Friday, February 23, 2007

disappearing : 07-Jvari Monastery, Georgia

Our grandchildren may never see Jvari. Jvari Monastery, or Monastery of the Cross, is a Georgian Orthodox monastery near the World Heritage site Mtskheta. In the fourth century a female evangelist St. Nino credited with covering the country to Christianity, stayed here to pray and erected a cross on Mtskheta's highest peak. A minor church of the Holy Cross was built in the second half of the 6th century, and a bigger church -the Great Church- was erected over the wooden cross between 586 and 605. The Great Church has a splendid interior and facades and is representative of the tetraconch architectural type that was popular not only in Georgia, but the whole region of South Caucaus. Actually it is considered as a model of many other churches. The importance of Jvari complex increased over time and attracted pilgrims from beyond Georgia’s borders.

Over the centuries the Jvari buildings have suffered damage from erosion (plus acid rain) and inadequate maintenance. The Small Church has no roof and the mosaics and frescoes that decorated its interiors have largely disappeared. The Centre for Architectural Heritage of Georgia has proposed conservation plan, but if the buildings are to survive as a meaningful relic of the early Christian movement in the region, then immediate action will be required.

I have never heard about Jvari, even all I know about Georgia was that that's origin of British singer Katie Melua, I'm sorry. So, when I saw the picture for the first time, honestly I thought it was just a old building. I never thought about the interior. I don't know if it is a good comparison, but it came in my mind that Alhambra is like that: from outside is like old brown building, but the interior is... I would like to visit this monastery since it has been difficult to find pictures of it. Well I guess Jvari isn't that famous and not many people are interested in. So let's improve our knowledge together. You know, it's funny because when I write this section, I often think about the relation between ignorance and sin.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

disappearing : 06-the Arctic ice shelf

Our grandchildren may never see the Arctic ice shelf. I think ice melting has become a symbol of climate change. Like Kilimanjaro. I just don’t want to repeat all the things that we can hear or read anywhere. Well it’s a real thread when this process is unstoppable. I always thought this frozen ground is something extraordinary. What is going on? Are you ready to say bye-bye to poor polar bears?

Recently Europe turned off some lights 5 minutes to acknowledge symbolically global warming. It was a good chance to remind us again about the danger, although it already ended as a symbol. For the next time, I think it’s much better to celebrate FIFA World Cup every half year in Europe, so that no European man is gonna use the light but for the TV.

It’s not ecologic talk but I found something interesting Picture when I was researching about Arctic.

This is a American submarine USS Pogy (SSN-647), which was one of the US’s “baddest” Cold War-era fast-attack nuke boats (words from USS Pony Alumni Page). It ends collecting thousand of water samples from over a hundred locations under the polar ice of the Arctic Ocean. I doubt that the world is getting better but it’s obvious that this submarine has been more useful after the Cold War.

sound : travis

Travis a.k.a. the invisible band are a Scottish rock band that had started their career in 90’s and has released 4 original albums and a compilation album. And they are about bringing a new album this year. The member is composed of four and the lead vocalist and main songwriter is Francis Healy. I think people agree that he’s one of the most talented songwriters in UK right now.

Francis recognized he received the influence of some songwriters, such as Joni Mitchell (I wish I could listen their cover of her song River), Paul McCartney and so on. To me, his songs seem to be sort of good elaborated (like a hand work thing). Well done, without unnecessary ornaments. And actually they sound independent, melancholic, and strangely catchy. My favorite song is The Humpty Dumpty Love Song from the album The Invisible Band. I think invisible explains a lot about Travis: they feel that their music is more important than the band making it.

They often make funny music videos. It’s good to feel how they work in good mood. Like this one, Walking In The Sun.

To be honest I’m a little bit worried about getting bald; well maybe it’s ok if I can be bald just like Mr. Healy. Good looking bald I mean :P

Here is the link to their website and you also can hear few songs in their MySpace site.