Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What I Get Paid For

Just for laughs:

How to Learn About Music Genres

There are hundreds of genres of music, and setting out to learn about them can be an intimidating task. But thanks to modern technology and the Internet, teaching yourself about different styles of music is easier than ever. The key to learning about as many music genres as possible is open-mindedness. If you approach a genre with a prejudice or a stereotypical opinion of it, you will not be able to learn about it. Start here: all music has value. If you can accept that, you can begin learning about music genres.

  1. Step 1

    Recognize the basic music genres. For example, do not get caught up with "pop punk," "indie folk" and "jazz fusion" at the outset. Maybe down the road you can unpack some of those subgenres, but the first step is learning the basics. The main music genres may be found categorized at your local record store. Generally, these basic genres are "rock," "pop," "classical," "jazz," "folk," "world (international/latin/reggae)," "hip-hop (rap and R&B)," "country," "electronic" and "experimental/avant garde."

  2. Step 2

    Listen to the most popular artists from each genre. The clearest way to hear the differences in style is by listening yourself. So for "classical," listen to Beethoven, Mozart and Stravinsky. For rock, listen to The Beatles, The Who and The White Stripes. For hip-hop, listen to Tupac, Kanye West and Jay Z. And so on like this. The easiest way to do this is by going to an online music store to listen to all of the music. Expect to put hours of study time into learning about genres.

  3. Step 3

    Take note of what you hear. Disassociate yourself from your tastes and simply hear the music that is being played. Notice that folk singers often play acoustic instruments and that jazz music may seem random. Once you're able to put a song on at random and easily recognize its genre, you're ready to dive into subgenres. But because there are countless subgenres, this is a feat you must perform at your own risk. Music fusions are endless, and if you attempt to follow them it will become a never-ending task. But as long as you keep your mind open and allow yourself to think critically about the music you're hearing, you will be able to learn much about the wealth of genres that are available today.

  • Talk to your friends about music. Find out what other people listen to, and why. You'll get a more rounded view of a genre this way. And if you can, talk to musicians from all genre backgrounds. Getting a personal opinion of what a genre means to a performer is a great way to learn about it.
  • Do not listen without a historical understanding of the music. That means realizing that a song by the Ramones from the 1980s is very different from a Green Day or Blink 182 song. Even though they're all punk, the two latter bands were heavily influence by the Ramones. A historical perspective will help you associate certain bands as more important to genre development.

What Are the Advantages of Reading Books?

  1. From the moment a person learns how to read, he should keep on reading for the rest of his life. Reading books engages the brain, and the action itself keeps the mind sharp. But there is also information in books. The best way to transfer that information to yourself is by reading it.
  2. Vocabulary

  3. When you read books by great authors, it's very likely you'll come across words you've never seen before. This doesn't mean you should feel stupid but that you should take pleasure in this opportunity to deepen your vocabulary. Always have a dictionary nearby while you read. The more you read, the more you'll develop your own vocabulary.

    Be sure you're changing your reading selections from time to time. If you read only sports books, you will miss out on a lot of vocabulary that you could be finding in historical biographies or classic literature.
  4. Entertainment

  5. A myth about reading books is that it's a boring activity. This is true only if you're either impatient or unwilling. For anyone willing to take the time to read, it can be one of the cheapest and most satisfying forms of entertainment. Almost everyone has seen the movie "Jurassic Park," but the book is just as exciting and fascinating in its own way. If you need a half-step between visual and written entertainment, pick up a good graphic novel. "The Watchmen" is one of the most popular, and since it tells such an engaging story it may be your gateway into a book-reading routine.
  6. Education

  7. Anybody can go on the Internet to look for information, but those sources are still not as reliable as a book. A trip to the library or bookstore is like a patient man's web-surf. Hours of information can be accessed from books, and since it requires more time for a reader to ingest it when it's coming from a book, it's more likely to stick in the memory.

    History, science, philosophy, comedy and relationships are all topics that books cover in detail. If you want to learn about something specific or just anything at all, reading a book will continue your education in the school of life like nothing else.

Types and Causes of Natural Disasters

  1. Natural disasters occur all around the world and range in impact. Some natural disasters barely do any damage, and others can kill hundreds or thousands of people. Because they are always the result of natural causes, there is no way to deter one of these events. Preparedness is the best way to properly combat a natural disaster.
  2. Tornado

  3. A tornado occurs on the surface of the earth's land as a result of humidity in the lower atmosphere combining with wind shears. The spinning comes by way of downdrafts and updrafts, but the violent speed is usually due to rapid changes in the air (such as dry air suddenly becoming very cool). When air mass is unstable and storms come through an area, a tornado often results. The reason most tornadoes occur in the Midwest of the United States is because tropical winds from the south Gulf move up to meet the cool winds of Canada's north. When they collide in the middle, it's usually somewhere around Kansas or Nebraska (though tornadoes can occur anywhere if the conditions are right, they're usually not as severe in other regions).
  4. Earthquake

  5. Violent tremors of the earth's surface are the result of earthquakes, which are caused by the shifting of the earth's tectonic plates and fault lines below the surface. When the earth's temperature changes, this causes movement of rock and plates in the earth's mantle. This happens all over the globe, but some stresses are more severe in some areas. Parts of the world that experience more earthquakes usually do so because the plates below them are more brittle and weak. In the Pacific Ocean, there is the Ring of Fire that stretches up and down the coasts of North America and South America and continues across to Japan and down to east of Australia. Volcanic eruption occurs for similar reasons, in that activity occurs below the surface of the earth causing stress and sudden release of molten rock.
  6. Hurricane

