Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
'Race' graphically illustrated - "most Europeans" vs. Ashkenazim (previously; see also IQ & Gladwell, viz. ;) [more inside]
Chief Marie Smith Jones, 1919-2008. "Eyak language dies with its last speaker." Or download the story directly as an .mp3 from Alaska Public Radio Network . [more inside]
...Japanese hip hop has become a significant national, cultural, and business genre since the late twentieth century, and this phenomenon has been applied and has succeeded by using almost the same ideology that was historically used by other Japanese industries like automobile manufacturing. The pioneers in the Japanese hip hop industry like Buddha Brand learned their skills in the U.S. and have successfully been influencing the contemporary Japanese music scene. As a result, the imported hip hop has become a ''Japanized'' products. Many hip hop industries in Japan have modified the American hip hop into Japanese ways, and their businesses, like the hip hop dance schools, have succeeded.The Japanese Hip Hop Movement: Its Cultural and Economic Impact [more inside]
Sacred Destinations. Nearly every culture in human history has sought to encounter and honor the divine, the mysterious, the supernatural or the extraordinary in some way. This most often occurs at sacred sites - special places where the physical world seems to meet the spiritual world. From ancient wonders, to Greek temples, to Biblical sites, and everything in between, the website has a vast collection of photo galleries and maps. The website's founder also maintains a travel blog and posts recent pictures on Flickr. [more inside]
In Praise Of Melancholy. We are eradicating a major cultural force, the muse behind much art and poetry and music. We are annihilating melancholia. Does an overemphasis on the pursuit of happiness cause us to miss an essential part of a full life? Via.
Love thy Neighbor Photographer and author Steven Hirsh has photographed the homes of registered New York State sex offenders. A wonderful writer and photographer, this work is chilling, alarming, beautiful. I get that Quentin Tarantino feeling of beauty and disgust. Look at me, nooooo look away. The series of 24 images are on Hirsch's website.
"Hundreds of thousands of Americans have endured tours of duty in Iraq. They are returning home with a new word on their lips. It will have an impact on the American Experiment, inshallah."
"My humble efforts to assist in the elucidation of the social condition of a distant and comparatively unknown race."
Wife thief - the Wodaabe of Nigeria are one of the world's few remaining Nomadic peoples, retaining age-old customs and ways. Physical beauty and charm are highly prized, qualities much in evidence at the annual Gerewol ceremonies. After donning elaborate makeup and clothing, men engage in stylized dance and preening to win the favor of a desired woman - often one who is already married. [more inside]
Is the high end Art market finally tanking? A week or so ago, it sure looked like it. An important van Gogh piece did not sell, Sotheby's stock price went into shock. However, all is well this week as both Christie's and Sotheby's kicked it into high gear and set some new records. [more inside]
“Our intentions are to be as sustainable a city as possible,” said Mr. Adams, Portland's city commissioner in charge of transportation. “That means socially, that means environmentally and that means economically. The bike is great on all three of those factors. You just can’t get a better transportation return on your investment than you get with promoting bicycling.” Many city planners agree that bikes make sense, but after two riders recently lost their lives in Portland one must wonder, is there a better way?
"This will be a woman’s world, and men will have to learn to fit in." The Wilson Quarterly examines the historical, cultural, and sexual implications of matriarchy. Via.
If you like 'fantasy' art (as opposed to comics :) and you're in DC I'd highly recommend checking out the JMW Turner exhibit at the NGA! [more inside]
Reverse Graffiti. Alexandre Orion makes it for a cause and sometimes gets caught [YouTube]. "Moose" of Symbollix makes it for fun and profit. [more inside]
How do you see time? Florentine graphic designer Camilla Torna is collecting hand-drawn personal visions of "time." It started as a personal collection from friends and students in the 1990s. In 2006 it was on-line with a submission form. Submissions are can be sorted by theme words, style or age of artist. Ages range from those in their first decade of life to those in their 70s. (Via Information Aesthetics)
Breakfast looks different to different people. That alone made me wanna post this cuz that's just hella cool, but after I saw that, I started wondering what does breakfast sound like? Why should we even bother with breakfast? Here's some more thoughts on breakfast. Hungry yet? This was a great movie by the way. I guess that one was okay too. So what did you have for breakfast? [previously]
An art exhibition depicting some of the differences between eastern and western culture, using iconography. Examples include but are not limited to “opinions,” “waiting in a queue,” and “leaders.” And a couple more.
