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Scripturient: Why Fonts Matter

The first problem I have when receiving a new book on typography is that I spend far too much time looking up the typefaces described or sampled therein, and searching for them online, instead of reading. Then I start looking at (and critiquing) the ty… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Why Fonts Matter

Scripturient: Boris Godunov

I’m not sure why Boris Godunov, moves me like it does, but it has a curious, emotional effect on me. It’s a sprawling tragedy mixed with politics and betrayal, weighted down by brooding and scheming characters, a fickle mob, a holy fool, a … . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Boris Godunov

Scripturient: Loteria de Camacho

Ever since I first visited Mexico, more than 30 years ago, I’ve been fascinated by its culture. It’s beautiful, exotic, alien, yet also comfortable and attractive. One of the things that have intrigued me since the start is the lottery game… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Loteria de Camacho

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Friday Musical Interlude: an Odd Intersection

When it comes to musical taste, I guess you could say Arb and I are a little… odd? We’ve shared our love of classical and choral music quite a bit, but then we also like the hard stuff. Here is a whole group of young people who seem to feel the same way: Viva Vox […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Friday Musical Interlude: an Odd Intersection

The Canadian Progressive: Michael Geist: The Trouble with the TPP’s Copyright Term Extension

The TPP’s copyright term extension discourages creativity, restricts access, and imposes enormous costs on Canadian consumers and educational institutions, argues Internet law expert, Michael Geist. Meanwhile, the term extension is “a major windfall fo… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Michael Geist: The Trouble with the TPP’s Copyright Term Extension

Scripturient: Judas, a Biography

Long before Darth Vader, long before Lord Voldemort, long before Stephen Harper, Judas Iscariot reigned as the supreme icon of evil in Western mythology. Judas betrayed God. How much worse can you get?* For 2,000 years we’ve used the term Judas . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Judas, a Biography

Dead Wild Roses: Christmas Friday Musical Interlude – Silent Night (again)

Arb may not be such a fan of Silent Night, but it will always be special to me. In my church while I was growing up, we would end our Christmas Eve service by all getting out of the pews to stand in a huge circle around the sanctuary. We’d pass out candles, then turn out […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Christmas Friday Musical Interlude – Silent Night (again)

Dead Wild Roses: And now for something completely different…

Us folks at DWR seem to be all full of Holiday sweetness and light and goodwill, this year. Just to reassure y’all that we haven’t gone totally soft, I’d like to share this video with you. It helped me earlier in the season, when I wasn’t ready for celebrating yet, and I needed an antidote […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: And now for something completely different…

Dead Wild Roses: Rebecca Solnit – Men Explain Lolita to Me

Just a great article through and through. Go read it all here. “I sort of kicked the hornets’ nest the other day, by expressing feminist opinions about books. It all came down to Lolita. “Some of my favorite novels are disparaged in a fairly shallow way. To read Lolita and ‘identify’ with one of the […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Rebecca Solnit – Men Explain Lolita to Me

Dead Wild Roses: Friday Classical(ish) Interlude: Beethoven’s 5th… for electric guitar

A love of Beethoven was one of the things Arb and I bonded over, early in our relationship. Going on a road trip in the mountains together, we brought along all nine symphonies, and the combination of gorgeous music, gorgeous scenery, and of course, plenty of New Relationship Energy, made for an almost transcendent experience. […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Friday Classical(ish) Interlude: Beethoven’s 5th… for electric guitar

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Friday Classical Interlude: for Paris, and Beirut, and Baghdad

(I’m writing this early in the week, for publication Friday. I’m dreading coming back and editing this list…) and Garissa, Kenya; Yola, Nigeria and all the places being terrorized by “our” side… Gustav Mahler wrote his song cycle Kindertotenlieder, Songs on the Death of Children, over a century ago, a setting of five (out of over […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Friday Classical Interlude: for Paris, and Beirut, and Baghdad

Dead Wild Roses: Abominations in Clown Barf

Almost every knitter or crocheter’s taste in yarn goes through a similar evolution as their skill progresses. When you’re just starting, everything takes forever, so thick yarns seem like a good idea – yay, fewer stitches makes more fabric! And you buy yarn based on how pretty the ball looks, without much concept of what . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Abominations in Clown Barf

Dead Wild Roses: Friday Musical Interlude: Dramatic Soprano Style!

The singing year has started for me as well as the Arbourist. My teacher and I have set two goals for this year:

That I will develop good practicing habits That I will finally let my big voice out at its full size

In furtherance of these goals, she’s assigned me big, challenging repertoire that . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Friday Musical Interlude: Dramatic Soprano Style!

