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Kora (instrument)

The kora is a string instrument used extensively in West Africa.. A kora has 21-strings which are played by pucking with the fingers, combines features of the lute and a harp. A kora is a Mandinka harp built from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator with a long hardwood neck; the skin is supported by two handles. It has each playing a different note, it supports a notched double free-standing bridge. It doesn't fit into any one category of musical instrument, but rather several, must be classified as a "double-bridge-harp-lute"; the strings run in two divided ranks. They are held in notches on a bridge, making it a bridge harp, they originate from a string arm or neck and cross a bridge directly supported by a resonating chamber, making it a lute too. The sound of a kora resembles that of a harp, though when played in the traditional style, it bears a closer resemblance to flamenco and Delta blues guitar techniques of both hands to pluck the strings in polyrhythmic patterns.

Ostinato improvised solo runs are played at the same time by skilled players. Kora players have traditionally come from jali families who are traditional historians and storytellers who pass their skills on to their descendants; the instrument is played in Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Burkina Faso and the Gambia. Most West African musicians prefer the term "jali" to "griot", the French word. "Jali" means something similar to oral historian. Traditional koras feature strings, eleven played by ten by the right. Modern koras made in the Casamance region of southern Senegal sometimes feature additional bass strings, adding up to four strings to the traditional 21. Strings were traditionally made from thin strips of hide, for example cow or antelope skin - now most strings are made from harp strings or nylon fishing line, sometimes plaited together to create thicker strings. A vital accessory in the past was the nyenmyemo, a leaf-shaped plate of tin or brass with wire loops threaded around the edge.

Clamped to the bridge, or the top end of the neck it produced sympathetic sounds, serving as an amplifier since the sound carried well into the open air. In today's environment players prefer or need an electric pickup. By moving the konso up and down the neck, a kora player can retune the instrument into one of four seven-note scales; these scales are close in tuning to western major and Lydian modes. In the 1300s, explorer Ibn Battuta did mention that the women who accompanied Dugha to perform were carrying bows that they plucked, he didn't mention the number of strings, but this shows the existence of harp instruments in 14th century Mali and could be the earliest written reference to the kora. The kora is designed like a bow with a gourd but Ibn Battuta did not go into detail about these instruments; the earliest European reference to the kora in Western literature is in Travels in Interior Districts of Africa by the Scotsman Mungo Park. The most scenario, based on Mandinka oral tradition, suggests that the origins of the kora may be linked with Jali Mady Fouling Cissoko, some time after the founding of Kaabu in the 16th century.

The kora is mentioned in the Senegalese national anthem "Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons". Nowadays koras are made with guitar machine heads instead of the traditional konso; the advantage is. The disadvantage is that this design limits the pitch of the instrument because string lengths are more fixed and lighter strings are needed to lift it much more than a tone. Learning to tune a traditional kora is arguably as difficult as learning to play it, many tourists who are entranced by the sound while in West Africa buy koras and find themselves unable to keep it in tune once they are home, relegating it to the status of ornament. Koras can be converted to replace the leather rings with machine heads. Wooden pegs and harp pegs are used, but both can still cause tuning problems in damper climates unless made with great skill. In the late 20th century, a 25-string model of the kora was developed, though it has been adopted by only a few players in the region of Casamance, in southern Senegal.

Some kora players such as Seckou Keita have double necked koras, allowing them to switch from one tuning to another within seconds, giving them increased flexibility. The French Benedictine monks of the Keur Moussa Abbey in Senegal conceived a method based on scores to teach the instrument. Brother Dominique Catta, choirmaster of the Keur Moussa Abbey, was the first Western composer who wrote for the kora. An electric instrument modeled on the kora called the gravikord was invented in the late 20th century by instrument builder and musician Robert Grawi, it is tuned and played differently than the kora. Another instrument, the Gravi-kora, a 21 string electro-acoustic instrument, was developed by Robert Grawi for kora players who wanted a modern instrument, its playing and tuning are the same as the traditional kora. The gravi-kora has been adopted by kora players such as Daniel Berkman, Jacques Burtin, Foday Musa Suso, who featured it in recordings with jazz innovator Herbie Hancock, with his band Mandingo

