The art of music from afar
For piano instructor Talc Tolchin, lessons don’t always require close proximity and immediate scrutiny of finger placements and precision - thanks to modern technology, Tolchin can instruct students from hundreds of miles away.
But Tolchin’s methods do have some detractors:
It’s not for everyone. The world of music instructors is filled with late technology adopters on such tight budgets that even basic equipment needed to conduct online lessons is a stretch, said Rachel Kramer, director of member development for the Cincinnati-based Music Teachers National Assn.
Then there’s tradition. “There will be always be teachers who feel it would never ever work,” she said.
Photos: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times
Longreads just celebrated its fourth birthday, and it’s been a thrill to watch this community grow since we introduced this service and Twitter hashtag in 2009. Thank you to everyone who participates, whether it’s as a reader, a publisher, a writer—or all three. And thanks to the …
In case you were in need of some more long reads to add to your queue…
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Preserving ancient teachings in Timbuktu
Boubacar Sadeck, the youngest of Timbuktu’s scribes at 38, is a master of an ancient art - one that ties him closely to the historical writings that he spends his days transcribing and preserving.
“My weakness, my love, is calligraphy,” said the scribe, who fled Timbuktu, famed for its collection of centuries-old manuscripts, when Islamist militias invaded last year. “If I go a day without writing, I feel as if something is missing or strange. When I sit down with my paper and my pen, I feel wonderful. I feel at ease.”
Many of Timbuktu’s ancient scripts are now refugees separated from their former home in Ahmed Baba Institute after Islamist militias invaded. The rest have been either lost or destroyed in the chaos caused by the successful fight to drive the militias out of the city. Now, the future of these artifacts from the past is up in the air.
Read more in reporter Robyn Dixon’s story here
Photos: Evan Schneide / UN, Eric Feferberg / AFP/Getty Images
Today in terrifying fake news
The Associated Press’ Twitter account was hacked earlier today, sending out a false report of explosions at the White House. The tweet was swiftly debunked, no report was sent on the AP news wire and Twitter has since suspended the account.
But that didn’t stop some from immediately believing the fraudulent tweet. Note the sudden plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the time the tweet went out:
In the wake of the now-notorious tweet, and the outrage last week over a number of grassroots amateur detectives on Reddit working to solve the Boston Marathon bombings, it’s important to remember that not everything online should be taken at face value.
Photos: Twitter, Google
Manhunt in Boston
Boston has been seized by a widespread manhunt for those suspected in the Boston Marathon attack Monday,
The bombers, whose faces were first revealed last night by the FBI, have been revealed to be brothers: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. Tamerlan was killed early this morning in a shootout with police, while Dzhokhar remains on the run.
The two were born in Kyrgyzstan, and are reportedly of Chechen descent.
Those who know the two have been stunned by their alleged involvement in the horrible attack Monday.
Anzor Tsarnaev, the men’s father told the Associated Press from Russia.
“My son is a true angel. Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here.”
All Boston residents have been ordered to stay inside, mass transportation has been shut down, and law enforcement is focusing massive amounts of manpower on the suburb of Watertown.
We’ll continue updating here as the story develops.
UPDATE: Ruslan Tsarni, the Tsarnaev brothers’ uncle, just spoke to the media:
“I say Dzhokhar, if you are alive turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the injured.”
“He put a shame on our family, he put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity.”
UPDATE 2: Further details about the brothers’ pasts have been revealed - with a Twitter profile reportedly belonging to Dzhokhar emerging, and a chronicle of Tamerlan’s boxing aspirations.
“I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them.” - Tamerlan said in a photographic profile that has since been taken offline.
Boston police are still asking citizens to remain indoors as the hunt for Dzhokhar continues. The FBI is now looking for a green 1999 Honda Civic with Massachusetts plates reading 116GC7.
Photos: Craig Ruttle, Matt Rourke, Charles Krupa, Jose Luis Magana, Chris Young / Associated Press, FBI
2013 Pulitzer Prize Photos
It’s been a incredibly busy week in news, so in case you missed the announcement a few days ago, the above photos are this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners for photography.
From top to bottom, the photos, and the photographers behind them, are:
- Javier Manzano’s winning shot for best feature photography, taken Oct. 18, 2012. It shows rebel Syrian soldiers guarding a sniper’s nest, with light streaming through holes made by gunfire and shrapnel.
- Manu Brabo’s photo for best breaking news photography, showing Syrian refugees crossing into Turkey Dec. 8, 2012 - and this photo is just one of 20 from Associated Press photographers that comprised the prize-winning set.
- Beside Brabo’s photo is a shot by Narciso Contreras, showing a Syrian rebel fighter gesturing after firing upon troops fighting for President Bashar Assad Nov. 4, 2012.
- Another entry in AP’s Syria set is a photo by Rodrigo Abd, showing a woman, named Aida, recovering from injuries after her home was shelled by government troops March 10, 2012.
Head over to Framework for more details on the winners, and other finalists.
Boston Marathon bombing: “An act of terrorism”
Following yesterday’s running update of the latest on the Boston Marathon attacks, here’s the latest on what’s known so far:
The number of wounded has reached 176 wounded, with 17 in critical condition and three confirmed fatalities, including an eight-year-old boy.
With hundreds of security and police officers still examining Boston, and heightened security measures across the nation, it has been confirmed that no unexploded devices were found following the initial two explosions, and Boston Police have made no arrests.
