quarta-feira, 30 de novembro de 2011

Mark Twain

Tom Sawyer e Huckleberry Finn ilustram o doodle como forma de homenagear Mark Twain

Mark Twain, escritor norte-americano, comemoraria hoje o seu 176.º aniversário. Tom Sawyer e Huckleberry Finn, duas das suas mais célebres personagens, surgem no doodle do Google para marcar a ocasião.

doodle inspira-se num episódio do livro "As aventuras de Tom Saywer", de 1876, no qual o irrequieto personagem convence os seus amigos a ajudá-lo a pintar uma vedação, castigo que lhe foi atribuído pela tia Polly.

A sequela "As aventuras de Huckleberry Finn", de 1885, faz também parte das obras mais famosas de Mark Twain, escritor referido por William Faulkner como "o pai da literatura norte-americana".

Conhecido pelas suas narrativas de viagens e aventuras, Mark Twain, cujo nome verdadeiro é Samuel Langhorne Clemens, morreu a 21 de abril de 1910. Tal como era desejo do autor, a sua autobiografia foi publicada no ano passado, um século depois da sua morte.

terça-feira, 29 de novembro de 2011

All together now!

The top city to live in is... Vienna!! (I love this city so much!!)

November 29th, 2011
For the third successive year, Vienna was ranked number one as European cities claimed more than half of the top 25 positions in Mercer's 2011 Quality of Living index, which awards points for a range of criteria, including political and economic stability, culture, health and sanitation, quality of schools, public services and housing.
Zurich in neighboring Switzerland came in second, while New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, was third in the list of 221 cities worldwide.

Top 10 (quality of life):
  1.  Vienna (Austria)
  2.  Zurich (Switzerland)
  3.  Auckland (New Zealand)
  4.  Munich (Germany)
  5.  Dusseldorf (Germany)
  6.  Vancouver (Canada)
  7.  Frankfurt (Germany)
  8.  Geneva (Switzerland)
  9.  Bern (Switzerland)
  10.  Copenhagen (Denmark)
Elsewhere, Canadian cities dominated the top spots in the Americas – Vancouver was rated number five overall – while Singapore was the only Asian city to scrape into the top 25. Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, was the highest ranked city in the African region (84).
At the other end of the scale, Baghdad was bottom of the list, closely followed by Bangui in the Central African Republic and N’Djamena in Chad.
“European cities in general continue to have high standards of living, because they enjoy advanced and modern city infrastructures combined with high-class medical, recreational and leisure facilities,” said Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer.
“But economic turmoil, high levels of unemployment and lack of confidence in political institutions make their future positions hard to predict. Countries such as Austria, Germany and Switzerland still fare particularly well in both the quality of living and personal safety rankings, yet they are not immune from decreases in living standards if this uncertainty persists.”
He added that the wave of violent protests across much of the Arab world this year had lowered living standards across North Africa and the Middle East – Dubai was the highest ranked city in the region at 74 – but that political and economic reconstruction in countries such as Libya and Egypt would undoubtedly boost the region in the longer term.
For the first time, this year’s Mercer survey also ranks cities according to personal safety, with crime levels, law enforcement effectiveness and a country’s international relations among the criteria.
Vienna was rated fifth in the list, as the top three spots going to Luxembourg, Bern and Helsinki respectively. Baghdad found itself at the foot of the list once again.
“The top-ranking cities for personal safety and security are in politically stable countries with good international relations and relatively sustainable economic growth,” said Parakatil.
“Most of the low-scoring cities are in countries with, civil unrest, high crime levels and little law enforcement.”

In: "BUSINESS360", Business - International Edition, in CNN online; http://business.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/29/the-top-city-to-live-in-is/?hpt=hp_c2.

segunda-feira, 28 de novembro de 2011

Doodle4Google Japan - (Japan) - November 28, 2011

Google recently announced the winner of Google Japan's logo design competition for school children. Japan is the 5th nation after the U.S, U.K., Australia and China to compete in the, "Doodle 4 Google" contest. The theme for this competition was, "I love Japan." The winner was a twelve-year-old girl who designed a logo including a crane, bamboo, Japanese plum and so on. I was looking at other finalists' logos, and I was so impressed with their creativeness. It is quite interesting to see how the children captured their image of Japan. Here is the site that shows the logos. Although it is in Japanese, you can click the blue boxes for "Grades 1-3" "Grades 4-6" and "Grades 7-9," then you can see 30 logos that the finalists created. The winner's logo will be displayed on March 1st on Google Japan.

sexta-feira, 18 de novembro de 2011

Understanding Da Vinci (Note: watch the "recommended videos" in the site too

--->  http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/11/10/leonardo-da-vinci-understanding-florence.cnn

