This photo was taken by photographer Jack Bradley and depicts the exact moment this boy, Harold Whittles, hears for the very first time ever. The doctor treating him has just placed an earpiece in his left ear. Date unknown.
Archive for May, 2011
“Manhattanhenge” is the day, every half year or so, in which the setting sun aligns with the east-west street grid on Manhattan. Makes for beautiful pictures, as on this Flickr set by photographer Vivienne Gucwa.
Manhattanhenge (sometimes referred to as the Manhattan Solstice) is a semiannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The term is derived from Stonehenge, at which the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices.
Philip Glass, brilliant composer of minimalist music and pioneer in electronic ambient music, has worked for Sesame Street in 1979. Jim Henson was very interested in visualization of music and included abstract musical animations in the popular kids show. He decided to ask Glass for a contribution. The result was a pretty amazing piece of minimalist music, accompanied by animations, targeted at 5-7 year olds. Here are two parts of the series created by Glass, titled Geometry of Circles:
Another example of Hensons fascination with visualization of music can be found in the show Sam and Friends, which was aired between 1955 and 1961. This show already featured some signature Henson characters like Kermit and it also included a character named Harry the Hipster (below).
Check out this segment on “visual thinking”, featuring Harry the Hipster, from Sam and Friends:
Via Brain Pickings, an original and intelligent blog by The Atlantic’s Maria Popova, which I discovered today and highly recommend.
Here’s the difference: the US invades multiple countries and finally summarily executes persons designated “terrorists”.
In Europe, we create international legal institutions and firmly, slowly but steadily, pressure countries into extraditing suspected war criminals so they can be tried.
I believe this is one area in which we as Europeans can say we’re in every respect more advanced and civilized than our counterparts at the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
I’d like to point out the difference between the way Europe and the US go after bad guys. The US invades countries, blows them to pieces, then goes into another country, blows that to pieces, only to find out that the guy they’re looking for is hiding in yet another country. One they thought was a friend. But regardless of the friendship, the US goes in without telling their friend and executes their bad guy.
Here’s how Europe does it. It holds a big carrot over the place where the bad guy is hiding: membership of the EU union. It creates an international court system, in this case the Yugoslavia court. And it waits. And slowly the bad guys get discovered by the locals. First Milosovic. Then Karadzic. Now Mladic.
No guns, no execution, no torture, just the patient power of the law. Just look at the dry headline on The International Criminal Tribunal’s website: “Tribunal Welcomes the Arrest of Ratko Mladić”. These thugs have to stand trial. No glorious, scandalous trial. No politicians fearing death and destruction. Just the slow-grinding, boring mill of justice. Milosovic died under the pressure. Karadzic is fading away. And now Mladic faces the same prospect in a very decent cell in Scheveningen.
America is a fantastic country to live in. But boy am I proud to be European on days like this.
Yes indeed. There is no conceivable reason why Osama bin Laden should, against all international law, be executed without a trial, while Ratko Mladic should be arrested and tried. Juridically, of course, anyone can point out that Mladic acted as officer of a state, while Bin Laden headed a stateless organization. But does that matter in terms of the crimes being committed? Of course not. Bin Laden could well have been charged for committing mass murder in an American court. But he never has been. Why? Because that’s not the way Americans work.
Luister naar deze ontzettend fijne set van de Groninger Harde Baas, van twee weekjes terug in Studio 80. Ondergetekende mocht het genot smaken deze te horen op moment van draaien, en dat was echt top. Ook afgelopen zaterdag deed hij het weer lekker, en hopelijk aanstaande zaterdag wederom.
Mark my words: over enkele jaren zien we de Baas op Awakenings.
She probably means the emissions of her own vanity and megalomania.
Sarah Palin’s ride through Washington on a Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) motorcycle yesterday as part of the Rolling Thunder “Ride for Freedom” put her back in the national spotlight as the race for the Republican presidential nomination is revving up.
The former Alaska governor joined about 400,000 bikers for the annual ride, which coincided with the first leg of a bus tour that is renewing speculation about her 2012 White House ambitions.
