Tag: The Breakfast Club

TBC: Morning Musing 9.24.14

Ok, I’m sick right now, so I’m going pretty light on this one. I can’t believe I missed it when it was written some 13 odd years ago, but it’s well worth the read as it’s still pertinent. Yeah yeah, I know it’s the Onion, but it’s right on the mark!

God Angrily Clarifies ‘Don’t Kill’ Rule

NEW YORK-Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient creator-deity worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against humans killing each other Monday.

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The Breakfast Club (Autumn in the North)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Richard Nixon gives his ‘Checkers’ speech; Rome’s Augustus Caesar born; Lewis and Clark finish trek to America’s West; Psychologist Sigmund Freud dies; Musicians Ray Charles and Bruce Springsteen born.

Autumn arrived in the Northern Hemisphere last night at 10:29 PM EDT.

During both the vernal and autumnal equinox, day and night are balanced to nearly 12 hours each all over the world.

Instead of a tilt away from or toward the sun, the Earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the Earth and the sun during an equinox.

Daylight in the Northern Hemisphere continues to gradually diminish until the winter solstice, which occurs on Dec. 21, 2014. The opposite occurs in the Southern Hemisphere, where daylight continues to grow longer.

How King Arthur Pendragon will be Celebrating at Stonehenge

Druid leader King Arthur Uther Pendragon is preparing to celebrate one of his favorite events of the year at Stonehenge – the autumn equinox.

Arthur, the leader of the druids and self-declared reincarnation of King Arthur, explained the rituals and meaning behind the equinoxes – the lesser known dates in the druid calendar after the summer and winter solstices. [..]

“We’ll be leading the festivities and ceremonies at Stonehenge. English Heritage will allow us in just before dawn and we’ll get into the centre circle, then myself and one of the arch druids will be leading the ceremony in the centre circle.

“After the centre circle I’ll be doing my own ceremony over by the heel stone where we’ll have drummers and pipers and poetry, dance, and so on. One of the things about the Druid tradition is it’s a celebration. What we tend to do at Stonehenge is to celebrate whatever we’ve set up for, which is the turning of the wheel.”

Druids celebrating the equinox have a similar prayer for all major events. They will call to the four quarters to ask for peace: “We’ll say ‘is there peace in the east?’ and the response would be ‘there is peace in the east’. Then we’ll go around to the south, west and north, then we’ll turn inwards and say is there peace or let there be peace throughout the whole world.”

The group will then have a celebration, with poetry, dance and music. In ancient times, the equinox would signify the start of winter. People would begin stocking up on food.

Fall Begins Monday: Equinox Myth Debunked

Referring to the equinox as being a time of equal day and night is a convenient oversimplification. For one thing, it treats night as simply the time the sun is beneath the horizon, and completely ignores twilight. If the sun were nothing more than a point of light in the sky, and if the Earth lacked an atmosphere, then at the time of an equinox, the sun would indeed spend one half of its path above the horizon and one half below.

But in reality, atmospheric refraction raises the sun’s disc by more than its own apparent diameter while it is rising or setting. Thus, when the sun looks like a reddish-orange ball just sitting on the horizon, it’s really an optical illusion. It is actually completely below the horizon.

In addition to refraction hastening sunrise and delaying sunset, there is another factor that makes daylight longer than night at an equinox: Sunrise and sunset are defined as the times when the first or last speck of the sun’s upper or lower limbs – not the center of the disc – are visible above the horizon. [..]

Certain astronomical myths die hard. One of these is that the entire Arctic region experiences six months of daylight and six months of darkness. Often, “night” is simply defined by the moment when the sun is beneath the horizon, as if twilight didn’t exist. This fallacy is repeated in innumerable geography textbooks, as well as travel articles and guides.

But twilight illuminates the sky to some extent whenever the sun’s upper rim is less than 18 degrees below the horizon. This marks the limit of astronomical twilight, when the sky is indeed totally dark from horizon to horizon.

The gifts of the autumnal equinox

Most of us have very mixed feelings about the autumnal equinox. We all understand the way it can (quite literally) darken one’s spirits. That’s especially true in a place like Vermont, where summers are breathtakingly beautiful and dispiritingly short. Everywhere, however, the autumnal equinox reminds us that another summer has past, the natural world is growing quiescent (or dying), and we are older. There is less sunlight. Less warmth. No blueberries.

Soon that ultimate bacchanal of death will be here, Halloween.

And what follows Halloween? The gray morass we call November. That’s usually the month when I finally get around to raking the trillions of leaves that have swooned (starving) to their death in my yard. Some are still phantasmagorically beautiful. All are annoying when they stick to the tines of my rake.

