Category Archives: Educational

this day in the yesteryear: Japan Resumes Diplomatic Relations with China (1972)


Japan Resumes Diplomatic Relations with China (1972)

The first Sino-Japanese War in the late 19th century damaged relations between the two countries for decades, as it marked the emergence of imperial Japan and saw harsh terms imposed on a badly defeated China. Relations did not improve until Kakuei Tanaka was elected prime minister of Japan in 1972. Shortly after his election, Tanaka visited China and signed an agreement establishing diplomatic relations between Japan and the Beijing regime. Who else made a historic visit to China in 1972? More… Discuss

Norway to Pay Liberia to Leave Trees Be


Norway to Pay Liberia to Leave Trees Be

Liberia is to become the first African nation to completely halt logging in exchange for development aid. Norway has agreed to pay Liberia $150 million to stop deforestation in the country by 2020. Though Liberia’s forestland is not as extensive as that of other countries, it contains a significant portion of West Africa’s remaining rainforest. The deal is a major turnaround from just two years ago, when Liberia handed out licenses permitting companies to cut down more than half of the country’s remaining primary rainforest. More… Discuss

Code Talkers


Code Talkers

“Code talkers” were Native American soldiers in the US military who transmitted secret messages using codes based on their native languages. Though code talking was used as early as World War I, it is chiefly associated with Navajo language speakers in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The Navajo code baffled the Japanese, and, according to military officers, was key to the American victory in the Battle of Iwo Jima. What was it about this “code” that made it so difficult to crack? More… Discuss

this pressed: Which new multiple myeloma drug will the FDA approve next? | Multiple Myeloma Blog


via Which new multiple myeloma drug will the FDA approve next? | Multiple Myeloma Blog.

MUSSORGSKY (arr. Stokowski) Night on Bald Mountain: great compositions/performances


MUSSORGSKY (arr. Stokowski) Night on Bald Mountain

Here is Leopold Stokowski‘s (1882-1977) transcription of Modest Mussorgsky‘s “Night on Bald Mountain”. This is the version most famously featured as the ending sequence of the Disney film “Fantasia” (1948), and that most famously caused quite an uproar among movie-goers due to the demonic imagery used in the aforementioned clip.

Stokowski was a prodigy along the lines of Maazel, entering into the Royal Academy of Music to study composition and conducting at the age of merely 13. During his long span as one of the most prominent and important conductors (not to mention one of the greatest) he was actually a very controversial figure. What many people probably don’t know is that Stokowski was a great champion of contemporary music, giving the U.S. and/or world premieres of works by Elgar, Vaughn Williams, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Hovhaness, Copland, Barber, Berg, Feldman and other contemporary composers. He is also very important to the history of modern concert practice as well, popularizing the batonless technique of conducting, as well as inventing and popularizing the “pops concert” and the modern chairing of a symphony orchestra. He was able to produce what was then referred to as “the Stokowski Sound”, although what is now called “the Philly Sound” (one of the many, illustrious orchestras he was resident conductor for), and was the greatest influence on many conductors proceeding him, particularly Leonard Bernstein. His transcriptions and editing of works were considered uncoif at the time, a practice that had long since become outdated as printed music became more available, but they are now one of the things he is best-known for, particularly this and his orchestration of Bach’s Toccata en Fugue in D Minor BWV 565.

Performed here in 1966 by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Jose Carreras. Siete canciones populares españolas. M. de Falla: make music part of your life series


Jose Carreras. Siete canciones populares españolas. M. de Falla.

Rostropovich plays the Sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite # 1: great compositions/performances


Rostropovich plays the Sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite # 1

Svetlanov conducts Tchaikovsky – Capriccio italien, Op. 45: great compositions/performances


Svetlanov conducts Tchaikovsky – Capriccio italien, Op. 45

Maria Callas. Sola, perduta, abbandonata. Manon Lescaut. Giacomo Puccini: great compositions/performances


Maria Callas. Sola, perduta, abbandonata. Manon Lescaut. Giacomo Puccini.

Mottetto per San Paolino – Giacomo Puccini(1858-1924): make music part of your life series


Mottetto per San Paolino – Giacomo Puccini(1858-1924)

Gioachino Rossini – “Kyrie” from “Messa di Gloria”: make music part of your life series


Gioachino Rossini – “Kyrie” from “Messa di Gloria” (Raul Gimenez & Francisco Araiza)

Pacific Chorale sings Rachmaninov Vespers: Rejoice, O Virgin: great compositions/performances


Pacific Chorale sings Rachmaninov Vespers: Rejoice, O Virgin

NYP: KURT MASUR Dukas The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: great compositions/performances


