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Grand Palais

The Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées known as the Grand Palais, is a large historic site, exhibition hall and museum complex located at the Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France. Construction of the Grand Palais began in 1897 following the demolition of the Palais de l'Industrie as part of the preparation works for the Universal Exposition of 1900, which included the creation of the adjacent Petit Palais and Pont Alexandre III, it has been listed since 2000 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. The structure was built in the style of Beaux-Arts architecture as taught by the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris; the building reflects the movement's taste for ornate decoration through its stone facades, the formality of its floor planning and the use of techniques that were innovative at the time, such as its glass vault, its structure made of iron and light steel framing, its use of reinforced concrete. One of its pediments calls it a "monument dedicated by the Republic to the glory of French art", reflecting its original purpose, that of housing the great artistic events of the city of Paris.

The competition to choose the architect was fierce and controversial, resulted in the contract being awarded to a group of four architects, Henri Deglane, Albert Louvet, Albert Thomas and Charles Girault, each with a separate area of responsibility. The main space 240 metres long, was constructed with an iron and glass barrel-vaulted roof, making it the last of the large transparent structures inspired by London’s Crystal Palace that were necessary for large gatherings of people before the age of electricity; the main space was connected to the other parts of the palace along an east-west axis by a grand staircase in a style combining Classical and Art Nouveau, but the interior layout has since been somewhat modified. The exterior of this massive palace combines an imposing Classical stone façade with a riot of Art Nouveau ironwork, a number of allegorical statue groups including work by sculptors Paul Gasq, Camille Lefèvre, Alfred Boucher, Alphonse-Amédée Cordonnier and Raoul Verlet. A monumental bronze quadriga by Georges Récipon tops each wing of the main façade.

The one on the Champs-Élysées side depicts Immortality prevailing over Time, the one on the Seine side Harmony triumphing over Discord. The grand inauguration took place 1 May 1900, from the beginning the palace was the site of different kinds of shows in addition to the intended art exhibitions; these included a riding competition that took place annually from 1901 to 1957, but were dedicated to innovation and modernity: the automobile, household appliances, so on. The golden age of the art exhibitions as such lasted for some thirty years, while the last took place in 1947; the first major Henri Matisse retrospective after his death was held at the Grand Palais. The structure had problems that started before it was completed as a result of subsidence caused by a drop in the water table; the builders attempted to compensate for this subsidence, for a tendency of the ground to shift, by sinking supporting posts down to firmer soil, since construction could not be delayed. These measures were only successful.

Further damage occurred. Excessive force applied to structural members during the installation of certain exhibitions such as the Exposition Internationale de la Locomotion Aérienne caused damage, as did acid runoff from the horse shows. Additional problems due to the construction of the building itself revealed themselves over the course of time. Differential rates of expansion and contraction between cast iron and steel members, for example, allowed for water to enter, leading to corrosion and further weakening; when one of the glass ceiling panels fell in 1993, the main space had to be closed for restoration work, was not reopened to the public until 2007. The Palais served as a military hospital during World War I, employing local artists who had not been deployed to the front to decorate hospital rooms or to make moulds for prosthetic limbs; the Nazis put the Palais to use during the Occupation of France in World War II. First used as a truck depot, the Palais housed two Nazi propaganda exhibitions.

The Parisian resistance used the Grand Palais as a headquarters during the Liberation of Paris. On 23 August 1944 an advancing German column was fired upon from a window on the Avenue de Sèlves, the Germans responded with a tank attack upon the Palais; the attack ignited hay, set up for a circus show, over the next 48 hours, thick black smoke from the fire caused serious damage to the building. By 26 August, American jeeps were parked in the nave, followed by tanks from the French 2nd Armored Division, completing the liberation of the building; the Grand Palais has a major police station in the basement whose officers help protect the exhibits on show in the Galeries nationales du Grand Palais the picture exhibition "salons": the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux Arts, Salon d'Automne, Salon Comparaisons. The building's west wing contains a science museum, the Palais de la Découverte, it was the host venue of the 2010 World Fencing Championships. For the 2011 Monumenta exhibition, sculptor Anish Kapoor was commissioned to create the temporary indoor site-specific installation, Leviathan, an enormous structure that filled half of the main exhibition hall of the Grand Palais.

It was used during the final stage of the Tour de France in 2017, as part of the promotion for Paris' 2024 Summer Olympics bid. The riders rode through the Palais en route to the Champs Élysées. With Paris having been unanimous

The Glass Bees

The Glass Bees is a 1957 science fiction novel written by German author Ernst Jünger. The novel follows two days in the life of Captain Richard, an unemployed ex-cavalryman who feels lost in a world that has become more technologically advanced and impersonal. Richard accepts a job interview at Zapparoni Works, a company that designs and manufactures robots including the titular glass bees. Richard's first-person narrative blends depiction of his unusual job interview, autobiographical flashbacks from his childhood and his days as a soldier, reflection on the themes of technology, historical change, morality. In recent years, Jünger's prognostications on the future of technology, variously interpreted as technophobic allegory or insightful critique into the altered relationship between technology and the human, have received some attention. American science fiction writer Bruce Sterling composed an introduction for the New York Review Books edition in 2000, saying that "its speculations on technology and industry are so prescient as to be uncanny."

Out-of-work former cavalryman and tank inspector Captain Richard is offered a job interview with a "catch" by a former comrade, Twinnings: namely, he suggests a morally questionable position with Giacomo Zapparoni, whose firm builds advanced robots. At this point a reluctant Richard offers the first of many essayistic narrative asides, as he outlines the social magnitude of Zapparoni's creations, the first of many autobiographical flashbacks, recounting his days in Military Academy under the guidance of his strict yet caring instructor, Monteron. Two days while nervously awaiting Zapparoni, Richard notices how Zapparoni's modest house appears strangely old-fashioned for a man who made his vast fortune in robotics; this tension between new and old prompts Richard to nostalgically reflect upon the historic demise of cavalry, supplanted by mechanized modern warfare. The suicide of his comrade Lorenz, who refused to adapt to the vertiginous pace of technological, social change, figures prominently in his reflection.

Richard's ruminations turn inward, as he narrates his own lack of worldly success and his negative evaluations by superiors as an "outsider with defeatist inclinations."When the elderly Zapparoni makes his entrance, Richard senses his latent power, remarking that there is more to him than his intelligence. In a narrative aside prompted by a question from Zapparoni, Richard contrasts his former comrades Fillmor and Twinnings. Unlike either Lorenz and Twinnings, now a successful high officer, is driven by ambition, yet lacks imagination. So when Zapparoni asks Richard for his opinion on Fillmor's memoir, Richard is unsure how to respond. Over the course of a tactical conversation, Zapparoni begins with familiar territory for Richard, namely war, yet is able to master the discussion, forcing Richard into contortions and self-contradictions. Zapparoni announces that he has other matters to attend to, asks Richard to wait for him in the garden, warning him to beware of the bees. Out in the garden Richard, through a pair of sophisticated binoculars, discovers the glass bees.

Watching them, he observes how these robotic bees are much more efficient at gathering nectar than real bees, marvels at their construction. As he watches the bees, he notices a pond filled with severed ears. Richard considers contacting the police but realizes that the powerful Zapparoni could frame him. Richard's predicament spurs a childhood reminiscence about Atje Hanebut, "chief" of Richard's neighborhood gang. One day, Atje has them savagely beat a member of a rival gang. Richard tries to stop Atje, calling his attention to the boy's bleeding nose, for which Atje has the boys beat Richard, after which they flee; the rival gang finds Richard, beating him further in retaliation. At home, Richard is beaten once more, this time by his father. Leaving the garden, Richard encounters Zapparoni, who reveals that the ears had been severed from humanoid robots, were a test that Richard has failed. Zapparoni surprises Richard by offering him a different job requiring sharp moral discrimination, which Richard accepts.

