Jazz Theory: History of Jazz Harmony

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Harmony and Jazz Theory

Music scholars view jazz as a style of Western Art Music (read classical music–classical, however, is really the style of a given a period). All jazz harmony comes from that tradition, while the rhythms come from Africa. The vast bulk of the jazz repertoire employs European harmonic progressions and forms. What is unique about jazz is the marriage of these European characteristics with African rhythm, and a unique Afro-American style of inflections, articulations and vibratos. The only pitch collection used in jazz that is unique to Western Art Music is the blues scale (on C it would be as follows: C, D#, F, F#, G, Bb, C), which is the result of African Americans fusing of slurs and sliding pitches (a characteristic also of African music) onto the tempered major/minor European tonal system.

Since jazz has traditionally been characterized by the fusion of the salient characteristics of the two cultures, and the harmony comes from Europe, it is therefore misleading to describe anything as jazz theory or jazz harmony. Even the 12 bar blues is comprised of a tonal European chord progression (I, IV, and V, however it may be dressed up with other European harmonies. Call it what you like, it’s still all European harmony.

Jazz texts merely codify what jazz composers stylistically choose to use from the entirety of the European pallet–and much has unfortunately been left out, or rather not yet assimilated, such as most of the music of the Twentieth century.

Therefore, you are better off going to the source, which is to classical harmony texts. French composer and theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau published the first definitive text on harmony in 1722. Books will only, by the way, prepare you for the real business of score analysis, which is where you will find the real pertinent information: in practice, where it is the most revealing.

As stated above, the blues scale is the only pitch collection unique to Western Art Music. While it is true, for example, that the added minor seventh to the tonic chord in a 12-bar blues constitutes a harmonic inclusion of a blue note, it nonetheless does not change the function of that chord in the progression, or change the fact that it is a European progression. While jazz is unique from European music due to its use of African rhythm, the rhythm does not alter how progressions behave.

In the Twentieth century, many European composers began to write chord successions that did not necessarily have a primary key (atonality), but this has not been incorporated into the jazz style very much as yet. Jazz musicians and their audiences are unfortunately mired in old European harmonic practices and forms. Indeed, most have not even fully digested the music of French Impressionist composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.

It is helpful to understand a little music history in order to better understand the various styles that emerged. In a nutshell, it goes like this: In the West, the music was modal until the late Sixteenth century, at which time the music became tonal (based on chord progressions aimed at culminating in a cadence to the tonic chord). The tonal system prevailed until the Twentieth century, when much of the music tended towards atonalism (no primary key). In atonalism, chords are arranged in successions that have no functionality in a tonal sense, but are used for their color and interest alone. Jazz, however, is basically still rooted in the harmonic practices of the classical and romantic periods (18th and 19th century harmony).

Mark Levine’s popular book, Jazz Theory, is a good illustration of jazz pedagogists’ very limited understanding of music history. It basically runs down the Berklee College system of applying chord scales and modes to chord progressions. This makes it necessary to theorize in order to arrive at which of these (arbitrary at best) scales are to be applied. In this way, Greek modal names are applied to a tonal chord system that is in no way modal. Indeed, the European composers, whom jazz musicians emulate, did not employ modes in tonal music: they used non-harmonic tones to propel their lines forward.

This is, I hope, an interesting tidbit of history: A few years ago, while writing my doctoral dissertation, I interviewed Jerry Coker, who was one of the very first to hold a full-time positon as Jazz Professor in a college or university. He admitted to me that he used this modal system–with its Greek names–to impress the classical administrators that dominated the music department–so that they might take jazz education seriously. (They have been in the colleges for well over 100 years, while jazz education was only begrudgedly admitted fewer than 50 years ago.)

Coker explained that had he taught a more direct, common sense traditional approach to this extemporaneous art form, it would have gone right over their heads. They don’t like us. The only reason jazz exists in higher education is because of enrollment: Students demand jazz courses.

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Source by Ed Byrne

Treating ALS With Orthomolecular Medicine

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gherig’s Disease is a degenerative disease where neurons die early due to a problem with the autoimmune system. Your immune system attacks its organs and nervous system. The muscles degenerate and the body may begin wasting. This occurs because ALS destroys the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The brain looses its ability to control its muscles.

