For whom the guitar strings toll as I play

Originally posted on Colinology:

The common acoustic guitar is actually one of the oldest instruments we know of. There are stone carvings of long-necked instruments with wooden sound boxes which are thousands of years old. For instance, in Alaca Huyuk in Turkey there’s carving of a Hittite playing the instrument.

The name of the instrument comes to us from Sanskrit. and Arabic. Chartarra in Old Persian means ‘four strings’ and in Arabic it became Qithara, which became Guitarra in Spanish through the influence of the Moors. It was the Italians, of course, who departed from the original form of four strings to have five, six, and up to twelve.

So, when I sit down to plonk out my tunes on my trusty Ibanez, I’m connecting with history in a real way. Through the name, through the form, and through the music, I connect with all the guitar players throughout history – whether they entertained…

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A Letter To Christians In Indiana, From Jesus

Invisible Mikey:

Happy Easter, for those of you that observe it.

Originally posted on john pavlovitz:

Pen

Dear Christians In Indiana (and those elsewhere, who might read this),

I’ve seen what’s been going on there lately. Actually, I’ve been watching you all along and I really need to let you know something, just in case you misunderstand:

This isn’t what I had planned.

This wasn’t the Church I set the table for.

It wasn’t the dream I had for you, when I spoke in those parables about the Kingdom; about my Kingdom.

It was all supposed to be so very different.

It was supposed to be a pervasive, beautiful, relentless “yeast in the dough” that permeated the planet; an unstoppable virus of compassion and mercy spread person-to-person, not needing government or law or force.

It was supposed to be that smallest, seemingly most insignificant of seeds, exploding steadily and gloriously with the realized potential of my sacred presence, becoming a place of safety and shelter for all people.

It was supposed to be…

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How to Tell If You’re in a Film Noir

Invisible Mikey:

I love infographics. Here’s one about my favorite genre of American movies.

Originally posted on More Songs about Buildings and Food:

Film Noir pale

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Combating Misinformation About Vaccines

Invisible Mikey:

I wrote this almost three years ago. This year, it’s measles, but everything in the article is just as relevant. Vaccines do not “overwhelm” the immune system. Compared to what drugs you have to take AFTER getting sick do, they are a gentle tweak that teaches your body to identify and kill viruses that otherwise can reproduce and cause great discomfort, sometimes death.

Originally posted on Invisible Mikey:

Working in health care requires me to constantly help the doctors educate and inform those who seek treatment.  Patients are always missing the forest for the trees, focusing on some minor possibility while ignoring obvious larger causes for diseases.

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Terrorism in the Old West

Liberty

The murders at the offices of Charlie Hebdo didn’t surprise me, because of an odd personal coincidence. One of the very first movies I remember affecting me deeply as a child contained a similar incident. I have replayed this act of onscreen brutality many times in my mind.  When you’re a child, you believe what you see. To me it was history, a real incident, not drama. As a result, I have understood since then that there are “bad guys” who will kill because someone prints things they disagree with. Continue reading

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Originally posted on Silver Girl:

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Essential Cuban Films You Should Know

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

This week, President Obama’s lift of the 54-year-long American trade embargo against Cuba — which would ease restrictions on travel and financial activities, normalizing relations with the country — was announced. But different generations of Cubans are processing different feelings about the historic move. The economic crisis in Cuba that resulted from the embargo, and the country’s war-torn history, has been the subject of many films. Throughout the history of Cuban cinema, filmmakers have explored sociopolitical issues and the country’s shifting identity. Here are a few films to put on your radar before exploring Cuban cinema for the first time.

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