Kiitella Awards: Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum Hall of Mountaineering Excellence


From the American Mountaineering Museum website: “In keeping with the mission of the American Mountaineering Museum, the Hall of Mountaineering Excllence celebrates the achievements of American mountaineers on and off the mountain. The American Mountaineering Museum hosts an annual gala to honor inductees, featuring the induction ceremony and presentation.” The 2017 honorees include: Melissa Arnot Reid, David Morton, brothers Sean and Timmy O’Neill, Sean Patrick and Doug Walker. Kiitella is honored to create these awards each year.

Bob Dylan Explains His Roots, As Only He Can, With Nobel Lecture ~ NPR


Two months and change after he accepted his Nobel Prize for Literature in a small ceremony in Stockholm, Bob Dylan has delivered his Nobel Lecture, required of all laureates in order to finalize the award. “Now that the lecture has been delivered and made public, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close,” writes Sara Danius, permanent secretary for the Swedish Academy, in a blog post.

The lecture, 26-and-a-half minutes long, finds Dylan contemplating the literary roots of his work and the nature of it, and of song, more elementally. “When I received the Noel Prize for Literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature,” opens Dylan. “I wanted to reflect on it and see where the connection was. I’m gonna try and articulate it to you — and most likely it will go in a roundabout way.”

He opens — as slow, thoughtful, Sesame Street-style piano plinks softly in the background, his paper rustling here and there — with some thoughts on Buddy Holly, who he says looms the largest in his life. “I felt a kin … like he was an older brother. “Something about him seemed permanent.” Dylan says Holly looked him straight in the eye, and claims that a day or two after that, Holly died. Through Holly and Leadbelly, he was exposed to the raw nerve and roots of American music. “I had a natural feeling for the ancient ballads in country blues…. but everything else I had to learn from scratch,” the last word pronounced ‘scrats.’

“You know that Stagger Lee was a bad man, and that Frankie was a good girl, you that Washington is a bourgeois town and you heard the deep-pitched voice of John the Revelator and you saw the Titanic sink in a boggy creek and you’re pals with the wild Irish rover and the wild colonial boy. You heard the muffled drums, the fifes that played lowly, you’ve seen the lusty Lord Donald stick a knife in his wife, and a lot of your comrades have been wrapped in white linen.”

Dylan then examines his literary development by looking, through a refracted lens, at the three works that had the biggest impact on him personally and artistically — Moby-Dick, All Quiet On the Western Front and The Odyssey. He penetrates each in a near-breathless examination of the themes and plot points and contours and shapes and colors of each work, much as he does in that kaleidoscopic folk music family tree. “And that’s it — that’s the whole story,” Dylan says of Moby-Dick, after an impressionistic monologue that could have been ripped from Finnegan’s Wake.

“So what does it all mean,” he wonders, concluding a pointillistic breakdown of The Odyssey. “[The themes] could mean a lot of different things. If a song moves you, that’s all that’s important. I don’t have to know what a song means. I’ve written all kinds of things into my songs, and I’m not gonna worry about it — what it all means.

“Songs are unlike literature,” he continues, softly contradicting the Academy. “They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words of Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage, just as the lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page. And I hope some of you get to listen to some of these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert, or on record, or however people are listening to songs these days.”

Dylan closes with a quote from Homer: “Sing in me, oh muse / And through me, tell the story.”



STATE OF (TRUMP’S) MIND Trump wasn’t always so linguistically challenged.

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MAY 23, 2017

It was the kind of utterance that makes professional transcribers question their career choice:

“ … there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians, zero.”

When President Trump offered that response to a question at a press conference last week, it was the latest example of his tortured syntax, mid-thought changes of subject, and apparent trouble formulating complete sentences, let alone a coherent paragraph, in unscripted speech.

He was not always so linguistically challenged.

STAT reviewed decades of Trump’s on-air interviews and compared them to Q&A sessions since his inauguration. The differences are striking and unmistakable.

