Thursday, May 7, 2015

Everyman



























Amerikalı fotoğrafçılar Robert ve Shana Parke Harrison‘ın çalışmalarında göreceğiniz beyaz gömlekli, takım elbiseli, ince suratlı garip şahsın adı Everyman. Aşırı ve hoyrat tüketim nedeniyle eski püskü bir yer haline gelmiş Dünya’da yalnız kalan Everyman’i, başından büyük işlere kalkışmış hallerde, kırık dökük doğayı tamir etmeye çalışırken görüyoruz. Bu amaç doğrultusunda, kütüklerin hikâyelerini dinleyip kayda geçirmek, ağaçlara keman çalmak, büyük bir iğne ile yeryüzünün açılan yerlerini dikmek gibi yöntemlere başvuruyor Everyman.
Robert ve Shana ParkeHarrison’ın on yıldır devam ettirdiği bu seri, sıradan başkahraman Everyman’in nafile, ancak anlamlı çabalarını işliyor. Sanatçılar on yıl boyunca birbirinden farklı ve deneysel fotoğraf teknikleri kullanmış, fotoğrafları ilginç işlemlerden geçirmişler. Çalışmalarını özgün kılan işlemlerden biri ise, fotoğrafları bastıktan sonra üzerlerine yaptıkları çizimler ve  ekledikleri renkler. Everyman’in karamsar ve sıradan dünyasını yansıtan renk dünyasına da sonradan yapılan eklemelerle ulaşmışlar. Çalışmalarını bu işlemlerden geçirmelerinin bir amacı da, yarattıkları dünyayı zamansız kılmak. Robert bir röportajda, fotoğrafların zamansız görünmelerine rağmen, anlatılan hikâyenin günümüzde geçtiğini belirtiyor. İnsanlığın doğadan günbegün kopan, giderek yalnızlaşan durumunu tartışmaya açmayı amaçladıklarını söylüyor.





Everyman balances on a small circus platform as he breaks from his burden of salvaging a dying world. These unexpected visual moments are not necessarily what the Everyman signed up for. But he partakes in the timelessness of ritual and make-believe. It is a world only slightly removed from his standard tasks. In fact, outside, beyond the velvety curtains and spangled chandeliers, we see the very the landscape he often tirelessly tries to rejuvenate and repair. The stage offers endless narrative possibilities and favors contradictions – hope and despair, desire and failure… to explore the fragile human condition, and the overarching shadow of environmental destruction. Perhaps the only true hope for our world and our human spirit rests in our ability to imagine











Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Agnosticism




Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims – especially metaphysical and religious claims such as whether or not God, the divine or the supernatural exist – are unknown and perhaps unknowable. In the popular sense of the term, an "agnostic", according to the philosopher William L. Rowe, is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of God, while a theist believes that God does exist and an atheist believes that God does not exist. Agnosticism is a doctrine or set of tenets rather than a religion as such.
Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, coined the word "agnostic" in 1869. Earlier thinkers, however, had written works that promoted agnostic points of view, such as Sanjaya Belatthaputta, a 5th-century BCE Indian philosopher who expressed agnosticism about anyafterlife; and Protagoras, a 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher who expressed agnosticism about "the gods". The Nasadiya Sukta in the Rigveda is agnostic about the origin of the universe.

"Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle ... Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable."


Thomas Henry Huxley

Since Huxley coined the term, many other thinkers have written extensively about agnosticism.
Though there are a couple of references in The Oxford English Dictionary to earlier occurrences of the word ‘agnostic’, it seems (perhaps independently) to have been introduced by T. H. Huxley at a party in London to found the Metaphysical Society, which flourished for over a decade and to which belonged notable thinkers and leaders of opinion. Huxley thought that as many of these people liked to describe themselves as adherents of various ‘isms’ he would invent one for himself. He took it from a description in Acts 17:23 of an altar inscribed ‘to an unknown God’. Huxley thought that we would never be able to know about the ultimate origin and causes of the universe. Thus he seems to have been more like a Kantian believer in unknowable noumena than like a Vienna Circle proponent of the view that talk of God is not even meaningful. Perhaps such a logical positivist should be classified as neither a theist nor an atheist, but her view would be just as objectionable to a theist. ‘Agnostic’ is more contextual than is ‘atheist’, as it can be used in a non-theological way, as when a cosmologist might say that she is agnostic about string theory, neither believing nor disbelieving it. In this article I confine myself to the use of ‘agnostic’ in a theological context.

