22 of Forbes 2014 Celeberity 100 Nudes

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No. 1: Beyonce
The biggest year of Queen B’s career comes courtesy of a massive tour. The superstar singer played 95 shows, bringing in an average $2.4 million per city, according to Pollstar. She also dropped her most innovative album. Titled simply “Beyoncé,” the record hit iTunes in December with barely any publicity; the single “Drunk in Love” has already sold more than 1 million copies.

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No. 8: Rihanna
Rihanna may be the perfect embodiment of the modern pop star. The 26-year-old Barbados native churns out radio hits like “We Found Love” and “Diamonds” and collaborates with some of the biggest names in the business like Jay-Z and Eminem.
But she also uses social media better than almost anyone. Her Twitter and Instagram feeds allow her to connect with her fans in a way that feels honest and unfiltered and they love her for it. Rihanna is the second most-powerful social media user on our list after Justin Bieber.
forbes 3 a rihanna and Katy perry
No. 9: Katy Perry
Even with a fairly modest touring schedule this year (Perry only played 20 public gigs during out time frame), the pop star is still one of the biggest earners in her field. Perry is unafraid of the shill.
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She gets paid to endorse brands like CoverGirl and Pop Chips and she has her own fragrance with Coty brands called Killer Queen. Perry also earns big playing private events. What rich kid wouldn’t love Perry to play her Sweet 16?

forbes 4 Jennifer Lawrence
No. 12: Jennifer Lawrence
Who says women can’t be action heroes? Just 23 years old, Lawrence is proving that women can be as big a draw for blockbusters as men. “The Hunger Games” is the most successful young adult franchise since “Twilight” and her recent turn as Mystique in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” helped make the movie the highest-grossing of the franchise. Combine that box office prowess with three Oscar nominations and one win and you have the most powerful actresses in Hollywood.

forbes 5  Miley Cyrus
No. 17: Miley Cyrus
Cyrus returns to the FORBES Celebrity 100 after a four-year absence. The last time she made our list was when she was still rolling in Hannah Montana money. Now the pop singer is all grown up and courting controversy at every turn. Her twerking at the MTV Video Music Awards shocked many people who still see Cyrus as a little girl but the attention helped record sales. Her latest album “Bangerz” has been certified platinum.
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No. 18: Taylor Swift
Only 24 years old, Swift is making her fifth appearance on the FORBES Celebrity 100 with her highest earnings to date: $64 million. Swift’s latest, “Red,” was shut out at the Grammy Awards but the cross-over star was honored with the Pinnacle Award at the latest Country Music Association Awards for her success. The award has only been given to one other person, singer Garth Brooks. Swift also earns with endorsements for Diet Coke, Keds and CoverGirl.

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No. 19: Lady Gaga
Gaga’s earnings continue to fall from her 2011 peak of $90 million. Her third studio album, “Artpop,” has failed to produce the same success as her prior efforts and a hip injury side lined part of her world tour. Despite those setbacks, Gaga is still one of the most influential pop stars out there and she ranks 19th on our list. Only 28, she has plenty of time to return to the top 10.

forbes 8 Jennifer Lopez
No. 33 (TIE): Jennifer Lopez
In 2012, when she was first on “American Idol” and seemed poised to take over the entertainment industry, Lopez ranked No. 1 on our Celebrity 100 list. This year she slides to 33rd place but Lopez is still a force to be reckoned with. A struggling “Idol” called her back up as a judge this year. And while the move didn’t help ratings as much as Fox would have liked, it gave Lopez a platform to launch her newest album “A.K.A.” Lopez performed on Pitbull’s song, “We Are One” which was the official song for the FIFA World Cup.

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No. 54: Sofia Vergara
Vergara, 41, reigns supreme as the top-earning actress on television for the third year in a row. This is in large part due to her savvy business skills; the Colombia native has endorsement contracts with Diet Pepsi, CoverGirl, Head & Shoulders and AT&T, among others. She also has a 12-year contract with K-Mart and a new fragrance. The reported $325K take-home per episode of “Modern Family” doesn’t hurt either. Off-camera, the talent management and entertainment-marketing firm she co-founded, Latin World Entertainment, is launching a Spanish-language tech news site.

forbes 10  Gisele Bundchen
No. 56 (TIE): Gisele Bundchen
Supermodel Linda Evangelista famously wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000; this year it could be said Gisele did not leave the house for less than $128,000 a day. The Brazilian powerhouse pocketed $47 million in the last 12 months before taxes and fees, making her the world’s highest-paid model for the eighth year in a row. Along with lucrative contracts for H&M, Chanel, and Carolina Herrera, Gisele gets a cut of sales from the jelly sandals she designs for Brazilian shoemaker Grendene.
forbes 10a  Gisele Bundchen
The face of Pantene hair products and Oral-B in Brazil, Bundchen’s line of Hope lingerie — Gisele Bundchen Intimates — also plumps up her paycheck. A Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Environment Programme, Bundchen sits on the board of the Rainforest Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to conserving biodiversity and sustainability.
Forbes 11  Maria Sharapova
No. 63 (TIE): Maria Sharapova
Sharapova was injured and played only one match in the second half of 2013, which put a dent in her prize money and exhibition fees. Her earnings also took a hit when Nike sold Cole Haan in 2013, as Sharapova received hefty royalties on her best-selling line of Cole Haan shoes when it was under the Nike umbrella. Sharapova recovered in 2014 to win with her second French Open title and fifth Grand Slam overall. She launched her own candy line, Sugarpova, in 2012 and sold 1.3 million bags at $5-6 a pop in the first 12 months. She hopes to double sales in the latest 12 months. Her latest deal is with Avon Products, which was announced just after her 2014 win at Roland Garros.
forbes 12 Angelina Jolie
No. 73: Angelina Jolie
After taking some time out of the spotlight to undergo a preventative mastectomy, Jolie is back. In Disney’s hit movie “Maleficent,” she managed to make Disney’s classic “Sleeping Beauty” villain sympathetic, brave and campy. While earning one of the biggest paychecks in Hollywood, Jolie still finds time to advocate for human rights. Most recently she’s turned her activist attention to encouraging governments to investigating and prosecuting war rape.
forbes 13 Scarlett Johansson
No. 76: Scarlett Johansson
Johansson has been in the public eye since 1998’s “The Horse Whisperer” but this is the first time she’s ranked on our Celebrity 100 list. As Black Widow in the Marvel movies, she doesn’t earn as much as someone like Robert Downey, Jr. But combine that paycheck with her lucrative endorsement gigs and you get a very rich, and very powerful actress. Johansson courted controversy this year by shilling for Soda Stream, which is manufactured in the West Bank. As a result, she parted ways with Oxfam where she had been a Global Ambassador.
forbes 14 Jennifer Aniston
No. 77: Jennifer Aniston
Now in her 40s, Aniston is enjoying the kind of success most actresses her age only dream about. Thanks to mid-budget comedies like “Horrible Bosses” and “We’re the Millers,” Aniston is earning millions on the backend of some very profitable movies. Aniston still earns money from endless reruns of “Friends” and she’s an in-demand spokesperson. Aniston shills for brands like Aveeno and Vitamin Water.
forbes 15 Kim Kardashian
No. 80: Kim Kardashian
The queen of famous-for-being-famous, Kardashian raked in far more than her equally camera-ready sisters this year, mostly thanks to a bigger payday for public appearances. She also ensured her name remains in the headlines, marrying rapper Kanye West in a typically lavish Italian ceremony.
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She’s also a mom, but that hasn’t stopped her endorsing products ranging from clothing to fake tan and appearing on two E! network reality shows.
forbes 16 Amy Adams
No. 81: Amy Adams
Adams shifts effortlessly between comedies, like “Julie and Julia” and “Leap Year” and independent dramas like “The Master.” But it took until 2013 for Adams to embrace the comic book life. This year she co-starred in the Superman reboot, “Man of Steel” as Superman’s love interest Lois Lane. With Warner Bros. lining up a slew of D.C. Comic movies, she’ll have the chance to appear in plenty more blockbusters. In the meantime, Adams earned her fifth Oscar nomination for her Best Supporting Actress turn in “American Hustle.”

forbes 17 Kate Moss
No. 91: Kate Moss
The indomitable Brit returned this year as the face of luxury jeweler David Yurman. A longtime Rimmel ambassador, she continues to produce collaborative fashion lines with British retailer Topshop. Moss’ $7 million annual income includes campaigns for St. Tropez self-tan and Kerastase haircare products.
forbes 18 Kate Upton
No. 94: Kate Upton
A newcomer to the Celebrity 100 list this year, Kate Upton joins the fame rankings thanks to three Sports Illustrated covers. Upton was signed after a video of her performing a popular dance known as the “Dougie” at a sports game went viral; she has since landed campaigns for Sam Edelman, David Yurman and Accessorize.
forbes 18 a Kate Upton
Even more lucrative are her new contracts with clothing line Express and cosmetics company Bobbi Brown. Upton, whose curvaceous figure may once have made her an unusual choice for high fashion shoots, has proved her detractors wrong — she took home an estimated $7 million paycheck before taxes and fees.
forbes 19 Zooey Deschanel
No. 96: Zooey Deschanel
Deschanel, 34, is no “new girl” to our Celebrity list. The actress-singer-songwriter makes her third consecutive appearance on the list, due in large part to her starring role as Jessica Day on FOX’s hit comedy. Adding to her large TV check, the actress boasts a reported $2.5 million multi-year contract with Pantene and earns touring as the female half of the indie duo She & Him.
forbes 20 Cameron Diaz
No. 97 (TIE): Cameron Diaz
Never underestimate Cameron Diaz. Her recent movie “The Other Woman” looked like it was going to be a real stinker. Critics savaged it and Sony barely marketed it. But women came in droves. The film, which was made for $40 million, earned $190 million at the global box office.
forbes 21 Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu
With Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu
Diaz has pulled this trick before. Her 2011 film “Bad Teacher” didn’t seem to have much promise but the $20 million film earned an amazing $216 globally reaping huge profits for Diaz and a TV spin-off (which was quickly canceled this year).

forbes 22  Kaley Cuoco
No. 99: Kaley Cuoco
“The Big Bang Theory” is one of the most profitable shows on television but it’s unlikely it would have reached those levels without the presence of Cuoco. Her down-to-earth Penny balances out the socially awkward characters who live across the hall and gives them a foil for plenty of physics jokes. The show has been a launching pad for Cuoco’s film career (she stars opposite Kevin Hart in “The Wedding Ringer”) and a lucrative line of endorsements for companies like Priceline and Toyota.
forbes 23 Natalie Portman
No. 100: Natalie Portman
Like Amy Adams and Gwyneth Paltrow, Portman lands on our list mostly thanks to playing second fiddle to a guy in a silly costume. This year’s “Thor: The Dark World” was a bigger hit than the first “Thor” movie earning $645 million at the global box office. That kind of money gives Portman room to pursue passion projects like an adaptation of Amos Oz’ book “A Tale of Love and Darkness.” The film marks Portman’s writing and directorial debut.

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John Venn

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John Venn, FRS (4 August 1834 – 4 April 1923) was an English logician and philosopher. He is famous for introducing the Venn diagram, which is used in many fields, including set theory, probability, logic, statistics, and computer science.

Life and career
John Venn was born on 4 August 1834 in Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire to Martha Sykes and Rev. Henry Venn, who was the rector of the parish of Drypool. His mother died when he was three years old. Venn was descended from a long line of church evangelicals, including his grandfather John Venn.