NYP: KURT MASUR Dukas The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

today’s holiday: Confucius’s Birthday


Confucius’s Birthday

This is a time to commemorate the birth of the teacher Confucius, perhaps the most influential man in China’s history. In Qufu, Shandong Province, China, the birthplace of Confucius, there is a two-week-long Confucian Culture Festival. During the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s, Red Guards defaced many of the buildings in Qufu. They have since been restored, and the festival held there attracts scholars from China and abroad. The festival opens with a ceremony accompanied by ancient music and dance and includes exhibitions and lectures on the life and teachings of Confucius. More… Discuss

quotation: Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. Victor Hugo


 

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) Discuss

 

today’s birthday: Georges Clemenceau (1841)


Georges Clemenceau (1841)

Clemenceau was a French journalist and statesman whose politics brought him into conflict with Napoleon III’s government. After spending several years in the US, he returned to France and became mayor of Montmartre. In 1880, he began publishing La Justice, which became the primary organ of Parisian radicalism, and he later published Emile Zola’s “J’accuse,” a passionate criticism of the Dreyfus Affair. He served as premier during World War I and was a key architect of what treaty? More… Discuss

Hospital Garb Could Be Your Own


Hospital Garb Could Be Your Own

Traditional hospital gowns have been the butt of many a joke, but for those who have to don them, they are no laughing matter. Being hospitalized can rob a person of much of his dignity, and while aspects of this are unavoidable, hospital apparel does not have to be one of them. In many cases, researchers say, it is clinically reasonable for patients to wear their own clothing, or at least pants underneath their open-backed gowns, but few take advantage of this because most are unaware that it is an option. More… Discuss

Murphy’s Law


Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s Law is the humorous axiom stating that anything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong. Its namesake is likely Edward A. Murphy, an engineer on US Air Force rocket-sled experiments. During one trial, someone methodically wired each sensor involved in an experiment backwards, prompting Murphy to remark, “If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it.” How did Murphy’s Law become known to the public? More… Discuss

this pressed: Flash – Writers and readers go mobile and social at Wattpad – France 24


28 September 2014 – 07H25

Writers and readers go mobile and social at Wattpad

inShare

AFP

File picture shows visitors browsing e-books for children at the 64th Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, GermanyFile picture shows visitors browsing e-books for children at the 64th Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany

Allen Lau considers himself living proof that love of good writing is alive and well in the age of streaming video and terse text messages.

He offers as further evidence the 32 million people who each month visit online literature social network Wattpad, which he and Ivan Yuen launched eight years ago as an online venue for writers and readers to connect.

“Wattpad is the world’s largest community for reading and writing,” Lau told AFP during a recent visit to San Francisco to meet with investors in the Toronto-based startup.

“We’ve created a mobile and social storytelling experience.”

Of the more than nine billion minutes spent monthly reading at Wattpad, about 85 percent is done using smartphones or tablet computers, according to Lau.

More than a million Wattpad users are writers, who typically upload a chapter at a time while readers tune in the way they might watch episodes of a television series.

“We make story telling very different and unique,” Lau said.

- Readers shape stories -

Readers share feelings, thoughts and criticisms with one another and authors at the social network, sometimes shaping fates of characters or directions of stories.

“Writing and reading have traditionally been very solitary experiences,” Lau said.

“In this case, writers get constant feedback from readers in real time; and from the reader perspective it is almost like watching a TV show with 10 million people all at once.”

Readers are free to wait until books are complete and then binge on chapter after chapter, but that is rarely the case at Wattpad. The most common question fired off at the service was said to be “When will the next chapter be released?”

After Wattpad noticed writers providing links to music videos to listen to as background for reading, the social network added a way to embed YouTube clips.

“It has been so widely used, if you go to YouTube and search ‘Wattpad’ you will find millions of videos,” Lau said.

“The writing is the main actor, but we have supporting characters: video and sound.”

Wattpad sees a quarter of a million chapters uploaded daily, with about 24 hours worth of reading arriving at the service each minute.

Less than half the visits to Wattpad come from the United States, and the service is growing strong in an array of countries including Turkey, Italy, Britain, and Spain.

“Not everyone has an e-book store, a library, or a regular book store, but everyone will be on the Internet and everyone will have a smartphone,” Lau reasoned.

“I am the walking proof that it is rubbish people aren’t reading as much; the Internet is helping people to read and write more.”

- Writers find fame -

The Wattpad mobile application is free, as is access to work uploaded by writers. More than half the stories on Wattpad were written on mobile devices.

Wattpad writers don’t get paid, but exposure at the social network provides opportunities for them to make money.

via Flash – Writers and readers go mobile and social at Wattpad – France 24.

is Ello A Viable Alternative To Facebook? – What’s New Now PCMag PCMag


is Ello A Viable Alternative To Facebook? – What’s New Now

this pressed: Social network Ello gets boost after Facebook boots drag queens – The Washington Post


“You are not a product,” its manifesto declares. It decries social networks that track and record “every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow” then sell the data to advertisers.

“We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment,” it proclaims. “Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate — but a place to connect, create and celebrate life.”

via Social network Ello gets boost after Facebook boots drag queens – The Washington Post.

Éléonore Darmon et Éric Astoul jouent Tchaikovsky “Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher” op. 42: make music part of your life series


Éléonore Darmon et Éric Astoul jouent TchaikovskySouvenir d’un Lieu Cher” op. 42 

JOHANNES BRAHMS.- Serenade Nº2 A-Dur Op 16: make music part of oyur life series


JOHANNES BRAHMS.- Serenade Nº2 A-Dur Op 16

Richard Wagner – Ride of the Valkyries + Magic Fire Music: great compositions/performances


Richard WagnerRide of the Valkyries + Magic Fire Music (orchestral versions)

From “50 Erotic Classics – Sensual Classical Music from the Red Room”, Philharmonia Slavonica conducted by Alfred Scholz. From “Classic Operas – Wagner: The Ring of the Nibelungen (Highlights)”, Budapest Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gyorgy Lehel.I do not own any of the material in the video.

 

Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No.3 – Blomstedt/RCO(2008Live): Great compositions/performances


Mendelssohn: Symphony No.3 – Blomstedt/RCO(2008Live)

Saint of the Day for Saturday, September 27th, 2014: St. Vincent de Paul


Image of St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent was born of poor parents in the village of Pouy in Gascony, France, about 1580. He enjoyed his first schooling under the Franciscan Fathers at Acqs. Such had been his progress in four … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

today’s holiday: Jordbruksdagarna


Jordbruksdagarna

The town of Bishop Hill, Illinois, was founded in 1846 by a group of Swedes fleeing religious persecution in the Old World. Their leader, Eric Jansson, sailed across the Atlantic with 1,200 followers to form the colony. Many of the descendants of the original colonists still live in Bishop Hill or nearby towns, and they continue to celebrate a number of traditional Swedish holidays. One of these is Jordbruksdagarna, or Agricultural Days, a two-day celebration featuring harvest demonstrations, 19th-century crafts and children’s games, and ample servings of Colony Stew. More… Discuss

quotation: “…I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson


For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Discuss

today’s birthday: Thomas Nast (1840)


Thomas Nast (1840)

Nast was a US caricaturist and cartoonist who defined the genre of the American political cartoon. During the American Civil War, Harper’s Weekly published the first of Nast’s serious political cartoons, which earned praise from President Lincoln. His stylized, clever, and forceful cartoons were instrumental in breaking up the corrupt New York City political machine of William Tweed. Nast popularized the use of what symbols in his depictions of the US Democratic and Republican parties? More… Discuss

news: It’s a Vast World After All


It’s a Vast World After All

The world’s population currently stands at 7.2 billion and is projected to rise to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion by the end of this century. Earlier estimates had forecast a leveling off of world population around 2050, but higher-than-expected birth rates in sub-Saharan Africa mean the number of people on the planet will likely continue to rise instead. In Africa alone, the population is expected to rise from the current 1 billion to between 3.5 and 5.1 billion by 2100. More… Discuss

article: (Hula) Hooping Through History


(Hula) Hooping Through History

Hoops, originally made from stiff grasses and other natural materials, have been popular toys for centuries—long before “hula” was added to their name in the 18th century. Doctors in medieval England blamed many injuries on a recreational “hooping” fad. Another craze surfaced in the 1950s, when the Wham-O company released its plastic hoop. Today, hoops have found renewed popularity among adults who perform hoop dances or enjoy hooping at concerts. What do you need to make your own hula hoop? More… Discuss

word: foible


foible

Definition: (noun) A minor weakness or failing of character.
Synonyms: fault, defect, imperfection
Usage: His father’s foibles did not prevent his son from loving and honoring him. Discuss.

today’s holiday: Marshall Islands Manit Day


Marshall Islands Manit Day

In the Marshall Islands, Manit Day is part of the annual cultural festival Lutok Kobban Alele, which aims to promote and preserve the Marshallese culture. On Manit Day, people can set up booths outside the Alele Museum, Library, and National Archive—which displays exclusive and original artifacts of the Marshall Islands—to sell their handicrafts, food, and drinks. As part of the celebration, children have the opportunity to perform dances, sing songs, perform skits, or tell folklore stories. More… Discuss

quotation: There is no remedy for love but to love more. Henry David Thoreau


There is no remedy for love but to love more.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Discuss

this day in the yeseryear: Sweden Adopts New Act of Succession (1810)


Sweden Adopts New Act of Succession (1810)

The present Swedish royal dynasty was established by French-born Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. Bernadotte initially supported Napoleon but then shifted his allegiance to Sweden. In 1810, he was invited to become crown prince of Sweden. He was made heir to Charles XIII through the Act of Succession. Among other things, it specifies that a Swedish prince must belong to the Church of Sweden and be raised within the realm. What change was made to the rule of succession in 1980? More… Discuss

Green Lakes State Park


Green Lakes State Park

Green Lakes State Park near Syracuse, New York, is home to two unusual lakes. Green Lake and Round Lake are meromictic, meaning that unlike most lakes, their deep and shallow waters do not mix. The absence of mixing produces relatively undisturbed layers of sediment—a scientific boon—and creates gorgeous blue-green waters. Along with its eponymous lakes, the park is known for its 18-hole public golf course, which opened at the height of the Great Depression. How was the course’s designer paid? More… Discuss

word: resolute


resolute 

Definition: (adjective) Firm in purpose or belief; steadfast.
Synonyms: determined, stalwart, staunch, persevering
Usage: I am resolute in my opposition to these proposals, so don’t bother trying to sway me. Discuss.

Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 “From The New World” / Karajan · Vienna Philarmonic : great compositions/performances


Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 “From The New World” / Karajan · Vienna Philarmonic

Enrique Granados. Valses poeticos by Mircea Gogoncea: make music part of your life series


Enrique Granados. Valses poeticos by Mircea Gogoncea

Oistrakh plays Wieniawski Legende in G minor, op.17: great compositions/performances


Oistrakh plays Wieniawski Legende in G minor, op.17

Richard Wagner Overture from the Flying Dutchman: make music part of your life series


Richard Wagner Overture from the Flying Dutchman

Jonathan Carney “Romance” The Gadfly, for Irene: great compositions/performances


Jonathan Carney “Romance” The Gadfly, for Irene

this pressed: Thousands of undocumented immigrants skipped mandated follow-up appointments



Thousands of undocumented immigrants skipped mandated follow-up appointments

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Tchaikovsky-Violin Concerto in D Major Op. 35: Great compositions/performances


Tchaikovsky-Violin Concerto in D Major Op. 35 (Complete)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
 

The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, was written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1878. It is one of the best known violin concertos, and is considered one of the most technically difficult works for the violin.

Tchaikovsky.gif

Composition

Tchaikovsky (right) with violinist Iosif Kotek

The piece was written in Clarens, a Swiss resort on the shores of Lake Geneva, where Tchaikovsky had gone to recover from the depression brought on by his disastrous marriage to Antonina Miliukova. He was working on his Piano Sonata in G major but finding it heavy going. Presently he was joined there by his composition pupil, the violinist Iosif Kotek, who had been in Berlin for violin studies with Joseph Joachim. The two played works for violin and piano together, including a violin-and-piano arrangement of Édouard Lalo‘s Symphonie espagnole, which they may have played through the day after Kotek’s arrival. This work may have been the catalyst for the composition of the concerto.[1] He wrote to his patroness Nadezhda von Meck, “It [the Symphonie espagnole] has a lot of freshness, lightness, of piquant rhythms, of beautiful and excellently harmonized melodies…. He [Lalo], in the same way as Léo Delibes and Bizet, does not strive after profundity, but he carefully avoids routine, seeks out new forms, and thinks more about musical beauty than about observing established traditions, as do the Germans.”[2] Tchaikovsky authority Dr. David Brown writes that Tchaikovsky “might almost have been writing the prescription for the violin concerto he himself was about to compose.”[3]

Tchaikovsky made swift, steady progress on the concerto, as by this point in his rest cure he had regained his inspiration, and the work was completed within a month despite the middle movement getting a complete rewrite (a version of the original movement was preserved as the first of the three pieces for violin and piano, Souvenir d’un lieu cher).[4] Since Tchaikovsky was not a violinist, he sought the advice of Kotek on the completion of the solo part.[5] “How lovingly he’s busying himself with my concerto!” Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother Anatoly on the day he completed the new slow movement. “It goes without saying that I would have been able to do nothing without him. He plays it marvelously.”[6]

Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.2 in F major – D. Shostakovich, A. Cluytens: make music part of your life series


Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.2 in F major – D. Shostakovich, A. Cluytens

this pressed: For Oil and Gas Companies, Rigging Seems to Involve Wages, Too – ProPublica


The seal of the United States Department of Labor

The seal of the United States Department of Labor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For Oil and Gas Companies, Rigging Seems to Involve Wages, Too – ProPublica.

Fact-Checking Feinstein on the Assault Weapons Ban – ProPublica


Fact-Checking Feinstein on the Assault Weapons Ban – ProPublica.

Camille Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre (National Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor:Leopold Stokowski): great compositions/performances


Aram Khachaturian – Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia: make music part of your life series


Sergei Prokofiev – Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34: make music part of your life series


Sergei Prokofiev – Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34