Tiananmen Square, June Fourth Movement, 1989

student flag-waver at the tiananmen square protests

The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 were a series of demonstrations led by students, intellectuals, and labour activists in the People's Republic of China (PRC) between April 15, 1989 and June 5, 1989. While the protests lacked a unified cause or leadership, participants were generally critical of the ruling Chinese Communist Party and voiced complaints ranging from minor criticisms to calls for full-fledged democracy and the establishment of broader freedoms. The demonstrations centred on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, but large-scale protests also occurred in cities throughout China, including Shanghai, which stayed peaceful throughout the protests. In Beijing, the resulting military crackdown on the protesters by the PRC government left many civilians dead or injured. The toll ranges from 200–300 (PRC government figures), to 400–800 by The New York Times, and to 2,000–3,000 (Chinese student associations and Chinese Red Cross).

Following the violence, the government conducted widespread arrests to suppress protestors and their supporters, cracked down on other protests around China, banned the foreign press from the country and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the PRC press. Members of the Party who had publicly sympathized with the protesters were purged, with several high-ranking members placed under house arrest, such as General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. The violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square protest caused widespread international condemnation of the PRC government.

bodies of dead civilians lie among mangled bicycles near beijing's tiananmen  square

Students, we came too late. We are sorry. You talk about us, criticize us, it is all necessary. The reason that I came here is not to ask you to forgive us. All I want to say is that students are getting very weak, it is the seventh day since you went on hunger strike, you can't continue like this. As the time goes on, it will damage your body in an unrepairable way, it could be very dangerous to your life. Now the most important thing is to end this strike. I know, your hunger strike is to hope that the Party and the government will give you a satisfying answer. I feel that our communication is open. Some of the problem can only be solved by certain procedures. For example, you have mentioned about the nature of the incident, the question of responsibility, I feel that those problems can be solved eventually, we can reach a mutual agreement in the end. However, you should also know that the situation is very complicated, it needs a procedure. You can't continue the hunger strike for the seventh day, and still insist for a satisfying answer before ending the hunger strike.

You are still young, there are still many days yet to come, you must live healthy, and see the day when China accomplishes the four modernizations. You are not like us, we are already old, it doesn't matter any more. It is not easy that this nation and your parents support you to study in colleges. Now you are all about early 20s, and want to sacrifice lives so easily, students, can't you think logically? Now the situation is very serious, you all know, the Party and the nation is very antsy, the whole society is very worried. Besides, Beijing is the capital, the situation is getting worse and worse from everywhere, this can not be continued. Students all have good will, and are for the good of our nation, but if this situation continues, loses control, it will cause serious consequences at many places.

In conclusion, I have only one wish. If you stop hunger strike, the government won't close the door for dialogue, never! The questions that you have raised, we can continue to discuss. Although it is a little slow, we are reaching some agreement on some problems. Today I just want to see the students, and express our feelings. Hopefully students will think about this question calmly. This thing can not be sorted out clearly under illogical situations. You all have that strength, you are young after all. We were also young before, we protested, laid our bodies on the rail tracks, we never thought about what will happen in the future at that time. Finally, I beg the students once again, think about the future calmly. There are many things that can be solved. I hope that you will all end the hunger strike soon, thank you.

Speech given to the student protesters by General Secretary Zhao Ziyang.

student flag-waver at the tiananmen square protests

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Laetoli Movement

guston sondin-klausner: laetoli movement

Guston Sondin-Klausner. Laetoli Movement. 2007.

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The Transformed Man

william shatner

I suppose the roots go all the way back to my childhood in Canada. I remember going to the theater, and how I was always thrilled by the overture. The first notes struck by the orchestra would send chills running all over me. I fell in love with musicals, all the combinations of music and the human voice. So, in a real sense, my passion for this art grew out of those early years when I was a wide-eyed kid living in dreams. Later, when I went to McGill University, I became very active in musical plays as a producer, actor and writer. So you see, music and I are old, familiar friends. Looking back in retrospect, I've always had a secret ambition to do something with the spoken word combined with the magic of music. This idea has followed me all the way from college to Broadway, to motion pictures, to television. And now the dream has become a reality.

William Shatner, 1968

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What‽ The Interrobang‽

By Frisbee Jackson


With "OMG, He did what?!" and other surprise-filled questions being asked daily in instant messaging chats, and internet threads/discussion boards across the worldwide web, it's no wonder the interrobang isn't more ubiquitous.

Introduced in 1962 by Martin K. Speckter, the interrobang (a combination, or portmanteau, of "interrogative" and "bang") combines the question and exclamation mark, into a questionable, yet surprising marriage. The punctuation mark was originally developed for use in advertisement. Mr. Speckter, an advertising executive, believed that the combined mark would appear more aesthetically pleasing in print.

In an April 1962 editorial, The Wall Street Journal deemed this punctuation exactly right for "'Who forgot to put gas in the car?' where the question mark alone just isn't adequate."

The interrobang can be found in your local Microsoft Word applications under the Wingdings 2 font. You can choose from 4 different versions using the ` ~ key, the ] } key, the 6 ^ key, or the - _ key. Unfortunately, many will not go the extra mile to access this fantastic punctuation mark, so the question mark preceding the exclamation mark ("?!") continues its reign.

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