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Fasces

Fasces is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe with its blade emerging. The fasces had its origin in the Etruscan civilization and was passed on to ancient Rome, where it symbolized a magistrate's power and jurisdiction; the axe associated with the symbol, the Labrys the double-bitted axe from Crete, is one of the oldest symbols of Greek civilization. To the Romans, it was known as a bipennis; the image has survived in the modern world as a representation of magisterial or collective power and governance. The fasces occurs as a charge in heraldry: it is present on the reverse of the US Mercury dime coin and behind the podium in the United States House of Representatives. During the first half of the twentieth century both the fasces and the swastika became identified with the authoritarian/fascist political movements of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. During this period the swastika became stigmatized, but the fasces did not undergo a similar process; the fact that the fasces remained in use in many societies after World War II may have been due to the fact that prior to Mussolini the fasces had been adopted and incorporated within the governmental iconography of many governments outside Italy.

As such, its use persists as an accepted form of governmental and other iconography in various contexts. The fasces is sometimes confused with the related term fess, which in French heraldry is called a fasce. A few artifacts found showing a thin bundle of rods surrounding a two-headed axe point to a possible Etruscan origin for fasces, but little is known about the Etruscans themselves. Fasces symbolism might be derived via the Etruscans from the eastern Mediterranean, with the labrys, the Anatolian, Minoan double-headed axe incorporated into the praetorial fasces. There is little archaeological evidence for precise claims. By the time of the Roman Republic, the fasces had developed into a thicker bundle of birch rods, sometimes surrounding a single-headed axe and tied together with a red leather ribbon into a cylinder. On certain special occasions, the fasces might be decorated with a laurel wreath; the symbolism of the fasces could suggest strength through unity. This symbolism occurs in Aesop's fable "The Old Man and his Sons".

A similar story is told about the Bulgar Khan Kubrat, giving rise to the Bulgarian national motto "Union gives strength". However, bundled birch twigs could symbolise corporal punishment; the fasces lictoriae symbolised power and authority in ancient Rome, beginning with the early Roman Kingdom and continuing through the republican and imperial periods. By republican times, use of the fasces was surrounded with protocol. A corps of apparitores called lictors each carried fasces before a magistrate, in a number corresponding to his rank. Lictors preceded consuls, dictators, curule aediles and the Flamen Dialis during Roman triumphs. According to Livy, it is that the lictors were an Etruscan tradition, adopted by Rome; the highest magistrate, the dictator, was entitled to twenty-four lictors and fasces, the consul to twelve, the proconsul eleven, the praetor six, the propraetor five, the curule aediles two. Another part of the symbolism developed in Republican Rome was the inclusion of just a single-headed axe in the fasces, with the blade projecting from the bundle.

The axe indicated. Fasces carried within the Pomerium—the boundary of the sacred inner city of Rome—had their axe blades removed. During times of emergency, the Roman Republic might choose a dictator to lead for a limited time period, the only magistrate to be granted capital punishment authority within the Pomerium. Lictors attending the dictator kept the axes in their fasces inside the Pomerium—a sign that the dictator had the ultimate power in his own hands. There were exceptions to this rule: in 48 BC, guards holding bladed fasces guided Vatia Isauricus to the tribunal of Marcus Caelius, Vatia Isauricus used one to destroy Caelius's magisterial chair. An occasional variation on the fasces was the addition of symbolizing victory; this occurred during the celebration of a Triumph - a victory parade through Rome by a returning victorious general. All Republican Roman commanding generals had held high office with imperium, so were entitled to the lictors and fasces; the modern Italian word fascio, used in the twentieth century to designate peasant cooperatives and industrial workers' unions, is related to fasces.

Numerous governments and other authorities have used the image of the fasces as a symbol of power since the end of the Roman Empire. It has been used to hearken back to the Roman republic by those who see themselves as modern-d

Spotlight (Mutemath song)

"Spotlight" is the first single from New Orleans rock group Mutemath's second album Armistice. The song was first released on the soundtrack to the 2008 film adaptation of Twilight, it was the second single to be released from the album; the song was released digitally on Spotlight EP on February 10, 2009. The EP was released on limited edition vinyl on March 24, 2009. "Spotlight" – 3:20 "Clockwork" – 4:44 "Earlylight" – 4:22 "Spotlight" – 3:27 The group performed "Spotlight" for the first time on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on January 15, 2009, featuring guest appearances from Adam LaClave and Jonathan Allen from Club of the Sons and Jeremy Larson. The music video for "Spotlight" consists of the band playing the song in a time lapse effect, in the back of a moving vehicle; the EP debuted at #5 on iTunes Top Rock chart and #17 on iTunes top albums the week of February 10, 2009 and landed at #18 on Amazon Top Rock MP3 Albums and #45 on Amazon top MP3 Albums. Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

One Stone and Two Birds

One Stone and Two Birds is a 2005 Taiwanese film directed by Kevin Chu. During the reign of Jiajing Emperor of the Ming dynasty, the evil court official Yan Song relies on the emperor favoritism towards him, becoming overbearing and domineering. An honest official Zhang Yinglong impeaches Yan Song with a "Ten Cimes Five Deceits" against him, but instead he gets flogged 30 times, banished to a far off frontier Guizhou. Zhang Yinglong's remonstration won the hearts of the common people, on the day of his banishment thousands of people turned out to see him off. At the sight of this, Yan Song knows that if he does not kill off Zhang Yinglong, he will be unable to deter other court officials. Thereupon, he arranges for assassins to kill Zhang Yinglong during the journey. In Guizhou, between the high mountain ridge lies a small relay station; because this place is far off and not deemed an important area by the government, therefore the relay station has become run-down. The relay station is managed by two young people, Shi Yipao and Bu Deliao, Zeng Wuliao.

Shi Yipao seems like a person who feels that he never gets enough sleep, has a look of bewilderment on him every day. Bu Deliao and Zeng Wuliao are both are diligent; these three people have spent six useless years in this boring place. Ruby Lin as 馨馨 Eric Tsang as 老李 Ng Man Tat as 曾武了 Jacky Wu as 石仪咆 Xe Cun as 得辽 Gao Hu as 柳玉树 Wang Gang as Gui Jian Chou Chen Rong as 萧贯虹 One Stone and Two Birds at Hong Kong Cinemagic One Stone and Two Birds at g-film Photo gallery at sina.com One Stone and Two Birds on IMDb