Place to share relaxing and thought-provoking videos

Physicist David Bohm talks about the cause of nuclear war

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Not really … maybe he is good as a pastor, but the oratory charisma is not there. I skimmed through it and read the slides. Most of those things are slim pickings.

For example: “Universe unlikely? ERGO GOD!” that is not a reasonable syllogistic/train of thought.
Another example: “Maybe there is a soul (definition pending)? ERGO GOD!” … quite the leap of faith, plus in all those cases the “soul” exists while the body is alive.
Later: Shroud of Turin this or that … who cares? Once you get to 34:15 and you hear that “the shroud can penetrate at least 3/16ths of an inch (get metric btw, good God!) into the body, so that you can get the … ehm … layering, depth layering from an MRI approach of the bones inside the hand” then you can safely close the video :slight_smile:

It was thought-provoking, I’ll give it that … not good thoughts though :stuck_out_tongue:

What a well-made ambient. Monologues are often bad for sleeping because I start paying attention and especially some sounds wake me up. And here it’s made so you can’t tell what’s being said so it’s that much more relaxing.

We have the rare privilege to see in this video the emergence of a prodigy who I expect will one day be a world-renowned concert artist. Miriam K. Smith is just 14 in this video of the Bach 2nd cello suite , but she already has the poise and control of someone much older. Today she is 16 or 17, and has several video performances with some regional symphonies, but I chose this video because it highlights so well her strengths and weaknesses, which I find interesting. Also, I performed this piece several times, including on my Junior recital in college, so I know it well.

The Bach suites are particularly difficult because they expose all the slight imperfections of tone, scrapes and squeaks when the bow is too light and growls and barks in the low strings when the bow is too heavy. Ms. Smith is best, I think, in the first and fourth movements, the Prelude and Sarabande, where her tone is generally good and her phrasing is excellent. The other movements, however, are played too fast (a temptation when one has her left-hand facility), resulting in considerable damage to the phrasing. This is especially true throughout the second movement (Allemande); see particularly at 4:57, where she comes out of the fast figure at a faster tempo than a few seconds before, totally losing control of the phrasing. Similar problems occur in all the other fast movements. However, I greatly admire her superb intonation throughout the suite, a rarity in young cellists.


I’m quite ignorant about classic music. I love Bach though. I know very little of his work but I love it!
I bought a handful of vinyl discs in my life, but one of them was the famous toccata e fuga in Re minore.
I didn’t know this suite but I love the first one. I first heard it transposed for guitar by Segovia and then looked for the original.
That was many years ago and since then I still wonder how could Bach be so good at writing for cello. I think he wasn’t a celloist himself, but these pieces seem to really dig into the specificity of the instrument so I have great admiration for Bach’s ability to understand that.
Is that reasonable? You’re the greatest cello expert that I know, so I’d like to hear your opinion.

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I have never read a biography of Bach, so I do not know whether he has any special connection to cello. He was primarily an organist and harpsichordist. The suites were composed shortly before his violin sonatas and the sonatas for viola da gamba (now played on cello), all of which I consider some of his best work.

How to explain genius? Bach was, with Beethoven and Mozart, a supreme musical genius. I believe the wide appeal of his work stems from its clear structural quality. Especially in these solo works, the harmonies are expressed horizontally in the melodic line, but using many repeated patterns, giving listeners a thrill of recognition (“Oh, I know that!”). He is endlessly inventive in these patterns, varying the rhythm, bouncing between different registers, and throwing in unexpected modulations, among other techniques. This makes it sound too mechanical and cold-blooded, when really it is similar to improvisation like jazz, but without the jazz rhythm or “blue” notes. As it happens, I did a semester paper on the prelude in this piece for my Form and Analysis class.

Yes, the suites are very popular with guitarists. I have heard Segovia in several transcriptions. He was the Casals of the guitar, I think. Casals, by the way, “rediscovered” and popularized the suites in the early 20th century.

