Bruce Lee is focused.
Muhammad Ali stands over Sonny Liston after knocking him out in the first round of their 1965 fight. Ali turns 72 today. (Neil Leifer/SI)
Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead celebrates drummer Kenny Clarke's incredible contribution to jazz:
January 9th marks the 100th birthday of drummer Kenny Clarke. One of the founders of bebop, Clarke is less well-known than allies like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, but his influence is just as deep.
That thing that jazz drummers do — that ching-chinga-ching beat on the ride cymbal, like sleigh bells? It gives the music a light, airy, driving pulse. Clarke came up with that, and that springy shimmer came to epitomize swinging itself.
Before him, jazz drummers kept time lightly on the bass drum. Kenny Clarke used bass drum sparingly, often tethered to his snare, for dramatic accents in odd places — what jazz folk call “dropping bombs.” He drew on his playing for stage shows, where drummers punctuate the action with split-second timing. Clarke kicked a band along.
image via drumlessons
Penguins: Popularity, Peril, and Poop
Save the penguins.
Nelson Mandela 1918-2013
As a tribute to Nelson Mandela, NPR has compiled music that captures his legacy:
What sound looks like … in GIFs: TEDx speaker Fabian Oefner visualizes sound
Above, GIFs from photographer (and TEDxWarwick speaker) Fabian Oefner’s talk at TEDGlobal 2013, “Psychedelic science.”
Says Fabian of his work:
Sound travels in waves, so if you have a speaker, a speaker actually does nothing else than taking the audio signal, transform it into a vibration, which is then transported through the air, is captured by our ear, and transformed into an audio signal again.
Now I was thinking, how can I make those sound waves visible? So I came up with the following setup. I took a speaker, I placed a thin foil of plastic on top of that speaker, and then I added tiny little crystals on top of that speaker. And now, if I would play a sound through that speaker, it would cause the crystals to move up and down. Now this happens very fast, in the blink of an eye, so, together with LG, we captured this motion with a camera that is able to capture more than 3,000 frames per second.
This is what that looks like. As Bill Nye says, "Science rules!"
In only a few decades, this capital has transformed itself from an impoverished city decimated by the Korean War to one of the most prosperous and high-tech places in the world. In the past decade there’s also been an explosion of international interest in Korean popular culture, especially catchy K-pop music, soapy TV dramas and edgy cinema, making the most famous Korean singers, stars and directors household names everywhere from Tokyo to Beijing. Koreans even have a name for this blossoming of foreign interest in their homegrown pop culture: hallyu, which means Korean wave. Korea has long been dwarfed by China and Japan, far more populous nations that have colonized the Korean Peninsula, and so this recent cultural hegemony has given Seoul residents a newfound confidence, even exuberance, in their city. - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.
Photo: Tony Law / Redux
Ed note: Take a spin around Seoul with this interactive panorama.