opened; architecture, as he says, shouldn't be hurried. "As a young man, of course I had been looking for something new, even revolutionary. I knew what Le Corbusier was doing. I wanted to go his way. But, after some years, I began to think differently. I became interested in a modern architecture that made connections to place, history and ­nature. Modern architecture needed to be part of an evolutionary, not a ­revolutionary, process."
The infamous Louvre pyramid
Pei went from strength to strength with commissions for Washington's National Gallery of Art and the John F Kennedy Memorial Library in Boston. The former exhibits the powerful, elemental forms that characterise his mature work; the mere fact of being commissioned for the latter shows Pei's standing in his adopted country. His most charismatic work, though, was commissioned far from America. Twenty years ago, Pei unveiled two of his finest buildings: the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, and the underground lobbies of the Louvre in Paris capped with his famous (some might say infamous) pyramid.
The tower is one of the most exciting and elegant of all recent skyscrapers. Intended as a symbol of the new, ultra-capitalist People's Republic, the building was a special one for the architect. His father had worked for the Bank of China long before it was taken into state control, while Pei, educated by Christian missionaries at Shanghai's St John's Middle School, had long sided with Chinese ­nationalists rather than Mao's communists. Shortly before the opening of the tower, Pei wrote a powerful editorial for the New York Times condemning the ­Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, which he saw as a sign that the image China wanted to project to the world – partly through his cool, modern tower – was ­drastically out of step with the reality of life for the country's people.
Yet the tower, with its beautifully expressed, zig-zagging steel frame, rises out of the density of Hong Kong with a confidence and ­elegance that places it above the brutal nature of ­politics. It was the island's tallest building when it opened in 1990, and it still ranks among the finest ­additions to the city, a ­majestic peak in an urban mountain range.
The Louvre pyramid stirred even deeper emotions, and huge ­controversy. Commissioned as one of President ­Mitterrand's grands projets in 1985, this ingenious structure – at once ethereal and crystalline, ancient and ­modern – has slowly won over most of its ­detractors. The tip of an architectural iceberg, it forms the entrance to the cavernous Pei-designed lobbies below. "I hoped the controversy would die down quickly," says Pei. "Perhaps I was a little optimistic. But, you know, the choice of the pyramid was not some personal idiosyncrasy. Paris is a city of pyramids, from the time when ­Napoleon [after whom the court the pyramid rises from is named] became fascinated by Egyptian architecture, after his military campaign along the Nile." What's more, the Cour ­Napoleon is the urban equivalent of a desert plain. Pei's pyramid rises from it as purposefully and fittingly as its massive stone predecessors do from the sands of Giza.
Today, steering well away from ­controversy, Pei is working quietly on a Shinto temple in Kyoto, close to the extraordinary Miho Museum, which sits half-buried in the rugged, misty landscape of the Shiga mountains. "It will be a fusion of ancient feeling and contemporary design," he says. "You know, the first decent ­building I did with my own practice was a chapel in Taiwan." This was the Luce Memorial Chapel. Designed in 1954 and ­completed nine years later, it's a ­stunning, tent-like concrete structure with overlapping roofs that look like stylised leaves falling from the canopy of some sacred grove.
"I think I must be coming full ­circle," says Pei. Perhaps he is. From a Christian chapel in Taiwan to a Shinto temple in Japan, via some of the most impressive and – albeit unintentionally – ­controversial buildings of the past 50 years, Pei, the most ­unpolemical of men, has met the ­challenges of ­architecture at all levels. Somehow, though, I think he would still like to design a garden ­studded with modern ­pavilions that would ­complement (he is not ­interested in rivalling or ­bettering) the place that has so ­inspired him, the Taoist Lion Grove Garden in Suzhou, with its ­poetically named buildings: the ­Standing-in-the-Snow Hall, Faint ­Fragrance Dim Shadow Tower and True Delight ­Pavilion. He acknowledges this by simply saying: "In ­another life, I might be a gardener. How wonderful it must be to design such gardens."
Pei says his toughest ever ­commission was the Museum of ­Islamic Art in ­Qatar, which opened in 2008. How could he distil ­centuries of Islamic ­design into one building? He found the answer when he visited the serene, ninth-century mosque of Ahmad ibn Tulun in Cairo. Its ancient elemental forms, and its ­precise use of shadows thrown by the baking sun, found a new life in Pei's hard-edged, geometrically bold ­museum, set on an artificial island 60 metres off the Doha waterfront.
Pei, after all, is a great believer in continuity. Married for nearly 70 years, he has four children, two of them ­architects. As we talk, he displays a huge ­admiration for the ­longevity of his ­fellow royal gold medal ­winner, Oscar Niemeyer, the ­Brazilian designer of ­cities the world over. ­"Oscar is still a radical," he says. "He's still at work, every day, at the age of 102. Wow! ­Perhaps I'm not so ­ancient after all."

Western art on display in Wickenburg gallery

Two Wickenburg artists will be featured in a show at Gold Nugget Art Gallery Friday to March 27.
Jane Skaar Coleman and Ann McLeod take you on a journey, either riding horseback through the vast desert landscape or standing on the edge of a magnificent canyon wall. The experience can be beautiful and peaceful.
Even if you’ve "been there, done that," your memories come to life looking at the work of these artists. Not everyone has had the opportunity or the personal experience, however, the paintings of these scenes still can evoke a powerful response.
An artist’s reception will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday in the gallery, which recently opened in a new location, 28 N. Tegner St. RSVP for the reception is requested.
Coleman is an award-winning artist who paints the western landscape, its wildlife and flora.
Horses are a favorite subject. Splitting her time between the vastly different landscapes of Arizona and Wyoming, her subjects may be found among rocks and cacti or cooling their hooves in a refreshing stream.
Inspiration comes from being on location, where she sketches and paints. Her goal is to capture the essence of a particular place or subject and communicate that impression through her work.
When McLeod was in her late 20s, she was encouraged by a neighbor to use her artistic gift through painting. Within a year, she was showing and selling her work.
She realizes that the power of first-hand experience adds authenticity to her paintings, so each summer she travels to gather reference material for her work.
The strength of her work lies in her ability to create a certain mood about a scene and translate it to the viewer.
Gold Nugget Art Gallery sits between Ranch Dressing Museum Store and Nana’s Sandwich Saloon, and is close to the Desert Caballeros Western Museum.
Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call the gallery at 928-684-5849 or visit

China drawn work and embroidery craft art manufacturing industry, 2010 - a new market research

( - announces that a new market research report related to the Manufacturing industry is available in its catalogue.
work and embroidery craft art manufacturing Industry, 2010 is valuable for anyone who wants to invest in the drawn work and embroidery craft art manufacturing industry, to get Chinese investments; to import into China or export from China, to build factories and take advantage of lower costs in China, to partner with one of the key Chinese corporations, to get market shares as China is boosting its domestic needs; to forecast the future of the world economy as China is leading the way; or to compete in the segment. The report provides in-depth analysis and detailed insight into the drawn work and embroidery craft art manufacturing industry, market drivers, key enterprises and their strategies, as well as technologies and investment status, risks and trends.
Data sources: Governmental statistics organizations, market research (monitoring) centers, industry associations and institutions, import and export statistics organizations, and others.

