Thursday, December 18, 2014


Zahara is and Afrosoul singer from South Africa. She sings in her native tongue Xhosa and English.

Loliwe - The Train
(Song about the African workers who rode the trains that took them to work in the mines. Many never came back.)

"the train is pushing
here it comes
wipe those tears off, loved one
in Heaven, in the Lord
lives only the holy
if you want to go there, pray"

Ndiza - I'll Come
Chorus translation:
"I will come, I will come back bringing you my heart.
Make it pure."



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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Favorite Chefs: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Favorite Chefs

Hugh Feanrley-Whittingstall
Writer and Owner of The River Cottage, Devon

Broad Beans on Toast

Easy Pasta, Garlic and Olive Oil

Easy Lamb, Tomato and Feta

Easy Apple, Baby Beetroot and Walnut Salad

Elderflower Champagne

Pear & Almond Pudding Cake

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Favorite Chefs: Sean Brock

Favorite Chefs

Sean Brock executive chef at Husk
Charleston, South Carolina
2014 winner of the James Beard Foundation Award


Middendorf's legendary Shaved Catfish


Chicken 'n' Dumplings

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Favorite Chefs: Ian Orr

Favorite Chefs

Ian Orr
Owner/Head Chef
Brown's Restaurant
Derry Co Londonderry, Ireland

Grilled Chicken Breast

Hake & Plaice Fish Recipe

Easy Meatloaf

Beef Rump Steak & Pepper Stir Fry

Pear Tart

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Favorite Chefs: Rachel Khoo

Favorite Chefs

Rachel Khoo
Recipes from her best selling book:
The Little Paris Kitchen

Trout in a parcel

Quiche Lorraine

Chocolate Molten lava cake

Eggs in Pots

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Favorite Chefs: Myrtle Allen

Favorite Chefs
Myrtle Allen
Chef - Owner of Ballymaloe House
County Cork, Ireland

Pioneer in sustainable, seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.

The Ballymaloe Cookbook

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Favorite Chefs: Alain Passard

Favorite Chefs

Alain Passard French chef and owner of L'Arpège Paris.

Passionate about his simple garden recipes. Fruits and vegetables sourced from his three organic kitchen gardens located outside of Paris.

*Note: No English translation available for most of theses videos, but the simplicity of the recipes makes things fairly clear.

Melon with mozzarella

Turnips in a web

Beet cooked with salt

Scallop with laurel

Famous "Bouquet of Roses" apple tart

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Favorite Chefs: Magnus Nilsson

Favorite Chefs
Magnus Nilsson head chef at Fäviken in Sweden

Toasted Barley Tea

Traditional Flatbread

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Top 40 Song Intros PT.1

PT. 1 (1-20)

The introduction to a song is perhaps the most important part because it's what we first hear and it's what first pulls us in. Here are my Top 40 best song intros for classic pop/rock/blues genres, mostly from the 60s and 70s, with a few from the 80s and 90s.

1. Come Together (The Beatles)
Paul's cool repeating bass line, Ringo's dampened drum rolls, and John's whisper-like "Shoot me" are amazing to behold. You know something special  is about to happen, and you're not disappointed when it does.

2. Riders on the Storm (The Doors)
The wind, rain, and thunder are a perfect fit with the eighth-note bass line; the electric piano wake up notes are followed by a pedal sustain run down the keyboard to set up the main piano groove.

3. Chest Fever (The Band)
The very first three organ notes grab your attention and twist and move into a grinding sound that shakes the ground. A quick glissando launches the main lick which is the foundation of the song. The 16th note piano vamp and the electric guitar fills add tension.

4. Turn! Turn! Turn! (The Byrds)
Two Rickenbacker 12 strings with falling chord fingering and punchy starts and stops make this the signature song of folk/rock.

5. Money for Nothing (Dire Straits)
The angelic, electronic keyboard pads and falsetto "I want my MTV" are overtaken by pounding drums rolls that lead to a first rate rough and ready electric guitar riff that becomes the music refrain of the song.

6. Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
Great drum beat sets up an unforgettable funky clavinet riff that sustains the song.

7. Gimme Some Lovin’ (The Spencer Davis Group)
Simple bass riff and primitive pounding drums provide a great backdrop to the drone of the Hammond organ. The vocal punctuation "Hey" announces the first verse.

