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Sean Cowen
62,999 followers -
Writer, Bookseller, Speaker. Passionate about the arts, and life.
Writer, Bookseller, Speaker. Passionate about the arts, and life.

62,999 followers
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NASCAR Founded on 21 February 1948

On this day in 1948, the National Association for Stock Car Racing–or NASCAR, as it will come to be widely known–is officially incorporated. NASCAR racing will go on to become one of America’s most popular spectator sports, as well as a multi-billion-dollar industry.

The driving force behind the establishment of NASCAR was William “Bill” France Sr. (1909-1992), a mechanic and auto-repair shop owner from Washington, D.C., who in the mid-1930s moved to Daytona Beach, Florida. The Daytona area was a gathering spot for racing enthusiasts, and France became involved in racing cars and promoting races. After witnessing how racing rules could vary from event to event and how dishonest promoters could abscond with prize money, France felt there was a need for a governing body to sanction and promote racing. He gathered members of the racing community to discuss the idea, and NASCAR was born, with its official incorporation in February 1921. France served as NASCAR’s first president and played a key role in shaping its development in the sport’s early decades.

NASCAR held its first Strictly Stock race on June 19, 1949, at the Charlotte Speedway in North Carolina. Some 13,000 fans were on hand to watch Glenn Dunnaway finish the 200-lap race first in his Ford; however, Jim Roper (who drove a Lincoln) collected the $2,000 prize after Dunnaway was disqualified for illegal rear springs on his vehicle. In the early years of NASCAR, competitors drove the same types of cars that people drove on the street–Buicks, Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles, among others–with minimal modifications. (Today, the cars are highly customized.)

In 1950, the first NASCAR-based track, the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, opened. More new raceways followed, including the Daytona International Speedway, which opened in 1959. Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500, which was run on February 22 of that year. The Daytona 500 became NASCAR’s season opener and one of its premiere events. Lee Petty’s son Richard, who began his racing career in 1958, won the Daytona 500 a record seven times and became NASCAR’s first superstar before retiring in 1992. On February 18, 1979, the first live flag-to-flag coverage of the Daytona 500 was broadcast on television. An end-of-the-race brawl between drivers Cale Yarborough and Donnie and Bobby Allison was a huge publicity generator and helped boost NASCAR’s popularity on a national scale.

In 1972, France’s son, William France Jr., took over the presidency of NASCAR from his father. Over the next three decades, the younger France (1933-2007) was instrumental in transforming NASCAR from a regional sport popular primarily in the southeast U.S. into one with a global fan base. France led NASCAR into a new era of lucrative corporate sponsorships and billion-dollar TV contracts. Today, NASCAR has three national series as well as four regional series and two international series. The organization sanctions over 1,200 races at 100 tracks across North America.

#nascar #atuomobile #cars #racing #stockcar #stockcarracing #daytona500

(via/ http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nascar-founded)

image | https://www.instagram.com/p/BKMfarxAnjT/


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Aston Martin

Has any other automobile been so closely associated for so long with a literary character like 007? I can't think of any. I continue to be impressed with every new Aston Martin I see introduced in the Bond films. Such beautiful cars...!

Bond has driven several models made by the British luxury sports car manufacturer over the years, but this one is slightly different. The bespoke DB10 was designed specifically for Spectre, with input from Sam Mendes.

For over 50 years, Aston Martin has been the sports car of choice for James Bond. Produced exclusively for Spectre, DB10 was designed, engineered and hand crafted by a dedicated team at Aston Martin’s Gaydon Headquarters in the UK.

Creating the Aston Martin DB10 has been our most closely-guarded secret in years. Celebrating an enduring relationship, which started with the iconic DB5, the DB10 gives a glimpse to the future design direction for the next generation of Aston Martins.

#astonmartin #jamesbond #spectre #007 #classiccars #sportscars #secretagent #coolcars #db10 #brittishcars

(via/ http://www.astonmartin.com/en/cars/db10)


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Marines Invade Iwo Jima on 19 February 1945

On this day, Operation Detachment, the U.S. Marines’ invasion of Iwo Jima, is launched. Iwo Jima was a barren Pacific island guarded by Japanese artillery, but to American military minds, it was prime real estate on which to build airfields to launch bombing raids against Japan, only 660 miles away.

The Americans began applying pressure to the Japanese defense of the island in February 1944, when B-24 and B-25 bombers raided the island for 74 days. It was the longest pre-invasion bombardment of the war, necessary because of the extent to which the Japanese–21,000 strong–fortified the island, above and below ground, including a network of caves. Underwater demolition teams (“frogmen”) were dispatched by the Americans just before the actual invasion. When the Japanese fired on the frogmen, they gave away many of their “secret” gun positions.

The amphibious landings of Marines began the morning of February 19 as the secretary of the navy, James Forrestal, accompanied by journalists, surveyed the scene from a command ship offshore. As the Marines made their way onto the island, seven Japanese battalions opened fire on them. By evening, more than 550 Marines were dead and more than 1,800 were wounded. The capture of Mount Suribachi, the highest point of the island and bastion of the Japanese defense, took four more days and many more casualties. When the American flag was finally raised on Iwo Jima, the memorable image was captured in a famous photograph that later won the Pulitzer Prize.

This historic photo that was taken in 1945, by Joe Rosenthal. U.S. Marines & a U.S. Navy corpsman raised the flag of the U.S. atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. Of the 6 men depicted in the photo, 3 (Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, & Michael Strank) were killed during the battle; the 3 survivors (John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, & Ira Hayes) became National Heroes upon their identification in the photo....

#iwojima #wwii #worldwarii #japanese #pacifictheater #marines #americanhistory #war #thisdayinhistory

(via history.com)
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Samurai Stormtrooper

Incredibly cool for all fans of samurai and Star Wars.

Samurai (侍?) were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan.

In Japanese, they are usually referred to as bushi (武士) or buke (武家). According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning "to wait upon" or "accompany persons" in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean "those who serve in close attendance to the nobility", the pronunciation in Japanese changing to saburai. According to Wilson, an early reference to the word "samurai" appears in the Kokin Wakashū (905–914), the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century.

By the end of the 12th century, samurai became almost entirely synonymous with bushi, and the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class. The samurai were usually associated with a clan and their lord, and were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of then Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.

#samurai #stormtrooper #starwars #sw #japanese #japan #bushi #warrior

(via/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samurai)

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Stormtrooper

image | http://imgur.com/gallery/8zEzX
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Ed Turner Motorcycles

Saw this picture, and I was intrigued by what they do. I love discovering new motorcycle co's. (at least to me), and I really enjoy seeing the craftsmanship and stories behind the bikes...

"In the beginning there was an engine, often ill, and ready for a change… Nothing could be clearer than the direction I needed to take… But from the moment the first frame tubes are bent and positioned in white around the engine, the machine itself starts to take part in the decisions and lets me know what is expected. You can’t force these things. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. The bike knows what is good for her!"

#motorcycle #edturner #cycles #craftsmanship

(via/ http://www.edturner-motorcycles.com/en/motorcycles.html)

https://www.facebook.com/edturnercustomgarage/
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Look, everyone needs some help at some point. Everyone. And how we respond to those cries for help says a lot about how we are as human beings. I cannot help my friend +byron rempel monetarily, but I CAN amplify this post for him, with the hope that one of two people might feel philanthropic towards a struggling artist with a family, who is doing absolutely everything in his power to provide for his family. And who has faced some back to back bad shit.

He's not looking for handouts, and he certainly will "work for his meal." But he is one of the proudest guys I know here, and I know how hard this was for him to ask. Be respectful and thanks for sharing this (or contributing), if you're so inclined...



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Rhapsody In Blue by George Gershwin, performed for first time On 12 February 1924

One of the most original compositions ever written by an American composer. Gershwin deserves a spot in the Pantheon of Music. This work is simply ambitious, creative, and wildly original. I believe it will eternally be unforgettable. In my mind, it helps to underline the quintessential American contribution to the history of music.

“The audience packed a house that could have been sold out at twice the size,” wrote New York Times critic Olin Downes on February 13, 1924, of a concert staged the previous afternoon at the Aeolian Hall in New York City.

