How to Fake Playing Piano: Lesson 4

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 05:00 pm
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Posted by Nick Douglas

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,…


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Posted by Jacob Kleinman

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:…


Our worst meal in Japan, 2015

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 05:33 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Posted by Stephanie from Glamorous in Retrospect |
(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

Categories: #Japantrip2014-2015

Losing another work apprentice

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 01:14 pm
[personal profile] osewalrus
Always so bittersweet to see someone who came in with lots of raw talent leave a polished professional, confident and ready to become a leader in the field.  I shouldn't get so attached to them. But there is a reason that about 40%-50% of my time is taken up working with the younger staff. And yes, I have an actual mentorship/apprenticeship plan.

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 10, 15, lots and lots of years to learn to be me. You need to learn how to be you. Watch what i do and how I do it. Keep asking the questions. Remember the things that I tell you that are "skills" are different than figuring out your own methods and your own voice. There are a lot of right ways to do this job. Find your own voice. Don't try to use mine.

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 )

Police hunt Bruno Mars ticket scammer

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 04:55 pm
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Posted by adamg

Transit Police report they are looking for a guy who sold somebody more than $250 worth of counterfeit tickets to a Bruno Mars concert.

Mars played the Garden earlier this month. The guy sold the tickets to somebody on Sept. 23 at South Station, police say.

If they alleged larceny-by-scheme guy looks familiar, contact detectives at 617-222-1050 or send an anonymous text tip to 873873.

larryhammer: text: "space/time OTP: because their love is everything" (space/time otp)
[personal profile] larryhammer
Exciting times in astronomy and astrophysics:

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 hiding between the seat cushions. More. This is the ordinary ("baryonic") matter we know about and are -- we were pretty sure it had to be somewhere, based on models of the universe, but couldn't see it because it's not hot (i.e., inside stars) and so isn't bright -- as opposed to the still-unobserved "dark matter" that we think is causing other, weirder effects. (via)

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.

Five Years

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 12:42 pm
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Posted by adamg

WGBH is out with a poll that claims most Boston voters feel pretty darn good about their Hub and that that should be good news for Marty Walsh's election. But if you read down more than a couple of paragraphs, you see that it's mainly whites who feel that way:

Fully 62 percent of white voters and 67 percent of those with incomes over $100,000 rated the quality of life excellent or very good, compared to just 36 percent of black voters and 49 percent of those with incomes under $60,000.

On the question about Boston being a city for realizing hopes and dreams, more than half of white voters (56 percent) strongly agree, compared to just a third percent of black voters.

Speaking of WGBH, David Berrnstein poses five questions every mayoral candidate should answer (note: You'll have to actually listen to this; no transcript provided).

And as long as we're on a 'GBH roll here, don't forget they'll be holding the last (and second) mayoral debate, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Not that many people can fit in their studio, so you can listen to it on 89.7 FM or watch it on Channel 2 or

The Bay State Banner reports Walsh basically went "wha?" when asked why his name is on a bill in the legislature that would help charter schools that he says he opposes.

The Bulletin reports on a forum at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley held on equity issues involving young girls of color.

A whole lot of state legislators have endorsed at-large Councilor Michelle Wu.

Such a good dog!

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 11:27 am
jesse_the_k: Knitted red heart pulses larger within green and blue square (Beating heart of love GIF)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Thanks to [personal profile] rushthatspeaks for the link to a marvelous story about the Santa Rosa fire:

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.

How to Get Started with the Linux Operating System

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 04:00 pm
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Posted by Jack Wallen

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,…


Which would be worst?

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 11:58 am
supergee: (keystone)
[personal profile] supergee
1. The NYPD has a database that cannot be searched because they are incompetent.

2. The NYPD has a database that cannot be searched because they are afraid of what would be found.

3. The NYPD is lying.
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Posted by Tom McParland on Jalopnik, shared by Melissa Kirsch to Lifehacker

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?


Time is a mocker, strong think is raging

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 10:45 am
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
Day Minus Two: and this is the big one, as far as treatment is concerned. We have been told to expect to be in the clinic for about twelve hours.

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.


Thursday, October 19th, 2017 11:47 am
supergee: (screw)
[personal profile] supergee
If they’re so young that sex with them is illegal, maybe they’re too young to be branded for life as sex offenders.

