Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why Christians Are Jerks Online // From CNN's Belief Blog

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Jonathan Acuff

"Bono is a born again Christian.

Or he's not.

It's one of those two. I'm just not sure which, but I am certain that the faith of U2 is something we Christians like to argue about. That and beer. You never know if your small group is populated with prohibitionists. You have to say things like, 'Is there anything you need me to bring to the dinner party, anything at all?' Then if they say, 'Sure, how about a bottle of wine?' you're good.

U2, beer, our favorite pastor's kid-gone-wild Katy Perry: these are usually the topics I write about on (Which is indeed a direct rip off of the site But today I thought I might deal with something with a little sharper teeth. Something you don't see addressed often, but you might have experienced.

Put simply, I want to talk about why sometimes we Christians are jerks online."

Keep reading...

Local Musician Speaks Out for Compassion // Visiting a Sponsored Child in El Salvador

Local musician Gary Mitchell uses the tagline "Music with a Message." Whether he is playing in a coffeeshop or bar, performing at the Ronald McDonald House or leading worship at Orange United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, Gary is dedicated to using good music to bring smiles to people's faces and to spread a simple message: "You are not alone. God made you, God loves you, and Jesus Christ can change your life if you trust him."

Drawing on a background of drums, percussion, guitar, piano and classical voice, Gary is always looking for new ways to use his talents to help others and to further God's kingdom. So it is no surprise that after sponsoring two children for several years through Compassion International, Gary recently joined Compassion's Artist and Speaker Network. Compassion provides associated performers with materials for promoting the organization and encouraging awareness of poverty in the world; the first person Gary was able to bring into the fold as a sponsor came forward at a show at Hope Cafe--check out this blog post about the spot.

Gary's recent experience of traveling to El Salvador to meet Karen (on a group tour sponsored by Compassion) gave him even more motivation to support the organization. Here's a snippet from his blog reflecting on the trip:

"Compassion International is a real life miracle that is changing lives and communities all over the world, attacking poverty with the redemptive love of God. If you’ve ever been slapped in the face with the true depth of affluence and privilege you have, been compelled to do something to help others and then come up short to find a way to make a real difference, I encourage you---I beg you with all that I can; find a way to free up 38 dollars a month and join me in helping this outstanding organization battle child poverty."

To get a taste of Gary's experience meeting Karen, check out the video below, or click here to read his complete blog about Compassion and the trip to El Salvador.

Monday, June 28, 2010

David Mitchell, the Experimentalist // Reinventing the Novel

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Wyatt Mason

As the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano was spewing plumes of ash into European airspace in April, shuttering airports and stranding millions, the British novelist David Mitchell, a tall, gracious, high-spirited man of 41, was marching me across a long, flat tidal beach near his home in Ireland’s West Cork. Along the way, he told me a story about the perils of humility. “I had a short and rather valuable lesson,” Mitchell said after a morning on the beach, “one of these warnings that the universe gives you on a platter sometimes. I’d done an event in New Zealand at a very large auditorium, hundreds of people, and I was kind of pleased with it; it had gone well. A woman came up to me afterwards, a medievalist at the university there, and she said, ‘Have you heard of the humility topos?’ I said no. She explained that, in the medieval era, humility was seen as a great virtue. The humility topos was used for these abbots — you can think of a good one in Eco’s ‘Name of the Rose’ — who were actually monsters of arrogance, but were always banging on about how humble they were — ‘Just like our lord Jesus Christ. We serve him in humility’ — when they were the least humble people you can find in history. Some even became pope. And the woman looked at me and said, ‘Watch out for the humility topos.’ And then sort of disappeared in a puff of smoke.”

Keep reading...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ongoing at Duke // "Literacy Through Photography--Arusha, Tanzania" Exhibit

When: Monday, June 28, 2010 9:00 AM - Sat, January 8, 2011 5:00 PM
Center for Documentary Studies 1317 W. Pettigrew Street

More Info

Description: An exhibition of LTP children's work from Arusha, Tanzania, where LTP staff worked in the summers of 2007, 2008, and 2009. Literacy Through Photography (LTP), an innovative arts and education program developed twenty years ago by artist Wendy Ewald at CDS in conjunction with the Durham Public Schools, challenges children to explore the world by photographing scenes from their lives and using their own images as catalysts for verbal and written expression.

