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Hey Jude

Meant to post this on Wednesday. "Hey Jude" by the Beatles, generally agreed to be one of the greatest songs of all times, was recorded on July 30, 1968, i.e. 46 years ago. Do yourself a favor. Take 7:03 minutes out of your Friday, go here, and turn up the volume. Take a sad song and make it better.


Ancestral Screen

Lovely Kalabari (Nigeria) piece in the De Young museum. Ancestral screen (1890-1920) made from iroko wood, bamboo, rattan, vegetable fibers, pigment, and metal. [NOTE: A high-resolution, horizontal crop of this image, suitable as an ancestral screen(saver) can be downloaded here].


A Threat to Cambodia's Sacred Forests

Beautiful documentary by Kaylanee Mam about the threat to forests and forest dwellers caused by the planned construction of a hydroelectric dam in the pristine Areng Valley of southwest Cambodia. Just one of the innumerable violations of nature and indigneous humanity that occurs, it seems, almost every day on this planet. I post this piece because the Chong village is very close to where we did some of our rattan work in Cambodia (see Finally, Its a Book). [NOTE: Go here and here to find out more about the proposed dam and what you can do about it]. 



I noticed that the gates on some of the shrines at Kuthodaw (See Kuthodaw) were open and that rugs were laid out on the floor. Apparently, you can climb inside and sit with the stone tablet of a Tripitaka page and reflect on its meaning. [NOTE: This is probably a more common practice during the rainy season when the temperatures in Mandalay drop a bit. Was oppresively hot the day I visited, and I bet it was like an oven inside these shrines].  


Kite Fight

Beautiful video about flying kites in the crowded favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Kids coat the kite strings with powered glass and duel with the other kites. Saw the same sort of competitive kite flying in Pontianak, West Kalimantan when I lived there in the 1990's. You'd pick up a wad of string on the street to throw it away and cut your fingers. Ouch. [NOTE: Filmmaker Guilherme Tensol produced the documentary for the New York Times].