This report is divided into 9 parts 19 chapters as follow:
Part 1 Industry Overview
1 Industry definition and development overview
2 Industry macroscopic environment and its influence analysis
3 Industry international market analysis
4 Industry domestic market analysis
Part 2 Basic indices
5 Analysis of the industryĆ¢€™s scale and condition: 2005-2009
6 Status analysis of gross assets analysis: 2005-2009
Part 3 Economic operation
7 Analysis of gross industrial output: 2005-2009
8 Industry sales income analysis: 2005-2009
9 Industry gross profit analysis
10 Industry import/export analysis in 2009
Part 4 Competition landscape
11 Industry competition landscape analysis
12 Industry key enterprises' competitive power comparison (top 20)
Part 5 Key enterprises
13 Comparative analysis of the economic indicators of the industryĆ¢€™s key enterprises
Part 6 Business strategy
14. Development bottlenecks and coping strategies in Industry
15 Enterprise development strategy analysis and recommendations in Industry
Part 7 Market investment
16 Comparison and analysis of investment activity coefficient and rate of return on investment in Industry
17 Industry investment environment and risks analysis
Part 8 Technology
18 Status and trends of the newest technology applications in Industry
Part 9 Developments and trends
19 Development trends and operation capacity forecast for 2010-2014

There more than 200 figures and tables.

Report format: PDF

Knowledge is power. If you want to invest in, import into/from, partner with, or compete against any of the companies in this field, then China drawn work and embroidery craft art manufacturing Industry, 2010 is required reading. (rlk1-2010-02-28) plp

Part 1 Industry Overview
1 Industry definition and development overview
1.1 Definition of the industry and its core products
1.2 Industry main characteristics and development history

2 Industry macroscopic environment and its influence analysis
2.1 Current macroeconomic developments and trends
2.2 Industry newest policy and related laws and rules
2.3 Upstream, downstream industry development status

3 Industry international market analysis
3.1 International market development status
3.2 Key countries and regions development levels
3.3 International market movement and development trend analysis

4 Industry domestic market analysis
4.1 Domestic market development status
4.2 Trends in the domestic market
4.3 Sub-industry development status (or main industry development status)

Part 2 Basic indices
5 Analysis of the industryaEUR(TM)s scale and condition: 2005-2009
5.1 Number of enterprises in the industry: 2005-2009
5.2 Number of loss-making enterprises in the industry: 2005-2009
5.3 Total loss of the industry: 2005-2009
5.4 Number of personnel employed by the industry: 2005-2009

6 Status analysis of gross assets analysis: 2005-2009
6.1 Status and analysis of gross assets: 2005-2009
6.2 Status and analysis of fixed assets: 2005-2009
6.3 Gross floating asset analysis: 2005-2009

Part 3 Economic operation
7 Analysis of gross industrial output: 2005-2009
7.1 Industry gross output value: 2005-2009
7.2 Distribution of gross industrial output value by geographic area: 2009
7.3 Comparison of the top 20 enterprises (based on highest gross output value)

8 Industry sales income analysis: 2005-2009
8.1 Sales income analysis in 2005-2009
8.2 Regional distribution status of sales income in 2009
8.3 Comparison of the top 20 enterprises (based on highest gross sales revenue) in 2009

9 Industry gross profit analysis
9.1 Gross profit analysis: 2005-2009
9.2 Regional distribution status of gross profit in 2009
9.3 Comparison of the top 20 enterprises (based on highest gross profit) in 2009

10 Industry import/export analysis in 2009
10.1 Import/export monthly status in 2009
10.2 Distribution of import/export Customs and countries in 2009
10.3 Distribution of import/export product categories in 2009

Part 4 Competition landscape
11 Industry competition landscape analysis
11.1 Regional market competition landscape
11.2 Comparison of enterprise's market share (top 20)

12 Industry key enterprises' competitive power comparison (top 20)
12.1 Comparison analysis of key enterprises' total assets
12.2 Comparison analysis of key enterprises' employees
12.3 Comparison analysis of key enterprises' yearly revenue
12.4 Comparison analysis of key enterprises' export turnover value
12.5 Comparison analysis of key enterprises' total profit
12.6 Comparison analysis and recommendations on key enterprises' overall competitive power

Part 5 Key enterprises
13 Comparative analysis of the economic indicators of the industryaEUR(TM)s key enterprises
13.1 Geographical distribution
13.2 Competition status analysis of company AAAAA
A EnterpriseaEUR(TM) basic information
B EnterpriseaEUR(TM) balance sheet analysis
C EnterpriseaEUR(TM) business operation analysis
D EnterpriseaEUR(TM) operating expense and cost analysis
E EnterpriseaEUR(TM) industrial intermediate inputs and cash flow analysis
F EnterpriseaEUR(TM) non-operating expenses analysis


13.21 Competition status analysis of company TTTTT
A EnterpriseaEUR(TM) basic information
B EnterpriseaEUR(TM) balance sheet analysis
C EnterpriseaEUR(TM) business operation analysis
D EnterpriseaEUR(TM) operating expense and cost analysis
E EnterpriseaEUR(TM) industrial intermediate inputs and cash flow analysis
F EnterpriseaEUR(TM) non-operating expenses analysis

Part 6 Business strategy
14. Development bottlenecks and coping strategies in Industry
14.1 Development bottlenecks
14.2 Coping strategies

15 Enterprise development strategy analysis and recommendations in Industry
15.1 Enterprise business strategy analysis and recommendations
15.2 Marketing strategy, analysis, and recommendations

Part 7 Market investment
16 Comparison and analysis of investment activity coefficient and rate of return on investment in Industry
16.1 Industry activity coefficient comparison and analysis
16.2 Comparison and analysis on industry rate of return on investment

17 Industry investment environment and risks analysis
17.1 Investment environment analysis
17.2 Investment risks analysis
17.3 Investment recommendations

Part 8 Technology
18 Status and trends of the newest technology applications in Industry
18.1 Status of the newest technology applications
18.2 Trends of the newest technology applications

Part 9 Developments and trends
19 Development trends and operation capacity forecast for 2010-2014
19.1 Development trends
19.2 Operation capacity forecast for 2010-2014

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nokia to launch Linux-powered N900 tomorrow

The N900 will be Nokia’s first and last Maemo 5 smartphone, with the next version due to run the new MeeGo Linux mobile OS created as a joint venture between Nokia and Intel.

It’s a case of “hello, goodbye” for Nokia’s N900 smartphone, which will make its Australian debut tomorrow at Nokia’s first developer conference in Sydney.

The smartphone’s launch at the Forum Nokia Developer Conference  – a free event where content providers and developers can swot up on mobile applications and services aimed at the Nokia platform – will precede its actual on-sale availability in early April, although the local price has still not been announced.

The N900 partners a 3.5 inch resistive touchscreen panel with a slide-out QWERTY keypad. The meaty powerplant is an ARM Cortex-A8  processor with OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration, 32GB of storage and full support for Adobe Flash and AJAX.

For such a serve of on-the-go goodness, the N900 also represents the first and last outing for Nokia’s Linux-based Maemo 5 OS.

During last month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia announced it had scrapped Maemo and would merge the OS with Intel’s Moblin operating system to create a single open-source OS named MeeGo.

An initial MeeGo 1.0 release is due by mid-year, after which Nokia will ship its first MeeGo products. Nokia mobile phones supremo Kai Oistamo described the N900 as “the direction we see for the MeeGo platform on Nokia devices”, saying that “the wave after the N900 is the Meego wave”.

