Francisco Mattos

-| April 2020 |-






  ELECTORAL COLLEGE



| Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of Electors equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress, but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector. The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each, which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President. | But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representative from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary for a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President. The Congress may determine the time of choosing the Electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.


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 Samuel Johnson


Francisco Mattos

  PORTFOLIO


My everyday tools can incl. Photoshop & exacto knife, InDesign & glue, Acrobat & pencil, Office & stamps, HTML & a thesaurus.


| Typography

Roger Strobel

Johnny Strike Voices, guitars (words) Hank Rank Drums, percussion Roger Strobel Bass Michael Campbell Processed sounds, bowed strings, soundscapes Joey D'Kaye Guitar, synthesizers, theremin




| Layout

Cover treatment for a proposed junior high school textbook.




| Collage

Poster for a white elephant sale.



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Nicolas Roeg


  WONDER WHEELS+



Francisco Mattos “Our last arrow! We’ll fire it to stop the getaway car – then end our careers as Green Arrow and Speedy!” “Yes, with our secret identities exposed, we’re uselss against criminals!” (World’s Finest #98, December 1958)

Francisco Mattos King T’challa of Wakanda’s elusive jeep parked in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.

Francisco Mattos A surreal episode of the Knights of the Galaxy is just starting. “For King Arthur and Britain.” (Mystery In Space #8 (June-July 1952))

Francisco The second Shield, Lancelot Strong, drove a 1970 AMC Rebel for a short period until its color scheme gave him away to every bad actor on every city block.

Francisco Mattos Ted Grant’s ride when he’s fighting crime as Wildcat, immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp.

Francisco Mattos The grandfather and great-grandfather of James Jesse were from the world of vaudeville, which is why their spawn continued their forays into self-powered locomotion and built a portable air-cooled engine, hooked up to an accelerator switch, an engine cut-off switch, and single-horsepowered roller skates, and later tormenting the Flash w/ weaponized toys as the Trickster.

Francisco Mattos Brainiac 5 constructed this bi-cycle for Luornu Durgo Taine (Duo Damsel) to augment her super-power.

Francisco Mattos Besides lending his occult skills to combat evil, Giovanni Zatara performs as a stage magician, and is the reason he drives a 1959 Lincoln, which has a sturdy trunk to fit all his stage props.

Francisco Mattos An early electric car prototype from the morbid mind of Oswald Hubert Loomis, aka the Prankster.

Francisco Mattos An experimental floating fortress from the malevolent minds at Advanced Idea Mechanics.

Francisco Mattos Retiring as the Sorcerer Supreme sometime in 1950, Steven Strange’s mentor, the Ancient One, master of mystic arts, drove home to Kamar-Taj in Tibet, crossing rivers w/ the aid of local villagers, ever grateful for deliverance from the evil Kaluu.

 Before his life was imbued w/ Bahdnisian powers and he took control of the human thunderbolt, Johnny Thunder was in Europe, having won a music scholarship while in high school. With some of his prize money he bought a second-hand Minor Morris convertible.

Francisco Mattos
The Wizard, having narrowly escaped the Human Torch, is chauffeured back to his mansion on Long Island. “Fire is a powerful weapon! But I possess the greatest weapon of all – the world’s greatest brain!”

Francisco Mattos
Even super-heroes driving sports cars have to stop and pay toll, as the Thing heckles Johnny Storm’s tossing chops. “Let’s get going, Torchy! Bank robbers ain’t exactly our speed! Hey! Ya missed the coin bucket!” “But I threw it okay! It wasn’t my fault! The bucket moved!”

Francisco Mattos No way is the mysterious Dolphin a landlubber, so whenever adventures take her ashore she always rides in her 1962 Shark roadster, w/ its aquarium pod and other aquatic must-haves allowing her safe passage.

Francisco Mattos
H.G. Wells jumped at the chance to take a spin in an experimental contraption that his American friend and fellow futurist, the head of Stark Industries, brought over to London. The author of The Invisible Man is photographed sitting in the back seat as the self-driving car crosses Tower Bridge.

Francisco Mattos Brainiac 5 retooled an antique and created the “frisbee”, armed w/ repel-rays, as a combat suit for Bouncing Boy.

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Superman  

Francisco Mattos

 CORNERS OF SAN FRANCISCO  



| Forest Hill
Francisco Mattos

▶ Forest Hill Stairs There are eleven: Alton, Alton Backstairs, Magellan, Merced, Montalvo, Oriole, San Carlos, Sola, and the Grand Staircase, which drops down to Dewey Avenue. The last photo shows the very first steps.



¦ The Mission

Old-world film and independent cinema experience.
▶ Roxie Theatre One of the last movie theaters featuring repertory and other film-fan fare, the Roxie Theater opened in 1909 and has been operating ever since.




| Mission Bay
Construction of Mission Bay towers over the houseboats on Mission Creek. Corner of 5th and Berry.

▶ Mission Creek There is a feeder creek beginning at Mission Dolores that finds its way to Mission Bay. The final portion of this journey is Mission Creek Channel, surfacing at 7th Street and, after passing under two bridges, empties into San Francisco Bay at McCovey Cove. Mission Creek hosts a community of houseboats. Nearby development has altered the original neighborhood and brought electricity to it. Where once two Indian villages, Chutchui and Sitlintac, were situated, there is now a climate-change study to create a large levee or else build a robust tidal barrier to protect this precious local resource, where egrets, herons and ducks congregate.



| Alcatraz
A sliver of Alcatraz island + Hyde Street climbing to the stars.

▶ 47 acres This small island is the largest in San Francisco Bay. From 1934 until 1963 it served as a federal prison, and was also set up to hold military prisoners. No women were allowed.



| Angel Island
Thatch of trees on Angel Island looking back at the San Francisco.

▶ 1.2 square mile Now designated a state park, this island (second largest in San Francisco Bay) was once used by the U.S. government as an immigration station for immigrants choosing San Francisco as their entrypoint into America. In 1940 a fire destroyed the orginal administration building, moving the operation back onshore.



| Nihonmachi
Pedestrian block of shops in Japantown.

▶ Japantown One of the earliest pedestrian-only streets in San Francisco is found on Buchanan btw. Post and Sutter where it becomes an outdoor mall. A stream of cobblestones runs down Buchanan Mall, pooling around two origami fountains by Ruth Asawa. Part of a compact historic 32-acre enclave in the Western Addition known as Nihonmachi but generally called Japantown. Considered one of the largest and oldest ethnic neighborhoods in the United States.



| Union Square
Four neon signs from 1940s San Francisco, still lighting up every night.

▶ Lit The shopping, hotel, and theater district of San Francisco has long been a neighborhood of neon.


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 CABLE CAR



Cable Car

THE FINISHED PROTOTYPE, w/ a driver’s cab at either end, appeared on the California Street Line in 1899.

Cable Car | |  How San Francisco’s cable car came to be built will require more than one stop on its telling, wending this way and that, and passing landmarks of wealth and waste.

Cable Car | |  Before the cable car, the task for getting to Nob Hill was relegated to paying for a ride in a horse-drawn cab. On October 11, 1869, this necessary yet wanton civic cruelty of using animals as beasts of burden changed for the good. The San Francisco Chronicle had a front page article on the death of a wretch. It took place when a horse finally lost it on California Street and, throttled by the harness, dragged down to its death.
Cable Car | |  When Andrew Hallidie read this, he paused and paced his inner office, reflecting on what if anything he could learn from this. Hallidie was already prosperous, although not yet famous. He had inherited a company from his father. The senior Hallidie had invented and then patented a steel cable: strands of wire lined up and braided into a rope that was super strong, and proved indispensable in the gold fields and gold mines.

Cable Car Cable Car | |  Accordingly, access from the gold mines to San Francisco were surveyed. Roads, bridges and tracks were built wherever gold was found, w/ waystations established for respite and recreation. The mining methods these men brought w/ them quickly evolved to meet the challenges posed by the Comstock Lode and its tributaries.
Cable Car Cable Car

Cable Car | |  Hallidie then took on someone's failed enterprise: build a conveyance capable of conquering the city‘s hills, relying on his cable rope. He bought the Clay Street Hill Railway Company and by May 1873 had built tracks and a cable assembly up Clay from Kearny to Leavenworth, a punishing climb of seven blocks.
Cable Car
| |  Early on August 2 1873, a prototype tram was in place and, lantern-lit, Hallidie stepped on board. Activating a grip lever onto to a moving cable, he went up to Nob Hill on that peril-prone maiden voyage. Few were awake to witness a milestone, yet by opening day on September 1, the Clay Street Line was in demand. In 1880 over one million tickets were sold.

Cable Car | |  The original cable cars were tiny trams powered by a patented grip that alternately holds, and releases, a continuously moving steel cable running under the street. Power is supplied by huge drums housed at nearby power stations along the route.

Cable Car | |  The tram operator is stationed forward of the tram. When he employs the grip to grab and hold on to the moving cable, the tram also moves. When the grip is released, the tram stops moving, even on a hill, using an invention of gear technology preventing slippage. Each car is manned by two operators: the tram operator or gripman, and the conductor.