Palin, who had no official speaking role at the event, arrived wearing a helmet and rode on the back of a Harley from the Pentagon toward the Vietnam War Memorial. Rolling Thunder, which began in 1988, was established by Vietnam veterans to draw attention to missing service members and prisoners of war. Palin’s husband, Todd, and daughters Piper and Bristol also took part in the ride.
In a posting on her political action committee website, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate said Rolling Thunder, through the roar of tens of thousands of bike engines, keeps alive the Memorial Day spirit of honoring veterans.
“I love that smell of emissions,” Palin told Fox News at yesterday’s rally.
Palin’s campaign-style “One Nation Tour” by bus from Washington through New England could be a prelude to a bid for the Republican nomination — or an effort to command the spotlight as the competition heats up.
“Is this bus tour a trial run for a planned race, or is it an attempt to remain visible and relevant?” asked Charlie Cook, publisher of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington. “You can count all the people who really know what Sarah Palin is thinking and planning on one hand.”
I’ve been receiving hundreds of e-mails a day lately, all asking: when will “the Sunday chill track” return? Well, all you crazy fans, this is the moment. The SCT is back, and we revive this popular category with a modern classic. I know everybody has burned a whole in their copy of Kalkbrenner’s Berlin Calling and I know this track is not even 2010 or 2009, but soooo 2008. But I still think it’s a great track, maybe even timeless. So, get rid of your blasé attitude and enjoy “Azure” one more time:
Here’s a nice lazy house track by DJ Phono (member of Deichkind) to kick off your Friday night. Very thick and sirupy:
World Press Photo material – riot police in Barcelona clashed with protesters of the 15-M movement today:
Talking Nazi dogs? Seems like something from a very campy movie (like Iron Sky, about Nazis from outer space). Yet, if we are to believe TIME Magazine, the Third Reich actually had dog training facilities meant to teach mankind’s oldest friend the skill of language.
It seems like all the weird facts about Nazi Germany are depleted, and therefore stuff like this comes up. But apparently, in the 1920s you had ‘new animal psychologists’ who believed animals were as smart as humans, who were co-opted by the Nazis. In a Tier-Sprechschule, dogs were trained to talk. Trainers claimed that one dog could spell his name on a board, and another could bark ‘Mein Führer’ when Hitler’s name was uttered.
In his new book Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities, Cardiff University historian Jan Bondeson mines obscure German periodicals to reveal the Nazis’ failed attempt to breed an army of educated dogs that could read, write and talk. “In the 1920s, Germany had numerous ‘new animal psychologists’ who believed dogs were nearly as intelligent as humans, and capable of abstract thinking and communication,” he writes. “When the Nazi party took over, one might have thought they would be building concentration camps to lock these fanatics up, but instead they were actually very interested in their ideas.”
According to the book, scientists envisioned a day when dogs would serve alongside German troops, and perhaps free up SS officers by guarding concentration camps. So to unlock all that canine potential, Hitler set up a Tier-Sprechschule (Animal Talking School) near Hanover and recruited “educated dogs” from throughout the country. Teachers claimed a number of incredible findings. An Airedale terrier named Rolf became a mythic figure of the project after teachers said he could spell by tapping his paw on a board (the number of taps represented the various letters of the alphabet). With that skill in hand, he mused on religion, learned foreign languages and even asked a noblewoman, “Can you wag your tail?” Perhaps most outlandish is the claim by his German masters that he asked to serve in the German army because he disliked the French. Another mutt barked “Mein Fuhrer” when asked to describe Hitler. And Don, a German pointer, is said to have imitated a human voice to bark, “Hungry! Give me cakes!” in German.
Now, Holy Other has released an EP called With U, with some (for me) new tracks on it. Check out ’With U’ and ‘Feel Something’. Again: lots of drones, Burial-like rave and R&B elements, synths, but also very smooth and dark. Imagine hearing this coming from huge speakers in a dark, forgotten cellar underneath a club somewhere.
For some reason, this video makes me very happy. Going around New York City asking people what song they’re listening to. Such a simple concept. I also always wanna ask people what song they’re listening to, but never dare to.
