Previously on How to Fake Playing Piano, composer and musician Jason Oberholtzer taught you all the building blocks: what to do with your left hand, what to do with your right hand, and how chords work. Today he puts it all together. In the video above, Jason shows you how to noodle around on a piano and sound good,…
Smartphone-makers like Apple and Samsung don’t want you to repair their devices on your own (that’s what the protection plan is for), and apparently Google isn’t any different. A teardown of the newly released Pixel XL 2 reveals that it’s actually harder to fix than last year’s Pixel XL thanks to one key difference:…
(Finishing up a few remaining posts before we start our next trip.)
On my first visit to Japan, with a friend, we had the best meal of the trip and the worst meal of the trip within 24 hours of each other. We'd gone to Koya-san, the temple complex, and stayed in a temple for two nights and
It doesn't work with all of them. Apprenticeships are highly personal things. But when it does work it can be so amazingly transformative.
Usually early on, there is a point where I say: "don't try to be me. You are not me. It took me 1
Kate's last day is tomorrow. She is leaving after 3 years for a huge promotion in our world. It's a tough job, but she totally is ready. I am so proud, and I am so going to miss her (although it's not like she is dead, and this is a small town).
The problem with our two-year fellowship program is that losing an apprentice to the real world used to be much less frequent. It's hard not to get emotionally attached. Frankly, I don't know how regular teachers do it.
( Major Ashes to Ashes spoiler )
"it's in the way you're always hiding from the light / fast off to heaven like moses on a motorbike"Thursday, October 19th, 2017 09:45 am
Electromagnetic and gravitational waves observed together for the first time, from a nova* called GW170817 caused by the collision of two neutron stars. More. Among other really cool results, a demonstration that as Einstein predicted gravitational waves travel at the speed of light.
Half of the mass of the universe, previously missing, has been found
New hypothesis about knots in the early universe suggests that they provide an answer to both why the universe is three dimensional (knots can only form in 3D spaces -- they can be unraveled in higher dimensional spaces) and what powered the early inflationary universe. (via)
* Technically a kilonova.
Subject quote from "Break It Down Again," Tears for Fears.
A goat-herding dog refused to leave his goat flock -- and they made it it through the fire, and even enlarged the flock by a couple of deer fawns.
What operating system do you use? For some, that question may as well be posed in Latin or Sanskrit. For others, it’s an invitation to have a heated debate about the benefits of GUI vs. command line, modern day UI vs. old school metaphor, the pros/cons of Windows 10, LAMP vs. IIS … the list goes on and on. For most,…
Tyler and his wife like cars with a small footprint both physically and environmentally, but their compacts aren’t cutting it now that they have had twins. They want a car that can handle the family but doesn’t require a big sacrifice on the eco-friendly front. What should they buy?
At seven this morning, Karen was allowed a breakfast of one (1) glass of water, one (1) granola bar, and one (1) piece of fruit with no added yogurt. Fortunately, I was allowed all the coffee I wanted.
At nine we piled into the team bus, and came to the clinic. Access ports were opened, blood was drawn, and we sat around for an hour while they tested that for stem cell wealth.
Once satisfied, they are taking us - or at least the patient half of us - into the apheresis room, to be attached to a machine for the next four hours. Their blood will be slurruped out of them, and the stem cells fished individually (I like to think) from the blood before it's pumped back in again. Karen is rated for 117,000,000 cells. Which is quite a big number, and I want to know how they count 'em.
After that comes five hours of chemo, also through the port. Then they take us home.
Karen's been connected up, and we caregivers are not allowed into the apheresis room. So guess what I get to do for the next four hours?
Uh-huh. Fortunately, while we were making our wills and giving all our worldly goods into the possession of a trust (The Trebizon Trust, did I mention? I am convinced that in a few hundred years it'll be this megacorp, dominating human space if not in fact the galaxy), our lawyer and I had a cheerful talk about how The Count of Monte Cristo is a masterpiece, and I thought, "Ooh..."
So I'm halfway through that, and there's enough reading left to keep me happy for a day or two to come. After that, though, Lord only knows what I'll turn to next. Suggestions of long, familiar comfort-reads available on e-book will be gratefully received.
Though weather forecasting is a notoriously inexact science, thanks to voice assistants, pop-up notifications, and buzzing smartwatches, it’s easier than ever to keep tabs on the day’s weather (and dress accordingly). Of course, checking the truncated weather forecast on your phone might be convenient, but it could…
If you can’t be bothered to schlep to the gym during the winter, you can still keep in shape at home with this cleverly designed PowerBlock dumbbell set. Each dumbbell adjusts from 3 to 24 pounds in 3-pound increments with just the flick of a selector pin, so it’s basically like a complete weight rack that could…
Facebook video leads to arrest of convicted child rapist on charges he masturbated on a Red Line traThursday, October 19th, 2017 02:20 pm
Crime: city at a 30 year low, a 63% decrease since 1987. Same old stuff, a few house and car break-ins, package theft. More calls are of the nuisance and mental health (including substance abuse) issues. They are working on new strategies for handling those, more training. SPD committed to "procedural justice": fairness, transparency, opportunities for voice, impartiality. All police procedures now online + searchable.
