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joe AREVALO
Lives in Frankfurt am Main, DE-HE
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MALTA
This photo shows Birgu, one of the three cities opposite Valletta. This photo was published as cover art for the June 2014 issue of Lufthansa.

http://lifeasahuman.com/2014/photography/malta-the-historical-island/
Fritz Grimm,  A German photographer based in Malta http://fritz.photography/
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The zebra crossing on St Anne Street in Floriana was given a new image yesterday. It was painted with the rainbow colours to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people. The initiative was taken by the Civil Liberties Ministry to mark the first anniversary of the Civil...
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Further vs Farther
While both words have to do with measuring, what they measure is different.

#englishsoup
Last updated 08 March 2015 Farther refers to length or distance. It is the comparative form of the word far when referring to distance. The clue is the stem far. This obviously relates to physical distance. Further me...
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Lest we forget.

#retrospect  
Still remember the good ol’ days with joysticks and bulky monitors? 1TB hard disks may now be a common sight, but did you know that people used to be excited over ads promoting 10MB hard disks? Modems were the size of radios, the Macintosh computer looked like a typewriter, and ... Continue reading »
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Spaceship Earth
The spaceship metaphor and this video help me understand my (in)significance in the universe. 
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Sehr schön gemacht super 
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A Little Bit of Pink Pip and Pop

I saw a dream like this
(in collaboration with Aurelia Carbone & Alex Bishop-Thorpe)
Arte Magre - from the opaque
Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide 2013

http://somethingaboutmagazine.com/a/little-bit-pink-pip-pop-%E2%98%BC/
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MALTA
Figolli (Marzipan-Filled Easter Pastries)
Figolli are cookies filled with almond paste "intrita" or sometimes, date paste placed  between two similar shapes of pastry and and cut out to represent symbolic figures. They are traditionally prepared for Easter and decorated with sugar icing  ("ġelu") or chocolate and often, an Easter egg is put on top of each figolli. They are rather large cookies! 

Since the Maltese language has been strongly influenced by Latin and Italian, it's possible that the word figolla (plural, figolli) is a worn-down version of the word figura, a form, shape, or image. Whatever the case, around Easter time in Malta, figolli are in every baker's window, and are also sold in shops and by various organizations to benefit charities.

Traditionally they were a post-Lenten treat intended mostly for children. The oldest shapes were of men and women (something like gingerbread men and women), and also fish and baskets -- possibly a reference to ancient symbols of fertility. But later other shapes started turning up -- ducks and bunnies, cars and butterflies. Whatever the shape, figolli are brightly decorated in icing and chocolate, and the biggest ones often incorporate a whole Easter egg (real or chocolate) wrapped in foil or paper.

Photos: Josette Camilleri
h/t 
http://www.europeancuisines.com/Malta-Maltese-Figolla-Figolli-Marzipan-Filled-Easter-Pastries
http://sweetartichoke.com/2011/04/21/figolli-maltese-cookies-for-easter-biscuits-maltais-de-paques/
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Il-Warda tal-Irjieh bil-Malti

It-Tramuntana - north
Il-Nofsinhar - south
Il-lvant - east
Il-Punent - west
Il-Majjistral - north west
Il-Lbiċ - south east
Il-Grigal - north east
Ix-Xlokk - south west

Mid points are referred to by joining the two points with some alterations

South south east - Il-Nofsinhar ll-Lbiċ
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Someday in the comfort of your home, you'll be able to shop and bank electronically, read instantly... 

#retrospect
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The truth behind the phrase "40 Acres and a Mule". An true episode in American history, which followed immediately after the Civil War and the"freed" 

The Truth Behind ’40 Acres and a Mule’
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. | Originally posted on The Root
We’ve all heard the story of the “40 acres and a mule” promise to former slaves. It’s a staple of black history lessons, and it’s the name of Spike Lee’s film company. The promise was the first systematic attempt to provide a form of reparations to newly freed slaves, and it was astonishingly radical for its time, proto-socialist in its implications. In fact, such a policy would be radical in any country today: the federal government’s massive confiscation of private property — some 400,000 acres — formerly owned by Confederate land owners, and its methodical redistribution to former black slaves. What most of us haven’t heard is that the idea really was generated by black leaders themselves.

