Cuba: Island of Music

Island of Music
Afro-Cuban music fans may want to pick up the documentary Cuba: Island of Music. (You can view the trailer there.) Here’s what it’s about:

The film is a behind-the-scenes look at Afro-Cuban music’s role in the daily life of Cubans. Gary Keys (Memories of Duke” and “Dizzy’s Dream Band”) brings the audience into the heart and soul of Havana, through a vibrant mosaic of street musicians, big bands, dancers, religious rituals, and classic cars. Keys shows us Afro-Cuban music in New York City, with the music and commentary of jazz legends Billy Taylor, Candido Camero, and Chico O’Farrill.

The interactive menu of the DVD allows the viewer to browse previously unreleased bonus footage. This additional footage includes scenes of the Billy Taylor Trio with Candido playing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Orquesta Aragon live in Havana, and a Havana son band. Also included in these outtakes are conversations between Keys and Taylor, where the two discuss Dizzy Gillespie (the “Latin-tinge”) and the connection between music and gospel. In additional to musical interviews, the DVD also features cultural discussions between Keys and a Yoruba priest.

Jazz for Your Azz

I’ve mentioned J-Notes before in one of my posts but here goes another shameless plug. I love jazz music but I rarely buy it because of a lack of information and/or reviews. J-Notes has solved that problem for me. It’s chock full of great jazz (and some R&B) information. So if you like jazz I highly recommend you check out the site. And James, the author of J-Notes, is now writing for BlogCritics too. So check him out there too.

The Erotic Museum

The Erotic Museum is open for business. Check it out if you dare. Actually, it’s pretty tame. Here’s the mission statement:

The mission of The Erotic Museum is to educate the public about human sexuality by creating entertaining exhibitions regarding the broad range of mankind’s erotic endeavor through the ages. Toward this end, we will be assembling a collection of and making available for sale a variety of objects pertinent to our topic. Our ultimate goal is to provide the community with a positive image of the potential of human sexuality.

We’re going to show erotic pictures, movies, graphs, diagrams, dioramas, equipment, products, people, sculptures, etchings, paintings and interactive multi-media extravaganzas. We’re also going to talk about all the different things that have gone wrong and right with sex throughout human history. It might not always be pretty, but at times it will be beautiful and wonderful and amazing like sex should be. Our goal is not to talk anybody into anything or change anybody’s mind. We only intend to deal honestly and openly with eroticism in hopes of realizing the positive potential of human sexuality.

We encourage an open dialogue between our administrators and the public. We have wives, husbands and children of our own and live in the community we serve. That’s why we want to make sure we have a positive impact on the community and remain responsive to any concerns or suggestions that may arise regarding ways we can improve the Museum. Please contact us with any questions, comments or suggestions.

(Found via Boing Boing)… A Better Friendster

I’ve been poking around at and I like what I saw. It has a more general focus than Friendster and I like the interface better as well. It also allows people to join ‘tribes’ around their interests. For example, a group of skiers could create and/or join a skiing tribe. Here’s some of what’s on their help/about page:

What is is an online social networking service that connects the
people in your personal networks and community, creating a new resource
that’s based on a trusted web of your friends and associates. You can use this abundant network to find jobs, buy and sell goods,
locate a roommate, and accomplish much more with the help of groups and
individuals who know you and share your interests.

What can I do on

Whether you have a small network or a large one, makes it
easier for you to communicate with the people you know, as well as
friends of friends that you’ve yet to meet.

  • Find/List a Job – Browse and post job listings created by people in your network
  • Get a roommate – Why live with a complete stranger, when you could live with the friend of a friend?
  • Buy and sell – Would you rather go to a used car lot,
    or buy a minivan from your co-worker’s reliable sister? Sell your stuff
    to friends of friends, and people you know will cherish your used
  • Create and manage groups of people – Use to
    organize your existing groups and/or identify and draw together
    individuals who share a common interest. These Tribes
    can be focused on any subject, affiliation, or activity. Book clubs,
    soccer teams, and alumni groups can form their own Tribes, as well as
    family members, hobbyists, or professionals.

  • Messaging –’s message system allows you to
    send a note to friends, colleagues and people who are listing items
    that interest you. You can communicate with your Tribes via group
    message boards. You can also schedule events to inform everyone in your
    Tribe of an upcoming event.
  • Answer life’s questions – Your social network is a
    valuable resource that contains most of the answers you need. Whether
    you’re seeking a dentist, an organic grocery, or an inexpensive oil
    change, chances are good that someone in your network already has the

(found via Boing Boing)

Kraftwerk’s Tour De France 2003

Kraftwerk has come back with a new album, Tour De France Soundtracks. They’re including a 20th anniversary version of the classic Tour De France (remember that scene from Breakin’ when Boogaloo Shrimp was poppin’ with that broom?) You can check out the song and video here. I still prefer the original though.

OK, I just went out to and now I’m having flashbacks. There are some interesting ‘toys’ on their site, like pages that allow you to recreate the German number counting of their song Numbers, that let you manipulate the song Boing Boom Tschak, and even a Pocket Calculator, etc. Now I have to go break out my Kraftwerk greatest hits CD (which for some strange reason doesn’t include Tour De France!).

More Stars in the Universe than Grains of Sand on Earth???

I find this very had to believe – there are ten times more stars in the universe than grains of sand on Earth. Astrobiology Magazine points out just how large this estimated number of stars is:

Such large numbers–seven times ten raised to twenty-twenty powers–are beyond what is meaningful without an analogy to compare with it. The number of stars in the visible universe, for instance, is now comparable to some terrestrial references borrowed from a combination of science and poetry:

  • ten times more than the number of grains of sand on Earth
  • eleven times the number of cups of water in all the Earth’s oceans
  • ten thousand times the number of wheat kernels that have ever been produced on Earth
  • one hundred million times more than the number of ants in all the world
  • one hundred million times the dollar value of all the market-priced assets in the world
  • ten billion times the number of cells in a human being
  • one hundred billion times the number of letters in the 14 million books in the Library of Congress

I demand a recount!