Friday, October 29, 2010

Word!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Influencers.Spread.Culture.Virally

INFLUENCERS TRAILER from R+I creative on Vimeo.

"A film that explores what it means to be an influencer and how, today, trends and creativity become contagious in music and fashion. Directed by Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson, the film is a Polaroid snapshot of New York influential creatives (advertising, design, fashion and entertainment) who are shaping pop culture."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloweenie: Origins "El Cuco"

This is one of my favorite posts from last year.In the spirit of Halloween, I am reposting:
We all know of El Cuco, the mythological monster, our parents all warned us about and sometimes even utilized to put the fear of God into us and make us do their will. The other day I was thinking about El Cuco and wondering if perhaps its origins came to us from our Yoruba ancestors since the term sounds African. I was surprised to learn: (it was originally an European pumpkinhead!)

From  Wikipedia's article on 'The CUCO': The Cuco (Coco, coca, or cuca) is a mythical monster, a ghost, witch; equivalent to the boogeyman found in many Hispanic and Lusophone [Portuguese-speaking] countries.
Origin
The myth of the Coco originated in Portugal and Galicia. According to the Real Academia Española the word "coco" derives from the Portuguese language, and referred a ghost with a pumpkin head.
Legend
Traditionally, the coco, or its feminine counterpart "coca", is represented by a carved vegetable lantern made from a pumpkin with two eyes and a mouth, that is left in dark places with a light inside to scare people. The vegetable lantern is similar to the Jack o' lantern. Coca the dragon is another representation of this scary being and is present in the folklore of Portugal and Galicia. The name of the "coconut" derived from "coco" and was given to the fruit by the sailors of Vasco da Gama because it reminded this mythical creature. The legend of the Cuco began to be spread to Latin America by the Portuguese and Spanish colonizers. There is no general description of the Cuco, as far as facial or body descriptions. The legend of the Cuco is widely used by parents in Spain and Latin America in order to make their children go to sleep. Parents usually tell small kids that the Cuco will take them away if they don't fall asleep early. This method has been in use for decades now.
Popularity and other names TheCuco method is very popular among parents from Dominican Republic to Argentina. In many countries, the character has different meanings: in Mexico, for example, parents prefer to call Cuco the similar name "Calaca", which also means skeleton there. In Brazil Cuco appears as a female, 'Cuca'. Cuca appears as the villain in some children books by Monteiro Lobato. Artists illustrating these books depicted the Cuca as an anthropomorphic alligator. In Northern New Mexico, where there is a large Hispanic population, El Cuco is referred to in its Spanglish name, the Coco Man. His image is construed with Brazil's sack man; he carries a bag to take naughty children around Christmas time, and demands repentance in the form of Catholic prayers. The Bogeyman (or boogeyman) could be considered an English equivalent of the Cuco, since both monsters attack children who misbehave.

POPULAR SONG FOR THE CUCO: duermete niño, duermete ya...que viene el cuco y te comera (sleep child, sleep now...or else comes the coco to eat you)

* Photo credit: Self-portrait by Jamie Wyeth

And if you ever wondered about the nature of Africa's indigenous beliefs, you should definitely check out V.S. Naipaul's The Masque of Africa, which sounds really interesting:

Caribbean, African, Middle Eastern and World History Books

It's not often one sees a catalog and wants every title in there. That was my experience on browsing through the Markuswiener.com site.

Here's just a sprinkling of their most intriguing books (in no particular order):

Frontiers, Plantations, and Walled Cities Essays on Society, Culture, and Politics in the Hispanic Caribbean, 1800-1945 by Luis Martinez-Fernandez
For decades, the Hispanic Caribbean has eluded attempts by historians striving to view and analyze Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic as a region ...      More Details
Women in Caribbean History by Verene Shepherd
Early historical works portrayed women, especially those of African descent, in a sexist and racist manner. Women in Caribbean History embodies the progress of research ...      More Details
La Indianidad: The Indigenious World Before Latin America by Hernan Horna
Among the few historical documents by or about early Native American history are pre-Columbia Mayan manuscripts and stone glyphs, and documents written in Spanish by ...      More Details
Tropical Diaspora: The Jewish Experience in Cuba by Robert S. Levine
“This unique, well-documented social history invites the reader to explore Cuban Jewry as a fascinating chronicle and to ‘capture the flavor of their lives.’ This ... More Details
African Experience in Spanish America by Rout Leslie ,Jr
This pioneering book, a founding text of African diaspora studies, continues to hold a prominent place in any bibliography of its field and remains the ...      More Details
Trujillo: The Death of the Dictator by Bernard Diederich
On May 30, 1961, a hail of bullets ended the life of Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, known to his countrymen as "The Goat" for his ...      More Details
Afro-Cuban Myths: Yemaya and other Orishas by Romulo Lachatañere, Jorge Castellanos, Siegfried Kaden, Christine Ayorinde
A moving collection of myths and tales, AFRO-CUBAN MYTHS was first published in 1938 under the title Oh, Mío Yemayá!, These stories lead readers into ...      More Details

Chinese in the Caribbean by Andrew Wilson
The history of the Caribbean is a history of migrations. The peoples of the region came as conquerors and planters, slaves and indentured laborers from ...      More Details

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Book Trailer for Brian Solis' ENGAGE

If you haven't ventured over Briansolis.com or checked out his most recent book, Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web, then shame on you!

I originally met him in 2007, back when I worked at Aol, and he is one of brightest (and best-dressed) stars of the tech world. His work never fails to impress me, which is why, you should take a look at his new trailer for his book. Yes, it's over the top - but there's nothing wrong with that - I happen to like that. As for marketing techniques, it's over the top but simple, how's that for brilliant?



I am also a huge fan of beautiful infographics (who doesn't like pretty.data-that is?) and Brian, along with JESS3, are the creators of the Conversation Prism, a whole view of the social media universe, categorized and also organized by how people use each network. V 3.0, their latest version, introduces new groups and networks and also removes those networks no longer in play.

It's gorgeous enough to frame and display!

LIVE from the NYPL: ANGELA DAVIS & TONI MORRISON

Tomorrow!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 7:00 PM EDT
$25 General Admission, $15 FRIENDS, Seniors and Students with valid ID
www.nypl.org

Join author and activist Angela Davis and Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Toni Morrison for this exclusive conversation.

NYPL LIVE: Angela Davis and Toni Morrison
Angela Davis is an American socialist, philosopher, political activist and retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Davis was largely active during the Civil Rights Movement and was associated with the Black Panthers. Her research interests are in feminism, African American studies, critical theory, Marxism, popular music and social consciousness, and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons. She authored the book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave.


Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed black characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved.
 
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