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It’s About (Danged) Time: Lizzo at the Library! | Library of Congress Blog

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Lizzo checks the sheet music while playing one of the LIbrary’s flutes. Photo: Shawn Miller.

It all started with a tweet.

Last Friday, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden saw that the one and only Lizzo was coming to D.C. for a concert. The pop megastar is a classically trained flautist. The Library has the world’s largest flute collection.

Taking to Twitter, the Librarian played matchmaker, tagging Lizzo in a tweet about the world-class flutes.

“Like your song,” she tweeted, “they are ‘Good as hell.’ ”

One of about 1,700 flutes in the collection, she teased, is the crystal flute made for President James Madison by Claude Laurent — a priceless instrument that Dolley Madison rescued from the White House in April 1814 as the British entered Washington, DC during the War of 1812.. Might she want to drop by and play a few bars?

Lizzo did a hair toss, checked her nails and took to Twitter herself. The 34-year-old has been training on the flute since she was a child. As a college student, she played in the University of Houston marching band. She even performed online with the New York Philharmonic orchestra during the pandemic.

“IM COMING CARLA! AND I’M PLAYIN THAT CRYSTAL FLUTE!!!!!” she tweeted the next day.

She pulled up to the Library on Monday. Hayden and the Music Division staff ushered her into the flute vault, giving her a tour of the highlights. It’s quite the sight. The main body of Library’s collection was donated in 1941 by Dayton C. Miller, a renowned physicist, astronomer and ardent collector of flutes who was intrigued by their acoustics. His collection includes a walking stick flute, which may now be on Lizzo’s wish list for the holidays.

Now. About that crystal flute.

Laurent was a French craftsman, a clockmaker by trade, who was born in the late 18th century. He took an interest in flutes as a pastime. He patented a leaded glass flute in 1806. Most flutes at the time were made of wood or ivory, but Laurent’s glass invention held its pitch and tone better during changes in temperature and humidity. They were popular for a few decades, but he was almost alone in making them and they faded from popularity after flutes began to be made of metal in the mid-19th century. Today, only 185 of his glass flutes are known to survive, and his crystal flutes are even rarer. The Library holds 17 Laurent flutes, by far the largest collection in the world.

They were near the height of their popularity when Laurent sent a particularly elegant crystal flute to President Madison upon the occasion of his second inauguration. Its silver joint is engraved with Madison’s name, title and the year of its manufacture — 1813. It’s not clear if Madison did much with the flute other than admire it, but it became a family heirloom and an artifact of the era.

President James Madison’s crystal flute, engraved with his name and the year it was made — 1813. Photo: Library of Congress.

Before Lizzo arrived, the Library’s curators in the Music Division made sure that it could be played safely and without damage. This sort of thing is not as unusual as it might sound. Many of the Library’s priceless instruments are played every now and again, even the five stringed instruments by Antonio Stradivari. Those, in fact, were given to the Library by Gertrude Clarke Whittall with the stipulation that they should be played from time to time. Music fans can hear the Library’s Stradivari and some of our other classic instruments — the 1654 Nicolò Amati violin and Wanda Landowska’s Challis clavichord — during the fall 2022 Concert Series.

So, Monday. Our two stars meet cute.

Lizzo reverently took Madison’s crystal flute in hand and blew a few notes. This isn’t easy, as the instrument is more than 200 years old. She blew a few more when she was in the Great Hall and Main Reading Room. Then, reaching for a more practical flute from the collection, she serenaded employees and a few researchers. It filled the space with music as sublime as the art and architecture.

Cameras snapped and video rolled. For your friendly national library, this was a perfect moment to show a new generation how we preserve the country’s rich cultural heritage. The Library’s vision is that all Americans are connected to our holdings. We want people to see them.

Lizzo with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in the Library’s flute vault. Photo by Shawn Miller

So when Lizzo asked if she could play the flute at her Tuesday concert in front of thousands of fans, the Library’s collection, preservation and security teams were up the challenge. When an item this valuable leaves any museum or library, for loan or display in an exhibition, preservation and security are the priorities. At the Library, curators ensure that the item can be transported in a customized protective container and a Library curator and security officer are always guarding the item until it is secured once more.

