Tag Archives: music

Let’s Go Camping!


Let’s Go Camping!


There are many different “types” of camping. Some believe in the primitive way. Such as those who still believe that the discovery of fire was the best thing that ever happened to mankind and want nothing more than to “rough it” out there in the Great Outdoors. Others, more often than not, believe that summer camping is definitely a great thing if (and only if) an RV filled with all the needs of modern life is the transportation to their base camp out there in the wilderness.

top inventions, exciting gadgets, perfect excursion, Invention of the Year, Biolite BaseCamp, music, GoPro Hero4, anti-gravity suspension backpack

Choosing either primitive or luxury camping is just fine. But now the “lists” have hit the market (from Time Magazine to Cabela’s and so much more) letting you know exactly the gear that should be brought along no matter what in order to make your 2017 summer camping trip a whole lot of fun!


Picking out some of the best and most exciting gadgets and gear that will provide you with the perfect excursion, below are just a few top inventions that will allow you to enjoy your outdoor fun without having to leave luxury and technology at home.


We begin with Time Magazine’s “Invention of the Year.” The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter (only $20 at Amazon.com) is simple, lightweight and completely reliable for the camper. Containing no chemicals, and needing no batteries, this water filter has absolutely no parts that wear out. Whether camping or hiking, the LifeStraw meets EPA standards for water filtration and has already been proven as being the best, as it has been used around the world under extreme conditions for humanitarian relief. It takes just 3-5 seconds of drinking out of the straw to start the flow of water through the filter, making it easy, convenient, and incredibly healthy.


Here’s an invention you’ll love. Not only do you receive help with your technology from it, but you also receive a great cooking station. The Biolite BaseCamp is a stove that works fairly quickly. Taking only thirty minutes to heat up, you can not only cook dinner for those campers out there, but the heat also provides the energy for a charging station. Nope, not kidding at all. By using this cooking station, you turn the twigs and branches you’re burning into electricity to power any USB-connected devices that you just “have to have” while having fun in the wild.


What about a little music, you ask? The Eton Scorpion II is a piece of gear that, whether you’re at home or out there in the woods, is a must have. A hand crank-charged AM/FM radio with NOAA weather band radio stations, for only $59, the Scorpion II doubles as a power bank and an LED flashlight, making it the safety gadget on the market today. Small and able to hook onto your pack, it can also collect power from its solar panel, so there’s no need to stuff it in the bottom of your bag.


And for those pictures that you must have for the scrapbook back home, there is the GoPro Hero4 that will not take up much room in that backpack of yours at all. Shooting everything from 30-frame-per-second 4K video to those still photos that people still love to take and put in pictures frames all around the room, this is the must have camera for all ages. One of the most expensive camping gadgets of 2017, at $499, the camera is still one of those necessary pieces of equipment when it comes to capturing memories that are absolutely priceless.


Now that we’ve pointed out things to put inside that backpack…what about the backpack, itself? Well, the Osprey Atmos AG backpack actually has “anti-gravity suspension.” May sound a little like marketing shtick, but the facts are clear that people who wear this backpack swear that their 35-40 pound load feels no heavier than 20 pounds while on their back. Made of a lightweight mesh that hugs the body from hips to shoulders is what brings about this miracle “suspension.” By allowing the fit to extend down the body instead of centering it up high, there is no longer that weight pulling down on your neck and shoulders.


Remember, there are lists and lists out there on the Internet offering the newest in lanterns, chairs, flashlights – even head-lamps for those extreme cave-divers – but these products give you a solid starting point when it comes to having a great camping trip, without having to give up the luxuries of home.


Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle


Finding a Hobby that Fits Your Personality

Finding a Hobby that Fits Your Personality

by Amy Lignor


Although there are many out there who turn to their computers or cell phones as their hobby, there are just as many others who want to be more creative. They want to learn something new and fun to do in their spare time. They’re not looking for cash, they’re looking for a way to relax and ‘get away’ from the daily grind. Of course, when it comes to choosing the right hobby, personality is everything.

considerationsSay you are the patient type, then sewing is a fantastic hobby for you. Not only could you create some beautiful clothes, but you also have a variety of other areas to choose from. If you are the visual type, then drawing is a wonderful way to sit and wile away the time while creating a stunning piece of art to hang on the wall. So what are the most up-and-coming hobbies in 2017? You may just be surprised.

