Sunday, December 30, 2012


New York City New Sports Franchise

Should New York City get a new sports franchise my nomination for team name is the New York Surge. Hurricane Sandy and the flooding of the city’s subway have contributed to this thought process. Kudos to Mayor Bloomberg for being one of the few American politicians to have the cojones to actually go public and link climate change to recent weather events. Why as a group have they been so slow to believe the climate change outlook and acknowledge its impact? Part of the answer is that the deniers get so much press, so much more than their position warrants, because of the moneyed interests behind them. But having a hip, forward thinking name like “Surge” recognizes a reality. World sea levels are rising and the flooding of the subway, just the first of many floods to come. Unless…… Well, in Rotterdam the Dutch in that port city are already introducing floating buildings for new developments. Since so much of The Netherlands is below sea level as it is, well they might. World wide, coastal cities could do well to follow their example and prepare for surges to become common place.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Messiah - Hum Drum

In her youth my mother was a semi-professional singer. Often was the occasion when excerpts from The Messiah would float from her vocal chords on the airwaves around our house, especially at this season. Sis and I were sporty but not musically inclined, so it was a general surprise that I opted this year to attend a local presentation of the Handel classic. This was a first for me, certainly a first of my own volition because undoubtedly when younger I was exposed to it at church. By the process of osmosis I had a good idea what to look for. A consistent hum from the chorale was a good sign, soloists breathing out from the belly and not self imploding while singing an arduous section, another. I awaited the pop hits “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion,” and “For Unto Us a Child is Born” but I was unprepared for having to stand at the “Hallelujah Chorus.” It was worthy of an ovation by the Kop at a Liverpool home game. On the program I was perturbed to find no female contralto part, only alto and soprano parts. What’s with that and why am I so ignorant? Mum I know was a contralto. To boot I thought I had finally sat through and appreciated (with only periodic, minor fidgets) the whole work, but then to-day on CBC radio I found extra parts were sung that did not match the local performance. So the two and a quarter hour performance here in Orillia was only some of Handel’s full opus? Glad to say I heard the hum, but no drum, and amongst the musicians heard the trumpet but never could pick out the player(s) on stage owing to my constrained vantage point. Glad too that repetitious lyrics are not the sole purview of rock and roll. Since my outing I have now become enamored with another of Handel’s works, the “Largo from Xerxes.” Oh boy.