For obvious reasons, we don’t say much more about security in public. But when the Library sent Thomas Jefferson’s Koran to the World Expo in Dubai last year, conservation, preservation and strict environmental requirements were enforced. The Library and the State Department executed a plan to transport and securely display the Koran. A Library professional with experience preserving and maintaining the security of important cultural items accompanied the Koran at every step.

The same sort of security was in place for the Madison flute to rejoin Lizzo onstage at Capitol One Arena. When Library curator Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford walked the instrument onstage and handed it to Lizzo to a roar of applause, it was just the last, most visible step of our security package. This work by a team of backstage professionals enabled an enraptured audience to learn about the Library’s treasures in an exciting way.

As some of y’all may know I got invited to the Library of Congress,” Lizzo said, after placing her own flute (named Sasha Flute) down on its sparkling pedestal, which had emerged minutes earlier from the center of the stage. Following the aforementioned, highly popular Twitter exchange between Lizzo the Librarian of Congress, the crowd knew what was coming.

“I want everybody to make some noise for James Madison’s crystal flute, y’all!” They made more noise than the instrument, having been at the Library for 81 years, has been exposed to in quite some time. Maybe ever.

She took it gingerly from Ward-Bamford’s hands, walked over to the mic and admitted: “I’m scared.” She also urged the crowd to be patient. “It’s crystal, it’s like playing out of a wine glass!”

Lizzo played just a few notes on the flute, “trilling” the instrument, but she threw her signature twerk into the short performance, sending the audience into a fresh frenzy.

“We just made history tonight!” she exclaimed. “Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history and making history freaking cool! History is freaking cool you guys!”

And now, thanks to Lizzo, it’s just that much cooler.

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Spoyl
6 days ago
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jlvanderzwan
5 days ago
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> “I want everybody to make some noise for James Madison’s crystal flute, y’all!” They made more noise than the instrument, having been at the Library for 81 years, has been exposed to in quite some time. Maybe ever.

I didn't know I needed to read this sentence today, but I did
acdha
6 days ago
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“The Library’s vision is that all Americans are connected to our holdings. We want people to see them.”
Washington, DC

Where to store your 1Password Emergency Kit

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Where to store your 1Password Emergency Kit

In case of emergency – that is, forgetting your login for 1Password, or someone else needing to get in – the 1Password Emergency Kit can truly save the day. This short and sweet document keeps all the necessary details for getting into your account in one place. But you shouldn’t need to break glass to retrieve it (which is a huge pain to clean up, not to mention dangerous). Here’s how to keep your Emergency Kit both safe and accessible.

What is the Emergency Kit

We’re not talking about a flashlight and a pocket knife. The 1Password Emergency Kit is a simple document that you should know about and look after if you use 1Password to store your passwords and other sensitive details or documents.

Here’s why: To best protect your secrets, every item you save in 1Password is fully encrypted. Your account password and a randomly generated Secret Key are both required to decrypt your data – and only you have the Secret Key. That means we couldn’t look at your passwords if we tried – nor could an attacker. This approach to encryption is great for security, but it also means that if you ever forget your account password, our Support team can’t access it for you.

The Emergency Kit groups your account info – including your Secret Key – on a downloadable and printable one-page PDF. It also includes the email address used to create your 1Password account and an optional space to fill in your account password. If you get locked out or want to grant somebody else access to your account, the Kit will come in handy.

It’s an important document that every 1Password user should know about and protect. Download a copy now if you haven’t already, then figure out the best place to store it.

There’s no right answer

Now then: Where do you keep this thing, once you download it? The truth is there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But we do have a few tips that you should keep in mind.

You’ll want to keep your Emergency Kit in a place that’s secure, but also convenient and retrievable for you or the people who may need access to your account. Burying it on a desert island, then, is less than ideal. But so is hanging it up on the lunchroom’s bulletin board. You have to strike a balance that factors in your personal circumstances, how many copies you might want out there, and what simply feels right.

Here are a few ways to consider storing your 1Password Emergency Kit so it’s both safe and accessible.