Friday, June 25, 2010

On the Shelf: Notes From No Man's Land by Eula Biss // From Theolog, the Blog of Christian Century

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Steve Thorngate

Two years ago, blogger Christian Lander struck satiric gold by chronicling the interests and motivations of white people. Lander’s valuable insight was that as members of a privileged majority group, we tend to think of ourselves as simply part of the overall culture—when in fact we comprise a racial subgroup like any other.

I thought of this earlier this month when I heard Eula Biss speak at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest in Chicago. Among other things, the essayist talked about how difficult it is to find good writing on the subject of whiteness. “White people don’t make it easy for each other to talk about race,” she said. Instead, “we punish each other and police each other.”

Keep reading...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This Weekend at Duke // Seussical! The Musical

Barriskill Dance Theatre

Seussical! The Musical

Friday, June 25
@ 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 26
@ 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 27
@ 2:00 p.m.

Page Auditorium
$12 All Ages

Appropriate for all ages, Seussical integrates the storylines from more than 20 of Seuss’ works, using each tiny town and bizarre species of creature as inspiration. The result is a production that takes the audience on an unpredictable ride through the depths of fantasy, from the miniature houses of Whoville to the wild greenery of the Jungle of Nool. You won’t want to miss our Durham premiere of this incredibly imaginative and inventive musical. Put green eggs and ham on your menu for June!

In a Michelangelo Fresco, Visions of the Brain // Professors Believe Anatomical Drawing Hidden in Sistine Chapel

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Nicholas Bakalar

"It has been hiding in plain sight for the past 500 years, and now two Johns Hopkins professors believe they have found it: one of Michelangelo’s rare anatomical drawings in a panel high on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Michelangelo was a conscientious student of human anatomy and enthusiastically dissected corpses throughout his life, but few of his anatomical drawings survive. This one, a depiction of the human brain and brain stem, appears to be drawn on the neck of God, but not all art historians can see it there."

Keep reading...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Arts Center Opens in Michigan // Copper Colored Mountain Arts

Click here to learn more, or watch the video below.

Lasers uncover first icons of Sts. Peter and Paul // Vatican Officials Unveil Paintings

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Nichole Winfield

"Twenty-first century laser technology has opened a window into the early days of the Catholic Church, guiding researchers through the dank, musty catacombs beneath Rome to a startling find: the first known icons of the apostles Peter and Paul.

Vatican officials unveiled the paintings Tuesday, discovered along with the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew in an underground burial chamber beneath an office building on a busy street in a working-class Rome neighborhood."

Keep reading...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Now at Duke // The Power of Refined Beauty: Photographing Society Women for Pond's, 1920s-1950s

When: Monday, April 5, 2010 - Sun, August 22, 2010 (All day)
Where: Perkins Library Rare Book Room

Description: For over 30 years, fashionable British and American society women, including Mrs. Reginald Vanderbilt, Lady Milford-Haven, Mrs. George Whitney, and Anne Morgan, graced advertisements the J. Walter Thompson Company created for Pond's beauty products. This exhibit, located in Perkins Library's Special Collections Gallery and curated by the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, & Marketing History at the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, presents a selection of these images by prominent photographers such as Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Louise Dahl-Wolfe. A complementary exhibit, "You've Got...Personality: Testimonial and Celebrity Endorsement Advertisements," will be on display in the Biddle Rare Book Room display cases through June 30th. For more information, contact Jackie Reid at

Scientists Release Songs Made By the Sun // If the Solar Corona Were a Listening Room

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Jeffrey Kluger

"You won't find it on iTunes and even if you did, you certainly wouldn't wind up humming it all day. Still, the most talked-about song in the world — at least in astronomical circles — comes from a very unlikely performer: the sun. Scientists at Sheffield University in the U.K. have just released what amounts to a recording of what you would hear if you could stand inside the solar corona — the upper layer of the sun's atmosphere — and it turns out what you'd hear is music. The simple symphony that fills the corona is not only beautiful, but could also could yield new insights into how the sun itself operates."

