Category Archives: research

Hopes for the Future: Sunny Skies

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A 14th Century mystic poet named, “Hafiz” gives us this cheerful

message today:

“Even after all this time,

The sun never says to the earth,

“You owe me.”

Look what happens

with a Love like that.

It lights up the ‘Whole Sky.'”

 

Here is some ‘food for thought,’ in a much more serious tone:

“If we use our fuel to get our power, we are living on our capital and

exhausting it rapidly. This method is barbarous and wantonly wasteful

and will have to be stopped in the interest of coming generations. The

heat of the sun’s rays represents an immense amount of energy, vastly

in excess of water power.  The sun’s energy controlled to create lakes

and rivers is for motive, purpose and transformation of arid deserts

into fertile land.”

~Nikola Tesla, September 9, 1915

 

Solar energy became popular years ago, but a recent report mentioned

and gave ‘credit’ to President Jimmy Carter’s administration in forming

close relations with the D. O. E., which is the Department of Energy.

I follow Greenpeace and have been posting on this subject with updates,

from time to time.

 

There is an acronym for India’s governmental energy program. I may

have informed you of some of their solar home systems. The ‘newest’

fact I found was there are 150,000 families in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal,

Vietnam and South Africa actively participants of SELCO.

 

Solar solutions are followed by a “Solar Foundation” here in the United

States, where “so far, its operations include 13,000 plus megawatts of

cumulative solar energy.”  This amount  which the average layperson,

myself included, might think were rather ‘low’ in its numbers.

 

Interestingly enough, my instinct to guess this to be ‘not much to speak of,’

really has the capacity to serve 2.2 million American homes.

 

The Solar Foundation carries out a solar job census of solar workers, which

gave a remarkable number of 143,000 solar workers in the U.S. This has

increased in numbers since 2012 by 20%.

 

Pioneers in solar advocacy formed by two men named Daniel Yergin

and Neville Williams have been working to increase awareness on two

blogs.

They are a great ‘resource’ on the subject of solar power.

You may wish to check them out at:

http://danielyergin.com

http://sunpowerbook.com

 

Neville Williams’ first book was called, “Chasing the Sun.” President Bill

Clinton said of Williams’ book:

“I really loved your book. I made everyone in the Clinton Foundation

read it. It’s terrific.”

 

The late Sir Arthur C. Clarke said of  “Chasing the Sun:”

“A fascinating account of the author’s odyssey to promote solar

energy in the developing world.”

 

 

Here is something to be ‘proud’ about they tallied up the states which

have the best usage and most actively working with solar energy.

The Top 10 States in the U.S. are:

1. California                      6. Massachusetts

2. Arizona                         7. Hawaii

3. New Jersey                   8. Colorado

4. North Carolina              9. New York

5. Nevada                        10. New Mexico

 

Since President Obama came into office, there have been 550 new

major solar project. Sixteen of these have been permitted on federal

land with over 6,058 megawatts generating capacity. If you look back

at the total number given previously, this is about 50% of the solar power

presently available in the U.S. These are huge ‘strides’ or progress in

pursuing energy generated by the sun. This is in great part to realizing

the importance of other resources than gas or oil, thanks to collaboration

between both political parties.

 

The newest Neville Williams’ book is titled, “Sun Power:  How Energy

from the Sun Is Changing Lives Around the World Empowering America

and Saving the Planet.”

 

Quite a lofty goal which all of us around the world can appreciate.

 

The hope for the future is to have more common usage by people

everywhere. By becoming a leader in solar power, our country could

become a major catalyst for global, political and economic change.

 

This is one more quote to bring you smiles:

“Solar power is the last energy resource that isn’t owned yet- –

Nobody taxes the sun yet.”

~Bonnie Raitt

 

 

 

Cleveland and Ohio Ties

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Some notes and quotes of interest will be included in this collection

of Ohio and Cleveland ties. I enjoy trying to find newsworthy articles

that may enlighten others from different areas of the country or world.

Hope you find something which is ‘new’ and interesting here to read

and think about. The subject matters range from three famous people

who led purposeful lives, one which was cut short and covering the

diverse subjects of advertising, music, art and solar energy.

 

Please let me know which little tidbits you found here may have

meant something to you.

 

 

My Mom is the one who planted many seeds of literature, language,

art, nature and music in her children and students. My Dad was the

one who taught me lessons about science, space, philosophy, history

and religion. Curiosity was an area they both instilled in me.

 

At my Mom’s Senior Living Apartments for several months family

members and actual residents had their artwork on display. It was

interesting how many different abstracts, photographs, needlepoint

and other fabric-based art pieces were presented. There were still

life’s, which included one of the best detailed watercolor art I had

seen in a long time. This golden orange train was one that caught

my eye, almost every trip down to the dining room during the

months from October until December, 2014.

 

The picture of the train, another of an outdoors scenery, along with

the preciseness of his watercolors drew me in. I had to know more

about John N. (Jack or “Franz”) Keeler.  He resided in Westlake,

Ohio up until his death in 2012.  His wife, Betty, is still a current

resident at the senior living apartments where my mother lives.

 

It is a fascinating history of a man who served his country during

WWII’s European front years,  as a member of the U.S. Army Air

Corps. He came home to pursue art and advertising, his own choice

of opening one of the first in America’s merchandising (advertising)

agencies. The name he gave his agency was, “Point of Power,” and

his client list was famous. His clients included Alcoa, Carling Black

Label beer and Chevrolet. His unique, detailed artwork is beautiful.

 

It would have been nice to have met the man, Jack or ‘Franz” Keeler.

Since he lived a long and purposeful life of  92 years. I would have

liked to know more about him. What helped him to choose using his

art through advertising.

 

 

One of Otis Redding’s last public appearances was on a popular radio

station in Cleveland, Ohio. Can you believe Otis would have only been

74 years old had he lived beyond his shortened life of 26 years?

