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Bessas (general)

Bessas was an East Roman general of Gothic origin from Thrace known for his career in the wars of Justinian I. He distinguished himself against the Sassanid Persians in the Iberian War and under the command of Belisarius in the Gothic War, but after Belisarius' departure from Italy he failed to confront the resurgent Goths and was responsible for the loss of Rome in 546. Returning east in disgrace, despite his advanced age he was appointed as commander in the Lazic War. There he redeemed himself with the recapture of Petra, but his subsequent idleness led Justinian to dismiss him and exile him to Abasgia. According to the contemporary historian Procopius of Caesarea, Bessas was born in the 470s and hailed from a noble Gothic family long established in Thrace, belonging to those Goths who had not followed Theodoric the Great when he left in 488 to invade Italy held by Odoacer. Procopius remarks on his fluency in Gothic, but another contemporary writer, claims that he hailed from the settlement of Castra Martis, comprising Sarmatians and certain of the Huns.

This evidence has been variously interpreted, with most modern commentators leaning towards a Gothic identity. According to Patrick Amory, it is impossible from the sources at hand to draw any definite conclusion about his ethnicity. Amory maintains that Bessas was a typical example of the "blurry ethnographic identity" evidenced in 6th-century Balkan populations among the military. Little is known of Bessas' early life and career: he joined the imperial army in his youth and according to Procopius was "experienced in war" by 503, when the Anastasian War with the Sassanid Persians broke out, he took part in the war as an officer. On the other hand, he is to be identified with a comes of the same name, addressed in a letter of the bishop Jacob of Serugh. If this identification is valid Bessas was a Monophysite. Bessas reappears in 531, during the Iberian War against Persia, when he was appointed dux Mesopotamiae, with Martyropolis as his base. In this capacity, Bessas led 500 cavalry against the Persian force guarding the same frontier sector, comprising 700 infantry and cavalry under the generals Gadar and Yazdgerd.

The Byzantines engaged the Persians in battle on the banks of the Tigris and routed them, killing Gadar and taking Yazdgerd captive. Bessas raided the province of Arzanene and returned to Martyropolis. In retaliation for this Byzantine success, the Persian shah Kavadh I sent against Martyropolis a large army commanded by three senior generals, Mihr-Mihroe and Chanaranges; the Persians besieged the city through the autumn, digging trenches and mines, but the garrison, under Bessas and Bouzes, held firm. The approach of winter, the arrival of large Byzantine forces at nearby Amida, the news of the death of Kavadh forced the Persian commanders to raise the siege. Soon after their withdrawal, a force of Sabir Huns, who the Persians had hired as mercenaries, invaded Roman territory and raided as far as Antioch, but Bessas caught one of their raiding parties and destroyed it, capturing 500 horses and much booty. In 535, Bessas was appointed as one of Belisarius' lieutenants in the expedition against the Ostrogothic kingdom of Italy.

He accompanied Belisarius in the early stages of the campaign, from the recovery of Sicily to the siege of Naples, was present at the latter's fall in November 536. From there the Byzantine army advanced on Rome. Belisarius sent Constantine and Bessas to capture various outlying towns, but when he learned that the new Gothic king, was marching on Rome, he recalled them. Bessas tarried for a while near the town of Narni, which controlled the direct route from the Gothic capital, over the Apennines to Rome, there met and defeated the Gothic vanguard in a skirmish. During the year-long siege of Rome by the Goths, Bessas commanded the troops at the Porta Praenestina gate and distinguished himself in a number of skirmishes. Nothing is known of his role in the subsequent events until 540, except that it was at about this time that he was raised to the rank of patricius. In early 538, Bessas had protected Belisarius when the general Constantine tried to kill him during a dispute, but by 540, when Belisarius was preparing to enter Ravenna under pretense of accepting the Gothic offer to become Emperor of the West, he felt that Bessas could not be trusted, sent him, along with other troublemaking generals such as John and Narses, to occupy remote locations in Italy.

