Cool stuff

I learnt about 2 cool things today. (Please note that my definition of "cool" is "interesting, unique and enthralling". The things I find interesting and enthralling tend to be quite academic. Therefore, if you're coming here expecting generous helpings of sunglasses, preppy models and general dickery, I suggest you skip over this entire post.)

The first was Bruckner's Locus iste. If you haven't heard it, please YouTube it or (better) go listen to a choir perform it. (If you are in a choir performing it, you're a lucky devil.) I'm doing it with the choir I'm in (a small school choir of about 16-20 people, all pretty good) in 4 days (eep!) and for a candlelit recital we're holding in about a month off (phew). I personally don't find it very grand or enthralling - it's not one of those big and quite magnificent pieces, rather it's a smaller affair - but I do find it...well...cute, in an odd way. I admire the way it's self-contained and quite elegant despite being very short, but what I love most of all are the harmonies. (I tend to be quite big on harmony and complexity.) Some are quite odd in places, and yet they work so well, and the final chord...I want to hug it to bits! How do you hug a chord? I don't know! (As you might be able to tell, I'm a bit insane and it comes off strangely, but oh well - you can't have everything.)

The second was the strange fusion of binomial equations, Pascal's triangle and "n choose k". It's difficult to explain, especially at this time of night and on the internet - it's best done by talking face-to-face. Rest assured though, the way it all ties together is quite cool (and useful when you're doing said binomial equations).

The moral of the story? The universe is full of awesome academic stuff if you only know where to look and if you only open your heart to it. (Bad clich├ęs for the win, but oh well.)