The Folklore & Education Section now has it's Folklore & Education Newsletter

The Folklore & Education Section now has it’s Folklore & Education Newsletter

The Folklore and Education section produces an annual newsletter, awards the Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize and the Robinson-Roeder-Ward Fellowship, works with partners in the field, and organizes sessions and events at the AFS annual meeting.   The Latest Edition of the Folklore and Education Section Newsletter is available online: Spring 2014 (pdf). (See below for the archive of newsletters dating from 2001.)
The Latest Edition of the Folklore and Education Section Newsletter is available online: Spring 2014 (pdf).
Gregory Hansen Editor
Rosemary Hathaway, the newsletter’s co-editor

The Calypsonians of Panama

The Calypsonians of Panama

The Hot Cool of Panamanian Calypso
Leslie George
Ethnomusicology professor Leslie George founded Grupo Amistad in 1990 with four members, which later ballooned to eight, featuring a guitar, bass, conga drum, ukulele and saxophones.

Los Beachers de Panama


GLAM and the Free World

GLAM and the Free World

Cory Doctorow, UK

Museums and the Web remarks

There’s a little apocryphal story about that may perhaps speak to you as museum-folk, and it goes like this:
* The state of Roman metallurgical science determined the maximum length of a chariot’s axle and hence its wheel-base
* The Roman-chariot’s wheel-base determined the width of the Roman roads
* The width of the Roman roads determined the width of modern carts
* The width of modern carts determined the width of modern roads
* The width of modern roads determined the width of wheel-bases for cars and lorries
* The width of lorries determined the width of containers and the parameters rail-cars and container-ships
* And since the Space Shuttle’s reusable fuel-tanks had to be transported on these roads and railroads, they, too, were ultimately determined by the state of Roman metalurgy, thousands of years ago
This is, of course, a gross oversimplification, but it is intended as parable and not as history
The reason to recount this parable here, now, at this early, liminal moment in the future history of the information age is that
* We are presently building the electronic nervous system of the modern world, and
* We dwellers on the electronic frontier have it on our power to establish the norms, laws and practices that will echo through the ages to come
They call this the information age
And it is
It may feel as thought we have been buffeted by change for these past twenty years
But it is just getting started
We live in a world that is increasingly made of computers
Computers we put inside our bodies
Computers we put our bodies into
And here is only one computer
Turing complete: A computer that can execute all the instructions we can express in symbolic logic
So any policies that we create for computers redounds through the entirety of experience
So let’s talk about archiving, cultural dissemination, cultural preservation, and the information age
The information age has been attended by two parallel and contradictory shifts in the way we think about value
* First, it has been attended by the rise of neoliberal globalisation, and this project says that everything must be viewed through a market lens
* Every one of our public institutions is being subjected to this lens, with great distorting effects
* Our schools, for example, have largely been recreated as factories whose products are educated children, whose employees are teachers, whose management is the school administration, whose board of directors are the government and whose shareholders are the taxpayers
* And like any business, schools must produce quarterly reports that hold the management accountable to its shareholders
* It must quantify its production efforts and show that they are producing good value for money
* There are really only two things you can chart in the context of education: standardized test-scores and attendance
* And so these two factors have been reified in public education beyond all others
* Schools have been refactored to relentlessly focus on these two numbers at the expense of every other activity
* So if a student walks into her grade two classroom and picks up a book and starts reading it to herself, has her brain catch fire with the sheer, vertiginous joy of reading, the job of a modern teacher is to stop that activity when the bell rings and to move that student on to the next stage, lest her learning proceed unevenly and her standardized test-scores suffer as a result
* When I was seven years old, I plucked a copy of Alice in Wonderland from the class shelf and lay down on the carpet and read and read and read
* And my teacher saw what was happening and let it unfold — she recognized that the everyday extraordinariness of true learning was taking place and she let her student kindle the spark of interest into a blaze of passion, a llfelong love-affair with books
* But the school-as-factory model has no room for this
* The indiscriminate application of market-logic makes a nonsense out of activities that are, fundamentally, non-market, and these non-market activities necessarily include archiving, scholarship, cultural preservation and communication
* To describe the “business” of museums in market logic is to apply a metaphor that is both highly suspect and highly susceptible to intellectually dishonest manipulation
* Think for a moment of digitization projects undertaken with through public/private partnerships, like the digitization of the US Department of Defense archives by T3 Media or the British Film Institute’s digitization with Siemens
