New Ideas, New Possibilities
Has Lawrence forgotten that February 1st was Langston Hughes birthday?
The web site in kansapedia, the Kansas Historical Journal website, gives you a brief introduction.
as well as the Kansas Historical Journal website for young people:
He was a wonderful man, and a wonderful poet.
Here are a few quotations from his work.
I've known rivers: I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in Human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
Source: The Negro Speaks of Rivers, 1926
Quick, sunrise, come! Sunrise out of Africa, Quick, come!
Source: Junior Addict, 1967
*art change duty force people*
It is the duty of the younger Negro artist . . . to change through the force of his art that old whispering "I want to be white," hidden in the aspirations of his people, to "Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro - and beautiful!"
I got the Weary Blues And I can't be satisfied.
Source: The Weary Blues, 1926
Humor is laughing at what you haven't got when you ought to have it.
Melting pot Harlem - Harlem of honey and chocolate and caramel and rum and vinegar and lemon and lime and gall . . . where the subway from the Bronx keeps right on downtown.
Source: Freedomways, Summer, 1963
Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.
Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
Source: April Rain Song, 1902 – 1967
*birds death dreams life*
Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly.
I am the American heartbreak- The rock on which Freedom Stumped its toe.
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Maybe it just sags Like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
And for those of you who don't yet know Langhston Hughes, it is time right now to become informed! Get one of his books, read them, and share them with others.
Money for schools when California became a state ... what about Kansas?
I just saw this article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
This is fascinating. But I can't find any information on where the money for Kansas schools went when Kansas became a state.
Can someone find out more information on this? I'm sure a lot of Kansans would like to know.
4 Amazing Feats and a very unusual event from Australia
If you have not already seen these, you must take a look at the articles and videos below.
All of us have our strong points, but sometimes the combination of body strength and willpower is overwhelming.
Crossing a highway in Florida on a tight rope
Nik Wallenda crosses 200 feet above an oceanfront highway in Sarasota, Florida. There is no net or safety harness.
Here is some background on what he has done.
Amazing surfer breaks record
Garret McNamara broke his own record when he surfed a wave said to be100 ft. off the coast of Portugal.
Point of no return
These are amazing pictures, and they have to be shared.
Surfer in France wearing an LED suit at night - surfing
And if that isn't already enough for one day, take a look at this surfer at night wearing an LED suit. William Hughes is on the slopes at Tignes, France.
The exceedingly rare event of sea foam in Australia
Huge swathes of foam, whipped up by high seas then thrown on land, on Australia's Sunshine Coast (eastern Australia). The sea foam emerges when powerful storms force water into the air before it is whisked on to land.
2013 African World Cup Now Taking Place in South Africa
The 2013 African World Cup is now taking place in South Africa - specifically in the stadiums of Johannesburg (FNB Stadium), Durban (Moses Mabhida Stadium), Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium), Nelspruit (Mbombela Stadium) and Rustenberg (Royal Bafokeng Stadium).
This will be the 29th African Cup of Nations. Forty-seven countries entered the qualification. South Sudan was not able to enter as the qualifying competition had already started before South Sudan had their membership in the CAF (Confederation of African Football) confirmed.
The winner of the tournament qualifies for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
Many of the games will be broadcast in the US by ESPN. When I learn of internet possibilites for the games, I will include them here.
Official songs, runners-up and Opening Ceremonies
The Official World cup song for 2013 follows.
Making of world cup song
The making of the above song, which is detailed below, was difficult because of the different languages involved and the different countries.
Official opening ceremony
In my point of view, the opening ceremony was very well done. It wasn't carried out with the technical expertise of the Olympics in London last year, but it was much more down to earth.
Here is the 2010 World Cup Song
The 2010 World Cup Song is below:
Other 2013 World Cup songs submitted for the competition:
Many other entries were submitted. The one below is from Morrocco. As I find other countries entries posted online, I will post them here. I think it's important to play music from the rest of the world, which is a rare experience on the airwaves in Lawrence.
The Moroccan entry:
If other Africans are following the World Cup, please don't hesitate to give your comments below, and the your name and country.
Music from Orthodox Christmas 2013, and 2 hours of watching Orthodox Christmas Eve services on Russian television
A little more music from Orthodox Christmas 2013
World-famous Dmitri Hvorostovsky with the St Petersburg Chamber choir, singing "Let My Prayer."
This is a Serbian Orthodox Christmas song for Christmas 2013. I lived in Serbia and also Sarajevo for almost a year.
Russian Christmas Music with Russian Christmas cards, just put on the web for this Christmas.
A Russian Flash Mob on January 16, 2011 in a Mall in Moscow. If you remember, Lawrence had a Flash mob last year, I believe it was at Target.
And if you want to watch what Russian viewers watched live on television for Orthodox Christmas eve, here is the Christmas Service in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
Streamed live on January 6, 2013.
The reason I have completed these two blogs is because there is so little, really, on the media of Orthodox Christmas in this country. Many Americans don't even know that Christmas is celebrated on a different day in parts of the world.
