random song o’ the moment

Feb 23rd, 2008 Posted in music | no comment »

“Harder Than You Think” by Public Enemy

get off the list

Feb 18th, 2008 Posted in currents | no comment »

Tired of getting all those pre-approved credit card offers? The Federal Trade Commission has information on how to opt out of having your name reported to credit card companies by the major credit bureaus. While you’re at it, don’t forget that the Do Not Call Registry is still in effect to protect the sanctity of your evening from telemarketers.

light and shadows

Feb 15th, 2008 Posted in arts | no comment »

My favorite European painter is Caravaggio, whom I discovered a few years ago while visiting the San Luigi dei Francesi church in Rome. He was a master of the use of chiaroscuro, and produced some really dramatic (and sometimes graphic) works. Another artist that I just discovered a few months ago that also makes good use of the technique is Dutch painter Gerrit Dou, in particular his Astronomer by Candlelight on display at the Getty Museum in L.A.

shifting boundaries

Feb 15th, 2008 Posted in history | no comment »

If you’re a history and geography geek, go check out Thomas Lessman’s history maps of the eastern hemisphere. It’s interesting to see how peoples, nations, and empires come and go over the course of centuries.

music and history

Feb 14th, 2008 Posted in history, music | no comment »

I had a talk with a friend a couple of days ago about the link between history and music, and in particular how listening to certain music that relates to some bit of history can inspire you to go learn more about it. That’s certainly true for me. Case in point is Midnight Oil. I’ve been listening to them for over 20 years, and I’ve used their songs as a jumping off point for learning more about the plight of Aboriginal Australians (from their Diesel and Dust album, in particular “The Dead Heart” video a couple of posts back and “Beds Are Burning” below) and the Battle of Gallipoli and Kemal Ataturk (“Blossom and Blood” and their cover of Eric Bogle’s “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”), among others. Makes you wonder how moments from the present day will be immortalized in song.