Keep reading...

Combing Cambodia for Missing Friends // Vietnam War Photographer Continues Years-Long Hunt

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Seth Mydans

"'LET’S rock 'n' roll,' said Tim Page, once one of the wild and daring young photographers of the Vietnam War, strapping himself into the front seat of a four-wheel-drive van.

'Like Flynn and Stone, three intrepid journalists left Phnom Penh on a hot morning headed for Kampong Cham,' he said, narrating his departure recently with two colleagues.

He settled back for the long ride, past the town of Skun, known for its fried spiders, past hypnotic rows of rubber trees, out to this dusty village near the Mekong River where he believed the bones of two missing war photographers, Sean Flynn and Dana Stone, were buried.

It was not an unusual journey for Mr. Page. Now 66, he has been on this hunt for years, determined to find answers and to come to terms with the war that has dominated his life."

Keep reading...

Anne Lamott's "Imperfect Birds" // An Interview on Speaking of Faith Observed

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Kate Moos

"Anne Lamott appeared on SOF years ago, in 2003, in a show we titled “The Meaning of Faith.” I had been fan of hers for some time prior, but I was especially captivated at that time with her personal story of redemption and recovery, and her life as a thoroughly 21st-century writer.

So, when her new fiction, Imperfect Birds, showed up in the mail, the volume floated to the top of the stack of books on my desk — and I took it home and read it. And then I read the two novels that preceded this one and decided to put some questions to her about this very moving story of recovery and human frailty.

What follows are her replies that took place via email:"

Keep reading...

José Saramago, Nobel Prize-Winning Portuguese Writer, Dies at 87 // Novelist Known for His Communism as Well as His Writing

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Fernanda Eberstadt

"José Saramago, the Portuguese writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998 with novels that combine surrealist experimentation with a kind of sardonic peasant pragmatism, died on Friday at his home in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. He was 87.

The cause was multiple organ failure after a long illness, the José Saramago Foundation said in an announcement on its Web site,

A tall, commandingly austere man with a dry, schoolmasterly manner, Mr. Saramago gained international acclaim for novels like “Baltasar and Blimunda” and “Blindness.” (A film adaptation of “Blindness” by the Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles was released in 2008.)

He was the first Portuguese-language writer to win the Nobel Prize, and more than two million copies of his books have been sold, his longtime friend and editor, Zeferino Coelho, said."

Keep reading...

10 Questions for Billie Joe Armstrong // A NY Times Interview with Green Day's Frontman

A Tender Tome of Art and Heart // An Artisan's Book Tells the History of Goyard

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Suzy Menkes

"A pair of white-gloved hands opens the mini-trunk and lifts, with the utmost tenderness, an object swaddled inside.

What is this hidden treasure about to be revealed? The case has the chevron pattern that the cognoscenti would recognize as Goyard, the luggage maker, whose trunks stand like sentinels around the walls of its Paris store.

Is it one of the house’s playful dog bowls, a luxury pet accessory that the French company first produced in 1890?

Or maybe this package is the brand new Goyard handbag, a variation on the zippered cat bag that stylish women have been buying not for their kittens, but for themselves?

But this object is nothing less than a bible of luxury — not so much a book as a work of art and heart."

Keep reading...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

In Paris, Hip-Hop Takes Center Stage // The Paris Hip-Hop Festival

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Lisa Pham

"Street culture will be put in the spotlight during the Paris Hip-Hop festival, about to begin its fifth year, from June 22 to July 4. The festival (, organized by Hip Hop Citoyens, a group that promotes the musical genre, in partnership with the city of Paris, is packed with concerts, films, workshops, roundtable discussions and block parties. Over 300 artists will be performing across more than a dozen venues."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Image That Changed the Course of South Africa's History // From CNN

Full article here // Excerpt below

From Isha Sesay CNN and Mark Tutton

It's the iconic image that grabbed the world's attention and helped change the course of South African history.

Thirty-four years ago Wednesday, on June 16, 1976, thousands of black school children in Soweto, South Africa, took to the streets to protest the apartheid education system that obliged them to be taught in Afrikaans.

