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Posts Tagged ‘Paul McCartney

Meet a Beatle…

 click here for video

As a service to bewildered younger viewers of the recent Grammy Awards show, the History Channel and Twitter combined (under the auspices of Funny or Die) to produce the helpful documentary, Who is Paul McCartney?

As we say, “oh yeah (yeah yeah),” we might send heavenly birthday greetings to Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus; he was born on this date in 1473.  Copernicus’ De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres; published just before his death in 1543), with its heliocentric account of the solar system, is often regarded as the beginning both of modern astronomy and of the scientific revolution.

Of all discoveries and opinions, none may have exerted a greater effect on the human spirit than the doctrine of Copernicus. The world had scarcely become known as round and complete in itself when it was asked to waive the tremendous privilege of being the center of the universe. Never, perhaps, was a greater demand made on mankind – for by this admission so many things vanished in mist and smoke! What became of our Eden, our world of innocence, piety and poetry; the testimony of the senses; the conviction of a poetic – religious faith? No wonder his contemporaries did not wish to let all this go and offered every possible resistance to a doctrine which in its converts authorized and demanded a freedom of view and greatness of thought so far unknown, indeed not even dreamed of.

– Goethe

 Copernicus (source)

Written by LW

February 19, 2012 at 1:01 am

When Worlds Collude…

In the spirit of yesterday’s odd couple,  a series of similarly serendipitous snaps at “Awesome People Hanging Out Together.”

As we remind ourselves that this (“You never know…!”) is why our mothers insisted that we always wear clean underclothes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1813 that Captain James Lawrence sailed his ship, the Chesapeake, from Boston Harbor– and immediately engaged the blockading Royal Navy frigate HMS Shannon in a fierce battle.  Though the British ship’s cannons disabled the Chesapeake within the first few minutes, Captain Lawrence, mortally wounded by small arms fire, famously commanded his officers: “Don’t give up the ship.”  (Shortly afterwards, the Chesapeake was overwhelmed by a British boarding party… and was, after all, given up.  James Lawrence died of his wounds three days later… while the Chesapeake was being taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia, by her captors.)

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Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!…

Michael Deal, a Brooklyn-based graphic designer, has created “Charting the Beatles“:

These visualizations are part of an extensive study of the music of the Beatles. Many of the diagrams and charts are based on secondary sources, including but not limited to sales statistics, biographies, recording session notes, sheet music, and raw audio readings.

Consider, for example, “Authorship and Collaboration” (based on authorial attributions quantified by William J. Dowlding in the book Beatlesongs):

See Mike’s other nifty infographics e.g., (Self-Reference, Song Keys) here.  And check out the “open source” collection of Beatles charts and graphs that Mike has solicited here…  where one will find your correspondent’s favorite:

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Many thanks to reader MH-H for the lead.

As we tap our toes, we might recall that on this date in 1964 Tollie Records (the fourth label to release a Beatle’s disc in the U.S.) released “Twist and Shout” (B-side: “There’s a Place”); it went on to spend 11 weeks on the Billboard chart, rising as high as #2.

Across the Pond on this very same day, George Harrison met Patty Boyd, his future wife (and the inspiration for Eric Clapton’s “Layla”), while filming the train sequence for A Hard Day’s Night.

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Cyrano de Bureaucrat…

There’s no more uncomfortable deficit than a loss for words.  Happily, there’s the Bureau of Communication

Explore the full range of available forms— and file away!

(Lest we think this anything modern:  readers will recall Letters of Note… they’ve just published an example– an apology from a drunken guest—  from a 9th century Chinese book of “etiquette forms.”  For more of that ancient wisdom, readers can consult the “Dunhuang Bureau of Etiquette.”)

As we fill in the blanks, we might recall that it was on this date in 1969 that Paul McCartney was moved publicly to deny rumors of his own death (“play it backwards, man…”)

Anyway all of the things that have been, that have made these rumors, to my mind have very ordinary, logical explanations. To the people’s minds who prefer to think of them as rumors, then I am not going to interfere, I am not going to spoil that fantasy. You can think of it like that if you like.

However, if the end result, the conclusion you reach is that I am dead, then you are wrong, because I am very much alive, I am alive and living in Scotland.

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Written by LW

October 22, 2009 at 12:01 am

Take me to your leader…

source: BBC

Just as one begins to feel self-satisfied about the dominance of humanity on earth, and the degree of interconnectedness afforded by Facebook, Twitter, and the like, this from the BBC:

A single mega-colony of ants has colonised much of the world, scientists have discovered.

Argentine ants living in vast numbers across Europe, the US and Japan belong to the same inter-related colony, and will refuse to fight one another. The colony may be the largest of its type ever known for any insect species, and could rival humans in the scale of its world domination.

While ants are usually highly territorial, those living within each super-colony are tolerant of one another, even if they live tens or hundreds of kilometres apart. Each super-colony, however, was thought to be quite distinct.

But it now appears that billions of Argentine ants around the world all actually belong to one single global mega-colony.

Read the entire story here.

As we contemplate connection (and redouble our efforts to emulate E.M. Forster), we might recall that it was on this date in 1957 that young Paul McCartny attended a church picnic at which a newly-formed band, the Quarrymen, were playing  between sets, McCartney played a couple of tunes on the guitar for the group and its leader, John Lennon, who invited McCartney to join.  McCartney did, but was slow to serious commitment (Paul missed his first gig, as he had a scout outing to attend).

Still, the group gained a following, changed its name to Johnny and the Moondogs, and recruited McCartney’s friend George Harrison.  After bassist Stu Sutcliffe joined, they changed the name again, to the Silver Beetles, then finally to the Beatles. Tommy Moore joined the band as drummer and was replaced by Pete Best in 1960.  After a tour to Germany in 1961, Sutcliffe left the band to become a painter (a scant year before he died of a brain hemorrhage), and the band returned to Liverpool.  In 1962, five years after Lennon and Mccartney found each other, they found Ringo; Best left the band;  the Fab Four–McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, and Starr–recorded “Love Me Do”… and the rest is history.

McCartney and Lennon in the Quarrymen (source: Dull Neon/Random Notes)

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