Monthly Archives: May 2012

Edward Elgar, Pomp & Circumstance Op.39: No.4 in G Major: Allegro Marziale”

Photos of the Malvern Hills and around the area.

Yehudi Menuhin, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Arturo Toscanini “Marosszék Dances” Kodály

Marosszék Dances by Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)
NBC Symphony Orchestra
Arturo Toscanini, conductor

Mozart – Symphony No. 36 in C, K V 425 (Linz)

Linz by night

Linz by night (Photo credit: uitdragerij)

The Symphony No. 36 in C major, KV 425, (known as the Linz Symphony) was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart during a stopover in the Austrian town of Linz on his and his wife’s way back home to Vienna from Salzburg in late 1783. The entire symphony was written in four days to accommodate the local count’s announcement, upon hearing of the Mozarts’ arrival in Linz, of a concert. The première in Linz took place on 4 November, 1783. The composition was also premièred in Vienna on 1 April, 1784. The autograph score of the “Linz Symphony” was not preserved. The symphony is scored for 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and strings. There are four movements:
1. Adagio, 3/4 — Allegro spiritoso, 4/4
2. Poco adagio, 6/8
3. Menuetto, 3/4
4. Finale (Presto), 2/4.
Every movement except the minuet is in sonata form. The slow movement has a siciliano character and meter which was rare in Mozart’s earlier symphonies (only used in one of the slow movements of the “Paris“) but would appear frequently in later works such as #38 and #40. The next symphony by Mozart is Symphony No. 38. The work known as “Symphony No. 37” is mostly by Michael Haydn.  

New plugin lets users fix Google’s text translations (From CNET)

New plugin lets users fix Google's text translations (From CNET)

New plugin lets users fix Google’s text translations (From CNET) (click to access article)

Great News for those who translate their attepts to wrining: Google’s Translation tool is getting an update that lets users “contribute a better translation” to make it easier for readers to understand what’s written.

Ecco l’iceberg che si ribalta

Ecco l'iceberg che si ribalta

Ecco l’iceberg che si ribalta

Immagini rare, catturate per la prima volta su pellicola da un turista: un piccolo iceberg del ghiacciaio di Upsala in Argentina si ribalta.

This day in History: Copyright Act of 1790 Signed into US Law (1790)

Copyright Act of 1790 Signed into US Law (1790)

After the US Constitution was ratified in 1788, one of the first issues that the fledgling government faced was the lack of a copyright law. Without it, Congress would be swamped with individual petitions for protection from piracy. Modeled on Britain’s Statute of Anne, the Copyright Act of 1790 was soon signed into law by President Washington. Instituted to encourage learning by securing US authors the sole rights to their work for 14-year periods, it drew what complaint from Charles Dickens? More… Discuss

English: The US Copyright Act of 1790 reprinte...

English: The US Copyright Act of 1790 reprinted in the Colombian Centinel, published 17 July 1790. Full title: “An act for the encouragement of learning by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.” Out of copyright. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Today’s Birthday: Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443)

Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443)

Beaufort was an English noblewoman, wife of Edmund Tudor, and the mother of Henry VII, founder of the Tudor Dynasty. She gave birth to Henry at 13, shortly after being widowed, and developed a close bond with her only child. Renowned for her philanthropy, she endowed professorships of divinity at Oxford and Cambridge and with the help of her confessor, John Fisher, founded Christ’s College and St. John’s College, Cambridge. She later acted as regent for Henry VIII. How many times did she marry? More… Discuss

Quotation of the Day: Fracis Bacon -on Fame

Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) Discuss

My take on this: “Fame can float you, fame can sink you:  That which you’re famous for is of your choosing!”

