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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

#FashionDriveBy Teaser: Fall 2012 

In the spirit of Halloween, we wanted to give you a sneak peek at our upcoming #FashionDriveBy, featuring hair by the incredible duo, Angela Goldman and Kara Pezzimenti. And, better yet, we finally convinced these lovely ladies to take their well-deserved place in front of the lens, too.

Clothes and makeup were designed by First Edition, the refurbished style project created by our own Cady Childs. The shoot also features jewelry by Hannah Trogdon, and a bandit-style cameo from The Real Laww. All photos by Jessica Blakely of Jessica Arden Photography


We hope this is a good treat (and trick) to start your Halloween right. Stay tuned for more! 

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Belt Line Station: The Platform renamed 

The Clarion Content has heard that The Platform at the Cordoba Center for the Arts in the Golden Belt complex is being leased and renamed.

Of course, the space is near and dear to the Clarion Content's hearts because we have both photographed there and hosted our first Fashion Drive-by Art Party there.1 Word is the space is to be renamed Belt Line Station. It will be catered by Triangle Catering, the same folks who manage The Cotton Room.

Photo credit to Danielle Riley

If The Cotton Room is any indication, The Platform space is in for a fabulous makeover. Triangle Catering's press release says they will be marketing to brides-to-be and local event planners.

They have done some of the research into the site's history. This something we know that the Cordoba Center for the Arts folks have been talking about harnessing for some time. Triangle Catering says Belt Line Station's tracks, that run alongside the Platform depot, were first used by the Lynchburg & Durham Railroad company, which was formed in 1887, when the tracks were completed and connected, they spanned nearly forty-two miles of North Carolina. The space served as a loading dock for Bull Durham and Duke’s Mixture tobacco products, first sold in signature pouches and later as pre-rolled cigarettes. The shipments also included finished empty bags designed to hold flour, cornmeal, salt, and other household consumables, as well as hosiery produced by the Golden Belt Hosiery Company.

Now how about that?

Photo credit to Danielle Riley

The Cordoba Center for the Arts has assured the Clarion Content that the amazing steel door painting we commissioned, seen in the background of the shot above, created by Tony Waldron will preserved, although likely not in the Belt Line space.

1Our next Fashion Drive-by Art party comes to the West Village this Fall/Winter.


Durham Arts Council Fundraiser 

The Durham Arts Council is holding benefit fundraising night in conjunction with the new Bonefish Grill that is opening out by the Southpoint Mall. The tickets are $35 and 100% of the proceeds benefit the Arts Council.

The Durham Arts Council supports a litany of programs and cultural makers and doers in Durham, from The Scrap Exchange to the Young People's Performing Company, as well as running festivals like Centerfest and the Edible Arts Festival, as well as, Durham's annual Art Walk.

Food and drink for a good cause!

Tickets can be purchased, here.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Adopt a Tree... 

Have you heard about this fabulous program from the City of Durham’s Urban Forestry Division in partnership with Keep Durham Beautiful? The idea sounds terrific. It is called Adopt-a-Tree, basically, the city is matching grants from local groups and citizenry to sponsor tree planting.

This was once our city slogan...

While we have missed the deadline for this year's trees, and doesn't it just feel a little too cold to be planting trees today, the Clarion Content is excited to learn about Adopt-a-Tree and already looking forward to next year.

The city helps with size and suitability selections. They have lists of small, medium and large tree options, guidelines about everything from root balls and containers to overhead canopy space and distance that must be maintained from fire hydrants and manholes. It appears well thought out. Read all the details and apply to have a tree planted on your street here.

Tip of the hat to the Old West Durham resident who sent this our way, word is you can see new trees on several streets in Old West Durham, including Hale, Green, and Rosehill.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Durham Arts Guild annual meeting 

As a fly on the wall inside the Durham Arts Guild's annual meeting, our editor can tell you the tenor was entirely different than last year when a hostile tension and divisiveness filled the room. It wasn't just that hungry bellies were soothed by a non-profit priced stack of pizza from Pop's Backdoor Pizzeria, either.

There was a genuine spirit of excitement in the air for new gallery coordinators, Katie Seiz and Laura Richie. The reason the Durham Arts Guild (DAG) appointed gallery coordinators, rather than a new director of the DAG, was in part because the membership was frustrated with the programming of the DAG's exhibits. In a response to that membership priority, the Board focused on the gallery programming by appointing Seiz and Richie.

