Saturday, April 23, 2011

Diamond and Rust-Bob and Joan

Joan Baez was the Queen of Folk Music when she met Bob Dylan. By the end of their romance a few years later, he was ascendant and she was waning like the folk boom.
Diamonds & Rust, the song and album from 1975, captures perfectly that moment when her old lover comes back into her life one more time. The singer is wary but she cannot refuse the lure of love lost.
Joan Baez was a star with her first album Joan Baez in 1960. People waited for each new album from this beautiful woman who sang so sweetly and so well.
She was an activist and worked for civil and human rights and Gandhi inspired non-violent protest. She also protested against the Vietnam War and other social causes. The beauty of her voice gave an audience to the tough messages about civil rights. To the folk music audience she was the best, the Queen of Folk Music.

In 1961 when Baez met Bob Dylan he was a dirty and scruffy folk singer from the Midwest hanging around Greenwich Village. Joan Baez introduced Blowing in the Wind. Peter Paul and Mary made it a hit.
In 1963 Baez invited Dylan on stage at the The Newport Folk Festival 1963
She was the star and Dylan was still relatively unknown outside the true fans. When Baez put Dylan on her stage, it gave him a legitimacy he lacked at the time.

Their love affair bloomed but by 1965 it was ending. Pennebaker’s documentary of the 1965 UK tour Don’t Look Back painfully shows the end. Dylan’s is irritable and arrogant with Baez. He allows his friends to taunt her mercilessly in one cruel scene.
But in 1975 Dylan called her which is the inspiration of the Diamonds and Rust. Shortly after that Baez went on the road with him one more time as part of the Rolling Thunder Review.
The song is a look back and look forward for Baez and one of her most requested songs.
Some of the best imagery are haunting lines about their early romance in the Village in the song’s bridge.Here they are:
Now I see you standing with brown leaves
falling around and snow in your hair
Now you’re smiling out the window of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me we both could have died then and there

Baez represents the quintessential romanticism of the 60′s generation. We believed in love and humanity. We wanted to change the world and thought we could. Along the way many dreams got dashed, hopes dampened but the romantic heart still beats albeit cautiously.
Joan Baez is a great artist with a lifetime of achievement. She has had several charted hits like Love is a Four Letter Word and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.The real value in Joan Baez is not hits. Baez has had a lifetime of music and personal devotion to human rights.

Joan Baez

For me many of the best songs ever written are by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, many of the best covers of other artists tunes are by Joan and many of the best moments of my life have been listening to...Joan Baez. Is she the most beautiful woman with the most beautiful voice ever?. Guilty, your honor. Her music has a passion and a sweetness that reaches deep,deep inside and transforms you. And please don't read about the passionate life Joan lives or you will fall hopelessly in love . I m writing this article-cum-short biography of Joan Baez because I m hopelessly in love with is amazing women of 60s.
American folk singer Joan Baez is recognized for her nonviolent, antiestablishment (against a nation's political and economic structure), and anti-war positions. She has used her singing and speaking talents to criticize violations of human rights in a number of countries.

Early life

Joan Baez was born on January 9, 1941, in Staten Island, New York. Her father, Albert V. Baez, was a physicist who came to the United States from Mexico at a very early age, and her mother was of western European descent. Joan inherited her father's dark complexion, and the occasional racial prejudice (hatred of a race) she suffered as a child probably led to her later involvement in the civil rights movement, a movement that called for equal rights for all races. Although as an adult she claimed not to share her parents' strict religious faith, it undoubtedly contributed to what some called her keen "social conscience."
Baez was exposed to an intellectual atmosphere with classical music during her childhood, but rejected piano lessons in favor of the guitar and rock and roll. Her father's research and teaching positions took the family to various American and foreign cities. When Joan was ten, she spent a year in Iraq with her family. There she was exposed to the harsh and intensely poor conditions of the Iraqi people, something that undoubtedly had an affect on her later career as a singer and activist. Baez went on to attend high school in Palo Alto, California, where she excelled in music more than in academic subjects. Shortly after her high school graduation in 1958, her family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where Baez's interest in folk music surfaced after visiting a coffee shop where amateur folk singers performed.
From Boston coffeehouses to Newport,
Rhode Island
Baez briefly attended Boston University, where she made friends with several semi-professional folk singers from whom she learned much about the art. In addition to simple folk songs, she began to sing Anglo American ballads, blues, spirituals, and songs from various countries. As she worked to develop her technique and range of songs, Baez began to perform professionally in Boston coffeehouses and quickly became a favorite of Harvard University students. She was also noticed by other folk singers, including Harry Belafonte (1927–), who offered her a job with his singing group.
In the summer of 1959 Baez was invited to sing at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. This performance made her a star—especially to young people—and led to friendships with other important folk singers such as the Seeger family and Odetta. Although the performance brought her offers to make recordings and concert tours, she decided to resume her Boston coffee shop appearances.
After Baez's second Newport appearance in 1960, she made her first album for Vanguard Records. Simply labeled Joan Baez, it was an immediate success. She was then such a "hot item" that she could choose her own songs and prop designs for her performances. In the following years Baez sang to capacity crowds on American college campuses and concert halls and on several foreign tours. Her eight gold albums and one gold single demonstrated her popularity as a singer.

Politics a source of controversy
While many critics agreed that Baez's untrained singing voice was unusually haunting, beautiful, and very soothing, they saw her spoken words, lifestyle, and actions as conflicting and sometimes anti-American. In the changing world of the1960s, Baez became a center of controversy (open to dispute) when she used her singing and speaking talents to urge nonpayment of taxes used for war purposes and to urge men to resist the draft during the Vietnam War (1965–73; when the United States aided South Vietnam's fight against North Vietnam). She helped block induction centers (which brought in new recruits) and was twice arrested for such violations of the law.
Baez was married to writer and activist David Harris in March 1968. She was pregnant with their son, Gabriel, in April 1969, and three months later she saw her husband arrested for refusing induction into the military forces. He spent the next twenty months in a federal prison in Texas.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hell's Bell

One seed from a Bhut Jolokia(Hottest Chilli in the World) can sustain intense pain sensations in the mouth for up to 30 minutes before subsiding.The smallest amount of Bhut Jolokia can flavour a sauce so intensely it's barely edible.Taking a small bite of the Bhut Jolokia will cause watering eyes and a runny nose as well as a burning sensation in the mouth that can last upto 5 hrs!The Hottest Chilli in the World- Bhut Jolokia.The Bhut Jolokia (also known as Naga Jolokia, Ghost Chili, Ghost Pepper, Naga Morich) is a chilli pepper originating in Assam, India, that has earned Guiness World Records' recognition as the World's Hottest Chilli Pepper!
Weighing in at 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units(SHUs), the Bhut Jolokia chilli from India blasted the previous champion Red Savina which was at 577,000 SHUs) by almost double.
This landrace chile originates from the northeast of India, particularly Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. It belongs to the Capsicum Chinense family and is known by many names in the different Indian provinces. The most common names include Bhut Jolokia, Bih jolokia, Nagahari, Raja Mircha, Raja chilli or Borbih Jolokia. For example Bih jolokia translates to 'poison chilli' in Assamese. Bhut Jolokia translates to 'Ghost chilli' probably due to its ghostly bite. Raja Mircha means 'King of Chillies'.Ripe Bhuts measure 60 mm (2.4 in) to 85 mm (3.3 in) long and 25 mm (1.0 in) to 30 mm (1.2 in) wide with an orange or red color. 
What is Scoville Heat Units (SHU) and How is it measured?
Chilli hotness comes from the substance capsaicin which is concentrated primarliy in the veins. membrane and flesh of the Chilli. The seeds are not the primary heat source, it is the membrane. However, the since the seeds are surrounded by membrane loaded with capsaicin, removing the seeds removes the surrounding membrane reducing the heat.Hotness has traditionally been rated in Scoville Units named after Dr. Wilbur Scoville who devised a test in 1912 to rate the heat of a chilli.In Scoville's method, as originally devised, a solution of the pepper extract is diluted in sugar water until the "heat" is no longer detectable to a panel of (usually five) tasters; the degree of dilution gives its measure on the Scoville scale. Thus a capsicum, sweet pepper or a bell pepper, containing no capsaicin at all, has a Scoville rating of zero, meaning no heat detectable, even undiluted. Conversely, the hottest chiles, such as habaneros, have a rating of 200,000 or more, indicating that their extract has to be diluted 200,000-fold before the capsaicin present is undetectable.
Super Hot Assam Curry Paste: Hell's Recipe
If your Adventurous and like Spicy food, you can try this Super Hot Assam Curry Paste which can be added to any meat or fish preparations in small quantities to give it some heat. But be cautious and careful while preparing it as you really don't want to inhale the chilli powder or splatter any on your skin.This recipe is adapted from a recipe collected by England's "King of Curries," Pat Chapman. Use it in place of commercial curry pastes or powders.