Huxley's agnosticism seems nevertheless to go with an extreme empiricism, nearer to Mill's methods of induction than to recent discussions of the hypothetico-deductive and partly holistic aspect of testing of theories. Though we might not be able to prove the existence of God might we be able to disprove it? Many philosophers hold that the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and good God is empirically refuted by the existence of evil and suffering, and so would be happy to be called atheists rather than agnostics.Of course the existence of a non-benevolent creator God would not be so refutable and atheism would have to depend on arguments other than that of the mere existence of evil. More commonly the theist will continue to include benevolence in the concept of God and attempt to deal with the problem of evil with the help of various auxiliary or even ad hochypotheses or considerations, much as a scientist may attempt, often successfully, to shore up against empirical refutation a previously well tested theory. Bayesian considerations may determine rationally, though roughly, the appropriate degree of belief or unbelief.
According to philosopher William L. Rowe, in the strict sense, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist.[2] Others have refined this concept to distinguish between agnostic atheism (the view of those who do not believe in the existence of any deity, but do not claim to know if a deity does or does not exist) and agnostic theism (the view of those who do not claim to know of the existence of any deity, but still believe in some such an existence). Most recently, the terms apathetic and pragmatic agnosticism have been coined with regard to the view that there is no proof of either the existence or non-existence of any deity, but since any deity that may exist appears unconcerned for the universe or the welfare of its inhabitants, the question is largely academic and that their existence therefore has little to no impact on personal human affairs and should be of little theological interest.
Types
Agnosticism has sometimes been divided into two categories in academic and philosophical treatment:

Strong agnosticism (also called "hard", "closed", "strict", or "permanent agnosticism")
The view that the question of the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities, and the nature of ultimate reality is unknowable by reason of our natural inability to verify any experience with anything but another subjective experience. A strong agnostic would say, "I cannot know whether a deity exists or not, and neither can you."
Weak agnosticism (also called "soft", "open", "empirical", or "temporal agnosticism")
The view that the existence or nonexistence of any deities is currently unknown but is not necessarily unknowable; therefore, one will withhold judgment until evidence, if any, becomes available. A weak agnostic would say, "I don't know whether any deities exist or not, but maybe one day, if there is evidence, we can find something out."
Agnosticism is sometimes used colloquially to refer to plurality of beliefs. An agnostic in this case might claim, "The concepts of a universe with or without a God represent intellectual tools that aid our exploration of reality; neither of these ideas are inherently wrong and both bear a useful conceptual utility."



























History

Greek philosophy
Agnostic thought, in the form of skepticism, emerged as a formal philosophical position in ancient Greece. Its proponents included Protagoras, Pyrrho, Carneades, Sextus Empiricus and, to some degree, Socrates, who was a strong advocate for a skeptical approach to epistemology.

Pyrrho said that we should refrain from making judgment as we can never know the true reality. According to Pyrrho, having opinion was possible, but certainty and knowledge are impossible. Carneades was also a skeptic in relation to all knowledge claims. He proposed a probability theory, however. According to him, certainty could never be attained.Protagoras rejected the conventional accounts of the gods. He said:

Concerning the gods, I have no means of knowing whether they exist or not or of what sort they may be. Many things prevent knowledge including the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life.

Hindu philosophy
See also: Sanjaya Belatthaputta
Throughout the history of Hinduism there has been a strong tradition of philosophic speculation and skepticism.[33][34]

The Rig Veda takes an agnostic view on the fundamental question of how the universe and the gods were created. Nasadiya Sukta (Creation Hymn) in the tenth chapter of the Rig Veda says:

Who really knows?
Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?

