Night Music: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted

June 30, 2020


Grandview 30th June 1920

June 30, 2020

Province 19200630, p.3

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Image: Red Tulips #1

June 29, 2020


Grandview 29th June 1920

June 29, 2020

Province 19200629, p.2

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Poem: Hard Times

June 29, 2020

 

It’s hard to distinguish the fragrance of Geurlain

from that of pan-fried potato latkes

when you’re beneath a barstool

amid the boot-crushed butts and spilled beers.

 

It’s hard to carve an eagle when the tempest

of emotions coats the back of your throat

with a cold glue that no creative

surge can moisten nor free up nor reduce to tears.

 

It’s hard to say what tipped the scales, what failed to

gel, what failed to gather to you the crowds

you needed for your performances

since you screwed up so many times over so many years.

 

 


Night Music: One Of Us

June 28, 2020

Not often that pop music asks the BIG questions….


Grandview 28th June 1920

June 28, 2020

Vancouver Sun 19200627 p.27

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Happy Tau Day!

June 28, 2020

I have for many years enjoyed celebrating each 14th March as Pi Day, in honour of pi = 3.14….  However, I have been persuaded that Tau Day is at least as important if not more so.

The value of Tau = 2pi and is thus celebrated on 28th June (6.28).  Why this is important is explained in this good short piece from ScienceNews.

“The simplest way to see the failure of pi is to consider angles, which in mathematics are typically measured in radians. Pi is the number of radians in half a circle, not a whole circle. That makes things confusing: For example, the angle at the tip of a slice of pizza — an eighth of a pie — isn’t π/8, but π/4. In contrast, using tau, the pizza-slice angle is simply τ/8. Put another way, tau is the number of radians in a full circle.

That factor of two is a big deal. Trigonometry — the study of the angles and lines found in shapes such as triangles — can be a confusing whirlwind for students, full of blindly plugging numbers into calculators. That’s especially true when it comes to sine and cosine, two important functions in trigonometry. Many trigonometry problems involve calculating the sine or cosine of an angle. When graphed, the two functions look like a series of wiggles, shaped a bit like an “S” on its side, that repeat the same values every 2π. That means pi covers only half of an S. Tau, on the other hand, covers the full wiggle, a more intuitive measure.”

So, Happy Tau Day to you all!


Image: Building Blocks

June 27, 2020


Grandview 27th June 1920

June 27, 2020

Vancouver Sun 19200627, p.26

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Night Music: Suzanne Vega

June 26, 2020


Grandview 26th June 1920

June 26, 2020

Province 19200626, p.19

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Happy Birthday, Son!

June 26, 2020

44 years pass so fast.


Image: Wall With Window

June 25, 2020


Grandview 25th June 1920

June 25, 2020

Vancouver World, 19200625, p.21

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Night Music: Benny and the Jets

June 24, 2020


Grandview 24th June 1920

June 24, 2020

Province, 19200624, p.21

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The Extraordinary History of Prussian Blue

June 23, 2020

For anyone who paints today, it is hard to believe there was ever a time when the beautiful, versatile, and stable Prussian Blue pigment did not exist. But the fact is it is just a few hundred years old.

It was discovered, by accident, in the first decade of the 1700s in Berlin by a colour-maker called Diesbach.  Prior to that time, blue pigments had been sourced from “indigo, smalt, azurite and ultramarine, derived from lapis lazuli, which was expensive.”  The new process was cheap and easily manufactured. Its first verifiable use in an artwork was in “The Entombment of Christ” by Pieter vander Werff in 1709.

entombment

I didn’t know any of this until I read a fascinating article called “Prussian Blue and Its Partner In Crime” by Philip McCouat in the excellent Journal of Art In Society.  The article goes on to describe the pigment’s use in Europran art and, notably, in the creation of an entire genre of Japanese painting.

The second part of McCouat’s article (“…Partner in Crime”) takes the story into even more interesting ground once a Swedish chemist discovered that by mixing Prussian Blue with diluted sulphuric acid he could create the deadly poison hydrogen cyanide, a favourite of poisoners ever since.  This section of the essay details the first murderer caught by telegraph, and the use of cyanide and its derivatives both by US gas chambers and by Nazi mass executioners.

Who knew that such a beautiful colour could have such a blotchy history? Mix up your favourite beverage, settle back, and enjoy this fascinating long read.

 


Image: I Left You A Message

June 23, 2020


Grandview 23rd June 1920

June 23, 2020

Vancouver Sun, 19200623, p.10

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