Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Thirty Years War Essay Example for Free

Thirty Years War Essay History is explicitly encompassed of many significant events that are attributed and related to the continuous and rapid development of the human civilization. In Europe, many wars were fought over by the different kingdoms and societies to rule over the other states and gain political supremacy in the land. On of the many historical wars that occurred in the early European civilization is the Thirty Years War. The Thirty Years war explicitly encompassed thirty years of very chaotic political and military conditions among the nations of the early European civilization. During this time, dominant nations in the western continent are fighting over for their claim of land, political dominance and the right of their religious order. This war is fought in 1618 until 1648 over the European lands of what is now Germany. The origin of this devastating war among the European nations can be attributed to two major aspects. First, the decline and instability of some of the dominant kingdom in the Western continent due to factors of internal monarchial conflict and lack of successor. Another important factor regarding the origin of this war is the social discrimination and stratification of the European society as a whole to the different religions and their sects. Some of the nations and their civilization developed religious tension with their neighboring countries will soon later becomes political and social dispute due to events of harassment and violence. The war later progressed to even more devastating condition thus, a solutions to end this dispute is very much needed. To answer this heed, a series of treaties were made and signed by the involved political parties to settle the dispute among them. These treaties were collectively called the Treaty of Westphalia, which main principles were to settle the sovereignty and land claims of the different nations involved in the war and end the controversy between the different religious parties that are involved. Summarily, the Thirty Years War is a product of the religious dispute mainly between the Protestants and the Catholics that is further aggravated by chaotic political conditions of the nations involve. From the political aspect, it seems that this war is a dispute that could not be overlook without an aspect of war due to the political agenda and the militaristic principles of the nations involved. Thus, diplomatic measures must be applied to settle the dispute and end the war among these European societies, which is primarily the main reason of the Treaty of Westphalia. Bibliography Atkinson, Chris (2005). The Thirty Years War. November 6, 2006. LaRouche, Helga Zepp (2001). The Peace of Westphalia. The Schiller Institute. November 6, 2006.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Art Exhibition Review: Valerie Andrianoff Essay -- Valerie Andrianoff

The Gallery presented a set of bronze sculptures made by a French artist called Valerie Andrianoff. Val’s works of art can be perceived as a search for balance and stability as the heading of this exhibition has already suggested â€Å"The Balance of Life† (Byrs-Lasquier, n.d.). In the following, a few of her works will be selected to illustrate what kind of ideas she is trying to express and how I feel about these sculptures. Most of the human figures created by Val are small. We can rarely see their facial expression. Most of the people may find them not beautiful, but through the figures and their body movements, artist’s idea of presenting balance really achieves. Like the two Small Round Table (Fig. 1 & 2), the figure is slim and slender who tries to balance the body in a whirling or rotating table, echoing the name of this exhibition The Balance of Life. It seems that these two works of art try to show people in this fast changing and spinning world have to take the first step to seek the equilibrium when finding their own role. The movements of the two figures are also like touching a water surface and make it swirls, creating a special visual effect that is pleasant to look at. The images of circle appear quite frequently in Val’s bronze sculptures. For instance, Loneliness (Fig. 3) shows a human being surrounds by a number of circles that give an impression to resemble our round-shaped world. This work of art looks as if the person is in his own mental world with no other people present. As the name of this work suggests, this person is probably in a state of loneliness and meditates in this revolving world. Loneliness too creates a sense of balance when putting a small and slim figure on a strip of circle. Running In A... ...he human beings. Sometimes leaving the reality and trying to meditate or think of our roles in the real world may be another kind of psychotherapy to help us to achieve a balance in our life. Works Cited Byrs-Lasquier, P. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2009, from Fichner-Rathus, L. (1998). Understanding Art (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N. J.: Prentice Hall. Winckelmann, J. (1764). The History of Ancient Art. In L. Eitner (Ed.), Neoclassicism and Romanticism 1750-1850 (pp. 16-19). New York: Harper & Row. Fine Arts Interactive Visual Archive [Image] (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2009, from Wellington Gallery [Image] (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2009, from

