2017年11月7日火曜日

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2017年10月13日金曜日

Badminton House

Badminton House is a large country house and Grade I Listed Building[1] in Badminton, Gloucestershire, England, and has been the principal seat of the Dukes of Beaufort since the late 17th century, when the family moved from Raglan Castle, which had been ruined in the English Civil War. The house gives its name to the sport of badminton.

HistoryIn 1612 Edward Somerset, 4th Earl of Worcester, bought from Nicholas Boteler his manors of Great and Little Badminton, called 'Madmintune' [sic] in the Domesday Book while one century earlier the name 'Badimyncgtun' was recorded,[2][3] held by that family since 1275. Edward Somerset's 3rd son Sir Thomas Somerset modernized the old house in the late 1620s, and built a new T-shaped gabled range. Evidence suggests he also built up on the present north and west fronts. The 3rd Duke of Beaufort adapted Sir Thomas Somerset's house by incorporating his several gabled ranges around the courtyard and extending the old house eastwards to provide a new set of domestic apartments. He raised a grand Jonesian centrepiece on the north front. The two-bay flanking elevations were five storeys high, and this was modified in 1713 when reduced to three storeys.[2] Their domed crowning pavilions are by James Gibbs. For the fourth duke, who succeeded his brother in 1745, the architect William Kent renovated and extended the house in the Palladian style, but many earlier elements remain.[4] The fourth duke was instrumental in bringing Canaletto to England: Canaletto's two views of Badminton remain in the house.[5]Whether or not the sport of badminton was re-introduced from British India or was invented during the hard winter of 1863 by the children of the eighth duke in the Great Hall, where the featherweight shuttlecock would not mar the life-size portraits of horses by John Wootton, as the tradition of the house has it,[6] it was popularised at the house, hence the sport's name.[7]Queen Mary stayed at Badminton House for much of World War II. Her staff occupied most of the building, to the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort's inconvenience. Afterward, when the Duchess of Beaufort, who was Queen Mary's niece, was asked in which part of the great house the Queen had resided, she responded "She lived in all of it."[8]In the 20th century, Badminton House is best known for the annual Badminton Horse Trials held here since 1949.
Badminton House has also been strongly associated with fox hunting. Successive Dukes of Beaufort have been masters of the Beaufort Hunt, which is probably one of the two most famous hunts in the United Kingdom alongside the Quorn Hunt. While fox hunts no longer take place at Badminton House, pheasant shoots continue to be held.
Weddings and parties can be booked at Badminton House. Occasionally, houses and cottage on the estate can be rented. The estate was the location for some scenes of the films The Remains of the Day, 28 Days Later and Pearl Harbor.Adjacent to Badminton House is the parish church of St Michael and All Angels, built in 1785. It serves as the principal burial place of the Somerset family. Nearly all Dukes and Duchesses of Beaufort are interred here.[9]

2017年10月5日木曜日

Paddock Wood Railway Station

Paddock Wood railway station is on the South Eastern Main Line in England, serving the town of Paddock Wood, Kent. It is 34 miles 67 chains (56.1 km) down-line from London Charing Cross and is situated between Tonbridge and Marden. The station and all trains calling there are operated by Southeastern.

History

The South Eastern Railway opened a line from Redhill to Ashford and on to Dover in 1842. This bypassed the county town of Maidstone, and a station named Maidstone Road was opened in a rural location on 31 August 1842 to serve the town, 8 miles (13 km) to the north. The village of Paddock Wood developed quickly around the station, which took the name Paddock Wood in 1844 when the branch line to Maidstone West was opened. Another branch line—the Hawkhurst Branch—to the village of Hawkhurst existed between 1892 and 1961.[1]
The station has Up and Down platforms (1 and 2 respectively) with a pair of fast lines between them. On the Down side, a bay platform (platform 3) is used for the Medway Valley Line services to Maidstone and beyond. A matching bay platform existed on the Up side when the Hawkhurst branch was in operation. The main station building is on the Up platform; there are long canopies on both platforms. Transfer between platforms is by footbridge.[2]

Accidents

At 03:40 hrs on 5 May 1919, a goods train from Bricklayers Arms to Margate overran signals and ran into the back of another goods train just to the west of Paddock Wood station. The Margate train was hauled by C class No. 721. It had 50 goods vehicles including three brake vans. The other train was hauled by C class No. 61. The fireman of this train was killed in the accident. Although the main cause of the accident was the driver of the Margate train failing to obey signals, the signalman at Tonbridge East signal box was also censured for failure to give the driver adequate warning that although the train had been accepted by the signalman at Paddock Wood, the line was not clear. The signalman at Paddock Wood had accepted the train under Regulation No 5 - "Section clear but station or junction blocked".[3]
At 02:02 on 8 December 1961, a goods train was setting back at Paddock Wood station when the 00:20 goods from Hoo Junction to Tonbridge overran signals and collided with it. The wreckage from the accident piled up under the bridge carrying the B2160 Maidstone Road. The line was blocked for 12 hours.[4][5]

