Thursday, April 22, 2010

Every Day Should Be Earth Day

CARE: Demand a World Without Poverty

Photo credit: (c) Reuters 2010. Copyright controlled.

Earth Day In Lviv, Ukraine, Future European Union

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Global Poor & Middle Class Seek A Transparent, Fair, And Substantial Contribution By The Global Financial Sector Toward Global Human Development

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Data, Statistics, Knowledge, And Human Development From The Ash And Dust Of Time

"Recognizing that transparency and accountability are essential to development, the World Bank Group now provides free, open, and easy access to its comprehensive set of data on living standards around the globe — some 2,000 indicators, including hundreds that go back 50 years. The data is available in Arabic, French, and Spanish in addition to English.

“I believe it’s important to make the data and knowledge of the World Bank available to everyone,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. “Statistics tell the story of people in developing and emerging countries and can play an important part in helping to overcome poverty. They are now easily accessible on the Web for all users, and can be used to create new apps for development. ”

The open data announcement coincides with the launch of the World Development Indicators (WDI) 2010, the Bank’s popular statistical resource. Apart from giving open access to the WDI, with nearly 1000 indicators, the initiative also opens up the Global Development Finance (GDF), Africa Development Indicators (ADI), Global Economic Monitor (GEM), and indicators from the Doing Business report."


ADePT: Software Platform for Automated Economic Analysis of Poverty and Inequality Research

Header: (c) Copyright controlled 2010.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Don't Let Residual Volcanic Ash Keep You From Hearing The Diotima String Quartet This Coming Monday At The French Embassy, Washington, D.C.

François Sarhan (b. 1972): Bobok
Thomas Larcher (b. 1963): Madhares - String Quartet no. 3
Gérard Pesson (b. 1958): Bitume
Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937): String Quartet in F Major

Diotima String Quartet

House of France -- French Embassy, Washington, D.C.

Grounded by the Volcano?: Then listen to the Quartet here.

Photo credit: (c) Diotima String Quartet 2010. Copyright controlled.


Polish painter Józef Simmler, Portret Jadwigi Łuszczewskiej (Deotymy) (en: Portrait of Jadwiga Łuszczewska (Diotima)), 1855, oil on canvas, 210x141, Gallery of Art in Lviv, Ukraine, Future European Union.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On Preserving World Knowledge And The Discovery Of The Dhambalin, Somaliland Rock Art Site

"This article argues that the Somali people have a distinctive view on heritage and a different approach to its preservation relevant to their society. It suggests that a locally appropriate theoretical framework for heritage management and archaeological research can only be achieved if this local approach is taken into consideration and integrated into archaeological and heritage methodologies. The lack of qualified Somalis and indigenous perspectives in the archaeological research and heritage management policies characterizes Somali cultural heritage and archaeological research history. This research shows that previous approaches that have been pursued lacked dialogue and incorporation of local views of heritage practice. This lack of dialogue has been of paramount importance for the failure of the preservation of Somali cultural heritage, evident both in the previous neglect of its preservation and in the current looting and destruction of archaeological sites in Somaliland, Puntland and south-central Somalia. It is demonstrated how Somali indigenous perspectives are concurring and contributing to world heritage management and archaeological research methods. I suggest that any heritage work must integrate local approaches and trained local groups should lead archaeological research and heritage management in order to achieve sustainable development and self-representation."

Sada Mire "Preserving Knowledge, not Objects: A Somali Perspective for Heritage Management and Archaeological Research" Journal African Archaeological Review Volume 24, Numbers 3-4 / December, 2007

Also: Mire, Sada (2008) The Discovery of Dhambalin Rock Art Site, Somaliland. African Archaeological Review

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Photo credit: The Dhambalin Rock Art Site (c) Sada Mire 2010 via the Somali Heritage and Archaeology website.


"Somali radio stations stopped playing music on Tuesday after hardline militants called it un-Islamic and ordered stations to take songs off the air.

The edict is the latest unpopular order from Islamists, who also have banned bras, musical ringtones and movies. The order to stop the music echoes the Taliban's strict social rules imposed on Afghans beginning in the late 1990s.

Somalia has a tradition of music and most residents greeted the ban with dismay.

''Now I think we are going to be forced to hear only the horrific sounds of the gunfire and the explosions,'' said Khadiya Omar, a 22-year-old Mogadishu resident who called music a ''tranquilizer'' to help him forget life's troubles." ...

Associated Press "Somali Islamic Militants Ban Music on Airwaves" New York Times April 13, 2010


"It is widely thought that music is forbidden in Islam. Scholars cite hadith, or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, that certain types of music distract from worship, and that music is a source of temptation that leads to committing other excesses and sins. Others cite hadith showing that the Prophet Muhammad did permit singing, as long as the purpose of the song itself is beneficial, and the words used in the song fall within the range of permitted speech.