Monday, January 13, 2020

“Equus” by Peter Schaffer Essay

Equus The play â€Å"Equus† by Peter Schaffer investigates ideas of faith, passion, violence, and adolescent sexuality. Schaffer was inspired to write the play after hearing a true story; a crime involving a teenage boy’s seemingly motiveless violence and injury to horses. Equus is a fictional account of what Schaffer believes could have happened before the incident, helping to explain the psychology and reasoning behind the boy’s mysterious and disturbing crime. Equus follows closely the character of 17 – year-old boy Alan Strang, but also his psychiatrist, Martin Dysart. In this piece of writing, I plan to explain how we explored the play of Equus in a variety of different activities within our drama class. Response The play opens with Martin Dysart, the psychiatrist, performing a soliloquy that introduces the main themes of the play. Scene one is devoted entirely to this speech, which shows its importance and vitality. We learn much about Dysart from this speech. For example, the line â€Å"All reined up in old/language and old assumptions† illustrates how he feels trapped and frustrated in his life. In addition, he says, â€Å"I’m desperate† which shows his exhaustion and frustration. This Scene was particularly challenging to rehearse and perform for various reasons. For one, it is a long speech so there is the challenge of learning it. Also, you need to make sure that your volume, tone, and speed are correct. There are very few stage directions so there is the added difficulty of knowing how to act when performing, and how to show his pain and anger. It is also hard, when rehearsing a piece, not to lose its spontaneity – which is particularly vital in this speech. In Scene two, Dysart is visited by Hester Salomon, a magistrate and close associate of Dysart, and Alan’s horrific crime is revealed to the audience. The line Hester speaks is very simple, but tells all that is necessary: â€Å"He blinded six horses with a metal spike†. My initial response to this line was shock, revulsion, and horror, but at the same time I was intrigued why Hester thought Dysart would be able to ‘fix’ Alan (Does he have more power or authority than the psychiatrists?) My feelings, however, did change as the play unfolded and I became more understanding and less shocked as the question of â€Å"why did he do it† was explored. At the beginning of Scene three (and the end of Scene two), we are introduced to Alan Strang, who has committed this terrible act. In this scene, Dysart questions Alan, but rather than simply replying, Alan chooses to sing television adverts. This gives a very strange first impression. We later find out that Alan was forbidden to watch TV – so how does he know these ‘tunes’? This was a very difficult scene to rehearse and perform without laughing and it was amusing to watch. Another scene we studied closely was Scene seven. In this scene, Dysart goes to visit Alan’s parents, Mr and Mrs Strang. From this scene, we learn much about Alan’s upbringing and how events in his childhood may have subconsciously had a negative effect on Alan, and how it may have influenced what he did. One of the main factors that had a strong influence on Alan was his mother’s somewhat extreme obsession with religion. Dora Strang is a very religious woman, with strong Christian beliefs, whereas Alan’s father, Frank, is an atheist who is worried that Dora’s constant reading of the Bible to Alan has had a negative effect on him; â€Å"†¦it’s the Bible that’s responsible for all this†¦an innocent man tortured to/death – thorns driven into his head – nails into his hands†¦it can mark anyone for life†¦all that stuff to me is just bad/sex† In reading this scene, I think Schaffer wanted the audience to feel intrigued about the big part religion has played – also, in a conversation between Dora and Dysart near the start of the scene, she says: â€Å"Alan’s always been such a gentle boy. He loves animals! /Especially horses! This confuses the audience slightly because it makes you think that if he liked horses so much, why did he do such a terrible thing to them? This information enables us to understand Alan’s obsession with horses, later revealed in the play. The scene also draws very strong images of Frank and Dora, who are both very different from one another: Dora has unintentionally influenced her son with religion, and she is very upset over the matter: â€Å"I simply†¦don’t understand†¦Alan! (She breaks sown in sobs)†. Frank, on the other hand, seems to spend little time with Alan, and didn’t let him watch TV (Dysart): But surely you don’t have a set, do you? I understood Mr Strang doesn’t approve.