Doge's Palace

The Doge's Palace is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style, one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice in northern Italy. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Venetian Republic, it was founded in 1340, extended and modified in the following centuries. It became a museum in 1923, is one of the 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. In 810, Doge Agnello Participazio moved the seat of government from the island of Malamocco to the area of the present-day Rialto, when it was decided a palatium duci should be built. However, no trace remains of that 9th-century building as the palace was destroyed in the 10th century by a fire; the following reconstruction works were undertaken at the behest of Doge Sebastiano Ziani. A great reformer, he would drastically change the entire layout of the St. Mark's Square; the new palace was built out of fortresses, one façade to the Piazzetta, the other overlooking the St. Mark's Basin. Although only few traces remain of that palace, some Byzantine-Venetian architecture characteristics can still be seen at the ground floor, with the wall base in Istrian stone and some herring-bone pattern brick paving.

Political changes in the mid-13th century led to the need to re-think the palace's structure due to the considerable increase in the number of the Great Council's members. The new Gothic palace's constructions started around 1340, focusing on the side of the building facing the lagoon. Only in 1424 did Doge Francesco Foscari decide to extend the rebuilding works to the wing overlooking the Piazzetta, serving as law-courts, with a ground floor arcade on the outside, open first floor loggias running along the façade, the internal courtyard side of the wing, completed with the construction of the Porta della Carta. In 1483, a violent fire broke out in the side of the palace overlooking the canal, where the Doge's Apartments were. Once again, an important reconstruction became necessary and was commissioned from Antonio Rizzo, who would introduce the new Renaissance language to the building's architecture. An entire new structure was raised alongside the canal, stretching from the ponte della Canonica to the Ponte della Paglia, with the official rooms of the government decorated with works commissioned from Vittore Carpaccio, Alvise Vivarini and Giovanni Bellini.

Another huge fire in 1547 destroyed some of the rooms on the second floor, but without undermining the structure as a whole. Refurbishment works were being held at the palace when on 1577 a third fire destroyed the Scrutinio Room and the Great Council Chamber, together with works by Gentile da Fabriano, Alvise Vivarini, Vittore Carpaccio, Giovanni Bellini and Titian. In the subsequent rebuilding work it was decided to respect the original Gothic style, despite the submission of a neo-classical alternative designs by the influential Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. However, there are some classical features — for example, since the 16th century, the palace has been linked to the prison by the Bridge of Sighs; as well as being the ducal residence, the palace housed political institutions of the Republic of Venice until the Napoleonic occupation of the city in 1797, when its role changed. Venice was subjected first to French rule to Austrian, in 1866 it became part of Italy. Over this period, the palace was occupied by various administrative offices as well as housing the Biblioteca Marciana and other important cultural institutions within the city.

By the end of the 19th century, the structure was showing clear signs of decay, the Italian government set aside significant funds for its restoration and all public offices were moved elsewhere, with the exception of the State Office for the protection of historical Monuments, still housed at the palace's loggia floor. In 1923, the Italian State, owner of the building, entrusted the management to the Venetian municipality to be run as a museum. Since 1996, the Doge’s Palace has been part of the Venetian museums network, under the management of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia since 2008; the oldest part of the palace is the wing overlooking the lagoon, the corners of which are decorated with 14th-century sculptures, thought to be by Filippo Calendario and various Lombard artists such as Matteo Raverti and Antonio Bregno. The ground floor arcade and the loggia above are decorated with 14th- and 15th-century capitals, some of which were replaced with copies during the 19th century. In 1438–1442, Giovanni Bon and Bartolomeo Bon built and adorned the Porta della Carta, which served as the ceremonial entrance to the building.