 

The Cleveland radio station was playing a December tribute to this

musical legend who died in a plane crash in 1967. When I heard the

list of songs Otis Redding had already produced in just 26 years of

living, I tried to picture what a huge impact and the ‘body’ of songs

we may have been able to hear from Otis had he lived a longer life.

Here is Otis Redding’s list of popular songs:

“These Arms of Mine”

“Try a Little Tenderness”

“Satisfaction”

“(Sittin’) On the Dock of the Bay”

 

The words the radio announcer sent out to us, December, 2014

gave me a chill and left a haunting impression. He described Otis

Redding as a personable and likeable guest back visiting their

radio studio, in 1967. These words spoke volumes when the radio

announcer added,

“Otis (left us and ) got in that great bird to Heaven.”

 

Conan O’Brien talks about many national sports teams, including

the Cleveland Browns football team and basketball team, Cleveland

Cavaliers. Even though he is from Massachusetts, he often mentions

Ohio. I was putting on some “Burt’s Bees lip balm, when I overheard

him being quoted as saying about “Burt’s Bees,”  in an interview.

Conan included some fun quips:

“Mind your own bees’ wax.”

“Just showing her the birds and the bees.”

 

Roxanne Quimby and Burt Shavitz created from their candle

business, along with combining leftover bees wax,  the company,

“Burt’s Bees,” which came out of Maine in the 1980’s and was

later purchased for a huge amount of money in 2007, by Clorox.

 

As far as I know from another article I looked up about Conan,

he is legally able to officiate at weddings and did participate in

marrying a gay couple in his home state in 2011. He is such an

interesting and intelligent talk show host, also one who displays

a keen sense of humor and compassion.

 

This is not directly from Ohio, but is being shared by this Ohio

native, from me to you.

Another word being used instead of “circular” lately is,

“Curvilinear.”

 

Another set of facts not coming directly from Ohio is how

awareness of solar energy is found available while driving up

and down rural country roads of Ohio. Solar Energy is also a

part of our local political debate. You can see the large white

(to me, innocuous) solar windmills more and more across the

countryside. For some reason, they are often ‘boycotted’ and

are being considered a ‘nuisance’ in the eyes of some beholders.

 

I like this famous quote from the inventor of electricity and

Milan, Ohio native:

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy.

What a source of power!

I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal

run out before we tackle that.”

~Thomas Alva Edison, 1931.

85 Year Anniversary: Nellie’s Got Milk!

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On February 18, 2015 you may say, “When cows fly. . .” instead of

the usual expression which includes another livestock animal- pigs.

Why?  Because Elm Farm Ollie,  a Guernsey  cow engaged  in  an

experiment in seeing how a cow would do up in an airplane while

she was being milked.

 

Nellie Jay was her farm name and she became famous and known as,

“Elm Farm Ollie” while she traveled on a trip of 72 miles on the

airplane.

 

It left Bismarck, Missouri to arrive at St. Louis, Missouri.

Later, her special (show) nickname became, “Sky Queen.”

(Not to be mixed up with the “Dancing Queen.”)

 

On February 18 of 1930,  scientists and a publicity stunt combined

in efforts to discover if placing a cow up on an airplane and milking

her would change her ability to produce milk.  Nellie was already

celebrated among neighboring farms in Bismarck, Missouri. She

was known to produce enough milk to be milked three times daily.

 

Nellie Jay’s productivity added up to 24 quarts a day!

 

On Nellie Jay’s adventure of her lifetime, not only did she have to

endure flying, but a stranger named Elsworth W. Bunce was her

‘guest milker.’

 

Elsworth was to become renowned as the,

“First man who ever milked a cow mid-flight.”

 

Another incredulous detail of this flying cow story were the results.

She was able to be milked efficiently, the milk was sealed in paper

cartons, parachuted down to earth and she had a famous person

drink her milk:  Charles Lindbergh.

 

Rumor has it that Lindbergh reportedly received and drank a glass

of Elm Farm Ollie’s air-dropped milk.

 

There are some really quaint and precious photographs of this

patient, easygoing cow. She is giving rides to little children wearing

bonnets while riding on her back.There may even be a cowboy hat

on one of the children.

 

Also, there is a sweet painting of Nellie Jay, as her Elm Farm owners

affectionately called her. The painting is labeled as, “Elm Farm Ollie,”

which was painted by E. D. Thalinger. (No, that is NOT  J.D. Salinger,

the author pronounced by someone with a lisp!)

 

“Time Magazine” wrote two articles about air shows late that

winter of 1930. But there is no mention any cows taking airplane

flights.

 

The dates were coincidentally close to the time of the ‘trail blazing

event:’  February 24, 1930 and March 3, 1930.

 

What could have possibly been more exciting or entertaining for

“Time Magazine” to write about, if not the amazing Nellie Jay,

otherwise known as Elm Farm Ollie or Sky Queen?

 

Do you think they should use this somehow in the “Got Milk”

campaign?

Had you ever heard of this hilarious scientific dairy story?

 

 

Although the facts were collected from articles in Wikipedia

and online, this is an original essay by reocochran (2/16/15).

 

 

 

Mark My Words

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There are so many ways we leave our ‘marks’ upon others’ lives and

upon some small part of the world itself. It may be through your

writing, you have touched someone’s mind and heart. It may be by

your creating a painting, taking a photograph,  preparing a special

food dish, making something old, ‘new’ again for someone or. . .

I found the word, “mark” in the dictionary and would like to share

what meanings it has, along with a few expressions that include

various forms of the word, “mark”in them.

