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Happy birthday Nina Simone
02.21.2012
06:03 pm

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Heroes
Music

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Nina Simone was born 79 years ago today, on February 21st 1933. Next year will mark the tenth anniversary of her passing, but for now let’s remember one of the greatest artists of the last century with her jaw-dropping performance of Morris Albert’s “Feelings” from her controversial set at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976. Nina looks stoned here, and apparently she didn’t feel the crowd at this show were reacting appropriatley, explaining some of the tense spoken word interuptions. Still, if any doubts exist about Nina Simone’s skill or talent, watch this clip then tell me she is not one of the great artists of modern times:

Nina Simone “Feelings” Live at Montreux Jazz Festival, 1976
 

 
Thanks to Norn Cutson

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
F**KED: The United States of Unemployment
02.21.2012
02:52 pm

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Activism
Class War
History
Politics
U.S.A.!!!

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Salon’s got a great series of videos exploring the lives and coping strategies of “the 99ers”—no, not the 99%, although they are certainly a part of that, too—the people who have exhausted 99 weeks of unemployment insurance and have nowhere else to turn.

In this most recent installment, Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Immy Humes listens to members of the longtime unemployed tell how the Occupy movement inspired them. There is something in the emotional core of this short film that captures perfectly, I think, the life-affirming realization of “Holy shit, this is really happening and it’s wonderful” that went on for those few months last Fall. Almost more than any other document I’ve seen about Occupy Wall Street, this one really speaks to the kind of experience I personally had there. It captures what it inspired in many people.

For our 99ers, an informal group of jobless New Yorkers who have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, the Occupy Wall Street movement came as a dream fulfilled.

As the protests took root in Zuccotti Park, the 99ers found a mass of people who care about the plight of the jobless and want to do something about it. As seen in last week’s episode of our video series, “Occupy Meets MacArthur’s Tanks,” Occupy Wall Street is just the latest in a long line of American protest movements demanding economic justice. The emergence of the Occupy movement, one 99er said, felt “like the early stages of a revolution.”

And then the question arose: What do America’s jobless want? As the video shows, the 99ers have some answers.

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘This is my home’: A story that will have you grinning from ear to ear
02.21.2012
02:24 pm

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Amusing
Pop Culture

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Here’s a delightful story about an elderly gentleman named Anthony Pisano, his whimsical knickknacks and collectibles, and his beloved cat. There aren’t enough Anthony Pisano’s in the world if you ask me.

From the Vimeo description:

On an unseasonably warm November night in Manhattan on our way to get ice cream, we stumbled upon what appeared to be a vintage shop, brightly lit display window and all. As we began to walk in, a man sitting out front warned us that we were welcome to explore, but nothing inside was for sale. Our interests piqued, we began to browse through the collections the man out front had built throughout his life. This is a story of a man and his home.

 

 
Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
An interview with David Foster Wallace who would have been 50 years old today
02.21.2012
01:40 pm

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Art
Drugs
History
Literature

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Had he not taken his own life in 2008, David Foster Wallace would have been 50 years old today. Perhaps, in the prime of his creative life. We’ll never know.

In this 1997 interview with Charlie Rose, Wallace talks about writing, fame, drugs, depression and David Lynch.

A the end of the interview, while discussing his depression, Wallace remarks “I’m not getting ready to jump off a building or anything.” “Anything” happened 11 years later when he hanged himself, leaving a brilliant trail of words behind him and a big hole in the heart of modern literature.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Watch this powerful live clip of Portland’s AU
02.21.2012
12:50 pm

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Art
Music

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Portland’s AU may look the part (They resemble the cast of “The Life Aquatic”), but their gorgeous music transcends any easily pegged and unfunnily satired stereotype. I’m hearing shades of Magma and Henry Cow in this powerfully rocking art music. How nice it is to say that and mean it !  Check out the fiery momentum of the beautifully captured live performance below. Certainly went well beyond my (already high) expectations. An LP is due in April on the always sterling Hometapes.
 

Feels Like Home Ep 44 - AU “Solid Gold” from Into The Woods on Vimeo.

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Rebel Alliance takes on Goldman Vader: Occupy the SEC!


 
In a Mother Jones piece that is starting to gain traction across the liberal blogsphere today, Josh Harkinson writes about the Occupy the SEC group that includes “financial insiders with the education and regulatory vocabulary to challenge high-powered lobbyists at their own game.”