It was supposed to be a peaceful protest, but the students were met with police gunfire and at least 23 of them were killed.

One of the first youths to be killed was 12-year-old Hector Pieterson.

His death was captured in a photograph that came to define South Africa's liberation struggle.

Marian the Cybrarian // Why Libraries Matter

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Thomas H. Benton

"For all the concern expressed about the imminent demise of the college library, there may never have been a time when librarians seemed more vital, forward-thinking—even edgy—than they do now.

It's a dated reference, but today's information professionals often remind me more of Ian Malcolm, the "chaos theorist" played by Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park (1993), than of the eyeglass-chain-wearing librarians of yore, if they ever existed in significant numbers. (I have seen only one, Mrs. Evelyn, from my elementary school in the early 70s.)"

Keep reading...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wednesday at Duke // Music in the Gardens: Kate McGarry & Keith Ganz

When: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Sarah P. Duke Gardens

$10 General / $5 Duke Students & Employees / 12 & Under Free

More Info

Description: 2009 Grammy Nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album

" . . . austere and elegant . . . an exceptionally appealing blend of folk and jazz." -Wall Street Journal

"McGarry ' s sense of musical authenticity is beautifully blended with her always-original musical vision."-The Los Angeles Times

Outdoor shows at Music in the Gardens take place rain or shine on the lawn behind the Gardens Visitor Center. Lawn chairs, picnics & blankets encouraged, dogs are not allowed. Beverages, including beer & wine, will be available for purchase. The lawn will open 30 minutes prior to the start of show.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

At Duke Until July 25 // Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art

From the Nasher Museum's website:

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangzi River in China is the world's largest generator of hydro-electric power. When it was built, it displaced more than one million people and submerged more than 1,200 towns. This spring, the Nasher Museum presents "Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art," in which four leading contemporary Chinese artists—Chen Qiulin, Yun-Fei Ji, Liu Xiaodong and Zhuang Hui—respond to the dam project.

Listen to a podcast of North Carolina Public Radio's "The State of Things," in which host Frank Stasio talks with Kimerly Rorschach, the James H. and Mary D.B.T. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum, and Ralph Litzinger, associate professor of cultural anthropology at Duke, about the Three Gorges Dam in China.

Learn more...

Bonnaroo: Behind the Music, The Effort to Keep it Green // From the NY Times ArtsBeat

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Ben Sisario

MANCHESTER, Tenn. — At Bonnaroo, everything exists on a vast scale. The hundreds of acres of camping. The tens of thousands of sweaty bodies shoving against one another for a better view of the Kings of Leon. And, as at any big festival, the volume of trash, which overflows from bins and by the end of each night lies scattered, crushed and muddy throughout the grounds.

One of the more remarkable things about Bonnaroo is how it handles the waste. Since it began, in 2002, it has hired Clean Vibes, a company in North Carolina, to manage an extensive greening program, involving a network of about 500 volunteers, on-site composting and trash sorting, as well as incentives for fans to sort trash. Last year Clean Vibes — one of a handful of similar companies, which also handles the trash at festivals like Mountain Jam in upstate New York and Allgood in West Virginia — kept about a third of Bonnaroo’s 489 tons of waste from going in a landfill, according to its owner, Anna Borofsky.


Also see this article about Bonnaroo's energy wave cresting.

Top 10 Surprising Facts About the World's Oldest Bible // The 4th Century Codex Sinaiticus

Full article here // Excerpt below

"On July 6, 2009, the world's oldest Bible went digital. The 4th century Codex Sinaiticus manuscript ("the Sinai Book") is one of the most important texts in Christianity, dating to the time of Constantine the Great. Thanks to the Codex Sinaiticus Project, you can now see and read its raw animal-hide pages online. The photographs of the book's pages show not just the written text — an English translation accompanies the original Greek — but also skeletal imprints, insect bites, scar tissue and spilled candle wax. At nearly 800 pages, Sinaiticus is the largest edition of an ancient manuscript ever to hit the Web.

