Most of us are aware that our brain is divided into 2 parts or hemispheres, often known as the left brain and the right brain. This division is brought about by something known as the great longitudinal fissure, which is in essence a deep grove. We also are familiar with studies that show the two sides of the brain contain different functions.
But what if we were not quite correct all this time into thinking there were just two halves? What if there could be a third half ? Mathematical impossibility you say? That is what I would have said before yesterday when I read an interesting article about the previously unknown half.
From whom does this information come? The source is none other than Sergey Brin who as you well know is half of the dynamic Google duo that wants to take over the world, own the world, be the world’s only search engine or as Brin put it yesterday at a big Google shindig, ” We want Google to be the third half of your brain.”
The statement was made at the event announcing the latest search innovation that according to Google’s Marissa Mayer will have you wondering how you ever did without it. Doubtless, Google investors and potential investors will be/are thrilled. I’m just not so sure. When I think of Google, I often hark back to a Ray Stevens Christmas song from a few years ago. These lyrics might just fit our friends at Google.
- Be careful what you say and do
- ‘Cause Santa Claus is watchin’ you
- He’s everywhere , he’s everywhere
Just so you know.
- Mapping a brain atlas (physorg.com)
- Video: Sergey Brin Explains Why Google Instant Matters (dailyfinance.com)
- Google unveils faster Internet search (theprovince.com)
- Google Is Really Freaking the Hell Out of Me [Blockquote] (gizmodo.com)
………. only in America.( Thank you Jay and the Americans for the song.) The quadrennial event known as the World Cup is ongoing in South Africa. As of this writing, the American team has just been eliminated by Ghana for the second consecutive time. Still advancing out of group play was an accomplishment for a team ranked about 15th in the world.
I’m no soccer expert and not much of a fan except when the Lady Tar Heels play. But I will admit to hoping the American team does well. That thought doesn’t hold true with some prominent American sportswriters, namely William Rhoden of the New York Times and Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation. Bet that’s a real shock about Mr Zirin. In a book I read recently about Calvin Coolidge, his magazine was even then gleefully bashing conservatives . But back to the soccer.
First Mr Rhoden who proudly admits to rooting for Ghana, the last African entry. He thinks that their success could be along-term psychological boost as well as ” continuing the push to keep this important giant( Africa) on track.” Perhaps he should tell the South Koreans, their next opponent.
Now Mr Zirin is a different story. He seems inclined to do a little America bashing as well as attacking Glenn Beck, etc. for using sports as an avatar for ” racism and imperial arrogance.” Translation, if we do not excel at a sport, it must be useless.
Lastly there is sportswriter and social commentator Bethlehem Shoals who sees American interest in soccer as a refuge for the shameful actions of our government, translation, the evil Bush and his cronies.
What a shame to miss the pure enjoyment of goalllllllllllllllllll. Bet all the Brazilian media types are rooting for their team.
It may not have the ring of Tinker to Evers to Chance who comprised 3/4 of the Cubs infield about 100 years ago but it certainly is an example for our day of what? Of excess, of too much money far too soon, of parental overkill of three young women who have and are engaged in a great spectacle of squandering their talents.
Their ages range from 28 to 24 to 17. Hard to believe since it seems that they have been in the spotlight forever and in a sense they have. All three started their careers at very young ages and became successful and wealthy very quickly. Nothing wrong with that if, and it’s a very big if, they are in the right situations with the right people to manage all that is swirling around them.
And, the right people may not necessarily be their parents. All three of these young women have had heavy parental involvement in their careers, If fact, Ms Cyrus’ father was a star in his own right. With his direct involvement in her Hannah Montana series, one would have thought her more insulated from some of those things that have befallen Ms Spears and Ms Lohan.
Recent events seem to belie that hope as the photos and the music and the concert tours get ever more edgy and the Hannah Montana series comes to an end. An ongoing European tour has produced a ” simulated” lesbian kiss on stage, just rockin’ out she calls it and a flashing her underwear moment at a British show.
The mirror.co.uk had a very interesting statement at the end of an article entitled ” Looks like the game may be up.” This is what they said. “ Hanging on to armies of loyal pre-pubescent fans ( and their moms I might add) while dressing like a porn star is tricky business. Behaving like one suggests the game is up.”
