September 16, 2019
It's legendary. If there five albums which define progressive rock, this is always going to be one of them. Yes' 1971 release Fragile never really had a strong chart presence. (A truncated version of its lead song made it to #13 in Billboard.) But growing up (of a certain age *cough), I'd bet everyone knew someone who owned a copy, or whose older brother or sister owned a copy. It was inescapable. Perhaps you've escaped it until now. Or perhaps you've not really listened for a long time. Well, here's your chance. Side A: Roundabout, Cans And Brahms (Extracts From Brahms' 4th Symphony In E Minor, Third Movement) [featuring Rick Wakeman], We Have Heaven[ featuring Jon Anderson], South Side Of The Sky [more inside]
In case you missed it, now you know about baseball pitcher Mike Fiers' short-lived beard.
Smithsonian Folkways Records, 1964, ctlg. FW06134 The album was recorded by physician Harm A. Drost at the Phonetic Laboratory of the Ear, Nose, and Throat Dept. of the University Hospital, Leiden, in the Netherlands, working under the direction of Professor H. A. E. van Dishoeck. As the advances were fairly new and surprisingly varied, Drost felt a phonograph album demonstrating the techniques would be useful for those in the field. Buccal speech (limited to certain consonants), parabuccal speech (collecting air in a space between the upper jaw and the cheek), glosso-pharyngeal speech (a method deemed obsolete where air is forced between the tongue and the palate), esophageal voice (made by reconditioning one's esophagus via swallowing, suction, or injection), various injection techniques and devices such as the larynxophone, pipa di tichioni, and "western electric" are all explored here, along with other aspects of the larynx and its absence. [YouTube Playlist | Spotify] [more inside]
Last Friday, Donald Trump fired off a falsehood-filled tweetstorm defending his record against impeachment, but today House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler told WNYC that, although he personally thinks Trump ought to be impeached, the committee is "concentrating our resources on determining whether to impeach the president [...] for the next few months." With Congress back in session, it began by passing a resolution to set procedures and rules for future impeachment investigation hearings, is negotiating with Jeff Sessions over his testimony, and will be hearing from a scheming Corey Lewandowski on Tuesday. [more inside]
Paula Fairfield is the sound designer behind the more fantastical elements in Game of Thrones. She’s given a voice to dragons, direwolves, white walkers, and more. But the story behind these voices goes much deeper than you might think. Hear how Paula’s personal journey played a part in creating some of the most iconic fantasy sounds of the day, and how Game of Thrones helped restore her spirit.
What multilingual nuns can tell us about dementia A strong ability in languages may help reduce the risk of developing dementia, says a new study. The research examined the health outcomes of 325 Roman Catholic nuns who were members of the Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States. The data was drawn from a larger, internationally recognized study examining the Sisters, known as the Nun Study. [more inside]
They’re very pretty. But that’s not all. They’re a great example of how much scientists have learned about birds and how many questions remain unanswered. There’s a lot of information in the chemical composition and color of those pretty feathers. Their bright wing and tail patterns seem to be useful for startling and flushing insects. Studies in other species indicate it’s an effective technique. First-year males have coloration more like females. Why? Maybe to cut down on attacks from older males. Or maybe not. Like most birds, redstarts are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, with about 40% of nestlings fathered by a bird outside the pair. Why do birds want multiple partners? A lot of thought and research has gone into answering that question.
What a Waste! Frozen Poop Knives Are Crappy Cutters, Scientists Find (Live Science): An anthropologist reported in the 1990s that there was "a well-known account" of a stranded Inuit man crafting a knife from his own, frozen excrement that was sharp enough to kill and butcher a dog. [...] A team of researchers in a laboratory that reverse-engineers ancient tools was intrigued by the story and decided to put it to the test. In the name of science, the lab's co-directors generated the experiments' raw materials and then crafted their own frozen poop knives, describing the process — and the disappointing outcome — in a new study (Science Direct). [more inside]
Inspired by Rahaf Mohammed, sisters Dua and Dalal fled their family while in Turkey. They've been trying to obtain asylum for months now, all while hiding from Saudi intelligence. (The Saudi consulate in Istanbul is of course where Jamal Kashoggi was killed, so the threat is very real.) The women report being beaten and abused by their family, who tried to marry them off to older men. That Dua is gay caused even more problems. Despite help from a British human rights lawyer and a Saudi activist, they remain at risk.
UAW workers on strike. 46,000 workers at the nation’s largest auto manufacturer walked out after negotiations collapsed Sunday. CNN Live updates. Workers pour out of GM plant in Rochester. (Twitter) Working People Podcast interviews people on the massive layoffs and cutbacks that lead to the strike conditions and the need for international solidarity 1, 2, 3, 4 (Patreon) Grocery workers ready to walk in 3 states . Oregon University Workers set to cast strike vote. Kaiser healthcare workers plan for nation's largest strike since 1997. How To Support The Global Climate Strike Sept 20-27th. [more inside]
The two marquee college sports - football and men's basketball - see major revenues created on the labor of a significant population of black athletes - revenue that then goes to colleges that are predominantly white. Jemele Hill, writing in The Atlantic, argues that black athletes should be making the decision to play for historically black colleges and universities, bringing that money and exposure back to the black community. (SLAtlantic) [more inside]
In 1975, Gulf Oil held a series of seminars to educate the Nigerian public on the benefits of the crude Gulf was lifting from that nation’s Delta Region. For comic relief, out came Mr. Emmanuel Omatshola’s Magic Barrel, a magician who produced an endless bounty from a steel drum: gasoline, kerosene, insecticides, nylon socks, rubber shoes, lipstick & rouge, paint for houses, cellophane to wrap fish and meat.[more inside]
Australia's social website to track aggressive swooping magpies in your area. If you are a cyclist, walker, runner or maybe a concerned member of the public then help protect others and share swooping magpie attacks: Australia's Magpie Swooping Map 2019! [more inside]
The Georgia Film Tax Credit brings hundreds of productions—and billions of dollars—to the state each year. But this past spring, a new anti-abortion law (previously) inspired a number of protests, and major Hollywood studios threatened to move their filming elsewhere. Will a boycott happen? Would it have any political effect? And what would it mean for the people who live and work in Georgia? Can Hollywood Change Georgia? Or Has It Already? Max Blau writes for The Ringer, recapping how Georgia became the "3rd coast" for movie and TV production, Hollywood's apparent indifference to other instances of weakened or lacking laws in Georgia or elsewhere, and how pro-choice states are targeting Georgia’s $10 billion film business (Bloomberg; Newsmax mirror/ copy)
Tetris crossed with Threes in a browser game that is beautifully frustrating.
Eye of the tiger? Russian hay cart? Chicken chasing? Which one’s really going to get you ready to go a few rounds with the Italian Stallion?
Breaking Bad but they're synthesizing insulin: Walter White, a 40-year-old teacher with limited health insurance can't afford to pay for his diabetic son's insulin... (continues). Not a joke: Biohackers with diabetes are making their own insulin – it’s the Open Insulin Project, "a team of Bay Area biohackers working on newer, simpler, less expensive ways to make insulin", and "who believe that insulin should be freely available to anybody who needs it". [more inside]
The Fed is going to revamp how Americans pay for things. Big banks aren't happy. "America's central bank plans to build its own real-time payment system, much to the chagrin of big commercial banks. The news: The Federal Reserve has announced that it will create 'FedNow', a system that will allow real-time bank-to-bank payments, all day every day."[1,2,3,4] [more inside]