Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time is beautiful and strange. The approximately fifty minute piece was written and premiered in a Nazi prison camp, having grown out of the composers friendship with musicians he met while imprisoned. [more inside]
"blue eyes that had seen Franz Josef in his glory at the Court Opera in 1908 close upon a view of rusty bed frames and cracked concrete walls."
"Habsburg! A vile being, heir to an illustrious name, born to a fortune, to honours, to soldiers, to prestige, and who finished as the lowest of Montmartre pimps, living from the money of a poor and unstable girl whom he sent to commit his foul deeds in his place!"That was after this Polish scion of the most famous family in Europe and commander of a soi disant "Ukrainian Legion" failed to finagle the crown as a Socialist king of The Ukraine, and became instead a patron of the rent boys of Paris who "handled women by necessity and men for pleasure". And all that before he turned successively a Nazi sympathizer, a British spy, and finally came, for the first and last time, to Ukraine's capital Kiev as a victim of Stalin and the Twentieth Century.
Got access to a daily satellite feed? Win $10 000. Not quite Sink the Bismarck, but the Sea Shepherds have offered a $10 000 reward for anyone who can tell them where the Japanese whaling fleet is this summer, as it prepares to scientifically study 950 minke and fin whales.
"I have now made my own flexible dolphin monofin, look at the drawing and the pictures. When I am in the pool I really look like a too large fish ;-)))." Isn't "monofluke" more appropriate? (Via)