____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>In America, national holidays are code for “monster department store sales.”In France, the sale is the holiday.Tuesday marks the end of the soldes season, a twice-yearly event where every store across France is legally mandated to put its merchandise from last season on discount.The French government actually wrote this into law.Every store window in Paris is dotted with signs screaming of discounts and final markdowns. Department stores, pervasive French chains and tiny, cramped, smelly, old stores all offer the same intoxicating discounts.French friends explain the sales coincide with the new seasons, so designers can have an official time to declare the start of spring and summer style. The haute couture runway shows take place at the start of soldes.But for most Parisians, it’s an excuse to spend money in a city where a cheap dinner will run you at least 10 euros, or about $15.My credit card has been more than happy to get some fresh air and extra use as I stock up on clothes and shoes, with the rationalization that I won’t be able to afford anything after the season.Once the soldes ends, clearances will become a distant memory as stores become cramped with clothes from the new seasons. Sale racks will be missing in action until the summer sales.That’s it for clearances or sales. Imagine the uproar if this happened in the United States.In a country where somewhere, somehow, basically anything can be purchased on sale at any time, the idea of legally binding sale periods is inconceivable.Not to mention the popular uproar of “big” government overstepping its boundaries and taking control of small businesses would be deafening.I’m not making a case for any particular plan of governance. But the advantage to the French system is that it lets holidays maintain an identity beyond double-coupon days and doorbuster sales.With Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day around the corner, every chain store in America is slapping heart-shaped discount stickers on merchandise.And while a good deal is always a good deal, there’s something about a sale for every holiday that makes us forget why we have the holiday.No wonder Valentine’s Day is so hated. It’s hard to love something when you’re drowning in sale ads.When the sales become special in and of themselves, when they don’t need any sort of “occasion,” it’s suddenly easier to appreciate holidays for what they are.Though a sale season won’t be coming up for a vote in Congress any time soon, at least there’s the knowledge that somehow it’s possible to celebrate a national holiday without slashing prices to go along with it.
88 items found for your search. If no results were found please broaden your search.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>As I tried not to stare at the couple sitting next to me on the metro the other day as they passionately made out and groped each other, I realized something: the French don’t do anything halfway.Whether it’s the food, an array of full-fat, full-sugar, full-everything dishes that are exactly the way food is supposed to be; or the impossibly chic clothes for ages zero to 100, complete with high heels for all – it’s all calculated to be just perfect.And, of course, being in love in France means the whole gamut of romantic gestures: flowers, chocolate, sunset picnics and plenty of hardcore PDA.Because when you do something the French way, you’re doing it the “right” way.So it should come as no surprise that the French version of raising awareness for protected sex to prevent HIV/AIDS is equally dramatic, equally grand and quintessentially French.There’s no other place in the world where you could see a giant condom hanging in the atrium of a museum.Early last week, in the science museum le Palais de la Decouverte, a 120-foot condom went on display. It’s a part of CondomFly, a world-traveling expedition to promote condom use in the prevention of HIV infections.In addition to its staggering size and shock factor, it has another function: hot air balloon.That’s the “fly” part of CondomFly. This year, the display will be changed into a hot air balloon and flown around the world, hitting stops on six continents.Nearly 400 volunteer balloonists will help with the maintenance of the condom craft as it journeys, departing from Paris on Dec. 1, 2010. The goal is to bring attention and help to those who need it in countries where HIV/AIDS is most prevalent. In addition, information stations will be set up at locations around the globe.The issue of new HIV infections is one especially close to the heart of the French.About 6,500 new cases of HIV were reported in France in 2008, according to Aides, a national HIV/AIDS awareness organization. Of those already infected, nearly a quarter are disabled or living in poverty.Many, close to 40 percent, are immigrants to France, usually from North African countries where it’s easy to get a visa.Promoting condom use to the French populace is especially important, as only 2 percent of new HIV cases in 2008 weren’t the result of sex.The French aren’t shy about talking about sex or any related issues. As giant billboards in the metro scream for respect of reproductive rights, partial nudity is completely acceptable in advertising and condom vending machines can be found at most metro stations.And clearly, based on my neighbors on the metro and the thousands of other couples making out across the city on a daily basis, they’re not shy about intimacy. But somewhere along the way, a disconnect happened. And in France, the only solution is something as grand and attention-grabbing as a giant condom hot air balloon.Vive la France.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The H1N1 virus has been detected in an Indiana commercial swine herd.Both pigs and humans at an undisclosed commercial pig farm in the state contracted the virus in October, said Denise Derrer, Indiana State Board of Animal Health public information director.Voluntary testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the diagnosis.The virus has since been contained, and all those infected have fully recovered, Derrer said. Owners and handlers became concerned about transmission after several people in close contact with the animals showed flu-like symptoms.“They then began to see clinical signs in the herd,” Derrer said. “This was person-to-pig transmission.”Humans are at no risk for contracting the virus by eating pork products as the virus itself stays in the lungs and respiratory systems of the animal rather than in the muscle meat people eat.“It’s important for people not to worry about the safety of the food supply,” Derrer said. “Pork and pork products are not a risk. We’ve been saying that for months now.”Though the disease was transmitted from human to animal, the average person won’t be at risk to catch the virus from a pig.“There is no additional human health concern,” said Jennifer Dunlap, a representative for the Indiana State Department of Health. “So long as food is properly handled, people are at no risk.”Derrer reiterated that the diagnosis should not alarm the general public.“You’re at much, much greater risk to contract the virus at a grocery store or a restaurant than from a hog,” Derrer said.In October, a Minnesota pig was the first in the U.S. to contract the virus.Pigs, like humans, go through a yearly “flu season” and present similar symptoms, such as fever and respiratory illness. Derrer said the only distinguishing characteristic of this particular strain is its novelty. “Otherwise, it’s just another flu illness in a hog herd,” Derrer said. “It’s a common thing, just like in people.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Jenny Rubenstein looked both ways and still didn’t see the car until it hit her.“I mean, I was taught that when I was five,” she said. “I’m not an idiot. The car came out of nowhere ... It knocked me down onto the pavement. I fell on my left arm and broke it.”She was on her way to the Student Recreational Sports Center, heading south on Jordan Avenue near 17th Street, before an oncoming car hit her early one morning in 2007. She was crossing to avoid a large group of people coming toward her.“I understand that, no, I wasn’t at a crosswalk,” Rubenstein said. “But there was no crosswalk within a reasonable distance.”She was rushed to the hospital and in the midst of being treated, a police officer showed up to issue her a citation for jaywalking.“I’m holding my arm up in a sling with my bone popping out and they’re trying to cite me,” Rubenstein said.Rubenstein left her accident with a few broken bones and some scrapes, but other students haven’t been as lucky.The Sept. 9 accident that killed sophomore Peter Duong is a reminder to Rubenstein and other accident victims that luck kept them alive.“If I had taken one step more, who knows what could have happened,” Rubenstein said.To Mitch Rice, a member of Bloomington’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Commission, accidents such as Rubenstein’s are a result of the IU transportation culture.“We’re Hoosiers,” Rice said. “From the time we’re kids, we learn that we race cars. For me, it seems like a lot of people feel they have to get from one stop sign to another. They have to go as fast as they can. They’re racing; they’re in the Little 500.”And Rice said he thinks there is only one option for changing this culture.“We have to educate the new people who don’t know the laws, the people who live here and don’t know the laws, and the people who know the laws and break them,” Rice said.Previous fatal accidents have been a result of this speed culture, Rice said, pointing to a September 2002 accident in which a student was killed while riding her bike the wrong direction on Atwater.“That’s not somebody who wasn’t thinking or didn’t have the brains,” Rice said. “She just didn’t have the information. We need to get out this information.”Senior John Becker was riding his bike on Fee Lane one morning on his way to class freshman year. While trying to avoid traffic at the intersection of Fee and Law lanes, an oncoming car, that was supposed to have stopped at the stop sign, hit him. “I figured she should know better,” Becker said. “I guess I assumed too much.”Becker fell to the ground when the car hit.“I lost my shoes and got knocked off the bike,” Becker said. Though Becker never had a doctor examine him after his accident, he said he had residual back pain for almost six months following the collision and thinks about the accident every time he crosses the intersection.When he learned about Duong’s death, Becker said he couldn’t stop thinking about how it could have been him.“It hit home,” Becker said. “You just never know. I was lucky to walk away.”Rubenstein hasn’t shaken her accident either. Any time she is at a crosswalk, her immediate instinct is to wait until it’s completely clear to cross. She refuses to cross the street at signaled intersections unless the “walk” signal is illuminated and won’t cross if the signal is flashing.“My friends make fun of me because they all scurry across the street, and I’m always just waiting,” Rubenstein said. “I think about it every day. It’s not something that’s left me.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Over the roar of “Hail to Old IU,” nobody heard the cries.As the Freshman Induction Ceremony ended, new students and their parents sang the IU alma mater song along with junior Alyssa Martin, and a few could be seen flicking tears away.This year’s ceremony, which took place at both 3 and 5 p.m. Wednesday in the IU Auditorium, welcomed freshmen and their families with speeches by prominent University figures such as President Michael McRobbie, Provost Karen Hanson and IU Student Association President Peter SerVaas.“This particular ceremony has a sense of pride and joy as we welcome a new generation of students,” McRobbie said.At the 3 p.m. ceremony, the auditorium was almost full of freshmen and their families.Among the incoming class of about 7,100 freshmen, students represent 42 states and about 35 countries. In addition, this year’s class includes 38 sets of twins and one set of quadruplets.“This is the world you are joining today,” McRobbie said. “Here in Bloomington may you begin your success today.”McRobbie called on freshmen to savor the undergraduate experience.“Now you have the luxury to lose track of time reading broadly and deeply,” McRobbie said. SerVaas, one of several student organization representatives present, recalled his freshman year as an opportunity to make an impact and start anew in a new place with a new reputation.“Don’t be intimidated by the title ‘freshman,’” SerVaas said.Monica Miller drove from Pittsburgh to send her first child, Dennis O’Neil, to college and said she felt welcomed by the ceremony.“The ceremony was impressive, and there was a lot of tradition,” Miller said. “And I know how quickly these four years go by.”Art Downey drove from Milwaukee to move his son Graham Downey in and said the ceremony was more than just a break from the midday heat.“It’s cool that at a school this size to have a ceremony that feels homey,” Art Downey said. “It shrinks the size.”For Graham Downey, the ceremony was just a symbolic part of the move-in process.“Coming down here was the big deal for me,” Graham Downey said.But Art Downey said he couldn’t help thinking back on his own college years.“It’s hard not to get a little weepy,” Art Downey said. “I’m cursed with old age, and I want to go back.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>For 89 years, women have been able to rock the vote.The 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, celebrated its 89th anniversary Wednesday, and women’s rights activists on both a national and local scale emphasized the symbolic significance of the amendment’s passage.“On this Women’s Equality Day, we take time to recognize not only the historic 19th Amendment, but the tremendous progress we’ve made over the last 89 years in expanding and protecting voting rights,” said Mary G. Wilson, national president of the League of Women Voters, in a press release. Sally Hegeman, president of the Bloomington-Monroe County chapter of the League of Women Voters, said that nearly nine decades later, women attaining the right to vote is central to the American political process.“I don’t think there could be anything more important,” Hegeman said. “One thing we tend to forget was the struggle it took to attain that right.”Women were often jailed for their protests before the amendment’s passage, Hegeman said.“It wasn’t just a nice, sweet bunch of ladies handing out petitions,” Hegeman said. “They had to fight. Now we take our right to vote for granted and ignore our responsibility.”The Bloomington chapter will celebrate Equality Day with an upcoming showing of “Iron Jawed Angels,” a 2004 movie chronicling the early women’s suffrage movement and the amendment’s eventual passage.Yvette Alex-Assensoh, IU dean for women’s affairs, also emphasized the historical importance of the anniversary.“With the right to vote, women have had a voice and the ability to contribute to the political process,” Alex-Assensoh said. “With the ability to vote, women can help make decisions and pass laws.”However, Alex-Assensoh said the 19th Amendment alone does not mean struggles for equality are done.“Think about how far we have to go,” Alex-Assensoh said. “In recognizing and celebrating, there are also many barriers and many gaps yet to close.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Over the roar of “Hail to Old IU,” nobody heard the cries.As the Freshman Induction Ceremony ended, new students and their parents sang the IU alma mater along with junior Alyssa Martin, and a few could be seen flicking tears away.This year’s ceremony, which took place at both 3 and 5 p.m. Wednesday in the IU Auditorium, welcomed freshmen and their families with speeches by prominent University figures such as President Michael McRobbie, Provost Karen Hanson and IU Student Association President Peter SerVaas.At the 3 p.m. ceremony, the auditorium was almost full with freshmen and their families.Among the incoming class of about 7,100 freshmen, students represent 42 states and about 35 countries. In addition, this year’s class includes 38 sets of twins and one set of quadruplets.“This is the world you are joining today,” McRobbie said. “Here in Bloomington may you begin your success today.”Check tomorrow's edition of the IDS for a full story.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Museums frustrate me.I want to like them. I go into them wanting to like them.But 20 minutes later, I get antsy. In theory, I can stare at an epically beautiful sculpture forever. In practice, I’m halfway to the nearest bench by the time my museum-going companions start connecting to whatever classic I’m supposed to be savoring.Yes, I get that I’m supposed to find something, somewhere in the painting/sculpture/modernist ridiculosity. Yes, I can appreciate its artistic value, its unique use of color and shading. Yes, I get its importance in the artistic canon.But, no, I do not want to stare at it until my eyes feel like they will catch on fire.I feel a sense of solidarity with the Russian tourist who inexplicably, while in the Louvre, threw a terra-cotta mug at the “Mona Lisa” earlier this week. Although I don’t usually pack dinnerware as ammo when I go to a museum, there is something innately off about the experience of viewing art that makes me want to throw something.First, the silence.I understand that for a lot of people, museums are like houses of worship, where the stillness and beauty become a spiritual experience.But it turns the exhibits from welcoming works to intimidating figures, overwhelming the room with their artistic significance. I always feel like a 5-year-old in an antiques shop, inherently aware of the fact that one accidental trip could send me flying into a million-dollar canvas. Feeling like I don’t have a center of gravity is hard enough without the threat of “you break it, you ruin thousands of years of art.”Next, the fellow patrons.You know that friend who is a walking, talking encyclopedia of sports trivia who can tell you the third-highest scorer on the 1994 IU men’s basketball team? They exist in the art world, too. It’s that guy in the hipster glasses, nodding plaintively and remarking to nobody in particular how he can see the influences of (insert the name of an obscure Spanish surrealist artist here) in this work. Or that lady who steps up close then steps away then steps close again like she’s dancing with the painting, nodding and sighing the whole time, a single finger pressed to her lips. I’m so proud of your master’s degree in art history and all, but please save the commentary for later.But what irks me the most is the cold sterility.Could most museums be any less inviting? Institutionally white walls, no natural light, box-shaped rooms. Most museum rooms feel like straitjackets.I like pretty things. Who doesn’t? And I want to feel like I have that sort of intense connection to something beautiful, like a spark of creativity in the hands of a gifted artist.But, instead, I’m left feeling as trapped as the paintings are inside their frames.