Sistine Chapel ceiling

The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the Sistine Chapel, the large papal chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV, for whom the chapel is named, it was painted at the commission of Pope Julius II. The chapel is the location for many other important services; the ceiling's various painted elements form part of a larger scheme of decoration within the Chapel, which includes the large fresco The Last Judgment on the sanctuary wall by Michelangelo, wall paintings by several leading painters of the late 15th century including Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Pietro Perugino, a set of large tapestries by Raphael, the whole illustrating much of the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis of which The Creation of Adam is the best known, having an iconic standing equaled only by Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the hands of God and Adam being reproduced in countless imitations.

The complex design includes several sets of individual figures, both clothed and nude, which allowed Michelangelo to demonstrate his skill in creating a huge variety of poses for the human figure and which have provided an enormously influential pattern book of models for other artists since. Pope Julius II was a "warrior pope" who in his papacy undertook an aggressive campaign for political control to unite and empower Italy under the leadership of the Church, he invested in symbolism to display his temporal power, such as his procession, in the Classical manner, through a triumphal arch in a chariot after one of his many military victories. It was Julius who began the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica in 1506, as the most potent symbol of the source of papal power. In the same year, Pope Julius conceived a program to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; the walls of the chapel had been decorated twenty years earlier. The lowest of three levels is painted to resemble draped hangings and was hung on special occasions with a set of tapestries designed by Raphael.

The middle level contains a complex scheme of frescoes illustrating the Life of Christ on the right side and the Life of Moses on the left side. It was carried out by some of the most renowned Renaissance painters: Botticelli, Perugino, Pinturicchio and Cosimo Rosselli; the upper level of the walls contains the windows, between which are painted pairs of illusionistic niches with representations of the first 32 popes. A draft by Pier Matteo d'Amelia indicates that the ceiling was painted blue like that of the Arena Chapel and decorated with gold stars representing the zodiacal constellations, it is probable that, because the chapel was the site of regular meetings and Masses of an elite body of officials known as the Papal Chapel, it was Pope Julius' intention and expectation that the iconography of the ceiling was to be read with many layers of meaning. Michelangelo, not a painter but a sculptor, was reluctant to take on the work, he was occupied with a large sculptural commission for the pope's tomb.

The pope was adamant. However, a war with the French broke out, diverting the attention of the pope, Michelangelo fled from Rome to continue sculpting. In 1508 the pope summoned Michelangelo to begin work on the ceiling; the contract was signed on 10 May 1508. The scheme proposed by the pope was for twelve large figures of the Apostles to occupy the pendentives. However, Michelangelo negotiated for a grander, much more complex scheme and was permitted, in his own words, "to do as I liked", his scheme for the ceiling comprised some three hundred figures and took four years to execute, being completed and shown to the public on All Saints Day in 1512 after a preliminary showing and papal Mass on August 14, 1511. It has been suggested that the Augustinian friar and cardinal, Giles of Viterbo, was a consultant for the theological aspect of the work. Many writers consider that Michelangelo had the intellect, the biblical knowledge, the powers of invention to have devised the scheme himself; this is supported by Ascanio Condivi's statement that Michelangelo read and reread the Old Testament while he was painting the ceiling, drawing his inspiration from the words of the scripture, rather than from the established traditions of sacral art.

A total of 343 figures were painted on the ceiling. To reach the chapel's ceiling, Michelangelo designed his own scaffold, a flat wooden platform on brackets built out from holes in the wall near the top of the windows, rather than being built up from the floor. Mancinelli speculates. According to Michelangelo's pupil and biographer Ascanio Condivi, the brackets and frame that supported the steps and flooring were all put in place at the beginning of the work and a lightweight screen cloth, was suspended beneath them to catch plaster drips and splashes of paint. Only half the building was scaffolded at a time and the platform was moved as the painting was done in stages; the areas of the wall covered by the scaffolding still appear as unpainted areas across the bottom of the lunettes. The holes were re-used to hold scaffolding in the latest restoration. Contrary to popular belief, Michelangelo painted in a standing position. According to Giorgio Vasari, "The work was carried out in uncomfortable conditions, from his having to work with his head tilted upwards"