For the next three months, the days will continue to shrink and the nights will grow very, very long. There will be days in the not too distant future when it will feel here in Lincoln that the sun is falling behind the ridgeline to the west a little after lunch.

Have I depressed you enough?

But here’s the strange and wonderful reality that marks this time of the year: It actually feeds the soul’s need to cocoon. To nest. To hunker down after the zeal and sheer busyness of summer. I love those first fires I build in the woodstove – the aroma, the warmth, the luminescent little blaze through the palladium glass windows. I love collapsing on the floor in the den in the waning light of a Sunday afternoon and reading – often with a cat on my back. (Occasionally, as a matter of fact, with a 17-pound cat on my back.) I love the permission that short days and long nights give me to watch DVDs of two-decade old episodes of “Seinfeld.” [..]

The truth is, I really don’t mind the autumn. For the first time in months, we can savor the sluggishness that all of us, once in a while, crave. After all, in a mere 90 days – 13 weeks – the days once more will begin growing longer.

Breakfast Tunes

Polly Bergen 1930 – 2014

TBC: Morning Musing 9.22.14

So, in honor of the worldwide marches yesterday, I give you a few of my weekend reading on Climate Change.

First, a WaPo editorial urging action:

A climate for change: America should not wait while the world warms

FOR MORE than a century, scientists have understood the basic physics of the greenhouse effect. For decades, they’ve realized humans can affect the climate by burning coal, oil and gas. But the country’s leaders remain divided on the need to curb greenhouse emissions, let alone how to do it.

Among mainstream scientists, this paralysis is mind-boggling.

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The Breakfast Club

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Breakfast Tune

The Breakfast Club (Prima Donnas)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgI’ve often opined that “classical” music (also called “art” music to distinguish it from the time period) is the “rock” music of it’s age.  You have the dysfunctional artists (why do you think they call them divas?), the groupies, and-

a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.  There’s also a negative side.

Just as in contemporary times there are works that feature the talents of a small group and those that highlight a virtuoso individual performer.

And that is the difference between a Sonata and a Concerto.  A Sonata is a piece of several movements composed for one or two instruments as an ensemble.  A Concerto is a piece of several movements featuring a soloist accompanied by an orchestra or band.  The Sonata is the older form and originally meant a work without a vocal component (as opposed to a Cantata which means, literally, “to sing”).

The essential component here is several movements.  In Baroque music there were two types of Sonata- Sonata da Chiesa, which is one suitable for Church and always consists of several movements, “a slow introduction, a loosely fugued allegro, a cantabile slow movement, and a lively finale in some binary form suggesting affinity with the dance-tunes of the suite“, and a Sonata da Camera which was used at Court and basically a Prelude and then a Medley of popular dance tunes.

Rock, what am I telling you?

Gradually the form of the Chiesa came to predominate along with the content of the Camera so that during what we can properly call the Classical era the format of a Sonata evolved to 4 movements rather than 3 (or 2) including an Allegro with exposition, development, and recapitulation; a slow movement, an Andante, an Adagio or a Largo; a dance movement, usually a Minuet or a Scherzo featuring a trio; and a big windup, often a Rondo.  Because it was “art” music, melodies and rhythms were frequently repeated with variations in tempo and key and sometimes inverted and reversed notation.  Think of it as “sampling” especially as most of it was stolen from whatever people were grooving to at the moment.

As noted the Sonata is mostly scored for very small groups, typically a piano or harpsicord and the featured intrument.  So it’s like hiring the local garage band (keyboard, guitar, drums?) to play your backyard party.

A little aside-

I was studying (hah!) in Syracuse and my next door neighbor needed a ride to his buddy’s down in Binghamton where they were having a big blow out.  I already had plans for that day but I had some time so I said sure.  I got him there and helped the band set up and looked at my watch and said- “Woops, gotta go.”

What?!  You’re not going to stay for the party?

I have another party.  I’ll pick you up tomorrow.

Anyway I come back the next day and as I thought the party is still happening and other than having to pick my way through the beer cans and mud I didn’t miss a thing.  He, on the other hand, was totally impressed.

So, like that in wigs and frock coats.

A Concerto is an entirely big deal, like tickets for Springsteen.  There’s Bruce, and then there’s the band.

Once you have a background in the forms I expect I’ll be reduced to 17th to 19th century gossip and calumny which suits me just fine.  CT stands for COMPLETELY TRUE! (also Connecticut where we’re happy to sell you a chunk of wood and call it Nutmeg).  Today I’ll highlight 4 pieces, a Sonata and Concerto by Vivaldi from the Baroque period when the form was developing, and a Sonata and Concerto by Mozart which represents the Classical era archtype.