The SunTrust Gallery, a sneak peak at the DAG's 58th Annual Juried Art Exhibition

The Durham Arts Guild programs the SunTrust Gallery at the Durham Arts Council and Room 100 at Goldenbelt in partnership with Scientific Properties. Right now, the SunTrust Gallery is hosting the DAG's 58th Annual Juried Art Exhibition. There is a ton of excellent work hanging, a plethora of Durham talent, which is what the membership wanted when they felt Durham was being shunted aside by the previous director for undesired New York Pop Art exhibits.

Seiz and Richie, sensitive to their audience, received nearly all membership comments with a "great suggestion" or a "good idea" and beaming smiles. There were some interesting ideas put forth including a public private partnership between the DAG and the Chamber of Commerce and/or Sustain-A-Bull Durham to help connect local businesses wishing to display art with local artists desiring to show their work.

How very Durham.

We did hear a lot of good suggestions from membership at last year's DAG meeting, too. After a frustrating couple of months, the Guild delivered on the two biggest of them, programming and more open communication. This thanks in no small part to interim head, Stephen Foster, who was terrific, according DAG Board Chairwoman, Trudy Smith. The hope is for even better this year, as Smith put it, "We expect [Seiz and Richie] to take it to the next level.

Also note:
The Guild is also partnering with Student U to pair ten young students with ten adult art mentors. Student U is a highly regarded local program for at-risk youth which previously had no arts component. Ms. Richie is serving as liaison to the program for DAG. Stipended mentoring opportunities are available.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

dTown Oktoberfest 

A Halloween Wednesday equals a lot of opportunity to thrown down in advance. For the next several days expect things to be rumbling in the Bull City. As usual, #723 Rigsbee is one of the places where it will be going down. No surprise there. Word is MotorCo is hosting a free, family-friendly event, Dtown Oktoberfest.

Saturday at noon, festivities get under way with the Bulltown Strutters leading a mini-parade. Quaff an icy cold Spaten stein and celebrating living in Durham in late October where the highs may touch 70. This Saturday Munich is looking at highs of 37 degrees Fahrenheit, with a snowy mixture of precipitation.

You can ponder your luck while listening to music from The Little German Band who will be accompanied by traditional German beer hall dancers from 1pm to 4pm. They rock that Oompah party music. Should your belly want to go the classic German route as well, MotorCo will be cooking German bratwurst with all the trimmings, as well as German pretzels.

More of a night crawler? AC Newman (of the New Pornographers) will be performing with the Mynabirds. Doors open at 8PM and the show begins at 9PM, $15 in advance.

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Tweets of the week, late October 

We think of these little slices of Twitter as our... Tweets of the week.

Real quotes from real tweeters. We love to peak behind the curtain and into the lives of folks we hardly know. Some of these Tweets are PG-13 or even R. All of them keep it real. Easily offended, click here.

All spelling is that of original authors.

My moms following soulja boy on twitter.... #icanteven #brbdying---VS

K is not a comeback. It's a letter---AC

The way you feel when your phone dies is exactly how Cinderella felt at midnight.---KO

I sware half of my face is permenatly swollen from my mom slapping me.---SH

Put on a fake smile. They'll never know---CC

Sorry to everyone I'm emailing at 1am. don't think less of me, please!---TM

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Goldenbelt Fall Festival 

Halloween on a Wednesday means opportunities to celebrate the Fall holidays for days on end. One fabulous interactive daytime opportunity is this Saturday, Goldenbelt's Fall Festival, from 11am to 3pm.

Among the many forms of entertainment, word is there will be a straw bale maze and pumpkin patch. Dogstar Tattoo is a hosting face painting tent. The Goldenbelt Artists will be doing a pumpkin decorating station. $5 bucks and you can take one home. No word on whether or not the Great Pumpkin will be making an appearance.

It is a super kid-friendly environment. The Durham Fire Department will be there with a 65 foot ladder truck. The Cotton Room is hosting a yummy cookie decorating station. LabourLove Gallery has a Fall craft projects at the table for children. There is even a pet costume contest sponsored Triangle Pet Adoption, good folks who save animals from high kill shelters.

For a nominal fee, our friends at Liberty Arts and one of their glassblowers, George-ann Greth, will help kids blow small orange glass pumpkins. Kids will also have the opportunity to play on the Shodor Foundation’s “Interactivate” site for exploration in science and mathematics.

100% of the $5 suggested donation for the event will be going to the John Avery Boys and Girls Club to help them rebuild after their recent fire.

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The Clarion Content detests the foreign policy debate. It is the debate that feels most like both candidates are consistently posturing. In the other debates, one or the other side squirms, and offers the politically correct response, sidling toward the middle, saying what they think the country wants to hear, but differences are at least discernible. When the candidates start talking about American policy towards Egypt, Libya, Israel or China our head starts to spin around with self-propelled vitriol.

