Monday, April 28, 2008

Quiz reminder: open notes test on the Romans & Greeks Tues, map quiz on

Monday we reviewed the map and open notes test and watched the last of the PBS documentary on the Medici dynasty of Florence.

terms -
- linear prespective
- olive branch
- minotaur
- labyrinth
- acropolis
- Parthenon

- Cosimo de Medici
- Donatello
-statue of David
- Brunelleschi
- duomo of the Cathedral of Florence
- patronage
- public art
- Greek era, 400 BCE
- Romans, 100 CE
- Renaissance, 1500 CE

Florence: the challenge of the dome on the cathedral

Florence 019
Originally uploaded by traceyk15
Credited to Brunelleschi and his patron, Cosimo d' Medici.

The complex history of Santa Maria del Fiore need not be recounted except to state that by 1418 all that was left to finish was the dome. The problem was that when the building was designed in the previous century, no one had any idea about how such a dome was to be built, given that it was to be even larger than the Pantheon's dome in Rome and that no dome of that size had been built since Antiquity.

Because buttresses were forbidden by the city fathers, and clearly was impossible to obtain rafters for scaffolding long and strong enough (and in sufficient quantity) for the task, it was unclear how a dome of that size could be built, or just avoid collapse. It must be considered also that the stresses of compression were not clearly understood at the time, and the mortars used in the periods would only set after several days, keeping the strain on the scaffolding for a very long time[6].

In 1419, the Arte della Lana, the wool merchant’s guild, held a competition to solve the problem. The two main competitors were Ghiberti and Brunelleschi, with Brunelleschi winning and receiving the commission.

The dome, the lantern (built: 1436-ca.1450) and the exedrae (built: 1439-1445) would occupy most of Brunelleschi’s life.[7] Brunelleschi's success can be attributed to no small degree to his technical and mathematical genius.[8] Thus he invented a new hoisting machine for raising the masonry needed for the dome, a task no doubt inspired by republication of the seminal work De Architectura by Vitruvius, which describes Roman machines used in the first century AD to build large structures such as the Pantheon and the Baths of Diocletian, structures still standing which he would have seen for himself. He also issued one of the first patents for the hoist in an attempt to prevent theft of his ideas.

Finding the differences between the Renaissance masters: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael

David by Michelangelo
Originally uploaded by cgc0202
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 –1564), commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer.

Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and the David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Michelangelo also created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Later in life he designed the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in the same city.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (1452 – 1519) was an Italian polymath; a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. Born at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio.

It is primarily as a painter that Leonardo was and is renowned. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper occupy unique positions as the most famous portrait and religious painting of all time. As an engineer, Leonardo conceived ideas vastly ahead of his own time, conceptualising a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, and the double hull, and outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics.

Donatello was a famous early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence. He is, in part, known for his work in basso rilievo, a form of shallow relief sculpture that, in Donatello's case, incorporated significant 15th-century developments in perspectival illusionism.

Around 1430, Cosimo de' Medici, the foremost art patron of his era, commissioned from Donatello the bronze David for the court of his Palazzo Medici. This is now Donatello's most famous work. At the time of its creation, it was the first known free-standing nude statue produced since ancient times.

Raphael Sanzio, usually known by his first name alone ( 1483 – 1520) was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ghiberti's Bronze Doors: great public art during the Renaissance in Florence

Ghiberti's Bronze Doors
Originally uploaded by Sanctu
Florence (Firenze) and the Renaissance!

The 1400's and 1500's in Northern Italy: this period saw a rebirth of higher learning inspired by writings of Greek and Roman scientists (Archimedes, Aristotle, etc) and philosophers (Plato, Socrates, etc).

The men who created the Mutant Ninja Turtles in the early 80's began by making a comic book parody of then-popular comics. And they used the names of Renaissance artists for their main characters. Eastman and Laird, the authors, really made a pop culture hit when they began to license merchandise (t-shirts, action figures, etc etc ) from the TMNT.

Fresco (Italian, "fresh") was a painting technique seen in places such as the Sistine Chapel during the Renaissance. Paint was applied to wet plaster, creating a very durable art technique.

Greco-Roman map no. 3 was sketched today. It ranges from Tunisia to Istanbul.

Indie work -

Research and compare the Pantheon and the Duomo, the Cathedral of Florence.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Homer called the Aegean the "wine dark sea"

Once called the Archipelago Sea, says Wikipedia, because there are so many islands, the Aegean has been its name since before the time of the blind poet, Homer.

Notable islands in the Aegean:
Santorini (Thera)

Courtyard of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence

The Medici family of Florence was powerful from the 1400's through the 1500's. From their money-making base in banking their influence flowed to trade, real estate, political power and to the power of the Roman Catholic Church.

Lorenzo Medici, il magnifico, was one of the stars of the dynasty. He hired artists such as Michelangelo and Botticelli to create sculpture, paintings and to decorate his palace and chapel. He had a positive impact on Western society through the art he commissioned.

The commentary on this place includes the notation that "The Palazzo Medici-Riccardi was built as a palace for Cosimo de' Medici and his successor Lorenzo de' Medici and was also home to young Catherine de' Medici. Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici Cosimo's father wanted a palace that was worthy of his family's power but not extravagant enough to make his enemies jealous."

Monday, April 21, 2008

The value in geography class is not in the facts

Facts can always be referenced via, wikipedia, World Book, the site and many other sources.

