Monthly Archives: October 2009

Three for Thursday

A while back, I posted three music videos as a way of jump starting the blog. Musically, they had nothing in common. (Stylistically, they were all outlandish.) I like the idea of periodically posting videos. I also like alliteration. (Did you notice “periodically posting” is alliterative?) Therefore, I give to you Three for Thursday, my no-more-than-weekly installment of music video picks. MTV don’t show ‘em anymore, so we’ve got to educate the masses somehow.

For this inaugural Three for Thursday (the last post was maybe A Wee Bit Wednesday?), I give you soul, Snow, and skating cowboys. (More alliteration, see?)

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WTF: Why the Face?

modern-family

Over the last decade, only a few noteworthy half-hour comedies have had their initial orders extended, as people seem more interested in investigative procedurals or primetime medical soap operas. Not having an excess of time to watch every new show, I usually opt for dramas – this is a result of some nonsensical bias towards more “serious” viewing. With the advent of Hulu, however, half-hour comedies (~23 minutes with Hulu commercials) are ideal for lunch viewing.

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The Sporting “Life”

Malcolm Gladwell has written an article in The New Yorker about brain injuries in (American) football players. Its subtitle reads, “How different are dogfighting and football?” The piece left me with some thoughts on the modern entertainment that we call sport and the industry that supports it.

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Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky, 12 Year

Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky, 12 Year

Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky, 12 Year

A few days ago, growing tired of my work, I set off clicking across the internet. I don’t remember what exactly happened on this convoluted path, but I ended up researching Japanese whisky. (The path probably went something like this.) Well, after a refresher of what I knew as well as some new found information, I had firmly resolved to head out and buy a bottle of the stuff for myself and left early to do just that. I try not to make random impulse purchases like this very often, but near the start of each academic quarter that stipend money just burns a hole in my pocket. Plus, since I run a semi-regular cocktail party with friends, I can chalk this up to research.

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Filed under Drinks, Spirits, Tasting Notes

Whisky 101

Something came over me. I don’t know what it was, but I made an impulse buy yesterday. I’ll tell you all about that in due time, but first I need to devote a post for this mini-lesson. Welcome to Whisky 101.

So, what is whisky? (And what is whiskey? That comes later.) Well, whisky is the name given to a very broad class of spirits, but all whiskies share two important features.

(1) Whisky must be distilled from grains. If you start with grapes, you’re making brandy. If you start with sugar, you’re making rum. But if you start with corn, rye, barley, wheat or any other grain, you’re on your way to making whisky.

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Mad Scientist Syndrome

I got an e-mail from a friend today. It contained a link to a New York Times article along with the following commentary: Mind=Blown.

The article is about a theory being put forth by two respected particle physicists that says that we have not discovered the Higgs boson because of interference from the future. Their thesis – and I must stress that this is not hyperbole, but as South Park might say, THIS IS WHAT THESE PHSICISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE– is that the Higgs Boson “is so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one”

You should read the full article. It’s a doozy. I’ll wait.

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Avec l’orgue

I have no excuse for not frequently attending CSO concerts. I appreciate “classical” music, I live a 20-minute bus ride from Symphony Hall, the CSO is one of the premier orchestral ensembles in the world (with principal conductors Bernard Haitink, Pierre Boulez, and Riccardo Muti), and I can take advantage of $11 student tickets (including fees).

On Thursday, the CSO played a program of French and German music by Fauré, Bruch, and Saint-Saëns, which featured Joshua Bell on the violin in Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. There was an article published in The Washington Post magazine in 2007 by Gene Weingarten about an experiment conducted by the Weingarten and Bell: would subway commuters recognize a world-class violin virtuoso’s musicianship during the morning hour rush? I won’t elaborate – a discussion of this would be a whole other blog post.

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