For example, songs that are neither defamatory nor incite to sin, that are sung to accompany work or stir the audience to remembrance and unity are permitted. According to this interpretation, Islamic practice recognizes the elemental human affinity for rhythmic speech and melody. There is also wide agreement that use of the drum to enhance and lead the rhythm of song is permitted."


Photo credit: Rapper K'Naan by Megan Cole (via Creative Commons) and Inside Islam: Challenges and Debates.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where Is The Pulitzer Prize for Peacekeeping?

"Ukraine announced Monday that it has agreed to give up its highly enriched uranium, at the start of a summit called by President Obama to focus on protecting the world's stockpiles of nuclear materials from terrorist organizations pursuing the bomb. ...

Ukraine agreed to give up its roughly 90-kilogram stock of highly enriched uranium by the next Nuclear Security Summit scheduled to be held in the summer of 2012, much of it this year. In addition, Ukraine will convert its research reactors from highly enriched to low-enriched uranium, a complicated engineering task." ...

Scott Wilson "Ukraine to give up highly enriched uranium, convert nuclear reactors" Washington Post April 12, 2010

Global Peace Index 2009


Header credit: The Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union, subway station was constructed deep underground in order to withstand the strength of above-ground nuclear bombing launched from the United States of America during the Cold War of the last century, 1947–1991 . (c) Dmitry Yermak 2010.

[Click on image for enlargement.]


Photo credit: (c) Iwona Sulkowska 2010. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Life Is Elsewhere Department: Ah! ... Statistics!

Credit: (c) Reuters 2010.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The UN human development index gives a more complete picture than does income alone

"Tensions had been growing in Kyrgyzstan over what human rights groups contended were the increasingly repressive policies of President Bakiyev, but it appeared that the immediate catalyst for the violence was anger over a sharp increase in prices for utilities." (NYT)

"Political unrest over poverty, rising prices and corruption has gripped Kyrgyzstan since early March. About a third of the population live below the poverty line and remittances from workers in Russia have fallen during the global economic crisis." (WP)

U.N. Human Development Indicators 2009

Amnesty International

OECD Intertim Outlook: April 7, 2010

Photo credit: (c) Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press 2010. Copyright controlled.


Is a new pattern of global imbalances emerging?
Current account balance, in per cent of GDP

[Click on images for enlargement.]

Source: OECD, Quarterly National Accounts database; and OECD, Main Economic Indicators database.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

On Fulfilling Old Dreams And Building New Realities Of Freedom, Love, Peace, and Sacred Economics

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity"

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

'The month of April marks the 42nd anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We are commemorating the life and work of Dr. King by creating a memorial in our nation's capital. The Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial will honor his life and contributions to the world through non-violent social change.

After years of fund raising, the memorial is now $14 million away from its $120 million goal. This will be more than a monument to a great humanitarian, the National Memorial will be a place for visitors from around the world to share the spirit of love, freedom, and peace.'

Please consider donating to Build The Dream

Martin Luther King Memorial News

Economists for Peace and Security

Human Development Index


"Moldova was also among the four
transition countries which in 2005 were worse
off in terms of HDI than in early transition, and
its losses in terms of human development were
the largest compared to all other countries. This
decline was largely due to the economic collapse
associated with lower enrolment in education
and the population’s poorer health status. As its
economic growth model fundamentally influences
a country’s outcomes in terms of human development,
it has to be said that in Moldova this
growth has been narrowly based in geographical
terms as well as socially inequitable. The decade long
increase in outward migration of labour is a
symbol of Moldova’s defi cient economic growth
model, which contributed to a weakened social
fabric, family disintegration, domestic violence
and a worsening demographic outlook."

United Nations Development Program HDI 2009 p.21

Friday, April 02, 2010

Works And Days -- Toward A Sacred Economics

To the memory of the peace-keepers, doctors and nurses without borders, civil servants, responders, reporters, engineers, and military soldiers and support staff (carried over from an earlier human era) killed in their overseas tours of duty.

Hesiod's Works and Days

Header: Čilipi (Dubrovnik) Airport, Croatia, European Union. Copyright controlled.