The value in social studies class is in the patterns developed -
- punctuality.
- manners.
- locution / clarity in wording your questions and answers.
- beginning work each day without having to be told what to do.
- having the tools for the job on a consistent basis - the atlas, notebook, pens, colors, scissors, chewing gum (just kidding).
- knowing what can be found in the atlas, the textbook, the encyclopedia, thesaurus, etc.
- questioning.
- listening.
- spacing and appropriately annotating and illustrating your notes.
- mnemonics and other small learning aids.
- understanding the value of practice and repetition.
- having what author Ernest Hemingway called a "built in, shock proof crap detector." Also known as a sense of evaluation.
- sense of humor that fits the situation.
- understanding that school is a game. Play the game with a sharp sense of the rules and you can win without too much strain.
- jazz your projects with a snappy title.
- open your writing with colorful description, or a quote. Avoid boring your teacher or your classmates.
- don't study one topic when you can bring in a second topic and compare the two (fencing? Let's compare fencing to pottery, OK?).
- "according to ...": document your writing and your pronouncements with the phrase "according to the NY Times...".
- use quotes ("Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," is not what I'm talking about. Or is it?).
- be specific (today the price of a bbl of crude hit $116, said NPR).
- offer an example (such as the role of Niha Jain's special programs for students in winning admission to Yale).
- look for connections between topics, whether they are conflicts (compare the US occupation of Iraq to our role in the Vietnam conflict) or resources (compare Thomas Edison to Page & Brin, the fellows who founded Google).
- use varied media: video, powerpoint with voice-over, paper sculpture, the uoija board.
- use color in all study-related work.
- look it up - as we do in class as I quickly reference wikipedia on topics of our discussion.
- keep a record of all your work and as many scores as possible.
- find a middle ground between *sucking up to your teachers* and making a good use of the aid that is available from teachers.
- use your classmates' skills and generosity appropriately.
- don't be shy about asking for help when you are *not getting it.*
- ask questions of your classmates (when class allows such activity), whether formal ("Might I borrow thy eraser?") or informal (Great shoes. Where'd you get them?").
- compliment everyone ("You have the best smile!" or "Great shirt!" or "Your quiet intensity is so cool."). And follow it up with a question or two - about that other person.

In March, the president said, I see no recession. Today, he recognizes the economic slowdown that is affecting the nation

I see no recession.
Originally uploaded by waɪ.tiː
Recession: A significant decline in activity spread across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. Visible in
industrial production,
real income, and
wholesale-retail trade.

Map of Italy and Greece

greece map
Originally uploaded by mlpokorny
Please include in this map of the Classical world -

- Athens
- Crete
_ Sparta
- Olympia
- Mt Olympus
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Aegean Sea
- Mediterranean

As well as Italy.

Don't forget the soap relief sculpture due on Fri, Ap 25.
15 pts participation.

Terms for final version of the paper Pantheon

Originally uploaded by katie.hubicki
Pan / theon
This temple honored 7 Roman gods.
Completed project should include this terminology:

a) the Pantheon's facade, including portico, columns, pediment, rotunda and oculus.
2) the Patheon's interior, including much more color, arches and alcoves,
and coffered rectangular ceiling panels (which once probably contained medallions called rosettes).
3) Also include the Pax Romana ("Roman peace," a period of stability and prosperity enabled by the control of the Roman armies and government around the Mediterranean). It was a period that lasted from maybe 50 BC to 125 AD.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fri, Ap 25: Relief sculpture in soap in geography class / photo Ivy Assiter

A Bas-relief (pronounced [baʁəljɛf], French for "low relief", derived from the Italian basso rilievo) or low relief is a sculpture which is not free-standing or in the round, but has a background from which the main elements of the composition project, notes Wikipedia.

Bas relief has existed in all civilizations creating stone sculpture from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China, to classical, Middle Ages, and Renaissance periods in Europe.

The Elgin marbles (from the Parthenon of Athens, Greece) are a prime example of this form of art, and Stone Mountain is the world's largest bas-relief.

Geo students will create soap sculpture in bas relief Fri, Ap 25. Each student must bring their own bar of soap!

Next part of the Paper Pantheon project: the interior of the Roman temple

ghosts in the pantheon
Originally uploaded by phitar
Lamps provide a golden glow behind the columned niches inside the circular rotunda of the Pantheon. Otherwise, the light comes from the oculus at the peak of the dome.

- manual dexterity
- digital dexterity
- granite

- Concrete is a construction material composed of cement (commonly Portland cement) as well as other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate (generally a coarse aggregate such as gravel limestone or granite, plus a fine aggregate such as sand and water) and chemical admixtures. The word concrete comes from the Latin word "concretus", which means "to harden," says Wikipedia.

Concrete solidifies and hardens after mixing with water and placement due to a chemical process known as hydration.The water reacts with the cement, which bonds the other components together, eventually creating a stone-like material. The reactions are highly exothermic and care must be taken that the build-up in heat does not affect the integrity of the structure.

More concrete is used than any other man-made material in the world.

