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In Brief: Submerged Cathedral Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • A valley flooded by the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Venezuela has reappeared as the water has receded due to a severe drought and, perhaps, global warming. A church that disappeared under the waters of the reservoir gradually emerged from the receding lake. Surely the soundtrack behind this sequence of pictures should be Debussy's La cathédrale engloutie. [National Geographic]

  • Congratulations to Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker, for being invited to address the Royal Philharmonic Society in London this week. Everyone is talking about what he said there. [Royal Philharmonic Society]

  • Two obscure but, by the sound of it, fascinating exhibits at the Folger Shakespeare Library seem well worth a visit. [Philip Kennicott]

  • There is an exhibit of unusual Mochica ceramics at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, images of dream encounters between this world and the next, all frankly sexual and somewhat bizarre. Even though this is pre-Columbian art, the images are probably NSFW. [Lunettes Rouges]

  • The programming idea behind this week's "circus concerts" with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was enough to make me cringe. Then I saw the corny advertisements with Marin Alsop dressed as the ringmaster. Poor Tim Smith actually had to sit through the concert -- and liked it. [Baltimore Sun]

  • The cause for beatification has been launched in Chicago for Fr. Augustus Tolton (1854-1897), who although he was born a slave became the first African-American ordained as a Catholic priest, in the diocese of Quincy, Illinois, in 1886. [Whispers in the Loggia]

  • Maurizio Pollini is shown in an advertisement for some "Chopin at 200" concert in London -- what is he doing with his hands? Lighting a cigarette that has been Photoshopped out of the picture? Shocking! [Intermezzo]

  • On a related note, Astrid De Larminat considers writers who were inspired by smoking, while even in France the witch hunt against even moderate smoking continues apace. [Le Figaro]

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