April 28, 2008
Here's a wonderful, brief clip of the great tenor saxophonist Ben Webster (wiki) and the great drummer Papa Jo Jones (wiki). Both men were marvels: here's a little illustration from 1957 of what made Jones so great, and here's Ben (accompanied by pianist Teddy Wilson[wiki]) late in life, milking the ballad "Old Folks" for so much feeling that one literally sees tears running down his face. [more inside]
Pax Corleone Americana? "Can any of the candidates vying to become the next president of the United States match Michael’s cool, dispassionate courage in the face of epochal change? Will they avoid living in the comforting embrace of the past, from which both Tom and Sonny ultimately could not escape? Or will they emulate Michael’s flexibility—to preserve America’s position in a dangerous world?" The Godfather as metaphor.
Edgard Varèse : Ionisation. Iannis Xenakis : Rebonds. György Ligeti : Artikulation and Poème Symphonique For 100 Metronomes. [NOTE: see hoverovers for link descriptions] [more inside]
Mix up a batch of luminol...or let bioluminescence take care of the work for you! A Glowing Compendium. via
The Southern Foodways Alliance is one weighed-down church-supper table, full of oral history/blog projects like The Tamale Trail, the Boudin Trail, interviews and recipes from the Bartenders of New Orleans, photo essay/interviews from Birmingham's Greek-Americans, a mess o'homemade films, and a passel of event and BBQ-shack photos on Flickr, all smothered in the tangy-sweet academic goodness of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss. These folks get my vote for most flavorful, funkiest food-loving folklorists in the lower forty-eight. [more inside]
"One of the biggest examples of the planned obsolescence of modern American capitalism...is the razor. The two blade razor, then the three blade razor, then the five blade razor. Um, these things are okay but...mostly not good. You've gotta go counterintuitive..." [more inside]
Rack 'em, then pocket them all asfastasyoucan. Now you're playing Speed Pool. Think you can beat the Ginger Wizard? Luc Salvas did. [more inside]
Viktor Schreckengost who died last year at the grand age of 101, was regarded by some as the father of industrial design. Every adult in America has ridden in, ridden on, drunk out of, stored their things in, eaten off of, been costumed in, etc… and there is no going past his gorgeous pedal cars. Some of his work can also be seen online at The Cleveland Museum of Art.
"Hey-ay pony, that's the wrong noise you're making..." A vintage MadTV performance of Corky and the Juice Pigs ^ parodying REM, back when they were ripe for it. Some prefer The Only Gay Eskimo. More on Corky. [more inside]
Charting the Uncanny Valley [2 3 4 5 6 7] is a thorough explanation of Masahiro Mori's hypothesis. Of course, if you're short on time, there's always 30 Rock. [more inside]
Steve Gisselbrecht writes about his experiments taking chocolate from beans to bars at home. [more inside]
Influenced by the Modernist documentarian André Kertész, with references to the hard-edged, black-and-white works of Weegee and Diane Arbus, this self-taught photographer captured raw and intimate images, and transformed urban scenes into theatrical dramas. More photos at jillfreedman.com.
523 years after his original drawing, DaVinci's parachute design is proven to actually work. There was an earlier attempt, but apparently the wooden frame specified by DaVinci likely would have seriously maimed the jumper. Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, the 2008 jump was made from a helicopter - another one of DaVinci's concepts.
How far away from work do you live? How much of your pay gets used up to get you to and from work, get you around town, and pay for where you live? As gas and food prices continue to rise, "affordability" has become a more critical notion for everyday Americans. The Center for Neighborhood Technology developed their Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, which aims to help better inform renters and owners about the relationship of transportation options to where one lives.
