Monday, January 30, 2012

Celebration time for Pakistan Cricket

Celebration time for Pakistan Cricket as they are unbeaten for last six series. They have defeated inform England team to win the series. Here is some of the celebration pictures for the Pakistani cricket fans.

Pakistan Cricket pictures

Pakistan Cricket pictures

Pakistan Cricket pictures

Pakistan Cricket pictures

Pakistan Cricket pictures

Free Nature Wallpapers for Desktop

Free Nature Wallpapers for Desktop. High quality pictures that makes your desktop looks beautiful. "Right click" the image and click "save as" to download it for your desktop.

Free Nature Wallpapers for Desktop
Mountain view

Free Nature Wallpapers for Desktop
Sea and water

Free Nature Wallpapers for Desktop
Sea and water

Free Nature Wallpapers for Desktop
Sea and water

Sunday, January 29, 2012

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Pink



Saturday, January 28, 2012

Trees into logs into smoke


Last night I watched Michelangelo Frammartino's film Le Quattro Volte on DVD and have been boring people all day trying to convince them how wonderful it is.  Reviewing it last year in The Independent, Jonathan Romney wrote that Le Quattro Volte 'will set you musing on matters natural and metaphysical, using little more than some Calabrian hillsides, a stack of logs, some snails and a herd of goats – and barely a syllable of dialogue. The film is an extraordinary achievement – beautiful, moving, mysterious, and, at times, extremely funny. In its self-effacing way, it's nothing short of a miracle – one of those rare works that break all the rules about what cinema "should" be in order to demonstrate what it can be.'  He goes on to explain that 'the title – literally, the four "turns"or "phases" – refers to the world as described by Pythagorean philosophy, with its theory of a cycle of eternal transformation and reincarnation. What this means in practice is that Le Quattro Volte isn't about story, or character, or even action. Rather, this is a contemplative film about things changing into other things – like trees into logs into smoke – and about the cycle of natural changes, the internal clock by which the universe keeps time.'

 
In an interview for the DVD, Frammartino said, "I've tried to make the landscape the protagonist.  I tried not to use it simply as background but to make it become something more important, to bring it out and elevate it to the level of protagonist.  For example, in the film there's a moment in the first part, when our protagonist is still a man, an old shepherd.  He's lying in the grass minding his own business when an ant starts walking over his face, over his cheekbones and up towards his eyes.  The ant steals the scene and the man's face, in close-up, becomes a landscape.  There's this reversal of roles.  And then, a few scenes later, there's a landscape with the roofs of the village and a big tree emerging, the protagonist of the scene, with a little man climbing up it, as tiny as an ant.  The man is like an insect and the landscape reminds us of a man's face.  This game, this shifting of levels, which can provoke laughter, I've tried to employ it in the relationship between close-up and landscape, this game of scale, this reversal of importance."

Friday, January 27, 2012

We're Watching You!


Water flows inward underneath a cottonwood tree


In the video clip embedded above the environmental philosopher David Abram talks about the way landscape no longer speaks directly to us.  In his book The Spell of the Sensuous, he writes that in oral cultures, ‘human eyes and ears have not yetshifted their synaesthetic participation from theanimate surroundings to the written word. Particular mountains, canyons, streams, boulder-strewn fields, or grovesof trees have not yet lost the expressive potency and dynamism with which theyspontaneously present themselves to the sense. A particular place in the land is never, for an oral culture, just apassive or inert setting for the human events that occur there.  It isan active participant in those occurrences.’  These conclusions come after a description of the importance of location for Western Apachestorytelling.  An ‘agodzaahi narrative always beginsand ends with a statement explaining where it happened, using one of thelanguage’s evocative place names (which read like compressed poems).  Abram cites the work of linguisticanthropologist Keith Basso, who found that these place namesoccur with remarkable frequency in Apache discourse.  I was intrigued by this, so I looked up theoriginal Basso article (in CulturalAnthropology, May 1988), where photographs of specificlocations are reproduced to demonstrate how well their Apache place names fit: “Water flows inward underneath a cottonwood tree”; “White rocks lie abovein a compact cluster”; “Water flows down on top of a regular succession of flatrocks.”

