Category Archives: Français

What was the Renaissance?

The Renaissance is one of those terms that is commonly known but its meaning is not necessarily as ubiquitous. The word Renaissance comes from renaissance, which itself comes from the verb renaître, meaning to be “reborn”. Thus, Renaissance refers to a cultural rebirth. There have been many renaissances throughout history, from the artistic, literary, and musical powerhouse of the Harlem Renaissance of the early twentieth century, and the Carolingian Renaissance that saw the revival of ancient learning in the court of Charlemagne in Aachen, modern Germany, to the renaissance that my adopted city, Kansas City, is experiencing today.

]The Renaissance that I’m talking about was the originator of the term, the period between the late fourteenth century to the late sixteenth century in Western Europe. It was a time when the pre-Christian knowledge and writings of ancient Greece and Rome, long considered lost began to be reintroduced into Western and Central European society. These works came both from the Eastern Mediterranean, with the influx of Greek scholars into Italy, especially to Florence, after the fall of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire in 1453, and from old monastic libraries, long locked away and forgotten.

During the Renaissance, scholars rediscovered and began to study and write about such classical authors as Lucretius, who proposed the existence of the atom in his work On the Nature of Thingsin the first century BCE. The Renaissance also saw the adaptation of the works of the Ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, whose models have been used ever since.

While the Renaissance started in Italy and is most famous for the exploits of the Italian artists, writers, and musicians of the period, it spread northward across the Alps into the rest of Europe, changing the cultural landscape of France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, the modern Netherlands and Belgium, Dernmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Czechia, Hungary, as well as England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Some of the greatest Renaissance artists whose work is still admired today include Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo, Bruni, Holbein, and Drürer. The Renaissance also saw the creation of a number of great works of literature, from Machiavelli’s The Prince, to Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, Erasmus’s Praise of Folly, and Rabelais’sGargantua and Pantagruel.

The period saw great progress in Europe in the sciences as well, with the first modern works of natural history such as Gesner’s Gart der Gesundheit and Vesalius’s On the Fabric of the Human Body, an astoundingly accurate book on human anatomy. At the same time Tycho Brahe and Nicolas Copernicus making great advances in astronomy, determining the place of Earth in the Solar System and, in the case of Copernicus, coming to the conclusion through a though experiment that the Solar System was heliocentric, thus that everything revolved about the Sun, rather than geocentric as had previously been thought.

The Renaissance also saw the beginning of the European explorations to the far ends of the planet, with men like Columbus becoming the first European since Leif Eriksson to set foot in the Americas, and Magellan the commander of a fleet that became the first to circumnavigate the globe. On a less sunny side, the Renaissance coincided with the beginning of the European colonial conquests of the Americas, Africa, and parts of south and southeast Asia.

This is the period in history that I’ve chosen to study, I find the social changes during the Renaissance to be particularly fascinating. Today we can learn a great deal from the Renaissance as we undergo a similar period of change, in some ways turning away from the ideals and values first put in place by these “new thinkers” and through this “rebirth” of classical Greek and Roman culture over five hundred years ago now.

Journeys to and From Home – 1 Year Later

Kansas City – Strange as it may sound, today marks the 1st anniversary of my launching of the blog that has since grown into my website, Journeys to and From Home, or as it is typed https://sthosdkane.com/ . I have to say that I am quite proud of how this site has grown over the past year, and certainly did not imagine that it would still be around one year after it’s inception.

One year ago, I launched this blog, with the intent of recording my experiences as an undergraduate studying at the University of Westminster in London. Like many of my friends who also started blogs for the same purpose, I could very well have cut this one off at that point. But, upon thinking about it some more, I figured that there would be a good use for the blog in the future, that it could be a good replacement for my column Kansas City Catholic Examiner, which was largely filled with my own opinions on Catholic theology and social life. As a matter of fact, I still am officially listed as being the writer of that column, so perhaps it will have a comeback…

Journeys to and From Home has greatly expanded my audience, and the reach of my work. To date this website has been viewed by readers in 40 countries around the world, with fairly high concentrations in North America, Europe, Brazil, and Australia and New Zealand. This has especially come with my decision to begin writing regularly on the Formula 1 World Championship with the beginning of the 2014 season.

With the first year behind, it is time to start looking into the second year, into what will come next. I plan on continuing to write on Formula 1, along with writing the odd arts review.

Anyhow, thanks to all of you for subscribing, and reading my work over the past year! May many more years lie in the future.

-Seán.

Mercedes, Force India, Williams Perform Well in Bahrain Qualifying

Sakhir – This year’s Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is one to be remembered. Firstly, 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of Formula 1’s entrance into the Middle East and the Bahrain Grand Prix. Secondly, and perhaps offering more excitement, this marks the first time that the racing will take place after dark in Bahrain, adding it to the ever-growing list of night races alongside Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Equally exciting however was the 3 qualifying sessions undertaken by the teams in preparation for tomorrow’s race.