Your Idea Will Never Be Ready

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 03:00 pm
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Posted by Patrick Allan

A large source of my creative procrastination comes from this notion that my idea “just isn’t ready yet,” like it’s fruit ripening on a tree. But you know what? That’s bullshit.


The Best Desktop Weather Apps 

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 02:45 pm
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Posted by Patrick Lucas Austin

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…


Anyone Can Find Space For This Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 11:56 am
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Posted by Shep McAllister on Kinja Deals, shared by Shep McAllister to Lifehacker

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…


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Posted by adamg

Transit Police report arresting a Boston man with no fixed address on a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior aboard a Red Line train on Oct. 13.

Police say they were alerted to Anthony Sansone's behavior the following day by a Facebook user who forwarded a link to a Facebook video of him fondling himself on the train.

Sansone, 52, is a Level 3 sex offender. According to state records, he was convicted of assault on a child with intent to rape and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 in 2004, and indecent assault and battery in 1991.

Innocent, etc.

Ward 5 Resistat, Fall 2017

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 10:16 am
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] whna
Let me cover the highlights from my side of the Hill:

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: ). 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:  See also the Sustainaville site for these reports:

How to Make High School More Like Kindergarten

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 02:30 pm
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Posted by Leigh Anderson on Offspring, shared by Michelle Woo to Lifehacker

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…


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Posted by Jolie Kerr on Offspring, shared by Virginia K. Smith to Lifehacker

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


They could call it Amazon Downs

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 01:47 pm
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Posted by adamg

WBUR reports Mayor Walsh tomorrow will detail his proposal to love up Amazon, with four possible sites in mind, but, really, he wants the Bezosphere to set up shop at Suffolk Downs.

The Orange Line is back on tracks at Forest Hills

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 01:45 pm
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Posted by adamg

Veeconley reports the T is once again using both tracks at Forest Hills, which should shave a minute or two off commutes to there. Of course, that does nothing to solve delays caused by the Orange Line just being the Orange Line, but it's a start.

i'd put you in a mirror i put in front of me

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 10:28 am
musesfool: anakin's lightsaber (this is your life)
[personal profile] musesfool
The past few nights, I've been in bed by 10:15, so last night when I stayed up until 11 (which is my usual bedtime), I was like, "it's so late!"

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 )


Our own haunted condo building?

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 01:09 pm
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Posted by adamg

Aline Kaplan introduces us to the architecture and possibly haunted history of the Charlesgate, a hotel turned dorm turned rooming house turned dorm again turned condos at Beacon Street and Charlesgate on the edge of the Back Bay.

The glowing spirits of horses that died in a flood have been seen on the ground floor where a stable was supposedly located. The building’s original plans show no stable on the premises, although you can have night-mares without real horses.

(no subject)

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 07:03 am
baranduin: (Call England)
[personal profile] baranduin
And now a word from Lord Elrond on the occasion of [personal profile] elwendell's birthday.

Love you! I hope you have a good day!

The Best L.A. Hacks From Our Readers

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Nick Douglas

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.


Enhanced, by Carrie Jones

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 08:14 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
Review copy provided by Tor Books.

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.

More delivery problems

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 09:01 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
A jacket which I ordered on eBay supposedly was delivered two days ago by UPS. There's been no sign of it. I've notified the seller.

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.

daf bit: Sanhedrin 90

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 08:53 am
cellio: (talmud)
[personal profile] cellio

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.)

Books read, early October

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 07:54 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
Elizabeth Bear, The Stone in the Skull. Discussed elsewhere.

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.
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Posted by Jacob Kleinman

WhatsApp announced on Wednesday that it’s adding live location sharing, making it easier to find your friends in real life with the Facebook-owned messaging app. It’s also great for sharing your commute so people know when you’ll arrive and that you’re safe.


[domesticity] That doesn't sound good...?

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 08:44 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
The water pipes in my apartment have abruptly started acting weird: very noisy and comes out sputtering. There seems to be air in the pipes. This started yesterday – first noticed when the toilet tank was refilling with cold water, checked the kitchen taps, and the cold water was doing it there, too. Then the hot water started doing that too, which has me more alarmed: that comes right out of my apartment's water heater tank, so there shouldn't be any opportunity for air to get in it, right?

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?

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