Monday, August 31, 2015

Why Cats Land On Their Feet








Why Cats Land On Their Feet

If you have a pet cat at home or have seen some cat in other places that jumps, you would have noticed that the cat lands on its feet. This happens consistently all the time. This is something remarkable because you would expect the cat to injure itself at least a few times because of the fall, but it never happens and this is probably why it is said that the cat has nine lives. So how and why cats land on their feet is an interesting question.
One of the major reasons is that the cat has a lot more vertebra than a human and so the cat is able to twist its back much more than any human could ever do. This has made it possible for the cat to twist itself immediately and right its position to be able to land on its feet. The backbones are also very flexible and this is another reason for the cat to be able to twist itself and correct its position. This ability of the cat to correct the position it is in to be able to land on its feet at all times is called as the righting reflex.
Another reason for the cat to be able to correct its position in mid air and land on its feet is that it has a well developed vestibular system. This is the one that identifies the position of the body and tries to correct the body position. This system identifies that the cat is not in a right position and allows the cat to right itself before the fall is completed.
Another important reason for the cat to fall on the feet and walk away unharmed is that the cats have a very small body when compared to many other animals. The cat is also quite light and so it is able to flatten itself when it is falling. When the cat flattens itself with the leg hanging down, it becomes like a parachute and so it is able to land lightly on its feet and this prevents injury to the cat during falls from great heights.
Though cats are able to land on their feet all the time, you should be careful with them as there are times when the cat is sick and it may not be having a quick reflex. This can make the cat to not be able to right itself leading to injury or even death.

Source:  Cat Health site.




Today's funny :o)

H/T to BW! Thanks!








Just in case......

..... you missed the gang:









Looking for goodies:



First one of the season:


:o)




Sunday, August 30, 2015

Easy Listening for a Sunday Afternoon

Maxine Sullivan






From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
 
 
Maxine Sullivan
Maxine Sullivan.jpg
Sullivan at the Village Jazz Lounge in Walt Disney World, 1975
Background information
Birth name Marietta Williams
Born May 13, 1911
Homestead, Pennsylvania
Died April 7, 1987 (aged 75)
New York City, New York
Genres Jazz, swing
Maxine Sullivan (May 13, 1911 – April 7, 1987), born Marietta Williams in Homestead, Pennsylvania, was an American jazz vocalist and performer.
As a vocalist, Maxine Sullivan was active for half a century, from the mid-1930s to just before her death in 1987. She is best known for her 1937 recording of a swing version of the Scottish folk song "Loch Lomond". Throughout her career, Sullivan also appeared as a performer on film as well as on stage. A precursor to better-known later vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan, Maxine Sullivan is considered one of the best jazz vocalists of the 1930s.

Career

Sullivan began her music career singing in her uncle's band, The Red Hot Peppers, in her native Pennsylvania, in which she occasionally played the flugelhorn and the valve trombone, in addition to singing. In the mid-1930s she was discovered by Gladys Mosier (then working in Ina Ray Hutton's big band). Mosier introduced her to Claude Thornhill, which led to her first recordings made in June 1937. Shortly thereafter, Sullivan became a featured vocalist at the Onyx Club in New York. During this period, she began forming a professional and close personal relationship with bassist John Kirby, who became her second husband in 1938.
A photo of Maxine Sullivan in Village Vanguard, NYC around March 1947
Sullivan in 1947
 
