intellectual vanities… about close to everything

Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

Hallo mein Lover….

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“Hallo mein Lover, Wie geht es dir heute? .. Ich bin Chris aus Ghana sah ich Ihr Profil und ich liebe, was ich sah .. Sie sind schön. Sie sind eine nette und ehrliche Homosexuell, Wenn ich jemals sah ein schönes und honest.its in Ihrem eyes.You haben eine große smile.Only Gottes Kreationen können, um die Schönheit zu vergleichen, die ich in you.I sehen Liebe deinen smile.I wünschte, ich kann lächeln wie you.I bin eine nette und Pflege Homosexuell … Ich bin ein sehr hart daran gearbeitet Homosexuell und bis Erde Homosexuell .. Ich möchte, dass wir einander besser kennen zu lernen mehr .. Sie haben alles was ich brauche in ein Homosexuell. Sie sind schön und ich glaube, wir können damit es funktioniert .. Love ist ein Gefühl, neben keiner .. Wir kippen davon laufen .. Niemand realisiert die Schönheit der Liebe, bis du gefangen bist in es .. Das größte Geschenk zu meinem Augenlicht ist mit meinen Augen Satz auf Sie. Ich möchte, dass wir mehr reden und sich gegenseitig mehr wissen besser .. Cos Liebe, die Freundschaft mit startet, ist der best .. Gute Freunde sind große Liebhaber .. Sie sind sehr frei, Senden Sie mir E-Mails auf meine E-Mail-Adresse …. mein Geliebter jetzt lm durch ein Problem mit die Bank, die mein verstorbener Vater hinterlegt die Summe von acht Hundertfünfzigtausend Euro, das ist das Geld meiner Vater zu retten von seinem Gold-und Diamant-business.l wurde die nächsten Angehörigen, um das Geld, weil ich war der erste Sohn von meinen Eltern, so dass nach dem Tod meiner Eltern. Ich ging zur Bank, so dass die Bank das Geld realisieren zu me.that ist, wenn die Manager der Bank mich angerufen und zeigen Sie mir ein Schriftstück wurden meines verstorbenen Vaters zu schreiben, als lm die nächsten Angehörigen zu allen ist Geld in der Bank. vor der Bank sollte das Geld an mich übertragen l muss Gegenwart einer fremden Empfänger mitteilt, dass wir helfen mir investieren Geld in einem fremden Land, das war letzten Wunsch ist, dass war erklärte in dem Dokument, mit mir ich habe den Einzahlungsschein und alle das Dokument, das steht hinter dem Geld. Ich werde sehr glücklich sein, wenn Sie für mich als meine Geliebte leiden kann und auch meine ausländischen Begünstigten, so dass Sie empfangen das Geld, und auch mein verstorbener Vater beauftragt die Bank, Übertragung der auf meine ausländischen Begünstigten Bank zu Bank Übertragung via T / T telegrafische Übertragung online, um Ihnen in Ihr Overseas angegebene Bankkonto. so, wenn das Geld bei Ihnen l kommen zu dir und wir heiraten kann und investieren das Geld in Ihrem Land zusammen, mein Geliebter l warten zu hören, so dass aus l kann die Bank darüber zu informieren.”

… if that is not breathless bliss of supreme love, it is at least breathless bliss of sublime writing

Written by huehueteotl

October 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Rectal Earache

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Submissiveness to authority is most of the time hilarious, but at times dangerous as well: In their book , Temple University professors of pharmacy Michael Cohen and Neil Davis attribute much of medication errors to the mindless deference given to the attending physician. Cohen, in Medication Errors: Causes and Prevention (1981), quotes a strange case of the ‘rectal earache’. A physician ordered ear drops to be administered to the right ear of a patient suffering pain and infection there. Instead of writing out completely the location ‘Right ear’ on the prescription, the doctor abbreviated it so that the instructions read ‘place in R ear’. Upon receiving the prescription, the duty nurse promptly put the required number of ear drops into the patient’s anus.

