The Math Album (Vol. 1)

Black – Asymptote
Blue – Mathematic Blues ((you could skip this one))
Red – Mathphobe
Green – Pythagorean Suite
Beige – Tau
White – Pi

I can promise you there is both rhyme and reason to every one of the songs. Please note that “Volume 1” implies multiple volumes to come.

A Little Nettled About this Whole Thing

Days after the Quebec Conference…

This is just getting out of hand.

I mean, come on. I cannot believe the state of the state right now. Look at all of this just happening around me! Confederation here, confederation there, hey look at that guy sitting by the pier over there, could he be just talking about the sea and su- no confederation yet again! I am truly at a loss for words. There are no words in any language on God’s green earth that can properly or fully express my dismay and overall disappointment of the people in Canada.

Don’t they know that we the people will lose power? Don’t they know that will lose power, after I’ve worked so hard for the prized position of co-premier? In my opinion, John S. MacDonald is much better than John A. I’m even the Attorney General, do you believe that? This system of governing, or as I like to say “doing things”, is much more effective for us being a small club of farmers and lawyers who just want to do their own thing and not be ruled by some power-hungry lunatic with a name so generic that fifty other men might be mistaken as the leader of the country.

I’ll tell you what, some political baboons even set up this conference in Quebec. In MY Quebec, right in front of me. The audacity! I’m this close to even going on a protest (but that would be too much, wouldn’t it?). Currently, my plan to combat this disaster is to run for the opposition when the time should present itself, and defend my beliefs but also the best interests of all the provinces of this land. This political menace of an idea must be stopped.

Dear brother, as you can tell I am rather upset. I am enclosing a photo of myself to show you just has irked I am by these developments. I hope all is well back home, I heard the pigs escaped. You’d best catch them before they turn feral.

That is how disappointed I am. If you have any last bit of wonder on how nettled I truly am, on a scale of 1-10, it’s at least 10.

Whispers of Something Strange

5 November,1859

After careful consideration and much reflection, I have had a revelation, and epiphany of sorts. That there are few things in this world that are more perfect, more exquisite, more impeccable than the American government. As both a Parti Rouge leader and a member of the Assembly of the Province of Canada, we can (and should) look upon the political systems of our southern brethren like an institutional work of art. Oh, to be as liberal as they is but a dream. Of course, being a high ranking member of government, maybe I can change that. The whole idea of keeping our businesses and our trade within the province makes a lot of sense, and not allowing said economic endeavours interfere with political goings makes just as much. I’m sure that you, being an intellectual like myself, will agree.

I hear rumours of the beginnings of some unifying proposition. Some grand series of treaties that will bring together the provinces and Maritimes, or something of that nature. Like I said, they’re only rumours, but what if? This unification process would effectively eliminate the power to the provinces, thus effectively making me obsolete. Of course, we cannot have that, and for the sake of our nation divided, we could not support the unification of provinces. In any case, they are mere rumours, I will show no concern until I see a signed paper.

Otherwise, I hope all is well at home. I’m doing the best I can to make this place as good as we hoped it could be. I’m quickly finding out that my law degree is coming in handy in some situations, so those seven years of school are being put to some use.

Until I see you again

Your brother, A.A. Dorion

Snemma Norrænir Landnámsmenn

(Early Norse Settlers)

This source talks about the early settlement of Nordic explorers during the turn of the 11th century. The website is a transcription of the book The Norse Discovery of America by A.M. Reeves, N.L. Beamish, and R.B. Anderson. It talks about the first settlers like Erik the Red, and his son Leif Erikson, and how exactly they came to find Greenland and Vinland, the latter of which we now know as Newfoundland. It is a very detailed chronological history of the adventures of the Nordic explorers, as well as detailed information on the explorers themselves, beginning with the unfortunate manslaughter conviction and subsequent banishment of Erik the Red, to mentioning King Olaf of Iceland’s ulterior Christian motives, to Leif Erikson’s patriotic endeavours to attempt to colonize Vinland.

He had his arms full of grapes, and was devouring the fruit with all his might, and when spoken to by Leif Erikson, he only answered in his native tongue, “Weintrauben! Weintrauben!! Weintrauben!!!” He was born in a country where the grape grew, and […] the finding of grapes in this western world overwhelmed him with delight. The sagas tell us that grapes were found in great abundance on every hand, and from this circumstance Leif gave the country the name of Vinland.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/nda/nda27.htm 

 

Eminent Bibliography

http://www.johnwilliams.org/ – John Williams Website with all of the information one could possibly want to know about John Williams. Bio, discography, links to other useful sites, etc. 
http://www.jwfan.com/?page_id=132 – Fan Page with all of the information one could possibly want to know about John Williams. Bio, discography, etc. 
http://www.jw-collection.de/start.htm – Collection of scores and discography.

Bios
http://www.johnwilliams.org/reference/biography.html – Bio from the John Williams website mentioned above. 
http://www.thewrap.com/11-things-learned-afi-tribute-john-williams/ – 11 “Fun Facts” about John Williams. Doesn’t go into his whole biography, just the short interesting bits you would’t necessarily get from other sites. 
http://www.biography.com/people/john-williams-9532526#synopsis – Just one more biography website. 