Scripturient: The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproduction

I have been reading the essays of the late critic, Walter Benjamin, most famous for his 1936 piece, The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproduction (an earlier translation of this essay is available here). Wikipedia notes of this essay that it has been, …influential across the humanities, especially in the fields . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproduction

Scripturient: Anthony and Cleopatra

While Julius Caesar is my favourite of all Shakespeare’s plays, I think Anthony and Cleopatra is my second favourite. I know it’s hard to choose any favourites from his plays, they’re all so good, but this one seems to resonate with me more than most others, enough to encourage me to reread it this week. . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Anthony and Cleopatra

Scripturient: Strat Plan Part 6: Culture and the Arts

The fifth and final objective in Collingwood’s developing strategic plan (the woo-hoo plan) is culture and the arts. For something so important to the community, with such a huge potential, it encompasses a mere two goals. Disappointingly, neither of them relate to its huge economic potential, which everyone else seems to understand except this committee . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Strat Plan Part 6: Culture and the Arts

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Saskatchewan Party’s devaluation of the music teacher (among other cultural and community-building parts of our schools).

For further reading…– CBC reported on the Prairie Spirit School Division’s decision to eliminate school bands here, and Janet French did likewise here.– The Star-Phoenix’ editorial board weighed in here. And now, even the Saskatchewan Party . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Shakespeare Changed Everything

I have been reading an entertaining little book called How Shakespeare Changed Everything, which, as the title suggests, is about the pervasive influence the Bard has had on pretty much everything in our lives ever since he started putting quill to paper. Stephen Marche’s book was described in the NatPost as a, “sprightly, erudite sampling . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Shakespeare Changed Everything

Dead Wild Roses: DWR Friday Musical Interlude: Histoire du tango, Astor Piazzolla

On Sunday mornings, I get up shortly after Arb leaves for work, and move from the cozy, snuggly bed to the equally snuggly sofa. I make a cup of coffee and listen to Sunday Breakfast on CKUA, and half-doze under at least one cat (depending on Fiona and V’s current level of detente). This Sunday, . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: DWR Friday Musical Interlude: Histoire du tango, Astor Piazzolla

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Disservice: Free Association at Choir Practice

Naturally for this time of year, the choir that Arb and I sing in is preparing for our Christmas concert, and there is Jebus-music aplenty. Really that’s OK by me; most of the shit about Santa seriously sucks. One of the beautiful carols we’re doing is Harold Darke’s arrangement of In the Bleak Midwinter. Here’s . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Disservice: Free Association at Choir Practice

Dead Wild Roses: Friday Musical Interlude: The Intransigent One’s Favourite Band

This is VNV Nation, an Irish/English alternative electronic/industrial duo currently based out of Berlin, but touring to Canada this fall/winter – I’ve already got tickets – and plane tickets because the closest they’re coming is Vancouver.

They were my first exposure to electronic/industrial music – I grew up in a classical bubble – and I . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Friday Musical Interlude: The Intransigent One’s Favourite Band

Melissa Fong: Centre A fosters intergenerational and intercultural space for Chinatown

I sometimes write things and they get published in The Georgia Straight: Mrs. Chang is a 96-year old elder who calls Vancouver’s Chinatown her home. In a neighbourhood filled with poh-pohs (Chinese […]

Melissa Fong: #VanCulturalSpaces @VisionVancouver event summary: “Protecting Vancouver’s Cultural Spaces: How we can preserve culture in a growing city”

I Live Tweeted the Vision Vancouver-sponsored event “Protecting Vancouver’s Cultural Spaces: How we can preserve culture in a growing city”- You can search the hashtag #VanCulturalSpaces for related tweets on the event. It […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Marcus Aurelius

I continue to be profoundly moved by the wisdom of the classical authors. It’s often hard to accept that some of them were writing two or more millennia ago: many seem so contemporary they could have been written this century. Of late – within the past year or so – I’ve been reading Lucretius, Aristotle, . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Marcus Aurelius

Dead Wild Roses: Friday Musical Interlude

Tom Lehrer is a Renaissance Man of the twentieth century. He’s not only a composer, pianist, and singer, who lectures extensively on musical theatre; he’s also a published and teaching mathematician.

Mystro is a particular fan of Dr. Lehrer’s work and has performed it on several occasions, when our choir replaces rehearsal with Talent Nite. . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Friday Musical Interlude