Although the sculptor Hiram Powers (1805-73) enjoyed considerable success with his portraits and more allegorical works, he is now almost entirely remembered for one of nineteenth-century America's most hotly-debated sculptures: The Greek Slave. Powers was a little vague about the inspiration for the statue--longstanding dream, or response to the Greek War of Independence (see previously)? Understood at the time as a major leap forward in establishing America as a serious force in the art world, the statue was an international hit (appearing at the Great Exhibition of 1851), and was endlessly copied and daguerrotyped. (Some of the copies turn the statue into a much more ambiguous bust, or hark back to one of its major influences, the Venus de Milo.) However, some observers, including Elizabeth Barrett Browning and, much more pointedly, the illustrator and caricaturist John Tenniel, suggested that an American sculptor might wish to think about other slaves.
Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt," told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
Britain: the birthplace of globalisation in the 19th century; ruler of a worldwide empire. But why, over a century later, is the UK still appearing as a major player on the political world stage? Its entire population of around 60m is comparable only with the population of California and Texas combined. Geographically it is a smaller size than Texas, and cut off from the larger and potentially more-politically-influential Eurozone. Is it relying on its history as a superpower, or on its current relations with superpowers? [more inside]
Britain, US shelve report on Iraq banned weapons: report We'll keep on looking and we know they will turn up...just you wait and see. And meantime, make sure Congress foots the bill for Iraq needs.
Operation Snipe: To rescue 76 US hostages? "Joined by the US and Canadian troops, more than 2000 British-led Special Commando forces under "Operation Snipe" are gearing up efforts to launch a major attack to rescue around 76 soldiers who were arrested by the Taliban and Al Qaida forces during the battle in the snow covered Arma Peaks of Paktia Province in March this year, highly credible sources have confided to PNS."
With Britain getting whipped on most sporting fronts, the BBC suggests we take a leaf out of the Americans' book. [More inside]