Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bookbinding Brittle Books With Peter Goodwin

Peter Goodwin has been a bookbinder for over 60 years. He is a true master of the old school. No book has defeated him yet! He is one of the last apprenticed craftsmen still in employment.
Born in Leicester, England, he was apprenticed as a lad of 14 to "Boots the Chemist's" bindery in Nottingham where he learnt his trade over seven years.
He remained at Boots for many years until the bindery closed. He repaired books for the famous Boots Library as well as making all the stationery and diaries for the company.
Eventually Peter Goodwin emigrated to New Zealand where he became Bindery Manager for the Auckland City Public Library, a post he held for 14 years.
Now retired, Peter still works three hours a day in his tiny bindery in Auckland restoring family Bibles, minute books and paperbacks, as well as undertaking highly specialized albums for City Councils. When a truly valuable first edition needs restoring Peter Goodwin is one of the first ports of call.(via bibliophilebullpen)

No Ball Julian Chagrin in Michaelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up

Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni, renowned for his 1966 release Blow-Up, has died aged 94.
He gained two Oscar nominations for the iconic release, and was awarded an honorary Academy Award for his life's work in 1995.
He was also nominated for the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d'Or, five times between 1960 and 1982.
The director died peacefully at home on Monday night, his wife, actress Enrica Fico, told La Repubblica newspaper.
Antonioni was born in Ferrara in 1912 and released his debut feature, Story of A Love Affair, at the age of 38.
Blow-Up starred Vanessa Redgrave and David Hemmings
But he did not achieve international recognition until the mystery L'Avventura 10 years later in 1960.
In 1966, he signed a deal to make a trilogy of films for the English market with legendary Italian film producer Carlo Ponti.
The first was Blow-Up, in which a photographer appears to have uncovered a murder in his photos.
Shot in London, and starring David Hemmings and Vanessa Redgrave, it was his biggest international hit.
Antonioni captured the "flower power" era in 1970, filming Zabriskie Point in California, while Hollywood actor Jack Nicholson starred as a journalist in 1974 in Professione: Reporter (The Passenger).
In 1985, the director suffered a stroke that left him partially paralysed, but he continued to work behind the camera. "Filming for me is living," he said.
His last cinematic release was 2004's The Dangerous Thread of Things, one part of a trilogy of short films released under the title Eros.
Julian chagrin is a comedian, mime, writer and director often working with his comedian wife Rolanda. Despite his French name, he was actually born in Manchester. He appeared in the celebrated game of tennis with no ball in Michaelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up (1966)
Ein Hod is perfect for no balls games
Vanessa Redgrave ... Jane
Sarah Miles ... Patricia
David Hemmings ... Thomas
John Castle ... Bill
Jane Birkin ... The Blonde
Gillian Hills ... The Brunette
Peter Bowles ... Ron
Veruschka von Lehndorff ... Verushka (as Verushka)
Julian Chagrin ... Mime
Claude Chagrin ... Mime

Anna Kournikova and her g-string

Dr. Liza Masterson, a gynecologist from Los Angeles, has carried out a research to find out whether the prolonged use of g-strings would be safe for the female body. Dr. Masterson released the results of her study a while ago. According to her, that fancy underwear otherwise known as g-strings can pose a real threat to women’s health.
First, women who wear g-strings day in and day out are more susceptible to developing yeast vaginal infections and venereal diseases. G-strings are usually made from synthetic fabrics e.g. nylon. The fabrics of the kind are well-known for their ability to retain moisture, thus creating excellent conditions for rapid growth of pathogenic bacteria. Besides, g-strings help the infection spread from one organ to another. Bacteria can easily get to the vagina by “sliding” down the narrow strip of cloth at the back of the underwear, says Dr. Masterson’s study.
Second, indulging too much in the use of such lingerie can cause irritation on the skin, anal fissures or even hemorrhoids. A tidy strip at the back of the underwear seems to be designed to rub against the delicate skin, which can be damaged by constant rubbing. Besides, statistics suggest that women wearing g-strings run a greater risk of injuring their genitals during a fall or traffic accident.
Dr. Masterson recommends that women try to avoid wearing g-strings on a regular basis. The basic rules will come in handy for those who have a penchant for this type of fancy underwear:
1. Do not wear g-strings when the weather is hot and wet.
2. Use g-strings made from natural fabric e.g. cotton or silk.
3. Choose the right size at all times. G-strings that sit somewhat loose are thought to be less dangerous in terms of the spread of infection than those fitting closely to the body.
4. Do not wear g-strings around the clock. Change into more closed underwear at the earliest opportunity.
5. Use daily sanitary towels and change them regularly if you wear g-strings made from synthetic material.
6. Try to avoid wearing g-string swimwear.
(via pravda)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Liv Ullman speaks about Ingmar Bergman

(more on bergman)

Wild Strawberries

Riga, Latvia - four maps

Inhabited by early Baltic tribes; settled by German merchants in 1158; Bishop Albert I of Livonia & Crusaders made it center of Livonian Brothers of the Sword; joined Hanseatic League 1282; later ruled by Sweden, Poland & Russia

1550, Sebastian Munster, Cosmographei DCCCCXXXI

1581, Braun and Hogenberg, Civitates..., map III-43

1697, Adam Perelle's map

1899, Riga plan, Brockhaus-Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary

(via HUJI)

A Journey From Aleppo to Jerusalem At Easter A.D. 1697.

At precisely three o'clock in the afternoon, on Friday February 26, 1697, the Reverend Henry Maundrell and fourteen companions mounted their horses and rode out of the city of Aleppo to begin what was to be an 83-day Easter pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It was not an exceptional undertaking; agents from the English Levant Company's office in Syria, to which Maundrell was assigned as chaplain, frequently made such trips at that time of year. But this pilgrimage was to be different, for it was to inspire the eventual publication of a small book of lasting importance, a book which today, 267 years later, remains a minor classic in the overcrowded archives of travel writing, A Journey From Aleppo to Jerusalem At Easter A.D. 1697.
The book, published and republished over the years and translated into at least three languages, began as merely a diary in which Maundrell recorded his observations as he rode across Syria to Latakia, down the Syrian and Lebanese coasts and inland to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and then returned to Aleppo, visiting such places as Damascus, Baalbek and Tripoli. Maundrell had intended to circulate it among friends and perhaps win a measure of favor with his clerical superiors.
At that time, however, there was in England a surprising degree of interest in the Middle East and an equivalent lack of accurate information about it. Travelers were by no means rare but their published accounts tended to relate personal adventures or to express reactions and opinions rather than to provide information about what is surely one of the most scenically arresting and historically important regions of the world. Many of the previous travelers had shown a greater gift for poetry than for reporting with the result that the Middle East was seen through an unreal and frequently fanciful haze. Thus when Maundrell's diary, crammed with precise, factual information, began to circulate among his friends they quickly realized that here at last was one of the first factual accounts of the antiquities of the Middle East. Its impact was such that he was persuaded to prepare it for publication.( from Aramco)(and more from Bibliodyssey)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Аркадий Райкин родился в Риге (born In riga)

Arkady Isaakovich Raikin (Russian: Аркадий Исаакович Райкин) (October 24 [O.S. October 10] 1911, Riga – December 17, 1987, Moscow) was a Soviet stand up comedian of Jewish descent who led the school of Soviet and Russian humorists for about half a century.

