Never Go Back

Having read the book Never go Back by Lee Child i would like to watch the exciting fast-paced American Espionage Crime Thriller “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” which is out on DVD. It is based on the Lee Child novel of the same name. It stars Tom Cruise as former military investigator turned vigilante drifter Jack Reacher (who, in the novel, is described as 6’5 with Blonde hair?) who returns to his old military headquarters to meet Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), with whom he has been working  during his travels – only to learn from Colonel Sam Morgan that Turner has been accused of espionage by Turner’s attorney, Colonel Bob Moorcroft, and has been implicated in the murders of two soldiers in Afghanistan, However Reacher believes she is being framed.

Moorcroft then reveals an old acquaintance of Reacher, Candice Dutton, has filed a paternity suit against him, claiming he is the biological father of her 15-year-old daughter, Samantha Dutton. Unfortunately Moorcroft is killed by an unknown assassin and Reacher is framed for Moorcroft’s murder and arrested and transported to the same prison where Turner is being detained. Assassins then arrive to kill her, but Reacher intervenes and rescues her and they escape to Colonel Morgan’s house. However the assassin, is revealed to be working with Morgan, kills Morgan and frames Reacher.

Reacher and Turner soon realise Samantha could also be in danger, and arrive at her home to find her foster parents dead and Samantha hiding in the kitchen. Reacher and Turner decide to escort Samantha to Turner’s old private school for protection, however the enemy has been tracking her.  Reacher, Turner and Samantha travel to New Orleans in search of Daniel Prudhomme, the only eye-witness to the murders for which Turner has been framed. They find him in a derelict warehouse filled with drug addicts and learn that Prudhomme is connected to Parasource, a private military organization that is trying to cover up the murders. Reacher contacts Turner’s friend, Captain Anthony Espin, concerning Prudhomme but they are ambushed by assassins and Prudhomme is killed. Reacher rescues Espin and learns that the assassins are Parasource contractors. Parasource’s CEO, General James Harkness, then sends the hunter to capture Samantha.

Reacher and Turner, along with Espin, acting on information provided by Prudhomme, intercept a flight of weapons due to enter the country, and confront Harkness and his men and accuse them of corruption. Upon opening the crates, however, Espin find weapons as declared in the flight manifest. Before Turner can be re-arrested, Reacher opens up one of weapons and discovers that they are filled with opium. They learn that Harkness framed Turner, who had been investigating his activities, for the murders of two soldiers who discovered that Harkness was selling weapons to insurgents and smuggling drugs into the United States. Meanwhile The hunter and his men chase Samantha through the streets to lure Reacher into a confrontation eventually capturing Samantha and threatening to kill her, until Reacher confronts the hunter in an exciting showdown.

Inferno

I would like to watch Inferno which Is out on DVD. IT Is based on the exciting Dan Brown novel of the same name and features Tom Hanks as Harvard University professor and Cryptographer Robert Langdon who wakes up with amnesia in a hospital in Florence being treated by Doctor Sienna Brooks. Suddenly, a female assassin named Vayentha who has been following Robert, breaks into the hospital and tries to kill Robert. Luckily Sienna and Robert escape and Robert then finds a cylinder with a biohazard sign in his jacket and decides to call the U.S. consulate giving them his location. However he encounters Vayentha again and suspects theUS Government is also trying to clobber him.

Robert opens the container and finds a small medieval bone cylinder fitted with a hi-tech projector that displays a modified version of Botticelli’s Map of Hell. At the bottom of the illumination are the words “The truth can be glimpsed only through the eyes of death.” Robert and Sienna narrowly escape another attack and make for the Palazzo Vecchio of Florence believing the cylinder must have something to do with Dante. Pursued by Florentine police and Carabinieri officers they escape to the Boboli Gardens where Robert examines the modified map of Hell and discovers the word CATROVACER So consulting the original Botticelli “Map of Hell” he unscrambles the letters to reveal The words “CERCA TROVA”, which happen to be written on the painting The Battle of Marciano by Vasari, located in the Palazzo Vecchio.

