Monday, July 27, 2009

King and Queen of Spain inaugurate Largest Telescope in the World

On Friday, July 24, TM King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain officially inaugurated the GTC (Gran Telescopio Canarias) or Grantecan, which is consider the most powerful and advanced telescope in the world.

The new “Crown Jewel” is situated at 2,400 meters above sea-level, in one of the top astronomical sites in the Northern Hemisphere: Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (RMO), on La Palma Island, a declared World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, and a place where Jose Miguel Rodriguez Espinosa, director of GCT, said it is an “ideal observation point, because it is scarcely populated and scarcely illuminated.”

On June 2, 2000, His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias, a well-known astronomy fan, laid the foundation stone of the GTC, and on July 2007 he also attended the “firs observation” of the new telescope.

“With this Observatory, Canaries and its peoples have demonstrated that this land, beyond its enviable tourist offer, offers undoubted possibilities for the development of new initiatives with the join of the rest of Spain”, said King Juan Carlos during the official inauguration.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Queen Margrethe II designed costumes and scenography for „The Swineherd“

Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark attended a press conference at the Pantomime Theatre in the Tivoli amusement park on July 15th, to discuss the costumes and scenography she designed for the ballet „The Swineherd“.

Queen Margrethe said that she took inspiration from royal caricatures when designing the costumes. Using colours like acid green, pink and purple, Margrethe told how she was inspired ”rather more from outsiders’ comments about my world than from my own.”

The Queen also told how as a young school-girl, she played the prince in her school theatre’s version of „The Swineherd“. “For the one thing I certainly would not be was the pink princess,” Margrethe II said with a big grin. She also told how important the works of Hans Christian Andersen are to her, reading several to her two eldest grandchildren, Princes Nikolai and Felix.

This ballet is the fourth Pantomime Theatre performance since 2001 that Queen Margrethe has been the scenographer for. The ballet features dancers from Denmark, neighbouring Norway and Finland, Spain and Portugal, France, England and the United States. It had its first show at Tivoli on July 16th, and will run until September 20th.

„The Swineherd“ is a fairytale written by the famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The story revolves around a poor prince who dresses as a swineherd to woo the Emperor’s daughter.

Monday, July 20, 2009

100th Anniversary of Birth of Milena Pavlović-Barilli

Retrospective exhibition of the works of Milena Pavlović-Barilli entitled „By the Trail of the Stars“, was opened last Friday at the Gallery of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU), thus commencing marking the Centennial of birth of the most prominent Serbian artist.

Friday, July 17, 2009

We Should Restore Monarchy in the USA!

by Stephan Kinsella July 2, 2009

The celebration of the 4th of July as if it's a libertarian holiday is a bit much to bear. Secession from Britain was a mistake. It's easy enough to realize that the Constitution was not some libertarian achievement as conservatives and libertarians delude themselves into thinking. The Declaration of Independence in 1776 led to all the standard evils of war and raising an army – in the words of Jeff Hummel, "unfunded government debt, paper money, skyrocketing inflation, price controls, legal tender laws, direct impressment of supplies and wide-spread conscription." Hmm, doesn't sound very libertarian to me. Stealing, conscripting, enslaving, murdering. The glorification of democracy. The expansion of empire. The entrenching of corporatist interests with the state. The substitution of traditional order with worship of the democratic state.

Monarchy isn't perfect, as Hoppe argues, but the move from monarchy to democracy was not "progress" as even some libertarians have mistakenly believed (as Hoppe notes, "although aware of the economic and ethical deficiencies of democracy, both Mises and Rothbard had a soft spot for democracy and tended to view the transition from monarchy to democracy as progress"). When I suggest it was a mistake to secede from Britain, libertarians – brainwashed by both Saturday morning Schoolhouse Rock propaganda (No More Kings; Fireworks; Three-Ring Government; The Preamble) and Randian pro-America mythology – freak out. "You want us to have a king? How terrible?!" or "But Britain is more socialist than we are!" Well, first, I don't want us to have a king. I'd prefer we have no state: no kings or congresscritters or revenuers. But we have a king now, under another name; he can tax and murder us, just like the dreaded monarchian boogey-man; the state is overlord of all our property, as in feudalism. And rejoining socialist Britain now would be terrible – but would the European monarchies have become democratic socialist states if America had never left Britain? Our secession led to a constructivist new utopian order based on a "rational, scientific" paper document and the rejection of traditional, unwritten, limits on state power, thus setting the world on the path of democracy and democratic tyranny, and all the evils of the 20th Century-WWI, WWII, the Holocaust, the Cold War, Communism, Naziism, Fascism, Great Depressions I and II. America's reckless utopianism corrupted its mother state, rendering it unfit to rejoin. But had we never left? One percent tax paid to a distant King over the ocean sound appealing, anyone?

If I didn't hate states and flags so much I might just fly the ole Union Jack this Saturday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Prince Charles handed CBE to Robert Plant

Robert Plant was honoured as a CBE by Prince Charles in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace last Friday, letting the former Led Zeppelin singer finally one-up guitarist Jimmy Page.

While Page is a member of the Order of the British Empire, Plant now outranks him with his new title of Commander of the British Empire.

Led Zeppelin have not played together since their one-off O2 Arena gig in December 2007. Though Page had tried to reunite the group for a tour with bassist John Paul Jones and drummer Jason Bonham, the late John Bonham's son, Plant declined to join them.

Asked if a Led Zeppelin reunion may still be on the horizon, Plant pretended to be hard of hearing. "Sometimes I go a bit deaf in either ear, especially when people are talking nonsense," he said.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Scandinavian kings and queens at Millennium Celebrations in Lithuania

HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, TM King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, and HM King Harald V of Norway attended the celebrations of Millennium of Lithuania’s name in the capital Vilnius last Monday.

Several other Heads of State also attended the celebrations: President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson of Iceland, President Valdis Zatleras of Latvia, President Lech Kaczyński of Poland, President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine, President Tarja Halonen of Finland, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia, as well as Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Legate of Pope Benedict XVI, and Prime Minister Andrus Ansip of Estonia.

The celebrations started with a flag Hoisting Ceremony on the Daukanto Square and the address by outgoing Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, after which the guests attended Holy Mass at Vilnius Cathedral. President Adamkus then opened the rebuild Palace of Rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

In the afternoon the royal and other guests watched „The Song of the Centuries“ concert in Vingio Park. After the concert, the President of Lithuania hosted a gala reception in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace, dedicated to the Millennium of the First Mention of the Name of Lithuanian in Written Records and the Lithuanian State Day (King Mindaugas Coronation Day).