July 21, 2010
In those years I imitated him, to the point of transcription, to the point of devoted and impassioned plagiarism. I felt: Macedonio is metaphysics, is literature. Whoever preceded him might shine in history, but they were all rough drafts of Macedonio, imperfect previous versions. To not imitate this canon would have represented incredible negligence.From Jorge Luis Borges' eulogy for Macedonio Fernández. Borges' relationship with Macedonio was complicated, as recounted in The Man Who Invented Borges, a fine essay by Marcelo Ballvé. Macedonio's most famous work, the posthumous-by-design work (he believed literature should be aged like good whiskey) The Museum of Eterna's Novel has finally been translated and published in English translation, here is an excerpt from the novel (one of the ninety or so prologues). The introduction to the novel, written by its translator Margaret Schwartz, has been put online by the publisher (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Schwartz also sat down for a short interview. You can download an mp3 of a great hour-long panel discussion on Macedonio and a master's thesis on Macedonio by Peter Loggie [pdf]
The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla has prepared a scale image of every asteroid and comet ever visited by a spacecraft. [more inside]
The Canadian Government created a stir recently by announcing plans to scrap the compulsory long form census and replacing it with a voluntary questionnaire. Today, the Chief Statistician from Statistics Canada resigned in protest. [more inside]
Black people are coming for you white people. Rachel Maddow argues that is the underlying theme of the four major Fox News-only stories of the Obama administration: Van Jones, ACORN, the New Black Panther Party, and now Shirley Sherrod. These stories are largely ignored by the mainstream media, but are being relentlessly pushed by Fox News in an effort to stoke white resentment towards the nation's first African American president.
After an international campaign was launched by her children, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani will not be stoned to death. But she still faces death by hanging. Now she's been ordered to give the names of the people campaigning for her. She has also been advised to tell her children to remain silent, or they will be arrested. [more inside]
Playdead's Limbo released today, and the reviews are glowing. Following on the heels of a spate of well-received independent video game titles like Braid, World of Goo, and Machinarium, we may be seeing a major shift in the habits of video game reviewers. The trinity of duration (short games = bad games), sheer intensity (slow-paced, non-violent games = bad games), and graphical 'realism' (non-3D, non-photorealistic games = bad games) seems to be giving way (somewhat) to a recognition of the value of feel, expressivity, and game mechanics that fit within a holistic experience that integrates art direction, sound design, and storytelling elements. Previously. [more inside]
In a "Triumph of Policy Over Politics" President Obama today signed most sweeping Wall Street reform bill since Great Depression. Obamas remarks at the signing. A piece-by-piece guide to th financial overhaul law. Timeline of the laws effects. 10 Ways New Wall Street Reform Law Will Help You.
Mau Piailug passed away last week at 78 years old. He was a Master Navigator from the tiny island of Satawal. In the seventies, he traveled to Hawaii to help the Polynesian Voyaging Society revive the wayfinder's art, navigating by the sun, moon, stars, animals, waves and clouds. In 1976, he steered the Hokule'a, a traditional sailing canoe, from Hawaii to Tahiti without even so much as a compass. He began teaching a new generation of navigators and helped launch a revival of Polynesian culture. To honor him, the Polynesian Voyaging Society is raising money to assist the people of Satawal, while also preparing for a world wide voyage on the Hokule'a, to use their ancient wisdom to help imagine a new relationship to the planet we share.
Every Dr Who Opening Theme Every Dr Who Theme from 1963 to the present. [SLYT]
We Sold Our Souls For Rock 'N' Roll (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) - a documentary on the Ozzfest '99 tour (MLYT) (NSFW - mainly swearing and tits)
Ever want to tell the Beta 90 Computer company it was time for a name change? Or maybe you have it in for 2008 and thought that year sucked. A vegetarian Chick-fil-A sandwich request? Or you can submit your own claim and Tucker Nichols has you covered. He'll make a postcard, find the appropriate person, and send it.
While mentioned positively in comments, this artist has never had an FPP of her own. Here's a video from her latest release, some lyrics to other classics. These are just a few of my favorite songs by Joan Armatrading, MBE. [more inside]
Hopefully people are familiar with the comic strip Doonesbury and the fact that it is sometimes kept on the editorial page rather than the with the rest of the funnies on the comics page. Doonesbury is also considered to be a fairly American left wing strip. Perhaps you'd be interested in seeing some comics with American right wing politics? The Gentleman from Lickskillet, Day by Day, Mallard Fillmore, and The Leftersons are here to help.
The Thinking Atheist Another atheism site on the internet, featuring a handy list of bible contradictions, a forum, etc. Most notably, they feature a series of slickly produced videos on various religious topics. [more inside]
The British Board of Film Classification has updated its website, and as part of the remodel made the Extended Classification Information more visible. And oh the wisdom as the classifiers must justify their actions ... [via] [more inside]
""You can't forget there are people listening when you say you are going to do things, and I try not to overpromise."
This past March, former US President Bill Clinton acknowledged to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that tariff policies his administration championed in the mid-1990's helped destroy Haiti's rice production and contributed to the impoverished nation's inability to feed itself. But while most of the world has stopped paying attention to Haiti's woes, Mr. Clinton has become the de facto leader of the effort to rebuild it after the catastrophic earthquake this past January. Will his influence be enough? Reports from the UN Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti indicate that the reconstruction progress has been slow. [more inside]
Where can you find the Sun, the Moon, nine giraffes, a lion and lamb lying together, the Archangel Michael holding a sword in one hand and the severed head of Satan in the other, all atop a giant crab which is itself standing on a double helix? Well, there is this one statue. [more inside]
A band of the 80's and 90's, that you've very probably listened to, is touring again. If you listened to the radio in 1986, you heard this. In 1991, you probably heard this. If you are a superfan, you've probably got a copy of their live farewell show in Sydney, 1996. If you're a zealot, you probably watched them live on the Jimmy Fallon Show last night. In my humble opinion, one of the most underrated composers and underrated bands around, still.
Sabbar Kashur has been convicted of "rape by deception" after having consensual sex with an Israeli woman who believed he was a "Jewish bachelor looking for a long-term relationship." Reports from Jerusalem Post and Al Jazeera. Haaretz asks if this conviction sets a dangerous precedent for future cases. Al Jazeera's English-language Israel/Palestine blogger Sherine Tadros argues the 18-month conviction is racist.
Nikki Araguz, the widowed wife of a Houston area firefighter, is being taken to court on allegations that she is a "man" in a case that reflects the archaic conceptions that still exist regarding gender.
From London to St. Petersburg with the Man in Seat 61. Actor Kenneth Cranham travels with Mark Smith, creator of worldwide non-air travel resource website without equal Seat61.com (previously). [more inside]
Want a forest but don't have the space? Get a tree and four mirrors and make your own Unlimited Urban Woods