And, damn, my iPod recently went broke and I’m really missing it.
This is not gonna be funny if you don’t know the movie Withnail and I. And since almost nobody outside of the UK does, you’re not gonna think this is funny.
Withnail and I, though, is one of the most brilliant, hilarious and well-composed movies ever. It’s up there with The Big Lebowski in that class of movies of which every single line is quotable, and that lends itself to re-watching it over and over again.
So here’s the scene in which Luke Skywalker meets Yoda on Dantooine, with the lines of Danny the drug dealer from Withnail and I edited in.
“The joint I am about to roll requires a craftsman and can utilise up to twelve skins. It is called a Camberwell Carrot.”
…the fuck. Dit moeten we niet willen met zijn allen: een man die elke dag zijn tepels aansluit op een handkolf in de hoop dat zijn melkklieren actief worden (ja die hebben mannen ook). Het schijnt dat een redelijk percentage mannen ervaring heeft met spontane afscheiding van melk uit de tepels (gebeurt vooral tijdens puberteit en adolescentie), dat is al erg genoeg, maar deze man zoekt het dus zelf op:
The more I learned about male lactation, the more curious I became. I’m 33 years old and single in New York City, a cross between Carrie Bradshaw and George Costanza—if there’s such a thing as a male biological clock, mine has started ticking. I know I can’t birth a child myself, but what if I could bear one to suck at my bosom? Could my rudimentary mammae yield a copious supply of milk?
“I might actually be able to do this,” I thought to myself. It all sounded straightforward—I just needed a big surge of prolactin. Where would I get it? Prolactin isn’t commonly available as a pill or shot, but there are some prescription meds that stimulate its production. Drugs like Reglan (metoclopramide) and Motilium (domperidone) are prescribed to women who have difficulty producing milk or have adopted a newborn and want to breast-feed. They come with potential side effects including insomnia, nervousness, and a movement disorder that causes irrepressible twitching.
The problem is, these pills aren’t typically prescribed to 33-year-old writers who just happen to be curious about filling their chests with milk. When I asked a lactation consultant for advice, she was hesitant to provide any. Breast-feeding is still stigmatized in many parts of America, she said, and she didn’t want to worsen its reputation. She also reminded me that while I could give myself a pharmaceutical boost, it would require a doctor’s approval. I could have tried more aggressively to procure some Reglan, but as I imagined myself dealing with increased mood swings, possible depression, and my body twitching out of control, I became afraid.
Fortunately, there’s a more natural way to stimulate milk production. When a baby (or a non-baby) sucks on a nipple, the movement activates mechanoreceptors that connect to the brain and stimulate the pituitary gland. Adoptive mothers can use a breast pump to access this nipple-based lactation process: A standard pumping schedule can take up to two months and ideally involves pumping each breast every three hours around the clock. Here’s the rub: Men have the same receptors in their nipples as women, so the pumping method should work just as well for us.
It was strange to apply a breast pump for the first time. My nipples aren’t accustomed to regular stimulation, and though I felt like I was defying the natural order, pumping was surprisingly pleasant. Nipples are filled with nerve endings, after all, and the gentle upward tug of the pump was both comforting and erotic.
And then I realized I was missing something essential: a child. For all our assumptions about breast-feeding, the one abiding truth is that it exists to nourish and comfort new life. The walls of gender could be broken down, but without a child to benefit, what was the point? I’d read with great interest the anthropologist Barry Hewlett’s account of his time with the Aka Pygmy tribe in central Africa, where fathers suckle their children when the mothers are away. Not all of the men lactated, but they seemed to understand the gesture is as important emotionally as it is physiologically. Aka men are within reach of their children 47 percent of the time—more than for any other group in the world, according to Hewlett. That sounded beautiful to me. But without a child of my own, I couldn’t compare myself to the Aka. Good reader, I lost heart.
Noem me een ouderwetse, rolbevestigende macho, maar dit gaat me te fur. Misschien dat ze op de Echte Mannenbeurs een stand kunnen openen met melkkolf-apparatuur voor mannen.