No one is quite sure if it’s the popularity of the song and dance reality shows, but the number one hobby people are choosing lately is learning how to play a musical instrument. This one is definitely for the patient person – and can actually earn money if done really well and you discover you have a passion and a talent for the instrument you choose. This is also a hobby that brings along health benefits by increasing your memory capacity, increasing concentration, and teaching you perseverance.


Another hobby that dipped for a while but then rose once again when books became easy-to-get online because of the digital world, is reading. There are many excited readers out there who do everything from read new authors and give them reviews; to increasing their own intelligence by diving into everything from fiction to biographies to historical works. Reading is a passive hobby that offers you the relaxation you need from the busy day-to-day chores life has to offer.


Some people have chosen to meditate as a hobby. Each day they set aside time to sit by themselves and meditate in order to calm down, relax, and practice self-control while also reducing stress levels. By choosing this hobby, they earn a healthier lifestyle.


When it comes to increasing intelligence, there are many hobbyists that have turned to the more ‘puzzling’ world. There are so many things to choose from nowadays that keep the brain challenged and enhance the sharpness and keen ability of the mind. From Sudoku to logic riddles to board games – creativity is developed and the brain continues to get a happy, healthy workout.

increase intelligence, creativity, imagination, language, music, stress reducer, meditation, culinary arts

Others turn to learning a new language, which, like learning a musical instrument, is one of the more difficult hobbies to take on. However, if you are an avid traveler, learning a new language is always a great way to spend your time. Enhancing intelligence, learning new words, and getting ready to see a whole new world is what learning a language brings to the table. Not to mention, travelling is also a great hobby – although for this particular one, cash is most definitely required.


Staying on the same creative tangent, writing is also a huge hobby for many out there. There are so many different paths that can be walked in this particular arena – from writing in a personal journal on a daily basis to creating stories for your kids. You hone your focus, creativity and imagination through the hobby of writing, and it offers you time to get away from it all.


Last, but not least, is the culinary world. More and more people are learning how to cook. As their passion grows, so does their knowledge. And everyone always has some family or friends they can try this particular hobby out on – which not only makes the hobbyist happy, but the well-fed family members, too.


So if you’re looking for a hobby – a way to decrease the stress, fill in those boring moments with something fun, and feel healthier – go online now and find the hobby that fits perfectly with your personality!

increase intelligence, creativity, imagination, language, music, stress reducer, meditation, culinary arts


Source:  GIG News

Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life

Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life

Edited by A. Alyce Claerbaut and David Schlesinger


News Hook: An exploration of the life, work, and legacy of the jazz legend Billy Strayhorn, published to commemorate the centennial of his birth.


Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life celebrates the life of late jazz legend Billy Strayhorn, who is perhaps best know for the 28 years he spent as Duke Ellington’s “writing and arranging companion.” But Strayhorn’s significant contributions to the American jazz canon extend well beyond his partnership with Ellington—and they have been underrated for years.


51qCXlDoZ6L._SX408_BO1,204,203,200_Strayhorn collects essays, photography, and rare memorabilia—such as handwritten scores—to chronicle every stage of Strayhorn’s life. The book is divided into two major sections. Part One: Musical Orbits focuses on the arc of Strayhorn’s musical life, starting with his childhood musical education and ending with his post-Ellington work. Part Two: Moral Freedoms explores Strayhorn’s life outside of music, including his civil rights activism and his open homosexuality.


Contributors include Ramsey Lewis, award-winning jazz composer and musician; David Hajdu, Strayhorn’s award-winning biographer; Walter van de Leur, jazz musicologist and author of the definitive book about Strayhorn’s music; Robert Levi, director of the Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life documentary; Bruce Mayhall Rastrelli, Strayhorn scholar and director of the stage production Lush Life; and members of Billy Strayhorn’s family, including nephew Gregory A. Morris, executor of the Strayhorn estate.


