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Friday, September 30, 2011

he is trying to recreate the spatial and acoustic dynamics of a sermon in St. Paul’s Square in early 17th-century London.

The Promise of Digital Humanities

September 28, 2011
WASHINGTON — “Secret plan to replace human scholars with robots,” read Brett Bobley's first slide.
“Oops!” exclaimed Bobley, director of the office of the digital humanities for the National Endowment of the Humanities, feigning embarrassment. The audience, made up mostly of NEH grantees, laughed. They were here at the endowment’s headquarters Tuesday to celebrate their roles in forging a new frontier for the humanities -- a category of academic fields at risk of turning fallow for lack of public support. While the digital humanists in attendance might not expect robots to replace scholars anytime soon, they are building tools that could facilitate insights into history, language, art and culture that human researchers might never have been able to glean on their own. And some say that could help restore public interest in the humanities.

Humanities research is often derided as gauzy and esoteric, and therefore undeserving of tax dollars. Amid financial crises, humanities departments at many public universities have been razed. But even amid cuts, there has been a surge in interest in the digital humanities -- a branch of scholarship that takes the computational rigor that has long undergirded the sciences and applies it the study of history, language, art and culture.
“While we have been anguishing over the fate of the humanities, the humanities have been busily moving into, and even colonizing, the fields that were supposedly displacing them,” wrote Stanley Fish, the outspoken professor of humanities and law at Florida International University, on his New York Times blog in June.
“Everyone loves digital humanities this year,” said Bobley, citing the praise from Fish as the cherry on top of a steady stream of positive media coverage that has buoyed public interest in humanities research that uses new, technology-heavy approaches to distill meaning from old texts and artifacts.
The NEH held a symposium on Tuesday for 60 recipients of its 2011 Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants, most of whom were given between $25,000 and $50,000. They were allowed two minutes each to describe their projects.
Some were oriented to teaching history via role-playing games. Heidi Rae Cooley, an assistant professor of new media studies at the University of South Carolina, presented one such project, called“Desperate Fishwives.” The game “intends to introduce students to the kinds of social and cultural practices that would have been in play in a 17th Century British village,” Cooley explained. Students will be tasked with accumulating resources, completing social rituals, and solving some societal ill “before church or state intervene,” she continued. Afterward, students would render a prose account of their experiences — “and thereby learn of the nature and complexities of historiography.”
Lisa Rosner, a professor of history at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, presented her concept for a role-playing game called “Pox in the City.” The game has similar educational goals to “Desperate Fishwives,” although Rosner’s has to do with public health in 19th-century Edinburgh. Players can assume the roles of doctor, patient, or smallpox virus.
Other projects, while less whimsical, had to do with enabling learners to “experience” historical events or places instead of reading off a page. John Wall, a professor of English at North Carolina State University, said he is trying to recreate the spatial and acoustic dynamics of a sermon in St. Paul’s Square in order to better understand the likely effectiveness of the “public preaching” that emerged as the preferred method of public relations for church and political authorities in early 17th-century London.
Representing Data
Some grantees are trying to create visual representations, not of physical spaces, but of data. Several are looking to superimpose demographic and historical data onto geographic maps. One recurring theme in the presentations was the need for “linked open data” — types of research data that are tagged and stored in such a way that they can integrate with other research.
Linked open data could have the same leveraging effect that the World Wide Web had on computing, said Micki McGee, an assistant professor of sociology at Fordham University. For example: If one researcher had architectural data about New York City, and another had demographic data about the city, and each were able to cross-reference the other’s data with her own, it would deepen the context and understanding for both. The Web allowed thousands of computers to stop talking only to themselves and start talking to each other, McGee explained. With linked open data on the rise, the same could soon happen with research data, she said.
In addition to making humanities research richer, this could also make it more relevant to non-academics, said Bobley, the NEH digital humanities director.
“I think there is a real attempt in the digital humanities to broaden beyond academia and make information widely available,” Bobley said in an interview. “Linked open data is a very technical infrastructure, but the result of that is information that’s shared widely for free. A lot of scholarly data over the last hundred years or so is locked up in expensive journals that the public could never afford to subscribe to.
“We’re quite happy about how the digital humanities is, in some sense, opening up the scholarly world to a wider audience,” he said.
That could be the key to winning back support for the humanities, suggested Doug Reside, digital curator of the performing arts at the New York Public Library.
“I think that’s the way we will continue to make humanities scholarship relevant and sustainable into the future,” Reside told Inside Higher Ed.“That really is the way the rest of the world is going, and if we’re not performing those functions, then humanities as a whole are in even greater danger than they already are.”
For the latest technology news and opinion from Inside Higher Ed,follow @IHEtech on Twitter.

