Archive for January, 2011

Some Fresh Water Fishes Part 1

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

This is a slideshow of the scans of Some North Carolina Fresh-Water Fishes, a 1962 publication by the North Carolina Wildife Resources Commission. It features the wonderful paintings of Duane Raver, Jr., who has painted many a cover of NC Wildlife.
You can slow down and stop the slideshow of course and read the individual pages at the photoset page.

Speech by Benjamin Chavis in Chapel Hill — January 2011

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Excerpt of a speech by Rev. Benjamin Chavis at the NAACP-sponsored Martin Luther King, Jr. Day service at First Baptist Church on Roberson Street in Chapel Hill on January 17, 2011.

Wiki page. More information. Story in The Citizen

Strange area with lichens everywhere

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

A short look at one of the areas at Carolina Beach State Park with an abundance of lichens. Very strange place.

A photo slideshow of closer images is here.

The beach forest in winter

Friday, January 14th, 2011

From a recent hike on Pleasure Island.

Chuck Johnson — The Flying Spire Don’t Have No Mercy

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Chuck Johnson performs one of his songs.
Filmed in the family dining room just south of Chapel Hill, NC, January 6, 2011.

Chuck Johnson — Last Moments at Chittos

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Raleigh native Chuck Johnson, who now lives in the Bay Area, performs a compositions of his entitled: Last Moments at Chittos. This was filmed in the family dining room in Chapel Hill on January 6, 2011.

Thinking about that train

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

A hand held film from a couple years back of the train rolling very slowly down the tracks alongside the Elizabeth Cotten Bikeway in Carrboro.

Here’s the link to an interview with Cotten.
At the end she plays Freight Train, one of the most enduring songs in American music. Evidenced as follows: (more…)

In the sky this week

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Sorry to be a little late with this.
Here’s the week ahead via the USNO, where the magic word for the week is perihelion:

This week also marks another milestone in our annual journey around the Sun. On January 3rd we reached perihelion, Earth’s closest point to Old Sol for the year. Our day-star’s center was a mere 147.1 million kilometers (91.4 million miles) from the center of Earth. This means that we are moving at our most rapid orbital velocity around Old Sol, which also means that winter is thus our shortest season in the Northern Hemisphere! Take heart, summer lovers.

And a little more about Venus from S&T:

In the coming weeks and months Venus will grow thickly gibbous while shrinking in apparent diameter; it’s pulling far ahead of Earth in its faster orbit and is beginning to swing around to the far side of the Sun.

(Note that the S&K link is not a permalink.)

Early Piggly Wiggly slideshow

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Twenty-three Piggly-Wiggly photos from the state archives.

Happy John Canoe Day

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

or, if you prefer, Jonkonnu a festival with origins in West Africa and the West Indies and brought to North Carolina via the slave trade.

A few items of interest:

Nusselbaum quoted in the Wikipedia:

Essentially, it involved a band of black men–generally young–who dressed themselves in ornate and often bizarre costumes. Each band was led by a man who was variously dressed in animal horns, elaborate rags, female disguise, whiteface (and wearing a gentleman’s wig!), or simply his “Sunday-go-to-meeting-suit.” Accompanied by music, the band marched along the roads from plantation to plantation, town to town, accosting whites along the way and sometimes even entering their houses. In the process the men performed elaborate and (to white observers) grotesque dances that were probably of African origin. And in return for this performance they always demanded money (the leader generally carried “a small bowl or tin cup” for this purpose), though whiskey was an acceptable substitute.
—Nissenbaum 1997, 285

Irene Smalls also has an extensive essay on the roots of the festival. She lists the possible origin of the name, the most popular being that of an African king.

It is also believed that the “Johnkankus” was propagated by the Papaws or Popos a tribe from the so called “slave coast” of Africa. From the sources it is not clear which tribal grouping John Conny belonged to. Papaws or Popos were the largest group of Africans exported and enslaved in the early eighteenth century. They were speakers of Ewe and in this language there is a word dzon’ku ‘ a sorcerer’s name for himself and the world -nu meaning man. Put together the words mean a sorcerer man or witch-doctor. Folk etymology then transmogrified the word to John Canoe and its various derivations.

Jonnkannu events continue in the West Indies.

The painting is by Winslow Homer and is entitled: Dressing for the Carnival
(h/t to Phil Blank for sparking the interest in this subject)