The Big Think

March 21, 2011

Concealed Carry

Filed under: Education,Politics — jasony @ 2:09 pm

Campus concealed carry bill no laughing matter – San Antonio Express-News: “Today, one Texan out of every 55 is licensed to ‘pack heat’ in such seemingly taboo locations as churches, movie theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, banks and even the Texas Capitol. Yet, a Texan is 20 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed by a concealed handgun license holder.

The 71 U.S. college campuses that currently allow licensed concealed carry have yet to see a single resulting incident of gun violence (including threats and suicides), a single resulting gun accident or a single resulting gun theft.”

Texas is currently deciding whether or not to allow college students of legal age to carry concealed (with proper permitting) in certain campus spaces. While I understand and sympathize with both sides of the issue, I didn’t know the above statistics. They certainly shed some light on the issue. Still not sure how I feel about it (I have a lot of friends who are teachers at Baylor U), but it’s nice to know that history has shown that concealed permitting isn’t going to turn campuses into shooting ranges.

The spheres of the music – Roger Ebert’s Journal

Filed under: Movies,Music — jasony @ 1:19 pm

The spheres of the music – Roger Ebert’s Journal: “I wrote a blog not long ago about drawing, and how when you begin to sketch you fall into the ‘zone’ and lose track of time. I have never been a musician, but I suspect they’re familiar with the Zone. To become such a superb musician that you can play for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra means you have a oneness with your instrument. You desire, it responds. Technique is not thought about consciously. The music flows from the mind of the composer through you to minds of the listeners. The conductor is the means of gathering this process and offering it. To be part of a symphony orchestra must provide a mighty emotion, a great elevation. I imagine musicians must certainly lose track of time.

A symphony orchestra is a pinnacle of civilization. Mankind has brought forth music, found ways to notate it, devised instruments to give it sound, and found notes to express the voices of those instruments. The existence of an orchestra gives composers a meta-instrument on which their imaginations can play. Musicians at the level of the CSO must prepare themselves for a lifetime, again every day. They must have a vision of the Ideal, of the union of music, composition, instruments and listeners. They must sometimes be very happy.

This is not true only of the members of a symphony orchestra. I have known many musicians pretty well. Folk singers. Guitarists. Vocalists. Pianists. Jazz musicians. The good ones seem happy. Stories of tormented musicians are part of our folklore, but I have never to my knowledge seen a musician who was unhappy during the act of performance, and I have a pretty good eye for such things. They say we only use a small percentage of our human minds. I believe music has its best existence in those parts we do not otherwise employ. “

(Via .)

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