Enthralling, enriching, and visually captivating, this collection lauds a beloved jazz icon and captures a legacy that will influence generations to come.

 A. Alyce Claerbaut is the president of Billy Strayhorn Songs Incorporated. She is very involved with the arts scene of Chicago, particularly with jazz organizations.

David Schlesinger is a writer and editor living in California.


Strayhorn, Agate Bolden, 978-1-932841-98-5,

November 10, 2015, 9.25 x 11.25, 208 pp., $35,

Music/Individual Composer & Musician/Biography

Trade Cloth


Order your copy of:  Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life




unnamedWorld renowned saxophonist Marcus Anderson has blended two of his favorite things – music and coffee and introduces four delicious flavors of coffee under his new brand AND Coffee™ (www.andproducts.net) , accompanied by a new CD of the same name. The CD is available online as is the coffee, which will also soon be available in retail stores.  The flavors reflect his musical tastes with compositions on the CD bearing the same names and styles – Passion Blend (Decaf), Cup of Joe (Mild Roast, Easy Sipping), Hazelnut, and Cappuccino Strut (Bold Roast). All are roasted and distributed in his home state of North Carolina. Each 12 oz. bag of ground coffee retails for $12.99.


This marks Anderson’s eighth album in ten years. When not on the road performing his own tunes to his loyal audiences around the world, he is on the road with Prince as part of his New Power Generation band. “Touring with Prince has been rewarding in so many different ways; I feel as if I’m in grad school, business classes, and etiquette school all wrapped into one. Thank you Paisley University!”


The song titles and moods of each song on the “AND Coffee” album correspond to the flavorful tastes, aromas and emotions that each of the various coffee flavors in ANDerson’s selections reflect, from mild to passionate and bold. The CD is available for sale with or without purchasing coffee, although audiences would be missing out on the full bodied, rich and tasty beverages that are synonymous with the moods and mastery reflected on the album.


Why coffee? ANDerson explains, “Coffee is a beverage enjoyed all over the world.  People share the experience of drinking a cup of Joe with a stranger and begin to relate to one another.  Mutual appreciation of music has the same kind of effect on people.  I love being a part of products that bring us all together.”     He continues, “And now you don’t have to shuffle through your music library to create the perfect coffee drinker’s playlist. With AND Coffee we have merged great music with great flavors.”                     





by Peter Brav


I went to a Jackson concert one Friday night last month in an old Loew’s movie house so grand they named it the Kings Theatre when it opened on Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue in 1929 less than two months before the epic stock market crash. Abandoned in 1977 while the city teetered on the verge of collapse, and taken over by that same city six years later for non-payment of taxes, it reopened earlier this year with all the shine and restored art deco that 95 million new American dollars and rehabilitation talent can bring.

Kings Theatre 9-25-15

It wasn’t Michael. He’s gone years. Nor was it Janet, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, or even Joe Jackson at the piano. It was Jackson Browne, he of the soulful wails that brought at least one young man to his knees in that wellspring of emotion, dreams and future nostalgia known as the 1970s.


After picking guitar in relative obscurity with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and building his rep as a writer of powerful songs, Clyde Jackson Browne arrived in my life in 1972 with a bang and his debut album Jackson Browne, sometimes referred to as the Saturate Before Using album. I was in 11th Grade and more than ready to leave for somewhere. Doctor My Eyes and Rock Me on the Water foretold for careful listeners the misery to come if their eyes were open when the water came in a flood. Not for me though because those two singles were just melodic and upbeat enough for a suburban kid to whistle to while he waited for his college ticket out. It turns out that I should have paid more attention to the hints of resignation in Something Fine and the simply elegant relationship ender and difficult choice opener laid out in My Opening Farewell.


I arrived in Ithaca autumn of 1973 with vague ideas of becoming a doctor (soon to be dashed, for the benefit of patients worldwide) and expectations of a more exciting and fulfilling life than I’d left behind. Instead what I got was frigid cold and difficult adjustment. JB’s sophomore effort For Everyman made its way to my turntable to ease it all. He lamented the common man’s struggles and prayed for people to get it together and I was on board with that. Take It Easy, his easy take on the song he’d co-written with Glenn Frey that had launched the Eagles the year before, and These Days, one of the finest songs I have ever listened to. Other melodies almost as beautiful completed an album unlike any other I had ever heard, with gentle guitars that cried as much as the anguished words they accompanied.


