Friday, March 31, 2023

Tomáš Halík

Tomáš Halík (1948) is a Czech Roman Catholic priest, philosopher, and theologian. He is a professor of Sociology at the Charles University in Prague, pastor of the Academic Parish by St. Salvator Church in Prague, and president of the Czech Christian Academy. Since 1989, he has lectured at a number of universities and international scientific conferences in Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia, Canada, and Southern Africa.

As an active member of religious and cultural dissent during Communist era, Halík was appointed by Pope John Paul II as an advisor to the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers in 1992. In the Saint Salvator Church in Prague, he often holds joint prayers and meditations with members of other religions such as Jews, Buddhists, and Muslims.

Halík holds some dissident views, that are at odds with the official stances of the Catholic Church. He supports women's ordination. He has criticized the Church's stance on homosexuality, stating that people with same-sex attraction shouldn't have to be feel compelled necessarily to live in chastity. He also has criticized anti-abortion legislation, especially in Eastern Europe, claiming that the near-total ban on abortion in Poland would "encourage ‘abortion tourism’ of Polish women to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, contributing very little to the protection of the unborn and failing to actually stop the evil of abortion."

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Moldavian Arbat

One of the most popular and fascinating ways of spending time in Chişinău is walking around its shopping markets, especially - the traditional and folk ones.

The "Alley of Artists" or the “Moldavian Arbat” is located in the center of Chişinău on the Stefan cel Mare Boulevard. Near the Organ Hall, it is probably the largest spontaneous souvenir and handmade folk market in the capital. It got its name by analogy to the Moscow Arbat, which is a street full of traders.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Nyari Samushonga

Nyari Samushonga is the CEO of WeThinkCode, a South African tech academy that operates in Joburg, Durban and Cape Town. As an Entrepreneur and Tech Executive, Nyari is passionate about seeing Africa take its place as a maker of cutting edge technology. 

She has accelerated the recruitment of women students to the point of parity within the academy. In her role as CEO of WeThinkCode_ she has driven effective initiatives to scale the impact of the organisation. These include doubling the recruitment capacity and launching a home grown curriculum that caters to the South African market. A Chartered Accountant by training, Nyari has previously operated as the Managing director of ThoughtWorks Africa, a subsidiary of the global software development consultancy, and a Manager in Deloitte's audit and assurance division operating in both Harare and New York. Born in Zimbabwe, she also lived and worked in the United States and Tanzania. A passionate cyclist, she is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Arne Lindaas

Arne Lindaas (1924 –2011) was a Norwegian painter, printmaker, sculptor and glassmaker.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s he was a designer for Norsk Glassverk and Porsgrunds Porselænsfabrik. His first solo exhibition was in 1949 at Kunstnerforbundet and he took part in collective exhibitions such as the Autumn Exhibition 13 times between 1946 and 1978, and the Milan Triennale four times between 1954 and 1973, receiving a diplôme d'honneur at his first two Milan Triennales. 

His works are owned, among others, by the National Gallery of Norway, Riksgalleriet, the National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the Norwegian Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the West Norway Museum of Decorative Art, the National Museum of Sweden and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Hubert Le Blon

Hubert Le Blon (1874 –1910) was a French automobilist and pioneer aviator. He drove a steam-powered Gardner-Serpollet motorcar in the early 1900s, and then switched to Hotchkiss for both the world's first Grand Prix at Le Mans in France and the inaugural Targa Florio in Sicily. At the Vanderbilt Cup races on Long Island he competed for the USA driving a Thomas.

His wife, Madame Motann Le Blon, shared his passion for motoring, regularly accompanying him as riding mechanic in his races, and watching during his flying exploits.

Within weeks of setting a new aviation speed record in Egypt he died during an exhibition flight at San Sebastián in the Basque Country of Spain. His first aircraft design, the "Humber monoplane (Le Blon type)", was displayed at the Olympia Aero Exhibition in 1910.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Old man from Sarajevo

Old man from Sarajevo (Bosnia) begs for money in Mostar.  

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Jan Sokol

Jan Sokol (1936 –2021) was a Czech philosopher, dissident, politician and translator.

He briefly served as Minister of Education, Youth and Sports in 1998 under Prime Minister Josef Tošovský. From 1990 to 1992 he was Member of Parliament for Prague.

From 2000 to 2007 he served as the first dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Charles University in Prague. Sokol ran for President of the Czech Republic in the 2003 election but lost to Václav Klaus.
The Czech-made Service Star was his trademark beret.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Josef Zumr

Josef Zumr (1928) is a Czech philosopher, historian, literary scholar and translator.

From 1952, he studied philosophy and Slavic studies at Charles University in Prague. After a short stint as a publishing editor, he joined the Philosophical Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. He also lectured externally at the Palacký University in Olomouc. He is a full member of the Institut International de Philosophie in Paris and chairman of the curatorship of the TG Masaryk Institute. He contributes to Philosophical magazine, Literární noviny and Analogon.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Petr Uhl

Petr Uhl (1941 –2021) was a Czech journalist, activist, and politician.

