Saturday Scenes

Fri 31 May 2013

Top of the World

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 11:16

On the 25th of May in 1955, the summit of Kangchenjunga (8,586m) was reached by a British climbing expedition for the first time.

Kangchenjunga was known as the highest mountain in the world until 1852, when as a part of the Great Trigonometric Survey of India, they discovered that Peak XV, now known as Mount Everest, was tallest. After further calculations, it was determined that Kangchenjunga was the third-highest mountain in the world. Joe Brown and George Band were part of the 9-member expedition who made this first ascent via the Southwest face. They stopped just short of of the peak, having promised the Maharaja of Sikkim that the sacred top of the mountain would remain inviolate.

The Hindu : Magazine / Spotlight : The ascent of Kangchenjunga

“WHEN you go to high altitudes, you don’t sleep very well and you long for something special. Joe (Brown) said he would like a large lump of cheese with tomato ketchup on it and then a “Mars” bar for breakfast. After eating all this, (at 21,000 feet) he was not sick for only about half an hour,” laughs George Band, who along with Brown was the first to climb Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain on May 25, 1955.

The three climbers were reunited in Mumbai for the club’s celebration after a long time and Jackson, a school teacher and mountaineering instructor, comes up with his own memorable bit from that expedition. “We dug a hole in the ice and squeezed out tubes of condensed milk and jam and then scooped up the whole lot and ate it up. It was like ice cream,” he grins.

On the 25th of May in 2013, the following photographs reached new heights when they were posted as Saturday Scenes:

And here are the social climbers who took them:

If you’d like to see all of the people who took part in Saturday Scenes this year, take a look at our Saturday Scenes 2013 list on Twitter.

Would you like to add your photo? It’s just three simple steps to join in:

ONE: Take a photograph on a Saturday
TWO: Upload the photograph
THREE: Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the location

I’m looking forward to seeing your photograph in the next edition!

Thu 23 May 2013

Big Ball of Fire

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:49

On the 18th of May in 1910, the earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet. The only short-period comet that is clearly visible to the naked eye, Halley’s Comet, comes around every 75-76 years. The comet has attracted interest since at least 240BCE, with clear records kept by Chinese, Babylonian and European astrologists.

Heads and tails

In the popular mind a comet would not be a comet without its tail, but in truth the majority of comets are as tailless as a Manx cat. Amputee comets are almost invariably faint, though, so just about every comet that you are likely to see with the naked eye will have a tail, or possibly two: one composed of gas and one of dust. You can tell the two apart because the tail of gas is straighter, whereas the tail of dust is more curved and smudgy. Note that the direction in which a comet spreads its tail is no clue to the course the comet is steering, for a tail is not the wake of a comet. Rather, the tail blows away from the Sun, so a departing comet actually chases its own tail.

The next visit of Halley’s comet is in 2061 and as it retreats away from us, will pass within 8,120,000km of Venus on the 20th of August.

IMPORTANT: the 20th of August 2061 will fall on a Saturday. So I expect ALL OF YOU to go out there with your cameras and take great photographs.

Much like these photographs here:

And these are the shooting stars who took them:

We’d love to see MORE photographs of more places! Simply tweet the location of your photograph (taken on a Saturday) to @SatScenes to be included.

Follow @SatScenes for more details and you’ll never miss another edition.

Fri 17 May 2013

An Unexpected Pair

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:45

On the 11th of May in 1811, Chang and Eng Bunker were born the province of Samutsongkram in Siam (now Thailand). The two boys were conjoined twins, attached to each other by a band of flesh at the lower chest, which connected their livers. Born of Chinese parents, they were known as the “Chinese Twins” in Siam but, when they began touring with PT Barnum’s circus, they swiftly became known as the Siamese twins, a term that stuck for over a hundred years.

The brothers became naturalised US citizens and created as normal a life as possible on a plantation in Mount Airy, North Carolina. They married two sisters and between them had nearly two dozen children, although as time went on, the living conditions became tense.

Chang and Eng gave the world “Siamese twins”—and brought a small town an enduring legacy. – National Geographic Magazine

After 14 years of living as a foursome, strain overtook family harmony. The twins split their property, built separate houses, and arranged to spend three days in one house with one family, then three days in the other. Stewarts Creek defines the boundary between properties, and today, at least one Chang relative refers to Eng’s people as “the other side of the creek.”

The descendents of Chang and Eng Bunker number 1,500 now and continue to hold family reunions in Mount Airy, North Carolina.

