Saturday, June 19, 2010

Music and the Mind

A Conversation With Aniruddh D. Patel - Exploring Music’s Hold on the Mind
This article discusses important research that reveals how the human brain enables us to sing, dance and play music. The key is that music is the ability to imitate with our bodies, our hands, our voices, what we hear. Music ability is the ability to hear sounds and imitate them. This is why all the great musicians learned music by listening to records or concerts and spending 1000s of hours trying to play what they hear.
My son is going to spend the whole summer transcribing jazz solos. Thanks to "Snowball the Cockatoo".
This article and this video

How to Make Soccer Work for American Fans - Better Drama and More Offense

FIFA 2010 World Cup Scores
Looking at these scores for Group C, the group the USA is in, it is easy to see that soccer has a problem. Three of the four games are ties with only Slovenia defeating Algeria 1-0. The bottom line is that good sports equals good drama.
Because the offense is at such a disadvantage, as proven by the scores, the sport lacks the ability to distinguish between good and mediocre teams. The result is that the sport lacks drama and is rife with controversy.
In American sports, especially American Football, the sports governing authority reviews the rules to encourage more offense and a better experience for the fans. The result is incredible drama, incredible quarterback performances and the greatest fan loyalty of any american sport.

How to promote more offense in Soccer
My idea is simple but revolutionary. Here it is. The current field at the World Cup is surrounded by a fens that is about three feet high. It is the fence covered by the advertisements. I would stiffen up this fence and use it as part of the field. In other words, there would be no out of bounds unless the ball went over the fence. The players could ricochet the ball off the fence. Currently, the fence is slanted up a little. I would make the fence rigid and perpendicular to the field. I would keep it the same height.
Here is the revolutionary part. I would keep the fence as it currently is behind the goal. This way the players could run plays behind the goal like in hockey. This would totally change the scoring.
Now, if the governing body doesn't want to make this as radical a change then they could keep the out of bounds lines of the current system on the ends. But, I think the behind the goal aspect is the key. WOW!!! This would totally make soccer high scoring and the better team could be easily discerned as the scoring would have the ability to differentiate between good and mediocre teams.


I realize I haven't been blogging much lately but this blog still gets good traffic so I would like to increase blogging. The problem is my day job goes through very demanding times and I need to keep food on the table and do my job well. For example right now I have to rise at 4:30 to get to work on time and obviously that leave no time for writing in the morning.

Some day, I plan on switching careers and probably going into academia or some type of teaching/writing profession. For now I think I will blog shorter and more frequent posts.