Archive | October, 2015

Arts History Update for early November 2015

30 Oct

Arts History Update for early November 2015 by David Cummins

The Canada geese are coming, to a flyway near you. I predict their arrival on November 8. It’s so joyous to welcome them for the late Fall and Winter, that it doesn’t hurt much to make a prediction and be wrong by a day or two or three.


Christian Conrad, PhD is the lecturer for the Art History Lecture Series at the Texas Tech Museum on Friday mornings at 11:00 am focusing this semester on early American artists. One of the joys of this excellent lecturer is that he shows slides of major paintings by the artist in chronological order establishing the growth in the career and styles of the artist. Further, Dr. Conrad after the lecture takes his slide show and lecture and posts both on You Tube . His handle on You Tube is conradmerz so use that handle in the search dialogue box to identify his specific channel on You Tube to which you can subscribe free and notice no less than 65 videos, fifteen minutes or less in each video, from the Art History Lecture Series.

His most recent upload into You Tube is two videos parts 1 and 2, each more than 14 minutes, on the artist Henry Ossawa Tanner 1859-1837 on October 6, 2015.

Here in chronological order are major paintings by Tanner on The Athenaeum There are 12 art works by Georgia O’Keeffe on The Athenaeum

An athenaeum is any institution for the promotion of literary, visual or scientific learning, following the completion by the Roman Emperor Hadrian of such an institution in Athens, Greece a very long time ago 134 CE.


Jim Webb dropped out of the presidential campaign race on Tuesday October 20 followed by Lincoln Chafee on Friday October 23, leaving O’Malley, Clinton and Sanders as Democratic Party candidates for president. Rick Perry and Scott Walker dropped out earlier as Republican Party candidates. Am not a political person so don’t know what this means or signifies.

The first plebiscite is still down the road, namely the Iowa Caucuses on Monday February 1, 2016, the New Hampshire primary elections on Tuesday February 9, the South Carolina primaries on Saturday February 20 [Republican Party] and Saturday February 27 [Democratic Party], and Super Tuesday for thirteen states including Texas on Tuesday March 1, 2016.


Black Friday or the day after Thanksgiving Day is named that because some merchants/retailers haven’t yet made an annual profit and their books go from red ink to black ink or a profit on Black Friday because of the enhanced holiday shopping done on Black Friday, this year November 27.

Some people enhance their charitable donations in addition to shopping and so are especially generous during the holiday season. Giving Tuesday December 1, 2015 is a response to that phenomena . City Bank has in recent years used this generosity impulse to have an online voting Community Rewards program for those charitable organizations that the Lubbock community wishes to benefit. This year the online voting is November 1 through December 13 after which 18 community non-profit organizations will be announced as recipients of some part of a total of $60,000 that will be donated by City Bank. Here is the website where December 2014 winners totaling $50,000 were announced .


Microsoft Windows Operating System 10 went into Beta mode in late 2014 and was launched to the public on July 26, 2015 and since then we Microsoft Windows Operating System 8 and 7 and Vista and older systems have been urged to upgrade, as well as new computer users.

Well, I figured that three months out Microsoft probably had gotten rid of the serious glitches and I could upgrade without walking into a storm. Upgraded Saturday October 24 and the sweeping clean of an old laptop, download of OS 10, and installation of OS 10, took two hours fifteen minutes. It went smoothly. By late Sunday October 25 I was a somewhat adept user, although there are new things to which one must get accustomed. For one thing my favorite browser has been Opera, by a Norwegian software company, and I hated Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Well, Opera crashes on my new system software and that’s not good. However, Microsoft Edge is its new browser and it seems to work quite well. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers also work fine.

