Goodnight everyone, and have a classy workout of a weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

Do you exercise? I know. What a stupid question. Of course you exercise. That was your New Year’s resolution so you’re working like a dog. It’s almost February. How’s it going so far?

My lovely niece Kari who I’m very proud of exercises.

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That’s her on the left. Kari exercises a lot, and isn’t it obvious why she has to? 🙂

She belongs to a gym and the instructor decides on what kind of music is played during classes. Usually it’s pop, rock, or rap. And that certainly makes sense.

I asked dear Kari if classical was ever an option.

Nope. Kari said “More up beat style of music to get us moving and sweating.”

NOT SO FAST!

“As a genre, it is easy to see why classical music appears to be overlooked in terms of people’s choice of a workout soundtrack,” says Costas Karageorghis, a professor of sport and exercise psychology and the divisional lead for sport, health, and exercise sciences at Brunel University London; Dawn Rose, senior researcher at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland; and Elias Mouchlianitis, a postdoctoral research fellow at Brunel University London. “It often lacks a rhythmic ‘groove’, and when there are lyrics, they are not easy to sing along with. Yet there is an inherent and timeless beauty attached to many pieces from the classical repertoire.”

More from them later, but that’s our focus this week. Let’s get started.

You remember her, don’t you?

Bo Derek hot women picture

I’m not sure but I believe she worked out. Maybe still does.

Bo Derek starred in the 1979 romantic comedy “10” as she frolicked on the beach in that famous wet, flesh-colored swimsuit.

Folks who had never heard of Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” that was used in the film became fans overnight. Ravel’s most noted composition came about in 1928 when he agreed to write a piece for a friend, Russian dancer and actress Ida Rubinstein.

While Ravel was vacationing in Saint-Jean-de-Luz he  was about to go for a swim, but first summoned a friend over to a piano and played what would eventually become Bolero with one finger. Ravel asked his friend,  “Don’t you think that has an insistent quality? I’m going to try to repeat it a number of times without any development, gradually increasing the orchestra as best I can.”

Insistent is right. The snare-drum pounds relentlessly. The solitary theme starts slowly, but gradually keeps building, building. And then the final explosive crescendo.

Brunel University London research assistant Luke Howard recommends Bolero with its gentle start and a tempo close to a resting heart rate as being excellent for mental preparation before you start your workout.

We normally like to start with a rousing opener. Slow beginning here, but then watch out.

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“We must understand what the benefits of any music might be in the context of physical exercise. The role of any workout music is to dull the pain, raise the spirits, and possibly make time pass a little faster. Scientists refer to the ‘dissociative effects’ of music, meaning that it helps to distract the mind from internal fatigue-related symptoms. Recent work by our group has shown the propensity for music to reduce exercise consciousness—essentially, the parts of the brain that communicate fatigue communicate less when music is playing.”
Costas Karageorghis, Dawn Rose, and Elias Mouchlianitis

More recommendations on classical workout music from Brunel University London research assistant Luke Howard. Bolero got the workout going. Now Howard says, “Juba Dance, from Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, by Florence Price (pianist), is an engaging symphonic piece that will gently elevate the heart rate during a warm-up phase. It ends with an exhilarating crescendo, leaving you suitably ready for what’s to come.”

Black History Spotlight: Florence Price | Classical MPR

Florence Price was the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra.

“Although music can’t reduce exercisers’ perceptions of exertion at very high work intensity, it can influence the mood-related areas of the brain right up until the point of voluntary exhaustion. So an aesthetically pleasing piece, won’t affect what you feel when your lungs are burning on the treadmill, but might influence how you feel it. In essence, pleasant music can color one’s interpretation of fatigue and enhance the exercise experience.”
Costas Karageorghis, Dawn Rose, and Elias Mouchlianitis

Back to Brunel University London research assistant Luke Howard. “Part IV. Finale, Allegro Assai, Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is a rousing musical work for low-to-moderate intensity segments of your workout. It features what is known as a ‘Mannheim rocket,’ a roller coaster of a melody, which will get the heart and lungs pumping.”

No photo description available.

From North Korea, the Moranbong Band, also known as the Moran Hill Orchestra, was formed in 2012 by leader Kim Jong Un.