For my money, I would prefer she not follow the path she seems to be following. Two of her most prominent predecessors have not fared so well with the examples of drugs and booze and bizarre behaviors almost too many to count. My hope is that her path will not head in that direction.
Sort of staying with the Saturday theme, this will approach the topic from a different perspective and maybe a more positive one at that. The place is Winston-Salem,NC or rather a part of that city known as Old Salem where an old tradition will take place on Easter Sunday, April 4. It is a tradition that goes back to 1771, predating the birth of these United States.
This tradition is the Easter Sunrise service in a place known as God’s Acre. In German the term is Gottesacker or field of God. It is actually a burial ground for Moravians who lived in Winston-Salem. The site is organized by choirs; all married men buried together, all married women buried together and so on.
The site is the focal point for an annual sunrise service attended by thousands every year.My wife and I have atended twice. Our first visit was as really young married couple while the second wasas chaperones for a rambunctious but wonderful group of young people who still have a special place in our hearts. Both times the service was quite moving and seemed to fill us with a great sense of awe and reverence. In spite of the crowds there was very little noise other than the musical communication between the groups of strategically positioned Moravian musicians.
Since the service is a “sunrise” service, one obviously has to arise rather early, to make a bit of a sacrifice compared to one’s normal routine. That plus the locale plus the local history of over 200 years added to the fact that this is one incredible event that one is celebrating made our two trips very, very unique and worshipful.
I had actually attended a sunrise service around 10 years earlier while still in high school. That event was also very special but presented me with a unique “gift” that I have kept to this day. At that service I was stung by some type of insect and came oh so close to going into anaphylactic shock. Yep, that is when I developed my allergy to bee venom, an affliction that I still have some 40+ years later.
So, if you have never had the blessing of attending a sunrise service, I encourage you to avail yourself of that opportunity this Easter season. And, some day, I hope you make the trek to Old Salem for this event will show you that our Moravian friends are known for much more than their culinary talents.
Just a few days ago, the president did an interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC. She happens to be one of the very few media people who I will tolerate for any length of time. Anyway, the president said something very interesting. He said that he would rather be a very good one term president than a mediocre two term president. ( Paging Jimmy Carter, at least on the one term part.)
Let’s look at that statement for a moment. First though, a bit of history. Other than the pious Palestinian from Plains, the one term club includes George H W Bush, Herbert Hover and Martin van Buren. Other than Carter, all were denied a second term by economic issues. The panic of 1837 domed Van Buren as he evidently lacked a Rahm( never waste a good crisis) Emanuel to get him through the situation.
The point, which Sawyer did not seem to address, is that no president steps down voluntarily when doing a good job or even a mediocre one. We just do not see voluntary retirements from the Oval Office. Perhaps George Washington I guess, who could have served for life had he been willing. So, what did he mean by his comment? Maybe it was just for effect, along with a later statement that he will continue ” full bore” to tackle the tough issues.
Perhaps it is time for the president to heed the words of an Elvis Presley song-a little less talk , a little more action.
During the Christmas season, I am always reminded of what a wonderful blessing we have in music. As with most people, I have my favorites. But there is one Christmas song that seems to belong on an entirely different level. I am not musically literate enough to use the proper terminology so I will resort to describing it as a layman. The song is “The Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.
My wife, the musically talented part of us has sung the entire Messiah on occasion and has tried to describe for me its difficulty and its majesty. The majesty part, i think i get. She and I attended a concert by the Albemarle Chorale this past Sunday which closed with the chorus. For me, an okay evening of music was again transformed by their presentation. I have heard it don ea number of times, perhaps my favorite was in Columbus, Ga at First Baptist Church which was our church at that time. Some twenty plus years later, it remains for me a special musical memory.
Don’t know if it is the music or the words that leap directly from the pages of the Bible (Isaiah, if you want to look it up) or the music or knowing that King George II was so moved that he may or may not have stood when it he first heard it. Audiences still stand though.
The Messiah was written in 1741-42 and first performed in Dublin in 1742 and I am thankful that it has endured to bring a touch of majesty to each Christmas season.
So, some time during your Christmas celebration, find a recording of the Chorus and enjoy!
Wanted to get this out a little ahead of time. My far and away #1 candidate for the most forgotten holiday is Thanksgiving. Overwhelmed by the growth in Halloween preparation and paraphernalia on the one hand and the holiday shopping season on the other, the humble day of thanks has no chance. Perhaps it even should get a new name. Oh, how about Holiday Shopping Eve. Since the Friday afterwards is known as Black Friday and people must shop or else, it makes perfect sense. Rest up on Thursday, forget the big meal and hit the mall and Wal-Mart ASAP.
