Saturday, July 28, 2012
July 18, 2012
The Olympics have changed. They've become a global extravaganza. A sporting event ---a festival of bodies--- has become overlaid with commercialism, heavy-handed security, ostentatious plutocracy and phoney patriotism. The people of London have been sacrificed for the London Olympics that will cost the host city close to $20 billion.
This overlay when coupled with the International Olympic Committee( I.O.C.) history of corruption tarnishes the Olympic brand. The image that surfaces from the media hype is not a city city clogging up and grinding to a halt. It is the armed drones being deployed in the skies above his city and the blue fence around Olympic Park. It is the image of surveillance ---cameras, the blue fence surrounding the stadium, armed soldiers on rooftop buildings, brand protection teams” roaming the city.
The London Olympics is an example of civic enhancement that acclaim themselves as "regenerative" and find their expression most charismatically in architectural "grand projects": domes, stadiums, mega-sculptures and super-cities. It is a grand project as a firm of corporate futurism premised on the privatisation of public space whose stadiums may well become modern ruins in a global city
Friday, July 27, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Bob Marley cooks, Westmoreland, Jamaica, 1974.
Bob Marley in his late-20s cooking Ital food, a vegetarian diet followed by most Rastafarians, designed to promote a healthy mind, body and spirit. Marley was raised as a Catholic, but converted by Rastafari in the 1960s, and began to wear his trademark dreadlocks thereafter.
Messenger - The Bob Marley Exhibition is part of Jamaica 50, a celebration of the 50 years of Jamaican independence at the O2 in London. See respectjamaica50.co.uk for more details.
Picture: Photo by Lee Jaffe; Courtesy of Lee Jaffe.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Once a week, members of Mitt Romney’s political department gather in the campaign’s Boston headquarters and pretend that they are in Barack Obama’s war room. Such play-acting has been crucial to Romney’s tactics since he secured the Republican nomination this spring. Shortly after preparing their own vote goals—the state- and county-level accounting of registration, persuasion, and turnout targets that offer the basic strategic foundation of every campaign—Romney’s team drew up a set imagining what Obama’s internal projections would be. In their weekly meetings, they review Obama’s travels to identify the areas they think their rivals in Chicago are making a priority.
At the same time, a new data-science team within Romney’s strategy department sifts through reports on Obama’s broadcast buys as assembled by the Campaign Media Advertising Group. Romney staff code each of Obama’s ads according to their distinctive characteristics: content, style, the candidate attributes and characteristics they’re trying to drive—even the gender of the narrator and at what point the legally mandated “I approve this message” tag is inserted—along with the perceived demographic audience and the markets in which it appeared.
“We watch where the president goes,” says Dan Centinello, a Romney deputy political director who oversees the weekly meetings. “We’re trying to piece together what we think are his top ranks.”
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Sunday, July 15, 2012
We sat motionless in the grass atop Hermaness Hill, surrounded by frenetic activity more reminiscent of Heathrow airport than Britain’s northernmost headland. As the grey blanket of mist, which had lain heavily all day, gave way to shafts of evening sunlight, we marvelled at the raucous behaviour of the seasonal inhabitants and the cacophony of shrieks reverberating around the 500ft cliffs rising from the depths of the North Sea.
It is clear why the tiny island of Unst, at the tip of Shetland, is dubbed a naturalist’s heaven. The sky – now awash with blue – was filled with a wheel of puffins, while the cliffs were packed with guillemots, razorbills, gannets and more. The 100,000 breeding sea birds picking this northerly spot to nest had turned out in force to welcome us.
Just then, Hollie, my 11 year-old, pointed excitedly. “Look out, Dad, it’s coming in to land – mind your head!” I ducked just in time to avoid an overly confident puffin, touching down close by. Before retiring to its burrow on the cliff edge, it stared at us, its orange beak wonderfully vivid in the late sun.
With light fading, it was time to pack away the binoculars and well-thumbed bird-spotting books. Before long, the cliffs were disappearing into the distance but the sound of birdsong remained. We stopped briefly and savoured being the only humans on this wild, craggy headland on the edge of Britain, unaware of the walker marching in our direction. “It’s paradise.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Folk of genius: The 5 strangest habits of Andy Warhol
Eccentricity and genius go hand in hand, right? Well, so the scientists would have us believe: research suggests that peculiar habits and behaviours are quirky side-effects of the kind of clever thinking that gets the Big Results. And as artistic oomph goes, one of the Twentieth Century Greats has to be Andy Warhol – everybody’s favourite mop-headed Pop Art supremo. So, other than screen-printing his way into every student bedroom in the Western World, what did our Andy get up to?
The trash man
Before you throw out this week’s trash, think again: Warhol was undisputed King of the Pack-Rats. Things he collected? Airplane menus, unpaid invoices, pizza dough, pornographic pulp novels, newspapers, stamps, supermarket flyers, cookie jars… He filled not only his four-storey townhouse, but also a nearby storage unit with what his friends referred to as ‘Andy’s Stuff’ – and the true extent of it wasn’t discovered until after his death. The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh now has 641 boxes of Stuff, aka Warhol’s Time Capsules, aka a very valuable archive. Motto: never declutter!
Korbut made an immediate impact with a brilliant routine on the asymmetrical bars in the team competition. But then a series of mistakes, which at one point reduced her to tears, meant she finished only seventh in the overall individual standings. The next day she recovered her composure and assured herself a place in Olympic history with her displays on the individual apparatus. "I didn’t feel nervous after the mistakes because I didn’t feel I was competing for medals," she said. "If I was disappointed it was only because I thought I had disappointed the people."
Some great moments from this series of articles in the Telegraph. This was such a big deal at the height of the cold war. How could a commie midget win peoples hearts?
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Saturday, July 07, 2012
South Australians are the most positive people in the nation, according to a new report.
About 1200 Australians were surveyed for the latest Allianz Future Optimism Index to measure public sentiment in May about future prospects and happiness. SA not only recorded the highest score - 57 out of a possible 100 - but also made the biggest attitude shift.
Is this because of Rann/Foley or because they left?
Friday, July 06, 2012
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Monday, July 02, 2012
Thousands of children in the southern state will receive publicly-funded vouchers for the next school year to attend private schools where Scotland's most famous mythological beast will be taught as a real living creature.
These private schools follow a fundamentalist curriculum including the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme to teach controversial religious beliefs aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism.
One tenet has it that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man then Darwinism is fatally flawed.