I Got Me A Cello

Cello standing by a bookcaseMy dream has come true: I have a cello. It’s shorter than I expected: around 4 feet tall, with the 3 inch metal stand stuck in its bottom. I have no idea how to play it except like a bass, and I haven’t played a fretless bass in 20 years. The notes of the strings are different anyway, so I can’t play your standard basslines even if I remembered any.

I know someone who knows how to play, so I’m going to take a few lessons to get the hang of it. I’m renting it for three months. Look out Yo-Yo Ma.

A Motorcycle Built For You

The Motorcycle Personality Test:

Because this test is based on Science, you may discover that you are riding the wrong motorcycle right now. If this happens, you must trust the test results and and sell your bike as soon as possible, or else your life will undoubtedly be miserable.

My result:

Honda Goldwing: Motorcycling isn’t really about speed or challenge or image for you. You’d be more than happy to toodle about on a giant barcalounger of a bike, meeting up with likeminded folks to ride 200 miles down the freeway to barbeques and pancake breakfasts.

I would never own a Honda Goldwing.

You have to enter a fake birthday at the end of the quiz.

(via Look At This…)

Stealing Air For Your Bicycle Tires

Automatic bicycle pump:

Fill your bicycle wheels with conveniently available pressurized air stored in automobiles.
Take your bike and go find a hummer (or some other overweight vehicle). Fold the hose in your hand so you don’t waste any precious energy. Attach one end to the automobile tyre and the other to your bike. When you unfold the hose you can hear a hiss. That is the sound of air flowing to your bike wheel and the world becoming a better place

I would never have thought of it.

(via MAKE Magazine)

Learn To Play Jazz Piano

playing jazz pianoHow to Play Jazz Piano:

Even though it probably sounds horrible, practice for long enough and you’ll sound more and more like what’s written there without you even knowing it. You can always go back to the sheet music to see how they’re voicing the chords in clever ways that you’re not.

That’s the key: practice, practice, practice. Then, maybe, you may get the feel for it; the euphoria that sweeps over you as you’re playing that tells you you finally got the groove. It happened to me once, about 20 years ago, as I was improvising some blues on the piano. It hasn’t happened since.

I’ve posted similar things before: How To Play Jazz Piano, and Free Piano Lessons.

A Comma Controversy

Serial comma is a:

…comma used immediately before a conjunction (such as “and” or “or”) in a list of three or more items. The phrase “ham, chips, and eggs” is written with a serial comma, but “ham, chips and eggs” is not.

So what? you say. Well, it’s a big deal for editors and many writers. The Case of the Serial Comma:

People who know nothing else about punctuation recite this error with conviction, which says something ominous about the state of English language instruction. Why have many English teachers taught this wrong rule? Are they truly unaware that press style is for journalists and that we have a wealth of better authorities for standard American usage?

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss first introduced its controversy to me; I posted her punctuation quiz before.

I use the serial comma. “He ate a sandwich, bag of chips, and a cookie” makes more sense to me than “He ate a sandwich, bag of chips and a cookie”.