I was using Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System and Microsoft offered a free upgrade to Windows OS 10 [the carrot] and warned that it would soon not be offering regular or irregular security patches and security upgrades [the stick] for Windows OS 7 and older systems. Havingt been beaten up by experts, I knew that however satisfied I was with Windows 7 OS, eventually I would be wise to upgrade and Windows 8 offered me nothing I wanted whereas Windows 10 is a substantial improvement in an intuitive operating system, especially for interfacing one’s desktop or laptop computer with one’s mobile devices like smart phones, tablets, etc.

There it is, an early report after two days is that upgrading is swift, effective, painless and offers capabilities not previously experienced.


There is quite a buzz on the Internet over a young hedge fund billionaire who purchased the proprietary rights to a brand drug Daraprim [pyrimethamine] selling for $13.50 per pill and then immediately raised the price to $750 per pill. Many patients particularly those with AIDS conditions, were outraged and their budgets immediately came unbalanced. On October 26 Imprimis Pharmaceuticals of Solana Beach California [north of San Diego south of Encinitas] announced that it has formulated a similar drug and will sell it for $1 per pill and still make a profit.

If the brand drug is proprietary, whether or not it is within the exclusive patent years of production only by licensure, how can Imprimis do this? It can because it is not copying a brand name proprietary drug registered with the FDA but is using the same ingredients plus it adds in one or more additional ingredients, a process called compounding a new drug, and then produces and sells that compounded drug for the same use on patients as the branded proprietary drug. Daraprim goes back to 1962 and GlaxoSmithKline was its founder and proprietor so this is a proprietary drug but not protected from building and marketing a generic version. However, no generic version has been produced and approved by the FDA so none is on the market.

The Imprimis pharmaceutical manufacturing laboratory is inspected and certified by the FDA so consumers can be assured they are receiving the exact ingredients advertised on the bottle and package. The next step is whether or not physicians and other health care managers will or will not believe that the Imprimis compound product is medically the equivalent of Daraprim and will prescribe and fill prescriptions for the Imprimis drug. The former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli says Imprimis is just engaged in a publicity stunt and he has not lowered the price from $750 per pill. If Imprimis compound drug is used widely enough to satisfy FDA testings, it may become approved as a generic version of Daraprim, and that would lead to a large market for Imprimis drug.


Take In The Local Color Artist Studio Tour is Saturday and Sunday November 14-15. Here are the venues and artists who will be displaying their work. Unless otherwise indicated the displayed work is for sale by them and purchase by you

Saturday and Sunday, November 14 – 15, 2015 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Saturday noon – 6:00 pm Sunday

Artist Studio Tour — Nineteenth Year!

Sara Peso White Studio • 4411 18th Street

Sara Peso White – Painting & Mixed Media

Justin Burrus – Photography

Jackie DeVore – Jewelry

Jo Beth Gilliam – Painting

Joyce L. Runyan – Painting

Annalee Schubert – Painting

Carol C. Howell Studio • 3324 22nd Street

Carol C. Howell – Painting

Justin Deurmyer – Acoustic Instruments

Breck Gorman – Painting

Deborah Milosevich – Painting & Mixed Media

Ron Simons – Jewelry

Janet & Gary Schwantz Home • 3015 21st Street

Lane Anderson – Photography

Greg Goodnight – Wood

Roxi Hardegree – Digital Art

Mike Maines – Ceramics

Pat Maines – Miniatures & Mixed Media

Mary Ann McKay – Painting & Mixed Media

Lahib Jaddo Studio • 2611 28th Street

Lahib Jaddo – Painting & Wood

Judy Connell Robertson – Glass

Donna Rose – Photography

Michael Carlton – Jewelry

Marsha Davis Studio • 3602 28th Street

Marsha Davis – Mosaic & Mixed Media

Erin Coats – Painting

Valerie Komkov Hill – Painting & Fiber

Dyan Newton – Painting

Lyn Stoll – Jewelry

Melinda Green Harvey Studio • 3520 92nd Street

Melinda Green Harvey – Photography

Vickie Bunting – Glass

Tom Farrell – Wood

Roger Holmes – Ceramics

Carol Peterson – Painting

Lee Ann & Charles Huddleston Home • 4639 89th Street

Betty Blevins – Painting

Stan Blevins – Photography

George D. Gray – Metal

Janis Hubble – Ceramics

Kim Todd – Jewelry

Rick Vanderpool – Photography

Toni Arnett Studio • 9605 Toledo Ave.

Toni Arnett – Painting

Linda Adkins – Jewelry

David Bondt – Painting

Kendra McCartney – Ceramics

Shelly Hall Nelson – Painting

Bo Tan – Painting

Linda Jackson  Studio • 3909 101st Street

Linda Jackson – Jewelry

Kay Atcheson – Painting

Benna Ellis – Fused Glass

Beth Pennington – Painting

Gale Webb – Painting


Before The Great War, World War I, Galicia was a province of the Habsburg Austria-Hungary Empire that stretched from Krakow in the west to L’viv in the east. Krakow is now the most major city in southern Poland and L’viv is the most major city in western Ukraine. As Russia has become entrenched in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the territoriality of Ukraine is in question if not in flux. What about the western Ukraine and the area around Lviv?

John Czaplicka, Lviv: A City in the Crosscurrents of Culture (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute 2005) $40

Tarik Youssef Cyril Amar, The Paradox of Ukrainian Lviv: A Borderland City Between Stalinists, Nazis and Nationalists (Cornell University Press 2015) $35

Christopher Mick, Lemberg, Lwow, L’viv, 1914-1947: Violence and Ethnicity in a Contested City (Purdue University Press 2015) 480 pages $41

Lemberg is the German name for the city, Lwov is the Polish name, and L’viv is the Ukrainian name.


Can we talk about magic?

Jeanne Favret-Saada, The Anti-Witch (transl. Matthew Carey, University of Chicago Press 2015)

Jeanne Favret-Saada, Deadly Words: Witchcraft in the Bocage [terrain of mixed woodlands and pastures as in Normandy France] [small irregular shaped fields and many hedges and copses] (transl. Catherine Cullen, Cambridge University Press 1980) the tenets of this book demonstrated that rural people in Normandy France who suffered tragic outcomes, often ascribed their misfortune to the vital force of other people having an effect on them. They sought to become un-witched or un-bewitched, similar to people seeking to be exorcized from demons or spirits that have attacked them and reside within them. They sought out professional magicians to become un-bewitched.

E.E. Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande (Clarendon Press 1937) The Zande people live in the borderlands of the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan Evans-Priitchard argued that the idea of attributing misfortune to another person’s malevolence at a distance, was perfectly logical although not scientific.

Alan Macfarlane, Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England: A Regional and Comparative Study (Harper & Row 1970) Texas Tech Library BF1581.M26

Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England (Scribner 1971) Texas Tech Library BR 377.T48 (Penguin 2003) $18.64 paper $2 e-book.

Alistair Crowley, Magick Liber ABA Book Four, inspiration for another book

Israel Regardie, The Golden Dawn: A Complete Course in Practical Ceremonial Magic: The Original Account of the Teachings, Rites, and Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (Llewellyn Pub’ns 1971)

Witchcraft and Magic involve two fundamental propositions: 1. there is a vital force whose feelings and intentions affect the world in more than natural ways; and 2. misfortune can be caused by someone else’s vital force.

Thus power within a person can exude beyond them, and if they are malevolent, that power will break machines, blight fields, and make someone else’s body suffer and even die.

Social anthropologists tell us that when agrarian people have conflicts in their societies, and cannot leave their lands because those lands are their wealth and means of subsistence and survival, and when the social rules are ambiguous and social order is unstable, accusations of witchcraft and belief in their efficacy appears. Supernatural explanations can be given for natural world outcomes.

Many Christians, especially the experientially oriented, feel themselves filled with supernatural power and they describe it as filled with grace or with divine love or with the power of the Holy Spirit. At times of crisis they worry that sin, distractions of other people, or demons will depress that sense of inner vitality that otherwise is theirs. Many people see or feel a relationship between what happens in their mind and what happens in their world, and they want to feel more forceful and less vulnerable to the bad stuff that impedes their force.

