Archive for the ‘off topic’ Category

more anatomy

April 9, 2017

See more hilarity at Wrong Hands.

Bonus lesson – tuning guitar

April 8, 2016

James Taylor posted this intriguing lesson on tuning a guitar.

New Perspective

June 30, 2015

What happens when this guy puts an iPhone inside his guitar?

anatomy of songs

July 28, 2014

I found this entertaining song genre graphic at Wrong Hands

Please check out their website for more like this.


Super Bass: can you hit this note?

February 8, 2012

Listen to this. It may well be the lowest note you’ve ever heard sung. If you don’t want to hear the back story, start at 2:50.

A violinist in the metro

January 10, 2012

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Analysis: True. For 45 minutes on the morning of January 12, 2007, concert violinist Joshua Bell stood incognito on a Washington, D.C. subway platform and performed classical music for passersby. Video and audio of the performance are available on the Washington Post website.

“No one knew it,” explained Washington Post reporter Gene Weingarten several months after the event, “but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made.” Weingarten came up with the experiment to see how ordinary people would react.

And how did they react? For the most part, not at all. More than a thousand people entered the Metro station as Bell worked his way through a set list of classical masterpieces, but only a few stopped to listen. Some dropped money in his open violin case (for a total of about $27), but most never even stopped to look, Weingarten wrote.

The text above, penned by an unidentified author and circulated via blogs and email, poses a philosophical question: “If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?”

Which is fair to ask, and fair to answer that the demands of our fast-paced workaday world can indeed stand in the way of appreciating truth and beauty and other contemplative delights when we encounter them. But it’s equally fair to point out that there’s an appropriate time and place for everything. Was an experiment really necessary to determine that rush hour on a busy subway platform isn’t conducive to an appreciation of the sublime? Probably not, though it makes for an interesting story just the same.

Reshelving at Walmart

August 12, 2011

One man is taking matters into his own hands, bringing back the country classics. Read his intriguing story here.

Scanning brains for pop hits. What do you make of this?

July 1, 2011

Hit songs tap into inherent preferences in our brains. This is the conclusion of a new study that found that songs that become highly popular light up areas of the brain linked to reward and anticipation, regardless of whether listeners say they like the tunes.

In 2006, researchers at Emory University scanned the brains of teenagers while they were listening to little-known pop songs, and asked them whether they thought the tunes would be popular. Four years later, they compared the results to the songs’ sales. It turned out that the teens were no good at guessing which songs would do well. Their brain scans, on the other hand, often registered excitement for many of the songs that did become commercially successful – even if the teens said they didn’t really like the songs. The results are further proof that consumers may not be aware of – or at least want to admit – what they like.

A new field of research – neuroeconomics – studies just that phenomenon, anticipating popular trends by surveying gray matter. “You really can’t fake brain responses,” study author Gregory Berns tells “That taps into a raw reaction.”

Read the full story at livescience.

We remember George

November 29, 2010

Nine years after his death, we still remember George Harrison. This clip, from the 2nd Annual Prince’s Trust concert, includes Ringo and Phil Collins on drums, a huge horn section and I think that’s Elton John playing one of the keyboards.

In this video, the Beatles sing Something, another great George Harrison number.

Random pic of a guy on a motorboat guitar

July 19, 2010