It is very important to understand that there may be a viral component to this disease. The body must be supported with adaptogenic botanicals to handle the possible viral component. These adaptogens include astragulus, ashwaganda, gotu kola, siberian ginseng, panax ginseng, and other botanical products found in Quantum Orthomolecular Medicine. The use of adaptogens may not have the desired effect for the patient that has a genetically acquired disease. If a family member has the disease, these adaptogenic herbs may not produce the desired outcome.

Treating and healing ALS with ordinary amino acids and botanicals is the basis for Orthomolecular Medicine. Large doses of naturally found proteins called amino acids stop the attack on the brain and repair its malfunction. These amino acids and botanicals are affordable and are used in therapeutic doses much larger than those levels normally found in food. The concept of orthomolecular medicine is based upon the use of very large doses of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or botanical extracts for the cellular repair and enhancement of normal brain activities.

The ALS patient should be given a three week parasite cleanse with one of the many herbal parasite cleanses that are available at your local health food store. This patient should be treated for heavy metals toxins with oral chelation for a period up to five weeks. You can consider extending the oral chelation if for another two weeks if the patient improves under this treatment. This patient should be treated very conservatively and any treatment where the patient does not improve should be discontinued.

This patient may be a good candidate for adrenal or thyroid glandular support. You may try an organic product and closely monitor the progress. Chinese patent herbs would be very good for this patient and they might delay the progression of this disease by several years.

Lymphatic therapy or massage therapy would be a good addition to the overall patient care. This should be tried once or twice a week. Reflexology can also benefit ALS.

This progressive and degenerative disease can be treated with Orthomolecular Medicine and this may be a curable disease. Conventional medicine does not believe that this disease can be healed. The onset of some symptoms may be delayed or kept at bay with very aggressive use of IV amino acids, vitamins, and minerals along with oral orthomolecular medicine two to four times per day. There are several key amino acids for the amino acid therapy and they include NAC, Threonine, glutamine, methionine, and tryptophan. Glutamine and NAC are very valuable tools to fight progressive and degenerative neurological diseases.

It is very important to change the diet very quickly to try a gluten free diet like the G.A.R.D. Diet for a period of one month. If this does not help the patient, you may want to try the Rotation Diet for at least seven weeks.The Rotation Diet rotates each food so that it is not eaten more often than once during a four day period. Try to eliminate saturated fats and increase unsaturated fats like salmon, sardines, and mackerel. The implementation of snacks like organic fruit, walnuts, pistachios, avocados, and macadamia nuts will support good glucose stabilization for better energy. It is wise to reduce coffee, switch to an organic variety, and Swiss water method decaffeinated coffee. They can be ordered online if you are in an area where they are not available.

Noni, acai, or pomegranate are good additional supplements that are available in liquid form or in capsule form. Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, malic acid, food based multivitamins, and German digestive enzymes can help provide the nutritional support needed for fast progress. Quantum Orthomolecular Medicine has several other suggested ideas to help ALS.

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Source by R Stone

The History of Snazaroo Paint

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From its humble beginnings in 1989, Snazaroo has grown in leaps and bounds. Snazaroo began by catering to shops that lend fancy dresses for a fee. Now it has become the leading brand in face and body paint. Its factory based in the UK produces and supplies face and body paint, as well as hundreds of art-related products to more than 20 countries worldwide. Such was the popularity of Snazaroo face paintings that it became known as the world's favorite face and body paint brand.

Snazaroo is focused on bringing joy and color in people's lives. That is why they sell only the finest products. If you are a beginner when it comes to face painting, do not worry. They also offer kits that have everything you need to start. On the other hand, if you are a professional and use face painting as an avenue to earn, there is also a corresponding kit for you. So it does not really matter whether you are a master face painter or a newbie, Snazaroo has a kit to suit every need.

To emphasize the importance of both quality and safety, Snazaroo has hired professional toxicologists and dermatologists to inspect their paintings. They have also made sure that every product fully complies with the FDA and EU cosmetic regulations. Their paintings are the best there is. They are non-toxic and quick drying. So if you are in a hurry, you do not have to worry about waiting ages for the paint to dry. In fact, you can finish a design in just five minutes! If your kid has sensitive skin, Snazaroo paints are also mild on the skin. So you will not have to worry about unsightly rashes forming. And since their paintings are water-based, they are as easy to wash off as they are to apply. Aside from this, their kits also come with step-by-step manuals on how to create certain looks. So if you are a beginner, you will not be at a loss on how to start.

