Thursday, October 7, 2010


Emperor Francis Joseph I proclaimed the February Patent, a new constitution for the empire, in February 1861, some four months after the announcement of a previous and abortive constitution, the October Diploma. The Basic Law on the Representation of the Realm, dated 26 February 1861 was annexed to the February Patent and has therefore been considered the “birth certificate” of the Austrian parliament.
 Cisleithania was officially called "The kingdoms and lands represented in the Reichsrat" (German: die im Reichsrat vertretenen K√∂nigreiche und L√§nder). The members of the Abgeordnetenhaus were elected for a six-year term of office, but originally only by those male citizens who paid a certain amount of taxes.
 Starting in 1907, voting rights became independent from the amount of taxes paid, which gave stronger representation to less well-off individuals such as workers and which diminished the power of the German-speaking bourgeosie. The right to vote was extended to all males aged 24 or older, who had resided in one place for at least one year, and the principle of "one man one vote" was implemented in furtherance of universal, direct, equal and democratic suffage. While this was perhaps an admirable advance in terms of democratic theory, the inevitable result was the splintering of the Reichsrat into numerous factions --principally geographical and ideological ones—that hamstrung its viability as an operating legislature.

House of Lords

The Lords' function was to debate and approve, block or alter Bills that were passed by the Irish House of Commons and proposed by the Lord Deputy of Ireland on behalf of the monarch.
 The House of Lords was presided over by the Lord Chancellor, who sat on the woolsack, a large seat stuffed with wool from each of the three lands of England, Ireland and Scotland. At the state opening of the Irish parliament Members of Parliament were summoned to the House of Lords from the House of Commons chamber by Black Rod, a royal official who would "command the members on behalf of His Excellency to attend him in the chamber of peers" Sessions were formally opened by the Speech from the Throne by the Lord Lieutenant, who sat on the throne beneath a canopy of crimson velvet.
 Sessions were generally held at Dublin Castle in the 16th century and 17th century, until the opening of the Irish Houses of Parliament in the 1730s.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Orland P. Bassett House

Orland P. Bassett House, also known as the "American Beauty" House, is a historic Colonial Revival residence in Hinsdale, Illinois. The house, and the accompanying carriage house, were constructed in 1899. Bassett began his career as a printer, moving to Chicago manage the Pictorial Printing Company in 1874. He moved to Hinsdale with his wife in 1887 and began cultivating roses as a hobby. In 1888, he created a hybrid rose known as the American Beauty rose in his greenhouse. He co-founded Bassett & Washburn, which became the first florist to distribute the rose. Commercial horticulture was a relatively new field as Americans had only gained significant disposable income late in the 19th century. One of their largest clients was the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, who purchased the roses for use in their dining cars. The company was the largest employer in Hinsdale in 1900.
Bassett purchased a plot of land on the corner of Oak and Sixth Street in late 1898 and commissioned contractor Ole Anderson to build it for $25,000. The original architect is unknown--although the plans to the building are intact, there is no indication of who drew them. Enock Hill Turnock remodeled Bassett's former house, "Bonnie Heights", and may have continued a working relationship with Bassett. Given Bassett's occupation, the house was nicknamed the "American Beauty" House by local residents. The house was completed in December 1899. The third floor of the house features a ballroom where the Bassetts held dancing parties. The house was principally built in the Colonial Revival style, but also features elements of Queen Anne Style. Bassett retired in 1907, passing the business to his son-in-law, and moved to Pasadena, California in 1910. Bassett's grandson Egdar Washburn lived in the residence until 1913, when it was sold to Quaker Oats treasurer Robert Gordon. The house was renovated in 1942.

Japanese Aesthetic Salons

Japanese Aesthetic Salons (or esute salons) are popular establishments in Japan where men and women go to receive a great variety of mostly non-surgical beauty treatments, including hair removal, slimming treatments, and facial care. The beauty industry in Japan is extremely widespread and lucrative, grossing an approximated $4 billion dollars per year with estimated 173,412 establishments nationwide in 2003.
Among the leading Aesthetic Salons in Japan are the Tokyo Beauty Center with 417 shops and average annual sales of ¥41.7 billion ($398 million)[2], Socie with 74 shops and average annual sales of ¥21.5 billion ($205 million)[3], Takano Yuri Beauty Clinic with 120 shops and average annual sales of ¥16 billion ($152 million)[4], and Slim Beauty House with 102 shops and average annual sales of ¥10.2 billion ($97 million). Not all aesthetic salons target women as their customers; the Men's Tokyo Beauty Center and other such thriving salons target male consumers. All of these salons are only one part of a multi-billion dollar beauty and cosmetics industry in Japan.
While there are in each culture many different ideas about what beauty is, some prominent ideals in Japanese culture include hairlessness, slimness, and having full breasts. In Japan, there are very specific, quantifiable standards for male and female beauty[1]. Currently Japanese salons and other forms of Japanese media promote the idea that every minute part of the body should conform to extremely specific proportions. In fact, even pornography propagates these ideas; in the adult movie review magazine, Apple Tsushin, regularly featured a uniformed "doctor" measures every possible part of a naked actress' body, including her vaginal depth. The photos are accompanied by charts. The beauty industry also segments customers' bodies and targets specific areas as the focus of beauty treatments. Often beauty salons will chart their customer's progress on a "medical" sheet[1]. The Yakano Yuri Beauty Clinic monitors calves, thighs, waist, and bust separately and supplies the exact quantitative change of before and after treatments. Aesthetic salons employ a huge variety of beauty treatments for their costumers.

The House of the Sleeping Beauties

House of the Sleeping Beauties is a novella by Nobel Prize winning author Yasunari Kawabata.

A story about a lonely man, Old Eguchi continuously visits the House of the Sleep Beauties in hopes of something more.