High-speed networking: City seeks nomination to test Google’s fiber optic system

Why should Google use Newburyport as a test market for its proposed super-fast fiber optic network? Why not, asks City Councilor At-large Ari Herzog.
Aside from the obvious – super-fast fiber optic that would be up to 100 times faster than the current broadband connections – Newburyport is a place of innovation, Herzog said. A resident e-mailed him that in 2009, 42 patents were issued to Newburyport residents or businesses. “That indicates the tech-savvy population of the city,” Herzog said. “The primary reason I’m evangelizing this is not for the city, but for the residents.”
Newburyport has until March 26 to convince Google that the city is the perfect place for a trial of its fiber optic network.
Google is looking for 50,000 to 500,000 households to collectively test the fiber optic network. Details are scare but one thing is clear: the winning community or communities will have a clear edge in access to the Internet.
According to the company’s Web site, Google plans to test “ultra-high speed broadband networks,” in trial locations throughout the nation, offering the service to “at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.”
The new networks will “deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today,” according to Google.
Mayor Donna Holaday has appointed Herzog as the person who will manage the city’s application to Google. He has taken up the challenge and thrown himself into this initiative. He says Google wants to see community support for its project- and some other cities have been doing a lot of things to prove to Google they are serious (the mayor of Duluth, Minn., recently jumped into the icy waters of Lake Superior).
Herzog says that such exposure – the Duluth mayor was taped and the video is on Youtube – could convince Google that Newburyport, a city of about 17,000, is serious.
Google isn’t saying how long the test will last, exactly how much it might cost the host city and/or its residents, whether the test will include public buildings or whether the service will stay in place after the test, but residents and some city officials are enthusiastic.
 “It’s not just for me or for Ari or a couple of other people to say what we could do with it but for others to see how they could use it,” said Mike Strauss, chairman of the energy advisory committee.
He said one application used by many people, Skype, would be enhanced with “a bigger pipe.” Skype is a free video service where one user can call another and with a web camera they can see each other.
“This is just an ordinary person trying to talk to family members and to see them more frequently,” Strauss, a Skype user, said. He said streaming video is another large application that comes to mind.
Herzog said people in Newburyport in the last few years have bought hardware – computers and routers – and that copper broadband connections are near capacity. Cities with a fiber optic network already in place may have an edge, but Herzog is checking on a rumor that Newburyport does already have some fiber optic installed.
“I believe what Google is trying to do is say they don’t know what the future is with (super-fast fiber optic), but they will see what happens (with the test),” Strauss said. “They are looking for a diverse community with all sorts of things going on – and I think we are that kind of community. Newburyport is a microcosm of a much larger city.”
You don’t have to be a resident of Newburyport to nominate Newburyport as a test city.
People and/or community groups and organizations who want to nominate the city can go to and fill out an online form.
Herzog and Strauss will chair a public forum at 7 p.m. on March 1 at City Hall Auditorium to explain the process for residents to nominate Newburyport.

Black PRESENT history

Greenwood County Councilwoman Edith Childs, left, stands with then Sen. Barack Obama during his presidential campaign tour
Many have paved the way for the future. Many were firsts. But a true celebration of Black History Month isn’t relegated to just the past.
Here are 10 of the more influential black people in the Lakelands:

Name: Gonza Bryant
- What He Does: Greenwood County Council member.
- What He’s About: Bryant is the longest tenured current Greenwood County Council member, at more than 20 years. He is employed by Self Regional Healthcare.
Name: Edith Childs
- What She Does: Greenwood County Council member.
- What She’s About: Childs has served on county council for numerous years and previously was on the District 50 board of trustees. She participates in numerous charitable efforts and has drawn public praise from President Barack Obama.
- What They’re Saying: "Edith Childs is a pillar of the community,” Greenwood County Council vice-chairman Bob Jennings said. "Constituent service and community service are very near and dear to her heart. That is evident when you look at all the agencies she works with. In watching her and working with her, it is quite evident that she is really out there working for the people in her district and in this county.”

Name: Floyd Nicholson
- What He Does: District 10 state senator.
- What He’s About: Nicholson was the mayor of Greenwood for many years and was elected to the state senate in 2008. He is employed by Lander University.

- What They’re Saying: "I think Floyd is doing a great job as a senator,” District 4 state Sen. Billy O’Dell said. "He’s willing to listen. He knows that he is in a new job and he is learning. He’s been very responsive when I’ve advised him. We don’t agree on everything, but we are not supposed to.”

Name: Anne Parks
- What She Does: District 12 state representative.
- What She’s About: Parks has been a representative in District 12 for a number of years and previously was a Greenwood City Councilwoman.
- What They’re Saying: "I have the utmost respect for Representative Anne Parks,” state Rep. Gene Pinson said. "I have known Anne and dealt with her for probably 30-plus years. She is always accessible and courteous and kind and treats everyone with respect. I couldn’t have a better seatmate (in the House) than Anne Parks.”

Name: Michael Gaskin
- What He Does: Director of First Steps in Greenwood County.
- What He’s About: Aside from directing First Steps, Gaskin was in the Air Force for 21 years and is pursuing his doctorate in business administration. He also is the 1st vice-chairman of the Greenwood County Democratic Party.
- What They’re Saying: "Michael has been a tremendous help as our 1st vice-chairman,” Greenwood County Democratic Party Chairwoman Elaine Gentry said. "He is very interested in education for young people and helping in their development early on. He is extremely personable, and I find it really easy to work with him and talk with him.”

Name: The Rev. Ricky Syndab
- What He Does: Pastor of Morris Chapel Baptist Church.
- What He’s About: Syndab is the leader of perhaps Greenwood’s most influential predominantly black church. The congregation at Morris Chapel includes Greenwood County Council members Edith Childs and Gonza Bryant, Greenwood City Councilwomen Betty Boles and Linda Edwards and S.C. Rep Anne Parks, among others.
- What They’re Saying: "Pastor Syndab is a leader in our community,” Greenwood Metropolitan District Commissioner Byron Smith said. "He not only sees the needs of Morris Chapel, but he sees the needs of the surrounding area. He provides guidance that helps influence the entire community. Not just the black community, but Greenwood County as a whole.”

Name: Charles Goodwin
- What He Does: Abbeville County Sheriff.
- What He’s About: Fairness, leading by example, family and faith.
- What They’re Saying: "He doesn’t really see color,” Chief Deputy Marion Johnson said. "I’ve worked with him almost every day for the past 27 years and � day in and day out - he treats all employees the same regardless of their race.”

Name: Dr. Joseph D. Patton, III
- What He Does: CEO of the GLEAMNS Human Resource Commission.
- What He’s About: To Patton, being a leader is more than just standing out in a group of people and taking them where they want to go. "A leader is a person that can get in front of a group of people and take them to heights they didn’t know they could achieve,” Patton said. "That is what I live by.” That’s what he set out on doing with GLEAMNS. He said he wanted to create an institution that would help both the Greenwood community and the local economy, all to inspire a "community conscience.”
- What They’re Saying: Deputy Director Ron Davis said Patton motivates the staff and community. "He’s a visionary and he has brought a lot of stuff to the community, especially the Brewer Community Complex,” Davis said.

Name: Dr. Darrell Johnson
- What He Does: Superintendent for District 50.
- What He’s About: Since taking the position in 2006, Johnson has placed a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. In the last few years alone, 2009’s graduating class earned nearly $7 million in scholarship funding, curriculum has expanded with the ACTS and Montessori programs and performance on state and national assessments have improved, all under Johnson’s watch.
- What They’re Saying: District 50 Community Services Coordinator Jonathan Graves said Johnson brings a face to the district. "When you see him you immediately associate him with District 50,” he said. "He has strong leadership. He’s really the type of guy where when he says he’s going to do something, you know he’s going to get it done.”

