Today, the Kagurazaka district in Tokyo had its annual Bakeneko Festival. Pictures from last year. [more inside]
Lionel Shriver delivered the keynote address for the 54th edition of the Brisbane Writers Festival titled Fiction and Identity Politics addressing cultural appropriation in fiction writing. [more inside]
The Henley on Todd Regatta is the only boat race in the world that was cancelled because the river actually had water in it, back in 1993. How do the boats move on a waterless river-are they towed or pushed?. In the words of its founder, Reg Smith, we cut the bottoms out and carry them!. [more inside]
J-DAR, presented by the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, is a web app that analyzes the Jewishness of your favorite films.
Picture Eric Schmidt wearing a leather Top hat and a waistcoat made of mirrors No really, the article contains a picture of Executive Chairman of Alphabet (previously one of the Google CEOs) Eric Schmitdt wearing a leather Top hat and a waistcoat adorned with mirrors [more inside]
The Guča Tumpet Festival, also known as Драгачевски сабор, is an annual brass band festival held in the town of Guča, in western Serbia. [more inside]
Drone video footage of the largest ice fishing tournament in the world from Gull Lake, Minnesota. (SLYT) There are over 20,000 holes in the ice and just as many anglers.
The Burning Man of Birding: Inside Iceland's Puffin Festival by Brian Kevin [Audubon.org] For decades Icelanders have celebrated the Atlantic Puffin even while they've served it up on plates. But some traditions can't last forever.
These days, though, the only place to reliably find smoked puffin at Thjodhatid is in the concession tent, where, alongside cheeseburgers and chicken fingers, it’s sold for 1,500 krona, or about $12, per bird. That’s three times what it cost 20 years ago, making one little puffin an expensive snack; it’d take three birds to make a modest meal. So it isn’t a popular menu item—the concession tent has stocked just 600 birds for a three-day fest that regularly draws 16,000 people. Still, the puffin has its devotees.
Pumpkin boats, whether captained by avant-gourd record-smashers or costumed squads of competitive squashbucklers, have sprouted up as part of fall festivals across North America. The splashing pumpkins have been spotted in Tualatin Oregon, Elk Grove California, Salt Lake City Utah, Cooperstown New York, Damariscotta Maine, and Lake Pesaquid in Nova Scotia, home of the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta.
Two short videos from last year's RISE Lantern Festival outside Las Vegas. This year's evnt is scheduled for this weekend in the Mojave desert. [more inside]
In 1924, the longest-running community festival in the United States, Las Fiestas de Santa Fe, got a bit weirder, thanks to the artist Will Shuster. That year, he found inspiration in the burning of Judas effigies, specifically the practice including firecrackers, performed by the Yaqui Indians of northwest Mexico (Google books preview) and he created Zozobra (meaning anxiety, worry in Spanish, nicknamed "Old Man Gloom" or "the gloomy one"). The burning effigy was joined by a fire spirit dancer around 1933, originally created by Jacques Cartier, formerly a ballet dancer in New York. [more inside]
"Maybe the story is the difference between the writers on the panels and the writers in the audience. That story is the creation of a celebrity class. That story is the fine line between jealousy and envy: I want everything you have versus I want everything I can have. Or is the story simply vanity?" Choire Sicha of the Awl reports on (and attempts to schmooze through) the two-day New Yorker literary festival
Yesterday, "Surf and Turf" Joey DaSilva slid, slipped, and skipped to the end of a 45-foot-long telephone pole suspended over the water and covered with grease and slop. By grabbing the flag at the end, he became the 2015 Saturday champion of the annual Greasy Pole contest, making him one of the elite crew eligible to compete again on Fiesta Sunday for the rest of his life. It's one of the highlights of the unique St. Peter's Fiesta, an annual festival sponsored by the Italian-American fishing community of Gloucester, MA. The festival is a five-day celebration including a procession of St. Peter's effigy accompanied by bands and Sicilian chants, a Sunday mass on a large outdoor altar, seine boat races, a carnival, food, and drinking - lots of drinking. The annual festival is a defining force in Gloucester's tight-knit community, even as the fishing industry that generated it continues a long decline. [more inside]
Yesterday, the organizers of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival announced that this summer's festival will be their last. [more inside]
Zaouli dance from the Ivory Coast and Captain Hook & Astrix - Bungee Jump mashup is the latest vid for the Burning Mountain Festival held in the Engadin Valley, Switzerland. Zaouli, a popular mask dance, was created in the fifties. The Gouro ethnic group is the midwestern part of Ivory Coast / Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa. According to what people say, there are diverse legends regarding the origin of the Zaouli mask and dance; yet, all come to the agreement that such legends were inspired by a very beautiful girl - 'Dzela Lou Zaouli' - daughter of Zaouli."
Mamuthones move slowly, with heavy steps, as if they were chained. Their backs are curved under the weight of the bells, under the coarse vests, under the grimacing masks. Rhythmically, they shake their right shoulder, the left foot advances, bells clang in unison. Issohadores move with agile, deft steps, surrounding the darker figures as if they were hoarding them, guiding them, then confronting them.
