The AnkiDroid Collection (Part 22) – Satyagraha, Cosmology & Tonsure

Ankidroid additions related to Science, History and Philosophy. More information about Anki can be found in this article.

Satyagraha

Satya – Truth, Graha – Insistence

Gandhi described it as holding firmly to truth or truth force (and was represented to designate a determined but nonviolent resistance to evil – the famous Salt March). Satyagraha became a major tool in the Indian struggle against British imperialism and has since been adopted by protest groups in other countries.

Gandhi first conceived Satyagraha in 1906 in response to a law discriminating against Asians that was passed by the British colonial government of the Transvaal in South Africa. 

Galaxies and Stars

This is just in the observable Universe…there is an estimated one hundred billion galaxies in the Universe (revised down from 2 trillion) and approximately one hundred billion stars exist in each Galaxy. For more information about what is contained in our galaxy, I recommend the videos How Far Away is It – The Milky Way and Zooming to the Heart of the Milky Way.

Tonsure

A shaven crown or patch worn by monks as a Roman Catholic rite of admission to the clerical state. A fellow blogger enthusiast Bruce Goodman wrote how he was the second last-ever (at least in the western-world) to be formally given one. Bruce now lives in Shire territory NZ and you can read his post about that here.

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Posted in Reading, Reflections

How Soon Is Now? (1984) – the Smiths

In my last post about The SmithsHeaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, I listed my ‘Desert Island‘ favourite 5 songs of them. Today’s song How Soon is Now also made that short list. In fact it’s in my top 2 of that list and is my go-to song for those unfamiliar with their music. Coincidentally, it is was originally released a B-side of the 1984 single William, It Was Really Nothing which is the other in my top-2. In 2007, Marr (guitarist) said “How Soon Is Now? is “possibly [the Smiths’] most enduring record. It’s most people’s favourite, I think.”

It boggles my mind How Soon is Now was produced in 1984. The richness and currency of its sound and lyric, is like it was released to the masses yesterday. It hasn’t aged a bit and there exists few 80’s songs you could say that about. It reached No. 24 on the UK Singles Chart and when re-released in 1992, it reached No. 16. Despite its prominent place in the Smiths’ repertoire, it is not generally considered to be representative of the band’s style, but I believe the mood it conjures and what it expresses represents The Smiths modus operandi. I really enjoy the self pitying and mischievous rhetoric.

I am the son and the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular


You shut your mouth, how can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr wrote How Soon Is Now? along with William during a four-day period at Earl’s Court in London in June 1984 and that might explain why some perceive it not representative of the band. The opening of the song was adapted from a line in George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch: “To be born the son of a Middlemarch manufacturer, and inevitable heir to nothing in particular“.
Marr gave an account in 1990 of how he achieved the resonant sound:

The vibrato [tremolo] sound is incredible, and it took a long time. I put down the rhythm track on an Epiphone Casino through a Fender Twin Reverb without vibrato. Then we played the track back through four old Twins, one on each side. We had to keep all the amps vibrating in time to the track and each other, so we had to keep stopping and starting the track, recording it in 10-second bursts… I wish I could remember exactly how we did the slide part – not writing it down is one of the banes of my life!

Hence, How Soon Is Now? was considered a “major problem” to play in concert by the Smiths, and live versions by the Smiths are relatively rare, although the song has also been performed live by Johnny Marr, both solo and with his band the Healers.

References:
1. How Soon Is Now – Wikipedia

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8/08 – 14/08/22 – Tyson Fury, Racial Stereotypes & The new Jordan Peterson

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

Tyson Fury’s Speech Will Leave You Speechless
Speech excerpts at Wealth Motivation

As a small-time boxing aficionado, I was astounded by Tyson Fury’s recent efforts in the ring and enjoyed his stage presence dressed and claiming to be a Spartan. He has since hung-up the gloves undefeated Heavyweight champ, but when I saw this video that came into my feed, my admiration for him only intensified.

‘Tyson Fury has been through the most ups and downs in his life of any fighter in the history of the sport of boxing. Tyson Fury has retired and come back multiple times in his career, showing everybody that it can be done no matter what state you are in, in your life. The credit Tyson Fury deserves for providing motivation to everybody worldwide is unmatched.’ ..(Listen to speech excerpts here)

Bill Burr on Movie Racial Stereotypes
Comedy event excerpt at FlyingBearFilmMorgue

I confess I am not a big fan of Bill Burr’s comedy, but sometimes he hits the mark like he did in this part. There were many parts I found myself in hysterics like his quotes “Embarrassing for all races involved”, “The real racism is silent” and “They’re gonna steal the paddles”. (Watch entire excerpt here)

David Fuller: What Happened to Jordan Peterson?
Video interview at UnHerd

I agree that Jordan has become more polarising in the last few months or so and when he joined Daily Wire specifically. I think the criticisms are valid here although one could argue – Peterson knows how close we are to having peace and freedom snatched away – Its a quarter to midnight and David Fuller thinks it’s still noon.

