Friday, January 23, 2009

Who'd a thunk it?

Another new section here. This will be snippets that really require no commentary from me, but are note-worthy enough for me to share:
Quartet pre-recorded Obama music
Itzhak Perlman, left, and Yo-Yo Ma at US President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony on 20 January, 2009
Organisers said the recording was used as a last resort

Millions watching the US presidential inauguration heard a recording made in advance by four famous musicians - amid fears the cold could ruin the concert.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriella Montero and clarinettist Anthony McGill did play along - but without being amplified.

Organisers said a late decision to use a recording was made over fears frozen weather could damage instruments.

The version heard around the world was recorded two days earlier, they said.

The musicians, playing John Williams' Air and Simple Gifts, "were very insistent on playing live until it became clear that it would be too cold", said Carole Florman, a spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

She said the cold weather could have caused strings to snap, and instruments to crack or go out of tune.

'Not Milli Vanilli'...

For the rest of this "bit," go to the BBC here.

And then there is this:

AP, Reuters, AFP Refuse to Distribute Obama White House Photo

Thursday, January 22, 2009 12:30 AM

NEW YORK -- Three news agencies refused to distribute White House-provided photos of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Wednesday, arguing that access should have been provided to news photographers.

The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse said the White House was breaking with long-standing tradition in not allowing news photographers to capture the president at work in the Oval Office on his first day.

"We are not distributing what are, in effect, visual press releases," said Michael Oreskes, managing editor for U.S. news at the AP.

The news agencies have used White House-provided images in the past for areas in the White House where media access is generally not permitted, such as the Situation Room or the private residence. But they contend that the Oval Office is the public office of the president and photographers should have access rather than rely on a government handout.

"Using these photos would be a major break with established precedent and...

For the rest of this one, go here. Can you see me biting my tongue here? I am.

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