Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Girl Dancing in Front of Painting

Found this wonderful photo on The Mudflats Facebook page, which bore the caption: this is why we need art in our schools. Absolutely.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Doctors: Junior Seau's Brain Had CTE

ESPN has the story regarding NFL great Junior Seau's autopsy, showing that he was suffering from CTE brain damage at the time of his suicide. Yet another shoe drops. See the story and video here. And in a follow up story, a teammate describes the damage done during practices: click here for the ESPN story.

KKK Child and African American State Trooper (1992 Photo)

Poynter has the background on the photo HERE. [click to enlarge]

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Islamist Extremists Ban Ali Farka Toure's Music in His Hometown

The bastards: from the BBC last month: 6 December 2012 Last updated at 12:24 ET Blues for Mali as Ali Farka Toure's music is banned By Thomas Fessy BBC News, Bamako After making northern Mali's "Blues" music famous around the world, Ali Farka Toure is a legend in his home town of Niafunke, where he was mayor until his death in 2006. The memorial to him is still intact but his music is no longer heard in the town's streets. "The town has gone silent," says 28-year-old farmer Ousmane Maiga (not his real name) over the phone. "It's way too quiet". Islamist fighters have taken over Niafunke, which sits on the banks of the river Niger 100km (60 miles) south-west of Timbuktu. They have introduced a strict social code: Women and girls must be covered, young men cannot wear loose trousers and all forms of music are banned. Residents say two young men were whipped last month after they were caught smoking tobacco. Toure was just one of a host of stars who have turned music into one of Mali's best known exports. "Music is so much part of our culture," says Mr Maiga. "It's everywhere here, I miss listening to it over tea with my friends on the weekend. I miss attending wedding ceremonies and baptisms." All time great It was the music of northern Mali that Toure took to the world, its lilting, mournful tones reaching an international audience when he teamed up with his US soulmate, Ry Cooder, to produce the Grammy-winning album Talking Timbuktu in 1994. He was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as among the 100 great guitarists of all time and starred in the Martin Scorsese documentary, Feel Like Going Home, which traced the roots of the blues back to West Africa. But these roots are now threatened. Niafunke and other towns in northern Mali have been plunged into a cultural darkness. Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda have banned everything they deem to be against Sharia, or Islamic law. "They are destroying our culture," says another of Mali's most famous singers, Salif Keita. He is currently back home in Mali, preparing for a world tour to accompany the release of his latest album. "If there's no music, no Timbuktu, it means that there is no more culture in Mali," he adds, sitting in the grounds of his home on the small island he owns on the river Niger outside the capital, Bamako. Keita is referring to the destruction in June of the ancient shrines in Timbuktu's mosques. The buildings were Unesco World Heritage Sites but considered by the Islamists to be idolatrous. Dozens of musicians have fled south since the crisis began, among them Khaira Arby "the Voice of the North". She cannot return to her home in Timbuktu because Islamists have threatened to cut out her tongue, according to members of her band who have also fled south. She first stayed with a cousin but has resigned herself to renting a house in Bamako after she realised that she could be displaced for longer than she thought. "Islamists have jammed radio airwaves," she tells me while her guitarists and percussionist adjust their instruments for an evening rehearsal in her small living-room. The two guitars are plugged into one small amplifier producing a heavily distorted sound. The band's equipment was looted when rebels marched into Timbuktu. Arby sits on the edge of her sofa. She looks sad, but soon her eyes close and her voice climbs and falls with the guitar riffs. Ringtones banned Song completed, she tries to make sense of what is happening to her country. "They're even confiscating mobile phones and replacing ringtones with Koranic verses," she laments. From Timbuktu to Gao, telephones have become the only way to listen to music lately. Those who have risked turning a stereo on have immediately attracted the attention of the Islamist police. Their equipment would be either seized or smashed. Read the full story and additional information HERE.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Sound/Visual Artist Daito Manabe

Pretty amazing stuff: and story here.

Sunday, January 06, 2013