A&S in the News: Jan. 21–27, 2017

Sonic Frontiers concert set for Friday in Moody Recital Hall

Tuscaloosa News – Jan. 24

An electronic music pioneer will be featured Friday as part of the University of Alabama’s Sonic Frontiers concert series. Tim Perkis, who has worked in the medium of live electronic and computer sound since the 1970s, will perform beginning at 7:30 p.m. at UA’s School of Music Moody Recital Hall, 810 Second Ave.

How partisanship came to rule American politics

Al.com – Jan. 22

During his 1968 run for president, Alabama’s George Wallace famously called Republican and Democrats “Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee” and declared that there wasn’t “a dime’s worth of difference” between that year’s two major party candidates for president. These days, party identity and partisanship are the kings of American politics. Poll after poll shows wide gulfs and intense suspicions separating Democrats and Republicans. “We are light years away from Wallace’s old ‘Tweedle Dum/Tweedle Dee,’” said William Stewart, a professor emeritus in political science at the University of Alabama. He continued, “And this makes politics much less attractive to people who don’t like a lot of conflict.”

Look Who’s Talking

Oman Tribune – Jan. 22

Oh Long Johnson,” a cat once said, back in the primordial history of internet memes. “Oh Don Piano. Why I eyes ya.” Or so said the captions – appended to the gibberish of a perturbed house cat on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” in 1999 and rediscovered in the YouTube era, when millions of people heard something vaguely human echo in a distant species. At least, that was the common thinking when Dion was little … It dates back to a study on a dead rhesus monkey in 1969, said Tom Sawallis, a linguist at the University of Alabama. “You’ve got to have contrasting vowels to have the vocabulary, and you’ve got to have vocabulary to have syntax,” he said. And so on, all the way up to carpool karaoke.

Academics race to save rare colonial documents in Cuba

Entorno Inteligente – Jan. 22

An American team of academics is racing to preserve millions of Cuban historical documents before they are lost to the elements and poor storage conditions. Many of the documents shed light on the slave trade, an integral part of Cuba’s colonial history that was intertwined with that of the United States. David Lafevor, a history professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, and his brother Matthew, a geography professor at the University of Alabama, have worked since 2005 to make computer copies of millions of documents mouldering in damp storage spaces on the island.

Also making headlines…

Trump won’t change radically as president, state experts say – Jan. 20 – William Stewart

THE PORT RAIL: Nationalism takes hold; will it be for good or evil? – Jan. 22 – Larry Clayton

UA Dance department to hold dance film festival – Jan. 24