Mad Quickies

Mad Quickies: The outliers are the ones to watch.

Transgender opera singers, female DJs, amputee warrior and more!

Greetings, Earthlings! I have a few great stories here for you so let’s get started! First up, a very interesting feature at the NYT about transgender opera singers. Check it out!

Transgender Opera Singers Find Their Voices
For these musicians, transitioning can mean risking their careers — and their art.

“Holding his whiskey in one hand and his Stetson in the other, the opera’s hero — a tough stagecoach driver — offered an unhappy barmaid some advice in a strong, clear tenor voice. “You could be anything,” sang the tenor, Holden Madagame.”

He should know. Mr. Madagame, 28, is part of a new wave of transgender opera singers. Trained as a mezzo-soprano, he risked his singing career when he transitioned several years ago and began taking testosterone, which lowers and alters the voice — a voice he had spent years fine-tuning for opera, where success is measured in the subtlest of gradations.”


The following is a long-form interactive piece from the NYT and it’s really super-cool.

These Women Are Changing New York’s D.J. Game. Watch Them Work.

“Bushwick, Brooklyn, has emerged as the center of New York’s club scene. From the casual-chic string lights and tarps of Nowadays to industrial art spaces like Elsewhere and the new, kitsch-fabulous Sultan Room, there is plenty of music-inspired euphoria to choose from. And plenty of female D.J.s, deep in the zone, setting the mood.”

“But these women didn’t appear out of nowhere. Many of them have been part of a grass-roots movement based on collaboration and empowerment that has helped elevate the stature (and pay) of female D.J.s.”


Get yer dictionaries out and make an edit please. I do believe that Angel Giuffria has completely redefined the word BADASS.

[high-fives to Emily for the find and Steve for the share]


A tree grows in Harvard Forest… and is tweeting about it. Know why? Because we need yet more data telling us about the climate emergency that needs to be at the top of everyone’s list and not even trees can relax in this foyer to the apocalypse I am sorry but I am so worked up about this sweet moses on toast dlasd/lfjaisd haf…

[deep breath] Here’s the link.

The Tree That Is Live-Tweeting Climate Change
With a little help from scientists, an oak in the Harvard Forest is sharing updates about its life.

“The tree hasn’t been complaining about it the way humans do; Quercus rubra doesn’t whine or get wrung out and cranky. But oaks—and the beech, birch, hemlock, white pine, and maple trees growing nearby—are going through “the same environmental things that we experience,” says Clarisse Hart, the director of outreach and education at the Harvard Forest, a 4,000-acre outdoor research laboratory owned and managed by the university. Humans are different from trees in so many ways, except for the ways we aren’t. Trees, Hart points out, are ‘absolutely experiencing heat, rain, growing, breathing, sweating, eating, doing all of these things that we do.'”


On a happier note- BIBLIOPHILE TATTOOS!

Books and Ink: The Literary Tattoos of NYPL Staff

“Tattooing has been around for thousands of years, and it’s no surprise that books and literature often serve as tattoo inspiration. To celebrate National Tattoo Day on July 17, NYPL staff members are sharing their literary tattoos and some stories behind them. Do you have a literary tattoo? Tell us about it in the comments!”


So this was a complicatedly cool thing…

Cinematic Journeys Illustrated in Hand Painted Maps by Andrew DeGraff

“Maine-based artist, illustrator, and pop culture cartographer Andrew DeGraff creates detailed maps that outline the movements of major characters in iconic movies. Made by hand using gouache and ink on paper, each of DeGraff’s maps are meticulously planned and can take up to 1,000 hours to complete.”

“DeGraff has been working as an illustrator for 15 years. He began his “Cinemaps” series in 2011 and has since published a book that includes art inspired by Back to the Future, King Kong, The Shining, Pulp Fiction, and other classic movies. Speaking … about his process, DeGraff said that it doesn’t matter if the film is a favorite that he has seen several times, or if it is one that he is less familiar with—the approach is the same. While carefully watching the movie a few more times, he deconstructs each scene and character journey (which are color-coded in the maps) to create a flowchart. “Then I start building my reference file from film stills, behind the scenes shots of the sets, location shots, Google Earth—even LEGO recreations if [they’re] helpful,” he explains. He then creates a blocking sketch before going in with pencils and paint.”


The Nova Effect, A Profound Short Animated Tale About the Incredibly Random Nature of Luck

“The short animated tale “The Nova Effect” by The Pursuit of Wonder tells the story of a man named Eric who lost his dog Nova to a taunting rabbit while they were out walking. After a few days, a lovely woman named Vanessa brought Nova back. Eric and Vanessa fell for each other and eventually became a serious couple.”






Geologic Universe, vault-keeper. Sheer Brick Studio, principal. Empty Set, designer. Bethlehem Mounties, media. WDIY 88.1FM NPR station programmer. Skepchick.

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