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Articles of Interest Foundations of America - QU 201 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=34&Itemid=62 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 11:09:38 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb The Arsenal (Central Park) http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=593:the-arsenal-central-park&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=593:the-arsenal-central-park&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 RESERVED

Ragtime Articles of Interest Tue, 11 Oct 2011 22:43:31 +0000
159 Wall Street Rag - by Scott Joplin http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=592:159-wall-street-rag-by-scott-joplin&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=592:159-wall-street-rag-by-scott-joplin&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 159 Wall Street Rag - by Scott Joplin

“The musician turned again to the keyboard. “Wall Street Rag,” he said. Composed by the great Scott Joplin.”

Scott Joplin (1867-1917) was a very talented musician during the ragtime era. His career began the summer of 1891, when Joplin joined a minstrel troupe. In 1893 he joined the Queen City Cornet Band, which was a local ensemble of black musicians. Two years later, Joplin formed his own band and traveled to Syracuse, New York. It was in Syracuse where people began noticing his talent. Two of Scott Joplin’s songs, Please Say You Will and A Picture of Her Face, were published.

 Scott Joplin

In 1896, Joplin attended music classes at George R. Smith College in Sedalia, Missouri. Between 1896 and 1909, he published many rags, marches, and a waltz. In 1909, Wall Street Rag was published. “Joplin and his fellow ragtime composers rejuvenated American popular music, fostering an appreciation for African American music among European Americans by creating exhilarating and liberating dance tunes, changing American musical taste.”

For his accomplishments, Scott Joplin was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. His music also won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1976, which is issued in New York City by Columbia University.




Ragtime Articles of Interest Tue, 11 Oct 2011 21:28:31 +0000
236 gun cotton and fulminate of mercury http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=575:236-gun-cotton-and-fulminate-of-mercury&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=575:236-gun-cotton-and-fulminate-of-mercury&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 236 gun cotton and fulminate of mercury

“His first day on the job he told reporters that the explosive used on Municipal Station No. 2 was very sophisticated, a combination of gun cotton and fulminate of mercury that could only have been concocted by someone who knew his stuff, which Coalhouse Walker, a piano player, did not.”

The combination of gun cotton and fulminate of mercury creates a very powerful and dangerous explosive. “If a cap, primer, or a fuse of some detonating substance such as mercury fulminate is set off in contact with the gun cotton, the latter will be detonated. A stick of dynamite can be set on fire with a match without great danger but will explode with shattering force in response to a fulminate cap.” This was the method used to blow up Municipal Station No. 2.

Fulminate of Mercury  Gun Cotton

Although it was not stated, the explosives wired around J.P. Morgan’s house were also made of gun cotton and fulminate of mercury. Small charges of sensitive explosives can explode from a propelling charge by a detonator. Coalhouse Walker Jr. kept his hands on the detonator that would have blown up J.P. Morgan’s estate.

There are three basic types of explosives; mechanical, nuclear, and chemical. Physical reactions are how mechanical explosions develop. Nuclear explosions take place based off of nuclear reactions, which release large amounts of energy. All explosive applications in engineering are chemical explosives.


Ragtime Articles of Interest Tue, 27 Sep 2011 18:36:41 +0000
254 Baron Ashkenazy http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=574:254-baron-ashkenazy&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=574:254-baron-ashkenazy&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 254 Baron Ashkenazy

“He was, he said, the Baron Ashkenazy.”

The Baron Ashkenazy was no other than Tateh after becoming a wealthy and successful motion-picture producer. The word baron is derived from the Old French word baron. Baro, in Latin, means free man, free warrior. Combined with the Old English beorn, which means nobleman, baron is simply a title of nobility. By declaring himself a Baron, he was able to keep his Yiddish accent throughout the Christian community.

From Rags                                 To Riches

As for the name Baron Ashkenazy, no such baron existed in history. However, Ashkenazim are Jewish people settled in Central or Eastern Europe. Although none of the other Ragtime characters pick up on this, it is interesting to the reader the way Doctorow linked Tateh’s new name to his past.

