News 07.03.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 07.03.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 07.03.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 07.03.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Pack your bags everyone: It’s time to move to Zurich. According to the 2019 Monocle Global Liveable Cities Index, published in the magazine’s July/August issue, the Swiss city is the most livable of any in the world, the 409,000-resident almost-metropolis beating off competition to rise to the top of a 25-city list. Last year, it was number four.

If you’re familiar with such rankings, the municipalities selected for this ranking will not shock you: Just under 50 percent are European cities north of the Alps. One, Vancouver, is in North America; none are in South America or Africa. All are no doubt largely prosperous, high-functioning places, but an overall feeling emerges from this cluster of familiar entries. These rankings provide less a universal assessment of livability—a word that comes with its own baggage—and more a snapshot of their compilers’ tastes and worldview.

Read the rest of this article at: Citylab

News 07.03.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

How Posters Became Art

News 07.03.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Around Christmas in 1894, the actress Sarah Bernhardt called Maurice de Brunhoff, the manager of Lemercier, a publishing company in Paris that produced her promotional posters. Bernhardt was one of the most famous entertainers in Europe, in part because of her talent for self-promotion. She needed a poster for her play “Gismonda,” which was reopening in a few days. Most of the Lemercier illustrators were on vacation, so the task fell to Alphonse Mucha, a Czech émigré. Mucha designed a long and narrow poster, filled with soft pastels and gold accents, avoiding the bold colors that were typical of the era. Bernhardt, dressed in the style of Byzantine nobility, was flanked by white spaces, as though she had stepped out of the ether. Her surname arced above her head, like a halo.

The poster made Bernhardt iconic. Parisians were used to seeing posters in the streets and in shops, advertising theatre and cabaret, circuses and books, cookies and soaps. But Mucha’s “Gismonda” poster startled passersby, and made them covetous. Some people bribed the bill stickers responsible for putting the posters up. Others simply cut them down from the walls themselves.

After Bernhardt ordered four thousand more posters, Mucha was famous. His rise was part of a poster craze that swept through Europe and the United States in the eighteen-nineties. Magazines, galleries, and clubs quickly emerged to respond to this appetite. At parties, women dressed up as their favorite posters and others guessed which ones they were. Posters even influenced the colors used in turn-of-the-century clothing.

“Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau / Nouvelle Femme” is one of the inaugural exhibitions at the Poster House, a museum of poster design and history, which opened in Manhattan in late June. It is the first such museum in the United States, though poster museums in Europe date back several decades.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

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Destroyer of Worlds

On 27 April, before he burst into a San Diego synagogue and opened fire, killing one worshipper and injuring three more, the gunman said goodbye to the community that radicalised him. “It’s been real dudes,” he posted on the far-right politics board, /pol/, on the image-posting site 8chan. “I’ve only been lurking for a year and a half, yet what I’ve learned here is priceless.”

The story was familiar. Six weeks earlier, a 28-year-old had killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Before starting his attack, he, too, had posted on 8chan’s /pol/ board. “It’s been a long ride,” he had written. He signed off his post: “Meme magic is real.” The first response from an anonymous 8chan user urged him to “get the high score”.

From its effect on the world, 8chan could be ranked as one of the internet’s most dangerous sites. Some have even compared it to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda or ISIS. The pattern is similar: men – and it is always men – find their way there, and get radicalised into an extreme ideology which drives some of them to violence.

Read the rest of this article at: Tortoise

News 07.03.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The First Responders

News 07.03.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The riots that had begun in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Hill District on April 5, 1968, now seemed to rage beyond control. The world was all flames and broken glass, black soot and charred wood, food looted from stores, then dropped in egress. The day before, Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, and the calm that normally characterized the Hill, as the neighborhood was called, had given way to chaos.

John Moon darted down Centre Avenue—terrified, exhilarated—as smoke poured into the air. Gangly and clean-shaven, his hair cut close to the scalp, Moon was a senior at Fifth Avenue High School. When word of the trouble reached them, Moon and his black classmates had walked out en masse. Now he ran the half-mile from school to the intersection of Centre and Crawford Street, the heart of the riots. Dusty shards of red brick from the destroyed facades of storefronts skittered across the asphalt and crunched under his shoes.