-terrazzo is a faux-marble flooring or countertopping material.
Terrazzo workers create walkways, floors, patios, and panels by exposing marble chips and other fine aggregates on the surface of finished concrete or epoxy-resin. Much of the preliminary work of terrazzo workers is similar to that of cement masons.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Paper Pantheon: a model of Rome's best extant building from the Empire

Pantheon - Roma
Originally uploaded by tex e kit
It is one of the world's most famous temples. Originally it honored 7 gods (pan: "across" / theos, "god").
Built around 100 AD.
Emperor Marcus Agrippa's name is on the pediment (triangle-shaped roof support above the columns). Probably rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian.
Columns of Egyptian granite.
Building's rotunda and dome made of brick and concrete. The thickness of the dome varies from 6.4 metres (21 ft) at the base of the dome to 1.2 metres (4 ft) around the oculus.
Only one window: the oculus ("eye"), a circular opening in the very top.
Interior has columns, niches for statues, magnificent stone and tile work.
The interior of the dome is patterned by simple, rectangular coffers (rectangles with inset panels). Once they were probably decorated with rosettes.
"As the sun moves, striking patterns of light illuminate the walls and floors of porphyry, granite and yellow marbles," says
Wikipedia says, "It is the best preserved of all Roman buildings, and perhaps the best preserved building of its age in the world. It has been in continuous use throughout its history."
And, "Since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Christian church."

It is known from Roman sources that their concrete is made up of a pasty hydrate of lime, with pozzolanic ash (Latin pulvis puteolanum) and lightweight pumice from a nearby volcano, and fist-sized pieces of rock. In this, it is very similar to modern concrete.[3] The high tensile strength appears to come from the way the concrete was applied in very small amounts and then was tamped down after every application to remove excess water and trapped air bubbles. This appears to have increased its strength enormously, says Wikipedia.

As the best-preserved example of an Ancient Roman monumental building, the Pantheon has been enormously influential in Western Architecture from at least the Renaissance on; starting with Brunelleschi's 42-meter dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, completed in 1436. The style of the Pantheon can be detected in many buildings of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; numerous city halls, universities and public libraries echo its portico-and-dome structure. Examples of notable buildings influenced by the Pantheon include: the Panthéon in Paris.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

terracotta amphorae, typical of the Greek and Roman era

terracotta transport amphorae
Originally uploaded by ggnyc
Large terracotta jars called amphorae were made throughout antiquity to carry liquids, principally wine and olive oil. Amphorae have a distinctive, practical shape: usually a narrow neck that could be sealed during transportation, two handles for ease of lifting and carrying, and a rounded or cylindrical body with a pointed base to allow them to be stacked in rows. Amphorae remained in use until the Middle Ages when they were replaced with skins and wooden casks.

Roman empire Quiz and map of 13 Mediterranean nations Thurs, Ap 17

Rare beauty in the mediterranean
Originally uploaded by Bēn
See material below, please.

Cleòpatra VII: a Greek Egyptian who spent much of her life in Rome

Cleòpatra VII
Originally uploaded by Sebastià Giralt
Cleopatra VII was mistress to 2 Roman emperors:

- Julius Caesar
- Mark Antony

She was a descendant of A;lexander the Great of Macedonia and Greece, not of the pharaohs.

Died of suicide about 80 AD.

The atrium of a villa in Pompeii

Pompeii Villa
Originally uploaded by Théroux
Roman villa terminology -

- brick / concrete
- walls of plaster: stucco
- atrium and impluvium (sent water to cistern / reservoir for future use).
- floors w mosaic tile.
- murals (wall paintings).
- plumbing!
- slaves.
- terra cotta roof tiles.
- garden surrounded by colonnade called a peristyle. Included a latticework, vine-covered arbor.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Notes from the Roman Empire

St. Peters - Rome
Originally uploaded by T.SC

- Roman arches / keystone
- Roman slaves: neighboring peoples such as the Greeks; functiuoned as labor, teachers, artisans, even shokeepers.
- con crete is a Roman development. rocks, water and ground limstone. They often laid concrete over a brick framework.
- insulae ("islands"): apartment buildings.
- Ostia, a port city near Rome (Ostia: "east")
- Thermae, or public baths.
- caldarium, tepidarium, frigidarium.
- calisthenics, news, library, lunch, massage, laundry, scrubdown, business center fot the affluent.
- Patricians: high-born or wealthy.
- Plebians - working class.

- scatology - archaeological scientists often date and explore historic finds by examining the excrement.

Monday, April 14, 2008

David Macaulay's book and film, Roman City

David Macaulay's underground city
Originally uploaded by G-star
Thurs quiz on
a) map of 13 nations once part of the Roman empire
b) web site notes on the Romans.

David Macaulay:
- illustrator; such books as Castle, Cathedral, Pyramid, The Way Things Work, Underground, etc.
- PBS movies such as Roman City.
- compare to William Joyce.

Pompeii, 79 AD: covered with poisonous gas, ash and lava from Vesuvius.
Herculaneum: neighboring town covered by volcanic mudslide.
Both excavated 1600 years later.

- Romulus & Remus: legend of the she-wolf and fratricide in the founding of Rome.

- Medi: middle. Terra: land. Med sea between 2 continents.

Roman empire: complete rim of the Med. 13 nations as per class notes. "From Spain to the Dead Sea."
Peak of Rome: 300 AD. Population of 1 million; noisy, congested, expensive.

Grid: logiccal city planning under the Romans.
The central Forum surrounded by
- temples
- basilica (law center)
- market
- amphitheaters & theaters.
- public baths.
- apartments.

Mosaic: art form developed during the Roman era.

Celts: ancient peoples of Northern Europe. Their priest class the Druids.
- torc (torque) an open-circle bracelet typical of their jewelry.

Roman Cities: forums, public baths, amphitheatres, roads

Amphitheatre in Jerash Roman city
Originally uploaded by Basirk
The Roman empire left the world an amazing legacy in engineering as well as in language and organization. The soldiers wet out to conquer and also went out to build. Much of what they built remains standing after two millenia.

In class this week instruction will come from a program by illustrator-filmmaker David Macaulay called Roman City.

