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Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum is a museum of art, world culture and natural history in Toronto, Canada. It is one of the largest in Canada, it attracts more than one million visitors every year, making the ROM the most-visited museum in Canada. The museum is north of Queen's Park, in the University of Toronto district, with its main entrance on Bloor Street West. Museum subway station is named after the ROM and, since a 2008 renovation, is decorated to resemble the institution's collection. Established on 16 April 1912 and opened on 19 March 1914, the museum has maintained close relations with the University of Toronto throughout its history sharing expertise and resources; the museum was under the direct control and management of the University of Toronto until 1968, when it became an independent Crown agency of the Government of Ontario. Today, the museum is Canada's largest field-research institution, with research and conservation activities around the world. With more than 6,000,000 items and 40 galleries, the museum's diverse collections of world culture and natural history contribute to its international reputation.

The museum contains a collection of dinosaurs and meteorites. It houses the world's largest collection of fossils from the Burgess Shale with more than 150,000 specimens; the museum contains an extensive collection of design and fine art, including clothing and product design Art Deco. The Royal Ontario Museum was formally established on 16 April 1912 and was jointly governed by the Government of Ontario and the University of Toronto, its first assets were transferred from the University and the Ontario Department of Education, coming from its predecessor the Museum of Natural History and Fine Arts at the Toronto Normal School. On 19 March 1914, the Duke of Connaught the Governor General of Canada opened the Royal Ontario Museum to the public; the museum's location at the edge of Toronto's built-up area, far from the city's central business district, was selected for its proximity to the University of Toronto. The original building was constructed on the western edge of the property along the university's Philosopher's Walk, with its main entrance facing out onto Bloor Street housing five separate museums of the following fields: Archaeology, Mineralogy and Geology.

It cost CA$400,00 to construct. This was the first phase of a two-part construction plan that intended to expand the museum towards Queen's Park Crescent creating an H-shaped structure; the first expansion to the Royal Ontario Museum publicly opened on 12 October 1933. The CA$1.8-million renovation saw the construction of the east wing fronting onto Queen's Park and required the demolition of Argyle House, a Victorian mansion at 100 Queen's Park. As this occurred during the Great Depression, an effort was made to use local building materials and to make use of workers capable of manually excavating the building's foundations. Teams of workers alternated weeks of service due to the physically draining nature of the job. In 1947, the ROM was dissolved as a body corporate, with all assets transferred to the University of Toronto; the museum remained a part of the University until 1968, when the Museum and the McLaughlin Planetarium were separated from the University to form a new corporation. On 26 October 1968, the ROM opened the McLaughlin Planetarium on the south end of the property after receiving a CA$2 million donation from Colonel Samuel McLaughlin.

In December 1995, the ROM closed the McLaughlin Planetarium as a result of budgetary cutbacks imposed by the Government of Ontario. The space temporarily reopened from 1998 after being leased to Children's Own Museum. In 2009, the ROM sold the building to the University of Toronto for $22 million and ensured that it would continue to be used for institutional and academic purposes; the second major addition to the museum was the Queen Elizabeth II Terrace Galleries on the north side of the building and a curatorial centre built on the south, which started in 1978 and was completed in 1984. The new construction meant that a former outdoor "Chinese Garden" to the north of the building facing Bloor, along with an adjoining indoor restaurant, had to be dismantled. Opened in 1984 by Queen Elizabeth II, the CA$55 million expansion took the form of layered terraces, each rising layer stepping back from Bloor Street; the design of this expansion won a Governor-General's Award in Architecture. In 1989, activists complained about its Into the Heart of Africa exhibit, which featured stereotypes of Africans, forcing curator Jeanne Cannizzo to resign.

Beginning in 2002, the museum underwent a major renovation and expansion project dubbed as Renaissance ROM. The Ontario and Canadian governments, both supporters of this venture, contributed $60 million towards the project. Michael Lee-Chin donated $30 million to support the project; the campaign aimed not only to raise annual visitor attendance from 750,000 to between 1.4 and 1.6 million, but to generate additional funding opportunities to support the museum's research, conservation and educational public programs. The centrepiece of the project, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, was a major addition to the building's original framework; the structure was created by architect Daniel Libeskind, whose design was selected from among 50 finalists in an international competition. The design saw the Terrace Galleries torn down and replaced with a Deconstructivist crystalline-form structure, named after Michael Lee-Chin who pledged CA$30 million towards its construction. Ex

Niklaus Brantschen

Niklaus Brantschen is a Swiss Jesuit, Zen master of the White Plum Sangha line and founder of the Lassalle-Institute within the Lassalle-House in Bad Schönbrunn/Zug, Canton of Zug. He is co-initiator of the Jerusalem-Project. Niklaus Brantschen grew up with six sisters in a traditionally Catholic family; when he was 22 years old he joined the Society of Jesus. After the novitiate in Villars-sur-Glâne he received the licentiate of the Munich University of Philosophy in 1964; as practical studies he worked in 1964-67 as an educator at Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria followed by three years of theology studies at the university of Fourvière, France and a fourth year at the University of Tübingen, among others from the professors Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann, Walter Kasper, Hans Küng. In 1970 he celebrated his first Mass in Randa. From 1973 he made a certificate study in adult's education in Munich as assistant of meditation teacher Klemens Tilmann, followed by meditation courses with Karlfried Graf Dürckheim.