NASTAR is the world's largest known recreational ski and snowboard race program. It allows ski or snowboard racers of all ages and abilities, through a handicap system, a way to compare themselves with one another and with the national champion, regardless of when and where they race. Since the program's beginning in 1968, more than 6 million NASTAR racer days have been recorded, it has been available at more than 100 ski resorts in 1 in Australia. Many U. S. Ski Team stars got their start ski racing in NASTAR programs. NASTAR uses the principal of time percentages to calibrate a skier's ability, a concept pioneered by France's Ecole de Ski Nationale Chamois program. For certification, a ski instructor had to perform well enough in the Ecole's annual Challenge to earn a silver medal... be less than 25 percent behind the time recorded by the fastest instructor. The Chamois was a regular slalom race course with flushes. A certified instructor, back at his home area, could set the pace for local participants in Chamois races.

His time was not re-calibrated or speeded up, as in Nastar, by the amount he lagged behind the winning time in the annual Challenge. The Nastar idea of adjusting a local pacesetter's time to a national standard was introduced in France 20 years in the winter of 1987-88. SNMSF introduced Fleche, an open-gated giant slalom, during the same winter that Nastar began, though unknown to Nastar's founder. G.</ref> × Nastar the Beginning, by John Fry, NSAA Journal, January 2018. Paul Chalvin, former Director of the SNMSF John Fry, who became editor-in-chief of SKI Magazine in 1964, adapted this percentage-of-time system to a program for recreational ski racing in the United States, calling it the'National Standard Race'. Fry, who in 1969 became editorial director of Golf Magazine as well as SKI, was driven by the idea of creating in skiing the equivalent of par in golf; the program, to which Fry applied the acronym NASTAR, was introduced in 1968 as a means to compare the performance of recreational ski racers at resorts across the United States, for a time, in Australia, Scandinavia and Italy.

Nastar courses are simple, open-gated giant slaloms on intermediate terrain, allowing skiers of all abilities and ages to experience racing. Just as in golf's handicap system, skiers can compare their times and compete with one another regardless of where and when they compete, it takes into snow conditions. The program started with 8 participating resorts and 2,297 skiers in the first year, but gained in popularity, under the powerful direction of former U. S. Ski Team coach and pro skiing impresario Bob Beattie, growing to more than 100 resorts and 6 million skiers and snowboarders having participated by 2006; the program went through the latest being Nature Valley. The National Standard is the Par Time or the "0" handicap which every racer competes against when they race NASTAR; the "0" handicap is set by a U. S. Ski Team racer or former champion. Runners-up establish handicaps against the winner by their lag time percentage. These'traveling pacesetters' compete against pacesetters from each NASTAR resort at sanctioned Regional Pacesetting Trials prior to the start of the following season.

These events enable pacesetters from each individual resort to establish their own certified handicap against the national champion's Par Time or "0" handicap. The resort pacesetters use their certified handicap to set the Par Time at their local NASTAR course each racing day, in turn give each participant who races at their resort a handicap, referenced to the national champion; the Par Time is the time the national NASTAR champion would have raced the course had he been there that day. Various allowances are made for age group, disability if any, etc; every skier, regardless of ability or disability, can ski with a time referenced against the national champion, corrected for the specific resort and course conditions and his/her level. Platinum, Gold and Bronze designations are based on performance in several races, relative to each racer's age and ability group. Championships are held near the end of the skiing season each year. Participating NASTAR resorts are allowed some leeway in determining the location and set up of their NASTAR race venue but it is visible from a high traffic lift or lodge.

The resort can decide whether to have dual courses. Each NASTAR course is a modified Giant Slalom course with anywhere from 12 to 20 gates that racers must maneuver around. Gates are 4 to 8 meters of offset; each resort is encouraged to standardize its course to have a par time of 23 seconds and set courses so that no course is within 5% of the cap time. The "cap time" is the time it takes the local pacesetter to tuck from the start to the finish of their course without going around gates, is the fastest possible time down the venue. Although the look and feel of each race venue varies, the above constraints the nearly fixed par time by the pace setter, will tend to standardize the results; the overall standardization allows the participants to compare race times wherever and whenever they race. NASTAR requires all participants to register; this is a easy process, which can be done online from home, via the NASTAR web site. Once registered, each racer pays a small entry fee per race. Races are timed electronically using a mechanical lever for the clock start and an optical beam sensor for the clock stop.

