- Remembering Nick Ashford and Jerry Leiber : NPR 082311
Melissa Block talks with soul singer Ben E. King about the passing of two legendary songwriters, Nick Ashford and Jerry Leiber, this week. Nick Ashford of Ashford and Simpson co-wrote some of Motown’s biggest hits including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” He died at Monday at age 70. Jerry Leiber penned the lyrics for songs such as “Jailhouse Rock” for Elvis — and one of Ben E. King’s signature tunes “Spanish Harlem.” Lieber also died on Monday. He was 78.
- The Cafe – Discovering a piece of Bosnian life – YouTube 083112The Cafe – Discovering a piece of Bosnian life
- How Music May Help Ward Off Hearing Loss As We Age : Shots – Health Blog : NPR 082211
Older people often have difficulty understanding conversation in a crowd. Like everything else, our hearing deteriorates as we age. There are physiological reasons for this decline: We lose tiny hair cells that pave the way for sound to reach our brains. We lose needed neurons and chemicals in the inner ear, reducing our capacity to hear. So how can you help stave off that age-related hearing loss? Try embracing music early in life, research suggests. “If you spend a lot of your life interacting with sound in an active manner, then your nervous system has made lots of sound-to-meaning connections” that can strengthen your auditory system, says Nina Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University. Musicians focus extraordinary attention on deciphering low notes from high notes and detecting different tonal qualities. Kraus has studied younger musicians and found that their hearing is far superior to that of their non-musician counterparts.
- PLoS ONE: Musical Experience and the Aging Auditory System: Implications for Cognitive Abilities and Hearing Speech in Noise | Parbery-Clark et al. 2011
[from abstract] Given that musical experience positively impacts speech perception in noise in young adults (ages 18–30), we asked whether musical experience benefits an older cohort of musicians (ages 45–65), potentially offsetting the age-related decline in speech-in-noise perceptual abilities and associated cognitive function (i.e., working memory). Consistent with performance in young adults, older musicians demonstrated enhanced speech-in-noise perception relative to nonmusicians along with greater auditory, but not visual, working memory capacity. By demonstrating that speech-in-noise perception and related cognitive function are enhanced in older musicians, our results imply that musical training may reduce the impact of age-related auditory decline.
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About the Flaneur
I walk through my blindness the way I wander down streets in Paris: unfettered and alive, alert to the raw material of the senses. I am a flaneur. Come along with me. Just don’t try to take my arm, unless I ask. What’s a flaneur? Read the first post, Return of the Flaneur to Galerie Vivienne. After that, try Foot Rage and the Blind Flaneur. Then stay tuned.
Letting Go of Sight
I’ve canoed on Lake Superior for almost as many years as I’ve been losing eyesight. I return year after year like a migrating loon to learn the other side of a slow, uncertain process that we could call “going blind.” After 35 years with the lake as my teacher, I know what lies on the other side. I call it letting go of sight. Read Big Water. See more about the Great Lakes.
Not This PigIf there is an emerging genetic underclass, I could run for class president or class clown. Read more in Not This Pig (2003).
Media in Transition @ MiT
Disabled Americans today have to negotiate for the kinds of accommodations made for FDR, and the caveat “reasonable accommodation” is built into the law. President Franklin Roosevelt did not have to negotiate. He could summon vast resources of the federal government – money as well as brains – to accomplish the work of disability. And it was accomplished with such thoroughness and efficiency that its scale could be called the Accessibility-Industrial Complex had it been directed toward public accommodations and not solely the needs of a single man. Read FDR and the Hidden Work of Disability [MiT8 2013]
Shepard Fairey claimed that his posterization of a copyrighted AP news photo of Barack Obama was a transformative work protected by the fair use doctrine. In other words, it was a shape-shifter. I claim fair use, too, when I reproduce and transform copyrighted works into media formats that are accessible to me as a blind reader. Read Shape-Shifters in the Fair Use Lab [MiT6 2009]
The social engineers who created a system for licensing beggars in New York never imagined that a blind woman had culture or could make culture. She herself may not have imagined it, either. In the moment when Paul Strand photographed her surreptitiously on the street in 1916, he could not have expected that one day blind photographers would reverse the camera’s gaze. Read Curiosity & The Blind Photographer. [MiT5 2007]