“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.” — George R.R. Martin
The football teams from both Bloomington High School North and South are beginning summer workouts this week.
Normally, this development would bum me out as a sign that summer is coming to a rapid conclusion.
For the first time in my life, though, I’m actually looking forward to the end of summer. I’ve had my fill of South Central Indiana being transformed into the Gobi Desert from May through September.
Traffic Tie-Up Caused By The Bypass Construction
LOOK TO THE SKIES
If you happen to be awake just before dawn these days, you’ll be treated to a spectacular planetary show.
Brilliant Venus shines in the eastern sky with Jupiter just above it. The two planets hang aloft like glittering jewels as the sky turns from royal blue to cyan.
BTW: Right now, four of the five visible planets can be seen either at dawn or dusk. Mars and Saturn appear in the west after sunset.
When I occasionally drop in to the Subway at 6th and Walnut, I have to endure the auto-tuned thump of hot hit music on the radio as I devour my foot-long veggie deluxe on 9-grain honey oat bread
Invariably I conclude that today’s pop music is mind-numbingly awful. Just as invariably, I flagellate myself for being a grumpy old bastard.
Bitter fossils have been complaining about “kids'” music ever since radio began airing records. I know one extremely old bird who still thinks the Beatles are untalented and a passing fad.
In my case, at least, there may be something valid in my distaste for the likes of Katy Perry and the execrable Justin Bieber.
A group of Spanish researchers has released a study of nearly one half million pop songs spanning the years 1955-2010 and concluded that today’s hits are more bland, dumb, and loud than those of earlier years.
Bland, dumb, and loud — sounds like a dictionary definition of Carly Rae Jepsen.
Serrà, Corral et al: Schematic Summary With Pitch Data
The researchers measured the music using three criteria: harmonic complexity, timbral diversity, and loudness.
In strictly technical, scientific terms, the researchers have confirmed my conclusion: today’s pop music blows.
Are Americans more bored than ever?
It seems that way, considering the things we do to amuse ourselves.
For instance, there’s acroyoga.
Apparently, acroyoga combines yoga, gymnastics, too much free time, and access to glorious, sunny beaches. In other words, it’s the perfect pastime for privileged white people.
In keeping with the American fetish to competitize (I just made the word up, thank you) everything, it seems acroyoga pose-offs may be coming to a television near you soon. Yoga maniacs have been pestering the International Olympic Committee to include the house-wifely alternative to infidelity to include it in future Games. The IOC, thankfully, has ruled yoga is not a sport but a quasi-religious practice.
Now, acroyoga might trump that argument.
One web site tells of acroyoga’s goals to “cultivate trust, empowerment and joy.”
Yuck. Sounds like a line from the marketing pamphlet of some corporate team-building consultants.
And we know how pestilent those people are.
Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.
❏ I Love Charts — Life as seen through charts.
❏ XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”
❏ Skepchick — Women scientists look at the world and the universe.
❏ Indexed — All the answers in graph form, on index cards.
❏ I Fucking Love Science — A Facebook community of science geeks.
❏ Present and Correct — Fun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.
Present and Correct: Imi Knoebel
❏ Flip Flop Fly Ball — Baseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.
❏ Mental Floss — Facts.
❏ Caps Off Please — Comics & fun.
❏ Sodaplay — Create your own models or play with other people’s models.
❏ Eat Sleep Draw — An endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.
❏ Big Think — Tapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.
❏ The Daily Puppy — So shoot me.
Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.
◗ Monroe County Fairgrounds — Day 4, 2012 Monroe County Fair, Joe Edwards & Jan Masters Show; 3:3opm & 6pm — Blind Rebel; 7:30pm; Noon to 11pm
◗ Madison Street between sixth and Seventh streets — Tuesday Farmers Market; 4-7pm
◗ The Venue Fine Arts & Gifts — Randy White of Cardinal Stage Company presents “The Art of the Theater”; 6-8pm
◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Robbie Bowden; 6-8:30pm
◗ Cafe Django — Jazz Jam; 7:30pm
◗ City Hall, City Council Chambers — Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington quarterly meeting, open to the public; 7:30-9pm
◗ The Root Cellar at Farm Bloomington — Team trivia; 8-10pm
◗ The Player’s Pub — Blues Jam hosted by Bottom Road Blues Band; 8pm
◗ The Bishop — Whippoorwill, Throwing Stars, National Public Rifle Association; 9pm
◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center — Exhibits:
- John D. Shearer, “I’m Too Young For This @#!%”; through July 30th
◗ IU Art Museum — Exhibits:
- Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
- “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
- Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
- Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
- “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
- David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
- Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
- Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
- “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st
◗ IU SoFA Grunwald Gallery — Exhibits: Bloomington Photography Club Annual Exhibition; through August 3rd
◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery — “Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st
◗ IU Lilly Library — Exhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st
◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Closed for semester break
◗ Monroe County History Center — Exhibits:
- “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
- Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th