This is my confession. This is my warning. And this is my struggle.
Tonight I had dinner in Warner-Robins, Georgia, at a southern comfort-style place. The food was alright, though the green beans left something to be desired (perhaps they absorbed some of my salty demeanor). Playing low throughout the place, over muted basketball games on televisions and families deciding sides for their entrees, was a country and Southern rock station. These genres dominate the radio airwaves in middle Georgia, rivaled only by stations with “praise”, “inspiration”, or “grace” in their name. Even the generic rock station I found bends well into that twangy acoustic territory on a regular basis.
I like those genres pretty well, to be clear, often way more than just that. In fact, some of my favorite artists and songs are within it.(1)Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, Alan Jackson But country in particular rides a fine line for me. Too many mentions of trucks, dogs, women, or beer, and I simply can’t enjoy it much anymore.
Vi Hart is amazing. She’s a fantastic YouTuber who posts videos playing with or introducing science or math concepts while often drawing with Sharpies in a notebook. She’s creative, intelligent, and great at communicating complex ideas. A lot of what she draws or writes is clever and cute, too. (If you need more incentive!)
The video above is one that sat on my “watch later” list for about a year. I knew since it was Vi Hart that I’d love it, but I just never clicked on it to understand what the title meant and what the video was about. It’s unfortunate I waited so long, because it’s an amazing stream-of-consciousness exploration of creativity, randomness, music, math, and, of course, copyright law! It’s dense with great ideas and visuals that whiz by in favor of the next in this half-hour work.
I had so many thoughts while watching that I had to turn what is normally a simple share on social media to a full-blown blog post. Needless to say, I highly recommend it. Sit down with a drink and have your mind engaged and entertained.
Back around March of this year, I came across a Kickstarter for an art and event space in downtown Atlanta that moved me. It was an effort to fund needed repairs for the place, but the owners brought in larger themes about revitalizing a small part of downtown.
The Mammal Gallery (TMG) is on Broad Street, a spot I walked through while roaming around downtown and the Capitol last November. It’s a rough spot with few open storefronts or businesses in the evening, which I view as a marker of the effects of wealthier people leaving the area for Buckhead or outside the perimeter over several decades. The folks behind TMG say they wish to be an establishment that can bring business and culture back to the area.
A coworker of mine asked me a question the other day that is simultaneously so simple, yet so difficult to answer succinctly. We’ve talked about some scientific facts, and he expressed his apathy concerning the age of the universe, among some other religiously-controversial topics. He hasn’t done the research to understand how old the universe or Earth is, and doesn’t plan to, because he doesn’t see why it’s important.