Project Plowshare

The 1962 “Sedan” plowshares shot displaced 12 million tons of earth and created a crater 320 feet (98 m) deep and 1,280 feet (390 m) wide

Project Plowshare was the overall United States program for the development of techniques to use nuclear explosives for peaceful construction purposes. The program was organized in June 1957 as part of the worldwide Atoms for Peace efforts. As part of the program, 31 nuclear warheads were detonated in 27 separate tests. A similar program was carried out in the Soviet Union under the name Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy. Successful demonstrations of non-combat uses for nuclear explosives include rock blasting, stimulation of tight gas, chemical element manufacture, unlocking some of the mysteries of the R-process of stellar nucleosynthesis and probing the composition of the Earth’s deep crust, creating reflection seismology vibroseis data which has helped geologists and follow-on mining company prospecting. The project’s uncharacteristically large and atmospherically vented Sedan nuclear test also led geologists to determine that Barringer crater was formed as a result of a meteor impact and not from a volcanic eruption, as had earlier been assumed. This became the first crater on Earth definitely proven to be from an impact event. Negative impacts from Project Plowshare’s tests generated significant public opposition, which eventually led to the program’s termination in 1977. These consequences included tritiated water (projected to increase by CER Geonuclear Corporation to a level of 2% of the then-maximum level for drinking water)[6] and the deposition of fallout from radioactive material being injected into the atmosphere before underground testing was mandated by treaty. … Operation Plowshare ‘started with great expectations and high hopes’. Planners believed that the projects could be completed safely, but there was less confidence that they could be completed more economically than conventional methods. Moreover, there was insufficient public and Congressional support for the projects. …”
Want To Trigger A Nuke In Colorado? Well, Thanks To Project Rulison 50 Years Ago You Need To Ask Voters First
Ploughshares Fund
YouTube: Operation Plowshare

Photo, taken at ground zero shortly after the detonation (Sept. 10, 1969), shows the post-shot briefing that was held for some of the observers.
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“How Do You Sleep?” – John Lennon (1971 )

“‘How Do You Sleep?’ is a song by English rock musician John Lennon from his 1971 album Imagine. The song makes angry and scathing remarks aimed at his former Beatles bandmate and songwriting partner, Paul McCartney. Lennon wrote the song in response to what he perceived as personal slights by McCartney on the latter’s Ram album. The track includes a slide guitar solo played by George Harrison and was co-produced by Lennon, Phil Spector and Yoko Ono. John Lennon wrote ‘How Do You Sleep?’ in the aftermath of Paul McCartney’s successful suit in the London High Court to dissolve the Beatles as a legal partnership. This ruling had followed the publication of Lennon’s defamatory remarks about the Beatles in a December 1970 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, and McCartney and his wife, Linda, taking full-page advertisements in the music press, in which, as an act of mockery towards Lennon and Yoko Ono, they were shown wearing clown costumes and wrapped up in a bag. Following the release of McCartney’s album Ram in May 1971, Lennon felt attacked by McCartney, who later admitted that lines in the song ‘Too Many People‘ were intended as digs at Lennon.[4] Lennon thought that other songs on the album, such as ‘3 Legs’, contained similar attacks although McCartney denied it. The lyrics of ‘How Do You Sleep?’ refer to the ‘Paul is dead‘ rumour (‘Those freaks was right when they said you was dead’). … The song features a slide guitar part played by George Harrison. Aside from Lennon on rhythm guitar and vocals, the track also includes contributions from Klaus Voormann on bass, Alan White on drums, acoustic guitar played by Ted Turner, Rod Linton and Andy Davis, as well as additional piano parts by Nicky Hopkins and John Tout. … In 1980, Lennon stated: ‘I used my resentment against Paul … to create a song … not a terrible vicious horrible vendetta … I used my resentment and withdrawing from Paul and The Beatles, and the relationship with Paul, to write ‘How Do You Sleep’. I don’t really go ’round with those thoughts in my head all the time”. …”
YouTube: How Do You Sleep? (Takes 5 & 6, Raw Studio Mix Out-take)