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Even after 40 years, they’re more than just four guys crossing the street.“Abbey Road,” the famed Beatles album featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr striding across a London street on the cover, turned 40 years old Saturday. IU music professor Glenn Gass said the album, which featured songs “Something,” “Come Together” and “Here Comes the Sun” represented the buoyancy and staying power of their music.“They were there to offer a parallel universe different from what parents and teachers and straight-laced adult society,” he said. “It feels like a farewell to the ’60s.”Gass said “Abbey Road” was a conscious effort on the part of the group to end on a strong note despite growing tensions in the group.“With all the tensions, they were able to bury those and make a worthy album, an album that a lot of people consider their greatest,” Gass said.Though “Let It Be” was the last album released by The Beatles, “Abbey Road” was the final album the group recorded and its final release in the 1960s.To Gass, The Beatles’ trajectory, from early performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” to the release of “Let It Be,” mirrored the cultural shifts of the era.“They did so much to define that decade,” Gass said. “They are the one constant that whole generation grew up with. They never let you down. They were like really, really hip older brothers.”In London, hundreds of Beatles fans swarmed Abbey Road on Saturday, singing songs and snarling traffic.Although the cover shoot itself only took a few minutes, so carefully studied was the cover for signs and symbolism that some die-hard fans came to the conclusion that Paul McCartney – who appears barefoot and out of step with the rest – had secretly died.“At the time, it was sort of fun,” Gass said. “Now it feels like a weight around the album. But it was always just a footnote.”Abbey Road, which cuts through London’s well-to-do neighborhood of St. John’s Wood, is home to the eponymous studios where the group recorded much of its work. “I didn’t expect so many people to be here,” said German visitor Tschale Haas, 50, who was dressed in a Sgt. Pepper jacket.The group decided to shoot the photograph in August 1969 while recording music for the last time together. For the shot, photographer Iain Macmillan stood on a stepladder and police held up traffic while The Beatles walked back and forth across the street.But beyond the iconic image, Gass said “Abbey Road” as an album exemplified The Beatles’ legacy.“When they chose to, they had great albums,” Gass said. “They were better than anyone else on the planet. Forty years later, even an album cover can carry that weight.”– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>In ninth grade, faced with what was, in my 14-year-old mind, the worst case of strep throat (like, ever), I spent an entire week watching “The Breakfast Club” again and again.I stationed myself on the couch with a cup of ice chips and focused intently on the movie, agonizing over why these walking, talking stereotypes couldn’t understand each other. So after learning that John Hughes, who brought us the Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy perfection that was “The Breakfast Club,” died Thursday at the age of 59, my inner 14-year-old self sighed.Not long after my first strep-induced John Hughes experience, I set into the classic “Brat Pack” trifecta, with back-to-back viewings of “Sixteen Candles” and “Pretty in Pink.” And, of course, next came “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”As the quintessential high school nerdy type (playing in marching band and captaining the quiz bowl team tend to pigeonhole a girl) I always found solace in the awkward, gangly characters in his movies – the hyperanxious Cameron Frye from “Ferris Bueller” and the I-got-a-fake-ID-so-I-could-vote Brian Johnson from “The Breakfast Club.”Despite their sagging social skills and awkward demeanors, despite the fact that they never got the girl (or any girl, for that matter), Hughes’ nerds gave me hope.While they failed miserably in sweeping the ladies off their feet, the nerds kept everyone together and kept Molly Ringwald’s prissy characters from becoming too much to handle.More so than any other characters in Hughes’ movies, the nerds never stop being themselves. They are unabashedly, unstoppably nerdy – passionate, dedicated and completely oblivious to how the popular kids act.Seeing characters like this do well made me feel like it was OK to be proud of my nerdiness because it was what made me whom I was – and still am.Because, really, if it weren’t for Anthony Michael Hall’s character in “The Breakfast Club,” who would have summed up so eloquently the point of movies like this: that beyond “princess” or “rebel” status, we’re all scared kids trying to navigate a confusing, hormonal world?High school never worked out quite as neatly as “The Breakfast Club,” where the line between jock and nerd could be sorted out over a weed-laced detention session in the library. And 16th birthdays were never perfectly capped off with a tabletop cake from the Jake Ryans of the world.But movies like “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club” made and continue to make us believe that somehow that cruel, weird world of teenagerdom will work out. Even if you’re a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess or a criminal.