Also see the video below:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Land, Life, and the Poetry of Creatures // Ellen Davis and Wendell Berry on Speaking of Faith

Yesterday on Speaking of Faith:

"Biblical scholar Ellen Davis is helping to shape a new approach to thinking about human domination of the Earth and its creatures. With her friend, the farmer and
poet Wendell Berry, they speak to our collective grief at destruction of the natural world and nourish a 'chastened' yet 'tenacious' hope."

Click here for more.

Rural Studio and an Architecture of Decency // Speaking of Faith

"Auburn's Rural Studio in western Alabama draws architectural students into the design and construction of homes and public spaces in some of the poorest counties. They're creating beautiful and economical structures that are not only unique but nurture sustainability of the natural world as of human dignity."

Read, see and hear more here.

Sunday at Duke // "A Time of Peace," Vocal Arts Ensemble Concert

When: Sunday, June 13, 2010 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Duke Chapel
More Info

From the VAE's Facebook Page:
This year’s concert, entitled “A Time of Peace,” will be held on Sunday, June 13, at 7 pm in Duke Chapel. Several pieces explore the theme of peace, including Mendelssohn’s “Verleih uns Frieden” (Grant Us Peace), an arrangement of the spiritual “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More” for men’s voices, Arnold Schoenberg’s “Friede auf Erden” (Peace on Earth), and Robert Dickow’s “Peace,” which is a setting of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Other poetry by Hopkins will also be heard, in Gwyneth Walker’s “This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made” and in a work entitled “Henry Purcell,” which VAE has commissioned from Paul Leary, a member of the Vespers Ensemble and a graduate student in composition at Duke. The latter poem was written, as Hopkins explained, to extol the “divine genius of Purcell” who has “uttered in notes the very make and species of man.” As an example of Purcell’s craft and genius, VAE will perform his “O Give Thanks,” a work which Hopkins almost certainly knew. By way of complete contrast, VAE will close its concert with Sam Pottle's hilarious setting of "Jabberwocky."

The first half of the VAE concert consists of a journey through German musical history, from the early 1600s to the early 1900s. Michael Praetorius’ “Lobet den Herren” (Praise the Lord) will be followed by Bach’s “Lobet den Herrn,” which is one of his six motets. The rest of the first half includes the Mendelssohn “Verleih uns Frieden” mentioned above, Brahms’ rarely-performed motet “Es ist das Heil uns kommen her” (The Son of God Is Come to Earth) and Schoenberg’s “Friede auf Erden.” Written in a late Romantic style quite different from his later non-tonal and 12-tone compositions, the Schoenberg piece is a powerful 9-minute piece that is truly daunting to perform. While at times it teeters on the brink of losing its tonal bearings (when describing the violence of war), it closes triumphantly with a ringing affirmation of peace.

Here is the program:
Praetorius - Lobet den Herren
Bach - Lobet den Herrn (Motet #6)
Mendelssohn - Verleih uns Frieden
Brahms - Es ist das Heil uns kommen her
Schoenberg - Friede auf Erden
Purcell - O Give Thanks
paul leary – Henry Purcell (world premiere)
Gwyneth Walker - This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made
Robert Dickow - Peace
Cain, arr. - Ain’t Gonna Study War No More (TTBB)
Sam Pottle – Jabberwocky

$10 general admission, students free with ID.
Tickets: Duke Box Office (919) 684-4444 or

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hymns Are Cool // Free Hymn Arrangements for Local Churches

"Are you keen for your church to sing more hymns, ... but they never seem to go that well?

Do you lack time or the knowledge to make arrangements that work?

Are you a guitarist or drummer who isn't sure how to play hymns?

Do you know that hymns contain great words, ... but you just don't understand them all?

Then this website is designed to be a very practical help for you!!!

On this website, among other things, you'll find:

Old, classic, traditional hymn tunes in simple but effective arrangements that can easily be used by todays modern, contemporary style church band. There are also demo recordings to give you a good idea of how it could sound."


