Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Flowers Bloom

May 1, 2016

Time-lapse video of unfurling flowers by David de los Santos Gil. Selected for the National Geographic Short Film Showcase.

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When Something Is Wrong with My Baby

April 30, 2016

“When Something Is Wrong with My Baby,” written by David Porter and Isaac Hayes, recorded by Sam & Dave (Samuel David Moore and David Prater) in 1967.

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Mass Surveillance

April 27, 2016

Anti-terrorism mass surveillance practices examined by Kurzgesagt (German for “in short; in a nutshell”).

More:

“What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much,” Lauren Kirchner, Pro Publica

“Peekaboo, I See You: Government Authority Intended for Terrorism is Used for Other Purposes,” Mark Jaycox, Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Driverless Bus

April 14, 2016

Driverless Bus

A robotic bus in Trikala, Greece, is serving city passengers for free. In the first six months of operation there have been no accidents or complaints about rude drivers.

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Deep Down Soul

April 2, 2016

“Deep Down Soul” from 1963 by organist Shirley Scott and tenor sax player Stanley Turrentine.

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Pope Gregory XIII, Father of April Fools’ Day?

April 1, 2016

Pope Gregory XIII, Father of April Fools’ Day?

In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII instituted the (you guessed it) Gregorian Calendar, which moved New Year’s Day from March 32nd (honest) to January 1st. People who didn’t know that March 32nd was now April 1st and were still celebrating the old New Year looked pretty foolish that day, hence April Fools’ Day.

Or maybe the story’s just a prank. Pretty good yarn, anyway.

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Im Frühling

March 20, 2016

“Im Frühling (In Spring),” the poetry of Eduard Mörike set to music by Hugo Wolf, sung by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. The accompanist may be Gerald Moore.

“Der Sonnenblume gleich steht mein Gemüte offen,
Sehnend,
Sich dehnend
In Lieben und Hoffen.
Frühling, was bist du gewillt?
Wann werd ich gestillt?”

“The sunflower opens as does my heart,
Longing,
Expanding
In love and hope.
Spring, what is your intent?
When will my thirst be quenched?”

Translation by Charles L. Cingolani

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Naná Vasconcelos, 1944 — 2016

March 15, 2016

Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos, an eight-time Grammy winner, died in his hometown of Recife on March 9th. He was 71 years old. Mr. Vasconcelos performed and recorded with many artists, including Pat Metheny, Don Cherry, Egberto Gismonti, Gato Barbieri and Milton Nascimento, and introduced the berimbau to American audiences. The Afro-Brazilian musical bow has become more familiar as capoeira schools were established in many U.S. cities. The songs of that “fighting dance” are accompanied by the berimbau.

More:

“Naná Vasconcelos, Daring Brazilian Percussionist, Dies at 71,” William Grimes, New York Times

“Remembering Naná Vasconcelos, renowned Brazilian percussionist,” Kierran Petersen, PRI

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Daylight Saving Time Sucks

March 13, 2016

“Daylight Saving Time,” asks John Oliver, “why is this still a thing?”

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Daylight Saving Time

March 12, 2016

Daylight Saving Time
At 2:00 AM this Sunday morning people in most of the United States will set their clocks ahead one hour as we begin Daylight Saving Time. Many households will also change the batteries in their smoke detectors. In Arizona, where they don’t believe in Daylight Saving Time, people mark the day by putting fresh ammunition in their handguns.

The continental United States observes DST beginning on the second Sunday in March; the European Union on the last Sunday in March. Tunisia, Bangladesh, and Fiji have joined Arizona and no longer observe Daylight Saving Time. We do not know if these counties also concur with Arizona’s denial of Climate ChangeWater FluoridationInternational Law, and Evolution.

Why does Arizona reject Daylight Saving Time? Perhaps the state’s many retirees can’t figure out how to change the time settings on their old VHS machines.

So “Spring Ahead,” even if Spring won’t actually be here until March 20th. And your lost hour of sleep? You’ll get it back on November 6th.

More on Daylight Saving Time here. And change your batteries and stuff.

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