President Obama, speaking just moments ago, called the bombing “an act of terrorism,” pledging for the second time that those behind the attack would be brought to justice, Obama praised law enforcement, hospital workers and the countless individuals around the attack for their selfless work in helping those affected by the attack.
Speculation is still running wild as to who is responsible for the attack, with Obama confirming that authorities still are unsure as to whether a domestic or international individual or organization is behind the attack. The Pakistani Taliban has denied any responsibility.
Like yesterday, additional updates will be added below as new information arises.
Additionally, to contact law enforcement officials with relevant information on the attacks, call 1-800-494-TIPS, and for those looking for lost family members, call 617-635-4500.
Update: New evidence suggests that the explosive devices used in the Boston attack contained items intended to be used as shrapnel, including metal pellets and nails.
Federal investigators familiar with the matter have suggested that the crude nature of the explosives suggests that those responsible are domestic, instead of international, terrorists.
And further heartbreaking details about Martin Richard, the eight-year-old killed in the attack, have emerged. Martin was waiting for his father at the finish line with his mother and sister, both of whom were injured in the attack.
Attorney General Eric Holder, in a statement released a short time ago, said that the full force of the FBI is pursuing possible leads, from available footage to on-site interviews, and has established a tip line for those with information that may help their search: 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Photos: Ken McGagh / MetroWest Daily News/Associated Press, Susan Walsh / Associated Press, Matt Campbell / EPA
A year ago, Tumblr did something unprecedented — we created an editorial team of experienced journalists and editors assigned to cover Tumblr as a living, breathing community. The team’s mandate was to tell the stories of Tumblr creators in a truly thoughtful way — focusing on the people, their…
ICYMI - Tumblr’s editorial team, which put together some great work, has come to a close. Wish them the best of luck wherever they may go!
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We received over 11,000 entries from 60 countries, the most ever in our history of honoring the very best of the Web.
The Internet is huge.
Winning is huge.
NOW, it’s up to you to decide who wins the Internet this year. VOTE now in The Webby People’s Voice.
A big congrats to everyone honored! Check out everything that’s been nominated, it’s a great rundown of some of the best work on the web over the past year.
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A loss of limb, but not of spirit
Marine Staff Sgt. Mark Zambon, severely wounded in Afghanistan, lost both of his legs to a bomb, an event that may have changed his life, but has failed to define him, or limit his actions.
Two years have passed since that day in Helmand province when Zambon became a victim of a buried bomb. In describing the incident, he’s matter-of-fact.
“I got blown up,” he said.
Since then, Zambon has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, burying the dog tags of two deceased Marines at the peak. He’s served as a navigator in the 5,000-mile Dakar Rally off-road race in South America. And he’s taken a lead role in the Heroes Project in Los Angeles, which aids wounded soldiers in discovering that they can still take command of their lives post-injury.
Read more on Zambon’s endurance in reporter Tony Perry’s story.
Photos: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times
North Korea: Playing the lunatic card
Though it’s one of the world’s most isolated, impovershed nations in the world, North Korea continues to make broad statements about sparking war, increasingly threatening the U.S. and South Korea with its nuclear weaponry.
North Korea deploys the craziness card to its advantage. The colorful bombast of its infamous propaganda mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency (threatening to “break the waists of the crazy enemies, totally cut their windpipes and thus clearly show them what a real war is like”) is designed not merely to intimidate but to convince the outside world that it is dealing with lunatics.
Photo: Jung Yeon-Je / AFP
“Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Roger Ebert. For a generation of Americans - and especially Chicagoans - Roger was the movies. When he didn’t like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive - capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere…
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RIP Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert, the legendary film critic whose “thumbs-up, thumbs-down” evaluations have become synonymous with cinema reviews, passed away today at age 70 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Just recently, he had announced that he would take a leave of absence from his work at the Chicago Sun-Times.
Photo: Robert K. O’Daniell / Associated Press
Love separated by 41 years and a U.S. visa
Ana Verdin-Hernandez and Gerardo Herrejon are an odd couple separated by immigration laws. As their romance began when she was 22 and he was 63, the couple has long drawn skepticism from within their families, though the two ultimately were married in 2010.
But Ana is an undocumented immigrant, while Gerardo is a U.S citizen, meaning that she, as his wife, could gain citizenship so long as an official at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico believed their marriage was legitimate. Otherwise, Ana would be barred from the country for years.
From reporter Richard Marosi’s story:
She was a brainy honors student bound for UC Berkeley. He was a chatty Glendale city bus driver who never missed Sunday Mass. He called her Chiquita — little one. She called him Pollo — chicken, for his skinny legs.
Her mother called him something else: El Viejito — the little old man.
Find out how things have worked out so far for the couple here.
Photos: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times
National Geographic meets Hunter S. Thompson
Friday marks the debut of Vice Media Group’s latest venture - a weekly news magazine on HBO. Vice, known for its print magazine and documentaries, is in a unique position among other media outlets: It’s growing, especially among younger readers.
On Vice’s decision earlier this year to bring Dennis Rodman, of all people, to North Korea as fuel for a documentary:
“We’re not saying Dennis Rodman is Morley Safer. He’s an absurd character and North Korea’s an absurd place,” Smith said over one of his trademark boozy lunches. But, he was quick to add, “I have a one-of-a-kind documentary with one-of-a-kind access to one of the hardest countries in the world to film.”
Read through reporter Joe Flint’s entire interview with Smith over at Company Town.
Photo: Michael Nagle / For The Times