Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Zombie Jebus Day!

That was the subject of the e-mail I got from my younger brother the author this past Sunday. I liked it. And, it's shorter than "The First Sunday After The First Full Moon After The Vernal Equinox!"

In London I finished "Musicophilia : Tales of Music and the Brain" by Oliver Sacks, of "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat", blogged earlier. I think I'm getting somewhat tired of reading this kind of stuff -- "The Singing Neanderthals" might have to wait awhile. FFTKAT:

  • The brain of a musician is easily discernable in an autopsy?!?!? Enlarged corpus callosum (the large fiber that connects the two hemispheres of the brain) and fine motor control areas.
  • Music has proven to be an effective therapy for stroke-induced aphasia (lack of speech) -- the music survives, patients who cannot speak can sing lyrics, which seems to help their speech recover.
  • A couple of chapters talked about musical hallucinations -- people hearing music all the time. I think it's not like my hit parade -- or maybe it is, and they just don't have sufficient cycles to listen to the music and think or perform other mental activities.
  • There as numerous documented cases of musical people with severe dementia who still retain most or all of their musical skills. So, my vision of ending life as "the human jukebox" has already been realized many, many times.
So I finished this shortly after starting the 8 hour flight from Bristol to Newark. I pulled out the other book I had to read, Kim Stanley Robinson's "Sixty Days and Counting". Looking through the intro pages, I realized I had read the 1st book of this trilogy, "Forty Signs of Rain", blogged September 16, 2004 -- but had not read the 2nd book, "Fifty Degrees Below Zero".

Crisis. Seven hours left on a transatlantic flight, and if I want to read something, I must skip a volume in a trilogy. I refuse to watch movies on airplanes, it has to be the worst imaginable movie-watching experience. So, I said, whatever, and started the book. I'm somewhat bogged around halfway through. There have been enough back-references to figure out what the plot of the 2nd book was, so I think it's burned. This one is good, but somewhat annoying in that the protagonist is a middle-aged man who in his spare time from the plot is juggling three girlfriends. Grrr, yeah right. I guess KSR is getting to that age.

I did get a good musical reference from it: Astor Piazzolla, who was apparently the god of tango music from around 1960 on. I'm listening "Piazzolla En Suite" now, pretty good stuff, 3 stars.

Jams have been going well. The Monday night jam at Goshin's Tavern appears to be dying out -- too annoying to the pool players. I've been up at least twice at the last two Wednesday O'Neill jams, playing and singing pretty well. Last week the jam overall was kind of off, some country people there, and a gay guy doing "At Last", "Summertime", and "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" in a very high voice. He's not bad, but I don't think it's an appropriate venue for his material.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He who doesn't believe in zombies will be the first to be eaten.