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

Technology Provided by the Iron Age

Iron was favored over bronze throughout history because it could be formed into thin and detailed structures which could not be achieved when casting bronze. This is important because it meant that iron blades could be worked and therefore sharpened to a much more refined degree than bronze which was brittle. Iron is also more readily found, a metal which could be found locally around the world and did not depend upon an immense, trading network. By 400 B.C., iron tools and iron objects became ubiquitous throughout various civilizations with the effects of this new technology felt upon the cutting edge of agricultural technology. Iron is more practical than bronze as bronze needs to be melted down and recast if broken in opposition to iron which could be taken to a fire, hit with a hard object, and repaired to the point at which it becomes functional once again. These aspects helped iron to gain favor worldwide as the metal of choice for building and advancing society. As the Iron Age progressed, knowledge about where iron deposits are found became better understood with more and more iron becoming available upon the open market. This is important because the more readily available a particular type of artifact is, the younger the item typically presents as. As time progressed, iron became akin to plastic of the modern day, being cost effective and readily available to manufacture virtually anywhere. Iron tipped wooden plows allowed for more difficult soils to be farmed, which meant that more land could be cultivated making iron truly an agricultural and commercial revolution in the ancient world. Despite lasting for a period of 1000 years, the Bronze Age was quickly replaced with the more effective and efficient Iron Age. The issue of total replacement is complicated as bronze was not only used for tool making, it also helped to create an elite class and was used for spiritual and ceremonial objects as well as visual displays of prestige and wealth. Iron tools several hundred years later, failed to achieve the same intrinsic value within society that bronze once had as it was less rare and precious and therefore less valuable. Iron tools however were highly practical unlike their bronze counterparts, a feature which plagued agriculture and society as a whole

The Business Rationale Behind Videogame Pre-Order Perks

Videogame production companies focus heavily upon pre-order sales as these provide the best path to generating revenue, income which is then re-invested to make even more profit. Production studios spend a lot of time and effort trying to come up with appealing pre-purchase packages because the quicker income is generated, the quicker it can be re-invested, but perhaps as important, pre-sales are sold at the full retail price point unlike delayed sales which are often sold at a discounted rate. Video game production companies spend an immense amount of time developing demonstrations for conventions (e.g. E3, Comic Con, Blizzcon etc.) because this is considered the best opportunity to attract gamers and have them purchase on the spot. These demonstrations are often over the top and include features which won’t be in the final version set for release (e.g. advanced graphical shading features), akin to a bait and switch technique in which the best face is presented with the actual product which is less polished actually being delivered. This deception is intentional as it helps generate revenue which helps fuel the production of future gaming titles and franchises

The Rationale Behind the President’s Chosen to be Depicted at Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore used a combination of dynamiting and jackhammering. It was the largest sculpture of its time. From left to right, George Washington was chosen as the father of the U.S., Thomas Jefferson as the father of U.S. law, Abraham Lincoln as the father of equality for all U.S. citizens, and Theodore Roosevelt who made the U.S. a world power

The 19th Century Discovery of Perfect Reverberation

The discovery and application of perfect reverberation within opera houses, theaters, university concert venues, etc. was devised by Harvard University physicist Wallace Sabine in the 1890’s. By playing the pipe organ and using a stop watch, Sabine took thousands of measurements and discovered the perfect ratio between room volume and sound absorbing materials. A reverb time of 1.9 seconds, an application of the Sabine Equation, allows for perfect reverberation so that speech and music is intelligible to all audience members, no matter their position in the venue which would otherwise be impossible (e.g. cathedral reverberation)

The Fictional and Real Usage of Area Code “555” for Telephone Numbers

Not all phone numbers that begin with “555” are fictional. The phone number “555-1212” is one of the standard numbers for directory assistance throughout the United States of America and Canada and only “555-0100” through “555-0199” are specifically reserved for fictional use with the other numbers being reserved for actual assignment