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excerpt Into the scrum

From his experience as a founder of Global Voices, an aggregator of citizen media from around the world, Mr. Zuckerman says he has learned to value the roots laid down by a community of bloggers.

In Kenya, he said, bloggers were important commentators and reporters in 2007-8 on a disputed election, and people would ask why there were so many bloggers in Kenya.

It turned out, he said, that “Kenya has the second-most bloggers in Africa and that mostly they are not writing about politics; many are writing about rugby.” There was, he said, “a fascinating latent capacity — people who knew how to use the tools, knew how to write well, to tell a story with words and pictures.”

The Russia-Georgia war, he said, offered a contrast.

“Suddenly a bunch of people flocked to blogging tools,” he said. “We had never heard about of lot of those people. A number of people were manufacturing blogs from whole cloth for propaganda purposes. It was hard to know who they were, if they were credible. In Kenya, we knew who they were; we knew their favorite rugby team.”

"Sunna & Laila," from Sámi, The People photographs by Erika Larsen, women in photography, 16 July 2009
photo Merci
photo from Jules Vernacular ~, 22 April 2009
a post, 17 April 2009

When western music was played to members of the Mafa people from Cameroon who have never been exposed to western music, movies, or art, they were able to recognize the emotions conveyed by the music, even though the Mafa don’t associate emotions with their own music.

from "Astrid Stampe's Picture Book," Odense City Museums :: via Fed by Birds

Ich steh’ auf Jeans und Country Music
Wenn es Nacht wird in Old Tuscon
Der wilde, wilde Westen
Hier spricht der Truck
Howdy, Howdy
Ich und mein Diesel
Sturm und Drang

Trucker, Cowboy, Mann
Mama steht auf Jesus
Die Cowboys der Nation
Highway Helden
Banditos der Liebe
Komm her du bist mein Cowboy
Ich bin CB-Funker
Cisco, Lucius, Erich, Uwe, Teddy und ich
Cowboys küssen besser
Keine Angst (die Nacht ist warm)
Blue Jeans, Rock ‘n’ Roll und Elvis
Mit dem Hammer in der Hand
Der Trabbi und der Truck
Darf mein Hund in die Himmel?
Cowboys und Texasboots
Danke, Johnny Cash
Hallo John Wayne
Hinnerk, der Supertrucker
Deine Freiheit heisst Whiskey
Doktor Countrymusic
Freizeit Cowboy
Ich hab’ den Honky Tonk Blues
Nashville Traum
Mit dem Jeep durch den Canyon
1000 und 1 Nacht (Zoom!)

promo for The Lucca Choirbook (2009), edited by Reinhard Strohm, University of Chicago Press :: thanks Myke!

More than forty years ago in the state archives of Lucca, Italy, musicologist Reinhard Strohm noticed that bindings on some of the books were unusual: they consisted of the pages of a centuries-old music manuscript. In the following years, Strohm worked with the archivists to remove these leaves and reassemble as much as possible of the original manuscript, a major cultural recovery now known as The Lucca Choirbook.

The recovered volume comprises what remains of a gigantic cathedral codex  commissioned in Bruges around 1463 and containing English, Franco-Flemish, and Italian sacred music of the fifteenth century—including works by the celebrated composers Guillaume Du Fay and Henricus Isaac.

This facsimile of the choirbook includes all the known leaves, ordered according to their proper placement in the original codex. In the introduction, Strohm tells the fascinating story of this choirbook, identifying its early users and reconstructing its travel from Bruges to Lucca.

excerpt Holy fools
from "Clowning Around in Church," correspondent's diary, More Intelligent Life, 19 February 2009

Mr Bain was followed by a white-face, the classic circus clown, like Grimaldi himself, reading from the Gospel of St Mark. His eyebrows, one a smile, the other a frown, formed a sharp, black contrast to the pallor of his face and the red of his ears. The gold, pink and blue sequinned glory of his harlequin coat sparkled as he meandered up and down the aisle playing a tiny saxophone.

Cheerful though his appearance was, the melody was melancholy, as clowns themselves often are. Sadder still was the recitation of names of clowns who died in the past year. As the poignant litany of departed jesters was recited—Bozo, Boxcar, Uncle Dippy and the Unknown Clown—beaming children placed a thick cream candle for each clown at the back of the church.

The clowns then joined together in the Clown’s Prayer. They gave thanks for the gift of laughter… The final words of the prayer offered a gentle alternative to the financial hubris with which the world has been confronted: “As your children are rebuked in their self-importance and cheered in their sadness, help me to remember that your foolishness is wiser than our wisdom.”…

At the end of the service, a organist who resembled Groucho Marx bashed out Grimaldi’s favourite song, the Hot Codlings polka, on the church’s squeaky instrument. Mr Bain led a prancing procession of clowns down the aisle and out the door where they put on a proper show in the church hall. As they left, one of my friends, who is a devout atheist, leaned over to me and whispered: “If church was always like this, I’d come every week.”

Museumgoers in front of Georgio de Chirico's "La Comedie et la Tragedie" (1926), Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, AFP photo from "de Chirico in Paris: Über das Vertrauen, die Zeit anhalten zu können," by Werner Spies, FAZ.NET, 17 February 2009 :: thanks Ben!
Tony Hairdressing for Men, Dean Street W1, Westminster, London, posted on London Shop Fronts
from "La Dolce Video," by Sophia Hollander, The New York Times, 6 February 2009 :: via

“Kim’s was the cutting-edge; that was always the business concept,” Mr. Kim said the other day in one of a series of conversations about the fate of his video collection. “But ironically, I didn’t prepare.”

Last September, in a move that swept through the Internet at viral speed, he issued a public challenge. In a notice pasted on a wall inside the front door, he wrote, “We hope to find a sponsor who can make this collection available to those who have loved Kim’s over the past two decades.” He promised to donate all the films without charge to anyone who would meet three conditions: Keep the collection intact, continue to update it and make it accessible to Kim’s members and others.

Offers poured in. Every one failed on one count or another. Every offer, that is, except one.

The Red Balloon (Le Ballon rouge), directed by Albert Lamorisse, 1956 :: via swissmiss
Market Stand (China), Floating Kitchen (Vietnam), Coffee Cart (Argentina), and Hot Dog Stand (USA), from from "Global Street Food," by Mike Meiré, imm cologne 09 :: via designboom
photo Pencil fence
Pencil fence photo, origin unknown :: via FFFFOUND! and the style files

via "Spain's barefoot nuns put faith in YouTube to find new convent recruits," by Giles Tremlett,, 16 January 2009
from "We're All Gonna Die — 100 meters of existence"," by Simon Høgsberg

Video: Inside Carsten Höller's The Double Club | Culture |, 24 November 2008 :: via Anansi Chronicles, thanks Abena!
Jacob's Dream (detail), by José de Ribera, oil on canvas, Museo Nacional del Prado, :: via The Guardian

"Ontbijtje," gouache on paper, by Robert Amesbury, from the 2007 show "Pronk" at the Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, Bernard Toale Gallery