Secular people often ask what people believe as if what really matters is the truth of an abstract statement relative to the empirical world. Un-bewitchers are pragmatists and see the experience as a form of therapy, so the bewitched person has new tasks and goals that help them feel differently about the bad outcomes in their lives. The vitality and energy of the formerly bewitched person returns, perhaps gradually. If one looks at this phenomena this way, religious practices and witchcraft unburdening appear to be similar. The increased sense of good is more important to the person than abstract reflections on truth. Belief is irrelevant to obtaining practices and taking steps that make one feel much better and able to cope with negative occasions that occur.



Arts History Update for late October 2015

20 Oct

Arts History Update for late October 2015 by David Cummins

Art on the Llano is a local art initiative that was formed in Lubbock, Texas. With the assistance of local community leaders and other organizations, the goal of Art on the Llano is to promote public art throughout the South Plains.

  • The Art on the Llano public art project came about when the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) donated seven concrete pads to display the public art. From there, a group of local artists and community members formed the Art on the Llano Committee with the united goal of highlighting Lubbock’s thriving art scene to the general public.

    The sculptures included in the Art on the Llano public art project are on loan from the artists and will be on display for a two-year period. The Art on the Llano Committee will then choose new sculptures to be installed and displayed at the original sites and possibly new sites as the project evolves.

    The Art on the Llano project has already installed seven sculptures.

    The public art project is currently being funded through a two-year grant and transportation costs have been underwritten by LHUCA and Studio West. Businesses or individuals interested in making a donation to ensure the projects continued success should call 806.762.8606.

  • General Information

The most recent installations are Purple Bull by Jeffie Brewer at Avenue L and Marsha Sharp Freeway, and Sky Drill by Brent Baggett. Texas Landscape by Eric McGehearty has been removed to an interior location in the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University.

Here are the requirements for getting a piece chosen and installed

The phrase Art on the Llano Estacado will get you a list of fine art pieces on the Internet


There are four recycling centers in Lubbock but none of them recycle. They are collection centers for recyclable materials and lightly process the recyclable materials, usually just compacting or baling the unsorted materials into transportable units headed to DFW San Antonio or Houston. At those larger cities there are centers with sophisticated sorting machinery, grinders, cutters, mashers, etc. that yield ingots [compressed units] of like materials that paper mills, plastics companies, metals companies, etc. will purchase and actually recycle into an ingredient for a product.

The four recycling centers in Lubbock are Jarvis Metals Recycling, 7825 Olive Avenue Lubbock TX 79404 [north of East Slaton Highway south of Southeast Drive], Effortless Recycling, 721 Erskine Street, Lubbock TX 79403 [east of I-27 off an overpass of I-27], American Fibers Co, 2002 Weber Drive, Lubbock TX 79404 [east of Avenue A and east of railroad tracks at about 20th Street before dropping down into where Mackenzie Park runs into Mae Simmons Community Center], and Texas Tech University Recycling Center in parking lot south of Housing Services Building on un-named road [go to Main Street east of Indiana Avenue and west of Flint Avenue where Student Recreation Center is to the southeast, power plant is to the northeast, arboretum is to the northwest, take road north to an overlook into Marsha Sharp Freeway and then east to Housing Services and into the parking lot where recyclable materials containers are visible].

There are four recycling drop-off centers for recyclable materials operated by the City of Lubbock and bins at United Supermarkets grocery stores at Frankford Avenue & 82nd Street and Indiana Avenue & 50th Street that are picked up by the City and taken to one or another of those four drop-off centers; in the northwest part of the city at 4307 Adrian Street north of Clovis Highway east of North Quaker Avenue, in the south at 1631 84th Street west of Avenue P, in the southwest at 7308 Milwaukee Avenue south of Spur 327, and centrally at 208 Municipal Drive east of I-27, traveling north Buddy Holly Avenue becomes Municipal Drive north of 1st Street. It is free for citizens or companies to drop off trash or waste at these sites but one may have to sign one’s name and address so as to establish residency within the city and therefore entitlement to drop off trash. From the City drop-off centers the materials are either sent to one of the two sanitary landfills or to Jarvis Metals Recycling. The two sanitary land fills are in Blackwater Draw at Caliche Canyon Landfill 8425 North Avenue P, Lubbock TX [west of Preston Smith Lubbock International Airport] or farther north at West Texas Regional Disposal Facility at 17304 North Farm to Market Road # 2528, Abernathy TX.

Effortless Recycling charges its customers $30 plus tax per month to make bi-weekly pickups on the residence curb of sacked unsorted dry trash that contains no food waste or garbage that should go in alley dumpsters. The City of Lubbock decided not to make regular pickup of recyclable materials a universal service in the city as it believes the totality of residents do not value recycling enough to allow an additional service charge on their monthly water and power bills.


14th Annual CASETA Symposium and Texas Art Fair is at Hilton Anatole Dallas at 2201 North Stemmons Freeway May 13-15, 2016 CASETA is Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art.


Arts History Update for mid October 2015

13 Oct

Arts History Update for mid October 2015 by David Cummins

Lubbock Heritage Society sponsors a talk by John T. “Jack” Becker on Sunday November 1 at 2:00 pm in the Formby Room of the Southwest Collection Libraries at Texas Tech University. Free event open to public. 2805 15th Street at Detroit Avenue on campus. The talk is Georgia O’Keeffe’s Canyon Suite: Mistake, Fiasco or Downright Fraud, referring to 28 watercolor paintings found in 1987 in Amarillo a year after O’Keeffe’s death and attributed to her and ultimately sold to a Kemper heir for $5 million and hung in the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City Missouri. Later, when the pieces were more closely vetted, none of them was any longer attributed to O’Keeffe and the seller remitted the $5 million to Kemper. Jack Becker “has the chops” to make this talk because he is co-author with Paul Carlson of Georgia O’Keeffe in Texas: A Guide (Statehouse Press 2012) Texas Tech Library N6537.O39 C37 referring to the period of years when Ms. O’Keeffe was an art teacher in Amarillo and Canyon Texas. Becker is a reference librarian at Texas Tech University Gretchen Reynolds, If It’s Not a Georgia O’Keeffe, What Is It?, The New York Times, March 7, 2000. Here is more on the issue

Here is the Lubbock Heritage Society website where you can learn more about the sponsor of this event


TED Radio Hour on NPR National Public Radio can be heard on KTTZ-FM Radio 89.1 and is a derivative of the TED Ideas Worth Sharing video presentations that are archived on You Tube and watched internationally.


The Daughter of Dawn (1920) is a silent movie depicting the Kiowa and Comanche in their new way of life on the reservation, 80 minutes with all Indian actors filmed in the Wichita Mountains area of western Oklahoma [west of Lawton Oklahoma] Don’t look for it in a theater near you, but make an effort to watch clips on You Tube and download from Netflix and whatever you have to do, to see it.


Another chance for a Food Truck experience, walk up and down the line and make a choice. Friday October 16 from 5:00 – 9:00 pm at Buddy Holly Plaza 19th Street and Crickets Avenue across the street from Buddy Holly Center. Food Truck Fest is music and other fun as well. Here is the lineup of thirteen food trucks and the music is by The Kinky Wizards from 5:30-8:30 pm comprised of Rick Bermea, Marty Manuel, Art Ramos and Noe Hernandez.

If you like eating on the street come back downtown Sunday October 18 for Broadway & Gourmet at 5th Street and Avenue J at the LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Plaza and Charles Adams Studio Projects. Eat free from four kitchens making appetizers in a culinary competition. Then enjoy a glass of wine and musical theater songs by the Hub Theatre Group The time is 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Good clean fun in the Hub City.


Lubbock is no longer a one horse town. We’ve grown to some 240,000 souls and occasionally we have good things to do directly opposite each other, and we wish there were two of us to attend both. On Thursday October 29 at 5:30 pm there is a Public Forum on Pay Day and Auto Title Loans at St John’s United Methodist Church 15th Street and University Avenue. Panelists are Dean Pawloic and Clay Ranck professionals in the area. Also on Thursday October 29 at 5:30 pm a dignitary from Hungary speaks at the International Cultural Center Auditorium on campus 6th Street and Indiana Avenue. If you think dignitary is a bit haughty a word, this time it’s literal. His Royal Highness Prince Georg von Habsburg-Lothringen will speak on Russia and the European Union. The speaker is a grandson of Emperor Karl I last ruler of the Austria-Hungary Empire 1916-1918 that expired after The Great War, what came to be called World War I in Europe. A reception will follow so some folks may get to shake hands “press the flesh” with royalty if that’s significant.


Arts History Update for early October 2015

6 Oct

Arts History Update for early October 2015 by David Cummins

Agave Dreams is a public art sculpture installed in July 2015 in front of the entrance to the Biology Building at Texas Tech University.


Celts Art and Identity is a stupendous exhibit at The British Museum September 24 – January 31, 2016 descriptions of Celtic history and images of art on the website are fascinating.


During National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 – October 15 the Texas Historical Commission offers a digital video tour titled Hispanic Texas: Journey from Empire to Democracy Lubbock locations on the tour are Aztlan Park National Ranching Heritage Center and Texas Tech University campus architecture


Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre isn’t regularly available but when it arrives there are two opportunities. On Friday – Saturday evenings at 6:30 pm October 23 – 24 the Back Door Diner restaurant at 1212 Avenue K at Broadway Street hosts a dinner and a play “A Party to Murder” $30 per person. Reservations by phone 806-762-1088 or e-mail Trish Varnell is owner manager of the diner that is regularly open Monday through Friday 11:00 am – 2:00 pm for lunch or for raspberry tea and a dessert.

On Thursday evening at 7:00 pm November 19 the Texas Tech Student Activities Board hosts a dinner and a play “The Science of Murder” free with student identification but unknown price for the public at Texas Tech Student Union Building Ballroom. Telephone 806-742-4708 or e-mail for information.


The ethical and moral lapse by San Antonio high school football players was disappointing but we now know that a major multinational corporation Volkswagen has for years been rigging its emissions controls testing so as to meet European and United States standards during the tests but the software installed by Volkswagen then turned off those controls at all other times, i.e. while the car was being driven by its owner, with the result that the company claimed its diesel cars met emission standards but actually the cars emitted 10 times more up to 30 times more nitrogen oxides than were permitted by government standards. All of this was intentional so Volkswagen then lied about what it was doing for years. United States emission tests on 482,000 Volkswagen diesel cars were rigged. When Environmental Protection Agency regulators began asking questions to Volkswagen in March 2014, those lies to a federal agency could land the liars a “turn in the dock” since lying to investigators is obstruction of justice and a felony crime.

Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday September 23 after watching a 30% decline in the stock price of the company’s shares and suffering the ire of car owners who feel betrayed and now have cars worth less than before the scandal broke. The fact is that the company can’t immediately fix the problem because its engineers still haven’t figured out how to meet the emissions standards. EPA has ordered Volkswagen to fix all American car owners’ cars at Volkswagen’s expense, not in any part the car owners’ expense. We may expect huge fines to be levied against Volkswagen after it has done the required engineering and fixed the emissions controls on already sold cars.

This is not how capitalism is supposed to work. The long-term effects of such willful falsity will play out over the next several years.


