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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

The opposite of a true statement is a false statement, but the opposite of a profound truth can be another profound truth.
    —   Niels Bohr
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On This Day In:
2020 Trust But Verify
I Search For Light
#CryBabyDonald Is Too Human
2019 With Faith
2018 Spiritual Matter
2017 Until He’s Elected President…
2016 Reasonable Discounts
2015 Poem For A Friend
2014 A Very Unusual Mind
2013 Just Lucky
2012 The Undeveloped Child
2011 What Is Your Canvas?
2010 Giants Win Games 3 & 4 – One Away From World Series!!

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It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery.  But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works — that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red?  It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 Build It To Last
Thumpin’ Bass
2019 30 Day Health / Weight Update (Oct 2019)
When Reason Comes
2018 One Of The Great Ones
2017 Mirror In The Oval Office
True Courage
2016 What’s Your Excuse?
2015 Some Meaningful Resemblance
2014 Bloom
Orange October (VII) – The Giants Win The Pennant!!
2013 Walking The Walk
2012 Legacy Of Star Trek (TOS)
2011 Tolerating The Intolerant
Passionate Germs
2010 Giants Win Game 1 In Philly (4 to 3)!!

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I have been learning to play guitar since January of this year.  Although I’ve always liked music and songs, I’ve never given much thought to what music is.  I mean, I’ve always considered it as “sound” (in a physics sense), but learning to “play” music (make sounds) as turned into a deep and enriching exercise in itself.  Last night, I read someone’s definition of “music” as a combination of three things: rhythm, melody and harmony.  I thought this was interesting, so, today I went on Google and Wikipedia to see what they had to say about it…
There seems to be a (little / minor) disagreement about what “makes” music.  Most of what I read agrees with the three parts above, but I also found other sources which added a fourth:  dynamics.
This is my simplistic understanding of each:
1)  Rhythm:  the beat and speed of the sound(s);
2)  Melody:  the grouping of the sounds (typically making it – the “music” – distinctively memorable) into start, order and ending;
3)  Harmony:  the mixing of sounds for effect (happy / sad, blending / discordant); and,
4)  Dynamics:  how loud or quietly / soft or hard something sounds.
I’m sure any readers who are “real” musicians will find my explanation / understanding of these elements of music simplistic, and I’m okay with that.  LoL!  I think it’s amusing (amazing) I’ve enjoyed music my whole life, but never thought about ANY of this.  And, to be honest, I have large blind spots about most things under “arts and culture”.  I know I don’t know about them, but I have no idea how much I don’t know about them.  It’s fun starting to learn!
C’est la vie…
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On This Day In:
2020 I Am Shocked! Shocked I Say!
But You Gotta Have Faith
But Only Half
2019 …And Bullet-Proof Suits
The Bottom Line (Is No Surprise To Me)
2018 What Do You Hear?
2017 I’ve Got A Pocket Protector
Word Up!
2016 Better Value
2015 Any Port In A Storm
2014 Babies (II)
2013 Why The Young Stay In College Longer These Days
2012 Perceptions Of Worth
2011 Flavor
2010 Giants Win 1-0 !!

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Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold.  What have we to offer in exchange?  Uncertainty!  Insecurity!
    ––     Isaac Asimov
Quoted by:   John Allen Paulos
From his book:  “Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
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On This Day In:
2020 Voting Has Consequences
We Will Get There!
2019 Mutually Exclusive
2018 Basic Rights
2017 Thoughtful Attitudes
Surprise!!
2016 The Bell Tolls
2015 It Is What It Is
2014 What Have You Learned (Gently) Lately?
Orange October (I)
2013 Ignore The Man Behind The Curtain
For A Time
2012 What Are Your True Measurements
2011 What It Is All About
2010 The Magnificent Seven
Giants Fever!!

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If I Had A Hammer

Favorite Line(s):
Well, I’ve got a hammer
And I’ve got a bell
And I’ve got a song to sing
All over this land
It’s the hammer of justice
It’s the bell of freedom
It’s a song about love between
My brothers and my sisters
All over this land
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On This Day In:
2020 3 November Is Coming!
Bee Gees’ing
2019 Senate Republicans: Impeachment – Because It Is Right!
Dave’s Not Here, Man!
Mixing Business And Pleasure
2018 Intensity Doesn’t Make It Correct
HF2: 1940’s Grapes
2017 Proof Sits In The Oval Office
2016 Tragic Determinism
2015 Maybe It Should Be Clearer
2014 Make It Your Strength
2013 Four Score
2012 The Ruler
2011 Forever
2010 Just Cuz
How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?
It’s Alive!! (3rd Pair Shoe Review)