Moon was a transplant—he’d only recently come to Pittsburgh from down south—and the riots caught him flat-footed. One minute he was cruising toward graduation, working nights and weekends at Shep’s hardware store and playing football in a small field near the Monongahela River. The next, a Molotov cocktail was sailing over his left shoulder and shattering a plate-glass window. He was in the belly of the civil rights movement.

Moon was reticent by nature, a detached observer who mostly kept to himself. He was tall, with rigid posture. He spoke rarely and in a soft voice that was half an octave higher than you’d expect. His friends thought he was aloof, but he’d watched the national news footage of lunch-counter sit-ins, of police dogs and fire hoses, of freedom riders and black students walking into white schools for the first time, and he was just as angry and frustrated and hurt as his peers were. He may not have expected the riots on the Hill, but he understood why they happened. “It all built up and spun around in our heads,” Moon said. “Then there was an explosion.”

Born in 1949 at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital, Moon lived the first eight years of his life just south of Georgia’s capital city with his parents, Clinton and Elzora, and his younger sister, June. In 1956, his mother died of complications from alcoholism. His father quickly realized that he couldn’t raise two young children alone and brought Moon and June to the Carrie Steele-Pitts Home, an orphanage in Northwest Atlanta. Clinton worked as a handyman, and when time allowed he visited the kids on weekends. But he soon grew ill—Moon never learned the specifics—and died.

The children were well-fed and suitably clothed, sent to school and allowed time to play, but the orphanage staff never displayed the affection of a genuine family. There was no physical contact, no love, only the occasional toy or gift a child could call their own. “Everything belonged to the group, so when you got something, you didn’t let anyone touch it,” Moon said. One year, a relative sent him two dollars for his birthday. Rather than spend it, Moon tucked the money into an envelope that he kept nearby at all times. He slept with it under his pillow, hid it in his shoe when he showered, and carried it in his pocket when he went to school. “I said to myself, If you spend this, you’ll never have it again. So I just kept it,” he said.

Read the rest of this article at: the Atavist Magazine

Love in the Time of Britney

News 07.03.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

KENTWOOD, LOUISIANA, is located about an hour and a half north of New Orleans in Tangipahoa Parish, in what would be the instep of the ankle-boot-shaped state. It’s home to a successful brick-manufacturing plant and a popular brand of bottled water, Kentwood Springs. It’s also sometimes called the dairy capital of the South, though the once-annual November Dairy Festival—which is memorialized at the Kentwood Historical and Cultural Museum with a display of T-shirts and posters—petered out in the early 2000s as the industry contracted from a large regional force down to a few smaller family farms.

Kentwood is a small town, just 7 square miles and a little bit under 2,200 residents as of the most recent census. It’s best known, of course, for being the hometown of Britney Spears. Most official biographies of Britney state that she was raised in Kentwood but born in McComb, Mississippi, about 20 miles away—which is technically true but misleading, as Fay Gehringer, the curator of the Kentwood Historical and Cultural Museum, explains to me during a recent visit. In 1981, when Britney was born, nobody was giving birth in Kentwood; the town didn’t have a hospital.

At the Kentwood Museum, a 2,000-or-so-square-foot converted funeral home a mile from the interstate exit, part of the exhibition space is devoted to artifacts that represent the town’s legacy: quilts and family bibles, antique furniture and tributes to military veterans, memorabilia of dairy festivals past and laminated clippings of the “Local Lore and Legend” column from the Kentwood News Ledger. In 1993, when Gehringer and a group of other interested residents started collecting items for the museum as part of the town’s centennial celebration, these were the sorts of items that made up most of the collection.

But as Britney’s star rose, so did her share of the museum’s real estate, and now easily half of the building is devoted to her. There’s a glassed-off replica of her childhood bedroom; a doll-sized replica of the stage from her 2001 Dream Within a Dream tour, complete with tiny working lights and sound, crafted and sent in by a fan; and, in a hot-pink-painted corner, the actual angel wings Britney wore during the Femme Fatale tour of 2011. The wings are taller than an average-sized woman, and look cumbersome and heavy, made from layer upon layer of cream-colored feathers edged with costume gemstones and mounted on the wall at an appropriate height for selfies. Gehringer, a retired Kentwood florist now in her late 70s, greets visitors at the museum on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when it’s open to the public. At the urging of Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, she asks for a $3 donation from fans who want to take their picture in front of the wings, but she doesn’t police them: the museum is meant to be fan-friendly, she says.

Read the rest of this article at: Topic Magazine

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