Monday, June 14, 2010

Did John McCormack Sing of Margaret Bourke-White Taking Superman's picture?


- What lies beneath: the fakes, mistakes and discoveries at the National Gallery: "Scientists working at the National Gallery found that Woman at a Window, a painting of a girl with neat dark hair and a steady gaze, contained a secret. Hidden under layers of varnish and paint was the original painting of the same woman, only this time she has a suggestive sideways glance and was dressed in a more revealing bodice. " Peek under the varnish...

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June 14, 1884: John McCormack, Irish tenor, was born. "John McCormack was a world-famous Irish tenor and recording artist, celebrated for his performances of the operatic and popular song repertoires, and renowned for his diction and breath control. He was also a Papal Count. In 1906 he made his operatic d├ębut at the Teatro Chiabrera, Savona. The following year he undertook his first important operatic appearance at Covent Garden in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, becoming the theatre's youngest principal tenor. By 1912 he began to turn his attention increasingly to the concert stage, where his voice quality and charisma ensured that he became the most celebrated lyric tenor of his day. McCormack made hundreds of recordings, the first on phonograph cylinder in 1904. His most commercially successful series of records were those for the Victor Talking Machine Company in the 1910s and 1920s. McCormack was the first artist to record the World War I hit song It's a Long Way to Tipperary, in 1914."

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June 14, 1904: Margaret Bourke-White, American photojournalist, was born. "Margaret Bourke-White was an American photographer and documentary photographer. She is most famously known as the first foreign photographer permitted to take picture of Soviet Industry, the first female war correspondent (and related, the first female permitted to work in combat zones) and the first female photographer for Life magazine, where her photograph graced the first Life cover."

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June 14, 1938: Action Comics issue one is released, introducing Superman. "Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective Comics, Inc. (later DC Comics) in 1938, the character first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938) and subsequently appeared in various radio serials, television programs, films, newspaper strips, and video games. With the success of his adventures, Superman helped to create the superhero genre and establish its primacy within the American comic book. Superman has come to be seen as both an American cultural icon and the first comic book superhero. His adventures and popularity have established the character as an inspiring force within the public eye, with the character serving as inspiration for musicians, comedians and writers alike. Kryptonite, Brainiac and Bizarro have become synonymous in popular vernacular with Achilles' heel, extreme intelligence and reversed logic respectively. Similarly, the phrase "I'm not Superman" or alternatively "you're not Superman" is an idiom used to suggest a lack of invincibility. Superman has fascinated scholars, with cultural theorists, commentators, and critics alike exploring the character's impact and role in the United States and the rest of the world. Umberto Eco discussed the mythic qualities of the character in the early 1960s, and Larry Niven has pondered the implications of a sexual relationship the character might enjoy with Lois Lane."

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“Modern Chinese Scholars’ Rocks. A Guide for Collectors”
By Kemin Hu.
Published by Floating World Editions in 2006.

DISCUSSION: “Scholars’ stones have been appreciated in China for more than a millennium, and acquiring them in the West has become increasingly popular. This book introduces nearly 50 stone types through color photographs and descriptions. The qualities for which they are valued and features for the stone connoisseur to look for are revealed, and separate chapters explain how to display stones to their best advantage and how stands are made.”


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