Spain’s Top Court Overturns Bullfighting Ban in Catalonia 

Spanish bullfighter Mario Palacios performs with an Aguadulce ranch fighting bull during a bullfight at the Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

The ban had little practical effect as Catalonia had only one functioning bullring — in its capital, Barcelona — but neither is the court decision likely to greatly change things.

Spain’s top court on Thursday overruled a controversial local ban against bullfighting in the powerful northeastern region of Catalonia, saying it violated a national law protecting the much-disputed spectacle.

The Constitutional Court ruled that Catalan authorities generally could regulate such public spectacles, and even outlaw them, but in this case the national parliament’s ruling that bullfighting is part of Spain’s heritage must prevail.

Catalonia banned bullfighting in 2010. The decision was part of the growing movement against bullfighting, but it was also seen as another step in the Catalan government’s push to break away from Spain.

The ban had little practical effect as Catalonia had only one functioning bullring — in its capital, Barcelona — but neither is the court decision likely to greatly change things.

“There’ll be no bullfights in Catalonia regardless of what the Constitutional Court says,” Catalan Land Minister Josep Rulls said.

The World Animal Protection group described the decision as “outrageous,” adding that “cultural heritage does not justify an activity that relies on animal torture and indefensible levels of suffering.”

But the Fighting Bull Foundation of breeders, matadors, ring workers, aficionados and event organizers welcomed the news, warning that attempts to prevent bullfights in Catalonia would now be illegal…(read more)

Source: The Japan News

History of Halloween

<> on October 28, 2011 in Chicago, United States.

Halloween is the season for little ghosts and goblins to take to the streets, asking for candy and scaring one another silly. Spooky stories are told around fires, scary movies appear in theaters and pumpkins are expertly (and not-so-expertly) carved into jack-o’-lanterns.

Amid the silly and scary antics, Halloween is much more than just costumes and candy; in fact, the holiday has a rich and interesting history.

Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, can be traced back about 2,000 years to a pre-Christian Celtic festival held around Nov. 1 called Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”), which means “summer’s end” in Gaelic, according to the Indo-European Etymological Dictionaries.

Because ancient records are sparse and fragmentary, the exact nature of Samhain is not fully understood, but it was an annual communal meeting at the end of the harvest year, a time to gather resources for the winter months and bring animals back from the pastures…(read more)

Source: archaelogicalnews

Prominent African Americans Not Included in Smithsonian’s African American Museum


Besides Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, other African Americans not included in the museum, who are conservatives, are:

• Cora Brown, first African American woman elected to a United States state Senate, winning a seat in the Michigan State Senate in 1952.

• Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., who served in the Georgia state legislature and is a pro-life advocate with Priests for Life.

• Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), first African-American senator from the state of South Carolina, the first black Republican elected to the United States Senate since the election of Edward Brooke in 1966, and the first elected from the South since 1881, four years after the end of Reconstruction.

• Michael Steele, first African-American chairperson of the Republican National Committee, who served from January 2009 until January 2011.

• Kenneth Blackwell, mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio from 1979 to 1980, the Ohio State Treasurer from 1994 to 1999, and Ohio Secretary of State from 1999 to 2007.


• Thomas Sowell, American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author.

• Shelby Steele, American author, columnist, documentary filmmaker, and a Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

• Walter E. Williams, American economist who is the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University. Read the rest of this entry »

‘The Wolf Man’


Source: Mudwerks

‘Hair-Raising Hare’: Bugs Bunny

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Source: Mudwerks 

1954 Retrofuture Art from an Unexpected Source: the French Chocolatier Cantalou

[PHOTOS] Skies Over Yokohama


[PHOTOS] Pablo Picasso Light Paintings, 1949

Vintage Halloween: Old Photos of Clowns You Might Not Want to Meet at Night

Read the rest of this entry »

Lifting the Veil on Queen of Sheba’s Perfume


Frankincense, one of the world’s oldest fragrances, is a gum resin that exudes from the bark of Boswellia trees, which grow in countries bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. It has been used for more than 6,000 years by every civilization, from Mesopotamia to the present.

