Napoleon wanted to add Egypt to his empire and was thwarted by the British. He then tried to "spin" it as a success. In one example, many of his soldiers got Bubonic Plague, and he had them poisoned, but managed to make this look heroic.
Napoleon landed 300 years ago in Egypt, with a surge of 55,000 troops. Their mission was to curtail British trade, threaten India and obtain assets. He also intended to acquire Egypt as a French colony, but his fleet was destroyed by the British and war was declared by the Ottoman sultan. Napoleon also failed in his attempt to take over Syria. Napoleon has been obsessed with Egypt from an early age.
He brought 150 scholars or "savants" along with his military, to map and document everything form plants to topography to customs. Napoleon considered himself both liberator and conqueror. Ten volumes were produced, with engraved plates, to document the experience. The mapping was intended to make Egypt's resources and the Near East useful to the French Empire, had they been able to dominate.
Edward Said talks about the perception of "Us" vs "Them" during the process of Empire Building. This makes us spectators. I saw a bunch of manuscripts in a glass case, all signed by Napolean. I tried to make sense of them as best I could, and they reminded me of the "Executive Orders" of Bush. When I was at the Louvre looking at the Egypt exhibit, the Louis XIV and Napoleon related items, I could not help but think of the Bush dynasty and how, if they could, they would seek permanent brute power.
A related exhibit is going on at the Tacoma Art Museum, about the Ottoman Empire. The Frye had a second exhibit, called "Empire," which included projected artworks depicting empire building and empire destruction.
Contemporary Indian art is being displayed at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts. It’s not Native American Art as Annu Palakunnatuhu Matthew made clear in her self portrait contrasted with a sepia tone photo by Curtis. Her collection was called An Indian from India, but the photograph display below was titled “Red Indian, Brown Indian.” If you visit her site she has an interesting series of photos called "Backlash in the wake of 9-11."
There was also a collection of portraits from a village in Karela of children with names such as Lenin, Stalin, Soviet Breeze, Ho Chi Minh, and Gramsci. The artist’s name was Vivek Vilasini. I couldn't take a picture of the exhibit; photography was not allowed.
The most moving of the photos at this exhibit I saw were ones by Raghu Rai, a photo-journalist considered to be one of India’s greatest photographers. A series of photos showed Indira Ghandi as head of state, with 1000s of people rushing the site of her body in state, her funeral pyre, and a group of siekh widows who were killed as revenge for the Indira’s assassination.
Here is the funeral pyre. These photos were much more than snapshots documenting history. The eyes of the people in the photos communicate with their viewers.
It used to be that the 3rd Avenue McDonalds (Seattle) played country or classical, to chase away those people who hung out in front of the place chronically.
According to this cool story from Robin, there was a fledging rock band called Revolving Reverence and they had big plans - platinum albums and sold out shows and probably to get the heck out of Ft. Lupson, Colorado.
They and a few friends were busted violating the local noise ordinance and sentenced to sit in a room and listen to everything from Barry Manilow to Barney the Purple Dinosaur. The idea was that this would show them what it's like to listen to music they didn't like, like the people they had kept awake with their noise.The judge had noticed that some of them were repeat offenders who showed up with cash to pay off their fines, but didn't learn.
Four times a year, the town carries out the listening sentences for noise violators. Revolving Reverence were sentenced because of their noisy backyard gig and their punishment involved listening to Barry Manilow.
"I actually don't think Manilow's too bad," one said.
Here, Barry does the Rick Roll song, which isn't that bad - & considering he used to play piano for Bette Midler ..
Under Kentucky law, Homeland Security is ordered to publicize God's benevolent protection in its reports. It must display a plaque at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center with an 88-word statement that begins, "The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God."
A Southern Baptist Minister (Riner) who is also a State Representative tucked these bits into Homeland Security legislation. Homeland Security therefore has religious duties as its paramount responsibility in the state of Kentucky. These people decide how to disperse millions in federal grants intended to protect the people of Kentucky from terrorism. Their annual budget (mostly federal money) is $28 million. The previous Governor was a lay Baptist preacher and used to credit God in annual reports.
"This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky. Government itself, apart from God, cannot close the security gap. The job is too big for government."
The 2008 Homeland Security report did not credit God, but did complain about a decline in federal funding. Riner is also upset that there is no reference to God in Homeland Security's current mission statement or on its Web site.
(Photo above from cell phone gives proof that Kentucky's fate is in God's hands.)
Astronauts last week worked frantically on their urine recycling system, which turns piss into drinking water. They removed grommets that were hitting a sensor that caused a centrifuge to shut down. They were able to process 3.8 liters of piss but the thing kept shutting off, according to Ground Control. They continued to trouble shoot, as the space shuttle Endeavor needed to have the equipment working in order to leave on Thanksgiving Day for their next mission.