At the Palazzo Vecchio, the Curator Marta Alvarez discovers that Dante’s death mask has also mysteriously disappeared from the museum and Robert learns that Ignazio recently died of a heart attack leaving Him the message “Paradise25” which Robert connects to the Florence Baptistry, where he and Sienna find the Dante mask along with a riddle from its current owner, a billionaire geneticist named Bertrand Zobriski who is rumored to be working on a means to prevent human overpopulation by using a genetically engineered disease.

Then A man named Jonathan Ferris, claiming to be from the World Health Organization (WHO), comes and helps them escape to Venice before suddenly falling unconcious and Robert is taken to meet Elizabeth Sinskey the Director General of the World Health Organisation where he learns that Zobrist, was a brilliant geneticist and Dante fanatic and had developed a new biological plague to solve overpopulation, citing the Doomsday Argument. They Discover that Zobrist was also involved with a shadowy group called The Consortium who were custodians of the Virus and discover a disturbing video. Robert discovers that Sinskey herself is involved in the conspiracy and that Sienna, Vayentha, and Ferris are all actors working for The Consortium who having become aware of the Bioterrorism plot have agreed to cooperate with the W.H.O. Then At the Tomb of Enrico Dandolo, at the Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, The Consortium discover Sienna may knows where the plague is being kept. So Robert, the WHO, and The Consortium, team up to stop before the whole world is infected by Zobrist’s Virus or it is used for Biological Weapon Research or put to any other nefarious use.

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange sorcerer Supreme is out on DVD. It is based on the Marvel character of the same name and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, who starts out as an acclaimed but rather arrogant neurosurgeon, named Stephen Strange who unfortunately loses the use of both his hands after having a tragic car accident in New York.

Meanwhile In Kathmandu, Nepal, an evil sorcerer named Kaecilius and his zealots enter a secret compound at Kamar-Taj, murder its librarian, the keeper of ancient and mystical texts and steal a ritual from a book belonging to the Ancient One, a sorcerer who has lived for an unknown time and taught all at Kamar-Taj, including Kaecilius, in the ways of the mystic arts. The Ancient One pursues the traitors, but Kaecilius escapes with the pages and some of his followers.

Doctor Strange’s co-worker and former lover Christine Palmer tries to help him move on, but Strange, believing he can regain use of his hands, instead uses all his resources pursuing experimental surgeries in vain. After learning of Jonathon Pangborn, a paraplegic who mysteriously was able to walk again, Strange seeks him out, and is directed to Kamar-Taj. There, Strange is taken in by another sorcerer under the Ancient One, Mordo. The Ancient One shows Strange her power, revealing the astral plane and other dimensions such as the Mirror Dimension. Strange begs her to teach him, and she eventually agrees despite his arrogance, which reminds her of Kaecilius.

Strange begins his tutelage under the Ancient One and Mordo, and learns from the ancient books in the library, now presided over by the master Wong. Strange learns that Earth is protected from other dimensions by a spell formed from three buildings called Sanctums, found in New York City, London, and Hong Kong. The task of the sorcerers is to protect the Sanctums, though Pangborn chose to forgo this responsibility in favor of channeling mystical energy into walking again. Strange learns to bend time with the mystical Eye of Agamotto. Mordo and Wong warn Strange against breaking the laws of nature, comparing his arrogant yearning for power to that of Kaecilius, who believes, after the deaths of his loved ones, that everyone should have eternal life.

Meanwhile Kaecilius and his followers begin summoning the evil and powerful Dormammu from the Dark Dimension, where time does not exist and all can live forever. This destroys the London Sanctum, and sends Strange from Kamar-Taj to the New York Sanctum. The zealots then attack there, where Strange holds them off with the mystical Cloak of Levitation until Mordo and the Ancient One arrive. Strange and Mordo become disillusioned with the Ancient One after Kaecilius reveals that her long life has come from her own use of Dormammu’s power. Kaecilius confronts the Ancient One, and escapes to Hong Kong followed by Strange and Mordo who find Wong dead and the Sanctum destroyed, with the Dark Dimension already engulfing Earth. Doctor Strange faces a race against time to save Wong, stop Dormammu and Kaecilius from destroying Earth and return the Infinity Stone, to Kamar-Taj. The film also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton.