"Baloeiros came from modest roots, launched into an explosive phenomenon, and then were criminalized. It seems that for now, they remain in a state of suspension" – Photographs of construction and launches at Balão da Vez (worth translating for the interesting stories too). [via]
“These are young people who refuse to be put in a box, but are still trying to make sense of themselves. Over the years, the concept of Black rock has been rejected by both Blacks and whites. Afropunk shows that there are other types of Black experiences. It’s exciting to see Blacks who are unafraid to go a different way.” Afropunk Before Afropunk [more inside]
Wattstax [SLYT] is a 1973 documentary film about the 1972 Wattstax music festival, held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots. Featuring performances by Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus and Carla Thomas, The Staple Singers, The Emotions, The Bar-Kays, and other greats of soul, R&B, and gospel, Wattstax also incorporates relatively unknown comic Richard Pryor's musings on life for black Americans in 1972, "man-and-woman-on-the-street" interviews, and audience footage. [NSFW] [more inside]
The true secret of Easter - but are toys replacing candy (or, more awfully, live animals) as the traditional Easter gift? And is that a bad thing?
The Old Man at Burning Man. "When I mentioned to friends that I was going to Burning Man with my 69-year-old father, 'Good idea' were the words out of no one's mouth."
Coachella Hipster Cred Calculator "Pick out the bands you like and add them up to figure out your hipster cred". (Points determined purely by how far down the daily billing list they are and how large/small type the band name is (with one exception: somebody must really hate the Red Hot Chili Peppers - not that there's anything wrong with that)
For the 2012 iTunes Music Festival, 65 acts (including P!nk, One Direction, David Guetta , Jessie J, OneRepublic, Ellie Goulding, Andrea Bocelli, Matchbox Twenty, Muse and many others) performed at the Roundhouse in London throughout the month of September. 40 performances are available in full online. [more inside]
A festival of indie creativity in Portland, Oregon, XOXO was Kickstartered into existence as an alternative to SXSW and sold out in just over two days. Its speakers spoke of a new kind of individual creative entrepreneurship enabled by technology, and included Dan Harmon, Adam Savage, MakerBot's Bre Prettis (previously) and MeFi's own mathowie, while its attendees were a kind of who's-who of the Internet. Anil Dash wrote up every session, and you can pre-order videos on the main site.
Archibald Query 's creation, Marshmallow Fluff, followed a winding path to household name. Most famous as a component of the Fluffernutter sandwich, this icon of New England cuisine appears in hundreds of other recipes, including whoopie pies and Mamie Eisenhower's Never Fail Fudge. You can even try making it yourself. . Other homages include the pop-style "Fluffart" of Susan Olsen, perhaps better known to us as the Brady Bunch's Cindy; some video tributes, and the What the Fluff? Festival in Somerville, MA (previously),
Buffalo chicken wings were invented by Teressa Bellissimo at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York in 1964. Americans will eat 25 billion of them this year - not a few of them at the 10th annual National Buffalo Wing Festival. Some people eat nothing else. Alton Brown steams his. But will any of them be more delicious than these Sriracha Garlic Wings?
Midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice is Belatane, when the dark half of the year ends and the light half begins. Some celebrate the spiritual. Some the social. For some Beltane stirs more earthy observations.
Over the weekend, Austin had a beer festival. It was a disaster. An apology was offered on facebook. But it looks like this wasn't the first time the organizers tried this game.
Last weekend, the annual Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup took place in Sweetwater Texas, as it has since 1958. Previously 1, Previously 2, plus on the Simpsons. Sponsored by the Jaycess, it attracts a huge crowd and lots of press, but when Danny Mendez, a zoologist and host of Urban Jungles Radio showed up to see for himself what it was like, he was refused entry and given a citation for Criminal Trespassing. What sort of issues would a zoologist be concerned about and why the Sweetwater Jaycees not want Danny (as well as Sky Stevens, a Texas biology student, Wildlife enthusiast and contributor to the show) not to even enter to see a beauty pageant? [more inside]
In February each year, Ludhiana becomes the destination fro hundreds of sports enthusiasts, including foreigners. They come to Kila Raipur to see the special breed of bullocks, camels, dogs, mules and other animals competing in highly professional events. It is to be seen to be believed. In 1946, Mr. Bakhsish Singh was instrumental in getting the most popular event of the Games – the Bullock Cart Race – introduced. This is the annual Kila Raipur Sports Festival, commonly called The Rural Olympics. This years games are over, but photos of various events are being posted online. For one last taste, here's a 10 minute video from the 2007 events.
"There are many rights for which we should fight, but the right to protection from offense is not one of them."
Hari Kunzru: Reading The Satanic Verses in Jaipur: Why the novelist read from Salman Rushdie’s banned book The Satanic Verses to protest against the cancellation of Rushdie’s visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Over 35 musical saw players travel from as far away as India and Japan to play and honor the musical saw. The NYC Musical Saw Festival aims to preserve the past, honor the present, and shape the future of the musical saw through performances, workshops, and compositions created for the musical saw. Will the musical saw ever receive the recognition and respect that it deserves?
Yesterday, July 6th, was the first day of San Fermín or Sanfermines in Pamplona, in celebration of Saint Fermín. As is tradition, it starts with a rocket, and turns into a giant, joyous, drunken party in the streets. The events to follow have changed over the centuries, with the addition of Riau Riau in 1914 (actual singing, words and lyrics, Spanish Wiki page with lyrics) in 1914, and most recently, leaving of candles and red bandanas at the Church of San Lorenzo, following the singing of Pobre de Mi. Oh, and there's the running of the bulls (route, photos from yesterday's run, previously). [more inside]
DetroitTechno.org presents a documentary (1 2 3) about the history and politics of techno with a focus on the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, now called Movement, from its inception in 2000 until the most recent one in 2010. [more inside]
The American Festivals Project takes you along on two guys' National Geographic-funded 2008 tour of the "small, hidden, and bizarre" festivals celebrated all over the United States. Through photos, video, and a blog, discover Rattlesnake Roundup, Okie noodling, an American Fasnacht, the Idiotarod, and plenty more. [more inside]
"The Festival of Lights is an annual event taking place in Lyon between 8th and 11th December 2010. The people of Lyon place candles or little candle lamps in their windows in honour of the Virgin Mary. The origins of the festival date back over 150 years, to 1852 when a statue of the Virgin Mary on Fourviere Hill was to be inaugurated."
"Young Bert Stern was already one of the leading fashion photographers of the 1950's when he resolved to shoot his first film before he was thirty. He made it, with two years to spare. The result, Jazz on a Summer's Day, is a luminously breezy film that brings the rich color palette of Vogue or Harper's Bazaar of those years into the world of the documentary cinema." [more inside]
The 2010 Glastonbury Festival begins on the 23rd June at Worthy Farm in the village of Pilton, Somerset. [more inside]
"You can just about hear [the music] sometimes," Anderson said. "And you look at it on the meters and you see what it's doing. And your dog's ears will be twitching." Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson take a walkies on the wild side.
"Whybin TBWA Australia and The Sydney International Food Festival cooked up a clever way to promote last year’s fest — they used iconic foods from the participating countries to recreate their flags. From the green-white-red of basil-spaghetti-tomatoes to the orange-white-green of tikka masala-rice-saag, the results are both appetizing and a little reminiscent of middle-school geography class. Which brings us to our challenge: Can you correctly identify these 12 culinary flags?" [more inside]
Mouse. No, not that one… hmmm, no, not this one either… this one. He’s a part of the Ganesh Charturthi Festival that’s taking place here, and you are all welcome to watch.
Several Twitter-based games were launched during the world's first Literary Twestival: Flash Fiction, Collective Nouns, Pass the Plot, and Project Twutenberg (via).
Looking for a reason to celebrate today, or just a reason to skip out on your obligations? You could look through Religious seasonal days of celebration and holy days , check if today is covered by Holiday for Every Day yet, or keep things simple and rely on a Calendar of the Saints like the Catholic feast days or Greek Saints Days from the Orthodox Ministry Access Calendar. If you like to be more traditional, you could go with the Medievalist's On-line Calendar of Saints, which only lists people recognized as saints in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Or, if you feel lucky, check for special Google logos (designed by Dennis Hwang). For instance, today is the first day of Spring, and the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Holi - The Festival of Colors on the Big Picture. More about Holi. What else can you do on Holi? [pre vious ly]
The Armadillo (with audio) by Elizabeth Bishop + Lantern Festival"... between the kite sticks of the Southern Cross, receding, dwindling, solemnly and steadily forsaking us, or, in the downdraft from a peak, suddenly turning dangerous. Last night another big one fell. It splattered like an egg of fire against the cliff behind the house. The flame ran down. We saw the pair of owls who nest there flying up and up, their whirling black-and-white stained bright pink underneath, until they shrieked up out of sight. The ancient owls' nest must have burned. Hastily, all alone, a glistening armadillo left the scene, rose-flecked, head down, tail down, and then a baby rabbit jumped out, short-eared, to our surprise. So soft!—a handful of intangible ash with fixed, ignited eyes. Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry! O falling fire and piercing cry and panic, and a weak mailed fist clenched ignorant against the sky!"
Yes, it is that time of year again. When the ski's are filled with "Patang" and you have to do your best to keep yours up. [more inside]
Last weekend, (22-24 August 2008) saw the fantastic Reading Festival take place (dodgy timeline). Emerging from the National Jazz Festival in 1961, it mutated into the National Jazz, Blues and Rock Festival festival in the 70s, and on into the eclectic festival it is today. My personal faves were 1989 and 1992, but the best moment was seeing Meatloaf bottled off stage in 1988! Due to the combined force of the BBC and the interwebs, most of this year's performances - many complete - are available online for your delictation... [more inside]
Voting is open for the Portable Film Festival. A curated collection of the year's best short films, music videos, animation, and features, from high-quality amateur films to hard-to-find professional releases. The international festival is delivered completely online: all entries are available for download, with awards decided by user ratings.
Our wonderful nature is a hilarious 5-minute animation about the mating rituals of the water shrew. The action starts at around 1:30. Other gems found at the bitfilm 08 Digital Film Festival include "The post-it note prison".