A woman walks past the Orthodox Svyato-Nikolsky church in Russia’s Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
The Orthodox Christmas is today, January 7
From the Jersulem Maan News Agency in the Middle East, Bethlehem prepares for the Orthodox Christmas.
Here are pictures of Orthodox Christmas celebrations throughout the world.
And many more, from Al Jezeera:
President Vladimir Putin celebrates Christmas at Holy Trinity St George Monastery in Sochi, Russia. It is an Orthodox tradition to go to church Christmas eve and celebrate the divine liturgy past midnight through the early morning hours of Christmas day.
Christmas in Ethiopia, with a fast beforehand for advent (Sibket, in Amharic).
The Christian Post explains the difference in dates:
Christmas ornaments in Russia are made by hand.
Moscow Catholics at the Russian Christmas Midnight Mass.
Russian Orthodox Christmas and Orthodox Christmas in the West Bank:
The Russian Chjristmas Eve ceremony (January 6) in Moscow. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attends the ceremony.
An Orthodox Christmas parade today, January 7, 2013, in Tbilisi, Georgia (the country, not the state):
Other views of Christmas from around the world.
Russian Patriarch Krill addresses Russians on Orthodox Christmas day (January 7).
I will also post just one of many beautiful pieces on the net, Rachmaninov: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 31, "The Mercy of Peace", and I will especially dedicate this to the suffering of Syrians in the Middle East and the dreadful fighting in the Congo.
These are pictures of recent events in Russia, including Kazansky Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
Juan Manuel Santos, President of the Country of Columbia
In the above photograph of Juan Manuel Santos, which was taken by Nick Krug, we see a remarkable man. He has every right to be Kansan of the Year. How many of these commentators have taken over a country plagued so long by civil war. He has accomplished many things since being President, including a law being passed to compensate the victims of the long-running civil conflict, and returning land to millions of displaced people.
But I want to focus on another accomplishment, less talked about, in which he has had a part and which is important for thousands (47,000) of school children: school orchestras. The school orchestra movement began in Venezula, and it has now spread to several other South American countries, including Columbia. This is one of many accomplishments, less spoken of, since he became President.
Listen to the following article:
and now enjoy the following video:
Some people, including many of the people in these commentaries, could care less about music. But I feel very differently. In my opinion, music is just as important as sports and computers. In music, like sports, each person learns to listen to the other, so that the whole group works as a whole.
How many such orchestras do we have in Kansas?
I'm going to include my other blogs which deal with school orchestras in different countries below. If you have not had a chance to hear them, you might enjoy them now.
There is much more to Juan Manual Santos on the internet. But he is changing Columbia, and he is instituting changes which will help thousands of children with school orchestras. I only wish the Governor of Kansas could undertake similar changes in his own state!
Many Journal-World readers may not know much about Africa, except for occasional stories in the news. The Journal-World is especially bad about this, because personal blogs are very difficult to find on the web page. This is not just true with geography, but also with subjects such as technology and nature. I feel this area needs to be revised, so that blogs on these areas are given just as much importance as blogs on sports and politics.
As you may know, I have correspondence with Africans who live in a variety of countries throughout Africa. I will be including their comments in the future, as I get them from my conversations on Skype. I have already started to comment on well commons about cigarette smoking in The Gambia. I will write much more about this in the future, much of it written in the African correspondent's own words. I just hope that more readers of the Journal-World somehow can find these personal blogs, so that they, too, can know more about it.
In this blog, I am going to point out some important sources for African news, especially slides and videos. The BBC is a very good source for African pictures. For example,
Here are more pictures from Africa, from the most recent BBC web page.
as well as pictures from all over Africa.
In South Africa, much is happening, including this dance for freedom in the South African township of Katiehong.
France24, which features news in English, French and Arabic 24 hours a day, has a great weekly feature called THE WEEK IN AFRICA. The current edition is on problems in Ivory Coast. Each edition also carries good news, as well as bad news - there is usually something positive happening which the French report on in detail, as well.
In addition to the Congo, Mali has had tremendous problems recently. They are highlighted here. Watching this series each week will give you a great background on French Africa, especially.
Many readers of the Journal-World's web page also know very little about the animals - not only of Africa but in most parts of the world. Children as well as adults enjoy this series.
Take a look at these programs and web features. I'll give more in the future, plus there will be first-hand knowledge direct from Africans on the continent.
The Death of Ravi Shankar
I never personally heard Ravi Shankar, but his music played an important role in my life. I found out about him from another Scholarship Hall person when I was at KU, and as soon as possible I managed to get some recordings. From that time on, until I went into the Army, I listened to him all the time.
His death was reported as follows:
It has also occurred to me that younger people might have never heard his music. Here is a wonderful documentary from U-Tube:
It is very meditative. Here is a raga from 1997, from the India and Pakistan Golden Jubilee celebrations in England, with his daughter, Anoushka Shankar, who was and is very accomplished:
Some of the articles upon Ravi Shankar's death are very enlightening.
Tributes have poured in from musicians and listeners throughout the world. Don't forget that Ravi Shankar taught George Harrison, of the Beatles, much about Indian music.