Tateh displayed a complete transformation in character. He went from a poor, starving and defeated man trying to make a living on the streets, to a rich and successful entrepreneur. The film business was actually a thriving industry during this time period, making Tateh’s position in Ragtime relate to events that were actually taking place. Although Tateh as a character was fictional, it is easy to believe he was based on a real person because his place in society and “rags to riches” story relate to many people during that time period.



Ragtime Articles of Interest Tue, 27 Sep 2011 18:32:03 +0000
245 ritualistic grooming http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=573:245-ritualistic-grooming&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=573:245-ritualistic-grooming&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 245 ritualistic grooming

“Younger Brother understood that whatever its’ practical justification this was no less than a ritualistic grooming for the final battle.”

This statement focuses on Coalhouse Walker’s decision to have his head and mustache shaved after his picture was posted on the cover of newspapers throughout the country. This “ritualistic grooming” is basically a tradition before a final decision or encounter.

Ritualistic Grooming

A new haircut and clean shaven face are essential for situations such as weddings, accepting awards, giving speeches, or any important encounter where you will be publicly displayed. Coalhouse’s final attack was going to be coming up soon and he knew it. At this point in the novel it is unclear whether or not Coalhouse knew what his final act was going to be, but the ritualistic grooming implies that he knew it was coming up shortly.


The article above lists five rules for wedding day grooming. These steps include avoiding trends and sticking to a timeless look, having a neat shave, timing your haircut about a week before the big event, having it cut by a professional, and getting plenty of sleep the night before. Although Coalhouse Walker Jr. was not getting married, he basically followed these rules as best as he could, considering his current situation. He followed the first three rules and, had he been able to come out of hiding from the authorities, he probably would have followed rule four as well.

Ragtime Articles of Interest Tue, 27 Sep 2011 18:30:19 +0000
142 reincarnation of Pharaohism http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=571:142-reincarnation-of-pharaohism&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=571:142-reincarnation-of-pharaohism&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 142 reincarnation of pharaohism

“But he thought he saw in Ford’s use of men a reincarnation of pharaohism.”

Reincarnation is the belief that after a person dies, their spirit returns as another mortal form. Some people who believe in reincarnation believe the soul will return in another human form, while others believe that a person can be reincarnated as any other living creature.

A pharaoh is a supreme ancient Egyptian ruler. Pharaohism follows the same principles of totalitarianism, where the sole ruler has absolute power and control. Henry Ford also, according to J.P. Morgan, “resembled Seti I, the father of the great Ramses and the best-preserved mummy to have been unearthed from the necropolis of Thebes in the Valley of the Kings (Doctorow 143).”

Seti I   Henry Ford      

Ford’s use of men to assemble automobiles paralleled that of the pharaoh’s use of men to assemble the pyramids during ancient Egyptian times. In order to lower prices, Ford began using interchangeable parts, dividing up the labor, and reducing wasted effort. He followed these principles by adjusting the machinery so any part could fit any Model T. The machines became easy to use since the parts no longer had to be made by hand.  Similar to the meat packing industry, Henry Ford began bringing the work to his employees by using conveyor belts to save time and effort. Finally, he assigned each employee to one specific assignment. This shortened the amount of wasted time and allowed employees to specialize in one assignment.



Ragtime Articles of Interest Wed, 21 Sep 2011 00:55:08 +0000
121 American Woolen Company http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=570:121-american-woolen-company&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=570:121-american-woolen-company&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 In 1899 the American Woolen company was established under William M. Wood.  Wood and his father-in-law Fredrick Ayer assembled the company, through the consolidation of eight other New England mills that were in some financial trouble.  Amongst the turned around mills thanks to the business strategy of Wood was the Burlington Mills in vermont, and also the worlds largest mill which was located in Lawrence Mass.  


The town of Lawrence mass is the destination of Tateh and his daughter the little girl in the book Ragtime.  During his stay in Lawrence he finds a job at the American Woolen company at a textile mill.  The mill eventually announces pay cuts while Tateh is an employee.  


In 1912 a law passed reducing the amount of hours an employee could work.  This in turn reduced the amount of pay a worker could receive on restricted hours.  The Lawrence textile strike is the result of the new law as Tateh joins in on the strike.  Without workers the mill is forced to increase wages.     