It is difficult to stress adequately how revolutionary this idea was: As the historian Eric Foner puts it in his book, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, “Here in coastal South Carolina and Georgia, the prospect beckoned of a transformation of Southern society more radical even than the end of slavery.” Try to imagine how profoundly different the history of race relations in the United States would have been had this policy been implemented and enforced; had the former slaves actually had access to the ownership of land, of property; if they had had a chance to be self-sufficient economically, to build, accrue and pass on wealth. After all, one of the principal promises of America was the possibility of average people being able to own land, and all that such ownership entailed. As we know all too well, this promise was not to be realized for the overwhelming majority of the nation’s former slaves, who numbered about 3.9 million.

What Exactly Was Promised?

General William Tecumseh Sherman in May 1865. Portrait by Mathew Brady.
We have been taught in school that the source of the policy of “40 acres and a mule” was Union General William T. Sherman’s Special Field Order No. 15, issued on Jan. 16, 1865. (That account is half-right: Sherman prescribed the 40 acres in that Order, but not the mule. The mule would come later.) But what many accounts leave out is that this idea for massive land redistribution actually was the result of a discussion that Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton held four days before Sherman issued the Order, with 20 leaders of the black community in Savannah, Ga., where Sherman was headquartered following his famous March to the Sea. The meeting was unprecedented in American history.

Today, we commonly use the phrase “40 acres and a mule,” but few of us have read the Order itself. Three of its parts are relevant here. Section one bears repeating in full: “The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes [sic] now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States.”

Section two specifies that these new communities, moreover, would be governed entirely by black people themselves: ” … on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves … By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro [sic] is free and must be dealt with as such.”

Finally, section three specifies the allocation of land: ” … each family shall have a plot of not more than (40) acres of tillable ground, and when it borders on some water channel, with not more than 800 feet water front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection, until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title.”

With this Order, 400,000 acres of land — “a strip of coastline stretching from Charleston, South Carolina, to the St. John’s River in Florida, including Georgia’s Sea Islands and the mainland thirty miles in from the coast,” as Barton Myers reports — would be redistributed to the newly freed slaves. The extent of this Order and its larger implications are mind-boggling, actually.

Who Came Up With the Idea?

Here’s how this radical proposal — which must have completely blown the minds of the rebel Confederates — actually came about. The abolitionists Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens and other Radical Republicans had been actively advocating land redistribution “to break the back of Southern slaveholders’ power,” as Myers observed. But Sherman’s plan only took shape after the meeting that he and Stanton held with those black ministers, at 8:00 p.m., Jan. 12, on the second floor of Charles Green’s mansion on Savannah’s Macon Street. In its broadest strokes, “40 acres and a mule” was their idea.

Stanton, aware of the great historical significance of the meeting, presented Henry Ward Beecher (Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous brother) a verbatim transcript of the discussion, which Beecher read to his congregation at New York’s Plymouth Church and which the New York Daily Tribune printed in full in its Feb. 13, 1865, edition. Stanton told Beecher that “for the first time in the history of this nation, the representatives of the government had gone to these poor debased people to ask them what they wanted for themselves.” Stanton had suggested to Sherman that they gather “the leaders of the local Negro community” and ask them something no one else had apparently thought to ask: “What do you want for your own people” following the war? And what they wanted astonishes us even today.

Who were these 20 thoughtful leaders who exhibited such foresight? They were all ministers, mostly Baptist and Methodist. Most curious of all to me is that 11 of the 20 had been born free in slave states, of which 10 had lived as free men in the Confederacy during the course of the Civil War. (The other one, a man named James Lynch, was born free in Maryland, a slave state, and had only moved to the South two years before.) The other nine ministers had been slaves in the South who became “contraband,” and hence free, only because of the Emancipation Proclamation, when Union forces liberated them.

Their chosen leader and spokesman was a Baptist minister named Garrison Frazier, aged 67, who had been born in Granville, N.C., and was a slave until 1857, “when he purchased freedom for himself and wife for $1000 in gold and silver,” as the New York Daily Tribune reported. Rev. Frazier had been “in the ministry for thirty-five years,” and it was he who bore the responsibility of answering the 12 questions that Sherman and Stanton put to the group. The stakes for the future of the Negro people were high.