Yesterday, a group affiliated with Occupy Wall Street submitted an astounding comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Point by point, it methodically challenges the arguments of finance industry lobbyists who want to water down last year’s historic Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms. The lobbyists have been using the law’s official public comment period to try to kneecap the reforms, and given how arcane financial regulation can be, they might get away with it. But Occupy the SEC is fighting fire with fire, and in so doing, defying stereotypes of the Occupy movement.

The financial industry is trying desperately to wriggle out of the controls that Dodd-Frank imposed on them. Occupy the SEC, a very, very smart bunch of current and former financial industry executives weigh in with critiques and suggestions concerning the government’s implementation of the “Volcker Rule” that limits the kind of derivative packaging that caused the financial meltdown. Since the meltdown, Goldman Sachs has been trying to get their little grubby hands back on the money faucet.  They’re spending Romney-type money on lobbyists, including hiring Barney Frank’s former staffer that got the reforms passed to help overturn those very reforms!

The most common complaint about the Occupy movement is that it does not present a clear and coherent position.

This 324-page letter blows that contention sky-high.

“Occupy the SEC is a group of concerned citizens, activists, and financial professionals with decades of collective experience working at many of the largest financial firms in the industry. Together, we make up a vast array of specialists, including traders, quantitative analysts, compliance officers, and technology and risk analysts. Like much of the 99%, we have bank deposits and retirement accounts that are in need of protection through vigorous enforcement of the Volcker Rule. Our experiences working inside the financial industry have informed our answers to the questions proposed, making us well-suited to understand and anticipate how the proposed implementation, should it stand, will affect us and the rest of the general public.

The United States aspires to democracy, but no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power…”

That last sentence should be the first line of the Declaration of Independence 2.0

Here’s the best mainstream overview, from TIME. If you read between the lines—and the wipe off its condescension—the truth appears… which is that the fuckers at Goldman Sachs and the champagne drinking overlords on Wall Street are being countered by experienced folks who know the financial industry grimoire inside and out.

Meet the Financial Wizards Working With Occupy Wall Street (Mother Jones)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Dynasphere: Transportation of the Future, from 1932
02.21.2012
12:22 pm

Topics:
Amusing
History
Science/Tech

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dynasphere_1932_Popular_Science
 
Meet the Dynasphere or “Jumbo”, as it was also known, a “one wheel, 4-seater” devised by a Dr. J. A. Purves in 1932. The Dynasphere had a 2.5 horsepower and could reach speeds of up to 25 miles per hour, it was “an invention of spherical motion” intended to one day revolutionize transportation. For some reason it never caught on, though Mr. Garrison tried something similar with his “gyroscope-powered monowheel” in the cartoon series South Park.

View photos of Dynasphere testing on Weston beach here.
 

 
Via British Pathe
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Jackson 5 nightmare: ‘Junk Food Junkie’
02.21.2012
11:11 am

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Music
Pop Culture
Television

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The Jackson 5 team-up with One Day at a Time’s MacKenzie Phillips for a horrific version of “Junk Food Junkie,” a 1976 novelty song by Larry Groce.

To even attempt a snarky comment here would be pointless, indeed!
 

 
Thank you to America’s #1 funnyman, Neil Hamburger, for this gem/turd

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Gimpressionism: Cute paintings of gimps hiding in forests
02.21.2012
10:26 am

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Amusing
Art
Sex

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Nature or Nurture (detail)
 

Nature or Nurture
 
Much like artists’ renditions of Bigfoot sightings, apparently there are gimps hiding in the forests too and San Francisco-based artist Chris Elzinga wants to tell you all about it through “Gimpressionism.” Yes, you heard me correctly…“Gimpressionism. “

Paintings are available for purchase here.
 

Birch, Please (detail)
 

Birch, Please
 
More Gimpressionism after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Japanese Fart Scrolls
02.21.2012
09:52 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
History

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Tofugu posted these curious images from an Edo period (1603 to 1868) Japanese scroll depicting what is called he-gassen or “farting competition.” The images show people happily expelling their gasses at cats, horses and even at each other. Apparently no one is safe from he-gassen.

According to the website Naruhodo, “similar drawings were used to ridicule westerners towards the end of the Edo period, with images depicting the westerners blown away by Japanese farts.”

For whatever reason, Tofugu chose to post censored images (black boxes over the naughty bits) on their site. I went ahead and captured a few choice pics from the scroll (naughty bits included) from the Japanese and Chinese classics at Waseda University Library which you can view there in its entirety.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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