Q1 was highlighted by the surprisingly strong performance by both Force India drivers, in particular German Nico Hülkenberg, who quickly made his way to the top of the leaderboard. Hülkenberg, who could very well find himself with a top-tier ride in the next few years, proved himself more than able to keep the Mercedes, Ferraris, Red Bulls, McLarens, and Williamses at bay.

At the end of Q1 the usual suspects at Caterham and Marussia found themselves at the bottom, this time joined by the unfortunate Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Lotus and German Adrian Sutil of Sauber.

Q2 was equally impressive and exciting, with strong performances from especially the Mercedes, with both Nico Rosberg (GER) and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) finishing the session at 1, 2. They were closely followed by Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull. Arguably the most shocking moment of the session came at the chequered flag when the reigning world champion, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel (GER), finished in 11th and his fellow German, Q1 leader Nico Hülkenberg finished in 12th, eliminating them from the top 10 seat needed to enter the final qualifying round of the day.

Q3 in some ways seemed predetermined, considering how much faster the two Mercedes cars are in comparison to the rest of the pack thus far in 2014. Positions 3 through 10 were left to be determined, however, as the rest of the remaining field seemed evenly matched to the challenge. The McLarens of Jenson Button (GBR) and Kevin Magnussen (DEN) qualified fairly well in 7th and 9th respectively, with Williams’ Felipe Massa (BRA) sandwiched between them. One major surprise of the qualifying results was just how high Force India’s Sergio Pérez (MEX) and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas (FIN) came, with 4th and 5th places respectively.

However, poor luck once again struck the Red Bull paddock, as their Australian driver, Daniel Ricciardo will have to serve a 10-spot grid penalty resulting from him retiring from last Sunday’s race in Malaysia prior to serving a drive-through penalty for leaving the pit with an unsecured tyre. Hopefully the Australian’s luck will return to him here in Bahrain and from here on out in 2014. Likewise, Sauber’s Adrian Sutil will start the race from the back of the grid due to a 5-place grid penalty placed upon him for holding up Lotus’ Romain Grosjean (FRA) in an “unsafe manner” according to F1.com.

The starting grid for Sunday’s Gulf Air Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix are as follows:

  1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes (Germany)
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (Great Britain)
  3. Valtteri Bottas, Williams (Finland)
  4. Sergio Pérez, Force India (Mexico)
  5. Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari (Finland)
  6. Jenson Button, McLaren (Great Britain)
  7. Felipe Massa, Williams (Brazil)
  8. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren (Denmark)
  9. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari (Spain)
  10. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull (Germany)
  11. Nico Hülkenberg, Force India (Germany)
  12. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso (Russia)
  13. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull (Australia)
  14. Jean-Éric Vergne, Toro Rosso (France)
  15. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber (Mexico)
  16. Romain Grosjean, Lotus (France)
  17. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus (Venezuela)
  18. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham (Japan)
  19. Jules Bianchi, Marussia (France)
  20. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham (Sweden)
  21. Max Chilton, Marussia (Great Britain)
  22. Adrian Sutil, Sauber (Germany)

The 2014 F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix will start at 18:00 Kuala Lampur (10:00 Chicago, 15.00 London) and will be broadcast live in the United States in English on NBC Sports at 10.00 y en Español en diferido en Univision Deportes a las 10.00 y 04.00 en Lunes. All US times are in Central Time. In Canada at 10.55 Eastern on TSN in English et il sera dans le même temps sur RDS en français. In the United Kingdom it will be broadcasted at 22.00 on BBC2 and at 14.30 on Sky Sports 1. In Australia it will be broadcasted at 00.15 on Ten.

Rainy F1 Malaysian Grand Prix Practise and Qualifying sets stage for Race

Kuala Lumpur – This weekend marks the second leg of this year’s Formula 1 World Championship: Malaysia. The tropical setting always offers extreme heat and humidity for the teams to compete in, leading to often surprising results. This year’s Grand Prix however is overshadowed by the tragic disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the passengers and crew of which are being honoured this weekend by the teams.

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Practises 1 and 2 saw the same general issues marring the various car’s performances. Neither of the Lotuses nor Force India’s Sergio Pérez (MEX) set lap times in P1. Meanwhile, the Mercedes, McLarens, Ferraris, and Red Bulls held the upper echelons of the leaderboard throughout most of Friday and Saturday. P1 concluded with Lewis Hamilton’s (GBR) Mercedes on top. Practise 2 was the only one of the 3 to be fully televised here in the United States by NBC Sports. Hamilton’s lead was taken by his teammate Nico Rosberg (GER). Practise 3 was once again a Mercedes 1, 2. Close behind the silver arrows came the Ferraris, Red Bulls, Force Indias, and Williams.