When CBS News continually ran this split screen during the foreign policy debate we couldn't resist the Robamney line, original credit to Storey Clayton and the Blue Pyramid.

Siamese twins? But hopefully not two sides of the same coin?

Our foreign policy cherry picking incorporates elements from to Chomsky and Ron Paul. The bottom-line is neither party has a coherent explanation for why America has sided with and continues to side with the dictators and the oppressors from Egypt to Pakistan. Political stability and its economic consequences are trump, time and again, regardless of which party rules the White House.

Nevertheless, elections matter. Supreme Court justices are selected, and henceforth, our own freedoms ride on these elections.

We overheard two middle-age joggers talking on the Al Buehler Cross-Country trail the other day as we passed them, caught just a bit of what one said to the other, "...only way to change it is to vote for Gary Johnson." The reply was immediate, "Well, you can't do that," and then, we had jogged by them.

A friend's Dad got so mad last week, he was sputtering that Michelle Obama wasn't born in this country.

We do not try to tell you who to vote for here at the Clarion Content. We might tell you whom we support and why.

We simply want you to vote.

We don't believe this election is necessarily the most important in ages or in our lifetime. We believe active and engaged citizenry is always important. It has an essential watchdog function that democracy needs. Power corrupts, voting is the first check on that power.

If you want to vote for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein,1 Barack Obama, or Mitt Romney... just vote.

And vote up and down the ticket, here in North Carolina, you will be deciding everything from tax policy to fracking rules with your vote.

What do you want government to be? Get involved and decide.

Are you glass half-full or half-empty?

For the half-fullers, one of our buddies from California, he dreams of a Ron Paul Presidency accompanied with a Democratic Congress so that Paul can "gut the military, but can't touch social policy."

For the half-empty crew, as Churchill put, "Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried thus far."

1If you haven't heard of either of these two candidates, that is exactly what the two dominant parties are hoping.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Friday Art Walk triumphant 

The Clarion Content bopped about town this past Friday evening on the Durham Art Walk.

We started at the Craven-Allen Gallery on Broad Street. It is always a friendly neighborhood place. And it was no surprise to run into several someones we know. One can beam with pride at our local artistic talent in Durham. The 10th Annual Watts-Hillandale Art Walk and the Craven-Allen are showcasing a passel of it over the next month. We got to have good conversations with a couple of talented Durham artists, Corinne Fox and Kathryn DeMarco, whom, if you will forgive us a moment of inside baseball, we are glad is to hear is on the mend.

When we arrived downtown around 6.30pm, it was buzzing.1 The Durham Arts Council hosted the Southeastern College Art Conference Annual Juried Art Exhibition in all three of their galleries. The place was packed with artists and supporters. Jazz music cascaded over the balcony and drinks flowed freely. It was a nice look for Durham, the Clarion Content got to have a number of conversations with out-of-towners, from places like Savannah, about what a hip town Durham was (and in many cases, had become since they were last here).

We hit the "Facade of Aves" exhibit by Gillian Rose Galdy. It was another packed room, shoulder-to-shoulder upstairs, at what many people affectionately refer to as "Dan's Place," but is in fact more formally titled the "Durty Durham Arts Collective." It is the second floor of #305 E. Chapel Hill Street, the mysterious stairwell right next to Through this Lens is the entrance. One of Galdy's works sold while we were there, always exciting. And we traipsed further into the backroom than we ever had before, encountering a conclave of Durham writers including the gifted Chris Vitiello, who's poem we had read on the wall only moments earlier. There was also a fabulous essay about a dog who had bit its own tail off, and yet still loved life, by Sandeep Bala2

From there it was on to The Carrack where the fantastic curator and co-owner, Laura Richie, finally got a day off after their triumphant auction. The works of Steve Silverleaf were on display. Colors lit up the room. A friend of the Clarion Content snapped a picture of the bright, wild, incredibly massive, wall-sized custom installation piece that Silverleaf had made that very week specifically the show. (See below.) The co-owner of The Carrack, John Wendelbo, bent our ear about his plans to continue his dynamic trajectory, marshaling public support for Art in Durham.

Steve Silverleaf's wall size custom installation

The Clarion Content, too, has been doing some thinking about that, who are the patrons of the arts in Durham?

