> Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet[…]
“They want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests,” said Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who along with two other researchers has tracked Russian propaganda since 2014. “This was their standard mode during the Cold War. The problem is that this was hard to do before social media.” (Source)
The commonly accepted image of baby opposums riding on their mother’s back, with their tails hanging from hers which is pointed towards her head, actually has little scientific basis. It seems to be an early example of a meme – a contagious, self-contained idea. This meme was both started and debunked long ago and yet persists in popular perception to this day.
In the original image, made in a 1719 by renowned scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian, the animals’ tails are behind them. The images later evolved to show the babies hanging on to the tail like a railing. Since the 20th century, scientists have established that, while baby opossums do often ride on their mothers’ backs, the entwining of their tails is not characteristic behavior. However, the meme with its memorable image remains so persistent that one biologist recorded his surprise at finding out that they contain little truth. [Source: Grzimek’s Tierleben, print encyclopedia on animals in my personal library].
Call it the fake news of the colonial era. Today, it is commonly known that the fruit of the cocoa tree is unusual: it does not grow on the branches, but hangs directly from the trunk on a short stem. But in the time after Europeans learned of such tropical plants, but before photography and before they were successfully grown in Europe, botanical illustrators tried to depict them only on the basis of pieces brought back from the New World by scientists. Any gaps in knowledge were filled in by the artists imagination.
Thus, in one grand volume of botanical illustrations, the cocoa pod itself is accurately rendered, but is depicted growing upwards from a branch in defiance of gravity.
This interesting example of inaccuracy through artistic invention was shown to me by Matze, the gardener of Berlin’s Prinzessinnengärten, who has this print in his private collection precisely because he he is intrigued by the careful visual construction of a falsehood.
> Monique Atherton will convert the project room into a live peep show booth, inviting viewers to communicate with her through the window of a soundproof booth by picking up a telephone and paying a small fee. The conversation will begin once the money is placed into the slot at the rate of $1 per minute and end abruptly when time runs out. The conversation can last as long as a viewer is willing and able to pay.
The performance positions the visual arts within the context of a working class service industry. (Source)
The city of Berlin planned to build on the open space at Tempelhofer Feld, until recently an airport, and part of the development plans was a new building to unite the central library, currently split between two sites. For the sake of preserving the green space as a park, the unprecedented size of which makes it one of a kind in the city, a majority voted for a proposition to ban new development, which also meant nixing the library building…
> What do native speakers contribute to a discourse about their own language? They are the only people who can provide an insider’s perspective that is very different from those who have grown up with dominant English or other languages[…] Non-native speakers of Pidgin can provide a supplementary discourse about Pidgin that helps to keep things honest. That is, the inner discourse needs to bounce off of something. Insiders asking questions about outsiders research and vice versa, helps us to see that we often have blinders on[…]There is always a need for several different discourses.
“Telling people they’re racist, sexist, and xenophobic is going to get you exactly nowhere,” said Alana Conner, executive director of Stanford University’s Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions Center. “It’s such a threatening message. One of the things we know from social psychology is when people feel threatened, they can’t change, they can’t listen.”
Arlie Hochschild, a sociologist and author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, provided an apt analogy for white rural Americans’ feeling of neglect: As they see it, they are all in this line toward a hill with prosperity at the top. But over the past few years, globalization and income stagnation have caused the line to stop moving. And from their perspective, people — black and brown Americans, women — are now cutting in the line, because they’re getting new (and more equal) opportunities through new anti-discrimination laws and policies like affirmative action. (Source)
> Rowohlts Rotationsromane, abgekürzt rororo, hieß das Logo, das aus der Nachkriegs- und Wirtschaftswunderzeit der BRD nicht wegzudenken ist, weil es nicht bloß den Umgang mit Büchern, sondern auch die Mentalität der Leser nachhaltig veränderte. Source: Süddeutsche Zeitung
Deller’s project puts works from a museum collection in a new context.
Deller has cast Iggy in a startlingly different light, with his latest exhibition, “Iggy Pop Life Class,” which opens at the Brooklyn Museum this week. For the show, Iggy sat as a life model for a four-hour life drawing class this past February in front of 22 students culled from New York’s art schools. The resulting 53 drawings are paired with selected art objects from the Brooklyn Museum’s historical collection that focus on the male body: sculptures from ancient Egypt, Africa and India, as well as pieces by Egon Schiele and Robert Mapplethorpe. Source
Iggy Pop told the New York Times that David Bowie actually wrote the main riff in “Lust for Life,” or rather, lifted it from a beeping technical signal they heard on Armed Forces Radio in Bowie’s Berlin apartment.
Mr. Pop and Mr. Bowie, seated on the floor — they had decided chairs were not natural — were waiting for the Armed Forces Network telecast of “Starsky & Hutch.” The network started shows with a call signal that, Mr. Pop said, went “beep beep beep, beep beep beep beep, beep beep beep,” the rhythm, which is also like a Motown beat, that was the foundation for “Lust for Life.” Mr. Pop recalled, “He wrote the [chord] progression on ukulele, and he said, ‘Call it “Lust for Life,” write something up.’” (Source)
I’ve had similar experiences where I notice something interesting but am too hesitant or lazy to follow up on it creatively, but an older mentor tells me, “If you find it that interesting, make something out of it!”
Thanks to other Wikity users for posting this NYT article, which I loved when it was first published.
> Are you ready to become a tweetbrarian? Twitter is a fantastic tool for engaging with other librarians, monitoring LIS trends and debates in real time, and gathering unfiltered insights and inspiration from peers and seasoned professionals. The challenge for new tweeters is to know where to start among the 5,000 librarylanders on Twitter! So to manage your time and start building your online professional learning network, I recommend using hashtags to tune into curated Twitter chats relevant to the library and information science professions. Source
In the spirit of the bookmobile, in Indonesia, a library sailboat has been launched to serve the country’s many small islands.
So in 2015, local news journalist Muhammad Ridwan Alimuddin decided to combine his twin passions for books and boats by setting up a mobile library on a baqgo, a small traditional sailboat. His aim? To bring fun, colourful children’s books to remote fishermen’s villages and tiny islands in the region where literacy is low and reading for pleasure virtually non-existent.
November 1 was a big day for books. LOC.gov went live and Emma Watson hid 100 copies of Maya Angelous “Mom & Me & Mom” throughout the London Underground. Her aim was to attract new readers to her online feminist book club on Goodreads.
“Materiality in the written word — libraries and research in dialogue” is the theme of the current series of talks at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library). The lively discussion has been running since 2014. Lectures announced for this year range from the typography of librettos and the materiality of comics to the industrialization of bookbinding.
> This book provides a plainspoken and thorough introduction to the web for historians—teachers and students, archivists and museum curators, professors as well as amateur enthusiasts—who wish to produce online historical work, or to build upon and improve the projects they have already started in this important new medium. On this website, we present a free online version of the text.