Raikin was born in Riga (today's Latvia), then part of Russian Empire. He graduated from the Leningrad Theatrical Technicum in 1935 and worked in both state theatres and variety shows. In 1939, he founded his own theatre in Leningrad where he used skits and impersonations to ridicule the inefficiency of Communist bureaucracy and the Soviet way of life. In the Stalinist police state this was prone to danger, as it was not uncommon to get purged not only for telling a casual joke, but even for not reporting it to the authorities.
Raikin was the creator of a whole array of unforgettable satirical characters, and a living legend of his time and his country. Some of the brilliant satirical and lyrical images created by Raikin acquired their second life in the serial TV film People and Mannequins.
His fame in the Soviet Union, and throughout Central and Eastern Europe, was such that he was invited to participate in the opening night of BBC Two television in 1964, although the broadcast had to be postponed for one day due to a power failure. He also appeared in several comedies during and after World War II. His trip to London for the BBC broadcast -- during which he was reunited with his British cousin, distinguished pianist Bruno Raikin -- marked the first of only two times when the Soviet government permitted him to perform in the West.
Three years before his death, Raikin finally moved to Moscow, where he opened the Satirikon Theatre, now run by his son Konstantin Raikin, also an acclaimed actor. His wife, Roma, played a major role in guiding his career, and his daughter, Ekaterina, also had a successful career as a Moscow actress. For a month during the summer before his death, Raikin hosted his American cousin, Washington D.C. attorney Steven Raikin, as a guest at his family's Moscow flat. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Ministry of Culture finally permitted Raikin to visit the United States, where, with his son and daughter, he gave emotional farewell performances in several cities to adoring audiences of Russian emigres

You can take the book out of the library, but you can't Take the Library Out of a Book

At a book sale in support of your local library, you discover a title you really want, one you've longed to find for years, one you may have given up hope of ever owning. Now it's in sight, now in your grasp, and the price is right, a dollar or two going to a good cause. But you're not happy. In fact, you may be disappointed. You've found something you want, and it's in bad shape. Its tattered dusk jacket bears the volume's former shelf address as expressed by Dewey, its quota of library stamps and pockets and other stigmata attest to years of circulation, its dingy look and grimy feel suggest not so much as a single meaningful cleaning since the day it was cataloged. There may be evidence of many readers, from fingerprints to dog-ears to marginal notes. This has happened to us so many times that we've outgrown every reaction but the urge to rush the book to the cashier and then back to what we think of as our M*A*S*H unit, our medicine chest for ailing books. Is there a dealer or collector out there who can't recall, and weep and recriminate as the story unfolds, a book that wasn't bought because it was in poor condition, often because it was ex-library, with all that term entails? The remedy for the human condition is simple: see the book, buy the book, especially at library sale prices. Remedies for the former library book's condition are more varied, but not much more complicated.
One can make a case for preserving library markings. If we support libraries, must we necessarily eradicate all trace of them from books they discard? As the computer age changes how library books are managed, old-fashioned pockets may become a relic, and they can be handy for holding your bookmark while you read or for housing notes. Library stamps and other markings, often including perforations, are meant to be permanent, and usually are.
At the very least, library rescues need basic cleaning. Many of these books have had hard lives, so while the need for cleaning may be obvious, so should be the need for extra care. Never forget that the more effective the cleaner, the more abrasive it can be, and the wearier the book, the more it must be spared abrasive cleaning methods. Start with the usual soft cloth, then move on as needed to the Artgum eraser and other famous brand names in the field.
If you're determined to remove a library pocket, you can try such products as un-du Label and Tape Remover, followed by a minute or two of low heat from a hairdryer. The multipurpose Document Cleaning Pad can help in removing residue.
Rehabilitate enough library books, and you'll become intimately acquainted with rubber cement. To cope with its removal, try a long-lasting crepe rubber eraser called Pik-Up, which works on many other adhesives, too.
Dust jackets, often encased in heavy-duty plastic covers complete with library labels or other markings, can be refreshed with a cleaning, mending if needed, and a new clear plastic jacket cover. We've found many library dust jackets badly creased and wrinkled, and have probably smoothed and ironed more jackets from library sales than from any other source.
When a dust jacket is absent and boards show accumulated dirt and wear, gently wiping superficial soil is just the beginning. Chances are that colors and detail can be restored by using something like Clean Cover Gel and a little elbow grease. Badly worn covers may benefit from the addition of a clear plastic cover, for protection from dirt and ultraviolet rays (via Biblio)

His is bigger

Got a bigger book than this one?
Celebrity book-binder Bill Tito is so confident he is bringing New Zealand's heaviest book to Palmerston North, he will give $100 to anyone who comes along with a heavier one. Mr Tito will have the 12kg bible at his stall during this weekend's Ideal Home Show at Arena Manawatu. He is eager for Manawatu residents to rise to the challenge. "To be honest, I hope somebody will come and take $100 off me. It's part of the fun." The only rules are that any challenger must present a real book and bring it to the Home Show. If nothing else, Mr Tito hopes the competition will unearth any rare books hiding in Palmerston North. "I've had rare books from Palmerston North before that were made in Germany 100 years ago, so you never know what's around." He was asked to restore the heavyweight bible by an immigrant who brought it from the Netherlands. The task took about 60 hours of "slow, careful work", he said. It was printed in the Netherlands in 1662, but little else is known about its history. "It's so special it's worth people coming to the show just to see it. It's a work of art," he said. "This isn't just a normal book. It's been put together with leather and wood and great skill and care." Security around the book will be tight. The bible has to be packed tightly in its own box, and Mr Tito says it never leaves his sight and always rides with him. Mr Tito has a long association with the Home Show and is looking forward to coming back. "It's so long ago I can't remember my first one." he said. "I love coming here. It's a good group of people and everything's run so well." The Ideal Home Show runs from Friday to Sunday at Arenas Two and Three on Pascal Street. Doors open at 10am each day, entry is free.
(via rarebooknews))

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cigarette books

As one habit dies hard, another takes hold.
The ban on smoking in public places came into operation in the UK on July 1, 2007. Tank is launching a series of books designed to mimic cigarette packs –
the same size, packaged in flip-top cartons with silver foil wrapping and sealed in cellophane. TankBooks pay homage to this monumentally successful piece of packaging design by employing it in the service of great literature. Cigarette packs are iconic objects, familiar, tried and tested, and over time TankBooks will become iconic objects in their own right
Joseph Conrad "Heart of Darkness"
Ernest Hemingway “The Undefeated” and
“The Snows of Kilimanjaro”,
Franz Kafka “The Metamorphosis” and
“In the Penal Colony”
Rudyard Kipling “The Man who would be King”,
“The Phantom ’Rickshaw” and
“Black Jack”
Robert Louis Stevenson "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
Leo Tolstoy “The Death of Ivan Ilych” and
"Father Sergius”
( more from tankbooks)

Gesundheit! Rich can smoke...