Today, Snazaroo still continues to teach, amaze and inspire artists with their products and amazingly helpful manuals. So what are you waiting for? Get a Snazaroo face painting kit and become the artist that you are meant to be.

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Source by Cindy Lee

Western Vs Eastern Martial Arts

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I would like to give my opinion on the subject of Western (European, North American) and Eastern (Asian, Pacific) martial arts.

First of all I do not need to think that either is better than the other in general.

The eastern practitioners often codified their martial arts and that were better able to hand them down to later generations. The World War II CQC methodology of Fairbairn was based on the atemi waza found in Jiu Jitsu where he attained the level of 5th dan. He stripped close combat down to these very basic striking methods that we see today.

The martial arts of the west had their high level methods which could be found in the study of the ancient Greek fighting art known as Eleftheri Pali which means ruthless combat or anything goes. Scenes depicting this system can be found on ancient pottery and show lethal strikes to the throat and groin. Later the more sportive Pancration came about which was practiced for the Olympic games. In later times, Dans la rue Savate (street savate) was created in France. I trained some of the personal bodyguards of French Prime Minister Jaques Chirac in 1995. They were versed in Savate as well as Jiu Jitsu and various forms of Karate. Most of their training centered on how to stop or incapacitate or kill a would be assassin. What happened was that in simplifying their training the end result resembled basic CQC which is similar to the beginning program of Guided Chaos. It seems that when men who have to fight for a living develop a system of fighting it all starts to look the same. Simplicity is king. The street or combat Savate that was demonstrated to me was very effective. Most low kicks, knees and hard style boxing and side of hand strike combinations were used. These guys trained every day like their life depended on it.

One exercise that they practiced to develop strong punching power was to perform up to 3 sets of 20 dips with various depths of weight around their waists from 30 kilos to 60 kilos. They felt that having strong triceps and shoulders would allow them to maximize their punching power. I demonstrated Guided Chaos dropping energy for them by having three of them line up in front of me locked in a strong stance. I placed my right fist on the first man's shoulder and dropped while moving my fist about 3 inches into the first man causing him to fall into the next and the next one fell into the 3rd one. This cave them something to think about. I showed FC, their top fighter, how to do it and he has practiced it for quite a while and I believe that he teaches this to his men even today. Dropping Energy is a more sophisticated version of the "drop punch" that American boxer Jack Dempsey created and later was used accidentally by Muhammad Ali when he knocked out Sonny Liston. Dropping Energy uses some principals somewhat similar to "cold power" in tai chi and other internal Asian systems. By employing decreasing energy with CQC striking we have a good melding of eastern and western technique.

Guided Chaos' close combat is similar to and is actually based on Fairbairn's methodology. The deeper concepts or principles are what sets Guided Chaos apart from all other martial arts. Yes there is some of all martial arts in Guided Chaos as there is some Guided Chaos in all other martial arts. Developing the principles of looseness, sensitivity, balance, body unity and adaptability through the Guided Chaos drills is paramount in developing strikes and neck breaks and seriously violent ground tactics. Remember, there is no memorizing one move to counter another move per se. At the speed of a serious life and death encounter you can not access a mental library of responses to particular attacks fast enough to work. The simplistic method of most Close Combatives at least gives one a fighting chance especially when you "attack the attacker" (a term created by Brad Steiner). Attacking the attacker clogs up your attacker's plan. He does not know what you are doing to him. You are causing him to deal with chaotic motion. High speed and simplicity is what carries the day here. Until a person can integrate the deeper principles of Guided Chaos, this allows one to have at least a fighting chance.

When teaching stick fighting I base much of it on medieval European and modern sword fighting. I enjoy working with the medieval broad sword. Here some of the greatest techniques of weapons fighting were developed by the medieval knights, monks and others of the time. It is very exciting. Remember that in the first encounters with the Japanese Samurai the Italian and Spanish swordsmen used to regularly defeat the Japanese in duels. Of course the rapier with it's basket hand protector (along with superior footwork) came in handy. I also use the catch as catch can fighting method of my father and uncles which was based on Native American systems (which are themselves very old) using the tomahawk. Later I incorporated the concepts of sensitivity as well as all the other principles of Guided Chaos into cane / stick fighting which eclipsed most of what is taught today. All of the Guided Chaos principles can easily be used in any weapons system.

