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I’ve really been enjoying Ludovico Einaudi’s latest CD, In a Time Lapse. I first heard him play music from the recent work last fall during Apple’s iTunes festival. Ever since I purchased the music, I’ve been listening to it on a fairly regular basis, at least once a week. His music is hard to describe.…

In a Time Lapse

I’ve really been enjoying Ludovico Einaudi’s latest CD, In a Time Lapse. I first heard him play music from the recent work last fall during Apple’s iTunes festival. Ever since I purchased the music, I’ve been listening to it on a fairly regular basis, at least once a week. His music is hard to describe. I guess I would call in minimal, modern classical.

Here is a good review of the work. Check it out. And in the video below, the composer talks about the work.

Posted by Joel on January 19 2014 • Multimedia

Scientific Ideas Ready for Retirement

The Guardian asks scientists and thinkers alike, “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?” It’s a good question, and the responses are very interesting. Writers include noted scientists such as Richard Dawkins, but also the novelist Ian McEwan and actor Alan Alda, a lover of science and host of several television programs over the years devoted to scientific inquiry, who had this to say:

image"The idea that things are either true or false should possibly take a rest. I’m not a scientist, just a lover of science, so I might be speaking out of turn – but like all lovers I think about my beloved a lot. I want her to be free and productive, and not misunderstood.

For me, the trouble with truth is that not only is the notion of eternal, universal truth highly questionable, but simple, local truths are subject to refinement as well. Up is up and down is down, of course. Except under special circumstances. Is the north pole up and the south pole down? Is someone standing at one of the poles right-side up or upside-down? Kind of depends on your perspective.”

He continues to explain his thinking. Read more here.

Posted by Joel on January 18 2014 • Current Affairs

A Mad Devotion

imageDominic Smith of The Millions wanted to find out how many Americans are currently at work on a novel. He sifts through all of the available government and publishing data and comes up with a number. Click through the link to find his conclusions. With odds of publishing so low, why do so many Americans continue to work on their dream projects? “Writing a novel is like starting a small business and investing thousands of hours without knowing exactly what it is you’re going to end up selling,” he writes. “It’s a leap of faith every time, even for someone who is five novels into a career.” In the end, Smith calls the desire for someone to rise early, before going off to a day job, to work on their project that the world hasn’t asked them for “a kind of mad devotion.” I think the effort made to produce a work of art is a worthwhile pursuit, whether the end result is a successful book or not.

An interesting aside. I was surprised to learn just how many Icelanders are at work on similar literary pursuits. “Recently, the BBC reported that one in 10 Icelanders will publish a book at some point in their lives. Per capita, the island nation has more readers, writers, and books published than anywhere else on the planet. Since there are a little over 300,000 Icelanders, we can estimate that more than 30,000 writers are in various stages of germination, many of them novelists.”

Posted by Joel on January 04 2014 • Books