 

The definition for ‘mark’-

noun:

1. A visible trace or impression, (line or spot).

2. A symbol, name or other identifier.

3. A name, logo or other indicator.

 

verb:

1. To mark a visible trace or impression, (spot, line or dent).

2. To form, make or depict by making a mark.

3. To supply with natural markings, (a tiger is marked by stripes.)

 

My favorite use of ‘mark’ is the one I used in the beginning. It means

to contribute to others by making our ‘marks.’ This means leaving

our legacy and how we helped make an impression upon another’s

life. There are many books in the library which are ‘marked’ as either

psychology or philosophy. They contain the current meaning and

suggestions for leading a ‘purposeful life.’

 

I enjoyed a pastime in high school and college, along with many

years of going to my youngest brother and  later in life, my two

daughter’s races. The excitement and anticipation of the races,

builds almost like a ‘frenzy,’ when I picture their putting a foot

into a wooden block to ‘mark’ their place.

 

Then, an announcer says these dramatic words:

“On your mark. . .

Get ready,

Set,

Go!”

There are other races, such as cars, horses and drag racing, where

the word, “Go!” are accompanied by a gun shot given to ‘mark’ the

beginning of the race.

 

I have had many dogs in my life, both female and male, ‘mark’ their

territory. This was especially noticeable with my parents’ male dog,

Nicky, who would do this while we were walking in the woods, once

we ‘disembarked’ from their small RV, (actually a Transvan). Nicky

would like to sniff all the other places animals had been ‘marking’

their own parts of the woods.

 

In concert and symphonic band, our musical teacher and director

would ask us to use a pencil to ‘mark’ our parts. Where I sat, I was

in the woodwinds area, with the clarinet section.

 

Since I was always a ‘second row player’ I needed to ‘mark’ a harmony.

Rarely was I able to ‘mark’ the melody.  In marching band, we would

have to count our steps, playing different marching songs, along with

a few popular songs peppered into the mix. We would find our place

on the field or our ‘mark’ before we would perform or make a pattern.

 

If the truth be told, I rarely played the first two games of the season.

I would march trying to be accurate in the precise places I needed

to be. Finally, in the third football game I would be confident in the

way I marched and could play my clarinet.  Two guys, Armin K. and

Mike C., were the only players who ever commented or noticed. Of

course, I had my clarinet in my mouth and looked like I was playing!

 

A side note, I love details about grandparents, so hope you will

appreciate my Grandpa Mattson who would call my clarinet, a

“licorice stick.” This is a popular slang term which some in other

countries may never have heard! I want to tell you I still have my

wooden Selby clarinet and can ‘wet my reed’ and perform simple

songs and scales.

 

If you have a story about music and remember ‘marking’ your place

or listening to the metronome during piano lessons, please share.

 

The younger Mark Ruffalo, with Jennifer Garner was one of my

youngest daughter’s favorite Mark’s in the film, “13 Going on 30.”

My oldest daughter followed, “New Kids on the Block,” band for

a short ‘minute’ and liked Donnie’s brother, Marky Mark (also his

claim to fame was wearing Calvin Klein jeans. We listened to his

band, “Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s” version of the Beach

Boys’ song, “Good Vibrations.”

 

There are countless other “Mark’s” such as Mark Harmon who

was a ball player, actor in movies and continues to be in “NCIS.”

 

There was “Mark Anthony,” who Shakespeare focused on, as

well as his being a part of history.

 

Our great American author, Mark Twain left his ‘mark’ upon our

country’s literature. He shared remarkable stories of life upon the

Mississippi and going out West. His wry perspectives of the times

he lived in, along with honest character portrayals made a ‘mark’

upon my thoughts and writing, too.

 

I am sure you can think of other famous Mark’s to add. . .

 

There are many who enjoy the dramatic colors and designs of a

young teenager’s graffiti.  They leave their own distinctive ‘mark’

under bridges, overpasses and other cement or brick walls. I don’t

mind graffiti, as long as it is not upon a historical monument, in

a cemetery where respect should be displayed or designations of

being a member of a  ‘Gang.’

 

I enjoy when my grandchildren take colored chalk and leave their

less than permanent ‘marks’ on sidewalks and the driveway. They

may ‘mark’ their place while playing hopscotch, by putting a rock

down on a square.

 

I did not see this in the definition but do think that ‘marking time’

can be a little like ‘sitting a spell.’ It could include putting slash

‘marks’ on a piece of paper, wall or even ‘marked’ by etching into

a stone wall. The ‘marks’ in prison or concentration camps can

make me weep.

 

When I buy a paperback book at a garage sale or the library

book sale, I don’t ‘value’ some of them as I should. If it is one

of those ‘beach’ or summer reading books, I may ‘mark’ my

page I left off reading by bending back a corner of the page.

Are you guilty of this ‘bad habit?’

 

In our ‘defense,’ sometimes it is easier than getting up to

find a piece of paper or a classy bookmark.

 

Book ‘marks’ can be such lovely decorative gifts. I have my

favorites in my ‘good’ books, which hold or ‘mark’ a special

passage I will read and re-read again. I have a silky one,

a cross-stitched bookmark, a metal one with a pearl-like

decoration and I have one which is in the shape of a paper

clip with a butterfly on the tip.

 

I have marked many passages in my Bible, since I received

it upon my high school graduation. The book has ‘marks’ and

underlined places. Tucked into the pages, there are several

pieces of paper with scribbles made by my children during

church.

 

One is quite funny, a ‘bunny ballerina’ by my oldest daughter

when she was 4 years old. The other is quite serious, drawn

carefully by my youngest daughter at around 8 years old of

Jesus on the Cross.

 

Although it is a name and therefore capitalized, I do like another

part of the Bible, which is in the New Testament which goes like

this: “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”

 

I have to close this multiple usages of the word, “mark”

with something I really enjoy.

 

Are

you

ready

for

the

BEST

use

of

‘mark?’

 

I absolutely love going to a store where it has many large signs

after the ending of each season.

These all say, “Mark Down Prices.”

I like the neon yellow, neon orange and even neon green signs

found in different departments.

 

Now, even better than the ‘Markdowns’. . .

are the ‘Slashing Prices!’

