Internet Flaneur – August 22, 2012

  • Beyond The Fracking: North Dakota’s Other Investments – Seeking Alpha
    [Who knew Wall Street had a #flaneur? We’re everywhere!]
    The Wall Street Flaneur: “A Flaneur is a thinking man. He ponders, he evaluates, and he understands all the perspectives. He has training and intelligence that rivals the best, but he walks to his own beat. He may start with an abstraction, but he concludes with a tangible path. His philosophies are supported by analysis…”
  • Digital books may not be for everyone. But for blind people, they’re a true revolution | Peter White | Comment is free | The Guardian 081712
    [I don’t agree with this blind reader about talking books (they are reading, too) but I’m down with scan-your-own!]
    Peter White: “It’s not perfect yet. Scanning books page by page is tedious; variations of type and print size can often produce equally variable results, which require skilful editing to make legible; and every time someone upgrades software or changes an operating system, you find yourself back at square one. With books being produced electronically as a matter of course, publishers, authors and agents could be much more helpful. Surely a way of making digital versions of books available to blind people prepared to pay for them, or borrow them under clearly defined conditions, could be devised without bringing down the publishing industry in an explosion of piracy? While we wait for the publishers and the blind organisations to get their fingers out, we blind readers take matters into our own hands, passing our scanned books quietly among ourselves like kids with drugs on street corners. But hey! For a few of us lucky enough to have the equipment, the money and the help, things are so much better today. Now it’s me who is able to take as many books on holiday as I like, all packed on those little cards, while my wife has to limit herself to three or four paperbacks. The days of War and Peace in 21 braille volumes, slipping the postman’s disc as he staggers up the path, are nearly over.”
  • The Original Hooligans – Arts & Lifestyle – The Atlantic Cities 081912
    Before Pussy Riot and soccer thugs, hooliganism wasn’t a crime; it was a family tradition. Dating back to at least the 1880s, the word “hooligan” was actually the name of a family of cartoon characters who, during the 1890s, frequently graced the cover of the English comic literary journal Nuggets – “A Serio-Comic Budget of Pictures & Stories.” The Hooligans were a family of Irish immigrants living in London, but not quite fitting in. Drawn by T.S. Baker and captioned with thick Irish accents, the Hooligan family typically displays odd and buffoonish behavior that’s juxtaposed against the properness of English culture. The name is likely a take on the Irish surname Houlihan, which according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, “figured as a characteristic comic Irish name in music hall songs and newspapers of the 1880s and ’90s.” Aside from being rubes (and racist depictions of the Irish), the Hooligans were a stereotypical representation of urban immigrants, characterizing the cultural mixing and prejudices of London in the late 1800s. While today the word is more associated with trouble-making and the controversial conviction of the Russian political punk rockers, “hooligan” originally had more of a comical and subtly offensive connotation. Late 19th century Irish immigrants in London would probably be happy to know the definition has evolved.
  • Arizona Dranes, Forgotten Mother Of The Gospel Beat : NPR 081912
    In the 1920s, the sound of music in the black church underwent a revolution. Standing at 40th and State Street in Chicago, Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ was a witness to what occurred. The high-energy gospel beat of the music that can still be heard in this Pentecostal church is the creation, music critics say, of Arizona Dranes, a blind piano player, a woman who introduced secular styles like barrelhouse and ragtime to the church’s music. The Chicago studio where Dranes recorded her music in 1926 no longer exists, but when she played her music at Roberts Temple, she influenced people like 11-year-old Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who sat in the congregation and would go on to become a gospel superstar.
  • Marian McPartland’s Storied Life, Told ‘In Good Time’ : NPR 081812
    More than half a century ago this week, on Aug. 12, 1958, some of the greatest jazz musicians of the day assembled in Harlem at what was, for them, the ungodly hour of 10 a.m. Fifty-seven players came to East 126th Street to have their picture taken for Esquire magazine. Freelance photographer Art Kane bunched them together in front of the steps of two brownstones. Some neighborhood kids plunked down on the curb — so did pianist-bandleader Count Basie. And “A Great Day in Harlem” was captured in a black-and-white image. Jazz pianist Marian McPartland was one of just three women in the photograph. She’s wearing a halter dress like the one Marilyn Monroe wore when she stood over that windy subway grate — but McPartland’s dress sits flat and proper. “I never get tired of looking at that picture — one of the world’s greatest photos,” McPartland tells NPR’s Susan Stamberg. “I was working at the Hickory House, and Nat Hentoff came rushing in and said, ‘You’ve got this date to have this picture taken at 10 o’clock.’ And I didn’t particularly want to get up that early, but I did.”