1 dried Naga Jolokia pod, seeds removed, ground in a spice mill (wear a mask to avoid inhaling the powder)
4 tablespoons ground coriander
4 teaspoons cumin
4 teaspoons garam masala (Indian spice mix; available in Asian markets)
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
1 1/4 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil

- Mix the ground spices together. Add the vinegar and water and mix into a paste. Let stand for 15 minutes.

- In a large pan, heat the oil. Add the paste (careful of the sputtering), lower the heat, and stir-fry for 5 to 10 minutes.

- As the liquid is reduced, the paste will begin to make a regular bubbling noise (hard to describe, but it goes chup-chup-chup) if you don't stir, and it will splatter. This is your audible cue that it is ready.

- You can tell if the spices are cooked by taking the pan off the stove. Let stand for 3 to 4 minutes. If the oil 'floats' to the top, the spices are cooked. If not, add a little more oil and repeat.

- Bottle the paste in sterilized jars. Then heat up a little more oil and 'cap' off the paste by pouring in enough oil to cover.

- Seal the jars and store. Properly cooked, it will last for months. If refrigerated, indefinitely.

Yield: About 1 cup
Heat Scale: Extremely Hot!

How A Wolf Became Man's Best Friend

The dog (Canis Familiaris) is generally believed to be man's oldest companion and was first domesticated around 15,000 years ago. A descendant of the wolf (Canis Lupus), the dog has since evolved into hundreds of breeds, varying enormously in size, shape and appearance. This knol provides an overview of the dog's evolution, geographical development and its early relationship with human society.

From Wolf To Dog: Evolution

Geneticists have traced the ancestry of the dog back to the period around 40-50 million years ago when modern carnivores emerged from two “superfamilies”, known as canoidea and feloidea.

The Canoidea clan evolved into a wide range of species, from canines like the dog, jackal and Arctic fox to such diverse mammals as the skunk, giant panda and the walrus.

The most recent DNA studies have confirmed that the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) evolved from the wolf (Canis lupus). Scientists are divided on when this happened, however. Some argue it occurred 100,000 years ago, others that it was a far more recent development, closer to 15,000 years ago.

Most are agreed, however, that the dog almost certainly evolved in the far East, probably in China. Geneticists think the dog is closest in its make-up to the Chinese wolf. Ancient Chinese breeds, today represented by dogs like the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu are regarded as the closest relatives of these prototype canines.

The basic construction of the dog’s skeleton is the same, regardless of whether it is a Labrador Retriever, a Boxer or a Yorkshire Terrier.

There is strong evidence that the dog became domesticated within human society some 15,000 years ago. A grave in Ein Mallaha in Israel dating back 12,000 years to 10,000 BC contained the skeleton of a woman, cradling a puppy.

The earliest archaeological evidence of dogs in Europe was found in Star Carr in Yorkshire. The dog bones found there date back to beyond 7,000 BC.
The widespread belief is that wolves evolved into dogs when our ancient ancestors recruited canines into human society to take advantage of its superior abilities, in particular its acute sense of smell and ability to travel and navigate long distances. Some, however, argue the change happened while wolves were living as man’s neighbours rather than his domestic companion. According to their theory, wolves would never have had the right temperament to live with humans but some were bold enough to start living off the scraps of food ancient villagers discarded. The wolves that were confident enough to live in close proximity to humans like this, thrived, evolving so as to be more and more compatible with their new neighbours. Those wolves that were wary of the strangers, however, grew apart, remaining essentially the same creature that we see in the wild today.