List of National Treasures of Japan (crafts: swords)

The term "National Treasure" has been used in Japan to denote cultural properties since 1897, although the definition and the criteria have changed since the introduction of the term. The swords and sword mountings in the list adhere to the current definition, have been designated national treasures according to the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties that came into effect on June 9, 1951; the items are selected by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Technology based on their "especially high historical or artistic value". The list presents 110 swords and 12 sword mountings from ancient to feudal Japan, spanning from the late Kofun to the Muromachi period; the objects are held privately. The Tokyo National Museum houses the largest number of these national treasures, with 20 of the 122. During the Yayoi period from about 300 BC to 300 AD, iron tools and weapons such as knives, swords or spears, were introduced to Japan from China via the Korean peninsula. Shortly after this event, Chinese and Japanese swordsmiths produced ironwork locally.

Swords were forged to imitate Chinese blades: straight chokutō with faulty tempering. Worn slung from the waist, they were used as stabbing and slashing weapons. Although functionally it would be more accurate to define them as hacking rather than slashing weapons. Swordmaking centers developed in Yamato, San'in and Mutsu where various types of blades such as tsurugi, tōsu and tachi were produced. Flat double-edged blades originated in the Kofun period, around the mid-Kofun period swords evolved from thrusting to cutting weapons. Ancient swords were religious objects according to the 8th century chronicles Nihon Shoki and Kojiki. In fact, one of the Imperial Regalia of Japan is a sword, swords have been discovered in ancient tumuli or handed down as treasures of Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples. Few ancient blades exist; the transition from straight jokotō or chokutō to deliberately curved, much more refined Japanese swords, occurred over a long period of time, although few extant swords from the transition period exist.

Dating to the 8th century, Shōsōin swords and the Kogarasu Maru show a deliberately produced curve. Yasutsuna from Hōki Province forged curved swords. Stylistic change since is minimal, his works are considered the beginning of the old sword period, which existed until 1596, produced the best-known Japanese swordsmiths. According to sources Yasutsuna may have lived in the Daidō era, around 900; the change in blade shape increased with the introduction of horses into the battlefield, from which sweeping cutting strokes with curved swords were more effective than stabbing lunges required of foot soldiers. Imparting a deliberate curve is a technological challenge requiring the reversal of natural bending that occurred when the sword edge is hammered; the development of a ridge along the blade was essential for construction. Various military conflicts during the Heian period helped to perfect the techniques of swordsmanship, led to the establishment of swordsmiths around the country, they settled in locations close to administrative centers, where the demand for swords was high, in areas with easy access to ore and water.

Smiths did not belong to any school or tradition. Around the mid to late-Heian period distinct styles of workmanship developed in certain regional centers; the best known of these schools or traditions are the gokaden with each producing a distinct style of workmanship and associated with the five provinces: Yamashiro, Bizen, Sagami/Sōshū and Mino. These five schools produced about 80% of all kotō period swords; each school consisted of several branches. In the late Heian period Emperor Go-Toba, a sword lover, summoned swordsmiths from the Awataguchi school of Yamashiro, the Ichimonji school of Bizen and the Aoe school of Bitchū Province to forge swords at his palace; these smiths, known as goban kaji are considered to have been the finest swordsmiths of their time. Go-Toba selected from the Awataguchi and Ichimonji Nobufusa to collaborate on his own tempering. Early Kamakura period tachi had an elegant dignified overall shape. Tantō daggers from the same period showed a slight outward curvature.