Americans Not Making Time for Making Love according to Durex® [note: PR and attendant conflicts]. "Americans are having a lot less sex than just about everyone else in the world, and when they do, less than half are fully satisfied." Also from the 2007/2008 Durex® Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey: Where is sex safer?
NickCaveFilter: Fifty years ago this very day, Nicholas Edward Cave [previously] crawled from the womb and started to plot. At 16 he formed his first band which evolved quickly into the Boys Next Door [Shivers]. This in turn mutated into the Birthday Party (1980) who terrorised the post-punk soundscape in Australia and the UK [Release the Bats | Nick the Stripper]. The Birthday Party relocated to England and in 1984 the band imploded in an orgy of drugs and booze. Shortly after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were born [The Ship Song - video & solo live | The Mercy Seat - video & live | Where the Wild Roses Grow], and 23 years and 11 studio albums later (not to mention a best selling book, a great screenplay, some acting and several soundtrack projects) he is still going strong. But, instead of sitting on his musical laurels he decided to get back to basics and, in 2006, grew a huge moustache and formed Grinderman – a four piece with a primeval hybrid Birthday Party/Bad Seeds sound [No Pussy Blues | Honey Bee]. Fellow Mefites, I ask you to raise a glass to Mr. Cave… And, especially if you are not familiar to his work, don’t forget to “look inside” for my primer on the enigma that is Nick Cave, one of the finest song-writers on the face of this miserable planet. [more inside]
Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.
COLOURlovers blog - science, design, art, culture, travel - you name it, they can relate it back to color. [more inside]
Lazy-Ass Nation. "Somewhere along the way, we fell in love with the dream of the effort-free existence."
shock doctrine at work
Fisk documents the dismantling of Iraqi culture - Klein exposes the history behind the destruction.
Fisk documents the dismantling of Iraqi culture - Klein exposes the history behind the destruction.
Old Magazine Articles Neat little database of .pdf copies of vintage magazine articles like Gilbert Seldes' 1922 review of Krazy Kat in Vanity Fair, a 1910 look at "Horse Versus Automobile," early nose jobs, an interview with James Joyce and more. [via ResearchBuzz]
Some more great french guitar players. Nelson Veras first came to France to meet Pat Metheny (he was 14 then, it has been documented on video by Frank Cassenti) but upon meeting some other jazzmen , he decided to stay in France and to experiment in various settings. Robert Crumb isn't exactly a "great french guitar player", but his decision to move to France (his or his wife's decision) and later his responsability in the creation of Les Primitifs du Futur has played a part in the rebirth of ancient french styles ("musette") and the renewed interest in old jazz and blues forms. [more inside]
In 1974, Martin Scorsese interviewed his parents on film, prompting them to discuss their life together as well as their Sicilian ancestry. The resultant documentary was entitled Italianamerican. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. [Inspired by...]
Amsterdam's bike culture is jarringly different than the U.S. A photo essay.
The Near-Fame Experience: A fascinating interview with former contestants of Bravo reality television shows Project Runway and Top Chef, presenting the fickle nature of fame and how it can come at significant professional and personal cost, if at all.
"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.
The Visual Image of Chemistry: Perspectives from the History of Art and Science. [Via homunculus (no relation)]
The Pardoner's Tale - adapted to rap by Baba Brinkman, who has been rapping Chaucer tales for a few years now. He's also released The Rap Canterbury Tales, a book that presents raps side by side with Chaucer's original Middle English. Both video and book are illustrated graffiti-style by his brother Erik. Discussed in a previous post by fatllama on hip hop classics.
onoes! teenz on teh pr0n webs! It's been a year since I posted about Stickam, and in that time, one would be naïve to think that a community of unmoderated videos broadcast live from the private and semi-anonymous bedrooms of the world would not result in epic lulz (nsfw). To no one's surprise, disgruntled Stickam ex-VP Alex Becker says Stickam shares office space, staff, and equipment with live pornographic video providers -- this via NYT tech writer Brad Stone. Cue the "think of the CHILDRUNZ!" moral panic. But popular websites being related to or backed up by prurient interest are nothing new: Wikipeda predecessor Bomis was once accused of having "softore porn" in its "Babes" section, and of course everyone knows porn drives technology. What do you think the internet is for? But if you use Stickam and this bothers you, the burgeoning field of live embeddable Flash-based webcam video streaming is rife with alternatives: uStream.tv, Justin.tv, BlogTV, Mogulus, and Operator11, just to name some -- but there'll be naked girls on those too. I guarantee it.
