I just noticed that I bust 20,000 stream views at 1:20AM GMT 12/8/2008. It doesn't seem that long since it was 10,000. Thanks for all your support folks :)
This is another picture snatched on my quick walk around Manchester on Sunday. There is an amazing fountain in Picadilly Gardens in Manchester which is unique in so much as they encourage people to play in it and it responds to their movements. Needless to say it's full of kids when the weather is fine!
I've really pushed this image pretty hard in Photoshop and Lightroom to bring out the bubbles, splashes and bokeh. You will need to go larger to see whether or not it was worth it!
The title comes from a quote by Friedrich Froebel. He's a very interesting fella who was a very early thought leader on childhood development and you can read some more on him at the end of this section.
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Biography of Friedrich Froebel
Friedrich Froebel was born at Oberweissbach in the Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt in Thuringia. His father, who died in 1802, was the pastor of the orthodox Lutheran (alt-lutherisch) parish there. The church and Lutheran Christian faith were pillars in Froebel's own early education. Oberweissbach was a wealthy village in the Thuringian Forest and had been known centuries long for its natural herb remedies, tinctures, bitters, soaps and salves. Families had their own inherited areas of the forest where herbs and roots were grown and harvested. Each family prepared, bottled, and produced their individual products which were taken throughout Europe on trade routes passed from father to son, who were affectionately called "Buckelapotheker" or Rucksack Pharmacists. They adorned the church with art acquired from their travels, many pieces of which can still be seen in the renovated structure. The pulpit from which Froebel heard his father preach is the largest in all Europe and can fit a pastor and 12 men, a direct reference to Christ's apostles.
Shortly after Froebel's birth, his mother's health began to fail. She died when he was nine months old, profoundly influencing his life. In 1792, Fröbel went to live in the small town of Stadt-Ilm with his uncle, a gentle and affectionate man. At the age of 15 Froebel, who loved nature, became the apprentice to a forester. In 1799, he decided to leave his apprenticeship and study mathematics and botany in Jena. He later worked with Pestalozzi in Switzerland where his ideas further developed.
In 1840 he created the word kindergarten for the Play and Activity Institute he had founded in 1837 at Bad Blankenburg for young children. He designed the educational materials known as Froebel Gifts, or Fröbelgaben, which included geometric building blocks and pattern activity blocks. A book entitled Inventing Kindergarten, by Norman Brosterman, examines the influence of Friedrich Froebel on Frank Lloyd Wright and modern art.
Friedrich Froebel's great insight was to recognise the importance of the activity of the child in learning. Activities in the first kindergarten included singing, dancing, gardening and playing with the Froebel Gifts.
Those ideas about childhood development and education were introduced to academic and royal circles through the tireless efforts of his greatest proponent, the Baroness (Freiherrin) Bertha Marie von Marenholtz-Buelow. Through her Froebel made the acquaintance of the Royal House of the Netherlands, various Thuringian dukes and duchesses, including the Romanov wife of the Grand Duke von Sachsen-Weimar. Baroness von Marenholtz-Buelow, Duke von Meiningen and Froebel gathered donations to support art education for children in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Goethe. The Duke of Meiningen granted the use of his hunting lodge, called Marienthal (the Vale of Mary) in the resort town of Bad Liebenstein for Froebel to train the first women as Kindergarten teachers (called Kindergaerterinnen). It was there in the last room on the left on the second floor that Froebel left this world in peace. Those in attendance reported that they had hardly perceived that he had died as his death had been so peaceful.