While pondering this question we hopped out to Goldenbelt, the Cordoba Center for the Arts, and its tenants, the Scrap Exchange3 and Liberty-Arts, all clustered in a burgeoning knot of East Durham development that is slowly spreading outward from its core.4

One of the highlights of the evening were the "City Farm" animals of Jonathan Bowling at Liberty-Arts. They included a life-size horse and pig built out of twisted metal. Another magical, or perhaps in light of Halloween, phantasmagorical creature, a huge bug, that was bigger than a dog caught all eyes. And of course, there was the unnamed Bull that was made both in homage to our beloved Major the Bull, and with his co-creater, Mike Waller.5

Liberty Arts glassblower, George-Ann Greth was helping kids blow their own orange glass pumpkins. The warmth of the furnace and the intimacy in the air formed a mystical alchemy which lit up youthful eyes as they watched their pumpkins take shape.

From there the Bull City Connector makes a straight-line to The Federal which we will neither confirm nor deny we followed.

1There are still places to park if you know where to go, but there won't be for long at this rate. But that's a whole other article... We are planning a series on Durham and development soon.
2We found the name of the author. Now we can only hope we are spelling it correctly.
3There was a thought provoking show in The Scrap Exchange's Green Gallery called of "a small and curious nature" by Tamara Galliano Bagnell. It re-imagined every day objects and the narratives behind them through the work of a mother and the eyes of her young son.
4We heard that the second floor for the Cordoba Center for the Arts has hosted a fashion shoot (not ours) and a music video shoot in recent weeks. We also noticed that Durham Community Media had moved into the Cordoba Center.
5Yes folks, the rumors are true, the low-hangers really do swing. Cojones del toro indeed.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mitt Romney style 

Oh Gangnam Style, you know you have made it big when they are creating these kind of parodies of your work...

from CollegeHumor's Favorite Funny Videos

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Craven Allen hosts Watts-Hillandale 10th Anniversary 

The Craven Allen Gallery at 1106.5 Broad Street hosts a celebration of art, opening this Friday for the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood's 10th Anniversary Art Walk, in conjunction with Durham's 3rd Friday Art Walk.

Meredith Emmett's "Icebreaker" oil on canvas

The gallery is located in the historic Watts-Hillandale neighborhood. The art walk takes place November 4th. The art walk will feature more than forty artists in a panoply of mediums.

It also enables folks to get a closer look at the delightful Arts and Crafts style homes that dot the neighborhood, most of them built from the 1910's through the 1940's. Likely some of the fabulous Halloween decorations that line Club Boulevard this year will still be hanging around and about.

If you want a little teaser look at Watts-Hillandale, check out some of the photos of Art Walk years past on the Clarion Content. If you want an in depth look at Watts-Hillandale, follow this link to Open Durham.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fashion Drive-by: Damsels and the Laww-preview 

Fans, the Clarion Content team just shot our latest Fashion Drive-by, Monday, led by photographer Jessi Blakely of Jessica Arden Photography and our Creative Director, Cady Childs. We were fortunate enough to shoot with two fabulous models, Angela Goldman and Kara Pezzimenti, along with a special guest, Durham hip-hop star, The Real Laww.

Jessica Blakely shoots The Real Laww
Photo credit Tom Berhendt

Creative Director, Cady Childs, designed and created the ladies' style, for her clothing line, First Edition, which received such raves at the Durham fashion show, reFASHIONED.

Inspired by old black white movie visions of damsels in distress, but wanting to flip the patriarchal script on its head, the Clarion Content team set out. The spooky late afternoon light was perfect. Halloween and Fall felt right around the corner.

We strove to highlight, as we always do in our Fashion Drive-by's, how ephemeral and constructed the line is between high and low culture, safe and unsafe Durham. We want to take familiar scenes of Durham and re-envision them. We want to use real people as models. We want to shoot them in affordable fashions. We want to surprise you with what you will see, if you take a second look.

The teaser shots are coming soon, all photos were taken either at The Cordoba Center for the Arts in the Goldenbelt Complex or along the Fayetteville Road-Elizabeth Street corridor.

For a second look at some of our previous Fashion Drive-by projects shot on location in the secret gardens of Trinity Park, inside some of our fabulous night spots, in Watts-Hillandale, in Lakewood and on the Bull City Connector, click here. (and scroll down)

Photographer Jessi Blakely of Jessica Arden Photography, Creative Director, Cady Childs and the Clarion Content's Fashion Drive-by prints and framed photographs are for sale here.

They are also currently on display in the Lars Oliver Salon at the West Village, 604 Morgan Street.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It is all fun and games... 

