SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Menelik II

Menelik II GCB, GCMG was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death in 1913 and Negus of Shewa. At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state was completed by 1898. Ethiopia was transformed under Emperor Menelik: the major signposts of modernisation with the help of key ministerial advisors, such as Gäbre-Heywät Baykädañ, were put in place. Externally, Menelik’s victory over the Italian invaders earned him great fame: following the Battle of Adwa, recognition of Ethiopia's independence by external powers was expressed in terms of diplomatic representation at his court and delineation of Ethiopia's boundaries with the adjacent colonies. Menelik expanded his kingdom to the south and east, into Kaffa, Sidama and other kingdoms, he is called "Emiye Menelik" in Ethiopia for his forgiving nature and his unselfish deeds for the poor. In his reign, Menelik established the first Cabinet of Ministers to help in the administration of the Empire, appointing trusted and respected nobles and retainers to the first Ministries.

These ministers would remain in place long after his death, serving in their posts through the brief reign of Lij Iyasu and into the reign of Empress Zewditu. They played a key role in deposing Lij Iyasu. Of Shewan amhara aristocrat father and a noble mother, Sahle Maryam, who became known as Menelik, was born in Angolalla, he was the son of Negus Haile Melekot of Shewa who had fathered him at the age of 18 before inheriting the throne. There are conflicting accounts concerning the maternal ancestry of Menelik but his mother was most a palace servant girl named Ejigayehu whom Haile Malekot married after Sahle Maryam was born; the boy enjoyed a respected position in the royal household and he received a traditional church education. Prior to his death in 1855, Negus Haile Melekot named Menelik as successor to the throne of Shewa. However, shortly after Haile Melekot died, Menelik was taken prisoner by Emperor Tewodros II who conquered Shewa, had him transferred to his mountain stronghold of Magdala.

Still, Tewodros treated the young prince well offering him his daughter Altash Tewodros in marriage, which Menelik accepted. Upon Menelik's imprisonment, his uncle, Haile Mikael, was appointed as Shum of Shewa by Emperor Tewodros II with the title of Meridazmach. However, Meridazmach Haile Mikael rebelled against Tewodros, resulting in his being replaced by the non-royal Ato Bezabeh as Shum. However, Ato Bezabeh in turn rebelled against the Emperor and proclaimed himself Negus of Shewa. Although the Shewan royals imprisoned at Magdala had been complacent as long as a member of their family ruled over Shewa, this usurpation by a commoner was not acceptable to them, they plotted Menelik's escape from Magdala. Enraged, Emperor Tewodros slaughtered 29 Oromo hostages had 12 Amhara notables beaten to death with bamboo rods. Bezabeh's attempt to raise an army against Menelik failed. Abeto Menelik proclaimed himself Negus. While Negus Menelik reclaimed his ancestral Shewan crown, he laid claim to the Imperial throne, as a direct descendant male line of Emperor Lebna Dengel.

However, he made no overt attempt to assert this claim at this time. Not wishing to take part in the 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia, he allowed his rival Kassai to benefit with gifts of modern weapons and supplies from the British; when Tewodros committed suicide, Menelik arranged for an official celebration of his death though he was saddened by the loss. When the British asked him why he did this, he replied "to satisfy the passions of the people... as for me, I should have gone into a forest to weep over... untimely death... I have now lost the one who educated me, toward whom I had always cherished filial and sincere affection." Afterwards other challenges – a revolt amongst the Wollo to the north, the intrigues of his second wife Befana to replace him with her choice of ruler, military failures against the Arsi Oromo to the southeast – kept Menelik from directly confronting Kassai until after his rival had brought an Abuna from Egypt who crowned him Emperor Yohannes IV. Menelik was strategic in building his power base.

He organised extravagant three-day feasts for locals to win their favour, liberally built friendships with Muslims and struck alliances with the French and Italians who could provide firearms and political leverage against the Emperor. In 1876, an Italian expedition set out to Ethiopia led by Marchese Orazio Antinori who described King Menelik as "very friendly, a fanatic for weapons, about whose mechanism he appears to be most intelligent". Another Italian wrote, he showed... great intelligence and great mechanical ability". Menelik spoke with great rapidity, he never became upset, Chiarini adds, "listening calmly, judiciously

Eiichi Goto

Eiichi Goto was a Japanese computer scientist, the builder of one of the first general-purpose computers in Japan. Goto was born in January 1931 in Shibuya, Tokyo. After attending Seikei High School he went to Tokyo University, where he graduated in 1953, he continued his graduate studies at Tokyo in physics under the supervision of Hidetosi Takahasi, earning his doctorate in 1962. He became a faculty member at Tokyo in 1959. In 1968, he became the chief scientist of the Information Science Laboratory at RIKEN, a position he held until 1991. However, he continued to hold a position at Tokyo University as well, becoming a full professor there in 1970, he retired from the University of Tokyo in 1990, in 1991 he moved to Kanagawa University. Goto was a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961, he was vice president of the International Federation for Information Processing from 1971 to 1974, served several times on the steering committee of the Information Processing Society of Japan.

Goto died on June 2005, of complications of diabetes. In 1954 while he was still a graduate student, Goto invented the parametron, a circuit element that combined a ferrite core with a capacitor to generate electrical oscillations whose timing could be controlled; this provided an alternative to the vacuum tube technology in use for building computing devices. He completed the construction of the PC-1, one of the first general-purpose computers built in Japan, in 1958, using parametron-based logic. Soon afterwards, he proposed a device related to the parametron. Parametrons continued to be used for computing in Japan until the 1960s when they gave way to transistors; the quantum flux parametron is a improvement of the parametron by Goto, that uses superconducting Josephson junctions to improve both the speed and the energy consumption of these devices. During his visit to MIT in 1961, Goto devised the first time-optimal solution to the firing squad synchronization problem, a problem of designing a cellular automaton in which all cells fire, starting from an initial configuration with only one active cell.

In electron beam lithography, Goto's work included the development of double deflection tubes and variable shaping techniques. In the early 1970s, Goto's work on electron beam lithography led him to become interested in the ability of symbolic algebra systems to manipulate mathematical formulae. In order to implement these systems, Goto developed a new Lisp system called HLISP, in which he had introduced the innovative technique of hash consing to eliminate redundant memory usage by using a hash table to map duplicated values to the same position in memory. Goto's work in symbolic computing included the development of FLATS, a specialized computer hardware system aimed at this problem. Other topics in Goto's research included the search for magnetic monopoles and fractional electrical charges, computer graphics, memory devices based on cathode ray tubes, arbitrary-precision arithmetic, the automated analysis of bubble chamber experiments. Goto was one of the winners of the Asahi Prize in 1959 for his work on the parametron and the PC-1.

He won the Okochi memorial Technology Prize in 1988, in 1989 he was given the Purple Ribbon Medal of Honor by the Japanese government for his work on electron beam shaping

Sanctuary of Peninha

The Sanctuary of Peninha is situated in the Sintra Mountains in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, in the Lisbon District of Portugal. It stands at an altitude of 448 metres on top of a rocky outcrop, which provides views over the coastline and inland areas. In addition to a baroque chapel, completed in 1710, the location contains the Palace of Peninha, which dates from 1918, as well as remains of a hermitage; the interiors of neither the chapel nor the palace can presently be visited. The Peninha hills had been the location for a small hermitage since the foundation of Christianity in Portugal. Evidence of the physical foundations of a medieval hermitage can still be seen and archaeological excavations carried out by the Sintra–Cascais Natural Park uncovered a necropolis made up of graves excavated in the rock, with burials dating from the end of the 12th century, together with a cistern dug into the rock; the Hermitage of San Saturnino was built on the site in the mid-sixteenth century, added to in the seventeenth century and used by monks until the dissolution of the monasteries in Portugal in 1834.

It was still occupied by farmers until the 1960s. The site became popular during the rule of King John III of Portugal as one where the Virgin Mary appeared to a young shepherdess. Following earlier attempts to build a chapel after the vision, the present Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Penha was constructed by the monks around a century after the apparition, with financial assistance from King Dom Pedro II and was completed in 1711. Inscriptions inside the chapel on the 1726 grave of the hermit, Pedro da Conceição, elsewhere, acknowledge his role in building the chapel; the interior of the chapel, considered an excellent example of baroque architecture in Portugal, is covered by tiled panels representing scenes of the life of the Virgin Mary, together with representations of the Pentecost and the childhood of Jesus. There are marble inlays. Given its altitude of 448 metres and difficulty of access, visiting the sanctuary became a form of penance, as well as a popular pilgrimage site for sailors’ families, who would both pray for the safe return of the sailors and try to see returning ships from the summit, which gives visibility out to sea of up to 50 kilometres.

In 1892 Peninha was purchased by the first Count of Almedina. The final construction at Peninha was a mansion built by the Portuguese entomologist and businessman António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, who built the Quinta da Regaleira in nearby Sintra; the uncompleted house followed the Romanticism style. It was never lived in, his original plan had been to build a smaller version of the Pena Palace in Sintra. In Portuguese “pena” means “rock outcrop”, while “peninha” refers to a smaller outcrop. On his death the property was sold to Dr. José Maria Ferreira Rangel de Sampaio who requested an architect to prepare designs to finalize the work of the palace. However, work was not carried out and on the death of Dr. Sampaio he left the palace to the University of Coimbra; the entire complex of 62 hectares was purchased by the Government in 1991 and was placed under the management of the Portuguese Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests. In June 2017 it was announced that agreement had been reached for the Sintra Parks to carry out rehabilitation of the Sanctuary of Peninha.

The agreement foresees the elaboration of a Management Plan to promote nature conservation and education, together with improved security and maintenance of the complex. It is planned to better link other nearby places of interest in the Sintra mountains with the sanctuary, such as Anta de Adrenunes, the Convent of the Capuchos, Cabo da Roca. "Serra de Sintra": Website that has photographs of the interiors of the chapel and palace