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At the End of Love’s Road with Michelangelo Antonioni

“Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’eclisse is about the end of one love affair and the beginning of another. It’s also about how hard it is to believe in relationships and create meaning out of them. This is the Antonioni film that hits me the hardest—in spite of the fact that I can’t describe the intricacies of the plot in detail. It has maybe my favorite opening and ending in any movie, but apart from that I couldn’t tell you what happens. It’s not that the scenes are forgettable; rather, they’re incidental. L’eclisse is not as contained a movie as La notte or L’avventura, which have more identifiable arcs. But it’s such amazing filmmaking. I first saw L’eclisse in the nineties on a VHS I’d ordered from a British company. I was probably still in my late teens, but I knew I wanted to make movies. Of course you should see the film in a cinema if you can, but because Antonioni is so frame-obsessed, watching his films on a small screen often allows you to become even more aware of his compositions. Seeing that for the first time, especially as a wannabe filmmaker, you’re knocked out by it, and you really become conscious about cinema in a new way. It’s very inspiring, because it makes you feel that cinema can be that poetic and that stylized and still be very much about important things. One of the genius elements of the opening scene is the use of sound, beginning with the titles. Straight away you have this pop music that gives a sense of youth and fun, and then right when composer Giovanni Fusco’s credit appears, the music changes abruptly to an aggressive, modern score. That music continues until the scene starts and you enter into silence. Antonioni uses very little music in the movie, but when it’s there, it’s very expressive and commanding. He does with sound what he does with other aesthetic elements—he makes very clear choices and wants to show them off. It’s not invisible moviemaking. And this emptiness of sound says so much about what must have happened right before the moment we’re dropped into. This couple — Monica Vitti’s Vittoria and Francisco Rabal’s Riccardo — must have had a fun night out. Maybe they went dancing and were feeling in love, but when they got home, it turned into a night of quarreling. They probably said some hurtful things. …”
Criterion (Video)

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A History of Rucker Park: The True Mecca of Basketball

“Walk into Harlem’s Rucker Park, located on 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in New York City—right across the street from where the Polo Grounds used to stand—on an ordinary afternoon, and you might not understand. Not right away at least. Sure, there are bleachers, both metal and concrete, surrounding the single court, and there’s a scoreboard above the seats by midcourt. Other than that though, it’s just one more blacktop in a city that has thousands of them. Right? Wrong. Don’t believe me? Take it from Fat Joe. The Bronx-born rapper started coming to the park in ‘91, before he was spitting, before he was famous. He eventually led a team of his own, Terror Squad, to multiple Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC) chips on 155th. ‘You know the basketball culture in New York City is everything,’ Joe says. ‘Every summer, all attention goes there and everybody comes out to the Rucker. You get a feeling and a vibe like nowhere else. Everybody knows this. All five boroughs know summertime, Harlem, the Rucker. It’s lit.’  … The first years of the Rucker Tournament weren’t held at the place known as Rucker Park today. And it wasn’t dedicated, as such, until years after Holcombe Rucker passed away in 1969. But the competition was intense from the jump. The Rucker represented a platform for players not only from New York City, but all over the tri-state area and beyond, to flex their blacktop skills. Players from Philadelphia, like a young, gargantuan Wilt Chamberlain, made regular pilgrimages. As a pro in the early ‘60s, he learned quickly what the game was like in New York, as he was repeatedly challenged by high-flying ‘Jumpin’ Jackie’ Jackson, a 6’2” guard who could snatch quarters from the top of backboards, dunk with the best of them, and pin Wilt’s shot to the backboard. Jackson wasn’t the only local talent. There was Earl Manigault, ‘The Goat,’ master of the double dunk, where he dunked a ball with his right hand, caught it with his left, and dunked it again. …”
W – Rucker Park
NYC Street Ball: Rucker Park

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Frantz Fanon – The Political Writings from Alienation and Freedom

