The Gong Blog

Meno Mosso: HodgePodge for Mar. 11

Musically speaking

Interesting, long and subtly interactive, this New York Times piece looks at where popular music is heading.

“One of the great tricks of pop music is that no matter how much we like to imagine it’s about musicians expressing themselves, it tends to be more useful as a way for listeners to figure out their own identities: Each song lets us try on a new way of being in the world. For a long while, the idea was that young people could use music to shape their style — their clothes, their haircuts, their sense of cool. Then came high-speed Internet and a touching enthusiasm for the idea of playlists: With so much of the world’s music at our fingertips, we’d express our intelligence and taste by playing D.J. and curator, sorting through songs to assemble our own reflections. That didn’t last, either. Showing off your eclectic, handpicked treasures? This has become such a common online performance that there’s no one left in the audience.”

(If you want to check out the VR version of the story, you should sign up for our newsletter for a chance to win a Google Cardboard VR headset!)

Cooking for a change

In what could be called an early example of content marketing, starting just before the turn of the century, Suffragists used cookbooks to support their cause.

“The suffrage cookbooks came garnished with propaganda for the Great Cause: the fight for getting women the right to vote. Recipes ranged from basic guidelines on brewing tea and boiling rice, to epicurean ones for Almond Parfait and the ever-popular Lady Baltimore Cake, a layered Southern confection draped in boiled meringue frosting. Occasionally, there was a startling entry, such as that for Emergency Salad: one-tenth onion and nine-tenths apple with any salad dressing. But the bulk comprised a soothing flow of soups, gravies, breads, roasts, pies, omelets, salads, pickles and puddings.”

Run for it

Physical and mental fitness go hand-and-hand, according to studies detailed in this Runner’s World report:

“Luque-Casado said that his findings are relevant not only for people such as his triathlete subjects who get several hours of aerobic exercise each week. Training enough to produce what Luque-Casado called ‘a robust and permanent physiological profile,’ or an observable level of aerobic fitness, is likely sufficient.”

Circle gets the square

According this this article, American’s hate roundabouts. I guess Richmond didn’t get the memo, since the city’s been putting in roundabouts at a fairly heavy clip lately.

“Intersections in America are boring: Grind to a halt, go left, right, or straight. Why can’t we be more like countries that forgo 90-degree angles for welcoming roundabouts, where drivers can ease into their exits or just circle repeatedly in automotive bliss?”

You bet

As a species, we have bad record of understanding probability, says the Washington Post. I say that just means we’re due.

“Say you’re flipping a fair coin, and it comes up heads three times in a row. That’s kind of remarkable. Now, what are the odds the coin comes up heads a fourth time? The correct answer is that the odds are unchanged. There’s always a 50/50 chance the next toss will result in heads. The coin has no memory. It doesn’t know what happened in the past.”

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Tony Scida

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