Tuesday, March 15, 2011

None shall pass!

In celebration of one and a half years of job searching.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Why should you learn French?

(Edit: replaced first paragraph and link which mysteriously disappeared upon first publish.)
This one's for Arbi-everything-sounds-good-in-French-trista. I heard this on the radio yesterday, and had to find it. It's David Bowie's Space Oddity covered --in French-- by Lucien Midnight. Not just French, but Quebecois French. Which is like three or four kinds of awesome, right there.

Tangentially, it took me a while to find, so I also came across a great 1999 cover of same by Natalie Merchant (sorry, but it's in English!):

But, even more interestingly, how, HOW?! did I teach foreign language classes for so many years without realizing that ABBA actually had French, Spanish and German versions of most of their own songs?!?!
I'm picturing language lab exercises, class dance-offs in costume and 70's hair....so many possibilities...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Who actually has access to the internet?

Here's an interesting recent report on internet access in the US.

On page 9, there's an executive summary listing the main findings of the report. But the graphs and tables further on are worth scrolling down to.

In short: findings show that internet access correlates with education levels, income levels, race and ethnicity, geography, rurality of location, and disability of potential internet users. No big surprises, but for those of you who live on the internet, a good reminder that much of the world does not.

If you are interested in world-wide statistics on internet access, look here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Learn to Sing Harmony

(Squee alert)

I found my (early!) birthday present today.

A year or two ago, I found Susan Anders' great CD Harmony Singing By Ear
It's a fun and interesting way to play around with harmony, especially for someone with no musical training at all. She keeps the theory rather low-key, and then you can skip the theory/strategy tracks when/if you just want to practice your part.

Today I found that she has put out an iPhone app for learning harmony/parts. It only has three old chestnuts included for now, but there are indications that songs will be added in future versions. (Lean on Me; Proud Mary; Teach Your Children, all three in SATB arrangements) It sells for $2.99, and is more of a part-learning tool than anything else (no theory here). There are four parts, and a music track for each song. You can turn the music track off or on, and you can set each of the parts to either full loudness, half loudness, or off.

I love it! My kind musical friends who bear with my constant pleas for separately recorded parts of vocal arrangements will love it, too!

What would/will make it even better:
1) more songs;
2) a looping function;
3) a programmable looping function (i.e. I want the bass part alone 4 times, then add in the soprano for 3 repetitions, then add the background music for 5 repeats, etc.);
4) a slider control for volume of each part, or at least a volume level added between half loudness and full loudness;
5) more songs.

The only person who won't love it is LP, who will have to listen to me hum and sing along....but then again, now hu doesn't have to go birthday shopping for me, either!   ;-)

(Disclaimer: I have no connection to to this product or its makers, other than that I am a happy customer.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Community and Street Life

Not so recent article from Treehugger.com regarding a not so recent but very interesting study. The gist of it (aka newsflash) is that more cars on your street means less personal interaction. But also: less awareness of details. Part of what is cool about this is how the data is visualized/drawn, and how people's visual memory/perception of their neighborhood is used to come up with quantifiable data, rather than just anecdotal evidence.

Revisiting Donald Appleyard's Livable Streets from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Most Powerful Woman in the Universe!

She-Ra is 25.
I wish her (and all the other Princesses of Power with recent birthdays) many happy returns.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Online lessons

Just came across this article on CNN.

The website for the organization.

Can't wait to check some of it out. Maybe I'll go back in time and actually 'beat' Chemistry... or Stats. hmm, is there Stats over there? /going to see/

I'm especially interested in watching some of the history lessons to see how well the format works for the humanities. I wonder if it's high school style history (i.e. 'facts', dates, etc.) or college-style history...

Might be fun to sling together a couple of lessons in random humanities fields. It would be a distraction from what I should be doing, but that hasn't stopped me from doing about a thousand other non-priority projects this month.