Liselott - Dear sister - SoundCloud


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kumar Gandharva (Marathiकुमार गंधर्व Kannadaಕುಮಾರ ಗಂಧರ್ವ ) or Shivaputra Siddramayya Komkalimath (Marathiशिवपुत्र सिद्दरामय्या कोमकलीमठ Kannadaಶಿವಪುತ್ರ ಸಿದ್ದರಾಮಯ್ಯ ಕೋಮಕಾಳಿಮಠ್) was a Hindustani classical singer, famous for his unique vocal style, refusal to be bound by the tradition of any gharana, and his innovative genius. The name Kumar Gandharva is a title given to him when he was a child prodigy; a Gandharva is a musical spirit in Hindu mythology.[1]

Gandharva was born in Sulebhavi near BelgaumKarnatakaIndia. He studied music under the well-known Prof B R Deodhar.
He married Bhanumati Kans in April 1947 and moved to DewasMadhya Pradesh. Soon after moving there, he was stricken with lung cancer which was wrongly diagnosed as tuberculosis. He was forced into having a surgery to remove the cancerous lung or face eventual death by the disease. Kumar opted for the surgery after much persuasion by his family and despite warnings that he might not be able to sing anymore. Recovering from the trauma of a surgery in Khanapur near Belgaum in Karnataka, Kumar Gandharva was visited by a fan who was also a physician. The doctor noted his surgical wounds had healed and asked Kumar Gandharva to attempt singing once again. Gradually, helped by this doctor, medicines of those yesteryears and care from Bhanumati Kans, Kumar Gandharva recovered and began singing again. However, his wonderful voice and singing style would always bear the scars of his surgery, which are evident to any person who listens to his songs such as 'Runanubandhachya" from the drama "Dev Dina Ghari Dhavla".

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The exhibition is the first to present Degas’s progressive engagement with the figure in movement in the context of parallel advances in photography and early film...

Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement

17 September – 11 December 2011
In the Main Galleries

Sponsored by BNY Mellon

This landmark exhibition focuses on Edgar Degas’s preoccupation with movement as an artist of the dance. Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement traces the development of the artist's ballet imagery throughout his career, from the documentary mode of the early 1870s to the sensuous expressiveness of his final years.
The exhibition is the first to present Degas’s progressive engagement with the figure in movement in the context of parallel advances in photography and early film; indeed, the artist was keenly aware of these technological developments and often directly involved with them.

Fingertips is a web site that scours the internet looking for the best free and legal MP3s.

I’ve got another banjo song for you, somehow. Another wonderful one. Go figure.
“Stinging Nettle, Honeysuckle” is sold to me via singer Jacquelyn Beaupre’ (apostrophe included), whose sweet, determined voice blends breathy innocence with grounded certainty. She sings as if placing each note in a favored location—a bright windowsill full of keepsakes, perhaps, or a tree-trunk altar along a wooded, late-summer path—and then letting them go, no big deal. There are always more notes to sing. And don’t get too attached to her anyway because she’s likely to wander away sooner than later.
The banjo this time is plucky and thoughtful. The ambiance is ancient-folky, as the title too suggests, even as there’s likewise something snappy and contemporary in the melody and presentation. I especially like the way a certain kind of lo-fi reverb is used to scuff the background without taking over the sound. The backing vocals receive this treatment, and it turns out there’s also some persistent underlying white noise in the mix which becomes audible only when the song comes to a full stop around 2:21. Pay attention to Beaupre’ right after that as she gives us a dainty cough before continuing. I really like that cough.
Blessed Feathers is a trio that was founded as a duo. The band bio begins: “Jacquelyn Beaupre’ plays everything. Donivan Berube plays everything else.” Beaupre’ and Berube are also girlfriend-boyfriend. The recently-arrived third player is Jordan Knowles, who handles percussion. “Stinging Nettle, Honeysuckle” is from the album From the Mouths of the Middle Class, the band’s second, released this week on Listening Party Records. You can buy the digital album for whatever price you’d like or you can buy a limited-edition vinyl album for $15, both via Bandcamp.


