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The Pleasure of Drawing

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Drawing is an activity well known all around the world. Many people see it as a hobby, just as a way of entertaining yourself, others see it as a method of making money, and a few think of it as an instrument which anyone can handle to free their minds, and let the imagination take over their brains.

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To learn how to draw, a teacher isn’t mandatory, and the only required things are practice, a possitive attitude and the ability to observe. Observing grants the capacity of noticing how shapes are formed, how light reacts to different shapes, textures and materials, and with that knowledge, which is found in the every-day life, anyone can start drawing. By practising, the theory is put to use, and the principles learned via observing start to make sense, making the artworks look better. All that information piles up, and the end result is a tool used to recreate anything that the mind can imagine, and another way of expressing oneself.

Once the basics are well funded deep inside the brain, a style starts developing, depending on the rookie artists thougths, personal experience and his or her likings. This defines the person, and, when the style is fully grown and refined, the learning proccess of the artist is finished.

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One can draw epic medieval battle scenes, portraits, manifestations of feelings… in a true display of imagination allowed by vast range of materials at anyones availability, which goes from the traditional charcoal pencil, to pastels, brushes, watercolors, and even computer programs,  which have an impressive amount options to make drawings in any way desired. Every tool has a different effect that enriches the

piece, making it deeper, and  nicer in every way. It also adds a sense of authenticity which makes the difference between a good drawing and an excelent work that captivates the emotions and feelings that the author wants to express through that picture. Not only that, but it also distinguishes the drawings that get exposed to the public and get sold from the other works that, even if they are great, don’t get exhibited.

 

A portrait is a great example. If the technique and the materials used are good, but the proportions of the face aren’t identical to the model, the piece will not succeed, because it won’t be a top drawing, which is what people are looking for when they are portraited. It happens the same if the gray scales used in the work are not enough, and more dark and pale tones would make the portrait as realistic and professional looking as a photograph.

In the end, it all comes up to what the artist is looking for, and if he or she is happy with the result, the work will be a total and resounding success. Even if this form of art seems difficult, everyone can learn it, and it is one of the best ways of giving freedom to the artistic side of every person, showing the most complex feelings in just a scribble in the corner of an old piece of paper.

Pencil_Vs_Camera___12_by_BenHeine

Categories: Arts Tags: , , , , ,

Basque Mythology

December 11, 2012 1 comment

Basque Mythology has survived in the Basque Country since prehistory. The basque people have always had a strong own culture and  language, but later, their rites and beliefs were influenced by the Roman Empire and the Christianity.

The main deity in the Basque Mythology is Amalurra. The Earth is considered as the source that gives life to all beings and it is said that it holds many treasures inside.

Another impanbotoortant divinity in the Basque Mythology is the goddess Mari. She lives in   all the basque mountaintops and her most important dwelling is the Anboto´s cave, therefore she is called The Lady of Anboto, too. Mari represents the nature and the supreme ethical power. She can appear as a beautiful woman, as an animal, as a tree or as a weather phenomenon. It is said that Mari crosses the sky as a bright light to go to the Txindoki mountain from the Anboto. Her movements have a great influence in the weather and when she is in the Anboto is the time of raining and when she is in another mountain the weather is sunny.

The partner of Mari is Maju or Sugar. He is a darker god and he can appear as a man or as a snake or a dragon. He lives in other caves such as Amunda, Baltzola or Atarreta. He has two sons: Mikelatz (represents evil) and Atarabi (represents good). Maju was related with the Princess of Mundaka and it is said that  Jaun Zuria, the first mythological Lord of Biscay, was the result of this relationship.

Another divinity with great relevance is Eguzki Amandre, the Sun. She gives us the light and the heat and has the power to eliminate all the bad geniuses and the darkness. In many legends the Sun is considered as the God´s eye and a very extended tradition is to put an Eguzkilore (flower of the sun) in the doors of the houses to keep away the bad spirits. More information about the Eguzkilore.

Ilargi Amandre is the divinity of the Moon. She is considered as the God´s face and the light of the dead people. The last important deity is Urtzi, the Sky. It is said that this divinity has been influenced by the Norse mythology because of his similarity with the God Thor.

