Archive for March 26th, 2012

March 26, 2012

Librarian.net

Warrant canary

super library by Brian Herzog

Librarian.net was founded in 1999 by Jessamyn Charity West (b. 1968), an American librarian and blogger. West characterizes librarian.net as generally ‘anti-censorship, pro-freedom of speech, pro-porn (for lack of a better way to explain that we don’t find the naked body shameful), antiglobalization, anti-outsourcing, anti-Dr. Laura, pro-freak, pro-social responsibility, and just generally pro-information and in favor of the profession getting a better image.’

‘Wired’ described her as ‘on the front lines in battling the USA PATRIOT Act,’ particularly the provisions that allow warrantless searches of library records. The act not only prohibits libraries from notifying the subjects of such searches, it prohibits them from disclosing to the public whether any such searches have been made. In protest, West created a number of notices that libraries can post which she suggests are ‘technically legal.’ One of them, for example, reads: ‘The FBI has not been here. Watch very closely for the removal of this sign.’ The Vermont Library Association provided copies of this sign to every public library in Vermont.

March 26, 2012

John Lurie

lurie by basquiat

John Lurie (b. 1952) is an American actor, musician, painter, director and producer. He is co-founder of The Lounge Lizards, a jazz ensemble. Lurie has acted in 19 films including ‘Stranger than Paradise’ and ‘Down by Law,’ composed and performed music for 20 television and film works, and he produced and starred in ‘Fishing with John,’ a 1991 television series.

In 1996 his soundtrack for ‘Get Shorty’ was nominated for a Grammy Award. For five years he appeared in the HBO television show ‘Oz.’ Suffering from chronic Lyme disease since 2000, Lurie refocused his attention on painting. His primitivist art works have shown in galleries around the world. His painting ‘Bear Surprise’ became an internet meme in Russia in 2006.

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March 26, 2012

Fishing with John

john lurie by Yann Legendre

Fishing with John is a 1991 television series conceived, directed by and starring actor and musician John Lurie, which earned a cult following. On the surface, the series resembles a standard travel or fishing show: in each episode, Lurie takes a famous guest on a fishing expedition.

Since Lurie has no expert knowledge of fishing, the interest is in the interaction between Lurie and his guests, all of whom are his friends. Nothing particularly unusual actually happens, but the show is edited and narrated in a way to suggest that Lurie and his guest are involved in dramatic and even supernatural adventures. Guests included Jim Jarmusch, Matt Dillon, Tom Waits, Willem Dafoe, and Dennis Hopper. Each episode has voice-over narration by Robb Webb, which is sometimes bizarre and off-topic. The soundtrack is by Lurie, with several guest performers.

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March 26, 2012

World Pyro Olympics

wpo

The World Pyro Olympics is an annual competition amongst the most prestigious fireworks companies in the world. The event is one of the largest and most intense international fireworks competitions of the world. The World Pyro Olympics runs through a period of five consecutive days allowing locals and tourists alike to experience the greatest fireworks display in the world.

Two countries fire each day; the last participant fires on the final evening of the event. The host of the event does not participate in the competition but performs a fireworks display on the last night. Awards, such as the People’s Choice, are given out after the exhibition. The crowning of the World Pyro Olympics Champion ends the event.

March 26, 2012

World Fireworks Championship

World Fireworks Championship

The World Fireworks Championship is one of the largest pyrotechnic competitions in the world. It takes place annually over three weeks in December and features separate fireworks displays from six international pyrotechnic production companies. Competitors come from all over the globe, with participating teams providing a 25 minute long ‘pyromusical’ show for the attending crowds.

At the end of each display, a score is awarded by a team of four international judges. By the tournament’s conclusion, the competitor with the highest score is presented with the Winner’s Trophy, which is made from solid gold. The design of the trophy is influenced by the host city taking part. As all of the firework displays are synchronized to music, each display is broadcast over the host city’s local radio stations. The host city does not take part in the displays but provides the setting for the closing ceremony and winner’s banquet.

March 26, 2012

The Onion

the onion

The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is a newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club (which features interviews and reviews of various newly released media, as well as other weekly features). Since 2007, the organization has been publishing satirical news audios and videos online, as the ‘Onion News Network.’

The Onion’s articles comment on current events, both real and fictional. It parodies such traditional newspaper features as editorials, man-on-the-street interviews, and stock quotes on a traditional newspaper layout with an AP-style editorial voice. Much of its humor depends on presenting everyday events as newsworthy and by playing on commonly used phrases, as in the headline ‘Drugs Win Drug War.’

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