For our next musical recommendation, Luke Howard says “Prélude to Act 1 of Carmenby Georges Bizet, has a rip-roaring tempo (128 beats per minute) that whisks you through any demanding high-intensity segments of your workout. The exquisite melodic and harmonic features of this piece enable you to dissociate from the pain.”

Can Can Parisian Dancers Melbourne | Brisbane - Instinct Music

Good enough for can-can dancers, why not physical fitness buffs?

“Overall, whether classical music and exercise are a good match is something each of us needs to decide—musical taste is very personal. But why not mix it up a little? Variety in exercise keeps us fresh and invigorated, so consider a switch in musical accompaniment to keep yourself moving. Swap the rave music for Ravel and substitute breakbeat with a glorious blast of Beethoven.”
Costas Karageorghis, Dawn Rose, and Elias Mouchlianitis

Our final recommendation from Luke Howard: “Concerto No. 1 in E Major, Op.8, ‘La Primavera by Antonio Vivaldi, is great for a warm-down, and keeping a spring in your stride as you gradually return toward a resting state. The beautifully orchestrated strings give this opus a pronounced recuperative quality.”

That’s it for this week.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

“For a post-workout application, the music needs to be calming and revitalizing in order to expedite the body’s return to a resting state. An archetypal piece for this is Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1, that envelopes the listener and treats tired muscles to a sonic massage.”
Costas Karageorghis, Dawn Rose, and Elias Mouchlianitis

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: She said she couldn’t do it

The very talented Sam Cooke sang with the gospel group the Soul Stirrers before going on to a successful but brief solo career. His list of hit recordings includes “You Send Me,” “Wonderful World,” “Chain Gang,” “Twistin’ the Night Away,” “Another Saturday Night,” and “Only Sixteen.”

Cooke had been out the night before on the morning of December 11, 1964, drinking at a Los Angeles bar where he became friendly with a woman. The two ended up at the Hacienda Motel. An altercation in their room ensued. Cooke went to the motel’s office and argued with the manager who shot and killed Cooke. The manager claimed self-defense. The case was ruled justifiable homicide. Cooke was 33. Last Friday would have been Cooke’s 90th birthday.

From the album liner notes of “Portrait of a Legend 19511964”:

Another of Sam’s increasingly familiar Latin numbers. This one stemmed from a Christmas 1958 party at Lou Rawls’ stepfather’s house. At one point in the evening everyone was doing the cha cha, even the little kids, and Sam was watching his five-year-old daughter, Linda, when all of a sudden one of the kids called out, “Everybody, cha cha cha!” They were all just having a good time, said J.W. Alexander, and Sam grabbed a piece of paper and set the lyrics down while everybody else was dancing. When he went into the studio the week after New Year’s, he laid it down just like that. “I think the secret is really observation,” he told Dick Clark years later about the key to all of his successful hit songs. If you observed what was going on and were in tune with “the times of your day, I think you can always write something that people will understand.”

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BONUS! From my dad’s LP collection.

To close we change gears.

Last year the film One Night in Miami was released, depicting a meeting between boxing legend Muhammad Ali, civil rights leader Malcolm X, NFL legend Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke. The film  dramatizes the hours following Cassius Clay’s upset victory over Sonny Liston. Clay (Eli Goree) headed out with Brown (Aldis Hodge), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.). They went to the Hampton House Motel, a popular establishment among black visitors to Jim Crow–era Miami.

Today’s highly interesting read (01/29/21): The Media Should Cover the March for Life – with More Than Just Seconds

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Today’s read is from Katie Yoder of the Media Research Center. Here’s an excerpt:

The March for Life marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide. While many in the media downplay it, the event unites tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands as they celebrate life and challenge abortion. These pro-life Americans make sacrifices to attend: They happily brave brutal weather and take time off from work or school to travel from all across the country to Washington, D.C. Yes, the 48th annual march, on January 29, will look a little different – a little smaller. But it is no less important, as it represents the estimated 62 million lives missing due to abortion.

In the past, the broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, and NBC – have failed to give the many marchers, and the unborn they march for, the time they deserve. Here’s the breakdown of the time that the morning and evening news shows have dedicated to the March for Life, in the past eight years:

Read the entire column here.

