Posts Tagged ‘music


Apple aims the Nano at Flip

How does Apple keep making the iPod Nano more relevant and useful in every version? They almost had me with its size, screen, and the ability to watch movies, but my continuing devotion to Rhapsody kept me in the Sansa camp.

Now that the Nano plays music, shoots video, and tracks my steps through the day with a pedometer, I’m seriously thinking of adding a Nano to my life. If it just worked with Rhapsody… (I know, I know… and I wish for a pony and a milkshake, too.)

I wonder how the folks at Flip will react to the announcement? The new Nano shoots about the same video (640×480, 30 frames per second) as their basic cameras, but delivers a lot more memory and functionality at the same price. The Flip made its mark for portability, simplicity, and easy uploading, and it might still hold its own there. We shall see. Regardless, it looks like there’s a video war heating up in time for the holidays.

iPod nano now comes with a built-in video camera that lets you spontaneously shoot video wherever you are. Yet it’s still the same ultraportable size. Apple – iPod nano – Music player, movie player, and video camera.


Quite the day for civil rights

Civil rights take center stage today (and that’s no small feat — they had to wrest it away from Paula Abdul’s birthday celebration).

Looking back to 1862, slavery was outlawed in all U.S. Territories on this day. Just over 100 years later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate.

Happy birthday today to:

  • mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623)
  • Wallis Warfield Windsor (1896), the American who King Edward VIII abdicated his throne to marry
  • band leader Guy Lombardo (1902), whose music filled many, many New Year’s Eves
  • author Salman Rusdie (62)
  • singer Ann Wilson of Heart (59)

And, of course, TV personality Paula Abdul, who doesn’t look a day over 50 (which is a good thing because she turns 47 today).


Celebrating a variety of loud birthdays

Wear some ear protection today, because this day in October really brings the “loud and creative” out of people.

Today we celebrate a variety of sound-related birthdays, including:

  • Jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993)
  • Rock musician Manfred Mann (68)
  • Blues and rock guitarist Steve “Share” Cropper (67)
  • Rock musician and Chicago band member Lee Loughnane (62)
  • Rock singer Julian Cope (51)
  • Rock musician and Toto band member Steve Lukather (51)
  • Rock musician Che Colovia Lemon (38)
  • Rock musician Nick Oliveri (37)
  • Rock musician and Jars of Clay band member Charlie Lowell (35)

Shifting to a different sort of sound, we also celebrate the birthday of Swedish chemist Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833-1896). Nobel invented dynamite, refined the manufacturing process for nitroglycerine, and ran the Bofors company (shifting it from iron production to armaments). Concerned in his later life that he would be remembered only for weapons and implements of destruction, Nobel donated most of his fortune to the creation of the Nobel Prizes for peace, literature, science, and other pursuits.


A great day for the arts

Naturally artsy couples must really enjoy snuggling in the Winter, because today’s a great day for arts-oriented birthdays!
Poet T. S. Eliot was born today in 1888, composer George Gershwin was born in 1898, and pop singer Olivia Newton-John was born in 1948.

And, on a completely different note, fitness guru Jack LaLanne turns 94 today. He plans to will perform 94 push-ups with the Washington Monument strapped to his back or something like that. (I’m beginning to suspect that he’s an alien.)


A great day for music, science, and history

Wow — it’s a big day all the way around! Here’s a quick overview of today in history:

  • In higher education, Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass., held its first commencement ceremony today in 1642. No word on what the graduates received as starting salaries.
  • On the music scene, today’s the birthday of jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane (born 1926) and musician Ray Charles (born 1930. On a sad note, famed choreographer and director Bob Fosse died in 1987, at age 60.
  • Turning to military history, today’s the reported anniversary of American commander John Paul Jones declaration, “I have not yet begun to fight!” in 1779.
  • In science, the Martians enjoyed an impromptu fireworks show courtesy of NASA when the Mars Climate Observer apparently burned to a crisp as it attempted to go into orbit in 1999.