Paranoid Fiction

Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paranoid fiction is a literary genre in which reality is portrayed as subject to manipulation by external forces, such as totalitarian governments, or internal forces, such as insanity. The genre frequently overlaps with dystopian fiction and science fiction and is inspired by the works of authors like Franz Kafka and Philip K. Dick, who penned the novel that was made into the film Blade Runner. What paranoid-fiction writer may have taken some of his inspiration from his own nightmares? More… Discuss

Blade Runner



Cactus flower

Cactus flower

Cactus flower

Landscape with San Gabriel River and Mountains (my digital oil paintings)

Landscape with San Gabriel River and Mountains in May(my digital oil paintings)

Landscape with San Gabriel River and Mountains in May (my digital oil paintings) (click to enlarge)

Blue Bird at Wilderness Park

Blue Bird at Wilderness Park

Blue Bird at Wilderness Park

Today’s Quotation: Jane Austen – on untintelligibility


I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) Discuss

‘s Birthday: Mel Blanc (1908)

Mel Blanc (1908)

One of the most prolific voice actors of all time, Blanc began his career in radio. In 1933, he began to work for a daily radio program, for which he created several voices. In 1937, he joined the cartoon department of Warner Brothers. During his 50-year career, he supplied voices in more than 3,000 animated cartoons for hundreds of characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Woody Woodpecker. Which Looney Tunes character is said to sound closest Blanc’s natural voice? More… Discuss

This Day in History: Dominican Republic Dictator Rafael Trujillo Is Assassinated (1961)

Dominican Republic Dictator Rafael Trujillo Is Assassinated (1961)

Trujillo was a military strongman who seized control of the Dominican Republic in 1930 and ruled it as a dictator for the next 30 years. He renamed the capital after himself and forced all citizens to join his political party. He brutally suppressed dissent and ordered the infamous 1937 Parsley Massacre, in which up to 30,000 Haitians living near the Dominican border were murdered. In 1961, Trujillo was ambushed and shot to death by seven men. Why was the 1937 massacre named after a garden herb? More… Discuss

Hope and Burns

Bob and George do a little sand dance, tell some jokes, and Bob plays Gracie Allen for a vaudeville routine. From a Bob Hope special, based on his book “Don’t shoot, it’s only me” Sept. 15, 1990 

Niccolò Paganini

Cantabile for violin & guitar in D

The Diaz Trio (on Modern Instruments)
Julian Gray, guitar 

Igor Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring

 Yoel Levi conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in this studio recording made in 1991. This specific recording of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (aka Le Sacre du Printemps) is owned by Telarc.

If you’re interested in buying the CD, it is available at Arkivmusic:

This Day in History: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring Sparks a Riot (1913)

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring Sparks a Riot (1913)

The Rite of Spring is a landmark ballet by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky that provoked a riot when it premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Expecting the demure conventions of classical ballet, the audience was caught off-guard by Stravinsky’s dissonant score and Vaslav Nijinsky‘s violently untraditional choreography depicting fertility rites. Fistfights broke out between detractors and supporters, and chaos ensued. What Disney film popularized the ballet? More… Discuss

ballet shoes line


Today’s Birthday: Bob Hope (1903)

Bob Hope (1903)

Famous for his “ski-jump” nose, superb timing, and irreverent attitude, Hope was an immensely popular American comedian. He debuted in vaudeville in the 1920s and later performed on radio, television, stage, and in more than 50 films. He hosted the Oscars a record-breaking 17 times over 38 years. A master of comic monologues and mildly bawdy one-liners, he was a tireless entertainer of US troops overseas. When asked on his deathbed at age 100 where he wanted to be buried, how did he respond? More… Discuss

Today’s Quotation: Lucy Maud Montgomery – On Competition

Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) Discuss

Living Statues

Living Statues

Living statues are mimes who stand perfectly still for hours on end, pretending to be statues. They are sometimes painted with a metallic sheen or another color so that they appear to have been cast from metal or carved from stone. Often, they are so still that bystanders believe they are actual statues and—as has been shown on many a hidden-camera television show—create quite a commotion among startled onlookers if they disrupt the illusion by moving. When did the first living statues perform? More… Discuss

wild plants at Santa Fe Dam Nature Preserve

Vegetation around the San Gabriel Nature Preserve

Vegetation around the San Gabriel Nature Preserve




Marvelous trip!

Postcards from Ian and Margaret

Distance: 278klm
Overnight: Big Sky Caravan Park
Weather: Warm, sunny 24 degrees
About Narrabri

We have been carefully watching the weather reports as separate weather systems in 3 states combine and created a major rain event in our area ‘central western plains’. We settled in for a 2nd night and waited for the rain to blow through to the coast. The same weather system dumped a load  of snow in the Alpine region we have just left. We got our van out just in time. While it rained we visited the old Dubbo gaol, a good exhibit on a par with the Melbourne gaol.

