click links in text for more info

Adolf Loos

Adolf Franz Karl Viktor Maria Loos was an Austrian architect and influential European theorist of modern architecture. His essay Ornament and Crime advocated smooth and clear surfaces in contrast to the lavish decorations of the fin de siècle, as well as the more modern aesthetic principles of the Vienna Secession, exemplified in his design of Looshaus, Vienna. Loos became a pioneer of modern architecture and contributed a body of theory and criticism of Modernism in architecture and design and developed the "Raumplan" method of arranging interior spaces, exemplified in Villa Müller in Prague. Loos had three tumultuous marriages, he suffered including an inherited hearing affliction. He was convicted as a pedophile in 1928 for exploiting girls from poor families, aged 8 to 10, he died aged 62 on 23 August 1933 in Kalksburg near Vienna. Loos was born on 10 December 1870 in Brno, in the Margraviate of Moravia region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today the eastern part of the Czech Republic, his father, a German stonemason, died.

Young Adolf Loos had inherited his father's hearing impairment and was handicapped by it throughout his life. His mother continued to carry on the stonemason business after her husband's death. Loos attended several Gymnasium schools, a technical school in Liberec and graduated 1889 from a technical school in Brno, he studied at Dresden University of Technology. He left one year without completing his study. At age 23, Loos traveled to the United States and stayed there for three years from 1893–96. While in the United States, he lived with relatives in the Philadelphia area, supported himself with odd jobs and visited other cities such as the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, St. Louis and New York. Loos made it his permanent residence, he was a prominent figure in the city and a friend of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Arnold Schönberg, Peter Altenberg and Karl Kraus. Inspired by his years in the New World he devoted himself to architecture. After associating himself with the Vienna Secession in 1896, he rejected the style and advocated a new, unadorned architecture.

A utilitarian approach to use the entire floor plan completed his concept. Loos's early commissions consisted of interior designs for cafés in Vienna. Loos authored several polemical works. In Spoken into the Void, published in 1900, he attacked the Vienna Secession, at a time when the movement was at its height. In his essays, Loos used provocative catchphrases and is noted for the essay/manifesto entitled Ornament and Crime, given in a lecture in 1910 and first published in 1913, he explored the idea that the progress of culture is associated with the deletion of ornament from everyday objects, that it was therefore a crime to force craftsmen or builders to waste their time on ornamentation that served to hasten the time when an object would become obsolete. Loos' stripped-down buildings influenced the minimal massing of modern architecture, stirred controversy. Although noted for the lack of ornamentation on their exteriors, the interiors of many of Loos's buildings are finished with rich and expensive materials, notably stone and wood, displaying natural patterns and textures in flat planes, executed in first rate craftsmanship.

The distinction is not between complicated and simple, but between "organic" and superfluous decoration. Loos was interested in the decorative arts, collecting sterling silver and high quality leather goods, which he noted for their plain yet luxurious appeal, he enjoyed fashion and men's clothing, designing the famed Kníže of Vienna, a haberdashery. His admiration for the fashion and culture of England and America can be seen in his short-lived publication Das Andere, which ran for just two issues in 1903 and included advertisements for'English' clothing. In 1920, he had a brief collaboration with Frederick John Kiesler - architect and art-exhibition designer. From 1904 on, he was able to carry out big projects; the house, today located at the address Michaelerplatz 3, under monument preservation, was criticized by its contemporaries. The facade was dominated by rectilinear window patterns and a lack of stucco decoration and awnings, which earned it the nickname "House without Eyebrows", his work includes the store of the men's fashion house Knize, Am Graben 13, Café Museum, Operngasse 7, the "American Bar", Kärntnerstrasse 10, Vienna.

Loos visited the island of Skyros in 1904 and was influenced by the cubic architecture of the Greek islands. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed after World War I Loos was awarded Czechoslovakian citizenship by President Masaryk, his main place of residence remained in Vienna. During the First Austrian Republic Loos became interested in public projects, he designed several housing projects for the City of Vienna, nicknamed Red Vienna. From 1924–28 Loos lived in Paris, he taught at the Sorbonne and was contracted to build a house for Tristan Tzara, completed 1925 on Avenue Junot 15, Paris. In 1928 he returned to Vienna. Loos had an admiration for classical architecture, reflected in his writings and his

