Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Keep your Secrets for yourself on your iPhone!

For several days, one of the most popular posts on Yahoo! is related to the few useful tips on how to improve your productivity while working with touchpad of the mobile computer devices and smart phones. That is quite understandable as more and more new features are introduced in the modern gadgets, and more our daily tasks are delegated to them.

The post reminded me on a very different topic – safety of your most sensitive information. Think about possible consequences of your pictures or notes to be found by somebody you would rather not share this information with. The outcomes may range from slight confusion to compete disaster. So, you need a virtual “safe” on your smartphone to keep there your private and touchy information.

Today, I would like to present a relatively new application for iPhone and iPad with very characteristic title: My Secret Folder. My Secret Folder's icon looks like an iOS Folder (that's because its designed exactly the same) but what it actually is, is a private, passcode enabled app that stores pictures, movies, notes, contacts and a bunch of things you don't want people to accidentally stumble upon. It even has a porn mode browser!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

But probably best of all is if someone accidentally opened the app and entered the wrong passcode, the app will snap a picture of the culprit, tag a location to the incident and keep it on file for when you return. Feel free to carry your "sensitive material" on your iOS device from now on, as you are the only one who has access to it.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So, if your iPhone is stolen or used by a stranger, it will take snaps of that person while using your iPhone. It’s not enough as it will take spying actions like mailing you about the location of your iPhone or iPad. Hence you can locate the thief and can get back your stolen iPhone.

While the application has some extra interesting features, the few, described above are already sufficient for privacy oriented users to try the application. The PRO version costs $0.99 for limited time in iTunes store.

Sources and Additional Information:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Facts and Legends of Bermuda Triangle

On a sunny day, December 5-th, 1945, 66 years ago, five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo bombers comprising Flight 19 took off from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three hour training mission. The setup plan was to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base. But that never happened - they never returned.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This mysterious disappearance has opened a list of the aircraft-related cases of missing people in the Bermuda Triangle, as before there were only multiple ship-related incidents reported. While I am still reluctant to consider Bermuda Triangle as True Stories versus Urban Myths (two sections of my Best Hoaxes blog), there are definitely some circumstances which make this part of the ocean special. Most likely, they have real scientific explanations, yet to be discovered or confirmed.

The Loss of Flight 19

The flight 19 started at 2:10 p.m., as scheduled from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida. Led by instructor Lieutenant Charles Taylor, the assignment was to fly a three-legged triangular route with a few bombing practice runs over Hen and Chickens Shoals. Two hours after the flight began, the leader of the squadron, who had been flying in the area for more than six months, reported that his compass and back-up compass had failed and that his position was unknown. The other planes experienced similar instrument malfunctions. Radio facilities on land were contacted to find the location of the lost squadron, but none were successful. After two more hours of confused messages from the fliers, a distorted radio transmission from the squadron leader was heard at 6:20 p.m., apparently calling for his men to prepare to ditch their aircraft simultaneously because of lack of fuel.

Indications are that the flight might become lost somewhere east of the Florida peninsula and was unable to determine a course to return to their base. The flight was never heard from again and no traces of the planes were ever found. It is assumed that they made forced landings at sea, in darkness somewhere east of the Florida peninsula, possibly after running out of gas. It is known that the fuel carried by the aircraft would have been completely exhausted by 8 p.m. The sea in that presumed area was rough and unfavorable for a water landing. It is also possible that some unexpected and unforeseen development of weather conditions may have intervened although there is no evidence of freak storms in the area at the time.

By this time, several land radar stations finally determined that Flight 19 was somewhere north of the Bahamas and east of the Florida coast, and at 7:27 p.m. a search and rescue Mariner aircraft took off with a 13-man crew. Three minutes later, the Mariner aircraft radioed to its home base that its mission was underway. The Mariner was never heard from again. Later, there was a report from a tanker cruising off the coast of Florida of a visible explosion seen at 7:50 p.m.

The disappearance of the 14 men of Flight 19 and the 13 men of the Mariner led to one of the largest air and seas searches to that date, and hundreds of ships and aircraft combed thousands of square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and remote locations within the interior of Florida. No trace of the bodies or aircraft was ever found.

Although naval officials maintained that the remains of the six aircraft and 27 men were not found because stormy weather destroyed the evidence, the story of the "Lost Squadron" helped cement the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, an area of the Atlantic Ocean where ships and aircraft are said to disappear without a trace. The Bermuda Triangle is said to stretch from the southern U.S. coast across to Bermuda and down to the Atlantic coast of Cuba and Santo Domingo.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

History of Bermuda Triangle’s Bad Reputation

Unusual features of the area had been noted in the past. Christopher Columbus wrote in his log about bizarre compass bearings in the area. However, the term "Bermuda Triangle" was first used in an article written by Vincent H. Gaddis for Argosy magazine in 1964. In the article, Gaddis claimed that in this strange sea a number of ships and planes had disappeared without explanation. Gaddis wasn't the first one to come to this conclusion, either. As early as 1952, George X. Sands, in a report in Fate magazine, noted what seemed like an unusually large number of strange accidents in that region.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In 1969 John Wallace Spencer wrote a book called Limbo of the Lost specifically about the Triangle and, two years later, a feature documentary on the subject, The Devil's Triangle, was released. These, along with the bestseller The Bermuda Triangle, published in 1974, permanently registered the legend of the "Hoodoo Sea" within popular culture.

Why do ships and planes seem to go missing in the region? Some authors suggested it may be due to a strange magnetic anomaly that affects compass readings (in fact they claim Columbus noted this when he sailed through the area in 1492). Others theorize that methane eruptions from the ocean floor may suddenly be turning the sea into a froth that can't support a ship's weight so it sinks (though there is no evidence of this type of thing happening in the Triangle for the past 15,000 years). Several books have gone as far as conjecturing that the disappearances are due to an intelligent, technologically advanced race living in space or under the sea.

