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RIP OSCAR PETERSON 2007-12-27

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Humanities, In Memoriam.
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Jazz pianist and composer Oscar Peterson has died of kidney failure at his home in Toronto, at the age of 82.

Peterson was one of jazz’s most recorded musicians, and was famous for his fast-playing virtuoso style.

He made more than 200 albums and won eight Grammy awards, including a lifetime achievement honour in 1997.

He released his first single at the age of 19 and performed with greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and Nat ‘King’ Cole.

The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame announced last month that it was to present the star with its Founder’s Award in 2008.

This was to celebrate ‘a brilliant jazz pianist and composer’ who showed ‘musical dexterity and energetic performances’, it said.

Peterson, who had a working-class upbringing in Montreal, won a talent contest organised by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) when he was 14 years old.

‘The world has lost an important jazz player,’ Ms.Hazel McCallion, mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, and Peterson’s close friend said.

‘He’s been going downhill in the last few months, slowing up,’ she added.

His studio and live partners included Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Stan Getz.

Basie once described Peterson as someone who ‘plays the best ivory box I’ve ever heard’, while Ellington referred to him as ‘Maharajah of the keyboard’.

Gifted at improvisation, Peterson said in 2005 how live free-form jazz could enable ‘moments of great beauty to emerge’.

He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour, and he was the first living Canadian to be depicted on a stamp.

Mr.Peterson was married four times and had six children from his first and third marriages and one daughter, Celine, with his fourth wife, Kelly.

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Taken to Court for Fixing Clock 2007-12-20

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Europe, Humanities, Intolerance.
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[Picture of the Untergunther gang]

It is one of Paris’s most celebrated monuments, a neoclassical masterpiece that has cast its shadow across the city for more than two centuries.

But it is unlikely that the Panthéon, or any other building in France’s capital, will have played host to a more bizarre sequence of events than those revealed in a court last week. (more…)

Accident Hot Spot is “Safety Town” 2007-12-18

Posted by clype in Statistics.
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Slough in Berkshire, which was one of the first to model itself as a ‘safety town’ and which is ringed by traffic lights and speed cameras, topped a most-accident table compiled by Endsleigh Insurance Services.

As the most dangerous place in the UK, the Berkshire town had an accident rate 35.7 per cent above the national average in 2007, Endsleigh said. (more…)

Green Light for Red Light Clean Up 2007-12-18

Posted by clype in Europe, Health, Intolerance, Money.
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The city of Amsterdam announced plans on Monday to clean up its infamous ‘red light’ district to fight human trafficking, money laundering, and drug abuse — and replace prostitutes’ windows with upmarket boutiques.

Amsterdam’s Mayor Mr.Job Cohen told a news conference he wanted to (more…)

Get Sexy, Get Ahead 2007-12-09

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Intolerance.
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According to ‘Prude: How The Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls’ — a new book by The Managing Editor of ‘The Harvard Law Review’, Ms.Carol Platt Liebau — while women have fought for decades to be treated as men’s equals, today’s girls are being told through popular culture that female empowerment simply comes from being ‘sexy’. This is undermining girls’ sense of worth in their most vulnerable, formative years and glorifying destructive behaviour. (more…)