* In these projects, a commercial operator is brought in to digitize these public collections and then put them behind a paywall in order to recoup their costs
* The market-logic goes like this: a company like Siemens is making a sizable investment in the archiving of these public assets, so they have the right to recoup their investment — they’re assuming the risk, so they get the reward
* But this is a highly selective way of expressing the way capitalism works. Let’s take another look at it:
* In Silicon Valley and throughout the high-tech world, we have a grand tradition of startups who court investors with high-risk/high-reward propositions from search engines to Bitcoin
* It’s virtually unheard-of for a startup to be profitable from the get-go; a startup may run for years before it gets its first dollar in income, and years more before that income exceeds its outgo and becomes a profit — Amazon is *still* unprofitable, decades after its founding
* So entrepreneurs will seek out “angel investors” — individuals who put very early money into the business in return for a generous ownership stake in the business
* Almost every angel investment will come to nothing, money flushed down the drain, but there is no shortage of angel investors, because the reward for a successful bet is incredible: being the first investor in a business means that the business pays you a much larger dividend than it pays any of the later-stage investors — you’ve assumed the risk, you get the reward
* Back to public archives: for decades, for centuries, the public have played the role of angel investor for these collections, paying and paying, year after year, to keep them afloat while they seek the path to profitability
* Now these archives have arrived at their moment: the world of digitization has unlocked untold value in their collections
* Through digitization, the whole world can now use these archives simultaneously, scholars everywhere can text-mine them, they can be used to start new businesses and create new curriculum
* This is the thing that every entrepreneur dreams of: the moment when their weird and unlikely idea is validated by the marketplace, when it arrives at its cultural moment: when the idea of a bare-bones search-engine like Google suddenly rockets to ascendancy and leaves the bloated incumbents like Yahoo and Altavista in the dust
* At that moment, it is customary for the angels and the entrepreneurs to seek out some deeper pockets — venture capitalists — and sell them a very small slice of equity in exchange for a *lot* of money, to build out all the infrastructure you need to handle all the demand
* Importantly, though, the angels are not crowded out here. If the big investors tried, the management and the VCs would end up in court, faced with a minority shareholder suit that they would lose
* This is exactly the opposite of what happens with Siemens and the BFI or the T3 Media and the DoD
* We, the public, are the angels
* We built up all that value in our public assets
* The return on our investment comes from access to those assets — the right to see and use them
* And the johnny-come-lately digitization firms are the venture-capitalists, latecomers to the party who only put their money in once *our* money had paid to bring the enterprise to profit.
* The risk they assume — the cost of digitization — is infinitesimal compared to our own
* And yet, they demand terms that result in the confiscation of our equity for accomplishing the relatively minor, low-risk task of taking pictures of *our stuff*
* And management — the governments of the neoliberal era — give it to them
* Even in the dubious enterprise of applying market-logic to public enterprises, this is a titanic ripoff that no actual business would get away with in the real world
* But of course, this is a nonsense from start to finish
* The public don’t invest in cultural preservation because we perceive a profitable upside down the road
* We invest in cultural preservation, archiving, and access because these are *public goods* — they are not primarily market activities
* Using ROI to calculate the value of the museums sector is like adding up all the money you spend on raising your children and then handing them a bill for their upbringing when they graduate from high-school — it’s the work of a sociopath
* Our cultural institutions exist to tell us who we are, where we have been and where we are and where we’re going
* The information age is, in many ways, the beginning of history
* It’s a moment at which every person is swiftly becoming an archivist of her own life, a curator of billions of blips of ephemeral communications and ruminations and interactions
* As any archaeologist who’s ever rejoiced at finding a midden that reveals how normal people lived their lives in antiquity can tell you, this ephemera, so rare and badly preserved through most of our history, is of incalculable value
* Which would you rather see: an oil painting of a Victorian monarch, a ramrod stiff photo of your great-grandmother in her confirmation smock, or a hundred transcripts of the conversations she shared with her peers and her family?
* The tools by which we accomplish this archival business are, of course, computers
* Carried in our bags and pockets, worn in and on our bodies
* There is one group of people in the world who understand how archiving works, who understand the importance of the ephemeral en masse, who can steer us to personal and cultural practices of preservation, archiving, dissemination, and access — it’s you, the museum sector
* Just as librarians — who have toiled for centuries at the coalface of information and authority, systematizing the process of figuring out which sources to trust and why — are more needed than ever now, when we are all of us required to sort the credible from the non-credible every time we type a keyword into a search box
* So too are curators and archivists more needed than ever, now that we are all archiving and curating all the live-long day
* You can help us lay roads that lead us from our primitive information chariots, here at the dawn of history, to a future of information spaceships that carry us to the stars
* The stakes are high
* Because the self-serving application of market-logic to information is even more absurd and harmful than its application to public institutions:
* Since the 1970s, technologically illiterate politicians and economists have bandied about the idea of an “information economy,” based on buying and selling information piecemeal
* Their bizarre utopia is a world where you can buy and sell information in ever-thinner slices
* Selling the right to watch movies at home but not on vacation
* Selling the right to stream, but not save, a song
* Selling the right to use a program on the phone in your pocket today, but not the right to run it on your next phone
* Ultimately, selling the right to sell a novel to read on Wednesdays, but only between the hours of 5 and 7, while standing on one leg
* Once I was in a meeting at the DVB, where they make the standards for European digital TV, and there was this insane discussion about whether a TV program could be flagged so that you could only watch it in the room where the receiver was
* That is, you couldn’t run a wire or use a wireless transmitter to watch it in another room
* I asked, “Come on, what is this for? It’s not like there’s any law that lets a broadcaster dictate what room you’re allowed to watch a show in”
* And there was a rep from the MPA, the Hollywood movie industry association, there and he said, “Look, watching a movie in one room that’s being received in a different room has value, and if it has value, we should be able to charge money for it”
* Siva Vaidyanthan calls this the “if value, then right” theory — if something has value, someone should have a right to earn money from it
* But I call it it urinary tract infection business model
* Instead of the right to use your stuff coming in a healthy, satisfying gush, every button on your remote has a price-tag attached to it, and the value flows in mean, painful drips
* This is that self-serving version of market logic again
* Even assuming that markets have any place in determining what you do in your house
* Why should the pseudoproperty right to determine how you watch TV trump the right to have your TV do as you tell it?
* There’s the crux of the matter, where it all comes together:
* The concept of an “information economy” predicated on selling you access to information piecemeal requires, necessarily, that your computers be designed to disobey you
* If you only have the right to watch a movie in your bathroom while you’re eating a ciabatta and whistling Dixie, your computer has to have the ability to refuse when you tell it to play the movie under any other circumstances
* This is an offensive idea whether or not you buy into the markets-are-all logic or not
* Let’s start with the market argument, since it’s pretty damned simple
* If you own something, it should do what you tell it to
* The dead hand of some remote authority should not weigh on your refrigerator door, controlling when you can snack; nor should it bar your closet if you want to change clothes
* This is what property *is* — stuff that’s yours
* Back before the 1970s, only a few nutcase extremists used the term “intellectual property” to describe copyright
* They called it “copyright” or used terms like “author’s monopoly”
* This acknowledged that copyright was a limited, temporary regulatory monopoly that primarily related to industrial entities
* The promulgation of the term “intellectual property” has been a conceptual disaster
* What is “intellectual property”? Foundationally, it’s the idea that if someone’s intellect is involved with something, it is forever their property
* The very idea of so-called “intellectual property” is incompatible with actual, real property
* The facade of your house, the gears on your bicycle, and the shirt on your back all have some intersection with someone’s intellect
* If your purchase of those objects does not terminate the others’ interests in what they made, then where does this idiocy end? Does the butcher get to tell you how to cook a steak? Can the cobbler tell you how to shine your shoes?
* If we’re not talking about specific things like “copyright” — a technical statute that regulates the entertainment industry — we are instead using a term like “intellectual property” — a term that means “Shut up and do as your told,” in the same way that “terrorist” means “Person doing anything I don’t like” then we are talking nonsense
* But forget “property” arguments
* Your house is not the agora
* Knowledge isn’t property
* Peer reviewed journals don’t determine the scholarly rigour of an article on the basis of a price-discovery mechanism of bids and puts
* These processes are non-market, and property relationships are only incidental to them — buying paper to print journals, paying for hosting for online versions
* Let’s talk about the history of the future instead
* The shape of the space-ships that are prefigured by the wheelbases of our primitive new informational chariots
* What does is mean to design a computer that disobeys you?
* Remember “Turing Complete”? There is only one way to design a computer, and that’s to make a computer that can run every valid program — that can execute any instruction that can be expressed in symbolic logic
* And yet every Iphone and Ipad is designed to prevent you from running code that doesn’t come from the App Store, so that Apple can extract a 30% commission from all the software vendors trying to sell to you
* Your satellite receiver won’t connect to a PVR that lets you record shows and save them
* Your PS4 won’t run games that aren’t blessed by the politburo at Sony
* Your Kindle won’t let you load books you inherit from your parents’ estate onto your device
* How does this work? How is it possible that these valid programs won’t run on these devices?
* The answer is, they *will* run on those devices
* But the devices are designed to ship with spyware out of the box
* Hidden programs that lurk in the depths, watch everything that you do
* Waiting for you to do something forbidden
* And then they swim to the surface and say, “I can’t let you do that, Dave.”
* An Iphone isn’t a computer that *can’t* run non-App-Store apps — it’s a computer that won’t *let its owner* run non-App-Store-apps
* It is designed from the ground up to have certain programs that you can’t terminate
* To have programs that hide from users, whose associated files are intentionally obscured by the operating system
* It is a computer whose operating system has a mote in its own eye, by design
* When the user asks the computer whether there’s a “don’t run unauthorized code” program running, the computer’s job is to say no
* When the user asks the computer to run a fake “don’t run unauthorized code” program, it refuses
* That’s the nature of a digital restriction in the age of universal computers
* Whether it’s a mandate that a self-driving car can’t drag race
* That a 3D printer can’t print a gun
* That an Ipad can’t run unauthorized software
* The outcome is a computer that hides things from its owners
* In a world where computers are inside our bodies and our bodies are inside computers, this is an insane idea
* What happens when your computers betray you?
* If you’re the American retail giant Target, a computer that lets someone else run covert code means that 100 million peoples’ credit-card numbers leak
* If you’re Cassidy Wolf, the reigning Miss Teen USA, then a computer that lets someone else run covert code means profound betrayal: in September 2013, the FBI arrested a man called Jared James Abrahams who hijacked Wolf’s computer, took nude photos of her, and attempted to blackmail her into performing on-camera sex-acts, as he had done with 150 other victims, including minor children
* If you’re one of the civilians wrongly murdered by a US drone, the information leaking out of your computer about your location is a matter of life and death
* There is no way to design a computer that disobeys its owner when ordered to do so by the police, the government or a corporation but doesn’t disobey its owner when a crook, a creep or a spy uses that facility for his own purposes
* This is just the beginning
* In November 2012, the late security researcher Barnaby Jack demonstrated an attack that would allow him to exploit the wireless interface in implanted defibrillators and cause them to seek out and infect other defibrillators and then cause them to deliver lethal shocks to their owners
* There’s a reason former US vice president Dick Cheney specifically had the wireless interface on his own defibrillator disabled when it was implanted
* We are at the beginning of history
* We have seen what happens when computers and networks are designed to betray their owners rather than protect them
* Edward Snowden has lifted the rock that the NSA and GCHQ were hiding beneath and shown us how deep their rot has spread
* They have undermined every email channel, every messaging channel, the undersea cables and the chats in World of Warcraft
* The NSA theory of future history might be summed up as the “greater manure pile theory of crimefighting”
* They believe that if the pile of manure is deep enough, there *must* be a pony in it somewhere
* If they can only wiretap every conversation, they will eventually catch all the bad guys
* This method ignores the important contributions of Cardinal Richilieu to the theory of guilt and innocence: If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.
* That is to say, once you have a big and deep enough dossier on anyone, you can find something in terminally destructive in there
* I have another theory of future history
* Technology that is designed to serve its users, rather than betray them, has the power to make a world that is better in every way
* Because the most significant effect of adding networked computers to your life is that it reduces the cost of collaborating with other people
* When I was an activist in the 1980s, 98% of my job was writing addresses on envelopes and putting stamps on them and the remaining 2% was spent figuring out what to put in the envelopes
* Now we get the envelopes for free
* The cost of organizing ourselves is in free-fall
* Organizing work is the project that defines our species
* The thing we’ve been perfecting since the first primate said, “I’ll watch out for tigers, you take care of the kids, and he’s gonna go the fruit”
* The thing that lets us transcend the limitations of individual humans and approach something we can only call *super*human — the power to do more than a single human can do
* The Internet doesn’t have to serve as a force-multiplier for spies
* We have in our grasp ciphers that can encrypt messages so perfectly that even if all the hydrogen atoms in the existence were made into computers that toiled until the heat-death of the universe on their decryption, they would still never attain it