 

 

Bits and Pieces

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There have been a few odds and ends that have been rattling around

in my mind. Some are not worthy of an entire post, some I could in

the future, expand and expound about them. There are interesting

little tidbits that I heard recently on the news or read in a magazine.

 

One article of interest was found in “University of Dayton Magazine,”

which was about the UD Flyers’ football team in 1939,  going out to

California and visiting a famous alumni. I love any kind of ‘archive’

photographs, this one with the dashing movie star, Tyrone Power,

and the football team, all in their coats, ties and dress pants caught

my eye.

 

My favorite Tyrone Power’s movie is called, “Witness for the Prosecu-

tion.” It turns out this was one of the last movies he ever made. Sadly,

at age 44, the action movie star was battling with a sword, had a heart

attack and died on the way to the hospital. The movie he had been

acting in was called, “Solomon and Sheba.” I have never seen this one

nor his beginning two either.  “Merchant of Venice” was his first film

and his second movie, which earned him popularity and a place on the

billboards was, “Girls’ Dormitory.”

 

I believe we need to have a new version of this, a ‘re-make’ of this

light-hearted movie. I sense this would have innocent humor, with

sly innuendos. Nothing like the current R-rated comedies which rely

so much on stupid jokes and mean acts.

(Yes, this comment is a little ‘tongue in cheek.’)
Anyway, Tyrone Power originated from Cincinnati, Ohio. He was

the son of an actor and grandson of a comedian. He had, as they

frequently say, “acting in his blood.” He was born in 1914 and the

sword-fighting scene which ended his life, was in 1958.

 

A quote from the “UD Magazine,” uses the source of an Arizona State

University Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies describing

Tyrone Power as:

“Mystical, darkly handsome, a glorious matinee idol and a rather

‘forgettable’ actor.”

 

Although this comment is rather harsh,  Tyrone Powers was chosen

in an actor’s popularity poll taken of University of Dayton students

and he was found to be number four. The university newspaper took

one of their students from ages 17-18 up to ages 22-23. This poll was

conducted after the UD football team had visited 20th Century Fox.

The tour had contacted and was led by Tyrone Power, an alumni.

 

Tyrone Power may have ‘grown’ more serious over the years,

following several ‘good looking’ and ‘attractive’ stars and starlets

choosing parts with more depth in the characters and plot lines.

 

Here is the list of the Top 3 Actors ahead of Tyrone Powers

(from the UD newspaper poll, taken in 1939):

1. Errol Flynn

2. Jimmy Stewart

3. Gary Cooper

 

While he led a short life, Tyrone Power ‘lived large,’ in my mind.

Here are a few examples of Power’s personal adventures:

1. Served in the military, as a United States Marines, as a pilot.

This was in 1942, during WWII and one particular exciting time

was during transporting materials to Iwo Jima. Next month, on

my February calendar, I make note of the famous day when the

U.S. flag was raised on Iwo Jima.

 

2. “Wild” in his love life, dating co-stars while the movies were

being filmed, just to move on to the next movie and starlet.

 

3. Like James Dean, he enjoyed riding a motorcycle.

 

4. In his 44 years on earth, he was married three times.

 

5. Rather ‘scandalous’ for his time, he relied upon the income of

his second wife. Financial support in the acting world, sometimes

did have the “leading woman” making more than her husband.

 

6. “Mark of Zorro,” was a favorite movie and the poster is still one

of my favorites of all time. His work as a ‘swash buckling’ leading

character and dangerous criminal were displayed in, “Jesse James”

and “The Black Swan.”

 

February 27th- Coming up next month, another famous actor and

director, a genius of his time, is going to be featured at the Gateway

Film Center. This is called an “Independent Cinema in the Heart

of Columbus.” I love the catchy title, “Magician: The Astounding

Life and Work of Orson Welles.”  I am going to see if my friend,

Anna,  or my guy friend, Bill, will go with me to check out one of

the films presented there.  I would like to see the documentary of

this famous Hollywood legendary star and director.

 

A small little ‘bit of wisdom,’ which could be used in so many

different ways is the expression,

“Pachoko Pachoko,”

which in the Lake Malawi area of Africa means,

“Little by little.”

This conjures much meaning in such a succinct form.

 

The CBS Morning has a great feature every week on their Sunday

program which is called, “The Week at a Glance.”  I noticed the

Hall of Fame Awards for Theater were going to be presented on

Monday, January 26, 2015.

What makes this interesting to me is that I watched, “Amadeus,”

on Saturday after Micah went home. The main antagonist of the

film about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was Antonio Salieri. In the

movie, this character is played by F. Murray Abraham. Definitely

nice to have this coincidence, seeing an actor I admire and it would

be a great awards show to be able to attend.

 

There is an anniversary of the German “Death Camps,”  Auschwitz

and others this week; January 27, ’15. A day of memorial and tribute

to those who either died or survived their horrendous experiences

there.

 

All those Star Wars fans, who have money to splurge on memorabilia,

there will be a major auction on Wednesday.  Hope you have a fun

and happy mid-week celebration. If you don’t have money saved for

buying souvenirs, you can always indulge in watching one of the “Star

Wars” movies.

 

Thursday, Amy Poehler is being given “Woman of the Year” award by

the Hasty Pudding Theatrical group. She is best known for her comedy

skits on “Saturday Night Live,” along with her “Parks and Rec” t.v.

show.

 

Harvard University’s group is simply called, “The Pudding.” In 1897,

John Wheelwright described the cross-dressing theatrical group as:

“A kindly association of men of all ages in a gay evening of simple

enjoyment.”

 

I am sure Amy will have a ‘ball’ and she will fit right in, too. I hope to

check this out ‘after the fact,’ on YouTube. I enjoyed when Neil Patrick

Harris’ was given his Roast for “Man of the Year” another year.