Around the mid-Kamakura period, the warrior class reached its peak of prosperity. Sword production was thriving in many parts of Japan. Following the Mongol invasions of 1274 and 1281, smiths aimed at producing stronger swords that would pierce the heavy armour of the invaders. To achieve this, tachi became wider, thicker with an overall grand appearance and a straight temper line. With the Mongol threat dissipated at the end of the Kamakura period, this trend was reversed, as blades grew longer with a more dignified shape than those from the mid-Kamakura period; however the so-called "unchangeable smiths", including Rai Kunitoshi, Rai Kunimitsu, Osafune Nagamitsu and Osafune Kagemitsu, continued to produce swords of the elegant style of the late Heian/early Kamakura period. These swords were popular with Kyoto's aristocracy; the production of tantō daggers increased towards the late Kamakura period. Master tantō makers include Awataguchi Yoshimitsu, Rai Kunitoshi, Shintōgo Kunimitsu, Osafune Kagemitsu, Etchū Norishige and Samonji.

The naginata appeared as a new weapon in the late Kamakura period. The confr

Michiana Shores, Indiana

Michiana Shores is a town in Springfield and Michigan townships, LaPorte County, United States. The population was 313 at the 2010 census, it is included in Indiana-La Porte, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area. Michiana Shores is located in northwesternmost Springfield Township, is the township's sole incorporated community. Michiana Shores takes its name from the Michiana region along the Michigan-Indiana border. Michiana Shores is located at 41°45′23″N 86°49′6″W. According to the 2010 census, Michiana Shores has a total area of all land; the town lies on the shore of Lake Michigan, just south of the Michigan state line. The town is adjacent to Michiana and neighbors Long Beach, Indiana along the coast to the west; as of the census of 2010, there were 313 people, 161 households, 93 families living in the town. The population density was 894.3 inhabitants per square mile. There were 340 housing units at an average density of 971.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 97.4% White, 0.3% Native American, 2.2% from two or more races.

Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.9% of the population. There were 161 households of which 11.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 3.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.5% had a male householder with no wife present, 42.2% were non-families. 37.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.94 and the average family size was 2.55. The median age in the town was 57.8 years. 10.9% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the town was 50.8 % female. As of the census of 2000, there were 330 people, 162 households, 99 families living in the town; the population density was 954.0 people per square mile. There were 339 housing units at an average density of 980.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 92.12% White, 0.30% African American, 0.30% Native American, 3.33% Asian, 0.30% from other races, 3.64% from two or more races.

Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.21% of the population. There were 162 households out of which 16.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.7% were married couples living together, 5.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.3% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.58. In the town, the population was spread out with 14.8% under the age of 18, 3.0% from 18 to 24, 22.1% from 25 to 44, 33.3% from 45 to 64, 26.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males. The median income for a household in the town was $46,250, the median income for a family was $64,750. Males had a median income of $42,333 versus $30,750 for females; the per capita income for the town was $30,633. None of the families and 2.5% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 4.9% of those over 64.

The inland part of Michiana Shores was the site of the logging town of Corymbo in the 1860s and 1870s. Corymbo, located on the Michigan Central railroad, was home to a mixture of lumbermen and railroad employees. A post office was established there in 1861, but had been discontinued by 1880; the land was owned by the local Burgwald family, which sold it in the 1920s to the Long Beach Land Company. The modern-day beach community began to be developed in the 1930s, when developers Orphie Gotto and Clarence Mathias began to build it as a log cabin town for vacationers. Many of the early residents were schoolteachers from Chicago; the town was incorporated in 1947. Michiana Shores residents are served by the Michigan City Public Library. Michiana Shores residents may request a free library card from any La Porte County Public Library branch. Chapman, Charles C.. History of LaPorte County, Indiana: and History of Indiana. Stodola, Barbara. Michigan City Beach Communities: Sheridan, Long Beach, Michiana Shores.

