Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Elvis of Classical Music?

This young conductor is poised to change the history of music.

Slated to take over as director of the L.A. Philharmonic in 2009, Gustavo Dudamel knows how to communicate the essence and beauty of western classical music in a way no one seems to have seen in decades. He may, in fact, be the one who rescues classical music from increasing cultural irrelevance and puts it back at center stage on radios, ipods, and stages everywhere, where it belongs.

Dudamel was saved by music and the Venezuelan System (a government-sponsored initiative to train poor children to become accomplished musicians as an alternative to impoverishment and criminal street life). Who knows how many other game-changing individuals are waiting for a chance to fulfill basic survival needs so they can share rare and powerful talents with humanity?

Say what you want about Venezuelan socialism; Duhamel's magic is one of its fruits.

If you have a few minutes, give yourself a gift and watch the video piece on Dudamel produced by 60 Minutes. See another excellent Duhamel interview here.

Gustavo reveals, through his genius and passion, the creative artist within each of us. He reminds us, shows us, through music, that this is it! This is what it is to be human. This is what the struggle is for. This is why it all matters.

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Copyright © 2006-present: Christopher R. Borland. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Thought Boxes (OTTFFSSEN)

Sometimes, it helps to be a first grader.

The human mind is truly amazing, no doubt about it. Still, it can get in its own way, as the following puzzle illustrates.

A bright first grader would find the following puzzle easier to solve than a bright well-schooled adult, given what the first grader has probably studied so far in school.

See if you can solve it (remember ... think like a first grader!):

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Find the next three letters in this sequence:

O, T, T, F, F, S, S, E, N, ...

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(Click here to go to Part 2.)

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Copyright © 2006-present: Christopher R. Borland. All rights reserved.