An unusual creation from the studio of André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri, (circa. 1862) the French photographer (pictured below) best known for inventing the hugely popular “carte de visite”.
In this wonderful example, titled “Les Jambes de l’Opera”, Disdéri has created a collage composed entirely of legs belonging to opera (and ballet) stars
Although his patent on the “carte de visite” initially made him extremely wealthy, Disdéri ended up dying a penniless man.
His system of reproducing photographs was itself so easy to reproduce that photographers soon did so without Disdéri benefiting, and the format was replaced in the late 1860s by the larger cabinet card format.
John Lennon (left) and Paul McCartney, pictured here circa 1960, met as teenagers in July 1957. Image Credit: Keystone/Getty Images
Sixty years ago, two young musicians happened upon each other in Liverpool, England, in a meeting that would change the course of popular music forever.
It was 6 July, 1957. John Lennon, then 16, was playing with his skiffle group The Quarrymen at a church garden party in the midst of a stultifying heat wave. Paul McCartney, 15, was in the crowd, wearing a white sports jacket with a pink carnation.
In the documentary The Beatles Anthology, McCartney remembers the spectacle of Lennon strutting around in a checked shirt, “and sort of blondish kind of hair, little bit curly, [sideburns], looking pretty cool. And he was playing one of these guitars — guaranteed not to crack, not a very good one — but he was making a very good job of it.”
The Quarrymen performed “Come Go With Me” by The Del-Vikings, and though Lennon clearly didn’t know the words, he adapted lyrics from blues songs instead. That ingenuity impressed McCartney, who met Lennon after the set.
Backstage, McCartney played Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” which in turn impressed Lennon — perhaps in part because McCartney actually knew all the lyrics.
Later, Lennon remembered being uncertain about partnering with such a strong musician, who might challenge his leadership in the group.
But that hesitation was short-lived. “I turned around right then on first meeting and said, ‘Do you want to join the group?’ And I think he said yes the next day,” Lennon said, as quoted in The Beatles Anthology.
ANDREW BARTON ‘BANJO’ PATERSON was born in Narrambla, New South Wales, on 17 February, 1864.
He lived in the city for most of his life, yet he became wildly famous in the colonies for the poems and stories he wrote about life in the Australian outback.
Just before the turn of the century he composed “Waltzing Matilda”, the much-loved ballad about a swagman who drowned himself in a billabong.
He also wrote The Man from Snowy River, a collection of verses (including the poem by the same name) that sold out of its first edition in a week.
The stories he created about the lives and struggles of bushmen, shearers and drovers in rural farm country struck a chord with Australians.
“This image of Australia, which by the beginning of the 20th century was already one of the most urbanised countries in the world, obviously appealed to a population that liked to present itself as hard-working, laconic, and not wanting to take itself too seriously,” says Dr David McCooey, associate professor of literary studies at Deakin University, Victoria.
“Also, the ‘settler’ generations were dying out, so there was a moment to romanticise those people and their history,” he adds.
Romanticising the outback?
Banjo grew up in the Yass region in southern NSW, but he left the area at age 10 to finish his schooling in Sydney.
In his twenties he found work as a lawyer, then as a journalist.
It was around this time he also started publishing poems under the pseudonym ‘the Banjo’ in the Bulletin and Sydney Mail.
While preferring silence to music from the West, chimpanzees apparently like to listen to the different rhythms of music from Africa and India, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
“Our objective was not to find a preference for different cultures’ music.
We used cultural music from Africa, India and Japan to pinpoint specific acoustic properties,” said study coauthor Frans de Waal, PhD, of Emory University.
“Past research has focused only on Western music and has not addressed the very different acoustic features of non-Western music. While nonhuman primates have previously indicated a preference among music choices, they have consistently chosen silence over the types of music previously tested.”
Previous research has found that some nonhuman primates prefer slower tempos, but the current findings may be the first to show that they display a preference for particular rhythmic patterns, according to the study.
“Although Western music, such as pop, blues and classical, sound different to the casual listener, they all follow the same musical and acoustic patterns.
Therefore, by testing only different Western music, previous research has essentially replicated itself,” the authors wrote.
The study was published in APA’s Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition.
When African and Indian music was played near their large outdoor enclosures, the chimps spent significantly more time in areas where they could best hear the music.
When Japanese music was played, they were more likely to be found in spots where it was more difficult or impossible to hear the music.
The African and Indian music in the experiment had extreme ratios of strong to weak beats, whereas the Japanese music had regular strong beats, which is also typical of Western music.
“Chimpanzees may perceive the strong, predictable rhythmic patterns as threatening, as chimpanzee dominance displays commonly incorporate repeated rhythmic sounds such as stomping, clapping and banging objects,” said de Waal.