Cable Car Cable Car Cable Car | |  Andrew Smith Hallidie was born on March 17, 1837 in London, to Andrew Smith (b.1798 Dumfrieshire, Scotland) and Julia Johnstone (Lockerbie). He died April 24 1900, in San Francisco. Six years later his cable car system would survive the 1906 Earthquake. Cable Car

Cable Car | |  Cable cars then sprouted worldwide, from New York to Hong Kong. Naples crowned its opening by commissioning a song, “Funiculi, Funicula.”

Cable Car | |  When news of the discovery of gold in California traveled back east, the brawn and brains of a young nation came westward, where notions of Freedom waltzed hand-in-glove w/ greatness as well as greed.

Cable Car | |  The Industrial Revolution created tools used in scientific precisioning, allowing innovated models to be tested and profitably manufactured. Among these ideas was the ingenuous “square set” created by German engineer Philipp Deidesheimer. Grey Brechin picks up the umbilical cord:
Cable Car | |  The square set introduced methods of construction. Deidesheimer's gift went from constructing safety zones to conduct the backbreaking business of mining into other uses, including the ability of a grid of steel beams and columns to allow support for more height.

Cable Car | |  The term skyscraper came into usage in the 1880s, when enough tall buildings were built in the United States (15), to warrant a designation. These new structures usually came w/ modern plumbing, electrical outlets in every room, a telephone line in every unit, central heating, and elevator(s). Cable Car Cable Car
| |  In 1917, Andrew Smith Hallidie had an innovative building named for him. The Hallidie Building (by Willis Polk) has a facade rising eight stories and sheathed in glass. Cable Car Cable Car

| |  “ …In the 1990s, NASA took a fresh look at the steel cable in light of a super material, carbon nanotube. This new field of nanotechnology promises a material that is uber-strong, light and flexible. Space Elevators: An Advanced Earth-Space Infrastructure for the New Millenium is the feasibility paper of this new science,to erect a track running on cables, from here to the Moon, a journey of some 62,000 miles.”



Philipp Deidesheimer
Philipp and Mrs Deidesheimer.
• CABLE CAR FOOTNOTES
 |  Based on San Francisco’s Golden Era by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clego (1060); Cable Car Days in San Francisco by Edgar Myron Kahn (1940); The Headlight, March 1947, published by the Western Pacific Club; Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin by Gray Brechin (1999); and on online articles by Mary Bellis (“The History of Skyscrapers”), Karen Barss (“Manhattan’s Golden Age of Skyscrapers”), and Meghan Neal (“Space Elevators Are Totally Possible”)  |  NASA ART - A space cable to the moon.  |  BONANZA — There is a 1959 episode of the TV series featuring a Philipp Deidesheimer storyline.  |  THANKS — Taryn Edwards, MLIS, Mechanics’ Institute.  |  THANKS — Penelope Houston, SF Public Library.


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-¦  April 2020  ¦-






  ROMANCE COMICS


I Love Lois

Lois Lane

Working nine to five as a reporter for a city daily must not leave time to do much else. As a single female working and living alone in Metropolis, how do you find balance in your life?


Lois Lane, Clark Kent and Superman are the creations of writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, two Cleveland teenagers nurturing keen tastes and quick psyches, who combined complementary skills to make manifest their dream of another world. They invented a city of skyscrapers where an otherworldly creature lives and makes its living as a newspaperman, while wooing a wonderful woman, and using as his secret identity a coward’s persona. Overnight their comics become a bestseller, starring the Man of Tomorrow opposite Lois Lane.





THE GOLDEN AGE

Lois Lane is already there when Clark Kent arrives on his first day at the Daily Planet, she’s working on a lonely hearts advice column. Clark, a seasoned reporter, gets called in to the editor‘s office and is assigned a new beat. In a supreme act of irony, he’s to cover someone who has been seen in Metropolis, looking to be a champion of the oppressed. Proximity to the vibrations of an unknown being notwithstanding, Lois soon slips into a vaudevillian vortex. Somehow a dastard is sure to create mayhem, usually a damsel-in-distress episode plays out, maybe an acrobatic act follows displays of unnatural skills, w/ a secret identity plot tying things up into a bow.

Page after page, the reader gets to know more about a super-being living in Metropolis, while he himself is getting to know more about Lois, pulling her into the maw of mayhem by his dada duels w/ super foes. Lois can’t see Clark for the super-simulacrum that he’s hiding behind, is drawn to Superman instead. Clark smiles and winks often at the reader, seemingly at ease w/ the imponderability of it all.


Lois and Clark start dating right away, in the first comic book they go out on the town in evening dress. The next week she flies off on assignment to a foreign land and, due to misadventure, ends up blindfolded and standing in front of a firing squad. Back home again, Lois resorts to dropping a sleeping pill into Clark’s cocktail so as to chase a lead and beat him to a scoop. This brazen stunt backfires when she lands in trouble and, for the first time, falls out of a window.

But first, she hones in on Clark’s beat by looking up the Man of Mystery herself, trying to score an exclusive. Going to a traveling circus where he was performing for charity, an unexpected twist ensures she will not get her scoop. Their editor, Perry White, will sometimes send them out together, especially when murder has occurred. They’ve covered politics too, and, for the sake of filing a report, once took a cruise together. On these occasions, Lois often ends up solo because Clark can and will disappear at the first sign of trouble. One time this happened, she was tied down next to a table saw w/ the on switch deployed, too annoyed though not surprised w/ Clark to bother about her predicament.

Chastened to live another day, Lois expands her comfort zone, finding it in herself to bring comfort to a thawed caveman, out of time and gravely disoriented. She was one w/ her natural self another time when she ran around w/ a great ape. Through all this, Lois kept up her advice column, where once a grateful writer bequeathed a gold mine to here and which, sadly, she lost. She then plunged herself into a murky tale about a fifth columnist movement in Metropolis, wading into espionage, disinformation, and sabotage. Staff photographer Jimmy Olsen could, if prodded, fill in more details: Resorting to disguise in order to bring down a den of thieves, or committing crimes while hypnotized, or getting involved w/ murder when her fingerprints were found on the revolver, or being tied up w/ a bomb nearby (several times).
Around this time she meets Lex Luthor. Picking through the day’s press releases, Lois sees a tony and toothy one: Someone has called a gathering of the millionaires of Metropolis. Intrigued, Lois finds a way into the mansion and hides behind draperies. Eight men enter, followed by their host; Lois pulls out her notepad. Altogether, these men control railroads and airlines, real estate and financial firms. They’re involved in prohibition-era rackets, one has a publishing firm hawking inspirational books. Another runs a secret fascist cell, while the last to speak turns out to be a common man who had impersonated in order to give a rant on the wickedness of wealth; what happens to him is not shown on the next panel. All this Lois takes down, filling one comic page w/ nine speech balloons each of considerable length. Suddenly, Luthor appears w/ a weapon and knocks everyone, including Lois, out.

By 1943, budding popularity for her character propels Lois onto the cover w/ Superman, gasping as he goes head-to-head with crime’s comedy king, the Prankster. Lois is on the splash page too, because she has inadvertently stepped too close to a giant jack-in-the-box … a year later she lands her first series, LOIS LANE GIRL REPORTER, focusing on her exploits w/out Superman or Clark; it ran for thirteen issues.




♛  EPILOGUE   Looking back at the Golden Age (which took place on Earth-Two), it has come to light that the biography of Lois Lane, beginning from about 1948 on, has properly belonged to the Silver Age, and its revamped version of Lois.

All along, readers had grown up w/ a Golden Age Lois, there was a Golden Age Clark; and Superman, too. It turns out there has been – and always has been – some other Lois, who lived on Earth-One, w/ another Clark and a different Superman.

In 1956, fan loyalty was rewarded when DC Comics put out the first issue of SUPERMAN’S GIRLFRIEND LOIS LANE. Once again, a new Lois Lane sprang forth, helping to usher in the Silver Age. She again came fully formed – and having a lived-in backstory. The first two tales, about a witch and a wig, look forward towards the experimental 1960s, when beauty was redefined, and backwards, w/ a ginned-up glance at the battle of the sexes, when it was still in black-&-white.

What is left of the original Lois are some stories about the Man of Steel in which she features prominently, where she proves herself an intellectual equal of a super-man. These historic events embark embryonically from the heartland of America during the onset of World War II. They then roam globally, and extra-globally, disembarking at an untested outpost – the Cold War.

Lois of Earth-Two became marooned until the DC universe took on a reimagination. By 1978, her story was once again rethreaded into the continuity. She had married Clark in the late 1950s, discovered he was Superman, went on to new adventures, even after their son was born, passing the mortal coil in 2005, in events occurring during the Infinite Crisis.








THE SILVER AGE

 The winds of change began blowing in the mid-1950s, when DC Comics rehabilitated a dormant character from the past and introduced a new Flash, having a new backstory and wearing a different costume. Gradually, this new DC Universe folded outwards and divided into two.


In 1956, a seminal tale had taken place on Earth-One. While Barry Allen was working late one stormy night, an accident sends a bolt of lightning crashing into the room, striking chemical vials filled w/ various liquids. Barry is knocked unconscious and falls to the floor. Lying in a suspicious-looking soup of laboratory liquids overnight, he undergoes a sea change. What had lain on the lab floor that October night was a police-lab scientist, what arose and got on its feet the next morning turned out to be an agile Adam – and harbinger of a new era. This refashioned Flash draws a chalk line at the starting point, resets the timer to zero, jumps into his costume and takes off. Soon enough he learns of the existence of Earth-Two, and visits w/ the original Flash, semi-retired but still contending w/ super-villains. Overnight, the aggregate number of super-beings doubled, then grew, as readers couldn‘t get enough.

