February 12, 2014 archive


On This Day In History February 12

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 322 days remaining until the end of the year (323 in leap years).

On this day in 1924, Rhapsody In Blue, by George Gershwin, performed for first time

Rhapsody in Blue premiered in an afternoon concert on February 12, 1924, held by Paul Whiteman and his band Palais Royal Orchestra, entitled An Experiment in Modern Music, which took place in Aeolian Hall in New York City. Many important and influential composers of the time such as John Phillip Sousa and Sergei Rachmaninoff were present. The event has since become historic specifically because of its premiere of the Rhapsody.

The purpose of the experiment, as told by Whiteman in a pre-concert lecture in front of many classical music critics and highbrows, was “to be purely educational.” It would “at least provide a stepping stone which will make it very simple for the masses to understand, and therefore, enjoy symphony and opera.” The program was long, including 26 separate musical movements, divided into 2 parts and 11 sections, bearing titles such as “True form of jazz” and “Contrast: legitimate scoring vs. jazzing”. Gershwin’s latest composition was the second to last piece (before Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1). Many of the numbers sounded similar and the ventilation system in the concert hall was broken. People in the audience were losing their patience, until the clarinet glissando that opened Rhapsody in Blue was heard. The piece was a huge success, and remains popular to this day.

The Rhapsody was performed by Whiteman’s band, with an added section of string players, and George Gershwin on piano. Gershwin decided to keep his options open as to when Whiteman would bring in the orchestra and he did not write out one of the pages for solo piano, with only the words “Wait for nod” scrawled by Grofe on the band score. Gershwin improvised some of what he was playing. As he did not write out the piano part until after the performance, we do not know exactly how the original Rhapsody sounded.

The opening clarinet glissando came into being during rehearsal when; “…as a joke on Gershwin, [Ross] Gorman (Whiteman’s virtuoso clarinettist) played the opening measure with a noticeable glissando, adding what he considered a humorous touch to the passage. Reacting favourably to Gorman’s whimsy, Gershwin asked him to perform the opening measure that way at the concert and to add as much of a ‘wail’ as possible.”

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Death by Metadata

Cross posted at The Stars Hollow Gazette

In their premier article for the new online magazine, The Intercept, co-founders Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald take an in-depth look at how the NSA mass surveillance plays an intrinsic role in President Barack Obama’s assassination program. In the article they reveal how the NSA is providing information that targets, not an individual, but a nameless SIM cards that have led to the deaths of innocent civilians:

According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using. [..]

In one tactic, the NSA “geolocates” the SIM card or handset of a suspected terrorist’s mobile phone, enabling the CIA and U.S. military to conduct night raids and drone strikes to kill or capture the individual in possession of the device. [..]

One problem, he explains, is that targets are increasingly aware of the NSA’s reliance on geolocating, and have moved to thwart the tactic. Some have as many as 16 different SIM cards associated with their identity within the High Value Target system. Others, unaware that their mobile phone is being targeted, lend their phone, with the SIM card in it, to friends, children, spouses and family members.

As a result, even when the agency correctly identifies and targets a SIM card belonging to a terror suspect, the phone may actually be carried by someone else, who is then killed in a strike. According to the former drone operator, the geolocation cells at the NSA that run the tracking program – known as Geo Cell – sometimes facilitate strikes without knowing whether the individual in possession of a tracked cell phone or SIM card is in fact the intended target of the strike. [..]

What’s more, he adds, the NSA often locates drone targets by analyzing the activity of a SIM card, rather than the actual content of the calls. Based on his experience, he has come to believe that the drone program amounts to little more than death by unreliable metadata.

(emphasis mine)

Jeremy and Glenn joined Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman to discuss the NSA’s secret role in President Obama’s assassination program and, defying the threats, the launch of The Intercept.

Transcript can be read here

Transcript can be read here

138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Day 2


Brittany Pointer Pointer (German Shorthaired)
Pointer (German Wirehaired) Retriever (Chesapeake Bay) Retriever (Curly-Coated)
Retriever (Flat-Coated) Retriever (Golden) Retriever (Labrador)
Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling) Setter (English) Setter (Gordon)
Setter (Irish) Setter (Irish Red and White) Spaniel (American Water)
Spaniel (Boykin) Spaniel (Clumber) Spaniel (Cocker) A.S.C.O.B.
Spaniel (Cocker) Black Spaniel (Cocker) Parti-Color Spaniel (English Cocker)
Spaniel (English Springer) Spaniel (Field) Spaniel (Irish Water)
Spaniel (Sussex) Spaniel (Welsh Springer) Spinone Italiano
Vizsla Weimaraner Wirehaired Pointing Griffon


Akita Alaskan Malamute Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog Black Russian Terrier Boxer
Bullmastiff Cane Corso Chinook (new for 2014)
Doberman Pinscher Dogue de Bordeaux German Pinscher
Giant Schnauzer Great Dane Great Pyrenees
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Komondor Kuvasz
Leonberger Mastiff Neapolitan Mastiff
Newfoundland Portuguese Water Dog Rottweiler
Samoyed Siberian Husky St Bernard
Standard Schnauzer Tibetan Mastiff


Airedale Terrier American Staffordshire Terrier Australian Terrier
Bedlington Terrier Border Terrier Bull Terrier (Colored)
Bull Terrier (White) Cairn Terrier Cesky Terrier
Dandie Dinmont Terrier Fox Terrier (Smooth) Fox Terrier (Wire)
Glen of Imaal Terrier Irish Terrier Kerry Blue Terrier
Lakeland Terrier Manchester Terrier (Standard) Miniature Bull Terrier
Miniature Schnauzer Norfolk Terrier Norwich Terrier
Parson Russell Terrier Rat Terrier (new for 2014) Russell Terrier
Scottish Terrier Sealyham Terrier Skye Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Staffordshire Bull Terrier Welsh Terrier
West Highland White Terrier

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