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>For the past several years, I have had a summer music ritual.It goes something like this: lie on my couch, listen to my iPod, get sick of all of the songs I have in heavy rotation, stare blankly at the ceiling and then decide to raid my brother’s iTunes.Something happened between high school and college for my older brother: We developed the same taste in music.I noticed it first on our old shared computer, when our iTunes libraries started to overlap. First it was duplicate Guster songs.Then I started borrowing his extensive Beatles CD collection, then his Bob Dylan, then, well, everything.Before long, our musical tastes were almost indistinguishable, save for a few Mos Def albums from him and a Britney Spears mix from me. (I can’t help it. She just makes me want to dance.)When he came home for the summer, our family car would become littered with mixed CDs with ambiguous names such as “Summer Mix,” “Mix Two” or “Rock.”But these uninspired names contained magical songs for me. The CDs would jump through our combined musical history, from the Jackson Browne songs we both listened to in the car as little kids to an unfamiliar Death Cab for Cutie song (we both have a bit of a Ben Gibbard obsession) to then-unfamiliar artists that have become staples in my music library (Band of Horses, The Black Keys, Matt Costa).My mom and I listened to a Jack Johnson mix he made so often that the CD is slightly worn out.Every summer I’d hoard these mixes and at least one song off them would become my de-facto summer anthem.For example, one summer it was “Walk on the Ocean” by Toad the Wet Sprocket (I found an acoustic version on an abandoned CD underneath the passenger seat in our car.). It always has been and, for the time being, will remain my most-played song. It’s a song that, in addition to reminding me of lazy summers at home, makes me feel better no matter what.For the first time in recent memory, however, I’m without my summer music resource.My brother lives in California and isn’t going to be home at all this summer. I’ve tried a few replacements for his mix CDs, including music blogs (a little too indie for me) and friends’ recommendations (nothing’s really stuck save for a few songs).Hopefully I’ll be able to hold out until I can get my hands on his iPod again at Thanksgiving.Until then, I’m here in Bloomington lying on my couch, staring blankly at the ceiling and wondering whose iTunes I’ll have to raid now.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Whatever happened to S Club 7?Every day, wedged between episodes of “Angela Anaconda” and “Braceface” on what was then the Fox Family Channel, seven peppy British 20-somethings, who just so to all work together at a resort in Florida and also just so happened to love to sing and dance, entertained me on “S Club 7: Miami 7.”The show was essentially a marketing platform for a manufactured and imported pop group.And I was obsessed.I rearranged my after-school schedule to watch this show, even though nothing ever happened on it besides the group performing janitorial duties in exchange for performance time at this fictional resort. In every episode, there was a musical number, but something always went wrong. Hilarity ensued – sort of.Only 15 episodes of the 1999 show were ever aired, and after seeing each of the episodes maybe seven or eight times, I got bored and forgot about them.Frankly, I hadn’t thought about them until last weekend when a few of my friends and I got bored and started talking about past guilty-pleasure musicians. We started looking up all of the groups from our tween years: first, the easy ones like *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, then more obscure blips on the pop music radar like Dream, O-Town and 5ive. And, of course, I requested my favorite S Club 7 song, “Never Had A Dream Come True.”Our evening became a whir of awesomely shiny pleather pants, sky-high gelled hairdos and sweet dance moves.Then we raised the inevitable question: Where are they now?For some, this is an easy question to answer. Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees is currently mending his broken heart after breaking up with former MTV video jockey Vanessa Minnillo. The Backstreet Boys still tour sometimes. Justin Timberlake brought sexy back.After doing a little digging, we tracked down a few more tween idols.Rich Cronin, lead singer of LFO, battled leukemia for awhile in 2005. Two of the members of O-Town married their high school sweethearts, and one works construction.Justin Jeffre, the bleach-blond, pouty-lipped member of 98 Degrees, ran for mayor of Cincinnati. As for S Club 7, one member came in second on the British reality competition show called “Strictly Come Dancing.” Another starred on the recently canceled BBC show “Primeval.”Three members – Jo O’Meara, Bradley McIntosh and Paul Cattermole – have reunited and toured around Britain as the S Club 3. They perform in universities and nightclubs and sing old S Club 7 music.Part of me wants to feel sad for my former idols, unable to let go of their former choreographed glory. I mean, they are almost all in their 30s by now. Isn’t it time to let go?But after the record contracts expired, most of these guys were left with nothing except for has-been status.They had to start over somehow, regardless of how vicious commentators on VH1 specials would be to them later.So they’re still here, whether in suburbs or studios, construction sites or reunion concerts.It just depends on whether we choose to remember.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Before his recital Friday as a part of the Jacobs School of Music’s Summer Music Festival, Bloomington-born pianist Jonathan Biss spoke with the Indiana Daily Student about his hometown and what inspires him as a musician.Biss will perform at 8 p.m. Friday in Recital Hall. Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for regular admission. The concert benefits a scholarship for the school’s Summer Piano Academy.IDS: What are you most looking forward to about returning to Bloomington?Biss: It was my home for the first 17 years of my life. My parents moved away from Bloomington a couple of years ago, so it’s great to have a reason to come back. There are a lot of people I want to see and a lot of things in Bloomington that make me feel nostalgic. It’s a trip down memory lane.IDS: What’s running through your head when you’re on stage performing?Biss: In the best performances, the answer is nothing. There aren’t specific thoughts. I let things go and allow the music to take over me. When things are going really well, I’m not aware of what’s happening or of certain feelings. IDS: What’s the best part about performing for a living?Biss: Music is the greatest passion in my life. It’s such an unbelievable mode of expression and self-expression. It can really take you places, and I’m getting to experience that and getting paid to do it. I’d perform even if I wasn’t getting paid, but I still can’t quite believe that I get paid.IDS: What inspires you as a musician?Biss: The music. For me, with the music that I play, all of it is unfathomably great. I always feel like in the pieces of music I play, there’s an infinite amount to work on and infinite amount to discover. I just get inspired from the texts themselves.IDS: Are there certain pieces that especially speak to you?Biss: Yes, there are. In one way, every piece I play is a piece that speaks to me. That’s the most important selection criteria. I only play pieces that I think are forever inspiring. I will say that in this particular concert, I’m going to play a piece by Schumann (Kreisleriana, Op. 16) which is a piece I learned in my Bloomington years. Pieces take on certain associations based on time of life when you learned them, where you were, what you were doing. This piece connects me to Bloomington.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>For a moment, there was only violin, guitar and a sea of flickering candles.The din of the area around the Sample Gates on Friday night faded into the background as about 40 students, faculty and community members surrounded professor Shahyar Daneshgar on guitar and junior Josiah Bizhan on violin as they played protest music.The crowd assembled at about 9 p.m. Friday for a peaceful protest of the June 12 announcement of disputed presidential election results in Iran. Government officials named President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner of the election over opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi.Since then, protesters have flooded the streets in Iran, saying election results were fixed. At least 17 people have been killed in the protests.The Sample Gates vigil, organized by Iranian students, appealed to attendees like Ph.D. candidate John Dechant because it was a peaceful way to support protesters in Iran.“Following Iran means a lot to me,” Dechant said. “It hurt to see everything going on and people getting killed for peaceful protesting.”Chris Bates, a recent IU graduate, said the vigil showed Bloomington’s empathy for the situation.“We understand the American government shouldn’t and can’t get involved,” Bates said. “It’s their 1776. But the media allows instant access to what’s going on over there. It’s hard to see a revolution happening and not do anything. We can still support the cause.”In addition to Bizhan and Daneshgar, sophomore Jeremy Gotwals played a song about Iran after only recently learning about the situation.“It’s my job as a musician to support dialogue and ensure atrocities like this don’t happen,” Gotwals said. “It’s important we support Iran and the people of Iran. Our fates in the world are linked.”He said he intends to continue writing songs about Iran and bringing them to Bloomington.Bizhan, who recently returned from another vigil in Atlanta, said the vigil was mostly about moral support.“It’s something peaceful,” Bizhan said. “It’s a demonstration to promote the idea that we want freedom and peace for the people of Iran. We’re not being political or violent.”Bizhan said issues in Iran weren’t just political issues but “human issues.”“It’s my duty as a human being to pray for those being violently suppressed,” he said. “It’s important for me to support those on the side of freedom.”After the demonstration, Daneshgar invited attendees to a discussion at the Runcible Spoon about future demonstrations and a panel discussion planned for Tuesday. “We’re all global citizens,” graduate student Yasemin Gencer said. “We’re all watching.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>GARY – A note, written in black permanent marker, graced a cardboard sign set on an easel in front of Michael Jackson’s childhood home in Gary.“To the ‘King of Pop’ and The Legend: I love you. I grew up loving you. I will always love you.”Fans approached the easel all day Friday, stopping to collect their thoughts and write notes and prayers for Michael Jackson, who died Thursday.The worldwide superstar grew up in this tiny, nondescript house tucked away on a Gary side street. Even though Jackson left the city behind and rarely returned, many residents still feel they’ve lost Gary’s son.2300 Jackson StreetLifetime Gary residents and fans from across the tri-state area gathered Thursday night and Friday at the house, which is still owned by the Jackson family. News media crews stayed into the early morning hours Friday to document the hundreds of fans celebrating Jackson’s life.Around 8 a.m. Friday, about 40 people had already gathered on Jackson Street (named after the U.S. president, not its most famous resident). They stood behind an army of TV cameras and news crews, and everyone was looking at the empty home where as many as 11 Jackson family members once lived.The stream of visitors to the two-bedroom home’s front door remained constant throughout the day. Stuffed animals, personal notes, candles and even money overflowed on the front steps.Gary Mayor Rudy Clay arrived midmorning to mingle with media and fans alike in the front yard. He met Jackson in June 2003 during Jackson’s first trip to his hometown since a 1971 Jackson 5 concert at West Side High School across town.“He had what you’d call a magnetic harmony to him,” Clay said Friday. “When you say ‘Michael Jackson,’ you might as well say ‘love.’”When asked if he thought Jackson died a happy man, Clay responded, “This is not the end of the sentence for Michael Jackson. He’s in heaven, entertaining the angels now.”By midafternoon, more than 100 people had leaked into the streets surrounding the house. A Lake County Sheriff’s Department helicopter whirred overhead, while Jackson’s music continued to play for the crowd.People brandished Jackson memorabilia, from records to signed perfume bottles, as they walked up to the house for a quick photo next to the growing memorial.