The Lois of Earth-One lived a complicated existence, being routinely subjected to Imginary Tales of what-ifs that bedevil readers w/ known facts from familiar fantasy. This Lois had her own title, which ran for 137 issues, ending just in time to usher in the Bronze Age, and are known chiefly as having imparted a level of light-heartedness to her life.

In btw., Lois left her classic looks behind and is shown on a 1968 cover tearing down part of her own masthead containing the words "GIRL FRIEND", and throwing it to the ground. This was just one step less shocking than her get-up: knee-high go-go boots and a rocking Aquanet hairdo, declaring that she was through w/ the Man of Might. This fit of feminist zeal subsided, though, and the designation reappeared on the next cover. Lois Lane, born on Earth, had up until then led an unearthly existence, all because she chose to be near the one she loves, and do battle w/ battalions of babes intent on becoming the one to make children w/ the alien Adonis.

As our story begins, Lois is about thirty years old, and Clark is two years older than that.


▶ Action Comics №1

    Champion of the Oppressed


[-1938-]   Lois Lane sprang into life fully formed, alongside the genesis story of Superman. On his first day at the Daily Planet, Clark Kent knows he is smitten w/ her, and actively pursues Lois. When Clark is assigned to cover a mystery man showing remarkable potential, Lois is intrigued and goes on a first date to find out more. Twirling about the dance floor, he asks pointedly, “Why is it you always avoid me at the office?” “Please Clark! I’ve been scribbling sob stories all day long. Don’t ask me to dish out another.” All the while she’s acting bored and staring off into space, when her eyes happen to lock onto Butch, who’s been staring at her for quite some time.

Seeing his move Butch cuts in, then things turn ugly, and Lois gets an inkling that Clark may not be a man’s man. When Butch facepalms her date she storms out and calls Clark, for the very first time, “… a spineless, unbearable coward!”, and is later rescued by you-know-who. Catching up w/ the car that has just abducted her, Superman upturns the vehicle and catches Lois, for the very first time, as she spills out of the backseat window. What he does next w/ the car is famously depicted on the iconic first front cover. Turning his attention back to Lois, she backs away in mild terror until he says, “You needn’t be afraid of me. I won’t harm you.”


Transfixed, she lets the strapping stranger scoop her up into his arms and, leaping high, carries her away. This winning formula provided years of creative chaos as the three characters circled each other round and round.

Thus ends the first tale of Lois Lane’s life, and the beginning of her startling adventures to document the existence of this mental marvel and physical wonder, devoted to daring deeds that will reshape the destiny of a world.





▶ Lois Lane №17

   The Daily Planet


[-1960 - An Untold Story + Demand Classic-]   Every year on the anniversary of her first day, Perry White has thrown an office party to celebrate. Then one time he became sentimental, and opened up. “... When Lois first asked me for a job, I told her I would hire her if she brought me three scoops in three days! She did it ... w/out Superman’s help!” When Clark is assigned to cover a mystery man showing remarkable potential, Lois is intrigued and goes on a first date to find out more. Picking up the cue, Lois blows out the candles, gives the first slice to Perry, and takes over. On the first day Perry handed her a couple of leads, and she chose the easiest one: securing evidence on a team of safe-crackers. She went dressed as a cleaning lady and boldly entered their lair. She then kicked over the waste paper basket, plugged in her vacuum cleaner, and turned it on. This brazen act turned up pure gold when a torn-up note was recovered and when taped back together, implications were deduced, and arrest warrants then issued. Los had her first scoop. By now slices had been made, and plates started to go around.

Her next assignment was to secure the first-ever photograph of a reclusive royal, prone to strongarm tactics in order to secure his privacy. And she comes back w/ the photo. Then Clark and Jimmy Olsen ask for another slice, both at the same time. Lois takes this opportunity to sit down, staring into the cavern created in the cake. Her car had unexpectedly broken down on the third day, and she ended up walking miles out to nowhere in order to interview an archaeologist, claiming a new discovery. She gets her story, and it’s a doozy but, w/ no easy access back, Lois devises the most ingenious methods yet known to newswriters worldwide, enabling her post to reach Perry. It is front page news, and Lois lands her dream job.





▶ Superman №17

    Man or Superman?


[1942]   One time Lois and Clark teamed up to track down the Talon, titular head to a gang of thieves. She later returned to her desk, thinking she was going to write up a scoop, only to learn that Clark got there first. Exasperated, she then asked and he then gave a reason so lame that it was enough to make her wonder if Clark might be Superman. There have been many versions of this story.

In one telling, they were working at their desks when a commotion on the street below draws their attention: a necklace robbery was in progress. She suddenly got a feeling she knew what Clark would do next, which was to give a flimsy excuse and disappear, then a minute will pass and Superman should (and will) come flying past the window. This quizzical look does not go unnoticed w/ eagle-eyed Clark as he stages a retreat. Changing into his costume he thinks back to the very first time Lois ever did all of her wondering.

It happened one morning when he had flown over to the office, and she had caught a quick glimpse. Lois was rounding a corner and became aware of his landing on the roof of her building. “… and now he’s dropped out of sight! Good gracious! Maybe he works on the Planet staff, under a secret identity!”





▶ Lois Lane №3

    Miss Lonelyhearts


[-1958-]   Lois once went above and beyond her duties as the advice columnist. She had shown up at the eighth floor landing window of the Belvue Apartments, where a despondent man was threatening to jump. Lois climbs out, telling him she too wants to jump, “Er-(gulp!) Do you think you’re the only person in the world w/ a broken heart?” Promptly looses her footing, goes over the edge. She manages to catch the corner of a election banner hanging below and before it tears off she has swung into position to plummet through a number of window awnings which cushion her fall until a fireman’s net catches her. This vivid demonstration of falling in love cures the man’s sick heart, so he climbs back in and goes to where Lois is being treated. “You’re wonderful, Miss Lane! The next time I commit suicide, it’s going to be over you!





▶ Lois Lane №29

    School for Scoops


[-1961-]   Through pluck and perserverance Lois becomes the number one female reporter in the United States! The University of Metropolis then asks her to give a lecture course. Hearing this news, racketeer Nick Roker sends two gunmen to the campus. Because. Lois proves a precocious professor, and w/ the help of Jimmy Olsen stages reanactments of actual cases.
Jimmy walks the class through the first scenario: Drugged by a gang she’s been after, Lois gains consciousness to find that she is bound, gagged, inside a tiny basement. Someone behind is about to put a blindfold on her. At this critical moment, Lois locates the basement’s electric meter and memorizes its serial number.
This bit of information helps break the case and gets her a scoop. Before dismissing the class, she hands out writing assignments.

The students return the next day and are greeted by a gruesome set piece: Having crossed the line w/ racketeer “Duke” Benson, he entices her over to his office and there ties her up in a chair, placing a bomb under the chair before his exit. Ignoring the lit fuse, she leans forward and nudges the phone off its cradle, picks up a pencil w/ her mouth, and dials 9-1-1. By the time she grades this second assignment Lois has deduced that two are not written by journalism students.

Thinking to instruct her class by treating this as a case study, she outs them only to realize too late they were sent by Roker. Lois’s quick thinking disarms them long enough for Jimmy, using his signal-watch, to summon Superman, who makes a brief cameo at the very end.





▶ Lois Lane №55

   Raleigh Review


[-1965 - An Untold Tale ]   One time, Lois took Jimmy Olsen and Superman to her college reunion. There she grew nostalgic and, picking up a school scrapbook, leafed through and found a clipping of her first scoop for the Raleigh Review. It was an impossible first assignment: to join an all-male only fencing team and write about the experience. The fencing captain, who was a good sport and willing to go along, gives Lois a week to practise before they were to meet in a bout. Through diligence and sheer love-of-writing, she outfences the captain, landing Lois her very first scoop. Then she puts down her punch and begins leafing through a second scrapbook, locating a clipping of her first-hand account of discovering a new comet – by fluke, during a night at the Smallville Observatory, where she was using the telescope to write a paper for astronomy class. The last page of the scrapebook held a tattered clipping of her strangest scoop. Taking a solo field trip for biology class, Lois had stumbled across – and captured on film – a live pterandon and a living sabre-tooth. Her biology teacher is wowed. “Those prehistoric creatures vanished without a trace, Lois! But thanks to the movies you took, we know exactly how they looked and acted!





▶ Adventure Comics №128

   First Date


[-1948 - Bonus Tale - An Exclusive Adventure of Superboy ]   While attending high school, Clark was once sent a letter from the Daily Planet:  Clark Kent, 713 Main Street. congratulations! You are one of the two winners of our annual contest to honor the best school newspaper reporters. Your prize is a free-trip to Metropolis, where you will be allowed to work as cub reporter for one week. 
Overjoyed and full of bonhomie, Clark shows up and is introduced to Lois Lane, the other winner; he takes an instant shine to her. The editor tries to break his spell by assigning a competition to see who can bring in the best story of the day, whereby the winner will get a front page byline! Lois suggests a side bet to Clark, “The loser treats the winner to an ice cream sundae?” “I never bet … but I’ll make an exception in your case!” After handshakes all around, Lois ventures out and, based on a hunch, stumbles into criminal activity, resulting in being tied up and about to meet her end – Superboy arrives and saves the day. After he has dispatched her attackers, he glides over and unties Lois. On an impulse she jumps into his arms and asks to be carried away from the scene, a request the Boy of Tomorrow was fated to grant. She wins the competition (Clark has been too busy) and, after work, he takes her to a soda fountain and pays his bet. They spend the week chasing stories, then it’s time to wave goodbye to Lois from a train platform, wondering if he’ll ever cross paths w/ her again.





|  LOIS LANE NOTES

[1]
LANA LANG – In 1950, the first LL to enter Clark's life happened when Prof. Lewis Lang, his wife and daughter Lana first became neighbors w/ the Kents. Lana promptly becomes prey to an ex-convict, and her life in Smallville then becomes threaded into Superboy's. It was while staying w/ the Kents when her parents go on a business trip that she began to suspect that the two boys are one and the same. This causes Superboy to fly over to Africa, helping the Langs round up animals they were contracted to procure and destined for zoos, so they could come home early.
[2]
COMIC BOOK ERAS: Golden Age [-1938-to-1955-]Silver Age [-1956-to-1972-] – Bronze Age [-1973-to-1985-] – Steel Age [-1986-to-2015-] – Diamond Age [-2016-to-2040-]
[3]
BACK COVER AD – In the very first appearance of Lois, Clark and Superman, the back cover was bought by the Johnson Smith & Company in Detroit, Michigan. They were purveyors of, among other things: - pocket radios - midget radios - midget pocket radios - magic radios - crystal radios - radio & television books - experiment sets - wireless transmittals - telegraph sets - electric phones - electric baseballs - world mikes (a microphone) - deluxe microphones - big entertainers (an air mattress) - Stinson Reliant giant flying planes - all-metal model airplanes - wigs (blond only) - yacht caps - live chameleons - x-ray glasses - booklets on hypnotism, learning to dance, learning to tap dance, ventriloquism, and ju-jitsu - whoopee cushions - joy bussers - rings - luminous photos - luminous paints - movie projectors - telescopes - field glasses - world's smallest candid cameras - bull dog fish hooks - and Japanese rose bushes.
[4]
BASED ON reports from, among others, Tricia Annis, Tim Hanley, Steven Thompson, and the internet.

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 WHAT HE SAID

Nicolas Roeg  



 CABLE CAR



Cable Car

THE FINISHED PROTOTYPE, w/ a driver’s cab at either end, appeared on the California Street Line in 1899.

Cable Car

 

How San Francisco’s cable car came to be built will require more than one stop on its telling, wending this way and that, and passing landmarks of wealth and waste.

Cable Car Before the cable car, the task for getting to Nob Hill was relegated to paying for a ride in a horse-drawn cab. On October 11, 1869, this necessary yet wanton civic cruelty of using animals as beasts of burden changed for the good. The San Francisco Chronicle had a front page article on the death of a wretch. It took place when a horse finally lost it on California Street and, throttled by the harness, dragged down to its death.

Cable Car When Andrew Hallidie read this, he paused and paced his inner office, reflecting on what if anything he could learn from this. Hallidie was already prosperous, although not yet famous. He had inherited a company from his father. The senior Hallidie had invented and then patented a steel cable: strands of wire lined up and braided into a rope that was super strong, and proved indispensable in the gold fields and gold mines.

Cable Car

 

Cable Car

Cable Car Hallidie then took on someone's failed enterprise: build a conveyance capable of conquering the city‘s hills, relying on his cable rope. He bought the Clay Street Hill Railway Company and by May 1873 had built tracks and a cable assembly up Clay from Kearny to Leavenworth, a punishing climb of seven blocks.
Cable Car
Early on August 2 1873, a prototype tram was in place and, lantern-lit, Hallidie stepped on board. Activating a grip lever onto to a moving cable, he went up to Nob Hill on that peril-prone maiden voyage. Few were awake to witness a milestone, yet by opening day on September 1, the Clay Street Line was in demand. In 1880 over one million tickets were sold.

Cable Car

The original cable cars were tiny trams powered by a patented grip that alternately holds, and releases, a continuously moving steel cable running under the street. Power is supplied by huge drums housed at nearby power stations along the route.

Cable Car The tram operator is stationed forward of the tram. When he employs the grip to grab and hold on to the moving cable, the tram also moves. When the grip is released, the tram stops moving, even on a hill, using an invention of gear technology preventing slippage. Each car is manned by two operators: the tram operator or gripman, and the conductor.

Cable Car Cable Car Cable Car Andrew Smith Hallidie was born on March 17, 1837 in London, to Andrew Smith (b.1798 Dumfrieshire, Scotland) and Julia Johnstone (Lockerbie). He died April 24 1900, in San Francisco. Six years later his cable car system would survive the 1906 Earthquake.

Cable Car Cable cars then sprouted worldwide, from New York to Hong Kong. Naples crowned its opening by commissioning a song, “Funiculi, Funicula.”
Cable Car
In 1917, Andrew Smith Hallidie had an innovative building named for him. The Hallidie Building (by Willis Polk) has a facade rising eight stories and sheathed in glass. Cable Car

Cable Car

When news of the discovery of gold in California traveled back east, the brawn and brains of a young nation came westward, where notions of Freedom waltzed hand-in-glove w/ greatness as well as greed.

Cable Car Accordingly, access from the gold mines to San Francisco were surveyed. Roads, bridges and tracks were built wherever gold was found, w/ waystations established for respite and recreation. The mining methods these men brought w/ them quickly evolved to meet the challenges posed by the Comstock Lode and its tributaries.
Cable Car Cable Car

Cable Car The Industrial Revolution created tools used in scientific precisioning, allowing innovated models to be tested and profitably manufactured. Among these ideas was the ingenuous “square set” created by German engineer Philipp Deidesheimer. Grey Brechin picks up the umbilical cord:
Cable Car The square set introduced methods of construction. Deidesheimer's gift went from constructing safety zones to conduct the backbreaking business of mining into other uses, including the ability of a grid of steel beams and columns to allow support for more height.

Cable Car The term skyscraper came into usage in the 1880s, when enough tall buildings were built in the United States (15), to warrant a designation. These new structures usually came w/ modern plumbing, electrical outlets in every room, a telephone line in every unit, central heating, and elevator(s). Cable Car Cable Car “ …In the 1990s, NASA took a fresh look at the steel cable in light of a super material, carbon nanotube. This new field of nanotechnology promises a material that is uber-strong, light and flexible. Space Elevators: An Advanced Earth-Space Infrastructure for the New Millenium is the feasibility paper of this new science,to erect a track running on cables, from here to the Moon, a journey of some 62,000 miles.”



Philipp Deidesheimer
 Philipp and Mrs Deidesheimer   Making mining feasible, also skyscrapers.
CABLE CAR NOTES:

 |  Based on San Francisco’s Golden Era by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clego (1060); Cable Car Days in San Francisco by Edgar Myron Kahn (1940); The Headlight, March 1947, published by the Western Pacific Club; Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin by Gray Brechin (1999); and on online articles by Mary Bellis (“The History of Skyscrapers”), Karen Barss (“Manhattan’s Golden Age of Skyscrapers”), and Meghan Neal (“Space Elevators Are Totally Possible”)  |  NASA ART - A space cable to the moon.  |  BONANZA — There is a 1959 episode of the TV series featuring a Philipp Deidesheimer storyline.  |  THANKS — Taryn Edwards, MLIS, Mechanics’ Institute.  |  THANKS — Penelope Houston, SF Public Library.


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  UNIVERSITY TOWN



Coimbra


⇞  CITY OF STUDENTS

Coimbra, a city in northern Portugal, is the see of a bishop, the capital of a province, and a center of learning. In 2013, UNESCO designated the University of Comibra as a University Town Recipient for its World Heritage Sites, “… an integrated university city, w/ a specific urban typology, as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions.” The property consists of two areas: a hilltop complex of buildings, University Hill, and a series of scattered structures which all played a part in the university’s history.


There is a 12th century Augustinian monastery which was the first school, and the original library.

The Inquisition swept into Portugal in 1567, and Coimbra was one of the three local centers tasked to conduct it. Outlasting these strictures, the university bounced back, w/ strengthened statutes, a reorganized syllabus of studies, greater emphasis on education in the vernacular, and the re-establishment of freedom of research. The old castle on the hilltop was finally pulled down to make way for new buildings.

A seal was then struck, a praxe, consisting of a spoon (symbol of punishment), scissors (symbol of unruliness), and a stick (symbol of self-defense).



University of Coimbra

University of Coimbra

Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra is the second oldest continuous institution of higher learning in Europe (the University of Paris is older), and the first university town in the world. In this northern Portuguese city, a world treasure become sited inside a national treasure, the school moved into a former royal palace on the summit of the hill, and grew to become a gathering spot for academics, writers, artists, who nicknamed this the Lusitanian Athens, ‘Lusa Atenas’.