* In some deep and mathematical sense, the universe wants us to have secrets
* This is why the NSA and GCHQ are so freaked out, why they’re spending $250MM/year on programs like BULLRUN and EDGEHILL, which exist to sabotage the implementations of cryptography
* Because they know that when the crypto is done right, they can’t get in
* Our networks can be tools that allow us to simultaneously link our efforts to make our world a better place, AND keep the details of those arrangements secret from the forces of greed and reaction who would use our social graphs as a to-do list for midnight arrests, torture and secret execution
* This is something we can only do if we liberate ourselves from the self-serving narratives of a market logic that confiscates the public domain and our public institutions and flogs them off like Vladimir Putin handing out state industries to his oligarch pals
* And from the technologically bankrupt idea that we can fix social programs by breaking the computers, a colossally bad idea on the lines of putting cameras in all our living rooms to make sure we’re not planning terrorist atrocities during the commercial breaks
* And then acting surprised when it turns out that some of your own agents are freelancing, selling surveillance footage out the back door; or that the cameras are being watched by people other than the legitimate authorities, or that the spymasters have been politicized and are looking at the government’s critics in order to find ways to discredit them
* I want you to help me avert this future history and find a better one
* You, whose mission is to preserve our culture and to communicate it
* Stop telling your patrons to put their cameras away
* If the only way to get something for your collection is to promise that you will prohibit non-flash photography of the item, then that item is not a fit candidate for your collection
* You can’t convey the mission of cultural preservation and communication to an audience whom you are prohibiting from preserving and communicating their interactions with culture
* It’s like telling your kids not to start smoking while you put a light a fresh cigarette from the one you’ve just smoked to the filter
* Refuse the dishonest market logic that says public archives should pay for digitization by allowing paywalls to be erected between the public and the archives they already own
* Place your scholarly works with open access journals that hew to the Enlightenment ethic that says the difference between rigorous science and superstitious alchemy is whether your researches are widely circulated for criticism, replication and debate
* Above all, do not, under any circumstances, allow the digitized artifacts from your collections to be locked up with digital rights management — that “I can’t let you do that Dave” stuff that tries to control how files are used once they’re on someone else’s computer
* This is not only ineffective — if the piracy wars taught us nothing, they’ve taught us that
* It also betrays the mission of the museum as an institution conceived for the public good
* What is the point of an institution that exacts such a terrible price? How can you square the mission of cultural preservation with tactics that require your patrons to allow for hidden programmes that surveil and control them?
* And if that’s not persuasive enough, consider the future history of a museum in a world where all the digital artifacts you wish to preserve and communicate are locked up with technology that is illegal to remove, whose sole purpose is to *prevent* the long-term diffusion of their payloads?
* Archives and DRM go together like rare book collections and flamethrowers
* Every time you use DRM, you legitimize, promote, and promulgate technology whose sole purpose is to prevent the preservation and communication that is the very purpose of museums
* Look, it’s not that I reject the very idea of rules for how we use cultural artifacts
* I’m all for them!
* But let’s have those rules determined by an approach that begins with the idea that cultural rules should serve free expression, not censorship
* That public institutions should serve the public first and foremost
* That the nervous system of the information age should be designed and regulated with the care and gravitas due to something that we place our lives, our freedom and our destiny in — not as a political football
* In two thousand years, our descendants will arrange cases full of our artifacts from this dawn of digital history
* They will wonder about the curators and historians and archivists who were their progenitors
* The professionals who, more than anyone else, had it in their power to understand what it meant for, what potential it had
* You can choose how history remembers you
* Whether you served a future history in which our informational roads were used to conquer and control us
* Or to give us the freedom to communicate and collaborate to our enduring and universal benefit
* There are people who caricature this whole position
* Who say that this a mere naive belief that “information wants to be free”
* But I’ve had a long talk with information about this
* We went away for a weekend in the country, drank white wine, cried and hugged
* And when it was over, information whispered in my ear that it doesn’t want to be free
* The only thing it wants is for us to stop anthropomorphizing it
* Because information doesn’t WANT anything
* It’s a mere abstraction
* However, PEOPLE want to be free
* And when the world is made up of networked information-processing devices, that human freedom can only be attained through a free, open, and fair informational infrastructure
* Help us create it

