Posted in Events, music, Television

Eurovision Song Contest 2015

The Eurovision Contest takes place Saturday 23 May 2015 and is hosted by Graham Norton in Vienna, Austria, after being won by Conchita Wurst last year. This year to celebrate the 60th Aniversary of Eurovision, Australia will also be joining the six host nations of United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Austria and Germany.

To me the event seems like a bit of an irrelevance, what with David Cameron and his cronies taking money off elderly people, vulnerable people and Disabled people in the United Kingdom and yet we are still contributing money towards this instead of where it is most needed. Most of The Music is cringe-worthy or comical at best, although having said that the song by Boggie (Hungary) was politically charged and I enjoyed the music provide during the interval by Martin Grubinger and the Percussive Planet Ensemble, I would have voted for that 😀

Some of The voting also seems politically motivated too, the Baltic States and Eastern European countries all vote for each other, and the Germanic countries all vote for each other regardless of whether the song is good or not. Perhaps I am taking it way too seriously, but I still think the money could be better used. Maybe those in power think that it is a bit of a laugh and will distract the population and take their mind off more important issues. Anyway here are the songs….

Marjetka and Raay aka “Maraaya” – “Here for You” – Slovenia
Lisa Angell – N’oubliez Pas -France
Nadav Guedj: “Golden Boy”- Israel
Elina Born & Stig Rästa – Goodbye To Yesterday – Estonian
Electro Velvet – Still In Love With You – United Kingdom
Genealogy – Face the Shadow -Armenia
Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila – This Time”- Lithuania
Bojana Stamenov -Beauty Never Lies- Serbia
Monster Like Me – Norway
Måns Zelmerlöw: “Heroes” – Sweden
John Karayiannis – One thing I should Have Done – Cyprus
Guy Sebastian – Tonght Again – Australia
Loic Nottet – Rhythm Inside – Belgium
The Makemakes – I am yours – Austria
Maria Elena Kyriakou: “One Last Breath” – Greece
Adio – Knez – Montenegro
Ann Sophie – Black Smoke – Germany
Monika Kuynako – In the Name of Love – Poland
Aminata – Love Injected – Latvia
Voltaj – De la Capat – Romania
Edurne – Amanecer – Spain
Boggie – “Wars for Nothing” -Hungary
Nina Sblatti -Warrior – Georgia
Elnur Huseynov: “Hour of the Wolf” – Azerbaijan
Polina Gagarina – “A Million Voices” – Russia
Ethiada Dani – I’m Alive – Albania
Il Volo – Grande Amore – Italy

The event was eventually won by Måns Zelmerlöw: for Sweden with the song “Heroes”.

Posted in music, Science-tech

Robert Moog

Best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, The pioneer of electronic music, Robert Moog (Pronounced “Mogue”) was born on 23rd May 1934. Bob Moog’s innovative electronic design is employed in numerous synthesizers including the Minimoog Model D, Minimoog Voyager, Little Phatty, Moog Taurus Bass Pedals, Moog Minitaur, and the Moogerfooger line of effects pedals.He was born in New York and attended the Bronx High School of Science in New York, graduating in 1952. Moog earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Queens College, New York in 1957, another in electrical engineering from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in engineering physics from Cornell University. Moog’s awards include honorary doctorates from Polytechnic Institute of New York University (New York City) and Lycoming College (Williamsport, Pennsylvania).Moog created the first voltage-controlled subtractive synthesizer to utilize a keyboard as a controller and demonstrated it at the AES convention in 1964. In 1966, Moog filed a patent application for his unique low-pass filter which issued in October 1969. He held several dozen patents.

