Monday News: UK Black History Month, Pompeii, books to travel with, and celebrity commercials
Black History Month anthology seeks to broaden scope of African literature – October is Black History Month in the UK (in Canada and the US it’s February), and in commemoration, Bahati Books is releasing a story a day, culminating in a free digital anthology — Black History: The Anthology — at the end of the month. Bahati books is just a year old, and
Co-founder Barbara Njau told The Bookseller that she believes Black History Month should be “more of a major event in publishing”. She said: “It’s important to note that there is a lot of celebration and work in the publishing world that goes into many major events, including remembrance of the world wars—especially the Second World War—[and even] events that mark the consumer calendar, such as Halloween. Therefore I think it is unfortunate that we don’t see a similar push by publishers around Black History Month to celebrate the contributions that black people—Africans and more broadly African-Americans and Caribbeans— have made to the world of literature, past and present.” – The Bookseller
Check Out This 3D Tour of a Villa in Ancient Pompeii – The Swedish Pompeii Project has been working for the past 15-plus years to record and analyze an ancient city block, and through 3D technology, they have been able to recreate the area, including a digital reconstruction of a large villa on the street. Check out the digital tour – it’s very cool.
The house model they made is of the villa of Lucius Caecilius Iucundus, a wealthy banker in Pompeii. Excavations show that the entrance to his large abode was paved with a black and white mosaic including the image of sleeping dog. The home also had many frescoes throughout, depicting mythological scenes. The house includes a chest where he stored his money and an altar memorializing an earthquake that occurred in the region 17 years before. – Smithsonian Magazine
Book tips from travel bloggers – In recognition of the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is ongoing this week, Deutsche Welle is featuring a book blogger a day talking about books they love to travel with. First up is Anne Steinbach:
I was in Mumbai, and bought a copy of “The alchemist” by Paulo Coelho at a street-shop. A friend and I were just starting a trip to India at the time. Some people told us not to travel by train, but we did anyway. I pulled out the book while we were between Mumbai and Goa. I had just finished the first page, when an Indian man who was sitting next to me asked in broken English whether he could take a look at the book. He actually kept it for a couple of hours, but I didn’t mind at all. We started talking about the book – and it turned out that the rest of the passengers in our compartment were listening to us. So I’m glad that we ignored that advice not to travel by train. Sometimes, all it takes is a book to break the ice with people when you are travelling in a far-off country. – Deutsche Welle
The Best Commercial Ever? James Brown Sells Miso Soup (1992) – Tell me you don’t want some instant ramen after watching this James Brown commercial. Or, if you don’t want to be tempted, check out the gem from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Japanese television is one arena where many Western celebrities are willing to relax their usual policies. The prospect of an enormous paycheck for so little work is hard to beat, though in the age of Youtube, there’s a far greater likelihood that their core fans will see the results.
Youtube was not a concern in 1992, when Brown filmed the above 15-second spot for Nissin Cup Noodles. No one can accuse him of phoning it in. He dances, lip synchs soup-centric Japanese lyrics to the tune of Sex Machine, and even—in a longer version on a kitchen set—pours boiling water into the cup, just like millions of budget-conscious artists and students the world over. – Open Culture
What is it with weird ramen commercials? It’s like it’s own genre of crazy goodness.