On the way home, Richard buys Teresa a red dress, they go out for dinner, Richard begins to forget the events in Zapparoni's garden. The Glass Bees combines the semi-autobiographical narrative and reflections of the narrator, explicitly thematizing such topics as war and historical change, morality and semantic change, it is classified as one of Ernst Jünger's works. With its simultaneous nostalgia for militaristic order and deep suspicion of technocratic modernity, it is exemplary of this ambiguity in Jünger's work; the Glass Bees, like another of Jünger's novels, thematizes the altered relationship between technology and nature. The novel's setting has been variously characterized as "an unspecified future" and a "dystopia." While some aspects of the novel's geography and history have real-world referents, such as the "Asturian civil war," do not. Jünger uses dystopian settings "to show that by heroic exertion humankind can live on the dreadful terms technology shall dictate". Thomas Nevin has described Jünger's conceptualization of technology by comparing it to Marxism: "Marxists preached that technological advances entail ide

L-Ron

L-Ron is a fictional character, a robot in the DC Comics universe. L-Ron first appeared in Justice League International #14. L-Ron was the robot companion of Manga Khan. At the time Manga Khan had other robots named after famous figures in science fiction including Commander Sooroo, Captain Krikk, Hein-9 and K-Dikk among others. Manga Khan is an intergalactic trader, who in that role appears as a foe of the Justice League in the early 1990s. L-Ron exhibited different robot forms at this time. Khan damages one of these forms when angered that a JLA team had followed the ship. L-Ron wasn't too concerned about the damage. Khan and his forces trick Mister Miracle into becoming a prisoner of contract, L-Ron is involved in this adventure as well. Manga Khan traded L-Ron to the Justice League in exchange for the inert body of the villain Despero. At the time Manga paraphrases Shakespeare saying "Alas poor L-Ron I knew him K-Dikk". L-Ron assists the League in various non-combat roles, he annoys many of them by inventing praise-laden salutations.

On, L-Ron's consciousness is transferred into the body of Despero by Kilowog in a desperate attempt to stop the villain's latest rampage. During the "Breakdowns" storyline that ran through Justice League America and Justice League Europe, Despero wakes up in L-Ron's body and attacks the Justice League International including Fire and Blue Beetle. Despero/L-Ron is defeated when he is shot by a duck hunter. L-Ron continues to associate with the League, he works with Gypsy, Martian Manhunter and Triumph. Despero's body affects L-Ron. L-Ron participates in a multi-League effort against Overmaster, an alien threatening all life on Earth. During this mission, L-Ron's friend Ice is slain by the villain. Despero's mind temporarily takes over the body again during a battle with Supergirl, but at the end of the fight, L-Ron has resumed control, while the disembodied Despero has disappeared. Under unknown circumstances, he returns to the form, he is last seen acting as Maxwell Lord's assistant and liaison with Guy Gardner in the "Super Buddies".

Manga is refused. This story reveals. During his time with the Super Buddies, several members of the team vanish due to a misunderstanding over the function and form of a mystical artifact. Lord and Sue Dibny speculate on sending L-Ron along the magical path to investigate, an idea he protests; the heroes return safely. Afterwards L-Ron disappeared into a comics limbo of sorts, he has been seen working with a team of supervillains known as the Robot Renegades. His motives for working with the villains is yet unknown, though he does assist the Metal Men in fighting the Death Metal Men. L-Ron appears in the Young Justice: Invasion episode "Cornered" voiced by Phil LaMarr; this version is a majordomo to Despero helping him attack the Hall of Justice. When Despero's paralysis ability is turned against him by Zatanna acting through Mal Duncan, L-Ron assumes his battle form and goes on the attack, he is destroyed when Billy Batson jumps on his back and summons his magical lightning. L-Ron was going to be Brainiac's assistant in the unmade movie Superman Lives.

Chasing Amy star Dwight Ewell was considered a possible choice for voice actor, giving L-Ron a'gay R2-D2' persona. The unproduced script was written by Dwight's friend and fellow co-star Kevin Smith