So Saturday would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday, which means he was born roughly 15 years before me. I was just a bit too young to be a true first gen Beatles fan, and I was never that much of a fan of them growing up anyway.
Only in retrospect did I get to appreciate the better stuff they produced. It seemed to me that Lennon and McCartney balanced each other well - Lennon dragged McCartney away from the sappy pop that he wrote on his own, and McCartney balanced the self-indulgent twaddle that Lennon was prone to. Never was that latter more evident than in his mega-hit Imagine. It's probably the most self-indulgent, full of itself pretentious crap ever written.
But hey, happy birthday John, you even get a custom birthday Google logo.
The last few weeks I've been dabbling with iOS (the iPhone/iPod operating system) and building an iOS application. Well, it's just about done. It's a simple utility program that calculates standard atmospheric parameters (temperature, pressure, density, speed of sound) at any altitude. The numbers can be toggled between metric and Imperial (or English) units, and there's a nice little flipside view for additional information.
I've had it working on the iPhone simulator for a couple of weeks now, but I finally ponied up the cash to be an official developer and so I can load it on development devices, i.e. my own iPhone, iPad and iPod. So far it's just on the iPhone, but it works as I hoped and looks reasonably slick...
So there's a quick look at the icon, the front view and the flipside view (accessed by touching the little "i" button on the bottom right of the main view.
I'll let you know if and when it hits the app store (free!)
Meanwhile I'll be playing around with a few more ideas.
With all the excitement of fall comes a new ballet season. As I've been checking popular posts from the past on the blog one that has been popular via search engines for three years is the Twyla Tharp In The Upper Room ballet post from Nov 2007. That was a remarkable piece, made brilliant by a combination of music, choreography and costume. I would love to see it come back (and many pieces much less worthy have been repeated in less time) but sadly it hasn't happened yet.
However, the new season opens tonight with Director's Choice. There are four pieces, one of them is Glasspieces, with music by Philip Glass and choreography by Jerome Robbins. The music for the two pieces (Rubric and Facades) is very reminiscent of the score for In The Upper Room (adapted for that ballet I suppose) so at least one of the elements for this program will be similar. With his broadway background, Robbins' take on the Glass music will be interesting. Here's a look behind the scenes in rehearsal, courtesy of the Pacific Northwest ballet's youtube channel:
Two of the other pieces have been done very recently by PNB - Petite Mort and Jardi Tancat, while Six Dances is a PNB premiere.
In any season there are some classic ballets that are good, but well understood and predictable. The Director's Choice programs are where artistic director Peter Boal will take a few more risks. Not everything pays off, but when something does it's usually spectacular - like In The Upper Room. Wel worth the risk of checkng out the program this weekend and next.