Wednesday, June 24, 2009

old bone flute

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | 'Oldest musical instrument' found: "A flute carved more than 35,000 years ago has been unearthed in Germany and scientists believe it is the world's oldest musical instrument.

The vulture-bone flute was found in the Hohle Fels cave in southern Germany."

Donkey drawn library

BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Donkeys boost Ethiopian literacy: "If we are interested in changing the world then we have to read"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Speyer line

Speyer line - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "in German linguistics, the Speyer line, Main line (Main river), or Germersheim line is an isogloss separating the dialects to the north, which have a geminated stop in words like Appel 'apple', from the dialects to the south, which have an affricate: Apfel. The line runs from east to west and passes through the town of Speyer. In Germany, the line is most well known by its humorous designation Weißwurstäquator."

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The New Yorker and Writers’ Workshop

Show or Tell: A Critic at Large: The New Yorker: "at a convention in Boston on the fifteenth anniversary of the A.W.P. Cassill stunned the membership by suggesting that the organization should be disbanded.
He thought that writers had become complicit in the academic logrolling and gamesmanship of publish-or-perish: using other people’s money—grants from their universities and from arts agencies—they devised ways to get their own and one another’s work into print, and then converted those publications into salary increments (which is apparently how Cassill thought that most professors operate). They wrote poems to get raises. The academic system was corrupting, and it was time for the writers to get out.
“We are now at the point where writing programs are poisoning, and in turn we are being poisoned by, departments and institutions on which we have fastened them,” he said.

The speech got attention, but the A.W.P. did not disband. It eventually renamed itself the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and it now has more than twenty-five thousand members. Around the time that Cassill delivered his renunciation, there were seventy-nine degree programs in creative writing in the United States. Today, there are eight hundred and twenty-two. Thirty-seven of these award the Ph.D."