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Here we face a critical branch point in history, what we do with our world, right now, will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully affect the destiny of our descendants.
We are star stuff, which has taken its destiny into its own hands.  The loom of time and space works the most astonishing transformations of matter.  Our own planet is only a tiny part of the vast cosmic tapestry, a starry fabric of worlds yet untold.  Those worlds in space are as countless as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the earth.  Each of those worlds is as real as ours.  In every one of them there’s a succession of incidents, events, occurrences, which influence its future.  Countless worlds, numberless moments, an immensity of space and time, and our small planet at this moment — here we face a critical branch point in history.  What we do with our world, right now will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully affect the destiny of our descendants.  It is well within our power to destroy our civilization and perhaps our species as well.  If we capitulate a superstition or greed or stupidity, we can plunge our world into a darkness deeper than the time between the collapse of classical civilization and the Italian Renaissance.  But we are also capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth, to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet, to enhance enormously our understanding of the universe and to carry us to the stars.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 3 November Is Coming!
Bee Gees’ing
2019 Senate Republicans: Impeachment – Because It Is Right!
Dave’s Not Here, Man!
Mixing Business And Pleasure
2018 Intensity Doesn’t Make It Correct
HF2: 1940’s Grapes
2017 Proof Sits In The Oval Office
2016 Tragic Determinism
2015 Maybe It Should Be Clearer
2014 Make It Your Strength
2013 Four Score
2012 The Ruler
2011 Forever
2010 Just Cuz
How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?
It’s Alive!! (3rd Pair Shoe Review)

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If you just lose your income that is one thing, because you can adapt.  You find another job or another field.  But once you lose everything — your home, your school, your clinic, your road, your church — then it’s an impossible situation.  You become an environmental migrant because you have to find those facilities in some other place.
   —     Elizabeth Meyerhoff
Up until now, the focus has been on stopping people from migrating in the first place.  Now the focus needs to be on how to make them an asset rather than a burden for the places they are going.
   —     Alex Randall
Of the U.K.-based Climate and Migration Coalition
Both quotes are from:  Aryn Baker and Kampi Ya Samaki
In their article:  “Deep Waters
Sub-titled:  “Flooding in Kenya is turning thousands of residents into climate migrants. Can cities cope with the influx?
Appearing in:  Time Magazine; Dtd:  26 April 2021
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On This Day In:
2020 #45 Never Shuts Up
Walkin’ In The Rain With The One I Love
2019 Silly Pooh Bear
Dominoes Or Jenga?
2018 Very Few
2017 Or The Candidate Who…
2016 The Happiest People
2015 Jumping Into The Dark
2014 I Would Be Sillier
2013 It Keeps Happening Anyway
2012 Take Time
2011 A Mother’s Lesson
2010 3rd Pair – Shoe Review (DOA and Final)

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I would rather have my ignorance than another man’s knowledge because I have so much more of it.
    —     Mark Twain
[I watched an “anti-vaxxer” getting interviewed and his excuse for not getting a shot was:  “We all gotta die of somethin’.
This is a poor attempt (by me) at sarcastic humor.  And, no, there is no indication AT ALL that Samuel Clemens was anti-vaccination.  In any case, at the time of his (Clemens / Twain) death only five vaccines had been discovered:  Smallpox (1798), Rabies (1885), Typhoid (1896), Cholera (1896), and Plague (1897).    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Is #45 In Good Spirits?
Alone With My Tears
2019 Learning To…
Day 15: Die By The Scale
2018 Just Wondering
2017 Until I Think Of Something Better
2016 Who Are You?
2015 Renaissance Reptiles
2014 Book Return
2013 Keep Writing Your Truths
Perilous Times For The U.S. Military
2012 The Victor
2011 Forging Away At My Deadlines
2010 Try This With Your Shoes…

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We destroy our children’s songs of existence by giving them inhibitions, teaching them to be cynical, manipulative, and all the rest of it…  You become hardened, but you can find that playfulness again.  We’ve got to find a way to get music and kids together, as well as to teach teachers how to discover their own love of learning.  Then the infectious process begins.
    —     Leonard Bernstein
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On This Day In:
2020 Policies Not People
Just Thinking To Myself
2019 Should I Start With My Religion?
2018 Fear And Hope
Day 33: Good News & Prep
2017 Directions
2016 Handle With Care
2015 Nothing But Pride
2014 Go
2013 Well, Does It?
2012 Near Misses Aren’t Successes
2011 Uncomfortable Feelings
2010 San Francisco (favorites)…
Bullets or Butter?

