Category Archives: Cultural affairs

Let South America come to you #2 For those with a good taste

When you can not go to South America, why do you not bring South America into your home?

For those with a good taste

From waterfalls to wines

South America is the continent that is home to a vast array of rich cultures, history, traditions, food, and once-in-a-lifetime places to visit.

Angel Falls, Venezuela | © David Kjelkerud / Flickr

When you would love to go exploring South America it would not be bad to prepare yourself and to get already some taste of it before you take the long voyage. A place you have to visit is the waterfall in the Guiana Highlands in Bolívar state, southeastern Venezuela, on the Churún River. Before you would like to fly over Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, coming in at over 3000 feet it would not be bad to feel a bit like an angel tasting all sorts of well-tasting goods from that continent, which will bring you to the seventh heaven.

You also do not have to go straight away, deep in the Amazonian rainforest to find a melting pot of indigenous traditions and a perfect place to see centuries of Peruvian history and culture coming together.

Before you would go to the Belén Market, the largest traditional market in the Peruvian Amazon, and a place where visitors can taste and see the food, textiles, and wares of the region, on the web there is a place where you already can have a peep-show of some handicrafts from the South American continent

Mendoza, Argentina

Wines

As state and local governments order people to stay home to limit the spread of the virus, toilet paper and canned goods are not the only items people are snapping up. Wine sales at wine shops are soaring and large, highly-distributed wine brands are struggling to keep wines on the shelf.

Meanwhile, small wineries that depend on restaurants and on-site sales are trying to figure out how to survive. The question on the mind of everyone in the wine business is what will things look like on the other side when they get the virus under control.

Having poached the Malbec grape from Europe and turned it into a roaring superstar, Argentina is rightly celebrated for its wine producers.

The Mendoza region, in the western central part of the country in the Cuyo region, dominates Argentina’s wine scene. It enjoys prestige for the wine produced on its vineyards. It also can be refreshing to see genuine contenders from elsewhere, such as the Bodegas Callia from the San Juan province.

In the Mendoza region, you may find one of the original Bordeaux grape varieties from the Bordeaux region of France, namely Malbec. Because grown on a higher altitude then in France the wines tend to have a higher level of acid, which makes them ideal to go with the Argentinian meat.

The Cabernet Sauvignon which was introduced in Argentina in the 19th century by the French agricultural engineer Michel Amié Pouget. He further introduced Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Malbec vines to Argentina and founded the first vine nursery and agricultural school in his new country.

Located in the Tulum Valley, Bodegas Callia aims to produce the best Shiraz in Argentina.

Since we cannot go to South America, we will have to bring the heat and sun here. And what better way to do so than with a few good bottles of wine? Certainly when those wines earn it to keep on the palate.

Navarro Correas Cabernet Sauvignon 2016The dry, hot climate of Argentina is really great for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes ripen very easily, so these Cabs are almost always filled with tons of blackberries, cherry, pepper and vanilla with a little bit of mint. If you like rich, full-bodied wines with dark fruit flavours, then you might want to try a Cabernet Sauvignon from Navarro Correas Private Collection which since a few moths you now easily can get over here in Europe by an excellent deliverer.

When you are looking for a nice rich tempting wine with a big, nutty, creamy nose or bitter cherry awash with orange peel and gravely splendour, you might find it at Pequeña SudAmerica.

As the second largest country in South America and the eighth largest in the world by land mass, Argentina could even offer much more in case the country would have been more organised and receiving more support from those in charge.

Beers

Beer Trial PackStylistically Argentina is perhaps the most European of Latin American countries, especially when it comes to cuisine. You can find the traditional wineries (the world’s fifth biggest wine producer) and you also may find the principal beer types which were based on central European styles of lager and wheat beer. It is impossible to taste every beer produced in South America, Pequeña Sudamerica offers a very good selection of 6 or 7 selected beers in a trial pack.

The historical influences in South America which have created a cuisine that offers a variety of delicacies has also brought some very, very tempting sweets around the corner. For diabetics is it not always so easy, because a lot of sweets and drinks are very sweet.
But nimble fingers and kitchen princesses can already prepare a lot for those who want a taste of that delicious South America.