In my family, I am sometimes indicted as one who “hates” holidays, modern-day Scrooge, if you will. But Thanksgiving, now that is one that I like. Can’t really eat as I once could, but that’s not a problem. The food is just a backdrop, I think for the reconnecting with family that we wish were more commonplace.
I remember with great fondness songs like, “Come, Ye Thankful People Come and “Over the river and through the wood”. If my memory does not totally fail me, we even sang some of those in elementary school. Not so sure that would happen today.
I know, I know all of the stories about the 1st Thanksgiving are not 100% accurate but there are elements from that day that remain with us. The day itself has only been a federal holiday since 1941 and who knew what was going to happen in just a couple of weeks. obviously, there are stong religious underpinnings but the day is much more secular now than religious. Wonder how long it has been since families actually started eating out on Thanksgiving, have even done that myself. Perhaps the pressure to create a culinary masterpiece has just become too great. Here’s a thought, it doesn’t have to be a biiiggg deal meal to be a time for thanks. I will admit that Snoopy’s thanksgiving meal left a bit to be desired though.
I understand that the First Family does not give Christmas gifts to their children and that’s ok. Hope they celebrate Thanksgiving though. And, if you need a little extra something for which to give thanks, try this link, militaryfamiliespray. That could include those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ft Hood and… you get the picture.
So said Sonny and Cher way back in their 1967 song. Doubtless it did not refer to the ongoing battle, skirmish, tete-a-tete between the Obama Administration and those dastardly villains at Fox News. You know, the channel the administration loves to hate, doesn’t want to visit and probably wishes would just go away. Funny how Nixonian all this sounds. At least they are out in the open about their enemies list. Gotta get style points for that.
I made the mistake of watching part of a CNN roundtable program yesterday. The only panel members I knew were Bill Bennet and Donna Brazile. Bennett was his usual calm, reasoned self. Now, Ms Brazile, while outwardly calm, relied on words such as lies and smears etc when describing Fox’s “news coverage”.
Brief timeout, just 2 weeks ago, White House guru David Axelrod and Fox news boss Roger Ailes met in New York for a chat. Talked about the weather no doubt. Shortly after that, Anita Dunn went on offense. Rather confusing is it not?
But then yesterday, Axelrod reversed his field and described Fox as not really a news organization and that further, their programming was “geared to make money.” Now that is a shocker. Who knows, maybe he and Ailes did just talk about the weather.
Gotta know that this jousting will continue.
In reflecting on the media coverage Senator Kennedy’s death received, I was reminded about the premature death of a young musician some 12 years ago. Let me add this. To a degree, I understand the difference in the two from a quantity standpoint. One was an extremely well known United States senator who lived his life in the public eye. The other was a relatively obscure singer/songwriter of whom the majority of Americans knew very little. This individual was Rich Mullins and it so happened that died tragically on my birthday in 1997 in an automobile accident.
I remember seeing a small newspaper article the next day announcing his death and thinking how few would notice or realize the extent of the loss. In some ways to me, his loss has been mitigated by the prolific nature of his songwriting. Not being really qualified to evaluate anyone’s singing ability, I still thought that his greater gift lay in his words rather than his singing.
He wrote over 100 songs and was said to have written a page of prose every day. Some of the songs like “Sing Your Praise to the Lord” are a bit more traditional while others seem to be telling the story of a gifted , spiritual man, but a man who did not claim to have all the answers. There are words like this when speaking of his relationship to God. ” The climb can be so steep I may falter in my step, but never beyond your reach.” Simple but profoundly moving. I have many times found myself singing along(although I cannot really sing) with tears in my eyes. He was a great supporterof Compassion International and worked with the Navajo Indian Nation in Window Rock, AZ where his spent his last two years. He was a guy who co-wrote songs with someone identified only as Beaker. Quirky seems too plain a description of such a man.
He was not the norm even in the world of Christian music. My wife has in recent days began to introduce his music to our two young grandchildren. Although he never had children or was married, I believe it is something to which he might have smiled in aproval.
I can think of no better close than the title of one of his albums- “A Liturgy, A Legacy and a Ragamuffin Band.”
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