“Cosmos, like most pop histories of science, teaches the false narrative that the history of science is that of a few, heroic, lone geniuses doing battle with the masses and forces of institutional darkness.The reality, of course, is that science is a collaborative (and competitive) process, slowly evolving over the centuries thanks to the work of millions of people and supported by large institutions and governments, without which progress would be impossible.
Mark Twain put it best in a letter he wrote to Helen Keller:”It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone or any other important thing—and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others.”
It’s an important lesson to remember.”—Alex Knapp: A Corrective To Cosmos (via ayjay) (UPDATE: I’ve actually had a few people tweet at me that they got the opposite feeling from watching the series. I, of course, haven’t even seen it yet…)
Demo of Beat It composed using only Michael Jackson’s voice
As Jackson couldn’t fluently play any instruments, he would sing and beatbox out how he wanted his songs to sound by himself on tape, layering the vocals, harmonies and rhythm before having instrumentalists come in to complete the songs.
One of his engineers Robmix on how Jackson worked: “One morning MJ came in with a new song he had written overnight. We called in a guitar player, and Michael sang every note of every chord to him. “here’s the first chord first note, second note, third note. Here’s the second chord first note, second note, third note”, etc., etc. We then witnessed him giving the most heartfelt and profound vocal performance, live in the control room through an SM57. He would sing us an entire string arrangement, every part. Steve Porcaro once told me he witnessed MJ doing that with the string section in the room. Had it all in his head, harmony and everything. Not just little eight bar loop ideas. he would actually sing the entire arrangement into a micro-cassette recorder complete with stops and fills.”
Reasons why I laugh when people say he wasn’t a real musician.
“I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.”—Jorge Luis Borges (via chelseyphilpot)
“The core of all my writing was probably the five free years I had there on the farm. […] The only thing we had was time and seclusion. I couldn’t have figured on it in advance. I hadn’t that kind of foresight. But it turned out right as a doctor’s prescription.”—Robert Frost
Where we had the most control was at the gigs. So the idea was to get people to the gig. We had divided the whole world into two categories: there was flyers and there was the gig. You’re either doing the gig, which is like one hour or your life, or everything else to get people to the gig. Interviews were flyers, videos were flyers, even records were flyers. We didn’t tour to promote records, we made records to promote the tours, because the gig was where you could make the money.”
Last week, they uploaded a 10-track album of complete silence called Sleepify to Spotify. As frontman Jack Stratton explains, if someones put Sleepify on repeat before they go to bed, just 800 listens will generate $4. While that doesn’t sound like much, if enough people stream the album, eventually, the band’s tour will be completely funded. What’s more, if this crazy idea actually does work the band will use Spotify’s data to pinpoint where they should tour. The band plans promises each concert will be free.”
Amateurs [are] just regular people who get obsessed by something and spend a ton of time thinking out loud about it… Raw enthusiasm is contagious.
The world is changing at such a rapid rate that it’s turning us all into amateurs. Even for professionals, the best way to flourish is to retain an amateur’s spirit and embrace uncertainty and the unknown.
It was on this day in 1850 that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, was published. He was living at a time when there was almost no such thing as American literature, in part because the American publishing industry was so behind the times. In order to publish a book, a single printer would edit the manuscript, set the type, operate the printing press, bind the pages into books, and then sell them. It was remarkably inefficient, and so it was almost impossible to produce a best-seller, since so few copies were available to be sold.
But by 1850, books were being printed by machines. Long, continuous sheets of paper were fed into steam-powered printing presses, and factories of workers folded, pressed, and stitched the pages into books. The Scarlet Letter became the first great American novel in part because it was the first novel that could reach a large audience.
…On March 16, 2,500 copies of The Scarlet Letter were published, and they sold out within 10 days.
We think of “the classics” as all inevitable successes, but so often there was a specific cultural context that made or broke them. For contrast, see the fate of Hawthorne’s buddy, Herman Melville.
I learned how to drink champagne a while ago. But the way I like to drink champagne is I like to make what we call a Montana Cooler, where you buy a case of champagne and you take all the bottles out, and you take all the cardboard out, and you put a garbage bag inside of it, then you put all the bottles back in and then you cover it with ice, and then you wrap it up and you close it. And that will keep it all cold for a weekend and you can drink every single bottle. And the way I like to drink it in a big pint glass with ice. I fill it with ice and I pour the champagne in it, because champagne can never be too cold. And the problem people have with champagne is they drink it and they crash with it, because the sugar content is so high and you get really dehydrated. But if you can get the ice in it, you can drink it supremely cold and at the same time you’re getting the melting ice, so it’s like a hydration level, and you can stay at this great level for a whole weekend. You don’t want to crash. You want to keep that buzz, that bling, that smile.