Archive for November, 2005

Michael Newton’s talk in the Afro-Celts were not only a good one but one that kept people talking during a long question time. And it drew an interesting collection of people who seemed to belong to every cultural configuration available including a sociolinguist who might be called Afro-American but is also Catawba and probably Scotts as well. A wonderful woman who sang “Motherless Child” in a duet with Michael whilst he sang a song in Gaelic about the Highland Clearances. Several people wanted to talk about geneology and several wanted to claim themselves as Scots-Irish which Michael would say is not a Celtic culture, but a culture of those who rejected Gaelic and who sided with the English rejecting the culture of the Highland Scots. For Michael, to be Celtic is to speak Gaelic and to embrace the culture of those who are Gaelic speakers; that is, Highland Scots and anyone who would be like them or better would be adopted by them. So that if an African were to enter into Scots culture and speak Gaelic then … There is plenty of evidence that Scots culture in music and in dance and even language (as well as mixing of Scots and Africans) happened often in North America and in the Carribean .

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Anton aka MisterSugar was all around making things happen and taking pictures (soon to be on his Flickr site with tag of “Trianglebloggerbash”) so I had no idea that his house had been broken into yesterday!
Anton deserves some sort of medal at least.

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Someone wrote me off blog to ask about other Blogger Meetups in the Area. The best answer is to visit Anton aka MisterSugar’s Blogtogether.com site which list meetups in Chapel Hill, Raleigh/Cary and RTP among other blogger events.

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Tucker and I are just back from the Triangle Bloggers Blast. It’s a school night and Tucker is underage and not going to hang out at a nice smokefilled pool hall/bar so we’re home earlier. The turnout was amazing. Over 70 folks were in the WUNC studios eating that good Lulu supplied food and seeing the new setup there. Anton got a great collection of people out and Joan and Keith and Kevin and the other WUNC folks were gratious hosts. The Blooker Prize got some great air from Jeremy, Jason, Peter and other Lulus. Folks from WRAL and BlogAds were buying drinks as we left.

I was impressed by the progress at the American Tobacco Historic District. I was last there a year ago for the Independent Holiday Party which was I think in the “Public Space” adjoining what is now the WUNC area. The whole place was lively for a Tuesday night in November. The balmy weather had folks eating outside at several restaurants and the water running through the place made it seem like an oasis of sorts.

The Lulus tell me that some great blooks are already submitted including Jessica Cutler’s The Washingtonienne: A Novel. I will not be swayed by her blog entries about the contest no matter how real her bribes might be.

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MisterSugar‘s Cleveland buddy John Ettorre is headed down to RDU for the Triangle Bloggers Blast tonight. He has a very flattering blog entry about his trip.

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Michael Newton writes to let us know that he’ll be talking about Afro-Celts on the State of Things today at noon. If you miss it, you can catch the show by podcast (hosted on ibiblio).

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What: “Lost Voices of the Afro-Celts”
Who: Michael Newton, PhD Celtic Studies
Where: Toy Lounge, Dey Hal, UNC
When: Thursday November 17th, 3:30 PM

Summary: Modern American consciousness is highly racialized: we are told implicitly and explicitly that our skin color determines our race, our identity, to whom we belong and what belongs to us. The reality of American history, even in the South, is not so easily segregated, however. There have been many fascinating exchanges and interactions between people of African ancestry and people of Scottish Highland ancestry.
African-Americans came to speak Gaelic fluently during the eighteenth century, and services in Gaelic lasted even longer in black churches than in white churches. African-Americans, as professional musicians in the South, played a variety of instruments and styles, including Scottish Gaelic tunes for dances. Like every other group of European immigrants in America, Scottish Highlanders took different roles in the institution of slavery: many Gaels, especially in the South, became slave-holders, while others were fire-brands agitating for
abolition. In both cases, Highlanders left their mark on the history of African-Americans. Those expressing the injustice done to Scottish Gaeldom, especially during the Clearances, made explicit parallels with the African experience.
This lecture will explore some of the forgotten connections between African-Americans and Scottish Highlanders and remind us of the rich cultural interactions between people of all ethnic origins in North America. Celtic heritage is not reserved exclusively for “white” people: it is an important element in the history of our nation and belongs to people of all colors.

More on Michael Newton:
Dr Michael Newton has a PhD in Celtic Studies from the University of Edinburgh. He has written several books and numerous articles on Highland history and tradition, and has become the leading scholar on the culture and history of immigrant Highland communities in the United States. He is a fluent Gaelic speaker, a proponent of Highland song and dance, and a published creative writer in the Gaelic language.

Sponsor:
The Centering the American South lecture series of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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Reminding us all that tomorrow, Tuesday November 15, is the Triangle Bloggers Blast at Durham’s American Tobacco Historic District.

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He’s back! I can’t pick up the paper without seeing his picture or reading his name! Even more confusing, he is me. This morning’s News and Observer carries an interview I did about being a judge for the new Blooker Prize. Comes complete with famous rubber chicken picture (Thanks to Donald for taking that one). It’s pretty much what I said even. Or what I remember saying.

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Kaye and Jones by Doctorow
They are up on Flickr. He caught the Banana Split, Robert Kaye and me, and many other Chapel Hill wonders.

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I’ve six poems written and five of those published for the series I’ve been working on based on the number seven. Since each of the six corresponds in some ways, often obliquely, with each of the seven days in Genesis’ first creation story, I could take the seventh day off for rest.