We left Dubbo and stopped at Coonabarabran for coffee and excellent cake served with cream and a swirl of toffee sauce, it is my last treat.  Margaret says there will be no more visits to cafes for coffee and cake while we are away as it…

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At the end of San Gabriel River bike trail from North to South (mile: 39.5)

At the end of San Gabriel River bike trail from North to South (mile: 39.5)

At the end of San Gabriel River bike trail from North to South (mile: 39.5)

This was the destination of my last Sunday’s bike ride of 60miles trip. I started at Liberty Park (around 9AM) bound North, on a freshly resurfaced road. By the time I arrived at the end of the bike trail in about 2 hours. The temperature reached 93 degrees Fahrenheit. It was hot, and biked against the hot wind coming back, but it was a memorable ride.

My biking adventure (Sunday, May 20, 2012)

My biking adventure (Sunday, May 20, 2012) I Marked the start and end points on the map (click to enlarge)

San Gabriel River Nature Preserve

San Gabriel River Nature Preserve

San Gabriel River Nature Preserve

Joris-Karl Huysmans – À REBOURS

À rebours

À rebours is an 1884 novel by French author Joris-Karl Huysmans. Translated as Against Nature or Against the Grain, the novel follows Jean Des Esseintes, the last member of a noble family. Disgusted with his decadent life in Paris, he retreats to the countryside and immerses himself in art and philosophy, becoming somewhat deranged. Though not mentioned by name, À rebours is thought to be the book that heavily influences what famous novel’s titular characterMore… Discuss

English: French writer J.K. Huysmans

English: French writer J.K. Huysmans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s Quotation: E. M. Forster (1879-1970) – On creed, worshiping and human suffering

There lies at the back of every creed something terrible and hard for which the worshiper may one day be required to suffer.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) Discuss

Because “freedom cannot protect itself”!

Flickr Comments

I like the photo documents of Patti / Patricia Fogarty shot in New York. She caught wonderful smiling faces in Manhattan: “ONE DAY IN A CITY” – but also riot police: arresting photographers who tried to make some pictures featuring the Occupy Wall Street movement. Every week the police gangs produce a new package of arrested photographers and confiscate their cameras. And every next week there are brand new iPhones again and even old cameras fit for the work as a “under-cover-agent” …
Accra Shepp OWS
FREEDOM OF SPEECH – photo by Patti / Patricia Fogarty
another photo shot by Patti, coming from London, Hyde Park, Speakers’ Corner to a strange New York, a city with oppression vs. photographers and speakers:

title: “an-arresting-day-on-wall-street” – click on the picture to enter her article at wordpress
comment by Patti:
Dear Frizz, More than happy to give my permission to…

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The Tale of Psyche and Cupid (a lovely short movie)

 This movie won 1st place in the audio visual category of the 2009 Ontario Student Classics Conference. 
It features stop motion animation, stop motion, and film to give the video different effects as the viewers continue watching. 

Yet another inspiring post, from “Lost in Town”, uncovering the artistic events worth attending to …”si fueris Romae, Romano vivitomore; si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi” “If you are in Rome, live in the Roman way, if you are elsewhere, live as they do there” attributed to St. Ambrose. (From Wikctionary.” )
Thanks Lost in Town: I guess it makes all the difference to be …lost in town, when The Town is ROME!

Interview: Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago (from France 24 International) & “All that Jazz”

Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago

Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago  (Click to access the story)

Philip Crowther meets Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago and Former White House Chief of Staff to President Obama. He explains why in his opinion Barack Obama must be re-elected as president in November. He also tells us about the city of Chicago and explains why he thinks it is a great place to live.


Best article of the day!


No matter where you live, Monsanto is (or should be) an issue. I thought this article was worth sharing. Please feel free to re-blog, if you so desire. We need to expose these monsters and their bought off politicians for who they are.

