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7.28.2019

Gareth Bale’s proposed China move off after Real Madrid board block deal

7/28/2019 05:09:00 PM 0
Gareth Bale’s proposed China move off after Real Madrid board block deal



Gareth Bale’s proposed China move off after Real Madrid board block deal




Gareth Bale looks set to remain at Real Madrid, a club that does not want him, after the board blocked his lucrative transfer to China.

The Wales winger had been expected to join the Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning on a three-year deal. That move is now off after Real decided it did not represent good value.

With the Chinese transfer window to shut at the end of July and the English window not long afterwards, Bale looks set to spend another season in Madrid. This despite having effectively been frozen out of the team by Zinedine Zidane.

Bale joined Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 for a then world-record fee of £85m. He has won four Champions League titles with the club but has been sidelined by Zidane since he returned to Madrid this spring for a second spell as the manager.

After leaving Bale out of a pre-season game against Bayern Munich last week, which Madrid lost, Zidane said he hoped the player would be sold. “We hope he leaves soon,” Zidane said. “It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team. I have nothing personal against him but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done.”

Bale had expected a move to China and reportedly agreed a three-year deal with Jiangsu Suning worth £1m a week. But the Real board, led by the president, Florentino Pérez, decided the fee was insufficient.

Conan Doyle's Adventures of Gerard

7/28/2019 03:51:00 PM 0
Conan Doyle's Adventures of Gerard






Conan Doyle's Adventures of Gerard





Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was during his own lifetime as celebrated for his historical fiction as for his detective stories. Among his most popular works in this genre are the two volumes of short stories concerning the life and the adventures of Etienne Gerard. The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard was published in 1896 while Adventures of Gerardfollowed in 1903 (these tales had started appearing in the Strand magazine in 1894 and the final Gerard story dates from 1911).

Etienne Gerard is a hussar officer in Napoleon’s army who has been described by no less a judge than the Emperor himself as having both the stoutest heart and the thickest head in La Grande Armée.

Conan Doyle took his historical fiction seriously. He considered his works in this genre to be his greatest achievements. On the other hand he was 



always a commercial writer and entertainment was the first priority. The best of his historical novels, the two Brigadier Gerard collections and the two novels about Sir Nigel Loring, The White Company and Sir Nigel, manage to be both serious historical fiction and amusing and outrageous yarns.

This ability to be amusing while taking his subject matter seriously is a rare accomplishment and one is tempted to make comparisons to George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman novels (such as Flashman and the Mountain of Light). There are differences of course. Gerard is genuinely brave, even if he is at times a fool. Flashman is a coward. But there are definite affinities. Conan Doyle adopts a mock-heroic style, with Gerard (who narrates the tales) treating his own idiocies as acts of extraordinary martial skill and glory. They are both men whose fame as soldiers is not entirely deserved. Gerard is a brave and well-meaning but not very intelligent bungler who has occasionally managed to do heroic things mostly by luck, although he considers himself to be a brilliant officer. Flashman is a coward and a scoundrel who has occasionally managed to appear to have done heroic things mostly by luck. So in both cases the author is taking a rather sceptical view of military glory.

The Crime of Brigadier Gerard presents Colonel Gerard with a fine opportunity to win honour. His mission is to singlehandedly scout out the Lines of Torres Vedras, the formidable line of fortifications that Viscount Wellington had constructed to defend Lisbon. Marshal Masséna has personally selected Gerard for the mission. It does not work out quite as planned. Gerard finds himself in the midst of something far more important than mere military manoeuvres - he blunders into a fox hunt. The English of course cannot possibly do without their fox hunting even in Portugal so they have imported both foxes and hounds. 


Gerard however does not quite appreciate just what a solemn occasion this is.


It’s a typical Gerard story, with Gerard doing his best to be heroic whilst being blissfully (and amusingly) unaware of what is actually happening.



How Brigadier Gerard Lost His Ear takes place in Venice, which Napoleon’s army is energetically and efficiently looting. 