Here’s how it looks so far:

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As I posted here on Thursday this week, I sold one more of my Rule of Seven poems, The Creation of Heaven, to the News and Observer Sunday Journal. It’s out now. The online version doesn’t reflect the stanza breaks correction (make that at all) and the small bit of prose info doesn’t show (instead you get “an error occurred while processing this directive]” I hope that gets fixed as the day goes on).
I had wondered if I needed to completely reconceive this poem and had started to several times. I gave myself several odd rules that are different from those that I used in the other Rule poems and I wasn’t sure that it worked. Seeing in printed makes me feel a little better now.
Off to pick up the paper version.

Here’s a net version with the right line and stanza breaks.

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McGuinn signs for students
The Chapel Hill News just hit the driveway with a differently editted piece by Anne Blythe on Roger McGuinn’s visit to Jocelyn Neal’s History of Country Music class. See the News and Observer link as well. And of course the earlier entry in this blog.

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Phil Howard of the Village Craftsmen and native of Ocracoke reminds us of the best Ocracoke eating on his blog/journal.

The NYTimes missed this one.

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Yikes! Our favorite secret is a front page NYTimes Travel section feature. Does this mean more people will be on the Island complaining about the slow service at the eateries? (Really are you in a hurry? There is no where to go which is sorta the point.) More people asking “What do you do here?” (Really do you have to be entertained? Doing nothing is sorta the point.)

But worse the writer stays in the same little place on Silver Lake where we stay often and have rooms reserved for Thanksgiving. The picture the Times published is our favorite view. Several of the places she eats are our favs as well (Howard’s, Pelican, Ocracoke Coffee Company, Fig Tree, Cafe Atlantic), but several secrets are better kept and I’m keeping them myself.

The Times automatic indexer managed to link Rudy Austin’s last name to a city in Texas. His father took me over to Portsmouth Island way back in the 1970s.

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IBM, Red Hat, Sony, Philips and Novell have created the Open Innovation Network to buy and hold Linux-related patents and to keep those patents available for innovators. The Triangle Business Journal has one version of the story. And for a limited time there is a NYTimes story as well.

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The O’Reilly Net top story (at this instant) is Andy Oram’s report from the UNC Symposium on Intellectual Property, Creativity and the Innovation Process, titled: Autumn Symposium Rakes Over Copyright and Patent Law

The teaser goes:

Andy Oram looks at the states of copyright, fair use, patent law, and more, as seen through the eyes of attendees at the recent Symposium on Intellectual Property, Creativity, and the Innovation Process. The conference attracted the likes of Marybeth Peters–register of copyrights, IP law critic James Boyle, open source advocate Chris DiBona, and EFF rep Cory Doctorow, to name a few of the people there who’ve planted stakes in the ground of this seeming turf war.

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Mister Sugar writes on blogtogether to remind us of the Triangle Bloggers Blast:

Who: Bloggers, podcasters and anyone who wants to socialize with us.

What: A reception at the new WUNC studios and a happy hour with free drinks.

Where: American Tobacco Historic District, Durham (across from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

1. Start at new WUNC studios for tour, talk about podcasting and reception with catered food. Short welcome messages from Joan Siefert Rose and Keith Weston of WUNC, Michael Goodmon of ATHD, Stephen Fraser of Lulu.
2. Then move next door to Tyler’s Speakeasy for drinks and socializing. Short welcome messages from John Conway of WRAL.com and Henry Copeland of blogads.

When: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 7-9 p.m.

Why: Why not? Let’s meet and greet each other, talk about blogging, or not, and share a few drinks.

How: Sponsors and supporters include: Blogads, WRAL.com, Lulu.com, ibiblio.org, mistersugar.com, WUNC, ATHD and podcastercon.

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No one has ever seen a life giant squid begins one article But that turns out not to be exactly true. The tales of the Kracken go a long ways back into prehistory, but those who read those stories thought the creature described was too fantastic to have ever lived. Still sightings of the giants continued to be reported and pieces of the animal continue to be found.

These are not passive or shy creatures. According to marinebio.org and other sources, “In 1965, a Soviet whaler watched a battle between a squid and a 40 ton sperm whale. In the case of this battle, neither was victorious. The strangled whale was found floating in the sea with the squid’s tentacles wrapped around the whale’s throat. The squid’s severed head was found in the whale’s stomach.”

I am still trying to imagine anything choking a whale by the neck.

Just recently Japanese scientists were able to film an Architeuthis in the dark depths of the sea. Visit here to see them for yourself.

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In what appears to be a play to get an article mentioning me in every section of the News and Observer during the months of October and November, I just completed an interview with Roger van der Horst about the Blooker prize.

I talked about Charles Dickens as the most respected English serial novelist and about Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny appartment kitchen by Julia Powell as an example of a good blook. Wil Wheaton’s Just a Geek personal memoir and Chris Anderson’s Long Tail a book on economics and technology that is forthcoming are two others.

However I expect and hope to be surprised by what we will be reading among the finalists. Blooks create an open environment for writing — one that as a poet I would not likely participate in although I have been publishing a potential chapbook project in the News and Observer a poem at a time — that allows interaction with readers as critics as well as enforcing a discipline of regular writing that new writers need. The form also allows for digressive and unusual inclusions which could make for some new styles of writing.

That said I expect to be reading good writing. Good sentences and paragraphs. Well-told tales. The stuff you would expect in any book prize finalist.

I am holding off on several sections of the News and Observer. The Obits for example.

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