[JR, probably not suitable for
publication. But it’s Aspen !]
The Grand Canyon segment of the Colorado River was named the most endangered river in the U.S. by a report released Tuesday.
That stretch topped the America’s Most Endangered Rivers report in 2013 as well. The list of threatened waterways is published every year by the environmental advocacy group American Rivers.
The report cited a tourism construction project, radioactive pollution and a proposed expansion of groundwater pumping outside of Grand Canyon National Park as the river’s top threats.
“Unless the Department of the Interior acts to stop these threats, one of our nation’s greatest natural treasures will be scarred forever,” the report says.
The proposed Grand Canyon Escalade project includes a tram that would bring 10,000 people into the canyon’s basin per day, American Rivers says. The company behind the project called American Rivers’ concerns “speculation.”
“Any report must be primarily based on speculation rather than any actual facts as plans for construction have not been finalized or released,” a public information officer at Confluence Partners, LLC., the company managing the project.
One hundred years ago, Billie Holiday, as she later became known, was born in Philadelphia.
The legendary singer would have an enormous impact on jazz and pop music. Here are 100 interesting facts about the highs and lows of her life, those she influenced and her lasting legacy.
1. Her birth name was Eleanora Fagan Gough.
2. There are discrepancies in her birth accounts, with Holiday claiming to be born in Baltimore in her memoirs while her biographer Donald Clarke notes a time of birth, name of doctor and original spelling of her name on her birth certificate dated April 7, 1915, from Philadelphia general hospital, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
3. Some sources say her birth certificate reads Elinore Harris, according to Biography.com.
4.Her mother, Sadie Fagan, was a teenager when she gave birth to Holiday.
5. Her father was believed to be jazz musician Clarence Holiday.
6. She grew up in Baltimore in the 1920s.
7. During her childhood, Holiday often skipped school, leading to her mother going to court over truancy.
8. Holiday was raised in poverty.
9. On her childhood, Holiday said, “I never had a chance to play with dolls like other kids. I started working when I was 6 years old.”
10. Holiday was sent to a facility for troubled girls at 9 years old.
11. Reports say she dropped out of school in the fifth grade and found a job running errands in a brothel, according to PBS.
12. Holiday moved with her mom, who was searching for a better job, to Harlem, N.Y., before her teen years.
Billie Holiday: A Singer Beyond Our Understanding
Most artists belong to their times, but Billie Holiday, born 100 years ago Tuesday, fits in the present. In a way, she died before her time, just as the country was beginning to talk about race, drugs, feminism and misogyny — all of which converged in her life.
Her death in July 1959 was only briefly noticed in the media. Few would have imagined then that the centennial of her birth would be an occasion for remembrance. But legends are about a state of mind, not a state of being, and some thrive best when they’re not in competition with a living person. This is especially true of Holiday.
50 GREAT VOICES
Billie Holiday: Emotional Power Through Song
There was something special about her. Jazz musicians and some fans heard it, and so did a young record producer named John Hammond. He heard an 18-year-old Holiday sing in a small club in April 1933.
“I listened to this girl, and I just couldn’t believe my ears that here was a singer who sounded like an instrumentalist, like one of the most advanced instrumentalists there had ever been,” Hammond once said. “So I started talking to Billie, and Billie had had a fairly checkered career by then. She’d been in jail and everything. And Billie had already been arrested for prostitution at 14.”
In 1935, Hammond began recording her with pianist Teddy Wilson, who put together small jazz groups that included some of the best musicians in New York: Lester Young, Benny Goodman, Ben Webster.
They sold well enough. And by the late 1930s, she had made more than 100 records. But in 1938, in the prime of her career, she ranked only 14th in the annual Down Beat reader poll. Many didn’t know her name, even at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom.
In 1939, Holiday heard a song called “Strange Fruit.” But the recording label Columbia refused to record it, so she made it for a tiny jazz label. It was a slow, somber, frightening dirge about an unspeakable topic — lynching.
When Dwight Yoakam was making his first demos in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, a producer told him that his sound was “so hillbilly, they’re going to call it rock ‘n’ roll.” He was pointing to both the rawness in the Kentucky native’s sound and its wicked precision, grounded in the great virtuoso art of bluegrass; and the depth of lyrics balancing the plainspokenness of Ohio Valley people who raised him and their eloquence, born of Bible reading and family-transmitted ballads and tales. “I’ve done a lot of miles on hillbilly highways. I mean hillybilly highways,” Yoakam told interviewer Will Welch in 2006. “I don’t mean stuff that comes out of the flatlands; I mean stuff that’s like a corkscrew. And it was rough ridin’ for me as a kid and I’ve done it a lot, and that’s what I was writing about.”