Physical storage

Remember printers? (For younger readers, you may have seen one in a tech museum next to floppy disks and the Atari 2600.) You can use a printer at home or at a local print shop or library to create a physical copy of your Emergency Kit, which fits neatly on a single page. Multiple copies are also an option, especially if you travel often or want a distant loved one to have access.

You could keep a printed version of your Emergency Kit in:

  • A fire-resistant safe, tucked away in your home or one that a friend or family member lives in. Just be sure to keep the key or combination in a safe, private place.
  • A locked drawer, with a key that’s always on you or the person who you want to have emergency access.
  • A safety deposit or bank deposit box. You can keep the key for this box on a personal keychain. You could also leave an extra key in your will for a loved one. These boxes do present an added risk of tampering or theft, so keep that in mind if you choose this option.
  • Your will, as an attachment and with your preferred recipient or recipients clearly indicated.
  • The hands of your spouse or a family member, with instructions on when and how to use it if they ever need to access your 1Password account. Make sure they know to keep it protected themselves, and not out in the open!

Keep in mind that if you use the optional space to write your account password on a printed Emergency Kit, it’s an added vulnerability if someone gets hold of the document. If you decide to print multiple copies of the Kit, you might want to fill in the password on those you plan to keep in more secure locations, and leave it off elsewhere. You can always cut off the part with your account password and keep it in your wallet or somewhere else, to keep the information separate!

Digital storage

If you want to save the trees, or just prefer a paperless lifestyle, you can stick with a digital copy or copies.

After you’ve registered your 1Password account, you can download the Emergency Kit file and store it in one of several places for when you or your loved ones need it.

You might want to consider:

  • An encrypted USB drive kept on a keychain or in a bag or wallet that’s with you at all times. It may be best to have two different USB drives, in case one crashes, breaks, or is lost.
  • A folder stored in a cloud-based storage service such as Google Drive, that only you and potentially your selected loved ones can access. Remember that cloud storage does have the added risk of a potential cyber attack, if someone breaches the associated email address or other logins.
  • A password-protected folder on your desktop. You’ll need a password you can remember outside of 1Password to keep this protected – try a memorable password that uses a few unrelated words strung together!

A combination of the two

As the saying goes, ¿por que no los dos?

When you receive access to your 1Password Emergency Kit, you could make multiple copies and store them in both physical and digital locations. Just keep in mind the specific risks or disadvantages of each.

It’s up to you

There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s. And there’s no single, 1Password-recommended place to store your Emergency Kit. Keep it safe but bear in mind that it will do you no good if you – or your loved ones, when necessary – can’t access it in some way.

Consider your personal circumstances and the options at your disposal. Think about the security risks associated with each location and what you’re willing – or not willing – to compromise. Once you’ve considered everything, pick the storage plan that works best for you.

Once you’ve safely stored your Emergency Kit, plan out some routine checks so that you know it’s still secure and accessible, accounting for potentially corrupted files or wear and tear on a paper copy. And don’t hesitate to change locations if you rethink your preferences, your circumstances change, or you decide a location is no longer appropriate.

Read our beginner's guide to cybersecurity

Want to learn more about how to stay safe online? Read our beginner’s guide to cybersecurity, which covers passwords, software, hardware, connectivity, and more!

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Spoyl
153 days ago
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DMack
158 days ago
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I'm proud of the james bond-style places I've hidden my recovery key
Victoria, BC
fxer
158 days ago
I’m proud of the gary busey-style places I’ve hidden my recovery key

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deathtoskinnyjeans:A Twitter Thread from David Bowles: [Text transcript at the e...

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deathtoskinnyjeans:

A Twitter Thread from David Bowles:

[Text transcript at the end of the screenshots]

I’ll let you in on a secret. I have a doctorate in education, but the field’s basically just a 100 years old. We don’t really know what we’re doing. Our scholarly understanding of how learning happens is like astronomy 2000 years ago.

Most classroom practice is astrology.

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Spoyl
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French games used to be weird

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A rotund cartoon Frenchman with a big red nose and bottles of wine behind him.
Image: Froggy Software via Polygon

In the ’80s in France, adventure games were king

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