The melody is complicated, however. And Barrett’s voice is beautifully naked. I especially like the way her voice doesn’t follow the musical melody exactly–she plays around with sounds and ideas a little bit.
I also just found out this neat little piece of information: Her first public performance was a cover of “Smells Like Nirvana” at a “Weird Al” Yankovic
tribute concert. Okay, who even knew there were “Weird Al” tribute concerts?
I’m very much intrigued by this woman, and you can hear a whole bunch of her stuff at her CBC Radio 3 site.
Oh, and that Weird Al song? You can hear it (there’s no video) right here:
[READ: March 20, 2012] “Sea-Serpents and Scientists”
This was the second archived article that my company sent around for enjoyment.
I like any article about sea serpents, especially The Loch-Ness Monster. But I was really surprised at the attitude taken in this article. It actually seemed like it might be a joke, although upon further consideration, I believe it is entirely serious.
As the introductory line says, “The emergence of a fabulous monster in Loch Ness is greeted with debatable reserve by men of science.”
The first paragraph taught me something i did not know: The Loch Ness Monster’s name is Bobby! And while Wilson says he is not going to “offer a belated biography of Bobby, the sea serpent of Scotland, as he swims like a submarine in Loch Ness,” he is sure going to take scientists to task for not investigating him.
Wilson does not argue that Bobby exists, indeed he claims not to be an expert, “All my life I have abstained strictly from the alcoholic inducements which on these occasions are said to contribute to what around Loch Ness, is called ‘perfect visibility.'” Although I gather he does believe in him.
Rather, his point is that scientists have dropped the ball by not even looking into “by far the most interesting event in the modern annals of natural history.”
And he gets in the scientists’ faces about it: “These academic pundits, who are so fond of lecturing Fundamentalists on the duty of discarding dogmatic blinkers, sat back in their armchairs. They did not accept the evidence. They did not reject it. They simply indicated by their prolonged nonchalance that evidence–unless they themselves produce it–is not in their line.”
That’s pretty much the extent of the arguments in the article. Although Wilson goes on at length (over 5 pages) emphasizing his point. (He pays a lot of attention to scientists and religion. “I see no reason why the brick-bats should be thrown at the dusty windows of the churches when the cobwebs in the colleges are at least as obstructive to the light of day.”)
And I believe that he makes a very valid point about all of that. Scientists should be open to things before dismissing them. And indeed, if no scientist bothered to investigate anything, then yes Wilson is utterly correct. However, I suspect that most scientists believed it to be a hoax from the start (and Wilson acknowledges that some of the stories that have been told over the years are only stories) or the tentacles of great squids. But the scientist should still look into it.
His final examples of foolish scientists comes from what I believe is a chiropractor–a man who could “set bones” in what is called “manipulative surgery” and how he was hounded out of the profession. Or what about the miracles at Lourdes? Why haven’t they been investigated.
The tone is, as you can see, casual and kind of funny. I have no idea what The North American Review is about, or if this is typical of the content, but i still enjoyed it.
If you have JSTOR you can read it here.
For ease of searching, I include: pinata.