health and money
The public generally believes that poor lifestyle choices, faulty genes and infectious agents are the major factors that give rise to illness.
Research now tells us that lower socio-economic status may be more harmful to health than risky personal habits...
I recently saw a billboard for an employment service that said, "If you think cigarette smoking is bad for your health, try a dead-end job." This warning may not just be an advertising quip: public health research now tells us that lower socio-economic status may be more harmful to health than risky personal habits, such as smoking or eating junk food.
In 1967, British epidemiologist Michael Marmot began to study the relationship between poverty and health. He showed that each step up or down the socio-economic ladder correlates with increasing or decreasing health.
Over time, research linking health and wealth became more nuanced. It turns out that "what matters in determining mortality and health in a society is less the overall wealth of that society and more how evenly wealth is distributed. The more equally wealth is distributed, the better the health of that society," according to the editors of the April 20, 1996 issue of the British Medical Journal. In that issue, American epidemiologist George Kaplan and his colleagues showed that the disparity of income in each of the individual U.S. states, rather than the average income per state, predicted the death rate.(more from AlterNet)

Italians bomb the Holy Land

"A month after Italy entered the war, Haifa was bombed, with the aim of putting the refineries and port out of action. Dozens of people were killed in the raid and many others were injured. Strict blackout was imposed on all towns and settlements, and civil defense measures were adopted against the air raids.
These measures proved useless, however, when Tel Aviv was bombed in full daylight. I was playing with friends near home when we suddenly heard loud explosions. Before we could grasp what was happening, the Italian planes were on their way back to base. The entire bombardment had lasted only a few seconds, catching us unaware and leaving us no time to get to the shelter in the center of the neighborhood. From conversations around us, we understood that many people had been injured. I immediately ran home to report that I was safe and then went to see what had happened. The Nordiya quarter (where the Dizengoff Center now stands) had been heavily hit; the huts were in ruins, and among the debris lay the dead and injured. Here and there a fire had broken out. Damaged cars and wagons blocked the road itself. In the middle of the road lay a dead horse, hit while still harnessed to a wagon. I gazed at the horror around me. Of what strategic importance could this residential area have been?
A mass funeral was held for the 107 men and women who had died in the bombardment. The funeral procession left from the Balfour school and I still recall the coffins lying in rows on the trucks en route to the Nahlat Yitzhak cemetery. The lesson learned from this terrible raid was that our early-warning systems had to be improved to enable us to take shelter in good time. However, many Tel Avivians decided on a different solution and left the city for a safer place. Among them were my parents who, after much family consultation, decided to move to Ramat Gan, a quiet suburb of Tel Aviv, which was of no interest to enemy aircraft. My father bought a medium-sized plot of land on Salameh Street (now Ben-Gurion Street), between Ramat Gan and Ramat-Yitzhak, and reverted for a brief period to his previous occupation of building contractor. He built a small four-roomed house with a large cellar, which would serve as a shelter if necessary."

( by Yehuda Lapidot)

Russian Posters?

( via razgovor)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Wrong Oscar?

When six original Oscar Wilde manuscripts surfaced in New York in April, they were expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars. But soon doubts were cast on their authenticity — and a dark tale emerged of greed, forgery and foul play stretching back to the 1920s. Anthony Gardner reports
The New York Antiquarian Book Fair is the most exciting event of its kind in the world. This year’s, held in a hall on Park Avenue, drew a particularly glamorous crowd, following a pronouncement in American Vogue that book-collecting was the fashionable hobby of the moment. Among the works for sale were a fourth folio of Shakespeare’s plays and a first edition of Frankenstein; but for curiosity, little could compete with the three leather-bound volumes being touted in that last week of April by the owner of a small shop in Greenwich Village.
Doing the rounds of the dealers’ stalls, Kim Herzinger explained that the volumes contained six Oscar Wilde manuscripts recently inherited by one of his clients. Here in the Irish genius’s own hand were the opening of A Woman of No Importance; a fragment of another play, never published or produced; a letter; a poem; the essay The Tomb of Keats. Most exciting of all, the cache included the manuscript of one of Wilde’s best-loved stories, The Happy Prince, which even if sold separately could be expected to fetch £200,000 or more – provided it was genuine.
And there was the rub. Because some Wilde manuscripts have a history that is chequered to say the least; and none of the dealers was more aware of this than Ed Maggs, proprietor of one of London’s oldest-established booksellers, Maggs Bros of Berkeley Square. Examining the pages of The Happy Prince, Maggs came to the conclusion not only that the manuscript was “wrong” (as dealers commonly describe fakes), but that its origins lay in a batch of papers that had caused embarrassment to some of the book world’s most distinguished experts ever since the 1920s – his own family firm among them. It is a story involving avarice, forgery, two of France’s leading authors – and very possibly Wilde’s prizefighting, poetry-writing nephew and his beautiful surrealist wife( cont. from Sunday Times )

Wrong placed ass

What's a surgery professor to do when the rectum of her medical school's anatomical model is in the wrong place? Turn to those who know the body best: the sex-toy industry.
Carla M. Pugh, an assistant professor of surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, was frequently disappointed with the anatomically incorrect mannequins used by her first-year medical students.
"I don't know what human beings they're looking at when they make these things," Dr. Pugh says of the models. "I've examined thousands of real human beings whose anuses are in the right place."
So she began shopping at "adult" stores for sex devices that better imitated the parts of the human typically located below the belt.
"I'm sure my mom's real proud of me," she says dryly. "I'm like the XXX surgeon around here now."

In case you question the purity of Dr. Pugh's motives, note that she also visits toy stores, hobby shops, and hardware stores searching for parts to use in her models of genitalia, rectums, and breasts. The mannequins in her classes are equipped with computer sensors to assess students' work, allowing the aspiring physicians to practice examinations of the most uncomfortable variety long before they encounter live patients.
"It's all arts-and-crafts stuff," Dr. Pugh says. A lima bean tucked into silicone might be used to simulate a breast-cancer tumor, for example, or a ball might simulate an ovarian mass.
The models, she says, "enable students to ask questions they wouldn't normally be able to ask" in front of a live patient(from Cronicle)

The Art of Fart

Meet Roland the Farter. A minstrel in the court of Henry II of England, Roland had an annual Christmas Day engagement with the king and his fellow revelers. Roland's act consisted of a dance that culminated with his trademark forte: a synchronized jump, whistle, and fart. Though accounts are sketchy, they indicate that Roland's remarkable trifecta was performed simultaneously (and not surprisingly, only once). Roland was so valued as an entertainer that the king rewarded his impressive feat of dexterity with a plot of land.
The story of Roland the Farter is told by Valerie Allen in On Farting: Laughter and Language in the Middle Ages, published by Palgrave Macmillan. Allen uses flatulence as a prism through which to explore the entertainment mores of medieval society. Roland's popularity calls to mind our own longstanding (if sometimes sheepish) embrace of bathroom humor. Among many other revelations found in the pages of Bob Woodward's State of Denial is that President Bush is fond of cracking fart jokes with Karl Rove. And the flatulent campfire scene in Mel Brooks's 1974 film Blazing Saddles remains a cultural touchstone. The young comedian Sarah Silverman once commented that fart jokes are "the sign language of comedy." What is it about farts that we find so funny?
Valerie Allen, associate professor of literature at City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice: Freud saw it as a mark of our own civilization that smell is suppressed. We would start sniffing the ground, and then as we became erect on two legs we did not need our noses so much. So we use our eyes rather than our nose. One of the most enjoyable aspects of doing the research was reading about smell. I had not been aware of how underrated, undervalued, and underused a sense it is. Much can be learned by thinking about farts and smell in particular (more farts from The Chronicle)

Miles Davis and John Coltrane play one of the best renditions of SO WHAT ever captured on film

Live in 1958.
in the mid 1950s, he joined Miles Davis' first legendary quintet (with "Philly" Joe Jones, Red Garland, and Paul Chambers). Many critics blasted the selection of Coltrane, wanting Miles to choose Sonny Rollins instead. However, Miles being Miles, and not a critic, had insight and saw Coltrane's potential. Coltrane used a style of playing a flurry of notes, which was a nice balance to Miles' use of space . Miles fired Coltrane from his band because Trane's heroin addiction was affecting his performance on the band stand. Coltrane went back to his home in Philadelphia and resolved to kick his drug habit. He had his wife and mother lock him in a room and give him only bread and water. He overcame his drug habit, and had a religious experience, that he never went into great detail about( via dirty)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

George Tabori (May 24, 1914 – July 23, 2007)

“George Tabori is one of the hidden masters of Jewish culture in the latter half of the twentieth century. . . . Anat Feinberg's book is the first comprehensive attempt to chronicle his career and his works. An original and readable book that makes Tabori available for the first time in his complex and contradictory brilliance.”—Sander Gilman, Henry R. Luce Distinguished Service Professor of the Liberal Arts in Human Biology, University of Chicago
In Embodied Memory, Anat Feinberg offers the first English-language study of the controversial dramatist George Tabori. A Jewish-Hungarian playwright and novelist, Tabori is a unique figure in postwar German theatre—one of the few theatre people since Bertolt Brecht to embody “the ideal union” of playwright, director, theatre manager, and actor. Revered as a “theatre guru,”Tabori's career, first in the United States and later in Germany, is fraught with controversy.
“There are taboos that must be broken or they will continue to choke us,” he wrote upon the 1969 German premiere of Cannibals, a shockingly grotesque play about the inmates of a concentration camp who, in desperation, prepare to eat one of their mates in order to survive. This deliberately provocative debut marked the direction Tabori's work would take in the years to come. In his so-called Holocaust plays (Jubilee, My Mother's Courage, Mein Kampf, etc.), he confronted National Socialism and the systematic murder of European Jewry in a revolutionary way. In all of his work Tabori consciously resists the historical distortions of sentimental pity or sanctimonious judgment and hypocritical philosemitism, which is in many cases the reverse of antisemitism.
Making use of invaluable archival material, Feinberg's biographical account is followed by a study of Tabori's experimental theatre work. As did prominent avant-gardists such as Grotowski or Chaikin, Tabori sought to open up new vistas in an otherwise mainstream theatre system. Feinberg pays special attention to Tabori's theatrical innovations, most movingly found in his Holocaust plays. There Feinberg shows the ways in which Tabori's theatre becomes a locus of remembrance (Gedächtnisort) and of unique, engaging memory-work (for hebrew wiki)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal

Pearl R. Nye grew up on the Ohio and Erie Canal. He was born on the canal boat Reform near Chillicothe, Ohio, on February 5, 1872.After the canal closed, Nye followed several pursuits including carpentry, writing, and singing at local establishments around Akron, Ohio. However, he never lost his love of the "Big Ditch," and worked hard to preserve the history and culture of the canal. In the 1930s Nye contacted local historical organizations and libraries about preserving his materials and collaborated with an author to write a book about his life on the canal.Nye was "discovered" by John A. Lomax who had heard about him from an Akron newspaper reporter. In June 1937 Lomax recorded 33 of Nye's songs, with commentary for the Library of Congress. In November of that year, Alan and Elizabeth Lomax recorded 39 more songs. In September 1938 Ivan Walton recorded three additional songs. All the recordings were made in Akron, Ohio, and are included in this online presentation.
This excerpt from "Two Sailors: Sea Shanties and Canal Boat Ballads" contains commentary by John A. Lomax as well as portions of a 1937 field interview between Lomax and Pearl R. Nye that took place in Akron, Ohio. "Two Sailors: Sea Shanties and Canal Boat Ballads" is one of 10 radio programs making up "The Ballad Hunter" radio series.(play the audio)
In 1941, the Rockefeller Foundation provided a grant to establish the Radio Research Project in the Library of the Congress. Archibald MacLeish, then Librarian of Congress, defined the Radio Research Project as a means "to find through experiments and research radio forms by which pertinent parts of the American culture maintained in the Library of Congress may be made available to the American people." Among the special radio programs prepared under the supervision of Philip H. Cohen, the Project's chief, in collaboration with Alan Lomax, was John Lomax's "The Ballad Hunter." The broadcasts were distributed on transcription discs to radio stations for several years.(from Library of Congress))


Panelists discuss a new report that found only 84% of education funding goes to teaching children about whales. ( from Onion)

Van Halens "Ice Cream Man" in Mongolia Rally

To drive from London to Mongolia takes some doing. To try it in this ice cream van, stopping to serve cones to passers-by and border guards along the way, is one step beyond.
Here Ryan Walker explains why he is leading a team of three intrepid travellers across Europe and Central Asia on a gruelling and bizarre race.
Backpacking just isn't for me. Everyone goes backpacking, or so it seems, I want a proper old-fashioned adventure and to do something nobody has ever done before. And so we are pushing back the boundaries of ice cream vending.
After a pub conversation where we wondered if people ate ice cream in Mongolia, we thought we might find out.
Teams have a month to get from London to Ulaanbaartar
Vehicles have one-litre engine
Started in 2001 as two friends tried and failed to get to Mongolia
Second in 2004 when six teams attempted journey - four made it
IN 2005 43 teams took part - 18 made it
In 2006 167 cars took part - 118 made it
This year there are 200 teams, all in vehicles with one litre engines
The Mongol Rally is a charity event limited to 200 teams and this year all the places were snapped up in under one minute. Participants travel a third of the way around the world from London to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, in about four weeks, in a vehicle with a one-litre engine or less (more from BBC)

Belgian leader makes anthem gaffe

The man expected to become Belgium's next prime minister has caused a stir by singing the French national anthem when asked to sing the Belgian one.
Yves Leterme, head of the Flemish Christian Democrats, broke into La Marseillaise instead of Belgium's La Brabanconne on the national day.
His gaffe was filmed by Belgian RTBF television, as he was about to attend a church service in Brussels on Saturday. Dutch- and French-speaking politicians are struggling to form a new coalition. The outgoing coalition led by Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt is still governing in a caretaker role as negotiations continue.
He also made a mistake over Belgium's national day, saying it marked the "proclamation of the constitution". It actually commemorates the inauguration of Leopold I as the country's first king on 21 July 1831.
Mr Leterme's party made big gains in last month's election, ending their eight years in opposition. They won 30 seats in the 150-seat lower house.
Mr Leterme says he wants to increase the autonomy already enjoyed by Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern region where 60% of Belgians live, and French-speaking Wallonia in the south. No single party bridges the linguistic and geographic gulf between Belgium's two regions. Traditionally, the prime minister comes from one of the majority Flemish parties.(via BBC)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sex in Space

