Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In Which A Now Visibly Aging Pan Cogito Commemorates Thirteen Years Of Federal Service To His Nation

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Today, a sign of autumn was spotted.


"All who gathered in Thimphu [Bhutan's capital] agreed on the importance of pursuing happiness rather than pursuing national income. The question we examined is how to achieve happiness in a world that is characterized by rapid urbanization, mass media, global capitalism, and environmental degradation. How can our economic life be re-ordered to recreate a sense of community, trust, and environmental sustainability?"

Jeffrey Sachs August 29, 2011

Photo credit: Pete Souza/The White House.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Human Rites Briefing

"The United Nations warned Monday of a possible resurgence of the deadly avian flu virus, saying there are indications a mutant strain may be spreading in Asia.

A variant strain of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, which can apparently bypass the defenses of current vaccines with unpredictable risks to humans, has appeared in Vietnam and China, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated. ...

The most recent death caused by avian flu occurred this month in Cambodia, where eight people have died after becoming infected this year, the organization added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the virus has infected 565 people since it emerged in 2003, causing 331 deaths."

Monday, August 29, 2011

I am slow, thinking in broken images

Birtwistle, Harrison: In Broken Images (2011) 20'
after the antiphonal music of Gabrieli for ensemble

2(I&II=picc).2.2(I=Ebcl,II=bcl).bcl(=dbcl).2(II=dbn)-0.3(III=picc.tpt).2.btrbn.0-perc(3):3xyl/15wdbl/12bongos/6tom-t/small BD(or low tom-t)/3lion's roar(low)/bamboo guiro/hi-hat/tamb/castanet machine-strings(

World Premiere
MITO Settembre Musica, Teatro Dal Verme, Milano
London Sinfonietta / David Atherton

"Around 10,000 people have been freed from Qaddafi's prisons since rebel forces entered Tripoli [Libya]. Amnesty International accused both sides in the conflict of abuses against prisoners last week."

Friday, August 26, 2011

What The Washington National Opera Of The Kennedy Center Could Learn From Marian Anderson And Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Marian Anderson

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Top photo credit: (c) Sarah L. Voisin and the Washington Post 2011. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved. Lower photo credit: Via Wikipedia.

American singers Richard Paul Fink, Robert Orth, Oren Gradus, Eric Owens, Lindsay Ammann, Eric Barry, Catherine Martin, Denyce Graves, Margaret Gawrysiak, and Michael Anthony McGee at Wolf Trap (outside of Washington, D.C.) on August 24, 2011.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ukrainians Celebrate 20 Years Of Independence From Soviet Union By Demanding Freedom And Full Independence From Russian Federation

Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union. Independence Day August 24, 2011

Both the United States and European Union have condemned the arrest and trial of Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as politically motivated.

Photo credit: (c) Sergei Chuzavkov and Associated Press 2011.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Life Beyond Sun Valley Update

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"At a news conference Wednesday, Dean Samuel Lloyd [of Washington's National Cathedral] said a 3,000-person interfaith service [by invitation only] that was scheduled for Saturday to mark the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial would be moved to the National Shrine as engineers made final determinations about how to stabilize the massive, cracked spires that stand 300 feet above ground."

Photo credit: (c) Nikki Khan and the Washington Post 2011. Copyright controlled.

Life Beyond Sun Valley: Why I Chose To Spend My End Of August Vacation Period At Work In The Nation's Capital

August 24, 2011

Photo credits: Courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral and (c) Agence France Press and Getty 2011. Copyright controlled.


Washington National Cathedral's Call to Compassion September 9-11, 2011

On 20th Anniversary Of Independence, Proud Ukrainians March To Reaffirm Their Independence From Russian Federation And Russian Federation Interference

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Ukrainians mark the 20th anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union and protest the Moscow-backed and politically-motivated arrest of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Photo credit: Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union, August 24, 2011. (c) Sergei Chuzavkov and Associated Press 2011.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nation's Capital Awaits Its Moment In Geological History

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August 23, 2011 14:05 and 14:20

Image credits: National Earthquake Information Center 2011.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Dream -- And Civic Culture -- Lives

Photo credit: (c) Nikki Kahn and the Washington Post 2011. Copyright controlled.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Grandpa, Remind Me How 'Easy Rider' Ended?

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Neil Buckley "Putin sets sights on Eurasian economic union" Financial Times August 16, 2011

Chart credit: (c) Financial Times 2011. Photo credit: (c) Getty 2011. Copyright controlled.


It is projected that by 2016, the Russian Federation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be equal that of Great Britain or France.

Great Britain hosts the summer Olympic Games in 2012 and the Russian Federation hosts the winter Olympic Games in 2014.