 

At University of Cincinnati, there will be a police enforcement

symposium, incorporating all aspects of agencies, beginning a

meaningful ‘conversation’ about their performance in the pursuit

of justice. This will be held on Friday, January 30, 2015.

 

The other activities, on Saturday and Sunday, were so quickly

spoken that I did not catch them. They said something about what

President Obama was going to do and something about the “Annie”

awards show is for. Keep your ears open for these two upcoming

subjects in the news. . .

 

Tonight, there will be a spell-binding special mini-series about the

Revolutionary War. It is titled, “Sons of Liberty” and ironically it

has mainly actors who are not American.  For example, George

Washington’s character is portrayed by Irish actor, Jason O’Mara.

John Hancock is played by British actor, Rafe Spall, in a sort of

flamboyant performance. (Interesting; hm-m!) The British actor,

Marton Csokas will play General Thomas Gage.

 

I am looking forward to checking out this television event on the

period of time historically where we were “enemies” with the Brits,

while seeing them portray the leaders of this revolution. Interested

also, in who they have playing Benjamin Franklin. The British actor

who portrays Samuel Adams is Ben Barnes. This presentation

will be on the American History Channel.

 

“Sons of Liberty” is n conflict with my S.A.G. awards ceremony,

though. The Screen Actor’s Guild show will be tonight, also. May

need to ask Jenny to ‘DVR’ the other show, or just pop in on it,

during commercial breaks. I just love award ceremonies, along

with the Red Carpet pre-shows.

 

In our brains, scientists, researchers and physicians have studied

many things. The newest findings of where ‘happiness’ can be

found through the measurement of the area of the brain called

the “striatum.” There even is a new numerical formula which is

able to ‘measure’ happiness by our brain’s reactions to rewards.

The formula, though, relies on our reactions to our expectations.

This was also featured on CBS Sunday Morning, January 25, 2015.

I am sure this combination of numbers and processes can be

found somewhere on the CBS coverage, it was shown written in

numerals and I could not write it quickly enough, nor would I

have been able to comprehend this.

Apparently, if you have high expectations, as so many positive

people walk around and hope for the best do, than the way

the numbers may reflect lower amounts of happiness. This

brought up a commentator’s valid question,

“If you go into your day with little or no expectations are you

more likely to experience a measurable amount of happiness?”

This portion of the program was titled, “Not Great Expectations,”

should you wish to examine the research and reactions to this

new equation.

 

I have featured another article or post about brain studies, which

used endorphins and other information to measure happiness.

 

I will still head off every day, ‘into the world,’ with lots of hope

and high expectations. I tend to believe you will receive more

and will acknowledge more simple acts and things which will

give you bursts of endorphins and fill your life with happy

moments. I could not go out, seeking nothing and expect to

find happiness. This just goes against the ‘grain’ of my brain!

 

What did you read today that gave you ‘pause’ or something

to think about?

 

Have you any new information or something you may not wish

to fill a whole post about, but wish to share here?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery about a Sister

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Be prepared to read about a woman’s story, one which may or may

not have been relevant and meaningful to the musical world. I feel

there is a true basis and possibility that she made a big difference in

how her famous brother became who he was. I have to admit, I was

on my  own personal “movie fest” over the weekend. Originally I was

thinking, I would just post some of my favorites and give short film

critiques.

 

Somehow, this evolved into something ‘bigger’ than I expected. It

was time-consuming and yet, I felt like a private investigator with

her mind open and ready for understanding and analyzing the facts.

I looked up, using different sources, to find out more about this

fascinating woman.

 

Now that I may, or may not, have your attention, I will tell you the

riveting movie that led to my research.

 

MOVIE REVIEW:

“Mozart’s Sister,” a French film which needs you to read the sub-titles.

 

In the movie,  which came out in 2011, Rene Feret is the director

and a young actress who is his daughter, Marie Feret, plays the

sister to her character’s famous younger brother. Historical details

that were  discerned through research shall follow this summary of

this fine movie.

 

First, here are three splendid comments from famous reviewers,

starting with one who’s deceased.  Roger Ebert, “Chicago Sun-Times,”

was always one of my favorite reviewers. He is such a trustworthy

man to recommend movies.

(Of course, many of you will recognize his name and the television

show which I used to enjoy- “Siskel and Ebert at the Movies.”)

 

Here is what Roger Ebert said of, “Mozart’s Sister:”

“Marie Feret is luminous.” (in this role.)

 

David Noh, “Film Journey” says:

“A triumph!”

 

Ronnie Scheib, “Variety” Magazine:

“A treat for classical music lovers and cinephiles alike.”

 

What was a turning point in this movie which motivated me to

investigate and research?

What happened to make me seek the truth?

 

When Leopold Mozart, father of Maria Anna (also referred to as

Marianne and affectionately known as, “Nannerl”) tells his only

daughter when she is interested in writing musical compositions,

“Harmony and counterpoint are not understood by women.”

 

Of course, this caused me to say indignantly to my television screen

which was innocently displaying the film,

“That’s outrageous!”

 

Big sister, “Nannerl,” is helpful to toddler brother, “Wolfie,” and

helps him practice his keyboard lessons on a harpsichord. This

baroque instrument is lovely sounding. The scales and other early

beginning lessons are closely supervised by their father.

 

At age 5 or 6, “Wolfie” is paraded in front of wealthy families and

is also given an audience with royalty. He is a cute boy and shows

great potential and musical aptitude. The film shows Wolfgang

using creative interpretation of the music and dramatic arm

flourishes. He was supposedly beginning to write his own musical

compositions at age 4 or 5.

 

In the beginning of the movie,  their coach’s wheel breaks after

going over a rut in the country road. It is late and the Mozart family

stays in a nearby nunnery. It is interesting to note that there are

two sisters living there. Their story emphasizes the difference in

the way male and female genders were treated in this period of time.

The two girls have been shuffled and taken away from the palace,

being raised by nuns.

 

At one point, there is a name mentioned of the two girls’ brother,

who is being raised to be a ‘Royal.’ The part that Maria Anna plays,

and is asked to carry out a charade, is to transport a letter to their

brother, if the Mozart family should be ever happen to appear at

Court. Anna Maria treasures this new friendship and promises to

keep the letter safe and take it to their estranged brother.

 

This movie would engage someone who has been enjoying the inner

workings of the staff and upper class levels or tiers of British society

on the PBS show, “Downton Abbey.” Although this is a whole other

period of time, there are still the ideas of class structure and family

expectations being expressed. Definitely, it is an eye-opener in both

the film about the late 1700’s and the television series of the 1900’s.

Traditions and historical details about clothing, customs and roles

women and men played also are featured in both of these storylines.

 

At the end of the film, there is not much said about Nannerl’s  being

anything but helpful to her brother.  There are no illusions that she

may have helped Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart compose his greatest

works.

 

In the movie’s middle,  there is a nice romantic interlude, where

Maria Anna disguises herself as a boy, in a white-haired wig, to give

the hand written letter to the young Monarch from his sister. They

use the young man’s title in the film as ‘Louis XV.’ This story becomes

a very sweet part of the movie. I will not tell you about how it unfolds,

hoping you will someday pursue viewing this one. I will say it depicts

Nannerl’s character as having spunk, showing independence and also,

her romantic side.

 

Before the credits roll, there are a few sparse details given. The written

lettering after the movie ends mentions Maria Anna helped to write

some of her own sonatas as a young woman. It mentions she helped

Wolfgang transcribe his first writings, since he scribbled them. There

is a subtle undertone of the possibility that she was his ‘muse.’  As his

sister, she may have written (created) some of his early works.

 

The movie has places that explain traditional upbringing of “fine young

ladies.” The women are encouraged to wait on men, not to further their

education. Maria Anna tries to ‘rock the establishment.’ Her mother has

disappointment and her father shows anger for her independent streak.

She doesn’t wish to follow the social order of the period. I was rooting

for her, all the way!

 

RESEARCH:

If you enjoy history and reading about a famous person’s family,

you may enjoy this part of the post. . .

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived from January 1756 until December,

1791. There is confusion about why he died at such an early age of 35.

 

He was the son of a musician and teacher of music, Leopold Mozart.

His mother was named Anna. He was born in Salzburg, which later

became part of, or known as,  Austria. Wolgang’s father and mother

had seven children, only two that lived beyond infancy. The oldest

living child was a daughter named Maria Anna, nicknamed, “Nannerl.”

There were four years between the two children, sister and brother.

 

When Wolfgang was 3 years old, his sister was learning her lessons,

which included language, music and reading. She was practicing

with her brother close by her side. Later, she would be by his side,

while he was the one leading the lessons. This relationship lasted

probably all of their childhood. “Wolfie” was her little shadow,

trying to do everything she did.

 

There is a notebook that Leopold made for Maria Anna, which is

known as “Nannerl’s Notenbuch” or also written as, “Notenbuch

fur Nannerl.” In English, this was “Nannerl’s Music Book.” This

amazing composition book demonstrated the first lessons that

Leopold gave to her, along with her brother. It consists of only

(originally) 48 pages, now only 36 pages remain.  This book has

her father’s exercises for her practicing beginner harpsichord

pieces. This also included anonymous minuets and some of her

father’s  original  works.  Two composers,  Carl P. E. Bach and

George C. Wagenseil, had their pieces transcribed as passages

in this musical exercise book.

 

In 1982, a man (just a coincidence) named Wolfgang Plath

studied the handwriting within the Notebook and attributed

the variety to consist of five different handwriting samples

or sources. There are evidences of the collaboration between

Leopold, the father, and his son, “Wolfie.”

 

Leopold took his family touring around countries and the cities

of Vienna, Austria and Paris, France. Maria Anna Mozart was

born in 1751 and lived 78 years, until 1829. When she became a

young lady, it was considered inappropriate for her to continue

to publicly play the harpsichord, piano or sing. Up until she was

18, Maria was part of her musical touring family. A biographer

considered her to be a great singer and an,

“Excellent harpsichord player and fortepiano player.”

 

Sadly, there is no mention about Nannerl being a conduit, or

letter transporter, between the sisters raised in a nunnery and a

member of Louis XV’s “Court” or “Royalty.”  This was the main

part of the plot I enjoyed in the movie I reviewed earlier.

 

At age 18, Maria Anna went home to Salzburg with her mother,

to teach musical lessons and stay at home. The following reason

was mentioned in one source,

“This was due to her being of marriageable age.”

 

Wolfgang and his father both wrote letters to Maria Anna which

some have been saved. Wolfgang during the 1770’s, was touring

in Italy and mentioned Nannerl’s writing musical compositions

and Wolfgang goes so far as to ‘praise her musical works.’

 

There are no references in her multiple letters from her father

to any of her own musical compositions in his correspondence.

 

An interesting note (and slightly salacious fact) is mentioned

in some of the biographers’ notes about Maria Anna’s and

Wolfgang’s close, intimate relationship. When they were young,

they developed a “secret language” and they had an “imaginary

kingdom.” They pretended they were married and carried out

their positions while playing together, as “Queen” and “King.”

 

There are a few indications and there is evidence of Wolfgang’s

using sexual wordplay which he used in other letters to his

lovers or girlfriends. This can be found also in the words he

chose and were included in his writing to his sister. One

historian considers this to be a ‘strange relationship’ for a

sister and a brother.

 

As an aside, my two brothers and I would play ‘house’ but

we would not have myself be the “mother” and one of my

brothers be the “father.” We would instead play that one of

the brothers was the “father” and other brother and I were

his “children.” Like the old television show, “Family Affair,”

where the uncle has “Buffy” and twins “Cissy” and “Jody.”