Unbranded (2015) is a documentary film of a five month six day trek by four Texas A&M University graduates and buddies, each one 23 years of age, who trained sixteen Mustang horses in 2013 and then rode from the Arizona Mexico border to the United States Canada border. It was released in April 2015 at Hot Docs International Documentary Festival in Toronto Canada and will be formally released at the Milwaukee Film Festival on September 29, 2015. It’s available on the website for $15 The four young horsemen are Ben Thamer, Amarillo, Ben Masters, Houston, Thomas Glover, Houston, and Jonny Fitzsimmons, San Antonio. The film will be shown October 28 in College Station Texas at the George H.W. Bush Theater on campus. It will be shown October 15 in Conroe Texas at the Grand 14 Theater October 1 in Sulphur Springs Texas at Starplex Cinemas 6, from September 25 in Dallas Texas at The Studio Movie Grill, and from September 25 in Houston Texas at AMC Studio 30. It was shown in Ben Thamer’s home town Amarillo on September 12 and 24, 2015 at the Globe-News Center Theater.

Here is the trailer

These guys seem young to have a bucket list, and what an item to put on the list, let’s find wild mustangs captured by the federal government Bureau of Land Management, train sixteen of them for riding and pack animals and then let’s head out from the southern border of Arizona to Alberta Canada. We could just maybe make it in six months, right? This is a roadless road trip.

If this seems like a nostalgia nineteenth century experience, perhaps you’d like a

21st century experience with the new music and sounds technology that will be discussed by the founder and CEO of the Sound Cloud audio distribution system Mr. Alexander Ljung speaking with John Seabrook about the future of music and technology. Friday October 2, 2015 at 8:00pm EDT at One World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City $50 per person to attend If you miss this event surely we can pick it up later on You Tube or TED Talks or another platform that specializes in alerting us to future technologies.


Banned Books Week is September 27 – October 3, 2015. Hope you read something dangerously, impulsively and without anyone’s permission. American Library Association keeps track of such things. Here is a list of the most often restricted books in 2014 in the United States and I had not read any of them. I had read other books by two of the authors. One of the books for 2013 surprised me. It’s Bless Me Ultima (1972) by Rudolfo Anaya that is quite often used in high schools around the country and particularly in the Southwest. It’s probably not possible for a New Mexico high school student to graduate without having read and discussed one or another book by Anaya who is a literary elder statesman in New Mexico. Anaya is 77 years of age, was born in Pasturas New Mexico where Bless Me Ultima is set, and holds the United States Medal of the Arts, American Books Awards, and New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Pasturas is on the western edge of the Llano Estacado southwest of Santa Rosa New Mexico and just west of the Pecos River. It was sheepherding country or pastores culture when Anaya was born and grew up. It may still be that.


About 9:00 pm Sunday September 27, 2015 in the eastern sky we saw a lunar eclipse of a full moon, a Harvest Moon because it was the first full moon after the autumnal equinox. More special, this Harvest Moon was in its perigee orbit (closest point to planet Earth) rather than in its apogee orbit (farthest point to planet Earth). Accordingly, the moon was huge to our eyes as regular moon gazers and therefore a Super Moon. Finally, there was an eclipse beginning at 7:11 pm CDT (dimming of light of moon) to 9:07 pm (Earth’s shadow beginning to cover moon) to 10:15 pm (Earth’s shadow beginning to uncover moon). The visible moon during the measured eclipse was a reddish or copper-colored hue so this moon is affectionately known as a Blood Moon. The last Super Moon Blood Moon was in 1982 and the next one is scheduled for 2033.


The Bankhead Highway (1920) from Washington DC to San Diego California was the first all weather transcontinental highway for vehicles. In Texas it went from Texarkana to El Paso, a precursor to US Highway 80 and Interstate Highway 20. A Military Convoy of historic vehicles is crossing the country right now and one can follow it on the radio Texas Historical Commission has an interview with the executive officer of the Convoy

Military Vehicle Preservation Association MVPA organized and executed the Convoy. They are planning a Route 66 convoy for 2017.




Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One (transl. Ann Goldstein, Europa Editions 2012) The Story of a New Name, Book Two (2013), Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, Book Three (2014) and The Story of the Lost Child, Book Four (2015) all as e-books for $10 each. As realist literature they are the story of two friends from Naples in post-war Italy, Elena and Lila, over a sixty year period of time. In magical realism terms they are the story of Italy, the nation, and highly recommended. Read them in order please. Ferrante is a feminist, and when asked what one thing readers should take away from her books she replied “that even if we’re constantly tempted to lower our guard, out of love, or weariness, or sympathy, or kindness, we women shouldn’t do it. We can lose from one moment to the next everything that we have achieved”.

Previous novels were The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter.

Ferrante is a pseudonym or pen name for an author who studiously avoids publicity and fame. She does not want to be a celebrity.


On Sunday September 27, 2015 a boat left Bodum Turkey bound for Kos Greece after dark with Syrian refugees aboard. It capsized, none of the people reached Kos, and 17 died and 20 people survived. Three of the dead were members of Abdullah Kurdi’s family from Kobani Syria. His wife Rehan and their two children Aylan age 3 and Galip age 5 died

. Aylan’s corpse washed up on a Turkish beach near Bodrum and the photographic picture made news outlets throughout the world. Abdullah swam back to the Turkish shore and safety. Except for the fact that they were refugee migrants they could have taken a 1 hour 34 minute ferry in daylight from Bodrum to Kos.

The family lived in Kobani east of Allepo Syria and entered Turkey to the north, and then made their way west along the Mediterranean coast to Bodrum where they sought to enter the European Union by getting to Greece. Their ultimate goal was to go to Canada. Illegal and undocumented emigration is a dangerous activity.

Historians tells us that Bodrum Turkey was the home of Herodotus 484 BCE – 425 BCE when the city’s name was Halicarnassus and that the island and city of Kos Greece was the home of Hippocrates 460 BCE – 370 BCE, a physician and often thought of as the father of physicians including contemporary ones who take a Hippocratic Oath when entering the profession.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis involves hundreds of thousands of people but it is also a personal story for named specific individuals. On Friday October 2 Robert Zaretsky Ph.D. and Professor of French History in the Honors College at University of Houston, spoke at Texas Tech. His topic was The View From Bodrum: Reflections on the Syrian Refugee Crisis, The European Response, and Imagining the Laments of Herodotus. It was a very enjoyable experience to listen to such a fine scholar and public intellectual and to see him so engaged with current events, framing them with events in history. He does not provide a solution for current event problems, but he certainly enhances our understanding of their context.


The ageless Willie Nelson will be at the Lea County Event Center in Hobbs New Mexico at 7:30 pm on Sunday November 29, 2015.


The Homecoming Parade at Texas Tech University is 6:00 pm Friday October 9 beginning at First Baptist Church on Broadway Street and going west on Broadway into the University, then south on Akron Avenue, then west on 18th Street to Flint Avenue. Free event.


South Plains Food Bank at 4612 Locust Avenue in Lubbock since 1983, will move into its new building at 56th Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in January 2016, courtesy of a multi-million dollar grant by the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Trust. I took a hard hat tour of the nearly finished building on Tuesday October 6, 2015 and it will be 65,000 square feet of space dedicated to feeding the hungry in the South Plains and even nearby communities beyond. It’s a business, a charity, a mission, a calling. It saves lives, maintains lives, perpetuates lives across and beyond hard times into better times and a better future for vulnerable and desperate people. It is successful because everyone in the South Plains knows about it, buys in, is invested, owns it, contributes to it, volunteers for it, and makes a space for it in their lives. It is a community’s way and agent for extending a helping hand when that is so urgently needed.

It’s not yet scheduled but likely in March or April 2016 there will be an advertised grand opening of the new South Plains Food Bank. Put a note on your calendar and be there.