Stone of Heaven

21 Nov

“A long time ago when man was first on the earth, we were vulnerable, weak and prey to the wild beast that roam the land; we look up to the storm god and asked for help. The storm god look down at us and took pity, he grab a rainbow with one hand, and with the other he forged an axe and threw it down to earth for man to find, so man did and called this Jade axe, the stone of heaven”.  This legend is one of many beliefs that Chinese people have passed down through the century regarding the stone called Jade.  There are many treasures in the world from gold to diamonds, to ruby, but no stone has played a greater influence in so many cultures development than the stone called Jade. Too many Jade is not just a gemstone, but it is an artifact, a symbol of religious, spiritual and divine gift from heaven.   It became not just part of a culture but a way of life for many that possess it.

When we mention Jade we think right away about China, reason being no other civilizations has taken Jade into its culture than China has. Ever since there was written text in China, there has been written account of Jade. The use of Jade in Chinese history dates back to 5000 years, back to the Neolithic period long before written records. The Neolithic or new Stone Age period, represented the first mention of Jade used in China. As Chinese legend mention, the used of Jade in early history were only as tools. The Chinese during this time preferred the used of Jade over other stone due to its metal like quality and durability. Jade has a tough and dense form, and high resistant to breakage unlike other stone like flint, or normal rocks. Jade unique characteristic made it the perfect stone to create tools, and weaponry. This created a huge advantage for those that possess this stronger than steel material.  The used of Jade, quickly integrated itself into Chinese culture, becoming part of a ritual, spiritual and symbolic meaning.

In Chinese culture Jade played a major role in the empire, and common people lives. It’s believed that Jade was the characteristic that one should live by, to live a Jade life. The great Chinese philosopher Confucius said Jade possesses the quality that all people should have, “… wise men have seen in Jade all the different virtues. It is soft, smooth and shining, like kindness; it is hard, fine and strong, like intelligence; it’s edges seem sharp, but do not cut like justice; it hangs down to the ground, like humility; when struck, it gives a clear, ringing sound, like music; the stains in it, which are not hidden and which add to its beauty are like truthfulness; it’s brightness is like heaven, while it’s firm substance, born of the mountains and waters, is like the earth.” The quality of kindness, intelligence, justice, humility, and honesty that is in Jade, which made it so admired and adorned by Chinese people. To possess it, is to obtain these qualities.

The Jade quickly became a ritual symbol, and sacred stone among the Chinese culture, early carvings of the Jade can be found as early as the 3500 BC. The Jade was so prized it was reserved only for Royalties, and those nobles that served the kingdom. The white Jade, is the most prize color in the kingdom, known to be extremely rare and scarce. The early finding of Jade carving was very simple, most had animalistic characteristic. The Jade carving with each generation grew more refine and detailed, intricate and complex designs were incorporated into these pieces.  This growing progression of art carving helps to identify which period the Jade was from, since Jade is almost impossible to determine the correct time period base on the Jade alone.

In 1908 Japanese archaeologist named Torii Ryūzō  was the first to discovered the HongShan culture in a burial site in Hongshan District, Chifeng. In the burial sites, he also found copper rings, which indicate during this Neolithic period the Chinese had access to metal work.The Hongshan Culture(3500-2200 B.C.)  were the first Chinese culture to have taken carving in Jade. The Hongshan designs were simple and comprised mostly of birds and animals, with a feminine characteristic quality, that showed their matrilineal society. The most recognizable pieces of Jade from this era are the fetus dragon, pig dragon and phoenix dragon motif.

After the Hongshan came the Liangzhu Culture ( 3400-2250 B.C.) with it’s design being spiritual faces, and incised lines. The first time that the Bi Jade carving appeared, the symbol of heaven.Then came the Chichia Culture(  2000 B.C.), Sanxingdui Culture(c. 1600 B.C.-221 B.C.) ,Longshan Culture(c. 2800B.C.-1700 B.C.), Xia Dynasty(2183 B.C. – 1751 B.C.) Shang Dynasty(1766 B.C. – 1122 B.C. )Western Zhou Dynasty(1122 B.C. -771B.C.),Spring-Autumn, Warring States & Chin Dynasty( 770B.C. – 206 B.C),Han Dynasty( 220 B.C. -220 A.D.),Sui, Tang, Song & Yuan Dynasties( 589 D.D. -1368 A.D.)And Ming & Qing Dynasties( 1368 A.D. – 1911 A.D.). Each of the time period contributed to development of Jade carving but also exhibit a different emphasis in the carving, with the Ming & Qing dynasty showing the peak of Jade Artisan skill. During the 1911 revolution of China, Communist takeover force the art of jade carving for a short period, but that was later reversed when Communist leaders needed foreign revenue investment.

