Daily Archives: January 20, 2014


Jack Henry Abbott (1944)

While imprisoned in the 1970s—for various crimes, including the murder of a fellow inmate—Abbott began a correspondence with author Norman Mailer, hoping to help him write about prison life more authentically. Mailer was so impressed with Abbott’s writing that he helped him compile his letters into the acclaimed book In the Belly of the Beast and advocated for Abbott’s parole. However, just weeks after his release, Abbott fatally stabbed a man and was rearrested. Why had he done it? More… Discuss


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First Kiwanis Club Is Chartered (1915)

In 1914, Allen S. Browne and Joseph G. Prance created the Supreme Lodge Benevolent Order Brothers, a networking group for businessmen. Their club was officially chartered one year later with its now famous name “Kiwanis.” The club’s purpose has changed since then, but its popularity has only grown. Kiwanis Clubs today have both male and female members—roughly 600,000 of them—and focus on community service, sponsoring about 150,000 service projects each year. What does “Kiwanis” mean? More…Discuss


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The Siachen Glacier

Located 18,875 feet (5,753 m) above sea level in the Himalayan Mountains—between the boundary separating India and Pakistan—the Siachen Glacier is considered the world’s highest battlefield. Since India launched a successful military operation there in 1984, thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops have populated the otherwise uninhabited area. However, more soldiers have died from the harsh weather conditions than from combat. What effects has the human presence had on the glacier? More…Discuss


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Google Developing Glucose Monitor for the Eyes

Diabetics’ fingers may soon get a reprieve. Google is testing a prototype “smart contact lens” that can measure glucose levels in tears, thereby eliminating the need to repeatedly prick one’s fingers to test blood-sugar levels. The lens is able to generate a reading every second, effectively providing constant monitoring. The developers are also considering embedding in the lenses tiny LEDs that would light up as an alert that the wearer’s glucose has crossed a certain threshold. More… Discuss

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Definition: (verb) Provide housing for (military personnel).
Synonyms: cantonquarter
Usage: The citizens who were forced to billet soldiers in their own private homes were understandably irritated by the imposition.Discuss.


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Freedom’s Ring: King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

"I Have a Dream"
“I Have a Dream” (Photo credit: Tony Fischer Photography)

Freedom’s Ring

King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

via Freedom’s Ring: King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Had a Dream About the Curvaceous Slopes of California | Notes of a Native Daughter | SoCal Focus | KCET

Al Lisby. | Photo: Douglas McCullohDr. Martin Luther King Had a Dream About the Curvaceous Slopes of California | Notes of a Native Daughter | SoCal Focus | KCET.

L.A. Times’ images of Martin Luther King Jr. – Framework – Photos and Video – Visual Storytelling from the Los Angeles Times

L.A. Times’ images of Martin Luther King Jr. – Framework – Photos and Video – Visual Storytelling from the Los Angeles Times.

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Great Composers/Compositions: GEORGE WALKER: “Lyric for Strings” (Original Version)

One of Walker’s best-known early works was “Lyric” for String Orchestra. It was originally the 2nd movement, ‘Molto Adagio,’ of his String Quartet No. 1 (1946), and is performed here in that original version.
The Son Sonora String Quartet: Ashley Horne and Airi Yoshioka, violins;
Liu-Wien Ting, viola; Leo Grinhauz, cello
from Albany TROY1082 (2009)

Chamber works from this Pulitzer Prize winning composer.
Continuing Albany Records’ series of music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker, this recording focuses on his chamber music. The music ranges from his first string quartet composed in 1946 to the piano sonata composed in 1985. Walker is the recipient of six honorary doctoral degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
George Walker, composer
String Quartet No. 1
Son Sonora String Quartet
George Walker, composer
String Quartet No. 2
Son Sonora String Quartet
George Walker, composer
Piano Sonata No. 4
Frederick Moyer, piano
George Walker, composer
James Martin, baritone, George Walker, piano 
“The piano sonata is a stunning, spacious work. Walker is at his finest in the songs. Each one is a gem. …James Martin’s warm baritone, concise diction, and wide variety of colors are a perfect match for these songs.” (American Record Guide)
“From this CD one would conclude that [George Walker] is versatile, technically adept, and extremely skillful at changing styles…” (Fanfare)

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Great Compositions: Poulenc/Désormière : Les Biches en 1951

Francis POULENC – Les Biches

Orchestre de la Société des concerts du Conservatoire, dirigé par Roger Désormière
Enregistré le 15 juin 1951 à Paris, Maison de la Mutualité
33t : Decca LXT 2720 
Grand prix du disque 1953