Research has shown that changes in speaking style can result from cognitive decline. STAT therefore asked experts in neurolinguistics and cognitive assessment, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists, to compare Trump’s speech from decades ago to that in 2017; they all agreed there had been a deterioration, and some said it could reflect changes in the health of Trump’s brain.

In interviews Trump gave in the 1980s and 1990s (with Tom Brokaw, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey, Charlie Rose, and others), he spoke articulately, used sophisticated vocabulary, inserted dependent clauses into his sentences without losing his train of thought, and strung together sentences into a polished paragraph, which — and this is no mean feat — would have scanned just fine in print. This was so even when reporters asked tough questions about, for instance, his divorce, his brush with bankruptcy, and why he doesn’t build housing for working-class Americans.

Trump fluently peppered his answers with words and phrases such as “subsided,” “inclination,” “discredited,” “sparring session,” and “a certain innate intelligence.” He tossed off well-turned sentences such as, “It could have been a contentious route,” and, “These are the only casinos in the United States that are so rated.” He even offered thoughtful, articulate aphorisms: “If you get into what’s missing, you don’t appreciate what you have,” and, “Adversity is a very funny thing.”

Now, Trump’s vocabulary is simpler. He repeats himself over and over, and lurches from one subject to an unrelated one, as in this answer during an interview with the Associated Press last month:

“People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall, my base really wants it — you’ve been to many of the rallies. OK, the thing they want more than anything is the wall. My base, which is a big base; I think my base is 45 percent. You know, it’s funny. The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the Electoral College. Big, big, big advantage. … The Electoral College is very difficult for a Republican to win, and I will tell you, the people want to see it. They want to see the wall.”

For decades, studies have found that deterioration in the fluency, complexity, and vocabulary level of spontaneous speech can indicate slipping brain function due to normal aging or neurodegenerative disease. STAT and the experts therefore considered only unscripted utterances, not planned speeches and statements, since only the former tap the neural networks that offer a window into brain function.


Kiitella awards: 2017 Colorado Film Hall of Fame Inductees


Kiitella custom designed and fabricated retro-style TV awards for the 2017 Colorado Film Hall of Fame Inductees — a Colorado Office of Film Television and Media Award. Congratulations to Sonny Hutchison, Duke Hartman and Jim Berger of High Noon Entertainment. The recipients were honored at the Denver Film Society 40th Birthday Gala. Vintage meets modern with dark mild steel and polished stainless steel laminated to bamboo — with knobs and dials — and the COFTM logo framed & riveted.

Commerce secretary Wilber Ross praises the lack of protest in a country where it’s punishable by death ~ This is a great example of who Trump has on staff! …

Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross offered two highlights from his trip to Saudi Arabia in an interview with CNBC on Monday morning. First, he enjoyed the two bushels of dates he was given by Saudi Arabian security guards and, second, he was pleased that he saw no protester with “a bad placard.”

Perhaps because an American-style protest is illegal in that country and can result in a death sentence.

Ross was using the lack of protesters as an example of how warmly the Trump administration was received in the country.

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~~~  Humorous video  ~~~

The power of calligraphy floods out from the silk (Sugitani Rokkyo)


Everyday going to the shore with seagulls and herons,

Floating for a life on a single boat.
Willow weaves in spring wind on the shore of peaches,
Autumn moonlight on prince’s feathers and reed’s flowers.

Composed and painted by Shinten’o in a straw hut.
Sealed: [Shuku], [Tadasu no mori], [Gaireki Seitsu] and [koshi ni kokashi yukai ni chosho o takusu].

Inscription on the collector’s box: Shinten’o silk mounted hanging scroll. – Shinten’o from time to time walks little paths. His brush strokes are witty and vivant. The power of calligraphy floods out from the silk. – Rokkyo Ryoso.

The certificate on the inside of the box lid was issued by Sugitani Rokkyo (1865-1944), a literati style painter from Kyoto. The title Sugitani gave the painting (on the outside of the box lid) is: “Fishing alone in a mountain stream”.



In New Orleans, a Festival Defies Trends and Welcomes Cuba

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NEW ORLEANS — The sound of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is a syncopated beat: rooted in Africa, mingled with elements from Europe and the Americas, transmitted through generations, played by hand and determined to get people dancing. The beat doesn’t have to sell a song; it’s a joy in itself. It’s proudly old-fashioned, celebrating its own history. Yet it lives in the immediate present, the moment when music generates motion.

Jazz Fest, as everyone calls it, is as stubbornly exceptional and as proudly nostalgic as the city it reflects. First presented in 1970, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival became one template for the modern pop festival, like Coachella or Bonnaroo, with music on multiple stages, assorted nonmusic exhibitions, and food and crafts vendors geared to the crowd.

But where other major festivals tend to be brief invasions of their locales, Jazz Fest is an institution, inseparable from the city where it also sponsors free events through the year and supports the only-in-New-Orleans public radio station WWOZ. And where other major festivals have current pop hitmakers as their big draws, along with an undercard of new acts striving to reach the main stage in a year or two, Jazz Fest prizes the regional over the national, putting just a few big names in headlining spots.

Its first weekend this year, which started last Friday, included Lorde, Usher with the Roots, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Elle King, the Trey Anastasio Band, Alabama Shakes and Maroon 5. Its second half, starting on Thursday, has scheduled Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews, Snoop Dogg and Wilco. Nearly everything else — except, this year, for a contingent of superb bands from Cuba — stays local and familiar, as untrendy as a festival can be. (The festival ends of Sunday.) Onstage during the festival, I saw more sousaphones than laptops.

The visiting pop headliners attract hometown residents and a youth contingent. Out-of-towners — many grizzled and wearing Hawaiian-style souvenir shirts from previous Jazz Fests — return for an annual immersion in Louisiana lore. That means brass bands and Mardi Gras Indians, who perform on stages and — simulating the city’s continuing street traditions — in miniparades through the fairgrounds where the festival is held. It also means blues, zydeco from bayou country and a Jazz Fest touchstone, the gospel tent, where singers, preachers and choirs of everyday worshipers belt out praises and gratitude.

Jazz Fest’s New Orleans aesthetic is defined not by the big pop chorus but by live, danceable grooves. New Orleans audiences appreciate instrumental music; Jazz Fest has long been hospitable to jam bands and, this year, to bands like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, whose live sets move toward improvisation. The “heritage” in the festival’s name also looms large. Jazz Fest glorifies genre as much as individual musicianship; New Orleans is full of performers who proudly steep themselves in vintage styles and a shared repertoire, handed down from parent to child and embraced by musicians who move into the city.

New Orleans honors its ancestors, keeping old songs current and paying tribute in ways that go deeper than borrowing surefire hits, although this year’s Jazz Fest had its share of crowd-pleasing Prince covers. Inevitably, over 48 years Jazz Fest has faced generational change and loss; this year’s lineup included sets devoted to definitive New Orleans figures like the traditional jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain and the songwriter Allen Toussaint.

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Visiting musicians often adapt to Jazz Fest, not the other way around. Nas, the New York rapper, played with the Soul Rebels, a New Orleans brass band, reminding listeners that “these are my roots, too.”

More subtly, the festival leads listeners to hear musical kinships — particularly, this year, from a Cuban contingent that included Gente de Zona, a reggaetón group that has won a Latin Grammy, and the Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Piñeiro, founded in 1927, playing vintage-style Cuban son. There are longstanding ties between the music of New Orleans and of the Caribbean, particularly Cuba; what Jelly Roll Morton called the “Spanish tinge” was actually the Afro-Cuban rhythms that made their way into New Orleans Mardi Gras music, jazz and R&B.

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