If you lived or traveled through the Fort Pierce region of Florida in the late 1950s and throughout the 60s, you may have had the chance to buy a landscape painting from an African American man, with Upson board as the canvas and crown molding as a frame, and the paint might have still been wet. Unable to get their art into local galleries, this rough collective of 26 self-taught artists peddled their wares to local businesses, through neighborhoods and to tourists. Their style fell out of fashion into the 1980s, but some of the painters persisted. Their style gained new recognition in the 1990s, a handful continue to paint to this day. They are known as The Highwaymen, and their art captures the natural, and somewhat lost Florida of the past. [more inside]
California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been central to the US missile and rocket development and operations for decades, and from the beginning that technology's success rested on a corps of expert mathematicians, people known as computers. And from the beginning they were all women, in a time when such opportunities were few and far between. You can find pictures of them, but names have not been well-recorded ... until now. Nathalia Holt found many of those women and wrote about their experiences in her book, Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars. [more inside]
Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson when he wasn't teaching at Oxford or writing fiction under the name Lewis Carroll was an avid photographer. Over 200 of his images originally contained in five of his personal albums are collected at the UofT Harry Ransom Center whom have posted 47 of them online in the Lewis Carroll Photography Collection .
Intense-eyed character actor and frequent Clint Eastwood collaborator Geoffrey Lewis, father of Juliette Lewis, died april 7th in his home, of natural causes. [more inside]
Mercury is such a dense liquid that cannonballs float in it. Humans float on it too (you'll have to scroll down a bit for the picture), but it's probably not a good idea. If you just can't resist hopping in the mercury vat, elemental mercury is less likely to kill you than mercury compounds. It used to be sold as a laxative (officially branded Dr. Rush's Bilious Pills but colloquially known as "thunder clappers"); Lewis and Clark's campsites can sometimes be identified by the mercury they deposited along the way.
Kat Chow, with NPR's Code Switch, put together a short piece on the history and the prevalence of the well-known nine note "stereotypical Asian theme." As described in a 2005 Straight Dope forum question: You know, the one that goes dee dee dee dee duh duh dee dee duh. Featured heavily in braindead Hollywood flicks made by clueless directors who want to give a scene an "oriental" feel. Also a variation of it can be heard in David Bowie's "China Girl." [more inside]
One of the most intriguing personalities in Southern medical history of the nineteenth century is Dr. Henry Clay Lewis (1825-1850), whose fame rests not on his accomplishments in medicine, but upon his humorous writings published under the pseudonym "Madison Tensas, M.D., the Louisiana Swamp Doctor." Though Lewis was a practicing doctor, his true identity as the author of the "Southern grotesque" (previously) pieces was not known until after his death. His works pre-dated the Southern Gothic style (prev), and are unusual for their time in that "[Lewis] presents his black characters with as much pain and grotesqueness as his white characters, steering away from the time's usual stereotypes." You can read a longer biography and a summary of his style here, or just dive in and read his works, which available online in Odd leaves from the life of a Louisiana "swamp doctor", which was also published as The swamp doctor's adventures in the South-west (also available with fourteen illustrations) on Archive.org.
Molly Lewis' (Previously: 1, 2, 3): The Year of the Beard. Starring a few familiar faces. [more inside]
The Music Scene is a television series aired by ABC as part of its Fall 1969 lineup. The show featured performances from the top musicians of the week as compiled by “Billboard Magazine” and had a number of hosts, including David Steinberg and Lily Tomlin. Many huge names of the era, including The Beatles, James Brown, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones on the initial program and Janis Joplin, Bobby Sherman, The Miracles, Sly & the Family Stone, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Bo Diddley and Mama Cass Elliot, (who co-hosted as well as performed) among many others, appearing on subsequent shows. [more inside]
A photograph of breaker boys that changed history for millions of kids in America, who worked grueling lives as child laborers. What Charles Dickens did with words for the underage toilers of London, Lewis Hine did with photographs for the youthful laborers in the United States. Library of Congress collection of over 5,000 Lewis Hine child labor photos. Kentucky 1916. Previously. [more inside]
Weird, funny, surreal, fun, silly, bawdy, macabre, cool and strangely beautiful. The Discarded Image is a Tumblr collection of Medieval illustrations gleaned from various illuminated manuscripts, bestiaries, books describing the cosmology of the Middle Ages, ordered and maintained by a celestial hierarchy. The Discarded Image is also the name of CS Lewis' last book, about the fascinating Medieval mindset and world picture. [more inside]
Frank W. Lewis, longtime cryptic crossword setter for The Nation, passed away on Nov. 18 at the age of 98. Although best known for his puzzles, of which he set nearly 3000 over sixty years, Lewis also had a distinguished career with the War Department. His work on the team deciphering Japanese shipping codes during World War II led to awards for Exceptional Civilian Service, Outstanding Civilian Service, and Bletchley Park Service. [more inside]
Please enjoy one of collage artist Lewis Klahr's haptic, romantic meditations on materiality and mortality, False Aging, and a look at his process.