He was educated by private tutors until 1853 when he went to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. In 1857, he obtained his degree in mathematics and became a fellow. He would follow his family vocation and become an Anglican priest, ordained in 1859, serving first at the church in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and later in Mortlake, Surrey.
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Signature of John Venn
In 1862, he returned to Cambridge University as a lecturer in moral science, studying and teaching logic and probability theory.
In 1868, he married Susanna Carnegie Edmonstone with whom he had one son, John Archibald Venn.
In 1883, he resigned from the clergy having concluded that Anglicanism was incompatible with his philosophical beliefs.[6] In that same year, Venn was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and was awarded a Sc.D. by Cambridge.
He died on 4 April 1923; the cause of his death was not specified.

Memorials
• Venn is commemorated at the University of Hull by the Venn Building, built in 1928
• A stained glass window in the dining hall of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, commemorates Venn’s work.
• In commemoration of the 180th anniversary of Venn’s birth, on 4 August 2014, Google replaced its normal logo on global search pages with an interactive and animated Google doodle that incorporated the use of a Venn diagram.

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Stained glass window atGonville and Caius College, Cambridge, commemorating Venn and the Venn diagram

Publications
Venn compiled Alumni Cantabrigienses, a biographical register of former members of the University of Cambridge.
“Consistency and Real Inference”. Mind 1 (1). January 1876.
• Symbolic Logic. London: Macmillan and Company. 1881.
• “On the Employment of Geometrical Diagrams for the Sensible Representation of Logical Propositions”. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
• The Logic of Chance: An Essay on the Foundations and Province of the Theory of Probability, with Especial Reference to Its Application to Moral and Social Science (First ed.). London and Cambridge: Macmillan. 1866.. Two further editions were published
• Caius College. London: F. E. Robinson & Company. 1901.
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The Venn Building, University of Hull
• Caius, John (1904). John Venn, ed. The Annals of Gonville and Caius College. Printed for the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, sold by Deighton, Bell & Co.
• Annals of a Clerical Family: Being Some Account of the Family and Descendants of William Venn, Vicar of Otterton, Devon, 1600-1621. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1904.
• On Some of the Characteristics of Belief. London and Cambridge: MacMillan an Co. 1870.
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John Venn: Google Doodle marks 180th birth date of inventor of Venn diagram

Posted in Authors, Philosophy, Profiles, Science and Technology, Videos | Comments Off

Yazidi a Religion Under Attack Again

yazdi 5 The yellow sun with 21 rays. The number 21 holds great importance in the ancient religious practice of Yazdânism.

The Yazidi (also Yezidi, Êzidî) are a Kurdish ethno-religious community, representing an ancient religion that is linked to Zoroastrianism. They live primarily in theNineveh Province of northern Iraq. Additional communities in Armenia, Georgia and Syria have been in decline since the 1990s, their members having emigrated to Europe, especially to Germany. The Yazidi believe in God as creator of the world, which he placed under the care of seven holy beings or angels, the chief of whom is Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel.
Demographics

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Yazidi leaders and Chaldeanclergymen meeting in Mesopotamia, 19th century.
Historically, the Yazidi lived primarily in communities in locales that are in present-day Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, and also had significant numbers in Armenia and Georgia. However, events since the 20th century have resulted in considerable demographic shift in these areas as well as mass emigration. As a result population estimates are unclear in many regions, and estimates of the size of the total population vary.
The bulk of the Yazidi population lives in Iraq, where they make up an important Iraqi minority community. Estimates of the size of these communities vary significantly, between 70,000 and 500,000. They are particularly concentrated in northern Iraq in the Nineveh Province. The two biggest communities are in Shekhan, northeast of Mosul, and in Sinjar, at the Syrian border 80 kilometers west of Mosul. In Shekhan is the shrine of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir at Lalish. During the 20th century the Shekhan community struggled for dominance with the more conservative Sinjar community. The demographic profile has probably changed considerably since the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003 and the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Yazidi in Syria live primarily in two communities, one in the Al-Jazira area and the other in the Kurd-Dagh. Population numbers for the Syrian Yazidi community are unclear. In 1963 the community was estimated at about 10,000, according to the national census, but numbers for 1987 were unavailable. There may be between about 12,000 and 15,000 Yazidi in Syria today, though more than half of the community may have emigrated from Syria since the 1980s. Estimates are further complicated by the arrival of as many as 50,000 Yazidi refugees from Iraq during the Iraq War.
The Turkish Yazidi community declined precipitously during the 20th century. By 1982 it had decreased to about 30,000, and in 2009 there were fewer than 500. Most Turkish Yazidi have emigrated to Europe, particularly Germany; those who remain reside primarily in their former heartland of Tur Abdin. Population estimates for the communities in Georgia and Armenia vary, but they too have declined severely. In Georgia the community fell from around 30,000 people to fewer than 5,000 during the 1990s. The numbers in Armenia may have been somewhat more stable; there may be around 40,000 Yazidi still in Armenia. Most Georgian and Armenian Yazidi have relocated to Russia, which recorded a population of 31,273 Yazidis in the 2002 census.

This mass emigration has resulted in the establishment of large diaspora communities abroad. The most significant of these is in Germany, which now has a Yazidi community of over 40,000. Most are from Turkey and more recently Iraq, and live in the western states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. Since 2008 Sweden has seen sizable growth in its Yazidi emigrant community, which had grown to around 4,000 by 2010, and a smaller community exists in the Netherlands. Other diaspora groups live in Belgium, Denmark, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia; these have a total population of probably less than 5,000.

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Yazidi men in Mardin, late 19th century.
Origins
The Yazidi are mostly Kurdish-speaking people who adhere to a branch of Iranian religions that blends elements of Mithraism, pre-Islamic Mesopotamian/Assyrian religious traditions, Christianity and Islam. In addition to Kurdish, there are significant Yazidi communities who speak Arabic as their native language. Their principal holy site is in Lalish, northeast of Mosul. The Yazidis’ own name for themselves is Êzidî or Êzîdî or, in some areas, Dasinî (the latter, strictly speaking, is a tribal name). Some scholars have derived the name Yazidi from Old Iranian yazata (divine being), but most say it is a derivation from Umayyad Caliph Yazid I (Yazid bin Muawiyah), revered by the Yazidis as an incarnation of the divine figure Sultan Ezi. Yazidis, themselves, believe that their name is derived from the word Yezdan or Êzid “God”. The Yazidis’ cultural practices are observably in Kurdish, and almost all speak Kurmanjî with the exception of the villages of Bashiqa and Bahazane, where Arabic is spoken. Kurmanjî is the language of almost all the orally transmitted religious traditions of the Yazidis.
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Yazidis Land
SINCE far back in time Yazidis have gathered every year at Lalish, a village in Iraqi Kurdistan, to celebrate the Feast of Assembly, their faith’s
The religion of the Yazidis is a highly syncretic one: Sufi influence and imagery can be seen in their religious vocabulary, especially in the terminology of their esoteric literature, but much of the theology is non-Islamic. Their cosmogonies apparently have many points in common with those of ancient Persian religions. Early writers attempted to describe Yazidi origins, broadly speaking, in terms of Islam, or Persian, or sometimes evenpagan religions; however, publications since the 1990s have shown such an approach to be overly simplistic.

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Yazidi man in traditional clothes
The origin of the Yazidi religion is now usually seen by scholars as a complex process of syncretism, whereby the belief system and practices of a local faith had a profound influence on the religiosity of adherents of the ‘Adawiyya Sufi order living in the Yezidi mountains, and caused it to deviate from Islamic norms relatively soon after the death of its founder, Shaykh ‘Adī ibn Musafir, who is said to be of Umayyad descent. He settled in the valley of Laliş (some thirty-six miles north-east of Mosul) in the early 12th century. Şêx Adî himself, a figure of undoubted orthodoxy, enjoyed widespread influence. He died in 1162, and his tomb at Laliş is a focal point of Yazidi pilgrimage.
According to the Yezidi calendar, April 2012 marked the beginning of their year 6,762 (thereby year 1 would have been in 4,750 BC in the Gregorian calendar).

During the fourteenth century, important Yezidi tribes whose sphere of influence stretched well into what is now Turkey (including, for a period, the rulers of the principality of Jazira) are cited in historical sources as Yazidi.
According to Moḥammed Aš-Šahrastani, “The Yezidis are the followers of Yezîd bn Unaisa, who [said that he] kept friendship with the first Muhakkama before the Azariḳa” “It is clear, then, that Aš-Šahrastani finds the religious origin of this interesting people in the person of Yezîd bn Unaisa. … We are to understand, therefore, that to the knowledge of the writer, bn Unaisa is the founder of the Yezidi sect, which took its name from him.” “Now, the first Muhakkamah is an appellative applied to the Muslim schismatics called Al-Ḫawarij. … According to this it might be inferred that the Yezidis were originally a Ḫarijite sub-sect.” “Yezid moreover, is said to have been in sympathy with Al-Abaḍiyah, a sect founded by ‘Abd-Allah Ibn Ibaḍ.”; and the Ibaḍi sect is another Ḫarijite sub-sect.

Religious beliefs
Yazidis are monotheists, believing in one God, who created the world and entrusted it into the care of a Heptad of seven Holy Beings, often known as Angels or heft sirr(the Seven Mysteries). Preeminent among these is Tawûsê Melek (frequently known as “Melek Taus” in English publications), the Peacock Angel.
Yazidism is not an off-shoot of another religion (such as Christianity or Islam), but shows influence from the many religions of the middle-east. Core Yazidi cosmology has a pre-Zoroastrian Iranian origin, but Yazidism also includes elements of ancient nature-worship, as well as influences from Christianity, Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism, Islam and Judaism. The heptad of angels are God’s emanations which are formed of the light of God. God delegates most of his action to the heptad and is therefore somewhatdeistic in nature.
According to the Encyclopedia of the Orient,
The reason for the Yazidis reputation of being devil worshipers is connected to the other name of Melek Taus, Shaytan, the same name the Koran has for Satan.
Furthermore, the Yazidi story regarding Tawûsê Melek’s rise to favor with God is almost identical to the story of the jinn Iblis in Islam, except that Yazidis revere Tawûsê Melek for refusing to submit to God by bowing to Adam, while Muslims believe that Iblis’ refusal to submit caused him to fall out of Grace with God, and to later become Satan himself.
Tawûsê Melek is often identified by Muslims and Christians with Shaitan (Satan). Yazidis, however, believe Tawûsê Melek is not a source of evil or wickedness. They consider him to be the leader of the archangels, not a fallen angel. They are forbidden from speaking the name Shaitan. They also hold that the source of evil is in the heart and spirit of humans themselves, not in Tawûsê Melek.
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Tawûsê Melek
The active forces in their religion are Tawûsê Melek and Sheik Adî.
The Kitêba Cilwe “Book of Illumination”, which claims to be the words of Tawûsê Melek, and which presumably represents Yazidi belief, states that he allocates responsibilities, blessings and misfortunes as he sees fit and that it is not for the race of Adam to question him. Sheikh Adî believed that the spirit of Tawûsê Melek was the same as his own, perhaps as a reincarnation. He is reported to have said:
I was present when Adam was living in Paradise, and also when Nemrud threw Abraham in fire. I was present when God said to me: ‘You are the ruler and Lord on the Earth’. God, the compassionate, gave me seven earths and throne of the heaven.

