Friday, December 2, 2011

Beatle Fact Friday

Although it was not used in the original take, a 41 piece orchestra was eventually asked to play on the song "Day in the Life". The musicians were all asked to dress formally. Upon arrival to the recording session, in true Beatles fashion, each orchestra member was given a novelty costume to wear (false noses, party hats, gorilla-paw gloves). The orchestra was conducted by Paul McCartney, who told them to start with the lowest note of their instruments and gradually play to the highest.

As most know, the beginning half of the song was written by John Lennon and the second half written by Paul McCarty. In the first verse, John was inspired by a story he read in the Daily Mail newspaper. The line "Blew his mind out in the car." was taken from the story of Guinness heir Tara Browne dying when he smashed his lotus into a parked van. John clearly took some creative license in writing this lyric, as Tara Browne's death was in fact accidental.

The last verse is also taken from a newspaper headline. The lyric "4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire" was taken from the UK Daily Express, January 17, 1967 in a column called "Far And Near." John's friend Terry Doran was the one who completed John's line "Now they know how many holes it takes to fill..." Terry told him "fill the Albert Hall, John."

And so an epically beautiful song was written purely off the inspiration of newpaper headlines - it is said that this was something that Paul and John challenged each other to do - always with a competitive spirit those two!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Evolution of the Bullgodog

They really are ugly animals in my opinion - slobbery, stout and stock full of health problems. But somehow people just LOVE their bulldogs. There's a really interesting article about the evolution and breeding of the bulldog in last week's New York Times magazine.

Read the article HERE

Monday, November 28, 2011

Predictions and Thanksgivings

A large part of my Thanksgiving this year was spent rummaging through my Grandparent's belongings as we moved them from their home into an assisted living facility. Although the move was somber, the treasures uncovered in the process were fascinating to say the least. Reading through newspaper clippings dating back to the 1920's and unearthing the naturalization papers of my great grandparents, I learned things about my family history that had been omitted from the family stories I have grown up with.

While leafing through a notebook of newspaper clipping compiled by my Grandfather for his bar mitzvah, we stumbled across a cut out from a Cosmopolitan magazine published in 1932. The header read: "Save this issue of Cosmopolitan. You won’t be alive in 2029 but your children’s children will be, and it will be interesting for them to check the accuracy of the predictions here made by Lord Birkenhead."

So while the predictions of Lord Birkenhead are projected for 17 years from now, it is still very interesting to see how many of his seemingly wacky ideas of the future have already come true!
  • Babies will be produced by chemists in laboratories. (TRUE!)
  • The entire institution of marriage will be changed. (TRUE!)
  • We will all live to be 150. (EH, Not quite!)
  • No one will need to work more than two hours a day. (This could either be a really good thing or a really bad thing, so for now, let's be thankful this has not come to be!)
  • Agriculture will be abolished—except as a hobby—and all foodstuffs will be produced synthetically. (Very sad, but TRUE!)
  • Man will be able to alter the geography of climate of the world. (Ummmm, yeah)
  • Coal-mining will be an extinct industry. (not so far off from this being true)
  • A forty-eight-hour day will come into being by retarding the rotations of the earth. (this is where Birkenhead gets a little wonky)
  • Sitting in our homes we will see and hear events the world over. (ummm, hello, did someone just predict the internet?!)
Let us check back in 17 years and see if all these predictions have come to be. For now, I am thankful to have stumbled upon this interesting time capsule!