Lettre à Yvonne de Casa-Fuerte du 8 juillet 1952 : « … L’état de Déso me désespère, me hante. Je ne savais pas tant l’aimer. J’ai été le voir. Il a eu une crise de désespoir effroyable. J’étais si bouleversé que j’ai éclaté en sanglots avec recrise de larmes le soir chez Da(rius Milhaud). Il est adorable de jeunesse, 30 ans à peine, rose et frais comme un petit bouvreuil et avec cela cet affreux silence, cette main inerte. Colette (Steinlen-Désormière) est héroïque. La pauvre Irène (Joachim), une épave. Vive la mort subite de Bébé (Christian Bérard), de Pierre Colle. 
« Vous allez bientôt entendr
e à New York l’enregistrement des Biches (Decca). C’est intolérable. Je ne peux l’entendre sans pleurer car personne ne donnera comme lui l’impression de mes 20 ans. … » 


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ORQUESTRA FILARMÔNICA DE GOIÁS – Johann Neruda: Trumpet Concerto in Eb

 Johann Neruda: Trumpet Concerto in Eb
Concerto da Orquestra Filarmônica de Goiás – Regência Eliseu Ferreira

Gravado em Goiânia – 28/08/2013. 

Great Composers/Compositions: Melodie for cello and orchestra Op.20 No.1 by Alexander Glazunov

Julian Lloyd Webber plays Melodie by Alexander Glazunov from the CD Cello Moods.


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Stanford: Magnificat in G — Choir of Salisbury Cathedral

The Choir of Salisbury Cathedral, under the direction of David Halls, perform Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford‘s setting of the Magnificat in G. Stanford’s G Major settings of the evening canticles are among the most recognisable musical settings of those texts, and the Magnificat in particular, with its effervescent organ part and demanding treble solo, is among the most popular and most recorded staples of the Anglican cathedral music repertoire. 

On this Marian-themed disk from Salisbury Cathedral, Daniel Cook and Simon Jacobs are at the cathedral’s mighty Willis organ, and an unnamed chorister leads the choir through the Mangificat with the piece’s signature treble solo.

[ Text: ]

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded: the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.

He hath showed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel: as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be
World without end.

[ Recording available on the disk ‘The Virgin Mary‘s Journey’ (Griffin: 2006). ]


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Celtic inspired classical music by Henrik Hansen Wonderful playlist!

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
Irish Rhapsody No. 1 in D minor, Op. 78 Dedicated to Hans Richter.
Ulster Orchestra, conducted by Vernon Handley

The composer tells us that the main idea of the First Rhapsody “is founded on an episode in the battles of the Finns and the loves of Cuchullin and Emer”. The heroic Irish folk tales of the Fina led by Finn and of the love of Cuchullin and his wife Emer are among the roots of W.B. Yeats’ poetry, and in music have been particularly associated with Arnold Bax, who had little time for Stanford. But Bax was unjust because Stanford too responded to this vivid tradition, and Stanford was an Irishman, which Bax was not. Dedicated to the conductor Hans Richter (subsequently to be the dedictee of Elgar’s First Symphony), it was first heard at the Norwich festival of 1902, the year of Stanford’s knighthood. The first London performance followed at a Philharmonic Society concert at Queen’s Hall on 12 March 1903, and it was so frequently played afterwards that Stanford said he begun to regret its composition.

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QUOTATION: Lucy Maud Montgomery about interest

One can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) Discuss


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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on the third Monday of every January.  Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. King has become a national icon in the history of American progressivism.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. In the United States, hundreds of streets have been renamed in his honor.

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Joy Adamson (1910)

Adamson was a Czech-born British naturalist. After moving to Kenya in 1939, she gained global fame for her books Born Free, Living Free, and Forever Free, about her experiences raising a lion cub with her husband and returning it to its natural habitat. Adamson had similar rehabilitative success with cheetah and leopard cubs, but in 1980 her body was found in Kenya’s Shaba National Reserve. Her death was initially attributed to a lion attack, but she was actually killed how?More… Discuss


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Crash of Air Inter Flight 148 (1992)

Air Inter Flight 148’s trip from Lyon to Strasbourg, France, on January 20, 1992, was relatively uneventful until it came time to land. It was then that things went horribly wrong. The autopilot was mistakenly left in the wrong mode, accelerating the descent. The crew was unaware of the approaching danger because the plane was not equipped with ground proximity warning systems. All but nine of the 96 people on board were killed in the resultant crash. What else may have contributed to the crash? More… Discuss


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Brain Training Wards Off Age-Related Cognitive Decline


As people age, certain cognitive abilities decline. However, there are things that can be done to delay and minimize these losses. Older adults who participated in


Deutsch: Phrenologie


10 to 12 60- to 75-minute brain training sessions saw improvements in memory, reasoning skills, and processing speed that persisted for years after. The memory gains began to taper off after the 5-year mark, while reasoning ability and processing speed benefits could still be detected 10 years later. More… Discuss



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The Merman

The male counterpart of the mermaid, the merman is a legendary creature that is human from the waist up but fish-like from the waist down. The most well-known merman is likely Triton, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite in Greek mythology. Triton lived in a golden palace in the ocean’s depths and controlled the waves with a conch shell. Mermen are now a pop culture staple—with Triton famously appearing in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Where can you see a supposedly “real” merman on display? More… Discuss


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