I love black licorice and foods in general that are black. So when I saw that they had salty licorice ice cream in Sweden, or "saltlakrits" as its called, I had to try it. Definitely not for everyone, but I love it.
This weekend, August 2-5, progressive activists, bloggers,
and politicians from all over the country (and the world) will be gathering in
Chicago for the Yearly Kos convention. Joining them will be all the major Democratic
Presidential candidates, as well as Democratic party leaders, so you know its going to be quite the shindig. If like me you can't get to Chicago, you can still crack open that laptop and teleport in via Second Life.
The Kosians will be streaming keynotes and letting you attending breakout sessions virtually. The organizers have arranged for hospitality suites, an exhibit hall,
dancing, and meet-and-greet areas, so pack those virtual calling cards. You can see the full convention schedule at
This visitor programme is intended for Civil Society Practitioners of distinction or outstanding promise who wish to visit the Institute for a period of six weeks between February and December 2008, to undertake research concerning the social impact of the Internet and related ICTs. Visitors are expected to reside in Oxford during their stay, and to participate fully in the intellectual life of the Institute.
Program participants receive a subsistence allowance of 3800 GBP (7500 USD) to cover research expenses and living costs during their stay in Oxford and a travel grant of up to 1000 GBP (2000 USD) for travel to and from the UK. Applications should be submitted by "Civil Society Practitioners in or from the global South," active in the areas of freedom of expression, media reform, media justice, and communications and information policy.
Catching up on correspondence after my trip, I saw this message from my friends at Global Kids that they are hiring a new "YouthVentures Program Manager". Here's how they describe it:
groups of teens to develop social enterprises. A social entrepreneur is someone
who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize,
create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas business
entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, social
entrepreneurs assess their success in terms of the impact they have on society.
The specific focus of these YouthVenture teams will be health and issues related
to health care. The location where teams will be recruited and trained is within
Teen Second Life, the 3D virtual world for 13-17 year olds.
Sounds like a really interesting position for someone who likes working with young people and digital media. The full description from Global Kids follows...
Back in States now, getting ready to go back to "real life" after my adventures at the Herrang Dance Camp. It's hard to sum up the experience of being crammed together with 800 crazy lindy hoppers for nine days in a tiny town in Sweden.
On my last morning in Herrang, I strolled through the main school area. Dancers from a dozen countries said "good morning" to me. You could hear the clickety-clack of a tap class getting started in one of the outdoor classrooms. Dishevelled campers in the tent area were chatting and stretching out. A small group was practicing aerials on the lawn. The smell of strong coffee and banana bread summoned sleepy swingers to the Ice Cream Parlor.
Just the start of a normal, magical day at Camp Herrang.
The final evening of dance camp is always a
costume party with some kind of theme. This being the 25th
anniversary of the camp, the theme was simply to dress in outlandish fashion,
which lots of dancers gladly did. I
loved how several dancers were dressed as different lindy hop moves, from the
Texas Tommy to Peckin to Rock Step. (I’m
definitely going to dress as Rusty Dusty some year.)
I’m spending a couple of days in Stockholm
with my friend Tomo, recovering from Herrang. Here are some pointers from me that might help your Herrang experience
be more enjoyable and stress-free:
I’m not talking about your body (although it’s important to stretch out before
and after dancing.) I mean, the dance
camp is run fairly laxly and idiosyncratically. Things may not happen with the
efficiency and speed that one might imagine from a Swedish-organized
event. Your deluxe accommodations with a
private bathroom that you reserved might turn out to be a trailer next to an
outdoor shower that you are sharing with six people. Lots of things -- from meals to registration
to getting into the Daily Meeting -- involve standing in a long line. Chat with your neighbor and enbrace the
The Herrang book signing for Frankie Manning’s autobiography Ambassador of Lindy Hop finished at around 3:30PM, only an hour after it was scheduled to complete today. Reportedly, the Herrang camp sold more than 700 books, with several campers buying more than one copy to take back home with them. Frankie, ever the gentleman, would not turn anyone away who waited to get their book signed.
Not surprisingly, I’ve gotten a bit sick here at Herrang Dance Camp. Really it’s a perfect breeding ground for airborne and skinborne viruses, since we spend a lot of time in close quarters, dance holding hands with tens of strangers, and get no sleep. It doesn’t help that people who are sick selfishly go out dancing and infect others.
The camp organizers have installed hand sanitizers outside of most of the dance halls and classrooms. But in closed dance position, you are touching, well, more than your partner’s hands.
Otherwise, I’m having a fabulous time at camp. Steven Mitchell and Virginie Jensen taught a really fun class this morning on dancing with more bounce and groove. Virginie always yells at me for not bouncing enough, which is really appreciated.
Spuds and I did some more taping of our Yehoodi Talk Show, getting some good footage of the Folkets Hus, the Kuugen convenience store, the camping area, and the ice cream shop. It’s a lot of fun just running around the camp with the camera and grabbing people and putting them in front of it. Luckily I’m not editing the hours of footage that we’re shooting.
Tonight is the camp cabaret, where anyone can put on a three minute act, whether its singing, magic, a skit, or whatever. My friends Spuds and Tomo are putting on a little Japanese dance. I can’t imagine anyone else will understand it, but I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully I''ll be conscious for it.
Last night was “Blues Night” at Camp Herrang. A killer band from
Stockholm came in, the Family Carling band, playing live blues music.
They played some solid sets for the dancers that kept the floor packed
I did have a bit of a problem with how people were dancing to the
blues. The blues is slow, drawn out, laid back, sensuous music. Lots
of people were dancing in my opinion much too frenetically and with
little attention to the actual music being performed for them. How to
dance to the blues is a subject of some debate in the swing community,
as you can see on several threads on Yehoodi’s discussion boards.
I am not one of those that thinks of “Blues Dancing” as a defined
thing with a set of canonical movements. But dancing to the blues,
like dancing to any music, is about responding to what’s happening in
the song with your body. I saw a lot of dancers throwing in moves and
figures in very weird places, out of sync to the music. In general, I
saw people moving too much and too big.
For me, you can’t dance blues slow enough. I don’t dance it
particularly well, but I do try and feel where my partner’s body is at
and match her weight and rhythm. If she’s on top of the beat I try and
slow her down. If she’s dancing “up” and try and get her to dance
“down.” Nothing fancy, just smooth swaying mostly.
As Duke Ellington said, “don’t push it, just let it fall.”