Vivaldi Sonata for Bassoon and Harp in A minor

Vivaldi Concerto for Two Cellos in G minor

Mozart Violin Sonata No 32 in B flat major

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major

Oblgatories, News, and Blogs below.

The Breakfast Club (What Doesn’t Kill You)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

A pivotal battle in the American Revolution; President James Garfield dies; Bruno Hauptmann arrested in the Lindbergh baby case; Unabomber’s manifesto published; ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ premieres.

Scotland Rejects Independence From Britain in a Close Vote

Voters in Scotland rejected independence from Britain in a referendum that had threatened to break up the 307-year union between them, according to projections by the BBC and Sky News early Friday.

Before dawn after a night of counting that showed a steady trend in favor of maintaining the union, Nicola Sturgeon, the deputy head of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, effectively conceded defeat for the “yes” campaign that had pressed for secession. [..]

With 26 of 32 voting districts reporting, there were 1,397,077 votes, or 54.2 percent, against independence, and 1,176,952, or 45.7 percent, in favor.

Breakfast Tunes

The Breakfast Club (Science and Tech Thursday)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgIf I may be forgiven a little meta, be careful what you wish for.

I had opined to that group of us who put these together I found it easier with a theme and suggested some including Science and Technology to which the universal response was- “What an excellent idea, why don’t you do that?”

They kind of missed my point but being a ‘follow me’ type of leader I’m prepared to show how it can be done.

As always I don’t feel constrained by any particular format other than my own so I’ll start out with your quote

The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

-Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Science Oriented Video!

Science/Tech News

Busy Days Precede a March Focusing on Climate Change

By LISA W. FODERARO, The New York Times

SEPT. 17, 2014

The run-up to what organizers say will be the largest protest about climate change in the history of the United States has transformed New York City into a beehive of planning and creativity, drawing graying local activists and young artists from as far away as Germany.

“This is the final crunch, the product of six months of work to make the People’s March a big, beautiful expression of the climate movement,” said Rachel Schragis, a Brooklyn-based artist and activist who is coordinating the production of floats, banners and signs.

The march, organized by more than a dozen environmental, labor and social justice groups, is planned to wend its way through Midtown Manhattan along a two-mile route approved by the city’s Police Department last month. It will start at 11:30 a.m. at Columbus Circle, then move east along 59th Street, south on Avenue of the Americas and west on 42nd Street, finishing at 11th Avenue and West 34th Street.



Organizers say it is impossible to predict how many people could show up. But 1,400 “partner organizations” have signed on, ranging from small groups to international coalitions. In addition, students have mobilized marchers at more than 300 college campuses, and more than 2,700 climate events in 158 countries are planned to coincide with the New York march, including rallies in Delhi, Jakarta, London, Melbourne and Rio de Janeiro.

In New York, organizers are expecting 496 buses from as far away as Minnesota and Kansas to bring marchers.

“The most useful gallon of gasoline anyone will ever burn is the one that gets them to the march,” Mr. McKibben said. (By contrast, all floats will be pulled by biodeisel-powered cars and trucks or by hand, organizers said.)

Science/Tech Blogs

The Obligatories, News, and Blogs below.

TBC: Morning Musing 9.17.14

I have one really good article on an idea that Utah put into effect a few years ago that is working. Now if we can only get more places to jump on this bandwagon…

Home Free?

In 2005, Utah set out to fix a problem that’s often thought of as unfixable: chronic homelessness. The state had almost two thousand chronically homeless people. Most of them had mental-health or substance-abuse issues, or both. At the time, the standard approach was to try to make homeless people “housing ready”: first, you got people into shelters or halfway houses and put them into treatment; only when they made progress could they get a chance at permanent housing. Utah, though, embraced a different strategy, called Housing First: it started by just giving the homeless homes.

(snip)

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TBC: Morning Musing 9.16.14

Well, here’s a roundup of Adrian Peterson/NFL news.

First, Cris Carter says exactly what needs to be said:

Watch Cris Carter take an emotional stand against child abuse on ESPN

“My mom did the best job she could do. Raising seven kids by herself. But there are thousands of things that I have learned since then that my mom was wrong. It’s the 21st century. My mom was wrong. She did the best she could, but she was wrong about some of that stuff she taught me. And I promise my kids I won’t teach that mess to them.”

Apparently, Peterson had another son that got the Peterson discipline in much the same way. I’m sure the NFL is looking into it. Not.

More accusations for Adrian Peterson

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TBC: Morning Musing 9.15.14

I’ve got 3 articles from my weekend reading for your perusal.

