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Dazzling Interactive 3-D Artwork Visualizes The Tragic Affordable Housing Crisis In New York City

Fusion | Farah Mohamed | October 19, 2015 | World
Ekene Ijeoma is an artist, a designer and programmer by trade. He created his interactive art piece, “Wage Islands” by using the median monthly housing cost data in New York City, sourced from the American Community survey. Wage Islands is simple, yet dazzling -- a 3-D printed replica of New York City is almost completely submerged in black water. As the user hits a button, water recedes, revealing more of NYC. The button that users press represents an increase to the hourly wage -- at $8.75 cents per hour, most of NYC is off limits, leaving only a few selected areas peeking above the water line. A powerful commentary on housing accessibility and income, Ijeoma’s work does what thousands of anti-gentrification screeds and reams of white papers have not been able to accomplish: providing a clear understanding of the scope of the affordable housing crisis in New York City. Over email, Ijeoma expands on his inspiration for Wage Islands: I thought of Wage Islands at Re3Storyhack, a “hackathon for storytellers with a conscience” where creatives and technologists worked with non-profit organizations. It was there I understood more about Fast Food Forward’s fight to raise minimum wages for fast food workers to 15 dollars [an hour].   I was inspired by the geography and society of NYC. Here we all live on and cross between actual and metaphorical socio-economic islands. The islands are the metaphor for housing and access.   Wage Islands is meant to be more poetic than pragmatic. I was inspired by the post-Sandy New York Magazine “The City and the Storm” cover photo of Manhattan by Iwan Baan. It was a night time aerial photo of Manhattan as “a tale of two cities”; one with lights (above midtown) and one without (mostly downtown). I liked how you didn’t need to know the neighborhoods or streets and intersections to understand it. I saw it as a photographic visualization and wanted to explore how to use data visualization to create something just as visceral. In the same ways as photography, data as a medium can be transformed and manipulated to reveal new views and perspectives.   It’s not about what jobs have better wages; there’s inequality in access to jobs too. Wage Islands is about seeing if anyone can live the American Dream of minimum wage being a living wage in NYC; that’s the sweet spot.   I wanted to see how much raising the minimum wage would change their geographies of access to the city. Wage Islands shows that it doesn’t grow much but maybe it gives them a better living within the geographies that they’re already in. What Wage Islands doesn’t show is the full-time low-wage workers who have jobs but are homeless -- a lot of whom work for us; the city. That’s shocking!   I use data to try and see through the eyes of the people behind the numbers. I also try to find the missed connections between people too. I hope that it’ll raise more empathy around minimum wage fight in NYC. As Lil Wayne said in “Nightmares at the Bottom:” “We in the same picture, but we all got different poses.”   Trinidad James said “if your life out of frame change the picture.” Data has become a big part of how governments run cities so it’s important for citizens understand the data that is being used to govern them. Also on...

Welcome To The World's Only '90s Nostalgia Retreat Complex

The Huffington Post | Andy McDonald | October 16, 2015 | Comedy
Are you tired of the world we currently live in? Wanna get back to a simpler time, when things made sense? Maybe ... the '90s?! Introducing the new '90s Nostalgia Retreat! From the trends to the celebs to the day Kurt Cobain died, at the '90s Nostalgia Retreat,...

This Album Shows Why It's Time To Stop Isolating Cuba

The Huffington Post | Roque Planas | October 16, 2015 | Latino Voices
When American and Cuban officials gathered on Aug. 14 to formally reinaugurate the U.S. Embassy in Havana after half a century of severed diplomatic relations, pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill was among those in attendance. It was important for him to be there. Long before diplomats began secretly hammering out a deal to normalize relations between the Cold War enemies, O’Farrill -- who was born in Mexico and raised in New York City -- had started cultivating relationships with a group of innovative Cuban musicians, most of whom are relative unknowns in the United States. The product of those efforts is the new album “Cuba: The Conversation Continues.” On Oct. 17, O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra will debut the album in a performance at Hostos Center for the Arts in the Bronx. Originally released in August, “Cuba: The Conversation Continues” is an album that encapsulates the historic rapprochement. Continuing the musical dialogue that began in New York in the 1940s with American jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo, the album highlights the common ties between the two countries by showcasing musical traditions that fuse African and European roots. “This is a beautiful moment in history,” O’Farrill said. “I think the great lesson of this era is that what we have appropriated as jazz in the United States is actually about a greater story that is not about national ownership. This is part of a larger pan-American movement.” Listen to the first movement of the "Afro Latin Jazz Suite" above. The 10 Cuban musicians who joined the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra last year to record the album at Havana's Abdala Studios represent the diverse sounds and styles that have percolated in Cuba over the last five decades, but have rarely made it across the Florida Straits to U.S. listeners. Pianist Alexis Bosch, who adopts an elegantly restrained style on “Guajira Simple,” bucks the traditional idea of the almost excessively flamboyant and virtuosic Cuban pianist. On “El Bombón,” the flashy musician Cotó offers punchy and percussive solos on the tres, a guitar with three double strings that helps anchor the rhythm in some traditional Cuban music styles.  Cotó’s solo begins around the 3:00 mark in this video of a 1997 performance for Cuban television.  The American musicians also shine, with alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa’s snaking lines appearing throughout. And, of course, there's O’Farrill himself, who composed the album’s four-part “Afro Latin Jazz Suite.” It’s an album that symbolizes what can happen when the barriers that separate the United States from Cuba fall. For O’Farrill, the album is more than a professional accomplishment. O’Farrill is the son of Chico O’Farrill, a great Cuban bandleader and composer who died in New York in 2001. When Arturo O’Farrill traveled to Cuba to record the album, he went with his two sons, Adam and Zack -- both of whom are accomplished musicians in their own right and perform on the record. “I think that’s one of the great surprises,” O’Farrill told HuffPost. “The Cuban culture, the pace, the speed, the aesthetic of Cuban culture really resonates with Zack and Adam. And sometimes I watch them interact with other musicians either here or in Cuba -- it’s almost like watching them access parts of themselves that they didn’t have access to before. I wish my father were here to see it, and to see that they still are Cuban on some level.” Watch the making of “Cuba: The Conversation Continues” at the top of this...

The 15 Most NSFW Wedding Dresses From Bridal Fashion Week

The Huffington Post | Ashley Reich | October 19, 2015 | Weddings
Amid the sea of tulle and chiffon, some wedding gowns hit this season's bridal runways with a little less fabric than usual.  Some of these gowns were shown unlined for dramatic effect; if you ordered them in a store, they'd likely come with a slip of sorts. But that didn't...

This Queer Performance Showcase Is Breaking Down Hierarchies Of Queer Masculinity

The Huffington Post | JamesMichael Nichols | October 16, 2015 | Gay Voices
Masculinity is a complicated issue in the queer community. One only has to log on to social networking apps like Grindr or Scruff to see phrases like "Masc4Masc" or "No Fems" splashed across various profiles -- all of which essentially shame queers for not embodying traditionally masculine...

Urban Photographer Of The Year Winners Remind Us Of The Beauty Of City Life

The Huffington Post | Chris McGonigal | October 16, 2015 | World
Oscar Rialubin's stunning photo of a watch repairman in Doha, Qatar, is the winner of this year's Global Urban Photography competition. The competition is organized by CBRE, a global real estate and investment firm, and is now in its fifth year. Rialubin's image was one of 21,000 submissions sent in from 113...

Chilling Photos Of What Refugees Left Behind At Lesbos Beach

The Huffington Post | Alexandra Ma | October 16, 2015 | World
Over 1,000 migrants and refugees arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos every day after risking their lives riding from Turkey across the Aegean Sea's choppy waves. For many of them, the island is the first glimpse of Europe after crossing the waters and before continuing their journey west in search...

Cary Fukunaga On 'Beasts Of No Nation,' His Netflix Gamble And The End Of 'True Detective'

The Huffington Post | Matthew Jacobs | October 17, 2015 | Entertainment
Netflix, once again, is disrupting the film industry's predominant business model. "Beasts of No Nation," the first movie to premiere on the streaming service, is now available for your home-viewing pleasure. That decision has angered the country's biggest theater chains, which refuse to screen the...

Google's Massive Book-Scanning Project Is Legal, U.S. Court Rules

Reuters | Alexandra Ma | October 16, 2015 | Technology
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that Google's massive effort to scan millions of books for an online library does not violate copyright law, rejecting claims from a group of authors that the project illegally deprives them of revenue. The 2nd...

Travis Barker Talks About 2008 Plane Crash That Nearly Killed Him

The Huffington Post | Carly Ledbetter | October 16, 2015 | Entertainment
Drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182 can now add "author" to his name. Barker is releasing his memoir, called Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums, on Oct. 20.  In the book, Barker talks about surviving the plane crash he was in during 2008, which killed four...

There’s No Debating The Cuteness Of These #BabiesForBernie

The Huffington Post | Caroline Bologna | October 16, 2015 | Parents
A new social media trend is combining politics, dress-up and sheer cuteness. Using the hashtag #BabiesForBernie, parents have been posting photos of their little ones dressed up as Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders -- complete with glasses, white hair and serious presidential ambitions.  Mom Ashira Siegel launched a Babies for Bernie Facebook group and...