Open notes quiz on Thurs will comprise the empire's Mediterranean outline as well notes on concrete (a Roman invention) and aqueducts.

One story of the Return of a Southern Sudanese Refugee

Quite a hopeful story of a return of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. This one returned to dig a water well.

The accompanying article points out that "Contaminated water is a major contributor to illness and shortened lives in southern Sudan, where an estimated 2.2 million died during the 21-year war, many from hunger and disease. Another 4 million were displaced, including 17,000 or more children who trudged to refugee camps in neighboring countries.

In 1995, Dut was among the first of 3,800 mostly orphaned Lost Boys resettled in the United States. He learned English, went to college and worked part-time as a church clerk in Rochester, N.Y."

Friday, April 11, 2008

Lacuna Coil: an Italian band that has made an impression on America

Originally uploaded by Cap'n Jo
Cristina Scabbia and the band Lacuna Coil are a kind of pop-metal group that I like. They are pretty melodic and thoughtful group, even if mostly beloved by the gothic metal crowd.

They're from Milan, Italy.

Notes on St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Wikipedia-based notes -
- One of the world's largest churches - seats some 60,000.
- Piazza San Pietro is the circular plaza.
- Egyptian obelisk is an anomaly - a pagan symbol.
- principal architect of dome was Michelangelo.
- near the River Tiber.
- Bernini-designed columns above the altar in *twist* shape.
- Colonnade surrounds piazza.
- Current Pope is Benedict XVI.
- Swiss Guards considered an army; have medieval uniforms.

Compare to . . .
- Great Mosque of Mecca
- Great Mosque of Djenne
- Great Pagoda of Xi'an
- Dome of the Rock mosque, Jerusalem
- Dalai Lama

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Indie credit for attending "echoBoom" at Centenary College; student tickets $5

Nate Wasson, Lorna Dopson
Originally uploaded by trudeau
A modern re-telling of the Antigone story, "echoBOOM" uses the tragedy of a high school shooting to excavate the many factors in today's society that feed the violence of terrorism. Controversial subject matter relevant to politics, religion, and justice ignite the echoing commentary on how we relate to our society through the media.

Brandy Austin directs Caitlin Parrish's script, which integrates the experiences of student-actors to create a personalized production. Nathan Wasson portrays Brody Greyson, "a boy born for poetry" and the shooter in the rampage, while Rachael Lee Magill takes on the role of Ash Greyson, who wants her brother to be remembered as one of the lives lost in the tragedy rather than as a terrorist. Even the people closest to her — her sister Callie (Joey Wooden) and her boyfriend Damian Walter (Scott Gibbs) — distance themselves from her cause as Damian's politician father, Edward Walter (Stephen Scarlato), capitalizes on the tragedy.

The media, constantly in pursuit of someone to blame, is fed by a student photographer, Fiona (Rachel Havird). The Chorus (Jacob Bates, Cameron Bradford, Lorna Dopson, David Fitzgibbons, Kari Kennon, and Carolyn Lucas) embodies the dead students, media, and the echoBOOM generation that begs questions beyond faith, questions that even the second coming of Jesus Christ (Destin Bass) cannot answer.

The Marjorie Lyons Playhouse cautions audiences to consider the controversial subject matter, adult language, and violence in this production; this material is not appropriate for children. The cast and crew take seriously the show's content and hope to provide a forum for community dialogue following each performance.

"echoBOOM" opens April 10 at 8pm and runs April 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. as well as April 13 at 2 p.m. Contact the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse Box Office at 318-869-5242 for ticket information.
$10 adults, $5 students.

Hazel nuts and cocoa equal one of the world's favorite spreads: Nutella?

Born in 1946 when Italians were bankrupt from the devastation of WWII, Nutella was originally a spread meant to substitute for chocolate.

For decades it has been a Euro treat highly appreciated in France, Germany and many nations.

Try some!

The Ferrero family still makes it outside of Turin, Italy.

The Shroud of Turin, the world's most mysterious relic

The Shroud of Turin is a centuries old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man. A man that millions believe to be Jesus of Nazareth. Is it really the cloth that wrapped his crucified body, or is it simply a medieval forgery, a hoax perpetrated by some clever artist? Modern science has completed hundreds of thousands of hours of detailed study and intense research on the Shroud. It is, in fact, the single most studied artifact in human history, and we know more about it today than we ever have before, says

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Thursday: hand-sketched map quiz and open-notes test on material at MondoTrudeau

Originally uploaded by ladylucas94
Map of Italy quiz:
- 12 items
- must include 2 bordering nations, such as France and Switzerland.
- must include Tunisia and Sicily.

Open notes:
Much of this material we have not discussed in class but you must know the basics, regardless. Such as whether the region of Tuscany is in the north or south of L'Italy.

You may try this at home and amaze your family

Combining some of the best ingredients from the Italian table:

Roma tomatoes (now you know why they're called Roma).
Mozzarella cheese, or provolone, which is somewhat smokier in flavor.
Basil (a package of fresh basil leaves males a killer addition to sandwiches, etc)
Olive oil (expensive but worth every drop, imho).
Balsamic Vinegar (buy a bottle of this and you'll find many times to use it, such as an appetizer of olive oil and balsamic vinegar into which you dip bread or crackers).

Reminders for students in day two of reports on L'Italia

The body of your report should be rendered as 8 to 10 bulleted items. That means you must edit, or choose the best material, in these items.
Favor the factual material, of course, over generalities and opinion.

Fonting? Arial type face, 12 pt, is what I prefer.