Until Lisa Nowak, the now-former astronaut, drove nonstop across three states to kidnap a love rival, NASA had no occasion to discuss or defend publicly their policy concerning sex and space travel. But as it turns out, there never was a policy. Former astronaut Alex Dunlap says it does not come up during training. “It really wasn’t talked about. You’re so focused on training, on the job at hand.” According to Richard Williams, chief health and medical officer at NASA, “It’s a sensitive and delicate issue. It’s pretty much left up to individual judgment as to what’s prudent and appropriate.”
When missions lasted no more than a few weeks at a time, discretion was a reasonable policy. But as NASA and other international space agencies plan missions to Mars and beyond lasting more than a year, officials will have to take a position on this. As for now, Williams says it is an open question: “With regard to a sexual code of conduct, where do you draw the line between being invasive in someone’s life and the well-being of the mission?”
The prospect of going on long missions to planets like Mars raises other ethical issues. For example, a burst appendix or a broken leg—conditions easily treated on Earth—can threaten a mission if the injured astronaut requires more oxygen or fluid than has been allocated for the trip. And no policy exists for what to do if an astronaut dies. There may never be. “The more specific you are about those things, the less flexibility you end up with,” says Williams. “It’s very much a double-edged sword. We want to let innovative and highly educated people come to the best solution in real time.”(from discover )
NASA might be a little squeamish about sex in space but in Russia the scientific community is noted for keeping abreast of sex, romance and long-term crew isolation in space. ( for more russian sex in space)

...on the subway walls

Hello darkness, my old friend,
Ive come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of
A neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one deared
Disturb the sound of silence.

Fools said i,you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whisperd in the sounds of silence.

he wrote the song in ten minutes

In interviews Dylan has never reported holding as high an opinion of the song as its popular acclaim would suggest - he has said he wrote the song in ten minutes. He has called it a work song, perhaps in reference to its derivative, rather than inspired, nature of its composition, the melody being derived from the old slave song "No More Auction Block", and some of its lyrical structure from the 1953 song "I Really Don't Want to Know".
An urban legend still circulates that the song was actually written by a high-school student named Lorre Wyatt and subsequently purchased or stolen by Dylan before he gained fame.The legend was made famous when it was published in a Newsweek article in 1963; while the story left the claims unconfirmed, it prompted plenty of speculation. Several members of Wyatt's school and community reported having heard him singing the song and claiming authorship a full year before it was released by Dylan, or made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary. Wyatt even told his teacher that he'd sold the song for $1,000 and donated the money to charity, when asked why he had suddenly stopped performing it.It turned out that the plagiarism claims were completely false. Wyatt had performed the song around Millburn, New Jersey, months before it was made famous, but not before it had been published and credited to Dylan in the songbooks Broadside and Sing Out!. Wyatt finally explained his part in the situation to New Times magazine in 1974. He credited the initial lie to panic that he wasn't pulling his weight as a songwriter in a local band.( more from wiki )

Saturday, July 21, 2007

American Pie-The Meaning

The meaning behind the lyrics of Don McLean's American Pie. Janis Joplin, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, War & Peace, drugs, murder, Hell's Angels and the Rolling Stones. And, of course Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper

A microbe in your tank

The maverick scientist Craig Venter was dubbed Darth Venter for wanting to charge the human race a fortune to read its own genetic code. Now the balding Vietnam veteran has another cunning plan: to get exclusive rights to the bare essentials of life and create green fuels that will make him a dollar trillionaire.
Venter, a former school drop-out with an IQ of 142, was vilified by the scientific establishment for taking them on in a race to sequence the human genome – the biochemical instruction manual for homo sapiens. The result in 2000 was a dead heat between the publicly funded Human Genome Project, which was battling to release the knowledge free of charge, and Venter with his scheme to sell the patented findings.
A man of supreme immodesty, the 60-year-old American relished the controversy, flashing his Learjet, yacht and Rolex, his Hollywood-style interviews and his ability to raise $1 billion on the New York stock market in a single day. Immune to insults deriding him as “Hitler”, “a self-aggrandising pain in the arse” and “an opportunistic maniac”, he proclaimed: “Is my science of the level consistent with other people who have gotten the Nobel? Yes.”
Although Venter had become arguably the best-known molecular biologist after Watson and Crick, the discoverers of the DNA double helix, his proposed money-spinner was dead in the water and his firm sacked him. In the cartoon-book tradition of egocentric scientists, Venter railed against the “morons” who had failed to understand his vision. He began to hatch another fiendish scheme for world dominance
( more from Times)

Chips: 70p or 90p a portion. Cod: £1.20 or £1.90.

For nearly 150 years, it was Britain's cheap and simple national dish. But now fish and chip restaurants serve wine - and even sell batter scraps as a delicacy. Stuart Jeffries on how chilli flakes, nutmeg and minted peas transformed one of our favourite fast foods
There's a recently deceased fish and chip shop at the corner of Whateley Road and Landcroft Road in London SE22. The rubber plants in the window are brown, the post is dusty on the mat and just thinking about the congealed contents of the deep-fat fryer might well make your arteries fur up. So let's not.
The price list of this cheap and, perhaps, once cheerful neighbourhood chip shop is still visible in the gloom. Chips: 70p or 90p a portion. Cod: £1.20 or £1.90. The Golden City also offered the full range of bog-standard dishes - saveloys, battered roe, battered sausage - that would terrify fastidious foreigners. (As historian John K Walton points out in his unexpectedly interesting Fish and Chips and the British Working Class 1870-1940, even though there are strong arguments for the contribution of chip shops to our victory in the first world war, and our avoidance of a Bolshevik-style revolution can substantially be ascribed to the disaffected wartime poor being fed fish and chips, we could never manage to convince the rest of the world of the national dish's amazing virtues. With the possible exceptions of Australia and New Zealand.(article coninues on Guardian)

Morse code

Even most antiwar activists don't seem to know anything about Wayne Morse. Whited out of political memory and media history, he was long ago banished to an Orwellian vacuum tube.
Compared to Morse -- even today, more than four years into the horrendous Iraq war -- almost every "antiwar" member of the U.S. Senate is restrained and unduly deferential to presidential war-making power. If you doubt that, consider the Senate's 97-0 vote in mid-July that laid a flagstone on a path toward military confrontation with yet another country: warning Iran that it would be held accountable for an alleged role in attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
Morse's exchange with the "Face the Nation" host on May 24, 1964, occurred more than two months before the Gulf of Tonkin resolution sailed through Congress on the basis of presidential lies about a supposed unprovoked attack on U.S. ships in the Tonkin Gulf. Morse was one of only two members of the entire Congress to vote against that resolution, which served as a green light for massive escalation of the Vietnam War.
As the years of carnage went by, Senator Morse never let up. And so, when a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee neared a close on February 27, 1968, Morse said -- on the record -- that he did not "intend to put the blood of this war on my hands."( vua alternet)

The Global Village and the MAP

Heinrich Bunting was a professor of theology at Hanover. His primary work is entitled, 'Itinerarium sacrae scripturae, published in 1581. It contained woodcut maps that included a world map (Cosmographia Universalis), as well as another world map in clover form. Other maps included Europe as the queen of the World and Asia as a winged horse.
Heinrich Bunting (1545-1606) knew the world didn’t really look like this. There are enough maps in his works (such as Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae) to indicate he knew the continents had an irregular, and not a symbolic shape.Yet he delighted in drawing other symbolic maps, examples of which can be anthropomorphic (Europe as a virgin) or hippomorphic (Asia as a winged horse). This particular map is a tribute to Buntings hometown Hanover, as the text above the map indicates: Die ganze Welt in einem Kleberblatt welches ist der Stadt Hannover meines lieben Vaterlandes Wapen (‘The Whole World in a Cloverleaf, Which Is The Coat of Arms of Hannover, My Dear Fatherland’).The map shows a world divided into three parts (Europe, Asia and Africa), connected at a single central point: Jerusalem. This is essentially still the same symbolic map of the world as the one first devised by Saint Isidore in the seventh century. Isidore’s ’T and O’-shaped map, itself inspired by Scripture, influenced Christian European mapmaking up until the age of discovery.
That age would be the one Bunting grew up in. He and his contemporaries were among the first generations of Europeans to know Isidore was wrong – but it’s almost impossible to resist imagining how this centuries-old archetype of a map took a while to be erased out of the common memory of cartographers.
Bunting’s map is nice in that it combine symbolism with realism: in the bottom left corner a piece of land is named America. Strange is that a similar detached piece of territory at the top of the map is labelled Denmark and Sweden. Bunting must have known that Denmark was contiguous with the European Continent…
Some named countries and places (not all are easily readable) on the three continents are, left to right:
Europe: Hispanien (Spain), Mailand (Milan), Welschland (Welsh? Walloon? Country), Frankreich (France), Lothringen (Lorraine), Roma (Rome), Deutschland (Germany), Ungarn (Hungary), Polen (Poland), Preussen (Prussia), Griechenland (Greece), Türken (Turks)
Africa: Lybia, Egypten, Morenland (Land of the Moors), Königreich Melinde (Kingdom of Melinde) , Caput Bonae Spes (Cape of Good Hope)
Asia: Siria, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Chaldea, Persia, India
Among the earliest cartographic oddities are the famous maps from Heinrick Bunting's unusual travel book based on the Bible. This woodblock map of Asia is presented as the mythical winged horse, Pegasus. The horse is drawn fairly realistically, so that a good deal of imagination is required to view the map. The head represents Asia Minor with the mouth at Istanbul. The wings portray Central Asia and Siberia with the Caspian Sea laying horizontally between the wings and the saddle. Persia is delineated on the horse blanket with the forelegs forming Arabia. The hind legs represent the Indian and Malay peninsulas. A ship, large creature and sirens are in the seas( via stangemaps)

Friday, July 20, 2007

a bibliophile’s paradise

new delhi: a bibliophile’s paradise. that’s what the daryaganj sunday book market, famed among students and infamous among the established book shops, is. generations of literature students swear by the market that supplied almost all their textbooks at less than a quarter of the original price. of course, the cover might have been be dirty and the pages crumpled. books travelled from one generation of students to another but the prices remained static, more or less. the character of the market is, however, changing of late. buyers are no longer exclusively literature, sociology or economics students looking for an out of print tome. instead, the bestsellers are books on information technology. on any sunday morning, people can be seen browsing through the latest in web-enabled applications or choosing which cd is worth the rs 10 it costs. unshaved, unbathed, many just pack off first thing in the morning, equipped to spend the rest of the day in the market. shubhashish dutta, a resident of mayur vihar pursuing an advanced diploma in computer applications, says he has reached the market early because this is when the best titles can be picked up. ‘‘later in the evening everything is sold,’’ he adds. satish kumar gandhi, who has been selling books here for the past 30 years, says these days he only stocks technical and it-related books. ‘‘i used to sell fiction earlier, but nowadays the demand has shifted to computers. people don’t want to pay more than rs 20 for a novel but can pay anything for a technical book,’’ says gandhi. but although more money is flowing in, the general quality of the visitors has deteriorated, says the bookseller. gandhi says he picks up books from auctions at the railway station. ‘‘publishing companies auction books that don’t sell. some of the books are also picked up from scrap dealers,’’ he adds. one may mention copyright laws and piracy, but given the demand for books and the lack of public libraries, controlling this phenomenon is difficult. for a market that has survived six decades, such hurdles are not daunting. sellers insist that piracy is not rampant, and is limited to the potboiler. there is, however, a seedier side to the market. a large and floating clientele visits it for pornographic material and, if the shopkeepers are to be believed, create a nuisance. 76-year-old noor ilahi, himself near-illiterate, is a connoisseur as far as books go. but even he has started stocking technology and it books. ‘‘nowadays children are more pragmatic, they are not interested in knowledge. their only motive is making money,’’ he says.
(from the times of india )
for more posts about books click here

'I don't care about anyone's feelings'

It is more than 30 years since Randy Newman wrote Political Science. Yet in the past few weeks the song has been quoted everywhere from Baghdad to London to Washington as a musical interpretation of American foreign policy, a satirical masterpiece and a dire warning of plans for global annihilation.
"No one likes us/I don't know why/We may not be perfect/But heaven knows we try/All around even our old friends put us down/Let's drop the big one and see what happens," sings Newman in the distinctive voice that a critic once described as sounding like a "frightened bison". "Asia's crowded/Europe's too old/Africa's far too hot/And Canada's too cold".
Last month, an imam at a mosque in Baghdad quoted the song as evidence of American intentions. And now it appears - along with other Newman standards such as Rednecks, Sail Away, You Can Leave Your Hat On, God's Song and I Think It's Going to Rain Today - on a new collection of his work, The Randy Newman Songbook. For anyone who has never heard his work, it is a perfect introduction to one of America's finest and most original songwriters.
He is intrigued with the way that Political Science has returned to prominence. "There is a strain in the country, a frontier, isolationist, aggressive kind of ignorance that wants to forget about the rest of the world. They don't quite want to blow up London or Paris, but they don't want to help anyone or deal with it."
The song had been written in 1970, he says, before people of vaguely that persuasion took power. "It was pre-Reagan, and even Reagan, in retrospect, wasn't that far to the right in many ways. The right to me means, 'We're not going to help people who might need help.' They might deny this and say, 'Do you think we have no hearts? Do you think we don't care?' and I would say, 'Yeah, I do think that.'
"This administration has come closer to saying things like, 'Europe's too old.' The stupidities and exaggerations of that song are still exaggerations, but the way Donald Rumsfeld talks and Paul Wolfowitz talks is like breaking the rules. Somehow, with Reagan and Nixon, there was an understanding that you don't say things like, 'We don't need France and Germany... we have the new Europe: Bulgaria, Poland and Lithuania.' They may have thought things like that and done bad things secretly, but they didn't say that." ( more from gardian)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Osama on the Roof