Thanks for the compliment, though I doubt whether I qualify as expert. I was considered “gifted” when I was a child and scored in the top 1% on a musical aptitude test. At college, however, almost everyone pursuing music is gifted, and the competition is fierce. I stopped playing due to a very painful thumb knuckle (carpel tunnel?) in my right hand, probably caused because my bow grip was too tense. It was a blessing in disguise, though, as a friend who became first cellist in a professional regional symphony and adjunct professor at a small college has had to scrape by financially all his life and is rather unhappy. And he became a much better cellist than I ever could have been.

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So “genius” is the answer. :slight_smile:
I agree with that.

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In the german Wikipedia article about the cello suites there is a substantial passage about Bach as cello player. It says roughly that in Bach’s times a composer often wrote music for himself in the first place. And Bach was Konzertmeister and leaded the orchestra in most cases from the violin as is said in a letter written by his son Carl Philipp Emanuel. In those times there was no modern cello but rather instruments which were played more like a violin resulting in similar fingering. It is said those instruments would nowadays called Viola da Spalla or Viola pomposa. (Picture: Suiten für Violoncello solo (Bach) – Wikipedia)

So the conclusion there is, that Bach might have written the pieces for some colleague, but it is likely that he wrote it for himself in the first place.


I think this is in the essense of this topic:

Extremely worth taking the time to watch this. I think @Conrad_Melville is going to enjoy this a lot. :slight_smile:


Yes, I like it quite a lot. Cute couple. I really admire their spunk and know-how. They remind me of my best friend, a jack-of-all-trades and miner of dumps who lives in an 1840 house on 50 wooded acres in New Hampshire. However, my life trajectory required too many of the accoutrements of civilization for me ever to take their route. For example, I doubt they have a decent used book store within 1,000 miles.


Wanna waste 10 minutes of your time?



@Lys is right, it is oddly mesmerising and it did achieve the “thought-provoking” part, because after a few seconds it dawned to me that I had seen a lot of these movements. Then it hit me: The puppets in the traditional “shadow theater” called “Karagiozis” are triple pendulums! (You can just watch and observe that in the first 30 seconds - e.g. that jump at :014)

Who knew that we were not wasting our times watching puppets when we were kids, but actually conducting scientific experiments? Opa! :wink:

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Amazing, isn’t it. All those people long ago thought about these problems. In a way, they thought about us.


Haven’t this this guy in quite a while.

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Black Hole Week

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I had found the same video and wanted to post it, but the algorithm of the forum said that it was posted already, so here I am. The comment I wanted to add originally was that there is one big mistake made by the video. The claim that Lucian’s work is now “trash” since we are not the target audience, but nothing could be further from the truth. Since Lucian was a satirist, he went after the faults of human nature and that hasn’t changed much, despite two millenia going past.

Sure “True story” is not very good ( but let us be honest, how good could the first attempt of any new genre be, even today? :thinking:), however other works of his in those two more traditional kinds mentioned in the video are still awesome and very relevant.

I will highly recommend you his “book” Timon (or also known as “the misanthrope”). You can find all of it here (it is just a few pages):

The translation is, of course, making a lot of the literary artistry go away, but I perused and it seems good enough. It contains, in such a few pages, so many lessons about life that it is frankly (not) amazing that this was the text that the ministry of education chose to strike down from the middle school curriculum. I read it when I was a kid and learned a lot. I am in the habit of re-reading this often (along with another 6 page masterpiece of a modern author that sadly noone has translated. I keep them both permanently on my desk) now that I am older, just to remind me how humans do not really change. It is amazing how relatable it is.

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On the consonants in IPA:

The vowels in IPA are also interesting (Vowel Pronunciation Tutorial • IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) Vowels - YouTube), but I find the consonants even more interesting.

More philosophy, within a single minute, from the 4 dudes with the best job in the world:

The importance of being able to laugh at yourself :slight_smile: