Posts Tagged ‘magic’

something majestic

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

I found this to be amazing.  We are all so guilty of being captured by marketing and packaging.  If you put a young man playing a 3.5 million dollar Stradivarius violin in the middle of a subway line rather than a concert hall, no one stops to listen.  The marketing isn’t right?  I think the timing wasn’t right.  People trying to get to work on time cannot take the time to stop and listen even if they wanted to.

We don’t leave for work a little early because there might be a concert violinist playing at the subway station. I was late for class once though because the greatest classic guitar player in the world (in my opinion) was playing in the cafeteria at Broward Community College. (I called it beer can college, I loved it there)  He played all the parts of Bohemian Rhapsody and gave it a Spanish flair.  He was a foreign student from South America (Brazil I think) practicing for his final exam in his music class.  I hope he is living a happy life.


MusicianSomething to think about….

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:

The musician played continuously.  Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.  The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

What do you suppose was learned from this experiment?

maybe that is why we drive slower as we age.  We learn from missing out to take in the journey more so then the destination.  Leave a little earlier on your way to work or school, because something majestic is always happening somewhere.

simple bird

Fun science

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Wouldn’t it be better if the TV personalities would talk serenely about facts rather than loudly bashing someone or some idea.   Wouldn’t it be better if we stopped listening to them;  just shut them off, because we were all two busy admiring people who are discovering and inventing stuff. Science claims that basically we are herd animals.  Maybe we need to classify ourselves as a home planet herd.  We’ll just push the loudmouths to the outside of the herd for the lions to eat.

the desire to classify is inherent in humans, as we crave a sense of order. Similarly,  humans are predisposed to impose group boundaries and to see outsiders as a threat. We seek every opportunity to identify with a home land, a home tribe, a home religion, a home team, and to declare everybody else the enemy.

Wheee – chromosomes!


Human DNA By ed_case

But some of you are doing fascinating things with your timecheck it out

Inventor Shawn Frayne has come up with a device that harnesses the power of wind without any rotating parts. Instead, his company’s Windbelts capture energy using fluttering fabric.   Air passes over a taut membrane, it induces a vibration, somewhat akin to a violin bow.   Magnets mounted on the membrane bounce back and forth between metal coils, inducing an electric current.

What makes this so way cool is that it can be put on fences in urban areas and it can be palm sized or room sized and the materials it is made from are all available right here in the good ole USA.



Scientists from Ohio State University report that marijuana, contrary to the conventional wisdom,  may help ward off Alzheimer’s and keep recall sharp. Are you kidding me? The only thing I was able to recall was where the ice cream was. Their findings, released today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C.:  chemical components  of marijuana reduce inflammation and stimulate the production of new brain cells, thereby enhancing memory. I don’t know, I’ll need more evidence before I believe this one.


two students (from MIT, of course) put together a low-budget rig to fly a camera high enough to photograph the curvature of the Earth. Instead of rockets, boosters and expensive control systems, they filled a weather balloon with helium and hung a styrofoam beer cooler underneath to carry a cheap Canon A470 compact camera. Instant hand warmers kept things from freezing up and made sure the batteries stayed warm enough to work.  Show this to your kids next time they whine about being bored.

Of course, all this would be pointless if the guys couldn’t find the rig when it landed, so they dropped a prepaid GPS-equipped cellphone inside the box for tracking. Total cost, including duct tape? $148.  they must have giggled after they pulled this off.

earth on $148


This is my favorite story.  Click the link to see the full story.  I’m not doing this fascinating kid justice with this short introduction.

The extraordinary true story of a Malawian teenager who transformed his village by building electric windmills out of junk is the subject of a new book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

Self-taught William Kamkwamba has been feted by climate change campaigners like Al Gore and business leaders the world over.

“People thought I was smoking marijuana,” he said. “So I told them I was only making something for juju [magic].’ Then they said: ‘Ah, I see.'”

william kamkwamba

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