On a Beach Walk: No. 54 (Soundscapes)

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

How many layers of sounds do I hear as I walk? What if I could magically turn off all the sounds here; then bring them back one by one? In what order would they appear?

From the depth of silence, I would first return the sounds of the waves because they are the beach’s heartbeat. Ever present – always steady – sometimes louder – but the sounds of the sea serves as the conductor of the steady symphony I experience as I walk in this place.

As I stand facing the water and feeling the laps gently caressing my feet, I can hear the tiny bubbles of foam. That air trapped in the water being released into the atmosphere. Maybe that’s my transition sound.

Then comes the wind. The wind can greatly vary in its presence through direction and speed. The wind can pass my ears as a roar of a passing train. It can also be a soft whistle – or even the calming sound and feel of a gentle touch. But wait – the same wind sounds different depending on the direction as I walk.

The next layer would be the birds. As a whole, they are not a noisy lot. The seagulls squawk, but not constantly. The pelicans are stealth as they effortless soar just above the water’s surface. I occasionally hear the tweet of the sanderlings as they fly by.

I don’t hear insects or the sand crabs but it does not mean they don’t create sound. Nor do I hear human traffic or construction – but that may be a different soundscape.

I could add the sound of my feet. That steady bass drum that only I hear as I walk – or the splashing with each step as I walk through the passing water.

People would be the next sound. This time of year numbers are few. Humanity’s auditory presence is not constant – actually infrequent would be more accurate. The sounds in peak season would be different with the kids romping, teens playing beach volleyball, and radios blaring.

A soundscape at home in Ohio would be different than here. Would it be rural or urban? In a meadow or the woods? By day or at night?

Maybe I would start with rustling leaves; then add the gentle waters of a babbling stream. Insects would then buzz followed by birds chirping. Nightfall would remove the buzzing insects and chirping birds of the day, but replaced by the crickets, followed by the chorus of croaking frogs, then the occasional screeches of owls and the howling of mammals.

No matter where nature’s symphony plays, what if one of the sounds were eliminated. A concert with missing instruments. A piano concerto with missing keys.

I think about the lyrics in a Nat King Cole song – Mother Nature and Father time.

Every robin is my brother
They sing their songs to me
The tiny black-eyed daisies
The mighty red wood tree
There all my family

Then why do I feel so lonely
Like a king on an empty throne
There’s one thing that’s missing only
A true love to call my own

Won’t you listen mother nature
And listen father time
Please help me to find someone
To fill these arms of mine
Mother nature and father time

I wonder how many pictures can a soundscape paint? Thoughts of soundscapes are more complex than I imagined – but thinking about soundscapes is a good reason why walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 405

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Introducing a new header. This is a collection of faint, newly formed (1-to-2 million years old) stars in Westerlund 2 (a small area within the Milky Way). To see past headers, visit Past Headers page (tab) or click here.

To my Canadian readers, a belated Happy Canada Day (which was July 1st).

To my American readers, Happy Independence Day! To the rest of the world, Happy July 4th (the day between July 3rd and July 5th).

Ohio is a strange fireworks state. We can buy a certain grade of fireworks from a licensed in-state dealer, but it is illegal to use them.

In my opinion, Number of Followers is the most insignificant stat in blogging – yet, I noticed crossing the latest milestone – 7,800.

Thanks for those participating in the Elton John concert. The next blog concert features Crosby, Still, Nash, and Young. Because of how these musicians mixed and match, all songs must feature 2, 3, or 4 of them – but not as soloists. Tentative date is Saturday July 13th – and The Producer is eager for this one.

For those who didn’t know and don’t remember, I hate hot, muggy weather – but to celebrate the arrival of the summer heat in the northern hemisphere, I will use a summer songs at the end of the post.

I struggled in the first mini-season in my golf league – so I’m hoping for better in mini-season 2.

Wimbledon – one of the greatest tennis tournaments in the world has started. In the midst of the Women’s World Cup (soccer) and the pay discrepancies between the men’s and women’s teams in the US, Wimbledon has an unusual approach for the prize money – equal pay for unequal work.

