Sunday, 20 May 2012

10 stories and links I found educative, interesting or just weird (late for Saturday 19th)

11 “Modern Antiques” Today’s Kids Have Probably Never Seen via Stephen's Lighthouse
From Mental Floss:

Read the full text here:
Have you ever used one of these? Do you even know what it is? Quick answer BEFORE you look at the text (and the other 10 pictures).

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
If you talk to God, you’re praying; if God talks to you, you’re nuts. Jerusalem attracts a lot of nuts. Pesach Lichtenberg meets most of them... more

Colour photographs of Piccadilly Circus, 1950s via Retronaut by Chris
Decisions, decisions, decisions!
Which of these delightful images shall I use to illustrate the whole?

Ah, that’s it. The one with a policeman looking like a real policeman with a helmet on!
See the rest here
Source: Doveson2008

Gershwin Writ Small via 3quarksdaily by Robin Varghese
Joseph Horowitz on the controversial production of Porgy and Bess now on Broadway, in the TLS:
Porgy and Bess – with music by George Gershwin, a book by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by Heyward and Ira Gershwin – split opinion when it opened on Broadway in 1935. No American could respond without prejudice to a black opera by a Brooklyn Jew with roots in Tin Pan Alley. Only immigrants and foreigners found it possible to acclaim Gershwin without patronizing him. A Broadway revival in 1942, recasting the opera as a musical, was more successful. In the 1950s and 60s, Porgy and Bess was little performed in the United States; its depiction of an impoverished African American courtyard community was considered demeaning. From 1976, a widely seen Houston Grand Opera production revalidated Porgy and Bess and proved its operatic mettle. A production at the Metropolitan Opera in 1985 was a ponderous failure. The new Porgy and Bess is nothing if not boldly conceived. In 1942, five years after Gershwin's death, his recitatives were replaced by dialogue, and cast and orchestra were greatly reduced in strength. Paulus and company have done that and more. We have new speeches, new harmonies, new accompaniments, even virtually new numbers. "Summertime" is a duet. "It take a long pull to get there" is a male vocal quartet distending Gershwin's pithy fisherman's tune. Both pit and stage are substantially amplified.
More here.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Extracanonical oddity: Invasion of the Space Invaders, the much-discussed but rarely seen madwoman of a book in Martin Amis’s attic...more

Archers Oath via How-To Geek by Asian Angel
This game puts your archery skills to the test as you race against time to save innocent captives from the hangman’s noose. Are you good enough to show Robin Hood a thing or two about using a bow or will you be shot down in shame?
Asian Angel’s walk-through is here or you can, if you’re feeling brave, go straight to the game here.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
What’s the meaning of monsters? They’ve long been a moral compass: testing our ethics, shaping our politics, spurring medical science, and piquing our curiosity... more

Bette Davis Eyes via Britannica Blog by Michael Ray American actress Bette Davis would have turned 104 today [5 April]. The star of more than 100 films and television shows, Davis brought to her roles an intensity that sometimes conflicted with the wishes of studio executives.

 Bette Davis, 1942. Credit: Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Initially dismissed for lacking the "sex appeal" of other starlets of her generation, Davis signed with Warner Brothers after a breakout role in The Man Who Played God (1932). Although she remained under contract, she was choosy about her roles at a time when actors’ wishes were subordinate to those of their studios. Despite receiving critical acclaim for her performance in Of Human Bondage (1934) and an Academy Award for Dangerous (1935), Davis continued to receive roles and paychecks that she believed were not commensurate with her skills. She unsuccessfully sued Warner Brothers over her contract, but, perhaps fearing the precedent that the suit might set among her fellow actors, the studio turned an abrupt about-face and began catering to Davis's desires. She scored a second Oscar for Jezebel (1938) and continued to produce a solid body of work throughout the 1940s. By the end of that decade, it was widely believed that her star had faded. Her Oscar-nominated turn as Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950) silenced her detractors, but it was her appearance opposite Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) that is perhaps the best known role of her later career. Davis’s performance as a bitter former child star was chilling [indeed it was], and the psychological thriller earned Davis her final (of a total of 11) Academy Award nomination.
Other photographs in the Britannica item:
  • Bette Davis and Franchot Tone in Dangerous (1935). Credit: Courtesy of Warner Brothers, Inc.
  • Bette Davis in Jezebel (1938). Credit: Courtesy of Warner Brothers, Inc.
  • (From left) Anne Baxter, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, and George Sanders in All About Eve (1950). Credit: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation/The Museum of Modern Art Film Stills Archive
  • Bette Davis as Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen (1955). Credit: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation; photograph from a private collection
And links to other items from Britannica 

Friday Fun: Working Stiffs via How-To Geek by Asian Angel
In this game a zombie plague has infected your office building and you need to lead a band of survivors to safety while gathering important items along the way. Are you a survivor or will you be the next course on the zombies’ menu?
Use Asian Angel’s walk-through here or dive straight in an hope you’re a survivor!

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