One major role of Jade in Chinese culture has been the ritual and ceremony use. It is believed that the Jade Bi, was a symbol of heaven and conduit for the Emperor to speak to the heaven. The Bi is also part of the six ritual Jade piece ceremony perform. When someone is decease a ceremony of six Jade is performed. The first piece being the Bi, a flat doughnut Jade was placed on the back. The second piece   Cong (Ts’sung ), cylinder with four flat side piece represented the earth. The four side represented the element wood, wind, water, and fire. The third piece the Kuei, a sword like tablet representing the Imperial power was placed to the left of the deceased.  The last three piece hu, huang, and chang made up the four season and direction along with the Kuei. This ceremony was reserved for people of status, who could afford these Jade pieces to be carved. In Burying ceremony, no other is as prestigious as the emperor. When the emperor is to be buried, he is covered from head to feet in Jade. Small square Jade pieces are sewn together with gold wire, and the emperor entire body is covered in Jade.

In the new World, the Mesoamerica  civilization have grown to treasure the Jade stone above any gold or silver. The stone of the heaven too, have found worshipped and appreciation in the new world. The first civilization of the new world , the Olmec in Mexico have used Jade in their human figure carving long  before the Aztec and Mayan. The advancement in carving develop by the Olmec was passed on later to the Aztec and Mayan. The  Mesoamerican civilization prize Jade among all due to the qualities that the Chinese found in it, how tough and  metal like quality, that  only modern day harden steel can surpassed.  The Jade was believed to be have healing properties, that helped with kidney problems, this believe was then taken by the Spaniards that later came to plunder. When  Conquistador Cortez captured the Aztec ruler  Montezuma, , Montezuma offered to give Cortez a gift that was highly prized and value among his people, the gift of Chalchihuitl. When Cortez saw the much talked about treasure, he was disappointed it was just Jade. Unlike the Europeans who treasure gold , Jade was priceless among the Mesoamerican civilization. They used the stone in their carving, their worship and part of life. The Aztec admired the stone so much, they had inlay the Jade stone into their teeth, much like today rappers do with diamonds for the bling affect.

The Maori of New Zealand, long before European arrival, have long been using Jade as a material in their daily lives. The Jade stone also have taken a strong integration into the society. The Jade usefulness and beauty help it established itself as the preferred stone among the Maori. The Maori used the Jade in tools, wares and jewelry. The Jade was called greenstone, the name is somewhat misleading since the Maori, refer to serpentine and green rocks with the same name. The Maoris artisan develops over time to carve figure out of Jade called Tiki. These carving were so highly prized by foreigners as souvenir that the demand for it exhausted the supply. The Maori with the European influences, slowly given up their art of Jade carving and this left a gap in the supply of the Tiki. Several European families decided to enter the Tiki business. From 1896 to 1914 more than a million Maori Tiki were made and sold. Often the Maori tiki made in Germany would end up back in New Zealand to be sold. Many Museums of the world that have Tiki from New Zealand, displayed these European made Maoris tiki, not knowing the origin.

When we talk about Jade, there are two families of Jade that varies in color and mineral composite. The first is Nephrite , the Jade is a silicate of calcium and magnesium, part of the amphibole group, which ranges from pure white ( actinolite,absent of iron) to green (tremolite, colored by iron).  Nephrite is often called the old Jade, or soft Jade due to its historic and toughness rating. Nephrite can  resist pressures of over  90,000 pounds per square inch before crumbling. On the Mohs toughness scale rating, it score a 6.5, tougher than gold, silver, feldspars and Turquoise. The word Nephrite comes from Nephriticus  in French,  the original name was  piedra de ijada (Spanish for  “stone of the loins”)but bad translation from Spanish  to French left it as le Jade. The word then became Jade in English with the first recorded used in the Chamber Encyclopedia in 1727.