One of the best indie comics of the 1990s is back - as a webcomic True Swamp, the mad and beloved comic created by Xeric-Award winner Jon Lewis, is back in circulation after a years-long hiatus. Indie comics fans rejoice
Lewis Lapham, the former editor of Harper's, is giving up his Harper's column to start a blog. There's a lot of other interesting stuff in this post. Like the fact that Lapham's Quarterly, a print literary journal Lapham founded after he left Harper's in 2006, has reached a circulation of nearly 25,000. Lapham warns the audience full of scholars against compromising their interests and simplifying their ideas for the sake of expanding readership.
THE church elder’s reaction was one of utter disbelief. Shaking his head emphatically, he couldn’t take in what the distinguished professor from Yale University was telling him. "No," insisted Jim McRae, an elder of the small congregation of Clearwater in Florida. "This way of worshipping comes from our slave past. It grew out of the slave experience, when we came from Africa." But Willie Ruff, an Afro-American professor of music at Yale, was adamant - he had traced the origins of gospel music to Scotland. [more inside]
artjob.ru is a Russian site worth exploring with some pretty awesome, eclectic galleries (some nsfw). Naoto Hattori, 134 paintings of surrealistic Mona Lisas transformed and more l Child Soldiers Dream Simply of Being Children ads for Amnesty International/photographs by Michael Lewis l Christian Lohfink's playfully mischievous and dark humor photographs l Elliott Erwitt's superb black and white photographs, many iconic l [more inside]
"The ile is full of wild fowls, and when the fowls has their birds ripe, men out of the parish of Ness in Lewis sail and tarry there seven or eight days and to fetch with them home their boatfull of dry wild fowls with wild fowl feathers" - Donald Monro, Archdeacon of the Isles, 1549. The men sail again, as they have done since the 15th Century, this month.
Try a Little Tenderness. Otis Redding owns the song, but it's had an interesting history. Ruth Etting, Bing Crosby [mp3], and Ted Lewis [Windows Media] recorded the song (with more lyrics) in the early '30s. An instrumental version was the opening theme for Dr. Strangelove. Tennessee Ernie Ford did the song on his variety show. And then there was Jack Webb's deadpan Dragnet-style version [Amazon sample].
PICTURE THIS: A folksy, self-consciously plainspoken Southern politician rises to power during a period of profound unrest in America. The nation is facing one of the half-dozen or so of its worst existential crises to date, and the people, once sunny, confident, and striving, are now scared, angry, and disillusioned. Through a combination of factors -his easy bearing chief among them (along with massive cash donations from Big Business; disorganization in the liberal opposition; a stuffy, aloof opponent; and support from religious fanatics who feel they've been unfairly marginalized)-he wins the presidential election. Ripped from today's headlines? Nope. Sinclair Lewis, Circa 1935: "It Can't Happen Here" has been recently reissued. But you can read it here (with free registration) at American Buddha (possibly NSFW). first link via Arts & Letters Daily
Diaries of the Lewis and Clark Journey. American Journeys has a collection or primary source documents about the Lewis and Clark Journey across America, including the diary of Sergeant Charles Floyd (the only member of the expedition to die en route), Jefferson's letter to Clark where he suggests the expedition, and 63 engravings of Places and People. If you're into history, you might also want to vote on Wisconsin Turning Points, a ballot to determine the most interesting topics in Wisconsin History.
African AIDS Drug Plan Faces Collapse. The World Health Organization's Three by Five programme seeks to supply 3 million Africans with anti-HIV drugs by 2005. But it's in danger, due to lack of cash... and opposition from special interests who seem to be exerting influence over the U.S. government. According to Stephen Lewis, U.N. Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, 'If Three by Five fails, as it surely will without the dollars, then there are no excuses left, no rationalisations to hide behind. There will only be the mass graves of the betrayed.'