Axiocerses tjoane

Axiocerses tjoane, the eastern scarlet, common scarlet or scarlet butterfly, is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae. It is found in eastern Africa; the wingspan is 24 -- 32 mm for 25 -- 34 mm for females. Adults are on the wing year-round; the larvae feed on Peltophorum africanum and Brachystegia species. Axiocerses tjoane tjoaneRange: Kenya, Malawi and eastern Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa: Limpopo, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provincesAxiocerses tjoane rubescens Henning & Henning, 1996Range: south-eastern DRC to north-western Zambia Axiocerses tjoane tjoane at Flora of Zimbabwe Woodhall, Steve. Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-724-7

Vincent Kosuga

Vincent W. Kosuga was an American onion farmer and commodity trader best known for manipulating the onion futures market. Public outcry over his practices led to the passing of the Onion Futures Act, which banned the trading of futures contracts on onions; the son of a Russian Jew who converted to Catholicism, Kosuga was a devout Catholic. He donated a significant amount of his fortune to the church, was rewarded with private audiences with three popes. Kosuga carried a billy club with him at all times, he was a licensed pilot. He once survived a plane crash near Oswego, New York when the plane he was flying ran out of fuel mid-flight, he made a quick recovery. Born and raised in Pine Island, New York, Kosuga owned a 5,000-acre black dirt farm where he grew onions and lettuce, his customers included the U. S. Army and Campbell's soup, he began trading wheat futures. After an unsuccessful stint trading in which he was brought to the brink of bankruptcy, Kosuga withdrew from commodity trading and at his wife's insistence focused on farming full-time.

Kosuga was unable to leave trading behind permanently and returned to the commodity market where he began trading onion futures. At the time, onions futures contracts were the most traded product on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, accounting for 20% of its trades in 1955, he soon began splitting his time between New York and Chicago, where he traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange several days a week. In Chicago, he was a successful trader, he lavished expensive gifts upon his brokers. One of his brokers rose to the position of Chairman of the Mercantile Exchange. Kosuga sometimes used deceptive practices to manipulate the futures market, he once bribed a weather bureau to issue a frost warning in order to inflate the price of futures contracts that he owned. The weather bureau did issue the warning, though the temperature never fell below 50 °F. With his partner Sam Seigel, a fellow onion trader and owner of a local produce company, Kosuga embarked upon a scheme to corner the onion futures market.

In the fall of 1955, Seigel and Kosuga bought enough onions and onion futures so that they controlled 98 percent of the available onions in Chicago. Millions of pounds of onions were shipped to Chicago to cover their purchases. By late 1955, they had stored 30,000,000 pounds of onions in Chicago, they soon changed course and convinced onion growers to begin purchasing their inventory by threatening to flood the market with onions if they did not. Seigel and Kosuga told the growers that they would hold the rest of their inventory in order to support the price of onions; as the growers began buying onions and Kosuga purchased short positions on a large amount of onion contracts. They arranged to have their stores of onions reconditioned because they had begun to spoil, they shipped them outside of Chicago to have them cleaned and repackaged and re-shipped back to Chicago. The new shipments of onions caused many futures traders to think that there was an excess of onions and further drove down onion prices in Chicago.

By the end of the onion season in March 1956, Seigel and Kosuga had flooded the markets with their onions and driven the price of 50 pounds of onions down to 10 cents a bag. In August 1955, the same quantity of onions had been priced at $2.75 a bag. So many onions were shipped to Chicago in order to depress prices that there were onion shortages in other parts of the United States. Seigel and Kosuga made millions of dollars on the transaction due to their short position on onion futures. At one point, however, 50 pounds of onions were selling in Chicago for less than the bags that held them; this drove many onion farmers into bankruptcy. A public outcry ensued among onion farmers. Many of the farmers had to pay to dispose of the large amounts of onions that they had purchased and grown. In the aftermath of the crash, many commentators characterized Kosuga's actions as unprincipled gambling. Kosuga was defiant, replying to his critics: "If it's against the law to make money... I'm guilty"; the abrupt change in prices gained the attention of the Commodity Exchange Authority.

Soon they launched an investigation and the U. S. Senate Committee on Agriculture and House Committee on Agriculture held hearings on the matter. Kosuga testified before congress, defended his practices under questioning from members of the committee. During the hearings, the Commodity Exchange Authority stated that it was the perishable nature of onion which made them vulnerable to price swings. Then-congressman Gerald Ford of Michigan sponsored a bill, known as the Onion Futures Act, which banned futures trading on onions; the bill was unpopular among traders, some of whom argued that onion shortages were not a crucial issue since they were used as a condiment rather than a staple food. The president of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, E. B. Harris, lobbied hard against the bill. Harris described it as "Burning down the barn to find a suspected rat"; the measure was passed and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill in August 1958. After the ban was passed, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the ban unfairly restricted trade.