                The second one that has changed the world is Jadeite, this stone with the composition of   silicate of sodium and aluminum. The Chromium in it causes it vibrant green color and harder density over Nephrite. The new stone Jadeite is often referred to as “new Jade or harder Jade” by Chinese people. Jadeite has a rating of 7 on the Mohs scale of toughness, making it a lot stronger and tougher than Nephrite. The Mesoamerican Jade and the Burma Jade are both Jadeite, while Chinese Jade before 1750 is only Nephrite. In 1863 French scientist Alexis Damour discovered the two different Jade type, between Burma Jade and China Jade. The Jade from Mesoamerica and Burma both are Jadeite, while the Chinese and Maoris Jade are nephrite.

For the last 5000 years of Chinese history and tradition, China has always been keen on keeping its tradition, and culture alive, always keeping true to what generations before it had used. But in 1750, a small little country paying tribute to China sent it a gift that will forever change history. The import of this alluring and prized gift known as Jadeite, unlike Nephrite, this gift was bright, shiny, with colors in all spectrum of the rainbow. It was like night and day different between Jadeite and Nephrite. The introduction of Jadeite, gave artist a new hue of paint colors to work with, new bolder designs and different approach to carve Jade. The Jade quickly moved away from the realm of sacred and reserved for ceremony, to jewelry. The Jadeites quickly replace Nephrite Jade as the preferred choice of material, it quickly moved Jade from the spiritual, and ceremony used to fashionable jewelry. The nobility class and those of status quickly took to acquiring this precious stone. Even until today Jadeite is the dominate Jade in jewelry and prized more than Nephrite. The Jade that was once used in imperial court and sacred ceremony was abandon, and Jadeite became the only one considered the status of gem quality. The transition from Nephrite to Jadeite was made easy due to the Chinese Language for calling Jade “Yu”, and when they refer to Nephrite, they call it “Old Yu or Soft Yu”, While Jadeite is called “new Yu, or Harder Yu”.

There is a saying you can put a value on anything, there is a price on gold, silver, and diamond, but Jade is priceless. The Jade you buy is nothing more than a rock,but the price of its worth is in the eye of the buyer. The Emperor K’ang Hsi ( a.d. 1662-1722) have said “If Jade is discarded and pearls destroyed, petty thieves will disappear, there being no valuable left to steal. “The value of Jade has skyrocketed since the introduction of Jadeite into China. The revenue of Jade sell in China for 2010 is estimated to have exceeded 200 billion yuan ($30.36 billion dollars). A recent auction in Hong Kong Sotheby’s for a white Imperial Jade seal set a record price of 12.23 million dollars. The Jade piece was the seal of the late emperor Qianlong emperor (1711- 1799) of the Qing Dynasty, had the inscription      “ Supreme Majesty”, made out of white imperial nephrite Jade. The price of Jade can be reflected in its historical significance, quality, type and most importantly how much the customer desires it.

Jade has been around for millions of years, and it will be here long after we are gone. The beauty of Jade is its ability to last and maintain itself without eroding or breaking apart over time. One piece of Jade can be passed down generation after generation without any changes to its appearance. This is why so many cultures have come to treasure Jade. It’s durability, beauty, mystique and lore has filled our lives, and for a brief moment we will share this world with the stone of heaven.

 

Bibliography

Desautels Paul E. “The jade Kingdom

 Springer; 1 edition (December 31, 1986)

Ward, Fred , “Jade

Gem Book Publishers; 2 edition (October 1, 2001)

 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/regional/2010-04/09/content_9709045.htm

http://arts.cultural-china.com/en/69Arts10426.html

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/?period=06&region=eac

http://www.jade-carvings.com/jade.php

 

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IP assignment

17 Nov

Student Wireless

IPv4 Address: 144.35.29.114          Class B

IPv4 Subnet Mask: 255.255.248.0

IPv4 Default Gateway: 144.35.24.1

Home Wireless

IP Address: 192.168.1.2             Class C

Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0

Default Gateway: 192.168.1.1

Home laptop

IPv4 Address: 192.168.1.13              Class C

IPv4 Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0

IPv4 Default Gateway: 192.168.1.1

The assignment was very interesting, once you know how to figure out what Ipv4 means, you start to understand a lot more about how the internet works. How your own ip works and what each number / octet means .You can also figure out your own submask net, by using the default 16. If it’s not default 16, you can switch the number to binary and figure it out that way. Really good exercise to get acquainted with Ip4.

