It's that festive time of the year again! I'm too well stuffed to think of anything interesting to say so I'll cop out by giving a shout out to a few do-gooders I've heard about recently... in no particular order:
1. Jefferson Lab is making science fun and easy to understand with their excellent Youtube channel.
This is how real science is done, mates! You observe a phenomenon and make predictive guesses (hypotheses) on what makes it go the way it does. Predictiveness is the key! If this causes that to happen, then what will happen if I do this and that to it? This is what makes a scientific guess (hypothesis) special. You can falsify it against real observation and see if you guessed wrong or not.
2. Rachel Maddow, the adorable (though at times in a rather irritating manner) and as-smart-as-a-whip host of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and at Air America Radio is making it hard for me to completely give up on journalism.
Photo: The Rachel Maddow Show
She is quite to the left of me and we disagree on a few issues, but she has convinced me that she always does her very best to get the facts straight before reporting them... And that in the rare occasions that she doesn't she always promptly corrects herself and apologizes. Never mind what David Frum says. The lass is an honest and straight shooter who is also a pleasure to both agree and disagree with!
3. Prince William of Wales spending a homeless night out on the frozen street of London for a good cause. It is too easy to sit in a well heated home while lumping all street people together as being deserving of their misfortunes. Some are, to be sure, but many more aren't and it really doesn't take much to help them get back on their feet. It takes guts for a prince to voluntarily have a taste of it without shining a spotlight onto himself (only one photo was released well after the deed was performed). Photo: Centrepoint/AP
I think his mum would be proud!
4. Joyce DiDonato. The American mezzo-soprano not only burns down the stage with her intensity and superb skills every time she goes to work, but also keeps a refreshingly down to earth and regularly updated blog that allows us outsiders a good glimpse at life as a deservedly successful performance artist.
Photo: Sheila Rock
She also posted the best holiday greetings on it this year with a generous gesture worth imitating!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all my friends and readers, of course! Thanks for putting up with my smorginess all this time. I'm taking your remarkable patience for granted now and hereby impose upon you yet another one of my operatic indulgences...
This is the marvelous Vesselina Kasarova really rocking the boat (or rather, the concert house in Bremen) with Ariodante's final bravura aria, Dopo notte. Merrily accompanying her from the orchestra is Maestro Harry Bicket (obviously from his pace setting... another rock music lover in disguise as a classical conductor!)!