Craftworks

It might not always be easy to bring Argentinian wines over to Europe, but for traditional artisans, it is even more difficult to get their goods over to Europe. Those craftsmen in particular have serious difficulties to virtuously market their products.

Carla Scalia

Carla Scalia

With corona-restrictions the Argentinian Carla Scalia, now living in Belgium, could only go twice to her home country to bring some beautiful handicrafts from her family and friends with her. Therefore those craft works are very limited. And because they are not made in a factory they are all individual pieces of art, which makes them special. This makes that when you might see some sculptures or drawing on the website, next time you come onto the website they already might be gone.

Mate Alados by Noelia Álvarez

All the South American accessories Pequeã SudAmerica is offering are hand made by local artists, and by selecting it properly at the artist’s workshop this is how they ensure to always offer you the best quality. As such they present mate cups of the best quality in an exclusive and unique design, hand painted and varnished for complete protection.

You also shall be able to find a selection of original accessories for your kitchen and table.

From the southern United States to northern South America the Lignum vitae, with its evergreen leaves can be found. As a source of a very hard and heavy wood that is brownish green in colour, the wood being relatively waterproof because of its high fat content, makes it ideal for making kitchen utilities. It is used to make pulleys, shafts, axles, and bowling balls, and Pequeña SudAmerica is offering the tropical wood in magnificent small objects, like food and toothpicks.

Argentinian artist Noelia Álvarez, who has performed incredible exhibitions in San Rafael, Mendoza and Buenos Aires in Argentina and Catalonia, Spain, is not only responsible for a great variety of mate cups with a unique design. Although her work focuses on paintings with incredible designs and details, Noelia has taken her passion to the limit and from painting large murals and paintings in acrylic on canvas, she designed very beautiful and exclusive wooden mate cups.

For sure, the founders of the webshop Pequeã Sudamerica took great risks to start their business to bring Sud American articles to the European continent, whilst there was and still is a Coronacrisis, limiting them going back and forth to Argentina to contact local traders, to support them and offer them a fair price for their goods. At the moment Carla Scalia her parent’s wines are not yet available, but perhaps this would be made possible in the future (when some good shipping arrangements could be organised).

Pequeña Sudamérica, or “Little South America”, has the goal to make South Americans in Europe taste home again, and get Europeans to experience their great specialities.
In addition to the best known mate tea brands, you shall be able to find a wide variety of drinks, delicacies and accessories.

We would say:

Enjoy some chocolate and dulce de leche products at your afternoon tea.

And enjoy South America at your home in our wet regions, so that the sun (at least) may shine in your house.

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Please find the shop:  https://pequena-sudamerica.eu/en/

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Preceding

Let South America come to you #1 Reasons to stay away from South America

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Paper Flowers~How To

In Belgium there is a long tradition at the coastline to “sell” paper flowers for shells.
Exchanging shells for paper flowers is a beautiful tradition that should not be lost. In schools today, the tradition of making paper flowers is not given much attention, so it is not bad to look at examples from other countries.

Unlike other countries the paper flowers are not for the Día de los Muertos, but for celebrating life. So no Mexican version of Halloween but an explosion of colour and life-affirming joy.

 

Find also to read:

Day of the Dead~ Did You Know?

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How to Make Paper Flowers for Day of the Dead

Step-by-step instructions for making paper flowers for Day of the Dead. How to make paper flowers easy, how to make tissue paper flowers, Mexican paper flowers. #tissuepaperflowers #paperflowers #Mexicanpaperflowers #dayofthedead

Day of the Dead is coming up on Sunday and Monday. We set up our alter last weekend and are beginning to decorate it with candles, incense, and pictures of loved ones who have passed. Today I will place a little jar of salt on the alter to represent the earth and to cleanse the spirit. The final piece will be the colorful addition of large paper flowers.

Step-by-step instructions for making paper flowers for Day of the Dead. How to make paper flowers easy, how to make tissue paper flowers, Mexican paper flowers. #tissuepaperflowers #paperflowers #Mexicanpaperflowers #dayofthedead

In Mexico, enormous fresh marigolds in red, orange, and yellow are used to decorate the graves and alters but paper flowers are also popular and are often strung together to make elaborate garlands which are draped overhead and along the edges of the gravestones.

Step-by-step instructions for making paper flowers for Day of the Dead. How to make paper flowers easy, how to make tissue paper flowers, Mexican paper flowers. #tissuepaperflowers #paperflowers #Mexicanpaperflowers #dayofthedead

I amnot, not, not a crafter so believe me when I tell you they are very simple to make. All you need is one package of colorful…

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97-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor scoring high on TikTok

Tik Tok a youngster gadget

We know already of Hadassah Tirosh who has amassed over 2 million followers on TikTok, where she proudly and openly shares about her Jewishness. She is not only Jewish, but also a Mexican Israeli trans content creator. whose early content, which begins in December of 2019 was posted under her previous name, David, who she remembers fondly and has taken the time to thank for helping her become the person she is today — she’s seen proudly wearing different colourful kippahs, her Star of David necklace and being generally proud and open about her Jewishness.

In 2021 Tik Tok is the seventh most used in the world, with the majority of its users being millennial and Gen Z. But it might be a very high surprise to find a 97-year old lady being a “hipster”.
Lily Ebert isn’t your typical 97-year-old. In June, after only joining the platform earlier this year, Ebert reached 1 million followers on Tik Tok and has now amassed over 1.2 million in total.
How?
Ebert is a Holocaust survivor and, together with her great-grandson Dov Forman who runs her account, is teaching the internet about her remarkable life and experiences as a survivor of Auschwitz and how she made a life for herself after liberation.

Lily Ebert from the camps

Lily Ebert

Lily Ebert, born in Bonyhád, Hungary on 29th December 1923

Originally from Hungary, Lily Ebert, the eldest of six children in a happy and loving family. When the Nazis invaded Hungary in March 1944, her family got to face the worst nightmare one can wish for.

Shortly after Germany invaded Hungary, Lily, her mother and her siblings were sent to the ghetto, and soon after were put on a train, crammed into dark and almost airless cattle wagons, to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Lily at the age of about 4 or 5 had received from her mother a small gold pendant. Even then it wasn’t very expensive or unique but young Lily was very pleased with her present and now in the camp she did not want it to be taken by the Nazis. The small pendant had gone hiding, safe inside the heel of her mother’s shoe. Lily and her mother wore the same size of shoe and as they arrived at the camp her mother asked Lily to swap shoes with her.

Although this happened over 70 years ago Lily can still remember her arrival at the camp. After the long and terrible journey, ‘everyone was half-dead’. They were ordered to climb out of the train and stand together five in a row. There was a man with a stick in his hand. It was Dr Mengele, the notorious Nazi doctor who became known as the Angel of Death for his brutal experiments on inmates, though at the time Lily didn’t know who he was. With one movement of his hand Dr Mengele sealed the fate of the people before him. He sent people right or left — to life or to death. When they had arrived, Lily and her two sisters Renee and Piri were sent in one direction, while her mother Nina, brother Bela and sister Berta were sent to the left, the way to the gas chambers and crematorium. Lily never saw them again.

Lily had put on her mother’s shoes and was ordered to take a shower, whereafter her hair was cut, and their remaining belongings were stolen. It was her only remaining possession and a reminder of her happy childhood. It was a link to her murdered mother and a symbol of defiance. The Nazis would not be allowed to steal it! The Nazis left them with only their shoes, not having any idea of what was hidden in the heel of Lily’s shoe, the tiny pendant Lily’s last link with her mother. When the shoes wore out, she placed the pendant in her daily ration of bread. After about four months in Auschwitz, the sisters were transferred to an ammunition factory near Leipzig. The pendant went with them.

March to liberation after a human and a viral war

When the Front started closing in on the area, they were forced to leave Leipzig and sent on a two-day march. After seeing and suffering unimaginable horrors, on the second day of the march, April 13, 1945, they were finally liberated by Allied forces.

Lily tried to rebuild her life. She wore the pendant every day in memory of her murdered family. Eventually, she married and had children. In 1953 she was reunited with Imre, one of her brothers, who had been imprisoned in a Nazi labour camp. In 1967 she came to London with her husband and three children.

Having become a proud grandmother she came to face another life-threatening struggle: COVID-19. In January, she struggled with a brutal bout of the virus, but true to her nature, she fought through. For her it was her second chance to be alive.  It was then that her great-grandson Dov Forman decided to share a photo of his great-grandmother to Twitter celebrating her miraculous recovery.

Dov Forman

My 97-Year-old Great Grandma, Lily Ebert BEM – Auschwitz Survivor, has just recovered from Covid- 19. Today she went on her first walk in a month after making a miraculous recovery. A fighter and survivor

Image

The response was extraordinary; the photo has since been retweeted over 17,000 times and has received more than a quarter of a million likes, with people from all over the world responding to send their well-wishes and express their admiration for Lily’s strength and bravery.

Finding viral fame

On the back of this unexpected reaction, Dov set up a TikTok account for Lily. At first, their videos mainly consisted of Dov introducing his great-grandmother and encouraging people to follow the account in order to have her story reach as many people as possible. But once they started building up a following, people quickly began expressing an interest in the details of Lily’s extraordinary life.

Soon enough, the account became dedicated to answering followers’ questions about the Holocaust and Lily’s experiences of it, with questions ranging from asking what they ate in the camp, to what happened to babies that were born there, and what the sleeping conditions were like.

She also remembered some Hungarian poems and recites them on the application.

No human anymore, but just a number

Though it is not always easy to answer all the questions she gets, she finds it a necessary act:

“Of course it is hard but if I could survive it, I can talk about it. And for the future, to ensure that something similar [to the Holocaust] cannot happen again, I have to talk about it.”

Lily’s most viewed video, now with over 20 million views, shows her answering the question,

“How did it feel to get your number in Auschwitz?”

Revealing a faded tattoo on her left arm, Lily confidently tells her followers:

My number is A-10572. That is what I was, they did not call us by our name. We were no longer humans. We were only a number and we were treated like numbers.”

The video now has over 29,000 comments from people expressing their solidarity with Lily and gratitude for her honesty and strength.

Downsides of Tik Tok and Twitter, also platforms of hate talk

However, despite the overwhelmingly positive reactions and encouraging words of support, like all social media platforms, TikTok comes with its downsides, too. For Jewish creators on TikTok, the fun comes with a hefty dose of antisemitism.

It seems as if the kids on TikTok are churning out a new trend nearly every week. The never-ending scroll of the “For You Page” sends users on a twisting path of all sorts of niches and topics. The app truly has something for every interest, from sea shanty challenges to tortilla wrap hacks to — antisemitic caricatures?

In May, around the time when violence was escalating between Israel and Palestine, Ebert’s account received a slew of hateful antisemitic comments. In one particular instance, under a video of Lily simply wishing her followers “a lovely, peaceful weekend”, and by a repeated similar wish in Hungarian, her native language, she added “Shabbat Shalom,” despite the mundanity and kindness of this video, it quickly became the subject of a swarm of hateful comments. it went even so far that she was called to be responsible for the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Another said, “Happy Holocaust,” while another said,

“Ask her if she thinks the treatment of Palestinians reminds her [of] the treatment she got in the camp.”

Another response was

“Peace be upon Hitlar [sic]”

to one which asked if she believed the treatment of Palestinians reminded her of her treatment in the camps. All of this for a grandmother’s simple greeting. Sadly, this experience of antisemitic hate isn’t exactly unique.

Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert's TikTok account was hit with antisemitic messages. (Campaign Against Antisemitism via JTA)Although these comments were clearly abhorrent, unjustified and unacceptable, like everything else Lily and Dov handled them with the utmost dignity. Posting to Twitter, Dov wrote:

“Over the past few days my great Grandmother (Auschwitz survivor) and I have continued to receive messages of hate on Tiktok and Twitter… We will not allow this to stop us from educating about the horrors of the past, and what hatred can lead to. Hate only breeds hate.”

Hero Magnus, a university student and TikToker, explains how her Judaism-related content would often get slammed by offensive comments.

“The really vicious comments are usually from actual Nazis, and I just block and delete. When I was making a ton of Jewish content, I would get a couple of those on practically every video,”

she explains.

“I often also got casually mean stuff from Christians or culturally Christian atheists who wanted to tell me that Judaism is backwards, cultish or stupid.”