Hume, Kant, and Kierkegaard
Aristotle, Anselm, Aquinas, and Descartes presented arguments attempting to rationally prove the existence of God. The skeptical empiricism of David Hume, theantinomies of Immanuel Kant, and the existential philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard convinced many later philosophers to abandon these attempts, regarding it impossible to construct any unassailable proof for the existence or non-existence of God.

In his 1844 book, Philosophical Fragments, Kierkegaard writes:

Let us call this unknown something: God. It is nothing more than a name we assign to it. The idea of demonstrating that this unknown something (God) exists, could scarcely suggest itself to Reason. For if God does not exist it would of course be impossible to prove it; and if he does exist it would be folly to attempt it. For at the very outset, in beginning my proof, I would have presupposed it, not as doubtful but as certain (a presupposition is never doubtful, for the very reason that it is a presupposition), since otherwise I would not begin, readily understanding that the whole would be impossible if he did not exist. But if when I speak of proving God's existence I mean that I propose to prove that the Unknown, which exists, is God, then I express myself unfortunately. For in that case I do not prove anything, least of all an existence, but merely develop the content of a conception.

Thomas Henry Huxley
Agnostic views are as old as philosophical skepticism, but the terms agnostic and agnosticism were created by Huxley to sum up his thoughts on contemporary developments of metaphysics about the "unconditioned" (William Hamilton) and the "unknowable" (Herbert Spencer). Though Huxley began to use the term "agnostic" in 1869, his opinions had taken shape some time before that date. In a letter of September 23, 1860, to Charles Kingsley, Huxley discussed his views extensively:

I neither affirm nor deny the immortality of man. I see no reason for believing it, but, on the other hand, I have no means of disproving it. I have no a priori objections to the doctrine. No man who has to deal daily and hourly with nature can trouble himself about a priori difficulties. Give me such evidence as would justify me in believing in anything else, and I will believe that. Why should I not? It is not half so wonderful as the conservation of force or the indestructibility of matter ...

It is no use to talk to me of analogies and probabilities. I know what I mean when I say I believe in the law of the inverse squares, and I will not rest my life and my hopes upon weaker convictions ...

That my personality is the surest thing I know may be true. But the attempt to conceive what it is leads me into mere verbal subtleties. I have champed up all that chaff about the ego and the non-ego, noumena and phenomena, and all the rest of it, too often not to know that in attempting even to think of these questions, the human intellect flounders at once out of its depth.

And again, to the same correspondent, May 6, 1863:

I have never had the least sympathy with the a priori reasons against orthodoxy, and I have by nature and disposition the greatest possible antipathy to all the atheistic and infidel school. Nevertheless I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel. I cannot see one shadow or tittle of evidence that the great unknown underlying the phenomenon of the universe stands to us in the relation of a Father [who] loves us and cares for us as Christianity asserts. So with regard to the other great Christian dogmas, immortality of soul and future state of rewards and punishments, what possible objection can I—who am compelled perforce to believe in the immortality of what we call Matter and Force, and in a very unmistakable present state of rewards and punishments for our deeds—have to these doctrines? Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them.

Of the origin of the name agnostic to describe this attitude, Huxley gave the following account:

When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis"–had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion ...

So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic". It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. ... To my great satisfaction the term took.

William Stewart Ross
William Stewart Ross wrote under the name of Saladin. He championed agnosticism in opposition to the atheism of Charles Bradlaugh as an open-ended spiritual exploration. In Why I am an Agnostic (c. 1889) he claims that agnosticism is "the very reverse of atheism".






Robert G. Ingersoll
Robert G. Ingersoll, an Illinois lawyer and politician who evolved into a well-known and sought-after orator in 19th-century America, has been referred to as the "Great Agnostic".

In an 1896 lecture titled Why I Am An Agnostic, Ingersoll related why he was an agnostic:

Is there a supernatural power—an arbitrary mind—an enthroned God—a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world—to which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not know—but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme—that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken—that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer—no power that worship can persuade or change—no power that cares for man.