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Our knowledge of any past event is always incomplete, probably inaccurate, beclouded by ambivalent evidenced biased historians, and perhaps distorted by our own patriotic or religious partisanship.
    —    Will and Ariel Durant
From their book:  “The Lessons Of History
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On This Day In:
2020 One Of Your Responsibilities
God Is Watching Us
2019 Just Asking…
2018 Or Attacks On A Free Press
Day 26: Life
2017 Still Looking For The Key
2016 Not So Much Anymore, Boss
2015 Green Binge
2014 Overdone
2013 The Courage To Remake The World
2012 Minor Gifts
2011 I Love It When A Plan Comes Together…
2010 Eloquence
Cleaning the Chalk Board

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Over the weekend, I had another music / guitar lesson from my brother-in-law.  He has a degree in music, plays saxophone professionally, and has been teaching music in public schools for over twenty years.  Part of the lesson was to think about “learning performance skills“.  Here is a modified version of his lesson (with supplemental info from Wikipedia)…
The four stages of learning skills are:
Unconscious incompetence  (You don’t know that you don’t know and you don’t know what you don’t know.)
The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit.  They may deny the usefulness of the skill.  The individual must recognize their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage.  The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.
Conscious incompetence  (You know that you don’t know something and recognize you don’t know it.)
Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, they recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit.  The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.
Conscious competence  (You know what you know, but you have to concentrate on it to do it well.)
The individual understands or knows how to do something.  However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration.  It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.
Unconscious competence  (You don’t have to think about what you know how to do in order to do it.)
The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become “second nature” and can be performed easily.  As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task.  The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.
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On This Day In:
2020 Come Laugh With Me
Make Life Be Life To Me
2019 For Your Consideration…
2018 Brown’s Rules
Day 23: Fasting Visualized
2017 Still Trying To Make It
2016 One Lucky Man
2015 Food Change ==> Health Change
2014 10 Commandments Of Logical Arguments (Fallacies)
2013 Sociology Of The Future
2012 1010
There In The Sunshine
2011 Not Enough Time

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I consider a human soul without education like marble in the quarry, which shows none of its inherent beauties till the skill of the polisher fetches out the colours, makes the surface shine, and discovers every ornamental cloud, spot and vein that runs through the body of it.
    —     Joseph Addison
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On This Day In:
2020 I Don’t Want To Get Any Older…
Maybe I’ll See You There
2019 Free At Last!
2018 Some Basic Virtues
Day 17: Fit In 48’s
2017 Too Soon We Part…
Rigorous And Difficult
2016 Where And Why
2015 The Beauty Of Thy Voice
2014 Faith In Men
2013 An Average Verge
2012 Dew Drop Secrets
2011 Champion Freedom

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Both the man of science and the man of art live always at the edge of mystery.
    —     J. Robert Oppenheimer
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On This Day In:
2020 Poor Proof
Right From The Start
You Voted For An Incompetent And Corrupt Business Person To Drain A Political Swamp
2019 I Wish This Were More True
2018 Used To Rejection
Day 16: Looking Ahead (Just A Little)
2017 Tonight
I Rejoice
2016 Conscientious Courage
Speaking Of Which…
2015 The Beautiful Snow
2014 Nurtured By The Voices
2013 Précis
2012 Fear And Understanding
2011 Just Being Human

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History is subject to geology.  Every day the sea encroaches somewhere upon the land, or the land upon the sea;  cities disappear under the water, and sunken cathedrals ring their melancholy bells.  Mountains rise and fall in the rhythm of emergence and erosion;  rivers swell and flood, or dry up, or change their course; valleys become deserts, and isthmuses become straits.  To the geologic eye all the surface of the earth is a fluid form, and man moves upon it as insecurely as Peter walking on the waves to Christ.
     —     Will and Ariel Durant
From their book:  “The Lessons Of History
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On This Day In:
2020 A Humbling Learning Process
They Are All Good
2019 Another Thought On #45’s Poor Education
2018 As Long As You Survive Each Experience
WordPress to Facebook Test…
Day 7: Oh, Yeah!
2017 A Good Habit
2016 The Minds Of Trumpism
2015 Expressing Nonsense
2014 A Real Fight
2013 Unravelling
2012 I Resolve
2011 Practice, Practice, Practice
2009 Phoenix Trip (July ’09)

