Saturday, March 27, 2010

Victoria's Secret Angels at Guantanamo Bay Christmas Parade 2007

Photo: Victoria's Secret Angels Adriana Lima, Marisa Miller and Selita Ebanks ride for the Christmas Parade in the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on December 1, 2007 as part of a USO tour, during which the models visited troops stationed here during the holidays (JTF Guantanamo photo by Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class William Weinert).

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cave where Dead Sea Scrolls were found

Photo: the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in this cave in Qumran in the West Bank near Dead Sea in Israel.

According to Wikipedia ‘the Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of about 900 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in Israel.’

These include the oldest known surviving copies of Biblical and other documents of great religious and historical significance, written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek on parchment and papyrus. These manuscripts date between 150 BC and 70 AD. The scrolls are identified with the ancient Jewish sect Essenes, though some recent interpretations have challenged this association and some scholars argue that the scrolls were written by priests, Zadokites, or other unknown Jewish groups. Click on the photo to enlarge it. You can use it as a wallpaper (size: 1600x1200 pixels) on your computer or post it in your blog! Read more on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Church of the Beatitudes, Israel

Photo: the Church of the Beatitudes on the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee in Israel, the spot where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount.

The Church of the Beatitudes, near Tabgha in Israel, is a Roman Catholic Church built on the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount. The current church was built in 1938 near the site of a fourth-century Byzantine church. The floor plan of the church is octagonal, representing the eight Beatitudes (meaning ‘blessed’ or ‘happy’), which are blessings from Jesus recorded in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew and the Sermon on the Plain in Luke.

Jesus: Sermon on the Mount

Photo: Sermon on the Mount by Danish painter Carl Heinrich Bloch (May 23, 1834 - February 22, 1890).

Jesus' famous Sermon on the Mount (Mount Zion) is a compilation of Jesus' moral teaching in the Gospel of St. Matthew. Jesus of Nazareth gave this sermon, around AD 30, to his disciples and a large crowd (chapters 5-7). The best portions of the sermon constitute the Beatitudes, the Lord's Prayer and the injunctions to ‘resist not evil’ (5:39), and ‘turn the other cheek’ as a version of the Golden Rule. Often quoted other lines are the references to ‘salt of the earth’, ‘light of the world’ and ‘judge not, lest ye be judged.’

Some Christian scholars believe that the Sermon on the Mount is a commentary on the Ten Commandments, portraying Christ as the true interpreter of the ‘Mosaic Law’. Many others consider the Sermon on the Mount as the central tenets of Christian discipleship. Also it is considered as such by many religious and moral thinkers and writers such as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jesus: Adoration of the Shepherds

Photo: ‘Adoration of the Shepherds’, an illustration of the nascent Jesus by Italian painter of high-Baroque style Guido Reni (4 November 1575 - 18 August 1642).

Painting: Mary and Child Jesus by Pierre Mignard

Mary and baby Jesus Christ, ‘La vierge aux raisins’ by Pierre Mignard (1640). Pierre Mignard (November 7, 1612 to May 30, 1695), also called ‘Le Romain’ to distinguish him from his brother Nicolas and his nephew Pierre II, was a French painter, born at Troyes.

Mosaic of Jesus at Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo

Photo: The sixth-century mosaic of Jesus at Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy. Though depictions of Jesus are culturally important, no undisputed record of what Jesus looked like is known to exist. The basilica church was erected by the Ostrogoth King Theodoric as his palace chapel, during the first quarter of the 6th century, and this Arian church was originally dedicated to Christ the Redeemer.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Crossroads of the World on Sunset Boulevard

Built in 1936, ‘Crossroads of the World’ is America's first outdoor shopping mall, located on Sunset Boulevard and Las Palmas in Los Angeles. It has a central building designed to resemble an ocean liner surrounded by a small village of cottage-style bungalows. Now Crossroads has become the creative home of several music publishers and producers, television and film script writers, film and recording companies, novelists, costume designers, publicists and casting agencies.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre at Hollywood Boulevard

Grauman's Chinese Theatre, a movie theater located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood along the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame, was commissioned following the success of the nearby Grauman's Egyptian Theatre opened in 1922. Built over 18 months by a partnership led by Sid Grauman, the theater was inaugurated on May 18, 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's film The King of Kings. Since then Grauman's Chinese Theatre has been home to many premieres, birthday parties, corporate junkets and three Academy Awards ceremonies. Concrete blocks in the forecourt that bear the signatures, footprints, and handprints of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the present day are one of the theater's most distinctive features.