The Venetians are outraged and some are exacting private vengeance on the French invaders. Gerard almost finds himself a victim of such private vengeance, although in his case there is more involved. There is a lady involved. Gerard of course will do anything for a lady. In this instance what he has to do is rather surprising. Another fine story.


In How the Brigadier Saved the Army Gerard is given a very important mission. The French are on the retreat but are being harried by Spanish guerillas.


 A large detachment of French troops will be left behind, and will be doomed, unless Gerard can light a beacon fire to tell them to fall back on the main army. To light the beacon Gerard will have to travel miles through guerilla-infested countryside. In this story Gerard demonstrates the extraordinary and very genuine courage of which he is capable, and it demonstrate his unbelievable capacity for making a thorough mess of things but somehow muddling his way through. A very enjoyable tale.


Gerard is often heroic and often absurd and in Brigadier Gerard at Waterloo he manages to be both at the same time. It’s also a story in which Gerard’s delusions about his own importance reach ridiculous but rather touching extremes. He is entrusted by the Emperor with a vital mission which cold determine the outcome of the battle. Of course it doesn’t but it does give Gerard the opportunity to save the Emperor. 


The fact that this ends up being a futile lost cause adds a further touch of melancholy amusement (and if you think melancholy amusement isn’t possible you need to read this story).


The Brigadier in England covers the period Gerard spent in England after being captured. Much of this time was spent in congenial surroundings at the home of Lord Rufton. Gerard spends his time leaning to play cricket (a most bloodthirsty game, or at least it is the way Gerard plays it) and getting mixed up in a complicated romantic intrigue in which Gerard as always doesn’t quite understand what is going on although he thinks he does. An amusing little story.



How the Brigadier Joined the Hussars of Conflans tells us of Gerard’s first day with the regiment that was to be so important to him. Gerard immediately makes himself ridiculous with his outrageous boasting, and then proceeds to demonstrate that he really is as brave as he says he is, almost singlehandedly capturing the city of Saragossa. Some fine swashbuckling here.



How Etienne Gerard Said Good-Bye to his Master is a poignant and quixotic tale of an attempt to rescue Napoleon from St Helena. You have to admire Gerard for refusing to abandon his allegiance to the Emperor. All the Gerard stories are recounted by the elderly Gerard some time in the 1850s or thereabouts and he never wavers from his loyalty. 



How Etienne Gerard Said Good-Bye to his Master is a poignant and quixotic tale of an attempt to rescue Napoleon from St Helena. You have to admire Gerard for refusing to abandon his allegiance to the Emperor.


 All the Gerard stories are recounted by the elderly Gerard some time in the 1850s or thereabouts and he never wavers from his loyalty.


The Marriage of the Brigadier was the last of the Gerard tales to be written (in 1910, several years after the publication of The Adventures of Gerard) but chronologically it’s the first of the stories, taking place in 1802. In peacetime Gerard finds time for love, and he discovers true fear. He fears no man, but an enraged bull is another matter. And the bull acts as an unexpected match-maker. A slight but amusing story.



The Gerard stories are an absolute delight. Gerard is a buffoon but he is a brave buffoon. His belief in his heroic stature never wavers and is sublimely unaffected by reality. The Adventures of Gerard is highly recommended.



About the Murder of a Startled Lady

7/28/2019 03:34:00 PM 0
About the Murder of a Startled Lady






About the Murder of a Startled Lady







Between 1930 and 1932 Anthony Abbot wrote four detective novels, very much in the Van Dine mould, featuring New York Police Commissioner Thatcher Colt. He then took a break for a few years before writing four more Thatcher Colt novels heavily influenced by his growing interest in psychic phenomena. The first of these new-look Thatcher Colt mysteries was About the Murder of a Startled Lady, published in 1935.

Abbot’s new interests are immediately apparent in this novel. It begins with a young woman reporting her own murder six months earlier. She makes the report through a medium at a séance, and she also reports that her dismembered body was dumped in the sea at a certain place. Thatcher Colt doesn’t believe in any of this spiritualist nonsense. On the other hand a murder has been reported 


and Colt decides it would be just as well to send a diver down to have a look and sure enough the body of young woman is found right where the dead girl said it was.