It is one of the oldest fragrances in the world. Nicolas Baldovini’s team at the Institut de chimie de Nice (CNRS/UNS) has just discovered the components that give frankincense its distinctive odor: twotumblr_inline_oeyg7o5vvm1qgjbhq_540 molecules found for the first time in nature, named “olibanic acids” by the scientists. Their research results have just been published online, on the website of the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

It is mentioned more than twenty times in the Bible, where it is one of the gifts offered by the Three Wise Men. Frankincense (also called olibanum), one of the world’s oldest fragrances, is a gum resin that exudes from the bark of Boswellia trees, which grow in countries bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. It has been used for more than 6,000 years by every civilization, from Mesopotamia to the present. Regularly burned during religious ceremonies, it contributes to the very particular smell of churches. Despite its long history and the large amount of research dedicated to it, the exact nature of the molecules that give frankincense its distinctive fragrance surprisingly remained unknown…(read more)

The Assassination of Saint Peter: Axe to the Head, Dagger to the Chest, 1252


Taddeo Crivelli (Italian, died about 1479, active about 1451 – 1479) Saint Peter Martyr, about 1469, Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment Leaf: 10.8 x 7.9 cm (4 1/4 x 3 1/8 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Saint Peter was assassinated with an axe to the head and a dagger to the chest in 1252 and was then canonized as a saint only 11 months later, making this the fastest canonization in history.


‘The Phantom of the Opera’

‘The Power of Video’


[BOOKS] Beach Boys Icon Brian Wilson on Faith, Forgiveness and His New Memoir


On Oct. 11, Random House Canada will release I Am Brian Wilson, written with Ben Greenman. It’s Wilson’s first real memoir, having disowned a title from 1991 completed while he was still under the “care” of psychotherapist Eugene Landy. Landy, who helped Wilson recover from the addictions he struggled with in the 1970s – but later kept him in a fog for several years while limiting his contact with family and friends and charging him up to $35,000 a month – is a major character in this edition.

So is Wilson’s wife, Melinda, whom he met at a car dealership in the 1980s, and who worked with his family to emancipate him.

[Read the full review here, at The Globe and Mail]

And so is his father, who pushed him toward a musical career but was physically and emotionally abusive. Wilson says he forgives his dad, who died in 1973, but it will take “a year and a half” to forgive Landy. “Actually, I’ve already forgiven him,” he says during an interview in his hotel suite in New York. “He wasn’t all that nice to me, but he taught me how to eat right, how to exercise, how to sleep at night.”

“When I sit at a piano, I feel God this far above my head. And I can feel his presence – makes my hands glide over the keys, and it helps me write a song.”


“It’s a feeling that you can’t deny. Something you can really feel. You just know there’s somebody, a higher power above me, that helps me out when I’m scared.”

— Brian Wilson

It’s useful, if somewhat strange, to review Wilson’s narrative in the light of 2016.

He is still beloved, but the boomer market is shrinking, and millennial fans like myself constitute a niche. For a lot of listeners, the Beach Boys stand for white-dad rock, which stands for a worldview we’re in the necessary process of
dismantling. The 1960s mainstream was tailored to a limited range of people, with a limited range of experiences. This also means that Brian Wilson’s story was forged at la-et-ms-brian-wilson-tribute-benefit-hollywood-best-fest-20150324a time when empathy was less considerate of the personhood of people with mental illness. The flip side of stigma is fetishization.

“What made it worse, at least early on was that the voices that were in my head trying to do away with me were in a crowded space. They were in there with other voices that were trying to make something beautiful. Voices were the problem, but also the answer. The answer was in harmony.”

Wilson started the Pendletones, soon to become the Beach Boys, with his brothers Carl and Dennis, cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, scoring a long string of hits in the early 1960s – “it’s been written about so many times that it’s almost like a story that someone else is telling me instead of a piece of my own life,” Wilson writes. (Love, who has elsewhere been pegged as the villain of that story, has his own memoir out this year.) In late-1964, Wilson had a breakdown on a flight to Houston, and decided to stop touring, devoting himself instead to songwriting.

That was the year he first tried LSD, and shortly thereafter he started hearing voices, which would continue for the rest of his life. He’d hear his father and early manager, Murry. He’d hear Phil Spector, whose production of Be My Baby had changed Wilson’s life. And he would hear other, stranger and more menacing voices. “I said, ‘What happened?!’ I took this stupid drug, and that drug made me scared,” he says today. “But it made me write better music. It made me write more sensitive music. I was going to make an album called Sensitive Music for Sensitive People. Isn’t that a great title?”