In 1975, Larry Kusche, a librarian at Arizona State University, reached a totally different conclusion. Kusche decided to investigate the claims made by these articles and books. What he found he published in his own book entitled The Bermuda Triangle Mystery-Solved. Kusche had carefully dug into records other writers had neglected. He found that many of the strange accidents were not so strange after all. Often a Triangle writer had noted a ship or plane had disappeared in "calms seas" when the record showed a raging storm had been in progress. Others said ships had "mysteriously vanished" when their remains had actually been found and the cause of their sinking explained. In one case a ship listed missing in the Triangle actually had disappeared in the Pacific Ocean some 3,000 miles away! The author had confused the name of the Pacific port the ship had left with a city of the same name on the Atlantic coast.

More significantly, a check of Lloyd's of London's accident records by the editor of Fate in 1975 showed that the Triangle was no more dangerous than any other part of the ocean. U.S. Coast Guard records confirmed this and since that time no good arguments have ever been made to refute those statistics. So many argue that the Bermuda Triangle mystery has disappeared, in the same way many of its supposed victims vanished.

The Bermuda Triangle Facts

The "Bermuda Triangle" or "Devil's Triangle" is an imaginary area located off the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States of America, which is noted for a supposedly high incidence of unexplained disappearances of ships and aircraft. The apexes of the triangle are generally believed to be Bermuda; Miami, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The US Board of Geographic Names does not recognize the Bermuda Triangle as an official name. The US Navy does not believe the Bermuda Triangle exists. It is reported that Lloyd's of London, the world's leading market for specialist insurance, does not charge higher premiums for vessels transiting this heavily traveled area.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A significant factor with regard to missing vessels in the Bermuda Triangle is a strong ocean current called the Gulf Stream. It is extremely swift and turbulent and can quickly erase evidence of a disaster. The weather also plays its role. Prior to the development of telegraph, radio and radar, sailors did not know a storm or hurricane was nearby until it appeared on the horizon. For example, the Continental Navy sloop Saratoga was lost off the Bahamas in such a storm with all her crew on 18 March 1781. Many other US Navy ships have been lost at sea in storms around the world. Sudden local thunder storms and water spouts can sometimes spell disaster for mariners and air crews. Finally, the topography of the ocean floor varies from extensive shoals around the islands to some of the deepest marine trenches in the world. Most of the sea floor in the Bermuda Triangle is about 19,000 feet (5,791 meters) down; near its southern tip, the Puerto Rico Trench dips at one point to 27,500 (8,229 meters) feet below sea level. With the interaction of the strong currents over the many reefs the topography of the ocean bottom is in a state of flux and the development of new navigational hazards can sometimes be swift.

It has been inaccurately claimed that the Bermuda Triangle is one of the two places on earth at which a magnetic compass points towards true north. Normally a compass will point toward magnetic north. The difference between the two is known as compass variation. The amount of variation changes by as much as 60 degrees at various locations around the World. If this compass variation or error is not compensated for, navigators can find themselves far off course and in deep trouble. Although in the past this compass variation did affect the "Bermuda Triangle" region, due to fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field this has apparently not been the case since the nineteenth century.

Sources and Additional Information:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu – Historical Perspectives

The first Thanksgiving

About 390 years ago, in 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag tribe members shared a three-day autumn harvest feast, which is considered as being the first Thanksgiving celebration. After the rain that marked the end of the draught and revived the crop of corn and other fruits, colonists decided to celebrate the day with their neighbors or Massasoit, the chief of the Native Indians or Wampanoags, and his family. He came with all his extended family that constituted ninety people and stayed for three days.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

First Thanksgiving Menu

Colonists were, of course, in bad shape and there were only four grown up married ladies left to do all the cooking. Thus, General Bradford sent four of his soldiers to hunt for fowls, who brought such a large number with them that it could feed the whole village for a week. Wampanoags also helped in supplementing the food supplies by contributing five deer they had killed and probably other supplies out of courtesy. The food listed in Winslow's account consists of corn meal, fish such as bass and cod and wild fowls or turkeys. Other things that were not listed, but were available to residents of Plymouth in those days and were probably a part of the feast were lobster, rabbit, chicken, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and may be goat cheese.

Potatoes were unavailable in those days and butter and oil were scarce. There were no ovens, so though pumpkin stew and pudding may have been served, there was no scope to prepare pumpkin pies. Women who did the cooking were born and raised in England and probably experimented with their cooking by adapting their cooking methods to the native foods available to them. Roasting was the preferred method of preparing meats and poultry. But roasting on a spit over a fire took hours and required constant monitoring by someone who also turned the spite every now and then, so perhaps roasted venison was served with boiled fish and fowl or turkey. It is not unlikely that few of these birds may still have an overlooked birdshot embedded inside them.

Indian corns do not pop well, so there were no popcorns on Thanksgiving table, though corn may have been ground into meal for bread and thickener. Though cranberries were available to the colonists, cranberry sauce could not possibly have been served, because they had no access to sugar. Though honey or syrup could have been used to sweeten the cranberries, it required a lot of labor. Since there were four ladies cooking all day, to feed the crowd of about 150 people, they could not have find time to do all that work. In short, the Thanksgiving meal for the pilgrims would have consisted of roasted venison, stewed or boiled fowl, lobster and fish, corn and wheat breads, stew of dried fruits and perhaps pumpkin, one or two boiled vegetables and only water to drink.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thanksgiving Menu 1779

The following menu for a New England Thanksgiving dinner as found in a letter written in 1779 by Juliana Smith to her 'Dear Cousing Betsey.'
Haunch of Venison Roast Chine of Pork
Roast Turkey Pigeon Pasties Roast Goose
Onions in Cream Cauliflower Squash
Potatoes Raw Celery
Mincemeat Pie Pumpkin Pie Apple Pie
Indian Pudding Plum Pudding

