Friday, March 28, 2014

My heart almost stood still

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(Reblogged from Letters of Note)

On the evening of February 1st, 1924, the New York Symphony Orchestra played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall in New York, conducted by Walter Damrosch. Thankfully for those who couldn't attend, the performance was broadcast live on the radio. A couple of days later, the orchestra received a stunning letter of thanks from the unlikeliest of sources: Helen Keller, a renowned author and activist who had been deaf and blind from a young age. It can be read below.

Eight years later, Keller wrote an equally evocative letter in which she described the view from atop the Empire State Building.

(Source: The Baton, Volumes 2-3, via Marcus Williams; Image: Helen Keller "listening" to the radio, c.1929, via Angelfire.)
93 Seminole Avenue,
Forest Hills, L. I.,
February 2, 1924.
The New York Symphoy Orchestra,
New York City.

Dear Friends:

I have the joy of being able to tell you that, though deaf and blind, I spent a glorious hour last night listening over the radio to Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony." I do not mean to say that I "heard" the music in the sense that other people heard it; and I do not know whether I can make you understand how it was possible for me to derive pleasure from the symphony. It was a great surprise to myself. I had been reading in my magazine for the blind of the happiness that the radio was bringing to the sightless everywhere. I was delighted to know that the blind had gained a new source of enjoyment; but I did not dream that I could have any part in their joy. Last night, when the family was listening to your wonderful rendering of the immortal symphony someone suggested that I put my hand on the receiver and see if I could get any of the vibrations. He unscrewed the cap, and I lightly touched the sensitive diaphragm. What was my amazement to discover that I could feel, not only the vibrations, but also the impassioned rhythm, the throb and the urge of the music! The intertwined and intermingling vibrations from different instruments enchanted me. I could actually distinguish the cornets, the roll of the drums, deep-toned violas and violins singing in exquisite unison. How the lovely speech of the violins flowed and plowed over the deepest tones of the other instruments! When the human voice leaped up trilling from the surge of harmony, I recognized them instantly as voices. I felt the chorus grow more exultant, more ecstatic, upcurving swift and flame-like, until my heart almost stood still. The women's voices seemed an embodiment of all the angelic voices rushing in a harmonious flood of beautiful and inspiring sound. The great chorus throbbed against my fingers with poignant pause and flow. Then all the instruments and voices together burst forth—an ocean of heavenly vibration—and died away like winds when the atom is spent, ending in a delicate shower of sweet notes.

Of course, this was not "hearing" but I do know that the tones and harmonies conveyed to me moods of great beauty and majesty. I also sensed, or thought I did, the tender sounds of nature that sing into my hand—swaying reeds and winds and the murmur of streams. I have never been so enraptured before by a multitude of tone-vibrations.

As I listened, with darkness and melody, shadow and sound filling all the room, I could not help remembering that the great composer who poured forth such a flood of sweetness into the world was deaf like myself. I marvelled at the power of his quenchless spirit by which out of his pain he wrought such joy for others—and there I sat, feeling with my hand the magnificent symphony which broke like a sea upon the silent shores of his soul and mine.

Let me thank you warmly for all the delight which your beautiful music has brought to my household and to me. I want also to thank Station WEAF for the joy they are broadcasting in the world.

With kindest regards and best wishes, I am,

Sincerely yours,

(Signed)

HELEN KELLER

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Relationship with my Phone

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Monday, March 17, 2014

10 Great Irish Tries

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To celebrate Ireland's brilliant victory in 2014 6 Nations Championship, we give you "10 Great Irish Tries" as chosen by Irish broadcaster, journalist and rugby union pundit, George Hook. Please notice his Irish accent.

This magnificent selection includes a remarkable hat-trick by Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll.


No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Holstee Manifesto: Lifecycle Video

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The Holstee Manifesto is a call to action to live a life full of intention, creativity, passion, and community. 

The LifeCycle Film came about as a desire to bring the energy and passion behind the Manifesto to life through something we love--biking. As we seek to live mindful lifestyles that leave a positive impact on the people and world around us, biking has become a passion that is much more than a transportation alternative. It is a way of fully experiencing the city we love and all of its details.

This Film is a celebration. It is a celebration of gatherings, of diversity, of life, and of the beauty of shared experience. We hope you enjoy.

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No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Don't Worry

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(Reblogged from Brain Pickings)

On 24th November 1942, Clare Boothe Luce wrote a letter to her 18-year-old daughter Ann, at the time a second-year student at Stanford University, which included the following paragraph:

Don’t worry about your studies. When you want to do them well you will do them superbly, but for the moment the main thing is to get what little happiness there is out of life in this wartorn world because “these are the good old days” now.

Unfortunately, a little more than a year later, Ann, Luce’s only child, was killed in a car accident.

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purpose only.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Insult better: Quote Shakespeare

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Panyee FC

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This film is based on a true story. In 1986 a football team that lived on a little island in the south of Thailand called "Koh Panyee". It's a floating village in the middle of the sea that has not an inch of soil. The kids here loved to watch football but had nowhere to play or practice. But they didn't let that stop them. They challenged the norm and have become a great inspiration for new generations on the island.

Whatever challenges you face in life, if you think you can make a difference... we say you can


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Friday, March 7, 2014

Spelling

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

For, Since and During

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