For speed in my scoring: Titling at the top, documentation at the bottom. You may add documentation internally, as well.

This is all cut-and-paste work and the idea is to quickly finish the two reports and spend time reading about things Italian.

Topics for those looking for something out of the ordinary?
- Dr Maria Montessori, physician and educator.
- Leonardo Fibonacci, the greatest mathematician of the Middle Ages.
- Nicolo Macchiavelli, advisor to political leaders.
- Enrico fermi, physicist who helped develop nuclear reactors, quantum physics and more.
- Guglielmo Marconi, pioneer in radio and wireless technology.
- Miuccia Prada, brainy fashion designer.

Indie Work -
- Got an outstanding paper on a wild combination: comparing the Lost Boys of Sudan to Lawrence of Arabia. Congrats to Jay Meyers.

- Research and compare the vivid regions of Tuscany and Sicily.

- The Roman Catholic church and the Sicilian mafia.

- Parmesan cheese and Modena's balsamic vinegar.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Chefs in Italian restaurants increasingly from India and the continent of Africa

rigatoni alla carbonara
Originally uploaded by motocchio
ROME — Last month, Gambero Rosso, the prestigious reviewer of restaurants and wine, sought out Rome’s best carbonara, says the NY Times. Carbonara is a dish of pasta, eggs, pecorino cheese and guanciale (cured pig cheek; for the aficionados, pancetta is not done) that defines tradition here.

Chef Nabil Haj-Hassan shows his award-winning carbonara pasta in the kitchen of the Roscioli Restaurant in Rome.

In second place was L’Arcangelo, a restaurant with a head chef from India. The winner: Antico Forno Roscioli, a bakery and innovative restaurant whose chef, Nabil Hadj Hassen, arrived from Tunisia at 17 and washed dishes for a year and a half before he cooked his first pot of pasta.

“To cook is a passion,” said Mr. Hassen, now 43, who went on to train with some of Italy’s top chefs. “Food is a beautiful thing.”

Twelve years ago, Abu Markhyyeh, a young Jordanian, finished an apprenticeship with a Neapolitan pizza maker, borrowed money from his Italian mother-in-law, then opened his own pizzeria in Milan, Da Willy, after his nickname here.

He did well, in part because he made the pizzas bigger but kept the prices low. Now Mr. Markhyyeh, 41, presides over an untraditional pizza empire. He has 11 restaurants in Milan, 4 in Jordan, 2 in Cyprus and franchises in Dubai, Beirut, Sharm el Sheik in Egypt and now in Shanghai.

Vitruvian Man or the Canon of Man, Leonardo da Vinci, about 1500

Vitruvian Man
Originally uploaded by absoluteSteven

Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (1492). Pen and ink with wash over metalpoint on paper, 344 × 245 mm, acc to wikipedia.

The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing with accompanying notes created by Leonardo da Vinci around the year 1492 as recorded in one of his journals. It depicts a nude male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man. It is stored in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, Italy, but is only displayed on special occasions.[1][2]

This image exemplifies the blend of art and science during the Renaissance and provides the perfect example of Leonardo's keen interest in proportion. In addition, this picture represents a cornerstone of Leonardo's attempts to relate man to nature.

Reports on L'Italia during Tues & Wed sessions in B3 computer lab

CMHS portraits
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Students in the computer lab Tues and Wed will pursue two brief digital projects that meet this description -

- Single-page reports that will comprise -
- One illustration (or up to 3) and explanatory note.
- Map of Italy and / or the region of Italy germane to your topic.
- Eight to ten bulleted information items.
- Two sources (or more) listed at bottom of page.
- Snappy title and explantory subtitle at top of page.
- Student name in upper right corner.
- Credit of up to 8 pts per report.
- Deadline Friday.

Map quiz and open-notes quiz on Thursday!

Indie work -

Research and compare an African nation and a Mediterranean European nation.

L'Italia, an overview

Tuscany is arguably Italy's best-known region. The history and beauty of the hilly farmland is legendary. Interestingly, Toyota has named its minivan the Sienna, for a Tuscan town, and Porsche has long had a model called the Carrera, another city of Tuscany. Also in the region: Pisa and Firenze.

My overview of what's important in L'italia:

In the heart of Rome is the temple called the Pantheon, still functioning after some 2000 years.

Ciao! means "hello!" or "bye!" in Italian slang.

From Chianti, a vino of Northern Italy, to chiaroscuro, an artist's term which refers to portrayal through light and shadow, the Italians have an enormous impact on the refined life.

On the other hand there's the Sicilian mafia, the cosa nostra.

The map
* Roma and, within it, the Vatican City. The Vatican is one of the tiniest nations and home to il Pape.

* Napoli / Naples / Neapolis (Gk) Neapolitan ice cream! Home of pizza!
* On the Bay of Naples is the Isle of Capri (goats), one of the most ancient resorts. One of Rome's emperors capriciously used Capri as his capital. *
* Looming above Naples bay is Mt. Vesuvius and nearby is the ancient resort called Pompeii.

* Florence / Firenze / "flower" is the center of the region called Tuscany. The Ponte Vecchio is a bridge over the River Arno which features shops built into the structure. "Florentine" indicates high quality in jewelry, in cooking, in crafts.

* The River Arno flows to the sea through Pisa, famous for its bell tower.

* Venetia / Venizia / Venice, is called the "Queen of the Adriatic." Is this where Venetian blinds originated?

* Milano is a center of the fashion industry and city of fine foods and complex recipes. That's why Pepperidge Farms named their light but fine and imperially slim cookie the Milano.