Featuring songs such as 'I wanna be like Osama' and the love ballad 'I Only See Your Eyes', JIHAD THE MUSICAL is a madcap gallop through the wacky world of international terrorism; one that puts the powers that be in their place, and that invokes the Blitz spirit that we must laugh at those who seek to intimidate us. Stand back! This is a high-kicking chorus line!
JIHAD THE MUSICAL tells the story of a young Afghan peasant, Sayid. Coming from the desert, Sayid dreams of proving himself to his bossy sister Shazzia and to the world, by making it as a flower farmer. Enchanted by a mysterious veiled woman, he leaps at her offer to work for a company that ‘exports poppies’ to the West. Unfortunately, Sayid soon discovers that the woman is a terrorist, and the company a front for a jihadi cell seeking to blow up targets in the West, most particularly one known as the Unidentified, Very Prestigious Landmark.
Farce ensues as Sayid is brainwashed by the all-singing, all-dancing jihadis, vowing to fight for their cause. Meanwhile, a sinister reporter, Foxy Redstate, uncovers the plot, encouraging Sayid to keep her in the loop in the hope that such an exclusive will propel her to media stardom. Sayid finds himself caught between the terrorists on one hand and the media on the other, driven to share in their enthusiasm for the impending terrorist spectacular. Fortunately help is on the way in the form of his no-nonsense sister, who teams up with a surrender-prone Frenchman to come to the rescue. Everything comes to a head on the night of the attack, where, caught between his sister, the bloodthirsty global media, and the jihadis he has come to see as a new family, Sayid has to decide whose side he is really on.

Kings of the Road

In 1907, exactly fifty years before Jack Kerouac's On the Road reached the New York Times bestseller list, Jack London--then one of the most popular authors in America--published a memoir titled simply The Road. Its centennial will be greeted with much less fanfare than On the Road's fiftieth anniversary, which will be feted this year all over the world with readings, conferences and a new Viking reissue of the book. The Road reflects its author's highly developed class consciousness and comes from an era when American writers like London, Theodore Dreiser and Upton Sinclair wrote to make their readers aware of injustices and to rouse them to political action. Moreover, London's account of his wild, eye-opening journey across the country by railroad, boat, on foot--and even barefoot, when his shoes fell apart--remains a pivotal work in the cultural history of America's long obsession with road travel, roadside attractions and road books. A literary gem in its own right, it has achieved fame among historians and scholars as the grandfather of all twentieth-century American books that explore life and death on the road, including, most famously, Kerouac's classic. For several generations of rough-and-tumble readers, including the members of the Beat generation, it served as an invitation to see the country firsthand, though not first-class.
Yet while On the Road is Kerouac's signature work and a pivotal text of twentieth-century American literature, London's The Road is a largely forgotten volume among the fifty-odd books he published, never having achieved the popularity of his tales about dogs and wolves, like The Call of the Wild and White Fang. Still, it is among the most compelling of his books--and the closest he came to recounting honestly his life as an outsider, outcast, wanderer and vagabond. London's portraits of American places, including small towns like Underwood, Leola, Menden, Avoca and Marno, are still memorable because he captured their undeniable hospitality and generosity and because they encouraged him, in the spirit of Walt Whitman, to sing his own song of the open road. His self-portrait is equally indelible. By depicting himself as a "stranger in a strange land," and by taking on the larger-than-life persona of "the American hobo," he was able to write insightfully about the underside of American life--the poverty, the violence and the brutality--that was largely ignored by his contemporaries Henry James, Edith Wharton and even William Dean Howells.
At first glance, London and Kerouac seem to have much in common. Both pushed themselves to psychological extremes, both burned themselves up and drank themselves to excess and death--London at 40, Kerouac at 47. Yet they also stand worlds apart from each other. Kerouac could not handle fame, while London basked in it, spending money as fast as he made it on tweed suits, silk shirts, machines, books, houses and land in Oakland and Sonoma County. He raised horses and pigs and marketed grape juice with his own image on the label, though that advertising ploy did not yield financial success. By the time he died, in 1916, he owned more than a thousand acres of prime California real estate. Depression followed him nearly his whole life, along with thoughts of suicide. His easy optimism, like Kerouac's, masked darkness and despair. ( more...)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

25.6% alcohol !!! Danny... can you do better?

Samuel Adams announced the release of its highly anticipated 2007 release of Samuel Adams Utopias. By using an extended aging process and the finest all-natural ingredients from around the world, the brewers at Samuel Adams offer an uncarbonated beer with a rich, complex flavor and 25.6% alcohol by volume. Expected to be available at retail in November, the 2007 release of Samuel Adams Utopias is a handcrafted beer featuring a blend of brews, some of which have been aged for up to 13 years. The 2007 release of Samuel Adams Utopias comes in a collectible brew kettle–shaped, numbered bottle and will have a limited release of just 12,000 bottles worldwide.
“Samuel Adams Utopias is a strong, rich, dark beer that showcases our passion for elevating the beer drinking experience,” says Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams. “I have been experimenting with extreme brewing for more than 13 years, finding ways to push the traditional boundaries of brewing. Some would say Samuel Adams Utopias is the ultimate beer, an extraordinary beer that can be savored like an old sherry, vintage port, or fine cognac.” (more from beeradvocate)
if you don't want to pay 100$ for a bottle-come to Danny's ARTBAR in ein hod

2007.... The same problems... How To Undo Her Bra With One Hand

The bra is your enemy. It has got what you want.
To defeat this enemy you must do some intelligence gathering. Make sure your hands are warm, cold hands are not sexy. Put your hand under her top. If she is uncomfortable with this, then chillaxe at first base.
If you get a positive response, and she's up for it, get an answer to this key question: is it a back-fastening bra, or a front-fastening bra?...
This will take practice, so it's a good idea to practice on a close friend before the date. Whether back or front fastening, most bras clip and unclip with tiny hooks. The one handed release technique is the same for both front and back fastenings. You need to gently clench the material around both sides of the fastening, and then squeeze them together so that the hooks release. Congratulations - you can now try to unhook a bra on a real woman.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What if there was a library which held every book?

What if there was a library which held every book? Not every book on sale, or every important book, or even every book in English, but simply every book—a key part of our planet's cultural legacy.
First, the library must be on the Internet. No physical space could be as big or as universally accessible as a public web site. The site would be like Wikipedia—a public resource that anyone in any country could access and that others could rework into different formats.
Second, it must be grandly comprehensive. It would take catalog entries from every library and publisher and random Internet user who is willing to donate them. It would link to places where each book could be bought, borrowed, or downloaded. It would collect reviews and references and discussions and every other piece of data about the book it could get its hands on.
But most importantly, such a library must be fully open. Not simply "free to the people," as the grand banner across the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh proclaims, but a product of the people: letting them create and curate its catalog, contribute to its content, participate in its governance, and have full, free access to its data. In an era where library data and Internet databases are being run by money-seeking companies behind closed doors, it's more important than ever to be open.
So let us do just that: let us build the Open Library.
Earlier this year, a small group of people gathered at Internet Archive's San Francisco office to discuss whether this was possible. Could we build something so grand? We concluded that we could. We located a copy of the Library of Congress card catalog, phoned publishers and asked them for their data, created a brand new database infrastructure for handling millions of dynamic records, wrote a new type of wiki that lets users enter structured data, set up a search engine to look through it all, and made the resulting site look good.
We hooked it up to the Internet Archive's book scanning project, so that you can read the full text of all the out-of-copyright books they've made available. And we hope to add a print-on-demand feature, so that you can get nice paper copies of these scanned books, as well as a scan-on-demand feature, so you can fund the scanning of that out-of-copyright book you've always loved.
But we can only do so much on our own. Hopefully we've done enough to make it clear that this project is for real—not simply another pie-in-the-sky idea—but we need your help to make it a reality. So we're opening up the demo we've built so far, opening up the source code, opening up the mailing lists, and hoping you'll join us in building Open Library. It sure is going to be a fun ride.
(open library)