The name of the gateway derives either from the fact that this was the area where public scribes set up their desks, or from the nearby location of the cartabum, the archives of state documents. Flanked by Gothic pinnacles, with two figures of the Cardinal Virtues per side, the gateway is crowned by a bust of Mark the Evangelist over which rises a statue of Justice with her traditional symbols of sword and scales. In the space above the cornice, there is a sculptural portrait of the Doge Francesco Foscari kneeling before the Lion of Saint Mark; this is, however, a 19th-century work by Luigi Ferrari, created to replace the original destroyed in 1797. Today, the public entrance to the Doge's Palace is via the Porta del Frumento, on the waterfront side of the building; the north side of the courtyard is closed by the junction between the palace and St. Mark’s Basilica, which used to be the Doge’s chapel. At the center of the courtyard stand two well-heads dating from the mid-16th century. In 1485, the Great Council dec

Man on the Rocks

Man on the Rocks is the twenty-fifth studio album by British musician Mike Oldfield, released on 3 March 2014 on the Virgin EMI label. The album is Oldfield's second full album of songs with no long or instrumental pieces, the first being 1989's Earth Moving. Man on the Rocks was produced by Stephen Lipson together with Oldfield; the album features bassist Leland Sklar, drummer John Robinson, keyboardist Matt Rollings, guitarist Michael Thompson and singer Luke Spiller together with Oldfield himself on guitar. The backing tracks were recorded during June 2013 in Studio D of Village Studios, Los Angeles with producer Steve Lipson. Oldfield has recorded part of the album in his home studio in the Bahamas. Oldfield's electric guitar sound on the album is a Fender Telecaster combined with the Avid Eleven software plug-in; the album marks a return of Oldfield to a Virgin branded label since leaving Virgin Records in the 1990s, through the merger of Mercury Records UK and Virgin Records after Universal Music's purchase of EMI.

Luke Spiller is the singer of another of The Struts. The album deals with topics ranging from Oldfield's experiences with mental health to a track inspired by the 2012 Summer Olympics; the piece "Irene" is inspired by Hurricane Irene which hit the Bahamas in 2011. The final track is a cover of William McDowell's gospel piece "I Give Myself Away"; the working title for the album had been Rock. Oldfield has used the title "Moonshine" once before for the final piece on 1992's Tubular Bells II; the song itself is a reworking of his 1994 instrumental "The Song Of The Boat Men", featured as a B-side of the "Hibernaculum" single. The song "Nuclear" deals with his grandfather's experiences during World War I; when interviewed by the Daily Telegraph, he tells the background to writing the song. “I never knew him,” he says, “So I hired a company to find out about him. It turned out he was a great character before the war but came home a different man. My mum was all the children born after the war had problems like hers.

I wanted to see. I travelled around Ypres and the battlefield museums and I saw the graves of his regiment: the Royal Munster Fusiliers, and I could feel it. Still there. It’s a blessing and a curse for those of us who have this extra sensitivity.” Man on the Rocks was released on 3 March 2014, after being announced that it would have been released on 27 January. The album is available on single CD, double CD, double vinyl, coloured double vinyl, digital download and a box set; the two CD Deluxe Edition contains a second instrumental disc. In the UK the boxed set is available through - this includes the content from the Deluxe Edition as well as Oldfield's demos of the songs and 4 alternative mixes of songs. The boxed set includes a 16-page CD size booklet, four art cards and a certificate of authenticity; the first public airing of the album was an excerpt of "Sailing", played on Stuart Maconie's radio show on BBC Radio 6 Music in November 2013. The first full play of "Sailing" was on BBC Radio 2 on 14 January 2014.

"Sailing" was a record of the week on BBC Radio 2 during the first week of February. The music video for "Sailing" was released on YouTube on 8 February; the video features Oldfield and Spiller in the Bahamas on a beach, a boat and in Oldfield's studio there. The song became available to buy on online retailers such as iTunes from 19 February. Behind the scenes footage and acoustic versions of tracks from the album, including "Man on the Rocks" and "Chariots", were released online ahead of the album; the second single was "Moonshine". "Nuclear" was featured in the E3 2014 trailer and soundtrack for the stealth action game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Critical reception of the album has been mixed. Music critics and journalists have noted its contrast from Oldfield's progressive rock works such as Tubular Bells, the album's orientation to more standard rock music; the Guardian newspaper called the album "a curious but likable diversion from his multilayered new-age work." "Sailing" reached BBC Radio 2's "A List" rotation.