Remember how the teacher used to say that? It is all fun and games until, usually the standard was, "until somebody loses an eye." Nobody ever lost an eye in my elementary school, but the concept was fairly well understood, "Quit f-ing around you damn kids or sh*t is gonna get serious."

This guy should have listened to the teacher, because he did worse than just losing an eye. Edward Archbold of West Palm Beach, Florida, took another one of those elementary school cliche's, "Give it to, Eddie, he'll eat anything..." too far last week and unfortunately died after eating "dozens of roaches and worms" in a four minute bug-eating contest, according to the Miami Herald.

The contest was sponsored by the Ben Siegal Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, Floria. Archbold won, but the Broward County Sheriff's Office says before he could leave with his prize, a female Ivory Ball python, he began throwing up and then collapsed. The Sheriff’s Office is awaiting an autopsy report to determine what killed him. The Miami Herald quotes the pet store owner, "it wasn’t the food. Discoid roaches," store owner Siegel said, "are eaten by people all over the world."

The roaches served up at the contest were domestically raised. "They’re clean – raised for exotic pet feed," Siegel said. "We sell expensive animals, and these bugs are perfectly safe." The “Midnight Madness” bug contest had nearly thirty other contestant none of whom were sickened.

Sounds unpleasant nevertheless. Perhaps it was the shock or an allergic reaction? We never watch Fear Factor or its imitators, but this event just symbolizes the trickledown of reality tv culture.

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Flipping the script 

The script has been flipped on President Obama, and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is attempting to fall on the royal scepter to save the President.

Likely, you will hear soundbites about this drama in tonight's town hall debate.

This is the bizzaro world of modern political theater where blame must be securely affixed. Clinton made this statement to CNN yesterday,
"I take responsibility. I'm in charge of the State Department's 60,000-plus people all over the world -- 275 posts...The president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals."
Rest assured this has only fed the bellies and the fury of the red meat eaters on Capital Hill. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. They are now pawns on the table for political gamesmanship.

The jackals have the taste of blood and are in full attack mode, this despite the meme of the "I don't remember. I didn't know the details," being developed by their very own political godfather, Ronald Reagan, who's aides darn near copyrighted the strategy during the Iran-Contra affair.

The bitter irony for the President and the Secretary of State is that they are only reaping the blowback of King George the II's wars. Yet the narrative has been flipped on them. Libya was supposed to be near the epicenter of their successes.

The dictator, Moammar Gadhafi, is gone. The Arab Spring started right next door in Tunisia.1

But the problem is Obama and Clinton missed the opportunity by cozying up to a strategy that said anonymous death from the skies is better than dialogue on the ground. Why was America with the generals and the dictators in Egypt?

Well, if you are asking about the origins of that policy, they are deeply rooted and haven't been ideologically divided along Red-Blue lines for decades. Obama simply kept running the program.2 Political stability trumped human rights.

Now, the Muslim Brotherhood is in charge in Egypt and America's influence dwindles daily as the prospects for radicalization increase.

Libya's extremists and the failure of the West to be able to fiat political stability there, any better than it could in Iraq or Afghanistan,3 is ultimately what this is about and why the narrative has been turned on its head. Libya was supposed to reflect the utility, rather than the futility of limited power projection.

President Obama will surely need a better answer than, it's the Secretary of State's fault, should the question arise at tonight's debate.

1How America can possibly still be on the wrong side of fight between the dictators and the people begging for freedom, fifty years after Vietnam, is a national debate we need to be having.
2As Mrs. Clinton would have if she had won the presidency.
3Or in Syria, where we are trying out a tacitly "non-interventionist" approach.

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Liberty Arts new bull and other musings 

The Clarion Content hears tell that there is a new bull in town. Liberty Arts artists, Mike Waller and Leah Foushee Waller, were the creators of the original Major the Bull.

Photo sourced from the Flicker Hive Mind.

Major is, of course, stationed in the plaza in front of the "Suntrust" building. We are hoping and campaigning for a name change to the plaza. It makes little sense for the City of Durham to continue to refer to it as "CCB Plaza" in its official literature and on the Convention and Visitors Bureau website. The bank that was CCB no longer exists. The building itself is actually known as the Hill Building. The terminology is dated and confusing. Google CCB and the Wikipedia disambiguation page lists over twenty-seven CCBs.

It is time for a change. The plaza needs to be renamed, "Major the Bull's Plaza" as befits the traditional legacy of our richly cultural city. Surely, we are not going to let the new hoteliers name our downtown Durham plaza.

