Saturday, September 25, 2004

Lisa Loeb - Firecracker

I was aware of Lisa Loeb for a long time. But, it wasn't until I saw Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music that I decided to hear what she is all about. Besides, her signature eye glasses was irresistable. It had nothing to do with music, but it was influential on a visceral level. Go figure.

1 I Do
2 Falling in Love
3 Truthfully
4 Let's Forget About It
5 How Loeb
6 Furious Rose
7 Wishing Heart
8 Dance With the Angels
9 Jake
10 This
11 Split Second
12 Firecracker
I like all the songs on this album, despite the unflattering review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine at AMG.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Gloria Estefan - Destiny

1 Destiny Dermer, Estefan, Estefan ... 5:13
2 I'm Not Giving You Up Estefan, Santander 4:20
3 Steal Your Heart Estefan, Santander 3:48
4 The Heart Never Learns Casas, Dermer 4:32
5 You'll Be Mine (Party Time) Dermer, Estefan, Ostwald 4:50
6 Path of the Right Love Estefan 5:20
7 Show Me to the Way Back to Your Heart Warren 3:57
8 Along Came You (A Song for Emily) Estefan 6:18
9 Higher Dermer 3:49
10 I Know You Too Well Estefan, Warren 4:55
11 Reach Estefan, Warren 3:49

The Question of God - Part 2

I was still basking in the warm glow of last night's RiverSing event when I started to watch the second part of The Question of God. So, understandably, I was slightly distracted at the beginning. With lower expectations, I was pleasantly surprise to find it better than Part 1. Perhaps it was due the questions of free will, morality, suffering, death, and other morbid subjects.

On the subject of free will, I'm reminded of the excellent section called The Doctrine of Free Will in Bertrand Russell's essay Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?.

Since Freud is a major character in this series, it was interesting to me to learn the historical background surrounding the writing and publication of Civilization and Its Discontents and Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. These are two excellent books. The latter holds a special memory for me due to reading most of it some 20 years ago in a cafe while in Vienna for the weekend.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Friendship according to Aristotle

I was looking for something else when I came across this nice description of Aristotle's definition of friendship:
Two men are friends when each has a fixed disposition of liking and goodwill toward the other and both are aware that this is the case. There are three kinds of friendship: in the first, two persons are friends because they are pleasing to one another; in the second, because they are useful to one another; in the third, because they are both good and may help each other toward excellence. Of these the last is the highest kind, the second the lowest. Friendship of all kinds is the cement that should hold society together, and in the ideal state the friendship of citizens should be that of the highest kind.
Frankena, William K., Three Historical Philosophies of Education (Chicago: Scott, Foresman, 1965), p52.

Monday, September 20, 2004

An overall delightful day

As predicted, the weather was beautiful yesterday. Here are two of many wonderful events of the day:

Semitic Museum
The Semitic Museum is one of the Harvard University Museums, housing collections of archaeological materials from the Ancient Near East. Our current exhibits explore everyday life in ancient Israel during the Iron Age; a 2nd millennium BCE Hurrian city, located in modern-day Iraq; and the history of ancient Cyprus through ceramics and metal objects. ...

Seven Harvard University Museums within walking distance of each other:
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
Semitic Museum
Adolphus Busch Hall
Sackler Museum
Fogg Art Museum
Busch-Reisinger Museum
were open to the public yesterday between 1pm and 5pm. The Semite Museum was the only one I haven't visited. Since I went alone, I was able to enjoy the lecture and exhibits without the usual concerns if I had children or out-of-town guests with me.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society
Massachusetts Horticultural Society (MassHort) at Elm Bank Horticultural Center is a gorgeous 36 acre all-season property located on the Charles River, featuring (among others) the New England Trial Garden, the historic Olmstead-designed Italianate Garden, and whimsical Weezie's Garden for Children. MassHort's Education Center hosts programs for children and adults, and the library houses an extraordinary collection for the expert or amateur gardener. MHS is adjacent to the Elm Bank Reservation walking trails and canoe/kayak put-in.
I was invited to a friend's home for dinner last night. She asked me to come a couple of hours early so that she can show me the nearby Elm Bank Horticultural Center. I was delightfully surprised to see the many spectacularly beautiful and well maintained gardens. As designed, each garden has its own unique sitting areas that's great for picnics. This is a place that I definitely have to visit again.

Should you go, you might consider visiting the Wellesley College campus as well. It is only half a mile away.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Le Peuple Migrateur

Le Peuple Migrateur, also known as Winged Migration is awesome. Yet I will have to agree with the user comment ("Too Much Squawking Too Little Talking ... ") if you see this as is.

To really appreciated this documentary, you need the DVD version. Watch a little bit of this as presented for the sheer visual beauty of it (minus some of the squawking) and then switch over to the director's commentary track. There, learn what's going on. After that, watch the near hour long segment on how the film makers made it to answer the question you have all along. By now, you're almost four hours into this, two and a half hour more than you probably intended.

To further appreciate this documentary, you should watch it all over again straight up. But this time, you'll see it with a different set of eyes from a different point of view. It will be a great way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon. It was for me.

Jem - Finally Broken

Sigh, another senior moment. I searched in vain all over in notes I left behind for a clue. Jem has a familiarity. What was the connection? Searching the Boston Globe archive found a Dido connection:
Published on April 2, 2004
Jem makes her mark on her debut album with a taut 40-minute set of pop filled with languor, yearning, heartache, and more than a little bounce to offset the moodier moments. The Welsh singer is surrounded by swirling strings, layered keyboards, and textured guitars on most of these pleasing tracks and, no doubt, she's going to be spoken in the same breath as Dido or Beth Gibbons. But while her sound is familiar, there's nothing derivative or contrived about the music, which arrives ...
Well, I don't know Beth Gibbons, but I do about Dido. Jem's music is nice, but not quite like Dido's.

1 They Griffiths, Young 3:16
2 Come on Closer Griffiths, Young 3:47
3 Finally Woken Griffiths 3:58
4 Save Me Griffiths, Young 3:33
5 24 Griffiths, Griffiths 3:54
6 Missing You Griffiths, Griffiths, Nevo 4:01
7 Wish I Griffiths 3:56
8 Just a Ride Caren, Griffiths 3:20
9 Falling for You Coler, Griffiths, Higgins 4:17
10 Stay Now Griffiths, Wahl, Whitecross 3:43
11 Flying High Griffiths, Herman, Nevo 4:08
Now I remember, Jem was in town recently