Jeremy Williams of So So Gay noted "Man on the Rocks excels as it feels personal." Mike Oldfield – Electric & acoustic guitars, bass guitar, backing vocals, keyboards Luke Spiller – Lead vocals John RobinsonDrums Leland Sklar – Bass guitar Matt RollingsPiano, Hammond B-3 Michael Thompson – Electric & acoustic guitars Stephen Lipson – Electric & acoustic guitars Davy Spillane – Whistles on "Moonshine" Paul DooleyViolin on "Moonshine" Backing vocalists – Bill Champlin, Alfie Silas Durio, Carmel Echols, Rochelle Gilliard, Judith Hill, Kirsten Joy, Jason Morales, Louis Price, Tiffany Smith Engineers – Mike Oldfield & Stephen Lipson.

Norah Vincent

Norah Vincent is an American writer. She attended Williams College, where she graduated with a BA in philosophy in 1990. Vincent was a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a quarterly columnist on politics and culture for the national gay and lesbian newsmagazine The Advocate, she has been a columnist for The Village Voice and Her writing has appeared in The New Republic, The New York Times, the New York Post, The Washington Post and many more periodicals around the country. Adeline: A Novel of Virginia Woolf Thy Neighbor Voluntary Madness Self-Made Man Vincent's book Self-Made Man retells an eighteen-month experiment in which she disguised herself as a man; this follows in the tradition of undercover journalism such as Black Like Me. Vincent was interviewed by Ju Ju Chang on the ABC News program 20/20 and talked about the experience in HARDtalk extra on BBC on April 21, 2006, where she described her experiences in male-male and male-female relationships, she joined an all-male bowling club, joined a men's therapy group, went to a strip club, dated women, used her knowledge as a lapsed Catholic to visit monks in a cloister.

Vincent writes about how the only time she has been considered excessively feminine was during her stint as a man: her alter ego, was assumed to be gay on several occasions, features which in her as a woman had been seen as "butch" became oddly effeminate when seen in a man. Vincent asserts that, since the experiment, she has more realized the benefits of being female and the disadvantages of being male, stating, "I like being a woman.... I like it more now because I think it's more of a privilege." She's stated that she has gained more sympathy for and understanding of men and the male condition. "Men are suffering. They have different problems than women have but they don't have it better, they need our sympathy, they need our love, they need each other more than anything else. They need to be together." Vincent's book Voluntary Madness is about her experiences as an inpatient in a mental hospital. Suffering from depression after her eighteen months living disguised as a man, she felt she was a danger to herself.

On the advice of her psychologist she committed herself to a mental institution. Vincent spent time in three institutions – one urban and ill-funded, she found some parts of the mental health care system beset by arrogant doctors and over-reliance on drugs as therapy, while others addressed the symptoms instead of their underlying causes. She felt, after her experiences, that despite the multiple failures of the institutions she visited, a lack of willpower on the part of certain patients played a part in delaying or preventing their recovery. Although Vincent did not gain access to the hospital by means of deception, her exposé can be compared to Ten Days in a Mad-House by undercover reporter Nellie Bly, written more than a century previously; the Rosenhan experiment in the 1970s provides a comparison of life inside several mental hospitals. However, Norah's own experiences with minor mental health issues and more serious traumatic life incidences have distinguished her own, personal experiences in mental hospitals from those of mentally healthy people who have visited similar institutions.

Both her experiences and that of Nellie Bly differ from the Rosenhan experiment in their preference for personal experience over formal experiments with sample groups. Village Voice articles Ann Marlowe, the Memoir, the Self-Made Man ABC News 20/20 Program Segment