The new Bull appearing at Liberty Arts this week is a creation of Greenville sculptor, Jonathan Bowling and Liberty Arts's Mike Waller. It is part of larger show by Bowling opening Friday, October 19th, called "City Farm." The bull is already on site and you can pop Liberty Arts space in the Cordoba Center for the Arts at #923 Franklin Street, behind Goldenbelt and just a hop, skip and a jump off of the Bull City Connector's free bus route.

Photo by our pal Jackie MacLoed.

Liberty Arts studio and workshop is an active bustling place. We had a friend tell us the other night, at The Carrack's fabulous Community Color auction, that he had attended one of the glassblowing classes recently and it was "amazing."1 Liberty Arts also offers classes in life casting, metal casting and metal working, too.

The "City Farm" exhibit, which has a free opening reception, Friday night, as part of Durham's 3rd Friday Art Walk, will feature other sculptural animal creations including a life-size horse, a hound, and a pig. And yes the rumors are true, the as yet unnamed bull does have horns even longer than Major's.

1True story about the glass blowing, but full disclosure, the Clarion Content does do promotional work for Liberty Arts.

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Art disappears in Rotterdam  

Many news outlets, among them the BBC, are reporting paintings by artists including Picasso, Matisse, Monet, and Gauguin have been stolen from a museum in Rotterdam over night.

This Matisse, "The Reading Girl" was among the works taken by the thieves.

The early estimates place the works combined value near nine figures. The Triton Foundation, put together by multimillionaire Willem Cordia, was showing its entire collection in public for the first time.

Strangely, the museum from which the works were stolen has no permanent collection of its own.

Something smells fishy, first time exhibited, a museum with no permanent collection. Read the rest of the story here from the BBC.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Untold Durham 

The Clarion Content's editor was lucky enough to be able to attend "Untold Durham" at the Carolina Theater last week, a fascinating presentation about Durham's cultural history by the creator of the amazing website repositories, Endangered Durham and Open Durham, Gary Kueber. Kueber promised "tales of the Bull City as never before..." and he delivered in a rollicking presentation that drew repeated laughter from the nearly sold out Carolina.

Photo credit BWPW photography.

Standing alone on stage and rarely referring to his notes Kueber spoke for more than two hours. He sketched an outline on his first slide that read as follows, "Dawn of Time *** Civil War *** Bull Durham Tobacco *** Duke *** Black Wall Street *** Freeway Destroys Haytai *** Durham Dies *** Food Trucks Arrive."

As this outline would suggest, it wasn't your standard Wikipedia entry style presentation. Kueber dug deeply into Durham's seamy cultural past from the saloons and taverns that started it all, once outnumbering the churches in town four to two, to tobacco, gambling, music, prostitution, dancing, drinking and finally food, revealing the first place where you could get a drive in burger in Durham and a spot where the Brunswick Stew was stirred with a paddle.

Like his Durham websites, his presentation was filled with terrific photos. They were backed with a panoply of audio clips of folks telling bits and pieces of Durham's cultural backstory story. The Clarion Content is hoping to secure an interview with Kueber, so we won't go into all the sordid details of the evening's revelations, but rest assured there were more than a few of them.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cemetery Gates follow-up 

The Clarion Content posted a story last week on the restoration of two 8-foot high, solid bronze gates to the Washington-Duke Mausoleum in Maplewood Cemetery by Liberty Arts sculptor, Mike Waller. The Durham Herald-Sun and columnist Cliff Bellamy caught wind and did a fabulous piece on the restoration and installation.

Bellamy notes that Waller has been working on the restoration for about five months, much of the time researching how the original gates looked. The Herald Sun got some great photos last week when the team swung the nearly 400 lbs gates back into place, drilling into the granite doorway to fasten a metal frame for the gates.

Check out the photos and read the whole piece here.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Cemetery gates restored  

Liberty Arts, the Durham based sculpture collaborative, and artist Mike Waller have taken on a unique Durham challenge. Waller is restoring two 8-foot high, solid bronze gates from the Washington-Duke Mausoleum in Maplewood Cemetery. The mausoleum was built around 1900, but unfortunately, the massive gates were stolen last fall along with those from two other tombs. They were discovered in a nearby scrap metal yard and recovered shortly afterward.

Waller is playing detective first, trying to figure out what kind of hinges, glass, window frames and fasteners were on the original, a task made more difficult by the lack of photo documentation.

"It’s been an honor to be asked to work on such a magnificent piece of Durham’s heritage," says Mike, "but it was a surprisingly intricate and challenging project".

The gates are being re-installed at Maplewood Cemetery Wednesday, October 10th.