† This may also have affected Alan because it prevented him from being like ordinary children – encouraging him to become weird. Schaffer creates a negative image of both characters for this reason, but also makes you pity them. They purposely mean to hurt Alan and are both shocked and distraught about what has happened. As a director, I would want to emphasise how the Strang family is very different from an ordinary family, Dora with her strong religious beliefs and Frank insisting on no TV. The third and final scene we studied in depth was Act 2, Scene 33. In this scene, Jill has lured Alan back to the stables – although Alan is reluctant and unsure of whether he should go. Scene 32: (Alan – to Jill) â€Å"The stables?† (Jill) â€Å"Of course!†Ã¢â‚¬ ¦ (Alan recoiling) â€Å"No!† Alan says ‘no’ to Jill three more times, but they still go. Later, in Scene 33, Alan insists that the door is locked. Also, in this scene, Alan becomes very uneasy. One reason for this is because he cannot go through with having sex with Jill and is humiliated, although Jill is very understanding. The other reason is that he believes that God has seen what has happened through the eyes of the horses in the stable. This is the reason why he blinded the horses – so God could not witness him committing a sin. This fear puts Alan in a distraught state that follows on to the act of him blinding the horses in the final scene. The corresponding activity I participated in was â€Å"hot-seating† Alan about that night. We took it in turns to play Alan, and each did our best to answer questions about the night in character. Development Freeze Frames After reading the play we spit into groups of five. In these groups we decided which three points of the play were the most important; or had the biggest impact on the audience and had to present them as three ‘freeze-frame’ images. The first point we chose to depict was in Scene 3; Dysart has just met Alan and is asking him various questions. We showed this by having Alan on Dysart’s ‘couch’ looking bewildered and confused. Our group also thought it would be a good idea to have three ‘onlookers’ looking in on them, wearing disgusted expressions. They represented Bennett, Thoroughgood, and the public who are mentioned in Act 1, Scene 2 – just before Hester reveals Alan’s crime. The second idea that we chose was Alan’s confusion about which parent he should listen to: his mother with her religious ideas, or his father who insisted on no television. To do this we sat Alan in the middle of the sofa, with Dora on one side reading an imaginary Bible, and Frank on the other pointing at Alan with a stern stare, frowning at Dora. The third and final image we chose was of the main event – Alan blinding the horses. For this we had three people as horses, with Alan standing in front of them looking terrified, confused, and angry. I think that the images we chose really captured the main points and essence of the play. The last one especially helped me to understand Alan’s motivation for this terrible act. The next thing we did was to rehearse the main scenes we had focused on: 1-3, 7, and 33-34. Everyone was given the chance to play Dysart in Scene 1 – him being the only character in the scene. This, as I have previously said, was a very difficult task due to the emotions conveyed and the tone required. In Scene 7, I played Dora. This I actually found tougher than playing Dysart because I found it more difficult to act her and was embarrassed when she read from the Bible. I also found it hard to speak in a ‘proud voice’ when she is reciting from a book called ‘Prince’ that Alan used to enjoy when he was younger. Monologue To capture the thoughts and feelings on the night of the ‘act’, I have written a one-hundred word monologue from Dysart’s perspective (at the end of the play): â€Å"There he was, sitting there with Jill, the stable girl. Alone together†¦but they weren’t alone†¦Equus was there; watching. Listening. Seeing. Suddenly, Alan caught sight of him. He knew that Equus had seen him fail†¦so God had seen him fail. He must stop God from seeing him. He has to prevent the horses from looking at him. God looking at him†¦he must blind them. All six. And fast. I have taken Equus from Alan. He is ‘normal’ – but at what cost, and to whom? Now Equus lives with me†¦there is, in my mouth a sharp chain. And it never comes out.† Directors Instructions Ultimately, Equus is as much about Alan as it is about Dysart. As a director, I would advise the actors to not just ‘act’ the character, but ‘be’ the character – learn and understand Dysart; how he feels, thinks, and accepts people, whatever they’ve done. I would want the audience to feel intrigued about Dysart’s complicated life and emotions, but also leave the theatre thinking about what will happen next†¦ Evaluation Interesting Points I found many things interesting in performing Equus and the themes it explored. One of the things I enjoyed in performance was the variety. For example there were humorous scenes – such as scene 3, in which Alan sings – but also more serious and dramatic, scenes as well – such as Dysart’s soliloquy in Scene 1. In performing, I also enjoyed the fact that it explored lots of different emotions: Alan’s madness and Dysart being, in a way, traumatised by his dreams of cutting up children. Equus also tackles a range of themes. The play, in itself, has an unusual theme right from the start. I can relate to the theme of religion as my mum is a Christian and my dad is an atheist. Film Adaptation In class we watched the film adaptation of Equus. There were many differences between the film and the play. I feel that the play works better and it has a more powerful effect on the audience. Also, I felt that in the film Dysart’s opening speech wasn’t as good as it could have been. The whole speech was just a close-up of his face, and the actor did not show much emotion through his features, or use it to his best ability. Performing the play myself was very different from watching the film or watching other people perform. When I performed the play, I was very surprised at how I found it easier to perform Jill and Dysart than the other characters. Jill I found easy because she is a similar age to me – so I could relate to her emotions and feelings. However, I can’t begin to understand why I found it easy to Dysart. I have nothing in common with him and he seems to be a very complicated character. It is possible that it was because he is so different that I found it easy to play him – the two extremes; someone similar to me and someone completely different. Another possible reason why I found him easier was because I think that when you start reading the play, you subconsciously choose between Alan and Dysart, and I chose Dysart. I found Alan hard to relate to. Even though we worked very hard in class to understand why Alan committed the crime, I didn’t fully understand unti l right at the very end – after the rehearsals. If I had had more time to prepare or learn Equus, I think it would have been easier because it was not until the very end of our work that I started to really understand it. Peer Evaluation One person in the group whose work really impressed me was Marc. I thought that Marc really connected with and understood Alan. He was really convincing and performed well in various activities. Even when he had to sing he did it with a lot of confidence and enthusiasm. Many of us would have been very embarrassed about having to do this – especially in front of peers. He really impressed me when we were doing the â€Å"hot-seating† activity. He had played Alan and we were asking him questions about the night of the ‘act’. What impressed me was how, when asked a question he didn’t know the answer to, he sang one of the tunes – because that’s what Alan does in the play when Dysart questions him. Overall, I really enjoyed working on, and participating in activities about Equus. I thought that the play was fascinating and exciting, but also interesting and stimulating.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Hippopotamus Facts

With a broad mouth, a hairless body, and a set of semi-aquatic habits, the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) has always struck humans as vaguely comical creatures. Found only in sub-Saharan Africa, a hippo in the wild can be almost as dangerous (and unpredictable) as a tiger or hyena. Fast Facts: Hippopotamus Scientific Name: Hippopotamus amphibiusCommon Name: Common hippopotamusBasic Animal Group: MammalSize: 11–17 feetWeight: 5500 pounds (female), 6600 pounds (male)Lifespan: 35–50 yearsDiet:  HerbivoreHabitat: Sub-saharan AfricaPopulation: 115,000–130,000Conservation Status: Vulnerable Description Hippos arent the worlds largest land mammals—that honor belongs, by a hair, to the largest breeds of elephants and rhinoceroses—but they come pretty close. The biggest male hippos can approach three tons and 17 feet, and