Followers of the clinical psychologist and now world-famous member of the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’, Jordan Peterson, have noted a radical change in his video style in recent weeks. For David Fuller, founder of Rebel Wisdom, these videos ‘signalled a watershed moment’ for Peterson, from truth-seeker and mediator between Left and Right to a blinkered tribalist. UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers sat down in the studio with Fuller to dig a little deeper into his reservations about Jordan Peterson and alternative media’s part in this story. (Watch video presentation here)

news on the march the end
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Posted in Movies and TV, News, politics, Reflections, Sport and Adventure

Otherside – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers 1999 Woodstock

This is the second song to feature here from The Red Hot Chili Peppers but the first from their seventh album, Californication (1999), which became their biggest commercial success, with 16 million copies sold worldwide. In 1998 just prior the group was on the verge of breaking up. Their guitarist Frusciante had a heroin addiction which left him destitute and near death. Flea convinced Frusciante to admit himself to a Drug Rehabilitation Center. His addiction left him with scarring on his arms, a restructured nose, and dental implants following an oral infection. In April 1998, Flea visited the recovered Frusciante and asked him to rejoin the band; Frusciante began sobbing and said nothing would make him happier.

After more than a year of production the Red Hot Chili Peppers released Californication. Californication contained fewer rap songs (like the previous entry here – Give it Away) than its predecessors, instead integrating textured and melodic guitar riffs, vocals and basslines. It produced three number-one modern rock hits, Scar Tissue, Californication and today’s featured song – Otherside. The song confronts the battles addicts have with their prior addictions, specifically to former band member Hillel Slovak, who died of a heroin overdose in 1988. 

I heard your voice through a photograph
I thought it up and brought up the past
Once you know you can never go back
I gotta take it on the other side…

Centurys are what it meant to me
A cemetary where I marry the sea
A stranger thing that never changed my mind
I gotta take it on the other side
I gotta take it on take it on…

Many critics credited the success of the album to Frusciante’s return. The album launched them a 2-year international world tour and they played the closing show at Woodstock 1999 (pictured above). During their set a small fire escalated into violence and vandalism, resulting in the intervention of riot control squads. “It was clear that this situation had nothing to do with Woodstock anymore. It wasn’t symbolic of peace and love, but of greed and cashing in.”

References:
1. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Wikipedia
2. Otherside – Wikipedia

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Hotel Radio (2003) – David Bridie

Today’s song is the title track from one of my favourite Australian albums Hotel Radio. David Bridie’s music has featured extensively here at Observation Blogger. Bridie is hardly known in my home country, but he has had a great influence on the Australian music and film industry in similar mode to the unheralded The Go-Betweens (regarding music) who were a great inspiration to Bridie. This cruelly underrated Australian album Hotel Radio doesn’t even have a wikipage, but there are so many gems on it including today’s title track.

Bridie’s output is just so atmospheric and Hotel Radio is no exception. In some respects it reminds me of Dylan’s Visions of Johanna. He is a songwriting puritan and doesn’t appease to the masses. I watched him perform live many of the songs from the album and I listen to them regularly. Bridie formed a breakaway band – My Friend The Chocolate Cake whose music has also featured here. Their first album was recorded with a budget of $800. In his review of the album for Rolling Stone Australia, Bruce Elder wrote it is “one of the best albums of high-art pop ever recorded in Australia.”

February… one long day
I’d hardly call it summer when my skin’s so pale
Two star room well that’s ok
I stay one night then move on to another place
Each place I stay I hear the same wrong done
On my hotel radio


Far away from the bastard few
Roman pillar houses with a harbour view
I aspire to nothing it’s a regular thing’
On my hotel radio

No version of Hotel Radio exists on You Tube so I have uploaded my own audio which appears complete on his web page. All rights are reserved to David Bridie. As it states: ‘Regarded as Bridie’s most pop-oriented effort to date, the album radiates a sensual summer’s warmth with an expansive sense of mystery that delved even further into the artform of sonic texture. Title track is a wonderful song. Produced by David Bridie and co-producer Nick Littlemore‘.

