Editor: The End Of Books?

“Collectively we may stand—as Marshall McLuhan suggested years ago—at an exit from the time when the book, with its writing, its publication, and its reception, was central to human flourishing. We owe it to ourselves, then, to figure out what it was we, as members of the human species, most valued about the book, so we can try to preserve it. The humanities must now take steps to preserve and protect the independence of their activities, such as the writing of books and articles, before the market becomes our prison and the value of the book becomes undermined.”

Source: Village Voice - 08/31/04

Plundering Iraqi Art

Iraq’s cultural heritage is being plundered under American occupation. “Ironically, the bombing campaign of 2003 had not damaged archeological sites. It was only in the aftermath, during the occupation, that the most extensive cultural destruction took place. At first there was the looting of the museums under the watch of coalition troops, but that was to be followed by more extensive and active destruction. Active damage of the historical record is ongoing at several archeological sites occupied as military camps.”

Source: The Guardian (UK) - 08/31/04

The Secret Of the Mummy’s Tomb?

The mummy of King Cheops, resident of the Great Pyramid has never been found. But now, a new theory of a secret passage within the pyramid. “Using architectural analysis and ground-penetrating radar, two amateur French Egyptologists claim to have discovered a previously unknown corridor inside the pyramid. They believe it leads directly to Khufu’s burial chamber, a room which – if it exists – is unlikely ever to have been violated, and probably still contains the king’s remains.”

Source: The Guardian (UK) - 08/31/04

African Dance Crew Vies For Longest Dance Party

A Zimbabwean dance crew – The Neighbourhood Crew – has set a world record for the longest dance party after dancing non-stop for 56 hours – nearly four hours longer than the current record of 52 hours and three minutes. “The group of about 57 youths took to the dance floor last Thursday hoping to dance non-stop for 100 hours, but had to settle for the 56 hours when fatigue finally caught up with them on Sunday morning.”

Source: Harare Herald - 08/31/04

Why Video Games Rule

Video games are hugely popular – it’s not difficult to see a day coming when they’ll be our most popular form of entertainment. Why? “I submit that it’s more fun to do stuff than to watch stuff. It’s one of the reasons movies about hot video games rarely do much at the box office: I’d rather help Lara Croft outwit enemies and cheat death in the “Tomb Raider” series than watch Angelina Jolie dodge special effects onscreen — even an augmented Angelina Jolie. Video gaming is to moviegoing as writing a book is to reading one: You are in control.”

Source: Chicago Tribune - 08/31/04

Pumping Up Latin American Art

“For decades Latin American art has been the poor cousin in the house of academic art history departments. Few universities offer an introduction to Latin American art on a regular basis. Asia and Africa have always received more attention, in part because of the ways their art was absorbed by European and American artists in the 19th and 20th centuries. What would Picasso and Matisse be without tribal masks, Oceanic sculpture and Japanese prints? Like American art and literature before World War II, Latin American culture has received less respect than it deserves.” Now an attempt to change that…

Source: Wall Street Journal - 08/31/04