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This post marks the first day of my 13th year of blogging here on WordPress.  The number of countries who’ve visited this site continues to grow and the number which haven’t continues to decrease.  North Korea and Cuba are still among them (the latter…)  I’m also still missing a belt across the middle of Africa and a few spots in Asia.  (Slowly, slowly…  Resistance is futile.)
On reviewing my content over the past year, I have done mostly two posts a day.  One is a thought, review or quote; one has been a music video.  My intent was to offer up to any who stumbled onto my blog a chance to sample some of the music which affected my life.  In the process, I’ve rediscovered a tremendous number of songs which came and went (in my life) and a core of songs and performers who have helped make me – me.  Not, physically, like food or drink or air, but spiritually…  Now that the year is completed, I doubt I’ll be continuing with the videos every day, but I will include them periodically (sporadically?).
My blog has continued to be an increasing part of my “normal” retired life.  I routinely receive about 20 to 60 emails (per day) from the roughly 300 blogs I follow.  I say “roughly” because I don’t check how many I follow.  I just looked, and I have fewer than 2,000 followers myself.  Every year there is a trade-off:  you pick up a few steady followers and a few drop off.  Those who actually post about leaving (their own sites) say they are simply moving on to other things.  Most, don’t bother and just stop posting.  A few come back after some period of time.  Many do not.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve stopped blogging.  Some just move to a hosted service to try to monetize their thoughts and don’t provide me a way to follow them.  Or maybe they did and I simply missed the link…
At any rate, I am still posting thoughts, quotes, movie reviews, book reviews, and favorite music videos.  I easily spend an hour per day reviewing the posts I get (via email subscription) and sometimes that is simply overwhelming.  It’s not always the average blogger’s fault.  If you post something interesting, I (still) will go off and investigate it further: authors, artists, locations, books, movies, science / math / history topics – they will all lead me off down the rabbit hole.  And that hole can be DEEP!  I don’t know why, but this year, less frequently, I’m choosing to delete fewer (unopened mail / posts).  I apologize to you if you are one of those authors.  I will admit to only viewing actual posts sent to me (most of the time).  I seem to get a lot of “read more” posts / emails.  I’m not sure why this is.  I guess it’s a WordPress feature I don’t use or don’t know about.  There are a few (a handful) of sites which I know are visual and I more frequently click through to the actual site, because I’m interested in the bits which are not offered in the smaller / limited / text based emails I tend to receive.  I apologize if that affects your view stats negatively…
So, besides this blog, what am I up to?  My health has been mixed.  Last year, I was back in the hospital for “jump start”.  I have AFib and every now and then I get my heart zapped (“reverted”) to a normal rhythm.  We’ve also had this whole COVID lock down, which has put a damper on things.
In January, I purchased my first guitar and I’ve been practicing most every day since.  I “know” some basic chords and scales.  I’m still having a dickens of a time with strumming and chord changes, but I’m told that will come with time.  I now own two acoustic guitars and one electric (a Stratocaster style), and I have another acoustic on loan from my brother.  I have the four on a rotation calendar, but the first is still my favorite.  I’m looking into picking up a few more inexpensive guitars and two basses.  There is no time pressure.  It’s all about my ability to save (here and there) until I can justify a purchase.  [Wife:  How many guitars do you NEED?  Me:  …One more.]
The few things I’ve learned have truly been amazing (to me).  I do seem to have a smidgen of musical ability (although it’s still buried under layers of doubt).  I’m finding the ability to concentrate on practice to be as relaxing as zoning out in computer programming used to be (in my youth).  Sixty to ninety minutes can easily seem like five or ten minutes.  There is also the complete exhaustion which results from prolonged concentration – however “relaxing” it may feel at the time.  In a strange way, it feels good to be mentally tired at the end of a practice session.
But, am I getting any better at playing?  An objective opinion would be:  Yes!  Am I any “good”?  An objective opinion would be:  No!  Does it matter a whit?  No.  Why not?  Because, like blogging, I’m doing it for the enjoyment of doing it and not for the expectation (mine or anyone else’s) of being any good at playing guitar.  Again, like blogging, as long as it’s fun and interesting and fulfilling, I’ll just keep doing it…  My not so secret goal remains to write a song (lyrics and music) for my wife.  (LoL)
My personal goals for last year (to learn some assembly language programming and to have a play with chat-bots) never really got off the ground.   I spent a few weeks looking into them and playing with some free software, but the former has been passed by history so resources are limited and the latter is beyond my means as a retired person on a limited income.  In any case, I have usually been at my best when given a customer with a problem, not when I have to make up my own problems (and then create their solutions).
So, it’s guitar and blogging to keep me occupied (and mostly out of trouble).  LoL!!
Once again…  “Excelsior!!
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On This Day In:
2020 Happy 11th Anniversary Of Blogging
2019 Happy 10th Anniversary — Thoughts On My First Decade Of Blogging
2018 Happy 9th Anniversary — Three Thoughts
Day 2 – Notes On Progress
2017 Happy 8th Anniversary
2016 Happy 7th Anniversary
2015 Happy 6th Anniversary
2014 Happy 5th Anniversary
2013 I Resemble That Remark!
2012 Happy 3rd Anniversary
2011 Is America Safe Tonight?
2009 Hello world! (See how it all began…)

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