As I began to shift more attention from mandated high school science to the world at large, this For Everyman album was there for this Everyman. It was there for the withdrawal from Vietnam, the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East and the start of the Watergate hearings. I had yet to learn that this world at large was really a world at worry, and always would be, but in any event it took a distant second place to the real questions of my own life. How would I find someone and something to connect with? And manage to keep whomever and whatever around long enough to even get to what will be will be? For an hour, for a week, for, dare I say, ever?


And then along came Jackson in the fall of 1974 with perhaps his greatest masterpiece, Late for

the Sky, to answer all these questions with the resonant message that I was indeed screwed, along


with him and everyone else, both in relationships that were failing and would continue to fail,and an awareness that the end of everything wasn’t all that distant. Late for the Sky, The Late Show, For a Dancer, Before the Deluge, and four more, all so magnificent, and so sad. Even now it’s hard to know whether this music was sent to soundtrack my life or relationships failed for me to accompany the music.


I was leaving college when the fourth album arrived in late 1976 after the suicide of Jackson’s first wife. With The Fuse, Here Come Those Tears Again, Sleep’s Dark and Silent Gate, it seemed more about getting away from sadness than living with it. Daddy’s Tune to a father and The Only Child to a son. Your Bright Baby Blues, Linda Paloma. Almost upbeat, relatively speaking, until the last tune, the title song The Pretender, which let me know that all finding love would do was help me sell out, endure malaise and watch my dreams disappear.


Ah, the laughter of the lovers

As they run through the night

Leaving nothing for the others

But to choose off and fight

And tear at the world with all their might

While the ships bearing their dreams

Sail out of sight


I’m gonna find myself a girl

Who can show me what laughter means

And we’ll fill in the missing colors

In each other’s paint by number dreams

And then we’ll put our dark glasses on

And we’ll make love until our strength is gone

And when the morning light comes streaming in

We’ll get up and do it again

When I met my wife, a lover of Motown and music with a beat you could dance to, my Jackson Browne LPs found their way out of sight and ear. Life was busier, and pretty good too, the joy of children and a happy marriage making sadness elusive. Sure, I knew the world out there was changing for the worse in so many ways. Many people from my generation, sometimes people I knew who were smart but not that smart, seemed to be making so much money which was hard to comprehend while so many others were suffering. Folks seemed to yell at each other about everything and CNN and this Internet thing made it easier to yell long distance and actually be heard. We seemed to find enemies everywhere, not just in the Middle East, but everywhere. And don’t get me started on the environment. Sure, GE was no longer openly dumping daily in the Hudson but they were telling anyone who would listen that cleanup was impossible.


I lost touch with Jackson Browne completely and had no idea that he was now much more focused on songs about plastic and bloodshed than love shed and performing in one good cause benefit after another. I, on the other hand, was resigned because I was Everyman and not someone singing about him. This Everyman grew older but more accepting and happier and didn’t think of himself as The Pretender. Knowing that you can’t change the world and that the world can’t change you is freeing.


Then came Friday night at the Kings. Those chords, that finger picking, that pedal steel, those poetic visions.


How long have I been sleeping?

How long have I been drifting alone through the night?

How long have I been dreaming I could make it right?

If I closed my eyes and tried with all my might

To be the one you need


Where was she, that girl to let me down gently? She was home, in New Jersey, same as she’d been for the past 32 years, with no intention of letting me down gently or otherwise.


Where was that belief that someday I was going to say something, write something, think something, maybe even do something that was going to make that world at large a little more magical? How had I been so comfortably numb for forty years, thank you Roger Waters and David Gilmour, wandering as long as Moses and sleeping twice as long as Rip Van Winkle? No idea.


Only when the house lights came up did it dawn on me that the encore Our Lady of the Well, from For Everyman of course, was indeed the end of the evening.