According to Basso, ‘the great majority of Western Apache place names currently in use are believed to have beencreated long ago by the “ancestors” (nohwizá) of the Apache people.  The ancestors, who had to travel constantlyin search of food, covered vast amounts of territory and needed to be able toremember and discuss many different locations. This was facilitated by the invention of hundreds of descriptive place names that were intended to depict their referents inclose and exact detail.’  What's particularly interesting about these names (for readers of this blog) is that they assume aspecific point of view, like a landscape:  'Western Apache place namesprovide more than precise depictions of the sites to which the names may beused to refer.  In addition, place names implicitly identify positions for viewing theselocations: optimal vantage points, so to speak, from which the sites can beobserved, clearly and unmistakably, just as their names depict them.  To picture a site from its name, then,requires that one imagine it as if standing or sitting at a particular spot,and it is to these privileged positions, Apaches say, that the images evoked byplace names cause them to travel in their minds.’ This travel is both “forward” (bidááh) into space, and, following the memory of their ancestors' wanderings, “backward” (t’ aazhi) into time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Some wine beside the white clouds

Landscape can be a solace to the exile, but it can be hard to contemplate the beauty of lakes and mountains without thinking of home, or the bitter circumstances and long journey that have led from there.  When the An Lu-shan rebellion broke out in 756, the poet Li Po travelled south to Kiukiang to escape the turmoil and fighting.  There he made an ill-fated decision to join Prince Lin, the Emperor's sixteenth son, whose flotilla was making its way down the Yangtze.  Instead of heading off to fight the rebels, Prince Lin was aiming to set up his own independent regime.  According to Arthur Waley (in The Poetry and Career of Li Po) it seems unlikely that the rather unworldly Li Po knew what the Prince intended - he would later claim to have been virtually kidnapped: "I allowed myself to be deceived by false pretences and was forced by threats to go on board a transport."  At the time though, he wrote poems like 'Watching the dancing-girls at a banquet on board Marshal Wei's transport; written while with the Fleet', indicating that he was thoroughly enjoying himself on this adventure.  This pleasant time came to an end near Yangchow, where Prince Lin's forces were met by government troops and his generals abandoned him - Li Po probably jumped ship as well at this point (the prince was captured and executed).  On his return to Kiukiang, Li Po was arrested as a traitor and imprisoned for several months.  After being set free he made his way to Wu-ch'ang, near Hankow, where he stayed for a while, hoping for a pardon, before continuing again, north, to Yo-chou, near the famous Tung-t'ing (Dong-ting) Lake.  There he met two friends, both exiles like himself.  Chia Chih was a writer (he had actually composed the Emperor's deed of abdication in 756) and former Governor of Ju-chou who had been demoted after being judged to have fled south from the rebels too hastily. Li Yeh was a relative of Li Po's, banished to the south after being charged with perverting the course of justice.  One day, the three friends decided to take an evening boating excursion on the lake...

Hermit Fisherman on Lake Dong-ting, Wu Zhen, 14th century

'The bright moon, the autumn wind / the waters of Lake Dong-ting, / a lone swan, the falling leaves, a tiny skiff.'  Thus Chia Chih conveys the beauty and the underlying sadness of the occasion.  In his Anthology of Chinese Literature Stephen Owen provides translations of the poems that resulted from this outing.  Li Po 'wrote a series of five of his most famous quatrains celebrating the beauty of the moment.'  But Chia Chih's are 'every bit as memorable.  Both poets called to mind echoes of exile and death beyond the edges of the vast lake, places like Chang-sha, where the Han intellectual Jia Yi was banished.' Li Po imagines riding the currents in the water up into the night sky and buying 'some wine / beside the white clouds.'  In the centre of the lake there is a mountain called Jun-shan (the source for one of China's ten famous teas) which Li Po pictures on a 'mirror of jade' - the 'bright lake, swept calm and clear.'  Chia Chih describes more turbulent waters, swollen with autumn floods.  The friends let the waves guide their light boat, 'no care whether near or far.'

So in eight short poems we have a record of an evening in the autumn of 759, a moment of reflection before events, like waves on the lake, swept these men up again.  Climbing Pa-ch'iu Shan that autumn, Li Po glimpsed another fleet mustering and wrote in one of his poems of the rebel forces approaching Lake Tung-t'ing.  It was only near the end of the year that peace was restored to the Yangtze region and the poet was finally able to leave, making for Wu-ch'ang where he again expressed his hopes of one day being given a posting back in the capital.  But by this time Li Po knew that any such post would be his last.  He fell ill while traveling to Nanking and in 762 made his final journey to see the great calligrapher, Li Yang-ping near T'ai-p'ing.  Meanwhile Chia Chih had also made his way back and, a year later, on the accession of Emperor Tai-tsung, regained his former position, going on to serve as Vice Minister of War before his death in 772.  Li Po seems to have died at the home of Li Yang-ping, to whom the poet entrusted what writings he still had after his years of wandering in exile.  According to the well known story, he took another nighttime boat excursion, and this time, drunk on wine, fell into the river and drowned whilst trying to embrace the reflection of the moon.

Note: As always the sources vary in spelling Chinese words and here I've generally stuck to the older Wade-Giles system - for me the poet will always be Li Po rather than Li Bai.  The pinyin version of Chia Chih is Jia Zhi.  As noted above, Lake Tung-t'ing is now generally called Lake Dong-ting.

Friday, January 20, 2012