I believe that with infinite arms Nature embraces the all—that there is no interference—no chance—that behind every event are the necessary and countless causes, and that beyond every event will be and must be the necessary and countless effects.

Is there a God? I do not know. Is man immortal? I do not know. One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be.

In the conclusion of the speech he simply sums up the agnostic position as:

We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know.

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell's pamphlet, Why I Am Not a Christian, based on a speech delivered in 1927 and later included in a book of the same title, is considered a classic statement of agnosticism.[54][54][55] He calls upon his readers to "stand on their own two feet and look fair and square at the world with a fearless attitude and a free intelligence".[56]

In 1939, Russell gave a lecture on The existence and nature of God, in which he characterized himself as an atheist. He said:

The existence and nature of God is a subject of which I can discuss only half. If one arrives at a negative conclusion concerning the first part of the question, the second part of the question does not arise; and my position, as you may have gathered, is a negative one on this matter.

However, later in the same lecture, discussing modern non-anthropomorphic concepts of God, Russell states:

That sort of God is, I think, not one that can actually be disproved, as I think the omnipotent and benevolent creator can.

In Russell's 1947 pamphlet, Am I An Atheist or an Agnostic? (subtitled A Plea For Tolerance in the Face of New Dogmas), he ruminates on the problem of what to call himself:

As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God. On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.

In his 1953 essay, What Is An Agnostic? Russell states:

An agnostic thinks it impossible to know the truth in matters such as God and the future life with which Christianity and other religions are concerned. Or, if not impossible, at least impossible at the present time.

Later in the essay, Russell adds

I think that if I heard a voice from the sky predicting all that was going to happen to me during the next twenty-four hours, including events that would have seemed highly improbable, and if all these events then produced to happen, I might perhaps be convinced at least of the existence of some superhuman intelligence.

Leslie Weatherhead
In 1965 Christian theologian Leslie Weatherhead published The Christian Agnostic, in which he argues:

... many professing agnostics are nearer belief in the true God than are many conventional church-goers who believe in a body that does not exist whom they miscall God.

Although radical and unpalatable to conventional theologians, Weatherhead's agnosticism falls far short of Huxley's, and short even of weak agnosticism:

Of course, the human soul will always have the power to reject God, for choice is essential to its nature, but I cannot believe that anyone will finally do this.

Charles Darwin
Raised in a religious environment, Charles Darwin studied to be an Anglican clergyman. While eventually doubting parts of his faith, Darwin continued to help in church affairs, even while avoiding church attendance. Darwin stated that it would be "absurd to doubt that a man might be an ardent theist and an evolutionist". Although reticent about his religious views, in 1879 he wrote that "I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. – I think that generally ... an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind."

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ska

Ska (/ˈskɑː/Jamaican [skjæ]) is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s, and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae.Ska combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. It is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the upbeat. Ska developed in Jamaica in the 1960s when Prince BusterClement "Coxsone" Dodd, and Duke Reidformed sound systems to play American rhythm & blues and then began recording their own songs. In the early 1960s, ska was the dominant music genre of Jamaica and was popular with British mods. Later it became popular with many skinheads.
Music historians typically divide the history of ska into three periods: the original Jamaican scene of the 1960s; the English 2 Tone ska revival of the late 1970s, which fused Jamaican ska rhythms and melodies with the faster tempos and harder edge of punk rock; and the third wave of ska, which involved bands from the UK, other European countries (notably Germany), Australia, Japan, South America and the US, beginning in the 1980s and peaking in the 1990s.

