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Last of the Breed: Merle, Willie and Ray

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Last Thursday night Phil took me to Radio City Music Hall to see Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Ray Price – on their crazy fast tour of only 15 cities in 17 days – celebrating the latest album, “Last of the Breed,” complete with art work of setting sun. As Phil says, “with a combined age of 205,” these musicians can truly own the label, living legends.

I grew up on this music. On lazy Saturday afternoons, maybe it was 1975, my father thumbed through his record collection, pulled out vinyl and pointed out the rythms and melodies to me as I skipped in circles to the beat. To hear songs like “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” and “Pick Me up, on Your Way Down” and “I Don’t Want to Sober up Tonight” last Tuesday, time warped me back 25 years, when my uncle played guitar on the beaches of the Northumberland Strait, and we’d sing “Heartaches by the Number.”

I could go on about the concert, but Phil did it already for the New York Sun.

Here’s a piece:

“If country music is the single most forgiving genre for aging artists, it is because storytelling is as important as steel guitars and mournful fiddle fills. Indeed, lyrics are so central to Ms. Williams’s oeuvre that she had a music stand next to her onstage so she wouldn’t flub her lines.

And storytelling only gets better as one acquires wisdom, experience, and perspective. It’s no wonder that artists such as Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, along with Ms. Williams and the “Last of the Breed” crew, are in their 50s and older and producing some of the best music of their careers.

Pop singers and rap stars should be so lucky.”

This entry was written by Christie, posted on March 27, 2007 at 8:11 pm, filed under Home. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Is ‘Spring Fever’ a Real Phenomenon?

Is it salvation from winter that puts us in the mood for love or is there a biological basis for this flurry of psychological renewal and physical energy?

Published in Scientific American on March 22, 2007.

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This entry was written by Christie, posted on March 24, 2007 at 10:17 am, filed under Home. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Motherboard Knows Best: Should a Computer Make Life-or-Death Decisions?

Researchers say computers, using a mathematical formula, can determine the wishes of incapacitated patients as well as – if not better than – their kin.

Published in Scientific American on March 16, 2007

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This entry was written by Christie, posted on March 20, 2007 at 2:06 pm, filed under Home. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Fashiony in Brooklyn

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Last night a few of us headed to the lovely rotunda of Borough Hall, in dowtown Brooklyn, to attend the launch of Brooklyn Fashion Week(end).

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This entry was written by Christie, posted on March 19, 2007 at 7:04 pm, filed under Home. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.

Good news for those who like bad news.

Jessie’s been asking me to write something on why this year’s change in Daylight Saving Time (it came three weeks early) may make us depressed, delaying the relief from the winter blues that we get with lovely spring sunshine. Essentially this change in DST has effectively set us back to mid-January, in terms of morning sunshine.

Since the mid 80s there has been a lot of focus on the effects of seasons on moods, with the emergence of a diagnostic label for winter depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. No one knows the exact cause of SAD, says Michael Terman director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, but there are distinct patterns of winter depression lifting in the spring. And the key for a rise in mood, Terman says, is not simply the length of daylight hours, but the earlier onset of morning light. The most striking evidence is Terman’s research that shows there is more depression on the western edges of time zones in the U.S., where the sun rises later.

So this year’s change in Daylight Saving Time (DST), coming three weeks early, may actually extend the winter doldrums, said both Terman and David Avery, professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Turning our clocks ahead one hour effectively puts us back to waking in darkness.

“In Seattle for example, the effect would be that in early March, the clock would spring ahead and sunrise would be occurring at about 7:50 a.m., similar to the time of sunrise on January 19th!” wrote Avery in a recent letter to congress, pointing out that this change may have a detrimental effect on peoples’ moods, especially those suffering from SAD.

Want to read more about this?
See this article from LA Times.

This entry was written by Christie, posted on March 10, 2007 at 5:03 am, filed under Home. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink.