Friday, June 17, 2005

(Glenn Gould on the train to Churchill, Manitoba, preparing to record his radio documentary "the Idea of North")

I am going north to look for the source of the chill in my bones.

"A Canadian scientist who recently returned from a trip to measure the Pole's current location says it has now left Canadian territory and crossed into international waters.

"I think the Pole has probably just moved past the 200-nautical-mile limit," said Larry Newitt, head of the Natural Resources Canada geomagnetic laboratory in Ottawa. "It's probably outside of Canada, technically. But we're still the closest country to it.""

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

nice tribute to the immortal Alastair Sim (pictured with Margaret Rutherford in "The Happiest Days of Our Lives")--

"But the silent screen would have denied Sim his crowning glory: that extraordinary voice. Only Gielgud rivalled his tonal control and sensitivity to the musicality of the English language, and it comes as no surprise to learn that Sim was a successful elocution teacher before he turned to acting. His horrified realisation that the Ministry of Education has committed "a most appalling sexual aberration" in The Happiest Days of Your Life is made doubly delicious by the flawless rendition of every vowel, diphthong, consonant or plosive. His dictation of his novel Bloodlust in Laughter in Paradise filters hard-boiled American slang through incongruously patrician tones to even more hilarious effect, and his voice required surprisingly little modification to be wholly convincing as St. Trinian's headmistress Miss Fritton..." Posted by Hello

Expos' move marks end of baseball era in French

(--"the ball has eyes!" I remember, & feeling great national pride at making Clark Coolidge watch ten minutes of a game en francais at the Sylvia in 1988...(Duke Snider would call the games in English in that era)

"When Mr. Doucet described infielders moving to serrer les lignes de demarcation in the late innings of a close game, listeners would envision the players hugging the foul lines to guard against an extra-base hit. And if a frappeur de puissance (as sluggers are now known) hit a fleche (an "arrow," or line drive) into the right-center field allee, listeners held their breath to hear whether the coureur (base-runner) would round third base and file vers le marbre (dash toward the "marble," or home plate)."

(merci languagehat)

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

very well-done site on Horace Kephart, whose "Our Southern Highlanders" (1913) is still the definitive book on the southern Appalachians...

"So the western piedmont and the mountains were settled neither by Cavaliers nor by poor whites, but by a radically distinct and even antagonistic people who are appropriately called the Roundheads of the South. These Roundheads had little or nothing to do with slavery, detested the state church, loathed tithes, and distrusted all authority save that of conspicuous merit and natural justice. The first characteristic that these pioneers developed was an intense individualism. The strong and even violent independence that made them forsake all the comforts of civilization and prefer the wild freedom of the border was fanned at times into turbulence and riot; but it blazed forth at a happy time for this country when our liberties were imperilled."

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In praise of The Bad News Bears

"Ritchie resists the temptation to depict the kids' foul mouths, questionable personal grooming habits, and all-around crumminess as cute precociousness. He isn't afraid to be both appalled and amused by them. The Bad News Bears offers a brief glimpse of a moment like the pre-code early '30s when movies had no use for moralism. The sawed-off badass (Jackie Earle Haley) who becomes the Bears' star slugger smokes his way through the movie; Buttermaker slips the kids beers after they play a particularly good game..."

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