Thursday, November 24, 2011

New duet music

I bought some more piano duet music the last time I was in Springfield.  The title of the pieces are:
  • Dueling Pianos (David Carr Glover)
  • Dramatic Dance (Melody Bober)
  • Lakeside Dreams (Bober)
  • Pelican Rag (Bober)
  • Sea Voyage (Bober)
  • Song of Autumn (Bober)
  • Too Cool (Bober)
  • A Winter Tale (Bober)
  • Golliwogg's Cake-Walk (Debussy)
  • The St. James Infirmary (Traditional)
  • Borodin's Bossa (Borodin)
  • The Water is Wide (British Folk Song)
  • Tiger Rag (Traditional)
  • Solace (Scott Joplin)
  • Hanon Goes Haywire (Olson)
  • Circuspalooza (Roubos)
  • Amazing Grace (Traditional)
  • Marche Diabolique (Brown)
  • Flight of the Bumble Bee (Rimsky-Korsakov)
The first piece, "Duelling Pianos," is a single sheet.  The next six are from the book Grand Duets for Piano.  The last eleven are from the book In Recital for the Advancing Pianist--Duets from the FJH Pianist's Curriculum by Helen Marlais.

Playing a duet

Here is a recent picture of Gail and myself seated at the piano playing a Christmas duet.

Thankful for the Mystery

Here is a thought for Thanksgiving Day:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An actual "death" panel

Following our lunch at Millie's, we returned to the Gillioz Theater and heard a panel discussion respond to the question, "How Should Rationalists Approach Death?"  The hour long discussion was quite interesting.  The members of the panel gave well thought out responses.  Being humanists, all members of the panel assumed that death was the final event in their life.

News Headline, Nov. 23, 2011

Fox News Viewers Know Less Than People Who Don't Watch Any News

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Skepticon IV Agenda

Last week we went to Springfield, Missouri for Skepticon IV.  Here was the agenda:

 9:00   Check In & Introduction
10:00   David Silverman  |  Skepticism, Atheism, and Our Common Movement
11:00   Eliezer Yudkowsky  |  Heuristics and Biases
12:00   Lunch Break
 1:00   Panel: How Should Rationalists Approach Death?
 2:00   Dan Barker
 3:00   Julia Galef  |  The Straw Vulcan
 4:00  Greta Christina  |  Why Are You Atheists So Angry?
 5:00   Dinner Break
 6:00   Rebecca Watson
 7:00   PZ Myers  |  Rummaging About In The Genetic Junkyard
 8:00   Atheist Evangelist Sam Singleton  |  Revival

 9:00   Joe Nickell  |  Undercover! Clandestine Paranormal Investigations
10:00   Jen McCreight  |  Skeptical Genetics
11:00   Richard Carrier  |  Bayes' Theorem: Key to the Universe
12:00   Lunch Break
 1:00   Hemant Mehta  |  The Need For More Critical Thinking In Math Education
 2:00   Spencer Greenberg  |  Self-Skepticism
 3:00   David Fitzgerald  |  The Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons
 4:00   Darrel Ray  |  Sex and Secularism
 5:00   JT Eberhard  |  Why The Skeptic Community Must Concern Itself With Mental Illness

Monday, November 21, 2011

Moyers on Plutonomy

Bill Moyers had it right.  Listen and know he knew what was coming.

At Skepticon 4

I wish I had a tee-shirt like this guy. I saw several people wearing a shirt like this one. The quote reads:

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." -- Carl Sagan

The people wearing these shirts were from the St. Louis Skeptics Society.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Skepticon 4

The piano duo of Gail Storey and Dan Nerren
We just got back from a trip to Springfield, MO.  We left Friday and returned today, Sunday.  Going there the traffic was a bit heavy but due to the clouds it was not a bright day.  But I had my sunglasses with me, just in case.

We visited with my parents that afternoon, catching up on what had happened since we last saw them, which was just two weeks earlier.  The reason for our trip was Skepticon 4.  We could attend sessions only on Friday.  We had to be back to Sand Springs to provide child care for our grandchildren.  We attended four sessions.

The first session or talk was given by Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists.  The title of his talk was "Skepticism, Atheism, and Our common Movement."  He spoke about the need to come out of the closet.  He said there are far more atheists, but that many atheists hide their atheism for various reasons, but mainly for employment reasons.  However, there are others, such as retired persons, who could be more open about their atheism.  Silverman estimated that about 15% of the American population is now atheist.

