Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Macau Communication and Philatelic Museum

Although the Communications Museum of Macau is located at a very awkward, far, and hard-to-reach place, it is still worth a visit.

The Communications Museum boasts of uniqueness and distinctiveness because it is the only museum in Macau that features the mechanics and specifications of such basic items such as the telephone or how the post works. Not only that, it's also one-of-a-kind for the reason that it's the only museum in Macau that is situated along the Grand Prix circuit.

The Communications Museum was inaugurated on the 1st of March of this year, which makes it the youngest and newest museum in Macau. It presents its exhibits in two main areas: the Post or Philately area and Telecommunications area.

One of the main objectives of the Communications Museum is to serve the Macao population, especially primary and secondary students, aiming at stimulating interest in Philatelic Collection, promoting scientific and technical knowledge of telecommunications, and making it more accessible to the general public.

It also aims to be a place of divulgation of Stamp Collection techniques and of promotion of Macao Philately, both to the Macao population and the tourists that visit the Museum.

The building of the Communications Museum is composed of three floors, excluding the ground/reception floor. On the ground floor, the reception desk and museum shop are located. There is also an auditorium and a multi-functional room which can both be used for special occasions.

To get to the next floor, you can either use the stairway that's strategically located in the middle of all the exhibits or the elevator that lets you look at the exhibit area through the glass windows. On the first floor are interactive activities for the visitor and there is also a mini-theatre. Most of the interactive activities in the Communications Museum are located on this floor and some of them are stamp activities, a flight simulator, postal activities, and communications activities

The exhibitions on the third floor are more about electronics and communications apparatuses. There are also live demonstrations about inventions by famous scientists and an electronic workshop on the second floor of the Communications Museum.

On the 3rd and last floor of the museum, there is a terrace and a snack bar where the visitors can go have a rest after a tiring and interesting day in the Communications Museum. Also, the Macau Philatelic Club can be found on the museum's topmost floor.

The Communications Museum is a place where visitors can simultaneously experiment, learn, and have fun because of the interactive exhibitions inside. It is designed to be a place of interactivity, discovery, experimentation, satisfaction, and development of your abilities in the fields of Telecommunications.

One or two hours aren't enough for a visit to the Communications Museum because of the numerous activities that you, whether you're with your family or friends, can do there. It is also a place of dissemination of Stamp Collection technique and promotion of Macau Philately, both to the local residents of Macau and visitors.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The National Anthem of Columbia

In 1887, a Bogota comedian named José Domingo Torres, combined his two passions of theatrical music and his love for his country to push for the creation of a national anthem for Colombia. He decided to use as the lyrics of the anthem an inspiration poem written by then President Rafael Núñez commemorating the city of Cartagena, and asked his friend Oreste Sindici, an Italian opera teacher, to compose the music. The anthem, containing eleven verses in total, was first performed in November of that year in a music hall in the public school where Sindici taught. The anthem was officially adopted by Congress in 1920, and an official transcription was made in 1946.

Little is known about the first years of the life of Rafael Núñez. It is known that he served as Judge of the circuit of Chiriquí, Panama in 1848. Later that year he founded in Cartagena, Colombia, the newspaper 'La Democracia' with the intention of favoring the presidential election of general Obando - as successor of José Hilario López. That same year he was named secretary of the government of Cartagena, and thus beginning his political life.

In 1853 he was elected to Congress. And later was elected governor of the Departamento of Bolívar. Between 1855-1857, during the government of Manuel María Mallarino, he carried out the ministries of property, and war. In 1855 he published his first volume of political essays, under the name of 'La Federación'. Later, under the government of Mosquera, he served as minister of national property. After representing Colombia in the Ríonegro treaty, he travelled abroad. He first lived in New York City for two years, later he represented Colombia in Le Havre, and finally he became a Consul in Liverpool. In 1874, while in Europe, many of the most important writings of Núñez were published.

He returned to Colombia in 1876 at the center of a political fight. He had been already selected, in 1875, as a candidate for the presidency, but did not manage to get elected. Five years later he occupied for the first time the presidency (1880-1882). Soon, in 1884, he was chosen president again, with the support of the Conservative Party. The Constitutional reform of 1886, carried out with the collaboration of Miguel Antonio Caro, is possibly the most outstanding political performance of Núñez. This constitution, with some later modifications, was essentially in effect until the proclamation of a new one in 1991. From 1878 to 1888 he wrote hundreds of influential articles related to the constitutional reform for the newspapers 'La Luz' and 'La Nación' of Bogota, and 'El Porvenir' and 'El Impulso' of Cartagena. He also wrote the lyrics for the Colombian national anthem. He was once again re-elected in 1886 for the presidency and finally retired from political life in 1888, settling down in Cartagena, where he died in 1894.