Monthly Archives: March 2016

Vibrational (Arts) Spectrum: We’re Number… 5


Simulated symmetric stretching in the methylene (-CH2-) group Courtesy Wikipedia

Southern Methodist University lays down the science: Creativity good.

In the Large Community Division:

  1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, VA
  2. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, TN
  3. NY-Jersey City-White Plains, NY/NJ
  4. San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA
  5. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA

Read all about it in:

NCAR Arts Vibrancy Index II:
Hotbeds of America’s Arts and Culture

via ArtsJournal

International Office Hours: Chris Impey takes your questions

Astronomy buffs should enjoy Chris Impey’s free online courses offered through Udemy and Coursera. One interesting feature of the Astronomy State of the Art course is his regular online office hour where he takes questions submitted in real time as well as by email. The questions are invariably very good, spanning terrestrial, planetary, galactic, and cosmological topics. Impey takes time to respond thoroughly. The live sessions are broadcast on a Google Hangout and archived on Youtube. Here’s a collection of them.

So near, yet so far: Carnegie Observatories 2016 Lecture Series

Update: 17 March 2016
The seminar series including music performances will be webcast live this year. Details will be provided in the next few days

Image courtesy of the Carnegie Observatories

The Carnegie Observatories of Pasadena have announced their 2016 Lecture series, beginning in early April 2016 at the Huntington Library in San Marino.   There will be four talks by learn’d astronomers on the Las Campanas observatories, Planet formation, Exoplanets, and the lifecycle of Galaxies.  Each will be preceded by music performances by students from the Colburn School.  The talks are free but reservations are required.  Doors open at 6:45pm, talks begin at 7:30pm.

Visit the Observatories’s Youtube Channel for rigorous yet accessible talks from previous years.  The only downside is that the events are on Monday nights,  a hell of a schlep for those of us in the South Bay.

Carnegie Spring Lectures at the Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino
All Lectures are in Rothenberg Auditorium.

Monday, April 4th 2016
Las Campanas Observatory: A Southern Window on the Universe
Dr. Mark Phillips
Director, Las Campanas Observatory, Associate Director for Magellan
Carnegie Institution for Science

Monday, April 18th 2016
A Short History of Planet Formation
Dr. Anat Shahar
Staff Scientist, Geophysical Laboratory
Carnegie Institution for Science

Monday, May 2nd 2016
Dr. Kevin Schlaufman
Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University
Carnegie-Princeton Fellow

Carnegie Observatories & Princeton University

Monday, May 16th 2016
The Secret Lives of Galaxies
Dr. Katherine Alatalo
Hubble Fellow,
Carnegie Observatories

Donors Wanted, Dead or Alive

Preferably dead.

I used to attend LA Phil concerts regularly, subscribed for a number of years, and donated through an affiliate group. I haven’t attended in some time due to the relentless push to staged opera, video extravaganzas, the persistence of Vitameatavegamin, John Adams, and the rest of that mob. The promise of Dudamel, so high after seeing him and his Bolivarians in 2007, has been dashed.

To their substantial credit, Borda and Co. have replaced me and my like with others receptive to this vision and the organization is very, very healthy. But it is impossible to get off the mailing lists of a group that has (or should have) few empty seats.  Full color brochures and postcards still arrive, telemarketers call about Disney Hall and Hollywood Bowl offers.  The latter are quite knowledgeable, have discussed my reasons for not re-upping, and promise to click the buttons to unsubscribe me.  It never takes, though.  Now, some Big Data algorithm has told management that the Reaper will soon be at my door.   This email is rather unnerving.  Click for a zoomable image.


Hiding in plain sight: Chamber Music Society Masterclasses

Norman Lebrecht‘s Slippedisc blog is full of snark, favoritism, gossip-as-journalism, and a comments section that can be … disturbing.

There are also the occasional links and pointers that make it worth a wade through the muck.

Today’s find is a piano trio masterclass given by Menahem Pressler in 2008 [Click to go to Slippedisc]. It’s in an unlisted, unindexed corner of Youtube where the link has to be transmitted by someone who knows it is there. Dig into it and we find that the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center has a webpage full of them along with lectures, interviews and performances (look to the left).

Here’s a playlist from the Society’s Youtube Channel: