Savages - You’re my chocolate

2008

Nice recommendation via youtube.

Ben Folds Five - Army

1999

Cute fun little song. Lyrics deal with indecision of life after high school and is partly based on Ben Fold’s life. I can relate to some of it. The album version’s lyrics differ a bit. The original version:

"Well I thought about the army, dad said ‘Son, you’re fucking high!’

More spelling

A follow up to my last post on spelling. I’m a big advocate on reforming English spelling and grammar so that it makes more sense and follows pronunciation more. Fewer silly rules and exceptions. More universal rules.

The Letter “C”

Sometimes it makes an “s” sound (circus), other times it makes a “k” sound. Make up your mind! It should be mostly removed from English. The only time it should be used is with a combination of “ch”.

Examples:

Old     ———————- My way

Circus.                  Sircus

Chronological       Kronological

Cupcake               Kupcake

Cheddar               Cheddar

Chronological makes even less sense than most words, since it has a “ch” which is pronounced like a “k”. Pronounced as it’s written it would be Chuh-ron-o-logical.

The Letter “Q”

I love the letter “Q”. I really do. It’s a really nice looking letter. So I’m more hesitant to replace this letter. However, it really does just make a “Kw” sound.

Quebec

Kwebek

Question

Kwestion

I don’t know. I still rather like “Q”.

But it looks wrong!”

That’s just because you’re used to it. There’s no “right” or “wrong” merely “agreed upon”. Rules for spelling and grammar are completely made up. They’re standards that have been proposed and then accepted. All I’m saying is that we should propose new rules. Rules that make more sense.

I love Shep Smith. He’s clearly the best thing about Fox News. This an older video, from January of this year. Before the State of the Union, reporters are invited to have an off the record dinner with the President. They are not allowed to discuss what was said. Instead Shep Smith goes into incredible detail over the food served. He’s clearly just messing around, but he both confuses and annoys his co-hosts. He goes on about the lunch for over 12 minutes. Really funny.

Also learned how to properly pronounce “pecan”.

A little girl poses with Russian soldiers in Crimea. Pretty cute. 
I mean this really sums up the stance of the ethnic Russians in Crimea doesn’t it? If there is a referendum and Crimea decides to join the Russian Federation then I’m really not sure if there’s anything the world community can do about this. Would their referendum be completely “free and fair” while they are under occupation, and would it be seen as legitimate?  That is certainly the criticism the world community is going to raise.
The ethnic Russians certainly would favor joining Russia, and they make up 58%. The real fear is what will happen to the ethnic minorities who do not support joining Russia, such as the Crimean Tartars (12%) and ethnic Ukrainians (24%).
Wikipedia: Demographics of Crimea.

A little girl poses with Russian soldiers in Crimea. Pretty cute.

I mean this really sums up the stance of the ethnic Russians in Crimea doesn’t it? If there is a referendum and Crimea decides to join the Russian Federation then I’m really not sure if there’s anything the world community can do about this. Would their referendum be completely “free and fair” while they are under occupation, and would it be seen as legitimate?  That is certainly the criticism the world community is going to raise.

The ethnic Russians certainly would favor joining Russia, and they make up 58%. The real fear is what will happen to the ethnic minorities who do not support joining Russia, such as the Crimean Tartars (12%) and ethnic Ukrainians (24%).

Wikipedia: Demographics of Crimea.

Music blog

Writing about music is easy. Sometimes I just want to sit and listen to music and share it. Maybe I should create a separate music blog for that?

I make zero pretensions that I’m some kind of expert. I don’t really know much about music terminology or history. I just post stuff I listen to and like.

Tags: music

Berserk is a Japanese medieval dark fantasy comic series. It got an animated tv adaption in 1998. The tv show is okay, but you can kinda skip it. The score however is phenomenal. It’s done by Susumu Hirasawa whom I’m a huge fan of. The temptation, given the subject matter of large scale medieval battles and action would be to make  a bombastic Hollywood-style score. Instead Hirasawa puts out something that has tracks that would not feel out of place in a yoga class or new age album. Yet somehow it works. Instead of highlighting the action elements, the score focuses and enhances the emotional and human element of the series.

Album highlights are the character themes. Track 1 “Behelit” serves as Griffith’s theme. An optimistic flute piece. Track 3: “Guts” serves as the theme of Guts and Casca. A beautiful piano piece with a male and female voice, representing the two characters. Probably one of the most soothing tracks I’ve ever heard. Track 8, “Earth” is not a specific character theme, but is a track used for all the optimistic and uplifting moments. It makes heavy use of both synths, bagpipes and male/female voices saying things I can’t understand.

While those tracks are uplifting or relaxing music, much of the incidental music is quite dark. “Ghosts”, “Fear”, “Murder” “Monster” are all gloomy dark tracks.

Last is “Forces”, which is clearly Hirasawa’s choice for the series’ theme music. I’ve described it in the past as the kind of song you’d listen to while riding into battle on a horse. It’s really hard not to want to sing along. This song has become synonymous with the series, despite not being used that much during the actual series. The reason is for some unknown reason, two terrible songs not done by Hirasawa were used for the OP and ED (opening and ending sequences respectively). These songs are pretty bad, and don’t really fit the series. Worse, they’re filled with cringe inducing Engrish lyrics (the singer actually says “grasses” instead of glasses).

Even if you don’t like the series the score is still a must-listen.

1. “BEHELIT”  1:55

2. “Ghosts”   1:41

3. “Ball”  1:08

4. “Gats”    3:35

5. “Murder”    9:29

6. “Fear”    3:26

7. “Monster”    4:03

8. “EARTH”    4:23

9. “BERSERK ~Forces~ (TV Version)”    1:56

10. “TELL ME WHY (TV Version)”   PENPALS 1:15

11. “Waiting so long (TV Version)”   Silver Fins 1:22

Buckethead’s 2006 album “Crime Slunk Scene” is a little uneven. It’s got some great early tracks like King James, “The Fairy and the Devil” but the second half is kind of bad. The main event for the album however is the epic nine minute song Soothsayer. Probably the best song Buckethead has ever done. Although a solid nine minutes and twelve seconds it never feels like its too long. It just builds and builds. It’s like a religious experience.

I guess you could call it sappy or emotionally manipulative. Maybe that’s what’s needed to get most people to care. Raw facts rarely do it. What it depicts is all to true for countless Syrian children. They were normal kids living normal lives. Now they’re in a besieged city, in a refugee camp, a street child living in a neighboring country selling things on the street just to survive. Or worse. And the world stopped caring years ago. Popular attention is elsewhere now. We were shocked at first, but then just seemed to stop caring.

The video seems to have been well received, with more than a million views in just a day.

Find out more at http://www.savethechildren.ca/syria

Edit: 10 million views in just a few days. Wow. It’s really catching on. It’s an effective ad I guess. I don’t quite know why this ad would catch on, but all the other videos of the suffering of the Syrian people didn’t.

(Source: speakup4syrianchildren)

Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden is a delightfully absurd freeware game done in the style of older 80’s and 90’s Japanese console RPGs (eg. Final fantasy 6). It’s plot concerns a “"post-cyberpocalyptic" future where Charles Barkley has performed a Chaos Dunk which was so powerful it killed everyone in attendance. Basketball players are outlawed and hunted down. Never played it but reading the Wikipedia article made me smile.

Some of the music for the game is seriously really good. An electronic synth score that reminds me a lot of the music from Deus Ex. And I go nuts for electronic synth scores. I’ll be posting a few more of those later. Not sure what the proper terminology for that is. I just love the sound of 80’s and early 90’s synthisizers that replicate sounds of string instruments, orchestration, and other things.