There is so much more that I could share with you on the subject of Eastern vs. Western. A good blend is best in my opinion.

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Source by John Perkins

Parentification – The Dark Art of Making a Child a Parent

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A fairly common practice of too many parents is to make their child an intermediary when a fight is going on between husband and wife. When parents do avoid assigning the child this role, the child will appoint himself or herself without prompting. Attempting the impossible and never giving up, as children tend to do, will always result in symptoms of some kind.

Children forced to end parental fighting or to witness one parent being abused by the other will suffer emotional turmoil, including fearfulness, becoming withdrawn (so that he does not have to take sides), or acting out as a behavior problem in order to draw attention to himself as a decoy and stop the threatening struggle. Bed wetting, for example, or nonconformity in school, can sometimes accomplish a truce and also provide a way to vent the unavoidable rage the child feels as a result of what he is being put through.

If it is not the marriage itself that is the source of the child's unrest, it is often another kind of unhappiness on the part of one or both parents. Every child who senses unhappiness, fear, or other distress in a parent will try to fix it. He will not only believe that he is able but will actually take it upon himself as his own personal responsibility, often for life.

Children are not aware that their power is limited. Thus, children undertake the task of rescuing Mother or Father or both. If they try to be a better boy or girl, perform perfectly in school (or misbehave), be quieter or noisier when Mommy's upset, go to bed earlier, stay up later, stop fighting with siblings, start fights with siblings, try something different , or try everything harder, they will achieve their goal. When they fail, and they always do, they believe it is their fault.

In one case of this kind, I was a young woman's 30th doctor. She came to me at the age of 19, never having been out of a mental hospital for more than six months from the time she was 13. She arrived with the firm expectation that I would put her back in the hospital, as all 29 other doctors had done.

When the entire family was called into the office, everyone showed up except the father, who had long ago abandoned them all. The patient, however, deep in her subconscious, continued to hope that repeated hospitals would bring him back. Through all these years, the family had deteriorated through the mother's lost ability to govern, with the result that they were more sick than the patient.

They did not need to deal with this fact, however, because they kept their focus on the patient, who cooperated fully. She was the endpoint in every matter discussed, and the family was entrenched in a process of shunning their own problems by projecting them onto the patient.

All through the first family session, the patient was the only one openly upset. She spoke with emotion, claimed, complained, and argued, but the rest of the family held composed as uninvolved observers. When all of this was pointed out, that the patient was expressing all of the emotion for them, they seemed unconvinced.

I suggested that the patient felt all alone in being the only one to admit the pain, that she was crying on behalf of them all, that she was suffering in their place. This arrangement was not fair, I contended, and it was too much for the patient.

Finally, one of the brothers sprang up and ran over to comfort her. Next, a sister followed; then, Mother. Before long they were all weeping and yet with great relief because it was good to have everything out in the open.

All resistance and denial were given up by the family, and they began to talk honestly about the real causes of their suffering. The patient was relieved of her obligation to continue as mentally sick. Instead, she began to lead her family into some deep insights about the way they had all deal with emotional pain in the past. She never returned to the hospital.

Mixing children in parental struggles is pervasively destructive simply because children believe what their parents tell them, no matter how preposterous. They try to adapt to the role they are assigned or place on themselves. Children will participate in any and all madness.

The dilemma for children is that there is no normal way to react to craziness. If only professionals could accept this fact, they could identify who really needs help in a family.

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Source by Heyward Ewart, III, Ph.D.

Cherry Blossom Tattoos – What Do They Mean

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Cherry blossom tattoos are some of the most popular tattoo designs for women currently. The beauty and delicate nature of a cherry blossom can not be denied. In both Japanese and Chinese cultures the cherry blossom is full of symbolic meaning and significance. Before deciding to get a cherry blossom tattoo design it makes sense to understand the symbolism and deep cultural connections and meaning that this tattoo might hold. After all the best tattoo designs are ones that hold a great deal of symbolic significance. Typically the tattoo that is universally regretted is the one that was gotten while out with a bunch of friends just because they were getting one. So do not fall into the trap and regret your tattoo later in life. Instead if you are planning on getting a tattoo at least take the time to research the symbolism and meaning behind it and see if it speaks to you and if the ideas are significant in your life.