Why study Italy?

* Natural beauty: the Appenino range, the sea, the fertile fields of the Po River valley.
* History: the eras of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance were periods of extraordinary creativity.
* Cuccina, or cooking. From Fettucine Alfredo to Cannoli.
* Foods such as sausages (salami), olive oil and cheeses (ricotta, parmesan, provolone, mozzarella).
* Textiles and fashionable clothing, shoes and bags: Armani, Gucci, Dolce & Gabana, Prada, Versace, etc.
* Manufactured goods such as the Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lancia and Fiat.
* Art by Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello and numerous others.
* Vatican City: the tiny nation that is the center of power of the Roman Catholic church.
* The origins of musical art such as opera, ballet and instrument making. See the pianoforte and violincello.
Classroom music ...
"Carmina Burana:" secular Medieval tunes in an opera-like choral production (opera means a "work").

Tuscany: a region known for its history, landscapes, vineyards, flowers, fine cooking, art and historic towns such as Pisa, Siena and Lucca. Florence is Tuscany's capital.

Sienna, the orangish-red or brownish-yellow color, takes its name from the soil in Tuscany. See Terra di Siena and Terra Cotta ("baked earth") clay. Remember Roman tiles made of terra cotta?

What American region compares to Tuscany?
Napa Valley, California, above San Francisco bay. It is known for vineyards (Gallo, Almaden), fine cooking and hilly beauty.

Mortar & pestle - used by apothecary or chef to grind and blend herbs or medicines. Gives its name to Sauce Pesto.

Pesto sauce includes basil, parmesan cheese, olive oil, pine nuts (pignoli)and garlic. Pesto is herbally greenish and sweet. It is traditionally eaten over pasta.

Pasta: dough.
Did pasta come to Italy from Germany or China? Marco Polo was the likely importer of a recipe for the food, made simply of wheat (one type being semolina) and water.

Here are selected examples:
canelloni: stuffed tube.
capelletti: "little hats;" stuffed.
farfallette: ribbon/bow-shaped.
fettucine: long egg noodles.
lasagna: widest of the flat noodles.
linguini: "little tongues;" narrow.
macaroni: in tubes.
pastina: disks of pasta.
ravioli: filled squares.
rigatoni: ribbed, tubular.
tortellini: ring-shaped and filled.
vermicelli: "little worms;" thin.
Sicilian pastry: cannoli. Like ice cream in a tube.
Balsamic vinegar: tart, sweet, dark vinegar, usually combined with olive oil. Used in salads and over pasta.
Calamari: fried baby squid.

Italy in WWII
Benito Mussolini was the dictator of Italy who became a partner - creating the Axis powers - to Adolph Hitler. Both espoused Fascism:
a) totalitarian government b) militarism c) anti-Communist d) anti-intellectual. "Fascism" comes from the term for the bundle of rods used as a symbol of power by the Romans.
Italy was liberated in 1944 by the Allies: US, GB, France, Canada, Australia.

pianoforte "soft / loud"
* developed about 1700 by Bartolomeo Cristofori of Cremona, Italy.
* harpsichord plucks strings and has only one volume; piano hammers strings and can play loudly or softly.

* Antonio Stradivari and the Guarneri family are the luthiers who develop the 4-string, advanced violin about 1700.

Most notable historic composers:
Giuseppi Verdi
Antonio Corelli
Giacomo Puccini
Antonio Vivaldi
Nicolo Paganini
Harmony Illus. Encyc. of Classical Music

According to Italian language student Chelsea Norden:
bella donna, "beautiful woman"
bell'uomo, "handsome man"
casa, "house"
Salve! "hello"
Buon giornio! "good day!"
Io amore tu, "I love you."
Scusi! "Excuse me!"
Prego, "please"

"Pinocchio," classic folk tale

Espresso & cappucino
The Italians make il caffe' by forcing steam through the grounds; it is called espresso. Drunk in a tiny cup called a demi-tasse, it is a strong brew. When you make a "cap" of whipped cream and grated chocolate to put atop the espresso it becomes cappucino.
Latte refers to the added milk. Frappe' means frozen or iced. Dip a hard biscuit, called biscotti, into it.

Can you name the Western European nations that were part of the Roman Empire? Espana, Gaul & Briton.
Our goal is to know the names of all the nations of the empire that were on the Mediterranean rim.

More basic Italian ...
Tu sei cortese! "You are so nice/courteous!"
Grazie! "Thank you!"
Dove 'e il bagno? "Where is the bathroom?"

Catherine d Medici, of the powerful family of Florence (think Rockefellers), married Henri II of France about 1500. She traveled to France with her Florentine cooks - with marvelous recipes - and the controversial custom of using a fork (furca).

In ancient times which class of people would've used all 5 fingers in eating? Which class ate with 3 fingers?

In what Roman facility would we see the caldarium, tepidarium and frigidarium? It was a Thermae, or public bathhouse.
The pools above were "hot," "tepid," or "lukewarm," and "cold." What could you do in a bathhouse besides wash and relax in the pools?
Exercise, hear the news, get a snack, have a massage and leave your laundry.

A Roman feast, according to Petronius and the World Atlas of Food: asparagus, truffles, eggs, olives, sausages, oysters and lobsters, for openers. Main dishes were stuffed geese and chickens and pigs, goose-liver pate' and stewed flamingo's tongues and peacock's brains.

