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Iversen’s Multiconfused Log (see p.1!)

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Iversen
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 Message 1473 of 3959
06 November 2009 at 1:00pm | IP Logged 
Hobbema wrote:
...I do not have any idea of the historical/biographical context you wrote above. I want you to take me seriously when I say that I believe this has great value to a listener. .... But the freaky circus sideshow part of me wants to ask about things like Paganini's double jointed fingers, and I also wanted to ask you if you had heard a legend about Liszt, because I heard (and have not read anywhere) that he had the webbing between his fingers surgically cut for the purpose of increasing the reach on the piano of his fingers...


I'm fairly sure that I have seen a picture of a cast of one of Paganinis hands somewhere, and I would definitely have remembered if it had double joints. Paganaini may have had some special condition like Marfan, but he wasn't an alien from outer space.

And Liszt would certainly not have risked spoiling his fingers by cutting away any tissue. However there is another tale that probably is true, namely that the German pianist and composer Robert Schumann spoiled his hands by experimenting with a contraption that articially lifted some fingers and kept them raised while he played. He became a famous composer (minus pianist), who later went mad and died insane in an asylum.

CAT: He seguit l'enllaç de Pohaku al New Yorker, el qual em va portar més lluny a la pàgina web de la sala de concert "Palau de la Música" de Barcelona, que manifestament va tenir el seu centenari en l'any 2008. I excepcionalment no es una obra de Gaudí, però de Lluís Domènech i Montaner, que també es un arquitecte genial. Vaig escoltar un simpòsi internacional principalment en català a la seva pàgina de videos. Hi hagué talls lleig, que en el pitjor cas cal imaginar representaven la música moderna jogat a l'interior, però he perseverat!

---
I followed Pohaku's link to the New Yorker, but instead of hearing the piece by Paganini I ended up at the homepage for the Palace of Music in Barcelona, which apparently is celebrating its 100. anniversary. For once a splendid edifice in Barcelona isn't the work of Gaudì, but instead of Lluís Domènech i Montaner, who also is a fantastic architect - Cataluñya has it fair share of good architects. The Palau de Musica has a number of short videos on its homepage, and I listened to the one called Symposium. And they did speak Catalan as expected, but in between there was some ugly screeching sounds which hopefully don't represent all the music played inside. PS: I did continue to listen.

Edited by Iversen on 06 November 2009 at 3:35pm

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Hobbema
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 Message 1474 of 3959
06 November 2009 at 4:26pm | IP Logged 
pohaku wrote:
!

Hobbema, did you know that Liszt was Wagner's father-in-law?


Actually, I didn't, but I'm always slightly amazed that not only was there such a concentration of talent in the same area of the world at the same time, but how they were connected socially as well.


Iversen wrote:
   

I'm fairly sure that I have seen a picture of a cast of one of Paganinis hands somewhere, and I would definitely have remembered if it had double joints. Paganaini may have had some special condition like Marfan, but he wasn't an alien from outer space.


Sorry, "double jointed" is an American idiom for what might be called hypermobility, I think. I did find a reference on someone else's blog regarding Paganini, so I can't attest to it's accuracy, but for what it's worth:

from “Great Masters of the Violin by Boris Schwarz”, page 198 -
"The build of his hand was peculiar, as we learn from his personal physician, Dr. Bennati, who published his findings in 1831:
Paganini's hand is not larger than normal; but because all its parts are so stretchable, it can double its reach. For example, without changing the position of the hand, he is able to bend the first joints of the left fingers --which touch the strings--sideways, at a right angle to the natural motion of the joint, and he can do it with effortless ease, assurance, and speed. Essentially, Paganini's art is based on physical endowment, increased and developed by ceaseless practicing."

Iversen wrote:

And Liszt would certainly not have risked spoiling his fingers by cutting away any tissue. However there is another tale that probably is true, namely that the German pianist and composer Robert Schumann spoiled his hands by experimenting with a contraption that articially lifted some fingers and kept them raised while he played. He became a famous composer (minus pianist), who later went mad and died insane in an asylum.


I just did a little web surfing on this one about Liszt because I was so sure I had heard something about this, but if it is a legend, it's certainly not very widespread. I know Schumann had problems. He's not my favorite composer, but why are the brilliant ones so often insane?
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Iversen
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 Message 1475 of 3959
06 November 2009 at 5:59pm | IP Logged 
OK, Hobbema, then you found a hole in my knowledge of English ("double jointed"). It is indeed likely that Paganini had hypermobile joints (though I have never heard that this should include sidewards mobility of the finger joints), and as far as I know it is documented that he could stretch his hand over most of the finger board. Sarasate on the other hand was known for having a fairly small hand.

Speaking about violins, it is funny that a violin maker also can be called a "luthier" (after the family of string instruments that preceded the violin family), and that the violin itself can be called a "fiddle" after a medieval bowed instrument. The words violin, fiddle and vielle (another old instrument) are all said to derive from the Latin word "vitula".
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meramarina
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 Message 1476 of 3959
06 November 2009 at 11:16pm | IP Logged 
Unfortunately, I know a little bit about hypermobility and so-called "double-jointedness," and not by choice! I can move my some of my finger joints sideways because they have been damaged by rheumatoid arthritis. The strange this is that this does not hurt; yet just about every other aspect of normal hand function does hurt.
Here's what MedicineNet has to say:

Double-jointed: Popular term to describe a joint that is unusually flexible. Medically, the joint is said to be hyperflexible, hyperextensible, or hypermobile. People whose fingers are hypermobile have higher rates of arthritis in the hands.

I dislike this term because it misleads some into thinking that this an anatomical reality rather than a figure of speech. The tendons and muscles can become loose around a joint if they are chronically inflamed, but there is still only one joint.

Interestingly, to switch artistic fields for a moment, the artist Renoir had severe rheumatoid arthritis, and the restrictions of hand function caused changes in his style as his medical condition became worse. I have seen a photo of him confined to bed with pain, but he is drawing on the wall with a long stick. I think of him when I can't do what I'd love to do--gardening, baking, crafting--all so much more difficult for me now. Hence, all this time for language learning! That's the positive aspect of it.

Bending one's fingers unnaturally really frightens people too--that can be fun! And if the tendons on the back of the hand contract, as they tend to do in cold weather, my middle finger can get stuck in an upright position. Since this is very rude, I keep my hands in my pockets in the winter. But I really do have a medical reason for giving people the finger! When all of this trouble started, I told myself I might lose my physical articulations (joints), but I would never allow loss of my verbal articulations (words). So here I am learning languages! (and typing on an extra-easy keyboard).

By the way, I thought your story about learning "Yabadabadoo!" as a first English word was very funny!








Edited by meramarina on 08 November 2009 at 10:28pm

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Hobbema
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 Message 1477 of 3959
07 November 2009 at 1:08am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
OK, Hobbema, then you found a hole in my knowledge of English ("double jointed").


Ah..well, that wasn't my intention, to point anything out. I mentioned it because I was trying to clarify things, as this whole subject has some meaning for me.

meramarina wrote:
Unfortunately, I know a little bit about hypermobility and so-called "double-jointedness," and not by choice! I can move my some of my finger joints sideways because they have been damaged by rheumatoid arthritis.


Also from meramarina's post. I myself am starting to feel some effects of arthritis, not the more serious rheumatoid type, but just age related. I play double bass, nothing really serious but I play in a community orchestra and in some jazz events around town here. And I have some difficult days where it is painful to play. So I try to see things with a balanced perspective. I think about coming to terms with aging and arthritis, and how meramarina and others must change doing what they like to do because they just can't do it anymore, and people like Paganini who have amazing physical attributes that help make them legends centuries later.

I like the Renoir reference though! But if we open this up to art, Iversen will throw us out for clogging up his language log with other topics!
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Iversen
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 Message 1478 of 3959
07 November 2009 at 1:50am | IP Logged 
Then I should first kick myself out, - one of my hobbies during the period where I didn't study languages was painting, and I have published a series of surrealistic homemade paintings that illustrated different languages (from around July 9 at page 137 ). So feel free to discuss art, - and if you can do it in your target languages it will be even better.



By the way, my former hobby was brought to light because I had sent a foto to the site foreign-languages-guide.com as illustration for an interview with polyglots. The other people from HTLAL who where interviewed were Bill Handley ('Fanatic'), Jolien Schittko ('Fasulye'), Vladimir Skultety ('Vlad') and Moses McCormick ('Laoshu505000') - but I'm a little disappointed that the two girls behind the site haven't added new interviews since this summer.


Edited by Iversen on 07 November 2009 at 2:24am

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Iversen
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 Message 1479 of 3959
08 November 2009 at 12:09am | IP Logged 
POR: Durante o meu breve, mas agitado estudo do Português em 2006 a www.tvciencia.pt foi uma das minhas principais fontes da linguagem falada. Agora tenho revisitado o sitio. A coleção de vídeos antigos e miserável - a menos que você só quer se preocupar com Timor-Leste e Angola, dado que estes países são o tema de quase todos os vídeos. Para quem vem para aprender algo sobre a ciência seriá igualmente proveitoso ler o Pato Donald.