For those you saw Rocketman, here’s an interesting interview with Elton John and Taron Egerton (the actor portraying Sir Elton in the movie). FYI: It’s 14 minutes.

A friend of ours marched in Cincinnati’s Pride Day Parade. The number of Christian churches who marched supporting the day pleasantly surprised her.

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Back in May I established Biden’s Dilemma – which (so far) seems to be playing out – but it’s early.

Not to anyone’s surprise, I did not watch either of the recent Democratic debates. Where as last week I provided fact checks to Night 1, here are fact checks to Night 2: FactCheck, PolitFact, PBS, NBC, CBS

Do you remember the outrage involving the Elian Gonzalez situation in 2000? Compare that to the lack of outrage of what is happening today along the US-Mexico border.

To the Trumpians, President Trump is winning the trade battle with China. What Trumpians either don’t know or don’t care about is;

  • President Trump has not used the avenues of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Instead of involving traditional trading partners, President Trump has chosen to deal alone
  • President Trump has emboldened China in their dealings with other countries, so China has reduced tariffs with other countries while increasing US tariffs. Then again, he is the master of the deal. If you don’t believe so, just ask him.

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion provides tips for the perfect picnic.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Baby’s crows first word ‘Caw’
Historians reveal aqueducts were only a small portion of Ancient Rome’s intricate waterpark system
Barista only person in coffee shop with job
Porn star has face only a stepmother could love
If Earth continues to warm at current rate, Moon will be mostly underwater by 2400
Experts say earliest sign of mental health issues usually crossing eyes while dribbling fingers on lips, saying “Cuckoo, Cuckoo”

Interesting Reads

The most connected countries
The need for intestinal worms
Exiling a Greek philosopher
Data regarding thoughts about fake news
State of the news media
Coordinating Fake News and Fake Science
How fireworks came to America
(Graphic) Compare countries GDP ( a good visual)
(Photos) Seeking relief from the heatwave

To send you into the weekend, here’s a summer song that Dale will love. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 367

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A tip of the cap to the international rescue efforts in Thailand of the kids in the cave. Interesting how the parents stayed together supporting each other until the last rescue.

Cheers for Cincinnati! A German newspaper proclaims Oktoberfest Zinzinnati as America’s best Oktoberfest.

Although I don’t know when it will start, but I proudly announce the next blog musical: Pronouns: The Musical. Stay tuned for future announcements, but I can say the Playbill is ready and the theme for Act 1 is I. !

Here’s an interesting blog read on a set of topics that are more related than most of us think: courage, humility, and the visual artist. If you stop by, tell Greta I sent you.

Thank you readers for the many interesting comments regarding the last beach walk featuring time.

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As Republicans continue to tout recent tax cuts, I wonder about the net effect of the negative impact of tariffs on the positive gain of tax cuts.

Although a former Democrat criticizing the Democratic party wrote the article, I enjoyed this quote:

Politicians from both parties have gotten away with letting down ordinary Americans for decades because millions of Americans are culturally wedded to their tribal political identities of Republican or Democrat, and can’t think outside the box.

At the recent NATO meeting, President Trump boasted about winning Wisconsin, something that Ronald Reagan didn’t do. Well, this is at least the third time that the Bloviator-in-Chief has made that statement – and the third time he was wrong! Oh well – just more of the same.

Given President Trump’s recent nomination, the high court is about to return to the Supreme Court for the Party – not the people.

Given the political and social climate in the US, I wonder if a civil war is in America’s near future.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides home repair tips.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Pet gerbil absolutely crushing it lately
New report finds fastest-rising cause of death in US is losing chess match to Grim Reaper
Picky refugee just expects to be reunited with exact same family as before
Wimbledon grounds crew frustrated after learning about cement courts
Eco-conscious hotel lets guests decide whether they want room’s towels washed before next guests arrive

Interesting Reads
Lessons from World War I
Buddhism and the over-connected world
10 of the most famous art pieces ever stolen
Facts for World Population Day
Found: The oldest human tools outside of Africa
(Graphic) World’s 20 largest tech giants

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a song that may be long before your time. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.