A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Gypsies’

Libuse and Kolin, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on May 24, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2445; A Landing A Day blog post number 881.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N31o 18.186’, W92o 24.315’) puts me in central Louisiana:

My local landing map shows I landed just outside the major Louisiana city of Alexandria:

I’ll jump to Google Earth (GE) to get a look at my very local drainage:

I landed in wetlands associated with Maria Bayou (and, of course, in the Maria Bayou watershed), on to the Red River (65th hit).

As you can see, I’ve doubled up on the above map, showing where I put the Orange Dude to attempt to get a look at my landing.  I said “attempt,” based on the limited view at the end of the street:

Here’s a streams-only StreetAtlas map:

 

As most of my readers know, the Red River (of the South) more-or-less discharges to the Atchafalaya.  OK, so sometimes, the water from my landing might end up in the Mississippi, due to man-made engineering in the “Area of Hydraulic Uncertainty” (my term).  Curious?  See my Feb 2014 Winnfield LA post for details.

No StreetView for the Bayou.  But of course, here’s a shot of the Red on one of the Alexandria bridges:

So, what about Libuse?  Wiki:

It was founded in 1914 by Czech immigrants, and named after Libuše.

Libuše?  What or who is that?  Well, Libuše was Wiki-clickable:

Libuše (Libussa, Libushe or, historically Lubossa) is a legendary ancestor of the Přemyslid dynasty and the Czech people as a whole. According to legend, she was the youngest of three sisters, who became queen after their father died.  Their father was the equally-mythical Czech ruler Krok.

[In the Czech language, Libuše is pronounced something like “lee-BOO-sha.”  I have no clue how the Louisianans pronounce the name of the town, but if forced to guess, I’d say “lih-BUSE”].

The legend goes that she was the wisest of the three sisters, and while her sister Kazi was a healer and Teta was a magician, she had the gift of seeing the future, and was chosen by her father as his successor, to judge over the people.

Although she proved herself as a wise chieftain, the male part of the tribe was displeased that their ruler was a woman and demanded that she marry.  Unfortunately for Libuse, she had fallen in love with a plowman, Přemysl.

She therefore related a vision in which she saw a farmer with one broken sandal, plowing a field. She instructed her councilmen to seek out this man by letting a horse loose at a junction; they followed it to the village of Stadice and found Přemysl exactly as she had said (with one sandal and plowing a field).

Přemysl was brought back to the princely palace where Libuše married him, and Přemysl the Plowman thus became ruler. They went on to have three sons: Radobyl, Lidomir, and Nezamysl who continued the Přemyslid dynasty in the Czech lands.

She commanded her councilmen to found a city at the place where they found a man making the best of use of teeth at midday. They set off and at midday found a man sawing a block of wood (using his saw’s teeth) when everyone else was eating.

When they asked him what he was making he replied “Prah” (which in Czech means “threshold”) and so Libuše named the city Prague (Czech: “Praha”).

The story of Libuše and Přemysl was recounted in detail in the 12th century by Cosmas of Prague in his Chronica Boëmorum.

I bet that most Czech children know this story.  Here’s an illustration from one (I think):

Here’s the cover of one:

OK, OK.  So this one is for English readers.  Note the pun in the subtitle . . .

While doing some more clicking, I stumbled on the fact that the Přemysl Dynasty ruled the Kingdom of Bohemia, which is the predecessor to the modern Czech Republic.  Of course, Bohemians are from Bohemia, and I assumed that a bunch of cool artsy beatnik-like people must have lived there.  However, a little research shows that it’s not that simple.

From Wiki (under Bohemianism):

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary or spiritual pursuits.

This use of the word bohemian first appeared in the English language in the 19th century to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors in major European cities.

The term bohemianism emerged in France in the early 19th century when artists and creators began to concentrate in the lower-rent, lower class, Romani neighborhoods. Bohémien was a common term for the Romani people of France, who were mistakenly thought to have reached France in the 15th century via Bohemia (the western part of modern Czech Republic).

Geez.  Now I have to find what who the Romani people are.  Well, it was Wiki-clickable:

The Romani, colloquially known as Gypsies, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, traditionally itinerant, living mostly in Europe and the Americas and originating from the northern Indian subcontinent.

[Gypsies are Indian?  I never knew . . .]

Genetic findings appear to confirm that the Romani “came from a single group that left northwestern India about 1,500 years ago.” Genetic research published in the European Journal of Human Genetics “revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that appears unique to the Roma.”

They are a dispersed people, but their most concentrated populations are located in Europe, especially Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (including Turkey, Spain and Southern France). The Romani originated in northern India and arrived in Mid-West Asia and Europe around 1,000 years ago.