Today’s highly interesting read (01/28/21): EXPOSING THE SINS OF THE TECHNICAL CATHOLICS

Photos: The inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Today’s read is from Christine Flowers, an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times. Here’s an excerpt:

The technically Catholic president chose the anniversary of a decision that has been condemned by his church for almost 50 years to express his devotion to the abortion rights movement.

If Catholics were honest, they would be looking at this with the same horror the disciples regarded the crucified Christ. But there are a lot of technical Catholics out there who are perfectly fine with their new president standing in solidarity with those who find nothing sacred in the unborn child.

But I just wish everyone would stop pretending Joe Biden is representative of my faith.

Read the entire column here.

Today’s highly interesting read (01/27/21): Milwaukee was already failing students of color. Covid made it worse

Milwaukee School of Languages teacher Marielle Rivera, right, greets her eighth-grade virtual Spanish class on the first day of school as Principal Juan Baez, left, and MPS Superintendent Keith Posley watch.

Milwaukee School of Languages teacher Marielle Rivera greets her 8th grade virtual Spanish class on the first day of school last fall as principal Juan Baez (L) and MPS Superintendent Keith Posley watch. Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Most Milwaukee Public Schools students would continue virtual learning until at least April, while some students with disabilities could return in person Feb. 8 under a tentative plan from Superintendent Keith Posley. 

Today’s read is from Mario Koran, a Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellow at the University of Michigan, writing for the UK-based Guardian. Here’s a brief excerpt:

School closures have been disruptive for students across the United States but, for many students of color in Milwaukee’s public school system, the immediate impacts have been downright alarming.

In the long run, educators fear, Covid and a long history of segregation and discrimination have formed a toxic cocktail that could reverberate for decades to come.

“It’s not only a question of how we get these kids back to where they would have been had the pandemic not occurred, but how do we get them back to where they should be?” said Dan Rossmiller of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

“And that, of course, was the pre-existing problem.”

Read the entire article here.



No more Miller Park, and memories of old friend Mark Siegrist

March 22, 1996. The Associated Press reported:

Rushing to beat today’s deadline to come up with $90 million to keep construction of a new Milwaukee Brewers stadium on track, the team Thursday announced Miller Brewing Co. had committed $41.2 million for the right to name the stadium Miller Park.

Miller and the Brewers said the deal was the single largest naming rights pact ever reached by a major league baseball team and would help the struggling team remain in Milwaukee.

“Today is a watershed day in the history of the Milwaukee Brewers,” Brewers President Bud Selig said in a statement. “Miller has stepped up to the plate in an historic way to ensure that the new ballpark is one of the finest in the world.”

The team last month was unable to secure collateral for a $50 million state loan that was also part of the legislative package. The stadium board appointed to oversee collection of the one-tenth of a percent sales tax hike then set a March 22 deadline for securing a financial package.

Miller intends to give the team $1.2 million this year, then pay $2 million a year for 20 years beginning in 1999 for naming rights and exclusive signage inside and outside the ballpark, said Patricia McKeithan, Miller vice president of corporate affairs.

Selig, the acting commissioner of baseball, has been careful not to publicly threaten to leave Milwaukee. But he has repeatedly said the team cannot survive here without the new stadium.

Given the uncertainty of the complex negotiations going on at the time there’s no telling what the future of the franchise would have been had Miller not stepped up to the plate.

I was with the WTMJ Radio New department then and we won awards for our ongoing coverage of the stadium debate.

Part of my team was the well-known Mark Siegrist who had spent many solid years at WISN-TV Channel 12. Mark was extremely dependable and likeable. The day before the Miller Park naming rights were announced Mark had found about it from a very, very, reliable source. But he was sworn to secrecy, and he kept his promise. Boy did he keep his promise. he told no one. Not even me or other members of the news department. I wasn’t thrilled and Mark, to this day a very good friend, wasn’t thrilled that I wasn’t thrilled. The department had a closed door discussion and the issue did work out. We had our story and were prepared. In today’s world where journalistic standards have been all but lost someone with the scoop Mark had would find a way to break the confidence and get the story on the air ASAP. Mark kept his word and did not sacrifice his principles. I’ll never forget that.

According to research conducted by the National Sports Law Institute of Marquette University Law School, the Miller Brewing Company purchased the naming rights to Miller Park for $41.2 million over twenty years. The deal had an average annual payout of $2.1 million and expired in 2020. American Family Insurance acquired the naming rights when the agreement with Miller Brewing Company ended in 2020. The 15-year agreement will begin in the 2021 season. The stadium will now be named American Family Field.

