Does Repetition Make It Music?

April 5, 2014

“In fact, repetition is so powerfully linked with musicality that its application can dramatically transform apparently non-musical materials into song,” writes Elizabeth Margulis.  Yusef Lateef (above) agrees.

More:

“One more time,” Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, Aeon

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Supreme Court: Freedom of Speech = ‘Money Talks!’

April 4, 2014

Supreme Court: Freedom of Speech -- Money Talks!

In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that money is speech, so the Constitution means rich guys can shout loud and long enough to drown out their political opponents. Why wouldn’t the Roberts Court justices claim money is speech? After all, they ruled that corporations are people.

More:

“Supreme Court Strikes Down Overall Political Donation Cap,” Adam Liptak, New York Times 

“Supreme court strikes down cap on overall campaign contributions,” Dan Roberts, The Guardian

Supreme Court Defends Wealthy’s Right to Own Government,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

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Facebook is Like a Disease, But Recovery is Near

April 3, 2014

Facebook is Like a Disease, But Recovery is Near

“A new study of Facebook has predicted that the social network’s rapid growth will prove unsustainable and that the site will lose 80 per cent of its users between 2015 and 2017.

A group of Princeton researchers has compared Facebook to a highly infectious disease, claiming that after it reaches a certain critical mass of ‘infected’ users, these individuals will ‘recover’ and quit the site.”

– “Facebook is an ‘infectious disease’ and will lose 80% of users by 2017, according to researchers,” James Vincent, The Independent

If you’s like to see how Princeton’s engineers apply an epidemiological model to social media, you can read study here:

“Epidemiological modeling of online social network dynamics,” John Cannarella and Joshua A. Spechler, arXiv

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Happy Birthday, Marvin Gaye

April 2, 2014

Singer Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939. In his set at the the 1964 T.A.M.I Show (above) he performed four of his early hits: “Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” “Pride and Joy,” “Can I Get a Witness,”and “Hitch Hike.” The dancers are goofy but the band, Jack Nitzsche‘s Wrecking Crew, includes Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Leon Russell,  Glen Campbell, and Plas Johnson.

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Combat Juggling!

April 1, 2014

Combat Juggling!

Combat Juggling. No foolin.’ It’s a thing:

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Serve the People! KFC in China.

March 31, 2014

Serve the People! KFC in China.

KFC’s China division is adding 15 new items to menus at the country’s 4,600 restaurants. Let a thousand chickens bloom! The new grub will be promoted by Chinese celebrities Chen Kun and Kē Zhèndōng. What’s the “K” in “KFC” stand for again, Kaiping?

KFC China is also rolling out a new mobile app and updated employee uniforms. Skeptics say it’s all meant to distract attention from last year’s Avian Flu and food safety scares.

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Whole Foods Snake Oil

March 30, 2014

Whole Foods Snake Oil

“When confronted by Big Picture Science about their decision to sell homeopathic products, Whole Foods responded that, ‘because homeopathic remedies are safe and believed by many to be effective, we will continue to carry them in our stores.’ In other words, as long as homeopathic remedies are effective in separating people from their money, they will continue to be sold. Despite the overwhelming preponderance of evidence, Whole Foods cherry picks the record to suggest that there is ‘disagreement in the scientific community’ regarding homeopathy and that, of course, ‘there is a clear need for further research in this area.’ ‘Where have we heard that before?”

– “Hey, Whole Foods: Stop Selling Snake Oil,” Paul SanGiorgio, Triple Pundit

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Sevastapol

March 29, 2014

Sevastapol

To generations of American musicians “Sevastapol” hasn’t referred to a place in Crimea but to a guitar tuning, also called “Open D” (DADF#AD low to high). Liverpool-born Henry Worrall was teaching guitar at the Ohio Female College in 1855 when he wrote and published a piece commemorating the Siege of Sevastapol in the Crimean War. “Sebastopol: A descriptive fantaisie for the guitar,” specified Open D, and the sprightly march helped spread the tuning.

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Will Your State Survive The Zombie Apocalypse?

March 28, 2014

Will Your State Survive The Zombie Apocalypse?

“When it comes to surviving this inevitable showdown with the undead, location is everything. Do you live in a state populated with zealous zombie fighters capable of beating back hordes of brain-hungry walking dead? Estately [real estate shopping site] answered this question with its Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Rankings, which were determined using the 11 metrics … that measure fighting ability, knowledge of zombies, physical fitness, and access to weapons….”

 – “U.S. States Most And Least Likely To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse,” Estately

Note: New York, DC, New Jersey — doomed.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Caffeine In US Soda Pop Is From China’s Drug Factories

March 27, 2014

Caffeine In US Soda Pop Is From China's Drug Factories

Used in moderation, caffeine is a harmless eye-opening stimulant. But it’s a drug, and a tablespoon of pure caffeine will kill you. Plants produce the stuff as an insecticide, and it’s most concentrated in coffee beans, kola nuts, pekoe tea, and yerba mate.

So what’s the source of the caffeine in America’s soft drinks? Pharmaceutical factories in China, mostly.

More:

“Wake Up And Smell The Caffeine. It’s A Powerful Drug,” NPR

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Image (“Blogs Go Better with Coke!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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