Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
(A/N I think we should bring in that punishment rule; not only for late posts but for bad posts)
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Before I start, I want to make sure you're pronouncing it right. Most people (or most Americans, at least) will say "you-ka-LAY-lee." This is wrong. It's "Oo-koo-LEH-leh." Now you have no excuse for pronouncing it wrong, okay? Okay.
Most people assume that the ukulele is a traditional Hawaiian instrument, when in fact it is not. The ukulele as we know it today was designed by Portuguese immigrants in Hawaii in the late 1800's. They based the design on similar instruments from their own country. The word "ukulele" roughly translates to "jumping flea", because ukulele players' fingers moved so quickly across the fingerboard.
The ukulele became quite popular, helped by the support of the last Hawaiian king, David Kalakaua. It reached the mainland around 1915, and its popularity spread quickly throughout the US. Only one of the three Portuguese immigrants who had first designed the instrument, Manuel Nunes, was still building them. While he took on an apprentice to help him meet the overwhelming demands for ukes, several guitar companies on the mainland began to manufacture them. Apparently some of them were stamping "made in Hawaii" on the back of their instruments when they hadn't actually made the ukuleles in Hawaii. This caused Hawaiians to create a legally protected trademark, allowing only genuine Hawaiian-made ukuleles to bear the words "Made in Hawaii, U.S.A.", and making it a misdemeanor to use the trademark falsely.
The popularity of the little instrument continued to grow in America through the 1950's, but by the late 60's it began to fade. By the early 70's, there was only one manufacturer of ukuleles in the world. Happily, the ukulele has been making a comeback in recent years, and becoming more and more popular in modern music.
What I like about the ukulele is that it's inexpensive, portable, and very easy to play. I've had my Lanikai lu-21 (an upgrade from my old toy uke) for about 24 hours now and I've had way too much fun with it already. (I've been trying to learn some songs by Charlie McDonnell and Tom Milsom; I'm guessing you guys probably know who they are.)
In conclusion, Jake Shimabukuro is awesome.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Hopefully it was educational enough for education week.
P.S. If any of you challenge me to learn a song on my ukulele, I will make a video of me playing and singing and put it on YouTube. Easy pop songs only though, k? I can't play more than chords at this point.
Monday, March 28, 2011
So 3D movies have been around since the early 1950s, they became pretty popular in the 1980s and 1990s with the creation of IMAX film (Not-so-interesting fact #1: the very first IMAX movie was called Tiger Child which was released almost exactly 24 years before I was born)(Not-so-interesting fact #2 The first permanent IMAX theatre was put in the Cinesphere in Ontario Place [a Canadian amusement park in Toronto]), they were ridiculously successful in the 2000s and are more popular today than they ever have been (Not-so-interesting fact #3: There have been over 46 3D movies released or re-released in the last 3 years).
There are two different types of 3D films.
The ones that use the Blue and Red glasses were used to view early anaglyph films. In order to not sound stupid I'm going to quote wikipedia to describe anaglyph images.
In an anaglyph, the two images are superimposed in an additive light setting through two filters, one red and one cyan. In a subtractive light setting, the two images are printed in the same complementary colors on white paper. Glasses with colored filters in each eye separate the appropriate images by canceling the filter color out and rendering the complementary color black.
The rays in the beam of light split. You have vertical and horizontal light beams coming out of a movie screen. So each lens of the 3D glasses absorbs one or the other. So one absorbs the parallel rays while the other absorbs the perpendicular rays. The vents only allow one specific light to pass which in return is giving you a view that looks as if its 3d.
Ohmann. That's funny.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Everything Exceptional in Edmonton! Well almost everything that's more or less pretty exceptional :P
At this point in time sidewalks are 1/3 snow, 1/3 slush, and 1/3 ice so they're not super great to be out walking on.
- Weather is crazy here and people have a tendency to complain about it a lot, especially in the winter.
- Edmonton is the capital city of its province (Alberta).
- It has one of the lowest population densities of any major North American city. It only has a population of just over a million, yet takes up a greater area than places like Chicago and Detroit.
- Edmonton is Canada's Festival City
- There are over 70 golf courses in the area which I find kind of ironic seeing as they can't be used for over half the year... and now I've just come back to the weather again *sigh* it'll never end will it?
- However one good thing about being so far north is in the summer we get 17 hours of sunshine a day!
Best Place for a Nerdfighter Gathering
West Edmonton Mall. Which was the worlds largest mall, and then Mall of America was built larger and people were sad so WEM expanded and was bigger again and I feel like this back and forth went on for a while but it doesn't matter anymore because there's a mall in China that's bigger than both of them. But anyways it's a big mall with fun stuff to do! Like the water park and amusement park, shopping, skating, movies, oh and there's a big ol' ship in the middle of it.
My Favourite Place to go when it's not so nice out, and even sometimes when it is...
Architecturally beautiful as well as filled with some fantastic art! I never used to like going to the art gallery because it was, well kind of lame. However a couple years ago they tore it down and built a new one and it's a million times better! Not just the building, but it's been getting a lot better exhibits in it as well. This past year there's been a Matisse exhibit as well as Degas, obviously not their most prominent works were on display since they live in places like the Louve and Tate Modern over in Europe but at least we're getting some bigger names in art coming through at all.
Best Place to Hang Out
Starting by the University and running into the midst of theatre district is a road called Whyte Avenue and it's pretty much the coolest place to go shopping. All along there's everything from used books, records and vintage stores, to stylish boutiques, to stores that just sell fun knick knacks. You can get pretty much anything you need there and can easily pass the time when you have no where to be. It's also has a very active night life because there's a lot of bars and night clubs along it and go one street over and you get about five theatres all within a block or so of each other. All in all quite a fun place to be. Especailly during August when North America's largest Fringe moves in and then you have street performers and buskers gallore! Early in the summer there's also an art walk where local artists set up displays of their work all the way down the avenue for people to see and buy if they want.
Sorry this is so short but I left it kind of late today and now I'm thinking I should get some sleep. A few of the things I was planning on talking about that I just want to mention quick are going for walks in the river valley which is so peacefull and a great escape from the city while still being in the city, skating at this one park in winter, and spending evenings at Folk Fest in the summer (a phenominal music festival featuring both established and up and coming artists).
I hope you enjoyed this little taste of Edmonton! Ooh another fun summer festival is called the Taste of Edmonton where local restruants all have booths set up in the square outside city hall and you can sample some food from each of them :)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
|3 of the 4 tourist attracting pigs|
|The Malls Balls|
|Only some of it...|
|THIS PHOTO IS STUPID (It won't move D:)|
|The Fringe :D Music and Comedy festival... Which just happened to have a few pigs there. -__-|
(EDIT: Yay! It's Wednesday ;) )
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
This guy noticed my brother holding a camera so he posed in order to get our attention. He was one of those people who stand out on the mall and ask people to donate to Greenpeace or starving children or whatever, but he didn't ask us (my brother and I) for any money. I'm guessing it's because we're minors, but he was so charming I probably would have given him all the money in my wallet if he'd asked.
Best place to buy cool and random junk
Sorry about this weird format, by the way; I couldn't figure out how to arrange the pictures more nicely than this.
Anyways, come to Denver and we'll have a good time. It'll be awesome.