While many people tend to blend and confuse the Japanese and Chinese culture together from lack of knowledge the two are very different in many ways. Therefore the meaning and symbolism that the cherry blossom holds is different in each culture.

Chinese Cherry Blossom

For the Chinese the cherry blossom is a very significant symbol of power. Typically it represents a feminine beauty and sexuality and often holds an idea of ​​power or feminine dominance. Within the language of herbs and herbal lore of the Chinese the cherry blossom is often the symbol of love.

Japanese Cherry Blossom

For the Japanese the cherry blossom holds very different meaning. The cherry blossom is a very delicate flower that blooms for a very short time. For the Japanese this represents the transience of life. This concept ties in very deeply with the fundamental teachings of Buddhism that state all life is suffering and transitory. The Japanese have long held strong to the Buddhist belief of the transitory nature of life and it is very noble to not get too attached to a particular exit or not become emotional because it will all pass in time.

The fallen cherry blossom is not taken lightly in Japanese symbolism either. It often represents the beauty of snow and there are many connections made in Japanese literature or poetry to a fallen cherry blossom and snow. This also has been extended to the life of a warrior whose life was ended early in battle.

As you can see in both cultures the symbolism and meaning behind the cherry blossom is very significant and powerful at the same time. It is important to think about these symbols and connect this with what your personally believe the cherry blossom representatives. If you still want to get a cherry blossom tattoo and the above meaning from the Japanese culture or the Chinese culture do not speak to you or you're somehow view the cherry blossom in a very different way then it is okay to still get a cherry blossom tattoo. However, it is always important to know the symbolism before getting a tattoo permanently done.

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Source by Chris Ryerson

Fabric Painting – A Unique Form of Painting

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Fabric painting is a unique form of painting that finds vibrant expression on the fabrics. Painting on fabrics has now become a popular homemade handcraft and is practiced by many whether as a hobby or as a part of livelihood. With simple techniques and procedures alluring paintings can be carved out in an affordable cost. It is due to these reasons fabric painting has a demanding market nowadays. Here we are from ethnicpaintings to furnish interesting information on fabric painting and display some lovely paintings of this genre.

Fabric painting is used in vogue in men shirts, ladies kurties, hand bangs, cushion covers, curtains, upholsteries, wall hangings and more. You need not have to be very adept in painting to become a fabric painter. What you require are some creative skills and sound knowledge on the various methods of fabric paintings. The rest happens automatically.

Fabric painting is all about mixing colors and applying heat in proportions. The work of a fabric painter is like that of a chemist mixing colors and perceiving the reactions. The fun lies in the fact that he or she should know what amount of color and heat to use in order to create a particular form of fabric painting. The most popular forms of fabric paintings are batik painting, dyeing, shibori, silk-screening, watercolor painting and layering.

Dyeing is one of the most common and simple forms of fabric painting. In dyeing some parts of a fabric are tied and merged into colored dye solutions while some other parts are abstained from dyeing. When folded in a particular shape, this helps to form a design integrating the colored and the uncolored segments. Batik Painting made by blending wax and dye is one of the most favored among the fabric paintings. Having its origin in the Indonesian island of Java, batik painting mesmerizes with its unusual tapestry, ensemble of colors and freedom of art. In Batik painting first the fabric is waxed, then dyed and finally de-waxed. Shibori is a typical Japanese tie-dye painting that lures with its creases, pleats, stitches, loops and colorful motifs. This type of painting is a bit complex and involves a series of processes like stitching, folding, creasing, dyeing, pleating and embroidering.

For comprehensive information on paintings and related topics, please visit Ethnic Paintings.

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Source by Rajneesh Dubey

History of Croton Watch

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Introduction:

Watch is not only used for time but since a long time it is also used as a fashionable item. The variety of look and design were used to modify and make the watch attractive. Various jewelry items such as silver, gold, diamond and platinum were incorporated in various proportions by the manufacturers to give watch an attractive look.

Early Watch Manufacturing:

In the history, 1524 is known to be the earliest watch manufacturing year, however early manufacturing begins in France and in the year 1574 a watchmaker named as Charles Cousin shifted to Geneva in Switzerland from France and settled there and got citizenship after thirteen year. During that period, the watch was being used a jewel and became available for masses much later.