Google doodles a daguerreotype for Louis Daguerre's 224th birthday

Google welcomed users with a family photo doodle in honour of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre's 224th birthday. The French painter and physicist was the inventor of daguerreotype, the first successful form of photography.
Before the daguerreotype, photography required hours of exposure and Louis Daguerre's invention reduced it to 20-30 minutes.
In the daguerreotype process, a technique developed by Daguerre in collaboration with Nicephore Niepce in the 1830s, a silver iodide coated copper plate was exposed to light in a camera and then was fumed with mercury vapour. Then a solution of common salt was applied to form a permanent image. As the daguerreotype grew popular, later improvements shortened the exposure time to forty seconds by 1841.
Louis Daguerre was the inventor of daguerreotype, the first successful form of photography.
Louis Daguerre was the inventor of daguerreotype, the first successful form of photography.

Born on November 18, 1787 in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France, Daguerre learned architecture, theatre design, and painting. He along with De Dion-Bouton invented the diorama, a scenic painting within a box that when viewed through a peephole, changes color and direction of light to simulate changes in the weather, time of day, etc. In 1839 Daguerre's Diorama was destroyed in a fire.
Daguerre died of a heart attack on July 10, 1851.
The Daguerre Google doodle shows a family of five in a 19th century style family photo, where the 'G' and 'O' of the Google name depict the father and the mother and the remaining three letters the children. The 'Os' are the two daughters and 'E' the son. The 'L' is the lamp. Interestingly the father 'G' bears a resemblance to Daguerre himself.
Google doodles have gained immense popularity over the past few years and the Google team has put out commemorative doodles on events ranging from news events, civic milestones, birthdays, death anniversaries and important dates in history.
Google estimates it has created more than 900 doodles since 1998, with 270 of them running in 2010 and about 200 in 2011.
Louis Daguerre

A daguerreotype of Louis Daguerre in 1844 by Jean-Baptiste Sabatier-Blot.

In: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/google-doodles-a-daguerreotype-photo-on-louis-daguerres-224th-birthday/203320-11.html; November 18, 2011.

Louis Daguerre's 224th birthday

Name:Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre
Birth Date:November 18, 1787
Death Date:July 10, 1851
Place of Birth:Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France
Place of Death:Bry-sur-Marne, France
Occupations:painter, inventor, designer

Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851), a French painter and stage designer, invented the daguerreotype, the first practical and commercially successful photographic process.

Louis Daguerre was born on November 18, 1787, at Cormeilles-en-Parisis. Abandoning his architectural training in 1804, he turned to scene painting and became a pupil of I. E. M. Degotti at the Paris Opéra. In 1822 Daguerre and Charles Bouton developed the diorama, a large-scale peep show in which a painting on a large translucent screen was seemingly animated by the skillful play of light on each side. Daguerre made dioramas for 17 years.
Daguerre used the camera obscura to make sketches for his stage designs and, like so many others, wished to avoid the tedious tracing and fix the image chemically. After several unsuccessful efforts he learned in 1826 that J. N. Niépce was working toward the same end and had made some progress. A cautious correspondence followed, in which Niépce revealed his heliograph process, and in 1829 Daguerre and Niépce formed a partnership to develop the method.
Heliography depended on the hardening action of sunlight on bitumen and the subsequent dissolution of the soft shadow parts of the image. Using this method on a glass plate, Niépce had obtained and fixed a photograph from the camera obscura in 1826. But his aspirations went beyond a visible image to a photoengraved plate from which he could pull prints. This goal led to his using bitumen on silver-coated copperplates and then iodizing the silver revealed after dissolving the unexposed bitumen. The removal of the hardened bitumen produced a silver-silver iodide image. But Niépce went no further.
Building on his partner's foundation, Daguerre discovered the lightsensitivity of silver iodide in 1831 but was unable to obtain a visible image. His discovery in 1835 that the latent image present on a silver iodide plate exposed for so short a time as 20 minutes could be developed with mercury vapor marked a major advance. Fixing was achieved in 1837, when he removed the unreduced silver iodide with a solution of common salt. Having improved Niépce's process beyond recognition, Daguerre felt justified in calling it the daguerreotype. He ceded the process to the French government. He revealed his discovery on Aug. 19, 1839.
Daguerre retired to Bry-sur-Marne in 1840 and died there on July 10, 1851. He had little more to do with the daguerreotype, leaving its improvement to others. It was perhaps the invention which most caught popular fancy in the mid-19th century, but it proved to be a blind alley in the development of modern photography.

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    domingo, 6 de novembro de 2011

    Força Interior

    “Nem sempre a fraqueza que se sente quer dizer que não se é forte”.

    Gabriel Pensador

    terça-feira, 1 de novembro de 2011