Spunky and ineffably nostalgic, “Friends of Friends” is a New York song with a New York sound, and one that to my ears is rooted firmly in the later ’70s—music that blends an edgy Television/Talking Heads 77-ish bounce with a more playful David Johansen/Syl Sylvain-y groove and throws in a saxophone that surely has arrived through a time machine.
And yet “Friends of Friends” struts with its own, minimalist center of gravity and personality-driven sensibility. Check out the bass playing at the beginning for a conspicuous example of the band’s unembellished aesthetic, as well as the spaces, generally, that are left around the beat. As for personality, Hospitality has Amber Papini, a Kansas City-born kindergarten teacher who apparently learned to sing by copying Richard Butler on the Psychedelic Furs’ Talk Talk Talkalbum. (Well and who didn’t?) Here, she takes a herky-jerky melody and really works it. Neither the blurty verse nor the clipped, seemingly under-developed chorus is easy to make sense of as a singer; she pulls them off through sheer force of tone and presence.
Hospitality formed as a trio in 2007. They are now a quartet, and they have recently been signed to the consistently wonderful indie label Merge. The full-length Hospitality debut album is due in March 2012.
Lindsey Buckingham


“Seeds We Sow” couples lullaby calm with instrumental ferocity as bona fide rock legend/guitar hero Buckingham supports his gentle, whispered melody with some vigorous fingerpicking. The guitar work is so fluid that you might miss how likewise maniacal it is, working alternately with and against the complex time signature (12/8, maybe?) to soothe and unsettle in equal parts. The lyrics appear to serve a similar purpose.
And for whatever reason, the thing that nails this down for me is the wordless addendum to the chorus that he employs (first at 0:58)—the “ahhhh, ta ta ta,” part, which seems at once curious and perfect. Why “ta” versus the standard “la”? How would that even occur to someone? This is also the moment at which Buckingham unleashes his most characteristic vocal sound; it’s like an old friend abruptly appearing at a party you hadn’t known he was invited to. In any case, the song is a beauty and a grower, all bittersweet wisdom and musical depth. Put it on repeat and soak it in.
“Seeds We Sow” is the title track to Buckingham’s new album, his sixth as a solo artist, which he self-released (using the imprint Mind Kit Records) earlier this month. MP3 via Magnet Magazine. Note that Amazon is selling the MP3 album for $4.99 right now if you’re interested.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

“Those who attempt to ban books are probably afraid of whatever is inside. So, what are they most afraid of?"

10 Fantastic Banned Books That Talk About Sex
1:30 pm Monday Sep 26, 2011 by 
Upwards of 11,000 books have been challenged in American libraries and schools since Banned Books Week was born in the last week of September back in 1982. We wanted to draw some attention to books that have been censored over the years, so we got in touch with Sarah Murphy, a school librarian and co-founder (with Maria Falgoust) of The Desk Set, a “social and philanthropic group for librarians and bibliophiles.” Sarah writes, “Those who attempt to ban books are probably afraid of whatever is inside. So, what are they most afraid of? Judging from the dangers cited this year, it’s sex.” She continues, “If you read about sex, you might get the idea to have some. Or think that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You might start to believe that you’re not the only person in the world to like it, hate it, want it, or be confused by it. Let’s celebrate our freedom to read by checking out the books that got the would-be book banners’ totally chaste knickers in a knot. Here are ten suggested titles; some are new to the list, others have been challenged for decades. All have been accused of being too darn hot.” So read on, dear readers, and let us know what racy books you hid from your parents and teachers when you were young and precocious.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
This book was called “soft-pornography” last year, and ruffled a lot of parents’ feathers because, as Sarah writes, “it’s a beautiful and thoughtful book about a young girl’s rape.” The snarky young protagonist says, “If I were an After-School Special, I would speak in front of an auditorium of my peers on How Not to Lose Your Virginity. Or, Why Seniors Should Be Locked Up. Or, My Summer Vacation: A Drunken Party, Lies, and Rape.” An important read for any girl on the cusp of adolescence.