From 1976 he made regular education stays for Zen studies in Kamakura, Kanagawa/Japan with Hugo Makibi Enomiya-Lassalle and Yamada Kôun Roshi. There, meetings with Heinrich Dumoulin, Jerry Brown, Willigis Jäger, Johannes Kopp. In 1988 he was given the teaching competence for Zen by Yamada Roshi, in 1999 he received the confirmation of a Zen master from Tetsugen Bernard Glassman. 1986 Brantschen met Jerry Brown in Japan and held inspiring conversations, 1987 he practised Zen together with him. Between 1973 and 1977, Brantschen was assistant manager of the educational institution Bad Schönbrunn near Menzingen, until 1987 he was its manager. For the next five years he worked as a student minister at different colleges in Zürich. In 1993 he positioned the educational institution Bad Schönbrunn new as a centre for spirituality and social consciousness and renamed it Lassalle-Haus. In 1995, together with Pia Gyger, he founded the Lassalle-Institut, an institution in the fields of Zen and leadership, which they both led until 2002.

Within the institute both are involved in the project Jerusalem – Open town for learning of the peace in the world which takes them to Jerusalem and to the UN in New York. According to Brantschen there is no alternative to the interfaith dialogue. Interfaith dialogue is not only conversation, but the positive, constructive relations between persons and communities of other religions for their mutual enrichment. "To be religious today calls to be interreligious, not only bilaterally but multilaterally.“ Brantschen considers the dialog with Buddhism as an enriching, but not straight or concluded way between the East and West, which springs up in the suspense between real Zen-experience and imitation of Christ. He sees strong parallels between Christian spiritual exercises and Zen-practice, which for him have formed a synthesis during the years; the practice of Zen is a way to remove the barriers between religions and races – to create a united humanity. For Brantschen collaboration in partnership is an important contribution for a necessary global change of consciousness.

Something new originates only if man and woman live a culture of partnership with equal rights. For him "humanity is like a bird with both wings like woman. If a wing is not developed, we do have a banking bird which cannot make his way.“ In his characteristic style Brantschen summarizes his judgments in concise sentences: Only one, unselfish, is happy. Who hangs on his spiritual experiences and wants to preserve them, destroys them and obstructs his way to the new. A man is not what he "does". Ethics, which we mean, founds in the careful percipience of life in all of its forms, in clever judgment, in suitable lasting action for the well-being of all; this is not possible without comprehensive self- and world-experience, without a more profound view of the reality. Brantschen has written 14 books, most in German, some edited in Spanish. Publications by and about Niklaus Brantschen in the catalogue Helveticat of the Swiss National Library Website of Lassalle-Institute Website of Lassalle-House Portray of Niklaus Brantschen Description of Jerusalem-Project

SS Norlantic

SS Norlantic was an American cargo ship of the Norlasco Steamship Company of New York, scuttled after being damaged by German submarine U-69 in May 1942 with the loss of seven lives. The ship was built as SS Lake Fandango, a Design 1099 ship of the United States Shipping Board, in 1919 and had sailed under the name SS Lexington. Lake Fandango was laid down by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company of Wyandotte, Michigan for the USSB and launched on 24 December 1919. Details of her merchant career after her March 1920 completion are not reported in secondary sources. In 1933, the ship was sold to the Merchants & Miners Transportation Company of Baltimore and was renamed Lexington. In 1941, the ship was sold to the Norlasco Steamship Company of renamed Norlantic. In May 1942, loaded with a 3,800-long-ton general cargo that included cement and steel pipe, sailed from Pensacola, Florida for Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. In the early morning hours of 13 May, while about 90 nautical miles east of Bonaire, the vessel came under attack by German submarine U-69.

At 03:38, U-69, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Ulrich Graf, launched two torpedoes that missed the ship. After closing to a distance of 2,000 metres from Norlantic, Graf began shelling the vessel at the bridge at 03:47. After the first several shell hits on Norlantic, her crew tried to signal the German boat that they were abandoning ship to avoid further attack, launched two lifeboats and two life rafts. Graf, unaware of the signal attempt, continued shelling the boat. At 04:11, three minutes after a coup de grâce hit Norlantic's port boiler room, the battered vessel scuttled by the captain, taking down six men—two killed below, four killed by shellfire during the evacuation of the boat. A seventh man in one of the lifeboats died of his wounds. On the afternoon of 16 May, three days after the attack, the pair of lifeboats was spotted by Netherlands trading schooners India and Mississippi, which took the boats under tow to Bonaire. Eight days and 11 days after the attack, two men aboard one of the rafts were rescued by SS Marpesia and landed at Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The three men on the second raft were rescued on 19 June by the tug Crusader Kingston at position 14°2′N 83°13′W, drifting some 1,000 nautical miles from the scene of Norlantic's demise in the 37 days since the sinking. Allied Ships hit by U-boats: Norlantic at Uboat.net