Gottlieb Daimler

Automotive pioneer, Engineer, industrial designer and industrialist Gottlieb Daimler sadly died 6 March 1900. He was born March 17th 1834 in Schorndorf (Kingdom of Württemberg, a federal state of the German Confederation), in what is now Germany. He was a pioneer of internal-combustion engines and automobile development. He invented the high-speed petrol engine and the first four-wheel automobile. Daimler and his lifelong business partner Wilhelm Maybach were two inventors whose goal was to create small, high-speed engines to be mounted in any kind of locomotion development.

in 1872 (at age 38), Daimler and Maybach moved to work at the world’s largest manufacturer of stationary engines at the time, the Deutz-AG-Gasmotorenfabrik in Cologne. It was half-owned by Nikolaus Otto, who was looking for a new technical director. As directors, both Daimler and Otto focused on gas-engine development while Maybach was chief designer. In 1876, Otto invented the four-stroke engine cycle, also known as the Otto Cycle, which featured four piston strokes (intake, compression, power, and exhaust). Otto intended that his invention would replace the steam engines predominant in those years, even though his engine was still primitive and inefficient. Otto’s engine was patented in 1877. However the patent was soon challenged and overturned. For Unbeknownst to Otto, Daimler, and Maybach,  Karl Benz was also concentrating all his efforts on creating a reliable two-stroke gas engine in Mannheim, based on the same principle, and he finished his engine before Otto on December 31, 1878, and was granted a patent for his engine in 1879.

Sadly serious personal differences arose between Daimler and Otto, reportedly with Otto being jealous of Daimler, because of his university background and knowledge. Daimler was fired in 1880, receiving 112 goldmarks in Deutz-AG shares in compensation for the patents of both Daimler and Maybach. Maybach resigned later. After leaving Deutz-AG, Daimler and Maybach moved back to Stuttgart in southern Germany, purchasing a cottage in Cannstatt’s Taubenheimstrasse, with 75,000 goldmarks from the compensation from Deutz-AG. In the garden, they added a brick extension to the roomy glass-fronted summer house and this became their workshop. Their activities alarmed the neighbors who reported them to the police as suspected counterfeiters. The police obtained a key from the gardener and raided the house in their absence, but found only engines. Daimler and Maybach spent long hours debating how best to fuel Otto’s four-stroke design, and turned to a byproduct of petroleum. The main distillates of petroleum at the time were lubricating oil, kerosene (burned as lamp fuel), and benzine, which up to then was used mainly as a cleaner and was sold in pharmacies.

In 1885 Daimler and Maybach developed the first of their petrol engines, which featured: a single horizontal cylinder of 264 cc (16 cu in) 58×100 mm, 2.28×3.94 in aircooling large cast iron flywheel surface carburretor hot tube ignition system, cam operated exhaust valves, allowing high speed operation 0.5 hp (370 W) with a higher running speed,than previous engines, which typically ran at about 120 to 180 rpm weight of around 50 kg (110 lb) In 1885, they created a carburetor which mixed gasoline with air allowing its use as fuel. In the same year Daimler and Maybach assembled a larger version of their engine, still relatively compact, but now with a vertical cylinder of 100 cc displacement and an output of 1 hp at 600 rpm (patent DRP-28-022: “non-cooled, heat insulated engine with unregulated hot-tube ignition”). It was baptized the Standuhr (“grandfather clock”), because Daimler thought it resembled an old pendulum clock. In November 1885, Daimler installed a smaller version of this engine in a wooden two wheeler frame with two outrigger wheels, creating the first internal combustion motorcycle it was named the Reitwagen (riding car). Maybach rode it for three kilometers (two miles) alongside the river Neckar, from Cannstatt to Untertürkheim, reaching 12 kilometres per hour (7 mph).