Cite as:
C. Doctorow, GLAM and the Free World. In Museums and the Web 2013, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web. Published February 19, 2014. Consulted March 7, 2014 .

Truisms by Bob Lefsetz

Educational CyberPlayGround loves and highlights Bob !! Subscribe to his newsletter.
by Bob Lefsetz – March 1st, 2014, 3:00pm
Tumblr is for porn.
Facebook is for the wannabe famous.
Instagram is for those who are too lazy to write.
Texting is social currency. It doesn’t matter how many likes or friends or followers you’ve got, but how many people text you and how regularly, that’s how popularity is judged today.
Pinterest is inexplicable to guys.
Samsung is for those who hate Apple and those too cheap to buy an iPhone (not necessarily the same thing, Apple-haters will buy the most expensive Galaxy).
iPhone 4s means you’re almost at the end of your contract or you’re too cheap to upgrade.
Tesla means you’re more interested in status than utility, or you never drive far from home.
iPhone 5c means you think iPhones really cost a hundred bucks, not north of five hundred.
Windows means you got your computer from work or you’re too cheap to buy a Mac. Argue all you want, perception is everything, and perception is reality.
Hip-hop is the rock and roll of the Millennials. With a dollop of Gen-X’ers thrown in.
Rock and roll is the music of the baby boomers, who believe everything they’re into should last forever, but it doesn’t, just like them.
Books get a lot of publicity, but barely sell. Sure, there are exceptions, but very few.
Sales are irrelevant, streams are everything, but newspapers are only trumpeting Spotify plays when all the action’s on YouTube.
Albums are for the creators, no one else cares, except for a cadre of extremely vocal fans.
Terrestrial radio is an advertiser-laden medium for poor people. Anybody with an income is listening to satellite or streaming from their mobile device.
Baby boomers buy Japanese automobiles because they remember how bad their parents’ Detroit iron was. In other words, despite all the press that GM, Ford and Chrysler are improving, boomers are sticking to Toyota and Honda, at least in California, and trends still start in California, don’t ever forget it.
Binge viewing is a badge of honor. Telling everybody you stayed home to watch all the episodes of _______ garners more status than saying you went to the show, and there’s more to talk about!
The Millennials want to be famous, just watch Douglas Rushkoff’s documentary “Generation Like“.
Newspapers insist on fat profit margins and head for decrepitude while online sites focus on user experience first and profits last. In other words, it’s the product, stupid!
Companies are constantly fighting for awareness.
Ignorance reigns. Education comes through word of mouth, which also spreads falsehoods. He who knows the most truth wins. We live in an information society, what’s in your brain is paramount.
Without relationships you cannot succeed.
Here today, gone tomorrow, welcome to the twenty first century. You can only combat this by constantly producing. U2 released a single during the Super Bowl, it’s already been forgotten, assuming you knew its name to begin with.
No one cares if Shia LaBeouf wears a bag on his head, it’s a trumped up media story.
Robin Thicke will screw everything that moves, wake up and realize his career is over and lament the loss of his wife.
Alec Baldwin was right about Harvey Levin, but if you think he’s retiring from public life, you believe Kim Kardashian is all natural. That’s what Alec does, turn it on in the public eye, without this oxygen he’s dead, so he’ll be back, just like Scott Shannon, ha! (“Alec Baldwin: Good-bye, Public Life“)
Just because you get press for your celebrity cook/lifestyle book, don’t think we care, you’re just another loser like us. In other words, just because you promote it, that does not mean it will sell.
Bitcoin may not be forever, but digital currency is.
Marc Andreesen is a borderline blowhard who is pontificating on tech better than most, pay attention to what he says.
You know Twitter is in crisis when regular tweeters like Michael Moore don’t.
Apple is not going to revolutionize television. Content owners won’t let them.
Manhattan is losing steam as an arts center, it’s just too expensive to live there. In other words, bankers can prop up institutions, but they cannot drive them forward.
Millennials are not mad that technologists are crowding them out of San Francisco as much as they are that they too are not rich.
Bill Gates cannot save Microsoft. Samsung is a better me-too company. Vision is everything today.
Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook. They control the world, consolidation has taken hold, it’s the next hot topic and you don’t know it yet.
People give up when no one’s paying attention, whether it be music, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter… Like hula-hoops, they’re fads, interesting for a while, then abandoned.
Just because something makes money, that does not mean it does not suck.

Celebrate in February: Valentine Clip Art – Presidents Day – St. Brigid's Day

VALENTINE CLIPART— FREE TO USE! *Wonderful* Valentine clipart–free to use! It has hearts, cupids, backgrounds, and even animations.
IMBOLC February 1st St. Brigid’s Day!
The day of the gin-i-ker (tine caor) and jazz (teas).