(I used to love this show, with Sebastian Cabot playing the

butler/nanny and Brian Keith playing the bachelor uncle.

did you know it ran from 1966 until 1971?) Or I would play

the ‘mother’ role and the brothers were my ‘kids.’ We usually

had company or neighbors over.  Once in awhile, they would

‘marry’ one of my girlfriends, or once in awhile, I would ‘marry’

one of their guy friends. I mention this to confirm that I would

also think it strange that the siblings played ‘Queen and King’

together over a Kingdom.

 

A sad note about Maria Anna’s independence shown in the

movie, “Mozart’s Sister.” This is not to be found anywhere in

any biographies or any letters. She is shown to be subservient

to her father, allowing him to forbid her to marry a man named,

“Franz d’Ippold.”  They were both young, he was a Captain and

a private tutor. When he proposed, there is an implication she

would have liked to say, “Yes.”  There is a letter in the family’s

collection where her brother, Wolfgang, tried to persuade her to

stand up to her father. Ultimately, Maria Anna was ‘forced’ to

turn down Captain Franz d’Ippold’s proposal.

 

Years went by, Maria Anna was allowed to marry at age 32, when

asked by a man named Johann Baptist Franzvan Berchtold  “un

Sonnenburg.” They were  married in 1783.  Listen to the “fun” life

Maria Anna participated in:  She became the wife of a widower

with five children she helped to raise. She had three more of her

own children with Johann. When she had her first born son,

she named him Leopold. Her father insisted on taking the her

only son to raise him in Salzburg at his home. The biography

doesn’t mention her mother’s role in this drama. From 1785

until he died in 1787, Leopold Sr. wrote letters and in a journal

telling about his toilet training Jr. and teaching him how to talk.

 

There was no mention of the boy’s illness nor a reason why he

should not have been raised as a baby until age 2 by his own

mother.  There is some speculation for her father’s thinking he

would raise another musical prodigy. Since he felt he was the

reason Wolfgang A. Mozart turned out the way he did.

 

After all, Leopold Mozart, Sr. did write and publish a violin

music textbook.

 

SUMMARY:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was known for his classical

musical compositions, which included over 600 works.

They include symphonies, concertos, operas and choral

music.

 

Beethoven, while young, lived in the shadow of Mozart.

During his early years composing his own original music,

he was constantly compared to Mozart’s body of work.

 

Composer, Joseph Hayden said of Mozart’s legacy:

“Posterity will not see such a talent in another 100 years.”

 

Wolfgang A. Mozart married Constanze and had two sons.

He died at the early age of 35 years old.

His magnificent “Requiem” was never completed.

His music is still revered and considered the best in classical

music.

 

Maria Anna was never given any credit (that I could find out

about) for her influence on her brother’s music nor were any

of her musical compositions published. The book, “Nannerl’s

Notenbuch” is not considered to be anything but her lesson

book to practice and play music using the hand written

exercises.

 

I need to see the movie, “Amadeus,”  (again) to see if there

are any musical or notable references to his sister. If you

have a good memory or recently seen this, let me know in

the comments whether there is mention of Anna Maria

Mozart please.

 

I strongly recommend, “Mozart’s Sister” as a film to savor

and enjoy, while wishing the story line really happened.

 

Truthfully, being an older sister myself, how could “Nannerl”

NOT have had an influence upon her little brother, “Wolfie?”

 

Either way you look at this famous musician’s life,

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart made a huge impact

on the musical world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Songs and Bands Stand the Test of Time

Standard

While driving in your car, especially here  in America, we have the

luxury of a radio, sometimes if a newer car, Syrius. I used to have

this feature and would program my ride somewhere with such fun

topics as “Coffee Shop” tunes or “Old Rock and Roll.” I was listening

to Casey Kasem’s “America’s Top 40” program on the radio. Rest in

peace, you good man! (Casey Kasem died in June, 2014, at age 82 of

sepsis.) I was struck by this comment, paraphrased since my mind is

not a recorder nor a computer:

 

“More than 23,000 songs were written and sung during the seventies

in the United States, only 370 were major grossing songs, (making

Top Ten lists). In this time period, only TWO were number one hits

written by a duo of song-writers.

I will come back, from the commercial to tell you who they were. . .”

 

Of course, I tried to memorize this comment, was an a red light and

jotted down the two numbers and waited ‘with bated breath’ for the

answer. Why the excitement in this upcoming response? You may not

know me well, but music is a special part of my life and the 70’s were

my stomping grounds, where music laid its foundation and made a

huge impact on my life.  I was in band from 4th grade on, played in

three bands in high school, marching band, symphonic band, pep

band for the basketball team and homecoming pep rallies, along with

the stepping stone to symphonic band: concert band. I loved the way

current songs on the radio made their way into our performances,

along with learning the meaning of different musical terms and the

way the music would build and pull on my heartstrings and soul,

during crescendo’s.

 

The two songs were “Loco-Motion” and “Go Away, Little Girl”

whose authors were Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

The first song has such an incredible legacy, along with being a

fun song. It is one of the only songs of all time, which has been

number one in three different decades sung by three different

styles or cultures. What a landmark song!

1. Little Eva, who is African American, sang the song, “Loco-Motion”

in 1962. This helped her career in singing really soar.

 

2. Grand Funk Railroad, (rock and roll, Caucasian band), sang it

in 1974 and put their own ‘brand’ on the song, “Loco-Motion.”

 

3. The Austrailan singer, Kylie Minogue, made this song go

international with her 1988 rendition.

Way to go, Carole King and Gerry Goffin for making this song

a catchy tune that went across generations and cultures.

 

The second song, this tremendous duo wrote, “Go Away, Little

Girl” was one of my favorites in my teenaged years. When I had

a crush on a senior in high school, Todd D. of Science Club and

marching band “fame,” I pictured Todd singing this to me, along

with meeting me by the Bay High Rockets’ goal posts in five years

after I graduated from high school. (I was only a mere freshman

when I had this ‘crush.’)

