This week seemed to be full of little things contradicted what I believed to be true. Rather than throwing me off kilter, I found it a bit refreshing. Let me give you some examples:
- The journal Pediatrics would like us to know that Mary Ingalls probably did not go blind from scarlet fever. It was more likely viral meningoencephalitis that caused her blindness. Scarlet fever may have been a literary device used by Laura Ingalls Wilder or her editor, since scarlet fever would have been more familiar to her readers.
- You know that theremin sound in the Beach Boy’s song Good Vibrations? Yes? No? It’s that oooh-ooooooooh-ooohhh sound that resembles a space ship. I must have been at least 30 before I even knew what a theremin was. Well, it turns out that what I thought was a classic example of a theremin wasn’t even a theremin. That instrument in Good Vibrations was an electro-theremin, often called a Tannerin, is an electronic musical instrument developed to produce a sound to mimic that of a theremin.
- I’ve been listing to Natalie Maines’s interpretation of the Pink Floyd song “Mother.” Her version of the song gives it new meaning. I’m not generally a big Natalie Maines fan and I don’t own any of her music, but I have found myself surprisingly mesmerized by this song. To quote Ann Power’s NPR essay,
Maines leaves the song’s vaguely misogynist lyrics intact, but her plaintive, tender reading, intertwining with Harper’s equally gentle guitar lines, reveals the terror and helpless yearning that feeds the effort to control. Freed of the male voice that made “Mother” into a diatribe against femininity, Maines’s interpretation becomes a tender acknowledgment of how fear can entrap all of us, even when we want to do nothing but love.
- This story, which argues that preventative health care is not cost effective, is not actually from this week, but it’s continued to bug me this week. Still it’s something to think about.
Even the weather is trying to trick us. Although it is still winter, it does not look or feel a bit like winter here. We have had warm, spring-like weather lately, with plenty of glorious sunshine. I have tried to get us outside as much as possible. This is perfect outdoor weather, I think.
It’s a perfect time to enjoy trees abundant with peacocks.