Name: Maj. Phillip Anderson
- What He Does: Greenwood County Detention Center Director.
- What He’s About: Anderson has spent his entire career in law enforcement, including 20 years with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, five of which have been spent as director of the detention center. Anderson said he views his job as a commitment to the community, and stressed corrections is not all about locking people up, but helping them recognize their deficiencies and become better citizens.
- What They’re Saying: "I started working with Phillip back when he was a deputy and he has risen through the ranks and is now in charge of the detention center. I think he’s a great guy with much professionalism. ... Believe me, his hands are full dealing with problems with the inmates back there. ... Phillip is a people person, He’s a very caring person. He’s not going to mistreat anyone. He’s a great guy,” Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis said.

Ekotribe Launches Solar Bags in the Middle East

Voltaic solar bags charge virtually all handheld electronics. The Generator also charges laptops.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Feb 28, 2010 (PRN): A revolutionary product which has powerful solar panels embedded in each bag, is now available in the UAE. The panels use high efficiency mono-crystalline cells to charge practically any hand held device. The Backpack, Converter and Messenger produce 4 Watts, meaning 1 hour in the sun will power 3 hours of iPod play time or 1.5 hours of cell phone talk time.

According to Anu Agarwal, Director of Ekotribe, “If you travel with a notebook frequently, you know that power is always an issue. While the concept of a notebook case with solar panels is not new, most generate just enough power to charge a cell phone, iPod or other small gizmos. The Generator notebook case from Voltaic Systems, however, provides enough power to charge a laptop. The bag’s solar panels generate enough power to charge an internal battery pack in about five hours. Once charged, you connect the battery pack to your notebook. The Generator produces 15 Watts, powerful enough to extend laptop runtime by 2-4 hours from five hours of direct sun. “

Instead of nylon, the Voltaic bags are made from recycled soda bottles and other plastics which require much less energy to make than nylon. Voltaic also offers a lower-powered Backpack that can charge smaller devices.

All Voltaic bags come with a removeable battery pack which stores any surplus power generated, so you have power whenever and wherever you need it - not just when the sun is up. The battery can also be charged using the USB cable and the optional AC travel or car charger. All bags include standard adapters for common cell phones and other handheld devices. The Generator also includes common laptop adapters.

About Voltaic Systems
Based in New York, Voltaic Systems promotes ecological sustainability through renewable energy and recycled materials. Voltaic's bags and backpacks feature solar panels to provide power, as well as a battery to store power for later use. Bags come with adapters for charging common types of cell phones, iPods, BlackBerry's, digital cameras, and other portable devices.

About Ekotribe
Ekotribe offers a range of eco-friendly products including green gadgets and appliances, solar lights, reusable gift bags and shopping bags, recycled paper and stationery, eco-friendly shower heads, eco-friendly toys, green books, BPA-free water bottles and lunch boxes, soy candles, organic beauty products, organic table linen, eco-friendly wallpaper and wall stickers, solar powered totes, solar powered backpacks, bamboo kitchen ware, eco-friendly household cleaners, biodegradable tableware and organic pet products.

Ekotribe was started with a desire to introduce green living. Ekotribe supporst environmentally friendly manufacturers & designers. All customers are guaranteed products which are ‘green’, easily absorbed into the ecosystem, without compromising on design or quality. Ekotribe strives to offer high quality products that are either - Biodegradable, Environmentally safe, Handmade, Natural, Recycled, Recyclable, Reusable, Sustainable or Organic. Ekotribe is promoting a lifestyle that includes being aware of the environment, yet enjoying high-end products without forgoing quality & design.

Comedy zooms in on love in the digital age

FASHION FUNDI: Yavani Choudree has a sneak peek at the 
designer labels which will go on sale this week at a Durban fashion 
Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN The Sunday Times Extra's top 10 things to do around the country, compiled by Teneshia Naidoo

FASHION FUNDI: Yavani Choudree has a sneak peek at the designer labels which will go on sale this week at a Durban fashion boutique Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN 
For a funny play about love in the digital age, catch Marriage on Line in Durban. The play, produced by theatre stalwarts Essop Khan and Mahomed Alli, is about an elderly couple who meet in an on-line chat room. The pair hit it off and immediately start planning their wedding but their families' emotional baggage threatens to ruin their happiness. There will be a host of surprises as well as songs for audiences to enjoy. The show takes place on March 5, 6 and 7 in the Pattundeen Theatre at the Aryan Benevolent Home in Chats- worth. Tickets are available at Ideals at Chatsworth Centre on 031 401 9668. For more info, call Alli on 031 902 4514 or 083 9822 362.
IF you're a fan of jazz singer Nat King Cole, then the musical docu-mentary about his life is just for you. Unforgettable: The Nat King Cole Story is a tribute to Cole's life. It details his rise from a club piano player to world superstar while coping with obstacles along the way. It describes his relationship with his father as well as his daughter, combined with memorable hit songs. The show opens at The Fringe in the Joburg Theatre on March 23 and runs until April 11. Ticket prices range from R125 to R160. Booking is through Computicket on 083 915 8000. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by calling 011 877 6853.
FOR arts, crafts and ceramics, visit the Craft of Northern KwaZulu-Natal Exhibition at the Durban Art Gallery. The works aim to promote art from outlying KZN areas such as Newcastle, Empangeni, Margate, Ladysmith and Dundee. The items have been made by independent crafters and artists from Ardmore Ceramic Art as well as Baskets for Africa. The exhibition runs until March 28.
IF you're in the Port Elizabeth area today, why not attend a Holi celebration. The Hindu celebration is observed by people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other. Bonfires will also be lit. Children can participate by spraying colours on one another with spray pumps and throwing water balloons at pass- ers by. There will also be songs and dances and scrumptious food on offer. The event takes place this afternoon at the Port Elizabeth Hindu Seva Samaj Temple in Malabar at 5pm. For more info, call Navin on 082 635 2031.
THE much-anticipated fantasy movie Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is finally in cine- mas around the country. The epic movie, directed by Chris Columbus (Home Alone and Harry Potter), is about Percy Jackson, a young, troubled high-school student who is confronted by characters from his Greek mythology texts. He soon learns from the gods that Zeus' lightning bolt has been stolen and he is the main suspect, and to make matters worse Percy's mother has gone missing. In order to stop the wrath of the gods, Percy and his friends must embark on an adventure to catch the real thief and find his mother. The movie stars Sean Bean and Uma Thurman and is based on the children's fantasy books by Rick Riordan.
SUNCOAST Casino and Entertainment World will host their career days this week in Durban. Those interested will have the opportunity to interact with various heads of departments to find out about the diverse career opportunities available. Those keen on attending will gain insight into careers such as human resources, marketing, finance, surveillance, hospitality and many others. Suncoast, which offers a graduate programme, has so far placed nearly 30 graduates in a number of positions. In order to apply for jobs, candidates will have to register, including on-line registration. The event takes place on March 3 and 4 from 11am to 7pm at The Zone. For more info, visit or call 031 328 3000.
CATCH the fabled Shaolin Monks in Johannesburg this March. The monks from the Shaholin temple in China will take part in the show Wheel of Life and will demonstrate their authentic martial arts expertise. The 20-member cast will perform incredible superhuman feats with skill and agility. Acts include being lifted up on razor-sharp spears, breaking iron bars on their heads and smashing concrete blocks while lying between beds of nails and swords. It tells the story of the Shaolin Monks' early struggle to establish and protect their temple, combining Chinese theatre and oriental Buddhism. The show takes place at The Teatro at Montecasino from March 9 to 22. Booking is through Computicket on 083 915 8000.
THE KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra is to hold their campus concert, featuring musicians from the University of Kwa- Zulu-Natal school of music and the winners of the 2009 classical performers' competition. If you enjoy classical music or just want to relax, then catch the concert in the Jubilee Hall on Princess Alice Avenue on March 8 at 12.15. Entrance is free. To book, call Mandy on 031 260 3353.
FASHION fundis will have a blast at a midnight designer sale this week. Shoppers will have the chance of buying garments by international designers like Manish Malhoutra, Hemant Trevedi, Sheetal, Gavin Miguel and Haroun Hansrot. Garments will cost between 35% and 60% less. The sale, which aims to make space for the new range arriving straight from the Lakme Fashion week, will take place until the end of the week at 75 on Stamford Hill Road, Durban.
SOUTH Africa's favourite band Freshlyground will treat Johannesburg audiences to some of their best music for two nights only in march. The seven-man band, whose performances are considered energetic and infectious, is made up of talented musicians from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The show takes place on March 26 and 27 at 8.30pm in Gold Reef City's Lyric Theatre. Tickets, priced between R95 and R140, are available through Computicket or at the box office on 011 248 5000

