Two posts in one day. I know, I spoil you.
Really, I just wanted to share with you something that I feel is a beautiful homage, well put-together, and strangely enchanting. It is essentially a mash-up of documentary and lecture clips, auto-tuned to produce a flowing melody, on an electronic backing track, but the end result is, frankly, brilliant. Includes some of my true heroes, some more well-known faces of science, and also Bill Nye (the Science Guy) who taught me science via my telly when I was only 6 years old. Squee.
EDIT: If you enjoy this, you can watch Jill Bolte Taylor’s moving, inspiring TED talk (sampled here) in full here
It’s amazing to consider that I’m holding in my hands
The place where someone once felt, thought, and loved
For centuries, scientists have been battling to understand
What this unappealing object is all about
Here is this mass of jelly
You can hold in the palm of your hands
And it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space
The brain has evolved from the inside out
Its structure reflects all the stages through which it has passed
[Jill Bolte Taylor]
Information in the form of energy
Streams in simultaneously
Through all of our sensory systems
And then it explodes into this enormous collage
Of what this present moment looks like
What it feels like
And what it sounds like
And then it explodes into this enormous collage
And in this moment we are perfect
We are whole and we are beautiful
It appears rather gruesome
Wrinkled like a walnut, and with the consistency of mushroom
What we know is encoded in cells called neurons
And there are something like a hundred trillion neural connections
This intricate and marvelous network of neurons has been called
An enchanted loom
The neurons store sounds too, and snatches of music
Whole orchestras play inside our heads
20 million volumes worth of information
Is inside the heads of every one of us
The brain is a very big place
In a very small space
No longer at the mercy of the reptile brain
We can change ourselves
Think of the possibilities
Think of your brain as a newspaper
Think of all the information it can store
But it doesn’t take up too much room
Because it’s folded
We see with the eyes
But we see with the brain as well
And seeing with the brain
Is often called imagination
It is the most mysterious part of the human body
And yet it dominates the way we live our adult lives
It is the brain
I’m a bit in love with ol’ Flo and her machine. This and “Howl” are particularly good. Remember, you must become the lion-hearted girl, ready for a fight.
Enjoy your Sunday, folks!
Yay, another awesome female artist. I’ve loved Amy MacDonald since she brought out Poison Prince, but with the recent Fiat advert (with This Is The Life in the background), Ben has realised that he loves her too. And so we’ve been playing her music a fair bit.
What a pretty lady.
I’ve really gotten into “Run” recently (watch a good video here – embedding has been disabled by the user, so sorry about that). It’s a bit more melancholic than some of her more romping tunes (ok, a lot of her songs are a bit sad), but I think the refrain is sort of inspiring, in its way. I won’t patronise you too much by interpreting the fairly straight-forward lyrics, suffice to say, that in this unpredictable point in my life, I’m listening to it over. And over. And over.
Hope you love it as much as I do.
Iceland’s favourite kooky fairy princess, one time fiancée of Goldie, famous for her weird sounds and wacky outfits (remember the swan dress? That was cool).
I love Björk (her patronym is Guðmundsdóttir. Try saying it with a mouth full of Maltesers – I find it helps).
“The Hunter” makes for good walking music – it sounds much better through headphones, as the sound switches from ear to ear, which is a bit trippy. Give it a go.
Ratatat have basically pwned my life-soundtrack lately. As one of the comments on the YouTube listing says: RATATAT. Y U NO GET PLAYED ON RADIO?
I started “liking” the Chilis after I became deeply enamoured with a boy in my class when I was about 12. He loved RHCPs, and I thought (stupidly, I realise now) that by pretending to like them, I would win his affections. Oh dear, dear, dear. It does not work like that.
However, by listening to a lot of the Chili’s music, I fell in love with THEM*. And I hunted around for lots of less-well-known songs from them. One that I did discover, and immediately formed a deep, painful relationship with, was the beautiful “My Friends”. If you need a remedy to the slightly depressing tone of this, try “Road Trippin’”, which is still less funk than their famous stuff, but more uplifting.
*It probably helps that frontman Anthony Kiedis is INTENSELY hot in that demi-Navajo sort of way. And he doesn’t seem to like wearing many clothes. Nom.
One of those stupidly-late-night-on-BBC-Radio-3 sort of discoveries. New to me, maybe not to you.
A bit cruel, but hilarious!
Since I still appreciate you,
Let’s find love while we may.
Because I know I’ll hate you
When you are old and grey.
So say you love me here and now,
I’ll make the most of that.
Say you love and trust me,
For I know you’ll disgust me
When you’re old and getting fat.
An awful debility,
A lessened utility,
A loss of mobility
Is a strong possibility.
In all probability
I’ll lose my virility
And you your fertility
And this liability
Of total sterility
Will lead to hostility
And a sense of futility,
So let’s act with agility
While we still have facility,
For we’ll soon reach senility
And lose the ability.
Your teeth will start to go, dear,
Your waist will start to spread.
In twenty years or so, dear,
I’ll wish that you were dead.
I’ll never love you then at all
The way I do today.
So please remember,
When I leave in December,
I told you so in May.
I toyed with the idea of filing this German genius under “crafty”, but really, it is art. They were the inspiration behind my own handpainted Kitty-Fox shoes (which will be featured in a post… some time later. Watch this space)
Bobsmade is a German-based company, established in 2007. Anne, a graffiti-style artist, designs and produces gorgeous, original artworks with her brother Hannes, and will happily customise anything for you, be it headphones, glasses, shoes, bags…
I have followed Bobsmade on deviantArt for over a year now, and peruse their new creations with great admiration – they really play into my great love of bright colours and cuddly animals.
Out of respect for the artists, I won’t be republishing their designs here. So please head on over to either their shop or their dA account and have a browse. Warning: you may lose a considerable portion of your day.
I promise promise PROMISE to write some intelligent, sciencey (sort of) posts SOON. But not right now. I am swamped at the moment, so you will just have to make do with an English National Treasure: the great Ralph Vaughan Williams.
I have loved Vaughan Williams for a long time. I think I was about 13 when I first performed his spellbinding Five Variations on Dives and Lazarus, and I was hooked straight away. It is an oft-cited hypothesis that Mozart is good for the developing brain because the phrasing and patterns in his music match brain-wave patterns (or some other vague quasi-neuroscientific tosh). But I feel far more drawn in by the patterns and “waves” in Vaughan Williams, in particular the aforementioned Dives & Lazarus.
Most people know Vaughan Williams for the Lark Ascending, or for Fantasia on Greensleeves. I know him for this. Enjoy: