The Scandinavian Concept of Ragnarök

In Scandinavian mythology, Ragnarök is composed of a series of events and catastrophes which after having occurred, will ultimately lead to the end of civilization and the world. Ragnarök culminates as a final battle between the gods, demons, and giants, ending in the death of virtually all gods therefore ending in the end of the worlds existence. From this outcome, a new pantheon of deities is created and from this, a new world order. The term “Ragnarök” often stands to represent “the last great battle”

The Origins of Star Wars Day; May 4th

Star Wars Day, which occurs every year on May 4th, as this date is reminiscent of the phrase, “may the force be with you” (e.g. “May the Fourth be with you”) started on May 4, 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher took office as prime minister of Britain. A large advertisement was published on this date in recognition of Thatchers achievement which read “May The Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”

The Reason William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is Believed to be a Cursed Play

It is often believed by thespians that it is bad luck to say the name “Macbeth” within the theater that the play is being performed. This belief stems back to 1606 when a group of witches objected to William Shakespeare using real incantations within his work. As such, these witches claimed to have placed a curse upon the play, in perpetuity. The superstitious tradition caught on as the initial showing of Macbeth in private before King James I at Hampton Court in London, England sometime between August and December of 1606 was laiden with unfortunate errors and mishaps, continuing non-stop, even when performed for the public for the first time at the Globe Theater in London, England in 1611

The First Time a Woman and a Queen Illegally Published a Book in England

Queen Catherine Parr was an outspoken evangelist and believed that God had selected her to marry King Henry VIII so that she could spread the good news of the new religion of Protestantism, even going so far as to publish a book entitled “Prayers of Meditations” in 1545 which consisted of a collection of Latin religious texts translated into English, an unprecedented act as it marked the first time a book was published in English by a woman, compounded by the fact that this was the first time a book was published by an English queen. The book became a best seller instantaneously but the publishing of this book was technically illegal as women were not permitted to spread the word of God, and especially not in the English language

How Holograms Work

Holograms work by taking a single laser beam and splitting it into 2 parts, with the primary beam falling upon the object being photographed which then bounces away and falls onto a specialized screen, and the secondary beam falling directly upon the screen. The mixing of these beams creates a complex interface pattern containing a three dimensional image of the original object which can be captured on specialized film. By flashing another laser beam through the screen, the image of the original object suddenly becomes holographic. The term “holograph” is derived from the ancient Greek terms ”holo” which means “whole” and “graphos” which means “written”. The main issue with holographic technology is that unlike traditional visual media which needs to flash a minimum of 30 frames per second, scattering the image into pixels, a three dimensional holograph must also flash 30 frames per second, but of every angle to create depth of field, and the amount of data required far exceeds that of a traditional television photograph or video, even exceeding the capability of the internet until recently in 2014 when internet speeds reached 1 gigabyte per second

The Origin of Polka Music

Polka arrived in Vienna, Austria in the 1840’s, imported from Hungary. It is believed Polka was invented by Anna Slezak, a peasant girl who invented the dance while entertaining herself by hopping around on a Spring Sunday afternoon. The term “polka” is derived from the Czech term “pulka” which means “half-step”, in reference to the dances main choreography pattern of lightly stepping from one foot unto the other

The First Usage of Digital Animation (Computer Generated Imagery) Special Effects in Film

The first ever computer generated sequence in a movie occurred in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which lasted for 60 seconds and is referred to as the “genesis scene”. The scene includes a retinal scan of Captain James Tiberius Kirk as well as a planet being hit by a missile which then creates a stable environment for life. Over 50 software programs were written to accomplish this task and the creators of the sequence went on to form the digital animation company Pixar

The Intentions of the Louvre in Paris, France Over the Past Centuries

Located in the heart of Paris, France, the Louvre Palace was the main place of residence for French monarchs during the 16th and 17th century, however in 1682, Louis XIV moved his entire court to the Palace of Versailles which was an even grander estate located in the countryside. The Louvre was then used to house Louis XIV’s immense private art collection. Today the Louvre remains as a museum housing some 40,000 works of art. The Louvre first opened to the public in 1793 as a direct result of the French Revolution. Napoléon Bonaparte was a master self-propagandist and understood the vast potential which the Louvre held to help promote his image. Bonaparte started filling the Louvre with numerous world famous artworks which he had seized as the spoils of war, from Egypt, Italy, and elsewhere. The Louvre was briefly named the “Musée Napoléon” which means the “Napoléon Museum” in French. The choice to change the name to the Musée Napoléon occurred in 1803 when the then director of the museum and a consummate courtier, Vivant Denon told Bonaparte that the museum should be named after the most glorious leader of France

The Baptistère de Saint Louis and its Significance to European Culture

The Baptistère de Saint Louis was created by Malmuk craftspeople to be used as a luxury bowl to hold holy water during christenings, in fact King Louis XIII used the same object during his christening as an infant. Despite being created by Islamic craftspeople and depicting graphic violence of decapitation and limb severance, the Baptistère de Saint Louis was used for hundreds of years, seemingly without conflict between Islamic and Christian traditions and viewpoints. The object itself is a basin of metal and copper alloy which is inlayed with silver and was crafted in Syria or Egypt during the mid 14th century

 

China’s Influence Upon Foreign States and Their Associated Cultures

China has become highly adept at spreading its practices or at the very least, acquiring acceptance and tolerance of its practices, throughout the open markets of the world (e.g. American companies willing to do business with Chinese companies to access the Chinese marketplace despite the U.S. government experiencing continuous conflict with the Chinese government). Hollywood is perhaps the best example of this ideology taking shape. Hollywood’s business and by extension its profit model, is designed to produce blockbuster cinema for the box office, at regular intervals throughout each calendar year (e.g. for each holiday season etc.). China, due to its large population, has the worlds largest box office and as a direct result of this, in order to ascend to the level of becoming a major blockbuster film, movie studios are forced to capitulate and cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese government heavily censors cinema in China, however despite this, Hollywood movie production studios virtually always refuse to green light film scripts if they cannot be shown in China. This effectively means that the Chinese government has the ability to, and openly does, influence and shape the kinds of movies produced in the west simply by omission or refusal to accept a movie and its content. This means that in the future, China will become the cultural connoisseur and decision maker for the world, both in supply and demand of products and services (e.g. new films), solely due to the volume of the Chinese public and its appetite for western cinema