I told you to drink beer... Danny's beer

Eating grapefruit every day could raise the risk of developing breast cancer by almost a third, US scientists say. The researchers, at the universities of Southern California and Hawaii, found that women who ate one quarter of a grapefruit or more every day had a higher risk of breast cancer than those who did not eat the fruit at all. The fruit is thought to boost levels of oestrogen - the hormone associated with a higher risk of the disease, the British Journal of Cancer reported.
The researchers found that in women who ate at least a quarter of a grapefruit daily, levels of oestrogen were higher. They said: "It is well established that oestrogen is associated with breast cancer risk. "Therefore, if grapefruit intake affects oestrogen metabolism leading to higher circulating levels, then it is biologically plausible that regular intake of grapefruit would increase a woman's risk of breast cancer." (from bbc )
and for beer follow the link

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chicago Bookman Discovers Typewriter Heaven

Chicago rare book dealer stumbles upon one of the last surviving expert typewriter repairmen and restorers(Visit www.printersrowbooks.com)
For Steve Kazmierski, what started out as a repair business years ago has now evolved into a restoration business. He spends his days putting the punch back into old, rundown typewriters.
While you'd think in this day of hi-tech computing typewriters would be hard to find, Steve says he has quite a clientele. He has been repairing typewriters since he was 16. When he first started in business he made house calls. Now he finds the current interest in the machines surprising.
"Ten years ago, for example, I was still working on regular typewriters, where people were still using. That was my main line. Now my main line is the old antiques, restoring old typewriters," said Kazmierski.
Kazmierski's shop is a virtual typewriter museum. Some of the machines brought in for restoration date back to the 1890s.
No longer in production, the Oliver was manufactured in a plant on Dearborn across from the present day Goodman Theatre.
Passionate about what he does, Kazmierski works six days a week and sometimes on Sunday. Restoring a century-old device is particularly gratifying.
"That gives me such a pleasure, because it may not work for 100 years, and here I put it back to life. Some of the people call me Dr. Frankenstein, because I can restore machines, put them back to life again. That's my satisfaction

We can trust a president who likes wine! Viva Peres!

What on earth has got into the French? With a teetotaller newly installed in the Elysée Palace, wine consumption falling (soon to lag behind the US, for heaven’s sake) and stickers appearing on bottles warning of the perils of alcohol, it seems a new Gallic puritanism is taking hold. Can this truly be the nation that spawned Rabelais, Rimbaud, Toulouse-Lautrec and Depardieu? Will it be Perrier all round today to celebrate Bastille Day? Sacré bleu! New president Nicolas Sarkozy claims never to touch alcohol, professing to prefer orange juice and jogging to the delights of cru classé claret.
His predecessor, Jacques Chirac, did very well on the gastronomy front, even though his favoured tipple is said to be lager rather than wine. He was famously self-indulgent and spent some €2 million on food and drink (not including official functions) in his last eight years in office.James Nainby-Luxmoore, an English banker who recently returned to live in Paris, agrees that French consumption isn’t what it was. “Drink-driving laws are enforced ruthlessly and have certainly had some effect,” he says. “But restaurant prices are a massive deterrent, too, and I’ve noticed that the French tend to drink much lower quality wines than do the foreigners in their country.”
Years of socialising among the French have brought him to another conclusion: “The French make terrible drunks. They view the English and the Irish as the kings of drunkenness, perhaps with some envy and awe, but are genuinely shocked by the sight of our fairer sex getting trashed. French girls don’t seem to drink at all and it’s pointless getting a French chap drunk, since he won’t fight, sing, laugh or tell ribald stories. He’ll just fall asleep and then throw up.”
With teetotallers in both the Elysée and White House, and dour Mr Brown now at Number 10, there is little point looking to our leaders for signs of joie de vivre. Long gone are the days when a premier such as Winston Churchill led by example, knocking back a daily ration of an Imperial pint (about 50cl) of Pol Roger Champagne. “Clemmie thinks that a full bottle is too much for me, but I know that half a bottle is insufficient to tease my brains,” he said of his wife and his appetite. “An Imperial pint is an ideal size for a man like me; it pleases everyone, even the producer.” ( via Telegraph )

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Creating the Perfect Wave

Riga-Stirlitz's town (russian)

Seventeen Moments of Spring (1973) ("Семнадцать мгновений весны" in Russian), also Seventeen Instants of Spring is a Soviet TV miniseries.
Stirlitz is sometimes referred to as a Russian James Bond, even if the comparison is not entirely warranted. Although the show contains some relatively unbelievable elements (i.e. a Russian passing for a German for twenty years) and it may even have served a somewhat similar ideological role as the James Bond films did in the West, Seventeen Moments of Spring is based, even if only loosely, on actual historical events. Moreover, the show also strives for a much more realistic version of foreign espionage than the James Bond films do, with Stirlitz carefully playing on rivalries within the SD and SS, cautiously seeking out friendly contacts, prudently developing alibis for his covert activities and very rarely resorting to force or gadgetry. It also notable that one hardly gets the impression that many of the Nazis were all the incarnation of evil: while there the show does remind the viewer of the horror of Nazi death camp through use of some original footage, one nonetheless finds it hard not to take something of a liking for Mueller and some of Stirlitz' other adversaries.
The series was immensely popular in the Soviet Union and it originated many popular phrases as well as an entire genre of anecdotes, the latter having seemingly taken a life of its own. The show is still frequently aired on Russian television. Plans were discussed to build a monument to Stirlitz in the city of Gorokhovets, his birth place in the series.
Tему "Штирлиц в Риге" пора выносить в раздел про легендарных авантюристов. Касательно "Семнадцати мгновений весны". Церквушка на переезде у Тейки - та самая, где служил пастор Шлаг. Там ещё бутафорский памятник, обвязанный мешками с песком стоял. Район, где Штирлиц встречался с Борманом, находится на перекрестке Мейстару и Конной, между Кошкиным домом и торцом здания Минфина, а 1-я городская больница стала госпиталем, где лежала радистка Кэт. А еще за городом, на Псковском шоссе в районе большой развязки у Сените и моста через Гаую снимался эпизод, когда Штирлиц оставляет машину c Кэт на стоянке. Вернувшись на место провала Плейшнера, Штирлиц въехал в город через только что построенный Вантовый мост через Даугаву. Очевидно, эта ультрамодерновая для того времени натура привлекла создателей фильма потому, что она была малоизвестна за пределами Латвии