Early sessions with Kirby in 1937 yielded a hit recording of a swing version of the Scottish folk song "Loch Lomond" featuring Sullivan on vocals. This early success "branded" Sullivan's style, leading her to sing similar swing arrangements of traditional folk tunes mostly arranged by pianist Claude Thornhill, such as "If I Had a Ribbon Bow" and "I Dream of Jeanie". Her early popularity also led to a brief appearance in the movie Going Places with Louis Armstrong.
In 1940, Sullivan and Kirby were featured on the radio program Flow Gently Sweet Rhythm, making them the first black jazz stars to have their own weekly radio series. During the 1940s Sullivan then performed with a wide range of bands, including her husband's sextet and groups headed by Teddy Wilson, Benny Carter, and Jimmie Lunceford. Sullivan performed at many of New York's hottest jazz spots such as the Ruban Bleu, the Village Vanguard, the Blue Angel, and the Penthouse. In 1949, Sullivan appeared on the short-lived CBS Television series Uptown Jubilee, and in 1953 starred in the play, Take a Giant Step.
In 1956, Sullivan shifted from her earlier style and recorded the album A Tribute to Andy Razaf; originally on the Period record label, the album featured Sullivan's interpretations of a dozen tunes featuring Razaf's lyrics. The album also highlighted the music of Fats Waller, including versions of "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now", "How Can You Face Me?", "My Fate Is in Your Hands", "Honeysuckle Rose", "Ain't Misbehavin'", and "Blue Turning Grey Over You". Sullivan was joined by a sextet that was reminiscent of John Kirby's group of 15 years prior, including trumpeter Charlie Shavers and clarinetist Buster Bailey.
From 1958 Sullivan worked as a nurse before resuming her musical career in 1966, performing in jazz festivals alongside her fourth husband Cliff Jackson, who can be heard on the 1966 live recording of Sullivan's performance at the Manassas Jazz Festival. Sullivan continued to perform throughout the 1970s and made a string of recordings during the 1980s, despite being over 70 years old. She was nominated for the 1979 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (won by Carlin Glynn) for her role in My Old Friends, and participated in the film biography Maxine Sullivan: Love to Be in Love, shortly before her death.

Personal life

Sullivan married four times; her second husband was the band leader John Kirby (married 1938, divorced 1941), while her fourth husband, whom she married in 1950, was the stride pianist Cliff Jackson, who died in 1970. She had two children, Orville Williams (b. 1928) and Paula Morris (b. 1945).

Death

Maxine Sullivan died aged 75 in 1987 in New York after suffering a seizure. She was posthumously inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1998.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Night Doo-Wop






Pretty Little Angel Eyes

Pretty little angel eyes,
Pretty little angel eyes,
Pretty little angel,
Pretty little angel,
Pretty little, pretty little, pretty little angel.

Pretty little little little angel eyes.

Angel eyes, I really love you so,
Angel eyes, I'll never let you go,
Because I love you, my darling angel eyes.

Pretty little little little angel eyes.

Angel eyes, you are so good to me,
And when I'm in your arms, it feels so heavenly,
You know I love you, my darling angel eyes.

I know you were sent from, heaven above,
To fill my life with your wonderful love,
I know we will be happy for eternity,
Cause I know-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow that our life is real.

Angel eyes, I really love you so,
Angel eyes, I'll never let you go
Because I love you, my darling angel eyes.

Pretty little angel eyes,
Pretty little angel eyes,
Pretty little angel,
Pretty little angel
Pretty little, pretty little, pretty little angel.

Angel eyes, I really love you so,
Angel eyes, I'll never let you go,
Because I love you, my darling angel eyes.

Pretty little little little angel eyes




Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Good Morning!

Good morning!

The horrible heat and humidity has finally ended here in Joisey (for a while, anyway) and we can turn that darn A/C off! The weatherman has promised sunny days with high temps only in the 70's. I'm going to take a few days off and enjoy being able to sit on the deck and catch up on my book reading and finally get caught up visiting my favorite blogs. Might even attack that pile of sewing that needs to get done!

Charlie and the gang are going to enjoy running around the yard because all of them know that if they see me on the deck, they get to escape the pen.





They have been real troopers through the heat wave, so I bought them a special treat:



As always, thank you for stopping by and spending some time with us here in Coopville!
Will be back soon!

Chickenmom  :o)







Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Chambered nautilus





Source: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Invertebrates/Facts/cephalopods/FactSheets/chamberednautilus.cfm

Chambered Nautilus

Nautilus pompilius

Habitat

The chambered nautilus lives in tropical waters extending from the Andaman Sea east to Fiji and from southern Japan to the Great Barrier Reef. This animal usually lives where the slopes of coral reefs descend into deep waters. During the day, it resides in dark cool waters at depths from 900 to 2,000 feet and ascends to shallower waters (300 to 500 feet deep) at night to feed.