apparently, never stop growing throughout their 50-year life span. The females are a few hundred pounds lighter, but every bit as menacing, especially when defending their young. Hippopotamuses have very little body hair—a trait that puts them in the company of humans, whales, and a handful of other mammals. Hippos have hair only around their mouths and on the tips of their tails. To make up for this deficit, hippos do have extremely thick skin, consisting of about two inches of the epidermis and only a thin layer of underlying fat—theres not much need to conserve heat in the wilds of equatorial Africa. Hippos do, however, have very delicate skin that needs to be protected from the harsh sun. The hippo produces its own natural sunscreen—a substance called blood sweat or red sweat, it consists of red and orange acids that absorb ultraviolet light and inhibit the growth of bacteria. This has led to the widespread myth that hippos sweat blood; in fact, these mammals dont possess any sweat glands at all, which would be superfluous considering their semi-aquatic lifestyle. Many animals, including humans, are sexually dimorphic—the males tend to be larger than the females (or vice-versa), and there are other ways, besides directly examining the genitals, to distinguish between the two sexes. A male hippo, though, looks pretty much exactly like a female hippo, except that males are 10 percent heavier than females. The inability to easily tell whether a particular animal is male or female makes it difficult for researchers in the field to investigate the social life of a lounging herd of hippos. Wikimedia Commons Species While there is only one hippopotamus species—Hippopotamus amphibius—researchers recognize five different subspecies, corresponding to the parts of Africa where these mammals live. H. amphibius amphibius, also known as the Nile hippopotamus or the great northern hippopotamus, lives in Mozambique and Tanzania;H. amphibius kiboko, the East African hippopotamus, lives in Kenya and Somalia;H. amphibius capensis, the South African hippo or the Cape hippo, extends from Zambia to South Africa;H. amphibius tchadensis, the West African or Chad hippo, lives in (you guessed it) western Africa and Chad; and the Angola hippopotamus; andH. amphibius constrictus, the Angola hippo, is restricted to Angola, Congo, and Namibia. The name hippopotamus derives from Greek—a combination of hippo, meaning horse, and potamus, meaning river. Of course, this mammal coexisted with human populations of Africa for thousands of years before the Greeks ever laid eyes on it, and is known by various extant tribes as the mvuvu, kiboko, timondo, and dozens of other local variants. There is no right or wrong way to pluralize hippopotamus: some people prefer hippopotamuses, others like hippopotami, but you should always say hippos rather than hippi. Groups of hippopotamuses (or hippopotami) are called herds, dales, pods, or bloats. Habitat and Range Hippos spend most of each day in shallow water, emerging at night to travel to hippo lawns, grassy areas where they graze. Grazing only at night allows them to keep their skins moist and out of the African sun. When theyre not grazing on grass—which at night takes them into the African lowlands several miles away from the water and for periods of five or six hours at a stretch—hippos prefer to spend their time fully or partially submerged in freshwater lakes and rivers, and occasionally even in saltwater estuaries. Even at night, some hippos remain in the water, in essence taking turns at the hippo lawns. Diet Hippos eat between 65–100 pounds of grass and foliage each night. Somewhat confusingly, hippos are classified as pseudoruminants—theyre equipped with multiple-chambered stomachs, like cows, but they do not chew a cud (which, considering the huge size of their jaws, would make for a pretty comical sight). Fermentation takes place primarily in their fore-stomachs. A hippo has an enormous mouth and it can open up to a whopping 150-degree angle. Their diets certainly have something to do with it—a two-ton mammal has to eat a lot of food to sustain its metabolism. But sexual selection also plays a major role: Opening ones mouth very widely is a good way to impress females (and deter competing males) during mating season, the same reason that males are equipped with such enormous incisors, which otherwise would make no sense given their vegetarian menus. Hippos dont use their incisors to eat; they pluck plant parts with their lips and chew on them with their molars. A hippo can chomp down on branches and leaves with a force of about 2,000 pounds per square inch, enough to cleave a luckless tourist in half (which occasionally happens during unsupervised safaris). By way of comparison, a healthy human male has a bite force of about 200 PSI, and a full-grown saltwater crocodile tilts the dials at 4,000 PSI. Behavior If you ignore the difference in size, hippopotamuses may be the closest thing to amphibians in the mammal kingdom.  