Yazidi accounts of creation differ from that of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They believe that God first created Tawûsê Melek from his own illumination (Ronahî) and the other six archangels were created later. God ordered Tawûsê Melek not to bow to other beings. Then God created the other archangels and ordered them to bring him dust (Ax) from the Earth (Erd) and build the body of Adam. Then God gave life to Adam from his own breath and instructed all archangels to bow to Adam. The archangels obeyed except for Tawûsê Melek. In answer to God, Tawûsê Melek replied, “How can I submit to another being! I am from your illumination while Adam is made of dust.” Then God praised him and made him the leader of all angels and his deputy on the Earth. (This probably furthers what some see as a connection to the Islamic Shaytan, as according to the Quran he too refused to bow to Adam at God’s command, though in this case it is seen as being a sign of Shaytan’s sinful pride.) Hence the Yazidis believe that Tawûsê Melek is the representative of God on the face of the Earth and comes down to the Earth on the first Wednesday of Nisan (April). Yazidis hold that God created Tawûsê Melek on this day, and celebrate it as New Year’s Day. Yazidis argue that the order to bow to Adam was only a test for Tawûsê Melek, since if God commands anything then it must happen. (Bibe, dibe). In other words, God could have made him submit to Adam, but gave Tawûsê Melek the choice as a test. They believe that their respect and praise for Tawûsê Melek is a way to acknowledge his majestic and sublime nature. This idea is called “Knowledge of the Sublime” (Zanista Ciwaniyê). Şêx Adî has observed the story of Tawûsê Melek and believed in him.
yazdi 14a  lalesh3
SEMAH CEREMONY AT LALESH
One of the key creation beliefs held by Yazidis is that they are the descendants of Adam through his son Shehid bin Jer rather than Eve. Yazidis believe that good and evil both exist in the mind and spirit of human beings. It depends on the humans, themselves, as to which they choose. In this process, their devotion to Tawûsê Melek is essential, since it was he who was given the same choice between good and evil by God, and chose the good.
The Yazidi holy books are claimed to be the Kitêba Cilwe (Book of Revelation) and the Mishefa Reş (Black Book). However, scholars generally agree that the manuscripts of both books published in 1911 and 1913 were forgeries written by non-Yazidis in response to Western travelers’ and scholars’ interest in the Yazidi religion; the material in them is consistent with authentic Yezidi traditions, however.[16] True texts of those names may have existed, but remain obscure. The real core texts of the religion that exist today are the hymns known as qawls; they have also been orally transmitted during most of their history, but are now being collected with the assent of the community, effectively transforming Yazidism into a scriptural religion.[16] The qawls are full of cryptic allusions and usually need to be accompanied by čirōks or ‘stories’ that explain their context.
Two key and interrelated features of Yazidism are: a) a preoccupation with religious purity and b) a belief in metempsychosis. The first of these is expressed in the system of caste, the food laws, the traditional preferences for living in Yazidi communities, and the variety of taboos governing many aspects of life. The second is crucial; Yazidis traditionally believe that the Seven Holy Beings are periodically reincarnated in human form, called a koasasa.
A belief in the reincarnation of lesser Yazidi souls also exists. Like the Ahl-e Haqq, the Yazidis use the metaphor of a change of garment to describe the process, which they call kiras guhorîn in Kurmanji (changing the garment). Alongside this, Yazidi theology also includes descriptions of heaven and hell, with hell extinguished, and other traditions incorporating these ideas into a belief system that includes reincarnation.
Organization
Yazidi society is hierarchical. The secular leader is a hereditary emir or prince, whereas a chief sheikh heads the religious hierarchy. The Yazidi are strictly endogamous; members of the three Yazidi castes, themurids, sheikhs and pirs, marry only within their group, marriage outside the caste is considered as sin punishable by death to restore lost honour.
yazdi 9 Melek Taus - The Peacock Angel of Yezidi Religion
The Peacock Angel of Yezidi Religion
Religious practices
Prayers
Yazidis have five daily prayers:
Nivêja berîspêdê (the Dawn Prayer), Nivêja rojhilatinê (the Sunrise Prayer), Nivêja nîvro (the Noon Prayer), Nivêja êvarî (the Afternoon Prayer), Nivêja rojavabûnê (the Sunset Prayer). However, most Yezidis observe only two of these, the sunrise and sunset prayers.
Worshipers should turn their face toward the sun, and for the noon prayer, they should face toward Laliş. Such prayer should be accompanied by certain gestures, including kissing the rounded neck (gerîvan) of the sacred shirt (kiras). The daily prayer services must not be performed in the presence of outsiders, and are always performed in the direction of the sun. Wednesday is the holy day but Saturday is the day of rest. There is also a three-day fast in December.
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Lalesh
Festivals
New Year falls in Spring (somewhat later than the Equinox). There is some lamentation by women in the cemeteries, to the accompaniment of the music of the Qewals, but the festival is generally characterized by joyous events: the music of dehol (drum) and zorna (shawm), communal dancing and meals, the decorating of eggs.
Similarly, the village Tawaf, a festival held in the spring in honor of the patron of the local shrine, has secular music, dance and meals in addition to the performance of sacred music.

Another important festival is the Tawûsgeran (circulation of the peacock) where Qewals and other religious dignitaries visit Yazidi villages, bringing the senjaq, sacred images of a peacock made from brass symbolising Tawûsê Melek. These are venerated, taxes are collected from the pious, sermons are preached and holy water distributed.
The greatest festival of the year for ordinary Yazidis is the Cejna Cemaiya “Feast of the Assembly” at Lalish, a seven-day occasion. A focus of widespread pilgrimage, this is an important time for social contact and affirmation of identity. The religious center of the event is the belief in an annual gathering of the Heptad in the holy place at this time. Rituals practiced include the sacrifice of a bull at the shrine of Şêx Shams and the practice of sema.
Pilgrimage

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Tomb of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir (Şêx Adî) in Lalish
The most important ritual is the annual seven-day pilgrimage to the tomb of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir (Şêx Adî) in Lalish, north of Mosul, Iraq. A sacred microcosm of the world, as it were, it contains not only many shrines dedicated to the koasasa, but a number of other landmarks corresponding to other sites or symbols of significance in other faiths, including Pirra selat “Serat Bridge” and a mountain called Mt. Arafat. The two sacred springs are called Zamzam and Kaniya Sipî “The White Spring”.
If possible, Yazidis make at least one pilgrimage to Laliş during their lifetime, and those living in the region try to attend at least once a year for the autumn Feast of the Assembly which is celebrated from 23 Aylūl (September) to 1 Tashrīn (October). During the celebration, Yazidi bathe in the river, wash figures of Tawûsê Melek and light hundreds of lamps in the tombs of Şêx Adî and other saints. They also sacrifice an ox, which is one reason they have been connected to Mithraism, in addition to the presence of the dog and serpent in their iconography. The sacrifice of the ox is meant to declare the arrival of fall and to ask for precipitation during winter in order to bring back life to the Earth in the next spring. Moreover, in astrology, the ox is the symbol of Tashrīn.

Purity and taboos
The Yazidis’ concern with religious purity, and their reluctance to mix elements perceived to be incompatible, is shown not only in their caste system, but also in various taboos affecting everyday life. Some of these, such as those on exogamy or on insulting or offending men of religion, are widely respected. Others are often ignored when men of religion are not present. Others still are less widely known and may be localized.
The purity of the four elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water is protected by a number of taboos, e.g. against spitting on earth, water or fire. Some discourage spitting or pouring hot water on the ground because they believe that spirits or souls that may be present would be harmed or offended by such actions if they happen to be hit by the discarded liquid. These may also reflect ancient Iranian preoccupations, as apparently do taboos concerning bodily waste, hair and menstrual blood.
Too much contact with non-Yazidis is also considered polluting. In the past, Yazidis avoided military service which would have led them to live among Muslims, and were forbidden to share such items as cups or razors with outsiders. A resemblance to the external ear may lie behind the taboo against eating head lettuce, whose name koas resembles Yezidi pronunciations of koasasa. Additionally, lettuce grown near Mosul is thought by some Yazidi to be fertilized with human waste, which may contribute to the idea that it is unsuitable for consumption. However, in a BBC interview in April 2010, a senior Yazidi authority stated that ordinary Yazidis may eat what they want, but holy men refrain from certain vegetables (including cabbage) because “they cause gases”.
Yazidis refrain from wearing the colour blue (or possibly green as stated in Soldier Poet and Rebel by Miles Hudson). The origins of this prohibition are unknown, but may either be because blue represents Noah’s flood, or it was possibly the colour worn by a conquering king sometime in the past. Alternatively, the prohibition may arise from their veneration of the Peacock Angel and an unwillingness to usurp His colour.
Customs
Children are baptized at birth and circumcision is common but not required. Dead are buried in conical tombs immediately after death and buried with hands crossed.
Yazidi are dominantly monogamous but chiefs may be polygamous, having more than one wife. Yazidi are exclusively endogamous; clans do not intermarry even with other Kurds and accept no converts. They claim they are descended only from Adam and not from Eve.
A severe punishment is expulsion, which is also effectively excommunication because the soul of the exiled is forfeit.
In 2007, an incidence of honour killing—the stoning of Du’a Khalil Aswad—made world headlines.
Folklore

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The Chermera or “40 Men” Temple on the highest peak of the Sinjar Mountains in northern Iraq. The temple is so old that no one remembers how it came to have that name, but it is believed to derive from the burial of 40 men on the mountaintop site

The tale of the Yazidis’ origin found in the Black Book gives them a distinctive ancestry and expresses their feeling of difference from other races. Before the roles of the sexes were determined, Adam and Eve quarreled about which of them provided the creative element in the begetting of children. Each stored their seed in a jar which was then sealed. When Eve’s was opened it was full of insects and other unpleasant creatures, but inside Adam’s jar was a beautiful boychild. This lovely child, known as son of Jar grew up to marry a houri and became the ancestor of the Yazidis. Therefore, the Yazidi are regarded as descending from Adam alone, while other humans are descendants of both Adam and Eve.
In other cultures
Muslim antipathy
As a demiurge figure, Tawûsê Melek is often identified by orthodox Muslims as a Shaitan (Satan), a Muslim term denoting a devil or demon who deceives true believers. The Islamic tradition regarding the fall of “Shaitan” from Grace is in fact very similar to the Yazidi story of Malek Taus – that is, the Jinn who refused to submit to God by bowing to Adam is celebrated as Tawûsê Melek by Yazidis, but the Islamic version of the same story curses the same Jinn who refused to submit as becoming Satan. Thus, the Yazidi have been accused of devil worship. Because of this and due to their pre-Islamic beliefs, they have been oppressed by their Muslim neighbors. Treatment of Yazidis was exceptionally harsh during the rule of the Ottoman Empire during the 18th and the first half of 19th century and their numbers dwindled under Ottoman rule both in Syria andIraq. Massacres at the hand of Ottoman Turks and Muslim Kurdish princes almost wiped out their community in the 19th century. Several punitive expeditions were organized against the Yazidis by the Turkish governors (Wāli) of Diyarbakir, Mosul and Baghdad. These operations were legitimized by fatāwa from Islamic clerics. The objective of these persecutions was the forced conversion of Yazidis to the Sunni Hanafi Islam of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
Recent controversies[edit]
On August 14, 2007, some 500 Yazidis were killed in a coordinated series of bombings that became the deadliest suicide attack since the Iraq War began.
On August 13, 2009, at least 20 people were killed and 30 wounded in a double suicide bombing in northern Iraq, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said. Two suicide bombers with explosive vests carried out the attack at a cafe in Sinjar, a town west of Mosul. In Sinjar, many townspeople are members of the Yazidi minority. yazdi 11a
Yezidis in Europe Appeal for Help against Islamic Militants in Iraq 4/8/2014
In Europe
Feleknas Uca, a Yezidi Member of the European Parliament for Germany’s Party of Democratic Socialism, was the world’s only Yazidi parliamentarian until the Iraqi legislature was elected in 2005. European Yazidis have contributed to the academic community, such as Khalil Rashow in Germany and Jalile Jalil in Austria.
In May 2012, five members of a Yazidi family living in Detmold, Germany, were convicted for having murdered their sister in a so-called “honour killing” and sentenced to terms ranging from five-and-a-half years to life in prison. The victim was 18-year-old Arzu Özmen (also spelled Ozmen outside Germany), who fell in love with a German journeymen baker and ran away from her family, violating the exogamy taboo. In November 2011, her siblings abducted her and brother Osman killed her with two shots in the head.
In Western theological references