Charles Cousin founded a watch guild in Geneva and during the period Switzerland watches became famous. There were various watchmakers in Switzerland before Charles Cousin, but the commitment of Charles Cousin to organize the sector has given boost to the quality manufacturing and propagating the quality to the world. The timepieces made during the period were not perfect as of today. These first timepieces were inaccurate and most of the watches have only hour hand and had to be wound twice a day.

During the period 1600 to 1700, the watches remain a jewelry pieces and the period also saw technical innovation. Two types of watches pendulum and pocket watch were made available during the period. During 1675, a spiral balance spring was used, which improved the accuracy of timekeeping from a fraction of hour earlier to a fraction of minute. Till 1675, the pendulum type were used in the neck, Charles II of England introduced long waistcoats and men used the pockets of these waistcoats to put the watches.

By 1715, English watch makers started using diamond as bearings. By the ends of century the upper bearing of the balance shaft were likely to have the diamonds. During the early 1800’s, the machines for manufacturing watches were developed and clock parts were being manufacturers and subsequently the cost of various watches came down. In late 1800’s many well-known watch companies came and croton watch is one of them.

Croton Watch Company:

Croton Watch Company Inc. was established in the year 1878 and since then the family is continuously running business. Croton Watch Company Inc. is operated from New Jersey, USA. More than 128 years old company is known worldwide for the classical watches. Since the inception of the business, the family is fostering the business in not only United States, but throughout the globe.

Croton wristwatches are classically designed to keep the trends and advances in trend setting for the future generation. The various models of Croton watches have been featured in various magazines including Harpers Bazaar magazine. The models available with Croton are sometimes better than the costlier models supplied by other companies. Croton watch comes with a lifetime warranty.

Classical Models of Croton Wrist watches:

Some of the classical watch models of croton includes RC 307335 wrist watch for male, RC 211069 wrist watch for female, Croton ladies watch model 207758 RHMP, Croton men’s stainless steel limited edition Swiss automatic multifunction diamond bracelet watch, Croton men’s nicolet sport stainless steel bracelet watch, croton skeleton dial watch. All these watches are available from a range of $ 70 to $ 700 in the market.

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Source by Zai G Zhu

Ceramic Birdhouses

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Truly functional works of art, ceramic bird houses available today offer a touch of elegance and charm to any bird lover's outdoor oasis or indoor collection. As a highly desired homestead for our favorite avian friends, the jury is still out! Many people question whether ceramic bird houses are a good choice because they might become too cold in the early spring or too hot in the summer for the nestlings to survive or cause possible harm to the eggs. Others have expressed concern about the potential for the glaze to harm the birds; as with any bird house finish, keep away from any glaze known to contain a lead or other harmful chemicals.

A quick study of the birding blogs shows a large number of happily occupied ceramic birds. First of all, clay is known to have strong insulation properties. Most bird lovers compensate for temperature concerns by keeping the house in a shaded spot during the summer and bringing them inside when the weather turns too cold. There are no reports of dead nestlings discovered during the end-of-season cleanout. I recommend that you find one that appeals to you and suits the needs of your favorite birds and give it a try. Of course you could also place a few wooden birdhouses out at the same time to offer your feathered guests their choice of accommodations.

Hand-crafted by skilled potters, ceramic bird houses offer the perfect addition for the indoor collection. These ceramic pieces come in different sizes and shapes; however, they are often found in very simple designs such as an egg or a bottle. More elaborate designs are certainly available. In my opinion, the most amazing aspect of ceramic birdhouses is the variety of vibrant colors and color blends that these skilled artisans use to finish these pieces. Bird lovers that maintain a decorative indoor collection of bird houses should consider the vibrant color and aesthetic appeal that these pieces offer.

If you do buy ceramic bird houses, the normal safety and size rules apply. For example, do not get a ceramic bird house that is painted in dark colors, this is going to make the inside of the bird house too hot. Also, do not buy a house that has a perch. The birds do not need it and it will only make it easier for a predator to access to the house. Also you will need to get one with an entrance hole that is the right size for the type of bird you want to attract. If it is too big, then more aggressive birds could enter and take over the nest and if it is too small, then the birds will simply not be able to fit in. Remember that the size of the opening is a key security feature for birds. An opening size of 1-1 / 8 inch can generally accommodate most chickadees and wrens. An opening of 1-1 / 2 inch will generally accommodate most titmice, bluebirds, and nuthatches. Most of these small cavity nesting birds prefer floor space of about 4 x 4 inches.

Other practical considerations that apply to ceramic bird house selection include drainage, ventilation and access for cleaning. All birdhouses should have adequate drain holes in the floor to prevent standing water after the rain. All birdhouses should have ventilation near the top in order to allow heat to escape in the summer and also to help moisture to evaporate. Finally all practical bird houses should allow access for inspection of nests and also removal of old nests at the end of the season.

Most ceramic birdhouses are easily mounted from a hanging chain or wire. These are usually included. These functional works of art can be quickly and easily hung from a tree limb, overhead porch or shepherds hook. This also makes them easy to move as required to keep them out of the direct sun. Just do not move them far if there are nestlings inside.

Ceramic bird houses can add the "Wow Factor" to your outdoor and indoor living space while also providing a practical home for your traveling feathered companions. Consider your desired balance between aesthetic appeal and practicality and then choose accordingly.

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Source by Gregory A Branigan

Thomas Cole and a Goblet for Titans

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American painter Thomas Cole is best known for his detailed depictions of the American countryside, depicted in accordance with the tenets of Romanticism and Naturalism. As a founder of the Hudson River School, Cole was instrumental in this development and depiction of the American landscape.

However, not all landscapes depicted by Cole were based on actual existing locations. Indeed, while even his depictions of existing landscapes often exhibited idealistic interpretations of nature, some of his most famous paintings were not based on actual landscapes at all. Among these works, we find the aptly named “The Titan’s Goblet”. This masterpiece was painted by Thomas Cole in 1833 and its deeper meaning has been open to interpretation ever since. It was painted on a fairly small canvas which contrasts nicely to the immensity of the subject, and was done using a very thin layer of paint, maybe because Cole painted this subject for himself rather than for any specific sponsor. However, its humble beginnings none withstanding, it was a masterful execution of a mind boggling subject: An immense mountain landscape amid which rests an immense goblet. The Goblet is filled with water and along its shores people are living, while they spend their days sailing on the waters of the goblet itself. From the sides of the goblet, some water falls to the landscape below and where it lands, life emerges.

The interpretations of such an immense work have obviously been many and varied. Cole himself did not provide any text on the subject, which only heightens the speculation on the real meaning of the painting. Some early speculation focused on the similarity of the goblet to a tree and went to compare it to Yggdrasil of the Norse Methodology, though this interpretation was later abandoned as it was very unlikely that Cole had even heard of the Norse Gods and their detailed mythology.

Another more inviting interpretation, supported by the name of the painting itself, lends the inspiration to the realm of the Greek gods. With the titans of that Mythology being gigantic beings that did craft giant stone objects, this interpretation lends itself more easily. That the titans were themselves also givers of life can be seen as reflected in the life giving characteristics of the goblet in the painting. The presence of both a Greek temple and an Italian palace on the banks of the goblet also further lends credibility to such a Mediterranean interpretation.

However, Louis Legrand Noble who was both a friend and biographer of Cole did not mention any such Mythological connection – and we could rightly have expected him to know. Rather, he wrote:

“There (the goblet) stands, rather reposes upon its shaft, a tower-like mossy structure, light as a bubble, and yet a section of a substantial globe. As the eye circles its wide rolling brim, a circumference of many miles, it finds itself in fairy land; in accordance though with nature on her broadest scale… Tourists might travel in the countries of this imperial ring, and trace their fancies on many a romantic page. Here steeped in the golden splendors of a summer sunset, is a little sea from Greece, or Holy Land, with Greek and Syrian life, Greek and Syrian nature looking out upon its quiet waters.”

So in his interpretation, we are rather looking at a utopic fairy land where romantic fantasies can come to life. In other words it is a world of dreams, set above the lands of normal mortals. It is the illustration of a dream. In such an interpretation, the title itself only refers to the size of the goblet, and the painting to a romantic idea. As Cole’s paintings were highly influenced by Romanticism, this is definitely another possibility.

In recognition of the unique nature of The Titan’s goblet, it was the only pre-20th century painting included in the New York Museum of Modern Arts 1936 “Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism” exhibition. The painting can today be found on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York.

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Source by Catherine Garney

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