Physical description

Chocolatey-brown zebra stripes adorn the nautilus's smooth, white shell. It expands its living space as it grows, adding internal chambers in a perfect logarithmic spiral coated in mother of pearl. The body is situated in the last chamber, and about 90 slim tentacles and a large eye peer out. The tentacles, which bear little anatomical resemblance to the suckered tentacles of squid, function mainly in smelling and manipulating food. When imperiled by predators, the nautilus withdraws into its armor and seals the door with a tough, leathery hood.

Life span

The nautilus has an unusually long life span for a cephalopod. It takes several years to reach sexual maturity and may live more than 15 years.

Predators

Octopus, sharks, triggerfish, and turtles can penetrate the nautilus shell.

Prey

At night, nautiluses ascend to shallower waters to scavenge for hermit crabs, fish, and the exoskeletons of molting crustaceans. They locate food by smelling the ocean currents for traces of dead or dying prey.

Reproduction

Nautiluses will reproduce annually once they've reached sexual maturity. Four modified, fused tentacles form the male sexual organ, the spadix. The spadix passes sperm to the female during mating, which can last up to 24 hours. The female fertilizes about a dozen eggs and deposits them one at a time or in small groups throughout the year. The eggs measure more than an inch in length, making them among the largest of invertebrate eggs. They have an exceptionally long incubation time, ranging from nine months to over a year. No one has ever seen nautilus eggs in the wild so little is known about the environment in which they are laid.

Status

The nautilus's graceful shell has made it an attractive commodity for the commercial shell trade, and Nautilus pompilius is the most commonly sold species. Traders from Indonesia, Fiji, and the Philippines capture nautiluses using baited traps. Conservation concerns have been raised due to nautiluses' slow rate of reproduction. In Indonesia, it is illegal to export nautiluses.

Did you know...

Nautiluses first appeared about 500 million years ago during the Cambrian Explosion—they were jet-propelling themselves through ancient seas 265 million years before dinosaurs inhabited the Earth. Nautiluses are described as living fossils because they have remained virtually unchanged for millions of years. The horseshoe crab, which has been around for 300 million years, is another example of a living fossil.











Today's funny :o)









Dinner with Laverne

Laverne found a frog!



Here she is pecking at it:



 She pecked at it until it was a goner - then she ran around with it showing all the others her prize!


Then she picked it up again, tossed her head back and swallowed little Kermit down in ONE gulp!


She looks might proud of herself!

:o)


Monday, August 24, 2015

No. No. Not EVER!




Kingda Ka






From: http://themeparks.about.com/od/sixflagsparks/a/KingdaAnnounce.htm:

It's over in the blink of an eye. Well, OK, 50.6 seconds to be exact -- but what an exhilarating not-quite-a-minute. It's Kingda Ka, the record-shattering rocket coaster that New Jersey's Six Flags Great Adventure unleashed in 2005. When it debuted, it took top honors as the fastest and tallest coaster on the planet. Since then, it has elicited scads of screams, abundant adrenaline spikes, hordes of horrific gasps, and at least a few wet undergarments.
Let's examine this wild coaster and engineering marvel, starting with its wildly impressive stats:
  • Type of coaster: Hydraulic launch rocket coaster
  • Height: 456 feet (world's tallest in 2005)
  • Top speed: 128 mph (world's fastest in 2005)
  • Coaster elements: 456-foot tall top hat tower, with 90-degree ascent and descent
  • 129-foot second hill designed to provide free-floating airtime.
  • Ride time: 50.6 seconds
  • Minimum height requirement: 54 inches

Is It Still the Fastest and the Tallest?