Etymology

There are different theories about the origins of the word ska. Ernest Ranglin claimed that the term was coined by musicians to refer to the "skat! skat! skat!" scratching guitar strum. Ranglin asserted that the difference between R&B and ska beats is that the former goes "chink-ka" and the latter goes "ka-chink". Another explanation is that at a recording session in 1959 produced by Coxsone Dodd, double bassist Cluett Johnson instructed guitarist Ranglin to "play like ska, ska, ska", although Ranglin has denied this, stating "Clue couldn't tell me what to play!" A further theory is that it derives from Johnson's word skavoovie, with which he was known to greet his friends. Jackie Mittooinsisted that the musicians called the rhythm Staya Staya, and that it was Byron Lee who introduced the term "ska". Derrick Morgan said: "Guitar and piano making a ska sound, like 'ska, ska,' that's why we call it SKA. The sound of the guitar and the piano, that's why we give it the name ska."

History

After World War II, Jamaicans purchased radios in increasing numbers and were able to hear rhythm and blues music from Southern United States cities such as New Orleans by artists such as Fats Domino and Louis Jordan. Domino's rhythm, accentuating the offbeat as in the song "Be My Guest", was a particular influence. The stationing of American military forces during and after the war meant that Jamaicans could listen to military broadcasts of American music, and there was a constant influx of records from the US. To meet the demand for that music, entrepreneurs such as Prince Buster, Coxsone Dodd, and Duke Reid formed sound systems.
As the supply of previously unheard tunes in the jump blues and more traditional R&B genre began to dry up in the late 1950s, Jamaican producers began recording their own version of the genres with local artists. These recordings were initially made to be played on "Soft Wax" (a lacquer on metal disc acetate later to become known as a "Dub Plate"), but as demand for them grew eventually some time in the second half of 1959 (Believed by most to be in the last quarter) producers such as Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid began to issue these recording on 45RPM 7inch discs. At this point the style was a direct copy of the American "Shuffle Blues" style, but with two-three years this had morphed into the more familiar Ska style with the off beat guitar chop that could be heard in some of the more uptempo late 1950s American Rhythm & Blues recordings such as Fats Domino's "Be My Guest" and Barbie Gaye's "My boy Lollipop" (both hugely popular records on Jamaican Sound Systems of the late 1950s). This 'classic' Ska style was of bars made up of four triplets but was characterized by a guitar chop on the off beat - known as an upstroke or skank - with horns taking the lead and often following the off beat skank and piano emphasizing the bass line and, again, playing the skank. Drums kept 4/4 time and the bass drum was accented on the third beat of each 4-triplet phrase. The snare would play side stick and accent the third beat of each 4-triplet phrase. The upstroke sound can also be found in other Caribbean forms of music, such as mento and calypso.
One theory about the origin of ska is that Prince Buster created it during the inaugural recording session for his new record label Wild Bells.The session was financed by Duke Reid, who was supposed to get half of the songs to release. The guitar began emphasizing the second and fourth beats in the bar, giving rise to the new sound. The drums were taken from traditional Jamaican drumming and marching styles. To create the ska beat, Prince Buster essentially flipped the R&B shuffle beat, stressing the offbeats with the help of the guitar. Prince Buster has explicitly cited American rhythm & blues as the origin of ska, specifically Willis Jackson's song "Later for the Gator" which was Coxsone Dodd's number one selection and Duke Reid's number-one spin "Hey Hey Mr. Berry", to this day by an unidentified artist and with this given title (In the way Northern Soul DJs used to cover up the identity of records to prevent other DJs from finding copies), the joke amongst surviving Jamaican Soundmen who were there at the time being that "This is the one Duke took to the grave with him".
The first ska recordings were created at facilities such as Studio One and WIRL Records in Kingston, Jamaica with producers such as Dodd, Reid, Prince Buster, and Edward Seaga. The ska sound coincided with the celebratory feelings surrounding Jamaica's independence from the UK in 1962; an event commemorated by songs such as Derrick Morgan's "Forward March" and The Skatalites' "Freedom Sound".
Because the newly independent Jamaica didn't ratify the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works until 1994 copyright was not an issue, which created a large number of cover songs and reinterpretations. One such cover was Millie Small's version of "My Boy Lollypop", which was first recorded in New York in 1956 by Barbie Gaye. Jamaican musicians such as The Skatalites often recorded instrumental ska versions of popular American and British music, such as Beatles songs,Motown and Atlantic soul hits, movie theme songs and surf rock instrumentals. The Wailers covered The Beatles' "And I Love Her", and radically reinterpreted Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". They also created their own versions of Latin-influenced music from artists such as Mongo Santamaria.
Byron Lee & the Dragonaires performed ska with Prince Buster, Eric "Monty" Morris, and Jimmy Cliff at the 1964 New York World's Fair. As music changed in the United States, so did ska. In 1965 and 1966, when American soul music became slower and smoother, ska changed its sound accordingly and evolved into rocksteady. However, rocksteady's heyday was brief, peaking in 1967. By 1968, ska evolved again into reggae.