While it would be difficult to set forth a single 'traditional' Thanksgiving menu, the preparations related by Juliana Smith that went into this dinner were certainly typical of early New England Thanksgivings. 'This year it was Uncle Simeon's turn to have the dinner at his house, but of course we all helped them as they help us when it is their turn, & there is always enough for us all to do. All the baking of pies & cakes was done at our house & we had the big oven heated & filled twice each day for three days before it was all done & everything was GOOD, though we did have to do without some things that ought to be used. Neither Love nor (paper) Money could buy Raisins, but our good red cherries dried without the pits, did almost as well & happily Uncle Simeon still had some spices in store. The tables were set in the Dining Hall and even that big room had no space to spare when we were all seated.' Apparently roast beef was part of the tradition menu for this family, but 'of course we could have no Roast Beef. None of us have tasted Beef this three years back as it must all go to the Army, & too little they get, poor fellows. But, Nayquittymaw's Hunters were able to get us a fine red Deer, so that we had a good haunch of Venisson on each Table.' There was an abundance of vegetables on the table...Cider was served instead of wine, wiht the explanation that Uncle Simeon was saving his cask 'for the sick.' Juliana added that 'The Pumpkin Pies, Apple Tarts & big Indian Puddings lacked for nothing save Appetite by the time we had got round to them...We did not rise from the Table until it was quite dark, & then when the dishes had been cleared away we all got round the fire as close as we could, & cracked nuts, & sang songs & told stories."

Thanksgiving Menu 1845

The New England Economical Housekeeper, and Family Receipt Book, published in 1845, offers the following menu for Thanksgiving Dinner:

Roast Turkey, stuffed.
A Pair of Chickens stuffed, and boiled, with cabbage-and a piece of lean pork.
A Chicken Pie.
Potatoes; turnip sauce, squash; onions; gravy and gravy sauce; apple and cranberry sauce; oyster sauce; brown and white bread.
Plum and Plain Pudding, with Sweet sauce.
Mince, Pumpkin and Apple Pies.

Thanksgiving Menu 1877

Buckeye Cookery, published in 1877 and in 1880 listed the typical menu for the Thanksgiving Dinner at the time:

Oyster soup;
boiled fresh cod with egg sauce;
roast turkey, cranberry sauce;
roast goose, bread sauce or currant jelly;
stuffed ham, apple sauce or jelly; pork and beans;
mashed potatoes and boiled onions, salsify, macaroni and cheese;
brown bread and superior biscuit;
lobster salad; pressed beef, cold corned beef, tongue;
celery, cream slaw;
watermelon, peach, pear, or apple sweet-pickles;
mangoes, cucumbers, chow-chow, and tomato catsup; stewed peaches or prunes;
doughnuts and ginger cakes; mince, pumpkin, and peach pies;
plum and boiled Indian puddings;
apple, cocoa-nut or almond tarts;
vanilla ice-cream; old- fashioned loaf cake, pound cake, black cake, white perfection cake, ribbon cake, almond layer cake;
citron, peach, plum, or cherry preserves; apples, oranges, figs, grapes, raisins, and nuts; tea and coffee.

Thanksgiving Menu 1927

Good Housekeeping's Book of Good Meals: How to Prepare and Serve Them recommends the following Thanksgiving Dinner menu:

Cream of Tomato Soup, Roast Turkey, Southern Giblet Gravy, Potato Croquettes, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower with Hollandaise Sauce, Cranberry Jelly, Romaine Salad, French Dressing, Individual Pumpkin Pies, Whipped Cream, Cider Ice, Nuts, Raisins.
Halves of Grapefruit, Roast Duck, Apple Stuffing, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Creamed Turnips, Cole-Slaw, Baked Squash, Cider, Indian Pudding, Foamy Sauce, Nuts, Coffee.
Fruit Cocktail, Chicken Fricassee, Riced Potatoes, Celery, Buttered Onions, Squash Pie.

Thanksgiving as official Holiday

Thanksgiving became an official holiday in the United States on October 3, 1863 via proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln. This was largely due to the lobbying efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey's Lady's Magazine who had lobbied for 17 years for the holiday. The proclamation declared the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

By 1916, Thanksgiving was referred to in writings as Turkey Day due to the popularity of the bird at the traditional feast.

Interestingly enough, in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to move the official Thanksgiving date to earlier in November in order encourage a longer Christmas shopping season as a Depression recovery strategy. His idea was shut down by Congress, and the official date was declared permanently as the fourth Thursday in November via Public Law #379.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Selected Recipes

There is tons of information and online resources nowadays letting you find out the best recipes for your Thanksgiving Dinner, so I will just post some, which look the yummiest to me, and easy to follow (even for myself).

Appetizer - Smoky Salmon Chive Spread


  • 2 cans (7.5 oz. each) salmon (preferably Alaskan king or sockeye), well drained
Click to see savings
  • 1 container (7 oz.) nonfat Greek yogurt
Click to see savings
  • 2 ounces hot-smoked salmon, finely chopped
Click to see savings
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, plus slivers for garnish
Click to see savings
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Click to see savings
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Click to see savings
  • Kosher salt
Click to see savings
  • Seeded crisp lavash or other crackers

  • Remove bones and skin from salmon; break into chunks. In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, hot-smoked salmon, chopped onion, chives, mustard, and pepper with a fork until well combined. Gently stir in salmon, season to taste with salt, and top with slivered onion. Serve with lavash.
  • Make ahead: Chill, covered, up to 3 days (you may need to moisten with a bit more yogurt).

45-minutes Roast Turkey

It's almost a given that time and oven space are at a premium on Thanksgiving Day, and this method of roasting turkey, unorthodox as it is, address both. Split, flattened, and roasted at 450 degrees F (lowering the heat if the bird browns too fast), a 10-pound bird will be done in about 40 minutes. It will also be more evenly browned (all of the skin is exposed to the heat), more evenly cooked (the legs are more exposed; the wings shield the breasts), and moister than birds cooked conventionally. But it works only for relatively small turkeys.

