On Exploring Creativity

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. (Steve Jobs, Founder: Apple Computers)

Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks. (Yo-Yo Ma, cellist)

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. (Albert Einstein,scientist)

Creativity is not just for artists. It’s for business people looking for a new way to close a sale; it’s for engineers trying to solve a problem; it’s for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way. (Twyla Tharp, dancer/choreographer)

Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity. (T. S. Eliot, playwright)

Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous. (Bill Moyers, journalist)

To me there’s no creativity without boundaries. If you’re gonna write a sonnet, it’s 14 lines, so it’s solving the problem within the container. (Lorne Michaels, Producer: SNL)

The human brain is one factor that differentiates humans from other animals. Through music, art, engineering, science, and other forms, this complex three-pound mass of interconnected neurons delivers many expressions of human ingenuity – and wait until you see these strandbeests.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 256

While I appreciate the No-Labels organization and their agenda as the National Strategic Agenda (for problem solving), in the end, politicians remain loyal to their party. Nonetheless, this is a good read.

The Senate’s delay of dealing with confirming a new Attorney General is the type of political theater I deplore. All presidential nominees should be acted upon, thus not treated as political footballs … and that’s regardless of the president’s party and the majority party in the Senate. If the senators are hiding behind Senate Rules, then I suggest changing the rules.

Welcome to another edition of It’s Time for Truth with Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Here’s the explanation from PolitiFact.

CruzSmallBiz

Wayne LaPierre is the Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Given a high position in many other organizations (if not most), remarks like he makes would have gotten him fired.

The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame recently inducted new members. Joan Jett before the Moody Blues? Joan Jett before Yes? That organization has no credibility – None, nada, zilch, zero. Their credibility level is near that of Baseball Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig and Congress … and that’s not good company.

I had a lousy week of visiting your blogs. :(

Our energy provider recently sent us this graph regarding energy use.

EnergyUse1year

Meals: The Musical is scheduled to return next week, which means I will announce Act 3’s theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

No Saturday Morning Cartoons this weekend, but Saturday will bring a new Explore post.

Milestone alert – Approaching a quarter of a million hits, thus should surpass next week.

Body cameras on police is getting a lot of attention. To lead you into it’s headlines, The Onion offers a list of pros and cons regarding this issue.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Medical experts disappointed in man who failed to live up to life expectancy
Lethal injection least effective drug man took while in prison
Hand gestures transform friend’s story into immersive virtual reality experience
Relationship reaches point where breaking up, getting married would be equally huge hassle
Lovestruck Arabian princess begs father to spare John Kerry’s life

Interesting Reads
Columnist Dana Milbank on partisanship, the elected, and the electorate
Redefining India’s textile heritage
World War I Anzaks (and Anzak Day is Saturday)
How an octopus is coordinated
A short web & digital technology quiz from Pew Research Center

Your Weekend Celebrations
(Fri) Hairball Awareness Day, Satchmo Days, Meningitis Day, Arbor Day, Pigs in a Blanket Day, New Kids on the Block Day, Teach Your Children to Save Day, Puppetry Day, Sylvester the Cat’s Birthday, Natasha’s (Sesame Street) Birthday
(Sat) Anzac Day, DNA Day, Dance Day, Hug a Plumber Day, Bob Wills Day, Eeyore’s Birthday, Hairstylists Appreciation Day, Marconi Day, License Plates Day, Malaria Awareness Day, Go Birding Day, Herb Day, Penguin Day, Red Hat Society Day, Rebuilding Day, Save the Frogs Day, Sense of Smell Day, Spring Astronomy Day, World Day for Animals in Laboratories, World Healing Day, Veterinary Day, Tai Chi & Qigong Day, Telephone Day, Kiss of Hope Day, East Meets West Day
(Sun) Hug an Australian Day, Photography Day, Static Cling Day, Hug a Friend Day, Help a Horse Day, Audubon Day, Mother-Father-Deaf Day, Kids & Pets Day, Pretzel Day, Pet Parent’s Day, Richter Scale Day, Intellectual Property Day

There should be any doubt why these songs will send you into the weekend, Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Quickstep

Quickstep – not the passion of Tango, not the aristocracy of Viennese Waltz, not the sexyness of Bolero – but Quickstep’s characteristics are quick, joyful, energetic, light-hearted, smooth, glamorous, flowing, cheerful, graceful, exuberant, playful, weightless, spontaneous, and carefree

The History
Music of the 1920s played the slow-Foxtrot too fast – thus Quickstep became the faster version

Roots lie in the strides of Foxtrot and the quickness of Charleston, but without the kicks

Quickstep is also influenced by dances Shag, Peabody, & One-Step, plus ragtime music

Quickstep called “the QuickTime Foxtrot and Charleston” at a 1927 dance competition

Performed in Ziegfeld Follies (Running Wild) in 1923

The Dance
Quickstep – the fastest tempo of all the ballroom dances

Appears dancers’ feet are barely touching the ground

Quickstep is danced in 4/4 time

Dancers stay in hold (no breaks)

The movement of the dance is fast and powerfully flowing and sprinkled with syncopation

Quickstep moves across the floor with quick steps, quarter turns, chasses, hops, runs, pivots, tipples, fish tails, swivels

Quickstep and it’s music are both happy and lively

The Basics
Quickstep involves fast movement, but the basic pattern is easy to learn

The basic pattern progresses down the floor in a zigzag pattern

The basic rhythm is slow-quick-quick-slow or slow-slow-quick-quick

Repeating pattern: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, slow, quick quick, slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, etc

Quick is one beat, slow is two beats

Heel leads on forward steps important

Both the leader and follower should maintain an upright posture throughout the dance

The basic, but with a spin-turn for corners

Closing
Quickstep is not for everyone because it’s not an easy dance. However, there’s no doubt that the audience loves watching Quickstep at its finest.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 129

Hey there? How’s your week going?

Mine has been OK to this point with some errands, visits, phone calls, etc. I cram those into the first part of the week because my part-time job occupies the end of the week. It’s another week without a golf league – but the season is early, so I’m hopeful that some opportunities will become available.

Several times I’ve mentioned that my wife and I are in a Quickstep formation at a local studio. So far, it has been quite the torture for numerous reasons, but we’re trying. Many readers probably do not know much about the dance, so the next post will be about Quickstep.

On to the mid-week satire from The Onion with hopes of delivering a chuckle. Don’t forget the Combo Challenge, which gives you a chance to make your own satirical headline. All you have to do is limit yourself to the world that are in the headlines below the picture. My Combo is at the end.

Any favorites? Have a good rest of the week.

Scout returns with news from quicker checkout line to the east

Study finds employees most productive they set their own salaries

Area man could have made same meal at home but worse

US Government offers 100 million Americans generous severance deal to leave country

Report: Reuben rated top mid-size sandwich in its class

Woman’s parents accepting of mixed-attractiveness relationship

Report: Mom has plans for tub of whipped cream in fridge – don’t eat it!

Area man only one with problems

Man looks on helplessly as friend tells him story he’s already heard

Mankind tired of having to remind itself of good in the world

Condo board maintains purity of bloodline through generations of intermarriage

My Combo: Rueben looks helplessly at woman’s generous offer to eat whipped cream from mid-size area on man

On 50 Years Ago: 1965

1965 – that’s 50 years ago – before the birth of some readers here entered the world. Others remember the year. For me – I turned 12, which means I split the year in sixth and seventh grade.

1965 – Started and ended on a Friday

1965 – a world population of 3,334,874,000

1965 – A world without the Super Bowl, personal computers, microwave ovens, cable or satellite television,  text messages, LEDs, GPS, caller ID, apps, blogs, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, and more

1965 – World leaders as Lyndon Johnson, Charles De Gaulle, Georgios Papandreou, u Thant, Alexei Kosygin, and Harold Wilson

1965 – Singapore established as a city-state

1965 – Pope Paul VI becomes the first pope to visit the U.S.

1965 – The Gemini space program has 6 flights

1965 – Zimbabwe forms as Rhodesia declares independence from Great Britain

1965 – Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, Germany

1965 – The Astrodome (Houston) and the Gateway Arch (St. Louis) open

1965 – Cigarette ads banned from the telly in the UK

1965 – Sonny and Cher first television appearance on American Bandstand

1965 – India and Pakistan at war

1965 – Multiple storms kill thousands in India and Pakistan

1965 – U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society speech

1965 – Canada adopts the Maple Leaf flag

1965 – Second Vatican Council

1965 – Sound of Music, The Sons of Katie Elder, Dr. Zhivago, Thunderball, Von Ryan’s Express, The Great Race, and Cat Ballou

1965 – Born – JK Rowling, Shania Twain, Diane Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Hurley,  Chris Rock, Charlie Sheen, and lava lamps

1965 – Much more … so see this photo essay from The Atlantic that sparked this post.

On Aerobic Monday

Whew … an interesting weather weekend for Cincinnati. From Friday’s sunny and pleasant day, to Saturday’s sunny, very warm, and muggy, to Sunday’s rains. Then again, that’s April … and for us in the northern hemisphere, April is generally better than March.

How was the weather in your area? What did you do this weekend? Come on now – tell us something.

Our weekend involved an evening of ballroom, taking long walks, working Sunday, ushering at church, attending a wedding, and Quick Step formation practice. Meanwhile, I need to explain Quick Step.

For those remembering a geography trivia question in the last Opinions in the Shorts, see Stamford, go north, south, east, and west, from Stamford Connecticut (or Connecticut’s southwestern corner). For my standpoint, List of X was also correct – and as I responded to him, the person who first asked me the question many years ago included “population center” in the question. X – how did you determine your answer?

Celebrations for Your Week

  • (Week) Cleaning for a Reason Week, Organize Your Files Week, Medical Labs Week, Human Violence Awareness Week, Laboratory Animal Liberation Week, Home Furnishings Week, Wildlife Film Week, Consumer Awareness Week, Money Smart Week, Infant Immunization Week, Park Week, Police Officers Who Gave Their Lives in the Line of Duty Week, Administrative Professionals Week, Bedbug Awareness Week, Coin Week, Fibroid Awareness Week, Oral-Head-and-Neck-Cancer Awareness Week, Crime Victims Rights Week, Environmental Education Week, Infertility Awareness Week, Karaoke Week, Pet ID Week, Princess Week, Bubblegum Week, Sky Awareness Week, Week of the Ocean, Bike Safety Week, Pan American Week, Boys & Girls Club Week, Adult Films Week, Explore Your Career Week, Science & Technology Week
  • (Mon) Cuckoo Day, Food Day, Look Alike Day, Lima Bean Respect Day, Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day, Chinese Language Day, Pot Smokers Day, Medical Marijuana Day, Make a Quilt Day, Volunteer Recognition Day, Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • (Tues) Red Baron Day, Bulldogs are Beautiful Day, Rosita’s Birthday (Sesame Street), Kindergarten Day, Jet Passenger Service Day, Surprise Drug Test Day, Chocolate Covered Cashews Day, San Jacinto Day, Tuna Rights Day, Big Word Day
  • (Wed) Earth Day, Jelly Bean Day, April Shows Day, Administrative Professionals Day, Global Selfie Earth Day
  • (Thurs) Talk Like Shakespeare Day, Take a Chance Day, Picnic Day, Nose Picking Day, Garlic Day, Movie Theater Day, Lost Dogs Awareness Day, Cherry Cheesecake Day, Impossible Astronaut Day, Take Your Kids to Work Day, English Language Day, World Book & Copyright Day, Home Run Day, Shirley Temple Day, Fire Drill Day, Lover’s Day, Laboratory Day, Peppercorn Day

Some commercials are very fitting to start your week with a smile. This one is from across the pond, so our European friends may be familiar with this one. Have a good rest of the week.

On Exploring an Expression

The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity. (Walt Whitman)

The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation. (Michael Jackson)

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist. (Salman Rushdie)

Literature is the expression of a feeling of deprivation, a recourse against a sense of something missing. But the contrary is also true: language is what makes us human. It is a recourse against the meaningless noise and silence of nature and history. (Octavio Paz)

Mathematics as an expression of the human mind reflects the active will, the contemplative reason, and the desire for aesthetic perfection. Its basic elements are logic and intuition, analysis and construction, generality and individuality. (Richard Courant)

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. (T. S. Eliot)

Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution. (Ansel Adams)

What expressions to you see in the video?