Additionally, Jews of Colour on TikTok experience vitriol both from outside the Jewish community and within.

Shekhiynah Larks, a Black Jewish TikTok creator, describes that, in fact, most of the antisemitism she experiences on the app comes from white Jews and Black non-Jews, not Neo-Nazis.

“When I do receive antisemitic comments, it’s more coded with anti-Blackness at the same time,”

Larks says.

“It’s more people posting ‘free Palestine’ on my page and asking me how I can be Black and a Jew, I’m being brainwashed by white Jews, and that I don’t care about Black people.”

She also notes that many white Jews comment on her videos asking her invasive questions that probe into her Jewish identity and conversion, showing they don’t really view her as Jewish enough.

Aviva Davis writes:

There are many white and white-passing Jews using their platforms to share information and educational resources about systemic racism and anti-Semitism and how one’s identities intersect and influence the way one is treated in society. This is great! Better yet, share resources created by Jews of Color (hint hint, nudge nudge).

Aviva Majerczyk remarks

While the invalidation of Jews of Color is rampant throughout the Jewish community in real life as well, on TikTok, these racist commenters may feel more empowered to voice their backwards views behind anonymous accounts.

Still going strong

Lily Ebert keeps going strong. She still wears the tiny gold pendant and shares its remarkable story with all those who have time to listen.

As part of their mission to teach people about the Holocaust and its devastating effects, Lily and Dov have now co-authored a book together called “Lily’s Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live.” to come out coming September.

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Paul Noël his writings and thoughts

Paul Noël or Paul Paddington when he was at school and as a teenager he promised his English teacher that he would one day write a book.

After studying he landed up in the IT, not exactly a place where books are written. Many years later he spent a lot of time travelling around South America with his partner and during the eight and half months there they sat on long-distance coaches quite a number of times. As part of this round the world trip once they left South America they spent Christmas and New Year in New Zealand and the time and the experience there are what kicked off the ideas for writing stories for children.

So, after completing a one year away travelling experience it was back to work for him. In his spare time he tried to get all the publishers in the Writers and Artists Yearbook interested in his work but rejection was one hundred percent. He basically gave up or was too busy and did not notice the huge growth of the wonderful Kindle Direct Platform allowing everyone to easily publish their ideas.

Then in February of 2018 he was made redundant after having worked at the same company for him to polish his stories and get them published on Amazon.

Next to writing stories he also publishes a blog. In his opinion the planet is in a very bad state and we have only got ourselves, the human primate, to blame. He writes

To get out of this mess we would need a species level mindset change and that would take some inspired leaders. Unfortunately, taking a look around, there are not many of those. {The wooden elephants have moved, London}

Perhaps the only way that we will see elephants in the future unless we stop senselessly killing them and encroaching on their land. Something that would involve curbing and stabilising human population growth. Taking things a step further we must hope that living trees weren’t chopped down to make the elephants.{Wooden Elephants, The Mall, London}

He also looks at places around his neighbourhood. He also notices how trees got damaged. He finds trees amazing, and

a crucial part of the life support systems that sustain all other life including the human primate. It’s a shame that we are such dumb monkeys and cut down and burn so many of them. {Battered tree, Hyde Park, London}

And he remarks:

Hyde Park of course is very managed and in normal woodland and forests the ground would not be manicured as it is here. The fallen trees would be a source of food for so many other forms of life.

Trees are amazing, a crucial part of the life support systems that sustain all other life including the human primate. It’s a shame that we are such dumb monkeys and cut down and burn so many of them. {Fallen giants lying at the feet of living giants, Hyde Park, London}

> Books By Paul Noël

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A magazine with Each month a true story

Reading is part of cultivating and educating yourself. We would love to have more people who would not mind presenting some stories on this site. Though we do not get much reaction of people willing to write or to publish some poetry, short stories or novels on this site. Also for articles on psychology, history, environment and ecological matters we still look forward for willing writers to share their ideas with others all over the world.