Blatant Corruption Exposed as EU

Blocks France’s Ban on Monsanto’s

GMO Maize

Anthony Gucciardi
Natural Society / News Report
Published: Thursday 24 May 2012

France legislators and officials moved to ban Monsanto’s genetically modified strain of GMO maize over environmental and health concerns, the European Union has decided to step in and re-secure Monsanto’s presence in the country — against the very will of the nation itself. This should come as no surprise when considering the fact that the United States ambassador to France, a business partner to George W. Bush, stated back in 2007 that nations who did not accept Monsanto’s GMO crops will be ‘penalized’. In…

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Beethoven / Herbert von Karajan, 1954: Overture, “Leonora, No. 3” Op. 72a – Philharmonia Orchestra

Forty-six year old Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) leads the Philharmonia Orchestra in this 1954 recording of the Leonora Overture, Op. 72A, by Beethoven. I created this video from the LP shown above, issued in 1954 on the Angel label, serial number 35097 (British pressing). Except for those of Beethoven and those from the 1954 Billboard magazine review (5:30) of this LP, all images used to create this video were taken from the LP label (6:13) and jacket (4:54). In order to remove all doubt in the minds of those listening to these works, I use such images to establish the credibility of the source of these and similarly rare and historic recordings. 

Today’s Birthday: BEVERLY SILLS (1929) – Soprano

Beverly Sills (1929)

Sills was an American operatic soprano. She sang on the radio as a child and made her operatic debut in 1946. Her 1966 performance inJulius Caesar made her an opera star, not just for her voice, but also for her acting. After 25 years of singing with the New York City Opera, she became its director, and she also served as chairman of the board of New York’s Lincoln Center and of the Metropolitan Opera. In 2006, she claimed to have stopped singing, even in the shower, for what reason? More… Discuss

Beverly Sills Farewell Performance. Sills highlights her career and sings a tearful final encore of the Portuguese Folk Song: “Tell Me Why” that Estelle Liebling, her only voice teacher, gave her when she was ten. As a tribute to Liebling, Sills ended every recital with this song. Her long-time accompanist, Charles Wadsworth, plays for this final, moving performance.

Today’s Quotation – Jerome K. (Jerome “IT” vs. “ET”)

If you desire to drain to the dregs the fullest cup of scorn and hatred that a fellow human being can pour out for you, let a young mother hear you call dear baby “it.”

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) Discuss


Millions Participate in Hands Across America (1986)

Hands Across America was a massive, heavily publicized fundraiser during which millions of people, including scores of celebrities and politicians, lined up in the hopes of forming a human chain stretching from New York to California. Though they did not succeed in this regard—there were many gaps along the way—the event raised $20 million. Had all of the participants actually given the $10 required donation, it would have reached its $50-million goal. For what cause was the money raised? More… Discuss


Barbara McClintock

McClintock was an American geneticist. In the 1940s and 50s, her experiments with variations in the coloration of kernels of maize revealed that genes are not stationary, but can “jump” on the chromosome. She isolated two control elements in genetic material and found not only that they moved, but also that their transposition affected the behavior of neighboring genes. In 1983, she was belatedly awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology. Why did she stop publishing her findings in the 50s? More… Discuss

Beyond Corporate Capitalism – _ – Not So Wild a Dream

Beyond Corporate Capitalism - _ - Not So Wild a Dream

Beyond Corporate Capitalism – _ – Not So Wild a Dream (click to access story)


From the Article: “It’s time to put the taboo subject of public ownership back on the progressive agenda. It is the only way to solve some of the most serious problems facing the nation. We contend that it is possible not only to talk about this once forbidden subject but to begin to build a serious politics that can do what needs to be done in key sectors.
Proposals for public ownership will of course be attacked as “socialism,” but conservatives call any progressive program—to say nothing of the modest economic policies of the Obama administration—“socialist.” However, many Americans are increasingly skeptical about the claims made for the corporate-dominated “free” enterprise system by its propagandists. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that a majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of corporations—a significant shift from only twelve years ago, when nearly three-quarters held a favorable view. At the same time, two recent Rasmussen surveys found Americans under 30—the people who will build the next politics—almost equally divided as to whether capitalism or socialism is preferable. Another Pew survey found that 18- to 29-year-olds have a favorable reaction to the term “socialism” by a margin of 49 to 43 percent.”