unbeknownst to Maybach and Daimler, Karl Benz was building the first true automobile in Mannheim, which used an integral design for a motorized vehicle with one of his own engines He was granted a patent for his motorwagen on January 29, 1886. On March 8, 1886, Daimler and Maybach secretly brought a stagecoach made by Wilhelm Wafter into the house, telling the neighbors it was a birthday gift for Mrs. Daimler. Maybach supervised the installation of a larger 1.1 hp version of the Grandfather Clock engine into this stagecoach and it became the first four-wheeled vehicle to reach 16 kilometres per hour (10 mph). The engine power was transmitted by a set of belts. As with the motorcycle, it was tested on the road to Untertürkheim where nowadays the Mercedes-Benz Arena, formerly called the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, is situated. Driven by Daimler’s desire to use the engine as many ways as possible, Daimler and Maybach used the engine in other types of transport including: on water (1886), by mounting it in a 4.5 metres (15 ft) long boat and achieving a speed of 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph). The boat was called Neckar after the river where it was tested. This was the world’s first motorboat and boat engines soon became Daimler’s main product. The first customers expressed fear the petrol engine could explode, so Daimler hid the engine with a ceramic cover and told them it was “oil-electrical” like street-cars and trolleys. Daimler’s engine was also used to power a balloon, this is usually regarded as the first airship, and replaced a hand-operated engine designed by Dr. Friedrich Hermann Wölfert of Leipzig. With the new engine, Daimler successfully flew over Seelberg on August 10, 1888.

They sold their first foreign licenses for engines in 1887 and Maybach went as their representative to the 1889 Paris Exposition to show their achievements which included the first steel Wheel Automobile 1889 · high speed four-stroke petrol engine · fuel vaporization · 2 cylinders V-configured · mushroom shaped valves · water-cooled · 4 speed toothed gearbox · pioneer axle-pivot steering system Engine sales increased, mostly for use in boats, and in June 1887, Daimler bought another property at Seelberg hill, Cannstatt. It was located some distance from the town on Ludwigstraße 67 because Cannstatt’s mayor did not approve of the workshop. Built at a cost 30,200 goldmarks, the new premises had room for 23 employees. Daimler managed the commercial issues while Maybach ran the engine design department. In 1889, Daimler and Maybach built the Stahlradwagen, their first automobile that did not involve adapting a horse-drawn carriage with their engine, but which was somewhat influenced by bicycle designs. There was no production in Germany, but it was licensed to be built in France and presented to the public in Paris in October 1889 by both engineers. The same year, Daimler’s wife, Emma Kunz, died.

With demand for engines growing, for uses in everything from motorboats to railcars, Maybach and Daimler expanded. With funding from gunpowder maker Max Duttenhofer, industrialist Wilhelm Lorenz, and banker Kilian von Steiner, Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft was founded 28 November 1890, with Maybach as chief designer. Its purpose was the construction of small, high-speed engines for use on land, water, and air transport. The three uses were expressed by Daimler in a sketch that became the basis for a logo with a three-pointed star. Many German historians consider this Daimler’s “pact with the devil”. DMG expanded, but it changed. The newcomers, not believing in automobile production, ordered the creation of additional stationary building capacity, and considered merging DMG with Otto’s Deutz-AG. Daimler and Maybach preferred plans to produce automobiles and reacted against Duttenhofer and Lorenz. Maybach was denied a seat on the board and on February 11, 1891, he left the business. He continued his design work as a freelance in Cannstatt from his own house, with Daimler’s support, moving to the closed Hermann Hotel in the autumn of 1892. He used its ballroom and winter garden as workshops, employing twelve workers and five apprentices. The new company developed the high-speed inline-two Phönix, for which Maybach invented a spray carburettor, a needless innovation given it still relied on hot tube ignition. This was fitted in a singularly ugly car, which entered production after a cessation of hostilities between Daimler, Maybach, and the DMG board.

in 1890, they founded Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG, in English—Daimler Motors Corporation). They sold their first automobile in 1892. However Daimler fell ill and took a break from the business. Upon his return he experienced difficulty with the other stockholders and resigned in 1893. He returned in 1894. Maybach resigned at the same time, and also returned. However Following Daimler’s death a few years later in 1900 and the final departure of Wilhelm Maybach in 1907 the DMG management signed a long term co-operation agreement with Karl Benz’s Benz & Cie. and in 1926 the two companies merged to become Daimler-Benz AG, which is now part of Daimler AG.