8. Eli’s Coming (Laura Nyro)
The haunting first organ note is full of drama and sets the stage for Nyro's voice with its own powerful dynamics. The soft horn textures lead into a gospel like piano vamp that establishes the song's driving beat.

9. Philosopher's Stone (Van Morrison)
Beautiful piano and organ parts compliment each other and set the stage for Van's meditation on searching for meaning.

10. The Way It Is (Bruce Hornsby)
A brilliant piano introduction, free form at first, but then joining the drum beat with the song's main piano motif.

11. A Change Is Gonna Come (Otis Redding)
The beautiful horn intro against the falling piano chords ends to leave a silent space that perfectly sets up Redding's signature worried line singing.

12. Wooden Ships (CSN)
The dampened guitar notes at the beginning set the rhythm and introduce bold chords and aggressive lead work against standout out bass lines; seamlessly the guitar lead changes to a more mellow tone to set up the first lyrics.

13. Love and Happiness (Al Green)
The first solo guitar chord brings in the title vocal line. Green worries the lines as only he can do. Five foot taps and a great guitar lick start the three chord turn around to verse one.

14. Norwegian Wood
The first part of a memorable melody is repeated, the second time around by a sitar, something quite unique for popular music.

15. Smokestack Lightning (Howlin’ Wolf)
One of the the best guitar riffs of all time; raw, direct, hypnotic and a perfect match for Wolf's growling voice.

16. Whiter Shade of Pale (Procol Harum)
The Bach-derived organ introduction is a hallmark in rock music history.

17. & 18. Brown Sugar, Give Me Shelter (Rolling Stones)
Two guitars working great together with a solid drum beat create a sound that does New Orleans proud.

Haunting electric guitar chords and lead work along with the ethereal oohs build to a strong back beat to launch the opening verse. Very memorable.

19. California Girls (Beach Boys)
The smooth, lilting guitar and bass joined by the horn section provide a nice contrast to the electric organ/bass vamp that starts the first verse.

20. Your Love is Forever (George Harrison)
The beautiful chordal melody and harmonics set this lovely song in motion. The guitar tone surrounds the song with warmth and love.

Top 40 Song Intros Pt.2

PT. 2 (21-40)

The introduction to a song is perhaps the most important part because it's what we first hear and it's what first pulls us in. Here are my Top 40 best song intros for classic pop/rock/blues genres, mostly from the 60s and 70s, with a few from the 80s and 90s.

21. Layla (Derek & The Dominos)
One of the most memorable guitar riffs to start a rock song-- equal parts strength and melody ending in a strong minor chord.

22. Whipping Post (Allman Brothers Band)
Great bass line joined by guitar one then guitar two create a blues/rock sound that nicely sets up the vocal to this signature Allman Brothers song.

23. Proud Mary (Credence Clearwater Revival)
This intro chord pattern has become synonymous with rollin' on a river. They really lift the energy level.

24. One of These Nights (Eagles)
A nice bass lick played against a chop guitar, later joined by sustained guitar harmony notes which come to a four beat dramatic halt to start the verse.

25. Born to Be Wild (Steppenwolf)
A drum flam sets up one of the most memorable guitar riffs in classic rock. Definitely gets your attention-- simple, direct, and effective.

26. Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)
Solid drum beat sets up the riff that can only mean one thing-- Pretty Woman is about to start.

27. Where the Streets Have No Name (U2)
Moody electronic keyboard pad leads to a sparkling rhythmic guitar that joins a heavy kick drum centered beat with bass.

28. I’m a Man/Mannish Boy (Muddy Waters)
Solo guitar and vocal ad lib quickly jump to the famous 5 note no nonsense lick that is a perfect fit for the lyric.

29. Fire Rain (James Taylor)
Smooth, melodic finger style acoustic guitar work that became the signature style of James Taylor. No one does it better.

30. Knock On Wood (Eddie Floyd)
Classic soul horn section piece that all other are judged against.

31. Purple Haze (Jimi Hendix)
This intro riff opened a new door to what was possible with an electric guitar. With Jimi Hendrix a basic blues lick becomes something completely new.

32. I'll Take You There (Staple Singers)
One beat drum starts clean guitar and electric piano lick. Horns start and stop and Mavis's gospel style ad libs lead to the first line, "I know a place."