Té tambem um serviço directo que trata de sujeitos mais relevantes - mas se fala meno de ciencia do que de sujeitos tecnicos o medicina. E tem demasiadas entrevistas com políticos e demasiadas em Inglês.. Todavia isso não significa que as questões são irrelevantes - por exemplo, foi útil ter confirmação que os jovens que ouvem música alta todo o dia dos seus MP3 riscam danos auditivos (estudantes de língua não foram expressamente referidos). Aprendí também que o novo tipo de gripe se chama influenza A no Português, e uma senhora da UE falou (em Inglês) sobre possíveis restrições de viagem e encerramento de escolas - a histeria é aparentemente mais infecciosa do que a gripe.

Nos arquivos de histórias escritas houvem contribuições mais substantivas, como uma mensagem sobre um sistema israelito para ler antigos documentos danificados. O reconhecimento ótico de caracteres não é uma tecnica nova, pero o núcleo do algoritmo usado aqui é manifestamente que joga não com um só, mas com toda uma coleção de formas possíveis de uma determinada letra. Se isto realmente é novo ou não, eu não sei. Um outro artigo sugere que o "Metano em Marte continua um enigma para os cientistas". A sonda Mars Express da Agência Espacial Europeia (ESA) tem detectado o metano na atmosfera de Marte em 2003. O metano encontrava-se concentrado em três regiões do planeta, o que "levaram os cientistas a concluir que a libertação do metano era uma ocorrência recente e que teria sido detectado antes de se dissipar por todo o planeta". Volcanismo? Um outro problema consista na observação que o metano desaparece surpreendentemente rápidamente da atmosfera.

PS: enquanto eu escrevia a tradução abaixo, de repente eu ouvi que o café robusta ficara uma mercadoria rara no futuro próximo. Eu não bebo o café, mas como você sabe a majoría da gente o fazem. Em relação com a recente mudança do meu escritório, a prima reação dos meus colegas foi se tiver uma máquina de café no novo local.

--------

I did a brief inventory of the languages that are represented in this log from the last couple of months, and I saw that Portuguese for some reason has been unfairly neglected. So I opened the homepage of TV Sciênca which was one of my most important sources for written and spoken Portuguese during my short, but hectic learning proces in 2006. But the site isn't ideal. The video archive is a joke - most videos are about East Timor and Angola, and there is practically nothing that has anything to do with science. The scientific content of Donald Duck is vastly superior.

The on line program is better, but there is not much about science, somewhat more about tecnology and medicine, but most of all boring interviews or speeches from politicians - and far too often in English. The most interesting and serious part of the site are the written articles, where I found something about an amplified OCR reader that can decode damaged old manuscripts, another article claimed that a European satellite Mars Express found metane in three locations in the atmosphere in 2003. But no one knows how it ended up there, why it was precisely here and not all over the planet - and also why it suddenly apparently disappeared again.

And then I suddenly heard that robusta coffe is going to be a rare commodity soon. Bad news not for me (I don't drink the nasty stuff), but for many others both in Portugal and here. When my office recently moved to a new location the first question from my collegues was whether there was a free coffee machine at the new place. All work activity would cease and my collegues would lie around dying on the floors if coffee suddenly disappeared from this part of the universe.

-------

and now for something completely different: I just saw on National geographic that the contraption name "loo" is an abbreviations of the call-out Londoners used before they emptied their jerries unto the street (no wonder that it stank, and that people got typhus and other maladies). They yelled "gardy-loo", and this expression itself came from French "gardez-l'eau". Or they forgot to yell, and then accidents happened...

Edited by Iversen on 08 November 2009 at 1:33am

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Hobbema
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 Message 1480 of 3959
08 November 2009 at 2:35am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
Then I should first kick myself out, - one of my hobbies during the period where I didn't study languages was painting, and I have published a series of surrealistic homemade paintings that illustrated different languages (from around July 9 at page 137 ). So feel free to discuss art, - and if you can do it in your target languages it will be even better.


Remarkable, Iversen. I say that in English first because I don’t want anything lost in translation.

----------------

I heb voor je talent veel bewondering. Bedankt voor het delen ze.

----------------

Eu gosto muito a pintura da Völuspá. Esse é o meu favorito. Eu não sei o que eu pensei que eu iria ver, mas é óbvio que essas só não são as pinturas bonito, mas que você tinha alguma coisa a dizer quando você pintava. Eu acho que você tinha pensamentos diferentes quando você pintados Völuspá do que quando você pintada Le Churchyard at the Sea?




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