Tag Archives: play

A Labor Day Question: Will You Be Living Your Passion At 80 Years?

Composer John Williams

This weekend, I experienced the mellifluous genius of John Williams conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl through a series of scores he has composed over his fifty-plus year career. The man responsible for creating the iconic themes to Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter (the list goes on, and on, and on) is now eighty years old and is the living embodiment of having a career versus having a job. Last year, he received two Academy Award nominations for War Horse and The Adventures of Tin Tin and shows no sign of slowing down.

Which got me thinking…what will I be doing when I’m an octogenarian? Will I be living my passion? How many people envision a career beyond “retirement age”?

It wasn’t until I witnessed Williams on stage — the exuberance on his face, the vigor in his voice — that I considered the question.

Warren Buffett is 82 years old and while preparing for his abdication of the Berkshire Hathaway throne, appears amazingly involved. Queen Elizabeth is 86 and spoofing herself at global arenas like the London Olympics. It’s conceivable these magnates will remain actively centered in their vocations well into their 90s.

As our lifespans lengthen, are our views on everything from careers to relationships to faith expanding as well? While I haven’t read it (yet, it’s on my to-read list), I’m told the book “100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith” tackles these issues with thought-provoking adroitness.

A couple years ago I made the decision to pursue a career I loved, versus succeed in a job (that started out as a career) I liked. Now, as I draw inspiration and guidance from those living and sustaining their dreams, like Margaret Atwood, who at 72 is working with the online writing community at Wattpad to encourage new writers, I look towards the future with an unexpected optic, one that answers “I hope so” to the aforementioned question: Will I be living my passion at 80 years old?  

Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, Margaret Atwood

On Labor Day, as we pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers, it seems appropriate to reflect upon on our laboring futures, with farsighted lenses.

Businessman and author Harvey Mackay is touted for coining the phrase: “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” While this feels exceedingly trope-ish, there is a distinct difference between a labor of love, and just laboring, with the former presenting a much more sustainable, and fulfilling, future.

Mars rover Curiosity test fires the laser – pulverizes a rock just for fun (and science)

Johnny Five, aka the Mars rover Curiosity, continues its scientific journey. The nuclear-powered laboratory in-a-box pulled out it’s laser to blast a rock that got in its way. From NASA:

The mission’s ChemCam instrument hit a fist-sized rock named “Coronation” with 30 pulses of its laser during a 10-second period. Each pulse delivers more than a million watts of power for about five one-billionths of a second.

The energy from the laser creates a puff of ionized, glowing plasma. ChemCam catches the light with a telescope and analyzes it with three spectrometers for information about what elements are in the rock.

 

NASA said the main function of this was target practice to calibrate the ChemCam.

You gotta love the sense of play NASA is bringing to this mission. Not only are they releasing these stories about test-firing lasers, but they are all over social medial, including fan art on Facebook, a first-person Twitter account, sharing stories on Google Plus, and posting articles on their much more user-friendly website.

A great idea for the much beleaguered space agency, that I assume is a bid to get them back into America’s good graces…and taxpayer dollars.

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Analysis of Egypt’s election – Mohammed Morsi won, but is not in charge

They sent customary congratulations from round the world – the Iranians and the Emiratis, the US, the British and Hamas.

Even Israel said it “respected the outcome”. William Hague, the foreign secretary, was almost effusive.

“I congratulate the Egyptian people for their commitment to the democratic process,” he said.

The US called on the government to be a “pillar of regional peace”.

It was as if the Muslim Brotherhood were just any other party, Mohammed Morsi just another politician, and Egypt any other democratic country.
It is not, of course. For one thing, nobody really knows now who is in power. Mr Morsi, just about everyone agrees, is not. He is answerable to two men: Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and defence minister; and Mohammed Badie, the Murshid or Guide of the Brotherhood, to whom he also owes obedience.

It is easy to see why the liberal activists who started last year’s revolution against Hosni Mubarak feel betrayed….

 

Keep readingEgypt analysis: Mohammed Morsi may have won, but he is not in charge

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Shakespeare’s Restless World – fascinating new podcast from BBC Radio 4

British Museum Director Neil MacGregor presents Shakespeare’s Restless World, a new series for Radio 4. The 20-part series looks at the world through the eyes of Shakespeare’s audience by exploring objects from that turbulent period.

Examining these objects, Neil discusses how Elizabethan playgoers understood and made sense of the unstable and rapidly changing world in which they lived. Neil asks what the plays would have meant to the public when they were first performed. He uses carefully selected objects to explore the great issues of the day that preoccupied the public and helped shape the works, and considers what they can reveal about the concerns and beliefs of Shakespearean England.

