In 1972 Lady Sings the Blues was released. Ostensibly a biopic about the life of Billie Holiday, it was a travesty of made up history and glaring ommissions. In response to that release a symposium was held on Lady Day's life and work which included storytelling from Artie Shaw (about hiring her in 1938) and Carmen McRae (about her drug life). The CBC recently put together an excellent podcast with these stories and some interview tape from Billie Holiday herself. posted by salishsea at 8:03 PM PST - 3 comments
In 1972, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were convicted of murdering a prison guard in Louisiana's notorious maximum-security prison, Angola. The warden sentenced them to solitary confinement, where they remained for the next 36 years. Until March 2008, the men had spent at least 23 hours per day in cells that measured only 6 x 9 feet.
Woodfox's conviction was recently overturned, evidently through a federal habeus proceeding, and he is awaiting a new trial. NPR did an outstanding job of tracking down people involved and telling a riveting story: Part I, Part II, Part III. No doubt that much of the attention brought to the case is due to the efforts of Jackie Sumell and her Herman's House project. [more inside] posted by ajr at 7:10 PM PST - 8 comments
In addition to hosting the stuff we all know and love (loathe?), the anime music videos, the World of Warcraft ego films, the leave Brittney alone guy, youtube is also a medium for distributing indie video. Often combining moderately good production values, bizarre humor and genuinely funny writing, Kim Evey is one such producer/writer/actor, in between doing various TV roles. [more inside] posted by sotonohito at 4:41 PM PST - 10 comments
A math professor was explaining a particularly complicated calculus concept to his class when a frustrated pre-med student interrupts him. "Why do we have to learn this stuff?" the pre-med blurts out. The professor pauses, and answers matter-of-factly: "Because math saves lives." "How?" demanded the student. "How on Earth does calculus save lives?" "Because," replied the professor, "it keeps certain people out of medical school." posted by cthuljew at 8:09 AM PST - 84 comments