When it first launched, Kingda Ka took the tallest and fastest coaster trophies from rival Cedar Point and its essentially similar Top Thrill Dragster. It held both records for many years, but another coaster, Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, has since bested Kingda Ka in the speed department. It is still the fastest coaster in the United States and the second fastest coaster on the world. You can see how the speed demons rate in my updated listing of the world's 10 fastest roller coasters.
As of 2014, Kingda Ka is still holding on to its height record.
But it won't have bragging rights too much longer. A very different coaster coming to Orlando in 2016, called SkyScraper, will take the mantle as the world's tallest coaster. See other contenders in my list of the 10 tallest roller coasters in the world.
Kingda Ka (Swahili for "Omigod, what a ride!" Just kidding.) uses a hydraulic launch to blast off horizontally and reach 128 mph -- yeah, you read that right, 128 freakin' mph -- in 3.5 seconds. How in the world does it accomplish this amazing feat? You can get the lowdown in my article, "Kingda Huh? How Kingda Ka Works."
To meet huge demand, the rocket coaster accommodates four trains and has two loading platforms in its station. Manufactured by Swiss ride manufacturer Intamin, the thrill machine uses an over-the-shoulder safety restraint system.
Like Ohio's Dragster, Kingda Ka climbs a top-hat tower at 90 degrees. In this case, the apex of the tower reaches a staggering 456 feet, or 36 feet taller than Cedar Point's former champ. We're talking over 45 stories in the air. Riders don't have much time to either appreciate the view or get freaked out, however. The trains crest the tower and plummet 418 feet straight down the other side before entering into a 270-degree vertical spiral.
Kingda Ka uses some of its incredible height and speed to deliver a hint of airtime. After the top hat, it climbs a 129-foot tall hill designed to induce weightlessness. Then, after the proverbial blink of an eye, it's back to the station. (Come to think of it, it's likely that there isn't any eye-blinking going on among passengers while experiencing Kingda Ka's all-out assault.)


Today's funny :o)




Threading the needle!







Critters

Mama doe and her baby by the front wall:


 Under a neighbor's crab apple tree:


One of two young hawks that live around here.


 They usually sit in opposite trees waiting for the squirrels to come down out their nests.


 They are very, very patient and will stay there until they catch breakfast!


 Not a good photo, but you jut make out the hummingbird on top of the yellow plastic flower on the right. This one is irredesent green and comes for a drink severl times a day.


However, I think that Laverne's fluffy butt is still the best picture!


:o)



Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Night Doo-Wop


The Charts!



From: Wikipedia:

The Charts were an American doo-wop group of the 1950s, most famous for their recording "Deserie".

The group formed as The Thrilltones in Harlem, New York in 1956, and comprised teenagers Joe Grier (lead), Stephen Brown (first tenor), Glenmore Jackson (second tenor), Leroy Binns (baritone), and Ross Buford (bass). They acquired a manager, Les Cooper, who had previously been a member of various R&B groups, and who changed their name to The Charts.

They were signed to the Everlast label, owned by Bobby Robinson's brother Danny, who released their first single "Deserie" in May 1957. The song's authorship was credited to Cooper and Johnson, although singer Joe Grier later claimed that he had written the song along with the group's other material. The record was #3 on the national R&B charts, and was later featured on many compilations of doo-wop classics.

After a few more singles for Everlast, the original Charts disbanded in 1958 when Grier went into the service. On his return, he took up the saxophone, and featured on the 1962 instrumental hit by Les Cooper and his group the Soul Rockers, "Wiggle Wobble" (# 22 pop, # 12 R&B).

Brown and Binns kept the group's name going for several years with new members. They released an updated version of "Deserie" in 1967, retitled "Desiree", and continued touring and appearing at doowop revival concerts with various versions of The Charts until around 1983. Binns continued to perform with later versions of The Coasters and The Del Vikings.

"Deserie" was later recorded, as "D├ęsiree", by Laura Nyro on her 1971 album Gonna Take a Miracle.
In 1985, the group was Grier, Alex Augustine, Mickey Collier, and Jim Moschella (former member of The Elegants). The group appeared on the PBS special Red, White, and Rock in 2002. The group was Grier, Binns, and two then-current members of the Del-Vikings, Dickie Harmon and Butch Phillips.



Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Night Steam

Let's take a close-up look at two giants!







Union Pacific 844 is a 4-8-4 "Northern" type steam locomotive built by the American Locomotive Company in December of 1944 for the Union Pacific Railroad. Constructed as a member of the FEF-3class of 4-8-4's, the 844 was the last steam locomotive delivered to Union Pacific. Originally built for high-speed passenger work the 844, along with the other FEF class Northern's, was pressed into a variety of dual-service work. While commercial Union Pacific steam operations ended in the late 1950's, the 844 was retained by the railroad for special activities. Today, it is one of UP's oldest serving locomotives and is the only steam locomotive never retired by a North American Class I railroad.[2]

No. 844 was one of ten locomotives that were ordered by Union Pacific in 1944 and designated as class FEF-3. The FEF-3 class represented the epitome of dual-service steam locomotive development; funds and research were being concentrated into the development of diesel-electric locomotives. Designed to burn coal, they were converted to run on fuel oil. Like the earlier FEF-2 class, FEF-3 locomotives were designed as passenger engines. They pulled such trains as the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger.

Union Pacific 844 hauling the Pony Express in 1949.
From 1957 to 1959, UP 844 was reassigned to freight service in Nebraska when diesel-electric locomotives took over passenger service.

Union Pacific 844 on display in 2009.
Saved from scrapping in 1960, 844 was chosen for restoration and is now used on company and public excursion trains, along with revenue freight during ferry moves.
Built and designed in a joint-effort between the Union Pacific and ALCO, the 844 and the rest of the FEF-3 class could safely handle 120 mph. On one occasion, one of the engines of the FEF-3 class pulled a 1,000-ton passenger train at a 100 mph. All FEF classes were considered by the Union Pacific to be capable of producing between 4,000 and 5,000 drawbar horsepower.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Union Pacific 844
Union Pacific 844, Painted Rocks, NV, 2009 (crop).jpg
UP 844 at Painted Rocks, Nevada, on September 15, 2009
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder American Locomotive Company
Serial number 72791
Build date December 1944
Specifications
Configuration 4-8-4
UIC classification 2′D2′ h2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver diameter 80 in (2,032 mm)
Wheelbase Loco & tender: 98 ft 5 in (30.00 m)
Weight on drivers 266,490 lb (120,878 kg; 121 t)
Locomotive weight 486,340 lb (220,600 kg; 221 t)
Locomotive and tender
combined weight
907,890 lb (411,812 kg; 412 t)
Fuel type No. 5 fuel oil, originally coal
Fuel capacity 6,200 US gal (23,000 l; 5,200 imp gal)
Water capacity 23,500 US gal (89,000 l; 19,600 imp gal)
Boiler 86 316 in (2189.2 mm) diameter
Boiler pressure 300 lbf/in2 (2.07 MPa)
Firegrate area 100 sq ft (9.3 m2) (grate removed in 1945)
Heating surface:
– Tubes
2,204 sq ft (204.8 m2)
– Flues 1,578 sq ft (146.6 m2)
– Firebox 442 sq ft (41.1 m2)
– Total 4,224 sq ft (392.4 m2)
Superheater area 1,400 sq ft (130 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 25 in × 32 in (635 mm × 813 mm)
Performance figures
Maximum speed 120 mph (190 km/h)
Power output 4,500 hp (3,400 kW)
Tractive effort 63,800 lbf (283.8 kN)
Factor of
adhesion
4.18
Career
Operator(s) Union Pacific Railroad
Class FEF-3
Number(s) 844 (8444 from 1962-1989)
Disposition Overhaul, based on Cheyenne, Wyoming, in roundhouse


Union Pacific 4014, or UP 4014, is a four-cylinder articulated 4-8-8-4 Big Boy-type steam locomotive owned by Union Pacific Railroad. 4014 was retired from service on July 21, 1959 and donated to the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in Pomona on December 1961. The locomotive reached its destination in January 1962 and was displayed in Fairplex until November 2013. Union Pacific 4014 is currently in Union Pacific's Steam Shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming, undergoing extensive restoration work which is intended to return the engine to operational status. When 4014 officially returns to service, it will displace UP 3985 as the largest, heaviest and most powerful operational steam locomotive in the world.

History

UP 4014 was one of 25 4-8-8-4 class locomotives developed by Union Pacific and Alco to overcome issues with the preceding 4-6-6-4 Challenger class locomotives. It was determined that the goals that Union Pacific had set for its new class of locomotive could be achieved by making several changes to the existing Challenger design, including enlarging the firebox to approximately 235 by 96 inches (5.97 m × 2.44 m) (about 155 sq ft or 14.4 m2), lengthening the boiler, adding four driving wheels and reducing the size of the driving wheels from 69 to 68 in (1,753 to 1,727 mm).
The Big Boys are articulated, like the Mallet locomotive design. They were designed for stability at 80 miles per hour (130 km/h). They were built with a wide margin of reliability and safety, as they normally operated well below that speed in freight service. Peak horsepower was reached at about 35 mph (56 km/h); optimal tractive effort, at about 10 mph (16 km/h). The locomotive without the tender was the longest engine body of any reciprocating steam locomotive in the world.
Alco delivered No. 4014 to Union Pacific in December 1941 and it was fully retired on December 7, 1961. 4014 traveled 1,031,205 miles (1,659,564 km) for Union Pacific during its 20 years in service.
The last revenue train hauled by a Big Boy (No. 4015) ended its run in the evening of July 21, 1959. 4014 completed its last run earlier the same day at 1:50 in the morning. Most were stored operational until 1961, and four remained in operational condition at Green River, Wyoming until 1962. Their duties were assumed by diesel locomotives and gas turbine-electric locomotives (GTELs). Of the 25 built, 8 were preserved at various locations around the United States. 4014 was donated by Union Pacific to the Southern California chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in 1961. It did not reach its destination of Pomona until January 8, 1962.

Union Pacific "Big Boy" Number 4014 on static display at the RailGiants Train Museum in Pomona, California, United States
Union Pacific "Big Boy" Number 4014 on static display at the RailGiants Train Museum in Pomona, California, United States
Type and origin
References:[1]
Power type Steam
Builder American Locomotive Company
Serial number 65572
Build date September 1941
Specifications
Configuration 4-8-8-4
UIC classification (2′D)D2′ h4
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading wheel
diameter
36 in (914 mm)
Driver diameter 68 inches (170 cm)
Trailing wheel
diameter
42 in (1,067 mm)
Wheelbase 72 ft 5.5 in (22.09 m)
Length
  • Locomotive: 85 ft 7.8 in (26.11 m)
  • Overall: 132 ft 9 78 in (40.48 m)
Width 11 ft (3.4 m)
Height 16 ft 2 12 in (4.94 m)
Weight on drivers 540,000 lb (244,940 kilograms)
Locomotive weight 762,000 lb (345,637 kilograms)
Tender weight 342,200 lb (155,219 kilograms) (2/3 load)
Locomotive and tender
combined weight
1,250,000 lb (566,990 kilograms)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 28 short tons (25.4 t; 25.0 long tons)
Water capacity 24,000 US gal (91,000 l; 20,000 imp gal)
Boiler 95 in (2,400 mm)
Boiler pressure 300 lbf/in2 (2.1 MPa)
Firegrate area 150 sq ft (14 m2)
Heating surface:
– Tubes and flues
5,035 sq ft (468 m2)
– Firebox 720 sq ft (67 m2)
– Total 5,735 sq ft (533 m2)
Superheater type Type A
Superheater area 2,043 sq ft (190 m2)
Cylinders 4
Cylinder size 23.75 in × 32 in (603 mm × 813 mm)
Performance figures
Maximum speed 80 mph (130 km/h)
Power output 6,290 hp (4,690 kW)
Tractive effort 135,375 lbf (602.18 kN)
Factor of
adhesion
4.11
Career
Operator(s) Union Pacific Railroad
Number(s) 4014
Nicknames Big Boy
Last run July 21, 1959
Retired December 7, 1961
Restored Commenced August 2013
Current owner Union Pacific Railroad
Disposition Undergoing restoration for excursion service
Restoration includes conversion from coal to no. 5 oil.







