Tag Archives: Parker

“Blood, Sweat & Tears” In Wolfeboro, N.H., For “Great Waters”, On July 10, 2015.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> BS&T Preview.
>> John Gorka & Cliff Eberhardt.
>> 4th of July 2015 concerts.
>> “Red Molly”.
>> “Devonsquare”

>> “Aztec, Two-Step”.
>> “Yellow Brick Road”
— Brilliant!
>> 2015
Great Waters Schedule.

>> Gordon Lightfoot Concert

++++ Search on ‘Great Waters’ for many other related posts >>>>

++++ Search on ‘Wolfeboro‘ for many other related posts >>>>

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Copyright might be enforced.

This was quite the concert. It was BIG in every way. The ‘Great Waters‘ BIG signature event for the year. BIG BAND! Nine people on stage plus a guest artist (the new drummer’s sister) and three or four tour management types. More equipment than I have ever seen and this was like the 20th concert I have worked as a stagehand for ‘Great Waters‘. We thought that dear Gordon Lightfoot (which was a great show) set the highwater mark when they came with a 53′ truck, packed to the gunwales, with equipment. This group that crisscrosses the globe doing concerts here, there and everywhere, on the other hand, travel light. They use drums and even some guitars rented locally and a full sound system, with TWO (2) 48-channel mixing boards — one of the audience the other for the stage — supplied locally. I have never seen or unloaded (and then re-load at 10:30pm) SO MANY monitors.

And it was BIG SOUND. It was loud as it is supposed to be. I liked it (and yes in my advanced age I am very likely going deaf). I have always liked loud music. But quite a few of those that had BOUGHT tickets and attended complained it was too loud! “Great Waters” even supplied, FREE, ear plugs and had a notice that the music would be loud. That all seems a bit strange and stupid to me. Why would you come to a concert like this IF you don’t like loud music? Why pay $50 or $80 to attend this concert and then use earplugs? Very strange people.

I will readily admit that I have never been a fan of BS&T. Yes, they are definitely of my era and 90% of the audience were around my age. Maybe it was because I was in Britain in their heyday. Plus, though Charlie Bird Parker’s son, Bird Jr., was my best friend when I lived in Paris 1968 – 1969, I have never been a great fan of brass. But there were 4 pieces I liked very much. The flue was a BONUS — shades of Jethro Tull. The new drummer (as of February 2015), from New Zealand, Dylan Eilse was awesome. It is said that he is the BEST drummer ever in the 40 year history of BS&T! His sister made a guest appearance on bass guitar. I got to chat with both. Very nice people. I also liked David Gellis, the lead guitarist. He is said to have been in the group 30 years. But you can see that he still loves every second of it. He was HAMMING for me when I was taking photos from the wings. That is cool! He was wearing a lovely shirt — but it probably cost more than my camera. I know he would have given it to me IF I had asked but I am still way TOO big.

It was a good experience. Some 600+ attended — in some cases paying some BIG bucks. They seem to love it — despite some complaining that it was too loud. They bopped, they cheered, they shouted. And that is all that matters. Making sure the punters are happy. Devanee and I, bar a 2 hour break, were at Kingswood from 11 am to 11pm. It was fun. Lot of work, but fun work. Nice people. That always makes the difference — though 96% of those that come to perform are VERY PERSONABLE.

I personally don’t get this BS&T ‘setup’. It is NOT the originals NOR is it a tribute band per se. Basically it is the latter. A tribute band. I personally think it would work BETTER if it was a tribute band and they emulated the originals, as much as they can, as did ‘1964‘ — the Beatles’ tribute band.

But, it was all good. We enjoyed it. 

Can YOU Subtract ’12’ From ‘9’ Using ‘Number Bonds’?


..by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> PI day — Mar. 7, 2013.
The Math Museum In
>> New York City 
Mar. 4, 2013.

If so, as the incomparable Kipling said: “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”.