Michelangelo

Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was born 6 March 1475 in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany. Several months after Michelangelo’s birth, the family returned to Florence, where Michelangelo was raised. Michelangelo’s father sent him to study grammar with the Humanist Francesco da Urbino in Florence as a young boy. The young artist, however, showed no interest in his schooling, preferring to copy paintings from churches and seek the company of painters. At thirteen, Michelangelo was apprenticed to the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. When Michelangelo was only fourteen, his father persuaded Ghirlandaio to pay his apprentice as an artist, which was highly unusual at the time. When in 1489, Lorenzo de’ Medici, de facto ruler of Florence, asked Ghirlandaio for his two best pupils, Ghirlandaio sent Michelangelo and Francesco Granacci. From 1490 to 1492, Michelangelo attended the Humanist academy which the Medici had founded along Neo Platonic lines. Michelangelo studied sculpture under Bertoldo di Giovanni. At the academy, both Michelangelo’s outlook and his art were subject to the influence of many of the most prominent philosophers and writers of the day including Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Poliziano. At this time, Michelangelo sculpted the reliefs Madonna of the Steps (1490–1492) and Battle of the Centaurs.

Lorenzo de’ Medici’s death on 8 April 1492 brought a reversal of Michelangelo’s circumstances. Michelangelo left the security of the Medici court and returned to his father’s house. In the following months he carved a wooden crucifix (1493), as a gift to the prior of the Florentine church of Santo Spirito, which had permitted him some studies of anatomy on the corpses of the church’s hospital. Between 1493 and 1494 he bought a block of marble for a larger than life statue of Hercules, which was sent to France and subsequently disappeared sometime circa 18th century. On 20 January 1494, after heavy snowfalls, Lorenzo’s heir, Piero de Medici, commissioned a snow statue, and Michelangelo again entered the court of the Medici.

In the same year, the Medici were expelled from Florence as the result of the rise of Savonarola. Michelangelo left the city before the end of the political upheaval, moving to Venice and then to Bologna. In Bologna, he was commissioned to finish the carving of the last small figures of the Shrine of St. Dominic. Michelangelo arrived in Rome 25 June 1496[19] at the age of 21. On 4 July of the same year, he began work on a commission for Cardinal Raffaele Riario, an over-life-size statue of the Roman wine god Bacchus.In November 1497, the French ambassador in the Holy See commissioned one of his most famous works, the Pietà. Michelangelo returned to Florence in 1499–1501 and was asked to complete a colossal statue portraying David as a symbol of Florentine freedom, to be placed in the Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio and this was completed in 1504. Michelangelo also painted the Holy Family and St John, also known as the Doni Tondo or the Holy Family of the Tribune. He also may have painted the Madonna and Child with John the Baptist, known as the Manchester Madonna and now in the National Gallery, London, United Kingdom. In 1505, Michelangelo was invited back to Rome by the newly elected Pope Julius II.

He was commissioned to build the Pope’s tomb. During the same period, Michelangelo also took the commission to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which took approximately four years to complete (1508–1512). Michelangelo was originally commissioned to paint the 12 Apostles against a starry sky, but lobbied for a different and more complex scheme, representing creation, the Downfall of Man and the Promise of Salvation through the prophets and Genealogy of Christ. The work is part of a larger scheme of decoration within the chapel which represents much of the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The composition eventually contained over 300 figures and had at its center nine episodes from the Book of Genesis, divided into three groups: God’s Creation of the Earth; God’s Creation of Humankind and their fall from God’s grace; and lastly, the state of Humanity as represented by Noah and his family. On the pendentives supporting the ceiling are painted twelve men and women who prophesied the coming of the Jesus. They are seven prophets of Israel and five Sibyls, prophetic women of the Classical world.Among the most famous paintings on the ceiling are The Creation of Adam, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Great Flood, the Prophet Isaiah and the Cumaean Sibyl. The fresco of The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel was commissioned by Pope Clement VII.

Michelangelo was also commissioned to reconstruct the façade of the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence and to adorn it with sculptures. After this Michelangelo eventually left Florence for good in the mid-1530s. In 1546, Michelangelo was appointed architect of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, and designed its dome., there was concern that Michelangelo would pass away before the dome was finished. However, once building commenced on the lower part of the dome, the supporting ring, the completion of the design was inevitable. Michelangelo died in Rome at the age of 88 (three weeks before his 89th birthday). His body was brought back from Rome for interment at the Basilica of Santa Croce, fulfilling the maestro’s last request to be buried in his beloved Florence.