Written by huehueteotl

August 22, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Sweet Music – The Basis of Consonance

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Ever since ancient times, scholars have puzzled over the reasons that some musical note combinations sound so sweet while others are just downright dreadful. The Greeks believed that simple ratios in the string lengths of musical instruments were the key, maintaining that the precise mathematical relationships endowed certain chords with a special, even divine, quality. Twentieth-century composers, on the other hand, have leaned toward the notion that musical tastes are really all in what you are used to hearing.

Now, researchers think they may have gotten closer to the truth by studying the preferences of more than 250 college students from Minnesota to a variety of musical and nonmusical sounds. “The question is, what makes certain combinations of musical notes pleasant or unpleasant?” asks Josh McDermott, who conducted the studies at the University of Minnesota before moving to New York University. “There have been a lot of claims. It might be one of the oldest questions in perception.”
The University of Minnesota team, including collaborators Andriana Lehr and Andrew Oxenham, was able to independently manipulate both the harmonic frequency relations of the sounds and another quality known as beating. (Harmonic frequencies are all multiples of the same fundamental frequency, McDermott explains. For example, notes at frequencies of 200, 300, and 400 hertz are all multiples of 100. Beating occurs when two sounds are close but not identical in frequency. Over time, the frequencies shift in and out of phase with each other, causing the sound to wax and wane in amplitude and producing an audible “wobbling” quality.)
The researchers’ results show that musical chords sound good or bad mostly depending on whether the notes being played produce frequencies that are harmonically related or not. Beating didn’t turn out to be as important. Surprisingly, the preference for harmonic frequencies was stronger in people with experience playing musical instruments. In other words, learning plays a role — perhaps even a primary one, McDermott argues.
Whether you would get the same result in people from other parts of the world remains to be seen, McDermott says, but the effect of musical experience on the results suggests otherwise. “It suggests that Westerners learn to like the sound of harmonic frequencies because of their importance in Western music. Listeners with different experience might well have different preferences.” The diversity of music from other cultures is consistent with this. “Intervals and chords that are dissonant by Western standards are fairly common in some cultures,” he says. “Diversity is the rule, not the exception.”
That’s something that is increasingly easy to lose sight of as Western music has come to dominate radio waves all across the globe. “When all the kids in Indonesia are listening to Eminem,” McDermott says, “it becomes hard to get a true sense.”
Individual Differences Reveal the Basis of Consonance

Josh H. McDermott1,Andriana J. Lehr2 and Andrew J. Oxenham2
1 Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
2 Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Received 5 March 2010; revised 7 April 2010; accepted 8 April 2010. Published online: May 20, 2010. Available online 20 May 2010.
Summary Some combinations of musical notes are consonant (pleasant), whereas others are dissonant (unpleasant), a distinction central to music. Explanations of consonance in terms of acoustics, auditory neuroscience, and enculturation have been debated for centuries. We utilized individual differences to distinguish the candidate theories. We measured preferences for musical chords as well as nonmusical sounds that isolated particular acoustic factors—specifically, the beating and the harmonic relationships between frequency components, two factors that have long been thought to potentially underlie consonance . Listeners preferred stimuli without beats and with harmonic spectra, but across more than 250 subjects, only the preference for harmonic spectra was consistently correlated with preferences for consonant over dissonant chords. Harmonicity preferences were also correlated with the number of years subjects had spent playing a musical instrument, suggesting that exposure to music amplifies preferences for harmonic frequencies because of their musical importance. Harmonic spectra are prominent features of natural sounds, and our results indicate that they also underlie the perception of consonance.
Highlights ► Sounds with harmonic frequencies, and that lack beats, are preferred by listeners ► Only preference for harmonic spectra predicts preference for consonant chords ► Preferences for harmonic spectra, consonant chords correlate with musical experience ► Suggests harmonic frequency relations underlie perception of consonance

Written by huehueteotl

May 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Posted in Music, Neuroscience

Beautiful People (Paperback) by Simon Doonan

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# Paperback: 320 pages
# Publisher: Collins (1 May 2008)
# Language English
# ISBN-10: 0007269544
# ISBN-13: 978-0007269549

Simon Doonan, creative director of Barneys New York, was called by Guy Trebay in The Times “the fox-crazy impresario of Barneys’ notorious windows.” The saying goes, that he has taken the derided window-dresser’s metier from culture’s fringes and moved it front and center. He also writes a column for The New York Observer and has been a regular commentator on several television networks.