And Frazier and his brothers did not disappoint. What did they tell Sherman and Stanton that the Negro most wanted? Land! “The way we can best take care of ourselves,” Rev. Frazier began his answer to the crucial third question, “is to have land, and turn it and till it by our own labor … and we can soon maintain ourselves and have something to spare … We want to be placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our own.” And when asked next where the freed slaves “would rather live — whether scattered among the whites or in colonies by themselves,” without missing a beat, Brother Frazier (as the transcript calls him) replied that “I would prefer to live by ourselves, for there is a prejudice against us in the South that will take years to get over … ” When polled individually around the table, all but one — James Lynch, 26, the man who had moved south from Baltimore — said that they agreed with Frazier. Four days later, Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, after President Lincoln approved it.

What Became of the Land That Was Promised?

The response to the Order was immediate. When the transcript of the meeting was reprinted in the black publication Christian Recorder, an editorial note intoned that “From this it will be seen that the colored people down South are not so dumb as many suppose them to be,” reflecting North-South, slave-free black class tensions that continued well into the modern civil rights movement. The effect throughout the South was electric: As Eric Foner explains, “the freedmen hastened to take advantage of the Order.” Baptist minister Ulysses L. Houston, one of the group that had met with Sherman, led 1,000 blacks to Skidaway Island, Ga., where they established a self-governing community with Houston as the “black governor.” And by June, “40,000 freedmen had been settled on 400,000 acres of ‘Sherman Land.’ ” By the way, Sherman later ordered that the army could lend the new settlers mules; hence the phrase, “40 acres and a mule.”

And what happened to this astonishingly visionary program, which would have fundamentally altered the course of American race relations? Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor and a sympathizer with the South, overturned the Order in the fall of 1865, and, as Barton Myers sadly concludes, “returned the land along the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida coasts to the planters who had originally owned it” — to the very people who had declared war on the United States of America.

#americanhistory  
This revolutionary idea became a failed promise to freed slaves after the Civil War.
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Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Commune of Paola, Island of Malta

Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is a cultural property of exceptional prehistoric value. This unique monument dates back to early antiquity (about 2500 BC) and it is the only known example of a subterranean structure of the Bronze Age.

The hypogeum was discovered accidentally in 1902 by a stonemason who was laying the foundations of some houses on the island of Malta. Temi Zammit, the first Director of Malta's Museums Department, assumed responsibility for the excavation. His excavation yielded a wealth of archaeological material including much pottery and human bones, personal ornaments such as beads and amulets, little carved animals and larger figurines.

This 'labyrinth', as it is often called, consists of a series of elliptical chambers and alveoli of varying importance, to which access is gained by different corridors. The megalithic walls are constructed of cyclopean masonry - large irregular blocks of chalky coralline stone without mortar - which was summarily dressed with rudimentary tools of flint and obsidian. The principal rooms distinguish themselves by their domed vaulting and by the elaborate structure of false bays inspired by the doorways and windows of contemporary terrestrial constructions. The hypogeum, which was originally conceived as a sanctuary, perhaps an oracle, from the prehistoric period was transformed into an ossuary, as borne out by the remains of more than 7,000 individuals discovered during the course of the excavation.

The upper level consists of a large hollow with a central passage and burial chambers cut on each side. One of the chambers still contains original burial deposits. The middle level consists of various chambers very smoothly finished, which give the impression of built masonry. The workmanship is all the more impressive when it is considered that the chambers were meticulously carved using only flint and stone tools. Curvilinear and spiral paintings in red ochre are still visible in some areas. One of the niches in the 'Oracle Chamber' has the characteristic of echoing deep sounds. The carved facade is magnificent and the quality of its architecture is in a remarkable state of preservation.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC

#maltesearcheology
Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum UNESCO World Heritage Site The Hypogeum is an enormous subterranean structure excavated c. 2500 B.C., using cyclopean rigging to lift huge blocks of coralline limestone. Perhaps originally a sanctuary,...
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Joseph Arevalo-Adam
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Colors outside the lines
Introduction
Moving out of the sphere of achievement into the sphere of enjoyment and appreciation and relaxing to the wonder of it all.

I'm an aspiring hobby-blogger.

"You only are free when you realize you belong no place - you belong every place - no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great."
 ~ Maya Angelou
Places lived: Los Angeles, Mammoth Lakes, Reno, San Francisco. 
Hometown: Maywood, California.
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