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Education & Discovery OFFLINE: Lascaux and Beyond ...

This site page aims to inspire. Or rather report on what inspired me. It speaks of several seemingly unrelated themes, places, movies, artworks and brilliant minds. And if you give it time those unrelated things blend. And unite with one force, one thing driving all towards Eternity. It may be said: In dogma they call it the LIGHT OF DIVINITY. In creativity they call it SOUL. In charity they call it BLESSING that you give or take. And on this page I call it, as a Freemason, the building of an inner Temple. Stone on stone. .... Make your foundations by the guide's maps and do so offline, deep within where YOU CAN REACH beyond material needs, taboos and death.
- Ardan Michael Blum

Note: Allow page to load! A HUGE amount of data is being requested (videos, and books mostly) so allow for 10 or more seconds before scrolling down.


We start in Palo Alto - epicenter not only of Silicon Valley but in many ways of being online.
Let us go to the Hewlett-Packard House and Garage is located at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto. This garage is the birthplace of Silicon Valley. The idea for such a region originated with Dr. Frederick Terman, a Stanford University professor who encouraged his students to start up their own electronics companies in the area instead of joining established firms in the East. The first two students to follow his advice were William R. Hewlett and David Packard, who in 1938 began developing their first product, an audio oscillator, in this garage.
Hidden in the HP Garage is a MAGIC BOAT: Culture, Art, and creativity are on the horizon. Lift the yellow tarpaulin, dust off the boat, get into your seat and we sail …

First stop Rome, Italy and most amazing Sistine Chapel
If you navigate with your mouse on this virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel you will see the amazing frescos painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. Look carefully, you’ll notice that most of the columns on the ceiling are not actual columns — they’re painted. Most of the ceiling surfaces is in fact flat, and Michelangelo painted columns to make it appear more elaborate. The narrative begins at the altar and is divided into three sections. In the first three paintings, Michelangelo tells the story of The Creation of the Heavens and Earth.

The subjects of the frescoes:

TIME TO GO OFFLINE!   Steps: 1) Leaving daily flights. 2) Rome Hotels. 3) Location Map in Vatican City, Rome, Italy. 4) When to visit: Monday to Saturday: 9 am – 6 pm (final entry at 4pm). 

Tips: Before you go make sure to get a LARGE, quality paper guide of the greatest town on earth. Concider staying 10 days. April to June and late September to October are the best months for traveling. St. Peter's Square is beautiful at night, as are the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Colosseum (the largest amphitheatre built during the Roman Empire). BE ATTENTIVE to petty theft & pickpockets. Keep a copy of all your documents at the hotel. Read this blog for more rome safety tips. According to "Taxis are nearly impossible hail on the street; you’ll need to call one of the radio dispatch centres (06 3570, 06 4994, 06 4157, 06 6645, 06 88177) or find a taxi stand (in the centro storico: Largo Argentina, Pantheon, Corso Rinascimento, Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Largo Goldoni, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Venezia, Colosseum. In Trastevere: Piazza GG Belli. In the Vatican area: Piazza Pio XII, Piazza Risorgimento). Once you’ve found the taxi stand, assert your place in line." As you walk the streets of Rome you will find reminders of History blending with Art all the time. You will also find that RELIGION, FASHION, FOOD, VALUES, CREATIVITY, PASSION and SMILES are near.
View: Other must-see attractions in Rome from Google, and from the official Rome tourism website: surrounding the city sites and their section Of Further Interest.

Next, as our magic boats sails onward  it is time to select WONDERFUL movies. Films you plan to see in real world movie theatres ...

OVERVIEW: Filmmaker Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) struggles to find creative inspiration. Overwhelmed by his work and personal life, the director retreats into the fantastical territory of the imagination. As he tries to sort out his many entanglements, romantic and otherwise, Anselmi finds his production becoming more and more autobiographical. Director: Federico Fellini

Apocalypse Now Redux

OVERVIEW: Secret ops assassin Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is sent on a mission up a river during the Vietnam War to “terminate with extreme prejudice” the errant Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Director: Francis Ford Coppola. Make sure to see the longer version (ie: Redux) and to turn the volume up.

Three Days of the Condor

OVERVIEW: Joe Turner (Robert Redford), a bookish CIA researcher with the code name Condor will spend seventy-two hours of high value movie viewing. Director: Sydney Pollack

Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot

One of the more charming films you will ever see. Director: Jacques Tati

Mon Oncle

This film has to be understood in the context of a world that is being replaced by technology and “progress” that is actually not an improvement. Director: Jacques Tati


A classic comedy for ADULTS. Director: Woody Allen

The Third Man

Wonderful. Director: Carol Reed

Eyes Wide Shut

The last film by one of the great film directors of our time is based in part on "Traumnovelle" 1926 novella "A Dream Novel", also known as "Dream Story" by the Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler.
Some of this movie will shock even world-aware adults. NOT for children. Amazing in so many ways! Director: Stanley Kubrick

Dr Strangelove

Peter Sellers taking on several roles in this great classic by Stanley Kubrick.

Barry Lyndon - in my view the greatest film by Stanley Kubrick

Second extract:

A masterpiece.

The Godfather Part II

Of the 3 films – the second, to me, is the greatest. Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Sunset Boulevard

Many see this as Billy Wilder's greatest film and a classic for all time. It stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star who draws him into her fantasy world where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen, with Erich von Stroheim as Max von Mayerling, her devoted servant. In the movie, Norma Desmond's address is 10086 Sunset Boulevard in the film but in reality, the filming location was 641 S. Irving Blvd at the corner of Irving and Wilshire. See > The home right before it was demolished in 1957. Make sure to see the actual SCREENPLAY (a wonderful read). 

North By Northwest

OVERVIEW: Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) is pursued by ruthless spy Phillip Vandamm (James Mason) after Thornhill is strangely mixed up in one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest films. Includes: the renound scene on a country road with the dust cropper scene

Body of Lies

To date the coolest counter-terrorism films! Director: Ridley Scott

Dog Day Afternoon

At times darkly comic, very touching as you see the heroic side of criminals in a ridiculous scheme (taking hostages and trying to rob a bank for a lover's sex change operation) based on true events :
A masterpiece of acting. With Al Pacino and John Cazale. Director: Sidney Lumet


A wonderful, amazing movie. Director: Brian De Palma


NOT FOR CHILDREN – An amazing film. Director: Roman Polanski


Not for children: 10 films, each based on a BROKEN commandment, set in and around an apartment block in Warsaw, Poland. The stories share the fractured quality of modern family life, its dreams, hopes and sadness; focus on the CHOICES we all make, every day of our lives.
I would suggest taking 5 days to see all the films in one go and NOT watching anything else (save the news if you have to).
Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski

The Apu Trilogy

"Pather Panchali, is one among the finest films ever made. The film won about a dozen awards at various film festivals world-over. Pather Panchali, eventually, became the first film of a trilogy." Read More. Discover: Satyajit Ray

Fanny and Alexander

Two young children experience the many comedies and tragedies of life. Director: Ingmar Bergman


We sail on to discover ... 

Albert Schweitzer

The Nobel Peace Prize (in 1952) was awared to this extraordinary man for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa).

"Ethics is nothing other than Reverence for Life. Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil."
— Albert Schweitzer

Pablo Casals - The WONDER of classic music

Second extract: Rare film by Robert Snyder of Casals playing Bach’s Suite no 1
OFFLINE > A great book by my late father: Casals and the Art of Interpretation

(RE)DISCOVER as you go for a long nature walk: 
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 67
Frédéric Chopin – Nocturne No. 2 In E-Flat Major, Op. 9
Johann Sebastian Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major

Dawn of Art - Lascaux

Lascaux Cave is famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac. The paintings are estimated to be 17 300 years old. They primarily consist of images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time.
Make sure to also see this guided tour followed by this media collection.

The original cave was closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the art. What you will visit is a REPLICA. The discovery of the monumental Lascaux cave in 1940 brought with it a new era in our knowledge of both prehistoric art and human origins.

So what do these images mean? See: and then I would suggest this essay by Dr. Mary Beth Looney.


OFFLINE: Go for a walk early in the morning and think over (at first it will be hard) your night's dreams.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is honored by Indians as the father of the Indian Nation or 'Mahatma', meaning Great Soul. A Great Soul of 20th Century is a lovely and important film to see. See a well presented one page biography.

FOR OFFLINE USE: You may wish to take All Men Are Brothers to read by stream, or the ocean. Or you may wish to WALK part or all of the 241 mile treck known as the Salt March (also called Dandi March or Salt Satyagraha) which was a major nonviolent protest action heading for the sea to make salt. It aimed to fight the 1930 British law banning the independent collection and sale of salt. The march went from Ahmedabad to Dandi, Gujarat.
Further reading:
Early Life: Ordinary and Shy Boy
Education in London
South Africa Train Journey
Salt Satyagraha- Dandi March
International Day of Non-Violence
Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi
Reference websites
Modern India and postcolonial developments & politics:

The Divine Comedy in AUDIO!

I was AMAZED by the quality of the UNABRIDGED version of Dante's work from Naxos AudioBooks read by Heathcote WilliamsThe Inferno PurgatoryParadise. Also: Get the INFERNO PDF HERE PURGATORY  PDF and HEAVEN PDF HERE (no purchase needed for the PDF downloads). 

Note: You may also find many free versions of this work being read - but nothing I have found online comes close to the quality of the Naxo collection. Naturally the best possible reading might by your own!Here is a link to Dante Aligheri's text, in EnglishAnd make sure to see this fantastic page.

Maria Montessori

The Montessori Method allows children to realize their full potential aware of being a most valuable unique person. It is offers a trully coherent vision which fosters initiative, self-esteem, and the joy of learning. More: Dr. Montessori's own handbook (PDF). OFFLINE DISCOVERY IN THE UNITED STATES: Today there are approximately five thousand private and two hundred public Montessori schools in the US. See if you might wish to visit one of these in your area? It is never too early to plan for your children's education. You may wish to GET INVOLVED with local groups.
WORLDWIDE: Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA)
The Indian Montessori Association (IMA)
The Institute for Montessori Education (TIME)
Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)
Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI)
Montessori Europe
Pan American Montessori Association (PAMS)
The Montessori Foundation (IMC)
The North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA)


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Also by Ardan Michael: Domain News