Bill Moyers interviews the Reverend Jeremiah Wright in his first broadcast interview with a journalist since he became embroiled in a controversy for his remarks and his relationship with Barack Obama [more inside]
The Financial Crisis: An Interview with George Soros. "We are in the midst of a financial crisis the likes of which we haven't seen since the Great Depression." (video, April 4)
Paracord is a perennial survival kit favorite, but why carry a boring ol' hank of it when you can get crafty? Parachute cord lanyards, bracelets, watchbands, belts, and other braided items are surprisingly easy and fun to make by following some simple instructions. But they're just the beginning! From water bottle carriers and camera tripods to knife handles, Khukri conversions, flashlight & stick wraps, pace beads, magazine pulls, rifle wraps and rifle slings, there are tons of useful things you can make out of paracord! [more inside]
The Modernist Journals Project collects literary arts journals from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including both issues of Wyndham Lewis' Vorticist manifesto Blast, the first ten years of Poetry magazine (with Amy Lowell, T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesterton and foreign correspondent Ezra Pound), topical essays, the Virginia Woolf-inspired December 1910 Project, the amazing proto-dada zine Le Petit Journal des Réfusées and a searchable biographical database of famous and not so famous artists and writers.
Ubuntu 8.04's Hardy Heron has recently perched on millions of desktops worldwide, but what does the future look like for the darling of the open source world? Now entering a new 2-year art developent cycle, Ubuntu's continuing quest for "pure, unadulterated, raw, visceral, lustful, shallow, skin deep beauty" has begun again in earnest. Bleeding edge desktop effects [youtube, music] are already creeping into the official distribution and the community is eagerly awaiting the new graphical look, promised as a ground-up re-imagination in the next release, Intrepid Ibex. Watch this space.
Helsinki is home to a new baby camel, Snufkin. He is the son of 13 year old Voodoo and his partner, Selma. [more inside]
Dan Dare, pilot of the future, scourge of the Venusian Mekon menace, and modernist architectural inspiration?
"The KeeLoq [Wikipedia] encryption algorithm is widely used for security relevant applications in the form of passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) transponders for physical access control systems, e.g., for garage door opening or building access. We present the first successful DPA (Differential Power Analysis) attacks on numerous commercially available products employing KeeLoq." The paper.
In the Matter of Daniel Smoote v. Frank & Jesse James As bank robberies go, the 1869 heist pulled off by legendary outlaws Jesse and Frank James in Daviess County, Mo., wasn’t much of a success: They may have left with no money, they probably shot the wrong man, and Jesse James lost his horse. Perhaps even more frustrating for the outlaw duo, they ended up getting sued by a local farmer and his ambitious young lawyer—the first and only successful civil action against the former Confederate guerrillas-turned-outlaws. [more inside]
"The whole country must ask itself just what is really, fundamentally going wrong." An Austrian pensioner has admitted holding his daughter captive in a basement for 24 years, during which time he fathered seven children with her. [more inside]
The Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence is a scholarly database of case studies focusing on massacres and genocides of the 20th century, both transnational and national. It also includes theoretical papers. [more inside]
Arizona Then and Now -- When paired with vintage images of the 19th and 20th centuries, Arizona photographers Allen Dutton and Paul Scharbach's modern-day images reveal the changes that have shaped the state's landscape during the past 100-plus years. They searched the state to locate the precise spots from which to rephotograph the scenes captured by their predecessors, endeavoring to achieve the same angles, perspectives, and lighting as in the early photographs.
Tohoku University's Kano Collection is an unparalleled collection of japanese books from the Edo period. The beautiful and grizzly Kaibou zonshinzu anatomical chart has been making the blogrounds lately but that's only one of the countless treasures the Kano Collection has to offer. Stumbling around near-blindly, like a non-Japanese reader such as myself, with only minimal help from the site, I have come across an amazing variety of beautiful objects, such as this picture book, a scroll with images of animals, city map, map of Japan, battle map, another picture book, the Kaitai shouzu anatomical chart and this picture scroll which has my favorite little scene I've come across in the collection. Whole days could be spent just surfing idly through the Kano Collection.