Apart from the divinities there are a lot of geniuses and elves. Some of them are:

  • Basajaun: He is the Lord of the Forests. He is represented as a big man covered of hair with a claw-shaped foot. He helps the shepherds with their flocks and is a master of many crafts.
  • Lamia: She is similar to the sirens or the nymphs. She is represented as a beautiful woman waist up but with flippers, hooves or fishtail depending on the zone where the lamia lives. Her favourite activity is to comb her long hair withbasajaun a golden comb. She helps the humans when they need help but she can also be very evil if she doesn´t get what she wants.
  • Jentilak: They were the first settlers of the Basque Country. They were very big and strong and could launch boulders great distances. With the arrival of Christianity they had to move to remote areas and they disappeared.
  • Sorginak: They are female and evil geniuses sometimes. They could be priestesses of Mari. On Friday evening they celebrate the Akelarre, which was a meeting to worship the genius Akerbeltz.
  • Tartalo: Is a terrifying cyclop who eats men and works as a pastor. It has a big influence from the greek mythology.
  • Olentzero: He was a jentil but with the arrival of the Christianity it was adapted to the new religion. He was related with the time of the winter solstice and the burning of all the old things. Nowadays, he brings presents to the people announcing the birth of Christ and brings coal to those who have misbehaved.
  • Iratxoak: They are elves that make mischiefs for the humans. The can appear in many different forms of animals or goblins. They are related to the ferns and they live in caverns and wells.

There are so much geniuses in the Basque Mythology and there are a lot of legends and stories about them such as the Galtxagorris, the legend of Martin Txiki or the Greedy Lamia. One of the most important writers and researchers was J.M Barandiaran, who wrote several books about the Basque Mythology. Nowadays, it is becoming more popular because of the foundation of some museums such as the JM Barandiaran of Ataun Museum and the Mythological Park of Mungia.

To sum up, I would say that the Basque Country has a rich mythology that has been influenced by many countries such as the nordic or the romans. One of the most remarkable characteristics of the Basque Mythology is that is matriarchal, and the female divinities are more than the male. It is very ancient and, like all mythology, contains a deep and complex meaning, therefore, I think that it is very interesting and it is a good idea to make it more known.

Bibliography:

tobacco and its harms

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Tobacco is the most consumed drug in our world. Some years ago it wasn’t frowned upon, but nowadays smokers are marginalized. Two years ago the Spanish parliament approved an anti-smoking law. Now smokers have to go out from where they are to smoke. And I think that this is a good law because non-smokers have to have more rights than the other. I dont mean that smokers deserve less rights but those who don’t like it should have priority.

Thats what smoking does to your body:
“Smoking hurts your lung’s natural cleaning and repair system and traps cancer-causing chemicals build in your lungs. Smoking destroys the tiny hairs, which line the upper airways and protect against infection. Normally, there is a very thin layer of mucous and thousands of these hairs lining the insides of your breathing tubes. The mucous traps the little bits of dirt and pollution you breath oxygen in, and the hairs move together like a wave to push the dirt-filled mucous out of your lungs. Then you have to waste your time coughing , swallow, or spit up the mucous, and the dirt is out of your lungs. When your lungs’ natural cleaning and repair system is hurt, germs, dirt and chemicals from cigarette smoke stay inside your lungs and never come out. This puts you at risk for a cough that never goes away, chest infections, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .”
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But not only those who smoke are who suffer it’s damage. I’m referring to secondhand smokers. Secondhand smokers are who breathe the smoke when they are not smoker, for example, children, waiters… here we have the result of the damage that it causes:

-The EPA says secondhand smoke causes 3,000 cancer fatalities in Americans each year.
– The American Heart Association says that secondhand smoke causes 50,000 fatal heart attacks in Americans each year.
– An unspecified number of Americans are dying each year from “respiratory illnesses” attributable to secondhand smoke.

Most of the smokers are young. There are only a few who start smoking being an adult.
Teenagers start with it because they think that it is cool or that they may have more friends.
I don´t know. But what we know is that smoking is really harmful for our health and we must
not start with it.
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The principal countries that cultivate tobaco are: Cuba, India, China, USA and Pakistan.
They use many pesticides that harm seriouly the ground. Tobacco companies recommend up to 16 separate applications of pesticides just in the period between planting the seeds in greenhouses and transplanting the young plants to the field. Pesticide use has started because the producers want to get larger crops in less time. Pesticides often harm tobacco farmers because they are unaware of the health effects and the proper safety protocol for working with pesticides. These pesticides, finally, end up in the soil, waterways, and the food chain.

References:

The Second-hand Smoke Will Endanger Non-smokers Health
·http://www.directessays.com/viewpaper/98472.html

Passionate Anti Smoking Tobacco
·http://www.123helpme.com/passionate-anti-smoking-tobacco-essay-view.asp?id=155505

Anti-Smoking Movement
·http://joedawson.org/Interests/SmokersRights/Essays/issues1.html

Tobacco
·http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco
·http://www.tobacco.org/

The Voice

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

‘The voice’ is a talent show which began in Holland and was later copied in United Kingdom and United States, and that finally has come to Spain with an incredible success of viewers.