  • One 8- to 12-pound turkey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
  • 10 or more garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put the turkey on a stable cutting board, breast side down, and cut out the backbone. Turn the bird over and press on it to flatten. Put it breast side up in a roasting pan that will accommodate it (a slightly snug fit is okay). The wings should partially cover the breasts, and the legs should protrude a bit.
  2. Tuck the garlic and the herb under the bird and in the nooks of the wings and legs. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes, undisturbed. By this time the bird should be browning; remove it from the oven, baste with the pan juices, and return it to the oven. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees F (or 350 degrees F if it seems to be browning very quickly).
  4. Begin to check the bird's temperature about 15 minutes later (10 minutes if the bird is ont he small side). It is done when the thigh meat measures 155-165 degrees F on an instant-read meat thermometer; check it in a couple of places.
  5. Let the bird rest for a few minutes before carving, then serve with the garlic cloves and pan juices. Or serve at room temperature.

Pumpkin Tarts

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (16 ounce) package confectioners' sugar
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans, divided

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Make the pastry dough by creaming together 12 ounces of cream cheese with 1 pound of butter and the sugar in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Mix in the flour, a little at a time, until the dough is workable. Cut the dough into 4 equal-sized pieces, roll the pieces into balls, and refrigerate until needed.
  3. To make the filling, mash 12 ounces of cream cheese with brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl until smooth and well combined; beat in eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next one. Mix in the pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract until the filling is smooth.
  4. Cut each dough ball in half, and cut each half into 12 pieces (96 total pieces). Working in batches, press each small piece of dough into the bottom and up the sides of mini muffin cups. Fill the little crusts almost to the top with the pumpkin filling. Refrigerate unused dough until you need it to make the next batch.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the filling is set and the crusts are lightly golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  6. Mash 1/2 cup of butter, the shortening, and 8 ounces of cream cheese together in a bowl until thoroughly combined, and mix in the confectioners' sugar and marshmallow creme until smooth and creamy. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled tarts. Sprinkle each tart with a few chopped pecans. Refrigerate until serving.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sources and Additional Information:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why Bolsheviks Succeeded in their November 1917 Revolt?

“A lie told often enough becomes the truth”
— Vladimir Lenin

What is it to you almost 100 years after the fact? Is it important? Yes, it is. The day was a beginning of the November Bolshevik Revolt in Russia, which threw the biggest country in the World in the Communist Chaos for 70 years, and significantly influenced the fate of other geographical regions.

Let’s take a brief peek…

The confusion starts from the very beginning. The revolution is called October Revolution, but it started exactly 94 years ago, November 6, 1917 by the Julian calendar used in Russia at the time (count back 13 days to get the date by the modern calendar, later accepted in Russia as well).

There are many historical points, where we can start the journey, explaining this turnaround point in the history, and the closest one in time is so-called February Revolution 1917. Yes, Russians were happy enough to get two revolutions in one year.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

February 1917 Revolution

On 23rd February 1917 the International Women's Day Festival in St. Petersburg turned into a city-wide demonstration, as exasperated women workers left factories to protest against food shortages. Men soon joined them, and on the following day - encouraged by political and social activists - the crowds had swelled and virtually every industry, shop and enterprise had ceased to function as almost the entire populace went on strike.

Nicholas ordered the police and military to intervene, however the military was no longer loyal to the Tsar and many mutinied or joined the people in demonstrations. Fights broke out and the whole city was in chaos. On February 28th over 80,000 troops mutinied from the army and looting and rioting was widespread.

Faced with this untenable situation Tsar Nicholas abdicated his throne, handing power to his brother Michael. However Michael would not accept leadership unless he was elected by the Duma. He resigned the following day, leaving Russia without a head of state.

After the abdication of the Romanovs a Provisional Government was quickly formed by leading members of the Duma and recognized internationally as Russia's legal government. It was to rule Russia until elections could be held. However its power was by no means absolute or stable. The more radical Petrograd Soviet organization was a trade union of workers and soldiers that wielded enormous influence. It favored full-scale Socialism over more moderate democratic reforms generally favored by members of the Provisional Government.

After centuries of Imperial rule Russia was consumed with political fervor, but the many different factions, all touting different ideas, meant that political stability was still a long way off directly after February Revolution.

Between Revolutions

One person keen to take advantage of the chaotic state of affairs in St. Petersburg was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov - aka Lenin. Lenin had spent most of the 20th Century travelling and working and campaigning in Europe - partly out of fear for his own safety, as he was known Socialist and enemy of the Tsarist regime. However with the Tsar under arrest and Russian politics in chaos, Lenin saw the opportunity to lead his party, the Bolsheviks, to power. From his home in Switzerland he negotiated a return to Russia with the help of German authorities. (As a proponent of withdrawing Russia from the Great War, the Germans were willing to facilitate Lenin's passage back via a 'sealed train'.)

Lenin's return in April of 1917 was greeted by the Russian populace, as well as by many leading political figures, with great rapture and applause. However, far from uniting the fractious parties, he immediately condemned the policies and ideologies of both the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet. In his April Theses, published in the Bolshevik newspaper Pravda, he advocated non-co-operation with the liberals (ie. non-hardline Communists) and an immediate end to the war.

At first his uncompromising stance served to isolate Lenin and the Bolsheviks, however with powerful slogans like 'Peace, land and bread,' Lenin begin to win the hearts of the Russian people - who were increasingly unable to stomach war and poverty.

During the summer of 1917 Lenin made several attempts to invoke another revolution the likes of which had taken place in February, with the aim of overthrowing the Provisional Government. When the Machine Gun Regiment refused to leave Petrograd (as St. Petersburg was then known) for the frontline Lenin sought to maneuver them instead into making a putsch. However Kerensky, arguably the most important figure of the time - a member of both the Provisional Government and Petrograd Soviet - adeptly thwarted the coup. Experienced troops arrived in the city to quell any dissidents and the Bolsheviks were accused of being in collusion with the Germans. Many were arrested whilst Lenin escaped to Finland.

Despite this PR disaster Lenin continued plotting and scheming. Meanwhile Kerensky suffered his own political setbacks and even had to appeal to the Bolsheviks for military aid when he feared his Minister of War, Kornilov, was aiming for a military dictatorship. By autumn the Bolsheviks were climbing into the ascendency, winning majority votes within the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets. Leon Trotsky was elected as president of the former.