Fanon Can’t Save You Now: “The 23 essays that appear in The Political Writings were extracted from the collection of recently discovered writings by Frantz Fanon called Alienation and Freedom, first published in French in 2015. Edited by Jean Khalfa and Robert J. C. Young and translated by Steven Corcoran, The Political Writings largely draws from Fanon’s contributions to the radical Algerian independence newspaper El Moudjahid, and they date from August 1957 to February 1961. Each was written in direct response to events in an ongoing anticolonial revolution, at the center of which was May 13, 1958, and its aftermath. Featuring 21 essays from El Moudjahid, The Political Writings functions as a long-lost companion to Toward the African Revolution, first published in 1964, three years after Fanon’s death. There are lingering questions and controversies surrounding the authorship of these essays — all of them unsigned and anonymized — and Khalfa and Young freely acknowledge that some of them were likely ‘only partly authored by Fanon himself.’ It is also the case, as the editors note, that Fanon’s ‘thinking at least strongly influences them.’ Undoubtedly Fanon is their guiding presence. In their brief but bold introduction, Khalfa and Young, both superb Fanon scholars, sound a welcome note of warning: by ‘turning [Fanon] into a political icon, his well-argued and very lucid critiques of the possible despotic future of postcolonial societies get buried.’ Fanon has become an almost mythical figure in antiracist and anticolonial discourse, and in the process, many of his specific political commitments have been watered down or edited out. Any reader of the vast literature on Fanon might be struck, for example, by the relative neglect of chapter three of The Wretched of the Earth, ‘The Misadventures of National Consciousness,’ in which Fanon raises alarms about the rise of a postcolonial national bourgeoisie. …”
LA Review of Books
amazon: The Political Writings from Alienation and Freedom

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White Rabbit Press – Joe Dunn and Graham Mackintosh (1957–1972)

Stan Persky, Lives of the French Symbolist Poets (1967)

The first book of the White Rabbit Press was Boston poet Steve Jonas’s Love, the Poem, the Sea & Other Pieces Examined, published in 1957 with a cover by San Francisco artist Jess Collins. It was followed closely by poet Jack Spicer’s breakthrough book After Lorca in the same year (‘Things fit together. We knew that—it is the principle of magic.’). The press was owned by Joe Dunn, who started it to print the work of the group who surrounded Spicer at The Place in North Beach, a bar owned by Leo Krikorian, an alumnus of Black Mountain College. Dunn, who worked for Greyhound Bus Lines in San Francisco, took a secretarial course at Spicer’s insistence and learned to operate a multilith machine. He produced the first ten or eleven titles of the press at work, squeezing out time here and there. Among the books he produced were Denise Levertov’s 5 Poems, with a cover by Jess Collins, Richard Brautigan’s The Galilee Hitch-hiker, Helen Adam’s The Queen o’ Crow Castle, George Stanley’s The Love Root, Charles Olson’s O’Ryan 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and Ebbe Borregaard’s The Wapitis, with a cover drawn by Robert Duncan. These pieces were all uniformly lithographed from typescripts or even manuscripts provided by the authors, and each book was sized 8½ by 6½ inches. In many ways they are perfect examples of the printing of poetry. After Joe Dunn’s relationship with methamphetamines ended in tragedy, the presswork at White Rabbit was taken over in 1962 by a close friend of Spicer’s, Graham Mackintosh, dubbed ‘the ruffian printer’ by the elegant San Francisco pressman Robert Grabhorn. As a graduate student at Berkeley in 1961, Mackintosh had worked closely with Spicer on the Linguistic Atlas of the Pacific Coast. His first experience in printing was Spicer’s Lament for the Makers, for which he also provided the collage cover. Mackintosh, who was Robert Duncan’s favorite printer, went on to print books for Oyez and to design and print, along with Saul Marks of the Plantin Press, the first few books of the Black Sparrow Press. …”
from a secret location
The Golden Anniversary: (a few months late) The First Ten Books of the White Rabbit Press
verdant press