33. We Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who)
Measures of eighth note electronic keyboard set up guitar power chords and distinctive high energy drum beat.

34. Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
Another memorable and forceful guitar riff starts this classic rock song and drives each verse.

35. Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)
This classic of the classics is where rock lead guitar came from.

36. Papa Was a Rolling Stone – full version (The Temptations)
This intro is quite an arrangement in itself. Bass and hi hat start strong rhythm; then strings and wah wah guitar, then trumpet solo followed by Wurlizer; then hand clapping and kick with strings coming and going until the first vocal line.

37. Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young)
Grunge bands probably liked the power chords in this intro.

38. Dance To The Music (Sly & The Family Stone)
Dynamic horn section against strong back beat set up a cool four measure a cappella section, followed by the title line chorus. Hard to tell where the intro stops and the main song begins, but who cares. It all works.

39. White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane)
Unique bass and snare drum provide backdrop for a haunting, flamenco style guitar line.

40. Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out of Tune (Jack Bruce)
Great bass and horn arrangement that could only come from Jack Bruce.

Friday, November 28, 2014

2014: International Year of Family Farming


Ryan Wiebe
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Ryan Wiebe: 2014 State Small Farmer of  the Year North Carolina

Vandana Shiva
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Vandana Shiva Speaking in Vermont in Support of GMO labelling

Anna Lappé
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Anna Lappé on Sustainable Farming and Food MythBusters

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A. R. Ammons - Selected Short Poems

A. R. Ammons (February 18, 1926 – February 25, 2001)

 It's nice
 after dinner
 to walk down to
 the beach

 and find
 the biggest
 thing on earth
 relatively calm.

Poetry to the Rescue
 You must be
 nearly lost to
 be (if
 found) nearly


North Street
 I tipped my head
 to go under the
 low boughs but

 the sycamore mistook
 my meaning and
 bowed back.

Substantial Planes
It doesn't

to me

poems mean

there's no

to the

and yet

walks the

If you walk back
and forth

through a puddle pretty

you wet the whole
driveway but of

course dry
the puddle up.

Winter Scene
 There is now not a single
 leaf on the cherry tree:

 except when the jay
 plummets in, lights, and,

 in pure clarity, squalls:
 then every branch

 quivers and
 breaks out in blue leaves.

I found a
that had a

mirror in it
and that

looked in at
a mirror

me that
had a
weed in it

Thursday, August 7, 2014

NASA Space Sounds

In space, sound exists as electromagnetic vibrations. Special Instruments on several NASA probes including Voyager have recorded these vibrations and translated them into sounds that the human ear can hear. Here are samples from the collection:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pianist Shura Cherkassky

Shura Cherkassky plays Jean-Baptiste Lully

Cherkassky plays Bach-Busoni Chaconne BWV1004 (II)

Shura Cherkassky plays Ravel Pavane pour une infante defunte

Cherkassky Rameau-Godowsky Tambourin Rec 1925 Age 15 First Recordings

A short interview:

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Octavio Paz - Selected Quotes

Octavio Paz (March 31, 1914 – April 19, 1998)
Miguel de Cervantes Prize, 1981
Nobel Prize in Literature, 1990

“Merece lo que sueñas.”
(Deserve your dream.)

"Man does not speak because he thinks; he thinks because he speaks. Or rather, speaking is no different than thinking: to speak is to think."

“Beyond myself, somewhere, I wait for my arrival.”

“To love is to undress our names.”

“A glass pitcher, a wicker basket, a tunic of coarse cotton cloth. Their beauty is inseparable from their function. Handicrafts belong to a world existing before the separation of the useful and the beautiful.”

“Technology is not an image of the world but a way of operating on reality. The nihilism of technology lies not only in the fact that it is the most perfect expression of the will to power... but also in the fact that it lacks meaning.”

Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers... What we call art is a game.”

“The North American system only wants to consider the positive aspects of reality. Men and women are subjected from childhood to an inexorable process of adaptation; certain principles, contained in brief formulas are endlessly repeated by the Press, the radio, the churches, and the schools, and by those kindly, sinister beings, the North American mothers and wives. A person imprisoned by these schemes is like a plant in a flowerpot too small for it: he cannot grow or mature.”

"Love is an attempt at penetrating another being, but it can only succeed if the surrender is mutual."

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