2 Tone

Main article: 2 Tone (music genre)

The 2 Tone genre, which began in the late 1970s in the CoventryEngland area, was a fusion of Jamaican ska rhythms and melodies with punk rock's more aggressive guitar chords and lyrics. Compared to 1960s ska, 2 Tone music had faster tempos, fuller instrumentation and a harder edge. The genre was named after 2 Tone Records, a record label founded by Jerry Dammers of The Specials. In many cases, the reworking of classic ska songs turned the originals into hits again in the United Kingdom.
The 2 Tone movement promoted racial unity at a time when racial tensions were high in the UK. There were many Specials songs that raised awareness of the issues of racism, fighting and friendship issues. Riots in British cities were a feature during the summer that The Specials song "Ghost Town" was a hit, although this work was in a slower, Reggae beat. Most of the 2 Tone bands had multiracial lineups, such as The Beat (known as The English Beat in North America and the British Beat in Australia), The Specials, and The Selecter. Although only on the 2 Tone label for one single, Madness was one of the most effective bands at bringing the 2 Tone genre into the mainstream. The music of this era resonated with white working class youth and West Indian immigrants who experienced the struggles addressed in the lyrics.

Third wave

Third wave ska originated in the 1980s and became commercially successful in the 1990s. Although some third wave ska has a traditional 1960s sound, most third wave ska is characterized by dominating guitar riffs and large horn sections.

United States

By the early 1980s, 2 Tone-influenced, ska bands began forming throughout the United States. The Uptones from Berkeley, California and The Toasters from New York City — both formed in 1981 — were among the first active ska bands in North America. They are both credited with laying the groundwork for American ska and establishing scenes in their respective regions. In Los Angeles around the same time, The Untouchables also formed. While many of the early American ska bands continued in the musical traditions set by 2 Tone and the mod revival, bands such as Fishbone, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Operation Ivy pioneered the American ska punk subgenre, a fusion of ska and punk rock that typically downplayed ska's R&B influence in favor of faster tempos and guitar distortion.
Two hotspots for the United States' burgeoning ska scenes were New York City and Orange County, California. In New York, Toasters frontman Robert "Bucket" Hingley formed independent record label Moon Ska Records in 1983. The label quickly became the largest independent ska label in the United States. The Orange County ska scene was a breeding ground for ska punk and more contemporary pop-influenced ska music, personified by bands such as Reel Big Fish, No Doubt and Sublime. It was here that the term "third wave ska" was coined and popularized by Tazy Phyllips (host of the Ska Parade radio show) to describe the new wave of ska-influenced bands which were steadily gaining notoriety. The San Francisco Bay Areaalso contributed to ska's growing popularity, with Skankin' Pickle, Let's Go Bowling and the Dance Hall Crashers becoming known on the touring circuit.
The mid-1990s saw a considerable rise in ska music's underground popularity, marked by the formation of many ska-based record labels, booking organizations and indie zines. While Moon Ska was still the largest of the United States' ska labels, other notable labels included Jump Up Records of Chicago, which covered the thriving midwest scene, and Steady Beat Recordings of Los Angeles, which covered Southern California's traditional ska revival. Stomp Records of Montreal was Canada's primary producer and distributor of ska music. Additionally, many punk and indie rock labels, such as Hellcat Records and Fueled by Ramen, broadened their scope to include both ska and ska punk bands. Asian Man Records (formerly Dill Records), founded in 1996, started out primarily releasing ska punk albums before branching out to other music styles.
In 1993, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones signed with Mercury Records, becoming the first American ska punk band to find mainstream commercial success, with their 1994 album Question the Answers achieving gold record status and peaking at #138 on the Billboard 200. In 1995, punk band Rancid, featuring former members of Operation Ivy, released the ska punk single "Time Bomb", which reached #8 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, becoming the first major ska punk hit of the 1990s and launching the genre into the public eye. Over the next few years, a string of notable ska and ska-influenced singles became hits on mainstream radio, including "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt, "Sell Out" by Reel Big Fish and "The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, all of whom would reach platinum status with each of their respective albums. By 1996, third wave ska was one of the most popular forms of alternative music in the United States.
By the late 1990s, mainstream interest in third wave ska bands waned as other music genres gained momentum. Moon Ska Records folded in 2000, but Moon Ska Europe, a licensed affiliate based in Europe, continued operating in the 2000s and was later relaunched as Moon Ska World. In 2003, Hingley launched a new ska record label, Megalith Records.

