Jul. 27th, 2015 03:57 pm
insaneneko: (Default)
I listened to a segment on Fresh Air called From Upspeak To Vocal Fry: Are We 'Policing' Young Women's Voices? that featured a journalist, a linguist, and a speech pathologist. It was interesting and also very frustrating. I don't know of any statistics specifically on the phenomenon, but every time I hear about issues on vocal fry and/or upspeak, it's always in relation to women. I remember This American Life's segment on it, and I just learned of 99% Invisible's auto-response to complains about women's voices in the Fresh Air segment (screenshot of text here). Apparently it's never about how men speak, it's always about how women speak. The comments to the Fresh Air interview just pissed me off. They talk about how these verbal tics irritate them in both men AND women. come these radio programs/podcasts never seem to get any complaints about the men? I mean, if the men doing these things are just as irritating, shouldn't there be complaints about them as well? In particular, Ira Glass points out that he does it and has never gotten a complaint about it. The speech pathologist didn't give any ground either (of course, she was all set to defend her stance, being the "enemy" and all). The linguist cited some data to back her up, but the speech pathologist had anecdotes and...her personal opinion that it was "irritating." Really? Is that all you got? 

I find certain voices annoying, but I know it's me and I choose not to listen to them or I get over it. I don't send insulting emails complaining about them. 

Belatedly discovered Vance Joy's hit from last year, "Riptide." Being me, I looked for covers and found some good ones.
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I was in a Japanese grocery store and was caught up by the music they were playing. Really old j-pop, apparently all from anime. One of the ones they were playing was My Will by Dream, the first Inuyasha ending song. I did a search by the lyrics of the chorus and “anime ending” and hit the jackpot. Man, what a nice song! I gotta remember it next time I go to karaoke.

Aaah, I love FF7 WIPs to get sucked into: Off the Line by seam is an AU in which Cloud the trooper is given a VR machine to help with insomnia and starts playing the popular MMORG Terra Online. He ends up making a splash. Hard to explain, but it’s 38 chapters and going strong, and I really want to know what happens soon.

Speaking of FF7 WIPs…Green Dreams by I-Mushi is being updated! It got updated I think once last year, and another chapter just went up the other day!
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Oh my, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. I got a new job last year, and it just ruined the second half of it. It’s amazing how stressful things have been. I guess I was complacent in my old job, but now I’m doing new things and it’s kinda crazy. In any case, I will try to post more if only to document my fandom obsessions.

It’s depressing when your RL friends don’t share the same fandoms. :P

In any case, right this minute I’m obsessed with reading Free! fanfics. I finally caught up with the second season and had to go look for fics to see how people dealt with all that fan service. It looks like Makoto/Haru and Rei/Nagisa are super popular, which is to be expected. The one pairing I’m surprised to see (but really shouldn’t be) is Rin/Ai. Since I found Ai’s character rather blah, I haven’t read any fics with that pairing. They’ve been fine as secondary pairings, though. I don’t think I could read primarily Rei/Nagisa. They are both characters I think of as spices. A little is good, too much is…too much. Especially since they both seem so…flaming. Even in that anime, they seem spectacularly so.

So, the pairing I’ve mostly read is Makoto/Haru. It’s the one that I like the best and found the most natural. My favorite fics so far:

How to Train Your Human by nezumiprefersdanielleovershakespeare, a merman/fireman AU (there are a lot of mermen AUs in this fandom, but then….fanservice ending themes will do that) that is just plain awesome. Haru is a merman who has been caught and experimented upon until he is rescued by Makoto the fireman. It’s a long, meaty, hilarious, sweet story. The science is utterly ridiculous, the twists and turns are also ridiculous, the angst buttons are pushed pretty darn hard at times, but the core of it is just pure awesome. Haru as alien trying to understand humans is pure comedy gold, and the rest of the cast as Makoto’s friends who help him out are great.

