Culture

Joshua Witchger 4-26-2012
Zenaida Macroura (Mourning Dove) painting by John J. Audubon. Public domain imag

Zenaida Macroura (Mourning Dove) painting by John J. Audubon. Public domain image.

Happy 227th Birthday to ornithologist and painter John J. Audubon -- find your voice with the public radio name generator -- a rescued collie dog's survival story -- Australia's duck fashion parade -- the cast of 30 Rock plays charades -- new music from J. Tillman and The Welcome Wagon. Read these stories and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...

 

Writer photo, studio_chki / Shutterstock.com

Writer photo, studio_chki / Shutterstock.com

My feeble brain overheated Saturday afternoon at precisely 2:23 PM at the Festival of Faith and WritingJonathan Safran Foer philosophized and Marlynee Robinson rhapsodized. I’d taken in sessions on young adult fiction and memoir. Each synapse in my noggin was frayed by the foot traffic of theory, Cafe Americano, and conversation.

I returned to home base– The Burnside Writers’ Booth– for the safety of familiar faces. Kim Gottschild, a gifted memoirist, was faithfully working the table and I offered to give her a break.

Sure enough, writers visited our booth. But good writers. Intelligent, thoughtful, and witty thinkers, each of them.

The conversation swirled from economics to politics to social justice to theology. My tired brain grumbled at first, but found itself sucked into the conversation. I asked several of these thinkers to consider writing for Burnside. Any one of these authors would be a welcome addition to the Burnside team.

After several of these conversations I noticed two things. Each of these writers had a red sticker on their name tag and each was a woman.

Joshua Witchger 4-25-2012

High School students send a rubber chicken into space -- Fresh Prince's Alfonso Ribiero leads largest dance flash mob -- vintage mugshots available online -- John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton's sentimental duet -- President Obama 'slow jams the news' with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots. See this and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...

Joshua Witchger 4-24-2012

Between Two Ferns to become a television show -- moves to get in shape before attending summer music festivals -- Muppets protest Goldman Sachs -- and Nick Offerman reads celelbrity tweets on Conan... Read this and more on today's Links of Awesomeness... 

Joshua Witchger 4-23-2012

Hackers transform multi-story building into giant game of Tetris -- 5th Avenue Frogger combines the arcade with real time traffic -- Jimmy Fallon releases a treat on Record Store Day -- tribute to The Band at Coachella Festival -- "Potter Musical" turns ambitions to Batman -- Bill Nye dances to his own theme song -- children narrate BBC's Planet Earth. See this and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...

the Web Editors 4-23-2012
Lady Gaga in Germany, September 2009

Lady Gaga in Germany, September 2009

South Korean Christians are trying to pray away Lady Gaga.

According to AFP, a group of Christians gathered Sunday night to pray and protest Gaga’s concert, scheduled for April 27.

Dale Hanson Bourke 4-23-2012
Photo of Mohammed and Zvi, Courtesy of Just Vision

Photo of Mohammed and Zvi, Courtesy of Just Vision

The problem with peaceful protests is that they lack all the headline-grabbing horror of wars and terrorist attacks. They lack the “power of attention” as filmmaker Julia Bacha likes to say, and that is part of what compelled her and others to produce the documentary, “My Neighborhood,” premiering this week at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Bacha and her team from Just Vision are best known for their award-winning film “Budrus,” the story of a peaceful protest by Palestinians against the Israeli “security wall” that was planned to bi-sect their village.  The film, shown in theatres, churches and on campuses, has helped create a dialogue not only about peaceful Palestinian protests, but also about the Israeli activists who have allied with them.  

Annalisa Musarra 4-20-2012

William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Martin Luther King Jr. and even Helen Keller all found something to like in Emanuel Swedenborg.

Emanuel who?

A new book, “Swedenborg,” by author and former Blondie bassist Gary Lachman attempts to uncover the little-known Swedish scientist, philosopher and theologian.

Joshua Witchger 4-19-2012

Bon Iver stops by The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Roots produce a short video with friends encouraging literacy, an aerial view of symmetry, remembering Dick Clark, a public service announcement for class clowns, and the newest from Danish TV "Stupidity captured at 2500 frames per second." Read this and more on today's Links of Awesomeness...

Joshua Witchger 4-18-2012

Children's Medieval band shows adorable talent, interactive posters for Wes Anderson's new film, Cathedral ceiling art, and some good cat videos... Discover this and more on today's Links of Awesomeness...

Duane Shank 4-18-2012
Photo by Tischenko Irina/Shutterstock.com.

Photo by Tischenko Irina/Shutterstock.com.

