Saturday, September 24, 2011

Arts: Literature: Paul Coelho, old and new

Paulo Coelho (Sept2k11)

I got the idea a year or so ago that Paulo Coelho was a practicing Christian.  I encountered the idea on a Blog Talk Radio program where the great novelist was interviewed.  I thawt Coelho was a Catholic Christian, having strayed at earlier stages in his life.  Now, he's got a new book out where he discusses the meaning of life, and records his turnabout.  A Brazilian friend asked me about this, and I had nothing with which to document my impression as true.  Now I've run across this ad for his newest, apparently the something of a testimonial.  Can anyone help me unravel this matter?

From the beloved author of The Alchemist and the new book Aleph comes a remarkable conversation about self-discovery that will change your life forever. #1 New York Times bestselling author Brendon Burchard asks Paulo Coelho why he wrote his new book, how he built his global fan base (6 million), and what it means to live a meaningful life.

— Coelho material posted here by LitCrit

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Egads! : Animals: EagleOwl swoops into the camera's eye

YouTubeServices, channel yUT2ube, online music-collections in partnership with refWrite

— Hat Tip

Arts: State Censorship: Philippines art exhibition of Cross with penis, etc

Criticized Philippine Art Exhibit Is Closed

MANILA — Officials shut down a controversial art exhibition on Tuesday after a storm of public protest that included criticism from President Benigno S. Aquino III, who called the artwork offensive to the country’s Christian majority.
One of the artists whose work was on display at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Mideo Cruz, criticized the action, saying in an interview that it would “become a freedom of expression issue” with far-reaching implications for artists and government-financed venues like the cultural center.
The exhibit, which opened in June, had been scheduled to close Aug. 21. Critics called it an affront to Christianity in a country whose population of 94 million is predominantly Roman Catholic. Among the works on display was a wooden cross with a protruding penis.
Although the cultural center’s board cited vandalism and threats as the reasons for the closing, Mr. Aquino said on Tuesday that he had told board members that the exhibition was inappropriate for a center that relies on public financing.
While he respected freedom of expression, the president said, that freedom is not absolute.
The center’s board said in a statement on Tuesday that it would “continue to act as catalyst for free expression of Filipino artists” but that it had “reviewed its policies” and that it was “taking steps to enable its officers and staff to make more informed decisions in the future.”
The board did not give details about the threats, apart from pointing out that Mr. Cruz’s installation was vandalized on Aug. 4 and that a couple tried to set it on fire. “Subsequent hate mails and threats to members of the board intensified following this incident,” it said.
Karen Flores, head of the center’s visual arts department, which organized the exhibit, said in a text message to artists and colleagues that the threats had come via text messages and e-mails. She warned Mr. Cruz “to be extra careful.”
On Monday, Imelda Marcos, the country’s former first lady, visited the exhibition and expressed her disgust at Mr. Cruz’s work, which featured religious images and icons mixed with images of pop culture figures. In one part of the installation, a used condom was draped on a cross.
Mrs. Marcos, who oversaw construction of the center during the rule of her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, said she had persuaded the board to close the exhibit.
“It was a shameful exhibit, especially since it was placed in the Cultural Center of the Philippines,” Mrs. Marcos told reporters on Monday. “We built that to be the sanctuary of the Filipino soul and a monument to the Filipino spirit.”
Mr. Cruz is known for his irreverent installations, which he says are meant to raise questions about the “culture of idolatry” in the Philippines. He began work on the installation, “Poleteismo,” in 2002, and it has been exhibited in various venues, including a Jesuit university.
The controversy erupted several days ago when a television network broadcast a report that focused on the male genitals protruding out of the cross and on the condom.

Folkloric and Religion-sponsored dance by young church members Hungarian Reformed

YouTubeServices via yUT2ube, refWrite's partner in vidio collection/s

YouTube - ‪International Fest: Hungarian Reformed Church dancers‬‏

Humor/our: Social Times: Rapturous Hilarity -- 10 End of the World Tweets

Social Times (May19,2k11)

If you haven’t heard yet, folks, the Rapture is upon us and it’s the talk of the Twitter town.  That’s right—this Saturday May 21 is Judgment Day, according to Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping and a small group of his followers.  Are you ready?

If Twitter’s community is any indicator, it looks like most of us are pretty skeptical about the #rapture.  I mean, who is this Harold Camping anyway?  And how exactly did he determine that May 21, 2011 would indeed be the beginning of the end of humanity?  We’ve compiled a list of ten of the most hilarious skeptical Tweets about the end of the world, the rapture, the apocalypse, Armageddon, or whatever you’d like to call it.
Read more ... click the t+mstamp below ...

Technics: Facebook: Constant change by corporation drives many users away (Sept22,2k11)

— reposted here by Techknowlb

Technology - SCITECH

Facebook Users Outraged Over New Changes

Published September 22, 2011
| Associated Press

  • Facebook's new updates have been the focus of a popular meme which features Xzibit, a reference to when the rapper was the host of the MTV show 'Pimp My Ride'.  Facebook is at it again. The social network is tweaking the home pages of its 750 million users, much to the chagrin of some very vocal folks. The world's largest online social network is expected to announce even more changes on Thursday, when it holds its annual f8 conference in San Francisco for developers who create games and other applications for its site.

