Sunday, January 29, 2023


I got up this morning, felt under the weather and slightly nauseous, so went back to bed.  I dreamed I was happily posting messages online, marking some of them "Everviv".  In the dream you could tag you own or other people's posts with this label, meaning it held a statement or information that would continue to be true or useful long-term.  

I don't know if the system used the tag for ranking or if readers simply took it into consideration.  In any case, it was a very handy, new word.  And somehow soothing or sopoforic when repeated over and over.  I think I'll go back to sleep.  Everviv, everviv, everviv.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Punctuation Desperately Needed

 Here are some of my favorite examples of sentences, titles and signs in desperate need of correct punctuation.

I enjoy cooking my friends and my dog.

Let's eat Grandma!


We're going to learn to cut and paste kids.

How to Cook Crack and Clean a Crab.

The girl's like soft spaghetti.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Finally an Index!

Back in 2021 I started posting my poems in a Google Sheets file.  The first sheet in the group was an Index Page with links to all the subsequent tabs; however, the links on that page didn't work the way they were supposed to.  I tried incorporating the file into the website via the shared-file link, via the published-page link and via the embed-the-published-page link. It made no difference.

I kept the, index page anyway because it did, at least, make a nice list of all the tabs.

By the end of 2022, another of my Google Sheets, the collection of daily warmups, had grown to the point that it desperately needed an index, even an imperfect one.  Much to my surprise, that new page worked when testing it via the shared-file link!  Would my poems Index now work if I used the "shared" type of link rather than the current "published" one?  Yes!

So without any, new, menu options or code, I now have working indexes.  Will they work with all browsers?  Good question.  And will they continue to work as additional updates occur for both browsers and Google Sheets?  Who knows! 

But for today, anyway, it's a bit of serendipity.

Sunday, January 22, 2023


To gain more insight into a vowel sound's harmonic overtones, I sorted a list of onomatopoeic vocabulary words by their vowel color.  Click here to see it.

This list was compiled by Kathy Steineman who has it sorted alphabetically at 300+ Onomatopoeic Sound Words: A Cheat Sheet for Writers.

So what do you think?  Can you hear the related harmonics when you read the words on the list?  Does a particular vowel carry with it a specific real-world musical association or emotion for you?

Saturday, January 21, 2023

An Insight from the Book "Of Sound Mind"

I've always known that the quality of a note, that which tells me whether it is being played by a violin or trumpet or clarinet, is dependent on the harmonic overtones of the sound wave.  It never occured to me that vowel sounds (as well as consonants and the uniqueness of a person's voice) are also created by the brain's interpretation of sound wave overtones, both harmonic and inharmonic.  

Well, of course.  A sound wave doesn't have any characteristic called eeeness or ooohness or aaahness, much less one called gruffness, whinyness or silveryness.  The brain creates those perceptions out of the sound waves available.

Thinking about the vowel that a musical instrument is "saying" --

The violin says GREEN TEA, "eeeeeeeeeeeee screech"

The trumpet says BLUE MOON, "oooh toot toot toot"

The triangle says WHITE TIE, "tie tie chime chime"

More about onomatopoeia later.

Slowest, Fastest and Most Verbose Speakers

The ESL class platform and marketplace, Preply, has compiled statistics on language patterns across the US.  As you would guess, southern speakers use fewer syllables per second than people in some other parts of the country. However New Yorkers don't talk more rapidly than others. Instead they are more verbose, using more words to express each idea than people in some midwest states who are more concise.

Here's a link to the study results.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Neuroscience, Sound and Reading Your Mind

Earlier this month on the CNN I listened to Sanjay Gupta's interview with Nina Kraus in his "Chasing Life" podcast segment "The Power of Sound".  As a consequence, I ordered her book "Of Sound Mind: How Our Brain Constructs a Meaninful Sonic World".  It's arrived.  Now I just have to find the time to read it.

Sound, whether music, speech, a thunderclap or gunfire, takes place, not in the ears, but in the brain.  Yet, neouroscience has produced relatively little research on the subject, especially compared to the study of brainwaves related to light and vision.  Professor Kraus points out that hearing, not sight, is our early-warning system.  In addition, our relationship with sound is interactive since we produce it and solicit it as well as interpret it, whereas sight is mainly a one-way street.  Moreover, our "sound" mind interacts with all the other facets of our brain.

During the interview, Prof. Kraus played recordings of the brainwaves from several subjects who all listened to one, particular, popular song.  Although each recording was slightly different, you could recognize that, same melody in all of them.

I didn't find it surprising that the subjects' brainwaves were similar -- but wait a minute -- I, myself, could recognize the song!  That comes pretty close to being able to read someone's mind, doesn't it?  Granted, this was just rhythm and pitch, not speech, and the brainwaves were created via active listening, not re-creating the song from memory.  But still....!

I can't wait to see the results from additional studies that come out of her lab.