Voice's Human

Probably because of my penchant for voice, I love a cappella music.
And probably out of nostalgia, I really like the Swingle Singers.

My favorite works of theirs are probably their versions of Bach pieces. Those are part of my life's soundtrack, especially when I feel good.
Sure, it sounds "dated" because these vocal harmonies were prominent in French movies and advertising from the early 1960s. But there's a special charm to this kind of "trip down memory lane" on which we can go, just by listening to something. While it's fun to "live in the now," being able to go back and forth in time can elicit strong emotions. At least, it does in me.

Yet, a cappella music isn't just about the 1960s. It's actually a very broad category in music which spans many genres, from barbershop quartets and boy bands to doo-wop and religious choirs.
During my Ph.D. coursework, part of my favorite work was something I did about Bloomington's a cappella scene. In part because it was a typical college town, Bloomington had a number of a cappella groups while I was living there. At the time, I was able to talk with members of Monkey Puzzle, Vida, Straight No Chaser, and Ladies First. Some of these groups have disbanded since then but many of those voices are still resounding. For instance, Moira Smiley has gone on to form new vocal bands.
The human voice is such a wonderful thing. Diverse and universal. Versatile and finite. Historical and atemporal.

Chaperonnette à pois

Pour toutes celles et tous ceux qui aiment danser comme chaperonnette à pois, la plus célèbre des Tessinoises. («Lupo lupone e cappuccetto a pois», pour les italophones...)

La couronne du lion

Monsieur Muscle

J'avais déjà blogué là-dessus sur mon blogue principal, il y a deux ans, mais l'extrait original n'est plus disponible.
Les vidéos ici semblent complets. Veoh permet même de télécharger les vidéos. Pour installer l'application, il faut faire une petite manipulation (effacer le fichier «Veoh Player.pkg/Contents/Resources/InstallationCheck»). Mais ça semble fonctionner correctement.


Frozen Montreal

No, not because of the weather. It was a flashmob-type "stay still for five minutes" event, inspired by a similar event in NYC.

Much of this event was organized through Facebook. Several Yulbloggers participated, including the ever-thoughtful Fagstein.

The NYC version does look more impressive, obviously. I still wish I could have participated. Maybe we should do one in Austin during SXSW.
Here's a video of the NYC version:

Frozen Grand Central Station Over a hundred people stopping dead in their tracks at the same time in a large public space. And then the reaction.


L'efficacité de Maurane

J'ai qu'à l'écouter et je me sens bien.

free music

Surtout quand elle est si bien entourée. D'après moi, ce genre de chanson convient vraiment à sa voix si flexible. Le passage gospel est bien emmené. Il y a des côtés qui ont vieilli un peu, mais ça fait quand même du bien.


Game, Drama, Fashion Show, Media Event?

Austin, my current hometown, was host last night to the kind of event which gets national coverage. This time, 43,436 people tried to attend the event but only a hundred of them got selected. There were also 400 tickets for around 18,000 UT students who had entered the lottery.

Contrary to what one might guess, the event was not about Longhorn Football. Although, one of the protagonists in last night's event, a basketball player, did visit UT's famous team.

The "post-game analysis" makes it sound like a match between two sports teams.

Interestingly enough, it's a mixed sport, making it easy for journalists to use pronouns to distinguish players in the two teams. One source described the night's event as possible end game for the team led by a woman:

After losing a string of contests to [him] over the last several weeks, she is running neck-and-neck with him in Texas, according to some polls, a state in which she previously had a commanding lead.

One might think it was a fashion show:

the gold piping on her raised black collar and pockets gave her a martial, commander-in-chief look (the very model of a modern major general)

But I also get the impression that it was a theater premiere, with one source describing one actor's "classic 'I-feel-your-pain' finale" meant to go to watchers' "heads and hearts."

In the end, the event was mostly "media event." By the media, for the media, of the media.

Most likely, it won't change the dynamic of this race, though the true effect of it will be determined by the media coverage around it: Should it get replayed over and over on television, it just may have an impact on this race and could stand out as the debate's most striking moment.

So, I'm a bit puzzled by the whole thing.


Network Ninja to the Rescue

Drew Perry worked his network ninja's jutsu to retrieve his stollen jacket and iPod touch:
To make a long story short I used the campus wireless network to track down the exact location of my jacket and iPod. I had [the campus wireless network]  send SMS messages to my cell phone, updating me on its current position. Police officers made an arrest last night and first thing this AM I got my cheese back. Don’t mess with a network ninja.

Wow. Guess positioning systems really are essential for the ultimate handheld device!
Shades of Cuckoo's Egg?
Maybe I'm just not geek enough but this, to me, is close to the ultimate act of cooltastic geekdom. Not that the technique was sophisticated. But the whole story is more compelling than most movies.
Heard about it through Buzz Out Loud.

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