Related Video

Social network's new look confuses followers

Movies: New release: Man on a Ledge

Yahoo! Movies (Sept22,2k11)

— posted here by FilmFan

Music: Video: Japanese Pop

YouTube Services channel yUT2ube (Sept22,2k11)

ウルフルズ - 愛がなくちゃ

—  MusicMan

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Architecture: Modernism: Couvoisier founded modernist architecture by the sheer volume and ubiquity of his work

Clip Syndicate (Sep13,2k11)
Agence-France Presse

Modernist architect's legacy continues to inspire

— reposted here by Archibald

Architecture: World Trade Center: Time-lapse vid on WTC's rebuild and Memorial

yUT2ube, refWr+t's partner channel on YouTube Services

I really disliked the way the 9/11 Atrocity at the World Trade Center, New York City, that occured 10 years back, was, via its rebuilding and institution of the 9/11 Memorial, turned into TV hucksterism.  I   don't like some of the architectural design of the new World Trade Center buildings (but won't pause to elaborate here).  Instead, I want to underscore how the TV treatment was so shallow, inadvertantly exposing the motive of the hoopla for the buildings!  Remember the architects (one of whom appeared absolutely obscene in self-congratulating himself); he was shilling to rent his office spaces and by TV publicity increase their monetary value and perhaps his own income.

I especially condemn the self-styled objective newsman, Shepherd Smith, on FoxNews for becoming a salesman of office spaces.  Smith was so nakedly conflating patriotism, martyrdom, and the need to sell rooms — a single package to his decrepit mind.  Just capitalism's propagandist and nothing more!

On the other hand, I liked very much YouTube's time-lapse video on the building of the Memorial.  It deconstructs Smith's conflation, separates out the patriotism and martyrdom, to give us an engaging view of the raw building.  We can enjoy -- whether we have a patriotic interest and/or a respect for the martyrs, or not — the sheer construction of the site.  We supply the patriotism and respect / grief / mourning; the video sticks to the building and architecture.  In this video, they're not selling us anything. They're not trying to increase the monetary value of the offices they want to rent.

Update:  Of course, here I'm not really focused on the architecture of the Memorial area as such (I haven't been there).  But via a social-media message from NY Review of Books, I came across this pithy, poignant item:

"In Martin Filler’s view, the National September 11 Memorial in New York City is “the most powerful example of commemorative design since Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial.”

"I wept, but about what precisely I cannot say. Much to my amazement, I visited Michael Arad’s National September 11 Memorial in New York City to find that it impressed me at once as a sobering, disturbing, heartbreaking, and overwhelming masterpiece."

— Archibald

But here's another FoxNews offering, true reportage, and worth reading in full.

Technology - SCITECH

After 9/11: How to Build a Safer Skyscraper

Published September 11, 2011

The 9/11 attacks threw the architectural world into shock. “The age of skyscrapers is at an end,” city planner Howard Kunstler declared just after the tragedy, and Donald Trump reduced the height of a planned tower in Chicago, citing security concerns raised by 9/11. 

Read more .... click the t+mstamp below

Monday, September 12, 2011

Toronto the Good: Native Peoples: $1.5 million for new clinic, traditional healing, modern medicine

Toronto Star (Aug30,2k11)
article by Mary Armsby, photo by Rick Eglinton / Toronto Star

Anishnawbe Health Toronto gets $1.5 million grant

The Toronto aboriginal health-care group that forfeited a prized downtown site for a new clinic over concerns the land may be a Roman Catholic graveyard is now one step closer to building its dream facility.
Anishnawbe Health Toronto received approval Tuesday for a $1,485,000 provincial planning and design grant to consolidate its three GTA clinics into a single, iconic aboriginal structure.
The funds came from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
“We look forward to creating a legacy for our people,’’ said AHT’s executive director, Joe Hester, who’s desperate to replace two cramped clinics off Sherbourne St. and another on Vaughan Rd. with a facility where traditional healing and modern medicine will be practised in tandem.
“For us, it will have to be a home, and home has to be a place of beauty. Home has to be inviting. It’s a place for rest, respite, and it represents you as a person.”
Once a new downtown site has been selected — negotiations for locations are underway — and design bids have been tendered, it’s expected construction capital will be quickly forthcoming from the province.
The project will get input from aboriginal elders before a final design bid is chosen.
Hester said the grant announcement, made at AHT’s clinic across from the Moss Park Arena, was one of the few bright moments in a decade-long quest to better serve the 85,000 aboriginal men, women and children living in the GTA. It’s a group whose overall health is two to three times lower than that of the general Canadian population.
“It’s been like a long battle and now, we’re starting to realize victory,” said Hester.
Hat Tip to Flannery Fielding
refWrite recommendedread the entire article.  Reposted here by Owlb