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January 15, 2016     Post-Gazette
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January 15, 2016

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PAGE2 POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 15, 2016 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects o four ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. BYZANTINE CHURCHES The Latin cross is by far the most common form used today. Authoritative sources declared this to be the true form on which Christ died. The Latin cross has been found on coins, medals, and monuments which date back many years before the time of Christ. The cross which is perfectly symmetrical (all arms being of equal length) is known as the Greek cross. This form also pre- dated the crucifixion by many years. It has been discovered on Egyptian monuments, Etruscan pottery, and Assyrian tablets. While the Early Christians were developing their churches along the lines of the Latin cross, the Byzantines were developing their houses of worship along the lines of the Greek cross. The desire of the Byzantine builders was to place a round dome over the square base at the crossing. The solu- tion was finally achieved both structurally and aesthetically by using a pointed comer vault- ing which became known as a pendentive. The invention of the drill during these early times also permitted surface carving in stone, which gave it a lace- like appearance. Emperor Leo III, who came later, feared that paganism would be fostered by the use of certain kinds of sculpture. Therefore, he out- lawed all sculpturing of human or animal forms. He did, however, permit these forms to be used in paintings and mosaic work. This edict forced many sculptors to leave Byzantium, and it also forced the development of new forms which were based upon plant life and geometric figures. Perhaps some of us might now recognize a few of the ma- jor characteristics of Byzantine Churches, which are: 1. The floor plan laid out along the lines of the Greek cross. 2. The central dome with four domes around it. One dome over each arm of the cross. 3. Richly colored mosaic in- teriors. 4. Lace-like carving. 5. The absence of the human or animal figure in statue work. For those who might be in- terested, a mosaic is any kind of picture or organized pattem made up from small, irregular size pieces, and these are usu- ally set in mortar. The mosaics of Italy can be divided into three general classes. The first is the brightly colored glass mosaics of Venice, second is the stone mosaics of Florence, and third is the ceramic mosaics of Rome. NEXT ISSUE: Romanesque Churches Diana Hwang Announces Candidacy for State Senate Diana Hwang, a resident of East Boston, founder of the Asian-American Women's Politi- cal Initiative, and former State House staffer, announced her candidacy to replace Anthony Petruccelli in the Democratic primary special election for Mas- sachusetts' First Suffolk and Middlesex State Senate District. "I'm running for State Senate because a district as diverse as ours needs someone who understands its needs and fights for every community and constituency," said Hwang. "As the daughter of immigrants, my story is the story of this district. IYe worked for my entire career within the system to change the system and I know first-hand the power government has to improve our lives." Ileana Cintron, an East Bos- ton activist and member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, has endorsed Hwang in this race. "I'm excited and honored to support Diana's campaign and lifelong mission of increasing access to government and giv- ing voice to those who don't feel heard or represented," said Cintron. "Diana has built rela- tionships and has the know-how and political savvy to solve prob- lems and get things done. She will make a strong senator and bring a new energy and voice for the people of this district." "Diana is one of our brightest and most committed young pro- gressive leaders. She has almost 10 years' experience advocating for women, immigrants, and working families and has done so across three very different sectors: state government, city government, and non-profits. And Diana has already shown her commitment to running a strong campaign by raising more than $50,000 during the last two weeks of December. She will have the resources needed to win an incredibly short special election," said Former Massa- chusetts State Treasurer Steve Grossman, who will serve on Hwang's finance committee. Diana began her career as the sole staff member to the late State Representative Debbie B1umer, where she drafted and guided key legislative proposals on immigrants' rights and af- fordable health care. After Rep. i~iiiiii i ! i!~!!iiiiiill ,!!i~iii~; i;!~iiiiiiii i%iiiiiiiiii i iiiiii%~i~ ~ ~iii& :~i!il i i~ ~iiiii:i! iii iiiiiiiiiiii~ 1~i~i;! i~i~iii~iii i!i iiiiiii~ii~ iiiiiii~ii!ii~/i~i!i i~ i/iiiiiiiiiii~iiii~!i~iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iiiiiiiiiii i~iii~i~ ~iiiiiiiiiii~ ~!!~iiiiii~iiii!i~:i~ii~ ~i~ii~ii!iiiiiii~iiiiiiiiiiiiii C EMETE RY CREMATORY 500 Canterbury Street The Respectful , Boston, MA 02131 617.524.1036 Serving the ItaI/an Community for Over 100 Years! Blumer's untimely death, Diana served as Executive Director for the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, where she promoted legislation on critical issues to women and families such as healthcare, domestic violence and public education. In 2008, seeing the lack of opportunities for Asian-Amer- ican women in politics, Diana created the Asian-American Women's Political Initiative (AAWPI). It was the country's first leadership initiative specifi- cally focused on getting Asian- American women into politics. Over the last 6 years, nearly 50 young women completed a State House fellowship and mentoring program. Most have gone on to work on political campaigns, in legislative offices, or in other politically active roles. Daughter of Taiwanese im- migrants, Hwang has previously served as chief-of-staff to an At-Large Boston City Councilor. Outside of work, she has been a leading advocate for women in Massachusetts, serving as a board member of the Center for Women in Politics (UMass); co-chair of the Boston Women's Fund; and as a founding com- missioner for Mayor Marty Walsh's Women's Commission. Hwang lives in East Boston's Orient Heights neighborhood and previously lived in Revere. State Senator Anthony Petruc- celli's announcement last month that he would be leaving the State Senate to take a new job, sets up a special election on May 10uL The Democratic pri- mary will be held on Tuesday, April 12 Massachusetts' First Suffolk and Middlesex state senate district includes Revere, Winthrop, parts of Cambridge, and East Boston, Beacon Hill, North End, Chinatown, Bay Village, West End and the Wa- terfront in Boston. by Girard A. Plante How many times each day do you think of a vital piece of machinery that was invented to ease the rough edges of life? Where did it originate? Who is its inventor? How did the idea for such an important part of our lives come about? I'm choosing the tow truck as one invention that has provided us an easier, safer life for many decades. Where would we all be with- out such a machine that easily transports our broken-down car on the Massachusetts Turnpike after its battery goes dead? Or when that essential water hose connected to the car radiator bursts on a blistering July af- ternoon as you're heading to the beach. And when your vehicle is pulled out of that ditch on a dark country road as you spun out of control atop icy asphalt. While growing up, my family and I knew a man in our neigh- borhood who owned an auto body shop. We could always count on Bob Mazza to literally pull us out of trouble. And the most important aspect of his successful business relied on his red tow truck that brought damaged vehicles from crashes or mere breakdowns that re- quired repairs at his shop. Bob and his three oldest sons' stories of horrific crashes were legendary. Picking up the pieces and reconstructing a crash, Bob or his sons would say: "Is all part of the job. Bob's tow truck amazed me with its strong steel exterior, its several levers deftly used by Bob to pull a long steel chain with a hook at its tip attached to a front bumper or rear fender, and securely attached to the rear of the tow truck. A light atop his tow truck's roof spun in circles casting a bright orange glow giving warning to drivers a distance away. So how did the tow truck be- come an integral part of daily life? Meet Ernest Holmes, a me- chanic from Chattanooga, TN, who in 1916 attempted to pull a Model T car out of a creek that had landed on its roof. Holmes raced to the scene of the accident with six other men. After an eight-hour exhausting struggle to drag the car out of the water and onto the dry road, Holmes knew the laborious ef- fort required an easier way. Ernest set out earnestly to build a better tow truck by fastening a crane and pulley mechanism to a 1913 Cadillac. But the rig failed because it tee- tered off-balance making it un- able to stay upright as it pulled and lifted disabled vehicles. Holmes found the easy and safe way as he precisely fastened outriggers to the chassis of the Cadillac, and then secured the crane and pulley to the frame for rock-solid support. Cadillacs were the choice to construct a tow truck on as trucks had just begun to be built as a useful vehicle like the Model T. Nowadays, variations of the tow truck are commonly used to rescue all manner of vehicles. Names such as Boom, Wheel- lift, Flatbed, and Integrated are in daily demand as they offer versatility and superior strength to lift and carry large and medium-size buses, trac- tor-trailers, and dump trucks, along with small cars parked in tight spaces. Each time I see a tow truck or even the more commonly used flatbed trucks that carry a single vehicle on, I think of Bob and gain greater respect for the unique business he crafted to ease the lives of people waiting longingly to see their auto, damaged by an accident or breakdown, towed safely to his repair shop. Hail to the oft-overlooked tow truck and its drivers for mak- ing our roads safer and easier to travel along! Note: Information for my column came from Why Didn't I Think of That, an online information/education newsletter on entrepreneurial endeavors. Fill out coupon below and mail with payment to: Post-Gazette, PO Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 I would like to send a one year Gift Subscription of the Boston Post-Gazette to the following person(s). I have enclosed $35 per subscription. Recipient Name Giver Name Address Address City City State Zip State Zip Phone Phone