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Music Post: Attractive modern classics

The vast majority of classical works of the past 100 years are perfectly lovely pieces of music, despite all the ink more difficult and astringent composers got from writers who found 12-tone composition methods more interesting to explain than something written in a traditional tonal style. We’re finally coming to…

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The man who doesn’t watch TV

Pope Francis doesn’t watch TV. Did you know that? He gave it up in 1990 (during summer rerun season, which explains a lot) and has never gone back. He doesn’t surf the Web, either, doesn’t use the Internet at all. If he wants to know if his soccer team won he…

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Two problems with “record” tourism

I’m an upbeat sort of a guy who likes good news, happy to tout what’s excellent about the state economy. We were hammered less than other states by the recession! Visitor arrivals top 8 million for three years! Visitor spending is up! But two serious problems lurk behind these bits of…

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Music Post: Giants of early jazz

Before there was smooth jazz, before there was fusion jazz, before there was free jazz, before there was bebop or even swing, there was the original form of jazz, New Orleans jazz. That music, and the New York jazz which soon followed, was the jazz that influenced such classical composers…

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A funny thing happened on the way…

During 13 years at United Press International I found myself in charge of UPI’s broadcast wire. In that period, subscribers and potential subscribers frequently asked whether we were going out of business. One of several ways to maintain service, which included lot of feature material, was to write much of…

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Get educated or get poor; that’s how it is

We are often confronted with examples of people who make good money without a good education. Excellent athletes coast through college before earning giant paychecks in professional sports. Local guys can find longshore or truckdriving jobs that pay pretty well. But these don’t grow on trees. An even smaller subset…

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Music Post: Fifth Symphonies I have known

Johannes Brahms, who was 43 before he was able to complete a symphony, complained that “you have no idea what it is like to hear the tread of a giant behind you,” and at the right tempo the pounding timpani of his Sym. No. 1 puts you in mind of…

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A slowdown… in the state economic forecast

“Hawaii economic expansion continues with slower pace,” reads the headline in the revised official state economic forecast from DBEDT, the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. The report is glummer than earlier iterations of the forecast, but much of the downward revision stems from stuff that happened already…

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Music Post: The many moods of marches

I say “march” and you instantly think of a Sousa march, most likely – a steady 2/4 beat, music you can walk to, as predictable a rhythm as disco because it’s what Paul Hindemith would have called “utility music,” music for use, for a specific purpose. Yes, yes, but that…

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Federal judges: NSA exceeds authority

Even the congressman who wrote the Patriot Act has said NSA collects more data than he meant for them to collect. Now a three-judge federal panel says so. In a 97-page ruling, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that held that the Patriot Act…