"Since the Cold War’s end [1991], the combined gross domestic product of NATO’s European members has grown 55 percent, yet their defense spending has declined almost 20 percent." (George Will in the Washington Post, August 17, 2011)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yet Once More

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MUSI 243 01 (11955) Opera Gary Tomlinson Fall 2011 TTh 1.00-2.15

Toltec ceramic statue of Xipe Totec in the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art. c. 900 to 1200 CE.

Photo credit: (c) Bkwillwm 2009 via Wikipedia. With thanks.


"Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced the appointment of Philip Levine as the Library’s 18th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2011-2012.

Levine will take up his duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season with a reading of his work at the Coolidge Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011."

Friday, August 05, 2011

Full Democratization -- And European Integration -- Setback In Ukraine

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Former Prime Minister of Ukraine arrested on politically-motivated charges.

New York Times

Photo credit: Pidhirtsi Castle, Lviv region, Ukraine, Future European Union.
(c) Jan Mehlich via Wikipedia. With thanks.

The same historic preservation team that restored the Royal Castle in Krakow, Poland, European Union, has drawn up detailed plans to restore Pidhirtsi Castle in Lviv region, Ukraine, Future European Union. Restoration funding is pending.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Democratization in Belarus Update

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"Belarus' most prominent rights group said that its leader was detained Thursday in the capital ...

Vladimir Labkovich, an activist with the Vesna rights group, said its leader Ales Belyatsky was detained by police outside his home in Minsk. Police and other officials refused to comment.

"We are extremely concerned about Belyatsky's safety and well-being," said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "Authorities are obviously targeting him because of his human rights work."

Vesna has been active in reporting on the police crackdown on a recent series of peaceful rallies that have reflected mounting public discontent against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko."

Associated Press

Photo credit: Mir, Belarus, Future European Union.

بدأ بناء هذا القصر في نهاية القرن الخامس عشر على الطراز القوطي. بعد ذاك، تمّ تكبيره وإعادة تشييده لاحقاً، أولاً بحسب طراز النهضة ومن ثم بحسب الطراز الباروكي. بعد قرن من الإهمال والأضرار الكبيرة التي عاناها خلال فترة نابليون، تمّت إضافة عدد كبير من العناصر عليه وترتيب الأراضي المجاورة لتصبح منتزهاً. إن شكله الحالي شاهد على تاريخه المضطرب.

Мирский замок был возведен в самом начале XVI в. в готическом стиле. Затем он был существенно расширен и перестроен, сначала в стиле эпохи Возрождения, затем – барокко. Далее почти на протяжении столетия замок был заброшен, а во время войны 1812 г. он испытал серьезные разрушения. В конце XIX в. замок был восстановлен, в его архитектурный ансамбль были внесены новые элементы, а на прилегающей территории был разбит ландшафтный парк с водоемом. Современный облик замка – наглядное свидетельство его богатой и сложной истории.

The construction of this castle began at the end of the 15th century, in Gothic style. It was subsequently extended and reconstructed, first in the Renaissance and then in the Baroque style. After being abandoned for nearly a century and suffering severe damage during the Napoleonic period, the castle was restored at the end of the 19th century, with the addition of a number of other elements and the landscaping of the surrounding area as a park. Its present form is graphic testimony to its often turbulent history.

Turning Back Ignorance At The Gates Of Minsk

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Hello Pan Cogito,

America was built on the principles of equality and basic human rights for all. Recent mosque protests and congressional hearings on American Muslims are all unfortunate examples of a rising tide of fear that lead to intolerance and inequality. This climate of suspicion towards our fellow Americans compromises the great values that our country was founded upon. We've put together a 2 minute film in response that I believe you and the readers of Renaissance Research will be interested in sharing, watching, and discussing:

It would be great if you could post or tweet about this video. The site also has many other cool features including the ability to share your own stories and you can even take the "My Fellow American" pledge. If you are able to help, please let me know - I'd love to share your post or tweet with my team. I am here if you have any questions. Thank you so much.



Kitabs are the books written in Belarusian language using Arabic script. They were written mostly in the 16th century C.E. by the Tatars that lived in Belarus.

Kitab al-Musiqi al-Kabir

Joseph ben Judah ibn Aknin

Photo credit: Беларуская (тарашкевіца)‬: Татарскія могілкі ў Міры. Tatar cemetery in Mir, Belarus, October 2010. (c) Alexander Czajczyc 2010. Via Wikipedia. With thanks.

Mir, Belarus, Future European Union, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Belarus August 2011

"Poland’s foreign minister has called for Alexander Lukashenko, authoritarian leader of Belarus, to start talks on a peaceful handover of power and not cling to office like some hardline rulers in north Africa."

Financial Times

Image: Francysk Skorina, 1517 engraving