A member of the Civic Forum, he served in the Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia from 1990 to 1992.

Petr Uhl and Anna Šabatová

Petr Uhl characterized himself: "I have great sensitivity to social problems, discrimination and inequality ." Politically, I describe myself as a socialist who is close to social democracy . Furthermore, I am a left- liberal and I have been greatly influenced by green thinking ."

He was also a signatory of Charter 77.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Peter Boeker

Peter Boeker is a research associate at the Institute of Agricultural Engineering, University of Bonn, Germany.

Inventor and scientist Peter Boeker, with his team, has developed and improved the novel HyperChrom GC. The HyperChrom GC is a high-performance gas chromatograph, that combines high resolution with unprecedented analysis speed. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Coca Cola

Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated soft drink manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company.

Originally marketed as a temperance drink and intended as a patent medicine, it was invented in the late 19th century by John Stith Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 1888 Pemberton sold Coca-Cola's ownership rights to Asa Griggs Candler, a businessman, whose marketing tactics led Coca-Cola to its dominance of the global soft-drink market throughout the 20th and 21st century.

The drink's name refers to two of its original ingredients: coca leaves and kola nuts (a source of caffeine). The current formula of Coca-Cola remains a closely guarded trade secret; however, a variety of reported recipes and experimental recreations have been published. 
The secrecy around the formula has been used by Coca-Cola in its marketing as only a handful of anonymous employees know the formula. The drink has inspired imitators and created a whole classification of soft drink: colas.

The Coca-Cola Company produces concentrate, which is then sold to licensed Coca-Cola bottlers throughout the world. The bottlers, who hold exclusive territory contracts with the company, produce the finished product in cans and bottles from the concentrate, in combination with filtered water and sweeteners.

A typical 12-US-fluid-ounce (350 ml) can contains 38 grams (1.3 oz) of sugar. The bottlers then sell, distribute, and merchandise Coca-Cola to retail stores, restaurants, and vending machines throughout the world.

The Coca-Cola Company has on occasion introduced other cola drinks under the Coke name. The most common of these is Diet Coke, along with others including Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola, Diet Coke Caffeine-Free, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Cherry, Coca-Cola Vanilla, and special versions with lemon, lime, and coffee. 

Coca-Cola was called Coca-Cola Classic from July 1985 to 2009, to distinguish it from "New Coke".

Monday, March 20, 2023

Brita Bigum

Brita Bigum (1921 –1980) was a Norwegian actress.

Bigum made her stage debut as a child in the play Per og Kari reiser til månen at the National Theatre in Oslo. She later danced at Chat Noir and the Edderkoppen Theater. Bigum made her film debut in 1940 in Tancred Ibsen's Tørres Snørtevold and appeared in a total of eight films between 1940 and 1957. She appeared as Hannchen (Norwegian: Hanna) in Eduard Künneke's operetta The Cousin from Nowhere at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet during the 1951/52 season, and she was also active at the New Theater in 1953.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Democrat Abroad: Eero Carroll

Eero Carroll was born in Hawaii, and ended up in Sweden in 1991 after studying sociology at MSU. He got his sociology Ph.D at Stockholm University, and has worked as an analyst at the Swedish Agency for Public Management since 2011.

Carroll worked on the campaigns of Bernie Sanders in 2016 and 2020, has organized events and been the contact person for Sweden for Bernie in 2020, and campaigned on the ground for Bernie in SC in 2020.

Carroll ardently supports tuition-free higher education, as well as single-payer public health care--vital planks in Sanders' program.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Abbé Pierre in Saint-Wandrille

Abbé Pierre staying at the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Wandrille in Normandy.

The abbot wears his signature cape, beret and cane during a walk in the gardens of the abbey.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Jan Lievens

Jan Lievens (1607 –1674) was a Dutch Golden Age painter who was associated with his close contemporary Rembrandt, a year older, in the early parts of their careers.

They shared a birthplace in Leiden, training with Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, where they shared a studio for about five years until 1631. Like Rembrandt he painted both portraits and history paintings, but unlike him Lievens' career took him away from Amsterdam to London, Antwerp, The Hague and Berlin.

The two men split in 1631, when Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam and Lievens to England. In 1656 Rembrandt still owned paintings by his former friend.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Călin Alupi

Calin Alupi (1906–1980) was a Romanian Post-Impressionist painter, cited along with Corneliu Baba or Alexandru Ciucurencu as one of the greatest painters of the period amongst his countrymen.

His works can be seen in the largest art museums in his home country as well as in many galleries in the rest of Europe.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sugar Blue

Sugar Blue (born James Joshua "Jimmie" Whiting, 1949) is an American blues harmonica player.

He is probably best known for playing on the Rolling Stones' single "Miss You", and in partnering Louisiana Red.

The Chicago Tribune said, "The sound of Sugar Blue's harmonica could pierce any night... it's the sound of a musician who transcends the supposed limitations of his instrument."