2016: the year we learned more about – the California Gold Rush, the insanely brilliant architecture of Gaudi, the work of bees, Eugene Bullard, homonyms, Hannibal, dwarf planets, George Washington Carver, patents, rodents, Rube Goldberg, computation involving triangles, etc, etc, etc. Last night, my son took matching quiz that reviewed our academic studies from the past year, and earned an A+. Good year.
New book! For Christmas, a special aunt and uncle sent my son David Macaulay’s classic, “The Way Things Work”. This is obviously a mechanical engineering book lurking behind precise illustrations and hilarious examples. This past week, we became experts on “the inclined plane” and “the lever”. (In 2016, we learned a lot from Macauley’s books on “The Toilet” and “The Mill”, so we should emerge MENSA-worthy if we can absorb everything this comprehensive book offers.)
Story Problem from Le Fictitious Local Diner – The diner spent a lot of money on electricity in 2016; management is reviewing usage to see if they can cut back (perhaps a weekly “dining by candle-light” event might make a teeny dent in the diner’s electrical consumption). To make decisions, management needs some facts: if the diner was open 6 days a week, how many days in 2016 were they using electricity? If the cooks were at the diner from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m., how many hours last year was the diner using electricity? (story problem answers at bottom of post)
Music Listening in 2016 – My son and I welcomed an additional 85 classical (in the broadest sense) pieces into our iPod library this past year. Last night, I presented a list of our fave 10 of these compositions and then my son picked his top three for listening.
10 pieces we first listened to in 2016 –
Ave Maria – Arcadelt
Banjoland Buffoonery – Kirkhope
Brandenberg Concerto No. 3 – Bach
Harp Concerto in A major – Dittersdorf
Organ Symphony, finale – Saint-Saens
Persian March – Strauss
Sailing By – Binge
String Quartet No. 2, scherzo – Borodin
The Anvil Chorus (Il Trovatore) – Verdi
Toccata in A major – Paradisi
My son’s selections for last night’s listening –
– “Banjoland Buffoonery”, composed in 1998 by Grant Kirkhope for the Nintendo 64 video game, “Banjo-Kazooie”. A short piece, packed with rollicking fun, AND an excellent (and accessible for the likes of my son and myself) example of theme and variation:
– “Persian March”, composed by Johann Strauss II, in 1864. My son cannot stop his toes from tapping to this marvelously exotic march (expertly played by a Polish youth orchestra) (SO heartening to witness excellence in youth):
– “Sailing By”, written by Ronald Binge in 1963 and used by BBC Radio to introduce the late shipping forcast. This sweet, slumberous waltz gets our vote for most soothing lullaby. When we just cannot deal with one more thing, THIS is our music:
Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH
(story problem answers: 1) 312 days 2) 5,304 hours)