Category Archives: Arts

Apple’s Human Family Ad

I understand that advertisements are brief, so the iPhone ad by Apple featuring Maya Angelou’s marvelous “Human Family” had to be limited to 60 sec. Ms. Angelou’s poem runs 105 sec. So, of course, some parts of the poem had to be cut. Well, here’s a link allowing you to hear Ms. Angelou reading the poem in it’s entirety. Sorry. No photos shot on an iPhone or anything else. Just the the elegant, excellent words in her beautiful, more-alike-than-different, human-family voice.

Most readers will see the Apple advertisement without my help.


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Filed under Arts, News, Notes and comments, Peace, Technology, Thanks for reading, What I'm reading, Words

Vi Hart’s superb analysis of “Happy B’day”

At the beginning of her analysis of the lyrics and music of of the familiar song, Vi Hart refers to recent news by saying, “So you might have heard that you can sing ‘Happy Birthday’ without getting sued….” That’s just the beginning. Click here to watch the video and learn a lot.


The image is linked, but if you’d prefer, here is a direct link.


Filed under Amusements, Arts, Birthdays, Free speech, News, Tunes

Vi Hart out on a limb

Vi Hart, who is probably my favorite mathematician not named Robert Berry, released another wonderful video on 15 September 2015. Vi Hart muses about using a tree diagram to represent digits recursively in infinite progression (regression?). As usual, it’s smart, informative, amusing, and highly recommended. Snag a view from the Web page, Infinite Binary Trees, or from the YouTube page.

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Filed under Amusements, Arts, Education, Other sites

Looks gorgeous

Rob's book cover

See for Yourself: A Visual Guide to Everyday Beauty by Rob Forbes looks like a feast for those who enjoy finding design in their everyday surroundings. According to the author,

See for Yourself is a book I just completed, coming out in May, but its available now at PUBLIC. The book is comprised of over 500 images that I have taken during the last ten years from walks and bike rides in cities around the world. It’s in these everyday settings where I seek out quirky and unusual objects not found in tourist guides; benches in Milan, bike locks in Amsterdam, fire hoses in Maine, house numbers in Charleston, and hundreds of other pedestrian works of design. I wrote it with the same intent I had in founding PUBLIC Bikes: to encourage us to become more engaged and connected with our cities, and to put a smile on our faces.

Mr. Forbes has a wonderful eye for color and form. I’m looking forward to seeing this title.

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Filed under Amusements, Arts, Eco-stuff, Neighborhood, News, Notes and comments, Sites I visit

Thm Lone Bellow

It took me many months (like until just today) of listening to and watching videos of performances by The Lone Bellow to realize that I didn’t know the names of the band members. What! Who are thm?

I’ve been listening to them while I work. I’ve hummed their songs while I drive. I can sing along when I watch the many variants on their YouTube channel. A couple of songs have been ear worms from time to time.

I’ve been telling people about this group that blends their voices together so well. I’ve bought tickets to see them perform in March. I’ve told people to watch for when the come on tour in their neighborhoods.

But, wait! Who are they, individually? Well, in addition to the content on the site I noted in the first paragraph, one can always consult the Wikipedia entry. But I realized tonight that, after this intense romance, I didn’t know the names of these folks.

In a way, who cares? They’re a band, a troupe, a happy, non-threatening gang; a choir who play instruments, too. Some energetic singer folx…. And we’ll see them at the all-ready sold-out show at the Southern in March!

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Filed under Amusements, Arts, Memo to me, Neighborhood, News, Tunes

Catlin’s portraits of Native Americans

La-Doo-Ke-A, Buffalo Bull
A Grand Pawnee Warrior

Under the title “Testament and Spectacle” over on Times Quotidian, Theo Alexander has a post about portraits of Native Americans painted by George Catlin in the 19th century that were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), London, during the spring of 2013. Mr. Alexander’s take about Mr. Catlin’s 1830s-portraits is pretty interesting, but the images themselves are really fascinating (and he writes about that, too).

There’s more about this show available from the museum’s site devoted to the exhibition. The NPG has supporting materials including video interviews and, of course, a store. These portraits apparently are on display at the Smithsonian in Washington (DC, US) and there is an accessible virtual display. The following image of hunters stalking bison by hiding under wolfskins comes from that display.

Buffalo Hunt under Wolf-skin Mask

Times Quotidian, which Nancy Cantwell edits, covers an array of arts and cultural topics. Its other content is worth perusing while one’s there.

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Filed under Amusements, Arts, Sites I visit

Ahh, Brubeck

As the 1950s turned to the 60s, my family wound up in southern California. Our parents got a stereo, and my brother Frank and I started snagging records from lots of sources (nearby stores, Columbia’s record club, and more). We bought 33 rpm LPs, which were a departure from our elder siblings’ purchases, which had been 45 rpm recordings.

Some covers of the Brubeck et al.  33 rpm LP albums

Some covers Brubeck et al. 33 rpm LP albums

CL 1397 “Time Out” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet was one of the big hits we bought on our subscription from Columbia. Oh, we got the Kingston Trio, the Lamplighters, Barbara Streisand, and a host of other artists available through the catalog at that time. But we played the Brubeck album a lot. And when subsequent albums became available, we bought them.
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Filed under Amusements, Arts, Memories, News