Who is David Macaulay? A contemporary
illustrator/author responsible for books such as Cathedral (how they were built), Castle and the popular How Things Work.
This week we're watching a video called "Roman City," based on his book City. It's about the engineering (bridges, aqueducts, etc.), planning (city grid first) and functions (forum, bathhouses, etc.) of a Roman urbis.

The Roman Empire lay upon 3 continents. Which ones?

Romulus & Remus: who were they?

What plastic building material was developed by the Romans?

Intersection of the temples, market and government buildings? Place to disseminate news and opinion? The Forum.

Roman villa
A roof opening that allowed the sun and rain to enter the interior of the house? The atrium. The pool in the atrium was the impluvium.
The garden and vineyard flourished under the peristyle, or arbor.
Cave canem: Latin, "Beware the dog."
Cave emtor: "Let the buyer beware."

Roman apartment buildings: Insulae ("islands"). Multi-story buildings of concrete.

L'Italia: research projects to be produced in B3 on Tues and Wed

Quiet, Peaceful Siena
Originally uploaded by say.fromage
Students in the computer lab Tues and Wed will pursue two brief digital projects that meet this description -

- Single-page reports that will comprise -
- One illustration (or up to 3) and explanatory note.
- Eight to ten bulleted information items.
- Two sources (or more) listed at bottom of page.
- Snappy title and explantory subtitle at top of page.
- Student name in upper right corner.
- Credit of up to 8 pts per report.
- Deadline Friday.

Map quiz and open-notes quiz on Thursday!

Indie work -

Research and compare an African nation and a Mediterranean European nation.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Quiz on Thurs: map and notes on L'Italia

Mediterranean Salad
Originally uploaded by MissElaine~eous
Mediterranean Europe includes Italy and all the nations once a part of the Roman Empire.

1. Make a map of the Roman Empire at its peak. Include all the nations on the coast of the Med.

2. One of the gifts of Italy and the Mediterranean world is healthy menus:
olive oil, citrus fruits, vegetables, vino, garlic, etc. Medical research is very positive about the diet Med.

3. Cultural gifts from Italy in regards music are overwhelmingly numerous. Let's start with -
- Bartolomeo Cristofori, developer of the pianoforte (about 1700).
- Antonio Stradivari - most famous maker of high-quality violins, about 1700.
- Terminology of music, such as legato, glissando, piano, forte, fortissimo, etc.

A quiz based on a review of the textbook, pp. 332 - 346.
All things Italian:

1. Two mountain ranges: __, __ .
2. Are Italians seismic? Explain.
3. Climate type?
4. Deforestation?
5. 58 million: enough?
6. Differences between N and S?
7. An example of creativity in Italian products?
8. Did the Christian religion spread before, during or after the Roman Empire?
9. Italy finally became a nation about the year __.
a) 1661 b) 1761 c) 1861
10. In which alliance was Italy in WWI? In WWII?
11. What is the great, rich river valley of Italy?
12. Because of this river’s fertility and profitability, what enterprises developed there?
13. What is subsidence? Name the famous city threatened by subsidence.
14. Name the greatest of the Italian cities in the medieval period. This city was a trading center for goods from the Middle East.
15. What is the Forum?
16. Two most famous buildings in the Vatican City?
17. Which city is associated with the art created during the Renaissance?
18. Why is it not a surprise that the textbook calls Naples one of the poorest cities in Europe?

Answers in another post.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Comparing 2 essays for improvement in your writing

Let's take a look at 2 essays and how to make the most of the guidelines -

The prompt: * Why does Santino say, "If I were a bird I would fly back to Africa to the place where refugees going to the US are having orientation and say - 'Lies; it's all lies.'"


These boys landed in a US that they thought would be warm and welcoming. There were happy moments, yes, as they became accustomed to their new environment. But there were so many conflicts - many of them minor, to be sure - that they grew frustrated. Even though they knew where they were on a map, in their minds they were largely and often lost.

A view of the documentary “Lost Boys of Sudan”

When Sudanese refugees Peter and Santino arrived in Houston, Tx, to begin a new phase of their life, they were optimistic. Yet in the documentary "Lost Boys of Sudan" we watch them grow frustrated with language (though they know some English before they arrived), work ($7 an hour does not equal a decent life) and socialization (“I’m so black; I’m odd,” says Santino) issues.

Finally, Santino says, “If I could go back to orientation in Sudan - like a bird - I would tell the refugees ‘They’re telling you lies.’” But he is tough enough to overcome his disappointments and take up a class in electrical work as he toils at a basic factory job in his new land.

The first one sounds OK for a moment - then you realize it's full of generalities. The second essay is full of detail and examples.

One of the world's most ancient bridges: Ponte Vecchio, Firenze

Map #2 of L'Italia -

- The neighbors:

- Venezia: palazzo (palaces)
- Bologna: Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati factories are nearby.
Also, one of Europe's oldest universities.
- Firenze: Ponte Vecchio (bridge, old)
- Vatican City: il Pape ("father")
- Roma
- Napoli: home of pizza.
- Sicily: Mt Etna, volcanic peak.
- Tunisia: Arabic, Muslim-dominated culture.

More engineering achievements:
autos - Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati
cycles - Ducati, Benelli, Moto Guzzi
bicycles: Camponoglo
scooters - Vespa ("wasp")

Gross streotypes -
The North: industry, wealth, business energy.
The South: poverty, fun, corruption.

casino: "little house," like a summer house or a gambling house.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Land of espresso, pasta, vino, fine wollen suits and al fresco dining: L'Italia

Italy Map
Originally uploaded by susank2000
First map:

a) Milano
b) Venezia
c) Bologna
d) Firenze
e) Roma
f) Vesuvio and Pompeii
g) Napoli
h) Palermo

Recommended: pasta and sauce pesto (you can make it in a food processor or purchase it at the store.

