February 19, 2012
Age, race and gender breakdown of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, although the exact list of members is one of the best guarded secrets in America
Rupert Murdoch to replace the News of the World with the Sun on Sunday, meaning the Sun will publish 7 days a week. (Sun, BBC) In other News International news, Murdoch has reinstated the Sun journalists arrested for paying public officials, will pay their legal expenses, and has written to all of the Sun's journalists with a combative memo pledging support. The Guardian liveblogged the day.
Joseph E. Stiglitz "argues that the U.S. is now facing and must manage a similar shift in the 'real' economy, from industry to service, or risk a tragic replay of 80 years ago."
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz is the longest-running cultural program on National Public Radio - having been hosted by Ms. McPartland from June 4, 1978 through November 10, 2011. Her guests included Eubie Blake, Carla Bley, JoAnne Brackeen, Ray Charles, Alice Coltrane, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, Dick Hyman, Ahmad Jamal, Keith Jarrett, Hank Jones, Oscar Peterson, Michel Petrucciani, Marcus Roberts, and McCoy Tyner.
Ana White shares hundreds of free furniture plans on her website, encouraging those who may have never built furniture before. Formerly known as "Knock Off Wood" since she had DIY versions of popular retail styles, she changed her name after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Williams-Sonoma (owner of Pottery Barn and West Elm). An audio interview with Ms. White and a Flickr pool of completed projects. (via Balancing Everything)
In the 1930s in Chicago, it started pouring heavily, and ex-forestry ranger Steve Kordek ran into a building to get out of the rain. The company was Genco, and Steve was hired to work there at 26, which began a long, long career in pinball. Designer of over 100 games, he worked at Genco, Bally and finally Williams, retiring along with Williams' exit from Pinball with the ignoble shutdown of the Pinball 2000 project, a story told in the documentary Tilt (which has extensive interviews with Kordek). Here's a video of Steve in 1994. This week, Steve Kordek passed on, having celebrated his 100th birthday last month. Here's video of his 100th birthday party, with heartfelt tributes from friends and colleagues, and a few words from Steve himself.
“Losing” the World (Part 1) & The Imperial Way (Part 2): American Decline in Perspective by N. Chomsky. [more inside]
The lack of Corporate and Governmental transparency has been a topic of much controversy in recent years, yet our only tool for encouraging greater openness is the slow, tedious process of policy reform.Solution? The Transparency Grenade.
He-Gassen - aka The Japanese Fart Scrolls. More at the Waseda University Library. (Alert: some ribald artsy nudity within)
Michael Davis, bass player for the bands MC5 and Destroy All Monsters, passed away at 68 on February 17, 2012 from liver failure.
A relatively new twist in the sad saga of Little Albert is challenging the traditional understanding of the already troublingly unethical classical experiment. [more inside]
After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, all bets were off for live musicians who played in movie theaters. Thanks to synchronized sound, the use of live musicians was unnecessary — and perhaps a larger sin, old-fashioned. In 1930 the American Federation of Musicians formed a new organization called the Music Defense League and launched a scathing ad campaign to fight the advance of this terrible menace known as recorded sound.
The evil face of that campaign was the dastardly, maniacal robot.
The evil face of that campaign was the dastardly, maniacal robot.
Paul Cornell, noted genre author and TV writer, recently announced that he seeks convention panel parity and will take personal action to that end:
If I'm on, at any convention this year, a panel that doesn't have a 50/50 gender split (I'll settle for two out of five), I'll hop off that panel, and find a woman to take my place.This leads to the general question at Tor.com, The Cornell Ratio: Should SFF Convention Panels Be 50/50 Male and Female?
The existing data... suggest that states and indigenous pro-democracy groups should be cautious about using economic sanctions as a tool in their struggles against authoritarian regimes. The data not only show that dictatorships faced with sanctions tend to enhance their grip on power, but also that successful cases of democratization have overwhelmingly occurred in the absence of broad economic sanctions. Sanctions Don’t Promote Democratic Change.
From June 2, 1957, CBS Radio Workshop presents Epitaphs, [online listening link, higher quality mp3 link click to listen, right-click to download] a half-hour of readings from 1915's Spoon River Anthology, a collection of poems by Clarence Darrow's former law partner which depict the inhabitants of a graveyard in a fictional small town in Illinois. [more inside]
Richard Dawkins on the surreal experience of being the subject of a Sunday Telegraph "gotcha" article.
THE OYO EMPIRE by Prof George Ayittey As you read this keep these pertinent modern questions in mind: Whether or not military dictatorship existed in the empire, rule of law was absent, there were no accountability or checks and balances, and whether the rulers can be removed.
"...walked out of her apartment with just thirty dollars when she was twenty-five years old. She was never seen again."
Farksolia: The nephew of Barbara Follett, the child-prodigy novelist who mysteriously disappeared in 1939, has created a Web site for his aunt’s life and works. [Previously] [more inside]
Longtime New Yorker Bob Egan's PopSpots tracks down the original New York City locations where famous images were shot, then superimposes the original picture over the present-day location. Did you know the iconic The Kids are Alright album-cover shot of The Who, asleep and wrapped by the Union Jack, was staged just east of Columbia University? Ever wonder where, exactly, the shot of the Central Park "pretzle" guy from Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic was taken? Or curious whether it would be possible to figure out the exact spot in Greenwich Village where the solarized cover photo of Neil Young's After the Gold Rush was snapped? The exact fire escape where Paul Simon was photographed for Still Crazy After All These Years? Egan reveals all, then shows you how he figured it out. [more inside]
NYPD monitored Muslim students all over the Northeast, reading their blogs, even sending an agent on a City College rafting trip. A 'secret' police report is here.
The forgetting pill: Can it erase painful memories forever? What about politically inconvenient memories? Will the act of remembering will become a choice?
DogTV, a cable network for dogs, launched in San Diego this past Monday aimed at stay-at-home canines and their workaday owners who want to feel better about time apart. [more inside]
"A big promise has been broken. You can't have a United States if you are telling some folks that they can't get on the train. There is a cracking point where a society collapses. You can't have a civilisation where something is factionalised like this." Bruce Springsteen on his new album Wrecking Ball.
“I’m Scott Sternberg. And I make clothes.” Scott Sternberg designs for Band of Outsiders, which shares a name with a 1964 French New Wave film. Based in Los Angeles Sternberg worked previously as a Hollywood agent. Debra Scherer’s The Little Squares created a short film about Sternberg called Being There. [more inside]
In the summer of 2007 on the campaign trail Barack Obama took a clear stance on the controversial subject of medical marijuana. “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.” As President in 2009 he took action to follow through on this promise by instructing federal prosecutors to “not focus federal resources in [their] States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” The memo cited the “efficient and rational use” of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “limited investigative and prosecutorial resources,” as a motivating factor in the decision." In the winter of 2012 Rolling Stone magazine takes a look back on this subject and the record is surprising. "With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst." [more inside]