Thursday, October 27, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
My friend H said that James Murphy used his voice like an instrument and I have to agree. It must take an enormous amount of effort to sing with that much energy for that long. They put on a good show.
H is also a new mom and has not been to many concerts recently. There is something wonderful about really loud speakers.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Konono No 1
These virtuosos of Congolese thumb piano make an incredibly energetic sea of music with the sparest of resources. Check out the microphone carved out of wood in this picture:
These sweet homemade robots give me a warm feeling like "Yes, I could create my own friend." These were featured as part of Make's new craft blog where you can find other great projects such as crocheting hyperbolic space and knit zombies.
Friday, October 14, 2005
We know about the fear that grips you when something's wrong with your child. When Boyo was a month old the pediatrician heard a heart murmur. It turns out that he had patent ductus arteriosus , a condition where a duct that circulates fetal blood to the placenta doesn't close correctly after birth. Blood than recirculates between the lungs and the heart and the inefficient pumping causes the heart to work too hard.
After hoping that it would close on it's own he eventually had to have surgery to tie it off at three months. This was incredibly nervewracking but we felt very lucky that this would fix his condition, that it was a very routine operation for the surgeons (not open-heart surgery) and that we had health insurance.
Boyo is fine now but are constantly amazed by the new territory of parenthood. The nurse at the birth did tell me "This is not the most difficult thing you will do for your child."
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I find it very frustrating when people refer to times in the past as if they were an ideal time to live. In addition to all the advances listed above, life in the developed nations is just EASIER. It doesn't take a day to do the laundry and food preparation. We have a tremendous amount of leisure time. We are lucky. This isn't to say that there aren't serious inequality problems that we need to address or that we haven't given up a connection to nature. We now have time to be depressed rather that being forced to struggle on a day to day basis just to survive.ALMOST MORE GOOD LUCK THAN YOU CAN BEAR
"The rise of modernity served many extraordinary purposes: the rise of democracy; the banishing of slavery; the emergence of liberal feminism; the differentiation of art and science and morality; the widespread emergence of empirical sciences; an increase in average life span of almost three decades; the introduction of relativity and perspectivism in art and morals and science; the move from ethnocentric to world-centric morality; and the undoing of dominator social hierarchies."
—Ken Wilber, *A Brief History of Everything*
Once we start recognizing what we've done right we can start trying to spread those things to the rest of the world and start to fix what we've broken along the way.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Scientology couple JOHN TRAVOLTA and KELLY PRESTON are urging KATIE HOLMES to have a 'silent birth' when she delivers fiance TOM CRUISE's baby next year (06) and follow the church's strict doctrines.
Scientologists believe children should be brought into the world without any fuss and be allowed to quietly get used to their surroundings. That means no music, no chatting and no expressions of pain from the mother.
Preston explains, "It's just because everything in moments of pain is really recorded and you want to have that (the birth) peaceful and clear of sort of suggestions or different words that can then affect them (babies) in their future."
It's especially vexing to me given that vocal toning was incredibly helpful for pain relief. I thought it sounded new-agey and ineffective too- until I tried it. This whole attitude of telling someone how they SHOULD give birth is cruisazy. I mean, you don't really know what will work until you are in the midst of trying to get through one of the difficult experiences of your life. To try to hold yourself to some higher moral ground while you're doing it just adds more stress.