Monday, September 27, 2010

An interview with master Persian singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian. I've been fond of his recordings for a while, and it sounds like the singer himself is an admirable man: recent years, his songs have taken on new meanings.

"He ends every concert with 'Morghe Sahar — Bird of Dawning', and it really brings the audience to their feet," says Milani.

The song starts with a call for the bird to begin its lament. "And by the end of the song," Milani says, "it is asking the bird to sing, so night of oppression can come to an end, and the day of liberation can begin. And there has developed a kind of metaphoric language. Night is invariably understood to mean despotism; winter is cold days of oppression. And this song uses virtually all of these now well-known metaphoric words to ask for the rise of day of freedom and end to the night of oppression."

"Iranian literature is primarily poetry," explains Milani. "And Shajarian is a master of this literature and knows exactly what lines from which poems could be used at what moment in history. He says if you follow my songs, you can almost write the history of the last 40 years."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I guess whaling's in the air this week. Check out Girl on a Whaleship, which uses the diary of a six-year-old who spent three years on a whaling voyage in the 1860s as an excuse for a very fun interactive web site about all things whaling. You probably want to save this link for when you have a little time on your hands, and a fast connection.

Hat tip: Deep Sea News.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stone-age whale hunters of Lamalera: amazingly cool! Much more here, and many more photos here.

Found by running down an intriguing footnote in The Tiger, which I just finished and cannot recommend too highly!

Update: Looks like Odious blogged this years ago. Shows what I know. But it's well worth a second look.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monday, September 06, 2010

And I thought county highpointers were insane! Looks like someone's starting on highpointing Russian autonomous districts. He's knocked off Nenets and Komi/Mansi-Khanti. I didn't realize the Urals got quite that dramatic.
A disturbing trend for coursing:

I have no doubt that the Querencia pack will be at the forefront of the noble counterinsurgency.

From Got Medieval, which documents plenty more of this perfidy.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

O Amazones! Asgarda!
In the Ukraine, a country where females are victims of sexual trafficking and gender oppression, a new tribe of empowered women is emerging. Calling themselves the “Asgarda”, the women seek complete autonomy from men. Residing in the Carpathian Mountains, the tribe is comprised of 150 women of varying ages, primarily students, led by 30 year-old Katerina Tarnouska. Reviving the tribal traditions of the Scythian Amazons of ancient Greek mythology, the Asgarda train in martial arts, taught by former Soviet karate master, Volodymyr Stepanovytch, and learn life skills and sciences in order to become ideal women.
I have nothing to add to the awesome here. The seventh photo is my favorite.

I should add: hence.