How to Read Your Best Friend by themorninglark is a MakoHaru is so sweet it teeters on saccharine, but it amazingly stays on the right side. It’s a how they get together fic. Haru is so dorky and Makoto is the perfect best friends from forever. Short and sweet. Nagisa plays the catalyst in just the way I like him used.

sometimes i think the stupidest things by sparklecringe is another how they get together fic, but this one is longer and way more explicit. Also features dorky Haru and Makoto as the perfect best friend. Nagisa really shines in this one, even though…just…so…flaming. But the way he helps the two out as they flail into the relationship they were meant to have is great.

In a change of pace, I really liked this short Sousuke/Haru fic: 1.34% Au by lonelyantics. It’s a post-series fic that is short and fun. I don’t really like Sousuke in the anime, but I kinda like this version and how he interacts with Haru.

There are more fics I like, I’ll try to post on them soon (before I forget about them).


For Fall 2014 anime, I ended up watching Mushishi Zoku and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. I thought this second half of the second season of Mushishi a bit weak. There were a bunch I was very meh about, while there seemed to be more depressing ones. I prefer poignant, rather than depressing.

I struggled with Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. I truly disliked how the anime was portraying how Kaori, Tsubaki and Ryouta bullied Kousei and minimized his trauma. But I kept watching because 1) classical music and b) pretty. Luckily, Kousei’s had a breakthrough so I think I’ll be able to enjoy this anime more. It really is so pretty, and I love the rivals who have shown up. I want more of them and less of the other three, frankly. (Especially Kaori. Ugh. She has shades of manic pixy dream girl with the whole pall of death hanging over her and I can't really stand her.)

I think for Spring 2015 I’m really only going to watch Kuroko no Basket season 3. The rest of the lineup has looked quite unappealing so far.


I came across two lovely piano covers by fireteamtorch piano on youtube:

A/Z, the ending from Aldnoah Zero
Rage On, the opening from the Free!

I like both of the original songs, but the piano versions are so pretty.


Some random AMVs:

Natsume Yuujinchou

Something Beautiful. Video quality sucks, but the song is pretty and appropriate.

Nyanko Sensei is a MEAN KITTY!. Hilarious.

Echo. Every clip of sad child Natsume set to an appropriately sad song.

Summer Wars

The OZ Network. The Social Network trailer audio done with Summer Wars video.
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Kotatsu train: While not having a backrest is annoying, I'd love to ride this once.

The Fifth Act drabble in which chibi!Cloud gets Cloud and their mother together: Can you say aww?

I've been torturing myself by reading tons of WIP FF7 time travel fics, some of which are currently being updated and some which…might be abandoned. Sadly, my favorite of the bunch has probably been abandoned but I keep regularly checking my bookmarks to see if the others have been updated. I keep getting the stories confused because I read a bunch of them in a very short period of time and still have to read the first chapter or two to reacquaint myself with the fic before jumping into the latest chapter. It feels like it's the fate of 90% of time travel FF7 fics to be abandoned, and it's almost always the good ones that do. I hope the others get finished. *sighs*

I actually watched the 2012 Kouhaku (It's so long! It's been a couple of years since I last watched Kouhaku and I'd forgotten just how long...) and was amazed at the number of completely forgettable girl groups in the thing. I did find a couple of songs I've become attached to, tho.

One female idol I've grown to like is Kana Nishino (who can actually sing). She sang Go For It!!, a very happy, very bouncy song with an amazingly 80's vibe to the video. I've also grown attached to the interestingly-named Momoiro Clover Z's interestingly-named song Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimiyo.
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For the most part, I'm not one to get into the holiday spirit. But I do adore Christmas music, and every year I look for new songs to make a Christmas song playlist. Some of my favorites this year:

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Lady Antebellum from On This Winter's Night
The entire album is apparently very popular, but after listening to the samples of the entire album on amazon I just bought this track. Love it.

Little Drummer Boy by Lincoln Brewster from Joy to the World
I hate this song when sung in the traditional manner, but this rock version made me a believer.