Following the departure of Belisarius in mid-540, Bessas remained in Italy. Justinian did not appoint an overall commander to replace Belisarius, as a result the various Byzantine generals left in Italy failed to co-ordinate their actions. Instead of subduing the last remnants of the Ostrogoths in northern Italy, they retreated to the safety of various fortified cities, allowing the Goths to gather around a new leader, Ildibad. Ildibad marched on Treviso and routed a Byzantine force under Vitalius, whereupon Bessas advanced with his troops to Piacenza. In late 541, after Totila had become king of the Goths and the other Byzantine commanders assembled in Ravenna to co-ordinate their efforts, but the imperial troops were repulsed from Verona and defeated at Faventia by Totila's Goths; the Goths invaded Tuscany and threatened Florence, held by the general Justin. Bessas, along with Cyprian, marched to Justin's aid; the Goths retreated before the Byzantine reinforcements, but as the latter pursued, the G

Guérewol

The Guérewol is an annual courtship ritual competition among the Wodaabe Fula people of Niger. Young men dressed in elaborate ornamentation and made up in traditional face painting gather in lines to dance and sing, vying for the attentions of marriageable young women; the Guérewol occurs each year as the traditionally nomadic Wodaabe cattle herders gather at the southern edge of the Sahara before dispersing south on their dry season pastures. The most famous gathering point is In-Gall in northwest Niger, where a large festival and series of clan meetings take place for both the Wodaabe and the pastoral Tuareg people; the actual dance event is called the Yaake, while other less famous elements—bartering over dowry, competitions or camel races among suitors—make up the week-long Guérewol. The Guérewol is found wherever Wodaabe gather: from Niamey, to other places the Wodaabe travel in their transhumance cycle, as far afield as northern Cameroon and Nigeria. At the end of the rainy season in September, the Wodaabe travel to In-Gall to gather salt and participate at the Cure Salée festival, a meeting of several nomadic groups.

Here the young Wodaabe men, with elaborate make-up, feathers and other adornments, perform dances and songs to impress women. The male beauty ideal of the Wodaabe stresses white eyes and teeth; the Wodaabe clans will join for their week-long Guérewol celebration, a contest where the young men's beauty is judged by young women. The music and line dancing is typical of Fula traditions, which have disappeared among the vast diaspora of Fula people, many of whom are educated, urbanites; this is characterized by group singing, accompanied by clapping and bells. The Wodaabe Guérewol festival is one of the more famous examples of this style of repeating and percussive choral traditions, accompanied by swaying line dancing, where the men interlink arms and rise and fall on their toes; the Guérewol competitions involve the ornamented young men dancing the Yaake in a line, facing a young marriageable woman, sometimes over a seven-day period, for hours on end in the desert sun. Suitors come to the encampment of the woman to prove their interest and attractiveness.

The participants drink a fermented bark concoction to enable them to dance for long periods, which reputedly has a hallucinogenic effect. The Guérewol ritual has become a foreign tourist attraction since western films, magazines such as National Geographic, have prominently featured images of the stylized performance. Herdsmen of the Sun, 1989 documentary film by Werner Herzog. Samuel Decalo. Historical Dictionary of Niger. Scarecrow Press and New Jersey. ISBN 0-8108-1229-0 Jolijn Geels. Niger. Bradt London and Globe Pequot New York. ISBN 1-84162-152-8. "gerewol." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 30 April 2009. Loncke, Sandrine. Geerewol: Musique, danse et lien social chez les Peuls nomades wodaabe du Niger. Société d'ethnologie, 2015, 415 p. ISBN 9782365190091 Report on a 2001 trip with a Wodaabe group to Cure Salée, from Sahara with Michael Palin Guérewol - The Festival of Celebrating Beauty, from EF News International Geerewol, by Sandrine Loncke. Online musical archives dedicated to Fulbe Wodaabe singings.