⇞   CAMPUS

An early champion of the new science of circumnavigation, an observatory was built to make spatial sense of the stars.

Investitures and major events take place in the ‘Sala Grande dos Actos,‘ below portraits of kings and queens. A cathedral, already there when the university arrived, was gifted by Jesuits. The throne room is now used for PhD candidate examinations, and nothing else.

The four rooms of the ‘Museu de Arte Sacra’ contain, among holy habits and chalices, books of early sacred music. There is a museum of natural history. A colonnaded walkway by the grand patio was added in the 18th century, the ‘Via Latina.’ The campus chapel, ‘Capela de Sao Miguel’, means that no student need run downhill to another one.

A Botanical Garden blossomed in 1772, that delightful Victorian experiment of Eden on earth, sprouting wherever colonialism circled.


There are five faculties (‘theologia’, ‘direito’, ‘medicina’, ‘mathematica’, ‘philosophia’) w/ disciplines in judicial and European court systems, interdisciplinary nuclear science, and the arts. (The university had begun by teaching law, rhetoric, mathematics, theology, medicine, grammar and Greek.) The teaching staff consisits of some 70 professors and lecturers. Semester is from autumn to the start of summer, when two months of exams take place. The ordinary degree resulting in the title ‘licenciado’ lasts five years. The degree of ‘doutor’ takes another year and another examination. Medical students study eight years.

The university has a digital repositorium inside a tech park involved in research and incubation. There is a repository for the project April 25, documenting the toppling of a dictatorship. Auxiliaries of the city-wide university system take on citizen practices such as sports, theater, and botany and preservation; there are several kindergartens and nurseries under its wing.





⇞   LIBRARY

When the university outgrew the original city library, a second one was built in the 18th century, on University Hill, the ‘Biblioteca Joanina’, the oldest university library in continuous use in the world, and housed in three large and resplendent Baroque rooms w/ painted ceilings.


The first room has a light green palette, the second a darker green, and the third room has a “… shade like that of orange Niger leather”; rich in gilt and exotic wood, lined w/ 300,000 volumes in galleries runing around the walls, incl. arguably the most valuable collection of Bibles in the world.


There are unpublished manuscripts of Domenico Scarlatti, thought lost but rediscovered in the 20th century, because they were incorrectly catalogued. By the front door, a passageway can take one down to the river, the ‘Palacios Confusos’, by a series of steps posing as alleys, past houses of different styles and years.





⇞   STUDENT BODY

The student body numbers about 25,000, and the dress code is a black Prince Albert coat, worn w/ black trousers, black cape batina, black dress tie; generally students go bareheaded. A military hospital happens to be located nearby, because.


Freshmen may not be on the street after the bell has rung at 6pm, on penalty of being shaved bald, if caught. Another form of punishment is to measure the long bridge over the Modego w/ a match, and it must be done w/ meticulous accuracy.

Even a good and sinless freshman must be prepared to run errands whenever required to do so by a sophomore or junior, but he may be “protected,” and the errand countermanded, by a friendly senior (‘quartanista’).

In turn a sophomore and a junior are known as a semi-harlot (‘mejo prostituo / prostituta’) and a total harlot (‘total prostituo / prostituta’) respectively.


These ‘estudantes’ make up about a third of the town’s inhabitants. Their graduation ceremonies take place in May. It’s then that a localized form of ‘fado’ is sung, by male students only, and only on the steps of the old cathedral when 10pm comes around, w/ lyrics more intellectual and romantic than the genre asks for, love songs tuned to the passions and sentiments of the students, who perfume the air w/ their lamentations until dawn.






⇞   STUDENT REPUBLICS

In the mid-1950s there were eleven “republics” or student organizations, active in the university.


One of them is ‘Pra-kys-tao‘ (Here We Are), a fraternity of ten students for the mutual benefit of themselves and their always-slender budgets, and to satisfy wants such as traditional evenings of wine and shrimps in town. Membership was open, upon unanimous favorable vote, to students of any race, color, religion or political creed except, during that period, communism. In the most pratical way, the student who had been a member longest is automatically president. Using a rotation system, two students, followed by two more then two more, serve as executive officers for fifteen days.

They run the republic and must explain and justify all outlays of money, and a debate on this topic may be opened at any time, all decisions being made by majority vote, and to be taken at the dinner table. Freshmen may not vote on money matters but on anything else.

This particular republic had only 13 electric light bulbs for 15 rooms, incl. the dining room, kitchen and hallway. Pin-up girls papered over every wallspace, the harem of the eye (‘Harem do Olho’). One wall had graffiti: “Artillery Exported to Pra-kys-tao for the Protection of the Marshall Plan.”


Certain campus traditions take place to mark the academic seasons, involving parades through the city, each rife w/ its own occult rituals. The noisy Latada - Festa das Latas (celebration of end of class), and the older Queima das Fitas (burning of the ribbons), which goes on for eight days, involving light blue ribbons for the Sciences, dark blue for Letters, yellow for Medicine and purple for Pharmacy.





⇞  CITY OF CULTURE

The original footprint of Coimbra has spilled downhil, and locals distinguish between the older Upper Town and the Lower Town.


The area bordering the Modego River is Cicade Baixa, downtown, where commerce happens amid Romanesque, early Baroque, Rococco, and Gothic structures, sporting Moorish shadows and sucumbing to the nautical notions of the Manueline style.

A Portuguese queen is buried downtown, in a silver tomb housed in the convent of ‘Santa Ciara-a-Nova’. The Fountain of Life, waiting for you since the 14th century, is behind this church.

Unto the 1920s Coimbra was all but inaccessible by road to travellers, not to mention damp beds and dangerous foods. Sacheverell Sitwell visited in the 1950s:

“… At Coimbra not only has there been wanton and appalling destruction of what was old and beautiful, but new University buildings have been erected which are really shaming in their blatant ugliness. The sculptures, particularly, are of an insulting hideousness.

Not that there is anything in the least Portuguese about these abominable buildings of Coimbra. But it is sad, too, because, Coimbra being the university town of Portugal, so many Portuguese retain memories of Coimbra and an affection for it all through their lives, and those memories will now forever more be tinged and coloured by the ugly buildings. There is no possible excuse for hideousness upon this scale; but it might, at least, be practised elsewhere and not in Coimbra.”



⇞ LUIS DE CAMõES


  The Lusiads Arguably the most famous student of the University of Coimbra is Luis de Camões, who (might have been) born in Coimbra in 1524 but known to have passed age 56 in Lisbon. His fame is partly based on supreme mastery of the Portuguese language and is its lyric poet, and his most famous work is a tour de force recounting the tragedy of Indes de Castro of Spain and her love Prince Pedro of Portugal, and her murder by jealous courtiers. She was killed by a fountain in the Garden of Tears (‘Quinta das Lagrimas’) in the convent of Santa Clara; where pond lilies are have been known to flower red.

A stone slab by the fountain bears the following verse by Luís Vaz de Camões (Lusiads, Ill, 135), here in a translation by Lord Byron:


Mondego’s Daughter-Nymphs the death obscure Wept many a year, with wails of woe exceeding; And for long memory changed to fountain pure, The floods of grief their eyes were ever feeding; The name they gave it, which doth still endure, Revived Ignez, whose murdered love lies bleeding. See yon fresh fountain flowing ‘mid the flowers, Tears are its water, and its name ‘Amores.’





⇞  MANUELINE STYLE

Flush w/ wealth from the Spice Trade, Portugal experienced a brief period where money became as abundant as sea water, and lavished it on an indigenous artform.


The discoveries brought back by the sea voyages Pedro Alvares Cabral and Vasco da Gama aroused the already composite Portuguese style, toying w/ Flemish, Italian and Late Gothic elements. The newly rich gathered the bounties of the sea trade and repurposed them an architectural vocabulary in churches, monasteries, palaces and castles, and a maritime motif applied to furniture, sculpture and painting. The style was given a name in 1842 by the Viscount Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen, in his description of the Jeronimos Monastery. The characteristics of this Manueline style, named for King Manuel I (1495-1521), resulted in ornate portals, bevelled crenellations, conical pinnacles, and eight-sided capitals.


There were semicircular arches on doors and windows, columns of carved rope, and a wanton disregard for symmetry. There were symbols of Christianity and latter-day Templars, botanical flourishes, artifacts found on ships, all garlanded by Islamic filigree work and Moorish traceries.





⇞  AEMINIUM



▶ SOURCES:  [1] California and the Portuguese by Celestino Soares, SPN Books Lisbon 1939.  [2] Eyewitness Travel Guides: Portugal w/ Madeira & the Azores, DK Publishing Inc London 1997.  [3] The Finest Castles in Portugal, text Julio Gil, photographs Augusto Cabrita, Verbo 1996.  [4] A History of Spain and Portugal in two volumes, by Stanley G. Payne, The University of Wisconsin Press 1973.  [5] The Nagel Travel Guide Series : Portugal, Nagel Publishers Geneva 1956.  [6] A New History of Portugal 2nd Edition by H.V. Livermore, Cambridge University Press London 1976.  [7] Portugal and Madeira by Sacheverell Sitwell, William Clowes and Sons London 1954.  [8] Portugal the Pathfinder: Journeys from the Medieval toward the Modern World 1300-ca.1600, edited by George D. Winius, The Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies Ltd, The University of Wisconsin Press 1995.  [9] Port and the Douro by Richard Mayson, Faber and Faber London 1999.  [10] Portuguese Concise Dictionary 2nd edition, Harper Collins 2001.  [11] Spain and Protugal, Handbook for Travellers by Karl Bedacker, fourth edition. Leipsic: Karl Baedeker, publisher. London: George Allen & Unwini Ltd., New York: Chas. Scribner’s Sons. 1913.  [12] A Traveller's History of Portugal by Ian C. Robertson, line drawings by John Hoste, Interlink Books New York 2002.  [13] World Food by Lynelle Scott-Aitken and Clara Vitorino, Lonely Planet 2002. CREDITS  Culled from reporting by Tim Pozzi,the University of Coimbra website, the Internet, and guide books. Photographers incl., among others, Francisco Antunes.