The October Revolution

With Russian politics still in a state of constant flux Lenin realized that now was the time to capitalize on his party's popularity. He planned a coup that would overthrow the increasingly ineffective Provisional Government and replace them with the Bolsheviks. On October 10th he held a famous meeting with twelve party leaders, and tried to persuade them that a revolution was required. Despite receiving the backing of only 10 of them plotting went ahead.

November 6th, the Petrograd Soviet was meeting in the Smolny Institute - a former girls school. Speeches were made by Trotsky as to why people should support the communists. While he was giving these speeches, he knew that the Red Guards and armed workers were actually taking over key points in the city. By the time that the speeches had finished most of the city was in the hands of the Bolsheviks (communists led by Lenin) - as Trotsky had planned. The telephone and telegraph buildings were taken over, as were the power stations. Bridges were captured. So were the railway stations.

There was very little bloodshed and it is probable that many people in Petrograd were unaware of what had happened when they woke up in the morning. In fact, while the communists were taking power, theatres and cinemas were still open!!

Throughout the 7th the Red Guards kept on occupying important buildings. By mid-afternoon, the only building not held by the Bolsheviks was the Winter Palace, the old home of the tsar. It was here that the Provisional Government met. In fact, the troops who were meant to be defending the building had gone home and only the Women’s Battalion remained.

The sign for the Red Guards to attack the Winter Palace was a shell fired by the naval ship the "Aurora". The attack was short lived and any opposition was easily overcome. The Provisional Government surrendered to the Red Guards. The attack took longer than it might have done because there were 1000 rooms in the Palace that they had to search.

In the Smolny Institute, those politicians who did not agree with what had happened and did not want the Bolsheviks in power walked out of the building. Trotsky said that they were going to where they belonged - the waste-paper basket of history.

At 1 a.m. on November 8th, a shabbily dressed man got to his feet and rose to speak. He took away a handkerchief from his face and was instantly recognized as Lenin. He told those in the Smolny Institute that he was forming a government of Bolsheviks and that it would contain no middle class people. The government would work to help the workers and peasants.

By the end of the day the members of the Provisional Government were under arrest. Lenin's statement that he would overturn the government of Russia - made after his brother had been executed - was fulfilled.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Why did the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917 succeed?

The investigation of the reasons, underground sources and motivations of the different parties, groups, and individual people is quite a complicated task. Multiple studies are published in Russia and other parts of the World on the topic, and the outcomes are so different and controversial, depending on the authors’ political views and used sources, that the topic deserves a big scientific monograph. We will provide in brief several moments, which contributed to the miracle – a small group of extremists was able to get to the power in huge multi-cultural, multi-national country with traditional believes in higher authority and G-d.

1.       February Revolution. The first revolution opened the door to the revolutionary process in the country. People saw that the Tsar was out of the picture fast and easily. Hey, that was just beginning. Nice slogans, feeling of freedom and for the bright future for everyone. People were ready for change.
2.       Provisional Government problems. The Bolsheviks succeeded because the Provisional Government was weak and unpopular.  Some of the people in the Provisional Government were smart and wished good, but they did not understand the psychology and simple desires of the masses:  bread and entertainment. While being in power, provisional government was not able to secure solid support among different groups, and create loyal military. When it was attacked, nobody was prepared to defend it. On 25th October, only Women's Battalion attempted to defend the Winter Palace against Bolshevik forces. John Reed, an American journalist in Petrograd during the revolution wrote ‘What happened to the women?’ we asked a soldier. He laughed. ‘We found them hiding in a back room … crying. We did not know what to do with them; in the end we just sent them home. Other sources offered a different account on the consequences, claiming that some of the girl-soldiers had been thrown from the windows into the street, most of the rest had been violated, and many had committed suicide as a result of the horrors they had gone through.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

3.       Slogans. The Bolsheviks had attractive, easy to say and easy to understand, slogans such as ‘Peace, Bread, Land’ and ‘All Power to the Soviets’.  Other parties claimed they could never deliver their promises, but their arguments were too complicated for people to understand.  This meant that they got the public’s support.
4.       Pravda. The party ran its own propaganda machine, including the newspaper Pravda (‘Truth’), which got their ideas across.
5.       German money. Germany was gradually losing the war, so they were looking for the ways to turn things around, other than on the battlefield. The Germans financed the Bolsheviks because they Lenin promised them to take Russia out of the war. This gave Bolsheviks the money to mount their publicity campaigns, and some other support in information and planning.
6.       Lenin. A brilliant leader – a professional revolutionary with an iron will, ruthless, brilliant speaker, a good planner with ONE aim – to overthrow the government. 
7.       Army. While Provisional Government was playing its intellectual games, Bolsheviks was secretly working on building their private army (the Red Guards), dedicated to the revolution, which was set up and trained under outstanding military organizer Leon Trotsky and funded not exclusively by German money but by donation of the rich revolution-oriented citizens, who has not imagine in their worst dreams, where their money will lead Russia. Well-organized Red Guards groups gave the Bolsheviks the military power to win.
8.       Organization. The Bolsheviks had solid well-built organization, sharpened by years of the illegal political activity underground.  A central committee (controlled by Lenin and other leading Bolsheviks) sent orders to the soviets, who gave orders to the factories. The difference with most of the other liberal parties at the time was that Bolsheviks in practice embraced freedom for the people only in case, when it is aligned with the ideas and tasks of the Global Revolution. Unlike the Provisional Government, the Bolsheviks demanded total obedience from their members, so they were well-disciplined. From a tiny group, the membership grew up to 2 million in 3 months.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sources and Additional Information:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Broken Marriage – Thanks to iPhone!

When Apple released its new iOS 5 operating system to go with its iPhone 4S, it touted a new application called "Find My Friends" as a great way to track and meet up with friends. Similar in concept to Google Latitude, Find My Friends lets users follow people who have accepted requests in their own copies of the app. Once they give the thumbs up, friends will appear both on a list of contacts and on a Google map.

As needed users can toggle parental and privacy controls. The most important of these may be temporary sharing, which will automatically stop tracking by others after a certain length of time. Find My Friends is a free universal app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, but requires both iOS 5 and an iCloud account.

While this social application might be quite useful for buddies to have fun staking and meeting each other unexpectedly, some users might find suitable applications to get is utilized. If the online posts appearing on a chat forum at MacRumors.com are for real, "Find My Friends" may have already claimed its first marriage.

October 15, 2011 on MacRumors, a man saying he lived in New York City posted this:

Divorcing wife. Thanks iPhone 4s and Find My Friends.

I got my wife a new 4s and loaded up find my friends without her knowing. She told me she was at her friends house in the east village. I've had suspicions about her meeting this guy who live uptown. Lo and behold, Find my Friends has her right there.

I just texted her asking where she was and the dumb b!otch said she was on 10th Street!! Thank you Apple, thank you App Store, thank you all. These beautiful treasure trove of screen shots going to play well when I meet her a$$ at the lawyer's office in a few weeks.

thankfully, she's the rich one.

It has not been determined whether the story posted on MacRumors was, in fact, authentic, and the man did not immediately reply to a request from ABC News for comment. But more than 100,000 people have viewed the posts, according to MacRumors. More than 300 of them replied with expressions of sympathy, skepticism and -- this being the Internet -- a few less-than-savory jokes.
Arnold Kim, the editorial director of MacRumors, said it was "definitely a busy thread."

MacRumors did not try to verify the man's story (if, in fact, it was a man), but said everyone who registers for its forums has to validate their email when they register.

"Find My Friends" uses the iPhone or iPad's built-in Global Positioning System to see your friends' locations on a map on the screen of your device. GPS can be accurate to within a few feet for civilian uses.

Apple says "The Find My Friends app is a great way to share your location with people who are important to you" -- whether you're trying to meet friends at a crowded concert or make sure your kids get safely home from school.

The man was back with a new post less than an hour later, including a couple of screen grabs showing the location of his wife was on East 65th St., though she sent him a text message saying, "Was hard to find stupid cab hate meat packing...."

The husband again: "She said she is in meat packing district which is on 12th street. I DONT THINK SO. Appreciate the support. not my finest hour here but going to get better soon."

How true the story is? Or that is a marketing trick of the Apple developers? Or that is application developers? In any case, the associated buzz will make the trick. The software is free for to use, so there is no financial barrier for its installation.

In any case, if you like the application, and its potential, you should be aware on the possible negative outcomes, not being considered.

Once you're being followed by someone, they can discover your location, or at least the location of your phone, at any time, with three exceptions:
  1. When your phone is turned off or otherwise off the grid,
  2. After you've deleted that person from your list of followers, or
  3. When you go into Hide mode, which you find under the Me menu at the bottom of the screen.

Note that deleting someone from the list of people you're following is different than deleting a person from your list of people allowed following you. Also, you can still see the locations of other people when you're in Hide mode.

One of Find My Friends' best features is the Temporary mode found in the top-level menu. This allows you to set up select windows of time, adjustable to the half-hour, in which you're able to follow another person and let him or her follow you. Once the time window has expired, you're unfindable to each other and will have to submit new requests to once again appear on each others' maps.

This is nice for two reasons. 1) People forget. If you really want to be visible to this person only for a select amount of time, but then you forget to manually turn off access for days/weeks/months, it leaves you with a very strange feeling. 2) A temporary invitation that automatically expires just seems smoother than actively defriending someone.

Sources and Additional Information:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dead Sea Scrolls are Available Online

Today is the great day for all the history lovers and those who are interesting in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and multiple congregations and sects, basing their religious beliefs on the concepts of Monotheism. In a joint effort by Israel's national museum and Google, the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea scrolls, previously only available to a small group of scholars, have been made available online.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Five of the most important Dead Sea Scrolls will now be available to the digital public: the biblical Book of Isaiah, the manuscript known as the Temple Scroll, and three others. Visitors are also able to search the ancient texts at the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls website.

The scrolls offer critical insight into customs and religion of ancient Israelis, including information on the birth of Christianity. The sacred texts include the oldest written record of the Old Testament ever found.

The Scrolls are for the most part, written in Hebrew, but there are many written in Aramaic. Aramaic was the common language of the Jews of Palestine for the last two centuries B.C. and of the first two centuries A.D. The discovery of the Scrolls has greatly enhanced our knowledge of these two languages. In addition, there are a few texts written in Greek. The scrolls are most commonly made of animal skins, but also papyrus and one of copper. They are written with a carbon-based ink, from right to left, using no punctuation except for an occasional paragraph indentation. In fact, in some cases, there are not even spaces between the words.

Written between the third and first centuries BCE, the Dead Sea Scrolls include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence, according to Google's press release. They were hidden in 11 caves in the Judean desert on the shores of the Dead Sea, around 68 BCE. The owners of the texts apparently wanted to protect the scrolls from approaching Roman armies.

"This partnership with The Israel Museum, Jerusalem is part of our larger effort to bring important cultural and historical collections online," Google's spokesperson wrote in the press release. "We are thrilled to have been able to help this project through hosting on Google Storage and App Engine, helping design the web experience and making it searchable and accessible to the world."

How they were found?

In the spring of 1947 Bedouin goat-herds, searching the cliffs along the Dead Sea for a lost goat (or for treasure, depending on who is telling the story), came upon a cave containing jars filled with manuscripts. That find caused a sensation when it was released to the world, and continues to fascinate the scholarly community and the public to this day. 

The first discoveries came to the attention of scholars in 1948, when seven of the scrolls were sold by the Bedouin to a cobbler and antiquities dealer called Kando. He in turn sold three of the scrolls to Eleazar L. Sukenik of Hebrew University, and four to Metropolitan Mar Athanasius Yeshue Samuel of the Syrian Orthodox monastery of St. Mark. Mar Athanasius in turn brought his four to the American School of Oriental Research, where they came to the attention of American and European scholars.

It was not until 1949 that the site of the find was identified as the cave now known as Qumran Cave 1. It was that identification that led to further explorations and excavations of the area of Khirbet Qumran. Further search of Cave 1 revealed archaeological finds of pottery, cloth and wood, as well as a number of additional manuscript fragments. It was these discoveries that proved decisively that the scrolls were indeed ancient and authentic.

Between 1949 and 1956, in what became a race between the Bedouin and the archaeologists, ten additional caves were found in the hills around Qumran, caves that yielded several more scrolls, as well as thousands of fragments of scrolls: the remnants of more than 15,000 Dead Sea Scrolls, written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek between 150 BC and 70 AD. They are between 800-1,000 years older than previously known manuscripts.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


The scrolls include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence, religious manuscripts not included in the Bible and documents that describe daily Jewish life in the land of Israel during the time of the Second Temple Period, and the birth of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.

The manuscripts span a time when the Holy Land was under Greek rule and then the Roman, whose soldiers destroyed the Jews' Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. to quash a rebellion. All that remains of the temple today is the Western Wall.

Major Discoveries

We will just mention 12 amazing facts that make this amazing discovery a breakthrough point for historians and religious scholars:
  1. The Scrolls can be divided into two categories—biblical and non-biblical. Fragments of every book of the Hebrew canon (Old Testament) have been discovered except for the book of Esther.
  2. There are now identified among the scrolls, 19 copies of the Book of Isaiah, 25 copies of Deuteronomy and 30 copies of the Psalms.
  3. Prophecies by Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Daniel not found in the Bible are written in the Scrolls.
  4. The Isaiah Scroll, found relatively intact, is 1000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah. In fact, the scrolls are the oldest group of Old Testament manuscripts ever found.
  5. In the Scrolls are found never before seen psalms attributed to King David and Joshua.
  6. There are non-biblical writings along the order of commentaries on the OT, paraphrases that expand on the Law, rule books of the community, war conduct, thanksgiving psalms, hymnic compositions, benedictions, liturgical texts, and sapiential (wisdom) writings.
  7. The Scrolls appear to be the library of a Jewish sect - Essenes. The library was hidden away in caves around the outbreak of the First Jewish Revolt (A.D. 66-70) as the Roman army advanced against the rebel Jews. The Essenes are mentioned by Josephus and in a few other sources, but not in the New Testament. The Essenes were a strict Torah observant, Messianic, apocalyptic, baptist, wilderness, new covenant Jewish sect. They were led by a priest they called the "Teacher of Righteousness," who was opposed and possibly killed by the establishment priesthood in Jerusalem. The enemies of the Qumran community were called the "Sons of Darkness"; they called themselves the "Sons of Light," "the poor," and members of "the Way." They thought of themselves as "the holy ones," who lived in "the house of holiness," because "the Holy Spirit" dwelt with them.
  8. The last words of Joseph, Judah, Levi, Naphtali, and Amram (the father of Moses) are written down in the Scrolls. 
  9. One of the most curious scrolls is the Copper Scroll. Discovered in Cave 3, this scroll records a list of 64 underground hiding places throughout the land of Israel. The deposits are to contain certain amounts of gold, silver, aromatics, and manuscripts. These are believed to be treasures from the Temple at Jerusalem, that were hidden away for safekeeping.
  10. The scrolls contain previously unknown stories about biblical figures such as Enoch, Abraham, and Noah. The story of Abraham includes an explanation why God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac.
  11. The Scrolls have revolutionized textual criticism of the Old Testament. Interestingly, now with manuscripts predating the medieval period, we find these texts in substantial agreement with the Masoretic text as well as widely variant forms. 
  12.  The Dead Sea Scrolls enhance our knowledge of both Judaism and Christianity. They represent a non-rabbinic form of Judaism and provide a wealth of comparative material for New Testament scholars, including many important parallels to the Jesus movement. They show Christianity to be rooted in Judaism and have been called the evolutionary link between the two. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sources and Additional Information:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ludwig Van Beethoven Love Letter: Immortal Beloved

This post is a follow-up to the previous publication on some interesting facts from Ludwig Van Beethoven life. One of the reader of this blog sent inquiry related to the noted mysterious fact from the Beethoven biography, related to his love letter written to unknown addressee, Immortal Beloved. While there is no definite answer from historians, who this woman was, I would like to give some insights on the topic.

Immortal Beloved Letters

The Immortal Beloved (German Unsterbliche Geliebte) is the mysterious addressee of a love letter which composer Ludwig van Beethoven wrote on 6-7 July, 1812 in Teplitz. The apparently unsent letter was in found in the composer's estate after his death, after which it remained in the hands of Anton Schindler until his death, was subsequently willed to his sister, and was sold by her in 1880 to the Berlin State Library, where it remains today. The letter is written in pencil and consists of three parts.

The sole documentary evidence for the "Immortal Beloved" is a soul-searching and impassioned letter Beethoven wrote in the Bohemian spa of Teplitz on 6/7 July 1812 (though the year and place are not given) addressed to an unnamed woman whom he must have met on 3 July 1812 in Prague. The wording of the letter suggests an existing love relationship of long standing. Since Beethoven did not specify a year, nor a location, an exact dating of the letter and identification of the addressee was speculative until the 1950's, when an analysis of the paper's watermark yielded the year, and by extension the place. Scholars have since this time been divided on the intended recipient of the Immortal Beloved letter. The two candidates favored most by contemporary scholars are Antonie Brentano and Josephine Brunsvik. Other candidates who have been conjectured, with various degrees of mainstream scholarly support, are Julie ("Giulietta") Guicciardi, Thérèse von Brunswick, Anna-Marie Erdödy, and Bettina Brentano, among several others.

The 1994 film Immortal Beloved has a fictional plot centered on the mystery of who the letter was addressed to, ultimately declaring Beethoven's lover to be his sister-in-law Johanna van Beethoven.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Text of the Letter

Part 1

July 6th, in the morning
My angel, my all, my very self. - Only a few words today, and, what is more, written in pencil (and with your pencil)-I shan't be certain of my rooms here until tomorrow; what an unnecessary waste of time is all this--Why this profound sorrow, when necessity speaks--can our love endure without sacrifices, without our demanding everything from one another, can you alter the fact that you are not wholly mine, that I am not wholly yours?--Dear God, look at Nature in all her beauty and set your heart at rest about what must be--Love demands all, and rightly so, and thus it is for me with you, for you with me-- but you forget so easily that I must live for me and for you; if we were completely united, you would fee this painful necessity just as little as I do--My journey was dreadful and I did not arrive here until yesterday at four o'clock in the morning. As there were few horses the mail coach chose another route, but what a dreadful road it was; at the last state but one I was warned not to travel by night; attempts were made to frighten me about a forest, but all this only spurred me on to proceed--and it was wrong of me to do so.. The coach broke down, of course, owing to the dreadful road which had not been made up and was nothing but a country track. If we hadn't had those two postillions I should have been left stranded on the way--On the other ordinary road Esterhazy with eight horses met with the same fate as I did with four--Yet I felt to a certain extent that pleasure I always feel when I have overcome some difficulty successfully--Well, let me turn quickly from outer to inner experiences. No doubt we shall meet soon; and today also time fails me to tell you of the thoughts which during these last few days I have been revolving about my life--If our hearts were always closely united, I would certainly entertain no such thoughts. My hear overflows with a longing to tell you so many things--Oh--there are moments when I find that speech is quite inadequate--Be cheerful-- and be for ever my faithful, my only sweetheart, my all, as I am yours. The gods must send us everything else, whatever must and shall be our fate--
Your faithful Ludwig

Part 2

Monday evening, July 6th
You are suffering, you, my most precious one--I have noticed the very moment that letters have to be handed in very early, on Monday--or on Thursday--the only days when the mail coach goes from here to K[arlsbad].--You are suffering--Oh, where I am, you are with me--I will see to it that you and I, that I can live with you. What a life!!!! as it is now!!!! without you--pursued by the kindness of people here and there, a kindness that I think-that I wish to deserve just as little as I deserve it--man's homage to man--that pains me--and when I consider myself in the setting of the universe, what I am and what is the man--whom one calls the greatest of me--and yet--on the other hand therein lies the divine element in man==I weep when I think that probably you will not receive the first news of me until Saturday--However much you love me--good night--Since I am taking the baths I must get off to sleep--Dear God--so near! so far! Is not our love truly founded in heaven--and, what is more, as strongly cemented as the firmament of Heaven?—

Part 3

Good morning, on July 7th
Even when I am in bed my thoughts rush to you, my eternally beloved, now and then joyfully, then again sadly, waiting to know whether Fate will hear our prayer--To face life I must live altogether with you or never see you. Yes, I am resolved to be a wanderer abroad until I can fly to your arms and say that I have found my true home with you and enfolded in your arms can let my soul be wafted to the realm on blessed spirits--alas, unfortunately it must be so--You will become composed, the more so as you know that I am faithful to you; no other woman can ever possess my heart--never--never--Oh God, why must one be separated from her who is so dear. Yet my life in V[ienna] at present is a miserable life--Your love has made me both the happiest and the unhappiest of mortals--At my age I now need stability and regularity in my life--can this coexist with our relationship?--Angel, I have just heard that the post goes every day--and therefore I must close, so that you may receive the letter immediately--Be calm; for only by calmly considering our lives can we achieve our purpose to live together--Be calm--love me--Today--yesterday--what tearful longing for you--for you--you--my life--my all--all good wishes to you--Oh, do continue to love me--never misjudge your lover's most faithful heart.
ever yours
ever mine
ever ours

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Antonie Brentano (von Birkenstock)

Antonie Brentano was the daughter of Johann-Melchior von Birkenstock. She was born in Vienna on May 28, 1780, thus 10 years younger than Beethoven. She underwent education with the Ursuline order in Pressburg.
On July 23, 1798 she married the Frankfurt merchant Franz Brentano, 15 years her senior. Her first child was born in 1799 but died a year later. She then had four surviving children. Maynard Solomon states in his research that her marriage was seemingly unhappy one.

Antonie's husband, Frankfurt banker Franz Brentano, became a close friend of Beethoven during the family's short stay in Vienna, and his half-sister, Bettina von Arnim née Brentano, may have introduced them in 1810. After moving with her husband to Frankfurt (after their wedding in 1798), Antonie had returned to Vienna to minister to her dying father and remained for two years afterwards to settle his estate, during which time the Brentanos' friendship with Beethoven was established.

The Brentano's remained in Vienna until late in 1812 - she didn't like Frankfurt much and was ill most of the time. During her illnesses Beethoven would often play the piano for her. The Immortal Beloved letters were written at a time when it was evident that she would be leaving Vienna. After her departure at the end of 1812 she and Beethoven never met again. Antonie Brentano died in 1869 at the age of 89.

Maynard Solomon suggested that Antonie Brentano might have been the "Immortal Beloved" in his research:
She must be a woman well known to Beethoven in Vienna; she must have been in Prague in the first week of July 1812; and she must have been in the Bohemian spa town of Karlsbad in the weeks following.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

There is an indirect fact, supporting the Somolon’s theory of Antonie Brentano been the woman, Beethoven addressed these love letter. There is a diary entry in 1812 on the subject: “Submission, the most devout submission to your fate, only this can give you the (self-) sacrifice -- for your obligation.  O hard struggle!...  You must not be a man, not for yourself, only for others.  For you there is no more happiness except in yourself, in your art. -- O God, give me the strength to conquer myself; nothing must chain me to life.  In this way with A. everything goes to ruin.”  Whether the “A.” is indeed Antonie (it is not clearly an “A’), the important thing here is that Beethoven is feeling rueful after another relationship, perhaps his most intense yet, has gone adrift, but he is rationalizing this as the price he has to pay for his composing.  Some years later, he would dedicate the Diabelli Variations (opus 120) to Antonie. There is evidence he intended dedicating his two final Piano Sonatas Opp 110 & 111 to her. There is also a possibility that he wrote his song cycle, An die ferne Geliebte [To the Distant Beloved], with her in mind.

On learning of Beethoven's death, Antonie began noting down the names of her friends who had died. By the end of her long life the list ran to many pages. The first entry read: "Beethoven, 26 March 1827".

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sources and Additional Information: