Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I’m Gabrielle. Lilly asked me to be part of her blog, so here I am. :)

I’m a freshman and I take Latin and Humanities at Regina Coeli Academy, which is where I met Lilly. :) My favorite subjects are Latin and Biology. I also like reading, (especially Tolkien and Star Wars) movies, and music.

I love gymnastics. Right now I’m recovering from a pretty bad ankle injury (worst sprain possible and maybe some torn ligaments) I got on beam 2 months ago :( . I have a meet a week from Saturday and I still can’t really do that much, so we’ll see how that goes. :)

So that’s just about me. :) (Do I overuse smilies? I think I do. :( ) Hopefully I can find something to blog about from time to time. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Global weirding!!

Here's a short excerpt of the Best of the Web Today with James Taranto:

You know the global warmists are in trouble when they start getting advice on rhetoric and communication from Thomas Friedman. And the advice is hilarious:

"In my view, the climate-science community should convene its top experts--from places like NASA, America's national laboratories, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, the California Institute of Technology and the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre--and produce a simple 50-page report. They could call it "What We Know," summarizing everything we already know about climate change in language that a sixth grader could understand, with unimpeachable peer-reviewed footnotes."

They could call it "The Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." And they'll get it right this time, they promise!

Then there is this advice:

"Avoid the term "global warming." I prefer the term "global weirding," because that is what actually happens as global temperatures rise and the climate changes. The weather gets weird. The hots are expected to get hotter, the wets wetter, the dries drier and the most violent storms more numerous.

The fact that it has snowed like crazy in Washington--while it has rained at the Winter Olympics in Canada, while Australia is having a record 13-year drought--is right in line with what every major study on climate change predicts: The weather will get weird; some areas will get more precipitation than ever; others will become drier than ever."

Blogger Jim Hoft notes a pair of news stories that illustrate why this is the case. From the San Francisco Chronicle, July 6, 2009:

The Bay Area just had its foggiest May in 50 years. And thanks to global warming, it's about to get even foggier.

And from London's Daily Telegraph, Feb. 15, 2010:

Fog Over San Francisco Thins by a Third Due to Climate Change. The sight of Golden Gate Bridge towering above the fog will become increasing rare as climate change warms San Francisco bay, scientists have found.

See, it works either way! More fog? It's global weirding, man! Less fog? Also global weirding! What if the amount of fog stays exactly the same? Well, how weird would that be!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Knew The Economy Was Small...

And I've finally found out just how small it is!

Thanks for telling the truth about the NEW economy size, Meguiars. I promise I will never again wash my car with Kit.

Loving you more by the moment,
Lillie A. S. Tove

P.S. It's 32 ounces. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Saint Valentine's Day

Lillie somewhat hastily dictates...

Saint Valentine
There are at least three Saint Valentines -- all martyrs, mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of February 14. One of them being a priest of Rome, another the bishop of Interamna [modern Terni]. These two apparently were martyred in the second half of the third century, and were buried on the Flaminian Way -- though at different distances from the city. The third Saint Valentine -- who suffered in Africa with a number of companions -- nothing further is known.

St. Valentine's Day Celebrated
St. Valentine's Day is an annual holiday held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The holiday first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. [Source: Wikipedia]

What It Is Today
Today, in this so very distorted culture, Valentine's Day has become a commercial...I hesitate to say holiday [yes, holiday -- they took that word from us, too -- HOLY DAY] promoting sexual interaction, and buying the nicest gift for your "loved one". Okay, I admit, I'm not opposed to receiving candy any time [especially those nice chocolate hearts ^.^], but this is beyond just receiving candy. Who knows, your boyfriend might buy you a pair of underwear that say "LOVE" across the front of them -- aren't you lucky? Maybe you'll even get a card like this while he's at it!

Oh, but don't worry, it's not over! There's advertisements up over the web, and over the town -- buy your condoms half-off! No, really, we'll give them to you for 75% off! Come buy your condoms today!

You might want to check the price of what your boyfriend bought you. Your friend might've gotten an MP3 player from her boyfriend, and you got an iPod -- you never know, though -- her boyfriend might've spent more on her gift.

Anyhow, you get the general idea. I'm not happy, Bob. Not happy.

Would you like fries with that?

Happy Saint [?] Valentine's Day.

-Lillie A.S. Tove

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Justin scribbles hastily...

I've been investigating lots of minamlist music lately -- mostly Philip Glass, John Adams (not the president) and a little of Meridith Monk. Their styles of composing seem so different. Philip Glass's music is rarely harsh but instead generally nice and pleasant sounding but oh, so repetitive. John Adams is not so repetitive but a little more difficult to listen to; he excels in strange and prolonged dissonances. Meridith Monk's music is not only repetitive but usually contains no melodic line, no counterpoint, and the harmony seem random -- as if she planned the construction of the composition with complete disregard for the pitches. Hence, her music is vastly different sounding from Glass's and one would not immediately guess that they both consider themselves of the same genre: minimalism.

So what is minimalism, that it contains such a wide variety of music and composers? According to Michael Nyman (one the first minimalist composers; a founding father, if you will), the definition of minimalism is:

(1)...any music that works with limited or minimal materials: pieces that use only a few notes, pieces that use only a few words of text..

(2)...or pieces written for very limited instruments, such as antique cymbals, bicycle wheels, or whiskey glasses...

(3) ...pieces that sustain one basic electronic rumble for a long time...

(4) ...pieces made exclusively from recordings of rivers and streams...

(5)...pieces that move in endless circles...

(6) ...pieces that set up an unmoving wall of saxophone sound...

(7) ...pieces that take a very long time to move gradually from one kind of music to another kind...

(8)...pieces that permit all possible pitches, as long as they fall between C and D...

(9)...pieces that slow the tempo down to two or three notes per minute...

Nine criteria in toto, and interestingly enough, not one of them can be found in either of the three aforementioned composer execpt for Monk. Why is this so; aren't Adams and Glass minimalist composers? They are -- to an extent.

I personally would argue that like everything else, minimalism eventually has to modify itself into something that the public would be satisfied with or it would suffer the fate of many, many other "isms" (Philip Glass, in his early days, could find absolutely nobody to commission him or professionals to perfom his music. Obviously, this is no way to earn a living.) Minimalist composers find that playing remastered recordings of the ocean does not really please an audience paying twenty dollars minimum for a seat in the concert hall. Likewise, the novelty of pieces moving in endless circles, or music composed for whiskey bottles inevitably wears aways, leaving an almost "emperor with no clothes on" effect.

How do minimalist composers remedy this? What do they alter? They simply discard the questionable elements and keep the good. They throw away the loud, annoying saxophone noise and keep the repetiveness, What's more, they add harmony. I find it no coincidence that Philip Glass has lately been breaking his ties with strict minimalism and stressing his extensive study of Mozart's counterpoint and harmony. He retains the repetition however and this results in a moody, haunting even sublime atmosphere, which I, personally, enjoy -- especially in scores like "The Illusionist".

John Adams is going in a similiar route, though his music generally tends to sound more neoclassical (new-classical) than anything else. (Basically, neoclassism is throw-back to the good ole days of Shostacovitch , Sravinsky and Prokofiev, but nowadays, neoclassism is never without that twenty-first century "spin".)

Meridith Monk. Not having heard terribly recent compositions of her's, I can't really say anything much about her changing. However, I'm pretty sure she isn't. The last I heard, it appeared that she much prefers the technical aspects of composition over the aesthetic. The "icy demonstration of mathamatical principles" as Bloch would have it, greatly intrigues her.

To conclude, minimalism needed to be adapted and changed some before it was largely embraced by musicians and listeners. Philip Glass realizes that; John Adams realizes it. They've both adapted considerably and the exent of the evolution of their music is incredible. Consequently, they're well-known, well-respected, with soundtracks to reputable movies to their names, and many people enjoy their music. Meridith Monk, on the other hand, seems to be restricting herself to strict mimimalism. This, in my opinion, is a pity. In this way, I believe that she is not only restricting herself to the narrow confines of the college/university, but she is also, in effect, dooming herself to obscurity.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cureth my boredom!

Samuel dictates...

I don't like dead blogs. They're so...rotty and corpse-filled and...yeah.

So, being the quirky individual I am, now for something completely unrelated.

What America (and Americans) lacks in general: sound logic. I've been noticing lately on account of a few practical reasoning and general nose-poking (no fingers, though :P) that there is a complete lack of sound logic in most everything I see and hear lately. Sadly, I don't find it worthy of time or efficiency to give an overview of practical logic (go figure, I still only half-understand the half of it), but I do find it incredibly worth my precious minutes to come on here and say that it should be introduced as a necessary class in public schools: formal and material logic. Formal because it sounds formal and material because it provides the basis for practical application. I've already taken a formal logic course in one semester, and have started a course known as Informal Fallacies; both in the Memoria Press Online Academy (I wish there were liberals there, it'd be funny in the heat of class).

Whenever I'm in school and running around being my anti-controversial, piratical self, I end up in loose-topic, heated flame wars (lol). These fire-against-fire, rather pointless battles always end up having the winner being the one who talks the loudest and longest and last. There's three L's you should avoid. Eventually I figure out that I'm not getting anywhere and wasting my time on somebody who doesn't want to change their flawed ways, and they take my relenting to their eardrum-cracking verbal beration as a win for them, when in fact I just get bored of mindless and hopeless repetition (on their part, of course). Okay, so maybe I tried to make that sound a little funny and maybe even a little biased in my favor. :P But one should obtain the general meaning of my constant blathering.

An argument can in general be defined as a conclusion supported by premises. If there are just premises, it is not an argument and just a bunch of pointless, probably isolated, statements. If it's just a conclusion then it's just a random, unsupported, objective declaration that I'm going to screw you upon because you have no idea what you're talking about. Clear? I'm glad you so willingly submit to my obvious psychological superiority. :P No, I am not sick or twisted in any way...potentially conceited, but that's no grounds for accusation, right? G'day, sheeple!

~Samuel Ignes Fox

PS: Yes, I was joking when I called you sheeple. But it's a fun word, right? Sheep + people = socialism! w00tage ft(p)w(n)! Anyways, don't take offense. I was just saying what Obama tells us, except more me-centered for the sake of me getting a laugh (and hopefully anybody else with the same sick sense of humor). But mindlessly repeating that sentiment will make somebody just as mad as seeing me sitting on my little throne (that I made). Heh, this kind of joke is funny. But seriously, people, I don't mean it! XP