It’s not so much a body as a collection of human bones. Of course there’s no hope of identifying the remains now, except that there’s a man whose services Colt has used in the past, a man who is referred to as a crime sculptor who has the uncanny ability to reconstruct facial features from nothing but a skill. So the dead girl can be identified after all.

Once she’s been identified the story doesn’t become any less odd. The girl and everyone connected with her seem to have been decidedly strange and not entirely what you would call normal. And there’s reason to suspect the girl herself may have been a bit on the strange side.

The psychic elements are just one of the odd features of this tale. Anthony Abbot was always fascinated by the use of science in criminal investigation (there’s some wonderfully esoteric forensic science stuff in About the Murder of the Clergyman’s Mistress.

In About the Murder of a Startled Lady some of the scientific methods used verge on the science fictional. The facial reconstruction also stretches credibility a bit, given the technology of the time. In fact the crime sculptor seems to rely a bit too much on inspiration rather than technique.

Despite the supernatural trappings this is essentially a traditional puzzle-plot mystery with some police procedural overtones. I’m not sure it’s entirely fair play - there is one important clue which in my opinion remains unexplained and the essence of the puzzle-plot mystery is that the solution should not leave any loose ends. Apart from that one false step it’s a decent enough plot.

And Abbot comes up with a very neat and very clever variation on the traditional ending in which the detective gathers together all the suspects to reveal the solution. The solution itself is reasonably satisfactory.

The psychic elements are interesting for several reasons. We never really believe there’s going to be a supernatural solution and Thatcher Colt clearly doesn’t believe so either, but at the same time Colt has to admit that the apparent revelation by the dead girl is difficult to explain. The tricks used by phoney spiritualists were well-known and he expects the trickery to be easily explained but it isn’t. And they’re not just supernatural trappings to add a bit of atmosphere - they are in fact vital plot elements.

Anthony Abbot himself is a character in the Thatcher Colt mysteries. He’s Colt’s secretary and confidant and he’s the narrator of the stories. In other words he’s Colt’s Dr Watson. This fictional version of Anthony Abbot contributes a short foreword in which he makes some rather disparaging remarks about genius amateur detectives with an inexhaustible store of arcane knowledge. It almost sounds like a disavowal of the Van Dine school. This book is somewhat less Van Dine-like than Abbot’s earlier books. At the same time Thatcher Colt is clearly an educated and cultivated man, able to recognise instantly quotations from Dante.

I suspect that fans of puzzle-plot mysteries might find the first batch of four Thatcher Colt mysteries, such as the excellent About the Murder of the Circus Queen, to be more satisfactory than the second batch. It’s worth noting however that About the Murder of the Circus Queen also has a few occultist touches.

About the Murder of a Startled Lady is an intriguing variation on the impossible crime sub-genre. There’s nothing remotely impossible about the murder itself. It’s the process by which the murder is revealed that seems impossible.

This book might not be a masterpiece but it’s worth a look and Abbot is definitely an unfairly neglected mystery writer. Recommended.

5 Ways To Improve Your Earnings With Adsense

7/28/2019 01:11:00 PM 0
  5 Ways To Improve Your Earnings  With Adsense




5 Ways To Improve Your Earnings 

With Adsense





If webmasters want to monetize their websites, the great way to do it is through Adsense. There are lots of webmasters struggling hard to earn some good money a day through their sites. But then some of the “geniuses” of them are enjoying hundreds of dollars a day from Adsense ads on their websites. What makes these webmasters different from the other kind is that they are different and they think out of the box.

The ones who have been there and done it have quite some useful tips to help those who would want to venture into this field. Some of these tips have boosted quite a lot of earnings in the past and is continuously doing so.

Here are some 5 proven ways on how best to improve your earnings.
1. Concentrating on one format of Adsense ad. The one format that worked well for the majority is the Large Rectangle (336X280). This same format have the tendency to result in higher CTR, or the click-through rates. Why choose this format out of the many you can use? Basically because the ads will look like normal web links, and people, being used to clicking on them, click these types of links. They may or may not know they are clicking on your Adsense but as long as there are clicks, then it will all be for your advantage.

2. Remove the Adsense from the bottom pages of your site and put them at the top. Do not try to hide your Adsense. Put them in the place where people can see them quickly. You will be amazed how the difference between Adsense locations can make when you see your earnings.

3. Create a custom palette for your ads. Choose a color that will go well with the background of your site. If your site has a white background, try to use white as the color of your ad border and background. The idea to patterning the colors is to make the Adsense look like it is part of the web pages. Again, This will result to more clicks from people visiting your site.

4. Try to automate the insertion of your Adsense code into the webpages using SSI (or server side included). Ask your web administrator if your server supports SSI or not. How do you do it? Just save your Adsense code in a text file, save it as “adsense text”, and upload it to the root directory of the web server. Then using SSI, call the code on other pages. This tip is a time saver especially for those who are using automatic page generators to generate pages on their website.

5. Maintain links to relevant websites. If you think some sites are better off than the others, put your ads there and try to maintaining and managing them. If there is already lots of Adsense put into that certain site, put yours on top of all of them. That way visitor will see your ads first upon browsing into that site.

These are some of the tips that have worked well for some who want to generate hundreds and even thousands on their websites. It is important to know though that ads are displayed because it fits the interest of the people viewing them. So focusing on a specific topic should be your primary purpose because the displays will be especially targeted on a topic that persons will be viewing already.

Note also that there are many other Adsense sharing the same topic as you. It is best to think of making a good ad that will be somewhat different and unique than the ones already done. Every clickthrough that visitors make is a point for you so make every click count by making your Adsense something that people will definitely click on.

Tips given by those who have boosted their earnings are just guidelines they want to share with others. If they have somehow worked wonders to some, maybe it can work wonders for you too. Try them out into your ads and see the result it will bring.

If others have done it, there is nothing wrong trying it out for yourself. Aslo, you will find out some Adsense Alternative network on Adswiki.Net.

Google Reportedly Tolerated Spam on Non-Search Products!

7/28/2019 01:10:00 PM 0
Google Reportedly Tolerated Spam on  Non-Search Products!




Google Reportedly Tolerated Spam on 

Non-Search Products!








An Ex-Googler who was the product manager of Blogger from 2003-2006 revealed that Google tolerated spam on its network. He said that resources were devoted to fight spam on the Search side but not for Adsense or Blogger spam.



According to tweets by the ex-Googler, spam was tolerated in order to grow engagement metrics at Blogger.com. The comments were tweeted in the context of criticism of Google’s handling of low quality obscene and violent content on YouTube.

Blogger Spam has Been a Problem for Publishers

Spam on Blogger gave rise to a variety of link schemes. Spammers on Blogger have used the profile to host stolen content. Blogger spam has been a problem for legitimate publishers. It’s shocking to hear that Google did not devote enough resources to fighting spam on it’s own blog network.

Google Has Been Rumored to Tolerate Spam

In the early days of AdSense, WebmasterWorld Forum members noted a lot of spam sites participated in the Google AdSense program. WebmasterWorld members called these spam sites MFAs, an acronym for Made for AdSense Sites.

Googlers are on record stating that there is a wall between AdWords and the Search team to prevent manipulation that would skew organic search results to favour the Pay Per Click side.

What I heard at the time was that there was no such wall between the AdSense and the Search departments. I don’t know if this is true. I’m just relating what I heard at the time.

Thus, the rumour went, Google could admit spam sites into the AdSense program while the Search side could take advantage of AdSense data to keep these spammers out of Google Search.

According to the rumours, the goal for admitting spam sites into the AdSense program was to increase engagement metrics but also to pollute Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

Again, I’m not saying this is true. I’m documenting what I heard because the tweet by the ex-Googler seems to partially confirm the rumour.

According to the ex-Googler, Google has a history of allowing spam on their network of sites for the purpose of increasing engagement while focusing their spam fighting resources on the search side.

YouTube Allegedly Allowed Low Quality Content

A Bloomberg article asserted that YouTube executives ignored warnings about troubles with YouTube content in order to pursue growth in engagement metrics.
That focus on growth on engagement metrics echoed what the ex-Googler tweeted.

According to Bloomberg:


“The company spent years chasing one business goal above others: “Engagement,” a measure of the views, time spent and interactions with online videos. Conversations with over twenty people who work at, or recently left, YouTube reveal a corporate leadership unable or unwilling to act on these internal alarms for fear of throttling engagement.”

What the Ex-Googler Tweeted

The ex-Googler tweeted within the context of a discussion of YouTube’s issues with problematic content. He affirmed that Google’s commitment was to grow the platforms:
“Platforms believe that more use of their products makes the world a better place. As a consequence abuse is under-resourced. Only in the financial world, like PayPal, did you see fraud prevention built in as a competitive advantage rather than a tax to be minimized.”

Google engineer Paul Haahr tweeted a counterargument based on his personal experience:

“I’d argue that web search engines have considered spam-fighting a core competency (and competitive advantage) since the early days.”
The ex-Googler agreed that Google devoted resources to the Search side.
Then he asserted that Google did not devote enough resources to the non-search platform side.
“This is a good point but if the difference between how Google dealt with off network Search spam and on network Blogger spam is also illustrative. In the case of Blogger the spam was allowed to flourish bc the fundamental goal was just to get more people to use the product.”

The Google engineer responded:

“I think my only knowledge of Blogger was from that first meeting we had after you folks were acquired, so I’ll defer to you on that. Does seem like a mistake. (We certainly cared about spam on Blogspot inside search.)”

To which the ex-Googler tweeted:

“Yah and that was the call – we can deal with it on the search side but let the pharma spam go on blogspot. To be clear I supported that call and it was embraced all the way up. But yah a mistake.”

Spam Embraced By Google Management

The shocking part of these tweets is that they revealed that the Blogger.com spam was known and approved by Google all the way up the chain of authority:
“it was embraced all the way up.”
These series of tweets appear to give more credence to the rumours that Google knew about spam in the AdSense program and tolerated it. The statement also gives a peek into the mindset at Google with regards to spam on the search side versus on its content platform site. It hints at possible motives for not adequately policing YouTube for fear of slowing engagement metrics.

7.26.2019

College Student Finds a 65-Million-Year-Old Triceratops Skull During Paleontology Dig in North Dakota

7/26/2019 07:13:00 PM 0
College Student Finds a 65-Million-Year-Old Triceratops Skull During Paleontology Dig in North Dakota



College Student Finds a 65-Million-Year-Old Triceratops Skull During Paleontology Dig in North Dakota





Paleontology is often a game of luck, and an undergraduate student at the University of California, Merced recently hit the jackpot. 

As CBS News reports, Harrison Duran, a fifth-year biology student with an emphasis in ecology and evolutionary biology, was on a dig in the Badlands of North Dakota when he struck upon the partial skull of a 65-million-year-old Triceratops fossil.

Duran trekked out to the Badlands with "bone digger" and Mayville State University biology professor Michael Kjelland expecting to find plant fossils on their two-week dig. Among the fossilized wood and leaves, they discovered something else: the remains of a Triceratops, one of the most iconic dinosaurs of all time.

Duran, whose passion for dinosaurs predates his academic career, was ecstatic. “I can’t quite express my excitement in that moment when we uncovered the skull,” he told UC Merced. “I’ve been obsessed with dinosaurs since I was a kid, so it was a pretty big deal.”

The specimen was named Alice in honor of the owner of the land where it was found. After a week-long excavation, the partial skull was covered in foil and plaster and transported by truck to Kjelland's lab.

 Kjelland noted that such fossils are susceptible to theft (Triceratops skulls can be worth a quarter-million dollars), but he hopes to eventually make Alice viewable to the public. His ideal scenario would be touring the skull around various locations, but the fossil must be further analyzed and prepared for display before that can happen.

The Dakotas are famous for their dinosaur fossils. Triceratops are especially prevalent there—in South Dakota, the species is the official state fossil.

Understanding The AI

7/26/2019 02:06:00 PM 0
Understanding  The AI



Understanding  The AI 





Discussions of artificial intelligence (AI) have created a certain amount of unease by those who fear it will quickly evolve from being a benefit to human society to taking over. Even Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have warned of AI’s threats. However, we’re not all operating from the same definition of the term and while the foundation is generally the same, the focus of artificial intelligence shifts depending on the entity that provides the definition. Let’s look at 6 definitions of artificial intelligence and see how some of the industry’s leaders are focusing their AI research efforts.

John McCarthy first coined the term artificial intelligence in 1956 when he invited a group of researchers from a variety of disciplines including language simulation, neuron nets, complexity theory and more to a summer workshop called the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence to discuss what would ultimately become the field of AI. At that time, the researchers came together to clarify and develop the concepts around “thinking machines” which up to this point had been quite divergent. 

McCarthy is said to have picked the name artificial intelligence for its neutrality; to avoid highlighting one of the tracks being pursued at the time for the field of “thinking machines” that included cybernetics, automata theory and complex information processing. 

The proposal for  the conferencesaid, “The study is to proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.”

Today, modern dictionary definitions focus on AI being a sub-field of computer science and how machines can imitate human intelligence (being human-like rather than becoming human). 

The English Oxford Living Dictionary gives this definition: “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

Merriam-Webster defines artificial intelligence this way:
  1.       A branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.
  2.       The capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior.

7.25.2019

Viking History: Facts & Myths

7/25/2019 03:59:00 PM 0
Viking History: Facts & Myths




Viking History: Facts & Myths




The Vikings were a seafaring people from the late eighth to early 11th century who established a name for themselves as traders, explorers and warriors. They discovered the Americas long before Columbus and could be found as far east as the distant reaches of Russia. 
While these people are often attributed as savages raiding the more civilized nations for treasure and women, the motives and culture of the Viking people are much more diverse. These raiders also facilitated many changes throughout the lands from economics to warfare.

Many historians commonly associate the term "Viking" to the Scandinavian term vikingr, a word for "pirate." However, the term is meant to reference oversea expeditions, and was used as a verb by the Scandinavian people for when the men traditionally took time out of their summers to go "a Viking." While many would believe these expeditions entailed the raiding of monasteries and cities along the coast, many expeditions were actually with the goal of trade and enlisting as foreign mercenaries.

The Viking Age generally refers to the period from A.D. 800, a few years after the earliest recorded raid, until the 1050s, a few years before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, according to Angelo Forte, Richard D. Oram and Frederik Pedersen, authors of "Viking Empires" (Cambridge University Press, 2005). During this time, the reach of the Scandinavian people extended to all corners of northern Europe, and many other nations found Vikings raiding their coasts. The farthest reported records of Vikings were in Baghdad for the trading of goods like fur, tusks and seal fat.
A Viking raid on the monks of Lindisfarne, a small island located off the northeast coast of England, marked the start of the Viking migration from Scandinavia in 793. This location was a well-known abbey of learning, famous throughout the continent for the knowledgeable monks and its extensive library. During this raid, monks were killed, thrown into the sea or taken as slaves along with many treasures of the church, and the library itself razed. This single event set the stage for how Vikings would be perceived throughout the Viking Age: savage warriors with no respect for religion or appreciation for learning.
In the years that followed the initial raid, coastal villages, monasteries and even cities found themselves besieged by these sea-based foreign intruders. Due to the frequency of sea attacks, many developments were made in developing fortifications in the forms of walled-in harbors and sea-facing stone walls, defenses that proved to be quite effective at deterring raids.
The reason behind these attacks is a topic of debate among academics, though the reasons often stem from such things as the Christian persecution and forced baptism of pagans to reduced agricultural outputs in the Scandinavian region. Many more documented reasons might have prompted these people to leave their cold and harsh homes to seek out the means to survive elsewhere. Yet, despite how unforgiving their homeland may have been, most Vikings still returned to their homeland at the end of each season with treasure, slaves and goods to survive yet another winter.

At the heart of the Viking culture lies the Viking ship. These extraordinary vessels — longships in particular — shaped the lives of the sea-faring Norse and changed the course of European history. 
Honed for more than 10 centuries, the ship-building skills of the Norse led to a variety of vessels — from small fishing boats and big-bellied cargo vessels to the famous lightning-fast longships used for raiding. But no matter the size, most of the ships were designed to be narrow in shape with short drafts (vertical distance between waterline and bottom of ship), features that gave them high adaptability for use in the ocean and rivers. 
The Vikings' ship-building craft reached a high point in the 7th century when they invented the keel, a structural beam that runs from the bow to the stern and sits lower than the main body of the ship. This feature increased speed and stability and prevented unwanted lateral movement, according to Yachting & Boating World. The keel, along with the addition of a large mast and sail, would ultimately allow the Norsemen to make long journeys across the North Atlantic. These vessels are now looked back upon as revolutionary in design and a technological miracle.
To begin the ship-building process, the Vikings would drive wedges into freshly-cut trees until the wood split along the grain. Up to 20 great oaks might be cut down for a ship. The wood was shaped and arranged so that the planks fit together perfectly in a clinker construction, overlapping like a fan. In clinker shipbuilding, the outside is started first, and then the frame is put inside it, according to the living history site Regia Anglorum. The ship was coated with a watertight mixture of tar-soaked animal hair, wool or moss and stabilized with iron rivets. The end result was an incredibly fast and flexible longship that nothing could catch. 
The men rowed with a series of oars, supplemented with a large sail most likely made of wool. Rather than a rudder, the longships had a steerboard fastened to the right-hand side of the ship at the stern, according to Royal Museums Greenwich. 
By the middle of the 9th century, the raids really picked up as word spread across the Norse region of Europe's removable wealth. Norse villages and communities came together to build ships with the intention of improving their lives through the business of raiding. In 842, Vikings ruthlessly attacked Nantes on the French coast, and because of their ability to maneuver up rivers, they went on to raid towns as far inland as Paris, Limoges, Orleans, Tours and Nimes, according to History.com. 
The Vikings paid as much attention to art as to craft. The longships were usually adorned with carved dragon heads at the bow, which were believed to keep evil spirits away. The dragon head coupled with a large square, red-striped sail would come to be known as the signature of the Vikings. The sight would strike fear into the hearts of Europeans for three centuries.

The Vikings set up colonies on the west coast of Greenland during the 10th century. The Viking sagas tell of journeys they undertook from these Greenland colonies to the New World. They mention places named "Helluland" (widely believed to be Baffin Island), "Markland" (widely believed to be Labrador) and "Vinland" (a more mysterious location which some archaeologists believe could be Newfoundland). 

At present the only confirmed Viking site in the New World is located at L'anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland. That site was excavated in the 1960s. 
Additionally there are three possible Viking sitesthat archaeologists have recently excavated in Canada. Two of the possible sites are located in Newfoundland while a third site is located on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. 

One possible Viking site is located at Point Rosee in southern Newfoundland; at the site, archaeologists found a possible bog iron roasting hearth beside a structure made with turf.
 Another possible Viking site is located at Sop's arm in Newfoundland and includes a series of "pitfalls" that would have been used to trap large animals such as caribou. These pitfalls are arranged in a straight line, and archaeologists believe that the Vikings could have driven the animals toward these pitfalls where the animals could have been trapped and killed. At the third possible Viking site, located at Nanook on Baffin Island, researchers found artifacts that may have been used in metal production and the remains of a structure that may have been built by the Vikings. 

Many modern perceptions of Vikings found their origins through Catholic propaganda. Upon the sacking of multiple Christian facilities and the loss of countless relics and treasures, the Catholic ministry sought to dehumanize them. Until Queen Victoria's rule of Britain, the Vikings were still portrayed as a violent and barbaric people. During the 19th and 20th centuries, perceptions changed to the point where Vikings were glamorized as noble savages with horned helmets, a proud culture and a feared prowess in battle.

With regards to the more popular Viking myths created through these misperceptions, the following are proven to be clearly false according to historical record:
  1. Vikings wore horned helmets
    Vikings traditionally went bareheaded or wore simple leather and metal-frame helmets with the occasional face guard. The idea behind horned helmets came about from the Viking revival during Victoria's reign.
  2. They were filthy and unkempt
    Archaeologists find evidence on a regular basis of combs, spoons and other grooming utensils that indicate the Viking people were very keen on maintaining personal hygiene.
  1. They spent all their time raiding and warring
    While raiding proved an excellent source of income, many of the Vikings held farms back in their homeland that their wives maintained during Viking season. When the men returned home from a raid, they resumed their normal routine of farming.
  1. Vikings were a unified army
    Due to the difficult geographic location, the Scandinavian people were very spread out to conserve limited farmland. In addition, the penetration of Christianity caused many great divisions among the people still worshipping the traditional Nordic pantheon, further emphasizing the divided nature of the people.
  2. They were large and heavily muscled
    Due to the short summer seasons, growing crops was difficult and resources were always scarce. As a result, many of the Scandinavian people were much smaller than commonly depicted due to limited food sources.
While the living conditions in Scandinavian regions were certainly harsh and made a hard people, many Vikings suffered from the scarcity of resources and the people set up their homes over great distances with no real unified leadership. 
During the Viking Age, the Scandinavian people were able to make a stronger push to the outside worlds and create a reputation for themselves beyond simple barbarism. 
While some Vikings were driven with the lust for riches, many sought more peaceful economic relationships with the surrounding nations.

Indeed, as Forte et al wrote, there was no dramatic end to the Viking Age
The authors contend that the Scandinavian kingdoms were slowly acculturated and integrated into the "wider body politic of European Christendom."

7.24.2019

What Is Sarafina ?

7/24/2019 07:40:00 PM 0
What Is  Sarafina ?



What Is  Sarafina ? 






Sarafina is a minor character in the film, making few appearances and having only one spoken line.

Little of her past is known, though she mated with an unnamed lion with whom she had a daughter named Nala. However, as Nala is stated to be betrothed to Simba as part of a long-standing tradition, she would have presumably agreed to the betrothal at some point.

Appearances

The Lion King

Sarafina is first seen sleeping with the other lionesses inside Pride Rock with Nala in her paws as Simba arrives to wake up Mufasa.

She is then seen later that day bathing Nala while visiting Sarabi. When Nala asks for permission to accompany Simba to the watering hole, she asks Sarabi for her opinion. When Sarabi gives her permission, Sarafina agrees and allows the two cubs to go.

She later appears along with Sarabi, Nala, Zazu and the rest of the pride mourning as Scar tells them that both Mufasa and Simba had perished in a stampede. Sarafina and the pride watch in horror as Scar allows hyenas into the Pride Lands after becoming King.

 After that, she hasn't made an appearance, through it is presumed that she took place during the Battle of Pride Rock and later was present during the presentation of her newborn granddaughter.

The Lion King (2019)

In this live action/CGI remake of the film, this character is called Serafina.

Printed media

The Lion King: Six New Adventures


Sarafina makes an appearance in the book Nala's Dare, which is part of The Lion King: Six New Adventures series. In the book, she along with a young rogue lion named Ni, rescue Nala and her friends Kula and Chumvi from hyenas. She later introduces Ni, who had been driven from his pride to the rest of the Pride Land lions.

Simba's Big Secret

After Nala goes missing, a worried Sarafina asks Simba if he has seen her. Not wanting to give away Nala's secret, Simba replies that he hasn't seen her.

However, after some coaxing from Sarabi, Simba tells Sarafina that Nala went to a secret cave near the red cliffs. Sarafina, Simba, Sarabi and the rest of the pride goes to search for Nala and discover her trapped inside the cave. After being rescued, Nala goes to Sarafina and promises not to go anywhere without telling someone again.