Friday, December 26, 2008

Pakistan Mourners Honour Bhutto

According to BBC

Tens of thousands of people have gathered at the mausoleum of Pakistan's former PM Benazir Bhutto to mark the first anniversary of her assassination.

Ceremonies in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, southern Pakistan, are expected to include prayers, poetry and speeches.

Mrs Bhutto was killed in a suicide bomb and gun attack in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad, after an election rally.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says he expects an independent inquiry into her death to be set up soon.

Heavy security

People from all over Pakistan have been travelling by train, bus, car and even on foot to the Bhutto family mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh.

The tyrants and the killers have killed her but they shall never be able to kill her ideas

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari:

"She gave her life for the people of this country, so we can walk a few miles to pay homage to her dignity," Sher Mohammad, who walked hundreds of kilometres to the mausoleum, told the Associated Press news agency.

Mrs Bhutto's widower, Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, is expected to speak at the ceremony.

"In the tradition of a true Bhutto, she faced certain death rather than abandon her principles," Mr Zardari said ahead of the nationwide commemorations.

"The tyrants and the killers have killed her but they shall never be able to kill her ideas, which drove and inspired a generation to lofty aims," he said.

Thousands of police officers have been deployed in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, amid fears that Mr Zardari could also be targeted.

Multiple crises

Pakistanis are still dealing with the political consequences of Mrs Bhutto death, the BBC's Barbara Plett says.

Her Pakistan People's Party went on to win February's elections, bolstered by a sympathy vote. Mr Zardari later became Pakistan's president, after General Pervez Musharraf was forced to resign.

But one year on, Mr Zardari's government is floundering, and is seen by many as unable to cope with the multiple crises, including an Islamist insurgency and an economic downturn, our correspondent says.

Relations with India are also tense following the deadly attacks by militants in Mumbai last month. Pakistan is reported to have redeployed some troops from the north-west to the border with India, while India has advised its citizens against travelling to Pakistan.

Cover-up claims

On Friday, the UN Secretary General expressed hopes that a UN investigation into Mrs Bhutto's assassination could be set up in the near future.

In a statement, Mr Ban said he was committed to helping Pakistan's search for "truth and justice".

Earlier this year, British detectives investigating the fatal attack in Rawalpindi said Mrs Bhutto died from the effect of a bomb blast, not gunfire.

Their account matched that of the Pakistani authorities.

But Bhutto's party has insisted she was shot by an assassin, and has accused the government of a cover-up.

Jizz In My Pants

CSUN Journalism Student Blogs Adventures in Africa, Teaches Dance

(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Dec. 15th, 2008) ― For most college students, merely graduating is the ultimate goal, but for Cal State Northridge senior Saharra White, that was just one of many other ambitions.

First, White wanted to start a black newspaper in the San Fernando Valley. Then, she wanted to go to Africa and teach girls. Incredibly, in her last semester before entering the “real world,” White has accomplished all of her aspirations.

The 24-year-old journalism major and Pan African studies minor is spending five months in Uganda teaching children dance and journalism.

Last year, she launched Say It Loud!, the only black newspaper in the San Fernando Valley. White said she founded the newspaper because when her family moved to the Valley in 1996 there were no newspapers with information about the black community.

“We always had to go to L.A. to get the L.A. Sentinel or L.A. Watts Times and we read it and there was nothing in the Valley,” White said.

She has been in Uganda since October with the Bavubuka Foundation, a nonprofit organization that strives to create educational programs that empower youth in Uganda and in other African countries. White paid her own air fare. She said the foundation is taking care of her living expenses, including housing and food.

During her five-month stay, White is teaching different types of dance, including jazz, tap and ballet to girls and boys, ages 13 to 18. She is also utilizing the journalism skills she learned at CSUN to teach these youths how to be reporters. White started them out doing mock interviews “By the end, (they will) come out with their own newsletters,” she said.

In addition to teaching the youth, White said she is completing her degree at CSUN by taking two online courses. She is also working as a freelance reporter for the Uganda-based newspaper/magazine, The Independent.

White said adjusting to her new surroundings has been difficult. She recently found out she has malaria. But she is still happy to have had the opportunity to travel to Uganda.

“I’m officially an international reporter,” exclaimed White on a blog that she is maintaining while in Uganda. “The sky’s the limit.”

She is still remotely contributing to Say It Loud! White said she is proud of the one-year-old publication that she launched with her own money. She has updated the newspaper’s Web site and expanded its readership.

“I wanted to do something for our community and I (have) always wanted to start a magazine or newspaper,” said White about why she founded the newspaper. She plans to share her entire experience in Uganda with her readership.

For more information about Say It Loud!, visit To read about White’s journey in Uganda, visit

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Anthony Hernandez

I love this one, the kids gear is so rock! I went to the exhibition @ the Christopher Grimes Gallery some time ago and fell in love with every photo on the wall.

For more than 35 years Anthony Hernandez has been known as one of Los Angeles’ mostprized photographers. His candid documentation of life in the ‘city of angels’ runs the gamut. On his return home from the war in Vietnam, Hernandez armed himself with a 35mm camera; he roamed the streets of his native LA documenting the urban spaces of the 1960’s and beyond.

As one traces the photographic history of the three decades that Hernandez covers, one is reminded of the stark dichotomy that is Los Angeles; the realm of the real and the realm of the unreal. The realm of the real encompasses the way of the much larger working class and poor while the realm of the unreal covers the Rodeo Drive of 1984, a very different (but somehow the same with Reaganomics) reality from the Orwellian classic.

Hernandez delivers the zeitgeist of the 1970’s on a silver-gelatin platter; the subjects of these very candid portraits were taken in Downtown Los Angeles. These people are the poster children of the working class; one can see the struggle of life written all over their bodies and faces. The photos exude the undercurrent of exhaustion from years of hard work and stress.

Unlike the black and white photos from 1970’s Downtown LA are the vibrantly colored ‘portraits’ of the ‘fat-cats’. Take Beverly Hills #11 1984 which managed to catch conservative talk show host of ‘The Hot Seat’ completely off-guard. The photo encapsulates the ‘benefits’ of status and wealth as Mr. Wallace, comb-over and all, walks down Rodeo hand-in-hand with a fashionable and much younger lady.

The Beverly Hills 1984 series of photos feels unreal; the glamorous lives of the few create an unnatural disconnect from the rich and the beautiful, some of the ladies captured look like fashion models from catalogues of the era. I can imagine that as Hernandez stalked his ‘prey’ he may have felt that he was engaged in a veritable safari of big money and big hair. One can surmise that the hole in the ozone layer may have been a direct result of Beverly Hills’ abundant use of hairspray during the 1980s.

Four years after his expedition into the world of the wealthy we find Hernandez in the diametric world of the homeless. In his series, Landscapes for the Homeless 1989-2007, Hernandez delivers the social sphere of the homeless person without disrupting or exploiting the lives of the denizens who inhabit the places that our society largely ignores. Freeway underpasses transformed into precarious living spaces tell the tales of the dweller whose make-shift shelter may be ripped out from under them at any given moment. The photos evoke the transitory nature of the homeless without actual documentation of the people involved.

Anthony Hernandez’s oeuvre documents a rich pictorial contemporary history of Los Angeles. The photos speak for themselves; they need no written or verbal accompaniment. One can’t help but walk away from the work of Hernandez with a feeling that one has shared in his experience.

Miriam Makeba

South African diva Miriam Makeba is well known throughout the world as the Mama Africa and the Empress of African Song. Born in 1932 in South Afica, she first came to the public's attention as a featured vocalist with the Manhattan Brothers in 1954. She soon left to record with her all-woman group the Skylarks while touring Southern Africa with Alf Herberts' African Jazz and Variety, an 18 month tour that launched the careers of many African artists.

In 1959, Makeba's incredible voice help win her the role of the female lead in the show, King Kong, a Broadway-inspired South African musical. She then went to conquer America where she sang at President Kennedy's birthday and worked in New York with Harry Belafonte creating such classics as "The Click Song" and "Pata Pata".

In 1963 she testified about apartheid before the United Nations, as a result the South African government revoked her citizship and right of return. She stayed in the U.S. and married Stokely Carmichael, a Black Panther leader. That began her exile from her South African homeland. After harassment by U.S. authorities she fled to exile in Guinea.

Makeba returned to world prominence when she performed with Paul Simon on the Graceland tour. Finally in the late 1980's she returned to her homeland as a free South African.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A New Fashion Catches On in Paris: Cheap Bicycle Rentals

PARIS — They’re clunky, heavy and ugly, but they have become modish — and they are not this season’s platform shoes.
A year after the introduction of the sturdy gray bicycles known as Vélib’s, they are being used all over Paris. The bikes are cheap to rent because they are subsidized by advertising, and other major cities, including American ones, are exploring similar projects.
About 20,600 Vélib’ bicycles are in service here, with more than 1,450 self-service rental stations. The stations are only some 300 yards apart, and there are four times as many as there are subway stations, even in a city so well served by its metro system.
In the first year, the city says, there have been 27.5 million trips in this city of roughly 2.1 million people, many of them for daily commutes. On average, there are 120,000 trips a day. And on July 27, at the conclusion here of the Tour de France, 365 lucky Vélib’ riders will be chosen to ride along for a while and cross the finish line.
There are a Vélib’ Web site, Vélib’ fashions and a Vélib’ blog (; one recent posting discussed the best way to ride with a skirt. A kind of Vélib’ behavior has emerged, especially at the morning rush, with people swiftly checking for bikes in the best condition: tires inflated, chains still attached, baskets unstolen.

Natallya Ghyssaert, a 34-year-old doctor, has an annual subscription for 29 euros (about $46), which lets her use a bike whenever she wants for 30 minutes at a time without extra charges. She uses a Vélib’ two or three times a day, saying, “I love it; you can see Paris, you can exercise and stay out in the light of day.”

The Vélib’ — a contraction of vélo for bike and liberté — can also be rented for a day or for a week, with a 150 euro (about $239) deposit taken from the user’s credit card if the bike is not returned. Usage fees over 30 minutes can rise steeply: two hours costs 7 euros (about $11). But 96 percent of all rides are less than 30 minutes, because bikes can be returned to any station.

No one knows quite how many trips by car or taxi are thereby avoided, but the “eco-friendly” nature of the Vélib’ has been much promoted in a country where juice companies warn of the risks to “our fragile planet” in lavish brochures on thick paper.

Benjamin Tomada, 30, a cook parking his Vélib’ near the Music Hall restaurant where he works, said: “I have a car but I don’t use it. It’s always better to take a bike than the metro.”

Still, there have been significant problems with traffic congestion and safety, vandalism and theft. At least 3,000 of the bikes have been stolen — nearly 15 percent of the total, and twice original estimates. Some have been seen in Romania or found in shipping containers on their way to Morocco.

Wearing helmets is not compulsory in France, and three people have died on their rented Vélib’s, hit by buses or trucks.

The Vélib’ program in Paris was conceived by the Socialist mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, and the 10-year contract was won by JCDecaux, a major French public relations and advertising company with good political contacts, after defeating a rival bid from Clear Channel...

For Full Article:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ingrid Calame

The new ICA Ramp Project is a monumental wall painting by artist Ingrid Calame, based on graffiti taken from the cement embankments of the Los Angeles River.

Ingrid Calame traces contours of stains that she lifts from the streets and transposes onto white gallery walls into graphic, painterly compositions. Collected from sidewalks, parking lots, roads, and rampways in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and most recently Seoul, Korea, Calame has developed an extensive archive. Some stains are puddle-like; others bear the force of impact, defined by direction and speed; still others are simply small seepages, drops, natural drip and mechanical drizzles. There are actual paint stains, too: graffiti, the mark of human hands. Once traced, every stain is annotated with the place and date it was recorded, and then filed away for future use in her paintings. Abstract and representational at once, these layered works refer to cartography, forensics, and the gestures of Abstract Expressionism; at the same time they evoke abrasion, erosion, evaporation, erasure, and inscription.

For her installation at ICA, Calame responded to the steep pitch of the ramp space by turning to tracings she had made on the sharp embankment walls of the Los Angeles River. These included a turf war in spray paint between two local graffiti crews from the surrounding "Frog Town" neighborhood-each graffiting over the others" salvo of text. As Calame writes, "I traced the silhouette of the whole, so that words are sometimes visible but mostly are obliterated and changed into one conglomerate shape. It is like I found the constellation of stains that I usually combine in the studio." As rendered by Calame, this urban palimpsest is a microcosm of personal and political disputes in which one point of view wipes out the other thereby creating a new form.

About Ingrid Calame:

Ingrid Calame (b.1965, lives in Los Angeles) rose to prominence in the late 1990s with her large-scale enamel paintings on Mylar with lyrical titles like Spalunk (1997) and b-b-b,rr-gR-UF!, b-b-b(1999). Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH; James Cohan Gallery, New York; Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles; PKM Gallery, Seoul, Korea; and Galerie Rolf Ricke, Cologne, Germany. Significant group exhibitions include: "Extreme Abstraction," Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; the 2000 Whitney Biennial; "Color Me Blind!," Wurtembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany, and "Abstract Painting Once Removed," Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX. She is currently at work on a large-scale public commission for the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture which will consist of two ceiling paintings for the entrance of the San Diego New Main Library.

ICA Ramp Project:

Since 2000, ICA has commissioned artist installations for its 92-foot ramp, a transitional space that connects the first and second floor galleries. With its striking architecture and soaring windows overlooking 36th Street, the Ramp has been transformed into a dynamic programmed exhibition space, exposing the public to the contemporary art that is central to ICA's mission.

The Juan MacLean @ The Avalon (Los Angeles) December 26 2008

$20 / $10 advance
Friday Dec 26 (10pm)
Avalon Hollywood (1735 Vine St)

The Juan Maclean @ Paradise Lounge December 27 2008 (San Francisco)

The Jesus Roast (San Francisco)

Suite Jesus Christmahanukwanzakah (San Francisco)

Black X Mass (San Francisco)

The 11th Annual Black X-Massfeaturing The Fuxedos, Sassy!!!, Fluff Grrl,Kitten On The Keys, Theremin Wizard Barney, Devil Dancers (burlesque) and Hearsella

Christmas on Mars

Sundance is playing Christmas on Mars December 25 at 12.00am!

Video Killed the Radio Star by The Wrong Trousers

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a small, flexible charity, established in 1977 to honour to memory of a famous Naturalist, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the founder Warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, where he served from its inception in 1948 until his transfer to Nairobi in 1976 to head the Planning Unit of the newly created Wildlife Conservation & Management Department. David died 6 months later but his legacy of excellence and the systems he installed for the management of Tsavo and wildlife generally in Kenya, particularly in the sphere of wildlife husbandry and ethics, lives on.

Since its inception, the Trust has remained true to his principles and ideals, its modus of operation overseen by 6 competent and well versed Trustees assisted by an Advisory Committee of practical Naturalists with a lifetime experience of wildlife, local environmental conditions and the history of conservation in this country. In 2004 the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust attained US Charitable status enhancing its corporate funding capability under the guidance of the U.S. based Friends of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, all whom work on a voluntary basis. On 9th June 2004 it was incorporated as a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee in the U.K. and granted charitable status by the Charities Commission, its Charity No. 1103836. A Company Limited by Guarantee retains the overall jurisdiction of the Trust’s existing Trustees over the disbursement of funds generated in the U.K.

The Trust has played an extremely significant role in Kenya’s conservation effort since it was founded in 1977, speaking out when necessary on controversial issues and stepping in unobtrusively and rapidly to bridge a gap or meet a shortfall that jeopardizes wildlife during times of Governmental economic constraints. Because in life David Sheldrick strongly censored the extravagance of exorbitant overheads, the Trust places great emphasis on minimal expenditure in this respect, thereby ensuring that donations given in support of wildlife reach their target in full in the most practical and positive manner. The reputation of the Trust is a proud one, as was the record of the man whose name it bears, thanks to the dedication and energy of a competent Staff committed to the example of David Sheldrick as their role model.

Christmas in the Suburbs of Southern California