Pet Sounds was released in 1966, to famously lukewarm sales, followed by less celebrated but still canonical albums such as Wild HoneyFriends, and Surf’s Up. But Wilson began to struggle with drugs, alcohol and overeating, gaining more than 100 pounds and retiring to his bed, leaving his first wife, Marilyn, to take care of their two daughters. Desperate, she called Landy, a “therapist to the stars” whose 24-hour methods, unbeknownst to her, would involve screaming at Wilson while wresting control of his creative output, fortune, and cognition. “If you help a person to get better by erasing that person, what kind of job have you done?” Wilson writes. “I don’t know for sure, but he really did a job on me.” Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] John McLaughlin & Chick Corea – White House Hosts International Jazz Day Concert 2016-04-30 





Rock in the Suburbs: Why Punk Moved Out of the City and Into the Cul-De-Sac


With unaffordable Progressive Disneyland hell-hole cities like San Francisco’s predictable cost-of-living increases and perverse real estate inflation driving out all but the wealthy and well-connected, the bright lights don’t beckon young punks like they used to.

Shows like that are increasingly common in Santa Rosa, and it has a lot to do with the prohibitive cost-of-livingpunk-sneer in nearby San Francisco. “I had every intention of moving down to the city,” said Ian O’Connor, 23, who organized the gig.

[Read the full story here, at The Guardian]

“But when the time came, it was too expensive.” Instead, in the last three years, he has booked dozens of all-ages gigs in Santa Rosa, mostly at unofficial venues: detached garages, living rooms, lobbies of sympathetic businesses. The scene thrives on the participation of people like him, area natives in their early 20s who, not so many years ago, would’ve likely moved an hour south to Oakland or San Francisco.

O’Connor stressed that though Santa Rosa is relatively affordable, the local punk scene faces challenges that cities with established reputations lack. “If you’re in the big city, you can sort of just jump into the stream,” he explained. “If you’re in a small town, you have to get down on your hands and knees and dig a ditch so that the water can run.”

“I had every intention of moving down to the city. But when the time came, it was too expensive.”

— Ian O’Connor

One hallmark of punk’s inception in the Bay Area and throughout the Pacific northwest was the notion of cities as places of possibility, so hollowed out by eroding tax bases and selective civic neglect that they seemed “deserted and forgotten”, as music journalist Jon Savage wrote of his 1978 trip to report on San Francisco punk bands such as Crime and the Dead Kennedys. “It was there to be remapped.”


But with the same cities stricken by intensifying affordability crises – premiums on space that make somewhere to live, let alone rehearse and perform, available to a dwindling few – they don’t beckon young punks like they used to. And though reports of music scenes’ deaths tend to overstate, news of shuttering venues (see eulogies for The Smell, The Know, and LoBot) deters some of the intrepid transplants needed for invigoration. Dissipating metropolitan allure, however, helps account for the strength of scenes in outlying towns.

“The people who before just came to the shows are now setting them up. It’s been pretty astounding in terms of genuine participation…We could move and struggle somewhere else, but I think there’s a lot of people who’d like to see Santa Rosa become something like Olympia.”

— Ben Wright

In Santa Rosa, Acrylics are at the center of things. The five-piece, which recently announced a forthcoming record on leading west coast punk label Iron Lung, boasts a lashing and cantankerous sound, with staccato new-punk-250turnarounds and nervy guitar leads. They share members with a constellation of groups, including tightly wound punk outfit Fussy; sturdy hardcore units Rut and Service; and the dynamic noise-rock band OVVN.

“People in Olympia don’t think moving to a bigger city would be daunting – just dumb. Why pay five times the rent?”

“The people who before just came to the shows are now setting them up,” said Ben Wright, 24, who recorded recent releases by most of the aforementioned groups and plays guitar in Acrylics. “It’s been pretty astounding in terms of genuine participation… We could move and struggle somewhere else, but I think there’s a lot of people who’d like to see Santa Rosa become something like Olympia.”

Scott Young, 28, grew up in the Pacific northwest and moved to Olympia, Washington, in 2006. Until recently, he played bass in Gag, a winkingly scabrous hardcore band that’s lately influenced the genre significantly. Corey Rose Evans, 23, moved to Olympia from the Bay Area in 2010 to attend Evergreen State College and eventually joined both Vexx, a raucous foursome composed of inventive, tactile instrumentalists and a mightily expressive singer; and G.L.O.S.S. (“Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit”), a blistering and bold hardcore outfit that foregrounds transgender issues and skewers reformist politics. The scene is decidedly autonomous, centered around small labels and self-organized gigs. Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] ‘Shake Your Pants’

Shake Your Pants – CAMEO 1980 Album ‘CAMEOSIS’




The New Yorker: This Week’s Cover, ‘Miss Congeniality,’ by Barry Blitt


This week’s New Yorker cover, “Miss Congeniality,” by Barry Blitt. Watching the debate, Blitt recognized a significant moment in the Presidential campaign. Of all of Donald Trump’s dangerous beliefs, he said, his misogyny “might just be his Achilles’ heel.” Read more about the cover here.

Source: The New Yorker