Qualifying however cut the tempo of the weekend short a bit as what the NBC lads called a “monsoon” sailed over the track at Sepang. After a good 45 minutes, as Q1 began, the teams went out in a variety of mostly intermediate tyres, which proved to be troublesome for the still quite wet track.

Tyre trouble became the main bane of the teams as they struggled to set good qualifying times for tomorrow’s Grand Prix. The more woeful incident of Q1 was Marcus Ericcson’s crash at the end of Q1, which led to a red flag and a premature end to the session with 0:36 seconds remaining on the clock.

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Marcus Ericsson / BBC Sport

Q2 was equally final for the grid placements for the two Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, who placed 13th and 15th respectively. Russian rookie, Daniil Kvyat just barely remained at the top of the elimination group at the end of Q2. His teammate Jean-Éric Vergne was able to advance to Q3, qualifying in 9th.

Q3 was marked by a bit of a hurry in the end to get the laps in before more rain hit the circuit. The two McLarens had had their own tyre issues in the previous two qualifying sessions, having chosen to go on the intermediate tyres and soft tyres in such an order that was counterproductive to their own qualifying times.

What should be noted is just how much slower the qualifying times of this year’s Malaysian Grand Prix are in comparison to last year’s, with Lewis Hamilton taking pole with a time of 1:59.431 as opposed to Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 pole a full 9 seconds faster at 1:49.674. The grid positions are as follows:

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (GBR) 1:59.431
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull (GER) 1:59.486
  3. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes (GER) 2:00.050
  4. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari (ESP) 2:00.175
  5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull (AUS) 2:00.541
  6. Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari (FIN) 2:01.218
  7. Nico Hülkenberg, Force India (GER) 2:01.712
  8. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren (DEN) 2:02.213
  9. Jean-Éric Vergne, Toro Rosso (FRA) 2:03.078
  10. Jenson Button, McLaren (GBR) 2:04.053
  11. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso (RUS) Q2 2:02.351
  12. Esteban Gutirrez, Sauber (MEX) Q2 2:02.369
  13. Felipe Massa, Williams (BRA) Q2 2:02.460
  14. Sergio Peréz, Force India (MEX) Q2 2:02.511
  15. Valtteri Bottas, Williams (FIN) Q2 2:02.756
  16. Romain Grosjean, Lotus (FRA) Q2 2:02.885
  17. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus (VEN) Q3 2:02.074
  18. Adrian Sutil, Sauber (GER) Q3 2:02.131
  19. Jules Bianchi, Marussia (FRA) Q3 2:02.702
  20. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham (JPN) Q3 2:03.595
  21. Max Chilton, Marussia (GBR) Q3 2:04.388
  22. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham (SWE) Q3 2:04.407
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Lewis Hamilton / BBC Sport

The 2014 F1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix will start at 16:00 Kuala Lampur (03:00 Chicago, 09.00 London) and will be broadcast live in the United States in English on NBC Sports y en Español en diferido en Univision Deportes a las 10.00. In Canada at 04.00 Eastern on TSN in English et il sera dans le même temps sur RDS en français. In the United Kingdom it will be broadcasted at 08.00 on BBC1 and at 07.30 on Sky Sports 1. In Australia it will be broadcasted at 18.30 on One.

Deacrachtái na Teanga – Problems of Langauge – Des problèmes de langue

Kansas City – Ba shcríobh mé as Gaeilge aréir sa mo dialann in ionad as Béarla. Is labhaim Gaeilge ach tá trioblóid scríoim Gaeilge agam. Tá sé mo Gaeilge neamhliteartha murab ioann agus mo Laidin, mo Fraincis, agus mo Béarla. Ní suim ar mo trioblóid sin! Bhí mé shcríobh as Gaeilge!

So, as I was saying as Gaeilge, in Irish, I decided last night to write my daily journal entry (so whoever takes my place as family archivist can have fun seeing what I did everyday). As it turned out, and as I knew when undertaking this daunting task, my written Irish is about as good as the whereabouts of Mohamed Morsi are known to the Western media (or the general public for that matter. So, I decided enough was enough, I was going to tackle this rather major issue, considering I tend to be known as a Gaeilgeóir, an Irish speaker, in the community at large. My plan is simple, write every one of my daily journal entries as Gaeilge from here on out, unless I’m somewhere like France or Belgium, in which case I’d probably go en français

Alors, je disais en anglais ce mon écrit irlandais n’est pas très bien, comme mon parlant français. J’ai appris les langues romantiques, ma latin et mon français avec leurs formes écrites. C’est au contraire avec mon irlandais, qu’est orale.

The point of this entry, rather than having a more useful function, is rather to show that multiple languages can flow together, somewhat. I admit, this might come out sounding nicer and flowing better if I were writing this say in mid afternoon rather than almost at 23.00, but I’m writing it now because it’s coming to mind now. And in any case, it’s almost time to go and write down today’s goings on as Gaeilge. Wish me luck on Day No. 2!