The South Korean Christian missionaries posing for before leaving for Afghanistan at Incheon International Airport.
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South Korean Christian Missionaries Kidnapped in Afghanistan

For six weeks. Two were executed. If you weren’t aware of their ordeal, you’re probably not Korean — which is not an ethnic slam, but a reminder to those who haven’t yet realized it that the religious world, too, is flat. The Taliban took 23 hostage last fall, killed two, released two, and reportedly ransomed the rest to the South Korean government for $10 million (the South Korean government denied paying).

Back home, the missionaries apologized to the government. The incident revived discussions of martyrdom, evangelization, citizenship and discernment, and underlined the extent to which the West is no longer necessarily the driving force in Christian evangelization.

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REYKJAVIK (Reuters) – Bobby Fischer, the eccentric genius who became America’s only world chess champion by humbling the Soviet Union’s best but who spent his last years as a fugitive from U.S. authorities, has died at 64.

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A spokesman for Fischer said he died after an unspecified illness at midday on Thursday in Reykjavik, the site of his 1972 victory over Boris Spassky at the height of the Cold War.

Once feted as a national hero and seen by some as the greatest chess talent ever, the Chicago-born former child prodigy seemed unable to resist perplexing his public with angry gestures, decade-long sulks and outrageous opinions.

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Having won the world title, he gave it away again to the Soviet champion Anatoly Karpov three years later by refusing to defend it.

After years of obscurity, he defied U.S. sanctions to play and beat Spassky again in former Yugoslavia during the Balkan wars. This was the match that got him into trouble and forced him to become a fugitive wanted by U.S. authorities.

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Of Jewish ancestry himself, Fischer claimed to be the victim of a Jewish conspiracy.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks he said he wanted to see the United States wiped out. He spent months in a Japanese jail cell, and his last years as a wild-haired, shambling recluse after Iceland gave him refuge.

Fischer’s triumph over Spassky ended the dominance of the seemingly invincible Soviet chess system. From the late 1920s to 1972, Soviets had held the world title for all but two years.

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Fischer’s style of play was often hyper-aggressive. Unlike many grandmasters, he always strived to win each game rather than settle for a draw — even when he was playing with the black pieces, which are at a disadvantage as white moves first.

He acquired a reputation for relying on pure mathematical logic, calculating as many positions as humanly possible, rather than on intuition.

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FIGHTING THE WHOLE SYSTEM

Spassky, who now lives in Paris, had little to say on Friday about his one-time nemesis. Asked by Reuters for his reaction to the news, he said: “It’s bad luck for you. Bobby Fischer is dead,” then hung up.

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov hailed Fischer as a pioneer of chess. “We have lost a great individual,” Kasparov told reporters in Moscow.

“He was always alone .. . but while alone he demonstrated that a human being is capable of reaching new heights.”

Reigning champion Viswanathan Anand called Fischer the ultimate romantic: “He fought the whole system,” he said. “He was someone who could not deal with being a world champion.”

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Karpov called him a “a chess giant and a unique personality”.

But he said Fischer had avoided challenging him. “I don’t want to say he was afraid, but he must have been vaguely sensing he could lose. And this thought gnawed him.”

Russian chess grandmaster Mark Taimanov, who lost to Fischer in 1971, said: “His whole life was dominated by the chess board, by chess and this is perhaps why he was so great.”

“It is symbolic that he died at 64 as 64 is the number that symbolizes the chess board,” he told Reuters Television.

The events that had led the American to spend his final years in the city of his 1972 triumph were typically bizarre.

By the 1990s, he was said to be living under assumed names in cheap hotels in Pasadena on the outskirts of Los Angeles, surviving on occasional royalties from his books.

After victory in the Yugoslav game, which earned him $3 million, he spent years globetrotting, a wanted man in the United States. He resurfaced in public to praise the September 11 attacks in an interview with a Philippine radio station.

In 2004, he was detained in Japan for trying to travel on a revoked U.S. passport. After eight months in detention, during which the United States sought to have him extradited, Iceland granted him citizenship in March 2005.

Debate has always raged in chess circles about who was the greatest, but Fischer himself was in no doubt. He once said: “It’s nice to be modest, but it would be stupid if I did not tell the truth. It is Fischer.”

“SEE ‘EM SQUIRM”

Fischer told interviewers his favorite moment was when opponents began to feel they would lose. “I like to see ’em squirm,” he once said.

He was U.S. junior champion at 13 and U.S. Open champion at 14, retaining the title whenever he chose to defend it.

He became an international grandmaster at 15, gaining the rating at his first international tournament in Yugoslavia. He once defeated 21 grandmasters in succession — no other U.S. player had beaten more than seven in a row.

As Fischer’s fame grew, he became more unpredictable. He walked out of tournaments because of what he considered to be bad lighting or bad air conditioning.

In the mid-1960s, he opted out of two world championship qualifying series because he thought the tournament system favored the Russians. In 1967, when officials would not meet his demands for better conditions, Fischer angrily withdrew from international competition “for a period of introspection”.

He took his collection of chess books to California, where he later said he had “plotted my revenge if I ever came back”.

When the rules were changed in 1972 to include an eight-player eliminator to find the challenger to world champion Spassky, Fischer had the chance to prove he was as good as he always said he was.

A friend of the chess master told Reuters Fischer had been taken to hospital in October last year. Not trusting doctors, he returned home and was looked after by friends until his deat.

Einar Einarsson, president of a group that fought to bring Fischer to Iceland from Japan, said Fischer had liked living in Iceland but at times felt trapped because he could not travel.

One commentator said there was one constant through his life — his “running battle with the rest of the human race”.

(Additional reporting from Paris, Moscow and Amsterdam bureaus, and Oskar von Bahr in Stockholm; editing by Andrew Roche and Giles Elgood)

Nobody has ever systematically looked at the sky on 100-year time scales, said Josh Grindlay, the Harvard astronomer in charge of the project. There is this whole dimension that hasn’t been explored.

The Harvard Observatory holds more than a century of astronomical records. Below (picture 1), we can see cabinets filled with photographic plates in 1891.

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The great Refractor (below), which in 1850 captured the first picture of a star; images from the archives, including the Large Magellanic Cloud (1900), the constellation Sagittarius (1943) and the Rho Ophiuchus nebula (1948)

In 1889 when this was still an analog world, a young astronomer named Solon I. Bailey carefully packed two crates of glass photographic plates taken at his outpost in the Peruvian Andes for shipment to Harvard College Observatory. Carried down the mountain on mule back and across a suspension bridge to the village of Chosica, the fraile load was put on a train bound for Lima and the long voyage to Boston Harbor.

For nearly 18 months the data stream continued -more than 2,500 plates from what Mr. Bailey had quaintly named Mount Harvard- followed in the coming years by tens of thousands more from a second Peruvian station in Arequipa.

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The “computer” room at the Harvard Observatory in 1891, below, where women examined glass photographic plates containing images of the sky. One of their most important tasks was looking for stars that changed periodically in brightness. (Picture 3)

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The reliance on photographic plates continued until the mid-1980s when electronic imaging came of age. The eyes of the astronomers were replaced by charge-coupled devices, or C.C.D., allowing for faster, more voluminous observations with all the advantages of a searchable database.

Today, Picture 4 below, Alison Doane, curator of the glass database, compares a chart with a glass plate in her office.

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Below, an observatory camera from 1891 (picture 5), and the custom-built scanner now used to digitalize the old plates, shown in binders at picture 6, is the handwritten logbooks, which researchers are working to transcribe.

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* Summarized and adapted from New York Times, July 10, 2007

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John Lennon portrays Private Gripweed in How I Won the War (1967), which is of interest to technological historians chiefly for its extensive use of authentic British World War II helmets.

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A scuba divers in 1933 at Seattle Washington’s Alki beach

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The Human Liberty Bell, Chicago 1918

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This 1949 photograph of eight Fords up on hydraulic racks and ready for inspection, in Cleveland Ohio.

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Alfred C. Gilbert (1884-1961) started his company in 1909 and invented his Erector set in 1913. His inspiration reportedly was the steel construction girders used on a nearby railroad.

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The Army of the Unemployed, 1930
There were too many jobless people to ignore and it became acceptable for them to demonstrate with dignity, as these men did.

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Light at the End of the Tunnel, 1936
After becoming President in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt began a series of ambitious programs to deal with the Depression, including Social Security, public works and wage-and-hour laws.

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It is very interesting the evolution of the Blogs, like group, as a new massive media, using modern technologies and the evolution of the Internet.

If we concentrate on those people that make a serious Blogs, to communicate us, direct or indirectly, some news, ideas, comments, experiences or simply to entertain us with some video or photos.

Besides the fact to be able to share new know-how or experiences of people of everywhere around the world. And, in a diversity of themes that would be very long to mention.

All this new form of modern communication, of people with access to Internet, that each day they are more. So, how everything in this life, it has a good side and it has a bad side.

The good side is that without doing long and costly travel, we can know people of almost everywhere around the world and to learn their form of seeing the world and to learn his culture and form of living.

Also the Blogs can be like our curriculum of personal presentation to other people. According to our design of Blog we will get up people that have something interests in what we publish, and so will be born a fruitful friendship.

The bad side is that we can convert ourselves, in people that they are in a room with a PC, and they forget of the physical relations. Very important is the physical contact for to get good human relations.

Besides being able to make the mistake of idealizing to the people that know for Internet. Therefore, always the personal contact is decisive.

Thus, paraphrasing a great poet, the Blogs have begun to walk, they are Blogs travelers and they do road when It’s walking, and, now, when we return our view behind, we see distant and obsolete the starting point; therefore, not only, we leave wakes in the sea, but we leave wakes in the cyberspace.

See you soon,

CARLOS (Tiger without Time)

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Bernie was a toddler in about 1922 (California) The ’22 photo shows us, in the suit, with his grandfather, his grandmother and his father. Next photo –look at the suit- was made in 2006

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Happy year 2007 and  that obtain your goals of happiness, peace and welfare in your life

CARLOS (Tiger  without Time) 

That the love transcend the religions or ideologies that everybody have it and only a desire of love, peace, justice, solidarity and Tolerance, lead our lives today, tomorrow and always. 

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In this Christmas I Ask to God or the infinite forces of the Universe:  

I ask, in prayer that supports my friends and family that read this message, right now, and get the truth of this life and to apply it in their own present life.

So they will be happy and they getting remove the internal force that have themselves. 

That your thoughts, words and actions permit them obtain the lighting, love and truth that they need for transcend in mind, body and spirit. 

That the love transcend the religions or ideologies that everybody have it and only a desire of love, peace, justice, solidarity and Tolerance, lead our lives today, tomorrow and always. 

That Christmas be the start for this great crusade. 

Remember, friends and family that all our spiritual power is inside of us.  We don’t depend on other people to be happy or for remove all our potential. 

Only you can do that    

LOVE, PEACE and HAPPINESS by ALWAYS.   

CARLOS (Tiger without Time)  a verdad de esta vida para aplicarla en su propia vida actual y

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