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May 3, 2007

Teacher Arrested at JFK Airport

NEW YORK -- A public school teacher was arrested today at John Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement.

He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. "Al-gebra is a problem for us," Gonzales said. "They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.

They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle'."

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."

White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the President.

***thanks to HrH for this news flash***

Posted by hgroteva at 10:18 PM

May 11, 2007

Gratitude

A soft cool breeze

Delivers delicious air.

Minnesota perfection.

Posted by hgroteva at 1:51 PM

Geek Heaven - The Encyclopedia of Life

I heard a fascinating Science Friday episode this afternoon about a new project, "The Encyclopedia of Life," being spearheaded by Harvard's E.O. Wilson, of Sociobiology fame. The goal is to catalogue all species living on Planet Earth in an "ecosystem of web pages." There's a jaunty introduction to the project at its website: eol.org It resembles Wikipedia, in that regular people will be able to upload entries, photos, etc. Check it out! It's almost as much fun as Google Earth.

Posted by hgroteva at 5:08 PM

May 18, 2007

Ending a Musical Drought

After everything fell apart last summer, I had to resign from the 3 choirs I was singing in -- practicing and making rehearsals were just impossible. It's been a long drought. Last weekend I went to the Waltham Abbey concert - it was thoroughly enjoyable, plus great to see my friends.

Dee told me about a new opportunity. A new music prof at the U is doing a summer choir - the program is the Faure Requiem (with orchestra) - one of my all-time favorites. I've mentioned it several times on this blog. I thought certainly I wouldn't be able to make the rehearsals, but believe it or not, I can! I'm traveling in May, June, and August, but not in July -- when the rehearsals and performance are -- so I have signed up! I can't wait - am already looking over my score and singing along with my CD. (My own form of karaoke, I guess!) It's directed by Matthew Mehaffey, Asst Prof of Music.

Not that that's good enough ... but next Wednesday evening, I'm going to hear Chanticleer, one of my favorite choral groups. They come to the Twin Cities about once a year and always present amazing performances.

And Thursday night, after a year of not being able to attend the monthly sings, I will be able to sing with the Schutz Singers -- a group that meets once a month to sing - just for the pure joy of it.

Life is good!

Posted by hgroteva at 10:34 PM

May 24, 2007

Musical Nirvana

The Chanticleer concert was great. This is probably the tenth (give or take a few) time I've seen the group perform in the past 15 years, and I'm always satisfied. (I even had the pleasure of hearing them on their home turf in San Francisco once, taking P & C, who lived there at the time.)

My favorites of the evening were "This Marriage," by Eric Whitacre and "Village Wedding," by John Tavener. I really like the music by both of them. I just bought one of Whitacre's CDs yesterday ("Cloudburst" - Hyperion LC7533), and, serendipitously, it contains "This Marriage." Three of Whitacre's pieces are also featured on the CD by Conspirare, which I went on and on about here on Feb 14, 2007.

The Chanticleer sound is so pure - spot on. (As it says in the program notes, the group was named for the "clear-singing rooster" in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.) There were a lot of new faces on stage last night; the guys seem to be younger each time I see them. But they have a rigorous travel schedule, and I suspect it's not difficult to burn out after a few years.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable time singing with the Schutz Singers tonight. We are a group of about 15 folks from many different choirs who just enjoy singing together once a month. It's extremely satisfying. Folks are good sight-readers and singers, but not prima donnas. Everyone's just there for the sheer pleasure of it. There are no rehearsals and no performances. Tonight we did some Palestrina, Tallis, Weelkes, Byrd, Gibbons, and others. I've really missed singing this year. The choral music scene is one of the aspects of the Twin Cities that I will miss the most - it's quite amazing. Everyone assures me that there's great music in west-central Mass. Next summer, Tanglewood! and the Boston Early Music Festival!

Posted by hgroteva at 4:20 PM