Husain discovered

Ever since he was offered honorary citizenship of Qatar, M.F. Husain seems to have gone underground. They say galleries are afraid of displaying his work, but Calcutta stands all rules on their head, and Gallery Rasa in New Alipore is happily displaying his celebrated graphic art.
These serigraphs and offset lithographs seethe with reds, yellows and greens while his masterful handling of lines has become a byword in Indian contemporary art. Varanasi, Ganesh, Kerala, Kali, Bengali cinema, stolen kisses, the great religions and cities of the world and of course curvaceous beauties burst forth with life in these works that are so neatly structured.
Prints are meted out a step-motherly treatment because of confused popular notions about graphic art in general. Each print may be a one-off work of art that bears the cachet of the artist, but this is often confused with commercial printing and by association, mass production. For this reason, few if any exclusive exhibitions of graphic art are held in galleries today.
This week Gallery Sanskriti is the second one to hold a show of prints.
Gallery Sanskriti presents a portfolio of 60 limited edition etchings put together and executed by Yashpal Chandrakar, a former student of Kala Bhavan, who has himself participated in this exhibition.
The two-volume catalogue of the show, Mark of Masters, which contains informative essays on the history and art of printmaking in India, adds weight to this exhibition. For this show, the artists had contributed their drawings or brushwork and the actual etchings were done by Chandrakar himself. Although the resultant prints are interesting, sometimes they do not look as if the artist concerned was involved in making them. This is particularly evident in the case of the remarkable Anupam Sud, Suhas Roy and Lalu Prasad Shaw.
Having said this, it has to be admitted that Jogen Chowdhury’s face with contorted features stands out as it immediately reminds us of the Sahaj Path linocuts with their broad and bold strokes. This one is an extraordinary study of a grimace in which Chowdhury makes best use of the rhythmic line whose origin can be traced back to the Kalighat patas.
Yashpal Chandrakar’s idea may have been a commercial success but his own handiwork depends heavily on nostalgia and sentimentality and that can be tiresome.
Partha Shaw’s works at Galerie 88 may be non-figurative, but only insofar as he does not use human figures in them. On the other hand his works are strong on design that allude to architectural drawings, Google Earth images of cities and even the Roman alphabet, not quite literally though. His palette is confined to grey, black and silver, which seems limiting despite the occasional touches of colour. Another large work in brown is heavily dependent on texture — there is little else to it.
Sunil Das is synonymous with his drawings of horses and bulls. At Ganges Art gallery he has gone one step further to display equine and bovine creatures in heat. The mind boggles to think what these beasts and their human riders are up to. Perhaps this veteran artist had tribadism (to stretch its meaning) in mind when he conceived these animals enjoying a tumble in the hay.

Pieces of rare biblical manuscript reunited

In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010, curator Adolfo 
Roitman shows two AP – In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010, curator Adolfo Roitman shows two parts of an ancient …
JERUSALEM – Two parts of an ancient biblical manuscript separated across centuries and continents were reunited for the first time in a joint display Friday, thanks to an accidental discovery that is helping illuminate a dark period in the history of the Hebrew Bible.
The 1,300-year-old fragments, which are among only a handful of Hebrew biblical manuscripts known to have survived the era in which they were written, existed separately and with their relationship unknown, until a news photograph of one's public unveiling in 2007 caught the attention of the scholars who would eventually link them.
Together, they make up the text of the Song of the Sea, sung by jubilant Israelites after fleeing slavery in Egypt and witnessing the destruction of the pharaoh's armies in the Red Sea.
"The enemy said: 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil. My lust shall be satisfied upon them, I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them,'" reads the song, which appears in the Book of Exodus. "Thou didst blow thy wind, the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters."
An exhibit at Israel's national museum dedicated to the Song of the Sea is now bringing together the two long-separated pieces.
One page of the song, known as the Ashkar manuscript, was previously housed in a rare books library at Duke University in North Carolina and was first displayed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem in 2007.
That's when a photograph of the manuscript in a local newspaper caught the eye of two Israeli paleographers, Mordechay Mishor and Edna Engel, who noticed it resembled a different page of Hebrew writing known as the London manuscript, presently part of the private collection of Stephan Loewentheil of New York.
"The uniformity of the letters, the structure of the text, and the techniques used by the scribe ... it made it very clear to me," Engel said.
The relationship would not be so clear to a casual observer. The Ashkar manuscript has been so blackened by exposure to the elements that the text is all but invisible, while the London manuscript is legible and far better preserved. But after close study of ultraviolet images, the experts were able to confirm that the texts were not only written by the same scribe, but were also part of the same scroll.
Scholars believe the scroll was written around the seventh century somewhere in the Middle East, possibly in Egypt. It is not known how the two parts were separated or what happened to the rest of the manuscript.
The museum arranged to have the London manuscript brought to Jerusalem. The new exhibit chronicles how the Song of the Sea was written through various ancient manuscripts, from the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls to the manuscript known as the Aleppo Codex, written nearly a millennium later.
The reunification of the two pieces adds an important link in the chain, showing how the writing of the Hebrew Bible evolved through the so-called "silent" period — between the third and 10th centuries — from which nearly no Biblical texts survived. While in the Dead Sea Scrolls the song is arranged like prose, for example, in the newly reunited manuscript it is written like a poem, the same way it appears in the Hebrew Bible today.
The manuscripts are "filling the gap," said Israel Museum curator Adolfo Roitman. "We can see we are dealing with a tradition that is still alive."
The museum exhibit displays the manuscripts along with other depictions of the Song of the Sea from the museum's permanent collection, including artistic renderings of the biblical passages in frescoes and Renaissance paintings and recordings of the song as it is chanted by Jews in different communities worldwide.