As the Yazidi hold religious beliefs that are mostly unfamiliar to outsiders, many non-Yazidi people have written about them and ascribed facts to their beliefs that have dubious historical validity. For example, horror writer H. P. Lovecraft made a reference to the Yezidi as the “last survivors of the Persian devil-worshippers” in his short story The Horror at Red Hook.
The Yazidis, perhaps because of their secrecy, also have a place in modern occultism. G. I. Gurdjieff wrote about his encounters with the Yazidis several times in his book Meetings with Remarkable Men, mentioning that they are considered to be “devil worshippers” by other ethnicities in the region.
The Theosophical Society, in its electronic version of the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary states:
Yezidis (Arabic) [possibly from Persian yazdan god; or the 2nd Umayyad Caliph, Yazid (r. 680 - 683); or Persian city Yezd] A sect dwelling principally in Iraq, Armenia, and the Caucasus, who call themselves Dasni. Their religious beliefs take on the characteristics of their surrounding peoples, inasmuch as, openly or publicly, they regard Mohammed as a prophet, and Jesus Christ as an angel in human form. Points of resemblance are found with ancient Zoroastrian and Assyrian religion. The principal feature of their worship, however, is Satan under the name of Muluk-Taus. However, it is not the Christian Satan, nor the devil in any form; their Muluk-Taus is the hundred- or thousand-eyed cosmic wisdom, pictured as a bird (the peacock).
yazdi 5 The yellow sun with 21 rays. The number 21 holds great importance in the ancient religious practice of Yazdânism.
The yellow sun with 21 rays. The number 21 holds great importance in the ancient religious practice of Yazdânism.
Idries Shah, writing under the pen-name Arkon Daraul, in the 1961 book Secret Societies Yesterday and Today, describes discovering a Yazidi-influenced secret society in the London suburbs called the “Order of the Peacock Angel.” Idries Shah claimed that Tawûsê Melek could be understood, from the Sufi viewpoint, as an allegory of the higher powers in humanity.
In Western literature
In H.P. Lovecraft’s story “The Horror at Red Hook”, some of the murderous foreigners are identified as belonging to “the Yezidi clan of devil-worshippers”.
In her memoir of her service with an intelligence unit of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Iraq during 2003 and 2004, Kayla Williams (2005) records being stationed in northern Iraq near the Syrian border in an area inhabited by “Yezidis”. The Yezidis were Kurdish-speaking, but did not consider themselves Kurds, and expressed to Williams a fondness for America and Israel. She was able to learn only a little about the nature of their religion: she thought it very ancient, and concerned with angels. She describes a mountain-top Yezidi shrine as “a small rock building with objects dangling from the ceiling”, and alcoves for the placement of offerings. She reports that local Muslims considered the Yezidis to be devil worshippers.
In an October 2006 article in The New Republic, Lawrence F. Kaplan echoes Williams’s sentiments about the enthusiasm of the Yazidis for the American occupation of Iraq, in part because the Americans protect them from oppression by militant Muslims and the nearby Kurds. Kaplan notes that the peace and calm of Sinjar is virtually unique in Iraq: “Parents and children line the streets when U.S. patrols pass by, while Yazidi clerics pray for the welfare of U.S. forces.”
A fictional Yazidi character of note is the super-powered police officer King Peacock of the Top 10 series (and related comics). He is portrayed as a kind, peaceful character with a broad knowledge of religion and mythology. He is depicted as conservative, ethical, and highly principled in family life. An incredibly powerful martial artist, he is able to destroy matter, a power that he claims is derived from communicating with Malek Ta’us.
Tony Lagouranis comments on a Yazidi prisoner in his book Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interrogator’s Dark Journey through Iraq:
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the Yazidi, and a lot of contradictory information. But I was drawn to this aspect of their beliefs: Yazidi don’t have a Satan. Malak Ta’us, an archangel, God’s favorite, was not thrown out of heaven the way Satan was. Instead, he descended, saw the suffering and pain of the world, and cried. His tears, thousands of years’ worth, fell on the fires of hell, extinguishing them. If there is evil in the world, it does not come from a fallen angel or from the fires of hell. The evil in this world is man-made. Nevertheless, humans can, like Malak Ta’us, live in this world but still be good.
Countless families fled to the mountains above their villages where they are currently surrounded by ISIS forces, pleading for help.

Tens of thousands of people from the Yazidi community fled their homes in northern Iraq on Sunday, after Islamic militants attacked the towns of Sinjar and Zunmar.

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Lions Demand Respect

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Candy Dulfer

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Candy Dulfer (born 19 September 1969) is a Dutch smooth jazz and funk alto saxophonist who began playing at the age of six. She founded her band, Funky Stuff, when she was fourteen years old. Her debut album Saxuality (1990) received a Grammy Award nomination. Dulfer has released nine studio albums, two live albums, and onecompilation album.

She has performed and recorded songs with musicians including her father Hans Dulfer, Prince, Dave Stewart, Van Morrison, and Maceo Parker, and has performed live with Alan Parsons (1995) and Pink Floyd (1990). She hosted the Dutch television series Candy meets… (2007), in which she interviews fellow musicians. In 2013 she became a judge in the fifth season of the Dutch version of The X Factor.
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Early life
Candy Dulfer was born on 19 September 1969 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, as the daughter of saxophonist Hans Dulfer. She began playing the drums at the age of five. As a six-year-old she started to play the soprano saxophone. At the age of seven she switched to alto saxophone and later began playing in a local concert bandJeugd Doet Leven (English translation: “Youth Brings Life”) in Zuiderwoude.

Dulfer played her first solo on stage with her father’s band De Perikels (“The Perils”). At the age of eleven, she made her first recordings for the album I Didn’t Ask(1981) of De Perikels. In 1982, when she was twelve years old, she played as a member of Rosa King’s Ladies Horn section at the North Sea Jazz Festival. According to Dulfer, King encouraged her to become a band leader herself. In 1984, at the age of fourteen, Dulfer started her own band Funky Stuff.

Musical career

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Candy Dulfer in 2006
Dulfer’s band performed throughout the Netherlands and in 1987 was the opening act for two of Madonna’s European concerts.
In 1988 Prince invited Dulfer on stage to play an improvised solo during one of his European shows. In 1989 Dulfer appeared in Prince’s “Partyman” video.
Dulfer performed session work with Eurythmics guitarist and producer Dave Stewart and was a guest musician for Pink Floyd at the band’s performance at Knebworth in 1990.
Dulfer’s debut album, Saxuality, was released in 1990 and was nominated for a Grammy and certified gold for worldwide sales in excess of half a million. Her song “Lily Was Here” reached No. 11 on American the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Though Dulfer has had smooth jazz chart hits such as “For The Love Of You” and “Finsbury Park, Cafe 67″.
Dulfer was also the featured saxophonist on Van Morrison’s A Night in San Francisco, an album in 1993, and performed with Alan Parsons and his band at the World Liberty Concert in 1995.
Dulfer collaborated with her father Hans Dulfer on the duet album Dulfer Dulfer in 2001.
In 2007, she released her ninth studio album Candy Store. The album reached a No. 2 position in Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz charts. Her song Candy Store and the song “L.A. Citylights” reached the No. 1 position in Smooth Jazz National Airplay charts in the United States.
Dulfer is mostly a self-taught musician except for some training in a concert band and a few months of music lessons.
In 2007 Candy Dulfer was the presenter and interviewer in Candy meets…, her own television program for public broadcaster NPS. In the series she met with Sheila E., Maceo Parker, Hans Dulfer, Van Morrison, Dave Stewart, and Mavis Staples.
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Discography

• Saxuality (1990)
• Sax-a-Go-Go (1993)
• Big Girl (1995)
• For the Love of You (1997)
• The Best of Candy Dulfer (1998)

• Girls Night Out (1999)
• What Does It Take (album) (1999)
• Dulfer Dulfer (2002)
• Right in My Soul (2003)
• Candy Store (2007)
• Funked Up & Chilled Out (2009)
• Crazy (2011)
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Television

Videoclip Partyman van Prince (1989)
The Tonight Show met Jay Leno
Good Morning America
Showbiz Today (CNN)
Saturday Night Live
The Sinbad Show
The Arsenio Hall Show
Alle grote television shows van Japan

Ohne Filter
The Harald Schmidt Show
Rockpalast
Pepe Linhardt
De vrienden van Amstel LIVE (2006)
Candy meets… (NPS, 2007)
Mike & Thomas Show (VARA, 2007)
De Wereld Draait Door (VARA, 6 april 2009)
X Factor (Nederland) (2013-heden)

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Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern Isaan and Bangkok Thailand

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Soapland Serenade Joe Hisaishi – Asian Dream

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Bangkok Soapy for all

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Erotic Lesbian Soapy Massage powered by YouPorn.
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Bangkok , Thailand

Bangkok 1_montage_2
Bangkok is the capital and the most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, and has a population of over eight million, or 12.6 percent of the country’s population. Over fourteen million people (22.2 percent) live within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region, making Bangkok an extreme primate city, dwarfing Thailand’s other urban centres in terms of importance.
Bangkok 2 Flag
Flag of Bangkok
Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of Siam’s (as Thailand used to be known) modernization during the later nineteenth century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was the centre stage of Thailand’s political struggles throughout the twentieth century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule and underwent numerous coups and uprisings. The city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact among Thailand’s politics, economy, education, media and modern society.
Bangkok 3_Metro_Authority
Seal Of Bangkok
The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok. The city is now a major regional force in finance and business. It is an international hub for transport and health care, and is emerging as a regional centre for the arts, fashion and entertainment. The city’s vibrant street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its notorious red-light districts, have given it an exotic appeal. The historic Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong. Bangkok is among the world’s top tourist destinations. It is named the most visited city in MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index, and was named “World’s Best City” for four consecutive years by Travel + Leisure magazine.
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Map
Bangkok’s rapid growth amidst little urban planning and regulation has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure systems. Limited roads, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have resulted in chronic and crippling traffic congestion. This in turn caused severe air pollution in the 1990s. The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve this major problem. Four rapid transit lines are now in operation, with more systems under construction or planned by the national government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
History

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Map of 17th-century Bangkok, from Simon de la Loubère’s Du Royaume de Siam
The area of Bangkok dates at least to the early fifteenth century, when it was a village on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, under the rule of Ayutthaya. Because of its strategic location near the mouth of the river, the town gradually increased in importance. Bangkok initially served as a customs outpost with forts on both sides of the river, and became the site of a siege in 1688 in which the French were expelled from Siam. After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese Empire in 1767, the newly declared King Taksin established his capital at the town, which became the base of the Thonburi Kingdom. In 1782, King Phutthayotfa Chulalok (Rama I) succeeded Taksin, moved the capital to the eastern bank’s Rattanakosin Island, thus founding the Rattanakosin Kingdom. The City Pillar was erected on 21 April, which is regarded as the date of foundation of the present city.
Bangkok’s economy gradually expanded through international trade, first with China, then with Western merchants returning in the early-to-mid nineteenth century. As the capital, Bangkok was the centre of Siam’s modernization as it faced pressure from Western powers in the late nineteenth century. The reigns of Kings Mongkut (Rama IV, 1851–68) and Chulalongkorn (Rama V, 1868–1910) saw the introduction of the steam engine, printing press, rail transport and utilities infrastructure in the city, as well as formal education and healthcare. Bangkok became the centre stage for power struggles between the military and political elite as the country abolished absolute monarchy in 1932. It was subject to Japanese occupation and Allied bombing during World War II, but rapidly grew in the post-war period as a result of United States developmental aid and government-sponsored investment. Bangkok’s role as an American military R&R destination boosted its tourism industry as well as firmly establishing it as a sex tourism destination. Disproportionate urban development led to increasing income inequalities and unprecedented migration from rural areas into Bangkok; its population surged from 1.8 to 3 million in the 1960s. Following the United States’ withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973, Japanese businesses took over as leaders in investment, and the expansion of export-oriented manufacturing led to growth of the financial market in Bangkok. Rapid growth of the city continued through the 1980s and early 1990s, until it was stalled by the 1997 Asian financial crisis. By then, many public and social issues had emerged, among them the strain on infrastructure reflected in the city’s notorious traffic jams. Bangkok’s role as the nation’s political stage continues to be seen in strings of popular protests, from the student uprisings in 1973 and 1976, anti-military demonstrations in 1992, and successive anti-government protests by the “Yellow Shirt”, “Red Shirt” and “Light blue Shirt” movements from 2008 onwards.
Administration of the city was first formalized by King Chulalongkorn in 1906, with the establishment of Monthon Krung Thep Phra Maha Nakhon as a national subdivision. In 1915 the monthon was split into several provinces, the administrative boundaries of which have since further changed. The city in its current form was created in 1972 with the formation of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, following the merger of Phra Nakhon Province on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya and Thonburi Province on the west during the previous year.