▶ STREET NAMES: [ 2 ] Some Coimbra street names include: Rua Anthero de Quental, Alameda do Jardin Bot, Estrada da Beira, Rua do Loureira, Couraca dos Apostolos, Rua das Padeiras, Rua das Solas, Rua da Moeda, Rua da Louca, Rua do Corvo, Rua do Joao Cabreira, Rua da Sophia, Rua de Mont’arroio, Rua do Corpo de Deus, Rua do Borralho, Rua dos Estudos, Rua Lourenco d’Almcida, Rua Venancio Rodriguez, Rua Garrett, Rua do Thomar, Rua de Alex Herculano, Rua Ferreira Borges, Rua do Visconde da Luz, Rua da Sophia, Rua de Castro Mattoso, Rua de Oliveira Mattos.

▶ UNESCO 2013: [ 3 ] Complete list of 2013 UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ New Inscribed Properties.


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 WHAT HE SAID

Dr Mabuse  



 HISTORIC CENTER RECIPIENT

Agadez, Niger

Starting point for a journey across the Sahara, taking in “ports of call” to Timbuktu, Ghat, then Ghadames, and finally Tripoli, on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Seat of a Tuareg sultanate which was established in 1449. Occupied by the French since the early 1900s, and known of rebellion ever since. The Tuareg people are the original Canaanites from the Bible, inhabiting ancient Palestine and Phoenicia, and its lingua franca is the Hausa language, a subgroup of the Chadic languages group, and therefore a part of the Afroasiatic language family.

Started in the 1400s to serve as the south gateway into the Sahara, the Historic Centre of Agadez in Niger is now a Historic Center Recipient and a 2013 UNESCO World Heritage Site. This desert town was founded to become a center of commerce for the trans-Saharan trade, and by the 1500s the populace was 30,000. 2013 UNESCO Historic Center Recipient In 1976, area mining for uranium allowed the local economy to established a school, the Ecole des Mines de l’Air.

The 2011 census counted a total of 124,324 people living in Agadez and the European language they speak is French. There is an international airport named after a Tuareg leader, Mano Dayak, but due to the ongoing Tuareg rebellion in the region, Agadez is unsafe for travel.



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  WALT WHITMAN


Walt Whitman

Shapes of democracy total, result of centuries, shapes ever projecting other shapes, shapes of turbulent manly cities, shapes of the friends and home-givers of the whole earth, shapes bracing the earth and braced with the whole earth.

In some unused lagoon, some nameless bay, on sluggish, lonesome waters, anchor’d near the shore, an old, dismasted, gray and batter’d ship, disabled, done. After free voyages to all the seas of earth, haul’d up at last and hawser’d tight, lies rusting, mouldering.














 PIXELS





  ELECTORAL
  COLLEGE



| Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of Electors equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress, but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector. The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each, which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President. | But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representative from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary for a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President. The Congress may determine the time of choosing the Electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.

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  TINKER



Climate Strike 2019. Students worldwide walk out of class in protest. Francisco Mattos


Mural Day. 16 panels from a wall mural, corner of Mission and 18th in San Francisco, May 1 2016. Francisco Mattos


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Francisco Mattos

  GONE 


| 2018
Camp Fire Mikal Shively

The first smoke from the deadliest kind of wildfires descends on the Northern California town of Chico and blots out the sun. Caused by an electrical failure, the inferno took seventeen days to quell, and its epicenter was Paradise.


Mikal Shively reports from Chico
 | |  “Last night we packed and staged our get-a-way on our dining room table ready should the evacuation order come ...
 | | 
This Morning (11/09/2019) – When it finally became “light,” there was / is no sun. The sky is a dull grey and it is VERY still and cold compared with earlier in the week. All Butte County schools are closed so the Junior High across the street is dark as is the High School down the block – The College is also closed today. It is VERY still / quiet, and darkish outside – The air is terrible ...
 | | 
Last night friends from south-east Chico, were evacuated north and west into the core of town. We were all on pins-and-needles as to whether or not all of Chico would be evacuated – As of this morning the evacuation order for the core of town HAS NOT COME. There are reports on Google that houses along the Skyway (VERY BIG HOUSES) on the outskirts of Chico and possibly houses on Stilson Canyon Road have burned? ...
 | | 
As of this writing, we are hunkered down, with little real news as to how Chico is faring with regard to the fire. The electricity is on as is the heat (as I said above, it has turned cold). Not much else to report ...”



| 2018
National Museum of Brazil National Museum of Brazil

On September 2, fire gutted the museum and turned millions of pieces of artefacts into ash and smoke.


▶ Aftermath Gone are collections on paleontology, anthropology, archaeology, and indigenous Brazilian ethnology. A wing devoted to Ancient Egypt, incl. a throne room, has vanished.  | |  Partially lost is the 12,000 year-old skull of Luzia, oldest of Americans (80% has been recovered).  | |  National Museum of Brazil The Bendego meteorite (above), biggest found on Brazilian soil, has survived its terrestrial trial in okay shape. The second largest space rock ever found in the world, when a boy in Monte Santo, Bahia came across it in 1784.  | |  The museum’s website keeps track of its retrieval program and has produced a video (37:59).



|2014
Wilbur Hot Springs Wilbur Hot Springs

Established in 1865 for rejuvenation’s sake, this Northern California hideaway continued into the 21st Century w/ no electricity. It burned down in 2014.


▶ Long, long ago The resort compound is in Colusa County in Northern Calofrnia, where an unpaved road leads past a gate to arrive at the site.  | |  On the left three large concrete baths sit side by side: hottest, hotter, then hot. The latter drained into a swimming pool, where the water turns cold.  | |  On the right a large building housed the reception office, guest rooms, communal bunkbed room upstairs, and a reception desk in the foyer next to a formal library room. The kitchen was powered by propane which meant several refrigerators and a bank of cooking ranges ran silent.  | |  Next to this a smaller building housed staff. And here an artist-in-residence program enshrined a cultural presence mystical in its dabblings.  | |  Not a surprise, but the resort has now been rebuilt.



| 2018
Salvator Mundi Salvator Mundi

Detail of the painting “Savior of the World” showing evidence of Leonardo da Vinci’s authorship: the left hand is shown through the transparent orb.

▶ Salvator Mundi Painted circa 1500 and rehabilitated as an authentic Leonardo da Vinci, this painting was bought in 2018 and promptly disappeared.



| 1933
Thylacine Thylacine

From the Greek denoting canine and pouch.


▶ Tasmanian Tiger Roaming over continental Australia, Tasmania, a quadrant of New Guinea for four million years, this carnivorous marsupial’s natural enemy was the dingo and now believed to be extinct – due mainly to humankind.  | |  Still, occasional sightings occur.




| 2011
Tunisia Tunisia

A burning pool says goodbye to the Mediterranean Sea.  | |  Tunisia in freefall during the 28-day campaign of civil resistance popularly known as the ▶ Jasmine Revolution.  | |  More photos.




| 1989
Berlin Wall Berlin Wall

Günter Schabowskiwas of the East German government gave a press conference on November 9 abolishing border checkpoints, and border guards were briefly flummoxed on how to obey their directive to shoot trespassers.  | |  The end of the Berlin Wall had begun.




|2011
Natori Tsunami Natori Tsunami

Following behind an earthquake in Miyago Prefecture, Japan, a tidal wave overwhelms the coastal town of Natori.  | |  There is a short video (2:38).



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| Top |



-|  April 2020  |-



 WHAT HE SAID

Dr Mabuse  




 TYPOGRAPHY

de Vera  






 CABLE CAR



Cable Car

THE FINISHED PROTOTYPE, w/ a driver’s cab at either end, appeared on the California Street Line in 1899.

Cable Car

 

How San Francisco’s cable car came to be built will require more than one stop on its telling, wending this way and that, and passing landmarks of wealth and waste.

Cable Car Before the cable car, the task for getting to Nob Hill was relegated to paying for a ride in a horse-drawn cab. On October 11, 1869, this necessary yet wanton civic cruelty of using animals as beasts of burden changed for the good. The San Francisco Chronicle had a front page article on the death of a wretch. It took place when a horse finally lost it on California Street and, throttled by the harness, dragged down to its death.

Cable Car When Andrew Hallidie read this, he paused and paced his inner office, reflecting on what if anything he could learn from this. Hallidie was already prosperous, although not yet famous. He had inherited a company from his father. The senior Hallidie had invented and then patented a steel cable: strands of wire lined up and braided into a rope that was super strong, and proved indispensable in the gold fields and gold mines.

