Life magazine has just unleashed their incredible archive online - 7 million photos and counting.
A great reference, with many powerful, iconic images, Life.com will be adding over 3,000 images each day, in over 1,000 categories, including their coverage of the Vietnam war, filmmaker Billy Wilder at work, and Life's salute to the bikini.
Following the phenomenal triumph of Senator Barack Obama last night at the US Election, it's hard not to think today of Martin Luther King and his family, and their hard work and vision that played such a significant part in making Obama's victory possible.
Here below is a segment of Martin Luther King's very last speech. The following day he was assassinated, on April 4, 1968.
Why are you voting in today's US Election? This is the question SeeHear is asking, in a brilliant interactive project found online here.
Says SeeHear: "Speak up about why you are casting your ballot this election. Then listen, in virtual real time, to what the rest of the country is saying."
What is SeeHear? "A not-for-profit interactive experiment in the power of being heard. There is no cost (toll rates only), no profit, no distribution of any information, no political agenda. Your privacy is respected and secure. Our country is a nation of unique voices. Listen to us. Spread the word."
You can also cast your vote with the rest of the world, and view the results, at this virtual election (more than 800,000 votes cast so far): If The World Could Vote.
"A sculptor who transforms straws, paper clips and Scotch tape into dazzling forms; an urban farmer who delivers healthy food to poor city dwellers; and an astronomer who looks toward the edge of the universe are among the 25 recipients of the $500,000 “genius awards” to be announced on Tuesday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation." - NY Times
Each year the Foundation awards 25 winners a no-strings-attached grant over the next five years for their creativity, originality and 'potential to make important contributions in the future,' the foundation said. 'The MacArthur Fellows Program celebrates extraordinarily creative individuals who inspire new heights in human achievement,' MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton said in a statement.
There have been 781 MacArthur fellows since 1981. Nominations are made anonymously to the foundation, and then the finalists are chosen by a 12-member selection committee. In an attempt to explore the creative impulse, 40 of the past winners were interviewed for Denise Shekerjian's excellent book, Uncommon Genius.
'When I call the winners up, I tell them, `we've been looking at you and we think you're terrific and you're not going to hear from us again, but here's $500,000 and all that comes with the MacArthur, now go for it,''' Daniel Socolow, the MacArthur Foundation fellows program director said. (At the continue reading link below the video, you can read an account of the experience from past winner Jim Collins) And for more information on the foundation, and a full list of this year's winners, click here. Below is one of this year's winners, violinist Leila Josefowicz, playing in 1991, at the age of 13 (watch her at 3:00):
Still wondering if you should ask that girl/guy out for a coffee? Worried what your friends might think about your desire to play the banjo?
Today, NASA provides a little context for all of us that may make most of our worries seem a little inconsequential. To the left is a photograph just released by NASA, of Earth (left) and the Moon (right), taken from the planet Mars....Not much more than a speck of dust in a lot of deep space! So hey - why not let's all get outside and enjoy the rest of the day....
Writes Michael Shnayerson in this month's Vanity Fair in a report titled The Edge of Extinction, "There’s one place, and one place only, to see polar bears in America. You have to travel to the country’s northernmost point, the very apex of Alaska’s North Slope, to the permafrost shores that stretch out on either side from the Inupiat town of Kaktovik..."
Wildlife photographer Steven Kazlowski has captured the photos for the essay. His own site, Left Eye Productions, is worth a look as is his series of photos, The Last Polar Bear, that illustrate the report. According to Shnayerson, last summer the Arctic lost more sea ice than ever before—nearly a half-million square miles, the size of Texas and California combined...
Given the current high stakes of the Obama-Clinton race, here's a timely piece on what it's like to campaign for the presidency of the United States - and lose.
An extract: "Only 13 people alive have run for the US presidency in a general election. Of those, four went all the way to the most powerful job on earth. The remaining nine - five Democrats, one Republican and three third-party candidates - never got to sit behind that desk in the Oval Office. They are the people who know best the toll of running for the White House. They can warn Clinton, Obama and John McCain of the booby traps that lie ahead. They have been the butt of attack ads, have worked around the clock for two years solid, and, whatever their political colours, have shared the same overwhelming disappointment. In short, they know what it is to lose...
..So do they regret their decision to run in the first place? Was it worth the pain?" Ed Pilkington talks to former presidential candidates about the shattering loss, the humiliation and the elite club they call the 'Misery Circle'...Click here for the story.