At the 11:00 o'clock session Eliezer Yudkowsky spoke on "Heuristics and Biases."  Following this talk we broke for lunch.  Two blocks away is Millie's Cafe.  I had a chicken salad sandwich with fried sweet potatoes.

After lunch we heard Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation speak for an hour without notes.  Barker is a former minister (19 years in the ministry) who changed his mind about religion.  He is now involved in a project (can't at the moment recall what it is called) to assist ministers who have had a change of mind about religion, but due to economic reasons are unable to leave their clerical positions.  He said that currently there are 119 people he is assisting.  Some have been able to "come out" and find work in non-profit groups.  His talk was largely auto-biographical. 

The next talk was presented by Julia Galef.  Her talk was titled "The Straw Vulcan."

After Galef's talk, we went to Hoover Music Company.  I looked through some of their piano duet music and bought three pieces.

I am now being encouraged to free up this computer for use by someone else, whose identity I am not free to reveal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

From an e-mail I received today

Tomorrow will be a nationwide day of action in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Occupy Wall Street has put the attention of the country, in fact of the whole world, on the deep wrongness of the current American economy and democracy. Both are broken and rigged by design to produce extraordinary incomes and security only for an elite few.

That's why we will take to the streets for a day of mass action on November 17 to declare an "economic emergency" in every corner of the country, in all 50 states.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Catching up on things

First off, no more earthquakes have rattled the area.  There was no damage to speak of in the Tulsa area from the recent quakes.

Today I went to the service at Church of the Restoration.  There were a few more people there than usual.  I would guess we had 14 in the congregation this morning.  I had to leave a few minutes early and high-tail it home to meet up with J and go to a movie in Tulsa.  We saw Anonymous at the AMC 20.  We met four of our friends there.  It was a good movie and made the case that the works of Shakespeare were written by someone other than Shakespeare.  Due to the political machinations of the times, the overt political references in the plays could get the playwright in trouble.  It may be too much to ask readers to believe that a semi-literate person who left no writings (other than the plays and poems), could be the source of the material produced by "Shakespeare."

After the movie was over, we went by Nick's and got Luke and took him out to eat.  He asked to go to the McDonald's in Sapulpa.  We got there about dark.  Luke enjoys playing on the indoor playground.  After eating and letting Luke play in the play area, we headed back to Sand Springs.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Is fracking to blame for the earthquakes?

Below is one person's explanation for the recent earthquakes in Oklahoma:

The Oklahoma Geological Survey by Austin Holland was published recently, and it states clearly that fracking is one of the causes for earthquakes. When you inject the earth with saltwater to break up the shale beneath the earth, you're creating an instability in the crust that results in sudden and sometimes extreme movement. In other words, the earth sinks a little where the fracking occurs. Doesn't anyone see anything wrong with this? Oil companies are admitting they're damaging the earth, damaging homes, infrastructure, and possibly risking lives...all for the sake of natural gas and oil.

Just to illustrate the point, between 1977 and 2008, there were only 28 earthquakes in Oklahoma: less than 1 per year. Between 2009 and 2010, the state experienced 134 earthquakes: an average of 95 quakes per year. That's a huge difference. And it simply can not be attributed to a fault line or natural causes. Even the British energy company, Cuadrilla Resources, admits that fracking is the most likely cause of increased incidents of earthquakes in the area.

Earthquake felt in Tulsa area

Last night a quake struck shortly before 11:00 pm.  I was in bed but not asleep.  It felt like a big truck rumbling down the street.  I was aware that we had an earthquake the day before and immediately thought of that.  It lasted for about 15 seconds.  I read that some structures suffered damage, but I have not been outside this morning to look at our house.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Asimov quote

I have been reading some famous quotes by Isaac Asimov.  The subject of the talk tomorrow at Church of the Restoration will be Asimov.  I have my talk prepared.  I have been looking at quotes by Asimov to use as the Call to Worship or the Affirmation.  Here is one that I like:

“There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save.”
― Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky

Friday, November 04, 2011

A short trip to Springfield

We got back from a short trip to Springfield, Missouri.  All is well there.  We drove straight through, not stopping once for snacks or restroom breaks. 

That evening we ate out at Golden Corral, not far from the Abbey.  I ate Chinese something, corn, fried fish, hush puppies, shrimp, and I can't remember what else.

When we got back to the apartment, we watched MSNBC in the evening hours.

While in Springfield, I went to Springfield Music, just a couple of blocks from the Abbey.  I bought two books of Christmas music (duets) arranged by Melody Bober.

We stopped once on the way back.  We ate at the Hardee's at Exit 4, just before getting to the border of Oklahoma.