ISBN 0-7385-2331-3

Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology

Leonardo, The International Society for the Arts and Technology is a registered 501c nonprofit formed in 1982 as an umbrella organization for the journals Leonardo and the Leonardo Music Journal. In 2018, Leonardo/ISAST was awarded the Golden Nica Prix Ars Electronica as Visionary Pioneers of New Media Art. Leonardo/ISAST was founded by physicist Roger Malina, son of the journal's founder, astronautical pioneer and artist Frank Malina; the name "Leonardo" was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, due to his contributions to art and technological progress. Leonardo/ISAST aims include to provide charitable assistance to artists. Publications of ISAST include the following, published through The MIT Press: Leonardo Leonardo Music Journal Leonardo Electronic Almanac, editor-in-chief Lanfranco Aceti Leonardo Book Series, editor-in-chief Sean Cubitt Leonardo Reviews, editor-in-chief Michael PuntPrograms of ISAST include: Leonardo ABstracts Service, editor-in-chief Sheila Pinkel LASER international speaker series chaired by Piero Scaruffi Scientific Delirium Madness artist-scientist residency with Djerassi Artists Residency Program Leonardo Education and Art Forum, chaired by Ruth West Official website Leonardo Education and Art Forum

The Moth Diaries (film)

The Moth Diaries is a 2011 Canadian/Irish horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 2002 novel of the same name by Rachel Klein. The film stars Lily Cole, Sarah Gadon, Sarah Bolger, Judy Parfitt, Scott Speedman. At an exclusive boarding school for girls, 16-year-old Rebecca writes her most intimate thoughts in a diary. Two years earlier, Rebecca's father, a poet, took his own life by slitting his wrists, her mother transferred Rebecca to the school, hoping to help her daughter escape the memory of her father's death. With the help of her best friend and roommate, Rebecca soon recovers; the following year, a dark-haired girl named Ernessa Bloch enrolls into the school. Lucy becomes best friends with Ernessa and becomes distant from Rebecca. Ernessa's presence makes, she tries to confront Lucy about Ernessa's dark secrets. Eerie things start to happen. First, Charley gets expelled because of Ernessa. Dora dies in a freak accident shortly after spying on Ernessa's room, a teacher is found murdered in the woods.

Tension starts to grow at the school. To Rebecca, Ernessa is an enigma, she seems like she can walk through closed windows, she is seen lingering around the basement. Rebecca thinks. Ernessa gets rid of Rebecca's close friends, leaving Rebecca to find out what is happening by herself. A new English teacher, Mr Davies, arrives at the school. Mr Davies shows particular interest in Rebecca; the two share ideas on Romantic literature and poetry. Rebecca soon learns that vampires do not drink blood, but they can drain the lively spirit out of their victims. Mr Davies addresses himself as a fan of Rebecca's poet father. Rebecca turns to Mr Davies for help, during their conversation, the two kiss but Rebecca pulls away. Ernessa confronts Rebecca in the library and presents her with a sharp razor and elaborates on the pleasure of death. Another time, Ernessa sings a disturbing nursery rhyme about "The Juniper Tree" slits her own wrists, causing blood to rain down on her and Rebecca. Afterwards and the blood disappear.

Lucy is sent to the hospital. Rebecca tries to convince Lucy that Ernessa is the root of all their problems, but Lucy refuses to listen and profanes at her, she tells Rebecca that she is not the "old Lucy" anymore, that Rebecca's refusal to see this is what has spoiled their friendship. Although Lucy recovers for a couple days, she soon dies after Ernessa drains the life out of her. Rebecca steals the keys to the basement, after entering, sees an old suitcase with Ernessa's full name written on it. From an old diary, Rebecca learns that many years ago Ernessa's father killed himself, Ernessa, unable to cope with the grief, took her own life thereafter. Rebecca soon learns. Shortly after, Rebecca returns to the basement to discover Ernessa sleeping in the suitcase. Rebecca pours kerosene around the coffin and lights it before Ernessa wakes up. Rebecca walks outside to see a fire truck present and her classmates standing around. Through a door she sees the ghost of Ernessa, who turns around and walks into the sun before vanishing.