I stumbled across this website somehow and it sort of made me laugh, although in theory this could be a great resource. I haven't actually looked at any of the arrangements, as Gary and I usually end up writing our own anyway, but this is a good idea and it's great that it's free. -- Sarah

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thursday in Durham // Living Words: An Evening of Open Mic & Spoken Word Poetry

From the Facebook event:

"Living Words is an evening of open mic and spoken word poetry. All are invited to attend and roc the mic! Whether it's poetry, song, dance, comedy, and/or performing a dramatic monologue everyone is welcome young & older. Our featured artist for this month is Spoken Word Artist Regina Johnson, a gifted writer and poet who will be spitting fire to ignite the gifts in us all. Our MC is Lyrical da Poetess (Rhachel Royal) and we will be blessed to hear awesome poets like Wisdom Pharaoh, Da Poet Tim Jackson & Rhonda Royal Hatton among others. The open mic will be taking place on
Thursday, June 10th at Church of the Abiding Savior, Lutheran 1625 S. Alston Ave. Durham, NC at 7:00pm. The event is FREE and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Transportation to event is available. Please call (919) 698-3648 if there are any questions. See you there! Bring Friends!

Please check out the website. You are cordially invited to attend enjoy and participate."

Hellhound on His Trail by Hampton Sides // From Theolog, the Blog of the Christian Century

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Richard A. Kauffman

Could the overheated rhetoric emanating from right-wing talk radio, Fox News and Tea Party rallies push someone over the edge to do the unthinkable? I pondered this dreadful possibility while reading Hampton Sides’s Hellhound on His Trail, which recounts the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., by James Earl Ray.

Keep reading...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wednesday at Duke // Music in the Gardens: Lonnie Walker + Mount Moriah

When: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Sarah P. Duke Gardens

$10 General / $5 Duke Students & Employees / 12 & Under Free

More Info

Description: " ... a revelation, music that we all need more of: equal parts sweetness and brutality, equal parts country charm and rock swagger. There is an undeniably magnetic appeal in the music ... " on Lonnie Walker

" ... rustic folk songs ... provide a route to the ' real America.'" -- Independent Weekly on Mount Moriah

Outdoor shows at Music in the Gardens take place rain or shine on the lawn behind the Gardens Visitor Center. Lawn chairs, picnics & blankets encouraged, dogs are not allowed. Beverages, including beer & wine, will be available for purchase. The lawn will open 30 minutes prior to the start of show.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not Exactly Preaching to the Choir // Theater Review: 'Get Mad at Sin!'

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Jason Zinoman

"A basement theater in Long Island City is an unlikely place to see a miracle. But the Lord — and Off Off Broadway — works in mysterious ways.

At the Chocolate Factory, one of the most vital arts organizations in Queens, Jimmy Swaggart has returned to life. That Southern evangelist is technically still alive, but since he was caught patronizing a prostitute in 1987 and then weeping his way through an abject apology, some believers lost faith in him and many others viewed him as a joke."

Keep reading...

Exotic Isle for Artists, Right in City // NYC's Governors Island

Full article here // Excerpt below

When New York City artists plan their workdays, they usually don’t have to factor in a ferry boat.

Then again, they usually don’t have studio space on Governors Island, either.

But since March, 24 visual artists and 4 performing groups have been making art in a former munitions storehouse there, rising early to catch one of the first ferries from Manhattan for workers on the island (they start running at 6:45 a.m.) and then rushing at the end of the day to catch the last boat, at 5 p.m. But the bankers’ hours have their compensations.

“I’ve never had a cannon out my window,” said Birgit Rathsmann, who is making a series of abstract computer compositions incorporating quotations from the likes of Wittgenstein and Johnny Cash that will be installed on the ferry’s upper deck this summer.

Keep reading...

Top 41 Biographies of Artists // From Diary of an Arts Pastor

Full article here // Excerpt below

By David Taylor

"As an artist I find I need the continuous help of other artists to see what I might become. A Stoppard playwright? A Buechner creative essayist? A Cramner liturgist? A hybrid of these? Only time will tell. But apart from whether I become any of these, I need a vision of a then (a telos) in order to direct my energies now (a formatio). I also, quite honestly, need the friendship of kindred. It becomes too lonely otherwise.

So I wrote a number of friends and asked them to recommend biographies of artists. They humored my request, and I am pleased to offer the beginnings of a good list. Practically, with each biography I include the name of the person who made the recommendation, their day job, and any extra commentary they might have offered on the book."