  7. Also known as a tropical cyclone or typhoon, hurricanes are violent storms that occur off of ocean shores. High winds are produced by water that has evaporated from an ocean surface in a low pressure area. This also causes a spiraling effect, which gains momentum the more condensation it collects. Minimal hurricanes have winds of about 75 mph (Category 1), but the most catastrophic storms will blow more than 155 mph (Category 5). Once a hurricane hits land, it begins to cool and slow, but this is the point at which a hurricane does its most damage. Destruction of trees, cars and buildings is likely in the event of a hurricane.
Activities for a Jesus Birthday Party

(some "re-purposing" going on this this one... sorry but this is just how the business goes.)
  1. Some Christian families refer to Christmas as "Jesus' birthday." Instead of celebrating with stories of Santa and Christmas trees, they focus on the birth of Christ. One way to have a Jesus birthday party is to have Christ as the theme. In the same way some kids have Spider-Man and Batman parties, if a child's hero is Jesus, then it is fitting for that child to have a Jesus party. Activities for Jesus birthday parties should focus on the Son of God.
  2. Jesus Jeopardy

  3. Have mom play the role of Alex Trebek. The kids must answer various questions about Jesus. Instead of playing with categories like "Potent Potables" and "19th Century Literature," create questions that would fit in "Jesus' Disciples" or "Miracles" and other similarly Biblical categories. Jeopardy works better with three kids playing. Groups with more than three should simply have three teams with everyone taking turns.
  4. Christian Improv

  5. If your group is a little bit older but you still want to make Jesus the theme of your birthday party, "Gospel Comedy" is an activity that involves every guest and only requires him to laugh. In "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" the whole point of the act is to be funny together. Christian kids can play these same kinds of games, only replacing any risque humor with Christ-centered fun. You can make up the rules and points of the game as you go. Some kids can be characters like Jesus, Peter, John the Baptist or Judas. Have an "audience member" call out a scene to be acted out. Someone may yell, "bowling alley!" So the players would have to improvise as if they were Jesus, Peter, John and Judas--all out for a night of bowling.
  6. Stencils

  7. Stenciling Jesus' face on a piece of paper is fun, but some Christians opt to throw their Jesus party in autumn and use a stencil to make a Jesus-o-Lantern. You can download stencils of Jesus that are intended for pumpkins; but you may also use them anywhere. If you use the right stencil, you can create a clear image of Christ's bearded countenance. If done on a paper plate, everyone at the party can then tie string from one side of the plate to the other and have her own Jesus mask to wear for the duration of the party. If carved on a pumpkin, the craft will require the help of an adult.

Illinois Monuments

  1. Illinois is one of the most populated states in America, and the 21st state contains a great number of monuments dedicated to its rich history. A monument may commemorate an event or a person. Most of the state's monuments are located in Chicago, the state's largest city, and Springfield, its capital, but many small towns have monuments as well.
  2. Lincoln Monument

  3. Illinois is known as the "Land of Lincoln," and statues and monuments of the great 16th president can be found all over the state. But the most famous Lincoln monument is in the small town of Dixon, about an hour southwest of Rockford. This particular statue of Lincoln doesn't have a beard or top hat, because it commemorates a young Captain Lincoln from his days in the Black Hawk War, years before he became president. The monument was dedicated in 1930, and Leonard Crunelle sculpted the bronze statue.

    Lincoln Monument
    100 Lincoln Statue Drive
    Dixon, IL 61021
    (815) 284-3306
  4. Fountain of Time

  5. Possibly the most famous monument in the city of Chicago is a broad sculpture in Washington Park called the Fountain of Time, which underwent an extensive restoration in 2005. It commemorates the first 100 years of peace between America and Great Britain after the Treaty of Ghent. It was built in 1920, and features 100 carved characters passing across "Father Time." The entire monument stretches over 125 feet. Artist Lorado Taft designed the monument.

    Fountain of Time
    5900 South Cottage Grove Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60615
    (312) 747-6823
  6. Lincoln's Tomb

  7. The resting place of Abraham Lincoln is in the state capital of Springfield. The tomb itself is in the most historic cemetery in Illinois, the Oak Ridge Cemetery. Lincoln's wife and sons are also buried here (though not in the same tomb), with the exception of Robert Todd Lincoln, who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. This memorial was built in 1865 and does not exhibit any distinct architectural style, although it features a 117-foot high obelisk. A model sculpture of the famous Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, is inside the rotunda of Lincoln's Tomb.

    Lincoln's Tomb
    1500 Monument Avenue
    Springfield, IL 62702
    (217) 782-2717

    Starved Rock

  1. Starved Rock is one of the most surprisingly beautiful landscapes in Illinois. The mountains are not as big as the Rockies out west, but taking a hike through Starved Rock can serve the same purpose and give one the same experience with nature. The park is a national monument due to its colonial history. It was the sit of Fort St. Louis in 1682. The rock itself is a flat-topped cliff that overlooks the Illinois River. The park is only two hours away from Chicago.

    Starved Rock State Park
    Starved Rock S P Road
    P.O. Box 509
    Utica, IL 61373
  2. Frank Lloyd Wright Home

  3. Frank Lloyd Wright has many designs throughout the Chicagoland area, but his former home and studio in the west suburb of Oak Park is a National Historic Landmark. This house is a monument to one of America's greatest architects of all time, one that exemplifies Wright's organic shingle style.

    Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
    951 Chicago Ave.
    Oak Park, IL 60302
    (708) 848-1976

* any and all awkward sentences and grammatical errors are entirely attributed to incompetent editors. (that's right, this shit went through editors. yeah.)

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