Yogi Berra the Malaprop Man
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Electricka and her Muses are thinking about adding a feature about Yogi Berra to her web site.

If by chance you’re one of the few who don’t know who he is, we’ll tell you. Berra is widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history and one of the all-time top major-league non-pitching hitters. He played and managed for the great New York Yankees for 19 years. And if that weren’t enough, he’s an all-around nice guy.

Here’s what Yogi looks like:

(Photo source: Academy of Achievement)

But baseball isn’t his only talent. He has the in-born abilty to  fracture the English language by generating malapropisms of the first rank. His does this naturally, without trying; they come second nature to him.

Some examples:

  • It ain’t over till it’s over.
  • 90% of the game is half mental.
  • Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • Thank you for making this day necessary.
  • It’s déjà vu all over again.
  • I really didn’t say everything I said.
  • You can observe a lot by watching.”
  • Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.

If Electricka adds this feature to her web site, each day I will publish one of his off-the-wall sayings as a periodic feature you can visit and chuckle over.

Electricka’s periodic features are a particular type of feature she publishes every day or every week. They’re periodic because they recur. If you miss the first one in the series, it eventually will show up again and you can see it later.

You can get an idea of what periodic features are like by visitng some of them. Electricka suggests that you start with the daily feature called Arts Personality Of The Day and click the names of other period features you find there to see more: click here.  

Unless enough people respond to my offer, Yogi’s malapropisms won’t be published at Electricka’s web site; so be sure to let me hear from you. If interested, comment on this post or send email to me at AskTheMuses@Electricka.com. Or take this poll:

Do you want to see Yogi's malaprops?

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Find out more about Yogi at Wikipedia.

Thanks

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

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15 Minutes of Fame
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Andy Warhol, the American pop art painter, printmaker, and avant-garde filmmaker, is the person credited with coining the expression 15 minutes of fame.

Accurately quoted, what he said in 1968 is a paraphrase of something he printed on a catalog for an exhibit in Stockholm that same year. What he said is: In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.

What he meant was that in the then current era about 15 minutes of fame or media attention is all you can expect if you are a pop culture celeb, a work of art produced by a celeb, or if you are an in-vogue phenomenon like pop art.

Warhol was right. At the time he greatly influenced modern art generally; and his works were collected at high prices by an avid clique of admirers. But since then pop art has passed by the wayside and the popularity of Warhol’s art has greatly diminished among the fickle masses.

But Warhol was also wrong. The same is not true for all fine arts or fine artists. What goes for some modern artists doesn’t go for all modern artists, nor does it go for all artists of bygone eras.

Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Renoir and many other recent or contemporary artists alive today have followed a different trajectory; Raphael and Rembrandt have nothing to worry about; even the artists at Lascaux are still greatly admired and appreciated—and they go back 17,000 years.

Could it be that fine art lasts only 15 minutes if it’s shallowly conceived and executed for a shallow audience? Could it be that there’s a difference between 15-minute art, artists, and patrons and other art, artists, and patrons, a difference that depends on what the artist has to say, the way he says it, and the audience with whom he resonates?

Explore these ideas further at Electricka’s web site. Visit my feature there called The Muse Of Fine Arts.

2011 – 2012, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

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Piano vs. Harpsichord
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When it comes to classical music written for the harpsichord, I stay away from piano transcriptions. Ugh!

Why? Because composers like Byrd, Couperin, Scarlatti, Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, and Mozart knew what the harpsichord was good for; they knew what they were doing when they wrote for it.

For a few reasons, most bad, lots of harpsichord music from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods has been rearranged for the modern piano. But the music doesn’t sound or feel the way it should because it was conceived for a different instrument; it doesn’t excite the gut or lift the spirit the way the compser meant it to. Try to imagine what Bach’s concerto for four harpsichords would sound like on four pianos and you’ll see what I mean.

