The Keeper of a Shine to Jazz

February 28, 2007

Yesterday on Morning Edition Felix Contreras highlighted a new collection of memoirs from Lorraine Gordon, Alive at the Village Vanguard. Lorraine gordon is “the keeper of a shrine to jazz” — New York’s historic Village Vanguard. The book recalls a life lived beyond society’s expectations — a colorful swirl of music, politics and family.
Alive at the Village VanguardFrom the book:

It was Ike Quebec who first took us to see Thelonious Monk. Ike didn’t say about Monk: “Record him.” He just said, “Come on, I want you to hear someone.” Ike didn’t take us to a club either, he took us to Monk’s West 65th Street apartment. And Alfred and I… well, we heard him.

Monk’s room was right off the kitchen. It was a room out of Vincent Van Gogh somehow – you know, ascetic – a bed, a cot, really, against the wall, a window and an upright piano. That was it.

We all sat down on Monk’s narrow bed — our legs straight out in front of us, like children. I looked up for a moment and saw a picture of Billie Holiday taped to the ceiling. The door closed. And Monk, his back to us, began to play.

Hear the story, view a gallery of photos, and read more from the book here.


The Tomb of Jesus?

February 27, 2007

James Cameron has hit a nerve with his latest documentary, in which he boldly claims to have found the bodies of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and their son.  Scholars and scientists aren’t so sure, as was discussed on today’s Morning Edition. From the article:

“From what I know about it at this moment, it sounds rather preposterous,” he [Laurence Stager, professor of archeology of Israel at Harvard University] said.

He said he’ll wait until there is a vetted scholarly article in a reputable journal.

Since many scholars say the names inscribed on the ossuaries were common among Jews of that time, Jacobovichi and Cameron brought in a statistician who said the grouping of these names together has a probability of 600-1.

Other scholars say the names are not clear and that ancient Semitic script is difficult to decipher.

Archeologist Amos Kloner, who described the tomb more than 10 years ago as the burial cave of a well-off family, says there are 900 such burial caves within several miles of the Old City of Jerusalem, that the name Jesus was found 71 times. The name Judah son of Jesus was also found.

WordPress neighbor David Boles had some thoughts on the matter. What do you think? The documentary doesn’t air on Discovery until March 4, but that gives us plenty of time to do some background work.  In the ongoing search for archeological truth is this a revelation or a flop? What do you make of this claim? If it is true, what effect would that have on the world today? What effect might it have on you?

Dr. Dunn on Meridian – part 2

February 27, 2007

Murray State University president Dr. Randy Dunn spoke on Meridian last Thursday about the MSU tuition increase, the new science complex, and other concerns. He’ll be appearing the last thursday in every month through April, so email in your questions or give him a call during the show.

To hear the entire hour with Dr. Dunn, visit the WKMS Newsroom.

Science Friday – A Friday the 13th Close Encounter

February 23, 2007

It sounds like a movie or two we’ve already seen, but this isn’t science fiction. David Morrison, a senior NASA scientist, spoke with Science Friday about preparations for potential impact a recent push for an international effort to act as a planetary response team for potential space threats. 

One of the more popular parts of today’s discussion was Friday the 13th, 2029, a date when asteroid 2004 MN4 will NOT hit Earth, but will come close. How close? according to these calculations, about 4,000 miles UNDER geosynchronous orbit. That’s close enough to be seen with the naked eye. Scientists aren’t sure when it will come around again, but having an object pass that close is a great chance for the proposed planetary response team to study the effects of such an encounter.

Dr. Tony Phillips has more on this story here.

Read an interview with Dr. Morrison at

The College Admissions Game

February 23, 2007

The frenzy surrounding college admissions, especially at a small group of highly selective colleges, is intense and, according to some college deans, out of control. In a seven-part series, NPR explores the alternatives. Check out our extra tips and reports  at

What’re your thoughts on Higher Ed today? Is there too much pressure placed on attaining a Bachelor’s degree? Are too many small colleges being overlooked? Have an idea for change? Respond to the articles or just share your thoughts here!

Performance Today: Schloss Ulrichshusen

February 22, 2007

Schloss Ulrichshusen Performance today ended with Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1
from Germany’s Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival, played Cellist Mischa Maisky with the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in Schloss Ulrichshusen.  This gorgeous castle was a ruin in 1993, but was rebuilt in 2001 and now hosts the Mecklenburg Vorpommern (a northern region of Germany) Music Festival yearly.  The “concert barn” seats over 1000 people and up to 400 musicians. 

Learn more about cellist Mischa Maisky hereconcert barn

Learn more about Schloss Ulrichshusen here (German site / English Site).


February 21, 2007

Searching around the blogosphere can be a strange journey into the thoughts and opinions of everyone from schoolkids to retired philosophers.  It’s a neat way to pass the time, but not always the most effecient source of information.  Enter WordPress tags.  There’s a row of them right by the little comments box on the bottom of every post. Right there in the middle, with the little stack of papers. Clicking that will bring you to a whole new place to read: a list of everyone on WordPress that’s talking about, say, NPR. This works for any word, so if you take the url “” and add a word after the /, you can find pretty much anything. Pancakes?  So if you see something that interests you, but can’t find more of it here, there’s a way for you to find out what others are saying about it.  Of course, we love to hear what you find… :).

I’m still getting used to tags here, as you can see from the various “uncategorized” posts below, but as I try to learn them, maybe you can find some insightful thoughts from the extended community, and give it a stab of your own.  Join the conversation by leaving a comment below, or create a blog of your own at!