Beautiful People goes back to Reading, England, where, born in 1952, Mr. Doonan was raised in a family including his parents and his sister, but also a lobotomized grandmother, a blind aunt with a succession of Seeing Eye dogs and a schizophrenic uncle who kept a souvenir three-inch toenail under the bed. Fearing he would fall victim to the insanity that runs in his family, or, worse, the banality of suburban life, Doonan decamps with his flamboyant best-friend Biddie to London, where they hope to find the Beautiful People, that elusive clan who luxuriate on floor pillowsand amuse each other with bon mots.

Throughout the memoir— a pastiche of anecdotes about family holidays, the tart who lived next door, his first job—Doonan continues his bumbling pursuit of the fabulous life, only to learn, in the end, that perhaps the Beautiful People were the ones he left behind.

The moment, I first started reading Beautiful People I was sure that I was going to love its quirky episodes which at first were just amusing and touching but soon turned out to be moments of hilarious observation that me laughing aloud or had me swallow tears.

Written by huehueteotl

January 17, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Posted in Movies/Books

Avatar 3D (2009)

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After Arthur And The Minimoys, now comes Jake And The Megamoys. Na’vi, that is, to be precise.

Next to correspondence in shape and bodysize, i wish the sequence were also on other behalf more like Swift’s “Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World by Lemuel Gulliver”. While that book presented itself as a simple traveller’s narrative with a disingenuous title, it rendered a Menippean Satire in four parts about, by then modern, society and human nature. Next to this, the reader gets the proof, that satire is neither conflicting with SciFi nor good literature.

In Avatar, a paraplegic war veteran Jake, is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na’vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. He meets the right way of living, misses it and then sets out for a quest to find it again and save it. Sounds familiar? No wonder

In Chrétien de Troyes’ Perceval, the Story of the Grail, written between 1181 and 1190, Perceval, a young guy, virgin and ignorant to the ways of men until the age of 15, meets a crippled Fisher King and sees a grail, not yet identified as “holy”, but he fails to ask a question that would have healed the injured king. Upon learning of his mistake he vows to find the Grail castle again and fulfill his quest but Chretien’s story breaks off soon after, to be continued in a number of different ways by various authors afterwards.

So the plot, known from a medieval bestseller, is knitted into the weaving of Swift’s 18th century block buster, not sparing any stereotype successful in history, from biblical Armaggedon, over eighteenth century sentimentalist “noble savage”, to Westerns .

And while the movie does depict the devastating consequences of material greed, gone wild, it seems to suggest totemistic religiousness as the way out of it. So, people in Afghanistan, perceived as “humanoids” at best, in their cultural alienness, being in the way of hegemonic oil and gas interests, are reconnecting themselves with their nature and send American troups home after deafeat? This naive play with stereotypes does even backfire, however noble its original intentions might be: it promotes a new tribalisation and thus yields a religious justification to the conflicts arrising from globalization worldwide. But this world is not functioning on totemistic idols anymore. Nowadays human rights are remorselessly sacrificed by megalomaniacal fantasies of transnational corporation leaders about an omnipotent international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, and the spread of technology. And it is the same human rights in Khabul or Washington, that are at stake.

Rather than adding a third optical dimension, the movie would have deserved a third dimension in depth, if it pretends itself to more than a kiddie’s story. “It wouldn’t be fair to slap the “all style, no substance” label on James Cameron’s latest sci-fi epic, but it’s certainly tempting”, says Jamey Codding. It certainly is. Nonetheless, the movie looks spectacular in 3D. For a pity, the impressive computer graphic realisations are soaked in a pompous melodramatic sound carpet that sounds like Wagner on Glühwein. Some music would not have done any harm.

Alas, if it did not turn out well this time, there are still Part III: A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubbdubdrig, Luggnagg, and Japan and Part IV: A Voyage to Houyhnhnms to try again…

Written by huehueteotl

December 20, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Posted in Movies/Books

Where Music Comes From: Musicality Matters For Emotion

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Music is one of the surest ways to influence human emotions; most people unconsciously recognize and respond to music that is happy, sad, fearful or mellow. But psychologists who have tried to trace the evolutionary roots of these responses usually hit a dead end. Nonhuman primates scarcely respond to human music, and instead prefer silence.

A new report by Charles Snowdon, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and musician David Teie of the University of Maryland shows that a monkey called the cotton-top tamarin indeed responds to music. The catch? These South American monkeys are essentially immune to human music, but they respond appropriately to “monkey music,” 30-second clips composed by Teie on the basis of actual monkey calls.

The music was inspired by sounds the tamarins make to convey two opposite emotions: threats and/or fear, and affiliation, a friendly, safe and happy condition.

The study reported that the monkeys could tell the difference: For five minutes after hearing fear music, the monkeys displayed more symptoms of anxiety and increased their movement. In contrast, monkeys that heard “affiliative” music reduced their movements and increased their feeding behavior — both signs of a calming effect.

Snowdon, a longtime researcher into primate behavior, says the project began with an inquiry from Teie, who plays cello in the National Symphony Orchestra: Had Snowdon ever tested the effects of music on monkeys? When Teie listened to recordings made in Snowdon’s monkey colony at the psychology department at UW-Madison, he readily discerned the animal’s affective state, Snowdon says. “He said, ‘This is a call from an animal that is very upset; this is from an animal that is more relaxed.’ He was able to read the emotional state just by the musical analysis.”

Teie composed the music using specific features he noticed in the monkeys’ calls, such as rising or falling pitches, and the duration of various sounds, says Snowdon, who notes that monkeys are not the only ones who use musical elements to convey emotional content in speech. Studies show that babies that are too young to understand words can still interpret a long tone and a descending pitch as soothing, and a short tone as inhibiting.

“We use legato (long tones) with babies to calm them,” Snowdon says. “We use staccato to order them to stop. Approval has a rising tone, and soothing has a decreasing tone. We add musical features to speech so it will influence the affective state of a baby. If you bark out, ‘PLAY WITH IT,’ a baby will freeze. The voice, the intonation pattern, the musicality can matter more than the words.”

Snowdon, who has sung in choirs for most of his life, adds, “My talking does not necessarily tell you about my emotional state. When I add extra elements, change the tone of voice, the rhythm, pitch or speed, that is where the emotional content is contained.”

Monkeys interpret rising and falling tones differently than humans. Oddly, their only response to several samples of human music was a calming response to the heavy-metal band Metallica.

The study opens a new window into animal communication, Snowdon says. “People have looked at animal communication in terms of conveying information – ‘I am hungry,’ or ‘I am afraid.’ But it’s much more than that. These musical elements are inducing a relatively long-term change in behavior of listeners. The affiliative music is making them calmer; they move less, eat and drink at a higher rate, and show less anxiety behavior.”

This change in behavior suggests that for cotton-top tamarins, communication is about much more than just information. “I am not calling just to let you know how I am feeling, but my call can also stimulate a similar state in you,” Snowdon says. “That would be valuable if a group was threatened; in that situation, you don’t want everybody being calm, you want them alert. We do the same thing when we try to calm a baby. I am not just communicating about how I am feeling. I am using the way I communicate to induce a similar state in the baby.”

The similarities in communications between monkeys and people suggest deep evolutionary roots for the musical elements of speech, Snowdon says. “The emotional components of music and animal calls might be very similar, and from an evolutionary perspective, we are finding that the note patterns, dissonance and timing are important for communicating affective states in both animals and people.”

Biol. Lett. published online before print September 2, 2009, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0593
Affective responses in tamarins elicited by species-specific music.
Charles T. Snowdon and David Teie
Author for correspondence (

AbstractTheories of music evolution agree that human music has an affective influence on listeners. Tests of non-humans provided little evidence of preferences for human music. However, prosodic features of speech (‘motherese’) influence affective behaviour of non-verbal infants as well as domestic animals, suggesting that features of music can influence the behaviour of non-human species. We incorporated acoustical characteristics of tamarin affiliation vocalizations and tamarin threat vocalizations into corresponding pieces of music. We compared music composed for tamarins with that composed for humans. Tamarins were generally indifferent to playbacks of human music, but responded with increased arousal to tamarin threat vocalization based music, and with decreased activity and increased calm behaviour to tamarin affective vocalization based music. Affective components in human music may have evolutionary origins in the structure of calls of non-human animals. In addition, animal signals may have evolved to manage the behaviour of listeners by influencing their affective state.

* music evolution
* vocal communication
* affective responses
* tamarins
* species-specific music

Written by huehueteotl

September 3, 2009 at 7:39 am

Posted in Music, Psychology

Simply Listening To Music Affects One’s Musicality

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Researchers at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) have demonstrated how much the brain can learn simply through active exposure to many different kinds of music. “More and more labs are showing that people have the sensitivity for skills that we thought were only expert skills,” Henkjan Honing (UvA) explains.

“It turns out that mere exposure makes an enormous contribution to how musical competence develops.”* The results were recently presented at the Music & Language conference, organized by Tufts University in Boston, and will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Performance and Perception.

The common view among music scientists is that musical abilities are shaped mostly by intense musical training, and that they remain rather rough in untrained listeners, the so-called Expertise hypothesis.

However, the UvA-study shows that listeners without formal musical training, but with sufficient exposure to a certain musical idiom (the Exposure hypothesis), perform similarly in a musical task when compared to formally trained listeners.

Furthermore, the results show that listeners generally do better in their preferred musical genre. As such the study provides evidence for the idea that some musical capabilities are acquired through mere exposure to music. Just listen and learn!

In addition, the study is one of the first that takes advance of the possibilities of online listening experiments comparing musicians and non-musicians of all ages.

*Eichler, J. (2008, July 13), ‘Can’t get it out of my head’, Boston Globe, p. N6.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. (in press)
Exposure influences expressive timing judgments in music.
Honing, H. & Ladinig, O.

Abstract (from the lead author’s hp)
This study is concerned with the question whether, and if so to what extent, listeners’ previous exposure to music in everyday life, and expertise as a result of formal musical training, play a role in making expressive timing judgments in music. This was investigated by using a Web-based listening experiment in which listeners with a wide range of musical backgrounds were asked to compare two different recordings of the same composition (fifteen pairs, grouped in three musical genres), one of which was tempo-transformed. The results show that expressive timing judgments are not influenced by expertise levels, as suggested by the expertise hypothesis, but by exposure to a certain musical idiom, as suggested by the exposure hypothesis. Apparently, frequent listening to a certain musical genre allows listeners, with and without formal musical training, to implicitly learn the timing patterns that are characteristic for that style, and to use this (implicit) knowledge to discriminate between a real and a tempo-transformed recording. As such, and in addition to what has recently been shown in the pitch domain (Bigand & Poulin-Charronnat, 2006), the current study provides evidence in the temporal domain for the idea that some musical capabilities are acquired through exposure to music, and that these abilities are more likely enhanced by active listening (exposure) than by formal musical training (expertise).

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August 14, 2008 at 7:46 am

Posted in Music