Knob Creek Gun Range, a former military-munitions test range situated near Fort Knox is home to the "World's Largest Machine Gun Shoot and Military Gun Show". Run by private citizens excercising their second amendment rights (Kentucky has no state-level gun laws) the focus is on Class III firearms - things like assault weapons and anti-tank rifles, but also the occasional high-caliber sniper rifle and cannon. Hold my bourbon and watch this! (more)
E-motional breakdown: The state of e-mail misery. Is email finally at the breaking point? My inbox is so oversaturated I need professional advice to avoid bankrupcy. Or maybe I'll just wait it out -- the kids might know best.
The Dreaded Half Worcester warning: music is just one of the possible vexing configurations players encounter in candlepin bowling, a regional variation on traditional bowling that's unique to northern New England and maritime Canada. Developed in Worcester, MA, around 1880 (warning: more music), the game is played in gorgeous antique alleys dotted around New England and Nova Scotia, and features a 4 1/2" wooden or rubber ball, three rolls per frame or "box," and 15 and 3/4" narrow, cylinder-shaped pins that are the devil to knock down -- even though you can use the dead wood to knock other pins down, a score over 200 is extremely rare. Find some lanes and play or just take the quiz - like so many regional quirks, this one's undergoing a bit of a revival.
Wendy Shalit keeps it genteel. The author of A Return to Modesty recently put out a new book, entitled Girls Gone Mild, "Shalit reveals how the media, one’s peers, and even parents can undermine girls’ quests for their authentic selves, details the problems of sex without intimacy, and explains what it means to break from the herd mentality and choose integrity over popularity." Audio: Shalit on the Diane Rehm Show
Boy's Hug Lands Him in Trouble At School With "No Touching" Policy. 7th grader Hal Beaulieu "hopped up from his lunch table one day a few months ago, sat next to his girlfriend and slipped his arm around her shoulder. That landed him a trip to the school office." Handshakes could be gang signs, and officials note, "in a culturally diverse school...families might have different views of what is appropriate." The PTA President remarks: ""Even high-fives can get out of hand ... someone can get bonked in the head." (CNN News Video)
Summer of Love: 40 Years Later, a series of articles appearing this week in the San Francisco Chronicle, revisits the fabled, far-out, semi-spontaneous happening of 1967 in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Videos and oral history interviews help tell the story of a utopian vision which created a pivot point for American social values, before going a bit rancid around the edges. For more consciousness expansion, see PBS' The American Experience episode on the same topic. Check out that summer's San Francisco Oracle. Oh, and the Diggers are still around.
Libya is a desert, yes, but if you trace your fingers through the moonlit sand and listen, carefully, you may hear ancient whispers: of Apollo's love of Cyrene; of prehistoric hunters making Rock Art [1, 2, 3], back when the Sahara was wet; of Phoenicians subdued by Greeks, of Romans followed by Byzantines, all leaving ruins that Libya is famous for [Cyrene, Leptis Magna, Sabratha, et cetera]; of desert soldiers in World War II, remembered in Graves and Memorials; of the occupying Italians, who responded to Omar Mukhtar's resistance of the Fascists by rounding Libyans into concentration camps; of the camps' prisoners, one of whom wrote this famous poem: "My only illness is the torturing of our young women, with their bodies exposed ... how my speech has become subdued, the humiliation of our noble and leading men and the loss of my gazelle-like horse..."; of more culture, more memories from this land that witnessed the wrenching passion of all man's history—whispering in the very dust that made his soul.
Reality Sandwich is a new web magazine whose subjects "run the gamut from sustainability to shamanism, alternate realities to alternative energy, remixing media to re-imagining community, holistic healing techniques to the promise and perils of new technologies." Daniel Pinchbeck, the author of Breaking Open the Head, is the editorial director of the site. [Via Disinformation.]
Aptitude Schmaptitude! While the state of mathematical incompetence in this country has been much lamented, most famously in Paulos's brilliant 1988 book Innumeracy, it is still tacitly accepted . . . Being incompetent in math has become not only acceptable in this widely innumerate culture, it has almost become a matter of pride. No one goes around showing off that he is illiterate, or has no athletic ability, but declarations of innumeracy are constantly made without any embarrassment or shame.
Cap'n Crunch may call up a few memories of mornings in front of the TV (or phone phreaking, for some of you). Now you can find out the rest of his story (or at least the first installment of it) - and, for the first time ever, his first name.