Monday, September 26, 2011

In 1988, Bobby McFerrin wrote one of the most beloved anthems to happiness of all time.

Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”: A Neuropsychology Reading

by Maria Popova
Unpacking the lyrics of the iconic happiness anthem to find surprising science-tested insights on well-being.
In 1988, Bobby McFerrin wrote one of the most beloved anthems to happiness of all time. On September 24 that year, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” became the first a cappella song to reach #1 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart. But more than a mere feel-good tune, the iconic song is brimming with neuroscience and psychology insights on happiness that McFerrin — whose fascinating musings on music and the brain you might recall from World Science Festival’s Notes & Neurons — embedded in its lyrics, whether consciously or not.
To celebrate the anniversary of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” I unpack the verses to explore the neuropsychology wisdom they contain in the context of several studies that offer lab-tested validation for McFerrin’s intuitive insight.
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Our tendency to add more stress to our stress by dwelling on it is known is Buddhism as the second arrow and its eradication is a cornerstone of mindfulness practice. But now scientists are confirming that worrying about our worries is rather worrisome. Recent research has found prolonged negative cardiac effects of worry episodes, following a 2006 study that linked worrying to heart disease.
Here, I give you my phone number
When you worry call me
I make you happy
Multiple studies have confirmed the positive correlation between social support and well-being, and some have examined the “buffering model,” which holds that social support protects people from the adverse effects of stressful events.
Harvard physician Nicholas Christakis has studied the surprising power of our social networks, finding profound and long-term correlation between the well-being, both physical and mental, of those with whom we choose to surround ourselves and our own.
Cause when you worry
Your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
Mirror neurons are one of the most important and fascinating discoveries of modern neuroscience — neurons that fire not only when we perform a behavior, but also when we observe that behavior in others. In other words, neural circuitry that serves as social mimicry allowing the expressed emotions of others to trigger a reflection of these emotions in us. Frowns, it turns out, are indeed contagious.
Put a smile on your face
Pop-culture wisdom calls it “fake it ’till you make it”; psychotherapy calls it “cognitive behavioral therapy“; social psychology call it story editing. Evidence abounds that consciously changing our thoughts and behaviors to emulate the emotions we’d like to feel helps us internalize and embody those emotions in a genuine felt sense. Paul Ekman, who pioneered the study of facial expressions,found that voluntarily producing a smile may help deliberately generate the psychological change that takes place during spontaneous positive affect — something corroborated in the recently explored science of smiles.
Don’t worry, it will soon pass
Whatever it is
In 1983, UCLA psychologist Shelley E. Taylor published a seminal paper [PDF] in the journal American Psychologist proposing a theory of cognitive adaptation for how we adjust to threatening events, based on evidence from a number of clinical and empirical studies indicating that we grossly overestimate the negative impact of the events that befall us, from cancer to divorce to paralysis, and return to our previous levels of happiness shortly after these negative events take place.
As Daniel Gilbert puts it in Stumbling on Happiness, one of our 7 must-read books on the art and science of happiness, “The fact is that negative events do affect us, but they generally don’t affect us as much or for as long as we expect them to.”
* * *
So there you have it: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” timeless oracle of mental health science. For more on the profound and fascinating intersection of music and mind, see our omnibus of 7 essential books on music, emotion, and the brain

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