NYT The Learning Netwotk: Songs in the Key of Lit: Ways to Use Music to Study Literature

NYT The Learning Netwotk: Songs in the Key of Lit: Ways to Use Music to Study Literature

Overview | How can music help illuminate literature? And how can literature teach us about music? In this lesson, students read a review of a musical performance based on Plato’s dialogues and then set a literary work they have studied to music in order to bring out or enhance its meaning.


Artist Armand Mednick one of the best Art Teachers in the world

Artist Armand Mednick one of the best Art Teachers in the world.

The art and life of Carol Saylor and Armand Mednick
They’re 75 and 80, they met at an art class for the blind, and they see clearly that life is passionate and precious.
The sculpture class at Allens Lane Art Center in Mount Airy is in full swing. One student is glazing. Another is wedging clay to remove air bubbles.
Occasionally the group walks around to look at one another’s work, although “look” in this case means gently feeling it with their fingers. It is a tactile experience by necessity: All the participants in this class are legally blind or visually impaired.
While the class is a story in and of itself – it has been offered for 57 years, now in its third venue – this is not a tale about how blind artists find their way around an art studio. It is, however, about how a student and teacher found each other, “about falling madly, totally in love when I thought it could never happen again,” says Armand Mednick, 80, the class’ co-instructor.
He is referring to Carol Saylor, 75, a watercolorist until she started to lose both her sight and her hearing in her mid-40s. Saylor is now a sculptor. Both she and Mednick graduated from Tyler School of Art in Elkins Park, but at different times – Mednick in 1958 with a degree in graphics and ceramics, and Saylor in 1976 with a degree in painting – and they had never met until Saylor showed up for class in October.
Holocaust Testimony of Armand Mednick: Transcript of Audiotaped Interview
Mr. Mednick, named “Avrum” by his Yiddish-speaking parents, was born in 1933 into a close, extended family in Brussels, Belgium. He grew up as a stranger in a non-Jewish neighborhood, often taunted by antisemites influenced by the fascist Rex Party. At age six, he was hospitalized with tuberculosis until May, 1940, when his father, an active political leftist, fled with his family to France. His father was drafted into the French Army, deserted and placed his son, renamed “Armand”, in a sanitarium at Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne Mountains. Armand’s father, mother and baby sister hid nearby in Volvic, where they passed as Christians. When Armand recovered, he joined his family and attended Catholic school.

Armand Mednick, 75 , with the book &quot;The Secret Seder&quot; by Doreen Rappaport, who was inspired by his father's memoir. Armand Mednick, 75 , with the book
“The Secret Seder” by Doreen Rappaport, who was inspired by his father’s memoir.
Artist Armand Mednick one of the best teachers in the world.
One of my favorite people is Armand Mednick. He is and artist and taught us how to throw pots on the potters wheel, glaze them, fire them up in a kiln and feel great about this. My pots made me happy, and Armand (yes we were allowed to call him by his first name) was one of the best teachers I ever had in my whole life!
Armand was very exotic, had a very dark curly beard, walked around in loose fitting, stained messy clothes, rough and ready, with bright shiny kind eyes, a smile speaking with a french accent.
Armand was probably one of the first older men who I trusted, because I knew he told me/us the real truth about how the world worked. Not the lies told to children to spare them the ugliness we know is all around us, but the truth that confirmed the realities of the world.
There were times when all we did in art class was sit there while he told us stories about his life in Europe during world war two and how he struggled to stay alive, and fought in the underground against Nazi’s.
I don’t remember any other adults telling us serious personal stories about people, places, politics, and war.  Armand was genuine, he was sincere. I connected to a Culture Keeper, with the Oral tradition who told us the truth.
This was a teacher!
Philadelphia Inquirer article Daniel Rubin: History comes calling for boy in the woods
Contact Daniel Rubin at 215-854-5917 or
It’s almost impossible to have graduated from Oak Lane without hearing this story.
This was Armand Mednick’s signature tale. You can imagine how astonished he was to
get a phone call from his sister in Florida last spring and learn of a book called
The Secret Seder, about a boy who sneaks into the woods to celebrate Passover.
It’s Armand Mednick’s story. Author Doreen Rappaport had read about it in Mednick’s
late father’s 1997 memoir, Never Be Afraid: A Jew in the Maquis.
But many of Rappaport’s details are different from what Armand Mednick remembers.
That’s because Rappaport had been unable to track down the young protagonist,
who had shortened his last name from his father’s Mednicki.
Last spring Oak Lane music teacher Marlis Kraft-Zemel e-mailed Rappaport to tell her of
Mednick, who for 48 years has taught at the Blue Bell private school in an attempt,
he says, to recapture his lost youth.
At a reading of
The Secret Seder held in the school last month,
Rappaport described her reaction to the news:
“I ran screaming through the house, shouting for my husband . . . ‘He’s here!
I’ve found him. The Secret Seder boy. He’s alive!’ “

I sat with that boy, now 75, one day last week in the barn where he
throws pots and teaches art history. <snip>
Doreen Rappaport
read Bernard Mednicki’s account that became the inspiration
for her children’s book, The Secret Seder.