Today's funny :o)


Toot-toot!







I love the......

.... mornings here in Coopville!


I like having my coffee outside before the heat and humidity sets in.


 The lawn and trees just sparkle with the early morning dew:



 Even the basil smells wonderful:


 It's so pretty!


The humidity started to build up quickly though and the sky opened up:


The rain didn't last too long:



It made a mess of the pen, but it did fill up our water barrels!

:o)



Thursday, August 20, 2015

Have you ever listened to a Wheelharp?

 What an amazing instrument!


 
The Wheelharp is a groundbreaking keyboard musical instrument that gives the player the ability to orchestrate a full chromatic scale of sixty-one (61) actual bowed strings at one’s own fingertips, almost like having a real chamber string orchestra at hand.

With an exotic profile and stunning rosette appointments, the Wheelharp’s appearance is equally as breathtaking as its audible character. It is currently available in a Radial Model (curved keyboard) with a five-octave range.

It utilizes a patented action and bridge to translate the player’s subtle fingerings into a range of bowing intensities, and comes equipped with a damper system and electronic pickup system, allowing individuals to sculpt astonishingly beautiful and complex sounds. For musicians, composers, and studios that seek to create the natural sound of classical string instruments while avoiding the frequently sterile quality of digital string synthesizers and samples, or for those looking to foray into new sonic territory, the Wheelharp presents a truly exciting opportunity.
- See more at: http://antiquitymusic.com/wheelharp#sthash.HGD933yx.dpuf
The Wheelharp is a groundbreaking keyboard musical instrument that gives the player the ability to orchestrate a full chromatic scale of sixty-one (61) actual bowed strings at one’s own fingertips, almost like having a real chamber string orchestra at hand.

With an exotic profile and stunning rosette appointments, the Wheelharp’s appearance is equally as breathtaking as its audible character. It is currently available in a Radial Model (curved keyboard) with a five-octave range.

It utilizes a patented action and bridge to translate the player’s subtle fingerings into a range of bowing intensities, and comes equipped with a damper system and electronic pickup system, allowing individuals to sculpt astonishingly beautiful and complex sounds. For musicians, composers, and studios that seek to create the natural sound of classical string instruments while avoiding the frequently sterile quality of digital string synthesizers and samples, or for those looking to foray into new sonic territory, the Wheelharp presents a truly exciting opportunity.
- See more at: http://antiquitymusic.com/wheelharp#sthash.HGD933yx.dpuf

Antiquity Music presents the extraordinarily beautiful Wheelharp at NAMM

By - January 28, 2013 7 Pictures
Jon Jones & Sons and Antiquity Music have debuted an intriguing vintage-looking new instrument called the Wheelharp at NAMM
Jon Jones & Sons and Antiquity Music have debuted an intriguing vintage-looking new instrument called the Wheelharp at NAMM
Image Gallery (7 images)
As Jon Jones was regulating his hurdy gurdy back in 2001, he began toying with the idea of creating a mechanically-bowed instrument with a full-scale chromatic keyboard. He went on to build two working models before hooking up with Antiquity Music's founder Mitchell Manger to work on improving the design. After a few more revisions, a stunning pre-production Wheelharp was premiered at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim (CA) last week.
The Wheelharp is being made in two different flavors, one with a curved (radial) keyboard and the other with a flat (linear) keyboard. Each will be available in three different octave ranges – a 37-string, 3-octave version, a 4-octave unit with 49 strings (shown below), and a model that spans five octaves and has 61 strings. It has a beautiful Victorian period-look oak body with rosette appointments, a laminated maple pinblock and a cast aluminum pulley.
At the press of a key, the instrument's patent-pending action moves the respective string toward a rotating, rosin-edged wheel spinning inside the barrel of the Wheelharp, where it's essentially bowed by the wheel. The mechanism is claimed capable of translating the player's subtle fingerings into a range of bowing intensities.
The left pedal activates and controls Wheelharp's full damper system, and the speed of the motor that turns the wheel is controlled via the right pedal. According to Antiquity Music, swells and decrescendos can be brought into play by the player varying the wheel speed and key depth.
There's an electromagnetic pickup system above the strings and a piezo pickup mounted to the soundboard. An optional microphone pickup system is available, too, and two 0.25-inch audio jack outputs allow for onward powered amplification. It runs on 110 - 120-volt AC power.
Jones has now entered into an agreement with the boutique vintage and antique musical instrument retailer, making Antiquity Music the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of the Wheelharp. Production is set to start in June and each unit will be hand-made to order.
Introductory pricing starts at US$9,900 for either a radial or linear 3-octave model, rising to $10,900 for the 4-octave version and finally topped off by the 5-octave Wheelharp at $11,900. There's also an optional ATA road case available for $1,450.
The short demonstration video below shows the Wheelharp in action.
Update June 5, 2013: Antiquity Music has now turned to Kickstarter to bring the Wheelharp to market.
Source: Antiquity Music

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Today's funny :o)


I think he REALLY means it, too!








Still hot and humid...

The gang is miserable. Laverne chases and bites Maude and Sophia and they get all flustered and start to squawk. Charlie hears them and then he get upset and chases all of them around. Then they are all upset. Only Shirley doesn't care. She sits in her dirt bath hole and sleeps most of the day.

In the afternoon, clouds started to form:


They were getting pretty big and we could hear a rumble of thunder is the distance.

And we had a total of five minutes of rain!


 Did I mention that I had clothes out on line??



:o(



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Q'eswachaka bridge

What is really amazing is that it's done without any government assistance!




The Q'eswachaka bridge

From: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
The Q'eswachaka bridge (also spelled Qeswachaka, Keshwa Chaca or Keswachaka) spanning the Apurimac River near Huinchiri, in Canas Province, Peru, is the last remaining Inca rope bridge.
Even though there is a modern bridge nearby, the residents of the region keep the ancient tradition and skills alive by renewing the bridge annually, in June. Several family groups have each prepared a number of grass-ropes to be formed into cables at the site, others prepare mats for decking, and the reconstruction is a communal effort. In ancient times the effort would have been a form of tax, with participants coerced to perform the rebuilding; nowadays the builders have indicated that effort is performed to honor their ancestors and the Pachamama (Earth Mother).
The event has also been supported by video productions for Nova and the BBC and is the subject of an independent documentary titled The Last Bridge Master (in-production, 2014). It is becoming a minor tourist attraction, with some small tolls charged for tourists to use the road during the festival to walk the newly completed bridge. In 2009 the government recognized the bridge and its maintenance as part of the cultural heritage of Peru, and there is now some outside sponsorship..




Today's funny :o)











This 'n That

afd

It's been hot and humid, so I haven't really been doing too much outside except to take care of the gang and put out the laundry. It cools off a wee bit in the evening and that's when we sit out on the deck. This was the temp last night when Hubby & I took our books outside:



 Clouds started to build in the early afternoon, but not enough to bring some welcome shade:


 They built up on Monday too, but no rain:
 


 The photo doesn't show it, but when the sun set that night, it was blood red and really quite beautiful.


Laverne plopped out a huge egg. That's a red spot on the shell; not a hole.
It was a double yolker again!


I've been cleaning the coop, run and pen several times a day now and chopping up fresh basil leaves to scatter about. If I don't keep it clean, the flies take over even with using the fly paper. I don't want Charlie or the girls to get bitten by those pests.

The weatherman said we might some rain today and break the heat wave. I sure do hope so!