“People will always come back to this house and see we had a megastar from Gary,” said Darryl Durham, a Merillville, Ind., resident who grew up in Gary. “It’s a total loss for Gary.” Durham said he took “$2 and a prayer” to the front door.‘Little Mikey’The generation that grew up with “Little Mikey,” as Jackson was affectionately known, is searching for words to describe the new world without the “King of Pop.”“I can’t eat. I can’t sleep,” said Chicago resident Antonio Wilson, dressed in full Jackson stage garb. “All I can do is dance, keep dancing.”Wilson elevated the mood of the somber crowd midmorning Friday when he began dancing in signature Jackson point-kicks and moonwalks. One man brought a large boom box to the curb, and soon the entire block was filled with The Jackson 5 megahits “ABC” and “I Want You Back” and iconic Jackson singles “Thriller” and “Billie Jean.”“All of his music was for the people,” Wilson said. “His shows were about everybody being together. He wasn’t just an American idol, he was the world’s idol.”Gary resident Ernie Shelby said before she became the musician known as “Lady Sax,” she competed against Michael and the rest of the Jackson family in talent shows.She said Jackson, who was only 8 years old at the time, was a “rambunctious” kid who once accidentally stepped on her foot backstage during a talent show. “The worst part about competing against them was you knew they were always going to win,” Shelby said. “He was so young and he always had perfect pitch.”To Shelby, Jackson represents the Gary of the past, when music was a central part of the culture. “Gary often gets a bad rap,” Shelby said. “But back in the day it was just as big as Detroit was for Motown.”Orlando Lumpke, who has lived in Gary all of his life, also remembers Jackson from watching him, along with many other musicians, at talent shows.“He was good,” Lumpke said. “A lot of talent came through those high schools then. It shows Gary is more than just a ghetto.”‘Goin’ Back to Indiana’During his last visit to Gary in 2003, Jackson pledged his financial support for the construction of a performing arts center named after him, but the city has not announced any plans since.On a visit to film a reality TV show last summer, Jackson’s father Joe Jackson vocalized his support for a Jackson family museum next to Interstate 80/94, about a mile southwest of the famous family home. No further plans have been released.“What they did with Graceland for Elvis, that’s what we’re gonna do here in Gary,” Mayor Clay said, standing near the home’s front steps. “This will be a national landmark forever.”Until then, Gary residents like Willie Eastland, who said he grew up with the Jacksons and used to sit in a playpen with Janet Jackson as a baby, keep remembering the days when Michael Jackson was just another neighborhood kid.“I’m just devastated,” Eastland said. “My heart goes out to his family. They were like a regular family to me.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>A sequined white glove and a moonwalk made history March 25, 1983.That was the night Michael Jackson appeared on the televised “Motown 25” concert, debuting his iconic steps while performing “Billie Jean.” As he slid across the stage, the audience screamed.After Jackson’s sudden death Thursday at age 50 from cardiac arrest, just weeks before a planned 50-show tour in London, fans are looking at the Michael Jackson of the past, before dangling children and whitened skin overshadowed “I’ll Be There” and “Beat It.”Music stores across the world reported spikes in sales of anything Jackson related. And while album purchases might be some fans’ way to say a final goodbye, professor of music Glenn Gass said he hopes it’s a sign people are remembering the music rather than the tabloid antics of Jackson’s life.“People need to remember him for the right reasons, which is the music,” Gass said. “The music will always be what matters.”IU alumnus Anthony DeCurtis, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine, said Jackson is hardly the only talented artist with a twisted personal life.“There’s always going to be two stories for Michael Jackson,” DeCurtis said. “As time goes on, the elements of his personal life are going to become secondary because most people will be able to get to his music and see the performances. ... His work will carry him into the future.”Though he said the news will be filled with “sordid tabloid stuff” for the coming months as Jackson’s cause of death and estate are sorted out, Gass said Jackson’s landmark album “Thriller,” which is still the highest-selling album in music history, exemplifies Jackson’s influence on music.“‘Thriller’ almost singlehandedly revived the record industry,” Gass said. “For a kid to go from 12 and great to in his 20s and great, it’s impressive.”Jackson’s career started in a tiny two-bedroom home in Gary, where he and brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon first rehearsed the music that would go on to make them famous as The Jackson 5. The family moved to Los Angeles from Gary in 1968 and left behind the talent show stages of hometown high schools for a deal with Motown Records and four number one hits. Jackson eventually recorded four solo albums with the label. After meeting producer Quincy Jones while performing in “The Wiz” in 1978 alongside Diana Ross, Jackson recorded “Off the Wall,” his first solo album after leaving Motown Records. Jackson and Jones continued to work together and, a few years later, cowrote and produced “Thriller.”Artists such as Chris Brown, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears can look to Jackson as a watershed of pop music, DeCurtis said.“Michael Jackson represented the apex of blockbuster mentality,” DeCurtis said. “Michael invented the album with seven or eight hit singles.”In total, Jackson had 13 singles reach the top of the Billboard charts as a solo artist, including “Billie Jean,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Thriller” and “Bad.”In addition to his sales, Gass credits Jackson with fully integrating popular music along both racial and age lines. Jackson was the artist to break down the color barrier on MTV, at the time an avenue for white artists; Gass and DeCurtis said his music bolstered the young network.