In Culture


Paddock Wood Railway station appears in the novel Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens where, in chapter 55, the villain, Mr Carker, accidentally falls under a train at the station and is killed.[6]






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2017年9月11日月曜日

A Nice Cup of Tea

Tea was first introduced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th century, at which time it was termed chá.[7] The earliest European reference to tea, written as Chiai, came from Delle navigationi e viaggi written by a Venetian, Giambattista Ramusio, in 1545.[38] The first recorded shipment of tea by a European nation was in 1607 when the Dutch East India Company moved a cargo of tea from Macao to Java, then two years later, the Dutch bought the first assignment of tea which was from Hirado in Japan to be shipped to Europe.[39] Tea became a fashionable drink in The Hague in the Netherlands, and the Dutch introduced the drink to Germany, France and across the Atlantic to New Amsterdam (New York).[40] 
The first record of tea in English came from a letter written by Richard Wickham, who ran an East India Company office in Japan, writing to a merchant in Macao requesting "the best sort of chaw" in 1615. Peter Mundy, a traveller and merchant who came across tea in Fujian in 1637, wrote, "chaa — only water with a kind of herb boyled in it ".[41][42] Tea was sold in a coffee house in London in 1657, Samuel Pepys tasted tea in 1660, and Catherine of Braganza took the tea-drinking habit to the British court when she married Charles II in 1662. Tea, however, was not widely consumed in Britain until the 18th century, and remained expensive until the latter part of that period. British drinkers preferred to add sugar and milk to black tea, and black tea overtook green tea in popularity in the 1720s.[43] Tea smuggling during the 18th century led to the general public being able to afford and consume tea. The British government removed the tax on tea, thereby eliminating the smuggling trade by 1785.[44] In Britain and Ireland, tea was initially consumed as a luxury item on special occasions, such as religious festivals, wakes, and domestic work gatherings. The price of tea in Europe fell steadily during the 19th century, especially after Indian tea began to arrive in large quantities; by the late 19th century tea had become an everyday beverage for all levels of society.[45] The popularity of tea also informed a number of historical events – the Tea Act of 1773 provoked the Boston Tea Party that escalated into the American Revolution, and the need to address the issue of British trade deficit caused by the demand for Chinese tea led to a trade in opium that resulted in the Opium Wars.[46]Tea was introduced into India by the British in an attempt to break the Chinese monopoly on tea.[47] In 1841, Arthur Campbell brought seeds of Chinese tea from the Kumaun region and experimented with planting tea in Darjeeling. The Alubari tea garden was opened in 1856 and Darjeeling tea began to be produced.[48] In 1848, Robert Fortune was sent by the East India Company on a mission to China to bring the tea plant back to Great Britain. He began his journey in high secrecy as his mission occurred in the lull between the Anglo-Chinese First Opium War (1839–1842) and Second Opium War (1856–1860).[49] The Chinese tea plants he brought back were introduced to the Himalayas, though most did not survive. The British had discovered that a different variety of tea was endemic to Assam and the northeast region of India and that it was used by the local Singpho people, and these were then grown instead of the Chinese tea plant. Using the Chinese planting and cultivation techniques, the British launched a tea industry by offering land in Assam to any European who agreed to cultivate it for export.[47] Tea was originally consumed only by anglicized Indians; however, it became widely popular in India in the 1950s because of a successful advertising campaign by the India Tea Board.[47]


2017年8月10日木曜日

MacGuffin

MacGuffin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In fiction, a MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation. The specific nature of a MacGuffin is typically unimportant to the overall plot. The most common type of MacGuffin is a person, place, or thing (such as money or an object of value). Other more abstract types include victory, glory, survival, power, love, or some unexplained driving force.
The MacGuffin technique is common in films, especially thrillers. Usually the MacGuffin is the central focus of the film in the first act, and thereafter declines in importance. It may reappear at the climax of the story but sometimes is actually forgotten by the end of the story. Multiple MacGuffins are sometimes derisively identified as plot coupons.[1][2]

History and use

The use of a MacGuffin as a plot device predates the name "MacGuffin".[3] The Holy Grail of Arthurian Legend has been cited as an example of an early MacGuffin, as a desired object that serves to advance the plot.[3] In the 1929 detective novel The Maltese Falcon, a small statuette provides both the book's eponymous title and its motive for intrigue.
The name "MacGuffin" was coined by the English screenwriter Angus MacPhail,[4] and was popularized by Alfred Hitchcock in the 1930s. The World War I–era actress Pearl White used weenie to identify whatever object (a roll of film, a rare coin, expensive diamonds, etc.) impelled the heroes, and often the villains as well, to pursue each other through the convoluted plots of The Perils of Pauline and the other silent film serials in which she starred.[5]

Alfred Hitchcock

The director and producer Alfred Hitchcock popularized the term "MacGuffin" and the technique with his 1935 film The 39 Steps, an early example of the concept.[6][7] Hitchcock explained the term "MacGuffin" in a 1939 lecture at Columbia University in New York:
It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men on a train. One man says, "What's that package up there in the baggage rack?" And the other answers, "Oh, that's a MacGuffin". The first one asks, "What's a MacGuffin?" "Well," the other man says, "it's an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands." The first man says, "But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands," and the other one answers, "Well then, that's no MacGuffin!" So you see that a MacGuffin is actually nothing at all.
Interviewed in 1966 by François Truffaut, Hitchcock explained the term "MacGuffin" using the same story.[8][9]
Hitchcock's term "MacGuffin" helped him to assert that his films were in fact not what they appeared to be on the surface. Hitchcock also related this anecdote in a television interview for Richard Schickel's documentary The Men Who Made the Movies, and in an interview with Dick Cavett.[citation needed]
Screenwriter Angus MacPhail, a friend of Hitchcock, may have originally coined the term, according to author Ken Mogg.[10]

George Lucas

On the commentary soundtrack to the 2004 DVD release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, writer and director George Lucas describes R2-D2 as "the main driving force of the movie … what you say in the movie business is the MacGuffin … the object of everybody's search".[11] In TV interviews, Hitchcock defined a MacGuffin as the object around which the plot revolves, but as to what that object specifically is, he declared, "The audience don't care".[12] In contrast, Lucas believes that the MacGuffin should be powerful and that "the audience should care about it almost as much as the dueling heroes and villains on screen".[13]

Yves Lavandier

For filmmaker and drama writing theorist Yves Lavandier, in the strictly Hitchcockian sense, a MacGuffin is a secret that motivates the villains.[14] North by Northwest's supposed MacGuffin is nothing that motivates the protagonist; Roger Thornhill's objective is to extricate himself from the predicament that the mistaken identity has created, and what matters to Vandamm and the CIA is of little importance to Thornhill. A similar lack of motivating power applies to the alleged MacGuffins of The Lady Vanishes, The 39 Steps, and Foreign Correspondent. In a broader sense, says Lavandier, a MacGuffin denotes any justification for the external conflictual premises of a work.[15]

Examples

Examples in film include the Maltese Falcon in the film of the same name; the meaning of "Rosebud" in Citizen Kane (1941);[16] the Rabbit's Foot in Mission: Impossible III (2006);[17][18] the Heart of the Ocean necklace in Titanic.[19] In both film and literature, the Holy Grail is often used as a MacGuffin.[20] The cult classic surreal comedic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail is loosely structured around a knightly quest for the sacred relic.
Examples in television include various Rambaldi artifacts in Alias; the orb in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.; and Krieger Waves in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "A Matter of Perspective".[21][22][23][24] Carl Macek created protoculture as a MacGuffin to unite the storylines of the three separate anime that composed Robotech,[25] while the Hellmouth in Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been described as a kind of topological MacGuffin—"a shortcut, in lieu of scientific explanation" as Joss Whedon put it.[26]
Examples in literature include the television set in Wu Ming's novel 54; and the container in William Gibson's Spook Country.[27][28][29]
In the online game, The Kingdom of Loathing, the player's character must eventually complete a long and convoluted quest named player name and The Quest for the Holy MacGuffin.[30][31] It involves going to several locations while following clues from the character's father's diary and collecting various items. Eventually it ends in a boss battle and the MacGuffin is returned to the council. The game never reveals what exactly it is or how it will aid in saving the kingdom.

In discussing the mixed critical reception of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in which a primary criticism was that the crystal skull in the film was seen as an unsatisfying MacGuffin, Steven Spielberg said, "I sympathize with people who didn't like the MacGuffin because I never liked the MacGuffin".[32]