After a federal judge ruled against them, they declined to appeal to the Supreme Court and the ban stood. After the futures market was reformed, Kosuga returned to New York full-time and focused on his local business interests and philanthropy. Kosuga opened a restaurant next to his farm called The Jolly Onion Inn, where he served as

Church of St Peter & St Paul, North Curry

The Church of St Peter & St Paul in North Curry, England, is nicknamed ‘The Cathedral of the Moors’. It has been designated a Grade I listed building; the church is Norman in origin, with the lower stages of tower and nave being built around 1300. Only the north doorway survives from the original church by as it was built by Bishop Reginald Fitz Jocelin. In the 14th century the upper stage of the tower was added and in 1502 the chancel was rebuilt, the porch added and the walls of clerestory raised; some minor restoration including the parapet of the tower was carried out in 1832 by Richard Carver. In the 19th century the north aisle wall and door were taken down and re-built and the vestry added, by John Oldrid Scott; the church was erected on the site of an earlier church. Episcopal records in Wells mention a church in North Curry as early as 1199; the church has a good view of the Levels and moors, with benches placed for walkers and other visitors to enjoy the view from the higher grounds of the churchyard.

To assist visitors tracing their ancestry to North Curry, the church has posted a map of the graves in the cemetery. In August 2007, North Curry Church was incorporated into the Athelney benefice of the Church of England; the vicar of the Athelney benefice covers the parishes of Burrowbridge, North Curry, Stoke St Gregory. List of Grade I listed buildings in Taunton Deane List of towers in Somerset List of ecclesiastical parishes in the Diocese of Bath and Wells

Harsdorff House

The Harsdorff House is a historic property located on Kongens Nytorv in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It was built by Caspar Frederik Harsdorff in 1780 and was in the same time to serve as inspiration for the many uneducated master builders of the time; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was based in the building from 1864 to 1823. Caspar Frederik Harsdorff became professor of perspective at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1766. In 1770 he succeeded Nicolas-Henri Jardin as royal building master and the following year he took over his residence in the south wing of Charlottenborg Palace; the Royal Academy's secretary, C. E. Biehl, had a residence next to the palace, his daughter, Charlotte Dorothea Biehl, spend some of her childhood in the building. After Biehl's death the worn-out building was designated for demolition and Harsdorff was consulted on the matter, he proposed that the site was given to him and he would build a house which could serve as inspiration for the builders of the increasing number of bourgeois houses in the city.

Architects who had studied at the Academy were in general only used by the state and members of the aristocracy. The king accepted the offer. Construction began in 1779 and was completed in 1780; the building was never used by Harsdorff personally. It was instead used as the city home of C. F. E. Rantzau. A Frenchman, Eugen Vincent, who had served as cook for Prince Ferdinand, opened Restairant Vincent in the building in the first half of the 19th century; the restaurant was operated by his widow Eva Severine Vincent and son Alexander Vincent under the name Madame Vincent. It was visited by Jules Verne during his visit to Copenhagen in 1861; the merchant and politician Alfred Hage lived in the building from 1862 and until his death in 1872. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was based in the building from 1864 until 1923, it was from on based at Christiansborg Palace and the Yellow Mansion in Amaliegade until its new building at Asiatisk Plads was completed in 1983. The building was restored by Fogh & Følner in 1999.

Court photographyer Jens Petersen, 1829-1905 operated a photographic studio in the building from 1865 to 1875. As Jardin's successor,c. f. Harsdorff favoured French classicism inspired by ancient Greece and Rome; the odd-shaped corner site inspired Harsdorff to build a property with three different model facades. The more monumental, central section is decorated with Ionic order pilasters and crowned by a triangular pediment with relief decoration; the house came to serve as inspiration for hundreds of houses in the rebuilding of Copenhagen during the years after the Great Fire of 1795. The building is owned by Karberghus; the tenants include the IT consultancy Nine and Russel Reynolds Associates Architectural renderings from the Danish National Art Library Source Source

Mass suicide in Demmin

On 1 May 1945, hundreds of people killed themselves in the town of Demmin, in the Province of Pomerania, Germany. The suicides occurred during a mass panic, provoked by atrocities committed by soldiers of the Soviet Red Army, who had sacked the town the day before. Although death toll estimates vary, it is acknowledged to be the largest mass suicide recorded in Germany; the suicide was part of a mass suicide wave amongst the population of Nazi Germany. Nazi officials, the police, the Wehrmacht and many citizens had left the town before the arrival of the Red Army, while thousands of refugees from the East had taken refuge in Demmin. Three Soviet negotiators were shot prior to the Soviet advance into Demmin and Hitler Youth, amongst others, fired on Soviet soldiers once inside the town; the retreating Wehrmacht had blown up the bridges over the Peene and Tollense rivers, which enclosed the town to the north and south, thus blocking the Red Army's advance and trapping the remaining civilians. The Soviet units looted and burned down the town, committed rapes and executions.