Gerewol photos by BBC Human Planet photographer Video of Wodaabe dance Video of Gerewol festival, National Geographic Wodaabe dancer photos: part 1, part 2 Wodaabe photos, by Amanda Jones Mr Sahara 2004 The Wodaabe's Cure Salée by Christine Nesbitt Festival of the Nomads - Cure Salée Experience from Cure Salée festival and Wodaabé photos Dance with the Wodaabes, documentary feature directed and produced by Sandrine Loncke, Berkeley Media distribution, 90', 2010 Wodaabe, Dance instead of War, documentary feature written and directed by Sandrine Loncke, Point du Jour International, 52', 2013

Why England Slept

Why England Slept is the published version of a thesis written by John F. Kennedy while in his senior year at Harvard College, its title is an allusion to Winston Churchill's 1938 book While England Slept, which examined the buildup of German power. Published in 1940, Kennedy's book examines the failures of the British government to take steps to prevent World War II, its initial lack of response to Adolf Hitler's threats of war, it is notable for its uncommon stance of suggesting instead that an earlier confrontation between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany could well have been more disastrous in the long run, rather than castigating the appeasement policy which the British government pursued at the time. The book was intended to be no more than a college thesis, it was rated magna cum laude by Professor Henry A. Yeomans and cum laude plus by Professor Carl J. Friedrich. However, Kennedy's father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. keen to elevate his son's reputation, encouraged Kennedy to convert the thesis into book form and publish it.

He enlisted Henry Luce to write the foreword, his friend Arthur Krock, former bureau chief of The New York Times, to assist in redrafting the thesis, titled "Appeasement At Munich". Historian Garry Wills claims that this assistance amounted to rewriting and retitling the manuscript, as well as finding an agent for its publication; as ambassador to Britain, Kennedy, Sr. supported Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement during the late 1930s. John F. Kennedy lived with his father in Britain at that time and as such witnessed the Luftwaffe's bombings of Britain first-hand. After publication in 1940, the book sold 80,000 copies in the United Kingdom and the United States, collecting US$40,000 in royalties for Kennedy; those from the British sales were donated to Plymouth, England bombed by the Luftwaffe, while Kennedy bought a Buick convertible with his income from the book's North-American sales. Joseph Kennedy had approached Harold Laski to write the book's foreword, but Laski declined, feeling that it was "the book of an immature mind.

Why England Slept New York: W. Funk, 1940

Kao nova

"Kao nova" is a song recorded by singer Lepa Brena, released on February 21, 2018 by Grand Production as the third single from her eighteenth studio album Zar je važno dal se peva ili pjeva. The song and music was written by Dragan Brajović Braja. "Kao nova" is a folk song. The music video was directed by Haris Dubica. On February 14, 2018, Brena announced a new song "Kao nova", in the "Posle ručka" on the Happy TV; the video for the single was premiered on the Brena's official YouTube channel. Lepa Brena has said that she has been so blonde for so long that she can not imagine her with another hair color, in the new video for the song "Kao nova" we can look like a redhead, which fits her perfectly; the singer commented that the red color for her has always been a symbol of love and fire, adds: "This time, this was our guiding idea when we wanted to introduce the new Lepa Brena. Of course, everyone is asking me whether this is now a new image and whether I will be Burning Flame in the future, so I will disappoint them.

Redhead I was only for the needs of the video, I stay consistent with my blue hair color."

Royal Wanganui Opera House

The Royal Wanganui Opera House is New Zealand's last Victorian theatre. Located in St Hill Street in central Wanganui, the 110-year-old theatre seats 830 and is the venue for many local and international events; these include grand opera, tribute concerts, piano recitals, orchestral concerts, school events, graduations, fashion shows, dance of all forms, floral theatre. Functions requiring a stage and auditorium style seating can be accommodated. Wedding ceremonies have been performed and the stage can accommodate a reception of up to 80; the Opera House maintains a link to TicketDirect Network. In 1897, Wanganui Borough Councillor F. M. Spurdle proposed that Queen Victoria’s “record reign” should be commemorated by the building of an opera house; the idea was supported by Mayor Alexander Hatrick, an investigative committee was established and the council agreed to proceed. The Wanganui Opera House Company published a prospectus in a local newspaper in March 1897. Of the 5000 £1 shares, 4000 were offered to the public.

