A one hundred year old woman reflects on her deceased husband.
"For decades, the Ganga-Longoba of Perico, Cuba, have been singing the same chants, a tradition passed down the generations. But until recently this Afro-Cuban community knew little of the origin of the songs, or of their own ancestors.
"Now, thanks to the work of an Australian academic, Cuba’s Ganga believe their roots lie in a remote village in Sierra Leone from where it is thought their relatives were sold into slavery more than 170 years ago.
“‘When I first filmed the Ganga-Longoba, I believed their ceremonies were a mixture of many different ethnic groups,’ says historian Emma Christopher, of Sydney University. ‘I had no idea that a large number of Ganga songs would come from just one village. I think that’s extremely unusual,’ she says.
"The initial breakthrough came when a group in Liberia saw her footage of a Cuban ceremony and recognised part of a local ritual.
"Spurred on to seek the songs’ exact origins, the academic spent two years showing the film across the region until she confirmed that the Cubans were singing in the almost extinct language of an ethnic group decimated by the slave trade."
Fidencio Martinez is a mixed-media artist based in Memphis, Tennessee, who uses paint and cut paper to “examine the brown body, the battleground onto which events, perceptions and laws are formed.” He is the recipient of the 2013 Jessie and Dolph Smith Emeritus Fellowship Award.
For more of his work, go to http://www.fidenciomartinez.com/
The world’s largest telescope made with data
Look up on a starry night and consider this: in our lifetime we just might find the answers to one of life’s biggest mysteries, and we mean BIG. Dutch research institute, Astron and its international partners are building the world’s largest radio telescope, aka The Square Kilometer Array, to get a glimpse of the origins of the universe. This big telescope is made up of thousands of interconnected smaller telescopes, carefully arranged in fractal patterns to let us look back in time more than 13 billion years—to mere seconds after the universe was created. How on Earth is this possible? By processing exabytes of Big Data (That’s a 1, plus 18 zeroes) in real time. Or roughly 3X the amount of data running through the Internet per day. Amazingly, this will let scientists map out how the universe came to be. Imagine the look on Galileo’s face if he were here to see it.
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( Top Self Portrait )
Drawings by Kurt Vonnegut long kept in storage are getting the monograph treatment with a new publication of his playful, line-driven art. Kurt Vonnegut Drawings, coming next month from the Monacelli Press, features 145 selections of his work.
The author shipped the drawings to his daughter Nanette Vonnegut in the mid-1990s. Unsure what to do with them, she kept the art in her studio’s flat files (she is herself a visual artist) until recently. According to the Monacelli Press, a touring exhibition is planned in addition to the book.
"I have a neck injury so I had to tone it down this year."