Numerous inhabitants and refugees killed themselves, with many families doing so together. Methods of suicides included drowning in the rivers, wrist-cutting, shooting. Most bodies were buried in mass graves, after the war, discussion of the mass suicide was taboo under the East German Communist government. Demmin was a stronghold of the nationalistic organisations DNVP and the Stahlhelm in the Weimar Republic. Before 1933 there were boycotts of Jewish businesses; the synagogue was sold in June 1938 to a furniture company, why it survives as a building today. In the riots of November 1938 thousands gathered in the square in anti-Semitic demonstration. In the last national elections to the Reichstag on 5 March 1933 the National Socialist Party won 53.7 percent of votes in Demmin. During the last weeks of World War II, tens of thousands of Germans killed themselves in territories occupied by the Red Army; the German historian Udo Grashhoff and the German author Kurt Bauer wrote that the suicides occurred in two stages: in a first wave before the Red Army's arrival, in part due to a "fear of the Russians" spread by Nazi propaganda, – as in Demmin – in a second wave after the Red Army's arrival, triggered by executions and mass rapes committed by Soviet soldiers.

In 1945, Demmin had between 16,000 inhabitants. Thousands of refugees from the East were in town doubling its population. In late April, when the Eastern Front drew closer, women and elderly men were forced to dig a 5-kilometre -long anti-tank ditch east of the town. On 28 April, the German flight from the town began: the Nazi party functionaries left on confiscated fire engines, the hospital was evacuated, all the police departed, a number of civilians fled. Demmin was reached by spearheads of the Soviet 65th Army and the 1st Guards Tank Corps at noon on 30 April 1945. At the tower of the church, a white banner was hoisted. According to an eyewitness, three Soviet negotiators, one of them a German officer, approached the anti-tank ditch and promised to spare Demmin's civilian population from "harassment" and looting in the case of a surrender without fight; this eyewitness was 19 years old, serving as a German soldier, lying in the anti-tank ditch. According to him, three shots were fired at the negotiators.

The remaining Wehrmacht units, belonging to Army Group Weichsel, some Waffen-SS, retreated through Demmin, about half an hour after the incident, blew up all bridges leading out of town behind them. By that time, Soviet units were advancing through Demmin; the destruction of the bridges prevented the Soviet from advancing westward toward Rostock, which they had planned to reach the same day. It prevented the flight of the civilian population, who were trapped by the rivers surrounding the town. According to eyewitnesses, some "fanatics," Hitler Youth, shot at the Soviet soldiers, despite several white flags being hoisted on Demmin's buildings. Memorably, a Nazi loyalist schoolteacher, having slain his wife and children, launched a grenade from a panzerfaust on Soviet soldiers, before hanging himself. According to the Focus magazine, an eyewitness stated that the first Soviet soldier was shot near the hospital at 11:05 AM by someone running amok the aforementioned teacher, who had before told a neighbor that he had killed his wife and his children.

A third eyewitness confirmed the identity of the amok gunman in a report by Norddeutscher Rundfunk and blamed him and other fanatics for causing the Soviet troops to retaliate with plundering the town. It was "quiet" until the evening, when the atrocities started. Another incident is said to have happened on 1 May, when the local pharmacist hosted a "victory party" of Soviet officers, killing them with poisoned wine; the Focus magazine however dismissed that as a "legend" and theologian and historian Norbert Buske concluded in a 1995 study that the story had been fabricated. The Soviet soldiers in turn were allowed to loot the town for a period of three days, they committed mass rapes of local women, according to eyewitnesses, "regardless of age", shot German men who spoke up against this practice. Furthermore, large areas of the town were set on fire, with nearly all of the center burning down completely. 80% of the town was destroyed within three days. Soviet soldiers had brushed the houses' walls with gasoline before setting them on fire, stood guard three days to prevent extinguishing.

Many of the soldiers committing the mass rapes and pillaging were drunk. Alre