Cable Car

 

Cable Car

Cable Car Hallidie then took on someone's failed enterprise: build a conveyance capable of conquering the city‘s hills, relying on his cable rope. He bought the Clay Street Hill Railway Company and by May 1873 had built tracks and a cable assembly up Clay from Kearny to Leavenworth, a punishing climb of seven blocks.
Cable Car
Early on August 2 1873, a prototype tram was in place and, lantern-lit, Hallidie stepped on board. Activating a grip lever onto to a moving cable, he went up to Nob Hill on that peril-prone maiden voyage. Few were awake to witness a milestone, yet by opening day on September 1, the Clay Street Line was in demand. In 1880 over one million tickets were sold.

Cable Car

The original cable cars were tiny trams powered by a patented grip that alternately holds, and releases, a continuously moving steel cable running under the street. Power is supplied by huge drums housed at nearby power stations along the route.

Cable Car The tram operator is stationed forward of the tram. When he employs the grip to grab and hold on to the moving cable, the tram also moves. When the grip is released, the tram stops moving, even on a hill, using an invention of gear technology preventing slippage. Each car is manned by two operators: the tram operator or gripman, and the conductor.

Cable Car Cable Car Cable Car Andrew Smith Hallidie was born on March 17, 1837 in London, to Andrew Smith (b.1798 Dumfrieshire, Scotland) and Julia Johnstone (Lockerbie). He died April 24 1900, in San Francisco. Six years later his cable car system would survive the 1906 Earthquake.

Cable Car Cable cars then sprouted worldwide, from New York to Hong Kong. Naples crowned its opening by commissioning a song, “Funiculi, Funicula.”
Cable Car
In 1917, Andrew Smith Hallidie had an innovative building named for him. The Hallidie Building (by Willis Polk) has a facade rising eight stories and sheathed in glass. Cable Car

Cable Car

When news of the discovery of gold in California traveled back east, the brawn and brains of a young nation came westward, where notions of Freedom waltzed hand-in-glove w/ greatness as well as greed.

Cable Car Accordingly, access from the gold mines to San Francisco were surveyed. Roads, bridges and tracks were built wherever gold was found, w/ waystations established for respite and recreation. The mining methods these men brought w/ them quickly evolved to meet the challenges posed by the Comstock Lode and its tributaries.
Cable Car Cable Car

Cable Car The Industrial Revolution created tools used in scientific precisioning, allowing innovated models to be tested and profitably manufactured. Among these ideas was the ingenuous “square set” created by German engineer Philipp Deidesheimer. Grey Brechin picks up the umbilical cord:
Cable Car The square set introduced methods of construction. Deidesheimer's gift went from constructing safety zones to conduct the backbreaking business of mining into other uses, including the ability of a grid of steel beams and columns to allow support for more height.

Cable Car The term skyscraper came into usage in the 1880s, when enough tall buildings were built in the United States (15), to warrant a designation. These new structures usually came w/ modern plumbing, electrical outlets in every room, a telephone line in every unit, central heating, and elevator(s). Cable Car Cable Car “ …In the 1990s, NASA took a fresh look at the steel cable in light of a super material, carbon nanotube. This new field of nanotechnology promises a material that is uber-strong, light and flexible. Space Elevators: An Advanced Earth-Space Infrastructure for the New Millenium is the feasibility paper of this new science,to erect a track running on cables, from here to the Moon, a journey of some 62,000 miles.”



Philipp Deidesheimer
 Philipp and Mrs Deidesheimer   Making mining feasible, also skyscrapers.
• CABLE CAR NOTES:

 |  Based on San Francisco’s Golden Era by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clego (1060); Cable Car Days in San Francisco by Edgar Myron Kahn (1940); The Headlight, March 1947, published by the Western Pacific Club; Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin by Gray Brechin (1999); and on online articles by Mary Bellis (“The History of Skyscrapers”), Karen Barss (“Manhattan’s Golden Age of Skyscrapers”), and Meghan Neal (“Space Elevators Are Totally Possible”)  |  NASA ART - A space cable to the moon.  |  BONANZA — There is a 1959 episode of the TV series featuring a Philipp Deidesheimer storyline.  |  THANKS — Taryn Edwards, MLIS, Mechanics’ Institute.  |  THANKS — Penelope Houston, SF Public Library.


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  UNIVERSITY TOWN



Coimbra


⇞  CITY OF STUDENTS

Coimbra, a city in northern Portugal, is the see of a bishop, the capital of a province, and a center of learning. In 2013, UNESCO designated the University of Comibra as a University Town Recipient for its World Heritage Sites, “… an integrated university city, w/ a specific urban typology, as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions.” The property consists of two areas: a hilltop complex of buildings, University Hill, and a series of scattered structures which all played a part in the university’s history.


There is a 12th century Augustinian monastery which was the first school, and the original library.

The Inquisition swept into Portugal in 1567, and Coimbra was one of the three local centers tasked to conduct it. Outlasting these strictures, the university bounced back, w/ strengthened statutes, a reorganized syllabus of studies, greater emphasis on education in the vernacular, and the re-establishment of freedom of research. The old castle on the hilltop was finally pulled down to make way for new buildings.

A seal was then struck, a praxe, consisting of a spoon (symbol of punishment), scissors (symbol of unruliness), and a stick (symbol of self-defense).



University of Coimbra

University of Coimbra

Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra is the second oldest continuous institution of higher learning in Europe (the University of Paris is older), and the first university town in the world. In this northern Portuguese city, a world treasure become sited inside a national treasure, the school moved into a former royal palace on the summit of the hill, and grew to become a gathering spot for academics, writers, artists, who nicknamed this the Lusitanian Athens, ‘Lusa Atenas’.



⇞   CAMPUS

An early champion of the new science of circumnavigation, an observatory was built to make spatial sense of the stars.

Investitures and major events take place in the ‘Sala Grande dos Actos,‘ below portraits of kings and queens. A cathedral, already there when the university arrived, was gifted by Jesuits. The throne room is now used for PhD candidate examinations, and nothing else.

The four rooms of the ‘Museu de Arte Sacra’ contain, among holy habits and chalices, books of early sacred music. There is a museum of natural history. A colonnaded walkway by the grand patio was added in the 18th century, the ‘Via Latina.’ The campus chapel, ‘Capela de Sao Miguel’, means that no student need run downhill to another one.

A Botanical Garden blossomed in 1772, that delightful Victorian experiment of Eden on earth, sprouting wherever colonialism circled.


There are five faculties (‘theologia’, ‘direito’, ‘medicina’, ‘mathematica’, ‘philosophia’) w/ disciplines in judicial and European court systems, interdisciplinary nuclear science, and the arts. (The university had begun by teaching law, rhetoric, mathematics, theology, medicine, grammar and Greek.) The teaching staff consisits of some 70 professors and lecturers. Semester is from autumn to the start of summer, when two months of exams take place. The ordinary degree resulting in the title ‘licenciado’ lasts five years. The degree of ‘doutor’ takes another year and another examination. Medical students study eight years.

The university has a digital repositorium inside a tech park involved in research and incubation. There is a repository for the project April 25, documenting the toppling of a dictatorship. Auxiliaries of the city-wide university system take on citizen practices such as sports, theater, and botany and preservation; there are several kindergartens and nurseries under its wing.





⇞   LIBRARY

When the university outgrew the original city library, a second one was built in the 18th century, on University Hill, the ‘Biblioteca Joanina’, the oldest university library in continuous use in the world, and housed in three large and resplendent Baroque rooms w/ painted ceilings.


The first room has a light green palette, the second a darker green, and the third room has a “… shade like that of orange Niger leather”; rich in gilt and exotic wood, lined w/ 300,000 volumes in galleries runing around the walls, incl. arguably the most valuable collection of Bibles in the world.


There are unpublished manuscripts of Domenico Scarlatti, thought lost but rediscovered in the 20th century, because they were incorrectly catalogued. By the front door, a passageway can take one down to the river, the ‘Palacios Confusos’, by a series of steps posing as alleys, past houses of different styles and years.





⇞   STUDENT BODY

The student body numbers about 25,000, and the dress code is a black Prince Albert coat, worn w/ black trousers, black cape batina, black dress tie; generally students go bareheaded. A military hospital happens to be located nearby, because.


Freshmen may not be on the street after the bell has rung at 6pm, on penalty of being shaved bald, if caught. Another form of punishment is to measure the long bridge over the Modego w/ a match, and it must be done w/ meticulous accuracy.

Even a good and sinless freshman must be prepared to run errands whenever required to do so by a sophomore or junior, but he may be “protected,” and the errand countermanded, by a friendly senior (‘quartanista’).

In turn a sophomore and a junior are known as a semi-harlot (‘mejo prostituo / prostituta’) and a total harlot (‘total prostituo / prostituta’) respectively.


These ‘estudantes’ make up about a third of the town’s inhabitants. Their graduation ceremonies take place in May. It’s then that a localized form of ‘fado’ is sung, by male students only, and only on the steps of the old cathedral when 10pm comes around, w/ lyrics more intellectual and romantic than the genre asks for, love songs tuned to the passions and sentiments of the students, who perfume the air w/ their lamentations until dawn.