Ding Dong Merrily on High by Celtic Woman from Christmas Celebration
Gorgeous singing with gorgeous fiddle playing. What more can you ask for? I bought the entire album.

Come On, Christmas by Matthew West from The Heart of Christmas
I actually bought the entire album last year for another song (The Heart of Christmas), but I just discovered this song this year. I'm too impatient to spend the time to listen to entire albums sometimes, and I missed out on this song for a whole year. It's so happy you can't help but tap your foot to it.

Leaving Heaven by Matthew West (ft. Vince Gill) from The Heart of Christmas
Another discovery from the same album, this time much more mellow.

This Christmas (Father of the Fatherless) by tobyMac (ft. Nirva Ready) from Christmas in Diverse City
Another disgustingly happy song. So, so addictive.

The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath, MP3 only
Very pretty smooth rock/country song. Lovely arrangement (with strings!) and I personally love the singer's voice.

The single album that brought me the most listening enjoyment was the Christmas album by the a cappella group Straight No Chaser, Holiday Spirits. The entire album is really good. My (current) favorites:
Indiana Christmas
The 12 Days of Christmas
Auld Lang Syne
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I've been loving a fabulous cover of I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Matt Alber.

[personal profile] rachelmanija talks about Portal Fantasies (those fantasies where someone from our world ends up in another world) and interesting discussions ensue in the comments.

[personal profile] seperis is horrified by the new cover of Flowers in the Attic. I kinda agree, it's wrong on many levels.

[identity profile] provides links to the fail that is OTW and I totally got sucked in. I'm so good at not rubbernecking when I'm driving, but I can't look away when it comes to internet fandom-ish fails. :P
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Moby Dick Big Read: I'm actually tempted to listen to this…I would've never picked up the book, but this project is rather cool.

Call Me Maybe for Choir and Orchestra: I like this song, I like covers, I love the precise enunciation of the singers, I just like the existence of this video. XD;

I want to see Ookami Kodomo Yuki to Ame, a new movie by the same director who did "Summer Wars" and "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time." Wolf children!!

A bunch of people play some 6-person starship game called ARTEMIS wearing random Star Trek uniforms, being snarky and kinda incompetent. It's super awesome.
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Been trying to study for an exam this past month. I'm hating every minute of it but it's the logical next step in my career. Wish I wasn't gripped with the dread that I will failfailfailfailfail because it makes me really unmotivated. It means that I'm doing very little in the way of fannish things, which is why I haven't been posting much. *sighs* I still haven't watched Sherlock season 2 (only have episode 1 anyways), so I've been avoiding all fanfics. Been collecting random links, though.

Love: Dragon made of plastic cutlery!

So cute: Dog with glasses

Oldie but goodie: I'm Comic Sans, Asshole

Loved the comments: 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes. First they pointed out that the headline had a mistake. Then people pointed out most of the "mistakes" weren't grammatical in nature. And others mentioned that language changes and some of these mistakes are outdated or stupidandarbitrary.

Interesting: Color Blindness Test

Made of win: Music video of "Hotel Nacional" by Gloria Estefan. The song is silly (chorus is "It's time for hoochie-coochie", rhymed with "Susan Lucci" at one point), it spoofs a bunch of things including the "Rocky Horror Picture Show."
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I love this thing. I need the version with the mouth open. ♥♥

The other day at Barnes & Noble I bought this sudoku book solely for the cover. Yeah, I'm a sucker. ^^; Oh, how well they know their target audience.