By the same token, music conceived for the piano doesn’t sound right on the harpsichord. Try to imagine what the Rach III or Tschaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto would sound like if soloed on the harpsichord and you’ll see what I mean.

Probably Glen Gould plays Bach on the piano as well as anyone could; he’s good at what he does and his intentions are honorable, but he’s off base. People like Hogwood, Pinnock, Wallfish (the husband), Kipnis, Koopman, Landowska, and Leonhardt hit homers because they make music sound they way the composer meant it to sound; they make it mean what the composer meant it to mean.

Why are we never satisfied with the staus quo? Why are we always trying to improve on what’s already perfect?

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

Posted in Arts Criticism, General, Music | Leave a comment

Sayings of the Day
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“I’ll give you the figures you asked for in round numbers,” she said.

Ever read an expression like this in a story of hear it on a soap opera? When you did, did you wonder what she was talking about?

What’s a round number? Could it be a 9 or a 6 because 9 and 6 have curves at the top and bottom? If they’re round for that reason, does that mean that 1 and 5 are not round?

Actually, a round number is a formal mathematical  entity defined as the product of a considerable number of small factors compared with its neighbouring numbers.

In practical situations, such as in everyday commerce, a round number is an incorrect number that’s close to a correct one. It’s used instead because it’s a simpler number to deal with or for other reasons.

For example, 2.3+4.4+5.1=11.8 is so close to 12 it often can be rounded up to 12 without a problem. If we’re talking cents, 11.8 cents is so close to 12 cents it might as well be 12 cents. You wouldn’t be able to find an 11.8 cent piece if you went looking for it.

Informally, a round number is an integer that ends in one or more zeroes, such as 1,000 or 1,500,000.

People have a variety of reasons to roll-over an odd number to make it round. We did this at the beginning of the year 2000, even though the official correct millennium change didn’t occur until 2001. To most of us, the 1 in 2001 seemed like an oddball.

Satisfied with round numbers? Next do you want to investigate the saying, “Two’s company, three’s a crowd?” Are you wondering if two and three are round numbers?

Explore sayings like these at the feature called Saying Of The Day. As the saying goes, There’s a new one every day.

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

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Zoot
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 Are you in the groove? Can you “dig a zoot suit with a reet pleat and a drape shape and a stuff cuff to look sharp enough to see your Sunday gal?”

Know what a zoot suit is and what happened in the zoot suit era in WWII? Finding out is a great way to transport yourself to wartime America when the zoot suit was all the rage and Swing was the thing.

Check out the song called Zoot Suit at the page called Zoot Suit. Then explore the era that gave it birth, the suit, the slang called Jive Talk, and the history at the page that follows it.

You may be surprised to learn that the French had a zoot suit culture of their own called Zazou that was  inspired by America. This in the face of Nazi occupation while a war with the United States was going on!.

Can you dig it?

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

Posted in General, Language Arts, Music, Using Electricka's Web Site | Leave a comment

Cadenzas and Jazz: When Composers Omit Notes
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Did you know that most jazz pieces don’t come from the composer with all their notes in them, nor do some classical music piceces. Composers intentionally leave some of the music out.

You can find out why by visiting my page at Electricka web site called Welcome To The Score In Western Music. Read about scores. Then From there, you can read about scores that are missing notes and directions even though they’re not lost or damaged.

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

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Hard is Hard…to Define
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Did you ever try to define hard, medium, and easy? If not, you may be surprised at how hard it is.

It’s hard to define what hard, medium and easy mean. It’s even harder to decide whether something is hard, medium, or easy.

I tried to do all this for Electricka’s puzzles and quizzes and failed miserably.

I went to the dictionary for help. According to the dictionary, hard means difficult to deal with, manage, control, overcome, or understand. Easy means not hard or difficult; requiring no great labor or effort. Medium means about halfway between extremes.

A lot of help that was. That just put off defining hard, medium, and easy by substituting the word difficult for the word hard.

Try using the dictionary to define the word difficult and you’ll find the meaning of the word hard. That’s what they call a circular definition.