Keep reading...

Summer Reading: Some Unconventional Possibilities // From Rev. Ken Carter (Charlotte, NC)

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Ken Carter

"Whether you are sitting beside the ocean, relaxing in a rocking chair in the mountains, or waiting in an airport for the next departure, summer is a great time to read, and the motivation can be learning, pleasure, inspiration or some combination of the three. So, toward that end, a few unconventional possibilities:

Yvon Choinard, Let My People Go Surfing."

Keep reading...

NC Faith Leaders Meet on Immigration // From This Land: News and Ideas on Immigration

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Franco Ordoñez

"State clergy will meet in Charlotte tomorrow to discuss the theological and practical sides of the immigration debate.

Seeking to encourage constructive dialogue, clergy members are expected to discuss the controversial Arizona immigration law and how they relate with local enforcement efforts such as Mecklenburg County’s 287g program."

Keep reading...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Monday at Duke // North Carolina Boys Choir Spring Concert

When: Monday, June 7, 2010 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Where: Duke Chapel

Description: Spring performance by the North Carolina Men & Boys Choir, featuring predominantly sacred music. Under the direction of William Graham.

Tickets: 919-489-0291 or email Scott Mann,
Sponsor: Duke Chapel

Radio Program About Faith Defies the Skeptics // Krista Tippett in the New York Times

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Samuel G. Freedman

ST. PAUL — Not yet 30 and a veteran of two lives already, Krista Tippett retreated in the summer of 1988 to a rented room on an island off Spain. There, perhaps, her next direction would make itself known.

She had grown up in Oklahoma as a fundamentalist Christian, a preacher’s granddaughter who sang solos in church, a homebody who had traveled beyond Texas only once. Then she won admission to Brown and recast herself as an unbeliever, taking up the study of German literature and history, and living in the same dorm as John F. Kennedy Jr.

Keep reading...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Those Melodic Sounds, From Mysterious Places // Alessandra Belloni and "The Church on the Edge"

By Ozier Muhammad

Ms. Belloni describes herself as a percussionist who also likes to sing. Her songs are a mix of chants, prayers and folks songs from her childhood in Italy (she was raised in Rome). She is currently an artist in residence at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. She is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Edgewater, N. J., AKA "The Church on the Edge."

"When I first came to the church and saw the drum set near the altar," she says, "I knew this church was for me."

Keep reading...

A Piano, a Baroness and Thelonius Monk // From Lens: Photography, Video and Visual Journalism

In the 1980s and 1990s, Joel Forrester, a jazz pianist and composer, belonged to the Microscopic Septet. They wrote and played the theme music for the NPR program “Fresh Air With Terry Gross,” which has led some to reckon that it must be the most frequently played jazz recording in history. Mr. Forrester, 63, spoke with Ozier Muhammad for the eighth installment of “Sounds From Uncommon Spaces.” His remarks have been condensed and edited for brevity and clarity. Read them

A Masterpiece in Minutes // Buddhist Monks Create Sand Mandala

It took six days for a group of Buddhist monks to create an extravagant sand mandala at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

But you can watch the entire process in about two minutes thanks to the time-lapse video (and complete article) here.

Ten Pieces of Advice for Writing the Wartime Experience // National Endowment for the Arts

"A signature component of Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience was the creative writing workshops—led by authors such as Marilyn Nelson, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Tobias Wolff—for military personnel and their families. Nearly 60 free workshops were presented at 27 domestic and overseas military installations, including Camp Pendleton (California), USS Carl Vinson (Persian Gulf), and Bagram Airfield (Afghanistan)."

Keep reading...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Exploring Music’s Hold on the Mind // A Conversation with Aniruddh D. Patel

Full article here // Introduction below

By Claudia Dreyfus

Three years ago, when Oxford University Press published “Music, Language, and the Brain,” Oliver Sacks described it as “a major synthesis that will be indispensable to neuroscientists.” The author of that volume, Aniruddh D. Patel, a 44-year-old senior fellow at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, was in New York City in May. We spoke over coffee for more than an hour and later by telephone. An edited and condensed version of the conversations follows.


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