I love collecting covers, found some great ones by a folky group called Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers who like to record covers while traveling in their van:

Everyday by Buddy Holly
Material Girl by Madonna
How Will I Know by Whitney Houston (sound quality is not that great)
You're No Good by Linda Ronstadt (they looked massively cramped with all the guitars in this one)
Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin (a cappella!)
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Awesome poem: Forgetfulness by Billy Collins. You can hear the poet recite it on the website. A bit of it:

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue
or even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall

well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

Wish I could buy her music: Video Games by Lana Del Rey

Never saw the movie, missed the song when it first came out: Mad World by Gary Jules from Donnie Darko
Simon Pegg interview on NPR. He's a delight to listen to. My favorite bit:

As for the raging genre war over whether zombies should be slow or fast, Pegg falls solidly on the side of slow-moving zombies. "It is sort of a schism in the church of the undead," Pegg explains. "I personally don't like fast zombies because, A) it's fun to get annoyed about something so trivial and B) I think it removes their appeal."

Factoid of the Day: The word "factoid" was coined by Norman Mailer in his book Marilyn.
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DO NOT BUY THIS TEA. I ran out of Earl Grey at work and decided to pick up something during my weekly grocery shopping. OMG this thing sucks. Not only is the bergamot weak, there is this nasty bitter smokey burnt flavor that makes me want to chuck the entire can. >_<

earl grey comparisons )

I put in some random CDs and rediscovered good music, like Ningyou by Amano Tsukiko. ♥♥

Accidentally discovered cracktastic Engrish at a site selling bottled Hawaii Water (TM?) in Japan. It's so awful it's kinda awesome. My favorite is how they spell Oahu, as in the island, as "Owafu." Did they just machine translate everything? The testimonials are pretty fun to read, too.
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I went to the library to pick up two more GH novels (The Masqueraders and Regency Buck, I hope I like them...) and ended up borrowing two movie adaptations of Jane Austen's Persuasion (the 1995 Amanda Root and 2007 Sally Hawkins versions). Oh man. I can take some changes. I can take some differences. But why oh why did they fuck around with the end? The changes in the best scene in the whole book! And the running! And the KISSING IN THE STREET! *gags* I liked both versions okay up to the very end, though I thought the actors were better in the 1995 version (2007's Elizabeth was just...wrong. I liked Amanda Root's Anne better, but Sally Hawkins did grow on me) and 2007 was just so pretty. And 2007 did much better in providing more information and background for those who didn't read the book. But overall I'm just pissed off. THE BOOK IS BETTER. SO MUCH BETTER.

(I know, I know, this is not news. But it must be said! Again and again! SO. MUCH. BETTER.)

Period Piece by Gwen Ravert sounds fun, has anyone read it?

Best headline for a movie review: "'Witch' manages to waste zombie ninja monks" about "Season of the Witch"

Pure awesome: Hirai Ken sings the Uruseiyatsura theme song (while I've never liked the anime/manga, the original OP animation is fun)

Hirai Ken also covers First Love and Automatic by Utada Hikaru

So cute: Harry Potter pup

I actually read some fics! Some I enjoyed:

I somehow missed a new fic in The Paradox Series by [ profile] wordstrings: New Days to Throw Your Chains Away. John sorting through Sherlock's lists is pure gold. XDXD She also hosts a holiday meme. I haven't gone through it yet, but I did catch a hilarious and perfect pic.

The dangerous book for boys. by [ profile] orange_crushed is very AU and very odd and so cool. Yay for not being able to describe it!

A Priori and White Noise by rubberbutton, vampire as masters/humans as slaves AU, looks to become a series. I dislike humanity enslaved stories, but Moriarty (as well as Sherlock, naturally) is wonderfully odd. I particularly like this scene:

“But I'm sure you'll try,” Sherlock sighs. “John. I'll always come for you; I don't know why you're so upset.”

“It's not enough for you to come,” John says. “You've got to come in time.”

Sherlock opens his mouth to say one thing but his expression goes queer and inward and he doesn't say whatever he had meant to. Instead he looks at John for a very long time and then finally says, “Yes, I always forget how important time is to humans.”

Shadows on the Wall by AraSigyrn features a rather bitter pyschic!John as The Great Game unwinds. Haven't decided wether I think it's good, but it is interesting.