Then, even though I didn’t have a definition,  I took a swipe at each puzzle and quiz and tried to decide whether hard, medium, or easy seemed to describe it best. No go.

My problem was two-fold. First I had to decide what hard, medium, and easy mean when it comes to a quiz or a puzzle. Different kinds of quizzes and puzzles call for different talents on the part of the solver; so hard, medium, and easy mean something different depending on things like what kind of quiz or puzzle it is and who solves it.

Then I had to decide which definition of hard, medium, or easy best fit each puzzle or quiz. I had some luck deciding if a particular puzzle or quiz was hard, medium, or easy but I couldn’t explain why I thought it was what it was; and my decision had little to do with the definitions.

Then I figured out what to do to solve my problem. I gave up trying to define difficulty or to explain why I labeled each puzzle according to how hard or easy it was. I just did.

  • You can see what I mean about puzzles by visiting the page at Electricka’s web site called Welcome to Arts Puzzles
  • You can see what I mean about quizzes by visiting the page at Electricka’s web site called Welcome to Arts Quizzes

When you get to the page you want to see you can play a few puzzles or quizzes by clicking Click Here in the Play Now box near the top of the page. When you do, a list of puzzles or quizzes will open in your browser and you’ll see how I labeled their difficulty. Open them to play.

Happy gaming!

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

Posted in Arts Criticism, General, Language Arts, Using Electricka's Web Site | Leave a comment

Speculative Fiction
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In case you haven’t already discovered it, I’m presenting a new blog called Speculative Fiction. It’s about the literary genre of the same name, which includes fantasy, science fiction, horror fiction, and occult fiction.

Urania is your hostess. She and her cohort Uranus share their reading experiences, opinions, and ideas with other fans of the genre.

Urania addresses topics such as what is being read now, favorite (and least favorite) authors and works in the field, and background about the way SF has developed and matured over the years.

 Explore my Speculative Fiction blog now: click here.

Enjoy.

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

Posted in General, Literature, Using Electricka's Web Site | Leave a comment

The Name that Muse Lament
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Name That Muse is one of the features at Electricka’s web site. It’s a feature aimed at giving names to Electricka’s modern-day muses.

Why name Electricka’s muses? Calling them by their formal titles sounds a bit strange and distant. A greeting like Hey, Muse Of Fine Arts, how ‘ya doin’ doesn’t quite get the message across that The Muse Of Fine Arts is real, down-home folks.

Names for the ancient Greek muses go a long way in the right direction: Clio (Proclaimer) and Calliope (She of the Beautiful Voice) and Erato (Lovely). Doesn’t a name like Erato, the ancient Muse of love poetry, ring a bell? It oozes within erotic symbolism. Would we had names like these for Electricka’s cohorts.

Why bother about names? Names are important. Remember when Jim Croce sang I Got A Name? Adam named all the animals so he could tell them apart and so they’d come when called. Writers anguish over the names of their characters until their names say what they mean. Public figures and movie stars change their names to reflect their persona.

By inviting visitors to help her come up with names, Electricka hoped she would find the best names for her muses, names that would give each of them a unique personality, a face—a voice of its own, as the expression goes—so that visitors would get to know and care about each cohort muse as though he or she were a friend, ally, and guide—a real person. Names like those of the ancient muses for her modern muses would have a lasting impact on her web site.

But alas, it’s been a long, long time since Electricka put out the call for suggestions, and few visitors have come forth with ideas.

Wouldn’t you like to change all that?

You can, you know. Just visit Name That Muse to find out how.

Bon voyage.

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

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Saying of the Day
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Here’s a saying in the form of a question that you might want to be reminded of:

What is it you keep after you give it to someone else?

Answer: A promise.

  • Electricka offers a new saying every day. See today’s saying now at the page called Saying of the Day

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

Posted in General, Language Arts, Using Electricka's Web Site | Leave a comment