Billed as an educational event, the “Experiment In Modern Music” concert was organized by Paul Whiteman, the immensely popular leader of the Palais Royal Orchestra, to demonstrate that the relatively new form of music called jazz deserved to be regarded as a serious and sophisticated art form. The program featured didactic segments intended to make this case—segments with titles like “Contrast: Legitimate Scoring vs. Jazzing.” After 24 such stem-winders, the house was growing restless. Then a young man named George Gershwin, then known only as a composer of Broadway songs, seated himself at the piano to accompany the orchestra in the performance of a brand new piece of his own composition, called "Rhapsody In Blue".

“It starts with an outrageous cadenza of the clarinet,” wrote Downes of the now-famous two-and-a-half-octave glissando that makes 'Rhapsody in Blue" as instantly recognizable as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. “It has subsidiary phrases, logically growing out of it…often metamorphosed by devices of rhythm and instrumentation.” The music critic of the New York Times was in agreement with Whiteman’s basic premise: “This is no mere dance-tune set for piano and other instruments,” he judged. “This composition shows extraordinary talent, just as it also shows a young composer with aims that go far beyond those of his ilk.”

It may be true that George Gershwin had always hoped to transcend the category of popular music, but the piece he used to accomplish that feat was put together very hastily. Just five weeks prior to the “Experiment in Modern Music” concert, Gershwin had not committed to writing a piece for it, when his brother Ira read a report in the New York Tribune stating that George was “at work on a jazz concerto” for the program. Thus painted into a corner, George Gershwin pieced "Rhapsody In Blue" together as best he could in the time available, leaving his own piano part to be improvised during the world premiere. "Rhapsody" would, of course, come to be regarded as one of the most important American musical works of the 20th century. It would also open the door for a whole generation of “serious” composers—from Copland to Brecht—to draw on jazz elements in their own important works.

Rhapsody In Blue: Gershwin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynEOo28lsbc

Rhapsody in Blue - Fantasia 2000 (This is great!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWJ-kGuOA_Q

#georgegershwin #rhapsodyinblue #gershwin #jazz #musiclovers #americanmusic #composer #piano #pianomusic #newyorkcity

(via/ http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/rhapsody-in-blue-by-george-gershwin-performed-for-first-time)
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Karl's Steampunk Box

Glorious details, stunning execution, great design. I love the care and creativity put into this.

"This is a box to put drawings in for my little nephew. Have a look at the unpainted version: fav.me/d305f7t

The sign on the top left corner reads: "Cogitatio - inductus aeternus" (Fantasy - Eternal Drive)

The two big advantages of this design are one the one hand: It always looks great on a bookshelf and on the other hand: you can never pile something else on it because of the cogwheels. --> So this box will never vanish in the deeps of a lumber room. ^^

#steampunk #diy #creativity #artsandcrafts #deviantart

(via/ http://ivstvs.deviantart.com/art/Box-painted-181912096)
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John Steele, Paratrooper

The most photographed paratrooper in Normandy is the monument to John Steele who was caught on the Sainte-Mère-Église church spire during D-Day. Fans of Band of Brothers will recognize Ste. Mère Église and its significance.

The Operation

On the night before D-Day (June 5–6, 1944), American soldiers of the 82nd Airborne parachuted into the area west of Sainte-Mère-Église in successive waves. The town had been the target of an aerial attack and a stray incendiary bomb had set fire to a house east of the town square. The church bell was rung to alert the town of the emergency and townspeople turned out in large numbers to form a bucket brigade supervised by members of the German garrison. By 0100 hours, the town square was well lit and filled with German soldiers and villagers when two sticks (planeloads of paratroopers) from the 1st and 2nd battalions were dropped in error directly over the village.

The paratroopers were easy targets, and Steele was one of only a few non-casualties. His parachute was caught in one of the pinnacles of the church tower, causing the suspension lines of his parachute to stretch to their full length, leaving him hanging on the side of the church. The wounded paratrooper hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. He later escaped from the Germans and rejoined his division when US troops of the 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment attacked the village capturing thirty Germans and killing another eleven. He was awarded the Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart for being wounded in combat.

Though injured, Steele survived his ordeal. He continued to visit the town throughout his life and was an honorary citizen of Ste. Mère Église. The tavern, Auberge John Steele, stands adjacent to the square and maintains his memory through photos, letters and articles hung on its walls.

#dday #wwii #worldwarii #paratrooper #war #normandy #france

(via/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Steele_(paratrooper))
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