April 23, World Book Day

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

April 23 marks the anniversary of the birth or death of a range of well-known writers, including Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Maurice Druon, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Haldor Kiljan Laxness, Manuel Mejía Vallejo, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and William Shakespeare. For this reason, UNESCO’s General Conference chose this date to pay tribute to books, the authors who wrote them, and the copyright laws that protect them.

Image: Junipero Serra’s library in Carmel Mission.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo del rio Carmelo, also known as the Carmel Mission, is a Roman Catholic mission church in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
The mission was the headquarters of the Alta California missions headed by Father Junipero Serra from 1770 until his death in 1784. It was also the seat of the second presidente, Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen. The mission buildings had fallen into disrepair by the mid-19th century, but were restored beginning in 1884. It remains a parish church today. It is the only one of the California Missions to have its original bell tower dome.

Junipero Serra, (November 24, 1713 – August 28, 1784) was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco, which at the time were in Alta California of the Las Californias Province in New Spain. He began in San Diego on July 16, 1769, and established his headquarters near Monterey, California at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.
The missions were primarily designed to convert the natives. Other aims were to integrate the neophytes into Spanish society, and to train them to take over ownership and management of the land. As head of the order in California, Serra not only dealt with church officials, but also with Spanish officials in Mexico City and with the local military officers who commanded the nearby presidios (garrisons).

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Big Pun

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Graffiti memorial to rapper Big Pun in The Bronx, New York, USA. 

Christopher Lee Rios (November 10, 1971 – February 7, 2000), better known by his stage name Big Pun (short for Big Punisher), was an American rapper and actor of Puerto Rican background. Big Pun emerged from the underground hip hop scene in The Bronx borough of New York City, in the late 1990s. He first appeared on albums from The Beatnuts, on the track “Off the Books” in 1997, and on Fat Joe’s second album Jealous One’s Envy in 1995, prior to signing to Loud Records as a solo artist. Pun’s lyrics are notable for technical efficiency, having minimal pauses to take a breath, heavy use of alliteration as well as internal and multi-syllabic rhyming schemes. 

About.com ranked him #25 on its list of the 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), while MTV2 ranked him #11 on its list of the “22 Greatest MCs.” In 2012, The Source ranked him #19 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. An article from The Rolling Stones Magazine states, “Pun embodied all of the traits of a master wordsmith: melody, a unique flow, an unforgettable voice, humor, and lyrics that made other MCs go back to their black and white composition notebooks.” 

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Calahorra roofs from the bell tower of Saint Andrew church

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Calahorra, La Rioja, Spain is a municipality in the comarca of Rioja Baja, near the border with Navarre on the right bank of the Ebro. During ancient Roman times, Calahorra was a municipium known as Calagurris.

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spain photos

Hong Hing Mural Detail

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Detail of the Hong Hing Waterfront Store mural, Chemainus, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. It was painted by Paul Marcano.

The Hong Hing text panel says: “Hong Hing was actually the name of his store, his real name being Fong Yen Lew. After a half-century career as a shopkeeper, second-hand dealer, bootlegger, gambling house, and general busboy he returned to China, presumably to die. Instead, he married a woman forty years his junior, who presented him with an heir before old Hong joined his ancestors.”

Chemainus is a community on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Founded as a logging town in 1858, the town is now famous for its 39 outdoor murals. This outdoor gallery has given birth to many businesses, including a theatre, antiques dealers, and eateries. The tourist industry stemming from the murals helped rejuvenate the town after its large sawmill closed in the early 1980s and was replaced by a smaller but far more efficient mill.

The name “Chemainus” comes from the native shaman and prophet “Tsa-meeun-is” (Broken Chest). Legend says that the man survived a massive wound in his chest to become a powerful chief. His people took his name to identify their community, the Stz’uminus First Nation, formerly the Chemainus Indian Band.

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mural photos