Fellow Franklinite Shaun Marefka took these photos today as signage was changed at the ballpark.

Image may contain: ‎people playing sports, sky and outdoor, ‎text that says '‎مواگ "NAMED LATER™ scellular WRANT* * AMERICAN FAMILY FIELD 69 WELCOMETO 82 GREAT TASTE Lite LESS FILLING or‎'‎‎
Image may contain: sky and outdoor, text that says '43 43 56 AMERISELD 11:36 uscellular RESTAURANT *TO BE NAMED LATER AT AMERICAN FAMILY FIELD 69 2 WELCOME TO'
Image may contain: people playing sports, sky, tree and outdoor

See more here.

This change will never sit well with many fans.

Photo: Milwaukeerecord.com

Evers’ mask mandate is going down, but then what?

On Tuesday the state Senate voted 18-13 to eliminate Tony Evers’ mandates regarding emergency health and masks. The joint resolution approved was co-authored by my state Senator, Julian Bradley (R-Franklin). The measure is certain to pass in the state Assembly on Thursday.

“It is not OK or normal or inevitable or necessary to indefinitely suspend the lawmaking process,” Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg, said Tuesday. “There is no such thing as a perpetual emergency.”

Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said “I don’t think the Constitution envisioned a single person being able to make rules forever by himself. I don’t think it’s the job for the governor, or the government in general, to mandate this forever.”

Resolution author Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said Evers “has repeatedly abused the powers granted to him.”

State Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) said “From the start, Governor Evers has used his declarations of ’emergency’ to act unilaterally, rather than attempt a bipartisan solution to help Wisconsinites through the pandemic. And we’ve seen the result of this unilateral approach. From the unemployment fiasco, to being last in the Midwest in vaccine distribution, allowing Evers to act unilaterally has been a disaster. I hope that the repeal of the State of Emergency will force Evers to work with the Legislature to finally help Wisconsin families.”

Some conservatives are scoffing at this effort by the Legislature to finally take action to rein in our out of control governor, action demanded by Wisconsinites for many months. He’ll just issue another mandate they claim.

That’s possible. If not, local officials can maintain their own mask mandates. With so many of them run by Democrats it seems mask requirements may not be going away, depending on where you live.



Today’s highly interesting read (01/26/21): America’s Children Need a Strong Civics Education

Image may contain: 1 person, stripes and closeup, text that says 'DID YOU KNOW? Trump Signed an Executive Order Dedicated to Patriotic Education! On November 2, 2020, President Trump created The 1776 Commission. Its aim is to provide critical patriotic education on American History and American values to the nation's youth and public. @REDPILLFAIRY'

Of course the commission went bye-bye almost immediately after Joe Biden took office.

Today’s read is from Parissa Sedghi Fornwalt, a vice president at FreedomWorks, the nation’s largest community of grassroots activists promoting free markets and personal liberty. She writes:

By dissolving the 1776 Commission, Biden has made it clear that he counts himself an ally of those who wish to destroy traditional civic education in America. With him in office, they only will increase their power and influence.

That’s why it’s more important now than ever that our nation’s students receive a strong, nuanced civics education that instills within them a love of country and an appreciation for the American founding and Constitution.

Read the entire column here.

My local newspaper is begging

Art Page — Black Box Fund

As I told the young woman from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the phone when I cancelled my print subscription a few weeks ago I just couldn’t stand it anymore (She asked why, I answered).

For me the final straw was the paper’s brutal editorial, placed on the news pages, attacking US Senator Ron Johnson.  They allowed Johnson a rebuttal, but then inexplicably responded with another editorial, with footnotes. I’ve never seen them do that before.

The bias and downright hatred is so blatant with nary an attempt to hide it. Anyone with an (R) after their name is public enemy #1 in this newsletter for the Democratic Party.

I still receive the online version thanks to a $1 for three months deal. But that’s horrendous as well with the exception being the sports section.

Now the paper is attempting to make up. Twice since I cancelled I’ve received e-mails offering discounts that say “We miss you and want you back.” That’s a far different approach then what the industry  tried with consumers years ago. From my blog…

Newspapers are hurting, but won’t admit it
By Kevin Fischer
October 2, 2007

Fewer people are reading newspapers. Circulation is down for newspapers all across the country. Newspapers are still an important part of our daily fabric, but are certainly less relevant.

Today, the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel announced it is looking for ways to reduce staff. One way is by “offering employee buyouts in the hope of reducing its workforce by 35 to 50 people.”

If that doesn’t work?

“The company said if not enough employees take the offer, an involuntary program will be considered.”

Having received a few pink slips, some from the Journal Company, I think that’s newspaper-ese for, “We’ll fire you.”

More from jsonline.com:

“Elizabeth (Betsy) Brenner, president and chief operating officer of the publishing group of Journal Communications (JRN) Inc., said the employee reductions are necessary because of falling revenue. In recent years, the Journal Sentinel and other newspapers have been losing revenue to Internet-based advertising. She said gains in online advertising at the newspaper aren’t strong enough yet to replace traditional advertising revenue.

“It is never easy to call for staff cutbacks, but we must continue to align our cost structure with the realities of reduced revenues in the newspaper industry,” Brenner said in a statement to employees.

Effective immediately, full-time employees of Journal Sentinel Inc. with 10 years of service or more as of Oct. 26 are eligible to apply. The company said it is anticipates that between 35 and 50 employees, or 3.5% to 5% of the Journal Sentinel’s full-time staff, will accept the buyout offer. That number may change depending on the number of employees who apply and are accepted. The separation date is on or about Nov. 15.The buyouts will include cash severance and temporary health care coverage.

A memo on the voluntary separation program distributed to newsroom employees said participants will receive two weeks of pay for every full year of service and two months of paid medical care benefits, not including dental and vision.

Non-newsroom employees would receive 1 1/2 weeks of current base salary for every year of service and six months of paid health benefits, also not including dental and vision.”

Newspapers are getting beat up in the competition for news consumers, so the workers suffer. This is a trend that didn’t just materialize overnight. Long before the explosion of cable and talk radio, newspapers were losing the news audience to TV viewers.

There are so many choices for people to get information, including the blog site you’re reading right now. Newspapers have adapted, but they’re not the only game in town, and by their nature, are not the first and the fastest game, either.

This is how much the times have changed. The newspaper biz is now trying a Pulitzer Prize effort at putting a positive spin…on declining readership! The New York Times just published an article on why large newspapers are happy about lower circulations.  Huhhh?? (Ironically, the same article required a major correction for an error. You’ll see later in this blog).

The New York Times writes:

“As the newspaper industry bemoans falling circulation, major papers around the country have a surprising attitude toward a lot of potential readers: Don’t bother.

The big American newspapers sell about 10 percent fewer copies than they did in 2000, and while the migration of readers to the Web is usually blamed for that decline, much of it has been intentional. Driven by marketing and delivery costs and pressure from advertisers, many papers have decided certain readers are not worth the expense involved in finding, serving and keeping them.”

Oh my goodness.

What a ludicrous, rip-roaring laughable argument.

What industry tells its customers that it’s okay, we don’t need you. You don’t want what we’re selling? No big deal.

Earth to the newspaper industry: The public soured on what you were selling years and years and years ago. And you know why? While you were in your ivory towers dictating what you thought was news and what you thought everyone should be thinking, the news-consuming public decided they wanted something else, and more.

Your liberal editorial rants suddenly were being met by people who thought, no, there’s another view. I don’t have to accept this.

And quite frankly, newspaper readers got fed up.  Their attitude exists today. Are there people who get the Journal/Sentinel just to read the outstanding sports section? You better believe it.

Keep writing those lefty editorials.

Keep shoving the race-baiting columns down our throat.

See how many extra subscriptions that gets you.

Here’s the New York Times article where newspapers try to make excuses for their significant drop in readership.

There are ways to address increased competition. Newspapers have tried, but have failed, in large part because they refuse to admit their failures.

While they sit at their keyboards and egotistically tell themselves, “Oh, this is great stuff,” their target audience is tuning into Fox, or talk radio, or blogs like this one.

Go ahead, newspaper big shots. Insult me again. Tell me why it’s no great loss if I don’t read your paper.

—October 2, 2007

TODAY: “We miss you and want you back.” I’m not sure that will even work.