17 Nov

The binary game was a fun exercise, helps you remember the number and pattern .it got harder as the game progress. 1 to 4 wasn’t very difficult but once you reach 5, the speed of the blocks coming distracts you from figuring out whatever your thinking about. Its a fun exercise, but a bit annoying when you have to start at 1 again, wish Cisco allowed you to jump to a certain level and practice at that difficulty instead.Overall it was a fun, and enjoyable game if your bored.

17 Nov

The typing test was a fun experience, helps me figure out my type speed and my weakness when it came to typing it. I have a weakness of slowing down during Capital letters, and shifting around finding quotation marks. It was an overall fun exercise.

Earthquakes

4 Nov

Divergent boundary

On Wednesday, October 19, 2011 an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.9 and depth of  7.6 miles hit the Azores Islands. The Azores Islands sit along the mid Atlantic  ridge line. The earthquake occurred because of Slip -strike (transform fault) as the plate diverge , the curve of the Atlantic ridge  grinds against each other in opposite direction.

Continental to Continental collision

On  Sunday, October 16, 2011 an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3 and depth of 62.3 miles hit  the Kashmir Mountain. The Kashmir Mountain quake occurred because of the continental collision.  Eurasian Tectonic Plate  colliding with  the Indian  Tectonic Plate. The Area is home to K2 Mountain, the second highest mountain in the world.

Oceanic to Oceanic convergent

On Thursday , October 13,2011 an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 and depth of 21.7 miles  hit the Mariana Islands. The Mariana Islands sit in the ring of fire area, where the Pacific Tectonic Plate converge against the Australian Tectonic Plate. The earthquake occurred as the Pacific Plate gets pushed underneath the Australian Plate  through the process of subduction.

Transform boundary

On Monday , October 17, 2011 an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 and depth of 0.7 mile hit the Southern California area.The  Southern California earthquake occurred due to the San Andreas fault line. The San Andreas Is created  by the North American Tectonic Plate moving south and  Pacific Tectonic Plate moving north.

Oceanic to Continental Convergent

On Wednesday, October 19,2011  an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 and depth of 9.5 hit the  coast of Aisen.The Coast of Aisen, Chile  sits  between Nazca Tectonic Plate and South American Tectonic  Plate . The earthquake occurred due to Nazca plate converging against the South American Plate.

Volcanoes

4 Nov

Vesuvius, Italy

Mount Vesuvius is a composite volcano located in the Bay of Naples, Italy. Mount Vesuvius stands tall at an elevation of 1281m(4,203 ft.), and produces Andesite lava . Mount Vesuvius volcano is form by oceanic to continental convergence, where the African tectonic plate is being pushed underneath the Eurasian tectonic plate. Mount Vesuvius is most famous for its eruption in79 AD,   destroying the Roman city of Pompeii. The eruption buried the city in ash, mud and rock, entombing its victim with ash. Mount Vesuvius is the only volcano that has erupted in Europe in the last 100 years, it last eruption was in 1944. Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano.

The Eruption of Vesuvius in 1944, picture taken by American pilot.

Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo

Mount Nyiragongo is a caldera volcano located inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mount Nyiragongo has a summit elevation of  3470 m( 11,384 feet), about two miles tall. The main crater of Nyiragongo contains the world largest lava lake.  The creation of Nyiragongo is due to the African tectonic plate breaking underneath, creating a hotspot. Mount Nyiragongo’s lavas are made of melilite nephelinite, with extremely low silica content, making the lava flow able to travel downhill up to 60 mph. Mount Nyiragongo last eruption occurred in 2002, which destroyed the town of Goma. Nyiragongo is still active.

The Lava lake inside Nyiragongo crater.

Scientist taking lava zero sample, which is age zero.

The eruption of Nyiragongo in 2002, destroying the town of Goma.

Prestahnukur,  Iceland

The Prestahnukur is a shield volcano located  south west end of  Langjökull icecap , Iceland. The Prestahnukur volcano has  a summit elevation of 1400 m (4,593 feet), it produces basaltic lava flows. The name Prestahnukur means “peak of the priests”, the origin of the name came from the expedition of two priest. The last eruption occurred around 10,000 BC, the volcano has hot springs. The creation of Prestahnukur and other volcanoes , is due to Iceland sitting directly over the divergent fault line of the North American Tectonic plate and the  Eurasian Tectonic plate.

