The arts are a very wide range of human practices of creative expression, storytelling, and cultural participation. They encompass multiple diverse and plural modes of thinking, doing, and being, in an extremely broad range of media. Both highly dynamic and a characteristically constant feature of human life, they have developed into innovative, stylized, and sometimes intricate forms. This is often achieved through sustained and deliberate study, training, and/or theorizing within a particular tradition, across generations, and even between civilizations. The arts are a vehicle through which human beings cultivate distinct social, cultural, and individual identities while transmitting values, impressions, judgements, ideas, visions, spiritual meanings, patterns of life, and experiences across time and space.
The arts can refer to common, popular, or everyday practices as well as more sophisticated, systematic, or institutionalized ones. They can be discrete and self-contained or combine and interweave with other art forms, such as the combination of artwork with the written word in comics. They can also develop or contribute to some particular aspect of a more complex art form, as in cinematography. By definition, the arts themselves are open to being continually redefined. The practice of modern art, for example, is a testament to the shifting boundaries, improvisation and experimentation, reflexive nature, and self-criticism or questioning that art and its conditions of production, reception, and possibility can undergo.
As both a means of developing capacities of attention and sensitivity and as ends in themselves, the arts can simultaneously be a form of response to the world and a way that our responses and what we deem worthwhile goals or pursuits are transformed. From prehistoric cave paintings to ancient and contemporary forms of ritual to modern-day films, art has served to register, embody, and preserve our ever-shifting relationships to each other and to the world. (Full article...)
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"Damien" is the tenth episode of the first season of the American animated television series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on February 4, 1998. In the episode, the boys' class is joined by a new student named Damien, who has been sent by his father Satan to find Jesus and arrange a boxing match between the two. The majority of South Park's residents bet on Satan to win the match due to his enormous size and muscular physique, but Satan ultimately throws the fight and reveals he bet on Jesus, thus winning everybody's money.
The Story of Miss Moppet is a tale about teasing, featuring a kitten and a mouse, that was written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter, and published by Frederick Warne & Co for the 1906 Christmas season. Potter was born in London in 1866, and between 1902 and 1905 published a series of small-format children's books with Warne. In 1906, she experimented with an atypical panorama design for Miss Moppet, which booksellers disliked; the story was reprinted in 1916 in small book format.
Miss Moppet, the story's eponymous main character, is a kitten teased by a mouse. While pursuing him she bumps her head on a cupboard. She then wraps a duster about her head, and sits before the fire "looking very ill". The curious mouse creeps closer, is captured, "and because the Mouse has teased Miss Moppet—Miss Moppet thinks she will tease the Mouse; which is not at all nice of Miss Moppet". She ties him up in the duster and tosses him about. However, the mouse makes his escape, and once safely out of reach, dances a jig atop the cupboard. (Full article...)
Exterior of Coalhouse Fort
Coalhouse Fort is an artillery fort in the easternEnglish county of Essex. It was built in the 1860s to guard the lower Thames from seaborne attack. It stands at Coalhouse Point on the north bank of the river, at a location near East Tilbury which was vulnerable to raiders and invaders. It was the last in a series of fortifications dating back to the 15th century and was the direct successor to a smaller mid-19th century fort built on the same site. Constructed during a period of tension with France, its location on marshy ground caused problems from the start and led to a lengthy construction process. The fort was equipped with a variety of large-calibre artillery guns and the most modern defensive facilities of the time, including shell-proof casemates protected by granite facing and cast-iron shields. Its lengthy construction and the rapid pace of artillery development at the time meant that it was practically obsolete for its original purpose within a few years of its completion.
The fort's armament was revised several times during its 70 years of military use, as its role evolved in the river's defensive system. It was initially a front-line fortification, supported by Shornemead Fort and Cliffe Fort located to the south and east respectively on the Kent shore. Over time, as batteries and forts further downriver became the front line of the Thames defences, Coalhouse Fort was stripped of its main weapons and it was altered to support smaller quick-firing guns intended to be used against fast-moving surface and aerial targets. Its last military use was as a training facility for a few years after the Second World War. (Full article...)
The album's release was delayed due to its explicit cover artwork, which led to alternative slip covers in some retail outlets, difficulties during mixing, and a change of distributor for the band's label. Despite this, God Hates Us All received positive reviews from critics and peaked at number 28 on the Billboard 200. By 2009, it had sold over 319,000 copies in the United States. (Full article...)
Blonde on Blonde completed the trilogy of rock albums that Dylan recorded in 1965 and 1966, starting with Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. Critics often rank Blonde on Blonde as one of the greatest albums of all time. Combining the expertise of Nashville session musicians with a modernist literary sensibility, the album's songs have been described as operating on a grand scale musically, while featuring lyrics one critic called "a unique mixture of the visionary and the colloquial". It was one of the first double albums in rock music. (Full article...)
The main buildings of Jesus College, one of the colleges of the University of Oxford, are located in the centre of the city of Oxford, England, between Turl Street, Ship Street, Cornmarket Street, and Market Street. Jesus College was founded in 1571 by ElizabethI caused by the petition of a Welsh clergyman, Hugh Price, who was treasurer of St David's Cathedral. Her foundation charter gave to the college the land and buildings of White Hall, a university hall that had experienced a decline in student numbers. Price added new buildings to those of White Hall, and construction work continued after his death in 1574. The first of the college's quadrangles, which includes the hall, chapel, and principal's lodgings was completed between 1621 and 1630. Construction of the second quadrangle began in the 1630s, but was interrupted by the English Civil War and was not completed until about 1712. Further buildings were erected in a third quadrangle during the 20th century, including science laboratories (now closed), a library for undergraduates, and additional accommodation for students and fellows. In addition to the main site, the college owns flats in east and north Oxford, and a sports ground.
The chapel, which was dedicated in 1621 and extended in 1636, was extensively altered in 1864 under the supervision of the architect George Edmund Street. The alterations have had their supporters and their critics; one historian of the college (Ernest Hardy, principal from 1921 to 1925) described the work as "ill-considered". The hall's original hammerbeam roof was hidden by a plaster ceiling in 1741 when rooms were installed in the roof space. The principal's lodgings, the last part of the first quadrangle to be constructed, contain wooden panelling from the early 17th century. The Fellows' Library in the second quadrangle dates from 1679 and contains 11,000 antiquarian books; it was restored at a cost of £700,000 in 2007. A new Junior Common Room, about twice the size of its predecessor, was completed in the third quadrangle in 2002. Further student and teaching rooms were added in Ship Street, opposite the college, in 2010. (Full article...)
The band originally held recording sessions for Sons of Soul at several studios in California, including Westlake Recording Studios in Hollywood and Paradise Recording Studio in Sacramento. When they became jaded with the various people frequenting those studios, Tony! Toni! Toné! moved their sessions to Caribbean Sound Basin in Trinidad, where they ultimately wrote and recorded most of the album. It was produced entirely by the group, who worked with various session musicians and utilized both vintage and contemporary recording equipment. (Full article...)
The Olmec colossal heads are stone representations of human heads sculpted from large basalt boulders. They range in height from 1.17 to 3.4 metres (3.8 to 11.2ft). The heads date from at least 900 BC and are a distinctive feature of the Olmec civilization of ancient Mesoamerica. All portray mature individuals with fleshy cheeks, flat noses, and slightly-crossed eyes; their physical characteristics correspond to a type that is still common among the inhabitants of Tabasco and Veracruz. The backs of the monuments often are flat. The boulders were brought from the Sierra de Los Tuxtlas mountains of Veracruz. Given that the extremely large slabs of stone used in their production were transported over large distances (over 150 kilometres (93mi)), requiring a great deal of human effort and resources, it is thought that the monuments represent portraits of powerful individual Olmec rulers. Each of the known examples has a distinctive headdress. The heads were variously arranged in lines or groups at major Olmec centres, but the method and logistics used to transport the stone to these sites remain unclear. They all display distinctive headgear and one theory is that these were worn as protective helmets, maybe worn for war or to take part in a ceremonial Mesoamerican ballgame. The discovery of the first colossal head at Tres Zapotes in 1862 by José María Melgar y Serrano was not well documented nor reported outside of Mexico. The excavation of the same colossal head by Matthew Stirling in 1938 spurred the first archaeological investigations of Olmec culture. Seventeen confirmed examples are known from four sites within the Olmec heartland on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Most colossal heads were sculpted from spherical boulders but two from San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán were re-carved from massive stone thrones. An additional monument, at Takalik Abaj in Guatemala, is a throne that may have been carved from a colossal head. This is the only known example from outside the Olmec heartland. (Full article...)
Last of the Summer Wine is a British sitcom set in Yorkshire created and written by Roy Clarke and originally broadcast by the BBC from 1973 to 2010. It premiered as an episode of Comedy Playhouse on 4 January 1973, and the first series of episodes followed on 12 November 1973. Alan J. W. Bell produced and directed all episodes of the show from late 1981 to 2010. The BBC confirmed on 2 June 2010 that Last of the Summer Wine would no longer be produced and the 31st series would be its last. Subsequently, the final episode was broadcast on 29 August 2010. Since its original release, all 295 episodes, comprising thirty-one series—including the pilot and all films and specials—have been released on DVD. Repeats of the show are broadcast in the UK on BBC One (until 18 July 2010 when the 31st and final series started on 25 July of that year), Gold, Yesterday, and Drama. It is also seen in more than 25 countries, including various PBS stations in the United States and on VisionTV in Canada. With the exception of programmes 'rebooted' after long hiatuses, Last of the Summer Wine is the longest-running TV comedy programme in Britain and the longest-running TV sitcom in the world.
Last of the Summer Wine was set and filmed in and around Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, England, and centred on a trio of elderly men and their youthful misadventures; the members of the trio changed many times over the years. The original trio consisted of Bill Owen as the mischievous and impulsive Compo Simmonite, Peter Sallis as easy-going everyman Norman Clegg, and Michael Bates as uptight and arrogant Cyril Blamire. When Bates dropped out due to illness in 1976 after two series, the role of the third man of the trio was filled in various years up to the 30th series by the quirky war veteran Walter C "Foggy" Dewhurst (Brian Wilde) (who had two lengthy stints), the eccentric inventor and ex-headmaster Seymour Utterthwaite (Michael Aldridge), and former police officer Herbert "Truly of The Yard" Truelove (Frank Thornton). The men never seem to grow up, and they develop a unique perspective on their equally eccentric fellow townspeople through their stunts. Although in its early years the series generally revolved around the exploits of the main trio, with occasional interaction with a few recurring characters, over time the cast grew to include a variety of supporting characters and by later years the series was very much an ensemble piece. Each of these recurring characters contributed their own running jokes and subplots to the show, often becoming reluctantly involved in the schemes of the trio, or on occasion having their own, separate storylines. (Full article...)
The story begins with Brown's first purchase of an issue of Playboy as a teenager. His obsessive masturbation gives him great guilt and anxiety, and out of fear of being caught he repeatedly rids himself of copies of the magazine, only to retrieve them later. His conflicting emotions follow him into adulthood until he purges them by revealing himself through his comics. The free, organic arrangement of odd-shaped panels of simple, expressive artwork contrasts with Brown's more detailed grid-like pages in his 1980s work, such as Ed the Happy Clown. (Full article...)
Doolittle is the second studio album by the American alternative rock band Pixies, released in April 1989 on 4AD. Doolittle was the Pixies' first international release, with Elektra Records as the album's distributor in the United States and PolyGram in Canada. Vocalist Black Francis' lyrics invoke biblical violence, surrealist imagery, and contain descriptions of torture and death, while the album is often praised for the quiet/loud dynamic set up between Black's vocals, Joey Santiago's guitar and the rhythm section.