Since the 19th century, some Romani have also migrated to the Americas. There are an estimated one million Roma in the United States; and 800,000 in Brazil.  In migrations since the late 19th century, Romani have also moved to other countries in South America and to Canada.

The Romani language is divided into several dialects which together have an estimated number of speakers of more than two million.  The total number of Romani people is at least twice as high (several times as high according to high estimates). Many Romani are native speakers of the dominant language in their country of residence or of mixed languages combining the dominant language with a dialect of Romani; those varieties are sometimes called Para-Romani.

As you might expect, the Romani have an incredibly rich internet presence, including a very lengthy Wiki entry.  So, if I’ve whetted your appetite for more things Gypsy, go for it.

Moving over to Kolin.  From Wiki:

Along with the nearby town of Libuse, it was founded in 1914 by Czech immigrants, and named after the town of Kolín, Czech Republic.

I have nothing (absolutely nothing) to say about Kolin LA. 

Moving across the big pond, here’s a GE shot of Kolin, Czech Republic:

And check out at the GE StreetView coveage of this small Czech town:

So, I had the Orange Dude take a look around.  Here’s his view of the main town square:

I had the OD head over to the opposite side of the square and take a look:

What a cool place.  And then, he wandered over to the old Catholic Church:

Staying with the Church, here’s a GE photo by Brdy46:

Here’s a GE shot of the river that flows through town – the Elbe –  by Ke Limek:

Although it only has a population of 3,000, Kolin is Wiki-clickable.  Wiki doesn’t have much to say except that it has been around for a very long time – it was mentioned in Ptolemy’s 2nd century world map.

Here’s Ptolemy’s map (actually, a 15th century reconstruction based on Ptolemy’s very detailed notes):

I added labels for SE Asia, China, and Sri Lanka reference.  Yo Ptolemy – you made Sri Lanka way too big.

A little more about the map, from Wiki:

The Ptolemy world map is a map of the world known to Hellenistic society in the 2nd century. It is based on the description contained in Ptolemy’s book Geography, written c. 150.

Significant contributions of Ptolemy’s maps are the first use of longitudinal and latitudinal lines as well as specifying terrestrial locations by celestial observations. The Geography was translated from Greek into Arabic in the 9th century and played a role in the work of al-Khwārizmī before lapsing into obscurity.

[al-Khwārizmī was quite the dude.  He greatly influenced Western thought.  Stay tuned.]

The idea of a global coordinate system revolutionized European geographical thought and inspired more mathematical treatment of cartography.

Ptolemy’s work probably originally came with maps, but none have been discovered. Instead, the present form of the map was reconstructed from Ptolemy’s coordinates by Byzantine monks under the direction of Maximus Planudes shortly after 1295.

al-Khwārizmī was (of course) Wiki-clickable.  Read this carefully, especially if you’re technically-inclined:

Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (c. 780 – c. 850), Latinized as Algorithmi, was a Persian scholar who produced works in mathematics, astronomy, and geography.  Around 820 AD he was appointed as the astronomer and head of the library of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad.

Al-Khwarizmi’s popularizing treatise on algebra (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing) presented the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations. One of his principal achievements in algebra was his demonstration of how to solve quadratic equations by completing the square, for which he provided geometric justifications.

Because he was the first to treat algebra as an independent discipline and introduced the methods of “reduction” and “balancing” (the cancellation of like terms on opposite sides of the equation), he has been described as the father of algebra.

The term algebra itself comes from the title of his book (specifically the word al-jabr meaning “completion” or “rejoining”). His name gave rise to the terms algorism and algorithm.  His name is also the origin of Spanish guarismo and of Portuguese algarismo, both meaning digit.

In the 12th century, Latin translations of his textbook on arithmetic (Algorithmo de Numero Indorum) which codified the various Indian numerals, introduced the decimal positional number system to the Western world.  His book on algebra, translated into Latin by Robert of Chester in 1145, was used until the sixteenth century as the principal mathematical text-book of European universities.

In addition to his best-known works, he revised Ptolemy’s Geography, listing the longitudes and latitudes of various cities and localities.   He also made important contributions to trigonometry, producing accurate sine and cosine tables, and the first table of tangents.

Wow.  And I’ve never heard of him . . .

Here’s a picture of al-Khwārizmī from MAX – the Muslim Awards for Excellence:

Phew.  Talk about a meandering post – a classic internet browse.  Anyway, it’s time to put a wrap on this post:

I was searching far and wide for a decent GE photo in the greater Alexandria area and pretty much came up empty.  Finally, I found this, by Tom Wilmore, strangely entitled “Sue Wilmore”:

Very cool art.  I’m not even sure it’s a photo – if it is, it’s quite doctored.  The GE photo icon was right at a house location, which, after a little Google Maps research, I discovered belongs to Tom & Sue Wilmore. . . .

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

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