Richard Duerden, THE FORK (1965)
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The Golden Spur – Dawn Powell (1962)

In Search Of a Father By Morris Gilbert (1962): “Dawn Powell for some decades has been whipping up successive human comedies of the most fastidious disenchantment. With her, the comic spirit is a mordant one; her knowingness is proverbially satanic. She has always had a precocious and highly esteemed gift for outrage. In The Golden Spur, she is again at her most outrageous, and again goes swinging on her patented Ohio-New York pendulum–a thoroughly familiar one for her, a native of little Shelby, Ohio, and a habituÈ of the metropolis. As early as 1940, a reviewer was observing that her eight novels (to that date) ‘have progressed steadily from Ohio sunshine to Manhattan madness.’ Here it is still the case–not to imply any suggestion of repetitiveness. The phenomenon that New York is filled and possessed, year in, year out, with successions of provincials who presently become New York’s New Yorkers is like a law of nature. Hence, variations on that basic theme are limitless. This time, apart from all else, the author has hit upon one of the happiest imaginable and most original of plot contrivances. Three men of mature years are separately caused to suspect that during their long-gone, gay-dog youth in Greenwich Village they had sired a son, out of holy wedlock. With extreme pleasure, for diverse reasons, each of them ardently hopes to prove his dishonest fatherhood, and to turn the circumstance to his own uses. The source of this unusual agitation is a personable young man, a Silver City, Ohio, Candide, in search of traces of his beloved dead mother–and, indeed, of a true father. Jonathan Jaimison has only recently learned, from his mother’s cryptic diary, the real state of affairs, when Connie Birch had suddenly departed the Village in the late twenties, especially a glamorous (to her) cafe, The Golden Spur, to marry her small-town sweetheart. …”
NY Times
[PDF] The Message of the City: Dawn Powell’s New York Novels, 1925–1962
W – Dawn Powell
salon: How Dawn Powell can save your life
LARB: Minding Other People’s Business: On Dawn Powell
amazon: Dawn Powell: Novels 1944-1962

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Detroit Artist’s Workshop

Red Door Gallery – 1964

Archie Shepp: “On November 1st, the Detroit Artist’s Workshop, now defunct, celebrated its tenth anniversary. Not exactly an earth-shattering event, this anniversary, but one with great significance for those of us whose daily cultural practice sterns largely from that which developed during the post -beat, pre-hippie days of the early 1960s. Back before the 1967 Summer of Love/mass cultural explosion, which forever changed the face of this nation, there were only a few meccas of alternative consciousness in the midst of Ike Easyhower America. Most EVERYBODY back then was straight, immersed in the P.R. of Bob Hope and JFK, using Brylcreem, and certain that what was good for General Motors was good for the USA. Being a freek back then was REALLY being an oddity, the object of mixed amusement, scorn and often dangerous hostility. There weren’t any gathering places for those like yourself, you couldn’t cop marijuana in your high school lunchroom (if you had ever even heard of the weed), there was no In Concert to watch on tv, no anti-war demonstrations, and nobody had hair longer than John Wayne’s (except some women, most of whom spent life working to emulate Liz Taylor). But even in the midst of all that conformity the seeds had been sewn for the culture that has become so widespread, so accepted, and in some cases so co-opted today in 1974. Seeds like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Diane DiPrima, William Burroughs, Little Richard, beats, poets, reeferheads, and jazz musicians. … The Workshop was founded on November 1st, 1964, by John and Leni Sinclair, Charles Moore, Robin Eichele, George Tysh and about 11 others, who together pooled their resources to the tune of $5 each, which was put up as the first month’s rent on the first house. There began regular poetry/jazz programs every Sunday, a place to be together that hadn’t existed before except in the homes of a small group of conscious people, and the Artist’s Workshop Press. …”
November 1974 – The Detroit Artist’s Workshop: Roots And Branches A Tenth Anniversary
Detroit Artist’s Workshop
Jacobin: When Detroit Was Revolutionary – An interview with Leni Sinclair
W – John Sinclair, W – Leni Sinclair