'Scandal' Exposed The Terrifying Abuse Women Face Online

The Huffington Post | Emma Gray | October 16, 2015 | Women
In one two-minute clip, "Scandal" exposed the levels of intense online abuse women in the public eye face. And in true Shonda Rhimes fashion, the show nailed it. As Amanda Hess wrote for Pacific Standard last year, "women aren't welcome on the Internet," and that apparently includes Olivia...

The Romantic Truth Behind This 'Lava Kiss'

The Huffington Post | Carla Herreria | October 19, 2015 | Arts
In 2012, Ed and Dallas Nagata White shared a fiery, passionate kiss under the night rain, surrounded by fields of burning lava. The couple -- a married duo of professional photographers based in Hawaii -- took the photo themselves, uploaded it to the Internet, and set the viral world ablaze, even

The 13 Coolest Celebrity Baby Names

Nameberry | Caroline Bologna | October 16, 2015 | Parents
Cool baby names can range from classic to creative concepts. Here, Nameberry gives its stamp of approval to a group of celebs who have recently nailed it with...

Brie Larson On 'Room,' Finding Roles After 'United States Of Tara' And Vacationing With Amy Poehler

The Huffington Post | Matthew Jacobs | October 16, 2015 | Entertainment
Brie Larson spent so much time with the 8-year-old co-star who plays her son in "Room" that when they weren't together during the shoot, she "felt incapable of not talking about 'Star Wars' and which animal would beat what in a battle." That's among the many...

You've Never Seen A 'Cinderella' Quite Like This Before

Curtis M. Wong | October 16, 2015 | Gay Voices
Company XIV's CINDERELLA (2015) from Company XIV on Vimeo. Move over, Rodgers and Hammerstein: there's a new version of "Cinderella" in town, and this one's not for kids.  Coming off the success of the baroque-burlesque holiday spectacle, "Nutcracker Rouge," choreographer Austin McCormick has brought a similar vision to his take on Charles Perrault's classic rags-to-riches tale for Company XIV, now playing at New York's Minetta Lane Theatre. The "Cinderella" essentials are pretty much intact in his version: mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, an orphan girl (Allison Ulrich) meets a handsome prince (Steven Trumon Gray) at a royal ball. The loss of a glass slipper hunts a village-wide probe before the two live happily ever after.   But McCormick plays fast and loose with the story's specifics, and the results are gleefully naughty. After all, only Company XIV could get away with a "Cinderella" that boasts a boozing, gender-bending stepmother (deliciously played by Davon Rainey), a fairy godmother (Katrina Cunningham) who shares a slightly-more-than-familial embrace with Cinderella and chiseled chorus boys galore. The show's surprises are musical, too, with Patsy Cline, Nicki Minaj and a German-language take on Irving Berlin's "Sisters" incorporated seamlessly into classical selections and even opera.  The most striking visual, appropriately, is when Cinderella and her prince, both clad in G-strings and little else, mount an aerial ring for a sexy, "Cirque du Soleil"-style rendezvous. It may not be the ending you envisioned as a child, but we can safely assume it was a happy one, nonetheless.  Company XIV's "Cinderella" plays at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York through Nov. 15. Head here for more details.       Like |    Follow |   Contact Also on...

That American Apparel Play And Other Off-Broadway Shows To See This Month

Lauren Duca | October 16, 2015 | Arts
Off Broadway plays can get really weird. Like, watermelon-being-smashed-to-bits-on-stage weird. So when the basic Broadway lineup starts to feel tired, it can be difficult to navigate theater options outside of seeing "Wicked" a fourth time. Here to help you avoid being needlessly splattered with fresh fruit, we bring...

3-Year-Old Willow Takes Halloween To The Next Level With Her Amazing Costumes

Caroline Bologna | October 17, 2015 | Parents
For 3-year-old Willow, Halloween costumes aren't just for October 31. In fact, the California toddler likes to dress up every single day of the month. It's a tradition her mom Gina Lee calls "Dress Up Willow Month." A professional photographer, Lee helps Willow put together new costumes and...

Joseph Boyden On Harper, First Nations, The Election, And Canadian Racism

Joshua Ostroff | October 16, 2015 | Canada Politics
"This is not a First Nations problem. I think that some politicians like to say it's their problem not ours, but this a Canadian problem."

'Hoodie Monks' Use Hip Hop To Impart Buddhist Wisdom

Antonia Blumberg | October 17, 2015 | Religion
What if the chants emanating from a Buddhist temple were actually rap lyrics and the intricate mandalas were actually graffiti? That's how Gomyo, an American Buddhist priest living in Japan, envisions the future of his faith. Born Kevin Seperic, Gomyo began rapping in the 1990s and got introduced to Buddhism when he...
All posts from 10.16.2015 < 10.15.2015