Old news from the Q4TK sidebar item “Things that have caught my eye“
=> Fatoumata Diawara is a fine musician from Mali, now collaborating with Cuban keyboardist Roberto Fonseca. Together, Fatoumata and Roberto blend intercontinental vibes to produce world class Afro-Cuban jazz. They played a fine concert on 30 May 2015 in London. Well worth a listen, if you can catch one of their concerts!
Fatoumata’s music really strikes a chord in me from my 2 years with Peace Corps in next door Burkina Faso. She is an outspoken advocate on behalf of Africa. She may be best known for the theme song from the movie Timbuktu, about the seizure of that Malian town by Islamists who imposed a harsh rule (including prohibition of music). Here is a link to Fatoumata’s video from the film Timbuktu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yOfimHhARw”>Timbuktu – Music Video
=> Seoul: Now here is a city government that listens to its citizens!
In Seoul it seems that a giant ear was set up by the government in front of city hall. Passers-by can submit verbal suggestions and complaints, which are then echoed quietly in a lobby at city hall. Electronic monitors automatically retain submissions that elicit responses of listeners, while other submissions are disposed via a process that “composts” them into music.
This certainly merits recognition as creative! It would be interesting to know how effective it is. It may help with managing tensions of frustrated citizens, but what about getting attention for worthwhile new ideas and effecting change?
The Atlantic Cities Article on this new approach to complaints in Seoul
“Got a Complaint With the Government? Yell It Into This 8-Foot Ear”
=> Moscow: Crackdown on a Pasta Procession of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
I must confess that I have followed the evolution of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster with some glee. These folks believe that the world was created by a flying spaghetti monster. His original followers were pirates who liked pasta, also known as Pastafarians. Oh, and they like beer and oppose dogma.
So, imagine my surprise to learn of a crackdown by riot police in Moscow on a pasta procession. Apparently, the local Pastafarians undertook an unauthorized outing in conjunction with a rite that involved spaghetti and walking down the street with colanders on their heads. Perhaps the forces of order prefer tortellini?
About the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
The Moscow Times Story
=> Roaming the San Joaquin Valley in California
One of the treats of reading the opinion pages of the New York Times is the occasional article by Verlyn Klinkenborg. His clear prose and rural themes draw me in and remind me of my own past days of living in the countryside and more recent visits to such places. It is not just nostalgia. That is, I generally learn something useful from his columns, too.
This week his report on the San Joaquin Valley has reflections on country life but also jarring observations on agricultural developments that are damaging to nature and life in the valley more broadly. It brings into focus the costs of the current approaches to agriculture in this region.
=> Roaming the Roman Ruins of Baalbek, Lebanon
Baalbek is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a city with impressive Roman ruins including a remarkable temple of Bacchus. I have always wanted to see the ruins in Baalbek, but alas it has not been an easy place to get to in my lifetime. Emily Jane O’Dell, a professor of History and Archeology at the American University of Beirut recently published a nice column on Baalbek in the New York Times. It highlights both the interest in visiting Baalbek and the risks.
=> WABC and Cousin Brucie
Here is a website dedicated to WABC Musicradio 77 in New York, which was my main source of music in the 1960s and early 1970s. To see top 10 music listener surveys, listen to old shows and see images from those times, check out this site! It is like a time capsule:
Link to Cousin Brucie
Address for the radio station: http://www.musicradio77.com