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Weekly Photography Challenge: Motion

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Motion.”

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This Saturday just gone was Anzac Day. For those who might not know, we Australians remember the landing on the beaches Gallipoli every year. 25 April 1915 was the beginning of a campaign that saw 26, 111 Australian casualties, a huge loss for such a small country. There’s a lot of different feelings about war in Australia, but we still choose to remember this day and remember all the soldiers who have served. I personally see the Gallipoli campaign as the first moment Australia began to lose the blind faith in ‘Mother England’, but there are still plenty of monarchists in Australia today…

Anyway, I went to watch the parade in the city and took some photos. While I thought it might be a little tasteless to show a photo of servicemen in response to a photo challenge, I figure one of the marching bands was a safe bet. Thank you St Andrews’ School! Lots of school bands marched, brass bands, pipe bands, drumming bands, and even a band from Mackay (which is pretty far up the coast). It was great to see ex-servicemen from other countries participate too.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge

Three photos again for this week’s photo challenge! The first two are the walls of the Ishtar Gates. The original brickwork was removed and reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum (Berlin) in the 1930s.

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It is a brilliant museum. I don’t know how I feel about one country owning another country’s artifacts, but on the other hand, at least this is something ISIS can’t get their hands on. Plus the original bricks will be better preserved in an air-conditioned museum, out of the elements.

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The final photo is from Obidos, Portugal. There are plenty of Roman and medieval towns in Portugal that are confined to an old stone wall that used to keep out invaders; now they attract tourists. I was too scared to walk along it (there’s no barrier on one side!) but Mum did – she’s much more adventurous than I am (which isn’t hard to do, I’ll admit). She walked halfway around and only got down because it was too hot.

DSCN6040Travel photos! Such memories 🙂

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward

 In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe reward for travel and exploration is sights like these. To walk where ancient people walked and see what lost civilisations were capable of. That’s why I travel.

I took this photo in Cambodia, somewhere in the greater Angkor temple complex. There is so much to see in this world! Some people travel to see what nature is capable of too, though I’ll always love temples and monuments.

 

 

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@RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Challenge: War and Fame

In response to Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Prompt Challenge.

war-weary landscape

seeks deeper infamy, so

deepens destruction

I was shocked again with the latest video that ISIS proudly dumped into the lap of the world media. It is not enough for them to destroy their own people and threaten to destroy the rest of the world – they have attacked their own history, one of ‘the cradles of civilisation’.

“Islamic State militants ransacked Mosul’s central museum, destroying priceless artefacts that are thousands of years old, in the group’s latest rampage which threatens to upend millennia of coexistence in the Middle East.

The destruction of statues and artefacts that date from the Assyrian and Akkadian empires, revealed in a video published by Isis on Thursday, drew ire from the international community and condemnation by activists and minorities that have been attacked by the group.” – from The Guardian website http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/26/isis-fighters-destroy-ancient-artefacts-mosul-museum-iraq

Destruction: Isis thugs push a statue to the ground at a museum in Mosul. Source: UK’s Mirror (Yes I know the Mirror isn’t a great source but they had actual stills of the video posted)

 

This is messed up, but unfortunately it is nothing new. The two largest standing statues of Buddah were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

Ancient Archeological Sites That Were Destroyed By Stupid Humans

There are so many examples of hateful people destroying art, culture and knowledge, not just in the middle east but all over the world. The Nazi’s book burnings. Pol Pot’s decapitation of Buddhist statues. These are not acts of one country invading another – the desecration is self-inflicted. It is so, so sad.

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I took this picture in 2010

 

We believe certain things are sacred, that they will be kept and preserved for the good of the human race even when we war against each other. It is a terrible truth that nothing is sacred, especially when it can be used to incite further fear and hatred.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Scale.”

Two photos again, showing off the gorgeous Library in Ephesus in Turkey:

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Can you even see it in the first photo? The ancient town’s main thoroughfare was designed so you could glimpse the Library in the distance as you walk the long marbled road down the slight slope. Well worth visiting!

 

Indie Book Review: Rise of the Prince by Nicholas C. Rossis (Pearseus #2)

Pearseus

Review:

This was my bedside table book: a slow burn with diverse, multi-faceted characters which, for me, was best consumed in small but regular servings. I reviewed the first book here and this sequel blows it out of the water in scope and scale. I could never be sure where this book was heading, save for the nods to the Greco-Persian Wars, but since this was a science-fiction tale I knew I couldn’t rely on that ;). Truthfully, I had trouble deciding who was meant to be the ‘good guys’ or even who the ‘real’ main character was, and I mean this as a compliment. After all, real life is not so clear cut, is it? The story is told through so many characters’ eyes over their evolving and challenging lives, a true epic.

While the culture and warfare was more ancient world, the touches of scifi and relict energy weapons (seen through the eyes of characters whose limited understanding of the technologies often interpreted it as magic) reminded me of where these people came from, and the book even comments on where we could be going. The concept of ‘the eternal games’ sticks in my mind.

I think this will definitely appeal to lovers of epic stories and historic retellings (is that a genre? It should be). A unique mix of space-age science fiction, fantastical spirits, and epic history.

Nicholas C. Rossis’ Blog.

Rise of the Prince, by Nicholas C. Rossis

Pearseus #2

Book Length: 372 pages

Scifi Epic/Historic retelling (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

This is the best-selling book 2 of the Pearseus series. Game of Thrones meets Dune in this rich and thought-provoking story of humanity starting afresh on the remote planet of Pearseus. Three hundred years have passed since the first humans crash-landed on Pearseus. Following the disastrous schism of year 18, their descendants have split into three competing factions. In the process, the electronic books containing humanity’s vast knowledge are lost, forcing humanity to rebuild its civilization from scratch. Peace of the Eclipse, an uneasy truce between the Capital, the Loyalists and the Democracies, still holds – barely. While man turns against man, the First, Pearseus’ indigenous people, wage their own ancient war against a shadowy enemy; an unceasing struggle that threatens to destroy all of humanity. Egged on by unseen forces, the increasingly paranoid ruler of the Capital terrorizes her subjects. As war looms ever closer, the protagonists find their lives in danger at every turn. Pearseus is a page-turning Science Fiction adventure, which tries to answer the question: “What good is justice without compassion?” Following Pearseus: Year 18, Rise of the Prince is the first book in the Pearseus trilogy. Mixing blood-curling drama with psychology, religion, history and philosophy, it offers a rich tale with surprising twists.