By the 1920's the American Woolen company controlled 20% of the nation's woolen production.  The water powered mills were unable to keep up with the times however, southern mills could produce fabrics like blankets more inexpensively.  The world wars helped to keep the American Woolen company afloat.  By the end of the Korean war the American Woolen company was left bankrupt.  




Ragtime Articles of Interest Tue, 20 Sep 2011 22:10:09 +0000
317 low pressure land mine http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=569:317-low-pressure-land-mine&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=569:317-low-pressure-land-mine&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 A low pressure land mine is a weight triggered explosive which is intended to damage a target whether a soldier or military machinery. The name land mine comes from the ancient practice of military mining. Military mining was an ancient practice where tunnels were dug under enemy fortresses or troop strongholds.These tunnels were collapsed to destroy targets located above, but they were later filled with explosives and detonated in order to cause greater devastation.

            The United States was the first nation to develop and use operational landmines. Brigadier General Gabriel J. Rains experimented with booby traps while leading troops in Florida in 1840. With little success during this tour, Rain ordered his troops in 1862 to prepare artillery shells so that they could be exploded by pulling trip wires or by being stepped on. In modern warfare, lightweight landmines are smaller in size, which enables large numbers to be deployed over a large area. Most uses for landmines are as followed: protecting a temporary base, to evade pursuit, or to protect equipment by employing the mines as booby traps.

            In the present day, the uses of landmines are controversial since they have the ability to harm soldiers as well as civilians. Because it is difficult to detect and extract landmines many are still spread throughout the world. They remain dangerous for years after their intended usage which renders land impassable and unusable.






Ragtime Articles of Interest Tue, 20 Sep 2011 20:50:22 +0000
244 like soldiers on patrol http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=568:244-like-soldiers-on-patrol&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=568:244-like-soldiers-on-patrol&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 “The bookkeeping of the communal treasury was scrupulous. Every penny was accounted for. They mimicked Coalhouse’s dress and so the suit and carefully brushed black derby was a kind of uniform. They came and went from their rooms like soldiers on patrol. At night they sat for hours and discussed their situation and what it could lead to. They studied the reactions of the press to what they had done.”

            A military patrol is a group of personnel that are assigned to monitor a specific geographic area. Usually, patrols are accomplished by sending out a tactical unit made up of a group of soldiers. The duration of a patrol will vary from a few hours to several weeks depending on the nature of the objective and the type of units involved.

            There are four different kinds of patrols that the military uses; fighting, clearing, standing, and reconnaissance. A fighting patrol is usually a large unit of soldiers who must use their resources to raid or ambush a specific enemy. A clearing patrol is a brief patrol around a newly occupied defensive position in order to ensure that the immediate area is secure. A Standing Patrol is a static patrol, are usually small static patrols intended to provide early warning, security or to guard some geographical feature. A Reconnaissance patrol is a patrol, usually small whose main mission is the gathering of information while attempting to avoid contact.

. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/navy/nrtc/14234_ch4.pdf

Ragtime Articles of Interest Tue, 20 Sep 2011 20:44:08 +0000
067 Salvia http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=567:67-salvia&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 http://www.foundationsofamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=567:67-salvia&catid=34:ragtime-articles-of-interest&Itemid=62 “She fled to the garden for solace. This was the late September of the year and all the heavy swaying flowers were in bloom, salvia, chrysanthemum and marigold. She walked along the borders of the yard, her hands clasped.”



Salvia divinorum is a psychoactive plant which can induce dissociative effects and is a potent producer of hallucinatory experiences. The plant is native to the isolated Sierre Mazateca of Oaxaca, Mexico. This plant can grow to over a meter high and tends to grow in shady and moist areas. The origins of the name derived from the Latin salvere. The second part of the name, divinorum, was given because of the plant's traditional use in divination and healing. Although it wasn’t until 1939 that this plant was first documented, known usages were studied before the Mazatec people showed the grow site to botanists.

            Traditionally during Mazatec ritual, shamans use only fresh Salvia divinorum leaves. Modern methods have been developed to more effectively absorb the active principle, salvinorin A. If enough salvinorin A is absorbed, an altered state of consciousness can occur. This has caused scrutiny of the plant and legal actions have been taken to make it illegal due to its hallucinogenic tendencies.




Ragtime Articles of Interest Tue, 20 Sep 2011 20:36:28 +0000