  • A Novel Endeavor From Molly Ringwald : NPR 081812
    [Secondary gains for #accessibility: Molly Ringwald says describing movies to her blind father made her a better writer. I think my son would agree about the serendipity of reading to a blind father.]
    Her father, a talented jazz pianist, is blind, and Ringwald says she often sits with him during movies and plays to describe the action. “I actually think that that informed my writing,” she says. “That’s something that I’ve done for so long, that it’s made me, perhaps, observe things in a different way.”
  • Biologists Track Biggest Florida Python – 17-Footer with 87 Eggs – NYTimes.com 081812
    Andy Revkin: Here’s a quick update on the amazing story of the Burmese pythons that, brought to Florida as a result of the laxly regulated trade in exotic reptiles, have been spreading and breeding in the state, with the Everglades National Park providing a particularly large buffet of wildlife for feeding. (Read the United States Geological Survey report Severe Declines in Everglades Mammals Linked to Pythons for more.)
  • Remembering the Cosmo Girl – On The Media 081712
    Helen Gurley Brown, longtime editor of Cosmopolitan died this week at the age of 90. While she may be best known for her sex tips in Cosmopolitan, Gurley Brown launched her career with the 1962 smash-hit book, “Sex and the Single Girl.” Feminist, writer, and co-founder of Ms. magazine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin did publicity and advertising for the book and knew Gurley Brown for decades. Brooke speaks with Poegrebin about the cultural mark left by Gurley Brown.
  • Public Works: Walkable Waterfront a La Parisienne | cityscape | Torontoist 081612
    Toronto lacks the moving water of Seine-ish majesty, but we do have Lake Ontario. Our equivalent to riverside highways is the Gardiner Expressway, which like the Paris autoroutes has been standing between citizens and their waterfront since the car-crazy days of the 1960s. The elevated portion of the road that cuts through downtown must have looked appealingly Jetsons-esque back then, and in any case, the waterfront was largely devoted to heavy industry. It was a lousy place to take the family on a day trip.
  • Live Blog: Guilty Verdict in Trial of Russian Punk Band – Emerging Europe Real Time – WSJ 081712
    A judge found three members of the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism for their anti-Kremlin protest in February in Moscow’s main cathedral. The case has become an international cause celebre and highlights the stark divide between the secular, Westernized forces who took to the streets to protest against Vladimir Putin’s rule earlier this year and the more conservative Russians he counts on as his main support. WSJ’s Moscow bureau live blogs the hearing and reaction from Moscow. Plus, contributions from Paul Sonne and Jeanne Whalen, who are watching from London.
  • The Flaneur art blog | Independent art, culture and travel blog
    Welcome to The Flaneur, the indie art blog & art and culture website. The Flaneur is written by artists, writers, poets and reviewers from around the world. Please read our articles and then vote on them – the best will be published in our real-world magazine.
  • The Sonnets by William Shakespeare iPad app – Touch Press
    The Sonnets by William Shakespeare allows you to enjoy, explore and understand these immortal works of literature as never before. All 154 poems are performed to camera by an all-star cast including Sir Patrick Stewart, Kim Cattrall, Stephen Fry and David Tennant. The text highlights line by line as each sonnet is performed. [The Sunday Times, Robert Collins]: “A masterly app … It’s all so intuitively easy to use and so superbly thorough that you start to feel that this is precisely what a book should be. As accessible as it is scholarly, it’s an extraordinary achievement, that brings the sonnets bracingly to life and definitively sets the bar for the future of digital reading.”
  • App Store – Shakespeare
    Shakespeare™ is a free app with the complete works of Shakespeare (41 plays, 154 sonnets and 6 poems, including doubtful works) and a searchable concordance to find the exact word or phrase you’re looking for (with “relaxed” searching to find words close to your search term).
  • Faber launches The Waste Land app – video | Books | guardian.co.uk 060711
    Faber takes TS Eliot into the 21st century today, with the launch, in association with Touch Press, of an iPad app of The Waste Land that includes a video performance of the poem, notes, commentary and readings from Viggo Mortensen, Ted Hughes, and Eliot himself. But what can touch-screen tablets do for the classics? And could the saviour of publishing be battery powered?
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