NIT (neighborhood improvement team): program to address properties with chronic problems (abandoned, disrepair stuff). 38 cases from Sept 2016-Aug 2017. 20 active, 18 closed. Some of these need escalation to courts. They are working on them, challenges to closing them. But good to know that there's a way to kick these things into a process.
Airplane noise: considered the changes to Winthrop Tower plan a success for the city. Someone from da Ville is now officially on 33L Task Force. But still a known issue.
Somervision review. 5 years into this process, where are we? Updates from several city departments. New jobs on track. Housing + affordable housing a hard problem in a hot market. But city has 100 homes permanent affordability initiative, trying to compete on buying units. Looking at developing a tool for tenants getting first option to buy property at market value (I'm not entirely clear on this, sounded like Denise Provost was working on this?).
Development in "transformative" areas associated with Green Line. Includes an upcoming visioning meeting for Magoun-->Ball Sq area (see flyer here: https://imgur.com/a/j64rs ). Oct 24, 6-8pm at the VNA 259 Lowell St.
Green space: possibly the toughest thing in our high density situation. But re-furbing many existing parks, looking to create new. Look for upcoming meetings on Foss Park and Draw 7 park.
Mobility issues: walking, biking, traffic calming strategies all underway. "Neighborways" slow street painting projects (might be one we want to look at as an event?). Watch for Vision Zero action planning meetings (reducing bike/pedestrian harm). Frustrated neighbor complained about insufficient bus service, city answer was unsatisfying. But MBTA is not easy to work with.
Sustainability/climate: carbon neutrality studies + planning underway. City wants input on climate--see this survey: tinyurl.com/y7dI4fc7 See also the Sustainaville site for these reports: https://www.somervillema.gov/
One of the great innovations in education was the concept of the play-based early-childhood education, or kindergarten, developed by Friedrich Fröbel in the 19th century. For centuries we have accepted a model of playful exploration in the early years, a model that gradually shifts, in the elementary years, to a more…
The Root #FlyingWhileBlack: Harvard Law School Student Booted From American Airlines Plane With InfaThursday, October 19th, 2017 02:07 pm
The Root #FlyingWhileBlack: Harvard Law School Student Booted From American Airlines Plane With Infant | Jezebel Lindsay Lohan Says ‘Most Women in America’ Didn’t Care About Her Allegedly Abusive Ex-Fiancé | Deadspin Gordon Hayward Will Likely Miss The Entire Season | Earther Reminder: The U.S. Virgin Islands Are…
Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and author of the New York Times bestselling book, My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag ... And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha. Her flagship column, “Ask a Clean Person,” debuted in 2011. Here on Offspring, we’ve launched a new iteration of it, focusing on parenting…
It's getting darker earlier, which always makes it feel later than it is, but last night 11 pm felt like 2 am for some reason.
For some reason my DVR didn't pick up the season premiere of Star Wars Rebels on Monday (at any of the times it aired) but it did have the first half hour set to record last night, so I pressed record for the second episode as well (why does it do that? I do not understand!), even though I watched both live.
( spoilers of Mandalore )
This week we asked for your tips on visiting or living in Los Angeles, the Albany of the West. You delivered. (Thanks to the commenters who suggested “Don’t go to L.A.” Your usefulness cannot be understated.) Here are your best suggestions for the whole greater Los Angeles area.
This is the sequel to last year's charming Flying. It's not a bad book, but it highlights the perils of sequels rather clearly. Flying has a clear emotional arc and core: Mana is figuring out what the heck is going on with aliens and enhanced humans and her place in the world, but her relationship with her mother and her friends is rock solid. In Enhanced, the central mystery is far smaller in scale. The basic facts of the world are known and we're down to figuring out the details. Mana's mother is out of commission, and her relationship with her friends is shaky for most of it.
Possibly worse, her combination of cheerleader and superpowered (enhanced, as in the title) individual really doesn't get a chance to shine for a full three-quarters of the book. Mana is scared, uncertain, and on the defensive--which is fine, but it's less fun to read about than Mana discovering, exploring, and kicking butt.
There are some new aliens, some new government agencies, some new developments in the world. But in general this feels like a little more of the same but less so. A de-escalation in some senses, a holding pattern. I still believe that Jones has somewhere to take Mana and her pals Seppie and Lyle, and this book is a fast read to get to the next step, but...we're not at the next step yet, and I don't really feel closer.
Please consider using our link to buy Enhanced from Amazon. Or Flying.
Tuesday was trash pickup day, and from my past experience with UPS, I wouldn't be surprised if they left the package at the curb. I think it's time to avoid buying anything that ships by UPS.