Part of our mission is to support and empower storytellers and publishers of all sizes. We also want people to think about several matters and not just to agree with everything they come to read. We are convinced one has to be able to have different opinions living together in peace and being part of building up a balanced surrounding. For that reason, we also mention additional readings as well as further related articles when we publish some article. The further related articles often are not in accordance of our way of thinking, but we dare to present their articles to our public so that people can make up their mind themselves. We hate one-sided information. We are convinced that different opinions do not undermine society, but enrich it. Regularly we get some complaints from some blogger that we dared to mention their blogs. They do not see that we are willing to give free advertisement for them. But because we are unitarians and not Trinitarians they probably feel offended or often do not want to be associated with us. As if a mentioning of an article would mean that there would be an association with us. (!?!)

When requested to take the reference away we shall always prepared do that, even when it would have meant to take away a full article presenting a new publication. (A few months ago we introduced a new book, but the trinitarian writer of the book was not pleased with it. That was not the first time we were told we were not given the right to discuss a book or article. Some people who complained we discussed their article we wrote that if they have an article open on the web, should know that everybody shall be able to read it but also should have the possibility to react on it.) Though remarkable, lots of trinitarian writers write a lot of ‘rubbish’ about unitarians or give a lot of disinformation about Biblical matters, but do not allow anybody to react on the article on their own site. As such they only leave it to make reactions about the article on other sites (like here).

Today we once again shall present some site which could be interesting for some of our readers. Please do know that we are not paid for representing some other websites or blogs.

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For more than a decade, The Atavist Magazine has been a pioneer in digital storytelling, publishing one blockbuster story every month. The Atavist Magazine, one of Automattic’s flagship longform publications, in April 2021, the magazine moved to WordPress.com, joining the Newspack community of publishers.

Supported by Newspack, a publishing and revenue-generating solution for small- to medium-sized newsrooms built on WordPress, Atavist joins a network of 100 news publishers and counting, including Reveal, Sahan Journal, Hong Kong Free Press, The Oaklandside, Transitions Online, and other local and regional news outlets worldwide.

According Cheri Lucas Rowlands from WordPress each story on The Atavist Magazine showcases a unique, sophisticated, immersive design.

Perhaps you would also be interested to have a look at that nine-time National Magazine Award nominee and one-time winner — and the recipient of many other accolades — Atavist.

Feeling that young or starting writers need to have enough opportunities to reach a readers platform we only can hope that the atavist Magazine shall be able to give them a space on the web for offering thoughtful, deeply reported stories, and as an outlet eager to publish up-and-coming writers at a time when journalism opportunities are narrowing.

Please find the Atavist Magazine, and enjoy reading the many stories.

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For readers and travellers MU Library Treasures

The last few months, lots of people got more time to read. They were restricted to travel but by searching on the net they could go around the world in their head whilst staying in their own living room.

With vaccines rolling out across the world, international travel may soon be on the cards again. This does not mean we all have to rush to other countries without respecting social distancing and forgetting the restricting health measures.

In the main libraries of the industrial countries, there are treasures to be found. This way you might find the Special Collections & Archives at Maynooth University Library comprise the historic mid-nineteenth century Russell Library and the new state-of-the-art Special Collections Reading Room in the recently extended John Paul II Library one of those treasures you may not miss. It would be a loss to your cultural expedition if your imaginary travel guide would leave it alone.

The Russell Library houses the historical collections of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. The reading room was designed by renowned British architect and designer Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) and completed in the year 1861. The Library contains approximately 34,000 printed works with imprints from the 15th to the mid-19th century.

Special Collections & Archives in the JPII Library features a modern reading room and environmentally controlled storage area which houses over 3,600 printed works with imprints from the late 15th century onwards. Noteworthy archival collections include: The Ken Saro-Wiwa Archive, The Teresa Deevy Archive and The Pearse Hutchinson Archive. {About MU Library Treasures}

Good thing in the present time is that you do not have to leave the house to go to RUSSELL LIBRARY , St. Patrick’s College, MaynoothCo. Kildare to search their treasure cabinet.

They offer licensed, digital collections, typically consisting of text, image and audio-visual content. Typically, they represent a digital version of an original analogue primary source, such as an archival collection. Thus, although the original resource may well have been unique, the digital version is not – it can be subscribed to by any library.

The library has longstanding traditions in the humanities, and has worked to complement its print collections with access to as broad an array of digital sources as possible.  They offer access to a wealth of these resources such as State Papers Online, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Early English Books Online, the Irish Newspaper Archive and much more.