Interviews & Articles
http://www.today.com/id/7749339/ns/today-entertainment/t/man-behind-music-star-wars/#.V7szqpMrLBI – Today Show Interview with John Williams.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueWVV_GnRIA – Itzhak Perlman (violinist for the film Schindler’s List) Interview.
http://variety.com/2016/film/spotlight/john-williams-afi-1201792072-1201792072/ – Variety Article on all of the work he has done, and his significance in the world. An easily digestible, yet informative read. 
http://oscar.go.com/nominees/music-original-score/star-wars-the-force-awakens – 50th Oscar Nomination.

Musical Info
https://youtu.be/Nx7NiJHIlGs – Scoring the film E.T.
https://youtu.be/xZtvm3DEQzY – How to write like John Williams. This video showed some of the musical techniques he uses in his films. It was interesting to watch and fun to try out on my own piano to see how it works.
https://youtu.be/HtifWqsON1g – A comparison to Hans Zimmer and a look into how Hans Zimmer composes. Interesting to see the difference between two very successful film composers. 
http://alanbelkinmusic.com/site/en/ – Alan Belkin’s Website. It contains a lot of information on how to compose in general as well as a letter to a young composer. Lots of subpages were used. Super great resource for general composition. 
http://www.art-13.ru/sites/default/files/musicophilia.pdf – The pdf to the book Musicophilia which I used for musical research purposes. The content is really interesting and touches on the scientific aspects of music. This would help anyone interesting in understanding how and why music works. 

Other
I used his music as a large part of the learning throughout my project. This meaning I listened actively and took notes on his music: what I liked, what instruments are used for what purposes, and so on. I also did this by transcribing a few of his themes and studying some scores that the school had in the band room, and scores that I borrowed from my mom’s school. As well, my interviews were two invaluable sources of information you can’t really get online.

Can Memories or Skills be Passed on Through Generations?

My TED talk on whether or not skills and/or memories can be passed down through generations.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Gallagher, J. (n.d.). ‘Memories’ pass between generations. Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://www.bbc.com/news/health-25156510

(n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedural_memory#Acquisition_of_skill
Declarative Memory (Explicit Memory) and Procedural Memory (Implicit Memory) – Types of Memory – The Human Memory. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://www.human-memory.net/types_declarative.html
Long-term memory. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_memory
Procedural memory. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedural_memory
Treffert, D. (n.d.). Genetic Memory: How We Know Things We Never Learned. Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/genetic-memory-how-we-know-things-we-never-learned/
Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/10486479/Phobias-may-be-memories-passed-down-in-genes-from-ancestors.html
What makes you unique? Not genes so much as surrounding sequences, says Stanford study. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2010/03/what-makes-you-unique-not-genes-so-much-as-surrounding-sequences-says-stanford-study.html
(n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptation#Flexibility.2C_acclimatization.2C_learning
http://jeb.biologists.org/content/jexbio/199/1/93.full.pdf
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/visibleproofs/education/dna/dna.pdf
Adaptive evolution in the human genome. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_evolution_in_the_human_genome

The Bottom of the Bread Pile

I have no name. They don’t call me by anything. But of course, why would they? Why would they know my name is Lavalle DeLaBaguette? They wouldn’t and take pride in not knowing.

Ah but it is life. C’est la vie. I’m but a baker. But I’m the best baker to ever have baked. Or so I thought. My wallet is as empty as the inside of the bagels I bake, back when I could afford the ingredients to bake such things. I have to raise my prices to keep myself alive. People call me a rip-off but they don’t really know. I barely get along with what I am forced to charge now. Everything is more expensive. Taxes take literally everything I have. Have you ever tried paying off debts with croissants?

Keep on keeping on. That’s just the way life has been and has to be like. I have no say. They statisticians say I am of the 99%. But what am I in that 99%? I’m one baker in the grand scheme of bakery, let alone peasantry. I don’t even know if they count the women. Even if I wanted to do something, it’s not my place, nor could I do anything about it. I’m at the bottom of the heap. Just trying to stay alive. And the only way that can happen in this capitalist dog-eat-dog world, my bread means almost nothing. I only keep myself going with what little pride left I have, and put it into my work. As well as making the occasional joke at my own expense.

I don’t participate in much anymore. Back in the day, I was revolutionary. If you consider being the head of Baker Conventions and winning the occasional Toasty (the Baker’s choice awards) revolutionary. I had a spark once. That was crushed with the arrival of the nimrod eating cake, who is sitting in her play-farm up, right on the top of the pile. She, and her gold-gilded glockenspiel (or as they call it, a carillon) have forced me to make my bread over-expensive, causing people to search for cheaper bread elsewhere. And even the ones who still buy from me, buy with a look of hate in their eye, either for me, the queen, or both.

