The most feared song in jazz, explained

I sometimes like to rewatch pieces from the Vox Earworm and Vox Borders video series. I especially liked this one on John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” from the Vox Earworm series, for which they won the Emmy for “Outstanding New Approaches: Arts, Lifestyle and Culture”:

John Coltrane, one of jazz history’s most revered saxophonists, released “Giant Steps” in 1959. It’s known across the jazz world as one of the most challenging compositions to improvise over for two reasons – it’s fast and it’s in three keys. Braxton Cook and Adam Neely give me a crash course in music theory to help me understand this notoriously difficult song, and I’m bringing you along for the ride. Even if you don’t understand a lick of music theory, you’ll likely walk away with an appreciation for this musical puzzle.

Why new diseases keep appearing in China

Again a very interesting video by Vox, especially in these COVID-19/Corona times: why is it that this new disease emerged from China and not from another country?

As of early March 2020, a new coronavirus, called COVID-19, is in more than 70 countries and has killed more than 3,100 people, the vast majority in China. That’s where the virus emerged back in December 2019. This isn’t a new phenomenon for China; in 2003, the SARS virus also emerged there, and under similar circumstances, before spreading around the world and killing nearly 800.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Contagion (2011), you might see many resemblances with its ending:

How ads follow you around the internet

A video-version of How tracking pixels work by Vox:

In this video, we explain how cookies work and what you should know about how they’re being used. And we get a little help from the man who invented them.

Spot on “Finding Dory” analogy. One thing where they do go off a bit is that they somewhat imply that all data (such as shopping cart contents) is stored in the cookies themselves. That’s not the case: the cart contents are – or at least they should be – stored on the server. Only the cart’s ID (or your visitor/session ID) is stored in the cookie. The serverside code will then use that ID to get your card contents.

Also: would have loved to see a few examples with actual mentions of domain names to have it more clear.

Bach’s G major prelude, deconstructed

Another great entry in the Vox Earworm series:

Bach’s six cello suites are considered a rite of passage for cellists. They’re masterpieces of classical music, and the prelude in G major — the first movement of the suites — is perhaps the best example of Bach’s power as a composer. In it, he’s able to achieve rich and complex harmonic movements with just a four-stringed instrument, while using the very basic tenets of music composition. Those basic tenets are what Alisa Weilerstein, a renowned cellist and McArthur fellow, helps us understand.

The prelude will never sound the same after having seen this video.

👨‍🎤 Into music? These previously linked Vox Earworm posts are definitely worth your time in that case!

Why we say OK

I’ve got a feeling that LOL will also stand the test of time 🙂

The deadly race to the South Pole

From the “Vox Darkroom” series:

Robert Falcon Scott was a British explorer who dreamed of being the first person to reach the South Pole. In 1912, he reached the Pole only to learn that his Norwegian rival, Roald Amundsen, had beat him to it. Caught by freakish weather and a string of bad luck, his entire party died trying to get back.

🔗 Another “Vox Darkroom” entry: Why the Soviets doctored this iconic photo

The ingredients of a classic house track

Another great video in the Vox Earworm series, a must see for any (house) music lover. Perfect fit to watch right after their previous “The Disco Invention that Changed Pop Music” video.

On June 12, 1979, thousands of disco records were destroyed at Chicago’s “Disco Demolition Night”. Within one year, Chicago DJs and producers had reinvented the genre, and house music rose from the ashes of disco.

Why the Soviets doctored this iconic photo

With the recent 75 year remembrance of the Normandy Landings (D-Day), I was reminded of this video by Vox, from the Vox Darkroom series:

“Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” and “Raising a Flag over the Reichstag” are similarly iconic photos from World War II. They’re both beloved images of victory, and they’re both taken after the fighting ended in significant battles. But the Russian Soviet one is different, because parts of it are altered.

The Disco Invention that Changed Pop Music

I’ve been enjoying – and have linked to – the videos by Vox quite a lot, especially those from Vox Earworm. This video on how disco’s newly invented vinyl format – the 12-inch single – revolutionized pop music in the ’70s, is something right up my alley:

It’s not you. Phones are designed to be addicting.

Today’s phones are hard to put down. Push notifications buzz in your pocket, red bubbles demand attention, and endless distractions sit at your fingertips. It can feel impossible to pull away from. But that’s kind of the point.

I never understood why people would want to get notifications for every cough and sneeze. Turn ‘m off. Same goes for notifications on your computer.