Quotation of theDay: Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) – Definition of “COMPROMISE”

Compromise, n.: Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) Discuss

Today’s Birthday: Joseph Brodsky (1940)

Joseph Brodsky (1940)

Soon after Brodsky began writing poetry in the USSR in the 1950s, he was accused by the government of “social parasitism” and sentenced to hard labor. Exiled in 1972, he settled in New York and began writing in English. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1987 and was poet laureate of the US for a time. His poetry, with its themes of loss and exile, is highly regarded for its intensity, depth, and wit. What was his retort when a Soviet judge once asked him, “Who enrolled you in the ranks of poets?” More… Discuss

This Day in History: USSR Begins Drilling World’s Deepest Hole (1970)

USSR Begins Drilling World’s Deepest Hole (1970)

The Kola Superdeep Borehole project was an attempt to dig as far as possible into the Earth’s crust. It began when, in 1970, following setbacks in the Space Race, Soviet scientists looked downward. Digging on the remote Kola Peninsula for some 20 years, they reached a depth of 40,230 feet (12,262 m)—about a third of the way through the Earth’s crust—before being forced to stop due to higher-than-expected temperatures of 350° F (180° C). Surprisingly, water was found at what depth? More… Discuss

Democracy Now: HeadlinesMay 23, 2012

Democracy Now - A dayly Independent Global News Hour - May 23, 2012

Democracy Now – A dayly Independent Global News Hour – May 23, 2012 (click to access program)

Easy Way To Clean Your Drive-train – White Lightning EZ Clean (or Clean Streak)

It’s that easy. I use the same product and it couldn’t be easier to remove the hard build-up from drive-train. Plastic forks, I found to be  quite handy when one deals with too much gunk, and the chipper and thinner the better they can get into the tiny space between the drives. If you want to use a detergent, bottle  and bowl brushes can be handy, just about all around the bicycle. 

A clean drive-train will give you a more pleasant ride (considerably faster, and easier).

Quotation of the Day: P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)

I always advise people never to give advice.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Discuss

This day in history: NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY DEDICATED (1911)

New York Public Library Dedicated (1911)

When former New York governor Samuel J. Tilden died in 1886, he left $2.4 million in his will for the creation of a grand public library. At that time, there were two other important libraries in New York City—the Astor and the Lenox—but they were struggling. With Tilden’s gift, they were merged in 1895. The new library’s cornerstone was laid in 1902 at the old Croton Reservoir on Fifth Avenue, and it finally opened to the public in 1911. By 1910, how many miles of shelves had been installed? More… Discuss

Today’s Birthday: ROSEMARY CLOONEY (1928)

Rosemary Clooney (1928)

Clooney was an American singer popular in the 1950s with hits such as “Come On-a My House.” She also appeared in several movies, including White Christmas (1954), which co-starred Bing Crosby. In the 1960s, mental illness and drug addiction took a toll on her career, but she made a comeback in the mid-1970s and performed until her death in 2002. Her 1968 mental breakdown was precipitated by the assassination—as she stood nearby—of what personal friend? More… Discuss


73-Year-Old Woman Summits Everest for Second Time

Tamae Watanabe, who 10 years ago became the oldest woman in the world to summit Mount Everest, has broken her own record, reaching its 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak for the second time at the age of 73. Everest has been scaled by some 3,700 climbers since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first climbed it in 1953. The oldest person to successfully make the dangerous climb is a Nepalese man, Min Bahadur Sherchan, who did so in 2008 at the age of 76. More… Discuss


Galalith is a biodegradable, nonflammable plastic material made of the milk protein casein and formaldehyde. Called “milk stone,” it was one of the first synthetic materials ever produced. It was used for Art-Deco jewelry, buttons, and pens and replaced ivory in piano keys. Though it could be easily dyed and cut, it could not be molded, and this drawback, along with milk rationing in WWII, led to its commercial demise. It can be easily produced at home with milk and what other common ingredient? More… Discuss

Dairy products and their production

Dairy products and their production (Photo credit: Wikipedia)