A Sacred Sextet In Time Of Terror

Stephen Hough (b. 1961)

Requiem aeternam (for String Sextet)
After Requiem (1605) by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548 – 1611)

I Taedet animum
II Kyrie
III Graduale
IV Versa est
V Libera me

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Easter Sunday (Eastern and Western Christian) 6:30 PM FREE

"Asked by the National Gallery in London to compose music for the exhibition The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture, 1600 – 1700, Stephen Hough took as his inspiration one of the great works of Tomás Luis de Victoria, a composer who was an older contemporary of the artists represented in the exhibition. He recast and reworked Victoria’s Requiem of 1605, making it a five-movement suite for string sextet. The treatment varies from movement to movement, ranging from straight transcription in the fourth movement, Versa est, to interpolation of new material in the form of variations in the last movement, Libera me."


Header credit: Two of the more than fifty-two human victims and perpetrators of terrorism over the winter of 2010. (c) NewsTeam, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 2010.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Fourteen Masterpieces Of Classical Music To Be Featured At Embassy Of France In Washington, D.C. On April 12 And 19

On Monday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m., La Maison Française will present an evening dedicated to Schönberg, Messiaen, Berg, and other masters of contemporary music as performed by Nicolas Dautricourt & Ieva Jokubaviciute, violin-piano duo:


Thème et Variations (1932)...Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992)
Sonate pour piano seul op.1 (1908)…Alban BERG (1885-1935)
4 pièces op.7 (1910)………Anton WEBERN (1883-1945)
Fantasy op.47 (1949)……Arnold SCHÖNBERG (1874-1951)
Subito (1994)……Witold LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994)


Orgie Mécanique (2009)…………Richard DUBUGNON (born in 1968)
Piece for piano solo………………Raminta SERKSNYTE (born in 1975)
Sonate pour violon seul (2000)……Krystof MARATKA (born in 1972)
Deluxe Coucou, pour violon seul (2006)...François SARHAN (born in 1972)
Zodiac, ephemeris for violin and piano (1992)…Piet SWERTS (born in 1960)


And then the Diotima String Quartet will continue the curated series on Monday, April 19, at 7:30 PM

- Bobok — François Sarhan (b. 1972)
- Madhares - string quartet no. 3 - Thomas Larcher (b. 1963)
- Bitume — Gérard Pesson (b. 1958)
- String Quartet in F Major — Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937)

The group has given première performances of new quartets by Pauset, Dillon, Kyburz, Durand, Lévinas, Mochizuki, Durieux, and Posadas.

Photo credit: © Thibault Stipal 2010.

No Joking Matter

(c) Mercury News, San Jose, California.

More Spring String Matters: Reintroducing The Kirjokansi -- Also Known As The Novgorod Gusli (217 cm, 7′11″ long)

© Mitrej 2010.

Partial String Quartet Scorecard For Home Games In The Nation's Capital April 4 to May 6, 2010

[Click on image for enlargement.]

STRAVINSKY: Three Pieces for String Quartet.
BARTÓK: Quartet no. 2
BARBER: String Quartet no. 1, op. 11
HOUGH: Requiem Aeternam (after Victoria) for String Sextet
WOLFE: Mink Stole
HARRISON: Quartet Set
ZORN: Cat o’ Nine Tails
VREBALOV: Pannonia Boundless
BURHANS: Library of Congress S.Q. commission
PINTSCHER: Study IV for Treatise on the Veil
MYERS: Dopamine
+ String Quartets by GLASS, LEON, SZYMANSKI, and UNG

Won't anyone be performing Charles Ives's Halloween for String Quartet and Piano (and Bass Drum, if available). He spent years working on it -- more years than he spent working on his Universe Symphony (Symphony #6).



William Wiley
No Fault Insurance, 2006
Jacquard tapestry, rag and pigment button
55 x 78 in. Edition of 6

"William Wiley has produced a number of tapestries with the Magnolia Tapestry Project, depicting a host of mythic and politically charged figures with characteristically adventurous formal gusto. His latest, No Fault Insurance, considers the case of Amadou Diallo, a West African immigrant shot and killed by the NYPD in February of 2000 when he attempted to withdraw his wallet, which police officers claimed to have mistaken for a weapon. The officers were later acquitted of all charges. In Wiley's colorful tapestry, a bird-like character borrowed from Bosch skates on thin ice below the warped “bridge of justice,” under which a religious figure, a goblin, and an armed rat huddle in deliberation; a fallen black bird and an open wallet lie nearby. On the skating figure, whose mantle conspicuously bears an NYPD badge, Wiley has wryly pinned a button depicting the alchemical symbol for lead.

Text (c) Nick Stone

The copyright of all art images belongs to William Wiley, artist, and Magnolia Editions Inc.

(c) Magnolia Editions Inc. 2009. Copyright controlled.

The Thinker: Pop Quiz -- Which American Classical Mini-Masterpiece Did Charles Ives Compose On This Single Day in 1906?

Extra credit:

In what --or which -- tonal keys is the work?