Recent Events In History
On 22 May 2014, the Royal Thai Armed Forces, led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Commander of the Royal Thai Army (RTA), launched a coup d’état against the caretaker government of Thailand, following six months of political crisis. The military established a junta called National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to govern the nation.

After dissolving the government and the Senate, the NCPO vested the executive and legislative powers in its leader and ordered the judicial branch to operate under its directives. In addition, it partially repealed the 2007 constitution, declared martial law and curfew nationwide, banned political gatherings, arrested and detained politicians and anti-coup activists, imposed internet censorship and took control of the media.
On 24 May 2014, the NCPO said
Bangkok 35 Kingking
King Bhumibol Adulyadej had acknowledged the coup, but stopped short of describing the response as an endorsement. However on 26 May 2014 the King formally appointed
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General Prayuth to run the country. In Thailand the monarchy is highly respected and royal endorsement is seen as legitimation of the takeover
Name
The name, composed of Pali and Sanskrit root words, translates as:
City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s behest.
The name is listed in Guinness World Records as the world’s longest place name. Thai school children are taught the full name, although few can explain its meaning as many of the words are archaic, and known to few.

Most Thais who recall the full name do so because of its use in a popular song, “Krung Thep Maha Nakhon” (1989) by Asanee–Wasan and will often recount it by singing it, much as an English speaker might sing the alphabet song to recite the alphabet. The entirety of the lyrics is just the name of the city repeated over and over.
Government

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The city’s ceremonial name(partially visible) is displayed in front of the Bangkok City Hall. On the building is the BMA seal bearing an image of Indra riding Erawan.
The city of Bangkok is locally governed by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). Although its boundaries are at the provincial (changwat) level, unlike the other 76 provinces Bangkok is a special administrative area whose governor is directly elected to serve a four-year term. The governor, together with four appointed deputies, form the executive body, who implement policies through the BMA civil service headed by the Permanent Secretary for the BMA. In separate elections, each district elects one or more city councillors, who form the Bangkok Metropolitan Council. The council is the BMA’s legislative body, and has power over municipal ordinances and the city’s budget. The current Bangkok Governor is M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra of the Democrat Party, who was re-elected for his second term in 2013.
Bangkok is subdivided into fifty districts (khet, equivalent to amphoe in the other provinces), which are further subdivided into 169 subdistricts (khwaeng, equivalent to tambon). Each district is managed by a district director appointed by the governor. District councils, elected to four-year terms, serve as advisory bodies to their respective district directors.

The BMA is divided into sixteen departments, each overseeing different aspects of the administration’s responsibilities. Most of these responsibilities concern the city’s infrastructure, and include city planning, building control, transportation, drainage, waste management and city beautification, as well as education, medical and rescue services. Many of these services are provided jointly with other agencies. The BMA has the authority to implement local ordinances, although civil law enforcement falls under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police Bureau.
The seal of the city shows Hindu god Indra riding in the clouds on Airavata, a divine white elephant known in Thai as Erawan. In his hand Indra holds his weapon, the vajra. The seal is based on a painting done byPrince Naris. The tree symbol of Bangkok is Ficus benjamina.
As the capital of Thailand, Bangkok is the seat of all branches of the national government. The Government House, Parliament House and Supreme, Administrative and Constitutional Courts are all located within the city. Bangkok is the site of the Grand Palace and Chitralada Villa, respectively the official and de facto residence of the king. Most government ministries also have headquarters and offices in the capital.
Geography

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The Bangkok city proper is highlighted in this satellite image of the lower Chao Phraya delta. Notice the built-up urban area along the Chao Phraya River, which extends northward and southward into Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan Provinces.
The Bangkok city proper covers an area of 1,568.737 square kilometres (605.693 sq mi), ranking 69th among the other 76 provinces of Thailand. Of this, about 700 square kilometres (270 sq mi) form the built-up urban area. It is ranked 73rd in the world in terms of land area by City Mayors. The city’s urban sprawl reaches into parts of the six other provinces it borders, namely, in clockwise order from northwest: Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Chachoengsao, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom. With the exception of Chachoengsao, these provinces, together with Bangkok, form the greater Bangkok Metropolitan Region.

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Climate
Like most of Thailand, Bangkok has a tropical wet and dry climate under the Köppen climate classification and is under the influence of the South Asian monsoon system. It experiences hot, rainy and cool seasons, although temperatures are fairly hot year-round, ranging from an average low of 22.0 °C (71.6 °F) in December to an average high of 35.4 °C (95.7 °F) in April. The rainy season begins with the arrival of the southwest monsoon around mid-May. September is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 334.3 millimetres (13.16 in). The rainy season lasts until October, when the dry and cool northeast monsoon takes over until February. The hot season is generally dry, but also sees occasional summer storms. The surface magnitude of Bangkok’s urban heat island has been measured at 2.5 °C (4.5 °F) during the day and 8.0 °C (14 °F) at night The highest recorded temperature of Bangkok metropolis was 40.0 °C (104.0 °F) in April 1979, and the lowest recorded temperature was 9.9 °C (49.8 °F) in January 1955.
Districts
Bangkok’s fifty districts serve as administrative subdivisions under the authority of the BMA. Thirty-five of these districts lie to the east of the Chao Phraya, while fifteen are on the western bank, known as the Thonburi side of the city. The fifty districts, arranged by district code, are:

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Map showing the 50 districts of Bangkok divided into 12 clusters:

1. Phra Nakhon District
2. Dusit District
3. Nong Chok District
4. Bang Rak District
5. Bang Khen District
6. Bang Kapi District
7. Pathum Wan District
8. Pom Prap Sattru Phai District
9. Phra Khanong District
10. Min Buri District
11. Lat Krabang District
12. Yan Nawa District
13. Samphanthawong District

14. Phaya Thai District
15. Thon Buri District
16. Bangkok Yai District
17. Huai Khwang District
18. Khlong San District
19. Taling Chan District
20. Bangkok Noi District
21. Bang Khun Thian District
22. Phasi Charoen District
23. Nong Khaem District
24. Rat Burana District
25. Bang Phlat District
26. Din Daeng District
27. Bueng Kum District
28. Sathon District
29. Bang Sue District
30. Chatuchak District
31. Bang Kho Laem District
32. Prawet District
33. Khlong Toei District
34. Suan Luang District
35. Chom Thong District
36. Don Mueang District
37. Ratchathewi District
38. Lat Phrao District
39. Watthana District
40. Bang Khae District
41. Lak Si District
42. Sai Mai District
43. Khan Na Yao District
44. Saphan Sung District
45. Wang Thonglang District
46. Khlong Sam Wa District
47. Bang Na District
48. Thawi Watthana District
49. Thung Khru District
50. Bang Bon District

Cityscape
Bangkok’s district areas often do not accurately represent the functional divisions of its neighbourhoods or actual land uses. Although urban planning policies date to the commission of the “Litchfield plan” in 1960, which set out strategies for land use, transportation and general infrastructure improvements, actual zoning regulations were not implemented until 1992. As a result, the city grew organically throughout the period of its rapid expansion, both horizontally as ribbon developments extended along newly built roads, and vertically with increasing numbers of high rises and skyscrapers being built in several commercial areas.[40] The city has grown from its original centre along the river to a sprawling metropolis surrounded by swaths of suburban residential development extending north and south into neighbouring provinces. The highly populated and growing cities of Nonthaburi, Pak Kret, Rangsit and Samut Prakan are effectively suburbs of Bangkok. Nevertheless, large agricultural areas remain within the city proper in its eastern and western fringes. Land use in the city consists of 23 percent residential use, 24 percent agriculture, and 30 percent used for commerce, industry and by the government. The BMA’s City Planning Department is responsible for planning and shaping further development. It has published master plan updates in 1999 and 2006, and a third revision is undergoing public hearings in 2012.

bangkok 9
The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hallin Dusit District was inspired by King Chulalongkorn’s visits to Europe.
Bangkok’s historic centre is the Rattanakosin Island in Phra Nakhon District. It is the site of the Grand Palace and the City Pillar Shrine, primary landmarks of the city’s foundation, as well as many important Buddhist temples. Phra Nakhon, along with the neighbouring Pom Prap Sattru Phai and Samphanthawong Districts, formed what was the city proper in the later nineteenth century. Many traditional neighbourhoods and markets are located here, including the Chinese settlement of Sampheng. The city was expanded toward Dusit District in the early nineteenth century, following King Chulalongkorn’s relocation of the royal household to the new Dusit Palace. The buildings of the palace, including the neoclassical Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, as well as the Royal Plaza and Ratchadamnoen Avenue which leads to it from the Grand Palace, reflect the heavy influence of European architecture at the time. Major government offices line the avenue, as does the Democracy Monument. The area is the site of the country’s seats of power as well as the city’s most popular tourist landmarks.

Bangkok 10 Thailand_06-07_238_cropped
The Sukhumvit area appears as a sea of high-rise buildings in this photograph taken from Baiyoke Tower II, the tallest building in Bangkok.
In contrast with the low-rise historic areas, the business district on Si Lom and Sathon Roads in Bang Rak and Sathon Districts teems with skyscrapers. It is the site of many of the country’s major corporate headquarters, but also of some of the city’s infamous red-light districts. The Siam and Ratchaprasong areas in Pathum Wan are home to some of the largest shopping malls in Southeast Asia. Numerous retail outlets and hotels also stretch along Sukhumvit Road leading southeast through Watthana and Khlong Toei Districts. More office towers line the streets branching off Sukhumvit, especially Asok Montri, while upmarket housing span many of its sois.
Although Bangkok does not have a clear geographical centre, “downtown” is generally considered to be the Siam area, which contains many of the bigger malls and commercial areas in the city, as well as Siam Station, the only transfer point between the city’s two elevated train lines. The Victory Monument in Ratchathewi District is among its most important road junctions, serving over a hundred bus lines as well as an elevated train station. From the monument, Phahonyothin and Ratchawithi / Din Daeng Roads respectively run northward and eastward linking to major residential areas. Most high-density development is located within the 113-square-kilometre (44 sq mi) area encircled by the Ratchadaphisek inner ring road. Ratchadaphisek is lined with businesses and retail outlets, and office buildings also concentrate around Ratchayothin Intersection in Chatuchak District to the north. Farther from the city centre, most areas are primarily mid- or low-density residential. The Thonburi side of the city is less developed, with fewer high rises. With the exception of a few secondary urban centres, Thonburi, as well as the outlying eastern districts, consist mostly of residential and rural areas.
While most of Bangkok’s streets are fronted by vernacular shophouses, the largely unrestricted building frenzy of the 1980s has transformed the city into an urban jungle of skyscrapers and high rises exhibiting contrasting and clashing styles. There are 117 skyscrapers over 100 metres (330 ft) tall in the city, with 37 under construction as of 2012. Bangkok was ranked as the world’s twenty-third-tallest city in 2011. On the other hand, as a result of economic disparity, many slums have emerged in the city. In 2000 there were over a million people living in about eight hundred slum settlements. A large number of slums are concentrated near the Bangkok Port in Khlong Toei District.

Bangkok 11_Night_Wikimedia_Commons
Skyscrapers of Ratchadamri and Sukhumvit at night, viewed across Lumphini Park from the Si Lom – Sathonbusiness district
Parks and green zones

bangkok 12Aerial_view_of_Lumphini_Park
Lumphini Park appears as an oasis of greenery among the skyscrapers of Ratchadamri and Sukhumvit.
Bangkok has several parks, although these amount to a per-capita total park area of only 1.82 square metres (19.6 sq ft) in the city proper. Total green space for the entire city is moderate, at 11.8 square metres (127 sq ft) per person; however, in the more densely built-up areas of the city these numbers are as low as 1.73 and 0.72 square metres (18.6 and 7.8 sq ft) per person. Green belt areas include about 700 square kilometres (270 sq mi) of rice paddies and orchards in the eastern and western edges of the city proper, although their primary purpose is to serve as flood detention basins rather than to limit urban expansion. Bang Kachao, a 20-square-kilometre (7.7 sq mi) conservation area in an oxbow of the Chao Phraya, lies just across the southern riverbank districts, in Samut Prakan Province. A master development plan has been proposed to increase total park area to 4 square metres (43 sq ft) per person.
Bangkok’s largest parks include the centrally located Lumphini Park near the Si Lom – Sathon business district with an area of 57.6 hectares (142 acres), the 80-hectare (200-acre) Suanluang Rama IX in the east of the city, and the Chatuchak–Queen Sirikit–Wachirabenchathat park complex in northern Bangkok, which has a combined area of 92 hectares (230 acres).

Demography
The city of Bangkok has a population of 8,280,925 according to the 2010 census, or 12.6 percent of the national population. However, there are only 5,701,394 registered residents, belonging to 2,400,540 households. A large number of Bangkok’s daytime population commutes from surrounding provinces in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, the total population of which is 14,565,547. Bangkok is a cosmopolitan city; the census showed that it is home to 81,570 Japanese and 55,893 Chinese nationals, as well as 117,071 expatriates from other Asian countries, 48,341 from Europe, 23,418 from the Americas, 5,289 from Australia and 3,022 from Africa. Immigrants from neighbouring countries include 303,595 Burmese, 63,438 Cambodians and 18,126 Lao.
Although it has been Thailand’s largest population centre since its establishment as capital city in 1782, Bangkok grew only slightly throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. British diplomat John Crawfurd, visiting in 1822, estimated its population at no more than 50,000. As a result of Western medicine brought by missionaries as well as increased immigration from both within Siam and overseas, Bangkok’s population gradually increased as the city modernized in the late nineteenth century. This growth became even more pronounced in the 1930s, following the discovery of antibiotics. Although family planning and birth control was introduced in the 1960s, the lowered birth rate was more than offset by increased migration from the provinces as economic expansion accelerated. Only in the 1990s have Bangkok’s population growth rates decreased, following the national rate. Thailand had long since become highly centralized around the capital. In 1980, Bangkok’s population was fifty-one times that of Hat Yai and Songkhla, the second-largest urban centre, making it the world’s most prominent primate city.

Bangkok 13 Chinatown_bangkok
Yaowarat is Bangkok’s Chinatown. Chinese immigrants and their descendants form the largest minority group in the city.
The majority of Bangkok’s population are of Thai ethnicity, although details on the city’s ethnic make-up are unavailable, as the national census does not document race. Bangkok’s cultural pluralism dates back to the early days of its foundation; several ethnic communities were formed by immigrants and forced settlers including the Khmer, Northern Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, Tavoyan, Mon and Malay. Most prominent were the Chinese, who played major roles in the city’s trade and became the majority of Bangkok’s population—estimates include up to three-fourths in 1828 and almost half in the 1950s. However, Chinese immigration was restricted from the 1930s and effectively ceased after the Chinese Revolution in 1949. Their prominence subsequently declined as younger generations of Thai Chinese have increasingly integrated and adopted a Thai identity. Bangkok is still nevertheless home to a large Chinese community, with the greatest concentration in Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown. The majority (91 percent) of the city’s population is Buddhist. Other religions include Islam (4.7%), Christianity (2.0%), Hinduism (0.5%), Sikhism (0.1%) and Confucianism (0.1%)
Apart from Yaowarat, Bangkok also has several other distinct ethnic neighbourhoods. The Indian community is centred in Phahurat, where the Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha, founded in 1933, is located. Ban Khrua on Saen Saep Canal is home to descendants of the Cham who settled in the late eighteenth century. Although the Portuguese who settled during the Thonburi period have ceased to exist as a distinct community, their past is reflected in Santa Kruz Church, on the west bank of the river.

Likewise, the Assumption Cathedralon Charoen Krung Road is among many European-style buildings in the Old Farang Quarter, where European diplomats and merchants lived during the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. Nearby, the Haroon Mosque is the centre of a Muslim community. Newer expatriate communities exist along Sukhumvit Road, including the Japanese community near Soi Phrom Phong, and the Arab and North African neighbourhood along Soi Nana. Sukhumvit Plaza, a mall on Soi Sukhumvit 12, is popularly known as Korea Town.
Economy

Bangkok 14 _skytrain_sunset
The BTS Skytrain passes through the business district of Sathon. TheRobot Building (centre-right) was completed in 1986 and is a symbol of Bangkok’s rapid growth in the mid-1980s.
Bangkok is the economic centre of Thailand, and the heart of the country’s investment and development. In 2010, the city had an economic output of 3.142 trillion baht (approx. US$98.34bn), contributing 29.1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). This amounted to a per-capita GDP value of ฿456,911 ($14,301), almost three times the national average of ฿160,556 ($5,025). The Bangkok Metropolitan Region had a combined output of ฿4.773tn ($149.39bn), or 44.2 percent of GDP. Bangkok’s economy ranks as the sixth among Asian cities in terms of per-capita GDP, after Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka–Kobe and Seoul.

Wholesale and retail trade is the largest sector in the city’s economy, contributing 24.0 percent of Bangkok’s gross provincial product. It is followed by manufacturing (14.3%); real estate, renting and business activities (12.4%); transport and communications (11.6%); and financial intermediation (11.1%). Bangkok alone accounts for 48.4 percent of Thailand’s service sector, which in turn constitutes 49.0 percent of GDP. When the Bangkok Metropolitan Region is considered, manufacturing is the most significant contributor at 28.2 percent of the gross regional product, reflecting the density of industry in the Bangkok’s neighbouring provinces. The automotive industry based around Greater Bangkok is the largest production hub in Southeast Asia. Tourism is also a significant contributor to Bangkok’s economy, generating ฿427.5bn ($13.38bn) in revenue in 2010.

Bangkok 15 -MBKCenterfromSkywalk
Outside view of MBK Center
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is located on Ratchadaphisek Road in inner Bangkok. The SET, together with the Market for Alternative Investment (mai) has 648 listed companies as of the end of 2011, with a combined market capitalization of 8.485 trillion baht ($267.64bn). Due to the large amount of foreign representation, Thailand has for several years been a mainstay of the Southeast Asian economy and a key centre in Asian business. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranks Bangkok as an “Alpha−” world city, and it is ranked 59th in Z/Yen’s Global Financial Centres Index 11.

Bangkok is home to the headquarters of all of Thailand’s major commercial banks and financial institutions, as well as the country’s largest companies. A large number of multinational corporations base their regional headquarters in Bangkok due to the lower cost of the workforce and firm operations relative to other major Asian business centres. Seventeen Thai companies are listed on the Forbes 2000, all of which are based in the capital, including PTT, the only Fortune Global 500 company in Thailand.
Income inequality is a major issue in Bangkok, especially between relatively unskilled lower-income immigrants from rural provinces and neighbouring countries, and middle-class professionals and business elites. Although absolute poverty rates are low—only 0.64 percent of Bangkok’s registered residents were living under the poverty line in 2010, compared to a national average of 7.75—economic disparity is still substantial. The city has a Gini coefficient of 0.48, indicating a high level of inequality.
Tourism

bangkok 16 Wat_Phra_Sri_Rattana_Satsadaram_07
Wat Phra Kaeo in the Grand Palaceis among Bangkok’s major tourist attractions.
Bangkok is one of the world’s top tourist destination cities. MasterCard ranked Bangkok as the global top destination city by international visitor arrivals in its Global Destination Cities Index, with 15.98 million projected visitors in 2013. The city is ranked fourth in cross-border spending, with 14.3 billion dollars projected for 2013, after New York, London and Paris. Euromonitor International ranked Bangkok sixth in its Top City Destinations Ranking for 2011. Bangkok was also named “World’s Best City” by Travel + Leisuremagazine’s survey of its readers for four consecutive years, from 2010 to 2013.
As the main gateway through which visitors arrive in Thailand, Bangkok is visited by the majority of international tourists to the country. Domestic tourism is also prominent. The Department of Tourism recorded 26,861,095 Thai and 11,361,808 foreign visitors to Bangkok in 2010. Lodgings were made by 15,031,244 guests, who occupied 49.9 percent of the city’s 86,687 hotel rooms.

bangkok 17 Thai_Woman_at_Silk_looms_Jim_Thompson_House_photo_D_Ramey_Logan
Thai Woman working Silk looms at the famous Jim Thompson House
Bangkok’s multi-faceted sights, attractions and city life appeal to diverse groups of tourists. Royal palaces and temples as well as several museums constitute its major historical and cultural tourist attractions. Shopping and dining experiences offer a wide range of choices and prices. The city is also famous for its dynamic nightlife. Although Bangkok’s sex tourism scene is well known to foreigners, it is usually not openly acknowledged by locals or the government.
bangkok 31 Bangkok,Pattaya & Phuket.
Bangkok,Pattaya & Phuket.
Among Bangkok’s well-known sights are the Grand Palace and major Buddhist temples, including Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. The Giant Swing and Erawan Shrinedemonstrate Hinduism’s deep-rooted influence in Thai culture. Vimanmek Mansion in Dusit Palace is famous as the world’s largest teak building, while the Jim Thompson Houseprovides an example of traditional Thai architecture. Other major museums include the Bangkok National Museum and the Royal Barge National Museum. Cruises and boat trips on the Chao Phraya and Thonburi’s canals offer views of some of the city’s traditional architecture and ways of life on the waterfront.

bangkok 18 Khao_San_Road_at_night_by_kevinpoh
Khao San Road is lined by budget accommodation, shops and bars catering to tourists.
Shopping venues, many of which are popular with both tourists and locals, range from the shopping centres and department stores concentrated in Siam and Ratchaprasong to the sprawling Chatuchak Weekend Market. Taling Chan Floating Market is among the few such markets in Bangkok. Yaowarat is known for its shops as well as street-side food stalls and restaurants, which are also found throughout the city.Khao San Road has long been famous as a backpackers’ destination, with its budget accommodation, shops and bars attracting visitors of all languages and races.
Bangkok has a reputation overseas as a major destination in the sex industry. Although prostitution is technically illegal and is rarely openly discussed in Thailand, it commonly takes place among massage parlours, saunas and hourly hotels, serving foreign tourists as well as locals. Bangkok has acquired the nickname “Sin City of Asia” for its level of sex tourism.
Issues often encountered by foreign tourists include scams, overcharging and dual pricing. In a survey of 616 tourists visiting Thailand, 7.79 percent reported encountering a scam, the most common of which was the gem scam, in which tourists are tricked into buying overpriced jewellery.
Culture
The culture of Bangkok reflects its position as Thailand’s centre of wealth and modernization.
bangkok 32 food Pattaya Beach
Food Pattaya Beach
The city has long been the portal of entry of Western concepts and material goods, which have been adopted and blended with Thai values to various degrees by its residents. This is most evident in the lifestyles of the expanding middle class. Conspicuous consumption serves as a display of economic and social status, and shopping centres are popular weekend hangouts.

Ownership of electronics and consumer products such as mobile phones is ubiquitous. This has been accompanied by a degree of secularism, as religion’s role in everyday life has rather diminished. Although such trends have spread to other urban centres, and, to a degree, the countryside, Bangkok remains at the forefront of social change.
www.richard-seaman.com
Wat Pho Reclining Budda.
A distinct feature of Bangkok is the ubiquity of street vendors selling goods ranging from food items to clothing and accessories. It has been estimated that the city may have over 100,000 hawkers. While the BMA has authorized the practice in 287 sites, the majority of activity in another 407 sites takes place illegally. Although they take up pavement space and block pedestrian traffic, many of the city’s residents depend on these vendors for their meals, and the BMA’s efforts to curb their numbers have largely been unsuccessful.
Festivals and events

bangkok 19 Ratchadamnoen_King80_arch
Ratchadamnoen Avenue is annually decorated with lights and displays in celebration of the king’s birthday.
The residents of Bangkok celebrate many of Thailand’s annual festivals. During Songkran on 13–15 April, traditional rituals as well as water fights take place throughout the city.Loi Krathong, usually in November, is accompanied by the Golden Mount Fair. New Year celebrations take place at many venues, the most prominent being the plaza in front of CentralWorld. Observances related to the royal family are held primarily in Bangkok. Wreaths are laid at King Chulalongkorn’s equestrian statue in the Royal Plaza on 23 October, which is King Chulalongkorn Memorial Day. The present king’s and queen’s birthdays, respectively on 5 December and 12 August, are marked as Thailand’s national Father’s Day and national Mother’s Day. These national holidays are celebrated by royal audiences on the day’s eve, in which the king or queen gives a speech, and public gatherings on the day of the observance. The king’s birthday is also marked by the Royal Guards’ parade.
bangkok 30 Wat Pho Buddha images.
Wat Pho Buddha images..
Sanam Luang is the site of the Thai Kite, Sport and Music Festival, usually held in March, and the Royal Ploughing Ceremony which takes place in May. The Red Cross Fair at the beginning of April is held at Suan Amporn and the Royal Plaza, and features numerous booths offering goods, games and exhibits. The Chinese New Year (January–February) and Vegetarian Festival (September–October) are celebrated widely by the Chinese community, especially in Yaowarat.
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Art

Bangkok 20 _Art_and_Culture_Centre_building
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, the city’s major public contemporary art venue, was opened in 2008 after many obstacles.
Traditional Thai art, long developed within religious and royal contexts, continues to be sponsored by various government agencies in Bangkok, including the Department of Fine Arts’ Office of Traditional Arts. The SUPPORT Foundation in Chitralada Palace sponsors traditional and folk handicrafts. Various communities throughout the city still practice their traditional crafts, including the production of khon masks, alms bowls, and classical musical instruments. The National Gallery hosts permanent collection of traditional and modern art, with temporary contemporary exhibits.

Bangkok’s contemporary art scene has slowly grown from relative obscurity into the public sphere over the past two decades. Private galleries gradually emerged to provide exposure for new artists, including the Patravadi Theatre and H Gallery. The centrally located Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, opened in 2008 following a fifteen-year lobbying campaign, is now the largest public exhibition space in the city. There are also many other public and privateart galleries and museums.
The city’s performing arts scene features traditional theatre and dance as well as Western-style plays. Khon and other traditional dances are regularly performed at the National Theatre and Salachalermkrung Royal Theatre, while the Thailand Cultural Centre is a newer multi-purpose venue which also hosts musicals, orchestras and other events.Numerous venues regularly feature a variety of performances throughout the city.
Transport

bangkok 21 Makkasan_Interchange_at_night_by_Mark_Fischer
Streetlamps and headlights illuminate the Makkasan Interchange of the expressway. The system sees a traffic of over 1.5 million vehicles per day.
Although Bangkok’s canals historically served as a major mode of transport, they have long since been surpassed in importance by land traffic. Charoen Krung Road, the first to be built by Western techniques, was completed in 1864. Since then, the road network has vastly expanded to accommodate the sprawling city. A complex elevated expressway network helps bring traffic into and out of the city centre, but Bangkok’s rapid growth has put a large strain on infrastructure, and traffic jams have plagued the city since the 1990s. Although rail transport was introduced in 1893 and electric trams served the city from 1894 to 1968, it was only in 1999 that Bangkok’s first rapid transit system began operation. Older public transport systems include an extensive bus network and boat services which still operate on the Chao Phraya and two canals. Taxis appear in the form of cars, motorcycles, and tuk-tuk.
Bangkok is connected to the rest of the country through the national highway and rail networks, as well as by domestic flights to and from the city’s two international airports. Its centuries-old maritime transport of goods is still conducted through Khlong Toei Port.
The BMA is largely responsible for overseeing the construction and maintenance of the road network and transport systems through its Public Works Department and Traffic and Transportation Department. However, many separate government agencies are also in charge of the individual systems, and much of transport-related policy planning and funding is contributed to by the national government.
Roads
Road-based transport is the primary mode of travel in Bangkok. Due to the city’s organic development, its streets do not follow an organized grid structure. Forty-eight major roads link the different areas of the city, branching into smaller streets and lanes (soi) which serve local neighbourhoods. Eleven bridges over the Chao Phraya link the two sides of the city, while the Ratchadaphisek inner ring road encircles the inner city. Several roads linking Bangkok with neighbouring and further provinces are designated as national highways, including the primary routes Phahonyothin (route 1), Sukhumvit (route 3), and Phetkasem (route 4). The outer ring road, Kanchanaphisek (motorway route 9), runs through Bangkok’s suburbs, linking with Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan, while the Bangkok–Chonburi Motorway (route 7) runs to the eastern seaboard province, passing Suvarnabhumi Airport on the way.

Bangkok 22 _traffic_by_g-hat
Traffic jams are common in Bangkok.
Bangkok’s rapid growth in the 1980s resulted in sharp increases in vehicle ownership and traffic demand, which have since continued—in 2006 there were 3,943,211 in-use vehicles in Bangkok, of which 37.6 percent were private cars and 32.9 percent were motorcycles. These increases, in the face of limited carrying capacity, were expressed as severe traffic congestion evident by the early 1990s. The extent of the problem is such that the Thai Traffic Police has a unit of officers trained in basic midwifery in order to assist deliveries which do not reach hospital in time. While Bangkok’s limited road surface area (8 percent, compared to 20–30 percent in most Western cities) is often cited as a major cause of its traffic jams, other factors, including high vehicle ownership rate relative to income level, inadequate public transport systems, and lack of transportation demand management, also play a role. Efforts to alleviate the problem have included the construction of intersection bypasses and an extensive system of elevated highways (including the expressway system and Don Mueang Tollway), as well as the creation of several new rapid transit systems. These actions, however, have not been successful in improving the city’s overall traffic conditions.
Traffic has been the main source of air pollution in Bangkok, which reached serious levels in the 1990s. However, efforts to improve air quality by improving fuel quality and enforcing emission standards, among others, have been largely successful. Atmospheric particulate matter levels dropped from 81 micrograms per cubic metre in 1997 to 43 in 2007.
Although the BMA has created thirty signed bicycle routes along several roads totalling 230 kilometres (140 mi), cycling is still largely impractical, especially in the city centre. Most of these bicycle lanes share the pavement with pedestrians. Poor surface maintenance, encroachment by hawkers and street vendors, and a hostile environment for cyclists and pedestrians, make cycling and walking unpopular methods of getting around in Bangkok.
Buses

bangkok 23 BKKbus
Free bus in Bangkok
Bangkok has an extensive bus network providing local transit services within the Greater Bangkok area. The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) operates a monopoly on bus services, with substantial concessions granted to private operators. 3,506 BMTA buses, together with private joint buses, minibuses, song thaeo buses and vans totalling 16,321 in number, operate on 470 routes throughout the region. Although a large number of commuters still ride the buses daily, passenger numbers have been almost consistently on decline in the last two decades. The BMTA reported an average of 1,048,442 trips per day in 2010, a quarter of the 4,073,883 reported in 1992.
A separate bus rapid transit system owned by the BMA has been in operation since 2010. Known simply as the BRT, the system currently consists of a single line running from the business district at Sathon to Ratchaphruek on the western side of the city. Although further lines had been planned, development on all route expansions are currently halted.
Long-distance bus services to all provinces operate out of Bangkok. The Transport Co., Ltd. is the BMTA’s long-distance counterpart. North- and northeast-bound buses leave from the Chatuchak (Mo Chit 2) Bus Terminal, while eastbound and southbound buses leave from Ekkamai and South Bangkok terminals, respectively.
Taxis

bangkok 24 Taxi-meter_in_Bangkok_04
Taxis in Bangkok are easily recognized by their distinctive bright colours.
Taxis are ubiquitous in Bangkok, and are a popular form of transport. As of August 2012, there are 106,050 cars, 58,276 motorcycles and 8,996 tuk-tuk motorized tricycles cumulatively registered for use as taxis. Meters have been required for car taxis since 1992, while tuk-tuks’ fares are usually bargained. Motorcycle taxis operate from regulated ranks, with either fixed or negotiable fares, and are usually employed for relatively short journeys.
Car taxis are either privately owned, or belong to a company or cooperative. Such ownership is reflected in their bright and distinctive paints: private taxis are green/yellow, while different companies have varying colour schemes. Despite their popularity, taxis have gained a bad reputation for often refusing passengers when the requested route is not to the driver’s convenience. In June 2012, the Department of Land Transport announced a campaign to overhaul taxi driver registrations, as it revealed that there had been only 66,645 legally registered cabdrivers. A campaign of stricter punishments for refusing passengers was announced in September, along with the launch of new complaint-lodging systems.
Motorcycle taxis were previously unregulated, and subject to extortion by organized crime gangs. Since 2003, registration has been required for motorcycle taxi ranks, and drivers now wear distinctive numbered vests designating their district of registration and where they are allowed to accept passengers.
Rail systems

bangkok 25 BTS_Skytrain_over_Sala_Daeng_Intersection
A BTS train passes over the busy Sala Daeng Intersection. The MRT also crosses below the street at this location.
Bangkok is the location of Hua Lamphong Railway Station, the main terminus of the national rail network operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). In addition to long-distance services, the SRT also operates a few daily commuter trains running from and to the outskirts of the city during the rush hour.
Bangkok is currently served by three rapid transit systems: the BTS Skytrain, the underground MRT and the elevated Airport Rail Link. Although proposals for the development of rapid transit in Bangkok had been made since 1975, it was only in 1999 that the BTS finally began operation.
The BTS consists of two lines, Sukhumvit and Silom, with thirty stations along 30.95 kilometres (19.23 mi). The MRT opened for use in July 2004, and currently consists of one line, the Blue Line. It runs for 20 kilometres (12 mi) and has eighteen stations, three of which connect to the BTS system. The Airport Rail Link, more recently opened in August 2010, is operated by the SRT and connects the city centre to Suvarnabhumi Airport to the east. Its eight stations span a distance of 28 kilometres (17 mi).
Although initial passenger numbers were low and their service area remains limited to the inner city, these systems have become indispensable to many commuters. The BTS reported an average of 392,167 daily trips in 2010, while the MRT had 178,334 passenger trips per day. However, relatively high fare prices have kept these systems inaccessible to a portion of the population.
The BTS has had two route extensions since its opening. As of 2012, construction work is being done to extend the southwest and southeast ends of the BTS, as well as double the length of the Blue MRT line. Several additional transit lines are also under construction, including the northward Purple Line and the Light Red grade-separated commuter rail line, to be run by the SRT. The entire Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan in Bangkok Metropolitan Region consists of eight main lines and four feeder lines totalling 508 kilometres (316 mi) to be completed by 2029. In addition to rapid transit and heavy rail lines, there have been proposals for several monorail systems.
Water transport

Bangkok 26 -Watertaxi_on_the_Khlong_Saen_Saeb
The Khlong Saen Saep water bus serves over 50,000 passengers daily.
Although much diminished from their past prominence, water-based transport still plays an important role in Bangkok and the immediate upstream and downstream provinces. Several water buses serve commuters daily. The Chao Phraya Express Boat carries passengers along the river, regularly serving thirty-four stops from Rat Burana to Nonthaburi and carrying an average of 35,586 passengers per day in 2010. The smaller Khlong Saen Saep boat service serves twenty-seven stops from Wat Si Bun Rueang to Phan Fa Lilat on Saen Saep Canal, and another service serves thirteen stops on Khlong Phra Khanong. They served a daily average of 57,557 and 721 passengers, respectively. Long-tail boats operate on fifteen regular routes on the Chao Phraya, with an average of 2,889 passengers per day. Passenger ferries at thirty-two river crossings served an average of 136,927 daily passengers in 2010.

Bangkok Port, popularly known by its location as Khlong Toei Port, was Thailand’s main international port from its opening in 1947 until it was superseded by the deep-sea Laem Chabang Port in 1991. It is primarily a cargo port, though its inland location limits access to ships of 12,000 deadweight tonnes or less. The port handled 11,936,855 tonnes (13,158,130 tons) of cargo in the first eight months of the 2010 fiscal year, about 22 percent the total of the country’s international ports.
Airports
Bangkok is one of Asia’s busiest air transport hubs. Two commercial airports serve the city, the older Don Mueang International Airport and the new Bangkok International Airport, commonly known as Suvarnabhumi. Suvarnabhumi, which replaced Don Mueang as Bangkok’s main airport at its opening in 2006, served 47,910,744 passengers in 2011, making it the world’s sixteenth-busiest airport by passenger volume and the fifth-busiest in the Asia Pacific region. However, this amount of traffic is already over its designed capacity of 45 million passengers. Don Mueang has since been reopened for domestic flights in 2007, and resumed international services focusing on low-cost carriers in October 2012. Suvarnabhumi is undergoing expansion in order to increase its capacity to 60 million, which is expected to be completed by 2016.
Health and education
Education

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The campus of Chulalongkorn University was surrounded by rural fields when it was established in 1917.Pathum Wan District has since become part of the Bangkok city centre.
Bangkok has, from the beginning, been the centre of modern education in Thailand. The first schools in the country were established here in the later nineteenth century. The city is home to the country’s five oldest universities, Chulalongkorn, Thammasat, Kasetsart, Mahidol and Silpakorn, founded between 1917 and 1943. The city has since continued its dominance, especially in higher education; the majority of the country’s universities, both public and private, are located in Bangkok or the Metropolitan Region. Chulalongkorn and Mahidol are the only Thai universities to appear in the top five hundred of the QS World University Rankings, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, also located in Bangkok, is the only Thai university in the top four hundred of the 2012–13 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
Over the past few decades the general trend of pursuing a university degree has prompted the founding of new universities to meet the needs of the Thai students. Bangkok became not only a place where immigrants and provincial Thais go for job opportunities, but also for a chance to receive a university degree. Ramkhamhaeng Universityemerged in 1971 as Thailand’s first open university; it now has the highest enrolment in the country. The demand for higher education has led to the founding of many other universities and colleges, both public and private. While many universities have been established in major provinces, the Greater Bangkok region remains home to the greater majority of institutions, and the city’s tertiary education scene remains over-populated with non-Bangkokians. The situation is not limited to higher education, either. In the 1960s, 60 to 70 percent of ten-to-nineteen-year-olds who were in school had migrated to Bangkok for secondary education. This was due to both a lack of secondary schools in the provinces and perceived higher standards of education in the capital. Although this discrepancy has since largely abated, tens of thousands of students still compete for places in Bangkok’s leading schools. Education has long been a prime factor in the centralization of Bangkok and will play a vital role in the government’s efforts to decentralize the country.
Healthcare

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Siriraj Hospital, established in 1888, is the oldest hospital in Thailand.
Much of Thailand’s medical resources are disproportionately concentrated in the capital. In 2000, Bangkok had 39.6 percent of the country’s doctors and a physician-to-population ratio of 1:794, compared to a median of 1:5,667 among all provinces. The city is home to 42 public hospitals, five of which are university hospitals, as well as 98 private hospitals and 4,063 registered clinics. The BMA operates nine public hospitals through its Medical Service Department, and its Health Department provides primary care through sixty-eight community health centres. Thailand’s universal healthcare system is implemented through public hospitals and health centres as well as participating private providers.
Research-oriented medical school affiliates such as Siriraj, King Chulalongkorn Memorial and Ramathibodi Hospitals are among the largest in the country, and act as tertiary care centres, receiving referrals from distant parts of the country. Lately, especially in the private sector, there has been much growth in medical tourism, with hospitals such as Bumrungrad and Bangkok Hospital, among others, providing services specifically catering to foreigners. An estimated 200,000 medical tourists visited Thailand in 2011, making Bangkok the most popular global destination for medical tourism.
Crime and safety
Bangkok has a relatively moderate crime rate when compared to urban counterparts around the world. Traffic accidents are a major hazard, while natural disasters are rare. Intermittent episodes of political unrest have resulted in losses of life.
Although the crime threat in Bangkok is relatively low, non-confrontational crimes of opportunity such as pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and credit card fraud occur with frequency. Bangkok’s growth since the 1960s has been followed by increasing crime rates partly driven by urbanization, migration, unemployment and poverty. By the late 1980s, Bangkok’s crime rates were about four times that of the rest of the country. The police have long been preoccupied with street crimes ranging from housebreaking to assault and murder. The 1990s saw the emergence of vehicle theft and organized crime, particularly by foreign gangs. Drug trafficking, especially that of ya ba methamphetamine pills, is also chronic.
Traffic accidents are a major hazard in Bangkok. There were 37,985 accidents in the city in 2010, resulting in 16,602 injuries and 456 deaths as well as 426.42 million baht in damages. However, the rate of fatal accidents is much lower than in the rest of Thailand. While accidents in Bangkok amounted to 50.9 percent of the entire country, only 6.2 percent of fatalities occurred in the city. Another serious public health hazard comes from Bangkok’s stray dogs. Up to 300,000 strays are estimated to roam the city’s streets, and dog bites are among the most common injuries treated in the emergency departments of the city’s hospitals. Rabies is prevalent among the dog population, and treatment for bites pose a heavy public burden. Natural disasters, on the other hand, are rare. While the severe floods of 2011 adversely affected Bangkok, no deaths were reported in city itself. Such extreme flooding is uncommon, although limited flooding does occur regularly in some neighbourhoods.

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The Top Ten Greatest Philosophers in History

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Philosophy, before it was separated from physical science, was traditionally considered as science. The greatest philosophers in history were considered as modern day scientists, with celebrity status. Although some were never appreciated during their lifetime, meaning that they died poor, their works have been studied by modern scholars. As a result, they’ve received countless accolades and awards which have in turn placed unimaginable monetary value on their work.
The top philosophers, therefore, are the ones who have placed the greatest influence and impact on humans worldwide. These intellectual geniuses basically embraced rational thinking when studying the world around us, even beyond, into space. The following is the list of the ten greatest philosophers:
10. John Locke
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Locke is one of the most important figures in modern politics. His thinking influenced Thomas Jefferson, who implemented his principles of freedom and humanism during the Declaration of Independence. He was not for the idea of the rich getting richer while the poor getting poorer. This is why he was against Europe’s idea of land acquisition through lineage at that time. He is one of the fathers to be thanked for the birth of democracy.
9. Epicurus
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He initially had a bad reputation because of his teachings, which were mainly contrary to Christianity. To some extent, he was even labeled an atheist. Epicurus used to state that life should be happy so people need not fear God because good things should be easy to get while terrible ones also easy to endure. His principles stated that people should not fear the intangible things, like God, but only believe in tangible things. Epicurus advocated for healthy diet, proper exercise and living justly.
8. Zeno of Citium

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Zeno founded the idea of Stoicism which generally states that we suffer because of erroneous judgments. For this reason, he taught people how to be completely in control of their emotions and avoid suffering negative consequences. For instance, one needs not get enraged over an issue. The negative emotion will normally lead to bad actions. Therefore, complete control of emotions brings about mental peace, according to his teachings.
7. Avicenna
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Avicenna was born in Persia in 980 AD and died in 1037. He was not only a philosopher but one of the most sought after physicians during his time. “The Canon of Medicine” and “The Book of Healing” were some of his books through which he shared his vast knowledge. He was the first philosopher to describe the 5 common senses of humans mainly smell, hearing, sight, touch, and taste.
The Top Ten Greatest Philosophers in History
6. Thomas Aquinas
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In a time where Christianity teachings were constantly challenged by other philosophers, Thomas took a different stand. He surprisingly came up with a theory that proved God exists. His argument was based on the creation theory. Stating that the creator of the universe is God, he was able to successfully teach ethics, with help from the Bible. However, Christians have consistently claimed that he doesn’t have authority over the teachings because they were derived from the Bible.
5. Confucius
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Probably the greatest philosopher from the Eastern region, Confucius was able to clearly put across the ideas of democracy. He taught that power lies in the people but they must still respect the Emperor as the official ruler. This was around 400 BC. For a long time, this idea was believed to be invented by the Greeks. He also expounded the ‘Golden Rule’, by giving it a positive perspective, in a similar manner to what Jesus Christ did.
4. Rene Descartes

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Rene invented Analytical Geometry, in the 1600′s, which is a branch of Mathematics that is still relevant to this day. Apart from Math, his contributions to modern Physics are also notable. He was the first scholar to discover the laws that govern reflection and refraction. His teachings advocated that human beings are capable of achieving more by tapping into the power of the mind. ‘As a man thinks so he becomes’, is a statement that can be traced back to him.
3. Paul of Tarsus
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Paul was a pivotal figure in the establishment of Christianity after the death of Jesus. He was able to accomplish this through the many letters he wrote to the other churches across Europe. In addition, Paul adjusted the requirements of Christianity to only one belief in Jesus Christ. Peter initially disagreed with this stating that some of the traditional Jewish cultures, like circumcision and observing certain foods, should be included too. Without Paul, Christianity would merely be Judaism today.
2. Plato

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As a student of Socrates, who was a key player in writing down his teachings, Plato also founded the Academy of Athens. This was the first institution of higher learning in the region. Plato is famous for teaching that peace will only be achievable, and evil consequently banished, when the world is ruled by philosophers, people with wisdom. He argued on the existence of a higher being that created the universe and cautioned against materialism.
1. Aristotle
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Aristotle was the first philosopher in history to document science, literature, politics, and ethics. His theory categorized existence into 4 causes: Material, Form, Effective, and Purpose. He also observed that life had hierarchy, composed of plants, animals and human beings at the top. He always had an answer to all subjects which is why almost all modern philosophy teachings stem from Aristotle’s thoughts.

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