The rac

Valor (TV series)

Valor is an American military drama television series, created by Kyle Jarrow. The show is produced by CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television, with Anna Fricke and Kyle Jarrow serving as showrunners; the series premiered on The CW on October 9, 2017, as part of the 2017–18 U. S. television season. In November 2017, The CW announced that it would not be ordering any additional episodes of the show beyond the 13 episodes produced. On May 8, 2018, The CW cancelled Valor after one season. Christina Ochoa as Chief Warrant Officer 3 Nora Madani, CPT Leland Gallo's co-pilot and one of the first females to serve in the Special Operations community. Before joining the 186th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, CWO3 Madani served with the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan. In the pilot, she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with "V" device for valor. Subsequent to her injuries suffered in a helicopter crash, she has become addicted to prescription painkillers. CWO3 Madani enlisted in the Army 10 years ago at the age of 18.

In "Costs of War" both Madani and Gallo are discharged from the Army after coming clean about the cover-up they participated in for the events in the pilot and are immediately hired by Thea to fly for the CIA. Matt Barr as Captain Leland Gallo, Pilot-in-Command with the fictional 186th Special Operations Aviation Regiment "Shadow Raiders". In the pilot, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with "V" device for valor. In "Costs of War" both Gallo and Madani are discharged from the Army after coming clean about the cover-up they participated in for the events in the pilot and are immediately hired by Thea to fly for the CIA. Charlie Barnett as First Lieutenant Ian Porter, an intelligence officer with the 186th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and the boyfriend of CWO3 Nora Madani; the two of them transferred from the 101st Airborne Division together. Three years prior to the series, he was a second lieutenant assigned to the Air Assault School. 1LT Porter is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

W. Trè Davis as Staff Sergeant Jimmy Kam, CPT Gallo's and CWO3 Madani's crew chief, taken as a prisoner of war in the pilot, he is rescued in "Oscar Mike" by the Shadow Raiders and returns home in "Costs of War" with posttraumatic stress disorder. Corbin Reid as Jess Kam, the wife of SSG Jimmy Kam and close friend of CWO3 Nora Madani. Nigel Thatch as Colonel Robert Haskins, a 23-year veteran of the United States Army, serving as the Commanding Officer of the 186th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. In the pilot, it is mentioned. Melissa Roxburgh as Thea, a member of the Central Intelligence Agency. In her personal life, Thea has had short-term relationships with both SSG Zoe Cho and CPT Leland Gallo. After she and the 186th Special Operations Aviation Regiment discover and expose her boss, Director Tucker Magnus, as a rogue agent in "Costs of War", she is given his post as Director of the CIA Special Activities Division. Valarie Pettiford as Congresswoman Simone Porter, the Chairwoman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and widowed mother of 1LT Ian Porter.

She is the point person for Washington in the Shadow Raiders' search for prisoners of war Sergeants Kam and Hendrix. She is revealed as "Snake Eyes", the leader of the plot to sell uranium to Ukrainian terrorists. Bryan Craig as Staff Sergeant Adam Coogan, a Delta Force operator and longtime rival of CPT Gallo, it was revealed the two feuded over a woman which created animosity between the two. Mac Brandt as Sergeant Shane Dylan Hendrix, a member of Delta Force and fellow prisoner of war alongside Staff Sergeant Jimmy Kam. Sergeant Hendrix is killed trying to escape imprisonment. Chelle Ramos as Staff Sergeant Zoe Cho, one of the first females to serve in the Special Operations community. After SSG Kam is taken as a prisoner of war, SSG Cho becomes CPT Gallo's and CWO3 Madani's crew chief. In "About-Face", SSG Cho is sexually assaulted by a Delta Force operator, but manages to fight him off; the CW ordered Valor to series on May 10, 2017. The series was planned to air weekly on Netflix in the UK and Ireland beginning November 1, however it never arrived.

On February 17, 2017, Matt Barr was cast in the lead role as Captain Leland Gallo, a commanding officer and described as "an aging hipster meets flyboy", followed a month by the casting of Christina Ochoa as his co-pilot Officer Nora Madani, "an intense and driven junior Army pilot, a member of the Shadow Raiders special ops unit". Filming for the series takes place in Atlanta; the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 24% approval rating with an average rating of 4.69/10 based on 17 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Valor's attempt to highlight an overlooked segment of the armed services is undercut by a badly judged blend of military action and melodrama." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 39 out of 100 based on 10 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Official website Valor on IMDb