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Community Color at The Carrack 

The Carrack Modern Art, the wonderful, zero commission, gallery space, that you read about so frequently in these pages having fabulous exhibitions, is holding a week long fundraiser.

According to The Carrack's press release, "Community Color celebrates just that: the colorful community of artists, art-lovers, supporters and visionary individuals in the Durham art community..."

In the past year, The Carrack has hosted twenty-four solo exhibits, ten group exhibits and four open call community shows, plus a huge range of cultural events including film, poetry, music, public readings and more.

The gift that this space and its owner-operators have given our community has immeasurably enriched us all.

Time to give back, Durham.

Their schedule of events for the week is as follows...

On October 5th, from 7pm-10pm... the Opening Reception for Community Color with DJ Mike B

On October 6th, all day, 10am-4pm... Create with the Carrack with live music by Anna Rose Beck, Jay Hammond and Scarlet Virgina

On October 7th, 12pm-5pm... the dtownMARKET will be at The Carrack with live music by Curtis Eller

On October 8th, 8pm... Orangutan Swing and The Carrack co-host "The State of Publishing" at Mercury Studio

On October 9th, at 6pm... The Carrack has booked a group tour of the historic renovations at #106 West Parrish Street

On October 10th, 7pm... The Carrack will host a site-specific dance performance by Alexis Mastromichalis

On October 11th, 7.30pm.... The Carrack will co-host a Poetry Showcase and Open Mic with Dasan Ahanu

On October 12th, 8pm... The Carrack will have live music with Jay Manley

And as a Grand Finale, on October 13th...

The Carrack will hold a "Gala and Art Auction" hosted by New York Times bestselling author and the founder of Duke's Center for Advanced Hindsight, Dan Ariely. Ariely will be hosting a special art auction flavored with his unique brand of behavioral economic insight. 100% of the auction proceeds will go towards funding The Carrack in 2013. The evening includes a fun interactive talk and demonstration on international auction practices.

Tickets available here.

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Interesting links: a technology story 

Regular readers know that the Clarion Content likes to send you off to the interesting links we find, but don't have time to write about at length... You can see old posts here (scroll down past this piece).

Today, we have a fresh batch of technology related links, hot off the interwebs.

The first one is about something we had never heard of, picosatellites. Picosatellites are super tiny satellites, usually not much more than 10 cm in length and 2 lbs. Yet, according to the Economist, thanks in large part to smartphone technology pushing miniaturization, the tiniest of sensors have been developed and are on-board, mini-accelerometers, mini-barometers and, of course, cameras.

These super tiny satellites have already performed biological experiments, been used as earthquake sensors and conducted propulsion tests. Launch costs are steadily dropping, from $40k last year to $20k this year. And they don't need dedicated launches, they can ride along on large satellite launches as ballast. Student teams are already building their own satellites for launch. Check out this DIY build your own personal satellite book. And read the whole picosatellites article here in the Economist.

We suppose this link is only tangentially high tech, but did you know that Honduras is selling land to private concerns to build and run their own cities.

MKG Group, a tourism and hospitality consulting company, out of France, has agreed to a three city deal. MKG will not only get to construct the city, but make the laws. The city will be governed by something similar to Texas law, popular for its laissez faire approach to business regulation. The experimental city will have no taxes on income, capital gains or sales. MKG will invest $15 million to begin building basic infrastructure.

Not everyone is happy with the planned development, Fox News quotes a petitioner to the Honduran Supreme Court as saying, "the prospect of setting up a charter city, with its own laws, [that] is sovereign to itself and doesn't have to pay taxes, is a dubious one at best. It'd be tantamount to inviting pirates to come in and have free reign to essentially raid the country's resources/riches."

Proponents, using Hong Kong as a comparison, say the city will raise Honduran income levels and bring as many as 200,000 new jobs.


How far outside the proverbial box are those two concepts? Could our third and final technology link possibly bring that level of paradigm-shattering to the table?

How about that scientists are once again debating the reality of a "warp drive?"

Harold "Sonny" White, of NASA's Johnson Space Center, said in September that the warp drive, previously seemingly requiring an impossible amount of energy, could be powered by something about the size of Voyager 1, the 1970's space probe.1

White and his colleagues have begun experimenting with a laser interferometer that instigates micro versions of space-time warps. The goal is to achieve an effective speed of about 10 times the speed of light. Read the whole story here at Discovery.com.

1Voyager 1 is still kicking ass and taking names.

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Untold Durham tonight 

The Clarion Content is delighted to have the opportunity to cover, "Untold Durham" tonight at the Carolina Theater with one of our fabulous cadre of photogs, BWPW Photography.

The Carolina Theater, circa 1949
Photo courtesy of Endangered Durham, naturally.

We are so excited to hear from the creator of Open Durham and Endangered Durham, Gary Kueber. He is such an amazing resource for our community. If you want to know about Durham's history and you have never visited Open Durham and Endangered Durham, click on these links immediately. There is a treasure trove of information.1

Careful, or like Alice falling down the proverbial rabbit hole, you will end up exploring for days.

These sites are not great just for the content Mr. Kueber posts, they are emblematic of some of the very best qualities of the internet, our collective intelligence. The comments section on many of these posts is priceless, the sharing of memory and story is an archive that has inestimable value for Durham.

So tonight, when Mr. Kueber, sponsored by the good folks at Preservation Durham, says he is going to bring to the table, "tales of the Bull City as never before..." we can only imagine the goodies.

Come one, come all. Tickets available here.

1This is the first place we turn when looking for photos or background on old school Durham.

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Monday, October 08, 2012

The State of Publishing 

The Clarion Content is delighted to be able to participate in a roundtable, "The State of Publishing," this evening presented by Design Kompany & Orangutan Swing at 8pm at Mercury Studio, #407-A Mangum Street, inside the downtown loop, catty-corner from City Hall. Tickets are $10.

The Clarion Content's editor, Aaron Mandel, will be sitting on a panel with some of Durham's most distinguished publishing figures and journalists, including Lisa Sorg, editor of the Independent, and Julie Johnson, our favorite beer and spirits columnist anywhere. Of course, Dipika Kohli will be moderating. There will even be distinguished guest panelists from Ireland via the power of the internet.

If you want to ask the Clarion Content what has changed most about publishing in our purview, what has been most dynamic? The short is answer is the internet.

The internet has given a range and a depth to publishing we never anticipated we would see. Guest panelists from Ireland are barely the tip of the iceberg. Having grown up and been weaned to research on The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, the ability to do topical research on the internet today is stunning.1

1Sure maybe there are no flying cars, but what the Googlierge can find you, it boggles the mind.

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Big Boy Football 

This weekend provided the perfect demonstration of why schools from mid-major conferences should never sniff the college football national championship game until there is a playoff1. People say all the time that the so called mid-major football schools like Boise State and TCU have no idea how tough it would be to play a real conference schedule.

This weekend was ample demonstration. The bottom dwellers in powerhouse football conferences, like the SEC and the Big 12, provide an unprecedented degrees of difficulty for schools used to beating up on the little sisters of the poor in conference. Last year while whining about missing out on a BCS bowl, TCU beat New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado State and UNLV en route to winning the Mountain West Conference.

Yesterday in their first season in the Big 12, TCU got beat by Big 12 doormat, Iowa State. Just to give you some perspective, Iowa State is 27 up and 40 down since 2007, and hasn't had a coach finish with a winning record at the school since Earl Bruce, who's tenure ended in 1978. Yet in big time football conferences, everybody is trying to improve every year, and Iowa State has been getting incrementally better under Coach Paul Rhodes.

Hey TCU, this is what big boy football looks like. And Boise State, you are an even bigger joke who would struggle to finish .500 in the PAC-12, let alone the SEC. So please, be quiet and enjoy the Poinsettia Bowl.

We also have a remarkable note from the least of the "big time" football conferences, the ACC. Duke football is 5-1 overall, 2-0 in conference. You want to talk perennial football doldrums?!? Duke hasn't been 5-1 since this year's freshmen were a mere one and two years-old, 1994, when they were still coached by Steve Spurrier. As Mel Allen would say, "Now how about that?"

1Where if they can earn their way in with victories, more power to them.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Durham ABC Board to hear complaints 

The Clarion Content broke the Durham ABC Board scandal a couple weeks back. The pace of the investigations appear to have picked up with coverage appearing in the Durham Herald Sun, the Triangle Business Journal, and on NBC-17. The Durham ABC Board is being investigated by the State Board and the public knows it. The Durham ABC Board has until October 28th to respond to state investigators.

In a classic case of slamming the barn door shut after the horses have dashed away, the Clarion Content's sources tell us the Durham ABC Board is holding meetings to hear employee complaints and grievances. Of course, the Durham ABC Board is not about to open those meetings to the public.

The Board is assuring Durham ABC employees that they have full protection under "state and federal" whistleblower laws. The Board's memo to employees about the opportunity to "speak freely" makes no mention of what those statutes might be.

Long time readers know the Clarion Content's feelings about how these things usually go for the whistleblower.

Stay tuned.

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