Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Top Ten Tuesday

DSCN4597 Spring in the desert! In fact, it is almost summer – 91 today, and I think we will break down and put the air conditioner on for a bit this afternoon. Went through Saguaro National Park on Sunday tosee the cactus in bloom – always a treat this time of year. I still have lots in the bookmarks for cool stuff on line. So sit back and enjoy!

Hubby and I have always been a fan of Roy Orbison, and he especially of k.d. lang, so here’s the two combined.

I loved this next site, especially since we are planning to move back to Vermont in about a year. New England towns – they sure are gorgeous!

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I am not a tattoo person – never have been, but I certainly can recognize art when I see it – even if it is a little creepy……

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Swinging hits new heights (sorry, couldn’t resist), but an interesting take on cooperativeness.

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Subway art in Sweden – makes transportation into an art experience.

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Water sheets in space – – an experiment on the space station.

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Some untold stories of World War II:

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Seriously LOVE the Fibonacci numbers…..check this out!


Incredible pics of icebergs – they’re actually paintings….. Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 2.18.13 PM

And finally, the utmost in recycling – twist-tie toys!

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Watergate to the Tune of 12 Days of Christmas…..

Bet you’re wondering about that title………so I’m finishing up tutoring for this semester, and my tutoring student is working on reviewing for his U.S. history class. We’ve been trying different strategies to remember sequences of events, so this one involves setting events to music. This works for me, as I still remember many of my Latin rules because I set them to the theme from Exodus way back when…..

Now yes, there are places where I am stretching this, but generally the words work to the tune. The really scary piece is that I like doing this kind of thing…..

And now, for your listening and reading pleasure….(you can’t help but try and fit it to the song….)

Watergate (to the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas)

For the first fact of Watergate

A group of men broke in

to a hotel and the DNC office.


All the plumbers wanted to know

About the Democrats

But they left a piece of tape and got caught.


They were charged with burglary

and didn’t get anything

but had their White House passes.


For the second fact of Watergate

Richard Nixon/Tricky Dick

Was a mean-spirited visionary statesman.


For the third fact of Watergate

Ole Nixon hated liberals

with a nonviolent political violence.


For the fourth fact of Watergate

Audio tapes were normal

But Nixon used them 24/7


They were voice-activated

wanted to keep his tales

because of executive privilege


For the group of plumbers,

Liddy, Hunt and Erlichman

they had to plug up the leaks.


This group of plumbers

was very anti-communist

Went after Daniel Ellsberg


Broke into the psych office

Ellsberg he did take

the Pentagon Papers and released them.


For the next fact of Watergate

Ole Nixon erased the tapes

18 minutes but not the smoking gun.


As the months and years went on

Nixon tried to use the CIA

to force the FBI to stop after him.


For the hush money Nixon paid

to the plumbers

Dean blew the whistle on the tapes.


The burglars took the fall but

on April 23

Nixon fired a bunch of people.


For the next fact of Watergate

A.G. Richardson created prosecution

led by Archibald Cox.


For the next fact of Watergate

there was a constitutional crisis

leading to the Saturday Night massacre.


Nixon fired Rich and Cox

in October 73

but then resigned cause he couldn’t win


The Senate vote for impeachment

So Nixon flew away

Without support to let him off the hook.


thus endeth the saga of Watergate….I would LOVE to know any changes you would make!!


Top Ten Tuesday – NEW Blogs!

Well, over the last two weeks, as I have been getting more heavily into marketing, I’;ve discovered a BUNCH of great new blogs. So here goes:

More Design Please – great ideas! I’m seeing some great ideas – would love to do some serious purchasing…..Love these lasercut lamps!

 Another blog called Observatory Mansions – an ongoing discovery of all that is visual yet more than just visual (from the site) –

Ball Droppings – hours of fun, and be sure to have the sound on! The picture does not do it justice!

Mood music at your fingertips….StereoMood – just a small piece of moods!

From StumbleUpon I found this interesting article  Amazingly Creative Drawing vs. Photography. My art taecher friends tell me this is similar to a drawing exercise they have students do in finishing a photography. In a class with Lyric Kinard, we needed to extend the color on a postcard – very interesting attention to details!

Loads of tutorials and DIY projects at Craft Gossip:

Another cool DIY blog – 20 Awesome Do It Yourself Projects

25 Spectacular Movies You Probably Haven’t Seen – I think I’ve seen two on this list, but the Netflix queue is going to be filling up. Interesting plots……The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is one I’ve seen – A.MA.ZING. movie…..

Some pretty amazing paper sculpture – here’s Calvin’s Behance site.

While Banned Books Week has ended, I’m getting caught up with Letters of Note, and this is a marvelous letter by Pat Conroy concerning the banning of two of his books. Well stated, quite eloquent. If you don’t like a book, then don’t read it, but stay away from telling me what I can read myself.

Have a great week – let me know cool stuff that you find on line!

Why Artists Do What They Do

My morning routine  is a very comforting one, as I love staying in touch and surfing the web. Mail, then the local paper, check Google analytics to see my blog numbers, then to Facebook, and then Google Reader. this morning I made it through about four updates on Facebook when I saw a note from a friend of a friend of a friend with a pretty amazing look at the power of music. This is the Welcome Address by Karl Paulnack at The Boston Conservatory. This speaks to the soul of all artists, especially musicians.

The first couple of sentences grabbed me…..

“One of my parents’ deepest fears, I suspect, is that society would not properly value me as a musician, that I wouldn’t be appreciated. I had very good grades in high school, I was good in science and math, and they imagined that as a doctor or a research chemist or an engineer, I might be more appreciated than I would be as a musician.”

I can remember very early in high school suggesting that I might want to go to art school. That was unacceptable to my parents, as I wouldn’t be able to make a living in art. I think many of our parents felt that way about the fields their children would pursue. In one of my jobs, at a high school in Vermont, I had a brilliant cellist whose parents wanted him to become an engineer. I remember telling him he needed to follow his heart and do what would fulfill him. At my last high school, I saw a brilliant visual artist and all-around outstanding science student (international winner in a major science competition), choose art school rather than Yale. Two sides of a coin.

There’s more to this piece by Paulnack.  He talks about some history of the definition of music.

“One of the first cultures to articulate how music really works were the ancient Greeks. And this is going to fascinate you: the Greeks said that music and astronomy were two sides of the same coin. Astronomy was seen as the study of relationships between observable, permanent, external objects, and music was seen as the study of relationships between invisible, internal, hidden objects. Music has a way of finding the big, invisible moving pieces inside our hearts and souls and helping us figure out the position of things inside us.”

I can be awed by the pictures from the Hubble Telescope, but I can cry at the power of music. And I fully agree with his examples of moments in movies where the music is what made the scene. For me, one of my favorites is in Jurassic Park where they first see the dinosaurs. That rise of music fills the soul. And of course, where would the fear of sharks be without those few notes from Jaws? Paulnack talks about music that came from the concentration camps. I saw a great movie a number of years ago about a chorus in a Japanese prison camp. Music saved those women (Paradise Road with Glenn Close)

Paulnack gives his own example of reactions in New York City to September 11.

“The first organized activity that I saw in New York, on the very evening of September 11th, was singing. People sang. People sang around fire houses, people sang “We Shall Overcome”. Lots of people sang America the Beautiful. The first organized public event that I remember was the Brahms Requiem, later that week, at Lincoln Center, with the New York Philharmonic. The first organized public expression of grief, our first communal response to that historic event, was a concert. That was the beginning of a sense that life might go on. The US Military secured the airspace, but recovery was led by the arts, and by music in particular, that very night.”

I urge you to read his complete address. Perhaps you will look at the power of music differently. Perhaps you will look at the arts differently. Listen to what Paulnack says in his last paragraph:

” I expect you not only to master music; I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind, if there is to be an understanding of how these invisible, internal things should fit together, I expect it will come from the artists, because that’s what we do. As in the concentration camp and the evening of 9/11, the artists are the ones who might be able to help us with our internal, invisible lives.”

YouTube and Math….

Yes, it’s true what the kids say – I can turn anything into math, including cool YouTube videos….Every now and then I try to inject something “feel good” into math class, just because it’s cool – it makes me nuts that we’ve lost the idea of learning for the pure enjoyment of learning. Hence this video, which I saw as a link last night on Facebook (and I immediately sent it along!).

Sorry – I just can’t seem to embed it in the blog….
Where the hell is Matt?

This is such a nice, “feel good” video. Dancing is a universal language, and it fits in with what I am reading, The World in Six Songs by Daniel Levitin, “How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature.” Music, song and dance have been with us as evolutionary elements, and we are now coming to realize that with research.

The World in Six Songs explains, at least in part, the evolution of music and brains over tens of thousands of years and across the six inhabited continents. Music, I argue, is not simply a distraction or a pastime, but a core element of our identity as a species, an activity that paced the way for more complex behaviors such as language, large-scale cooperative undertakings, and the passing down of important information from one generation to the next.” (p. 3)

So imagine how disappointed I was to discover that the video is a complete fake….but still valuable nevertheless to math class. Mathematics underlies all of the computer-related, graphics/video game design careers. You may not be able to DO the math, but you should understand how it makes everything else work. If you want the really big bucks in a career, develop the programs that will allow others to develop video games and more. Think of the skills you need to alter photographs and create videos….

All part of trying to get my at-risk students to realize that there is value to mathematics…..

The World in Six Songs – from Amazon

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