1. “Go Away, Little Girl” was first sung by Bobby Vee in ’62. Soon

to be followed and reaching higher sales, by Steve Lawrence later

the same year, in 1962. This made the Popular Top 20 list.

2. The Happenings sang and got this song into the top selling

songs in 1966. This was also a popular song with my friends.

3. The most popular version and more often played song, “Go Away

Little Girl” is sung by Donnie Osmond, 1971.

 

While listening to Casey Kasem, another time, I wrote down this

short note on a scrap of paper last Autumn.

The “most popular song played at funerals” is Frank Sinatra’s

popular top 10 song, “My Way.” I can imagine a lot of people who

would embrace this in their different life styles and endeavors but

had no idea that this was so beloved.

It would take years to ‘replace’ this song but a new hit being played

at funerals is from the British comedy movie, “Life of Brian.” Who

could imagine choosing a song from this movie? Well, I can tell

you one: my brother Randy still roars in laughter while watching

this Monty Python spoof movie, once a year with my family. I am

surprised though at this musical choice:

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” by Eric Idle of Monty

Python wrote this as a reaction to “Give a Little Whistle” from

the Disney franchise of upbeat movies, “Pinocchio.”

 

I am sure Eric is laughing out loud should he find out how popular

this song has become over the years.  Somehow, I thought a more

popular song would be, “Taps” or “Amazing Grace.”

 

Frankly, I feel this is refreshing and would cheer me up to know

I don’t have to listen to “Candle in the Wind,” at Randy’s memorial

service, should I outlive him. This may irreverent comment, but

believe me, Randy would be amused at this song being played,

so ‘Always Look at the Bright Side of Life,” will be on the playlist,

brother. Oh, that reminds me, I will have to add one of the songs

from his other ‘favorite’ movie, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”

 

MORE MUSICAL NOTES:

 

The recent death of the Gospel legend, Andrae Crouch, requires a

respectful “note” and pause. At age 72, Andrae had influenced many

listeners with his heartfelt lyrics and soulful songs. Here are a few

which you may wish to check out:

“Let the Church Say Amen.”

“Soon and Very Soon.”

“Take Me Back.”

Along with being what many considered a fine singer and composer,

Andrae helped influence three legendary musicians. Although, he

may not have helped increase each of their popularity levels; he

undoubtedly changed their lives. This was the kind of man Andrae

Crouch was. The tributes and interviews all held warm memories

and kind thoughts of this man.

Michael Jackson was helped with his own song, “The Man in the

Mirror,” by Andrae Crouch’s adjusting its musical arrangement.

Elton John and Madonna received positive influences upon their

careers, by Gospel leader, Andrae Crouch.

 

 

The James Band was one of the alternative rock groups I sometimes

listened to in the 80’s. Do you have any memories of this different band?

Their roots came from Manchester, England. They took breaks in their

recording and individual careers. Some time off, as you may remember.

The first’break’ was a rather long one, after being popular in the 80’s

and leaving the musical scene in 2001;  they got back together in 2007.

Then, another 7 year time span ensued, until last year (2014).

While the members followed their individual pursuits, the James Band

still played on the alternative rock scene on the  radio, though.

Their sales over the years amount to over $25 million.

 

Imagine my surprise and pleasure to say the James Band are back

on the road and had a new album come out in June, 2014 titled,

“Le Petit Mort” including a popular new song, “Moving On.” This

is a solemn, questioning song, one which shows how aging and time

passing influences how you choose your path. James Band has

changed their sound and song choices.  The wisdom found while

growing older is reflected here in their music. The slow pace rises

and slowly builds into a crescendo, with trumpets and guitars

playing. Here are a few snippets of the lyrics I heard of this “new”

song, “Moving On,”

“Leave a little light on. . .”

“Will we recognize our friends when this cycle ends?”

“Will it start again?”

There are moments where time is like seeds being planted,

dreams taken for granted.

Welcome back, James Band!

 

Mick Jones poured out his long and winding road life’s path,

in an interview on the 12/28/14 CBS Sunday Morning show.

Mick’s path is one which encompasses being part of a British

“Spooky Tooth” band, playing with “C’est La Vie” and a French

man named Holliday. Mick Jones said Holliday forgives his

leaving the group to find his own way. Holliday was a “French

Elvis,” according to Jones. Then, Jones proceeded to get to the

‘meat’ of his musical career with “Foreigner.” Not being one

who studies musicians’ lives as they are progressing, I was very

interested in how Jone’s compelling journey went. I always liked

Foreigner’s  songs, “Feels Like the First Time,” “Head Games,”

and “I’ve Been Waiting for a Girl Like You.” When the group

‘went soft’ in one of the band member’s eyes, (or ears)- they parted

ways and the band split up back in 2003.

Mick Jones and Ian McDonald were inducted into the Songwriters’

Hall of Fame, June, 2013, with Elton John presenting them this

prestigious award. They have never made it into the Rock and Roll

Hall of Fame.

Foreigner was unique in its combination of three British and three

American band musicians and singers joining forces. The band’s

3 Brits were Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Dennis Elliot, while

the 3 Americans were Lou Gramm, Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi.

 

Wow, this has been 12 years since then! Their music is still daily

‘in my ears’ on the radio. Foreigner is a group which has stood the

‘test of time,’  I believe. Only one member of the original band,

has passed away. Ed Gagliardi died in May, 2014.

All have not worked together since 1989. They have had a few varied

combinations of the players.

In 2013,  Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Lou Gramm renewed their

ties and are working on a new collaboration. They were part of the

Summer of 2013 Tour, including Eagles’ Don Felder playing with

Foreigner and the band Styx.

 

What are some “musical notes” you have been listening to?

What musician or group do you feel has stayed the most ‘current’ ?