On NPR's All Things Considered, discussion with Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America, of Jay-Z, and his interest in things metaphysical. There's something of a link, says Mr. Horowitz, with the Freemasons, and with our Founding Fathers, although it might be tenuous. Interesting.
Via the Ellusionist blog, a link to the Las Vegas Sun's Tax Day interviews with Penn & Teller. Pretty interesting, especially the part about Teller's leave of absence after gaining tenure (ah, the joy of tenure). My only quibble: does the reporter mean Othmar Schoeck, and not Ottmar Scheckt? ("On forming the Ottmar Scheckt Society for the Preservation of Weird and Disgusting Music with Teller and musician Wier Chrisemer in 1974 and performing on the streets of New York").
Declarations and Exclusions, a blog devoted to California insurance law, is hosting the current edition of the Blawg Review, and has devoted it to The Music of the Spheres. [If you don't know about the Blawg Review, it's described as "the blog carnival for everyone interested in law. A peer-reviewed blog carnival, the host of each Blawg Review decides which of the submissions and recommended posts are suitable for inclusion in the presentation. And the host is encouraged to source another dozen or so interesting posts to fit with any special theme of that issue of Blawg Review. The host's personal selections usually include several that reflect the character and subject interests of the host blawg, recognizing that the regular readership of the blog should find some of the usual content, and new readers of the blog via Blawg Review ought to get some sense of the unique perspective and subject specialties of the host."
To organize the post, the editor uses Gustav Holst's The Planets, and one of the planets included is Uranus, The Magician. So very kindly, he or she refers to the Law and Magic Blog in that part of the post.
Note that when Holst composed his piece (1914-1916), Pluto had not yet been discovered (1930). So Holst didn't write a "Pluto" section. However, Colin Mathews updated the piece with some Plutonian music called "Pluto, the Renewer," that has been included in some recordings. Poor Pluto! It's now been reclassified as a planetoid sort of thing. For more on Pluto's reclassification (some would say declassification, and some would say it's discrimination) read Neil DeGrasse Tyson's The Pluto Files (2009), an entertaining explanation of the flap over dislodging the ninth planet from its favored spot. Even if you still have a fondness in your heart for tiny, faraway Pluto, and Dr. Tyson's book doesn't convince you, you will come away having learned a lot about astronomy, and about the inner workings of the agencies that regulate what we call the bodies we see in the sky.
If you haven't discovered Pandora yet, check it out. It's magic for those of us who like music and would like a website to program it for us--the illusion of our own unlimited music library. And the Pandora folks have apparently created a "killer app" for the iPhone. Listening at home on home stereos is possible, too. The fly in the ointment may be the increasing cost of digital royalties. Onward through the fog....