East to West: How Dogs Spread

Dogs - of some kind - are found on all but one of the earth’s continents, Antarctica.
According to one study, all 701 modern dog breeds evolved from ten, super breeds that emerged from the far East. These ten “progenitor” breeds were bred selectively to fulfil specific tasks. Sight hounds, specialists in coursing game and ancestors of the modern greyhound and Afghan hounds, emerged in Mesopotamia around 4,000 to 5,000 BC. Scent hounds, forefathers of the bloodhound, foxhound and daschund, appeared around 3,000 BC. Working and guard dogs probably emerged in Tibet around 3000 BC paving the way for descendants such as the Rotweiler, the St Bernard's, the bulldog and the Boxer. Some toy and companion breeds, the ancestors of breeds like the poodle and the pug, emerged at around the same time. For reasons that haven’t yet been explained fully, they came from Malta.

American breeds of dogs are descended from European not American wolves. Scientists think that when Europeans crossed the Bering Straits to colonize the Americas, 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, dogs were by their sides. These first settlers seem to have discouraged the breeding of native American dogs.
Old Pals: Dogs & Ancient Society
The Ancient Egyptians revered dogs. When a pet dog died of natural causes every occupant of its home shaved their bodies, including their heads.
n ancient Greece dogs were regarded as geniuses. Plato, no less, called his dog “a lover of learning” and “a beast worthy of wonder” while Socrates once made an impassioned speech arguing that his pet was “a true philosopher”.

The Greek historian Thucydides, on the other hand, believed dogs had the power to detect earthquakes. He described how, days before a cataclysmic earthquake flattened the city of Helice, dogs - along with rats, snakes and weasels - abandoned the place in their droves. Thucydides was convinced the dogs knew what was coming and had run for their lives.
The Romans produced the first ‘Beware of the Dog’ signs. Notices warning ‘cave canem’ were found in Rome and Pompeii. The signs were intended to protect the dogs rather than the citizens, however. Historians think they were designed to warn people against stepping on the small Italian greyhounds that were popular at the time. [12]

The Romans were the first to utilise the dog's high intelligence by using them as guide dogs. On the wall of a house buried in ash during the famous eruption of Vesuvius at Pompeii is a depiction of a blind man with a staff being led by a small dog, dating from 74BC.

You could call them bosom buddies.
Dogs were so successfully integrated into human society in south America that human mothers often acted as wet nurses for orphaned puppies. They provided milk for the first four weeks until weaning began.
Wild dingos are actually descendants of domestic dogs.
Researchers think their ancestors arrived in Australia on trading boats with their human owners around 4,000 BC.

At this point they were probably sources of food, which is why some of them escaped into the outback where they evolved into wild dingos.

By contrast, the Polynesian dog, or kuri, arrived in New Zealand with the Maori when they settled there. They happily settled down to domestic life on the islands, even though the Maori regarded kuri as a delicacy and ate them on a regular basis.

Dog's Life

1.It is a myth that dogs are color blind. They can actually see in color, just not as vividly as humans. It is akin to our vision at dusk.
2.The Basenji dog is the only dog that is not able to bark.
3.There is a dog museum in St. Louis, Missouri.
4.If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could product over 66,000 dogs in 6 years!
5.The Russians trained dogs during WWII to run suicide missions with mines strapped to their backs.
6.A one year old dog is as mature, physically, as a 15 year old human.
7.The bible mentions dogs 14 times
8.Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic – a Newfoundland, a Pomeranian, and a Pekingese.
9.Dog’s nose prints are as unique as a human’s finger prints and can be used to accurately identify them.
10.Dogs have no sense of “time”.
11.Humans have kept dogs as pets for over 12,000 years.
12.The largest breed of dog is the Irish Wolfhound.
13.The world’s smallest dog breed is the Chihuahua.
14.The St. Bernard is the heaviest.
15.Only dogs and humans have prostates.
16.But dogs do not have an appendix.
17.Every dog on earth likely descended from a species knows as the Tomarctus – a creature that roamed the earth over 15 million years ago.
18.There are 703 breeds of purebred dogs.
19.A dog’s smell is more than 100,000 times stronger than that of a human’s.
20.U.S. Customs dogs “Rocky” and “Barco” were so good at patrolling the border that Mexican drug lords put a $300,000 bounty on their heads.
21.Dalmatian puppies are born completely white.