Do I hate it? Absolutely. Do I think it should change? Definitely. Will I do anything about it? Positively not. I am an uneducated peasant without a name and with a dead reputation chained to my leg. Even if I wanted to do something, one person is nothing against a king.  I am at the bottom of the pile and that’s how it will be. I’ve got to keep on keeping on.

C’est la vie.

You and I, Changing the World

We all get our big questions from somewhere. Whether it be our friends during a heated discussion on existentialism, our teachers knowingly or unknowingly planting the seed of curiosity in our minds, or ourselves when our mind wanders on and on.

Questions of a provocative nature are as numerous and as varied as there are people in the world, and then some. Everybody has thier own question[s] and thier own opinions on what the answer may be, despite the fact that a definitive answer may never reveal itself. But thats the joy of provocative questions. They are provocative.

A question that I’m sure all of us have asked or are still asking is; how can I change the world? When people say they want to change the world they might mean diffenerent things. This brings us to the question, do we want to change the world on a whole, or change the world for one person? In other words, do we want to make life a little bit different for a lot of people, or do we want to dramatically change the life of someone for the better, therefore completely changing thier world.

Now, when people say they want to change the universe, that’s just ridiculous. Because first of all, what percentage of the known universe can be affected by you? An extremely small percent. In fact, the only thing that can be affected, is the floating bit of rock we call earth. That’s all that can we can affect and be affected by. Our goal is not to change the lives of people on Neptune, because there aren’t any lives there. We can only hope to achieve affecting others by focusing on our world. [I suppose this could be an analogy for our expectatons.]

To dig deeper into this question of wanting to change the world, we must ask ourselves, why? Why do we want to change the world, no matter our definition on “the world”. Is it to be remembered? And does wanting to be remembered make our want to change the world a selfish thing? This in turn brings us to the question that can not only be applied to this question, but many others: does the means of which we achieve our goal matter? A great example of this would be the story of Christopher Columbus. His ultimate goal was progress. And he achieved his version of progress, but not without leaving his mark on the poeple he belived he had to get through to achieve it. This is a drastic example, but makes you think about the answer to that question.

Many provocative questions are ones thought of by many others, and have philosophers currently attempting to solve the sometimes unsolvable. A common question would be, what is life? I cannot deny that I too have thought of this question and have asked others, usually to recieve a sarcastic or comedic response (Siri told me the answer was chocolate. Hard to disagree). This question is perhaps too vague. By definition, life is the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, and continous change before death, or the existance of a living being. Searching Google would give you the answer to that. Not really a provocative question then. So the question is, what does life mean? Or in other words, what does our life mean in the grand scheme of things? And this brings us back to one of my earlier questions.

More deep-thinking questions of mine include:

  • Why do we fear death? What is it about death that scares us? Is it the dying? or being dead? Or do we fear what could come after? Is it the fear of not knowing?
  • What are we? Are we our body? Our mind? Our soul?
  • Does achieving our goal bring us happiness?  Is the pursuit the real joy? The end result just being the metaphorical cherry on top?
  • Is there life other than us out there? If there is life, would we even see it as life? Would it display the characteristics that life here does?
  • Are there beings much bigger than us ‘out there’? Is there a god? Whether it be the god of the Christian, Muslim, or any other religion known or unknown?

All these questions have the ability to develop into larger or smaller questions which in turn give light to more questions and so on and so forth. That’s what provocative questions are. Questions which trigger other deep-thinking questions. A butterfly effect of questions that maybe won’t ever be answered. These questions are a very special type of question. Some provocative questions have evolved, such as is the earth round, to now, is the universe round (a whole other blog post). We’ve all had and still have provocative questions burning in our minds, with a desire to have it answered. But maybe that’s the beauty of provocative questions. Sometimes, there isn’t an answer.

And as for my first question on trying to change the world, you can. That is an answer I like to think I have correct. You may not chasnge the world Bill Gates or Steve Jobs did. You may not even change the world the Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King did. But one thing is for sure. You can. You may have already. You may have already changed someone’s life for the better, and you just dont know it. Or if your family sponsors a child in a struggling nation. Even volunteering at a local community or charity, you could be changing someone’s life, and therefore, thier entire world. Our neighbours in Jupiter can wait. Dont set too high standards for yourself. Your question on how you could change the world might have its answer hiding in plain sight. You just need to find it because it’s going to be different for everybody. That is one provocative question I hope that everyone will one day find an answer to.

Will all provocative questions have answers? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean to stop searching for the answer. Enlist the help of your friends who just finished thier talk with you on thier existential crsis. Look for guidance in your teachers who knowingly or unknowingly planted that seed of curiosity in your head. Or of course, try and answer the question youself when your mind has wandered when in fact it should be learning the difference between rational numbers and irrational numbers.These questions are all meant to be challenging, and thats the fun of it. Some are of course more intimidating than others, but that’s OK. Pick ones you are intruiged by, which in my case is [fortunately and unfortunately] all of them.Sometimes you wont be successful in finding answers, but like I said before, some questions aren’t meant to be answered, and that’s the beauty of it.