- Leonardo Da Vinci’s wacky piano is heard for the first time, after 500 years:
A bizarre instrument combining a piano and cello has finally been played to an audience more than 500 years after it was dreamt up Leonardo da Vinci.
Da Vinci, the Italian Renaissance genius who painted the Mona Lisa, invented the ‘‘viola organista’’ - which looks like a baby grand piano – but never built it, experts say.
The viola organista has now come to life, thanks to a Polish concert pianist with a flair for instrument-making and the patience and passion to interpret da Vinci’s plans.
Full of steel strings and spinning wheels, Slawomir Zubrzycki’s creation is a musical and mechanical work of art.
‘‘This instrument has the characteristics of three we know: the harpsichord, the organ and the viola da gamba,’’ Zubrzycki said as he debuted the instrument at the Academy of Music in the southern Polish city of Krakow.
The instrument’s exterior is painted in a rich midnight blue, adorned with golden swirls painted on the side. The inside of its lid is a deep raspberry inscribed with a Latin quote in gold leaf by 12th-century German nun, mystic and philosopher, Saint Hildegard.
‘‘Holy prophets and scholars immersed in the sea of arts both human and divine, dreamt up a multitude of instruments to delight the soul,’’ it says.
The flat bed of its interior is lined with golden spruce. Sixty-one gleaming steel strings run across it, similar to the inside of a baby grand.
Each is connected to the keyboard, complete with smaller black keys for sharp and flat notes. But unlike a piano, it has no hammered dulcimers. Instead, there are four spinning wheels wrapped in horse-tail hair, like violin bows.
To turn them, Zubrzycki pumps a pedal below the keyboard connected to a crankshaft. As he tinkles the keys, they press the strings down onto the wheels, emitting rich, sonorous tones reminiscent of a cello, an organ and even an accordion.
The effect is a sound that da Vinci dreamt of, but never heard; there are no historical records suggesting he or anyone else of his time built the instrument he designed.
A sketch and notes in da Vinci’s characteristic inverted script is found in his Codex Atlanticus, a 12-volume collection of his manuscripts and designs for everything from weaponry to flight.
‘‘I have no idea what Leonardo da Vinci might think of the instrument I’ve made, but I’d hope he’d be pleased,’’ said Zubrzycki, who spend three years and 5000 hours bringing da Vinci’s creation to life.
She argues there’s another way to fight crime. “We ought to invest a lot more in our public schools. You know, feed the kids breakfast, lunch, and dinner; have after-school activities; keep the schools open until nine o’clock in the evenings and on weekends; invest in things like the Boys and Girls Club and the Park District—I mean, everything, basically, to dramatically ramp up the investments in our children.”
But even in Democrat-dominated Cook County, it’s hard to imagine that happening. “I was at an event last week, a fund-raising event, actually, where somebody said, ‘All my neighbors are Republicans—people who live on my block who I like, who wouldn’t support the idea you were just promulgating,’” Preckwinkle recalled. “And he said the people on his block he knew would rather pay to keep somebody incarcerated than to support music lessons or soccer team memberships or basketball team uniforms for kids in poor neighborhoods. “We’ve got in this country such distorted values. In the last 30 or 40 years we’ve invested all this money in our prison system, and our schools are starving for money.”
that first paragraph up there—the stuff about investing in after school activities and keeping the schools open until 9pm, etc. —I’m thinking about that in context to of the Emergency Managers in Michigan. And how if they were *really* invested in fixing economic problems rather than privatization, they’d be figuring out ways to do *exactly* what she is suggesting. Making the schools an essential part of the community means that youth don’t drop out and people don’t transfer to other districts. it means that people *move into* that district.
another example, what would happen if community groups were trained and paid to go to houses in the community and clean up lead? not only would it provide jobs, but when there’s a proven correlation between lead levels and low achievment in school—what effect would it have on student’s test schools and ability to focus and stay in school if their bodies aren’t being poisoned? there are seriously NO foundation grants for this sort of thing? why aren’t city mayors, councils, EMs, etc working their asses off to find foundation grants and corporate investment in cleaning up lead so that public schools can stay open—instead of building a whole new building to stick a charter school in?