Contributing to the programmes will be Shakespeare scholars, historians and experts on witchcraft and warfare, fencing and food, luxury trade and many other topics. They discuss the issues these objects raise – everything from exploration and discovery to violence, entertainment and the plague.

Shakespeare’s Restless World - (or download in iTunes)

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The heartening resurgence of the American play

Had you polled theater pundits in recent years about which they thought would be in better shape today, the Broadway musical or the Broadway play, it’s hard to imagine any of them choosing the drama.

Yet one of the unexpected developments of the past season is the robust showing of what used to be called “the straight play” — a designation that sounds vaguely apologetic for not featuring high-kicking chorus girls and 11 o’clock numbers.

Apparently, those mythological hordes of tourists with their insatiable appetite for franchise spectacles aren’t having the final say. Playwrights and the producers who love them have been putting up a sneaky defense against the theme-park takeover of Broadway.

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…but just when you were ready to concede Times Square as part of the United Kingdom, lo and behold, the four nominees for best play are all written by Yanks: Bruce Norris (“Clybourne Park”), Jon Robin Baitz (“Other Desert Cities”), David Ives (“Venus in Fur”) and Rick Elice (“Peter and the Starcatcher”).

 

keep readingL.A. Times Critics Notebook, Charles McNulty

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Play Me, I’m Yours – thirty pianos across the city for anyone to play

Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours is artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. For three weeks beginning April 12, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra brings Play Me, I’m Yours to Los Angeles.

Thirty pianos, designed and decorated by local artists and community organizations, are featured across Los Angeles County and are available for everyone to play, in celebration of acclaimed conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane’s 15th anniversary as LACO music director.

 

PDF poster, that includes a map of the piano locations.

 

There is also a FREE pop-up tribute under the lights of Hollywood on Thursday, April 26th at 8:45PM.

Love Letters to LA: Pianos Live

A one night only concert around the piano located outside of the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Kicking off the final week of the pianos’ LA visit, the concert will feature stripped down, unplugged performances by over a dozen local artists. Each artist will perform one song – a cover of their choosing that means “Los Angeles” to them.

The piano tour also includes a website for the public to upload photos, videos, and post comments. Here are a few of them:

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Ballona Wetlands – 600 acres of Los Angeles coast will soon be restored

In a first step toward restoring one of Southern California’s few remaining wetlands and opening it to the public, the state has approved spending $6.5 million for planning a massive restoration of the degraded Ballona Wetlands.

(In the plan) initial proposals call for spending $100 million to remove concrete levees and truck out tons of sediment dumped on the property, allowing water from Ballona Creek and the sea to flow into the wetlands. Bike paths would be built atop earthen flood-control berms on the reserve’s perimeter and public boardwalks would allow visitors access to the site without disturbing plants, birds and other wildlife.

“We have the potential at Ballona to restore this degraded and damaged habitat and return it to a beautiful, sustainable natural refuge for people and wildlife,” Luce said.

The vast coastal wetlands once spanned 2,000 acres at the mouth of Ballona Creek, covering much of what is now Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey and Venice. Only a quarter remains today, much of it a dry, fenced-off expanse of brush that is littered with garbage in places, surrounded by high-rises and subdivisions and criss-crossed by congested boulevards.

Developers and environmental activists wrangled over the site for decades before the state agreed in 2003 to spend $139 million to acquire it as an ecological reserve.

via LA Times

 

And, nationally wetlands are still disappearing:

A national wetlands inventory released this week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that between 2004 and 2009, the lower 48 states lost a net average of 13,800 acres a year. That compared with a slight annual gain in wetlands during the previous six year-period.

“Wetlands are at a tipping point,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. “While we have made great strides in conserving and restoring wetlands since the 1950s, when we were losing an area equal to half the size of Rhode Island each year, we remain on a downward trend that is alarming.”

via LA Times

The new $180 million game – Play Pictionary with your friends, called Draw Something

The game is super fun and addictive. The first time I opened the iPhone app I played for an hour and a half. I drew all sorts of ridiculous things with my finger, which made them horribly bad, but also over-the-top funny.

The game has become so popular in the last 6 weeks that Zynga bought the entire company, OMGPOP, for $180 million based on this one game.

It plays kinda like Pictionary except over the internet. Which means that your drawing is recorded and then sent to the other player. You receive the video and watch the other player draw something while you try to guess what it is.

An old concept but with the dawn of social networks we know have hundreds more people to play with. No more Saturday night game night. You can play while waiting at the airport, like I did.

Go ahead and try it, and challenge me to a game if you want!

iPhone/iPad app

Android Store

Friend me on Facebook and challenge me to draw something!