One of the great Indian newspapers, The Hindu, has a very fine series of articles on Ravi Shankar and what he accomplished during his long life.
Life in Pictures
Here is his life in pictures, from the BBC.
And the New York Times article regarding Ravi Shankar's death follows.
I'm wondering ... have you in your lifetime had any special experiences with Ravi Shankar's music? Please comment on them.
New Orchestras Made From Thrown-Away Junk in South America
Meanwhile, in Paraguay a new orchestra has been born, and for many it is a new life. Many of these young people have spent their whole day sorting out trash. The fact that they have been able to learn how to make musical instruments is amazing, and it is even more amazing that they are now playing.
And I am curious if anyone in the School of Music at KU has heard their music and has, in the back of their minds, some idea of serving others in the future in the same way, in any country.
A forthcoming film will be finished next year which I can't wait to see.
So from the death of a great Indian musician, Ravi Shankar, to the birth of new orchestras using thrown-away junk, music carries on in an amazing way.
How many students in Lawrence, and Kansas, have musical instruments at their schools, or has that mostly been taken away from schools?
100th anniversary of streetcar service in San Francisco - why not the first streetcars in Lawrence since 1933?
Streetcars would completely change Lawrence - and draw visitors from many states
It is time to start the fund so that streetcars can come back to Lawrence.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the streetcars in San Francisco. Everyone gets free rides all day.
It's tremendous, not only for the locals of San Francisco itself, but because of all the tourists it brings in year-round. Take a look at some of the pictures from the past:
And here is a video from local news about today's events:
There is a resurgence of street cars throughout the United States. Cities such as Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis have already broken ground on their street cars plans.
But the real news is that Kansas City, MO has plans for street cars. The following Wall Street Journal article has more details:
This development, along with other developments in Kansas City - such as the first Google fiber in the United States - should give Lawrence much food for thought.
Streetcars in Lawrence again. Why not?
The Lawrence City Commission recently considered various projects which they would like to fund. To my mind, streetcars and internet funding come at the top of the list.
Lawrence has a strong history of street cars, dating back to April 19, 1910. There are two wonderful articles on the history of street cars in Lawrence. The first is by Douglas Harvey, Department of History, University of Kansas:
There is also an excellent article in Lawrence Community Connections, a project of Lawrence West Junior High School in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, Watkins Community Museum of History, the Lawrence Journal-World and the University of Kansas.
Also, Sarah St. John has done some excellent research in this area. This is one of several outstanding articles from the past pages of the Journal-World:
By the way, are there more pictures of streetcars in Lawrence? Please post them here.
I will consider internet funding in a later post, but streetcar funding should take a high priority. Think what the revival of streetcars in Lawrence would make possible:
Streetcars would bring in visitors from many states
Streetcars would bring in visitors from many states, including Kansas. If the streetcar line went through downtown Lawrence, then up the hill and across the university, then out to 23rd street and then Iowa, I think even locals would take it all the time.
Streetcars would completely invigorate downtown, as well as other parts of town
Streetcars would completely invigorate downtown, as well as other parts of the city. Can you imagine hopping on a streetcar and touring downtown Lawrence. These streetcars could incorporate features of the past and those of the very present, including wifi for laptops.
All transportation systems should be linked together
The bus system should be closely tied to the streetcar route. People should be able to take a bus in, and then board a streetcar for a really fun ride - whether it be shopping, getting off at the university for classes and tours, or heading out to 23rd street. and Iowa.
Small libraries throughout Lawrence instead of one large library
If the library had considered small libraries throughout Lawrence - which the library board never did - then people could board a streetcar and busses to pay their bills, and relax in small libraries throughout the city, instead of one large library. This would be especially great for kids and seniors. There is a lot to do in Lawrence, and there would be more to do if small libraries were located throughout the city.
Link streetcars in Lawrence with streetcars and busses in Kansas City
Eventually, the Lawrence streetcar line could be linked with the Kansas City streetcars. In a future column, I will consider ways to link up the streetcars with the latest modern technology. This would greatly increase the possibility of businesses in Lawrence and innovation, which Lawrence so badly needs.
Eventually, a streetcar line to Baldwin City, perhaps even Ottawa
I would also eventually propose a line to Baldwin City, to link up with Baker University, and to allow Baldwin to develop a business park. It would also be great to go to Baldwin City for a whole day, including the civil war beginnings.
Baker University has some wonderful buildings. If you haven't been there, go visit the town!
Ottawa is also an old town with fine buildings on the Ottawa University campus. The long main street is wonderful. Here, in case you haven't been to Ottawa, is the Courthouse:
All of these are fine tourist destinations, which would be well served by eventual streetcar service from Lawrence.
And...all of these ideas make sense
But the first thing to do is to start the funding for streetcars in Lawrence. This will take time and money to implement, but I think they can be done and done superbly.
The fund and the planning needs to start now, instead of so many of the ideas which the City Commission has considered up to now, which make money for developers but which don't consider everyday people in Lawrence.
There will be more ideas in blogs in the future. That's what this blog is all about - "New Ideas, New Possibilities." I think, if the streetcar idea ever gets off the ground, people will love it.