Monthly Archives: October 2008

The Tim and Tom tour continues

October 3, 2008
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The Tim and Tom tour continues

Almost forty years have passed since Tim Reid and Tom Dreesen hit the road as the first integrated comedy team in show business. But now they’re back together, traveling across America in support of their new book, Tim and Tom: An American Comedy in Black and White. Last week they toured the East Coast making appearances everywhere from the Late Show with David Letterman to the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Long Island to talk about their experiences countering the racial unrest of the sixties and seventies—with laughter. Here’s some online media from the most recent leg of their tour including their spot on Letterman (below), an interview on Boston’s Fox TV, and an article about the duo posted at CNN.com, containing a fascinating slideshow of some of their early stand-up acts with a running commentary by the authors. Also, read an excerpt from the book. . . .

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The liquidity crisis in poetry

October 2, 2008
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The liquidity crisis in poetry

Speaking last week at an event celebrating the anthology Best American Poetry 2008, UCP poet Charles Bernstein proclaimed his staunch support for a poetry bailout aimed at restoring readers’ confidence. “As you know,” Bernstein argued, “the glut of illiquid, insolvent, and troubled poems is clogging the literary arteries of the West. These debt-ridden poems threaten to infect other areas of the literary sector and ultimately to topple our culture industry.” Gawker was inspired by this impassioned address to ponder “whether this liquidity crunch has begotten too many issuances of new metaphors.” And we’ve got more where that came from: Bernstein’s polemic against National Poetry Month is just as inspiring. . . .

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Oceana’s annual Freakiest Fish contest

October 2, 2008
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Oceana’s annual Freakiest Fish contest

Here’s a fun one: just in time for Halloween, the ocean conservation group Oceana is launching its third annual Freakiest Fish contest. To participate just navigate to their website and vote for the picture of the fish you think is the freakiest. If the one you vote for wins, Oceana will automatically enter you into a drawing to receive free tickets to the IMAX film Deep Sea 3D! Plus one very lucky voter gets a copy of Claire Nouvian’s The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss, which includes images of all thirteen of the freaky fish featured in the contest, and hundreds more. Navigate to the Oceana website for more info on the contest, or to see more pictures of freaky fish check out this special website we created for The Deep. . . .

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Big Sugar and the Future of the Florida Everglades

October 1, 2008
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Big Sugar and the Future of the Florida Everglades

A few weeks ago, a piece in the New York Times Sunday Business section about Florida sugar and the environmental future of the Everglades caught our eye. We asked our resident sugar expert Gail Hollander, author of Raising Cane in the ‘Glades: The Global Sugar Trade and the Transformation of Florida to respond: Mary Williams Walsh notes with irony that one of key beneficiaries of the proposed buyout (in June, Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced a $1.7 billion buyout of the United States Sugar Corporation.) may very well prove to be the Fanjul family’s company, Florida Crystals. What the state buyout may accomplish, wittingly or not, is the economic rationalization of the regional sugar industry. The state of Florida finds it necessary to trade landholdings with the Fanjuls in order to create a contiguous parcel for the purpose of constructing a flow-way. The Fanjuls thus find themselves in the enviable position of exchanging their “colder” lands (plantations farther from Lake Okeechobee’s moderating influence) for US Sugar’s prized parcels located on the deeper soils adjacent to the lake. The oldest company in the region, United States Sugar Corporation (USSC) and its predecessor, Southern Sugar, had first dibs on the best land . . .

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John Dent-Young wins Premio Valle Inclán

October 1, 2008
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John Dent-Young wins Premio Valle Inclán

At a ceremony this Monday at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, John Dent-Young was awarded the Premio Valle Inclán by TLS editor Sir Peter Stothard for his recent English language translation of the works of Spanish poet Luis de Góngorra in Selected Poems of Luis de Góngora: A Bilingual Edition. In an article published yesterday acknowledging the award, the TLS‘s Adrian Tahourdin writes: Góngora (1561–1627) is “considered by many to be Spain’s greatest poet,” according to Dent-Young, whose aim in this volume was “to rescue Góngora from his role as textbook example of the Baroque and give him a human voice,” while suggesting that Velázquez’s severe portrait of the poet (reproduced here) belies his true nature: “That bridge of yours, Manzanares, it’s a laugh; / listen to what the people round here say: / it’s a bridge that ought to span a mighty sea, / and you’re not river enough to merit half” (from “The Bridge of Segovia”). Reviewing Dent-Young’s work in the TLS of October 19, 2007, Chris Andrews wrote, “Góngora’s verse affords a range of pleasures … but bringing those together requires patience, good will and philological help. John Dent-Young has provided the smoothest possible access to the poems.… . . .

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Press Release: LaFollette, Science on the Air

October 1, 2008
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Press Release: LaFollette, Science on the Air

Join expeditions on the frontiers of research! Listen as eminent men of science tell of their achievements! Just as Watson Davis beckoned listeners to gather around their radios for his broadcast of Adventures in Science, so too does Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette invite readers to travel back in time to the heyday of science programming in Science on the Air. Before the dawn of television, programs like Our Friend the Atom, The World Is Yours, and Cavalcade of America flourished. But with broadcasting success came the directive to entertain, not just educate. Science on the Air chronicles the efforts of science popularizers as they negotiated topic, content, and tone in order to gain precious time on the air. Offering a new perspective on the collision between science’s idealistic and elitist view of public communication and the unbending economics of broadcasting, LaFollette rewrites the history of the public reception of science in the twentieth century and the role that scientists and their institutions have played in both encouraging and inhibiting popularization. By looking at the broadcasting of the past, Science on the Air raises issues of concern to all those who seek to cultivate a scientifically literate society today. Read the press . . .

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