Piet Mondrian

Mondrian_CompRYBDutch Painter Pieter Cornelis “Piet” Mondriaan, was born March 7, 1872. in Amersfoort, Netherlands. He moved to Winterswijk when his father, Pieter Cornelius Mondriaan, was appointed Head Teacher at a local primary school. Mondrian was introduced to art from a very early age: his father was a qualified drawing teacher; and, with his uncle, Fritz Mondriaan. Piet often painted and drew along the river Gein. In 1892, Mondrian entered the Academy for Fine Art in Amsterdam. He already was qualified as a teacher. He began his career as a teacher in Primary Education, but he also practiced painting. Most of his work from this period is Naturalistic or Impressionistic, consisting largely of landscapes, depicting windmills, fields, and rivers, initially in the Dutch Impressionist manner of the Hague School and then in a variety of styles and techniques. These paintings illustrate the influence various artistic movements had on Mondrian, including Pointillism and the vivid colors of Fauvism. On display in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague are a number of paintings from this period, including The Red Mill and Trees in Moonrise. Another painting, Evening (Avond) (1908), a scene of haystacks in a field at dusk, uses a palette consisting almost entirely of red, yellow, and blue And is the earliest of Mondrian’s works to emphasize the primary colors. The earliest paintings that show an inkling of the abstraction to come are a series of canvases from 1905 to 1908, which depict dim scenes of indistinct trees and houses with reflections in still water. In 1908, he became interested in the theosophical movement launched by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

Mondrian’s later work were influenced by the 1911 Moderne Kunstkring exhibition of Cubism in Amsterdam. His search for simplification is shown in two versions of Still Life with Ginger Pot (Stilleven met Gemberpot). The 1911 version is Cubist; in, the 1912 version, it is reduced to a round shape with triangles and rectangles. In 1911, Mondrian moved to Paris and changed his name (dropping an ‘a’ from Mondriaan., in 1913, Mondrian began combining his art and his theosophical studies into a theory that signaled his final break from representational painting. While Mondrian was visiting home in 1914, World War I began, forcing him to remain in The Netherlands for the duration of the conflict. During this period, he stayed at the Laren artist’s colony, there meeting Bart van der Leck and Theo van Doesburg. Van der Leck’s use of only primary colors in his art greatly influenced Mondrian. Mondrian published “De Nieuwe Beelding in de schilderkunst” (“The New Plastic in Painting”) in twelve installments during 1917 and 1918. This was his first major attempt to express his artistic theory in writing.

In 1918, Mondrian returned to France and he flourished in the atmosphere of intellectual freedom and artistic innovation. In 1919 Mondrian began producing grid-based paintings and in 1920, the style for which he came to be renowned began to appear. In the early paintings of this style the lines delineating the rectangular forms are relatively thin, and they are gray, not black. The forms themselves, are smaller and more numerous than in later paintings, are filled with primary colors, black, or gray, and nearly all of them are colored; only a few are left white. Around 1920 Mondrian’s started painting thick black lines separating larger forms, which Were fewer in number, with more Spaces being left white. the rectangular forms remain mostly colored. such as in the “lozenge” works that Mondrian began producing with regularity in the mid-1920s. The “lozenge” paintings are square canvases tilted 45 degrees, so that they hang in a diamond shape. Typical of these is Schilderij No. 1: Lozenge With Two Lines and Blue (1926), also known as Composition With Blue and Composition in White and Blue, which is currently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. One of the most minimal of Mondrian’s canvases, this painting consists only of two black, perpendicular lines and a small triangular form, colored blue. As the years progressed, lines began to take precedence over forms in his painting. In the 1930s, he began to use thinner lines and double lines more frequently, punctuated with a few small colored forms, if any at all.

In September 1938, Mondrian left Paris in the face of advancing fascism and moved to London. After the Netherlands were invaded and Paris fell in 1940, he left London for Manhattan, where he would remain until his death. works from this later period demonstrate an unprecedented business, however, with more lines than any of his work since the 1920s, placed in an overlapping arrangement that is almost cartographical in appearance. Mondrian produced Lozenge Composition With Four Yellow Lines (1933), a simple painting that included thick, coloured lines instead of black ones, as well as Composition (1938) and Place de la Concorde (1943). The new canvases that Mondrian began in Manhattan are even more startling. New York City (1942) is a complex lattice of red, blue, and yellow lines, occasionally interlacing to create a greater sense of depth than his previous works. His painting Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942–43) was highly influential in the school of abstract geometric painting. The piece is made up of a number of shimmering squares of bright color that leap from the canvas, then appear to shimmer, drawing the viewer into those neon lights. Mondrian replaced former solid lines with lines created from small adjoining rectangles of color, created in part by using small pieces of paper tape in various colors. Larger unbounded rectangles of color punctuate the design, some with smaller concentric rectangles inside them. While Mondrian’s works of the 1920s and 1930s have an almost scientific austerity about them, these are bright, lively paintings, reflecting the upbeat music that inspired them and the city in which they were made.

Piet Mondrian returned to Paris in 1919, and set about making his studio a nurturing environment for paintings which expressed Neo-Plasticism. In 1943, Mondrian moved into his second and final Manhattan studio. Tragically, he was there for only a few months, as he died of pneumonia in February 1944. He is interred in the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.On February 2, 1944, a memorial, attended by nearly 200, was held for Mondrian, at the Universal Chapel on Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street in Manhattan.

Louisa May Alcott

little-womenAuthor Louisa May Alcott sadly passed away on March 6, 1888 at the age of 55 in Boston, Massachusetts. Born November 29, 1832, She is best known as the author of the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo’s Boys.Raised by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May Alcott and Amos Bronson Alcott in New England she grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau. Nevertheless, her family suffered severe financial difficulties and Alcott worked to help support the family from an early age. She began to receive critical success for her writing in the 1860′s. Early in her career, she sometimes used the pen name A. M. Barnard.

Published in 1868, Little Women is set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts and is loosely based on Alcott’s childhood experiences with her three sisters. The novel was very well received and is still a popular children’s novel today. Alcott was an abolitionist and a feminist.The novel follows the lives of four sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March – and is loosely based on the author’s childhood experiences with her three sisters. The first volume, Little Women, was an immediate commercial and critical success, prompting the composition of the book’s second volume, entitled Good Wives, which was also successful. Both books were first published as a single volume entitled Little Women in 1880. Alcott followed Little Women with two sequels, also featuring the March sisters: Little Men and Jo’s Boys. Little Women was a fiction novel for girls that veered from the normal writings for children, especially girls, at the time. Little Women has three major themes:”domesticity, work, and true love.

All of them are interdependent and each is necessary to the achievement of a heroine’s individual identity.”Little Women itself “has been read as a romance or as a quest, or both. It has been read as a family drama that validates virtue over wealth.” Little Women has been read “as a means of escaping that life by women who knew its gender constraints only too well.” Alcott “combines many conventions of the sentimental novel with crucial ingredients of Romantic children’s fiction, creating a new form of which Little Women is a unique model.” Elbert argued that within Little Women can be found the first vision of the “American Girl” and that her multiple aspects are embodied in the differing March sisters. Alcott “made women’s rights integral to her stories, and above all to Little Women.”Alcott’s fiction became her “most important feminist contribution”—even considering all the effort Alcott made to help facilitate women’s rights.” Alcott thought that “a democratic household could evolve into a feminist society.” In Little Women, she imagined that just such an evolution might begin with Plumfield, a nineteenth century feminist utopia.”

Little Women has a timeless resonance which reflects Alcott’s grasp of her historical framework in the 1860s. The novel’s ideas do not intrude themselves upon the reader because the author is wholly in control of the implications of her imaginative structure. Sexual equality is the salvation of marriage and the family; democratic relationships make happy endings. This is the unifying imaginative frame. Never married, Alcott continued to write until her death, but suffered chronic health problems in her later years, including vertigo. She attributed her illness and death to mercury poisoning. During her American Civil War service, Alcott contracted typhoid fever and was treated with a compound containing mercury.Recent analysis of Alcott’s illness, however, suggests that her chronic health problems may have been associated with an autoimmune disease, not acute mercury exposure. Moreover, a late portrait of Alcott shows rashes on her cheeks, which is a characteristic of lupus.She died two days after her father’s death and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts.