November 23, 2014

Lindsey Stirling - Dragon Age & Roundtable Rival. Updated: An Australian Tour in 2015



 Another great piece from Lindsey Stirling.
I really like it. She is a very talented musician!

This piece somehow evokes a mini-series I have been watching recently:"Outlander". 
This miniseries is a mixture of fantasy and history.Fascinating show.


Pre-Order the new deluxe version of my album Shatter Me coming out 11/28! It includes an acoustic version of Shatter Me, a full-color 48-page magazine with exclusive interviews and photos, plus word magnets!
Barnes and Noble:

My album Shatter Me is also available on:
Target (deluxe version):

Head here for tour dates, tickets, and VIP upgrades:

Sheet Music Here: https://lindseystirling.mybigcommerce...

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Sign up for my super-cool newsletter here:

Directed by • JOE SILL
Executive Produced by • JAMES KHABUSHANI & RJ COLLINS
Produced by • NICK ERICKSON
Special thanks to Everdream, EA, & Dragon Age!

And here's another great Lindsey Stirling piece - Roundtable Rival.


With thanks to You Tube 


Lindsey Stirling To Tour Australia and New Zealand In February

28-year old classic violinist Lindsey Stirling will tour Australia and New Zealand in 2015 performing in venues generally reserved for rock concerts.

Stirling was last in Australia in 2013 and her Auckland show in February will be her first time in New Zealand.
Lindsey’s debut album ‘Lindsey Stirling’ has been one of the biggest sellers of 2014 on the US classical chart and peaked at no 23 on the Billboard chart. Her new album ‘Shatter Me’ debuted at no 2 in the USA.
Lindsey was noticed after appearing on the 2010 edition of ‘America’s Got Talent’ where she was introduced as a ‘hip-hop’ violinist. She has described the experience as “humiliating” after both Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan told her she was “not good enough”.
Lindsey Stirling will tour for Live Nation.

Lindsey Stirling dates

February 14, Auckland, The Powerstation
February 16, Adelaide, Fowlers Live
February 17, Melbourne, The Forum
February 20, Brisbane, The Tivoli
February 21, Sydney, Enmore Theatre
February 23, Perth, Astor Theatre

Tickets will go on sale at 10am Monday December 15.
By Paul Cashmere
With thanks to Noise 11
See also:
The Piano Guys: Mission Impossible - Featuring Lindsey Stirling
 Lindsey Stirling And Lizzy Hale - Shatter Me
The Piano Guys: Let It Go (Disney's "Frozen") Vivaldi's Winter
Lindsey Stirling and William Joseph: Halo Theme
Lindsey Stirling: The Phantom of the Opera
Hans Solo's 'Chewie, We're Home' Teaser Trailer For New Star Wars Film Delights Fans
Lindsey Stirling: Senbonzakura
Lindsey Stirling: Into The Woods Medley  
Lindsey Stirling: Child Of Light
Lindsey Stirling : Heist
Lindsey Stirling:Take Flight
Lindsey Stirling:The Arena 


November 21, 2014

"Dirty Dancing" The Stage Musical Brings Back The Patrick Swayze-Jennifer Grey Lift - Updated


 When this movie was screened in 1987 it wasn't a case of "have you seen it?" It was more a case of "how many times have you seen it?" It was, and still is, an inspiring and uplifting story with a great cast and a terrific soundtrack.

"Dirty Dancing" and "The Bridges of Madison County" have always been my favourite 'chick flicks'.

‘THE room for error is quite great,” dancer Kurt Phelan says, with a nervous smile. “If you’re a centimetre over or under you’re screwed.” His co-star Kirby Burgess nods. “It is an incredibly demanding ­moment. It is not just getting up there; it is holding it.” 
It’s Wednesday, 10.30am, and we are holed up in the bowels of Sydney’s Capitol Theatre with the cast of Dirty Dancing under the promise of learning the alchemy behind one of the most enduring pop-cultural moments of the 20th century: we are here to learn the lift. That memorable moment when Jennifer Grey leaps into the arms of Patrick Swayze at the dramatic denouement to Emile Ardolino’s 1987 film; the moment that would see Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’s (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life win an Academy Award and secure its future as a karaoke classic; the moment that inspired a generation of would-be Johnnys and girls who just wanted to be his Baby. The time of my life has arrived. Or has it?

The film may famously tell us nobody puts Baby in a corner, but it turns out some are willing to put her on the floor. A penchant for peanut butter and a fitness regimen that barely extends beyond vacuuming means I lack the core strength needed to keep myself in the plank position supported by my male companion. As for Phelan, it’s early days in rehearsals and he’s still struggling to hold aloft a professional dancer. He isn’t going to risk carrying a journalist. Undeterred, we resolve to practise the lift on terra firma.


Phelan lies on his back and creates a perch with his hands, anchoring his palms into my waist. I blush as I think about how excited I’ve been about this moment and hope no one realises I’m wearing a leotard beneath my clothes.

DIRTY Dancing opens in Sydney next week, a decade after the adaptation of the classic film premiered on stage in the same city. It has since toured globally. The production — the Sydney show is directed by James Powell, with choreography by Michele Lynch — was adapted for stage by Eleanor Bergstein, who also wrote the screenplay. Bergstein had a close relationship with the film’s star, Swayze, and while she acknowledges the actor’s death from pancreatic cancer five years ago gives the show’s return to the stage extra resonance, she is reticent to speak about him, concerned his memory will be exploited to sell the live show.

“The most important thing about Patrick was that he was a very good person. He wanted to be a good person and he was certainly a loving and loyal friend to me,” Bergstein says of the actor who was a relative unknown until he was cast in Dirty Dancing, a role for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.

Although the film was released in 1987, the story unfolds over the summer of 1963. Before Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles overtook America. “It was the last summer of liberalism” Bergstein says. “It was a time when you did feel that anything was possible and that you could reach out your hand and if your heart was pure you could change the world.”
We all know the story. A shy and ungainly good girl falls for a handsome bad boy. It’s hardly a revolutionary tale, so what made the dance movie a cult classic and earned it a cool $US214 million at the box office?

Bergstein believes it was that feeling of expectancy, of being on the brink of something special, of discovering the “upstairs” (conservative American society) and the “downstairs” (debauchery, dirty dancing and botched backstreet abortions) of the era that pulled so many people into the cinema.

Set at a resort in the Catskill Mountains in New York State, the film script was inspired by snippets of Bergstein’s life. “There is actually much more of Johnny than Baby in me. I was called Baby since I was 21 and I went to the Catskills with my parents, but I’m a dirty dancer,” Bergstein says.

The film’s iconic dance choreography was all her work.

“I’ve got dancing trophies that’ll turn your hands green!” the 76 year old exclaims. “I was quite a little dirty dancer when I was a kid.

“We did a combination of things based on the old dirty dancing steps of my childhood, which basically came from both rhythm and blues.”

Incredibly, the film was a tough sell for Bergstein, who spent the early 1980s peddling it to countless filmmakers.

“I had written 62 pages of dance description into the script and no one could quite grasp what I was imagining,” she says.

Eventually, Bergstein realised there was only one way she was going to sell the script.
“I’d have to get up on a table — this was a time of very short skirts remember — and I guess you just do what you have to do,” she recalls, laughing.

Bergstein would perform a risque movement in which the female dancer pulls her leg up around the neck of her partner.
“That’s the Eleanor signature step and I did that for group of male executives after group of male executives.”

Eventually Bergstein’s vision came to life with the help of a new studio, Great American Films Limited Partnership, and became a box office hit. It was the first film to sell more than a million copies on home video and now sits at No 1, above Grease and Pretty Woman, on Sky Movies’ “Women’s Most Watched Films” list.

Bergstein had been approached for 25 years to adapt the film for stage but she resisted, unwilling to trade off her project’s loyal cult following.
“Then the TV stations started running it in a loop … and these statistics came out that instead of people dipping in and out they were stopping their lives and some were sitting for 18 hours to watch it over and over again,” she remembers.

“I realised people wanted to be there while the story was happening again and if that was the case then we needed to look at live theatre. But we knew it wasn’t something that could truthfully be a live musical — the artificiality of that form would be very off-putting to our particular audience.”

Intriguingly, it was a Bruce Springsteen concert and his inspired use of video on stage that changed Bergstein’s mind about the potential of a stage show.
“I wanted to put together a live show with very precise storytelling and the enormous kinetic excitement of a brilliant rock concert,” she says.

Australia has a place in the writer’s heart. She had wanted her “Johnny” in the stage production to be an Australian and says she was attracted to our “masculine” dancers. In the early noughties, she sought to find the best male dancer in the country and ended up begging to meet the lead dancer of the Sydney Dance Company, Josef Brown.

“He came to breakfast on his motorcycle and I knew it was him with his hooded eyes; he was a wild boy I could tell,” Bergstein remembers.
She knew she had only one shot to convince him to leave his prestigious position.
“Have you by any chance seen the film Dirty Dancing?” she asked him.
“And he said to me, ‘Yes that is the reason I became a dancer,’ and we had him. He became the toast of the West End,” she says.

Phelan, for his part, is also a big fan of the film. “Swayze was a huge influence on me as a young male dancer,” he says.

Australia has had its own love affair with the film — with an unlikely audience, Bergstein says. She recalls being in the country to do a live radio interview, during which she said hello on air to her taxi driver from that morning. The show was quickly inundated with calls from Australian truck drivers.

“This one (driver) said he was driving in his semi outside of Melbourne and he watched the movie on a mini-computer on the seat next to him as he drove. He knew the movie off by heart because he had watched it over a thousand times,” Bergstein recalls.
“The people on the computers taking the calls just stared at me because while I had been talking they had got calls from 65 other truck drivers who travelled with their Dirty Dancing DVDs.”

BACK in the studio, Phelan stretches out to take my body weight. Even at ground level it takes trust, but I don’t look into his eyes; I’m sizing up his muscles. Up we go. Like a toddler playing airplane, I stretch my arms out like wings for balance, suddenly conscious of the effort it is taking to keep my legs from swinging down. I make an awkward joke about how my middle name is Grace. Phelan grimaces but the move is done. There’s no music playing. 

There’s no Swayze pushing his hand into the small of my back and pressing his forehead intimately to mine. There’s no crowd of resort-goers dancing gleefully around me.
This is one for the professionals. This Baby, at least, is happy to stay in the corner.

Dirty Dancing opens on November 28 at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney.


The Bacon Shuffle:Footloose (1984/2011) — Kevin Bacon’s warehouse dance, prom dance
The Shoeless Twist:Pulp Fiction (1994) — John Travolta and Uma Thurman’s twist
The Socks ’n’ Jocks:Risky Business (1983) — Tom Cruise’s sock slide
The Deluge:Flashdance (1983) — Jennifer Beals’s final dance and He’s a Dream dance
The Grand Entrance: Strictly Ballroom (1992) — Paul Mercurio’s knee slide
The Lamppost:Singin’ in the Rain (1952) — Gene Kelly’s lamppost spin
Synchronised Swinging:Swing Time (1936) — Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire’s tap routine
The Pointer: Saturday Night Fever (1977) — Travolta’s moves to You Should be Dancing
The Turf War:West Side Story (1961) — Dance at the gym

By Gina Rushton


November 20, 2014

You Tube: Some Useful Hacks And Tips


"This video covers some tips and tricks involving YouTube that help enhance user experience. For a list of all of the links used in this video, and to ask questions regarding this video, please visit the link below:"

The clip I posted above has some very useful hacks on it. I am interested in audio and video
hacks in particular.I have often downloaded You Tube clips and made compilations that can be burned to a DVD and watched on a bigger screen. 

You can do likewise with some hard-to-get movies.If you have a Blu-Ray player on your computer you can use a double-sided DVD for the longer ones.

You can make these compilations in Windows by using Windows Movie Maker. I don't know if Apple has an equivalent program, it probably does, but I do know that QuickTime is not an editing program. 

Windows Movie Maker allows you to burn the DVD in either PAL or NTSC format which is useful if you don't have a multi-region DVD player.I have found that in Windows 7 the menu function doesn't work very well: the FreeMake one does. I suppose the Windows 8 system may have improved on this feature.
FreeMake  is also a very useful program. In fact it was recommended to me by the local Apple help desk because I had used my iPhone to take a video clip and at that time I wasn't aware that the lens had to be in the top left corner. QuickTime no longer allows you to change the orientation of the clips but FreeMake does.

Both FreeMake and Windows Movie Maker have editing abilities, unlike Quick Time.

At this point it is useful to know that all clips downloaded from You Tube are Apple-compatible. By this I mean you can copy and paste them into your iTunes program under 'Movies', watch them there, and on your iPad or iPhone once you have synced them. You can also choose which ones you want to sync.

If you are using Firefox, and it seems many people are, then you also have the option of getting add-ons that cover audio and video downloading. This is just as easy as Freemake, if not more so.Here is a link for audio and video and there are several others.

I haven't tried this one but we all have our favourite music and it could be very handy.
I just get annoyed that You Tube puts 'Watched' on everyone you have watched!
You can get rid of this by scrolling down to the 'history' button and clearing it.



Here is another clip of hacks from BuzzFeed:


This one, above, is good for different effects.

I haven't tried this as yet but if it is true I guess it is pretty easy also.

There are a few ways to watch blocked You Tube clips as well as the one I have posted in the side bar: This and this.

As far as music-clip compilations are concerned I haven't as yet found a way to get the volume of the songs I have used to be even throughout. Then again, one has a similar problem with iTunes, especially annoying if you are using a docking station, or headphones. 
Like with your custom-made DVD's you need to have your finger near the volume control.

I guess I will have to go back to You Tube and see if there is a clip that can help me out - there usually is!

Get To Know a Map Projection: Azimuthal Orthographic


A globe on a two-dimensional screen seems pretty dull compared to map projections that look like armadillos, butterflies, or deconstructed polygons. The azimuthal orthographic (as it’s formally known) is hardly more than a snapshot of Earth from some distant point in space, right?

Sure, except it was invented thousands of years before we had anything capable of flying into space to send back eyewitness accounts of our planet’s shape. Before then, the only way to see Earth from an interstellar point of view was by combining math with crap-load of imagination.

Most map projections bend and stretch the globe until it’s flat enough to show the whole world at once. In other words, most map projections show you so much that they lose their perspective. 
  The azimuthal orthographic is all about perspective. It also has geometric distortions, but only for tricking your brain into believing that the continents really are wrapping themselves realistically around the horizon. It is so good at doing this that it makes us see the world as if we were hundreds of thousands of miles away in space, and write the experience off as mundane.

Or maybe the experience is mundane because it is so familiar. The azimuthal orthographic is thousands of years old. In the first century, Ptolemy described how a geographer named Hipparchus used the projection, which he called the analemma, to map the globe. (Thanks to the jerks who burned down the Library of Alexandria, we don’t have Hipparchus’ original maps.)

Over the years, geographers toyed with the projection, but it was always overshadowed by other methods. It didn’t get much attention until 1613, when a Belgian cartographer named Francois d’Aiguilon reintroduced the projection, and gave it the overwrought moniker we know it by today.

D’Aiguilon was obsessed with the behavior of light. In his six volume treatise on optics, he presented the azimuthal orthographic as an extreme exercise in point of view. Imagining the azimuthal orthographic as looking down at Earth from a floating eye, d’Aiguilon figured that moving the eye up or down would change the distance to the horizon. In other words, the further you pull back, the more of the earth behind the horizon’s curve you can see, to a maximum of exactly half of the planet (even d’Aiguilon couldn’t see around corners, mon ami). This was an extension of his work coming up with equations to measure how much a person could see from a given viewpoint.

Carlos Furuti, a Brazilian cartographer whose website is an awesome resource for projections, shows how azimuthal orthographic projections can be used to calculate how much of Earth you can see at any altitude. For example, looking down from an airplane at 32,000 feet, you would be able to see about 221 miles in any direction. If you head up to the International Space Station, your view is increased to 1,250 miles. Impressive, but this is still only about 5 percent of Earth’s total surface at a time. In order to get anywhere close to an entire hemisphere, our camera eye must retreat past the moon, over 230,000 miles away.
But remember, Hipparchus, Ptolemy, and d’Aiguilon didn’t need to know about airplanes, space stations, or even the distance to the moon in order to imagine how Earth’s visible horizon would grow according to altitude. This is because they had imagination (ok, trigonometry too). And their imaginations weren’t limited to flying into the depths of space. The azimuthal orthographic has two sister projections that look at the earth in ways nature never intended.

The first, called the gnomonic, has the imaginary viewing eye looking outward from the center of the earth. It has some cool navigational properties, but is perhaps most useful if you’re trying to explain what the world looks like after smoking salvia.

The second, called the azimuthal stereographic, also looks at the planet, but from an eye placed on the far side of the globe looking through it. Where the orthographic causes the continents to fall away, and the gnomonic stretches them into infinity, the stereographic moderately stretches them towards the edges. Their sizes are slightly off, but their shapes and arrangement stay true to life. As such, it’s the most practical of the three, and is useful for teaching geography or plotting sea voyages. Not only does it make a pretty classy looking world map, Hipparchus also used it to map the stars.

Nowadays, we tend to think of maps as tools for flattening the world and making its dimensions manageable. The azimuthal orthographic looked at the earth another way, by giving dimensions to the world’s perceived flatness. The map might not tell us much about Earth that we don’t already know, but it’s an important reminder that only a few hundred people in all of history have every seen the earth’s shape to confirm that it is, in fact, a globe.

Special thanks to Carlos Furuti for his great website of map projections.

By Nick Stockton

Picture above: Joan Blaeu’s 1664 shows how the azimuthal stereographic makes a fairly accurate world map, even when made with incomplete knowledge of geography. Joop Rotte/Wikipedia

With thanks to Wired

 Mad Geniuses: 10 Odd Tales About Famous Scientists

Napoleon Met His Waterloo Because He Used The Wrong Map!
A More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Japanese Design Award

The Rolling Stones - A New Book


"How marvellous that they are still here for us. No rock band had ever grown old before."
How true! Obviously I am a bit of a fan.
It’s the perfect name right? In 50BC, the Roman writer Publilius Syrus, a freed slave from Syria, wrote “Saxum volutum non obducitur musco”, or “a boulder that rolls is not covered with moss”. People have known this for a long time. When The Rolling Stones chose their name, they chose international significance and universal resonance.

Not, of course, that they did it on purpose. These were wild things from the fringes of London and the pleasant pastures of middle-class England. When these boys started chasing girls, smoking and listening to Muddy Waters, the last thing on their minds was pancontinental significance. They were after the action and, as lots of people know in lots of languages, tumbling boulders cannot be tamed, or stopped, or told what to do.

The story goes that it was Brian Jones who christened them. Brian took his inspiration from a record that was being played continuously in a Chelsea flat he shared with Mick and Keith, The Best of Muddy Waters. Track five on side one of this fine disc was a song that growled and wailed its way through a steamy confession about catfish and women and husbands who were away. It was called Rollin’ Stone, and the way Muddy sang it was the way the Devil might have sung it: slow, snaky and wicked.


Most of the Stones were actually born in the 1940s, another kind of decade altogether. 

The 1940s were full of war. Apart from Bill Wyman, the others were born during the London Blitz. And even if they didn’t remember it, its impact was in them: the destruction, the blackness. Keith once told an interviewer that whenever he hears a siren in a documentary about the war, his hair stands on end.


He was just a baby, but the darkness got in. All this seeped into their sound, and even today, when they tour the world as happy survivors, the thunder of the night-time bombing raids can still be heard in Keith’s guitar and in the darkly destructive brilliance of Mick’s lyrics: “I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky. I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black.” Who in popular music had ever thought like that before?

Out of time
Until the Stones appeared, British groups had sweet and innocuous names like Cliff Richard, below, and The Shadows, or Joe Brown and The Bruvvers. Those nice boys from Liverpool, The Beatles, who had also turned up in London in the summer of 1962 to record their first single, Love Me Do, had a fun name. They wanted to “hold your hand”. The Rolling Stones wanted to hold a whole lot more than that. They wanted to spend the night together.


And they certainly knew how to dress for the occasion. Has there ever been a more alluring or irresistible musical presence than Michael Philip Jagger? When Mick Jagger strutted across Hyde Park in 1969 in that dress, and said goodbye to Brian in those unforgettably uncomfortable circumstances, he wasn’t just blurring the divide between yin and yang, between male and female. Mick was completing the instruction book on how a rock star should look.

Where The Beatles looked sweet in their matching suits and buttoned-up empire jackets, the Stones never pulled off the ‘we-all-look-the-same’ shtick. When Keith put on a suit, he messed it up, like a schoolboy messing up his uniform. Whatever they wore, they looked unruly, but always cool.

Look at the way each of them makes a tangible and unique contribution to the whole: the way the different pieces lock together to form a band. We’re used to it nowadays: the flamboyant lead singer who throws the moves; the stony bass-player who never shifts; the rhythm guitarist on the edge of chaos; the other guitarist who does the frilly bits. And then, right at the back, lurking in the shadows and keeping it solid the drummer who doesn’t say much. It’s the classic rock line-up, and the Stones created it.

Let your hair down
The big thing about The Rolling Stones when they appeared was their long hair. The divide between longhairs and shorthairs runs through English history like a Grand Canyon. Britain has only ever had one genuinely cultured monarch: Charles I, who wore pearl earrings, floppy white silks and long hair that fell to his shoulders in beautiful cascades. Mick and Brian, around the time of Their Satanic Majesties Request, adopted a kind of 1960s variation on it.

Charles’s followers, the Cavaliers, were notoriously glamorous. But the Roundheads, as they were called then, the puritan followers of Oliver Cromwell, loathed Charles I. They loathed his silk tunics, his satin doublets, his art, his wife. But most of all, they loathed his hair. When the Stones arrived on the doorstep of the 1960s, with their cuffs a-popping and their locks a-flouncing, that prejudice was still there. Long hair wasn’t just considered effeminate or impractical: it was dangerous.


How marvellous that they are still here for us. No rock band had ever grown old before. So how the hell do you do it? While all the others fell away – split up, gave up, died or went part-time – the Stones stayed on the job and saw it through, heroically. The tumbling boulders just keep tumbling – it’s what they do.

By Waldemar Januszczak
Adapted from an essay by Waldemar Januszczak in the new book The Rolling Stones, which will be published in December by TASCHEN.
Pictures and story with thanks to BBC Culture.


Altamont at 45: The Most Dangerous Rock Concert Ever?

 The Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers: Super Deluxe Edition

Bill Wyman: The Rolling Stones Never Forgave Me For Leaving 

The Rolling Stones To Create Their Own Museum

Don Henley Recruits Mick Jagger And Dolly Parton For Country Album Cass County

Rolling Stones Rehearse Rare Songs For Their South American Tour

Bob Dylan Named Greatest Songwriter Ahead Of Lennon and McCartney According To Rolling Stone

Keith Richards ‘Under The Influence’

Keith Richards Says Jagger’s Ego Sent Him Solo
 The Rolling Stones’ 'Satisfaction' Was The Result Of A Faulty Amp

'Vinyl' Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese's Mini-series

The Rolling Stones To Create Their Own Museum - #StonesIsm

The Rolling Stones Guide To Business Success And Survival

The Rolling Stones Reveal ‘Totally Stripped’

The Rolling Stones: A New Movie About The Making of 'Exile on Main Street'

The Rolling Stones’ ‘Havana Moon’ In Cinemas Worldwide

Rollings Stones’ Keith Richards Is Evolving, Not Ageing

The Rolling Stones:Olé Olé Olé: A Trip Across Latin America

The Rolling Stones: First Music From New Blues Album

Rolling Stones Reclaim Soul On Blue & Lonesome