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I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love With You (1973) – Tom Waits

I’m a huge fan of this song from Tom which has an alluring James Taylor-esque sound. It is from Tom’s pre-minstrel days and is hopelessly romantic. I’m going to go out on a limb and declare, ‘I don’t know how anyone could dislike ‘I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love With You‘. As a taxi driver once said, ‘I used to play Tom’s music in my cab. It really calmed down the drunks‘. They weren’t the only ones to find his music a soothing experience! This song is about as mellow Tom’s music gets. I love the turn in the 4th verse… ‘I hope YOU don’t fall in love with ME!’

Well I hope that I don’t fall in love with you
‘Cause falling in love just makes me blue,
Well the music plays and you display your heart for me to see,
I had a beer and now I hear you calling out for me
And I hope that I don’t fall in love with you.

Well the room is crowded, people everywhere
And I wonder, should I offer you a chair?
Well if you sit down with this old clown, take that frown and break it,
Before the evening’s gone away, I think that we could make it,
And I hope that I don’t fall in love with you.

After exposing all of his fears of commitment he realizes he is falling for her and now must face the realization she may return the favor. You can feel the pain of a man afraid of commitment in this song. He fumbles and worries and once he finally gets the confidence to face her, well it was too late. She is gone. Perhaps it’s more about a guy who’s not in love with the woman but in love with the idea of love itself so much so that he projects it onto any attractive stranger that he sees through his alcoholic haze, constructing a drunken reverie which dissipates as she leaves.

Closing Time was the debut record from Tom Waits and is noted as being predominantly folk influenced. It did not chart and received little attention from music press. Some songs from the album were covered by Tim Buckley and Bette Midler. The album has since gained a contemporary cult following among rock fans. Tom Waits began his musical career in 1970, performing every Monday night at The Troubadour (featured in Elton John’s recent biopic – Rocketman), a venue in West Hollywood. In Rolling Stone, critic Stephen Holden praised Closing Time as “a remarkable debut album“.  William Ruhlmann, in a retrospective AllMusic review, holds the album in high regard, describing Waits’ “lovelorn lyrics” as being “sentimental without being penetrating“, while also noting Waits’ gift for ‘self-conscious melancholy“.

References:
1. Closing Time – wikipedia

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Ascent (2010) – Stellardrone

Stellardrone at event “Paralelinės Dimensijos” Vilnius, Lithuania.

I first heard an excerpt of this music in the closing of the How Far Back is the James Webb able to See? with Dr. Klaus Pontoppidan video by Event Horizons. I was fascinated by it and requested details of the music in the comments section and Event Horizons kindly responded to me.

Ascent was released on Stellardrone‘s 2010 album Sublime.

Stellardrone is a pseudonym of amateur composer (Edgaras, b.1987, Lithuania, Vilnius) who started creating music in 2007. Using only computer software (Reason, Ableton, Audacity) and virtual synthesizers. He is mostly interested in ambient/electronic/space music and releases all albums for free (with an option to donate/buy) and promotes free sharing of digital copies.

You can find more music and information about Stellardrone at his following websites:

Bandcamp, Facebook, Soundcloud, Last.fm, & Myspace

Ascent is one of the very few ambient tracks I have presented here at OB. I find it alluring to listen to…so spacey, so dreamy. Try listening to it gazing out a window.

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Home Improvements (2007) – My Friend the Chocolate Cake (David Bridie)

The music of David Bridie (see at piano above) features prominently here. He is one of my favourite Australian music artists. You can read more about him in my other posts. Home Improvements is the title track from My Friend the Chocolate Cake‘s (MFTCC) sixth studio album released in 2007. When I lived in Australia I saw the group MFTCC many times and even spoke to Bridie and other band member’s on occasions. I have very fond memories of these events. This Melbourne ‘gypsy-like romp and ballad’ group always hit the sweet spot in my musical taste-buds. Today’s song Home Improvements is one of my preferred releases from them. I was captivated by it from the first moment I heard it.

As the SMH article reports below, the group chose an ‘odd’ subject for their single. Home Improvements is all about consumer distractions – the trappings stopping many of us from taking time out to indulge in life’s simple pleasures. “I guess the Bunnings-IKEA home-improvements stuff is something that a lot of people spend so much time on,” says singer-pianist David Bridie. “We get caught up with financial traps, too; that we need this and need that. I’m certain that it doesn’t make us any happierHome Improvements is part two to I’ve Got a Plan in some ways (which will feature later here in this music library project)”.
What entails the ‘Music Library Project’?

