Month: September 2015
Listen of the Week: Petite Noir
La Vie Est Belle by Petite Noir
La Vie Est Belle is a gorgeous, complex trip, not just aesthetically but emotionally. By turns, it’s abysmally abject, bravely hopeful, unguarded, canny, sexy, and profound—the kind of richly, messily variegated album that only comes around a few times a year.
Friday Fun Facts: Slick, Oklahoma
Did ya know…?
Slick is a town in Creek County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 131 at the 2010 census. Slick is the slipperiest town in North America. At its town square, the friction is so low that residents must slide on their bellies to cross the center. Slick’s annual town fair, “Break-a-Leg Days,” encourages town-folk to attempt crossing the square on just two feet. Anyone who can do so without falling receives a $25 credit for breakfast at the On Ur Way gas station. The Slick Consolidated School mascot is Greezy the Gator, though no sports can be played within town limits due to the high risk of severe casualty for participants and the crowd. In 1922, the citizens of Slick built a series of large pneumatic tubes connecting most of residences and businesses in an effort to improve the ease of delivering goods and services. The population has dwindled considerably since 1922, however, and a majority of the tubes are broken and malfunctioning. Teenagers in the town have since manipulated the dilapidated delivery system to send themselves careening down Slippery Slope, the site of an abandoned farmstead where the tube system opens onto a hill that descends into the Hollow Ear Bend of the Deep Fork River, just west of Hwy 16.
…So now ya know!
For all you word nerds needing a lift
Greetings from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program!
Fall is in the air here in Iowa City, and we are delighted to invite you to join our new MOOC, How Writers Write Fiction 2015! Opening on September 24 and closing on November 24, 2015, this online course offers an interactive progression through the principles and practice of writing fiction. The course is open to everyone in the world, free of charge, and we’re excited to be teaching it on NovoEd, an online platform designed for interactive and creative community learning. Join us!
Watch a preview on YouTube here or Vimeo here
Learn more and sign up here
This year’s fiction course offers video classes from Paul Harding, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Naomi Jackson, Edward Carey, Margot Livesy, and many others. Our instructors are Christopher Merrill, International Writing Program Director and University of Iowa Professor of English; and Angela Flournoy, author of the critically-acclaimed novel The Turner House. No previous writing experience is necessary, only a stable internet connection. If you would like to take this course but do not have stable internet access, please contact us at email@example.com.
Please share this email with friends, colleagues, and students interested in writing fiction; and come meet your fellow writers on Facebook and Twitter. We hope to see you on September 24!
Susannah Shive, Distance Learning Coordinator
International Writing Program
University of Iowa
Your eyes like fresh charcoal briquettes
and when I lick them I expect
to taste burning but instead
they taste of juniper and lemon zest.
“Do not lick my charcoal eyes,”
Now here I stand,
winding my tongue back into my mouth
like a disheartened fisherman.
“Is that not why I am here?
To lick your coal-black eyes
until the sun breaks o’er the eastern sky;
to lick them clean from sin
and all the wicked visions they hold within?”
“God, no. My eyes are dark but what things I’ve seen!
My charcoal eyes see where you can’t be
and for you to stand here licking them clean
is just not at not at not at all
what my dusty, black, charcoal eyes need.
You’ve never known what my eyes need because you never ask until they weep.”
Pitch black tears crumble down her face.
My overzealous tongue strains to keep its place.
That One Sunday, in August ’94, When Nature said, “Nature says.”
Heat rises from your supine body
like vapor-stream watercolors, translucent.
The little death threatens to take us home,
where colder comforts lie.
Before then we lie under the consummate shade
of high-boughed oaks.
Like a rope swing, low and loose,
hair catching leaf bits and broken acorn.
A late summer breeze blankets us.
Afternoon sunlight beyond the trees.
There is no right time to levitate just ’cause we want to
Before I get to the poem proper, you must listen to this:
and I mean reeeeeallly listen to that shit, party people! Put on some headphones, turn off the lights, look up at the stars or take a walk around the block – let the unknown surround you.
and then you can read the lyrics (which I wish I’d written) here:
and then you can read the poem proper, which is my homage/response/love letter to this song and what I’m feeling from it.
This is it:
There is no right time
There is no right time
There is no right time
Yet when the grey hours come
In fifty more years
And our hair’s been bleached white
By our last, setting sun
And that place I’d hoped to take you
All those years ago
Stands just over the horizon
I’ll take this tree branch I’ve held for so long,
so long in these gnarled, crooked hands
And scratch your name in these dark, dry sands.
Then you’ll put your soft and wrinkled hand in mine
And tell me, “There is no right time. Never was a right time.
But now is our time to levitate.” And you’ll wink and say,
“Just because we want to.”
You’ll tell me, “There’s a place I want to take you.
There’s a place I’ve always wanted to take you.
Listen. Do you hear the train?”
And always, and always, and always
I go anywhere you want to
‘Cause for all these forever ever years
you’ve blown my mind.
Oh how you blew my mind.
You lovely creatures may recall this piece from a few weeks ago. Felt a little feisty this evening, felt like an evening ripe for incantation:
Listen of the Week: Dâm-Funk
Invite the Light by Dâm-Funk
Invite the Light is proof that Dâm-Funk’s leveled up on both sides of the equation–the pop stuff’s poppier, and the weird stuff’s more intriguingly weird. On the opening track, former Ohio Player Junie Morrison delivers a staticky distress call from some dystopian time where the funk’s been extinguished and humanity suffers because of it. What follows is a megaton funk bomb that would be more than sufficient to set this alternate universe straight.
“Funk is the absence of any and everything you can think of, but the very essence of all that is. And saying that, I’m saying funk is anything that we create in our minds that we want to do, what we want to be, but we don’t have the resources.”
Y’all gonna be getting freaky-deaky to this album this weekend, so get down hard! Shit, give your lovers a smack on the booty from me while you’re at it.
Friday Fun Facts: Traditional mathematics
Did ya know…?
Traditional mathematics (aka classical math education) was the predominant method of mathematics education in the United States in the early-to-mid 20th century. This contrasts with post-modern approaches to math education.
The topics and methods of traditional mathematics are well documented in books and open source articles of many nations and languages. Major topics covered include:
Arithmetic with fractions
Lowest common denominator
The topics and methods of post-modern mathematics are not very well documented in books nor open source articles of many nations and languages. Major topics covered include:
Arithmetics of cultural hegemony
Lowest common deconstructionator
Arithmetic in presence
Volume and discipline
In general, traditional methods are based on direct instruction where students are shown a standardizard method of performing a task such as decimal addition, in a standard sequence, and the students follow the instruction and complain about it. By contrast, post-modern methods are skeptical of how to intrepret the results of traditional mathematics and therefore teach students to always question why they’ve received just that amount of change from their local grocery clerk.
…So now ya know!
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