Monday, February 23, 2015

Rising the Flag on Iwo Jima

Seventy years ago, on February 23, 1945, five United States Marines and one United States Navy corpsman planted the American flag on the peak of  Mount Suribachi on the Japanese Island of Iwo Jima. 

Not many people know that the 37-square-foot flag actually came from Pearl Harbor. The flag was discovered in a Pearl Harbor Navy depot only a few months earlier by a young Navy officer, Allan Wood. 

The invasion of Iwo Jima began on February 19, 1945, after the fall of Philippines. Iwo Jima was used by the Japanese as an early warning station. The island was heavily fortified. The Japanese infantry kept secure positions in their underground bunkers and "pillboxes" that were connected by a myriad of tunnels. The bloody and difficult battle resulted in heavy casualties among the invading US Marines. It lasted until March 26, 1945, but the peak was taken only four days after landing.

The iconic shot was taken by an Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal who received a 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Photography.

This image inspired Felix de Weldon to sculpt the United States Marine Corps Memorial that was dedicated to all Marines who lost their lives in wars, past and present. The Monument is located near the Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, DC. It is a constant reminder of an incredible sacrifice and bravery of men who loved their country more than anything else. 

By Dominique Allmon

Image source here

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy Year of the Sheep!

February 19, 2015 - February 7, 2016

On February 19, 2015 Chinese people all over the world celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Sheep. In this cycle the sheep is associated with the wood element.

Sheep (Yáng) is the eighth animal in the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese ideogram for sheep also stands for goat and ram. This is why the the Year of the Sheep is also called the Year of the Goat or the Year of the Ram.

Chinese astrologers predict a rather quiet and prosperous year since sheep is generally associated with feminine energy, harmony, tranquility, and balance. The number eight is in itself symbol of luck and prosperity. 

Year of the Sheep is a perfect time for love and passion, art and beauty, creativity, abundance and prosperity. This is also the time for introspection and the time to break free from negativity. If you feel stuck, you will be able to finally resolve your problems. You may need the support of others, but be aware of unhealthy dependency. Explore your connections (guanxi), but use your judgment. Get rid of everything that prevents you from growth, happiness and fulfillment.

Since this year is also associated with the wood element, astrologers predict a year of growth and renewal. This is a good news for all people trying to make it in business. Growth and stability are badly needed after a capricious and unpredictable Year of the Horse. Focus on your goal and your hard work will be rewarded. 

The Year of the Sheep is a good year for gardening, for travel and exploration, for creativity and restoration. Use your time wisely.

新 年 快 樂 !
Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous Year of the Sheep! - Dominique Allmon

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Giordano Bruno

Celestial Proportions IV by Tallmadge Doyle

Giordano Bruno was born in Nola near Naples in 1548. His exceptional intellectual abilities were soon noticed and he entered into the Dominican Monastery in Naples where he studied, among other things, Aristotelian philosophy. When he began to postulate his own ideas of the Universe he came to the attention of the Inquisition in Naples and then in Rome. To avoid persecution he left Italy in 1576 to live in France, England, and Germany where he studied, taught, and published many books. 

During these years abroad Giordano Bruno studied the writings of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and others. He not only adhered to the Copernican view of a central sun but he believed that the stars were also suns lying at a tremendous distance from earth. He wrote, lectured, and passionately argued his ideas of the universe being infinite and vast and the possibility of an infinite number of worlds inhabited by intelligent beings. He spoke of God as being immeasurable and being present in all things. He was outspoken about his ideas of free thought and speech.

Monument to Giordano Bruno at the Campo dei Fiori in Rome

After returning to Italy in1591 he was soon arrested by the Inquisition and sent to Rome for trial. For eight years he was kept imprisoned, periodically interrogated and tortured. 

After receiving his final sentence of death he said: "Perhaps you my judges pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it." Refusing to recant a single word his tongue was pulled out by his executioners and he was burned at the stake in Compo dei Fiori in the middle of Rome on February 17, 1600. 


Images source here and here

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