⇞   STUDENT REPUBLICS

In the mid-1950s there were eleven “republics” or student organizations, active in the university.


One of them is ‘Pra-kys-tao‘ (Here We Are), a fraternity of ten students for the mutual benefit of themselves and their always-slender budgets, and to satisfy wants such as traditional evenings of wine and shrimps in town. Membership was open, upon unanimous favorable vote, to students of any race, color, religion or political creed except, during that period, communism. In the most pratical way, the student who had been a member longest is automatically president. Using a rotation system, two students, followed by two more then two more, serve as executive officers for fifteen days.

They run the republic and must explain and justify all outlays of money, and a debate on this topic may be opened at any time, all decisions being made by majority vote, and to be taken at the dinner table. Freshmen may not vote on money matters but on anything else.

This particular republic had only 13 electric light bulbs for 15 rooms, incl. the dining room, kitchen and hallway. Pin-up girls papered over every wallspace, the harem of the eye (‘Harem do Olho’). One wall had graffiti: “Artillery Exported to Pra-kys-tao for the Protection of the Marshall Plan.”


Certain campus traditions take place to mark the academic seasons, involving parades through the city, each rife w/ its own occult rituals. The noisy Latada - Festa das Latas (celebration of end of class), and the older Queima das Fitas (burning of the ribbons), which goes on for eight days, involving light blue ribbons for the Sciences, dark blue for Letters, yellow for Medicine and purple for Pharmacy.





⇞  CITY OF CULTURE

The original footprint of Coimbra has spilled downhil, and locals distinguish between the older Upper Town and the Lower Town.


The area bordering the Modego River is Cicade Baixa, downtown, where commerce happens amid Romanesque, early Baroque, Rococco, and Gothic structures, sporting Moorish shadows and sucumbing to the nautical notions of the Manueline style.

A Portuguese queen is buried downtown, in a silver tomb housed in the convent of ‘Santa Ciara-a-Nova’. The Fountain of Life, waiting for you since the 14th century, is behind this church.

Unto the 1920s Coimbra was all but inaccessible by road to travellers, not to mention damp beds and dangerous foods. Sacheverell Sitwell visited in the 1950s:

“… At Coimbra not only has there been wanton and appalling destruction of what was old and beautiful, but new University buildings have been erected which are really shaming in their blatant ugliness. The sculptures, particularly, are of an insulting hideousness.

Not that there is anything in the least Portuguese about these abominable buildings of Coimbra. But it is sad, too, because, Coimbra being the university town of Portugal, so many Portuguese retain memories of Coimbra and an affection for it all through their lives, and those memories will now forever more be tinged and coloured by the ugly buildings. There is no possible excuse for hideousness upon this scale; but it might, at least, be practised elsewhere and not in Coimbra.”



⇞ LUIS DE CAMõES


  The Lusiads Arguably the most famous student of the University of Coimbra is Luis de Camões, who (might have been) born in Coimbra in 1524 but known to have passed age 56 in Lisbon. His fame is partly based on supreme mastery of the Portuguese language and is its lyric poet, and his most famous work is a tour de force recounting the tragedy of Indes de Castro of Spain and her love Prince Pedro of Portugal, and her murder by jealous courtiers. She was killed by a fountain in the Garden of Tears (‘Quinta das Lagrimas’) in the convent of Santa Clara; where pond lilies are have been known to flower red.

A stone slab by the fountain bears the following verse by Luís Vaz de Camões (Lusiads, Ill, 135), here in a translation by Lord Byron:


Mondego’s Daughter-Nymphs the death obscure Wept many a year, with wails of woe exceeding; And for long memory changed to fountain pure, The floods of grief their eyes were ever feeding; The name they gave it, which doth still endure, Revived Ignez, whose murdered love lies bleeding. See yon fresh fountain flowing ‘mid the flowers, Tears are its water, and its name ‘Amores.’





⇞  MANUELINE STYLE

Flush w/ wealth from the Spice Trade, Portugal experienced a brief period where money became as abundant as sea water, and lavished it on an indigenous artform.


The discoveries brought back by the sea voyages Pedro Alvares Cabral and Vasco da Gama aroused the already composite Portuguese style, toying w/ Flemish, Italian and Late Gothic elements. The newly rich gathered the bounties of the sea trade and repurposed them an architectural vocabulary in churches, monasteries, palaces and castles, and a maritime motif applied to furniture, sculpture and painting. The style was given a name in 1842 by the Viscount Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen, in his description of the Jeronimos Monastery. The characteristics of this Manueline style, named for King Manuel I (1495-1521), resulted in ornate portals, bevelled crenellations, conical pinnacles, and eight-sided capitals.


There were semicircular arches on doors and windows, columns of carved rope, and a wanton disregard for symmetry. There were symbols of Christianity and latter-day Templars, botanical flourishes, artifacts found on ships, all garlanded by Islamic filigree work and Moorish traceries.





⇞  AEMINIUM



▶ SOURCES:  [1] California and the Portuguese by Celestino Soares, SPN Books Lisbon 1939.  [2] Eyewitness Travel Guides: Portugal w/ Madeira & the Azores, DK Publishing Inc London 1997.  [3] The Finest Castles in Portugal, text Julio Gil, photographs Augusto Cabrita, Verbo 1996.  [4] A History of Spain and Portugal in two volumes, by Stanley G. Payne, The University of Wisconsin Press 1973.  [5] The Nagel Travel Guide Series : Portugal, Nagel Publishers Geneva 1956.  [6] A New History of Portugal 2nd Edition by H.V. Livermore, Cambridge University Press London 1976.  [7] Portugal and Madeira by Sacheverell Sitwell, William Clowes and Sons London 1954.  [8] Portugal the Pathfinder: Journeys from the Medieval toward the Modern World 1300-ca.1600, edited by George D. Winius, The Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies Ltd, The University of Wisconsin Press 1995.  [9] Port and the Douro by Richard Mayson, Faber and Faber London 1999.  [10] Portuguese Concise Dictionary 2nd edition, Harper Collins 2001.  [11] Spain and Protugal, Handbook for Travellers by Karl Bedacker, fourth edition. Leipsic: Karl Baedeker, publisher. London: George Allen & Unwini Ltd., New York: Chas. Scribner’s Sons. 1913.  [12] A Traveller's History of Portugal by Ian C. Robertson, line drawings by John Hoste, Interlink Books New York 2002.  [13] World Food by Lynelle Scott-Aitken and Clara Vitorino, Lonely Planet 2002. CREDITS  Culled from reporting by Tim Pozzi,the University of Coimbra website, the Internet, and guide books. Photographers incl., among others, Francisco Antunes.

▶ STREET NAMES: [ 2 ] Some Coimbra street names include: Rua Anthero de Quental, Alameda do Jardin Bot, Estrada da Beira, Rua do Loureira, Couraca dos Apostolos, Rua das Padeiras, Rua das Solas, Rua da Moeda, Rua da Louca, Rua do Corvo, Rua do Joao Cabreira, Rua da Sophia, Rua de Mont’arroio, Rua do Corpo de Deus, Rua do Borralho, Rua dos Estudos, Rua Lourenco d’Almcida, Rua Venancio Rodriguez, Rua Garrett, Rua do Thomar, Rua de Alex Herculano, Rua Ferreira Borges, Rua do Visconde da Luz, Rua da Sophia, Rua de Castro Mattoso, Rua de Oliveira Mattos.

▶ UNESCO 2013: [ 3 ] Complete list of 2013 UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ New Inscribed Properties.


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 WHAT HE SAID

Nicolas Roeg  




 HISTORIC CENTER RECIPIENT

Agadez, Niger

Starting point for a journey across the Sahara, taking in “ports of call” to Timbuktu, Ghat, then Ghadames, and finally Tripoli, on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Seat of a Tuareg sultanate which was established in 1449. Occupied by the French since the early 1900s, and known of rebellion ever since. The Tuareg people are the original Canaanites from the Bible, inhabiting ancient Palestine and Phoenicia, and its lingua franca is the Hausa language, a subgroup of the Chadic languages group, and therefore a part of the Afroasiatic language family.

Started in the 1400s to serve as the south gateway into the Sahara, the Historic Centre of Agadez in Niger is now a Historic Center Recipient and a 2013 UNESCO World Heritage Site. This desert town was founded to become a center of commerce for the trans-Saharan trade, and by the 1500s the populace was 30,000. 2013 UNESCO Historic Center Recipient In 1976, area mining for uranium allowed the local economy to established a school, the Ecole des Mines de l’Air.

The 2011 census counted a total of 124,324 people living in Agadez and the European language they speak is French. There is an international airport named after a Tuareg leader, Mano Dayak, but due to the ongoing Tuareg rebellion in the region, Agadez is unsafe for travel.



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  WALT WHITMAN


Walt Whitman

Shapes of democracy total, result of centuries, shapes ever projecting other shapes, shapes of turbulent manly cities, shapes of the friends and home-givers of the whole earth, shapes bracing the earth and braced with the whole earth.

In some unused lagoon, some nameless bay, on sluggish, lonesome waters, anchor’d near the shore, an old, dismasted, gray and batter’d ship, disabled, done. After free voyages to all the seas of earth, haul’d up at last and hawser’d tight, lies rusting, mouldering.