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In memory of the September 11 attack, let us give you trivia on the twin towers that was.

Did you know that:

- On a typical weekday 50,000 people worked in the towers with another 200,000 passing through as visitors.
- The Word trade cen

ter is a complex has 7 buildings built in it. It was so large that it had its own zip code: 10048
- The North Tower had a restaurant on its 106th and 107th floors called Windows on the World. In 2000, its last full year of operation, Windows on the World reported revenues of $37 million, making it the highest-grossing restaurant in the United States.
Eid al-Adha : The Feast of Sacrifice

Eid al-Adha is an important 4-day religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to honor the willingness of the prophet Ibrāhīm (Abraham) to sacrifice his young firstborn son Ismā'īl.

Today, Oct 26, is the official date set for the year 2012 to celebrate the said event. While Eid al-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. The lunar calendar is approximately eleven days shorter than the solar calendar. Each year, Eid al-Adha (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of two different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world, because the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International Date Line.

The Adoration of the Shepherds

The Adoration of the Shepherds, in the Nativity of Jesus in art, is a scene in which shepherds are near witnesses to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, arriving soon after the actual birth. It is often combined in art with the Adoration of the Magi, in which case it is typically just referred to by the latter title.

The Adoration of the Shepherds is based on the account in the Luke 2, which states that an angel appeared to a group of shepherds, saying that Christ had been born in Bethlehem, followed by a crowd of angels saying Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth to men of good will. This Annunciation to the shepherds forms a distinct subject in Christian art and is sometimes included in a Nativity scene as a peripheral feature as in the 1485 scene by Domenico Ghirlandaio, where it can be seen in the upper left corner. Ghirlandaio also shows a procession of Magi about to arrive with their gifts.

The shepherds are then described as hurrying to Bethlehem to visit Jesus, and making widely known what they had been told concerning him, before they finally return to their flocks. They praise God for “all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them,” (Luke 2:20).

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, opening in 1973 after a long gestation that had begun withhis competition-winning design in 1957.

The Sydney Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007. It is one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world. It is on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It sits at the northeastern tip of the Sydney central business district (the CBD), surrounded on three sides by the harbour (Sydney Cove and Farm Cove) and inland by the Royal Botanic Gardens.

DID YOU KNOW?

The peacock tail contains spectacular beauty because of the large feathers, bright, iridescent colours and intricate patterns. The colours in the tail feathers are produced by an optical effect called thin-film interference. The eye pattern has a high degree of brightness and precision because the colour-producing mechanisms contain an extremely high level of optimum design.

When a peacock displays his tail feathers during courtship, a magnificent ‘fan formation’ of feathers forms a beautiful backdrop to the body of the peacock. An adult peacock has an average of 200 tail feathers and these are shed and re-grown annually. Of the 200 or so feathers, about 170 are ‘eye’ feathers and 30 are ‘T’ feathers. The ‘eyes’ are sometimes referred to as ocellations.

Snakes!

Anaconda is the common term for any member of four species of semi-aquatic boas (Boidae family) of South America. Like the related and similarly appearing pythons, they have two lungs and are constrictors that suffocate their prey by wrapping around it. The name originated from a Sinhalese word “henakanday,” meaning “thunder snake,” or alternatively, the Tamil word “anaikondran,” which means “elephant killer.

“Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus” is a painting by English artist John William Waterhouse. Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wife, Eurydice, from the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who could not hear his divine music.

“The true use of art is, first, to cultivate the artist’s own spiritual nature.” - George Inness (May 1, 1825 -August 3, 1894)

He was an American landscape painter; born in Newburgh, New York; died at Bridge of Allan in Scotland.

His work was influenced, in turn, by that of the old masters, the Hudson River school, the Barbizon school, and, finally, by the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose spiritualism found vivid expression in the work of Inness’ maturity.

He is best known for these mature works that helped define the Tonalist movement.

DID YOU KNOW!

Netherlandish Proverbs (also called The Blue Cloak or The Topsy Turvy World) is a 1559 oil-on-oak-panel painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder which depicts a land populated with literal renditions of Flemish proverbs of the da

y. Bruegel’s paintings have themes of the absurdity, wickedness and foolishness of mankind, and this painting is no exception. The picture was originally entitled The Blue Cloak or The Folly of the World which indicates he was not intending to produce a mere collection of proverbs but rather a study of human stupidity. Many of the people depicted show the characteristic blank features which Bruegel used to portray fools.

The Star (L'Étoile,1878) is probably one of Edgar Degas’s most famous works. Degas selected an elevated point of view for this painting. The dancer’s skirt seems to vanish under the stage lights, w

hich cast pale violet shadows on the smooth, powdered skin of her bare arms and chest. Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas followed the rapid movement of the dancer across the stage with swift and sure calligraphic strokes.

Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, famous under its colloquial name Whistler’s Mother, is an 1871 oil-on-canvas painting by American-born painter James McNeill Whistler. The painting is 56.81 by 63.94 inches

 , displayed in a frame of Whistler’s own design in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, having been bought by the French state in 1891. It is now one of the most famous works by an American artist outside the United States. It has been variously described as an American icon and a Victorian Mona Lisa. Anna McNeill Whistler posed for the painting while living in London with her son.

Memorial Day tribute

On Memorial Day the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.

The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

ARTWORK IN FOCUS: Black board by Winslow Homer

Homer was in his early forties when he painted Blackboard, which may have been inspired in part by his own memories of going to school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the 1840s and early 1850s. The marks on the blackboard puzzled scholars for many years. They now have been identified as belonging to a method of drawing instruction popular in American schools in the 1870s. In their earliest lessons, young children were taught to draw by forming simple combinations of lines, as seen on the blackboard here. Rather than being a polite accomplishment, drawing was viewed as having a practical application, playing a valuable role in industrial design. Homer playfully signed the blackboard in its lower-right corner as though with chalk.

Artwork in Focus: New Year’s Eve in Dogville

“New Year’s Eve in Dogville” is another playful yet detailed anthropomorphic painting by C.M. Coolidge. This intricate holiday painting shows a special formal ballroom dance, but instead of people everywhere - there are all kinds of canines. Dogs are around the fancy set tables, dancing on the brown checkered ballroom floor, and engaging in all the basic human activities of a gala. This is a great picture that works on many levels. It could be a fun way to introduce children to art, but is also a painting that can stand on its own, full of humor and symbolism for adults.

Did you know?

That the tradition of trick or threat or going from door to door receiving food already existed in Great Britain and Ireland in the form of “souling”, where children and poor people would sing and say prayers for the dead in return for cakes. Guising—children disguised in costumes going from door to door for food and coins—also predates trick or treat, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895.

ARTIST IN FOCUS - Ivan Aivazovsky

Ivan Aivazovsky (July 29, 1817 – May 5, 1900)- was the world-renowned painter of Armenian descent living and working in Crimea, most famous for his seascapes, which constitute more than half of his paintings. Aivazovsky is widely considered as one of the greatest seascape painters of all times.


Aivazovsky left over 6,000 works at his death in 1900. The funds earned during his successful career as an artist enabled him to open an art school and gallery in his hometown of Feodosiya.

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was a French landscape painter and printmaker in etching. Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-nineteenth century. He is a pivotal figure in landscape painting and his vast output simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism. Corot produced a number of prized figure pictures. While the subjects were sometimes placed in pastoral settings, these were mostly studio pieces, drawn from the live model with both specificity and subtlety.

A set of matryoshkas consists of a wooden figure which separates, top from bottom, to reveal a smaller figure of the same sort inside, which has, in turn, another figure inside of it, and so on. The number of nested figures is traditionally

 at least five, but can be much more, up to several dozen with sufficiently fine craftsmanship. 

The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter. Savva Mamontov’s wife presented the dolls at the Exposition Universelle (1900) in Paris, where the toy earned a bronze medal. Soon after, matryoshka dolls were being made in several places in Russia and shipped around the world.