In the water, hippos live in loose polygynous groups made up mostly of females with their offspring, one territorial male and several unallied bachelors: The alpha male has a section of beach or lake edge for a territory. Hippopotamuses have sex in the water—the natural buoyancy helps to protect the females from the suffocating weight of the males—fight in the water, and even give birth in the water. Amazingly, a hippo can even sleep underwater, as its autonomic nervous system prompts it to float to the surface every few minutes and take a gulp of air. The main problem with a semi-aquatic African habitat, of course, is that hippos have to share their homes with crocodiles, which occasionally pick off smaller newborns unable to defend themselves. Although male hippos do have territories, and they squabble a bit, that is usually restricted to roaring vocalizations and ritual. The only real battles are when a bachelor male challenges a territorial male for rights over his patch and harem. Reproduction and Offspring Hippopotamuses are polygynous: One bull mates with multiple cows in his territorial/social group. Hippo females usually mate once every two years, and the bull mates with whichever cows are in heat. Although mating can occur throughout the year, conception only occurs from February to August. The gestation period lasts nearly a year, with births taking place between October and April. Hippos only give birth to one calf at a time; calves weigh 50–120 pounds at birth and are adapted to underwater nursing.   Juvenile hippos stay with their mothers and are reliant on mothers milk for nearly a year (324 days). Female juveniles remain in their mothers group, while males leave after they are sexually mature, about three and a half years. WILLIAM WEST/Getty Images  Ã‚   Evolutionary History Unlike the case with rhinoceroses and elephants, the evolutionary tree of hippopotamuses is rooted in mystery. Modern hippos shared a last common ancestor, or concestor, with modern whales, and this presumed species lived in Eurasia about 60 million years ago, only five million years after the dinosaurs had gone extinct. Still, there are tens of millions of years bearing little or no fossil evidence, spanning most of the Cenozoic Era, until the first identifiable hippopotamids like Anthracotherium and Kenyapotamus appear on the scene. The branch leading to the modern genus of hippopotamus split off from the branch leading to the pygmy hippopotamus (genus Choeropsis) less than 10 million years ago. The pygmy hippopotamus of western Africa weighs less than 500 pounds but otherwise looks uncannily like a full-sized hippo. Conservation Status The Internal Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates that there are 115,000–130,000 hippos in central and southern Africa, a sharp drop from their census numbers in prehistoric times; they classify hippos as vulnerable, experiencing a continuing decline in area, extent, and quality of habitat. Threats Hippopotamuses live exclusively in sub-Saharan Africa (though they once had a more widespread distribution). Their numbers have declined most precipitously in the Congo in central Africa, where poachers and hungry soldiers have left only about 1,000 hippos standing out of a previous population of almost 30,000. Unlike elephants, which are valued for their ivory, hippos dont have much to offer traders, with the exception of their enormous teeth—which are sometimes sold as ivory substitutes. Another direct threat to the hippopotamus is the loss of habitat. Hippos need water, at least mudholes, all year round to take care of their skin; but they also need grazing lands, and those patches are in danger of disappearing as a result of climate-change-driven desertification. Sources Barklow, William E. Amphibious Communication with Sound in Hippos, Hippopotamus Amphibius. Animal Behaviour 68.5 (2004): 1125–32. Print.Eltringham, S. Keith. 3.2: The Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus Amphibius). Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Ed. Oliver, William L.R. Gland, Switzerland: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resouces, 1993. Print.Lewison, R. and J. Pluhà ¡cek. Hippopotamus amphibius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.e.T10103A18567364, 2017.  Walzer, Chris, and Gabrielle Stalder. Chapter 59 - Hippopotamidae (Hippopotamus). Fowlers Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine, Volume 8. Eds. Miller, R. Eric and Murray E. Fowler. St. Louis: W.B. Saunders, 2015. 584–92. Print.