Call of the Maestro

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Music does not have wings but if it comes from the heart it can fly. – Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Khan Dagar

Call of the Maestro‘ is a journey undertaken to uncover how a 3000 year old tradition of Indian classical Music is surviving a modern world. Passed down from generation to generation there is a threat now that young people are less interested in dedicating their lives to learning the skills of an art form that is a highly complex mix of structure, improvisation and spiritual faith. The current great Maestros of India are now in their 80′s and 90s and unless they can inspire the next generation their music is at risk of dying with them. The film follows a student of music and a promoter of Indian Classical music as they travel around India finding the Maestros who have dedicated their careers to keeping the music alive. There are music schools set up for orphans and blind children, women are taking opportunities to perform in a way that was unheard of historically, technology is being used to help save time so that young people can balance jobs and their musical education , musicians are brought into schools and colleges and Maestros perform in both urban and rural places where the whole community is welcomed. The filmmakers were privileged to enter the homes of the last of the great Maestros to hear them perform in intimate surroundings and be witness to them passing on their knowledge, talent and experience to their disciples in rarely seen scenes that echo back through ancient times. It is on the shoulders of the young that its future lies.

Directed by Lou Hamilton. A Create Lab Production with Blue Elephant Films.

View on YouTube

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Spammers, Do They Feel Less Guilty Now?

spamLately, I’ve been receiving an increased amount of email that have the following tag line at the end.

Note: We are not spammers and are against spamming of any kind.

Well let’s see – you are sending me UNSOLICATED emails of a commercial basis, wanting me to purchase your product or service. That is the very definition of spam.

So yes, you are a spammer and are for spamming of any kind.

But, I guess you feel less guilty putting that little tag line in your spam.

In addition, you add:

If you are not interested then you can reply with a simple \”NO\”, We will never contact you again.

Now it’s beholden on ME to tell you that I don’t want anymore of YOUR spam. So if I don’t respond am I to assume that you will continue to spam me?

Oh, but wait, I forgot, you’re not spamming me. Sorry.


Joe Randeen :: 3 Penguins Design

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A Toshiba hard drive deal for two days only, February 17th and 18th!

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One Man Behind All Biggest Pop Music in 2014

No doubt talented – but for my opinion, pop music is in the toilet. Can’t even turn on the radio anymore.  Martin found the formula.  Not his fault the masses have lost their taste for a delicious meal – settling for a Big Mac instead.

The Producer of the Year award didn’t get any air time during the Grammys’ televised broadcast, but it was arguably the most important of the night. On Sunday, it was the award that said the most about the state of pop. It revealed that one man is behind our music’s dominant sound: Swedish pop savant Max Martin.

Martin has been one of the most secretive but influential contributors to pop music in the past two decades. One glance down the long list of hits he produced and co-wrote last year shows just how important he was in crafting 2014’s pop — and why his genius is leading our popular music towards a homogenized sound. Here are a few of his year-defining hits:

“Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj
“Break Free” by Ariana Grande featuring Zedd
“Dark Horse” by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J
“Problem” by Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea
“Shake It Off ” by Taylor Swift
“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift

And these were just the ones that made that top 10. Martin produced and co-wrote seven of the 13 tracks on Taylor Swift’s 1989, 10 of the 13 tracks on Katy Perry’s Prism and all of the biggest hits off Ariana Grande’s My Everything (including “Problem” and “Love Me Harder”). He co-wrote Jennifer Lopez’s comeback earworm “First Love,” Shakira’s World Cup anthem “Dare (La La La)” and Pitbull’s “Wild Wild Love,” the lead single off his Globalization album. [read]

Teach For Finland? Why it won’t happen.

If you ask anyone why kids do better in school in Finland than other countries, you will probably hear one answer more often anything else: They have great teachers. It is true that Finnish teachers are well prepared, widely respected and commonly trusted professionals. But are education systems successful just because of great teachers? Many would emphatically say “yes.” I would say, however, “not so fast!”

Many of us are delighted that teachers are now recognized as key players in efforts to improve the quality of education systems. The International Summit on Teaching Profession, an annually organized gathering of education ministers and union leaders around the world, is just one of the new forums where teachers are at the center of attention. We now know more and understand better teachers’ lives and their work as a result of increased academic research and global surveys done by international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Education International (EI). However, the extent that teachers can make a difference in student learning in school remains a question with different answers. [read]

Shine On You Crazy Diamond – the story behind the song

pink-floydThis is a tribute to Syd Barrett, an original member of Pink Floyd – notice the title, Shine On You Crazy Diamond. He was their lead guitarist and wrote most of their early hits, but he gradually went nuts and was kicked out of the band in 1968, 3 years after the group started. Drugs played a big role in his mental illness.

During the final mixing sessions of this song in June of 1975, Barrett wandered into the studios, ready to help out. He was fat, bald, and as crazy as they remembered, but they let him stay for a while. Barrett wanted to rejoin the group, but they learned in 1967 and 1968 that having an insane member was not good for a band. Before he was kicked out, Barrett would get on stage and either refuse to play or play the same note over and over. [read more]

Don’t Leave Your Phone Plugged Overnight, This is Why

batterylifeHere’s something that against everything we’ve heard about our phone batteries.

If you ever own a phone, you might have heard people saying you need to charge your phone overnight in order, not to get the battery weak. While that might be true, other people make it a habit, by leaving their phone in charge until the next day even after the initial first full charge when they bought the phone.

I can admit that I often leave my phone plugged into the wall outlet and fall asleep, content in the knowledge that I will wake up to a fully charged device. But sometimes I wonder if it’s a safe to leave my phone still plugged even when it’s fully charged. Is it damaging the battery — or shortening its lifespan I wonder?

There are lots of fable and vague ideas on this topic., but really what’s the truth? Luckily enough, we have got some answers for you based on what we know.

Should you leave your phone plugged into the charger overnight?

“Leaving your phone plugged in overnight is okay to do, it will not drastically harm your device,” says Shane Broesky, co-founder of Farbe Technik, a company that makes charging accessories. “Your phone is very smart. Once it’s fully charged, it knows when to stop the current from coming in to protect your phone from overcharging.” [read]

Parents: Let Harvard Go

collegeAs a former admissions officer for two “elite” schools — one Ivy and one West Coast Ivy-equivalent — I am in a unique position to offer some insights for parents that may be of help in raising healthful teens. Exasperated as much by the reaction to a couple of recent teen suicides as I am to the acts themselves, I offer my views here not because I’m an expert in suicide-prevention: I’m not. I offer this post because we’re all looking for some way to help our community’s kids. My Facebook feed upsets me when people surmise that these suicides happened because of mental illness, or tiger parents, or school stress, or, or, or … because we just. don’t. know. I don’t think any family from the last suicide cluster came forward with a definitive reason, and I doubt anyone did now. We don’t know what drove these kids to take their lives — but we do know what’s hurting our kids now. In fact, this local teen, Martha Cabot, sums it up pretty well: “Parents, calm down.” [more: Rox and Roll]

10 Ways to Show Your Employees You Love Them

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is in the air. And what better way to make your employees happy and productive than to declare your love for them? Not that kind of love–that’s creepy–but, rather, the platonic love that makes your employees feel cared for and appreciated–that’s your goal for this week.

Here are some suggestions.
1. Make work interesting and challenging.
Seriously. According to a new survey by Virgin Pulse, 58 percent of employees love their job when it’s challenging. Don’t keep all the interesting tasks for yourself, and give your employees stretch assignments. They’ll be happier.

2. Get rid of the bullies.
Employees are happier when they aren’t working with horrible jerks. If you love and appreciate your good employees, fire the jerks. [read]