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Sounds of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel (1966)

Sounds of Silence is the second studio album by American folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, released on January 17, 1966. The album’s title is a slight modification of the title of the duo’s first major hit, ‘The Sound of Silence‘, which originally was released as ‘The Sounds of Silence’. The song had earlier been released in an acoustic version on the album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., and later on the soundtrack to the movie The Graduate. Without the knowledge of Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel, electric guitars, bass and drums were overdubbed by Columbia Records staff producer Tom Wilson on June 15, 1965. This new version was released as a single in September 1965, and opens the album. ‘Homeward Bound‘ was released on the album in the UK, placed at the beginning of Side 2 before ‘Richard Cory‘. It was later released in the US on the following album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. It was also released as part of the box set Simon & Garfunkel Collected Works, on both LP and CD. Many of the songs in the album had been written by Paul Simon while he lived in London during 1965. Solo acoustic versions of ‘I Am a Rock’, ‘Leaves That Are Green’, ‘April Come She Will’, ‘A Most Peculiar Man’, and ‘Kathy’s Song’ had appeared on The Paul Simon Songbook, released in August 1965 in England as had another version of the title track. ‘Richard Cory’ was based on the poem ‘Richard Cory‘ by Edwin Arlington Robinson, ‘Somewhere They Can’t Find Me’ was essentially a rewrite of the previous album’s ‘Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.’, ‘We’ve Got a Groovy Thing Goin’ had appeared on the b-side of ‘The Sound of Silence‘ a few months before and ‘Anji‘ was a cover of an instrumental piece by guitarist Davey Graham whom Simon had met in England. Hence the only brand new Paul Simon composition on the album was ‘Blessed’. …”
W – The Sounds of Silence
Listen to the isolated vocals of Simon & Garfunkel on ‘The Sound of Silence’ (Video/Live)
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Sounds of Silence 41:07

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Richard Serra

Richard Serra (born November 2, 1938) is an American artist known for his large-scale sculptures made for site-specific landscape, urban, and architectural settings. Serra’s sculptures are notable for their material quality and exploration of the relationship between the viewer, the work, and the site. Since the mid-1960s, Serra has worked to radicalize and extend the definition of sculpture beginning with his early experiments with rubber, neon, and lead, to his large-scale steel works. Serra returned from Europe and moved to New York City in 1966. He continued his constructions using experimental materials such as rubber, latex, fiberglass, neon, and lead.[10] His Belt Pieces were made with strips of rubber and hung on the wall using gravity as a forming device. Serra combined neon with continuous strips of rubber in his sculpture Belts (1966–67) referencing the serial abstraction in Jackson Pollock’s Mural (1963.) Around that time Serra wrote Verb List (1967) a list of transitive verbs (i.e. cast, roll, tear, prop, etc.) which he used as directives for his sculptures. To Lift (1967), and Thirty-Five Feet of Lead Rolled Up (1968), Splash Piece (1968), and Casting (1969), were some of the action-based works with origins in the verb list. Serra used lead in many of his constructs because of its adaptability. Lead is malleable enough to be rolled, folded, ripped, and melted. With To Lift (1967) Serra lifted a 10-foot sheet of rubber off the ground making a free-standing form; with Thirty-five Feet of Lead Rolled Up (1968), Serra, with the help of Philip Glass, unrolled and rolled a sheet of lead as tightly as they could. In 1968 Serra was included in the group exhibition ‘Nine at Castelli’ at Castelli Warehouse in New York where he showed Prop (1968), Scatter Piece (1968), and made Splashing (1968) by throwing molten lead against the angle of the floor and wall. In 1969 his piece Casting was included in the exhibition Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In Casting the artist again threw molten lead against the angle of the floor and wall. …”
UbuWeb (Video)
art21: Tools & Strategies – Richard Serra (Video)

One Ton Prop (House of Cards). 1969
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