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Color Photographs of Imperial Russia Reveal a World Lost to History : vibrant photos of the pre-Soviet Russian Empire - Smithsonian

Color Photographs of Imperial Russia Reveal a World Lost to History : vibrant photos of the pre-Soviet Russian Empire - Smithsonian | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) |

"At Paris' Zadkine Museum, explore vibrant photos of the pre-Soviet Russian Empire..."


"In the early 20th century, two events changed Russia—and the world—forever: World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution.

There to capture Russia's way of life right before the change from a large, but isolated, agrarian society to an increasingly industrialized one was photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii.


In the early 1900s, Prokudin-Gorskii mapped out a plan for a photographic survey of the Russian Empire, a plan that won the support of Tsar Nicholas II.


Between 1909 and 1915, Prokudin-Gorskii crisscrossed the Russian Empire via train, taking photographs of 11 different regions. 150 of his photographs are now on display to the public in Paris' Zadkine Museum, to commemorate what would have been Prokudin-Gorskii's 150th birthday. 


Educated as a chemist, Prokudin-Gorskii studied with leading color photography experts in St. Petersburg, Berlin and Paris.


Through his inventive tinkering, he created a new method for producing vibrant color film slides. Prokudin-Gorskii created color images by exposing one oblong glass plate three times, in rapid succession, through three different color filters: red, green and blue.

He then presented these color images in slides by projecting the three different color images through three different lenses, one on top of another. When the three images were projected in concert, a full color image could be seen.


 Using this new method, Prokudin-Gorskii took over 2,000 images of the Empire, capturing everything from people to architecture to the Empire's expanding industrial infrastructure.


The images truly represent a lost world: many of the buildings that Prokudin-Gorskii photographed were destroyed in the Bolshevik Revolution.


The photos also show the wide ethnic diversity of the Russian Empire, from photographs of young peasant Russian girls to a series of images of Uzbek men and women.


The complete canon of Prokudin-Gorskii's work was purchased by the Library of Congress from his sons in 1948. You can view more of his work online through the Library of Congress's website.

The exhibit in Paris is on display through May 18, 2014. Admission to the main museum is free, but the exhibit itself carries a €4 (about $5.50) fee."

Via musée du quai Branly
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in a remote area of Australia Village children Invents a new Language video graphic, articles

in a remote area of Australia  Village children Invents a new Language  video  graphic, articles | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) |

A linguist has concluded that a new language, with unique grammatical rules, has come into existence, created by children in a remote area of Australia.


Multimedia Graphic An Emerging Language xith examples  


@nytimesscience on Twitter

There are many dying languages in the world. But at least one has recently been born, created by children living in a remote village in northern Australia.


"Carmel O’Shannessy, back left, spends up to eight weeks a year in the village of Lajamanu. Gracie White Napaljarri, back right, is a Warlpiri speaker but children in her family speak Warlpiri and Light Warlpiri.

Carmel O’Shannessy, a linguist at the University of Michigan, has been studying the young people’s speech for more than a decade and has concluded that they speak neither a dialect nor the mixture of languages called a creole, but a new language with unique grammatical rules.


The language, called Warlpiri rampaku, or Light Warlpiri, is spoken only by people under 35 in Lajamanu, an isolated village of about 700 people in Australia’s Northern Territory. In all, about 350 people speak the language as their native tongue.


Dr. O’Shannessy has published several studies of Light Warlpiri, the most recent in the June issue of Language.


And also:


"They have been combining their local dialect of Warlpiri with "varieties of English and/or Kriol," making for a "radical restructuring of the verbal auxiliary system" over the past three-and-a-half decades, according to O’Shannessy. ...This is a legit new language, not two tongues smashed together. As The Smithsonian explains: "So, the new language, light Warlpiri, borrows some verb structures and nouns from its parent languages, but it puts these pieces together in a new way. This is in much the same was as how many of the Romance languages, such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian, seem to borrow words from each other while being noticeably different languages.".......

Via Aulde de Barbuat
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Chart of the Week: Coffee and tea around the world

Chart of the Week: Coffee and tea around the world | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) |
Worldwide tea is far more popular than coffee, but preferences for one beverage over the other fall into distinct geographic patterns.


Millions, if not billions, of people around the world start (and often continue) their days with a hot, stimulating beverage. And despite the popularity of yerba matein Argentina and its neighbors, for most people the pick-me-up of choice is coffee or tea. But, as economic geographers and market analysts have long known, most countries show a distinct preference for one or the other — a legacy of geopolitics, colonial expansion and shifting trade patterns.


This map from The Economist (aggregating data on 79 countries from market-research firm Euromonitor International) clearly delineates the coffee and tea blocs. Coffee predominates in the Americas and in continental Europe, while tea is preferred in most of Asia and the former Soviet Union.


On the interactive map [click through above], mousing over each country shows the relative preferences for coffee and tea. In the U.S., for instance, people drink three times as much coffee as tea; in Russian the ratio is almost exactly reversed.


As Stanford University geographer Martin W. Lewis notes on his GeoCurrents blog, the geography of hot drinks has changed markedly over the centuries. Places once so famous for coffee that they gave their names to it (Java, Turkey, the Arabian peninsula) now favor tea or other stimulants, as do most of the tropical countries that grow the world’s joe (with a few exceptions, such as Colombia and Brazil). Great Britain exported its love of tea to most of its former colonial dominions, and it’s no coincidence that South Korea and the Philippines — both with close ties to the U.S. — are among the few Asian nations to prefer coffee over tea.


Although more green coffee is produced globally than tea — 8.5 million metric tons versus 4.7 million metric tons of tea in 2011, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization — it takes only about two grams of tea to make a cup, compared with 10 grams of coffee. As a result, as British geographer David Grigg wrote, worldwide “three cups of tea are drunk for every one of coffee.”

Via Seth Dixon
Leoncio Lopez-Ocon's curator insight, December 25, 2013 3:55 AM

Mapa que muestra el consumo del té y del café en el mundo

Narcélio de Sá's curator insight, December 27, 2013 4:45 PM

Café ou chá?