Daily Archives: January 10, 2014


Burning the Clavie

The Burning of the Clavie takes place in Burghead, a fishing village in the region of Moray, Scotland. Local residents make the clavie by sawing a tar barrel into a larger and smaller half, breaking the larger half into pieces and stuffing it inside the smaller half along with tinder and tar. At dusk, the Clavie King sets the clavie on fire and leads a procession through town to a high headland along the coast, where the flames ignite a huge bonfire. At the end of the festivities, townsfolk gather pieces of the clavie to light a New Year fire believed to keep witches and evil spirits away for a year. More… Discuss


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QUOTATION: Ambrose Bierce

A word which some lexicographer has marked obsolete is ever thereafter an object of dread and loathing to the fool writer, but if it is a good word and has no exact modern equivalent equally good, it is good enough for the good writer.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) Discuss


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George Joseph Smith (1872)

Smith was the English serial killer and bigamist behind the “Brides in the Bath” murders, a case that was a breakthrough in forensic investigation. Suspicions arose when three women were found dead in their bathtubs within three years—and each one had left money to her husband. However, none of the victims showed signs of violence. Smith’s perfect crime unraveled when the Detective Inspector was able to link him to each woman, and the pathologist determined that Smith had done what to them? More…Discuss


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Grand Canyon Designated a National Monument (1908)

Arizona’s Grand Canyon, the great gorge of the Colorado River, is one of the natural wonders of the world. The canyon reaches depths greater than 1 mile (1.6 km), and its multicolored rock layers and steep rims are renowned for their beauty. After visiting the Grand Canyon in 1903, US President Theodore Roosevelt—an avid conservationist—became a major proponent of its preservation and designated it a US National Monument on January 11, 1908. Who fought against his efforts? More… Discuss


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Daily Pot Use Tied to Earlier Onset of Psychosis

Many people view marijuana as a relatively harmlessdrug, but the truth is that we still do not fully understand its effects on the brain. Research has linked cannabis use to some cases of psychosis, but experts are dividedon whether the drug triggers the psychosis in vulnerable individuals or whether people prone to psychosis are just more likely to smoke pot. A recent study of adults diagnosed with a psychotic episode seems to support the former hypothesis, finding that those who smoke marijuana daily tend to have their first psychotic episode when they are about six years younger than those who abstain from the drug. More… Discuss


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The Nestorian Stele

The Nestorian Stele is an ancient stone artifact that reveals a Christian presence in 7th-century China. The Christian sect of Nestorianism originated in 5th-century Constantinople and reached China through missionaries. Inscribed in both Chinese and Syriac, the almost 10-foot (3-m) limestone stele, or stone slab, describes the existence of Christian communities in northern China and reveals that the Emperor Taizong had recognized Christianity by 635 CE. When was the stele unearthed?More… Discuss


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Snowflakes – The Washington Post

Snowflake images courtesy of the Jericho Historical Society, Jericho, VermontSnowflakes – The Washington Post.

Noam Chomsky: U.S. Politics Are Now ‘Pure Savagery’


Noam Chomsky: U.S. Politics Are Now ‘Pure Savagery’.

When income grows, who gains? | State of Working America

When income grows, who gains? | State of Working America.

The number of underemployed workers, including those unemployed, involuntary part-time for economic reasons, and marginally attached, 2000-2013 | State of Working America

Chart: The number of underemployed workers, including those unemployed, involuntary part-time for economic reasons, and marginally attached, 2000-2013The number of underemployed workers, including those unemployed, involuntary part-time for economic reasons, and marginally attached, 2000-2013 | State of Working America.

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Flashmob – Bolero de Ravel na Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Brasil, Conservatoire de Paris, GURI & EMESP

Project of Marine Gandon, Ghislain Roffat & Pierre-Olivier Schmitt

During three weeks, between August and September of 2013, musicians of the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP) were in Sao Paulo for pedagogical activities with teachers and students of Tom Jobim EMESP and Guri. The exchange is the result of a partnership between the Santa Marcelina Cultura and the prestigious french Institution. One of the results of the project was the execution of Ravel’s Bolero in the shape of a flashmob, at the Pinacoteca do Estado, on 14th September.

Durante três semanas, entre agosto e setembro de 2013, músicos do Conservatório de Paris estiveram em São Paulo para atividades pedagógicas com professores e alunos da EMESP Tom Jobim e do Guri. O intercâmbio é fruto de parceria entre a Santa Marcelina Cultura e a prestigiada instituição francesa. Como um dos resultados deste intercâmbio, surgiu o flashmob Bolero de Ravel na Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo.


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Great Performances: Valentina Lisitsa plays Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

Valentina Lisitsa plays Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

Recorded live on May 22th, 2010 in Leiden, Holland
by von Aichberger & Roenneke GmbH
Michael von Aichberger
Dominik Roenneke
Florian Breuer
Michael Hohnstock
Thanks to Alexei Kuznetsoff
Cum Laude Concerten, Leiden
Michiel van Westering


English: Pianist Valentina Lisitsa during an i...

English: Pianist Valentina Lisitsa during an interview in Leiden, Netherlands Deutsch: Pianistin Valentina Lisitsa während eines Interviews in Leiden, Holland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





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Great Performances: Leonid Kogan – Cantabile, Paganini

  • Leonid Borisovich Kogan was a preeminent Soviet violinist during the 20th century. He is considered to have been one of the greatest representatives of the Soviet School of violin playing. Wikipedia


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Great Performances: Wynton Marsalis – Johann Hummel Trumpet Concerto In Eb Major

As controversial as he is popular, Wynton Learson Marsalis is one of the most prominent jazz musicians of the modern era and is also a well-known instrumentalist in classical music.
Currently the Musical Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis has received many awards for his musical proficiency. These awards run the gambit of Grammys to a controversial awarding of the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his three and half hour jazz oratorio CD box set Blood on the Fields, the first jazz album to win this award. Born in a musically oriented family in the New Orleans jazz scene at a young age Wynton was exposed to many legendary jazz musicians. Some of these musicians were Al Hirt, who gave Wynton his first trumpet when he was 6 years of age and Danny Barker, a legendary jazz banjoist who lead the Fairview Baptist Church band which Wynton was playing in when he was eight.
Wynton was very active musically during high school and was a member in many New Orleans musical organizations such as the N.O. symphony brass quintet, the N.O. community concert band, N.O. youth orchestra, N.O. symphony and a popular local funk band called the Creators.
In 1978 he had a two-year stay at the Juilliard School of Music before joining the Jazz Messengers to study under master drummer and bandleader, Art Blakey. Not long after that he toured with the Herbie Hancock quartet before forming his own band. After many concerts and workshops Wynton rekindled widespread interest in an art form that had been largely abandoned. He has invested his creative energy and status in being an advocate for a relatively small era in the history of jazz. His advocacy in this area has garnered much controversy for his “classicist” view of jazz history considering post-1965 avant-garde playing to be outside of jazz and 1970s fusion to be barren.
This viewpoint was promoted strongly in Ken Burns‘ documentary Jazz; a documentary Wynton was artistic director and co-producer. However despite his controversial views few disagree that his musical abilities in both jazz and classical music are high impressive and worthy of the high praise it often receives.

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