Among my must reads are the Sunday New York Times Book Review and other book reviews I come across in various media outlets. There are too many books being published that I would love to read, but just don’t have the time. So, I rely on reading book reviews as one way of keeping in touch with what’s being written. 

Here are my picks in this week’s books of interest.

Daniel Burke 4-17-2012
Photo by Cathleen Falsani/Sojourners.

Ross Douthat and Michael Cromartie in conversation at the Q ConferenceTuesday evening. Photo by Cathleen Falsani/Sojourners.

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat doesn't mince words in his new book "Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.''

Since the 1960s, Douthat argues, institutional Christianity has suffered a slow-motion collapse, leaving the country without the moral core that carried it through foreign wars, economic depressions and roiling internal debates.

In its place heresies have cropped up -- from the “God-within” theology of Oprah to the Mammon-obsessed missionaries of the prosperity gospel, says Douthat, a Roman Catholic. 

Joshua Witchger 4-17-2012

All your links for tax day 2012: infographic of last years stats, some of the oddest deductions that were accepted, businesses giving away free products, and superheroes filing taxes. Plus composer John Cage meets actor Nic Cage, Michael Jordan and the problem of common surnames, Pultizer Prize winners, and Disney's Chimpanzees.

Joshua Witchger 4-16-2012

With tax day approaching, read about some of the more bizzaire tax laws. X-ray images of deep sea creatures. House pets meet their mirror images in plush form. Flying car to visit International Auto Show. Explaining the smell of old books. Garth and Kat sing into springtime ... Discover these and more links in today's Links of Awesomeness ...

 

Christian Piatt 4-16-2012
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

New York premiere of HBO's 'Girls' at the School of Visual Arts Theater on April 4. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Two things leap off the screen while watching the debut of “Mad Men;” first, everyone drinks and smokes. All the time. Second, women are treated like so much property, and though they seem complicit in their subjugate role, they also have a racket of their own going, using their feminine wiles to work their way up alongside the mean of greatest means and power to enjoy both by association.

It’s hard to believe only two generations ago that an executive was within his purview to suggest to his secretary that she hike up the hem of her skirt a bit and fetch him some fresh ice for cocktails with the boys.

Or is it?

Joshua Witchger 4-13-2012

Stream Coachella this weekend in YouTube, 17 musicians inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, playable Star Wars organ, signs of the apocalypse, art installations, and LOST as a sitcom. See this and more in today's Links of Awesomeness... 

Anna Broadway 4-13-2012
Caine's Arcade in his dad's auto parts store

Caine's Arcade in his dad's auto parts store

In case you missed it, the viral video of the week is a delightful short film called Caine's Arcade. In the video, a 9 year old from East L.A. constructs an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad’s used car parts store and dons a custom-made shirt on days the arcade is open for business.

But because of their location and changes in the parts market that have moved his dad’s business mostly online, Caine gets no customers until a filmmaker named Nirvan walks in one day.

At long last, Caine gets to present the ticket options (a handmade fun pass costs $2 for 500 turns) When Nirvan wins a game, Caine crawls inside the box to manually dispense Nirvan’s winnings from a the roll of tickets.

Watching the film for the first time this week, I was filled with a joy so overwhelming it eventually brought tears.

Joshua Witchger 4-12-2012
Four Square image via Wylio/Creative Commons. (c) Andrew Yee

Four Square image via Wylio/Creative Commons. (c) Andrew Yee

Infographics on chimpanzees -- the Titanitc -- outer space -- zombie survival -- fictional birthdays. Plus, an NYU listserve experiment, thoughts from Radiolab's Robert Krulwich, Wes Anderson's newest film, and getting ready for April 16 (4/16, Four Square Day). See this and more in today's Links of Awesomeness... 

Joshua Witchger 4-11-2012

Jon Stewart compares Easter and Passover, The Lion King surpasses The Phantom of the Opera in sales, Central Africa's only all-black symphony gaining attention, Rube Goldberg machine sets new world record, electronic music made from fruits, a fish delivers a TED talk, Webby Award nominees announced, local Chicago music, The Hipster Games, the joys of a nine-year-old's cardboard arcade, and a dramatic twist of events on a quiet square... See this and more on today's Links of Awesomeness...
 

Duane Shank 4-11-2012

Among my must reads are the Sunday New York Times Book Review and other book reviews I come across in various media outlets. There are too many books being published that I would love to read, but just don’t have the time. So, I rely on reading book reviews as one way of keeping in touch with what’s being written. 

Here are my picks in this week’s books of interest:

Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation

By Elaine Pagels, Reviewed by Dale B. Martin

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