United Kingdom

By the late 1980s, ska had experienced a minor resurgence of popularity in the United Kingdom, due to bands such as The Burial and The Hotknives, ska-friendly record labels such as Unicorn Records, ska festivals, and a re-emergence of the traditional skinhead subculture.

Germany, Australia, Japan and South America

The early 1980s saw a massive surge in ska's popularity in Germany, which leding to the founding of a large number of ska bands, record labels and festivals.
The Australian ska scene flourished in the mid-1980s, following the musical precedents set by 2 Tone, and spearheaded by bands such as Strange Tenants, No Nonsense and The Porkers. Some of the Australian ska revival bands found success on the national music charts, most notably The Allniters, who had a #10 hit with a ska cover of "Montego Bay" in 1983.
Japan established its own ska scene, colloquially referred to as J-ska, in the mid-1980s. The Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, formed in 1985, have been one of the most commercially successful progenitors of Japanese ska.
South America's ska scene started developing in the mid-1980s. South American ska bands typically play traditional ska rhythms blended with strong influences from Latin music and rock en Español. The most prominent of these bands is Los Fabulosos Cadillacs from Argentina. Formed in 1985, the band has sold millions of records worldwide, scoring an international hit single with "El Matador" in 1994 and winning the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock/Alternative album.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mensa

What is Mensa?

Mensa was founded in England in 1946 by Roland Berrill, a barrister, and Dr. Lance Ware, a scientist and lawyer. They had the idea of forming a society for bright people, the only qualification for membership of which was a high IQ. The original aims were, as they are today, to create a society that is non-political and free from all racial or religious distinctions. The society welcomes people from every walk of life whose IQ is in the top 2% of the population, with the objective of enjoying each other's company and participating in a wide range of social and cultural activities.

What are Mensa's goals?

Mensa has three stated purposes: to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity, to encourage research in the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence, and to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members.
How many members does Mensa have?
Today there are over 120,000 Mensans in 100 countries throughout the world. There are active Mensa organizations in more than 40 countries on every continent except Antarctica. Membership numbers are also available for specific National Groups.

What kind of people are Members of Mensa?

There is simply no one prevailing characteristic of Mensa members other than high IQ. There are Mensans for whom Mensa provides a sense of family, and others for whom it is a casual social activity. There have been many marriages made in Mensa, but for many people, it is simply a stimulating opportunity for the mind. Most Mensans have a good sense of humor, and they like to talk. And, usually, they have a lot to say.
Mensans have ranged in age from 2 to more than 100, but most are between 20 and 60. In education they range from preschoolers to high school dropouts to people with multiple doctorates. There are Mensans on welfare and Mensans who are millionaires. As far as occupations, the range is staggering. Mensa has professors and truck drivers, scientists and firefighters, computer programmers and farmers, artists, military people, musicians, laborers, police officers, glassblowers--the diverse list goes on and on. There are famous Mensans and prize-winning Mensans, but there are many whose names you wouldn't know. Have a look at our list of prominent Mensans here.

