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Claimed from Stationers’ Hall: St Andrews Copyright Music Collection

Since October 2015, I’ve visited the University of St Andrews regularly, to consult the historic Copyright Music Collection. Playfair Terrace is on my route to the research facility at Martyrs […]

Episode 7: Use Psychology To Compete Like An Olympian

  This is Episode Seven of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can…

Classic Chords #14 Who is Townshend?

The Who’s Pete Townshend was by turns a maestro on the acoustic guitar and a wall-of-sound man on the electric. Stacks of amps and speakers, his windmilling right arm, the leaps and kicks and, of course, the smashing up the guitars and hotel rooms in equal measure, allegedly. On the acoustic there was the high-speed … Continue reading "Classic Chords #14 Who is Townshend?"

Science Spoiler Alert: Finding Dory

In which Dr. Milton Love ruins the magic behind Finding Dory with Science, but we love him anyways. TUNE IN HERE

On the Road

If you haven’t heard much from me on these pages of late, it’s because I spent most of the last two weeks traveling back and forth, and so had little time for blogging. I did, however, participate in some interesting events while I was...Show More Summary

Classic Chords #12 – Message in a Bottle

The Police were a post-punk, new wave band, but the power pop trio all had jazz backgrounds. It’s not surprise then, that they used motifs from that world in their pop songs. ‘Message in a Bottle’ from the band’s second album, 1979’s...Show More Summary

Classic Chords #12 – Brass in Pocket

UPDATE: I’ve had some Twitter debate with Richard Perkins of Bath Guitar School who half tongue-in-cheek points out that this chord might more formally be called an Aadd9. The note B is second and ninth in the scale of A major and personally, if I’d been playing a C major chord with an added D not on … Continue reading "Classic Chords #12 – Brass in Pocket"

Will SpaceX Be On Its Way to Mars by 2018? Maybe. But That’s Not the Point.

In May of 2016, Elon Musk announced that SpaceX would be sending a Dragon capsule on its way to Mars by the end of 2018. That’s pretty ambitious. After all, 2018 is soon. But is it too soon? I wrote an article about Musk’s plan to go to Mars, and I still think SpaceX can do it. Show More Summary

Classic Chords #11 – Mad Punk

My band C5 rehearsing Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” last night and trying to get that Nile Style guitar part as close as possible to the original song. Basically, the chords are Bm, D, F#m, E, with the usual Chic cleverness of not playing whole chords and doing something neat with the transitions, so there’s a […]

Classic Chords #8 – The Nile Style

Ever since I first figured out how to do those funky flicks of the wrist to get the disco guitar sound I’ve attempted to get close to what Nile Rodgers does in terms of those chops. Everything from the late 70s Chic and Sister Sledge stuff to Bowie’s Let’s Dance and the Daft Punk reboot of 2012. He, […]

Classic Chords #7 – The Manics A Design for Life

I have a confession, I’d never knowingly heard the Manic Street Preachers until I picked up a set of headphones in an HMV back in the Spring of 1996 and listened to Everything Must Go, which had just that week been released. It grabbed me from the off, it was like post-Rush prog but with a gritty […]

Classic Chords #5 – Rush Limelight

As I mentioned, in Classic Chord #1 in my early teens I was chasing the dream of being the next Alex Lifeson, picking out the pseudo-classical intros to songs like “Panacea”, “A Farewell to Kings” and “The Trees”, later “Broon’s Bane” from Exit…stage left and rocking out (on a nylon string guitar!) to “Working Man”, […]

Classic Chords #4 – The Caged Chord

Composer John Cage (1912-1992) is perhaps most famous not for the music he wrote but the silence. In the piece known as “Four minutes, thirty-three seconds”, 4’33”, which is ostensibly in three movements Cage instructed musicians, with any instrument or any combination of instruments and presumably voice to not play their instrument(s) for the during […]

Classic Chords #3 – The Hendrix Chord

There’s one chord every wannabe rock guitar hero has to figure out at some point…we all listen to Jimi Hendrix, we all marvel at what he’s doing with that Strat, whether plucking it with his teeth or setting it on fire. But, what is it he’s doing exactly to get that E-major power chord that […]

Classic Chords #1 – The Hemispheres Chord

One thing I noticed as teen teaching myself to pick out the wondrous chords played by Rush’s Alex Lifeson by ear was that he used a lot of chords where the top two strings, the B and the E string were left ring while a moveable chord shape, often a B major shape or more commonly […]

montereybayaquarium: Sea Palm Culture: In the Weeds Our Kelp...

montereybayaquarium: Sea Palm Culture: In the Weeds Our Kelp Forest exhibit is a visitor favorite. It’s gorgeous, and in 1984 it was the first living kelp forest grown outside the wild. Today it’s home to a forest of giant kelp and bull...Show More Summary

Ep. 407: Galactic Cannibalism

Remember when we told you that the Universe is a big place, and anything that can go wrong, inevitably does? Today we talk about what happens when galaxies come together. This is particularly pertinent because our Milky Way will collide with Andromeda in the future!

Ep. 406: Stellar Cannibalism

Most of the time stars hang around for billions of years. But the Universe is a big place, and anything that can go wrong, inevitably does. Today we talk about what happens when these stars come together. The outcome is violent, and fortunately for you, also interesting.

A bit of ancient music

This was making the rounds a while ago but I didn’t get to it: “Hurrian Hymn No. 6” is considered the world’s earliest melody, but the oldest musical composition to have survived in its entirety is a first century A.D. Greek tune known as the “Seikilos Epitaph.” The song was found engraved on an ancient marble [...]

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