But it’s a long way that I have come

Across the sand to find this peace among your people in the sun

Where the families work the land as they have always done

Oh, it’s so far the other way my country’s gone


Across my home has grown the shadow of a cruel and senseless hand

Though in some strong hearts the love and truth remain

And it has taken me this distance and a woman’s smile to learn

That my heart remains among them and to them I must return


I looked out at many of the three thousand 50 and 60-something faces and the philosophical smiles that mirrored my own. Gray hair, sagging skin, bulging bellies. Nicer clothes, finer jewelry.


Tired eyes, very tired eyes, Doctor. Verging on tears.


Thank you, Jackson.

Peter Brav is the author of the novels THE OTHER SIDE OF LOSING, SNEAKING IN and ZAPPY I’M NOT.






© 2015 Peter Brav (all cited lyrics are © Jackson Browne)


Source:  Baret News

What is the Color of Music?


What is the color of music?

Could the “water of life” exist on Mars?

A high-tech romance is in the air…

And shame on me! On today’s Daily Orbit!

“With every beat of my heart—doctors are getting a little closer to a new heart monitor!”  Okay, I thought we’d start Friday off with a little fun but in all seriousness professors have developed a heart monitor thinner than a dollar bill and no wider than a postage stamp.  It is flexible and skin-like and can be worn under an adhesive bandage on the wrist.  It is sensitive enough to help doctors detect stiff arteries and cardiovascular problems.  The fact that it is virtually noninvasive makes it ideal for newborns and high-risk patients who would be at risk of infection from current monitors that are inserted directly into the artery.  Doctors are now working to make it completely wireless, allowing for constant monitoring with data sent directly to your doctor’s cell phone!  Talk about a heart connection with you doc!

And when I started out singing that pop song from the 90s what color did you see? Just as music lifts our mood and helps us cope, it colors our world.  A new study from UC Berkeley found that our brains are wired to make music-color connections based upon how the melodies make us feel.  The study conducted in the US and Mexico found that people share a common emotional palette, linking the same pieces of classical orchestral music with the same colors. Participants tended to pair faster-paced music in a major key with lighter, more vivid, yellow colors, whereas slower-paced music in a minor key were more likely to be teamed up with darker, grayer, bluer colors.  Researchers say the findings might have implications for creative therapies, advertising, and more fun music stuff. (soundbyte)  I’m seeing purple- my favorite color.

There’s a new Hi-Tech “It-Couple” in town.  Google and NASA have joined a consortium of Universities to form a quantum computing artificial intelligence lab, using the most advanced commercially available quantum computer, the D-Wave Two.  The AI lab will focus on machine learning, which is how computers note patterns and information to improve their outputs.  Google believes quantum computing could improve web search and speech recognition technology and NASA will use it for a lot of stuff like simulating planetary atmospheres. The D-Wave will be installed at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley and will be able available to government, industrial, and university research later this year.

And maybe NASA can use the D-Wave Two to simulate the possibility that newly found billion-year-old water might indicate life on Mars.  Studying deep pockets of water under Ontario, Canada that have been isolated for billions of years, scientists found abundant chemicals known to support life.  The water was teaming with dissolved gasses like hydrogen, methane, and various isotopes of noble gases such as helium, neon, argon and xenon.  Scientists say that studying this water will give us insight into how microbes evolve in isolation, which is central to the question of the origin of life.  They say that IF there are microbes in the water sample, it will show that life can sustain regardless of how inhospitable surface conditions may be, and will have implications for how we look for life on Mars.

“It ain’t my fault!  Did I do that?”  Yes, it is our fault says a new study.  Surprise—scientists think human activity is causing climate change!  Wait, I am wrong but didn’t we already know that?  A team of scientists and citizen scientists from three countries poured over the abstracts of 12,000 scientific papers on climate change published between 1991 and 2011 and it was almost unanimous—well 97% being pretty close—that scientists believe human activity is the naughty culprit behind our changing environment.  I feel like we need to pin a scarlet letter on ourselves and walk around in shame.

Well that’s it for the Daily Orbit. (Pin a scarlet letter on) Have a great weekend!

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