I guess unlike me, an old man pushing 60, who learned his 3 Rs in the 1950s (in a third world country), you must know all about ‘Number Bonds‘. Just this year, looking at Teischan’s homework I became vaguely aware that they were doing this stuff called ‘number bonds’. Initially all I had seen was the two dangling ball efforts to deconstruct an integer and I had no problems with that since I do think that kids should appreciate how a number comes to be what it is. Now to be fair, ‘number bonds’ is part of the new, ‘new math‘ – the so called ‘Singapore Math‘ (and in case you don’t know, ‘Singapore‘ is a tiny Asian country, really best known for its infamous capture by the damn Japs during WW II, when it, like my home country was a British colony). Singapore Math is being taught all over the place, not just in Alton.

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Click to ENLARGE.

Then yesterday Deanna showed me this homework that Teischan was struggling with. It took my breath away. I never realized that they were going to use the two dangling balls to do arithmetic operations. So, have a look at this.

They had done the top 2 in class, on the blackboard. She had supposedly transcribed the method and answer from the board onto her sheet. Number 2 was wrong and we asume she copied it wrong.

Though I had never seen subtraction done this way, I could work out how they got ’14’ for #1 and the (correct answer) ’12’ for #2.

Then I noticed that we had a problem! Number 3 and 4 (’17.’ & ’18’ on the sheet) were very different to the other three, and the two they had done in class. Can you spot the difference? Yes, the ‘ones’ number of the second operand is BIGGER than that of the first operand. To use the same technique as for one & two, you would have to use a NEGATIVE NUMBER, in this case ‘-4′ which when added to the ’10’ will give you the right answer ‘6’! But even I, with my high expectations of kids, do not really expect 6 and 7 year olds to be that conversant with negative numbers. IF you don’t use negative numbers, then you have to use a DIFFERENT technique to handle numbers 3 & 4!

I had no idea what that different technique would be. So I did what I always do when I am stuck. I Googled. I found this excellent video tutorial, with exactly the right example, at ‘onlinemathlearning.com‘. Here it is. You have to watch it.

Click to access page. It is the 1st video of the three.

Click to access page. It is the 1st video of the three.

Notice the BIG ‘No!’. I was mortified.

There is an exception to the method. This is for 6 and 7 year olds.

I have two issues with using this strange, two dangling ball approach for teaching kids subtraction.

1/ This method does NOT ELIMINATE the need to do subtraction! Ah? Kids still have to do subtraction with this approach. So what is the gain. I would be all in favor if this method eliminated the need to subtract and said kids could do subtraction by just adding numbers. Now that isn’t as crazy as it may sound to the uninitiated. Logarithms. Now that is real math. We (as kids who didn’t have calculators) used logarithms because ‘logs’ allowed you to do complex multiplication and division using just addition and subtraction. That is neat and useful. You eliminate a complicated process with an easier, better mastered technique. Not so with the two dangling balls. You still have to do the damn operation — in this case subtraction. Plus, how do they teach subtraction. They count the difference between the two numbers. If so, why bother with the two dangling balls. Just count the difference to begin with!

Click to access article.

Click to access article.

2/ Having an exception to deal with a common occurrence is beyond unacceptable. The abiding, (to some of us sensually stimulating) beauty of maths is its predictability, its uniformity. You can’t have a so called ‘easy method’ that has exceptions to deal with common occurrences. This is plain crazy.

Yes, I am the first to admit that I am an old fashioned and stuck in my ways. But, I see no problems with the way we learned our arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. We had no electronic calculators or even mechanical ones. We learned things by rote and repetition, over and over and over again.

This was the dedication in one of my recent books.

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P.S.: I collect old logarithmic/trigonometric tables (i.e., the  so called ‘log’ books) and old slide rulers. Send me pictures and quote me a price. Yes, every once in awhile, late at night, when I feel that I am due a treat, and have a few dollars stashed away, I log onto eBay and see what they have. Got a real beauty of a slide rule, cheap, very cheap, a couple of months ago — making use of the eBay, ‘make an offer’ feature.