Musiquarium Apr 17 2012
BATTING AROUND
What do a record turntable and the internet have in common? We haven't got either.


Above is the front cover of a Japanese sonosheet, which is basically a thin, flexible record, housed in a booklet of colorful art, and usually dealing with popular shows of the 1960s and 1970s. This one is for Batman, obviously, and like most sonosheets it features theme music. At least, we assume so. We're digital people, so we aren't sure what's on this, exactly, since our last turntable went to the Goodwill in 1998 along with some Teva sandals and a stinky old money belt. We don't miss latter two items, but we wouldn't mind having the turntable back. Anyway, the art on this is kind of interesting, so we thought we'd post it even if we can't listen to it. It was painted by I. Hiroyazu, whose name is new to us.

And speaking of vintage technology, our internet junta has just told us they never recieved our fax for a new line (can you believe they still do shit by fax here?). We've called every other day for two weeks to make sure they got it, and been told they wouldn't know for fifteen working days because it's not their department. Time was up yesterday, and quelle fucking surprise, they say they never got the fax, even though we have a fax reciept. So they lost or tossed the fax, reciepts are basically just scrap paper, and we're back to square one—we have to send a fax and wait fifteen working days.

Not to go on a rant, but streamlined telecommunications is a big help in stabilizing a struggling country's GDP. After all, even if people who actually live here have no choice about these matters, people who do business internationally cartainly have the option not to choose certain countries. We're not going to say outright where we are, or what company we're dealing with, because, well, you know how those things go. But for those who know where we're located, we'll just say that, yes, there is so much about this country that is wonderful and which we'd never give up (the people, the wine, the festivals, the food), but when it comes to efficiency and service in telecommunications—no contest. The Yanks beat this place like a maid beats a dusty rug. Sonosheet scans below.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 23
1942—Battle of Stalingrad Begins
The Battle of Stalingrad, perhaps the most pivotal event of World War II, begins. It lasts for more than six months, spread across the brutal Russian winter, and ends with two million casualties. The Russian sacrifice reduces the powerful German army to a shell of its former self, and as a result Nazi defeat in the war becomes a simple matter of time.
1979—Alexander Gudonov Defects
Russian ballet dancer and actor Alexander Borisovich Godunov defects to the U.S. The event causes an international diplomatic crisis, but Gudonov manages to win asylum. He joins the famous American Ballet Theater, where he becomes a colleague of fellow-defector Mikhail Baryshnikov, and later earns roles in such Hollywood films as Witness and Die Hard.
August 22
1950—Althea Gibson Breaks the Color Barrier
Althea Gibson becomes the first African-American woman to compete on the World Tennis Tour, and the first to earn a Grand Slam title when she wins the French Open in 1956. Later she becomes the first African-American woman to compete in the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
1952—Devil's Island Closed
Devil's Island, the penal colony located off the coast of French Guiana, is permanently closed. The prison is later made world famous by Henri Charrière's bestselling novel Papillon, and the subsequent film starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
1962—De Gaulle Survives Assassination Attempt
Jean Bastien-Thiry, a French air weaponry engineer, attempts to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle to prevent Algerian independence. Bastien-Thiry and others attack de Gaulle's armored limousine with machine guns, but after expending hundreds of rounds, they succeed only in puncturing two tires.
August 21
1911—Mona Lisa Disappears
Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, aka La Gioconda, is stolen from the Louvre. After many wild theories and false leads, it turns out the painting was snatched by museum employee Vincenzo Peruggia.
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