The council announced a competition to design the opera house, to be sited beside the council chambers in St Hill St. The successful architect was to be rewarded with supervision of the job, a commission of five percent on the total cost, with a second prize of £40 and third prize of £20; the winner, Wellington architect, George Stevenson, was announced in January, 1899. Stevenson died that the day on which the foundation stone was laid. A retired Wanganui builder, James Tawse, took over supervision free of charge; the tender of £4597 was awarded to a former employee of his, Swiss-born Nicholas Meuli, who ran his own building company in Wanganui. The general design of the building is of the Tuscan order for the lower storey and the Doric for the upper one, and…somewhat in keeping with the Borough’s other building alongside, the Council Chambers; the plans Stevenson drew up are held in the Whanganui Regional Museum. Copies are displayed in the bar/sweet stall lounge at the Opera House; the six sheets show "plans at basement, ground floor and dress circle levels, a longitudinal cross-section, external elevations.

The Wanganui Herald of the day recorded that "the building, of wood, resting on massive concrete foundations, all the inside walls being plastered. In size, it compares favorably with any theatre in the colony, the auditorium measuring 60 ft by 60 ft, affording seating accommodation for over one thousand persons; the dress circle and orchestral stall seats are of the latest pattern, with cast-iron frames and upholstered backs, the latter to tip up, thus giving ample room for persons to pass in front of those sitting down…" The circle itself was supported from below by 18 cast iron pillars, painted to imitate marble, which spoiled the view of patrons. Today patrons avoid buying seats located too close to the pillars. Behind the circle was a reception and refreshment room”. Thomson notes that "the auditorium was comparatively narrow, the circle ended at the proscenium on each side, "strengthening the intimacy of relationship between actors and audience". Ten large windows lit the auditorium and dress circle in the day time.

Other ventilation was provided with "twenty-two ‘a hit and miss’ ventilator fitted into the walls, in the dome itself is an ornamental cast-iron ventilator. At night electricity was used to light the theatre, ‘power for, derived from a 16 hp Crossley Brothers engine". Wanganui District Council has determined that the building is earthquake prone under the Building Act 2004. 1897 Council discusses need for Municipal Opera House. 1898 Competition to design an Opera House for Wanganui. 1899 Foundation stone laid by Mayor Alexander Hatrick 1900 Official opening by Premier Richard Seddon on 9 February 1900 First shows, A Sporting Life and The White Heather performed 9 January by Bland Holt and Company. 1901 Water main laid. 1905 Wanganui Liedertafel - 20th Grand Concert. 1909 Handrails provided on stairs leading to Dress Circle. 1910 Agreement in July to cover stage entrance before next winter. 1911 Engineer told to prepare tenders invited for erecting stage. 1912 Larger music improved lamp holders for the orchestra.

1913 The committee decided to recover 300 armrests, in Utrecht velvet. 1915 Staircase to dress circle treated with dark spirit stain. 1917 Engineer reports on ventilation. 1918 Council suggests. 1920 Alterations to Opera House - movie theatre established. 1921 Modification of seats with central aisle created. 1930 Wiring reconditioned. 1934 First loan paid off. 1937 Fire in sweet stall closes theatre for several months. 1938 Annexe added. 1956 Custodian/manager dies. 1957 Opera House Debt free. 1958 Gas engine removed. 1962 Stairs carpeted. 1963 Exterior repainting. 1967 Gray’s attention drawn to deterioration in paintwork. 1964 Dome repainted. 1978 Fire in annexe. 1986 Staff member Dave Brough died. 1989 Council retains control of Opera House for at least 12 months more. Friends of the Opera House steering committee established. Membership drive for Friends of the Opera House begins. Smoke detectors installed. Foodtown donates $10,000 for refurbishing the orchestra pit. Girvan Corporation pledges at least $5000 through pre-Christmas competition.

1990 Orchestra pit refurbished. 1991 $51,000 Lotteries Commission grant towards sprinkler system. 1991 Exit doors installed at either side of the building replace two doors at the front of the building and make room for upgraded toilet facilities. 1992 New toilet facilities provided, including a paraplegic toilet. Upstairs area becomes lounge, bar an