Playing the Pennywhistle

July 7, 2007

In a previous article I described why I personally chose to learn the pennywhistle, and listed a number of resources that I used to select my whistle and that I am currently using to guide my initial study of the instrument. At the end of that article, I mentioned that the process of learning to play had revealed a number of surprises both about Pennywhistles themselves, and about the experience of learning to play an instrument.

This time around, I’ll cover the surprising technical aspects of the pennywhistle, and in an upcoming article, I’ll explain those experiential aspects of learning to play that have been (mostly pleasant) surprises.

If you’re an experienced whistler this will all be “old hat”, but if — like me — you’re just starting out, or you’re contemplating picking up the pennywhistle (a choice I’d highly recommend – it’s a whole lot of fun), perhaps you can avoid some of the problems described below, or find a better understanding as to why your whistle does what it does.

Read the rest of this entry »


Why Tattoos?

June 30, 2007

A quick disclaimer for family who are reading this: I haven’t gone out and gotten a tattoo — yet. But I have been giving tattoos a lot of thought recently, mulling over their appeal, and why the designs that appeal to me do so.

Read the rest of this entry »

Picking up the Pennywhistle

June 24, 2007

I really regretted not playing an instrument. Now I suspect my neighbors regret that I do 😀
Read the rest of this entry »

It came from outer space! – New year’s meteor in NJ

January 6, 2007

If you think you’ve had a hectic holiday season, consider the plight of one family in Freehold Township New Jersey [map], 50 miles south of New York, whose home was punctured by a meteorite on January 2nd!

Read the rest of this entry »

Calendar Technology

January 6, 2007

I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally think of Calendars as a technological innovation; they’re just things to hang on walls and write appointments into. However, this is the time of year to replace our calendars, and a time of year that is replete with holidays, many of them determined by calendars that are not our usual day-to-day Gregorian calender, such as Hanukkah. As I unpacked calenders which were Christmas gifts, hanging them on my wall or placing them on my desk, it struck me that our common way of measuring days and time is an artificial technological structure, superimposed on the passage of time in order to measure and delineate it. I started to wonder how it is that we have decided to measure time, and what other alternate methods there might be to do this.

Read the rest of this entry »

Struggling with structure

December 23, 2006

The struggle to find a “voice” – a balance between content/topics and form – continues, but I may have found a workable solution.

Read the rest of this entry »

Appropriate technology

December 17, 2006

It’s the Christmas season, with shopping centers crammed with consumers, and corporations touting the latest releases just in time for the holidays: new books, new fashions, and new gadgets. While I love new gizmos and doohickeys, and I’m always happy to see what the latest technological developments can do (and to devise all sorts of diabolical new uses for things), I’m not always sure that the latest technological “wrinkles” in consumer goods are good. Sometimes designers take perfectly good solutions, and just “muck them up”. Perhaps it is time to examine our quest for the “latest thing” and really think about what makes a new technology, or technological approach, a good one.

Read the rest of this entry »