Noo Saro-Wiwa with archivist Ciara Joyce in MU Library

Find to read:

Clericus: A View of 225 Years of Students

A 550-year-old book comes to Maynooth!

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The Spray of May

Bremerblog

The hawthorn is one of Britain’s most beloved native trees. Actually, it is two trees: the common hawthorn Cratægus monogyna and the midland hawthorn Cratægus lævigata. Commonly found in hedgerows as well as free-standing, the hawthorn holds a time-honoured place in British history as a symbol of May and by extension springtime and rebirth. When spring begins, its subtle warmth coaxing the first verdant shoots out of the earth, the hawthorn begins to bedeck itself again with leaves shed half a year earlier. Buds form, poised to create a delight of British springtime: the May.

‘May’ is a folk name for the gorgeous white raiment that adorns the hawthorn, typically from mid-spring to early autumn. The spray of flowers is so closely associated with the month of May, almost always blooming at the start of that month, that it shares its name with it. The impact of seeing the…

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Living in books


“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”
~Neil Gaiman

“If a book is well written, I always find it too short.”
~Jane Austen

“I can’t imagine someone really enjoying a book and reading it only once.”
~C.S. Lewis

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La Peste (1947) by Albert Camus – The Plague

Michael mentioned in his exhortation the book The Plague by  (or the original French title La Peste),
It just so happened that a version was broadcast on 26th July on BBC Radio 4.
This is available on this link below and is available until 22nd August – probably on iPlayer for longer.
https://cdn.britannica.com/07/21107-004-8BBC18D8/Albert-Camus-photograph-Henri-Cartier-Bresson.jpg

Albert Camus, French novelist, essayist, and playwright, best known for such novels as L’Étranger (1942; The Stranger), La Peste (1947; The Plague), and La Chute (1956; The Fall)

The Plague was adapted from the globally renowned novel La Peste by Albert Camus, and directed for radio by Neil Bartlett, based on his 2017 Arcola Theatre production and script. A disturbing, deeply relevant listen. Bartlett’s adaptation is the English language world radio premiere production of The Plague and focuses the story on five characters, using only words contained in the novel.

La Peste book cover.jpg

Cover of the first edition of the novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story from the point of view of an unknown narrator of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author’s distinctive absurdist point of view.[

It is often said of La Peste – written in 1947 by the Nobel Prize winner for literature, Albert Camus – that the plague and the rats in his novel are an allegory for the rise of fascism across Europe. He always denied this.
For us today, The Plague will have uncanny echoes of the pandemic, the restrictions and the moral dilemmas we are living through, as well as the rise of extremist ideology in many countries today. Just like our current crisis, the characters in The Plague comprise heroes, selfless and selfish acts, those who shame themselves into changing, and those who do not and suffer the consequences once the plague has been conquered. Hope surfaces when there is talk of a serum but, with the arrival of the first attempts at a cure, who should be selected as the guinea pigs? In an uncanny parallel, this drama about a community facing lockdown due to a deadly plague was recorded by actors, locked down in their own homes during our own pandemic. The scope of the production was not reduced as a result. 

Cast:

Doctor Rieux ………… Sara Powell
Raymond Rambert …. Billy Postlethwaite
Mr Cottard ……………. Joe Alessi
Jean Tarrou ………….. Jude Aduwudike
Mr Grand ……………… Colin Hurley

Adapted for radio and directed by Neil Bartlett
Producer: Turan Ali A Bona Broadcasting production for BBC Radio 4

The Plague (1992 film).jpg

Hong Kong DVD Release of The plague (La Peste) this time telling the story of Dr. Bernard Rieux in the 90s (Camus’s novel was set in 1940s),

For those who want to see the 1992 Argentine-French-British drama film written and directed by Luis Puenzo. (On Disc/Streaming:

 

Released directly on to video in the U.S., but exhibited on the festival circuit and in Europe, Plague is an adaptation of Albert Camus’ novel and reteams filmmaker Luis Puenzo with actors Robert Duvall and William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, and Raul Julia, to tell the story of a South American city that must be cut off from the world following an outbreak of the bubonic plague. The key characters include a French tele-journalist, her cameraman and a fearless doctor.

