On this edition of All Songs Considered we've got a bunch of new-year premieres for you, including a special collaboration between Tom Waits and Keith Richards. The two veteran musicians recorded a song together for a new compilation album called Son Of Rogue's Gallery, and we guarantee it's not at all what you'd expect. Do the word's "sea chantey" mean anything to you?
The widow of slain Civil Rights organizer Medgar Evers will deliver the invocation at President Obama's inauguration. Myrlie Evers-Williams will become the first woman, and someone other than clergy, to say the prayer that precedes the ceremonial oath of office, as The Washington Post reports.
The inaugural ceremony will take place on Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 11:04 am
According to legend, when asked "Why birds?" photographer Eliot Porter replied as if it were obvious: "Because they fly."
But wait! Don't dismiss these as "bird photos." First, it helps to know just how difficult it is to capture a bird in flight — especially on film. It's also good to know how special it was to be photographing in color in the 1940s, and how onerous it is to make one's own dye-transfer prints.
Shwetak Patel (foreground), a MacArthur Fellow, recognized that every device in a home has a unique signature that can be used to track energy usage. The data collected by Patel's system showed that digital video recorders were responsible for 11 percent of this home's power use, just one example of The Human Face of Big Data.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 11:52 am
I am just starting to dig into a beautiful new book/project that I wanted to pass along to our 13.7 readers. Its called The Human Face Of Big Data and it is a remarkable attempt to capture the profound transition we are all living through.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 9:22 am
Thousands of acres are burning in one of Australia's worst fire seasons ever. Firefighters are deployed in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, notes the Sydney Times Herald. About 140 fires are burning, and some of them aren't contained.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:03 am
Even before Alt-J's An Awesome Wave took home this year's Mercury Prize (which honors a panel's choice for the best record to emerge from the U.K. each year), there had been considerable buzz about the band on this side of the Atlantic. By the time the album finally came out here in September — it had been released abroad several months earlier — An Awesome Wave's arrival received the kind of attention few debuts ever see.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 6:03 am
Since the publication of George Saunders' 1996 debut story collection, Civilwarland in Bad Decline, journalists and scholars have been trying to figure out how to describe his writing. Nobody has come very close. The short story writer and novelist has been repeatedly called "original," which is true as far as it goes — but it doesn't go nearly far enough. Saunders blends elements of science fiction, horror and humor writing into his trademark brand of literary fiction.