She is known for writing about issues of social justice and the lives touched by this.
Doreen Rappaport will meet Armand Mednick who was the little boy she wrote about and honor his

For those of you who love a good story, here is one for the books-literally!
This is the story of a young boy who would grow up to become a beloved art teacher.
As a young child during WWII, Oak Lane Day School’s art teacher, Armand Mednick lived with his family in
France hiding from the Nazis under an assumed name. During that time, Armand and his father
attended a secret Seder, which Armand’s father would later describe in his memoirs.
Doreen Rappaport is an accomplished author living in New York whose books include the Caldecott Honor Book. 

The Secret Seder

  1. Why does Jacques cross himself in front of the church?
  2. Why does Jacques want to go to the Seder?
  3. Why do the men have to celebrate in secret?
  4. What does the old man mean when he says, “This is a dark time for our people?”
  5. When the men say, “Next year in Yerushalayim.” what are they hoping for?
  6. How do you think Jacques felt walking down the mountain with his father?
  7. Was Jacques brave to go to the Seder? Explain why or why not.
  8. How do the illustrations help tell the story?
  9. What differences are there between the illustrations in the village and the illustrations at the Seder?
  10. Explain the meaning of: Seder; “black boot men”; prophet; matzah; Pharaoh; Holocaust.

Other Famous people associated with Oak Lane Day School
On December 7, 1928, Avram Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He attended Oak Lane Country Day School, and later Central High School.
About Oaklane Day School – formally Oaklane County Day School
The present-day Oak Lane Day School, located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania,

was founded in 1916 in Cheltenham Township, under the name Oak Lane

Country Day School, by a group of parents and educators interested in

the Progressive Education movement. Originally organized as a coeducational,

non-sectarian, kindergarten through grade 12 school, Oak Lane evolved into

a pre-kindergarten through grade 6 elementary school. Initially affiliated

with the University of Pennsylvania as a “school of observation,” Oak Lane

was acquired in the 1930’s by Temple University, which continued the

school as part of its teacher training program, a relationship that would

last until 1960. The ideal of individualized education to serve a diverse

and inclusive student population has shaped Oak Lane to this day.

Our teaching heritage includes a strong emphasis on the arts and music.
In 1960, no longer associated with Temple, Oak Lane was renamed and

incorporated as an independent school by dedicated and tenacious parents,

faculty and staff at a leased building in Glenside, and moved to its present

30-acre site in Blue Bell in 1964. Oak Lane Day School is accredited by the
Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools, and is a member of the

National Association of Independent Schools and the

Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools.
Oak Lane is nestled on a 30-acre country campus in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

Mexican Pointy Boots Tribal Music Stand Out

Oooooh Mexican Pointy Boots

Mexico Tribal Music and Pointy Boots
Tribal Music Brought The Best Pointy Boots Ever!


The Mexican party scene has fully embraced ridiculously long pointy boots and tribal music. In this episode of VICE Presents, we explore the pointiest boots on the planet and the culture to which they are tied.
Spreading North into Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and any place where big groups of immigrant Mexicans have taken root.




Mexican Pointy Boots: Xavier Glowing at the OK Corral
Xavier modifies his boots to dance Tribal at the clubs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.


Tribal Pointy Boots Mesquit Rodeo



Mexican Town Goes Mad for Pointy Boots





Fun Holloween Songs
Halloween Songs, Halloween History, Halloween Safety, Ghost, Goblin Monster Scary Spooky Sounds, Pumpkin Facts,  Celtic History, Werewolf Protection and Dracula, Ghosts and Music Holidays.
It ain’t no sin
To take off your skin
And dance around in your bones. Fats Waller
Halloween as it emerged from the Celtic festival of Samhain (summer’s end), picked up elements of the Christian Hallowtide (All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day), arrived in North America as an Irish and Scottish festival, then evolved into an unofficial but large-scale holiday by the early 20th century.