“people on his block he knew would rather pay to keep somebody incarcerated than to support music lessons or soccer team memberships or basketball team uniforms for kids in poor neighborhoods.”
Next time I hear that we should fight racism with cool, calm logic, I will be thinking about this.
- Them: I don't think kids should be exposed to gay relationships.
- You: Why not?
- Them: It's introducing children to sexuality! They're too young for that!
- You: So when a prince and princess kiss in a Disney movie, are they introduced to sexuality? When the prince and the princess get married and have a child, is that introducing your child to sexuality?
- Them: NO! But if they see a man and a man, or a woman and a woman together... they're going to start asking questions! Like how a man and a man can... you know, do anything together.
- You: You think the only thing people think when they see a gay couple is "I wonder how they have sex"? Furthermore, you think a CHILD is going to even know what that means? When the prince and the princess kiss, does your 4 year old daughter ask, "mommy, how do people have intercourse"? No. She just sees two people in love. If you remember when you were a kid, you probably didn't think about sex every time you saw two people happy together.
- Them: But it'll bring up all kinds of questions, it'll confuse my child!
- You: Then be a fucking parent and explain it to your child. The only question that might be brought up is "mom, why don't you want gay people to be happy?". And when you don't have a good answer for that question, you can look your child in the eye and say "It's because I'm a bigot".
A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of either gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them. The fact that you blame feminists—your allies—for problems against which they have been struggling for decades suggests that supporting men isn’t nearly as important to you as resenting women. We care about your problems a lot. Could you try caring about ours?
I’m wearing a shirt that reads “Kill Me”.
If you saw me at a party or on the street would you promptly murder me?
What about if I had a few drinks? What if I was walking alone at night?
I’m guessing that you wouldn’t if you’re a sane individual.
The cops wouldn’t overlook your crime because of what I’m wearing because that’s silly. I wasn’t literally asking for you to kill me based on my choice of clothing. Who would take that defense seriously?
My friends wouldn’t blame me for being murdered and my killer would be behind bars almost instantly.
So, why is it okay to rape someone because they’re wearing revealing clothes? Why does THEIR choice of clothing excuse THEIR attacker?
It doesn’t. You’re silly if you think otherwise.
The less guilt on the attacker. The more guilt on victim.
Stop. Victim. Blaming.
Reblogging this again because it’s perfect.
Why the fuck doesn’t this have eight million notes? Get it together, tumblr.
this guy has no time for MRA bullshit
This reminds me of a discussion we had in school, and one girl was talking about living in fear of her safety because she is a girl, and this guy chimed in and was all “It’s hard for guys too! I’m so awkward around girls! It’s embarrassing!” Yeah, not the same thing, exactly?
This reminds me of an article about online (heterosexual) dating that I read a while ago. It listed men’s and women’s worst fears about meeting someone from online. The highest ranked fear that men had was that their date would be fat, whereas the highest ranked fear that women had was that their date would turn out to be violent and kill them.
I think that says a lot.
Always reblog. Also, this is the dynamic between most privileged and oppressed groups. I don’t feel like most people understand that.
This is from the British Museum’s Facebook page:
This morning, the ‘Robben Island Bible’, one of the objects in our upcoming exhibition Shakespeare: staging the world, was installed in the exhibition space. The Robben Island Bible is a copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare that was kept in secret in the Robben Island jail near Cape Town during Apartheid in the 1970s. Prisoners marked their favorite passage or play including Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned on the island for 18 years.Mandela chose a passage from Julius Caesar; his signature dated 16 December 1977. In Africa, the play Julius Caesar had long been a symbol for rebellion against imperial rule. The prisoners used the book as a tool for learning, debate and inspiration.
The book was kept by political prisoner Sonny Venkatrathnam, and its cover was disguised with Diwali cards to prevent its seizure by prison authorities. It is a testament to the continuing importance and relevance of Shakespeare and his plays through time and across the globe and how, 400 years after they were first written, these plays and poems still have the power to speak to the world.