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We talked  about it also for our payertheme for this month:

And David said to his son Solomon,
“Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord. (NKJ)
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Find the prayertheme for the month: Prayertheme for August 2020: Feeling alarm or anxiety

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Mood Booster L’aventure en Belgique

Curieusement, pour de nombreuses personnes, des vacances ne sont plus possibles sans voyager à l’étranger. Pour beaucoup, les vacances sont même devenues synonymes de «partir en voyage», même pas dans leur propre pays mais à l’étranger.
Pour cette raison, un mot anglo-saxon a été créé pour représenter un séjour à la maison. «Staycation» semble être le mot à la mode pour 2020.

Beaucoup oublient qu’il y a beaucoup à vivre dans leur propre pays.

Même si un voyage à l’étranger ne sera peut-être pas possible cet été, selon le groupe de travail Psychologie & Corona, il est important de se détendre en investissant du temps dans vos passe-temps, en profitant de la nature ou en découvrant quelque chose de nouveau. Vous cherchez de l’inspiration ? Nous vous donnons avec plaisir dix conseils pour partir à l’aventure en Belgique !

1 Besoin de rafraîchissement? Partez faire du kayak, du rafting ou du stand-up paddle (SUP)! Lors d’une session de SUP, vous êtes debout sur une planche de surf et vous vous déplacez à l’aide d’une pagaille. Si vous êtes assez stable sur l’eau, vous pouvez aussi essayer le SUP yoga.

2 L’homme ne peut pas voler, mais le flyboarding est quasi la même chose. Relié à un jet-ski, un genre de snowboard attaché à vos pieds vous propulse jusqu’à 15 mètres dans les airs, où vous pouvez faire des figures acrobatiques en déplaçant votre poids. Un flyboard vous permet également de nager comme un dauphin sous l’eau !

3 Vous préférez rester au sec ? À Bokrijk au Limbourg, vous pouvez traverser l’eau à vélo (ou à pied) sans vous mouiller. À Hechtel, aussi au Limbourg, vous pédalez dans les arbres à une hauteur de 10 mètres.

4 Préparez votre sac à dos et traversez la Belgique via les GR! Choisissez votre étape (de plusieurs jours) sur le site des Sentiers GR. (e.g. GR5)

5 N’oubliez pas votre tente pour en faire une vraie aventure de camping ! Le camping sauvage est interdit en Belgique, mais les zones de bivouac sont une belle alternative. Ou consultez le site Welcome To My Garden, sur lequel des particuliers mettent leurs jardins à la disposition de campeurs.

6 Nous espérons évidemment qu’il fera beau cet été, mais un jour de pluie ne peut certainement pas gâcher le plaisir ! Mettez-vous à l’abri dans une arcade de réalité virtuelle. Avec des lunettes de réalité virtuelle sur le nez, vous vivez des aventures impressionnantes avec vos amis ou votre famille.

7 Et si le soleil est présent, utilisez-le pour faire des dessins d’ombre. Placez un objet de sorte que son ombre tombe sur votre papier et faites un dessin en utilisant cette ombre. Inspirez-vous de l’oeuvre de l’artiste belge Vincent Bal.

8 Faites quelque chose de nouveau : lisez un livre d’un genre que vous n’avez pas encore lu, essayez une nouvelle recette, faites vos courses à un autre supermarché, courrez votre parcours de jogging dans le sens inverse, cueillez vos propres fruits et légumes dans une ferme bio…

9 Les salles de cinéma sont à nouveau ouvertes ! Regarder un film avec un masque buccal ne vous tente pas trop ? Réservez votre place de parking au drive-in de Kinepolis On Tour. Lors des mois d’été, Kinepolis organise des séances de films (récents) en plein air dans des endroits insolites en Belgique. Même l’achat des chips est complètement corona proof!

10 Aidez à rendre le monde un peu plus beau en consacrant un peu de votre temps à autrui. Demandez au refuge si vous pouvez aller vous balader avec les chiens, collaborez au magazine de la maison de repos locale, donnez votre sang ou plasma, faites un beach clean up avec vos enfants… Besoin d’inspiration pour faire du volontariat ? Consultez ce site !

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