Also came across a great Generation Kill Brad/Nate fic: Life in Abeyance by [ profile] vegarin. It simmers, it aches, then it explodes! ♥
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It's still Christmas here, though I know it's already the next day in most of the world...I was unconscious for most of the day, thanks to a night of bad sleep. XD;

Random Christmas stuff:

Lena Park singing Christmas carols

Don't forget Amazon's free Christmas MP3's (I can't get a clean link, so go to MP3 downloads, there should be a link from the top page). I particularly liked "You Holiday Song" by Indigo Girls, "Joseph's Lullaby" by MercyMe, "Winter's Games" by Superchunk, and "In the Bleak Midwinter" by Dan Fogelberg. I haven't listened to the last three, so no opinion there.

Not Martha shows how to make a Christmas tree mobile (love this, wish I was handy and could do it)

Non-Christmas but funny (even though--or it is because?--I haven't read the book): My Breaking Dawn Reading Experience by bookshelves of doom

Non-Christmas but tasty-looking: Swedish Butterhorns

Last but not least, Non-Christmas but cute: Bunnies and kitties at Lovely Clusters
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The biggest shopping mall here have had multiple blackouts due to heavy rain. I wonder how much the closed retailers lost in sales? Talk about awful timing. :O

Been putting together this year's Christmas song list and came across a hilarious song called Merry Christmas from the Family by Robert Earl Keene.

Another cool "family-themed" song: The Christians and the Pagans by Dar Williams

Flash mobs (or faux flash mobs) make me happy:

Random Act of Culture: opera company sings the Hallelujah chorus at Macy's

Sound of Music at Central Station Antwerp (promotional stunt for a TV show)

T-Mobile Ad in Liverpool Station
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I caught a performance of the Japanese band Anzen Chitai on the TV tonight and was blown away yet again by the singing of Tamaki Koji. God, that man has an amazing voice. Check out a live version of him singing Kanashimi sayonara here (Lyrics here). As I adore covers I looked for some for this song but couldn't find much, actually. I did find a pleasant one by Shimatani Hitomi here. An interesting duet with Tamaki Koji and enka singer Ishikawa Sayuri here (Check out Ishikawa Sayuri singing one of her most famous songs Amagigoe here. She sings in the full-on enka style, unlike in the duet. The lyrics are awesome, too. Very sexual and violent.)

I then went on a trip down memory lane... )

Been reading some Sherlock fics. Some of the ones I liked:

Homemaking by rageprufrock, gen. Funny and light, frothy and absolutely fabulous.

Summary: The original plan for returning to England involved fucking around being shellshocked and suffering mandatory post-combat counseling and physical therapy to dissect the shattered mosaic of his feelings. That's not quite how it goes.

And You're the Prize by [ profile] giddygeek. Mycroft decides to help things along between John and Sherlock by kidnapping John. Of course it works. XD;

Intellectual Intercourse by waketosleep

Description: The drawn-out and ridiculous story of how Sherlock Holmes and John Watson carried out a surprisingly successful asexual relationship.

they tell me their secrets (will you tell me yours too) by [ profile] etothepii, cool AU in which John has such a nifty ability. ♥

It Feels like Home when I'm With You by [ profile] etothepii, John is a ghost and he basically becomes Sherlocks ghost. It is so so sweet.

The Trick Is To Make It Look Easy by [ profile] paperclipbitch, John has a hard time updating his blog but in the end:

My life is kind of a mess, John writes, but I think it’s going to be ok anyway.

Pedestrian by [ profile] vegarin, Moriarty and John have a chat in a missing scene for The Great Game.

Theory and Practice by anonymous for a meme, crossover with His Dark Materials.

Poison Prince by [ profile] theanonsisters, a fanvid. It' The song is great, and lots of good close-ups of Sherlock's face.
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♥ From McSweeney's GREAT LITERATURE RETITLED TO BOOST WEBSITE TRAFFIC.: 7 Awesome Ways Barnyard Animals Are Like Communism

♥ I recently learned that there's a spin-off of the wonderful Suiyoubi no akumu by Yakou Hana and illustrated by Inariya Fusanosuke, Kinyoubi no kyoumu. I generally dislike spin-offs (I tend to get too attached to the original couple to care about some side character's story), but the reviews make the book sound hilarious (unlike the original work, which was suuuper serious) so I'm a bit curious.

♥ Loving the next Fujimi book, Unmei wa kaku tobira wo tataku. Still in the beginning, but I keep wishing I didn't have to work, or sleep, or do anything else so I could read straight through. ^^;

an exchange that made me laugh )

other stuff I love )
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I spent some time on Youtube after coming randomly coming across a fabulous live performance of Berlin's "Take My Breath Away." I then ended up at Sarah Brightman's live performance of her song "You Take My Breath Away." And finally at Japanese singer KOKIA's "Time to Say Goodbye."

I skipped the side story about Kei and Takane first meeting and jumped right into "Kin no violin, Ki no violin" as I wanted to continue to read the main story right now.
some comments )
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I stumbled across Daughtry's cover of Lady Gaga's Pokerface and ended up spending too much time on Youtube looking for more decent covers. My favs:

Lady Gaga acoustic version
Glee version with Idina Meznel and Lea Michele
Absent Elk (British pop rock band)
Blowsight (Swedish alternative rock band?)
Glava's Trio (instrumental version with violin, bass, and some kind of percussive instrument)
You Me at Six (rock)
Two Door Cinema Club (electropop/indie rock band, doing acoustic with two guitars)
Pixie Lott (English singer-songwriter)
Marie from X-Factor France (she sang covers of a lot of good oldies, like "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette and "Don't Speak" by No Doubt, though I don't care for the way she sings)

The Internet once again manages to do the time suck thing. ^^;
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I haven't checked LJ in quite a while. Been busy, but lately I've also had internet connection issues which I've been too busy to get fixed. Isn't that how it always goes? ^^; In any case, I'm posting to mention 12-ji no kane ga naru mae ni (Before the clock strikes twelve--not the "official" English translation, but the official Engrish is rubbish) by Hichiwa Yuka and illustrated by Enjin Yamimaru. It is deeply cliched and conventional, but it is deeply satisfying. It's about a stubborn yet awkward high school student who cooks and cleans for a 30-something doctor with a broken leg and a major attitude problem, and how he thaws the doctor's frozen heart (frozen thanks to past trauma, naturally). And how it was all destiny, anyway. The fun spin is that the doctor thinks the high school student is in college and is actually working as (or will be working) a prostitute, so he's even more of an asshole because the high school student "appears" so pure and innocent. But the high school student, being incredibly stubborn and massively clueless, just thinks the doctor likes to be nasty (and doesn't pick up on any of the blatant sexual innuendo) and decides he won't give in. One particularly amusing incident occurs when the doctor receives some live lobsters which are supposed to be eaten alive. The high school student is horrified and ends up secretly feeding the lobsters instead of making a meal of them. When the doctor eats them when the student isn't around, the student gets mad and buries the remains of the lobsters in the garden instead of just tossing them. Just hilarious, and so totally them. It has both sweepingly romantic and extremely down-to-earth details.

Sadly, I don't have the time to do the full blown summary I've love to'll just mention some choice bits. )

It doesn't hurt that the art is nice, too.

And for something completely unrelated, I'm currently addicted to a rather old song, My Sweet Darlin' by Yaida Hitomi.
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Heard a great interview on BBC Radio 4's Front Row of the conductor John Wilson, who reconstructed the theatrical scores of various Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals and will perform (has performed?) them at the BBC Proms. One tidbit I particularly liked: apparently the orchestras used for these scores were filled with classically trained refugees from Europe in the string section and people who'd been in the various big bands in the brass and woodwind sections. The interview is available here for a limited time.

Another great interview, this time on the Scientific American podcast, of author Mary Roach on her new book Packing For Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Listen to Part 1 and Part 2. Lots and lots of random trivia, told very engagingly.


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December 2015

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