Browsing: fun

Memphis soul comes to the White House tonight

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The White House will host a who’s-who of legendary soul musicians and modern stars Tuesday night in its latest “In Performance” concert. This will be the tenth “In Performance at the White House” show, and will focus on Memphis Soul. Several artists from the classic Stax-Volt record label will be featured, most notably Mavis Staples, who sang classics such as “I’ll Take You There.” Guitarist Steve Cropper (who played for Booker T and the MGs, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and pretty much everybody else on the Stax-Volt label), Sam Moore from Sam and Dave, “Knock on Wood” singer Eddie…

The Postal Service even delivers to … Indiana Jones?

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Say what you will about the troubled U.S. Postal Service: It’s still the best way to get a priceless notebook to an adventuring archaeologist and out of the hands of the Nazis. That’s what the University of Chicago discovered last week when it received a mysterious manila envelope with what appeared to be Egyptian stamps addressed to one Henry Walton Jones Jr. The only problem: there is no Henry Walton Jones Jr. on the faculty of U of Chicago. Staffers at Rosenwald Hall, where the package was delivered, shrugged and tossed it to a student to figure out where to…

Deficit reduction, Onion-style

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Tired of hearing about one wonky proposal to avert sequestration after another? Trust us, you’re gonna want to read this one. The Onion yesterday published an eight-point plan to avert the rapidly-approaching fiscal cliff, and its editors are nothing if not confident. The editorial begins by declaring: “Those who reject any part of this plan are not only ignorant, but are also guilty of actively trying to undermine the nation and its government.” Their cuts would be brutal … and unique. The Onion proposes abolishing several agencies (such as the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency), New Mexico, dams,…

Library of Congress to preserve Prince, Bo Diddley, 'Rapper's Delight'

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The Library of Congress said today it will preserve everything from a tinny 1888 recording of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to Prince’s incendiary album “Purple Rain” as part of its latest slate of entries to the National Recording Registry. The Library each year preserves 25 recordings it feels are “cultural, artistic and/or historical treasures for generations to come.” This year, a wide variety of recordings will be added, including: Bo Diddley’s songs “Bo Diddley” and “I’m A Man,” Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” recognized as the first hit rap song, Booker T and the MG’s “Green Onions,” Vince Guaraldi’s jazzy soundtrack…

Shuttle Discovery to buzz DC next Tuesday

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Washingtonians will be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime sight on April 17: The Space Shuttle Discovery buzzing the nation’s capital. NASA yesterday announced that Discovery will cross over Washington and surrounding areas that day as it makes its way to its final home at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport. If you’re anywhere near its flight path, expect to get a good look — the Boeing 747 carrying Discovery will only be 1,500 feet off the ground at times. (The Hill points out that the Washington Monument is roughly 555 feet high, to give you a frame of reference.) The…

Obama, BB King sing 'Sweet Home Chicago' at White House blues night

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Barack Obama may be angling for a second career in rhythm and blues (if this whole “leader-of-the-free-world” thing doesn’t pan out). Last night, he took the mic at the White House’s all-star blues tribute night and sang a chorus of “Sweet Home Chicago” with BB King. The AP said that during the finale, Mick Jagger held the mic out “almost by way of command,” and Obama evidently couldn’t resist. Blues guitarist Buddy Guy also pushed Obama by pointing out that he sang a line from “Let’s Stay Together” last month at an Apollo Theater fundraiser, and said, “You gotta keep…

Obama campaign playlist has classic soul, indie rock and … Hootie?

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Politico’s Mike Allen scores a scoop today on the Obama campaign’s playlist — music to be played at rallies and other reelection events. Most of it would make a really good Spotify playlist*, and it contains a mix of classic soul music (including, of course, “Let’s Stay Together”) and indie-ish rock such as Arcade Fire, Wilco and Florence + the Machine. But I heard a record scratch sound in my head when I came across not one, but two songs by Darius Rucker. Really? Hootie? (We’ll see if Obama blames that one on Axelrod.) After the jump, you can find…

We need money for that thing we do … Right, government!

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It’s an honest enough mistake but couldn’t have been better timed. In the midst of debate over how to pursue spending for the rest of this year — and days before President Obama’s 2012 budget recommendations — the Navy released this solicitation for, you know, stuff. Clearly, somone accidentally posted a template instead of the proper announcement.  Still, despite the inevitable frustration of meeting the contract requirements for whatever it is, we already have some takers! One reader of Wired’s Danger Room, where the post was first brought to light, has offered up a canoe, “guaranteed to be stealthy,” for less than $2 million each. The…

Has NASA found aliens?

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As if the pay freeze news wasn’t enough excitement for one week, now NASA has scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon to discuss something “that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.” There’s only one thing this could mean: NASA has aliens. Now let’s just hope they’re the friendly, ET-kind of visitors, and not the warlike Klingon types. Seriously, though, probably not. The press conference is to discuss astrobiology (the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe), and its participants are experts in molecular evolution and evolutionary ecology. And if Hollywood…

Government Doesn't Suck event piggybacks on Stewart-Colbert rally

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Are you a fed tired of the knee-jerk government bashing that’s so in vogue these days? The social networking site GovLoop thinks its time for all of you to stand up and yell at the top of your lungs, “I don’t suck!” Yes, GovLoop is holding a “Government Doesn’t Suck” rally tomorrow, alongside Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity/March to Keep Fear Alive event. Go to the south end of the Air and Space Museum and look for the people with green shirts with “Chicks Dig Govies” sign.  (Apparently that’s an official GovLoop rally slogan. And I…

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