Moog also employed his theremin company (R. A. Moog Co., which would later become Moog Music) to manufacture and market his synthesizers. Unlike the few other 1960s synthesizer manufacturers, Moog shipped a piano-style keyboard as the standard user interface to his synthesizers. Moog also established standards for analog synthesizer control interfacing, with a logarithmic one volt-per-octave pitch control and a separate pulse triggering signal. The first instrument – The Moog modular synthesizer became one of the first widely used electronic musical instruments. Early developmental work on the components of the synthesizer occurred at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, now the Computer Music Center. While there, Moog developed the voltage controlled oscillators, ADSR envelope generators, and other synthesizer modules with composer Herbert Deutsch. In 1971 Moog Music began production of the Minimoog Model D which was among the first widely available, portable and relatively affordable synthesizers. One of Moog’s earliest musical customers was Wendy Carlos whom he credits with providing feedback that was valuable to the further development of Moog synthesizers.Moog also constructed his own theremin as early as 1948. Later he described a theremin in the hobbyist magazine Electronics World and offered a kit of parts for the construction of the Electronic World’s Theremin, which became very successful.

In the late 1980s Moog repaired the original theremin of Clara Rockmore, an accomplishment which he considered a high point of his professional career. He also produced, in collaboration with first wife Shirleigh Moog, Mrs. Rockmore’s album, The Art of the Theremin. Moog was a principal interview subject in the award-winning documentary film, Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey, the success of which led to a revival of interest in the theremin. Moog Music went back to its roots and once again began manufacturing theremins. Thousands have been sold to date and are used by both professional and amateur musicians around the globe. In 1996 he published another do-it-yourself theremin guide. Today, Moog Music is the leading manufacturer of performance-quality thereminsThrough his involvement in electronic music, Moog developed close professional relationships with artists such as Don Buchla, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, John Cage, Gershon Kingsley, Clara Rockmore, Jean Jacques Perrey , and Pamelia Kurstin.

In a 2000 interview, Moog said “I’m an engineer. I see myself as a toolmaker and the musicians are my customers. They use my tools.”During his lifetime, Moog founded two companies for manufacturing electronic musical instruments -RA Moog Co who manufactured Theramin Kits but left after a disagreement and formed a company called Big Briar. He also worked as a consultant and vice president for new product research at Kurzweil Music Systems from 1984 to 1988, helping to develop the Kurzweil K2000. He spent the early 1990s as a research professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. During his lifetime Moog received a Grammy Trustees Award for lifetime achievement in 1970, and In 2002, Moog was honored with a Special Merit/Technical Grammy Award, and an honorary doctorate degree from Berklee College of Music. Moog was also the inspiration behind the 2004 film Moog.

Sadly he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor on April 28, 2005 and passed away nearly four months later, at the age of 71 in Asheville, North Carolina on August 21, 2005. The Bob Moog Foundation was created as a memorial, with the aim of continuing his life’s work of developing electronic music. He is survived by three daughters (Laura Moog Lanier, Michelle Moog-Koussa, Renee Moog) one son (Matthew Moog) one stepdaughter, Miranda Richmond, and five grandchildren.

Posted in Events, nature, Science-tech, sport

World Turtle Day

Tortoises and Turtles comprise some of the most amazing and endangered animals on the planet, so World Turtle Day was set up  to increase respect and knowledge of Turtles and Tortoises and to encourage human action to help them survive and thrive. Turtle Day takes place annually on May 23rd and Is sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue, and celebrated worldwide in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles or wearing green summer dresses, to saving turtles caught on highways, and research activities. Turtle Day lesson plans and craft projects encourage teaching about turtles in classrooms.

American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) was founded in 1990, by Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, and is certified by state and federal agencies as a nonprofit corporation to provide for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, including Foundlings that cannot be adopted because of ill health, which remain in the care of American Tortoise Rescue for the remainder of their lives. The American Tortoise Rescue also advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles.

The day is featured in Chase’s Book of Annual Events, and was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. Since 1990, ATR has placed about 3,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes. ATR assists law enforcement when undersize or endangered turtles are confiscated and provides helpful information and referrals to persons with sick, neglected or abandoned turtles. Armed with knowledge and passion for these gentle animals, we can come together to preserve Turtle and Tortoise species throughout the world.