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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
'SPRING forward' tonight!    Saturday, March 31 2001

Back to music

It's well over a month since we last discussed music, though it doesn't seem that long to me, probably because it's a topic that has kept in my mind and gained prominence in my life ever since. No doubt the visit with my brother Bob and seeing his collection of thousands and thousands of popular songs on CD was an eye opener. Both the series of entries and the visit caused me to examine my own musical taste and interests more closely.

But more important was my decision to check out Napster, the online free membership “club” that enables thousands of web surfers to exchange literally hundreds of thousands of songs online at any given time. I described it in more detail a couple of days ago, so please check there (under "program notes") for more information, then visit Napster, and if you haven't done so, sign up (using any pseudonym; anonymity is actually encouraged) download the easy-to use exchange application, and try it. Even if you're not downloading music, it's worth surfing, just to be reminded how much great music is out there (and for that matter, how little of it is ever played on commercial radio stations).

I said in the previous round of entries that I love hundreds of second-tier favorite songs, but I suspected that it might run into at least several thousands. But now that I've been tapping Napster for a couple of weeks it seems my first estimate was closer to fact. I now have 395 songs on my laptop computer (over a gigabyte in memory; a typical song may be 4 megabytes, and 1000 megabytes equals a gigabyte). Maybe a dozen of those are not even in my second tier of favorites, but ones I downloaded out of curiosity (for example, the duet between eminem and Elton John at the Emmys last month, which has been discussed ever since in pop circles; also, I downloaded about 10 Irish songs by an unknown—to me—singer named Daniel O'Donnell, not because of my love of the songs but more the land evoked in them).

But the point is, I'm running out of titles to download, scraping the proverbial bottom of the barrel. I hope to get a couple score of Christmas songs before quitting, and probably a file of gospel music and hymns. With all those, I doubt I'll top 600 in all.

Future subtopics in this round of entries include why the computer medium may be the way to get your music (contra my earlier entry about radio, this is a better way), and some insights I've been developing to answer my own previous questions about the appeal of hip hop and gangsta rap, besides lots of riffs on songs and singers from the past five decades.

Have you checked it out yet? What do you think? Do you have ethical questions in light of the legal wrangling going on over Napster? (Congressional hearings about it begin next week.)

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Impressing the Boss

Preparing for the most important presentation of his life, a sales rep went to a psychiatrist and asked for help. "I'll implant a hypnotic suggestion in your mind," said the shrink. "Just say 'one-two-three,' and you'll give the most brilliant presentation of your life. However, do not say 'one-two-three-four,' because if anyone says that, you'll freeze up, lose your train of thought and make a complete fool of yourself."

The sales rep was ecstatic. He tried it at home and gave his family a fabulous presentation. He tried it at work, and his colleagues responded with a standing ovation. Then came the big day. Everything was set up in the boardroom and the CEO signaled him to start. The sales rep whispered under his breath, "One-two-three." Then the CEO asked, "What did you say 'one-two-three' for?"

Sent by Frank Charney

Lenten thought

The line separating good and evil passes not through states, not between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heartand through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of hearts, there remains an un-uprooted small corner of evil.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago

Sent by John Stamps

Lenten thoughts (i.e., pertaining to repentance and spiritual growth, from any faith-community perspective) are solicited from readers.

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