Manchester Cenotaph in 2017, in its new location near the town hall; looking south
Manchester Cenotaph is a war memorial in St Peter's Square, Manchester, England. Manchester was late in commissioning a First World War memorial compared with most British towns and cities; the city council did not convene a war memorial committee until 1922. The committee quickly achieved its target of raising £10,000 but finding a suitable location for the monument proved controversial. The preferred site in Albert Square would have required the removal and relocation of other statues and monuments, and was opposed by the city's artistic bodies. The next choice was Piccadilly Gardens, an area already identified for a possible art gallery and library; but in the interests of speedier delivery, the memorial committee settled on St Peter's Square. The area within the square had been had been purchased by the City Council in 1906, having been the site of the former St Peter's Church; whose sealed burial crypts remained with burials untouched and marked above ground by a memorial stone cross. Negotiations to remove these stalled so the construction of the cenotaph proceeded with the cross and burials in situ.
Having picked a site, it was originally proposed to choose an architect by open competition, but the memorial committee was criticised in the local press when it reserved the right to overrule the judgement of the independent assessor. A sub-committee therefore approached Sir Edwin Lutyens directly, who produced, in a matter of weeks, a variation of his design for the Cenotaph in London. The memorial consists of a central cenotaph and a Stone of Remembrance flanked by twin obelisks, all features characteristic of Lutyens' works. Raised steps either side of the Stone of Remembrance provided east-facing tribunes for the colour party in memorial parades. The cenotaph is topped by an effigy of a fallen soldier and decorated with relief carvings of the imperial crown, Manchester's coat of arms and inscriptions commemorating the dead. The structures, based on classical architecture, use abstract, ecumenical shapes rather than overt religious symbolism. In submitting the design, Lutyens stated that he envisaged the crypts and cross as remaining in place; as the cenotaph could stand on the foundations of the former church tower and the cross would serve to "consecrate the site", while there would be no explicit religious symbolism on the cenotaph itself. (Full article...)
A watercolour and pencil sketch of Austen, believed to have been drawn from life by her sister Cassandra (c.1810)
During her lifetime, Austen's novels brought her little personal fame. Like many women writers, she chose to publish anonymously, but her authorship was an open secret. At the time they were published, Austen's works were considered fashionable, but received only a few reviews, albeit positive. By the mid-19th century, her novels were admired by members of the literary elite who viewed their appreciation of her works as a mark of cultivation, but they were also being recommended in the popular education movement and on school reading lists as early as 1838. The first illustrated edition of her works appeared in 1833, in Richard Bentley's Standard Novels series, which put her titles before thousands of readers across the Victorian period. (Full article...)
George Formby (born James Lawler Booth; 4 October 1875– 8 February 1921) was an English comedian and singer in musical theatre, known as one of the greatest music hall performers of the early 20th century. His comedy played upon Lancashire stereotypes, and he was popular around Britain. His nickname, "The Wigan Nightingale", was coined because of the way he would use his bronchial cough as a comedic device in his act.
Formby was born into poverty in the industrial North West England; his mother was an alcoholic and part-time prostitute, and during much of his youth he was maltreated. To earn money he would sing for pennies on street corners, before he joined a singing duo in his teens. He began to develop his own act during the 1890s and built up a following in Lancashire. He also developed a series of stage characters, including that of "John Willie", which is described by the cultural historian Jeffrey Richards as "the archetypal gormless Lancashire lad... hen-pecked, accident-prone, but muddling through." Formby also had a successful recording career and made the transition from music hall to revue in 1916. (Full article...)
To better capture their live sound, Weezer self-produced Pinkerton, creating a darker, more abrasive album than their self-titled 1994 debut. Cuomo's lyrics express loneliness and disillusionment with the rock lifestyle; the album is named after the character BF Pinkerton from Giacomo Puccini's 1904 opera Madama Butterfly, whom Cuomo described as an "asshole American sailor similar to a touring rock star". Like the opera, the album contains references to Japanese culture. (Full article...)
La forza del destino (The Power of Fate or The Force of Destiny) is an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi. The libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave and is based on a Spanish drama, Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino by Ángel de Saavedra, 3rd Duke of Rivas. The complex plot revolves around whether it is possible for the protagonists to escape their destiny, and the opera concludes with most of the main characters dead. In this poster, illustrated by Charles Lecocq, Leonora has just been fatally stabbed by her brother, Carlos, to whom she had run after he was mortally injured in a duel with Alvaro, the suitor from whom she had become separated after they had eloped together.