“The program” The voice “was devised by John de Mol, creator of Big Brother, and it differs from other shows of singing talent because only will evaluate the potential of voice without giving importance to the physical appearance of the participants. The contest is divided into different phases: “auditions blindly”, battles and finally, the live performances. The objective of this program is to try to find the best voice in our country.

On the other hand, the jury, formed by four coaches, professional of music, David Bisbal, Rosario Flores, Malu and Melendi, they hear the aspirants backs, only hearing his voice. If they like them, they will give back to their chairs. When a majority of judges is turned, the applicant or applicants pass to the next phase.

The Voice is a very popular program where the public take part to elect the new voice of the country. In society, where we are, new technologies and social networks are essential, is obvious to use them for the benefit of the program to improve the dissemination and thereby increase the audience. The important thing when using these means is to facilitate its dissemination and accessibility for users to enjoy the performances of the contestants; and that have been made with social networks, where there may be all kinds of applications that promote the diffusion of the contents in The Voice. The best social networks are Twitter and Facebook. But also used YouTube where crashing performances, that allows a follow-up in the network of what occurs during the program.

la-voz

Kurt Cobain

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

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Kurt Cobain is probably one of the most charismatic singers ever. His alienation and sorrow turned his songs into anthems of the apathetic society he lived in; and those anthems made him an icon that is still remembered. In the ephemeral world of fame, few artists reach the glory, and Kurt Cobain and his band Nirvana achieved it after having released only three studio albums. What makes Kurt Cobain a timeless icon that still attracts thousands of people?

Kurt Donald Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Seattle, in 1967. Aberdeen was a small town in the state of Washington, a boring and grey town where children grew up with no dreams or big hopes. Kurt had a happy childhood, at least until his parents decided to divorce. When Kurt saw how the safety of a solid family faded away, he felt lost and guilty. That was the beginning of his road to the icon he would become later. After his parents ‘divorce Cobain started to seKurt Cobain Playing Guitar on Stageek safety in other things like religion (Christianity,   Jainism or Buddhism), painting (especially human anatomy) or bullied classmates (he became close friends with a gay classmate, which would lead her classmates to think Kurt himself was gay). But his true passion was music.

After some unsuccessful tries in bands –like Fecal Matter- he formed Nirvana (which means “freedom from pain, suffering and the external world”) with bassist and classmate Kris Novoselic. Many drummers would come and go, until 1990 when Dave Grohl joined the band.  They eventually managed to sign a contract with SubPop, and release their first studio album Bleach in 1989. SubPop was a very influential record label in Seattle, responsible of the fame of the “grunge” movement in the area. Kurt was never happy with the result, as he felt songs were weak and rushed and the record was constantly changed to fit the record label´s tastes. Still, album managed to receive positive reviews from music critics and sell 1,700,000 copies only in the US.

Disappointed about their own job, they decided to look for a bigger company and signed a contract with DGC records. They began to record a new album, whImagenich would eventually become a timeless masterpiece: Nevermind. The band was already popular in the Seattle music scenes, and the record label was expecting to sell at least 200,000 copies. But the lead single, Smells Like Teen Spirit, changed everything. It was released just as a promotional cut from the album, but it soon became the band´s signature tune. Suddenly a grunge song, expected to achieve moderate success in alternative radios, was being played by every TV channel and radio station all over the world. Its lyrics, which were confusing and often an apparent nonsense, soon became the anthem of the 90s. Kurt has refused to openly talk about the song´s meaning, but it has been iconized as a teen revolution song. With such a huge lead single, the album sold over 30,000,000 copies (way more than expected from the label).  Nowadays Nevermind is still regarded as one of the best albums ever released, and the responsible of making alternative music jump into the mainstream.

After such a successful and legendary release, the follow-up album was expected with anxiety by fans and critics. But Kurt didn´t want to rush the release, and the label released Incesticide, b-s220px-In_Utero_(Nirvana)_album_coveride compilation to calm down the fans. The third studio album, In Utero, was released in September 1993. The record was a huge departure from Nevermind, and didn’t achieve its commercial success. Kurt hated the life he was living as a celebrity and an icon, and wanted to make listeners feel that despair and sorrow in the album (he even wanted to call the album I Hate Myself and I Want to Die). Critically the album achieved acclaim all over the world, with critics praising how different from Nevermind it sounded. In Utero has sold over 15 million copies worldwide and provided singles as popular as Rape Me or Heart-shaped Box.