Knowing the authorities are suspicious of her, Rebecca is certain that Ernessa will not have left any remains. During the ride to the police station she pulls a razor blade out of her diary and drops it out of the window, staring blankly into the distance. Lily Cole as Ernessa Bloch Sarah Gadon as Lucy Blake Sarah Bolger as Rebecca Cantor Judy Parfitt as Mrs. Rood Melissa Farman as Dora Laurence Hamelin as Sofia Gia Sandhu as Kiki Valerie Tian as Charley Scott Speedman as Mr. Davies The film was shown Out of Competition at the 68th Venice International Film Festival; the Moth Diaries received negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 13%, based on 46 reviews. On Metacritic, it received a score of 38 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews". Neil Young of The Hollywood Reporter criticized the films lack of narrative suspense and overall inert storytelling, stating that "The Moth Diaries is about as scary and menacing as the harmless lepidoptera in the film’s title."On 4 May 2015, Scout Tafoya of included the film in his video series "The Unloved", where he highlights films which received mixed to negative reviews yet he believes to have artistic value.

He stated that "unlike other young-adult adaptations, the ritual and hardship of being in high school is never edged out by the supernatural goings-on. Harron was attempting to communicate with teens and pre-teen girls, to make a movie with characters and situations they might recognize." Tafoya further added, "Where the world refuses to stop turning just because crisis mounts for one girl, thanks to a careless if not downright malicious marketing and distribution strategy, its audience never got a chance to watch it alongside Twilight sequels or Marvel movies... The film industry is only just learning it can't get away with ignoring women of all ages." Vampire film List of ghost films IFC Films official site The Moth Diaries on IMDb The Moth Diaries at AllMovie The Moth Diaries at Box Office Mojo The Moth Diaries at Metacritic The Moth Diaries at Rotten Tomatoes


Tacaná is a town and municipality in the Guatemalan department of San Marcos. In 1690, Tejutla had a large area and included the modern municipalities of Comitancillo, Ixchiguán, Concepción Tutuapa, Sibinal, Tacaná and part of what is now San Miguel Ixtahuacán. According to the historical writings from Recordación Florida of Francisco Antonio de Fuentes y Guzmán, Tejutla belonged to Quetzaltenango Department and it was a "prosperous land with rich weathers and comfortable forest with enough water". Tejutla was religious center. In the last quarter of the 18th century, bishop Dr. Pedro Cortés y Larraz, who arrived from Cuilco in 1770 as part of the inspection he was doing of the Guatemalan dioceses, called Tejutla "Santiago en la Cima del Monte" (English: Santiago at the top of the hill" and reported that there were "sixty four families who lived well" in the area; the Central American United Provinces constitution from 11 October 1821, showed Tejutla under modern San Marcos jurisdiction for the first time.

In 1870 Tejutla reached "Villa" category and, due to its development, its authorities requested to the House of Representatives of Guatemala to be named a Department capital. The department was going to have the municipalities mentioned above, along with the modern municipalities of Cuilco, Santa Bárbara and San Gaspar, from the modern Huehuetenango Department. Besides, in those days, Cacahuatán and Tapachula—which would go definitively to México in 1892 due to the Herrera-Mariscal treaty— were under the jurisdiction of the Mercedarian convent located in Tejutla. Furthermore, Tejutla had House representatives of its own in those days, but power shifted when the conservatives led by field marshall Vicente Cerna werfe defeated by the liberal forces of generals Miguel Garcia Granados and Justo Rufino Barrios −who was a San Lorenzo native. In fact, Barrios government confiscated monasteries, large extensions of farm land, sugar mills and Indian doctrines from regular orders and distributed it to his liberal friend and comrades, who became large landowners in the area.

Tacaná has temperate climate. Guatemala portal Geography portal La Aurora International Airport Tapachula International Airport Volcán Tacaná