April 13, 2008
R.I.P. John Wheeler, theoretical physicist. Famous for the Wheeler-Feynman equations and the term "black hole," which he coined to describe a singular point mass, he has died at age 96. The NYT usually gives pretty good obituary but they outdid themselves this time. [more inside]
Dear God is a global project for people around the world to share their innermost hopes - and fears - through prayer. Some photos NSFW.
The best-known version of that joyful ode to getting smashed, Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee, would surely be the Jerry Lee Lewis rendition, and Memphis rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette recorded a hopping little version of the tune as well. But the song was written and originally recorded by Stick (aka "Sticks") McGhee, who adapted it from a chant he learned during his stint in the Army. And yes, "spo-dee-o-dee" was a substitute for another word, which, though fine for the Army, wasn't exactly radio friendly. Stick wrote a few other tunes in celebration of the alcoholic beverage, including "Six To Eight" and "Jungle Juice". And as has been pointed out previously, the song title was likely the inspiration for the alcoholic concoction known as the "spodi". Drink up!
Quentin Bryce has been chosen as Australia's new head of state from next month. As the first Australian female in the role she joins a growing list (currently 48) of international national leaders. Bryce previously served as the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner and director of the Queensland Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission prior to her role as Queensland governor. Replacing a highly decorated ex-soldier, who cut a low profile, who had himself replaced a controversial clergyman, Bryce has the opportunity make a significant mark on the country. She will join the list of first holders of political offices, and bring us closer to to a situation where the appointment of women to positions of power is no longer remarkable.
Then and Now presents works from 8 South African documentary photographers - each contributes 10 photos taken during apartheid and 10 made since the democratic elections of 1994. (On display at Duke University through July 27.) [more inside]
Identity crisis in scientific publishing :"Chinese authors are publishing more and more papers, but are they receiving due credit and recognition for their work? Not if their names get confused along the way."
Young@Heart. What started as a 2006 British television documentary and became an audience favorite at the Los Angeles and Sundance film festivals in 2007 and 2008 opens across the United States this weekand will soon open in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Australia. The opening sequence showing Eileen Hall , then 92 , singing the 1982 hit from punk-rock group The Clash provided the inspiration for director Stephen Walker when he first saw the group on stage in London in 2005. Besides giving new meaning to lyrics from popular hits, the film is comedic and poignant as it explores friendship, old age and death.
The War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement, 1942-1945 collection is a searchable online archive which "contains approximately 7000 photographs and 317 Kodachrome slides which have been arranged into 18 series" (quoted from the Scope and Content page). Links to photo series are under the Container Listing header. Alternatively, you can just browse through them all. [more inside]
Aryan Outfitters - a photo and audio essay from Mother Jones magazine about a day in the life of a 58-year old seamstress who caters to the Ku Klux Klan.
In his effort to shed light on medical marijuana use, comedian Doug Benson documents not smoking pot for 30 days and then smoking pot for 30 days in a row in Super High Me.
"What Have We Learned, If Anything?" Historian Tony Judt in the NYRB wonders if we have forgotten the lessons of the 20th century.
As a solo performer, Martin Dosh isn't your typical one man band. Watch him construct densely, beautifully layered songs via live looping. [more inside]
It's the 1981 Atari product catalog!
The Government Is Trying to Wrap Its Mind Around Yours. Why the Next Civil Rights Battle Will Be Over the Mind.
If you've ever been to Bangkok you might've run into one of them and not even known it. They are a ubiquitous fixture on the bar scene and can be found in the Nana Plaza area. If you're asking yourself the same question that I was then this maybe your answer. Although they enjoy a certain amount of acceptance, they still have a long way to go to be recognized as full citizens with equal rights. Of course, this hasn't stopped them from staking their claim to the spotlight, and trying to become as much of the mainstream as they can. But, if you thought that they were pushovers, well then, think again. [previously mentioned here]
The National Odd Shoe Exchange is a non-profit organization that is a source of footwear for those requiring single shoes or pairs of differing sizes. Many have this need due to injury, disease or genetic disorders. [more inside]
An Engineers Guide to Cats (youTube)
If you love the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (and who in their right mind doesn't?) and enjoyed the Japanese version of Smoke on the Water, you might just barely tolerate this. Warning: contains five minutes of repackaged
progressivepretentious rock and images of cello-based dorkiness. I gave it 98/100.