Where, might I ask, do we get the name of the month of April?

Originally uploaded by trudeau
April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, and one of four months with a length of 30 days, says Wikipedia. April was originally the second month of the Roman calendar, before January and February were added by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BC.

The derivation of the name (Latin Aprilis) is uncertain. The traditional etymology from the Latin aperire, "to open," in allusion to its being the season when trees and flowers begin to "open," is supported by comparison with the modern Greek use of ἁνοιξις (opening) for spring. Since most of the Roman months were named in honor of divinities, and as April was sacred to Venus, the Festum Veneris et Fortunae Virilis being held on the first day, it has been suggested that Aprilis was originally her month Aphrilis, from her Greek name Aphrodite (Aphros), or from the Etruscan name Apru. Jacob Grimm suggests the name of a hypothetical god or hero, Aper or Aprus.[1]

The Anglo-Saxons called April Oster-monath or Eostur-monath, the period sacred to Eostre or Ostara, the pagan Saxon goddess of spring, from whose name is derived the modern Easter.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Indie work / comparison essay guidelines

The rubric (required elements) that will guide essay writing in geo class includes:
1. Colorful opening. There are 3 recommended ways to create an interest-getting opening: a) use a quote b) ask a question c) write with vivid description.
2. Blend the topics continually in the paper. Do not write a block of material about one topic and then write a separate block about the other topic. Integrate the topics as you offer insight and evidence.
3) Use comparison terms:
* different from,
* the same,
* Both,
* similar to,
* Neither, ... nor,
* like X is (adjective),
* ... than X is (adverb) than.
* both, ...
* either...or
* likewise
* similarly
* although,
* but neither...
* nor
* however
* on the other hand
4. Specific examples must be used to support generalities. An example: generality - The Incredibles was an awesome movie. specific - The Incredibles appealed to me because the characters (especially the mom and the teen sister) were believeable. They sounded like people I know.
5. Grammar counts.
6. Spelling, too. When in doubt, see a dictionary or ask me.
7. Punctuation is paramount. Again, ask me or your Grammar Check software.
8. Include documentation via "according to ...". This means include your source - from World Book to your little brother - in the body of your writing. Usually you place it at the end of the first or second sentence, says Grammar For Today.
9. Write a snappy title. Ways to make a title fun are to tweak a song or movie title or use alliteration. Also, write an explanatory subtitle. Example: "Dinkas are Incredibles;" "Many refugees from the Sudanese Dinka tribe have moved from poverty in east Africa to comfort in the US."
10. Finally, please don't put quotation marks around your title - unless you are quoting someone.

Sudan and the refugees of the long and enormously bloody civil war

Originally uploaded by Vit Hassan
Questions re. The Lost Boys of Sudan -

* Why did the filmmakers include several scenes that referenced life in Kansas as influenced by the church?
* What is the relationship between refugees living in the US and their relatives in Africa?
* What was the chief bureaucratic roadblock to the refugees enrolling in school?
* Why does Santino say, "If I were a bird I would fly back to Africa to the place where refugees going to the US are having orientation and say - 'Lies; it's all lies.'"
* Why did the filmmakers include Sudanese remarks about the frictions between the refugees and Black Americans?
* How would you describe the differences between Peter, who goes to
Kansas, and Santino, who remains in Houston?
* What general ideas have you derived about immigrants and their life in America?
* What is a documentary film? Describe two moments in Lost Boys which you felt were well-chosen for their * ring of truth.* Were there any scenes which felt like they were fake or forced?

Indie Work -
Compare - using research, not from the cuff - the movies Lost Boys of Sudan with another movie we've seen this year. Among them: Ghandi, Lawrence of Arabia and Not One Less.

Downtown Houston: glamor and immigrants

Downtown Houston Skyline
Originally uploaded by crossmage
Named for Gen. Sam Houston during the brief Republic of Texas - which followed secession from Mexico. 1836.

2.1 million / 600 sq. miles area / US 4th largest city in pop.
Hoston-Sugar Land-Baytown metro area: 5.6 million

- Port of Houston / Houston Ship CHannel - from Galveston Island
- Tex Medical Center (world's largest) / MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Johnson Space Center (NASA)
- Petroleum / energy center
- multicultural population
- museum / theater district
- Rice U.
- U of Houston
- Texas Southern U
- St Thomas U

- Galleria
- China Town
-Vietnam Town
- architecture
- downtown tunnels connect big buildings

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Trek of the Sudanese Refugees

One-page graphic summary of the journey of the Sudanese boys, completed in class Ap 1 -

- 3 pts
- your smart title.
- based on maps of Sudan and Houston.
- 10 key words in brief essay or bulleted notes.
- color
- show locations in their background.

Muslim fundamentalist
Christian Africans
tribal religions
Kakuma Camp

Peter Duit
Santino Chuor

Difference between conflicts in Darfur and Dinka-Nile region.
Dif between Baobab and Acacia trees.

Peter can speak Swahili, Arabic, Dinka and English.

White Nile (Mountain Nile) plus the Blue Nile eqauls what?
City of their confluence?

Issues -
No help from Americans in getting more education. Plenty of help regarding furniture.
Crime in Houston is daunting.
No appropriate mates.

Solutions -
Peter gets birth certificate that says he is 17. He enrolls in a good high school in Kansas.