Marcel Dzama: Of Many Turns

In Saturday's National Post, we explore the strange world of Marcel Dzama, whose work is being celebrated in a new exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art called Aux mille tours, meaning, Of Many Turns.
Click here to read the story.
Alison Norlen, who is now an associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan, was the one who introduced Dzama’s work to the curator Wayne Baerwaldt, who in turn got Dzama his first show at the Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles in 1997. “His work was so unusual to me,” she says. “[I’d] never really met anybody quite like him.” She recalls how, in 1996, during his final year of university, his house burned down, forcing Dzama and his family to live in a motel for four months. Instead of being defeated by the fire, Dzama channelled it into his work.
“His life had been really disorganized and upset [by the fire],” she says. “I think that what was going on in his life was being drawn into the work that he was doing. So it was quite autobiographic and quite interesting. Quite whimsical. And he certainly never complained about the situation. He just starting documenting it through his work.”
“You meet Marcel,” she later says, “and he’s so unassuming and humble and such a quiet person, quite shy. It’s not this exuberant person that tells you about all of his life. His life really goes into his work. You pick up what’s going on [in his life] through his work more than his person.”
If you learn about his life through his work, as Norlen believes, then it is clear that Winnipeg, where he was born in 1974, is a major part of his life. Indeed, The Royal Art Lodge ( the collective he co-founded in 1996 with several artists, including his uncle, Neil Farber, and which dissolved in 2008 ) has become a part of the city’s mythology, alongside the films of Guy Maddin and the songs of The Weakerthans. Though he no longer lives there, Dzama maintains it is still home. “I think I really understand [Winnipeg] a lot better now, getting away from it. I think it’s probably healthy for most people to get away from whereever they grew up just to see their origins.”

iPod accessory turns up in fine art museum

I'm in Chicago right now visiting some of my friends. Yesterday we decided to go to my old workplace, the Art Institute of Chicago, which has one of the best collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in the world. Imagine my surprise when I found myself staring at a first-generation iPod shuffle accessory.

Some of you may remember this accessory from back in the day when Apple made the first shuffle that looked like a white stick of Wrigley's gum. The accessory/piece of art is called iBelieve and is basically a T-shaped cap that turns your first-gen iPod shuffle into a Cross you can wear around you neck.

The plaque next to the artwork reads:
Scott Wilson
American, born 1969

iBelieve, 2006
iPod shuffle, plastic, and fabric
(including replacement cap)

Before relocating to Chicago in 2006 to set up his own studio, industrial designer Scott Wilson was a lead designer at Nike and IDEO. His innovative projects run the gamut from furniture to household products to high-performance sports equipment. iBelieve is part of a series of self-produced works and was inspired by the current popularity of the iPod. The conceptual design consists of a replacement cap, or what Wilson refers to as a "divine accessory," for the iPod shuffle. When snapped onto a shuffle, the attachment creates a cruciform shape, which enables consumers to profess their devotion to this omnipresent electronic device. Conceived as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on consumer culture, Wilson took advantage of viral marketing techniques and posted the design to a blog, which received 250,000 hits in one day as a result.
I've always known about the various online Apple museums, but who could have imagined that a cap for one of Apple's worst-designed iPods would some day be hanging in the same museum with the likes of Van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles and Edward Hopper's Nighthawks?

Mary's palace of funky art

A stairway inside Princess Mary'snew home Frederik VIII Palace. 
PRINCESS Mary and Prince Frederik have decked their new home in murals, writes Bjarne Aleksander
It has stood for 250 years and undergone several renovations, but the latest makeover of Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary's new home has gaudy clashing with grand.

Body:  Completed in 1760, the Frederik VIII Palace in Copenhagen retains original features such as Corinthian columns, chandeliers and mosaic-tiled floors.

Now, though, many rooms are decorated with modern artworks and motifs ranging from the psychedelic '60s to images of Bambi.

The revamp began in 2004 with the palace, which hadn't changed since the 1930s, getting updated heating and water systems and new energy-efficient windows. A huge, ornate central staircase linking all three floors has also been built.

The 1660sq m gardens have been remodelled and a 40m swimming pool added.

But the biggest change is the murals and paintings introduced to the ground and first-floor rooms, including one showing a map of Australia and a larger one of Tasmania, Princess Mary's former home.

The royal couple worked closely with the 10 artists commissioned to paint the unusual murals.

The $4.5 million project features artists such as Kathrine Aertebjerg, who decked out the new serving kitchen in a nursery scene-like hunting theme, with deer, squirrels and owls.

The vestibule reception room features a reinterpretation of the world by Jesper Christiansen, with the countries and continents in unusual locations.

But it is album artwork from Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin and Powderfinger in the world mural that has puzzled many visitors to the palace, which recently opened for public tours. A royal spokesman explained that the bands are favourites of the royal couple.

Public tours end on May 30, after which Princess Mary, Prince Frederik and their children, Christian, 4, and Isabella, 2, will move in.

Qi who? But art lovers go mad over him

Picasso was scared of him with good reason - now Qi Baishi is only just behind him in art sales ranki
SIMPLE MAGIC: Qi Baishi's Peaches and Fire Crackers was 
painted in 1952. In the new material age, the work was sold in 2007 for 
about �850000
SIMPLE MAGIC: Qi Baishi's Peaches and Fire Crackers was painted in 1952. In the new material age, the work was sold in 2007 for about �850000 
Qi Baishi is not a name that many Western aficionados of art can recognise, let alone pronounce.
This son of Chinese peasants, who received no formal artistic training, has just become the third bestselling artist in the world at auction. Figures out next month from Art Price, the art-market data organisation, will show that Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol raked in more than $220-million in sales between them in 2009, heading the rankings as they do almost every year.
The appearance of Qi immediately below them, with more than $70-million in sales, says much about the changing shape of the international art market and China's economic boom. Qi (1863-1957) owes his place on the list to his work being original, striking and instantly recognisable - and to his being prolific, ensuring a steady supply of pieces to the market.
In China, he is a household name, best known for his reflective late pictures of mice, birds and particularly shrimps.
The Art Price figures are compiled from 6000 auction houses around the globe, but before 2009, the highest appearance by a non-Western artist was achieved by Zhang Xiaogang, a contemporary Chinese artist who reached 22nd place in 2007.
In 2009 the traditional auction powerhouses of New York and London suffered their worst year in a generation - at the same time as the Chinese art market, and Qi in particular, had a surge in value fuelled by local new money. The number of dollar billionaires in China reached 130 last year and the country is now the third-most important art market in the world after London and New York.
Qi is the natural beneficiary. Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby's Asia, said that 20 years ago Qi was much sought after by US buyers who had worked in China, but that was no longer the case. They can no longer compete. Qi features in "every important Chinese collection".
His work has grown in value over the past two decades but last year he sold 73% more works than in 2008, substantially helped by a sale in November in which a series of his drawings entitled Flowers and Insects sold for a record equivalent to £8.1-million.
The record acknowledged price for one of his works was set at Sotheby's in Hong Kong in 2007 when his Peaches and Fire Crackers (1952) sold for about £850000, although Chinese auction houses have claimed much higher figures.
Shelagh Vainker, curator of Chinese art at the Ashmolean, in Oxford, which has the largest collection of 20th-century Chinese paintings in Britain, said that Qi had a broad following based on "the instant visual appeal" of pictures that are often painted in a "light, slightly uplifting way".
Not that he is a lightweight. The pictures "reward deeper contemplation", Vainker said. "The brushwork is very good and I know some extremely well-educated people in China who would regard him as the No 1 Chinese artist of the 20th century."
Picasso called Qi "the greatest oriental painter" and said that he did not dare visit China for fear of meeting him.
Qi was born in Hunan province, central China, and as a child he loved to copy from a famous Qing Dynasty painting manual, The Mustard Seed Garden. At 14 he became an apprentice woodcarver, and he went on to master poetry, calligraphy, painting and seal carving.
In middle age he travelled widely through China, and it was after he moved to Beijing in the '20s that his mature style emerged.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wallpaper: Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (Salallaho Alaihi Wasallam)


Celebrating Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (Salallaho Alaihi Wasallam)

There are many people among us who do not give much importance to Eid Milad-un-Nabi. They even have no faith in the importance of this day. Let me explain you the importance of Eid Milad-un-Nabi to you all.