What does "Mensa" mean?

The word "Mensa" means "table" in Latin. Mensa is a round-table society, where race, color, creed, national origin, age, politics, educational or social background are irrelevant.
What opinions does Mensa have?
Mensa takes no stand on politics, religion or social issues. Mensa has members from so many different countries and cultures with differing points of view, that for Mensa to espouse a particular point of view would go against its role as a forum for all points of view. Of course, individual Mensa members often have strong opinions--and several of them. It is said that in a room with 12 Mensans you will find at least 13 differing opinions on any given subject!

How do I qualify for Mensa?

Membership in Mensa is open to persons who have attained a score within the upper two percent of the general population on an approved intelligence test that has been properly administered and supervised. There is no other qualification or disqualification for initial membership eligibility.
The term "IQ score" is widely used but poorly defined. There are a large number of tests with different scales. The result on one test of 132 can be the same as a score 148 on another test. Some intelligence tests don't use IQ scores at all. Mensa has set a percentile as cutoff to avoid this confusion. Candidates for membership of Mensa must achieve a score at or above the 98th percentile on a standard test of intelligence (a score that is greater than that achieved by 98 percent of the general population taking the test).
Generally, there are two ways to prove that you qualify for Mensa: either take the Mensa test, or submit a qualifying test score from another test. There are a large number of intelligence tests that are "approved". More information on whether a test you have taken is approved, as well as information on the procedure for taking the Mensa test, can be obtained from the nearest Mensa office. There are no on-line tests that can be used for admission to Mensa. Feel free to contact Mensa for specific details about eligibility.
Mensa has no other eligibility requirements other than IQ testing. However, many tests are not valid for people under the age of 16. You should contact the nearest Mensa office for more information.

How do I get proof of my previous test scores?

Contact the testing service that administered the test to you requesting that they send you a report showing your score. Include as much information as you can about yourself and regarding when and where you were tested. If you can't give an exact answer, an approximation is better than nothing. Many testing services charge a fee for sending reports; you should give the service a call before writing them.
If your school did IQ testing, write to the school you attended, and ask for a CERTIFIED copy of your score. It must include your birth date, the name of the test, and a clearly defined number, i.e., IQ, or percentile rank nationally. Mensa does not accept achievement tests. The school seal must be stamped on the report.
For psychologist/agency testing, have the report sent on professional letterhead, with the psychologist's or agency's license or registration number. Mensa accepts tests given only by those people qualified to do testing privately in the area in which the examiner resides. Date of test, name of test, and full score must be given, and the report must be signed.
Any signature-guaranteed or notarized copy of any of the reports will be accepted, other non-verifiable copies may be rejected.

Is there a Mensa test?

If you've never taken an IQ test, or don't want to bother with getting official copies of your test scores, then Mensa can test you. You will be put in contact with the local testing coordinator who will tell you about specific testing dates and places.
In some countries, a pre-test is available which you can take in the privacy of your home. To find out whether such a test is available in your country, please see National Groups.
When you've finished the pre-test, send it back to the address  as instructed. It will be scored, and you will be notified of the results. If your score is high enough, you'll be invited to take a qualifying supervised test. The pre-test is just for practice; you can't use it to qualify for Mensa even if you score at or above the 98th percentile. Taking a pre-test is not required for admission, however, many people take it simply for the challenge.
Feel free to contact Mensa for more information or to arrange testing. More specific information is also available about testing costs for any of the National Groups.
If you want to take a practice, on-line test, the Mensa Workout is an intelligence quiz in which you have half an hour to answer 30 questions. When you submit your answers, your test is instantly scored, and you can see how your score measures up. The answers to the questions are provided along with discussion of the answers. The Workout is not an IQ test, and can't be used for qualification to join Mensa.