The mishna that begins the current chapter talks about who has shares in the World to Come (Olam HaBa). We learn: all Israel have a share, except that the following have none: one who holds that resurrection of the dead (in the time of the messiah) is not biblical doctrine;1 one who holds that the torah was not divinely revealed, and an apikorus (here meaning a heretic; the word derives from Epicurean). R' Akiva adds: one who read uncanonical books; this might refer to Gnostic books or might refer to ascribing scriptural status to other books. R' Akiva also adds one who says a certain kind of magical charm, and Abba Saul adds one who pronounces the divine name as it is written. The mishna then goes on to single out seven individual people who have no share in the World to Come: the three kings Jeroboam, Ahab, and Manashe, and the four commoners Bilaam, Doeg, Ahitophel, and Gehazi. (90a)
The g'mara goes on for pages and pages from this mishna -- the next nine pages revolve around resurrection of the dead and the messiah. Today's daf, 95, is in the midst of that discussion, which is why I went back to the mishna rather than diving in there. I don't yet know the reasons for all seven people who are singled out.
1 A note in my translaton points out that the Sadducees and the Samaritans denied resurrection (and were relevant groups in mishnaic times).
(The last two Thursdays were holidays, hence the interruption in daf bits.)
Sean B. Carroll, Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo. Evo devo is, generally speaking, bullshit, but Carroll is someone I heard at Nobel Conference, and he goes beyond Just So Stories; he is a good egg. And he talked in general in this volume, stuff that one could find anywhere and probably already knew if one had the slightest interest, but then also about insect wing patterns, and the insect wing pattern stuff was interesting, so basically: skim to get to the insect wings.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance. Kindle. I had had such smashing success with 19th century novels lately! (Oh my Middlemarch.) And this one is set in a Fourierist phalanx and I thought, brilliant, lovely, let's do that then, perhaps I love Hawthorne now too! Oh. Oh neighbors. No. No not so much. Poor Mr. Hawthorne. I read all the many many pages of Middlemarch, and North and South and Framley Parsonage and so on, and never once did I think, well, poor lamb, I suppose you can't help it, it's like being born before antibiotics. And yet with The Blithedale Romance I caught myself thinking that on nearly every page. Because it was the only way through, the other alternative was to shake him until his teeth rattled and send him to bed without supper, two punishments that would not occur to me without 19th century novelists, thank you my dear Louisa. So: he goes on at great length about how men have no tenderness really, and there is a bunch of maundering stuff about women's work and the purity of women and how bachelors have to obsess about whether the women around them have known marriage before (hint: nope, obsessing on this topic is completely optional), there is a Dreadful Secret, he abandons all interest in the Fourierist phalanx except as background noise...oh Hawthorne. Oh Hawthorne no.
Ursula K. LeGuin, Searoad. Reread. I first read this when I lived in Oregon. I keep learning things about characterization from it, how she creates a seaside town one person at a time, how the stories link and twine and inform each other. This time, thanks to a conversation I'm having with Marie Brennan, I thought about how differently it would read if the stories were in a different order, how a character is shown novelistically though the structure looks like short stories.
Carter Meland, Stories for a Lost Child. This is a literary science fiction novel in an Anishinaabe tradition; the way that Meland uses the rhythms and patterning of language are not at all the same as the way Gerald Vizenor does in Treaty Shirts, and having more than one is really nice, I want more, yay. Stories for a Lost Child goes forward and backward in time, contemporary teenagers trying to figure things out, a grandfather writing with stories previously barely dreamed of, a space program, past pure water, all sorts of elements that fold together.
Mary Szybist, Incarnadine. This is a poetry collection focused--not in a religious-inspirational way, in a literary way--on the Annunciation. The image, the idea of the Annunciation threads through these poems, beautifully. They are beautiful poems. I was beginning to worry that they were all going to be beautiful poems and none of them were going to be heart-touching for me--that I was going to nod along and say, yes, beautiful, well done, but never, oh, oh, would you look at THIS one--and then, and then there was Here There Are Blueberries, so: oh. Would you look at THIS one.
Carrie Vaughn, Bannerless. I had previously enjoyed some of Vaughn's short stories but not really been the target audience for the Kitty books, so I was really excited at what a complete departure this is. It's a police procedural of sorts, with flashbacks to the (sorta) cop's young adulthood. It's also a post-apocalyptic novel, with a catastrophe that has led people to seriously consider their resource usage. And it's also a relationship story that, because of flashback structure, allows the protagonist to grow past her teenage relationship, to change and be an adult. For a short novel, there's a lot going on, and it all fits together and wraps itself up by the end. Pleased.
I called the landlord yesterday, left a message about it. There's construction going on on the floor below me, but I asked one of the guys if they're working on the plumbing and he said no.
It's still doing it.
How worried should I be? What scenarios could be causing this?