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    29th September 2011

    This and that (things I found interesting or amazing)…

    Many marvelous things can be found on the world wide web, and sometimes there are various things that I think are pretty amazing. Here is a small collection of things that I’ve thought remarkable in the past few weeks:

    MUSIC:

    As I’ve been mixing new music that was recorded while back in Colorado for a month this summer, I have listened to a number of duet type songs to hear how they have been mixed to give myself clues about how to mix together Kristen and me. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin and Alison Krauss of bluegrass fame created a collaborative album produced by T-Bone Burnett called Raising Sand that won some Grammy Awards and a received lot of critical acclaim. One song that I had previously missed from that collection was a cover of “Killing the Blues” that really kills me (in a good way). Listen here.

    I also recently watched Pan’s Labyrinth, a beautiful film by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro and set in Spain, 1944. It features a breathtaking, mesmerizing, and haunting lullaby by composer Javier Navarette. Listen here.

    SPORTS

    If you’re a sport nut, ESPN is one of your permalinks and you probably already know about the new Grantland spin-off website pioneered by ESPN writer Bill Simmons. Grantland features opinion-type pieces by a stable of quality writers and occasionally Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink, The Outliers, and The Tipping Point, contributes. He recently wrote a pair of articles about some of the economic factors involved in the NBA lockout – and how the NBA owners complaints about their financial woes are bogus. For the first article click here. For the second, try clicking here.

    GEOGRAPHY

    This morning I came across a site for a ministry that is building mobility devices for victims of polio in Nigeria – a worthy cause for certain – but one thing stood out to me more than anything on that website. They said that Nigeria’s population was half that of the United States. I was shocked, once again pulled out of my little US-centric bubble. Which is not to say that I only think of American things all the time, but that I hadn’t realized that a country in Sub-Saharan Africa had a population of 158 million something. Which brought me to the Wikipedia page for the list of countries by population. Take a look. There were some surprises for me. Bangladesh – 150 mil? That isn’t a very big space. Pakistan – 177 mil? I had no idea Pakistan was so populated!

    And finally, while we are on demographics, a friend in the MAT program here at USC pointed out to my classmates and me an LA Times webpage that gives information about all of the different neighborhoods in Los Angeles. I spent well over an hour looking at statistics on different neighborhoods, from the average income in Malibu or Beverly Hills to the crime rate in South Central, Watts, or my own home neighborhood, University Park. Pretty interesting.

    Have a wonderful day and weekend and I suppose I might be posting some sort of Commonbook entry this weekend, so if you’re into English education I know you’re excited.

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.