Nirvana´s is still one of the most celebrated bands ever. Popular magazine Rolling Stone published a list of the 500 Greatest Songs Ever. Four Nirvana songs entered the ranking: All Apologies (#462), Come As You Are (#452), In Bloom (#415) and Smells Like Teen Spirit (#9). In the list of the 500 Greatest Albums Ever three Nirvana albums appear: In Utero (#435) , MTV Unplugged in New York (#313) and Nevermind(#17). In addition to that, Kurt Cobain ranks #73 in the 100 Greatest Guitarists Ever list and #45 in the Greatest Singers Ever list.

Unfortunately music wasn’t the only thing that made Kurt Cobain an icon. His charismatic personality and tortured artistry fascinated thousands of people around the world. His life also becameNirvana_around_1992 a hot topic in journals and TV shows. Kurt married singer Courtney Love in 1992, and they both had their only children next year. Their relationship was always controversial, and many thought that they weren’t able to have a baby. Kurt was also known for his multiple addictions. He consumed drugs like marijuana and LSD during her teenage years, but heroine was his real addiction. He suffered an unknown stomach illness, and found in heroine the only effective solution to it. There were times when he tried to rehabilitate, but always went back to heroine. He committed suicide in April 1994, after escaping from a rehabilitation hospital. His death is full of mysteries and has led to numerous rumours and speculations.

I decided to write a post about Kurt Cobain because I genuinely believe that there isn´t, there wasn’t and there won’t be any other artist like him. His creativity-depressive and even perverse- and his abilities as a musician haven’t still met a rival.

Categories: Web Communication Tags: ,

YouTube

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

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YouTube has become one of the most popular websites worldwide. Most of us have used it in order to see videos or share them with our friends, but its history stills unknown for many of us, we don’t even know if it creates benefit or not.

YouTube is a website where users can upload and share videos. YouTube Inc was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim (three former employees of PayPal) in February 2005 in San Bruno, California. The domain was activated on February 15, 2005, and on April 23 the first video, Me at the Zoo (‘Me at the zoo’), was uploaded. In the spring, YouTube went online. But, developers quickly realized that users were carrying all kinds of videos, leaving behind the original idea. Traffic soared as people began to put YouTube links in their MySpace pages. The rapid growth of the site attracted Time Warner and Sequoia Capital, which invested in it. After that, in October 2005, Nike placed a spot featuring Ronaldinho and large companies began to be attracted to YouTube. Read more…

Categories: Web Communication Tags: , ,

Billie Joe Armstrong.

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

After a lot of thinking, I have decided to write my “free topic post” about Billie Joe Armstrong, the singer of my favorite band, Green Day. Although I am going to talk about him when he was a kid, then I am going to focus on the band, their albums, and how are them in the moment.

Billie Joe Armstrong, who was born on February 17, 1972, is the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Green day. He was born in Piedmont, California, though he grew up in Rodeo, California. He was the youngest of six children. His mother is Ollie Jackson and his father Andrew Armstrong. He died of cancer on September 16, 1982. Billie wrote a song about him called “Wake me up when September ends”. The title of the song refers to the sentence that he said to his mother when he locked himself in his room because he did not want to go to his father funeral.

 

At the age of fifteen he and his friend Mike Dirnt formed a band called “Sweet Children” with John Kiffmeyer on drums. After two years they changed the name of the band to “Green Day”. The album often referred as their first was a compilation of some songs from their debut album and some others called “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours”, in 1991. At this time, John was leaving the band, but everything was not lost, they found another drummer, Tré Cool.

In 1992 they released their second album called “Kerplunk”. In 1994 they released their third studio album called “Dookie”. This album was a commercial success and how they were known by lots of people as a band. In 1995 they released their third studio album called “Nimrod”. In 1997 they released their third studio album called “Insomniac”. In 2000 they released their third studio album called “Warning”. After Dookie they decline in commercial success but they renewed success for the band in 2004 with the album “American Idiot”. It was the first time they reached number one, thanks to the first single also called “American Idiot”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee_uujKuJMI

In 2009 they released their third studio album called “21st century breakdown”. And at the end of this year, “American Idiot: The Musical” opened in Berkeley, California.

This year they are releasing a trilogy whose albums are called “¡Uno!”, “¡Dos!”, and “¡Tré!”. This last album is the only one which is not on sale yet but its released date is December 11. The tour of the new trilogy will start on January or February 2013, there is no clue of the first date yet. They have also confirmed a documentary called “¡Quatro!” In which they are going to show how all the trilogy process has been made.

In September of 2012, Billie Joe confirmed that Jason White has been inducted as an official member of the band.

Categories: Uncategorized
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