Kula, Turkey

Mount Kula is a cinder cone volcano in Western Turkey.  The summit elevation of Kula is 750m. Mount Kula last eruption was 10,000 years ago, it produces basaltic to phonotephritic  lava. The Kula was  form by the collision of Arabian, African, and Indian Tectonic plate against the Eurasian Tectonic plate. This convergence of tectonic plate, pushes Anatolian plate westward creating the North and East Anatolian fault zone.

Earthquakes,Volcanoes and Tectonic Plate

The earth is alive and in a constant mobile state, driven by radioactive decay and residual heat left from the creation of the universe. The planet is in a continuing process of decay and renewal, new magma pushes to the surface creates new soil, while older soil gets recycled into the asthenosphere. The  hot magma in the mantle gets heated up in a process known as convection, pushes upward towards the surface .When the magma reaches the surface, the tectonic plate get pushed down in the process known as a slab pull. The tectonic plate or lithosphere floats on top of the asthenosphere, the hot magma area beneath it. This floating causes the plate to move grind, pushing, pulling, and colliding with one another. The contact of different plates at the fault zone causes earth quake and volcanoes. The earthquakes are caused when plate tectonic grinds against one another, the friction of these two plates causes seismic activity. The creation of volcanoes at these fault line are created when there is convergence or divergence of tectonic plates, this allows the magma from beneath to escapes to the surface.

The activity of earthquakes and volcanoes always occur near these fault line, the only exception to no volcanoes appearing is when it’s a transform boundary. In a transform boundary, the plate are only sliding pass each other. The process of slip strike fault causes earthquake to occur, due to the friction of the plate grinding. Earthquakes and volcanoes are the results of Tectonic plate shifting in the earth.Volcanoes that are not near any fault zone, are called hotspots. These Volcanoes are form due to weak layer of crust in the lithosphere.

The majority of earthquakes and volcanoes are distributed all around the world along the fault zone. Where ever there is tectonic plate activity, these natural phenomenal are presents. The activities of plate tectonic effect how much earthquakes or volcanoes there are. We can take a look at the pacific ring of fire to look at a prime example of how earthquakes and volcanoes are distributed. The ring of fire is literally covered all over by volcanoes and earthquakes. The outline of the ring of fire makes up pacific tectonic plate. The ring of fire starts with the convergence of the pacific tectonic plate against the Australian tectonic plate, Filipino plate, Eurasian plate, and North American plate. At the same time the Pacific is diverging away from the Nazca and Antarctica tectonic plate.  The end result of all these shifting are the ring of fire. Anywhere we see a lot of volcanoes or earthquake activity is due to the existence of fault lines.

Reflection

4 Nov

Reflection

This course has really opened my eye to how earthquakes and volcanoes operate. Before taking this course, I thought that these events were a mystery and that they just happen without any explanation. The only thing I knew about earthquakes and volcanoes were their destructive nature, and how terrifying they are to people lives. After taking this course, it has taught me, that these things occur not because of some unknown causes, but by movement of the earth tectonic plate. The reason why earthquakes and volcanoes happen is due to fault lines and pressure beneath the earth. There is also a positive side to these natural destructive forces, creating new landscapes, mountains, fertile soil and rich mineral deposit. The course has helped me get a deeper understanding of how our earth works, and the realization that Gaia is alive.   Our world is in constant destructive and renewal state.

I realize now that the world is still very much connected, we may not be like Pangaea, but what happens in one area of the world affects us all. A volcano explosion thousands of miles  away, could change the temperature of the world. An earthquake in a middle of the ocean could mean a tsunami hitting the shore a thousand miles away. The plates underneath our feet are all connected, converging, diverging and sliding against each other in perpetual motion.  Our planet is alive and we are here just for a brief moment in earth existence.  What I come away from this course is a greater appreciation and respect of our amazing landscape, how it’s been shaped and molded over hundreds and thousands of years.  The natural disaster and elements that shape our world is  very important to life on earth with out it, everything could cease to exist. A life without these natural wonder of our planet is a  life unnatural.