Thursday, July 30

video



Alesha Dixon widget by 6L & Daxii



Enjoy gorgeous and talented Alesha Dixon's video "The boy does nothing" dancing with professional dancers.


Tuesday, July 21



Bajo un sol abrasador hemos visitado el Castro de Yecla la Vieja y nos ha sorprendido gratamente su buen estado de conservación.













Se halla situado al Noroeste de la provincia de Salamanca, a 8 kilómetros de Vitigudino, en la confluencia del arroyo Varlaña con el río Huebra.





Este emplazamiento defensivo se levanta sobre una abrupta plataforma y presenta una forma aproximadamente triangular ocupando una superficie de unas 5 ha. El poblado aprovecha para protegerse las defensas naturales que tiene el terreno con escarpadas pendientes y completa su protección con una ancha muralla de más de 1200 metros de longitud que es posible recorrer en todo su perímetro y un grosor de unos 7 metros. Se adapta a las ondulaciones del terreno y su pared externa - paramento - está inclinada para dar una mayor estabilidad a la fortificación.




La puerta principal se defendía con un grueso bastión y un campo de piedras hincadas frente a ella. También presenta una forma de embudo, estrechándose las paredes hasta hacerse un callejón que discurría paralelo a la muralla.
Existen además otras puertas en embudo a lo largo de ella. También hay portillos del que destacamos el abierto en la parte septentrional con una escalera que desciende hasta el arroyo Varlaña.




Como no todo el terreno que rodea a la muralla tiene una elevada pendiente, necesitaba aumentar la protección de las zonas llanas. Para ello se sirvieron de una barrera de piedras hincadas al pie de la muralla, eran grandes y puntiagudas lajas de granito que dificultaban el avance del enemigo a pie o a caballo.
El castro de Yecla la Vieja ha sufrido sucesivas ocupaciones. Tiene sus orígenes hacia el siglo V a. C. en la Segunda Edad del Hierro y fue poblado por un pueblo prerromano, los vettones, pueblo celta que introdujeron la cultura de los verracos.
A comienzos del siglo I d. C. se produjo su romanización como atestiguan las numerosas inscripciones latinas y estelas funerarias encontradas.
En la época visigoda se produce el inicio de su decadencia y comienza a despoblarse, aunque no es hasta finales del siglo XII cuando sus habitantes se trasladan a un kilómetro dando origen a la actual Yecla de Yeltes.






Tras su abandono, en época de los Reyes Católicos se construyó en el recinto la ermita de la Virgen del Castillo que se conserva y está en uso.





Los restos arqueológicos que se conservan son de gran riqueza, especialmente grabados rupestres, tallas en piedra en todo el conjunto, tanto en las rocas cercanas al castro como en las situadas en el interior y exterior de la muralla. Son grabados simples, esquemáticos que representan sobre todo caballos pero también cabras, jabalíes, un impresionante toro y escenas de caza. También curiosos símbolos, signos geométricos como cruces, espirales y retículas.

Como complemento del recorrido del castro se puede visitar el Aula Arqueológica instalada en las antiguas escuelas en la Plaza Mayor de Yecla de Yeltes que alberga una maqueta del conjunto del castro, unas cabezas humanas esculpidas en granito que debieron ir incrustadas en los muros, cerámicas, armas, adornos, estelas funerarias y una magnífica escultura de jabalí descubierta en recientes excavaciones.



Ha sido una excursión muy grata y desde aquí os animo a visitar este interesante castro.


Tuesday, July 14

Señor Wences






Que nadie es profeta en su tierra es un dicho fácilmente constatable en el caso del Señor Wences, este ventrílocuo salmantino de Peñaranda de Bracamonte (1896 - 1999) casi desconocido para los españoles pero que gozaba de una extraordinaria popularidad en Estados Unidos y otros paises americanos.
Aparecía regularmente en los shows de Ed Sullivan en la CBS y en "The Muppet show".






Sus personajes más conocidos fueron Pedro (una cara dentro de una caja), Cecilia (una gallina parlanchina) y sobre todo Johnny Martin (un descarado niño que en realidad era la mano izquierda del Seño
r Wences disfrazada con una peluca, unos botones a modo de ojos, boca pintada en sus propios dedos con un pintalabios - lo hacía directamente en escena - con una especie de cuerpo que hacía que se moviera por debajo).
Su gran éxito residía en no ser jamás grosero ni decir cosas que pudieran molestar al público porque consideraba que esto le haría perder su dignidad profesional. Siempre iba elegantemente vestido con un frac confeccionado en las mejores sastrerías de Londres.
Sociable, tierno, socarrón e ingenioso desarrollaba una técnica irreprochable; dominaba once registros diferentes de voz con los que dialogaba en ocho idiomas a gran velocidad cambiando instantaneamente la voz de sus personajes.
En su dilatada carrera (llegó a actuar hasta los 90 años) entabló amistad con personajes como Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcok y Walt Disney. Pero también con literatos como Miguel de Unamuno, Ernest Hemingway, Juan Ramón Jiménez y con el doctor Gregorio Marañón. LLegó a actuar en la Casa
Blanca para los presidentes Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower y Nixon.


Siempre será recordado por su peculiar forma de presentarse pronunciado su nombre como en español "Señor Wen-thess" y por las frases que popularizó también con su acento español " 'sOK?" (it's OK?) y "s'awright?" (it's all right?) a lo que el muñeco de la caja contestaba "s'awriiight!" (it's all right!) que aún se siguen utilizando en Estados Unidos y aparecen con frecuencia en conocidas series o dibujos animados como en los Simpsons.
En la Gran Manzana, donde residía se le dedicó el nombre de una calle, un tramo de la calle 54 entre la Octava Avenida y la Avenida de Broadway.
A pesar de su gran popularidad en América, el Señor Wences nunca se olvidó de su pais y todos los años regresaba a su Salamanca natal, concretamente a Alba de Tormes donde pasaba sus veranos. Los últimos años de su vida los pasaba entre Salamanca (unos seis meses) y Nueva York donde murió a la edad de 103 años y se le rindieron toda clase de homenajes.
Recientemente se ha publicado un libro en España sobre su vida "La extraordinaria vida del Señor Wences" de Jorge San Román.

Disfrutad ahora con un video suyo.



video

Friday, July 3

Independence Day




To celebrate Independence Day I mark the occasion with Patrick Henry's passionate and radical "Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death" speech, declaring his opposition to King George III.

Patrick Henry was a prominent figure in the American Revolution, stateman, fine orator and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He is mainly known and remembered for this remarkable speech declared to the Virgnia Convention gathered at St John's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia.






"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death"


Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775


No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free - if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending - if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained - we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!


They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable - and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace - but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me,
give me liberty or give me death!

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