“The influence of blending styles and bringing black music into mainstream continues to be enormous,” Gass said. “You go to a club and hear Michael Jackson playing and it could be any type of club.” But “Thriller”-level success eventually ate away at the pop star as news of his plastic surgeries and rumors of molestation eclipsed his music. “There was this desperate attempt to recreate ‘Thriller’ that really damaged him,” DeCurtis said. “There’s a level of validation in what ‘Thriller’ represented for him.“There was a void inside this guy. The bigger he got, the bigger it got and the more it took to fill it, and there’s the tragedy.” DeCurtis said he always hoped Jackson would be able to rise above his tabloid image in his lifetime and hoped Jackson’s tour in London would remind people of the performer behind the eccentric behavior.“If you love music and love performance, this guy was one of the best,” DeCurtis said. “Along with all of the sadder stuff, there’s that. It’s really undeniable.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>GARY, Ind. – Elvis Presley. John Lennon. Michael Jackson.Mourners across the globe are using the first two names to convey their sense of disbelief after hearing about the sudden death of superstar performer Michael Jackson on Thursday in Los Angeles.Lifetime Gary residents and fans from across the tri-state area gathered Thursday night and Friday at Jackson’s childhood home at the intersection of 23rd Avenue and Jackson Street in Gary. News media crews stayed into the early morning hours Friday to document the hundreds of fans celebrating Jackson’s life.The generation that grew up with “Little Mikey,” as Jackson is affectionately called, is searching for words to describe a new world without the “King of Pop.”“I can’t eat. I can’t sleep,” said Antonio Wilson, dressed in full Jackson stage garb. “All I can do is dance, keep dancing.”Wilson elevated the mood of the somber crowd mid-morning Friday when he began dancing in signature Jackson point-kicks and moonwalks. One man brought a large boom box to the curb, and soon the entire block was filled with Jackson 5 megahits “ABC” and “I Want You Back” and iconic Jackson singles “Thriller” and “Billie Jean.”“All of his music was for the people,” Wilson said. “His shows were about everybody being together. He wasn’t just an American idol, he was the world’s idol.”Stay connected to idsnews.com and see Monday’s print edition for more stories and photos from Gary.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Even after 17 years of planning, anticipating and assembling, Chris Young still has to wait for another 10 months. Though the 3,963-pipe Maidee H. and Jackson A. Seward Organ is mostly assembled in Auer Hall, organ department faculty members like Young must wait until late April or early May for each pipe of the nearly $2 million dollar instrument to be individually tuned and made ready to play.But watching the organ come to life makes the wait worthwile.“I love this stage,” Young said. “I love driving the builders nuts asking questions. It involves so many different skills and arts. It’s a very interactive relationship.”Three weeks ago, the organ building crew from C.B. Fisk Inc., from Gloucester, Mass., arrived to assemble the organ with the help of organ students, faculty members and members of the community.“Every available seating surface in the hall was filled with parts,” organ builder David Kazimir said. “It was like a warehouse of organ parts.”Both organ department chairwoman Janette Fishell and Young said the organ, beyond being an “installation of international stature,” is an educational asset for students.“You learn to interact with specific sounds,” Young said. “Students learn from listening to feedback from a concert instrument.”Fishell also said the new instrument is suited for more than just solo performances.“This particular organ has been designed to play the widest possible array of music,” she said. “It’s been designed to be a superb accompaniment to help students become consummate organists.”A previous attempt at building an organ in the same space with a different company in 1992 fell through, according to The Associated Press, so the school approached Fisk.“An organ is not only a work of art but a big piece of machinery,” Fishell said. “They’re really connected to their instruments, and once you work with them, you’re a part of the Fisk family. They feel that their instruments are like their children.”The organ is about 75 percent assembled, Kazimir said. But Young said the organ appears complete to the untrained eye.“If you go in there right now, you’d see it looks essentially complete, but the bulk of the organ is not seen,” Young said. “It’s like looking at a car that looks complete but has no engine.”After assembly, each one of the nearly 4,000 pipes must be “voiced,” or tuned, to an exact pitch and dynamic level based on the acoustics of the room.“Not only do the pipes have to agree with the sound they’re supposed to make, they have to agree with each other,” Young said.The organ assembly process is painstaking, but waiting patiently until the spring is worth it to ensure a perfect instrument, Young said.“This organ will hopefully be around for 100-plus years,” he said. “It’s not an ephemeral thing, like a DVD player that wears out in eight to 10 years. It’s a major installation. “I hope it’s here as long as the Jacobs School of Music.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>For the past 29 years, the lawn of the Monroe County Courthouse has been overtaken for one afternoon by color and creativity.This year’s Arts Fair on the Square, which took place Saturday in conjunction with the Taste of Bloomington, filled the square with brightly colored stained glass, handmade jewelry and the jury-selected artists behind the creations.The Indiana Daily Student asked several of the participating artists about what inspires them, why they participated and how the arts fair impacts Bloomington.
Orientation is as much a rite of passage as it is tradition here at IU.Incoming freshmen and their parents have arrived at IU this week to explore campus and register for classes.