As a central player in the Southern California roots-punk revival, and later as a full-fledged country star with plenty of radio hits, Yoakam often traveled another curvy road: the Grapevine leading from L.A. to Bakersfield, where Merle Haggard and his eventual mentor Buck Owens kept Appalachian pluck alive even when Nashville turned toward suavity and string sections. Yoakam’s 15th studio album puts him back in the old Cadillac as he connects the two asphalt tributaries of his creativity, both explicitly and in spirit.
The nasal drawl Yoakam affectionately adopts in the Owens-inspired “Off Your Mind” reminds listeners that country wit is as linked to Western swing and Hollywood cowboys as to the Grand Old Opry. His rockabilly version of “Man Of Constant Sorrow,” the crown jewel of the Appalachian song tradition, proves the point about that region’s so-called folk music being as hot and sexy as anything Elvis (from adjacent Tennessee) ever did. The King is a presence on Second Hand Heart, speaking through Yoakam’s vocal inflections in the “Mystery Train”-reminiscent “Liar” and in the moody blueness of “Dreams Of Clay,” which feels like one of Presley’s Memphis sessions. So are The Beatles. Yoakam, a great formalist who borrows so gracefully from musical touchstones that he should be giving seminars to Robin Thicke, highlights the links between country and the British Invasion in “She,” a thoroughly mod raver, and in the chiming ballad “Believe.” His touring band, tight as those boot-cut jeans Yoakam’s been wearing for 30 years, nails their leader’s quick turns, and engineer Chris Lord-Alge lends the Yoakam-produced set a brightness that clarifies every connection.
If all Yoakam did on Second Hand Hearts was show off his Ph.D in riffs and melodies, that would be pleasurable enough. But the songs he’s written — all but two, “Sorrow” and the sweetly ruminative “Vs Of Birds” — highlight his other prime connection, to the hardscrabble poetics of Appalachian writers like Lee Smith and Sharyn McCrumb. (Add in Elmore Leonard, just because Timothy Olyphant’s portrayal of Raylan Givens on the late crime novelist’s program Justified owes such a debt to Yoakam, who’s also a noted actor.) “In Another World” is a meditation on disappointment that morphs into a non-denominational psalm, and the album’s title track is one of the most touching dialogues between two people who’ve almost given up on love since “The Second Time Around.”
Yoakam has had a second time, and a third, in his long career. But this album feels as fresh as anything he’s ever done — more so, even, than the rejuvenating, Beck-coproduced 3 Pears from 2012. Better yet, these songs were built to be played live. Time to fire up the long white car; those twisty roads are calling.
Poll: Americans Starting to Worry About Climate Change Now That It Affects Their Lawns BY ANDY BOROWITZ ~ The New Yorker
SACRAMENTO (The Borowitz Report) – A new poll shows that Americans who were unconcerned about climate change as it wreaked havoc around the world are beginning to worry, now that global warming is affecting the appearance of their lawns.
According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, rising sea levels, the destruction of habitats, and catastrophic weather conditions, such as hurricanes and tsunamis, have not served as the wake-up call to Americans that their lawns’ unsightly barrenness has.
In interviews across the state of California, residents expressed anger and outrage that climate change had been allowed to worsen to the point that it has now severely limited their choice of ground cover, shrubs, and other decorative plantings.
“We are being forced to create a front lawn out of stones and, yes, cacti,” said Harland Dorrinson, a resident of suburban Sacramento. “I’m not sure that this is a world I would want to leave to my children.”
“Right now we’re looking at a situation where we have to choose between saving our climbing hydrangeas or our roses,” said Tracy Klugian, of San Diego. “We are no longer living like humans.”
Carol Foyler, a San Mateo resident who has watched her lawn turn from a gorgeous green to a hideous brown during California’s drought, said she blamed scientists “for failing to warn us of the true cost of climate change.”
“They always said that polar bears would starve to death,” she said. “But they never told us our lawns would look like crap.”
Producer and FAME Studios founder Rick Hall, left, with R&B singer Clarence Carter.
“We don’t use arrangers in Muscle Shoals. … We do it from the heart.
— Rick Hall founded FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and worked his magic to create a signature Southern sound and launch a string of hits dating back to the 1960s. At FAME, Hall produced career-defining records by Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Wilson Pickett, but those successes came after a humble upbringing in a poor, rural area of Alabama. He spoke with NPR’s Linda Wertheimer about his new memoir, The Man From Muscle Shoals: My Journey From Shame To Fame. Hear their conversation at the audio link.
…for all the mayhem in the world.
For over 50 years Baltazar Ushca has harvested the glacial ice of Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo. His brothers have long since retired. “El UÌltimo Hielero” is a story of cultural change and adaption.
Very sad news,
Pete Inglis, Pi, long-time assistant Snow Safety Director for Telluride was killed yesterday by cornice fall while climbing in the St. Elias Range of Alaska.
sterbie (Craig Sterbenz)
TELLURIDE LEGEND PETER INGLIS KILLED IN ALASKAN CORNICE FALL
Peter Inglis, a 20-year veteran for Telluride Adventure Guides, was killed on Wednesday after a cornice fall in the St. Elias Range, Alaska. Jaime Palmer, a well-known Telluride skier, stomped out the letters “PI” into a snowy face within the Bear Creek area yesterday as a tribute to Inglis. The Telluride legend was profiled by Taylor Van Roekel in the December 2013 issue of Backcountry, and now here.
Inglis making turns down Heaven’s Eleven outside of Telluride in 2005. [Photo] Brett Schreckengost
Today (10-19-14), Quentin Tarantino’s gonzo pastiche Pulp Fiction is a cult classic. We reveal the film’s most closely-guarded mysteries as it turns 20.
It’s arguably the best film of the ‘90s—a postmodern pop culture smorgasbord awash in nihilism and dripping with retro cool. Pulp Fiction, the brainchild of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (with an assist from Roger Avary) remains one of the most batshit-brilliant movies in modern cinema; a ‘roided-up rollercoaster ride packed with more quotable lines than a half-dozen Shakespeare plays.
After being passed up by TriStar, who reportedly found it “too demented,” it was picked up by Harvey Weinstein and his Miramax Films, and released in theaters on Oct. 14, 1994—the same weekend that another modern classic, The Shawshank Redemption, expanded nationwide. It’s now regarded as a camp (and cult) classic. But the little-known stories behind the making of the film are almost as fascinating as the flick itself.
In honor of Pulp Fiction turning 20, here are 20 things you didn’t know about the film:
The severe California drought that has led the state to order cutbacks in water use may not have been set off by climate change, scientists say, but global warming is making the situation worse.
“The drought is made of two components: not enough rain and too much heat,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton. “The rain deficit isn’t clearly connected to climate change, but the planetary warming has made it more likely that the weather would be hotter in California.”
Warmer temperatures worsen drought by causing more evaporation from reservoirs, rivers and soil. Scientists say that the warming trend makes it highly likely that California and other parts of the Western United States will have more severe droughts in the future.
“The 21st century for sure is being characterized by persistent, ubiquitous drought in the West,” said Deke Arndt, the chief of the climate monitoring branch of the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. “The projection is for that to continue.”
The current drought, which began in 2011, is the worst in 120 years of climate record-keeping in the state, and some studies suggest it is the worst in more than a thousand years.
Recent research has blamed natural variability, rather than climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, some scientists say that conditions in the Pacific Ocean have led to the formation of ridges of air off the West Coast that have kept storms from reaching the state.
Droughts appear to be intensifying over much of the West and Southwest as a result of global warming. Over the past decade, droughts in some regions have rivaled the epic dry spells of the 1930s and 1950s. About 30 percent of the contiguous United States was in at least a moderate drought as of December 16.
Things have been particularly bad in California, where state officials have approved drastic measures to reduce water consumption. California farmers, without water from reservoirs in the Central Valley, are left to choose which of their crops to water. Parts of Texas, Oklahoma and surrounding states are also suffering from drought conditions.
The relationship between the climate and droughts is complicated. Parts of the country are becoming wetter: East of the Mississippi, rainfall has been rising. But global warming also appears to be causing moisture to evaporate faster in places that were already dry. Researchers believe drought conditions in these places are likely to intensify in coming years.
There has been little relief for some places since the summer of 2012. At the recent peak this May, about 40 percent of the country was abnormally dry or in at least a moderate drought.
Kiitella Project: Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum – Hall of Mountaineering Excellence awards
Gotta schmooz when opportunity arises. The award artist, Lisa Issenberg, with Hall of Mountaineering Excellence inductee and Gala keynote Mark Udall. Photo by JR.
See more by Kiitella
Django in his youth with G. Gardner
…another snapshot from the bizarre mountain town.
The Brits wouldn’t have us. The Americans certainly wouldn’t have us. The Nordic club said no way. So, after knocking on the door of pretty much every Expat club in Dhaka, the Dutch club finally took us, now I’m a member of the Dutch expat club. Apparently I have to swear allegiance to the Dutch royal family and take language lessons. But at least I can drink.