Herman Melville, social media and saving lives at sea

Well I’m not sure how I missed this video but surprises are good and this one made my day today. :-)

Link to the Amver post with the Herman Melville passage mentioned above.

Ben Strong leads the US Coast Guard’s Amver (Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System) unit.  Amver has been saving lives since 1958 and their blog tells their great story. Make sure you check it out.

I interviewed Ben about Amver and other topics on Messing About In Ships podcast episode 36 ; make sure you listen to this too.

Not only does Ben lead Amver but he’s also on the leading edge of using social media in the maritime world and government sector. The above video is a great example of how Ben experiments with new communication tools. This must make his ultimate boss happy because when I interviewed USCG Commandant Admiral Thad Allen for the Weekly Leader podcast episode 5 he shared his thoughts about the United States Coast Guard’s commitment to using new technology in advancing their mission.

So, thanks Ben for the kind words about the Sea-Fever blog and the leadership work we do and Happy Belated Birthday to Herman Melville!

Moby Monday – Have a Whale of a Dickmas

About as much fun as you can have on a whaleshipBreak out the dromedary meat and flip—Dickmas-time is here again! This Saturday, August 1, would have been Herman Melville’s 190th birthday, and ’tis the season to exchange Moby-Dick-themed gifts and re-create the gam feast (basically, a floating party) described in the book’s Chapter 101. The feast features not only “beef” of questionable origin and the alcoholic brew called flip, but “indestructible” dumplings and bread containing “fresh fare”—that is to say, bugs. Yum!

But if you fancy yourself a more modern fan, or simply can’t get your hands on (or your mind around) the gam feast food, there are plenty of other ways to mark the occasion.

D. Graham Burnett, author of Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature, delivers the Melville Society Cultural Project’s Melville Birthday Lecture at the New Bedford Whaling Museum at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 30.

At Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, a Moby-Dick reading marathon aboard the Charles W. Morgan—the world’s last surviving wooden whaleship—kicks off Sea Story Weekend at noon on Friday, July 31. A highlight comes at noon on Saturday, August 1, when singer-songwriter Patrick Shea performs tunes from his song-a-chapter project, Call Me Ishmael.

In Staten Island, the community performance group Staten Island OutLOUD will hold an outdoor reading from Moby-Dick at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 1. The event includes music from the Staten Island Philharmonic Orchestra.

And Arrowhead, the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, house where Melville wrote Moby-Dick, is hosting a Melville’s birthday ice cream social featuring live music and antique croquet from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 1. (If you go to this one, ask Arrowhead why their website’s cobwebby “Other Melville Resources” page doesn’t link to Power Moby-Dick.)

If you’re hosting a Dickmas event you’d like to publicize—or you’d just like to share your own Melville’s-birthday traditions—tell us about it in the comments. Here’s to a splendiferous Dickmas!

Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

Thar She Blows! Moby-Monday on the Horizon.

Logo illustration by Rockwell Kent copyright 2005 by the Plattsburgh State Art Museum.

You should have read Herman Melville’s classic American novel Moby-Dick in high school but chances are you didn’t. The dog might have eaten it or you might have left it behind on the school bus.  Heck, there’s lots of pages with lots of tricky nautical lingo and arcane whaling info. Who has time or interest for that in high school!

Well, now you’re a little older and a whole lot wiser and reading Moby-Dick, while still daunting, might be more interesting and manageable. But you are still going to encounter those tricky words and that’s where PowerMobyDick.com comes to the rescue.

PowerMobyDick is the work of Meg Guroff, a writer, who decided to tackle Melville’s classic. Meg, like the rest of us, was challenged by the language; however, unlike many of us me, she persevered and ultimately created one of the most impressive resources dedicated to a single work of fiction on the Internet. It’s an amazing project and here’s Meg telling the story in her own words.

Download MP3

I am so excited that Meg will be skippering a new Sea-Fever feature called Moby-Monday which you probably already guessed, is going to appear each Monday.  Meg is going to share some items of interest from the PowerMobyDick’s Cultural Fallout of the Week as well as anything else she chooses.

I’m excited to welcome Meg aboard and look forward to her first post next week. In the meantime, get yourself over to PowerMobyDick and start catching up on your high school homework!

Moby Monday: Frank Stella and Herman Melville

image

The Grand Rapids Museum of Art currently has an exhibition of a modern master who get inspiration from a literary classic: MOBY-DICK: Frank Stella and Herman Melville.

If you have never experienced Frank Stella’s monumental artworks you are missing out. His large three dimensional paintings/sculptures on twisted metal (stainless steel) in vivid colors are some of my favorite works of art.

From the Grand Rapids website:

From 1985 to 1997, leading American painter and printmaker, Frank Stella, created a major series of works linked to Melville’s classic Moby-Dick. He created one or more works for each of the novel’s 135 chapters. The completed series consists of 266 pieces: large metal reliefs, monumental sculptures, a mural, and an extended series of mixed-media prints.  The series that Stella named for Melville’s novel is his greatest sustained achievement in four decades of making art.

The exhibition MOBY-DICK: Frank Stella and Herman Melville brings together more than thirty monumental printed works from Stella’s series, including his definitive masterpiece, The Fountain. Twenty-four feet in length, The Fountain is Stella’s largest and most complex work on paper. The woodblocks with metal inlay plates for The Fountain are included in the exhibition on loan from The National Gallery of Australia. A preamble to the exhibition includes a group of Rockwell Kent’s ink-drawings for Moby-Dick and the original Lakeside edition of the book.

You can download the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s audiotour of the exhibition from the museum’s website and view a short video interview with the artist on Blip.tv.

Share this post :

Moby-Dick Mash-Up (Melville/Huston/Zeppelin)

Triple classic! Great mashup of Melville story, Huston film and Zeppelin music.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfK_AMiFaKQ]
YouTube – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

Share this post :

New Bedford Port Society – Helping Mariners and Preserving Our History

In this same New Bedford there stands a Whaleman’s Chapel, and few are the moody fishermen, shortly bound for the Indian Ocean or Pacific, who fail to make a Sunday visit to the spot.” – Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville 1851

Phil-looking-presidentialYesterday my cousin Phil was elected president of the New Bedford Port Society at the Annual General Meeting. He’s a good guy who will bring some new energy to this 179 year old organization. I was also accepted as a member and look forward to helping any way I can.

The New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park website:

During the years 1828 – 1829 when the whaling industry of New Bedford was at its height, a number of the city’s leading citizens gave their deep consideration to the “character building” of nearly five thousand seamen employed out of this port. Accordingly, on June 2, 1830 they organized under the title of the New Bedford Port Society, for the moral improvement of seamen and later became incorporated under the following act: An Act To Incorporate The New Bedford Port Society For The Moral Improvement Of Seamen.

Across the street from the great New Bedford Whaling Museum, the New Bedford Port Society is responsible for 2 very important historic buildings located in the heart of the National Park: Seamen’s Bethel and The Mariner’s Home.

Continue reading New Bedford Port Society – Helping Mariners and Preserving Our History