Both of our Eids exist because of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (S.A.W.W). On that day All the Angels celebrate “Eid”. It was the day when the Satan (Iblees) was mourning and crying with grief. He was melancholic and gloomy that “today He born who will protect the creation of Allah from my Satanic temptations and tricks”.

In Iran there was a grand fire-place where the fire had been kept burning for the last one thousand years. They worshipped that fire. They have posted a troop of gurads who protected their god (fire) from storm and rain. They had a very strong system of protection of fire (god). So the fire had been burning since 1000 years continously. When Hazrat Muhmmad (S.A.W.W) born, the fire became cool down at the very moment despite of the whole protection and supervision. Kind got furious and ordered to punish the guards because due to this act the fire (god) became angry. But astrologists of the time came to him and told that according to their knowledge, a very sacred person came into the world, because of whom, not only the fire-place of Iran but also the fire of the whole world had been extinguished. Hadees tells us that when Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) came into the world, the fire that is burning in the Hell was also cool down, for the next seven days, it had no heat and no warmth.

Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alif Sani Sheik Sirhindi (Remhat Allah Alaih) narrates “when Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) came into the world, on that day there were only blessings and welfare everywhere”.

Tirmazi Sharif describes a Hadees that Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) used to keep fasting on every Mondy. When the companions (R.A) asked its reason. He (P.B.U.H) said, “Because I born on that day”.

Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) said, “I am the pray of Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S), Glad Tiding (Basharat) of Hazrat Esah (Jesus A.S) and the interpretation of the dreams that my mother saw.

Some days before the birth of Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W), Hazrat Amna (R.A) dreamed a Holy Old Man who greeted Hazrat Amna (R.A). Hazrat Amna (R.A) surprisingly said to him, “O respected and Holy man who are you, its first time that I am meeting you”. He said, “I am Abb-ul-Bashar and Adam (A.S) and I came here to give you a happy news that I am Abb-ul-Bashar and you are going to be the mother of “Khair-ul-Bashar”.

Hazrat Amna again says that after some days another Holy man came into her dream and greeted her. She again asked him that who he was and he replied, “I am the ancestor of Prophets (Jadd-ul-Anbiyah) and Khalil Allah Ibrahim (A.S). and Allah will bless you a son who is “Habib Allah”.

Hazrat Abdul Mutlib (R.A) said that the night when Hazrat Muhammad came into the world, he spent in “Bait Allah” and whole night he stayed there and kept praying, “O Allah! bless me a grandson who be reason of respect for my family. When it was dawn, he saw that “Bait Allah” was slightly shivering and bowing its forehead in the direction where there was the house of Hazrat Amna (R.A). The walls were shivering slightly and all the idols those where hanging at the walls, fell face down.

Before the birth of Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W), whenever a girl born to Arabs, she was buried alive. Family kept mourning at the birth of that girl and felt ashamed. But on the night when Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) was coming to the world, it was the order of Allah that tonight no girl but only the boys will take birth, so that there would be no house with mourning and cries in Arab.

“Flag” shows the reign and soveriegnity of any person. On the night when Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) came into the world, Allah Ta’ala blessed three flags to Hazrat Jibrael (A.S) and asked to fix one at the house of Hazrat Amna, second flag at the top of “Bait Allah” and the third flag at the heights of the Sky that shows the reign and soveriegnity of Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) that He (S.A.W.W) had been blessed with the soveriegnity from the Earth to the heights of the sky.

Sahih Bukhari describes a Hadees that when Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) came into the world, the maid of Abu Lahab named Sobia (R.A) rushed to him happily and told him about the birht of his nephew. Abu Lahab was so pleased at the news of his nephew’s birth that he set free to his maid (Sobia R.A) with the movement of his forefinger. After the death of Abu Lahab, who died as a blasphamer, Hazrat Abbas (the real brother of Abu Lahab and the uncle of Hazrat Muhammad S.A.W.W) embraced Islam. He narrates, “After the few days of the death of Abu Lahab, I saw him in the dream and the face of Abu Lahab was hard to look at. It was too ugly and miserable. I asekd Abu Lahab, How is your life after death?, He replied, “I am in great sufferings even that facing a lot of pain and agony due to my blasphemy. I have been kept hungry and thirsty for the whole time. But since I set free a maid at the birth of Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) with a motion of my forefinger, so I get relief after some days and I get few drops of water from my forefinger and I quench my thirst.

So how we the muslims can deny from the importance of Eid Milad-un-Nabi. Its the most important and beloved day of the life of every muslim. If any of our friends invites us in her birthday party, we immediately confirm our participation in that party but when we have a discussion about the Importance of Eid Milad-un-Nabi, we need references to prove its importance. The most authentic thing that you can trust in, is your heart, your wisdom and your way of thought that tells you, “If you love someone, his day of birth would be the most important day in your life” and like wise If you love our Beloved Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W), you need to love the day when he came into this world for the forgiveness of his Ummah.


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'Shahrukh Khan to host 'Pakistani' Filmfare awards on Saturday'

A Hindi film based award show in theory, Filmfare is apparently looking to honor the 26/11 NSG guards and rest of Pakistan-loving Indian armed forces this year by having Shahrukh 'Pakistan' Khan as its host. Wonder if Manoj Kumar is doing a marshalla to this one. That's not all. Accompanying Shahrukh Khan supposedly would be the 'Pakistani terrorist' hero of Kurbaan, saif ali khan. Are you ready for some jihad or what?
Mr. Khan, Mr. Khan, Mr. Khan. Mr. Ali. Mr. Hashmi. Mr. Shukranallah, Salaam Walekum. Noorekhuda. Allah Hafiz, Hail jalaluddin akbar, baabar, osama, pajama, saddam, badruddin, chashmuddin etc etc. Folks, get ready for some of this bonanza this saturday as what might as well be known as the 'Pakistani' Filmfare awards from now on look to be hosted in your neighborhood in Mumbai once more by none other than 'Pakistan's' biggest supporter, Janaab e ali Shahrukh Khan, coming recently off his epic Dulha Mil Gaya and My Name Is Khan but nonetheless with support of the wonderful 'Pak' fraternity that is film industry there in Mumbai.
Looking forward to more of that Islamic humor eh? People say Pakistan doesn't have a film industry. That's not true. Because when you got Bollywood, do you really need a Pakistani film industry? You've got the entire enchalada right there. Does ISI really need to do propoganda when you got Karan Johar, to make movies like My Name is Khan and Qurbaan? And here's the best part, your tax rupees will be used in part to fund and subsidize the security for all this.
What a coincidence that somehow this guy (Shahrukh Khan) or some other Khan often finds himself hosting the award ceremonies that they call Bollywood film awards in India? A guy like Shekhar Suman who *should* be hosting these awards, who's probably wittier than Shahrukh Khan (and had a 6 pack too to boot at age 47) is nowhere to be seen. Or a Madhavan or a Nagarjun if you wanna be national and go south to find a decent host. Or if you think none of the existing ones fit, how about new faces altogether. And if they wanted to harp about being secular, how about a dalit host for supposedly an industry that is supposed to be all about inclusiveness? But no, year after year after year, you'll see Khan show up for no reason. What kind of secular, open network is this? Exactly. This chump (Shahrukh Khan) was even awarded actor award for a movie which released not even last year but 2 years ago in 2008 at a recent producers guild award. Can't make it up.
What you're looking at at these awards is an Islamist/Pakistani tamasha unfolding in name of bollywood award stage acts. Where they may have 'popular' awards for movies like Jodha Akbar or Qurbaan and not many for a Border or a Gadar, which was twice the popular blockbuster a Jodha Akbar and Qurbaan combined were. So you never know that apart from hosting, Khan maybe getting a filmfare award for this my name is khan already. Actually don't put it past them to give him a popular nomination for Dulha Mil Gaya also.
It's a different matter that in the past Filmfare awards themselves hosted by Khan have gotten owned and beaten thumpingly in TRPs/TV ratings by awards NOT hosted by Khan.
Maybe it will get good ratings in Islamabad. So apart from Shahrukh Khan, soon Pervez Musharraf could do the opening dialogue at Filmfare and the ISI chief could do the closing one.
And hey, may be we could get a representative from Al Qaeda while we are at it.
And since these shows have tendency to make up award categories at random anyway, how about a best Award in the role of a Islamic terrorist? Qurbaan lives on! "And to introduce our next award category....please welcome....Ajmaaal Qasaaab!"
Just keep an eye on the flag wherever these Bollywood people are assembled. Make sure it's the tricolor one with the Saffron on top and Maurya Chakra on it. Because with these people, you never know. One day, they might just replace it on you with the mughalai flag without notice and next thing you know, there you are, shaking your behinds to the Pakistan national anthem in downtown Mumbai.

Titan brings International Fashion Trend with Titan Purple

Unveil the new horizon, an all-new dazzling brand for today's fashion fiesta!!
Titan PurpleStaying ahead of the innovation curve once again, Titan Industries demonstrated that it is at the forefront of the Indian wristwatch market, with the launch of its most stylish watch brand, Purple. Infused with style, attitude and charisma, Purple brings the latest international fashion trends in watch segment to India.
This new range of more than 50 models in bold fashionable designs is specially suited for the modern woman of style, verve and sophistication who likes to accessorize. Each watch is ultra chic and bears the perfect blend of defining elegance, eloquent interpretation of royalty and evolving taste of modernity. These sensational designs are at par with the latest international fashion trends.
Speaking on the launch, Mr. Ajoy Chawla, Sr. VP-Titan watches, said, "Titan Purple has been made to make heads turn. The tradition of precision and design brilliance- the hallmark of Titan watches has been reinvented in this new brand with brilliant asymmetric and contemporary forms, making it the most desirable yet affordable fashion accessory of the season."
The international contour of these new watches are embellished with swarovski crystals and are available in sparkling white or stunning black dial options in all steel, gold , rose gold and a combination of steel and leather look in straps. Each element of this crystal studded beauty is crafted individually and creates a vibration of harmony to give rise to a mesmerizing impression for those who are wearing it and those who are dazzled by it.
Priced between Rs. 2,500/- to Rs. 7,000/-, Titan Purple collection is available in a plethora of finishes, leather colors and bracelets in World of Titan showrooms, leading multi-brand outlets and department stores across the country.
Notes to Editor
About Titan Industries Ltd
Titan Industries Limited, a joint venture between the Tata Group and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) commenced operations in 1987 under the name Titan Watches Limited. In 1994, Titan Industries diversified into Jewellery and more recently into Prescription Eyewear with Titan Eye+.
Today Titan Industries is India's leading producer and retailer of watches and jewellery, and is credited with changing the face of the Indian watch as well as the jewellery industry. The watch division has a domestic market share of over 70% of the organized market. Titan Industries reported a turnover of Rs. 3847.72 crore for the year 2008 - 09. As a full range producer-marketer, Titan Industries offers the Indian and International customer a very large range of products to suit various consumer preferences. Its products are recognized for innovation in design, quality and reliability

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Picasso of India turns his back on home

The huge painting Pieta by MF Hussain on display in Mumbai in 2004

India's most famous and celebrated artist, a white-bearded veteran forced into exile because of his love of painting nude versions of Hindu goddesses, has revealed he is renouncing his citizenship.
In what many will see as a blow to India's much vaunted claim to be a stronghold of secularism and tolerance, MF Hussain, otherwise known as the Picasso of India, said he had been "honoured [with] Qatar nationality".
The 94-year-old painter, considered by many to be the founder of Indian contemporary art, left South Asia in 2006 after invoking the anger of fundamentalist Hindus because of his work.
Amid legal challenges, arrest warrants and even death threats, Mr Hussain left India and moved to Dubai, dividing his time between the Middle Eastern emirate and London. At the time of his departure from India, he said: "Matters are so legally complicated that I have been advised not to return home."
Mr Hussain had been repeatedly targeted by members of fundamentalist groups including the Bajrang Dal. In 2006, they were angered by a painting by the artist which portrayed the country of India as a naked goddess. In the mid 1990s the same groups were involved in demonstrations and protests in Mumbai after Mr Hussain painted a series of works of nude Hindu deities. His exhibitions were attacked and gallery owners threatened.
Ironically, many of his works had been created many years earlier, in the 1970s. When images of the paintings were reprinted in a magazine underneath the headline "MF Hussain: A Painter or Butcher", his home and workshop were attacked.
Precisely why the painter remains in exile is unclear. Two years ago, India's Supreme Court threw out a series of charges against him, saying: "Does the sentiment of the petitioner get scandalised by the large number of photographs of erotic sculptures which are in circulation? It is an art like the sculptures. None get scandalised looking at the sculptures." At the time, Mr Hussain, said of the court's decision: "At last, the dignity of Indian contemporary art has been upheld by the Supreme Court as expected."
Yet the painter declined to return to home. Instead he threw his energies into two separate projects, one that focused on the history of Indian culture and a second that examined the history of Arab civilisation. The latter was commissioned by Qatar's powerful first lady – Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al Missned, wife of the emirate's ruler. The works are to be housed in a separate museum in Doha.
Whether the conferring of nationality by Qatar – something the artist reportedly did not ask for – is related to the commissions, is unclear.
However, some believe Mr Hussain is a master of self-publicity. Anubhav Nath, a leading member of Delhi's art world, said the painter was a hugely significant figure within the Indian art world and probably the country's best-known artist. "I don't know what he is trying to do," he said. "Even now he is fantastic at marketing. Of course lots of art is about marketing."
Mr Hussain's offer of citizenship was revealed by the editor of The Hindu newspaper, N Ram, who, in a front page article, wrote that the artist had scribbled the information in a black and white line drawing.
"Mr Hussain's impending change of nationality brings to a close one of the sorriest chapters in independent India's secular history," wrote Mr Ram, who has long known the artist and championed his right to live safely in India. "The conferment of Qatar nationality is an honour to his artistic genius and to the India-rooted civilisational values he represented. Nevertheless, it is a sad day for India."