Over two hundred years later, these great photographs were taken as an enduring legacy of a wonderful Saturday:

And here are the amazing people who took them:

Saturday Scenes is a great way to see the world from other people’s points of view! Taking part is easy:

1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
2. Send it to @Satscenes on Twitter
3. Wait for the webpage to get updated
4. Oooh and aah over all the great submissions from all over the world!

So take a photograph this weekend and send it to @Satscenes!

Fri 10 May 2013

Use the Force, Luke.

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:53

The 4th of May is a special holiday for around the world: it is Star Wars Day!

The anti-Imperialist celebrations fall upon this day simply so that Star Wars fans can wander around saying “May the Fourth be with you” and giggle happily.

Although Star Wars Day has only existed for a few years, the pun has been around for quite some time. Apparently the earliest use was 1988 in a British Television children’s show, Count Duckula, in an episode entitled “The Vampire Strikes Back”. Although there’s a claim that it was used even earlier than that as well as at least once used in complete seriousness…

Star Wars Day – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Current day Star Wars fans were not the first to introduce the line “May the fourth be with you”: when Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first female Prime Minister on May 4, 1979, her party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News that said “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” This reading of the line has also been recorded in the UK Parliament’s Hansard.

In a 2005 interview on German news TV channel N24, Star Wars creator George Lucas was asked to say the famous sentence “May the Force be with you.” The interpreter simultaneously interpreted the sentence into German as Am 4. Mai sind wir bei Ihnen (“On May 4 we are with you.”). This was captured by TV Total and aired on May 18, 2005.

On the fourth of May in 2013, these wonderful photographs were stored in ‘droids (and iPhones) and spread around the world:

And here are the Jedi that took them:

Saturday Scenes is a great way to share brief moments of everyday life across the universe!

Taking part is easy:

1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
2. Send it to @Satscenes on Twitter
3. Wait for the webpage to get updated
4. Oooh and aah over all the great submissions from all over the world!

So take a photograph this weekend and send it to @Satscenes!

Thu 2 May 2013

Dedicated to @someone

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:40

On the 27th of April in 1810, Beethoven composed the batatelle Für Elise. Ludwig Nohl discovered the manuscript in the possession of Babette Bredl forty years after Beethoven’s death. The original score included a dedication in Beethoven’s handwriting: For Elise on the 27th April for rememberance from L v. Bthvn.

The original manuscript has since been lost but one question remains: Who was Elise?

Für Elise – Wikipedia

Max Unger suggested that Ludwig Nohl may have transcribed the title incorrectly and the original work may have been named “Für Therese”, a reference to Therese Malfatti von Rohrenbach zu Dezza (1792–1851). She was a friend and student of Beethoven’s to whom he proposed in 1810, though she turned him down to marry the Austrian nobleman and state official Wilhelm von Droßdik in 1816.

According to a 2010 study by Klaus Martin Kopitz, there is evidence that the piece was written for the German soprano singer Elisabeth Röckel (1793–1883), later the wife of Johann Nepomuk Hummel. “Elise”, as she was called by a parish priest (she called herself “Betty” too), had been a friend of Beethoven’s since 1808. In the meantime, the Austrian musicologist Michael Lorenz has shown that Rudolf Schachner, who in 1851 inherited Therese von Droßdik’s musical scores, was the illegitimate son of Babette Bredl (who in 1865 let Nohl copy the autograph in her possession). Thus the autograph must have come to Babette Bredl from Therese von Droßdik’s estate and Kopitz’s hypothesis is refuted.

In 2012, the Canadian musicologist Rita Steblin suggested that Juliane Katharine Elisabet Barensfeld, who used “Elise” as a variant first name, might be the dedicatee. Born in Regensburg and treated for a while as child prodigy, she first travelled on concert tours with Beethoven’s friend Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, also from Regensburg, and then lived with him for some time in Vienna where she received singing lessons from Antonio Salieri. Steblin argues that Beethoven dedicated this work to the 13-year-old Elise Barensfeld as a favour to Therese Malfatti who lived opposite Mälzel’s and Barensfeld’s residence and who might have given her piano lessons. Steblin admits that question marks remain for her conclusion.

Meanwhile, the solo piano piece is one of Beethoven’s best known pieces.

On the 27th of April in 2013, the following photographs were composed and carefully preserved in hopes of equally confusing future generations:

And here are the creators of classics that took them:

Would you like to see your photograph featured here?

Simply take a photo on a Saturday and tweet it to @SatScenes! Every week I retweet the Saturday Scenes and then collect them all for a special post here. We’d love to see yours.

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