How ‘bout we just forget the home improvements
Just stop the wall and leave things as they are
How ‘bout we go and live in Barcelona
All Gaudí boys and girls in tapas bars
Those girls in tapas bars


How ‘bout we eat our dinner ‘round the table
And throw the television down the stairs
Take turns to tell each other fables
Talk only of the things for which we care

My Friend the Chocolate Cake were formed initially as an acoustic side project in 1989 by David Bridie on vocals, piano, harmonium and keyboards and Helen Mountfort on cello and backing vocals. Bridie and Mountfort were members of an ambient, world music ensemble Not Drowning, Waving who have featured here as well. My Friend the Chocolate Cake took their name from a song title by an obscure Sydney band, Ya Ya Choral. Bridie admitted that one reason they chose an all-acoustic act was so they did not have to carry around amplifiers.

Below, I have added their humorous video aptly filmed at a Melbourne Flea market. I always get a kick out of it and I hope you do as well.

References:
1. Sydney Morning Herald – My Friend the Chocolate Cake
2. My Friend The Chocolate Cake – Wikipedia

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Holberg Suite for Strings Prelude (Alegro Vivace) (1884) – Edvard Grieg

This exquisite piece put a spring into my step this Monday morning. Below is the first of a suite of 5 movements written by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Based on eighteenth-century dance forms it was written to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Dano Norwegian humanist playwright Ludvig Holberg. The Holberg Suite was originally composed for the piano, but a year later was adapted by Grieg himself for string orchestra. It is an attempt to echo as much as was known in Grieg’s time of the music of Holberg’s.

Edvard Grieg is considered one of the main Romantic era composers. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions brought the music of Norway to international consciousness, as well as helping to develop a national identity, much as Jean Sibelius did in Finland and who has already featured here with his phenomenal Finlandia Op.26. Edvard Grieg was raised in a musical family. His mother was his first piano teacher and taught him to play when he was aged six. He studied in several schools and eventually studied at the Leipzig University, but he unsatisfied with the course stating ‘I left Leipzig Conservatory just as stupid as I entered it. Naturally, I did learn something there, but my individuality was still a closed book to me.

After undergoing some life threatening illnesses namely, lung diseases, pleurisy and tuberculosis in 1860 he made his debut as a concert pianist in Karlshamn, Sweden which included Beethoven’s Pathetique sonata. In 1867 Grieg married his first cousin Nina Hagerup a lyric soprano (pictured left).

On 6 December 1897, Grieg and his wife performed some of his music at a private concert at Windsor Castle for Queen Victoria and her court.

Grieg was awarded two honorary doctorates, first by the University of Cambridge in 1894 and the next from the University of Oxford in 1906. Edvard Grieg died at the Municipal Hospital in Bergen, Norway, on 4 September 1907 at age 64 from heart failure. He had suffered a long period of illness. His last words were “Well, if it must be so.” His funeral drew between 30,000 and 40,000 people to the streets of his home town – the city of Bergen, to honor him.

References:
1. Holdberg Suite – wikipedia
2. Edvard Grieg – wikipedia

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25/07 – 31/07/22 – Reality, Tom Cruise & WHO

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

What is Reality? – Alan Watts
Audio lecture at Endeavour

The truth of the matter is – it all begins here (present). This is where the creation begins…You can’t conceive reality. You could say God is reality….We are so fixated on the future…It’s much better to have a present because if you don’t, it’s useless to make plans because when they work out you won’t be there to enjoy them, you’ll be thinking of something else.
So this is one activity which is curiously different from all others (meditation) – it has no purpose, it’s rather like music or dancing in that respect. You see, music is peculiar because it is a marvellous pattern of sounds which doesn’t mean anything except itself. In music we come into the present, not a hairline present, but an expanded present. In this you are released into reality. That is why it is said the angels in Heaven have harps and why they circle the throne of God and sing ‘Hallelujah’…(Listen to audio lecture here)

Tom Cruise at 60
Audio presentation at BBC Sounds

As he turns 60, Tom Cruise remains at the top of his game. His latest blockbuster, Top Gun: Maverick, is the world’s highest grossing film of the year so far. So how has he managed to remain relevant and successful for more than forty years? For 5 Minutes On, our Entertainment reporter Steve Holden, has been looking back at the actor’s career and hearing from people who’ve met him. (Listen to audio presentation here)

WHO Nudge Unit chief – ‘So what if I’m a Communist’?
Video presentation at UnHerd

Freddie Sayers reflects on the appointment of Prof. Susan Michie, who he interviewed in 2020 for LockdownTV, to the WHO Behavioural Insights advisory group. (Watch video presentation here)

news on the march the end

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Posted in Movies and TV, politics, Reflections