The first one is on the stupidity of the DC politicos and their stupid geniusus:

All these effing geniuses: Ezra Klein, expert-driven journalism, and the phony Washington consensus

In a recent article on Vox, Ezra Klein declared that his generation of Washington journalists had discovered political science, and it is like the hottest thing on wheels. In the old days, he writes, journalists “dealt with political science episodically and condescendingly.” But now, Klein declares, “Washington is listening to political scientists, in large part because it’s stopped trusting itself.” Klein finds that political scientists give better answers to his questions than politicians themselves, because politicians are evasive but scientists are scientists, you know, they deal in “structural explanations” for political events. So the “young political journalists” who are roaring around town in their white lab coats frightening the local bourgeoisie “know a lot more about political science and how to use it” than their elders did.

Hence Klein’s title: “How Political Science Conquered Washington.”

Nearly every aspect of this argument annoyed me. To suggest, for starters, that people in Washington are-or were, until recently-ignorant or contemptuous of academic expertise is like saying the people of Tulsa have not yet heard about this amazing stuff called oil. Not only does Washington routinely fill the No. 1 spot on those “most educated cities” articles, but the town positively seethes with academic experts. Indeed, it is the only city I know of that actually boasts a sizable population of fake experts, handing out free-market wisdom to passers-by from their subsidized seats at Cato and Heritage.

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The Breakfast Club (Wake Me Up When September Ends)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

America mourns victims of Sept. 11th attacks; Theodore Roosevelt becomes President; ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ written; Monaco’s Princess Grace dies; Baseball season cancelled due to players’ strike.

Breakfast Tunes

The Breakfast Club (Sound of an Atom)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgAs long as we’re talking about musical forms, we might well discuss the Fugue, a Baroque development that was later supplanted by the Sonata which was the basis for the Symphony and we all remember the Symphony don’t we?

C’mon, it was just last week.  Didn’t I tell you to practice at home?

Well, maybe not.  And some actually prefer the noise these kids today make with their “electric” instruments eshewing the lute, recorder, and drum.

Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.

I was in my mid 30’s in 1929, do the math.

Well you thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever

But you rode upon a steamer to the violence of the sun

And the colors of the sea blind your eyes with trembling mermaids

And you touch the distant beaches with tales of brave Ulysses

How his naked ears were tortured by the sirens sweetly singing

Sparkling waves are calling you to touch her white laced lips

You see your girl’s brown body dancing through the turquoise

And her footprints make you follow where the sky loves the sea

And when your fingers find her, she drowns you in her body

Carving deep blue ripples in the tissues of your mind

The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers

You want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter

Her name is Aphrodite and she rides a crimson shell

You know you cannot leave her for you touched the distant sands

With tales of brave Ulysses, how his naked ears were tortured

By the sirens sweetly singing

The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers

You want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter

In any event a Fugue

is a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the memories, personality, and other identifying characteristics of individuality. The state is usually short-lived (ranging from hours to days), but can last months or longer. Dissociative fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity.

After recovery from fugue, previous memories usually return intact, but there is typically amnesia for the fugue episode. Additionally, an episode of fugue is not characterized as attributable to a psychiatric disorder if it can be related to the ingestion of psychotropic substances, to physical trauma, to a general medical condition, or to psychiatric conditions such as delirium, dementia, bipolar disorder or depression. Fugues are usually precipitated by a stressful episode, and upon recovery there may be amnesia for the original stressor (dissociative amnesia).

Wait, where was I?  A Fugue

is a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject (theme) that is introduced at the beginning in imitation (repetition at different pitches) and recurs frequently in the course of the composition.



A fugue usually has three sections: an exposition, a development, and a recapitulation containing the return of the subject in the fugue’s tonic key, though not all fugues have a recapitulation. In the Middle Ages, the term was widely used to denote any works in canonic style; by the Renaissance, it had come to denote specifically imitative works. Since the 17th century, the term fugue has described what is commonly regarded as the most fully developed procedure of imitative counterpoint.

Most fugues open with a short main theme, the subject, which then sounds successively in each voice (after the first voice is finished stating the subject, a second voice repeats the subject at a different pitch, and other voices repeat in the same way); when each voice has entered, the exposition is complete. This is often followed by a connecting passage, or episode, developed from previously heard material; further “entries” of the subject then are heard in related keys. Episodes (if applicable) and entries are usually alternated until the “final entry” of the subject, by which point the music has returned to the opening key, or tonic, which is often followed by closing material, the coda. In this sense, a fugue is a style of composition, rather than a fixed structure.

Since we’ve discovered that the natural sound of an atom (a simulation only and not a very specific atom like gold or silver or iron or helium, hydrogen or lithium) here is Pachelbel’s Fugue in D Major.

Oblgatories and more psychotic episodes (in D Major) below.

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