Friday, May 18, 2012

Books in E major

Look! Listen! I've made a music video for your smooth start into the weekend:

I finally realized I won't be able to do any painting till the girls are old enough to not try to lick on the brushes. So, I was looking for a new hobby and that is my first try. I made a series of mistakes that I'll try to learn from.

Stefan and I needed three attempts to throw the books down. First, a book hit the camera stand. At second try, I lost my glasses and had to laugh. Third, I realized belatedly that I had moved the camera and cut off my own head. I then decided it will do, after all I don't want to win an Oscar. I also had a small disagreement with the video editing software and accidentally didn't save the file, so no more editing on that one. Stefan kindly said that the brightness correction of the camera which overreacted to passing clouds "adds drama."

In case you wondered, we had cushions on the floor and the books fell softly. For all I can tell they were not seriously injured.

Anyway, the biggest shortcoming is that I can't actually sing. Worse, I noticed somewhat belatedly that I particularly can't sing anything below the middle C. Somewhat surprisingly so, because I always thought my voice is rather deep for a woman. After two weeks or so of practice, I finally managed to hit the C#5 (at 2:04 min). Luckily our downstairs neighbor is on vacation and the upstairs neighbor doesn't hear well.

3 hours after uploading the video to YouTube I got a message saying they suspect a copyright violation, if I could please provide documentation that I have permission to use the song. A quite dramatic shift in procedure there.

Below the lyrics. I promise the next one won't be quite as serious ;o)

What do you know?

[Verse 1]
You know it all
So many things I do not understand
You know it all
The wrong and the right
You like to talk
So many items I had marked all read
Right or wrong
Hard to decide

[Verse 2]
I see the world
Neatly filtered for my Daily Me
I have it all
Too much and too fast
No need to see
So many things I do not want to see
We have it all
No time to ask

[Chorus 1]
What do you know?
I would appreciate some input here
What do you know?
Your conclusions are not clear to me
What do you know?
I could recommend some books to you
What do you know
We got a long way to go

[Verse 3]
Is it too much for you to watch
Is it finally enough
Do you follow, do you share
Do you listen, do you care
We know it all
So many things that we simply take for such
Who do you trust
And do you dare

[Repeat Chorus 1] 

What do you know? I don't know.
What do you know? I don't know.

[Chorus 2]
What do you know?
The facts are not consistent with your claim
What do you know?
The assumptions that were used are not the same
What do you know?
I could recommend some books to you
What do you know
We got a long way to go


  1. I like it. Looks and sounds almost professional. (Clouds didn't bother me at all.) You are multi-talented.

  2. I'm so flattered! You made my happy moment of the day. I just read being happy is conductive for creativity, so the circle closes nicely :o)

  3. (Paint watercolors using food colors. Note that they aren't lightfast. When in doubt, Bitrex - even babies can't tolerate the taste at 10 ppm.)

    Insert symmetry breakings into chord progression, reparamterize, only compose on the black keys so it sounds good no matter what, then transpose pentatonic to full octave. Add a deep drum beat and you've got it! Yesterday Hollywood, today Bollywood, tomorrow Berlinblume.

  4. Pretty good, Bee; channelling Kraftwerk, I thought (I never get sick of pocket calculator).

    But I don't think I could do that to my books, even with cushions on the floor...

  5. To be fair, I used books that looked very used already.

  6. Did that NewScientist end in the bin by accident?

  7. What do I know? I know I like this very original video!

  8. Beautiful video and song Bee and you are a true Goddess! Count one more devoted fan.

  9. BTW,
    do books on gravity fall more consciously
    than books on other subjects?

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hi Bee,

    I truly enjoyed this first foray of yours into the land of cinematic expression, impressed even more with the musical score, both in its composition and performance; which once again has it found to be true that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

    “ “I have a friend who's an artist and he's sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say, "Look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree, I think. And he says - "you see, I as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing." And I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too, I believe, although I might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is; but I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time I see much more about the flower than he sees. I can imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension of one centimeter, there is also beauty at smaller dimension, the inner structure. Also the processes, the fact that the colours in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting - it means that insects can see the colour. It adds a question: Does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which shows that science knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds; I don't understand how it subtracts.”

    -Richard Feynman, “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” p.2, Perseus Publishing (1999)



  12. Above the door to the reading room at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts is a message carved in stone: "Study nature, not books".

    Well, of course we must study both in science, but the former is far more informative, being the ultimate original and definitive source.

    Discrete Scale Relativity

  13. Hi Phil,

    I'm glad you like it. Though I've really mostly been trying around. I learned to play piano as a child. I was never really good at that, but it came in handy because I know the basics of harmony and can read scores and so on. I now actually bought a book about music theory to figure out how to deal with the dissonances, so I hope my next attempt will be a little less... static. Best,



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