Thursday, April 30, 2015

Galileo Galilei

Known as the “Father of Modern Science,” Italian scientist and scholar Galileo Galilei was a visionary – even though he was visually impaired. Born in 1564 in Pisa, Italy, Galileo was an inventor and astronomer whose theories on the Earth’s place in the universe and laws of motion helped shape modern science as we know it. A prolific inventor, Galileo is credited with inventing the modern telescope, thermometer and the compass.
Galileo was the first person to use a telescope to view the planets and stars. During his viewings, he noted on important fact: it did not appear that the sun and planets orbited the Earth, as it was believed; rather the Earth and planets orbited the sun. His findings forever changed the course of astronomy and got him in trouble with the Catholic Church, which put him on trial for his “crimes” and forced Galileo to confess that he was mistaken in his belief that the Earth was not the center of the universe.
In order to avoid jail, Galileo spent the rest of his life on house arrest in Florence. During this time, his vision began to worsen to the point of blindness due to cataracts and glaucoma. Though nearly blind and confined to his house, Galileo continued to study, invent and write until his death in 1642.

Joseph Pulitzer

Joseph Pulitzer

The namesake for one of the world’s most coveted honors was also legally blind. Joseph Pulitzer, of whom the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for journalism, music and literature is named, was born in Mako, Hungary in 1847 and emigrated to the United States in 1864, where he began his reporting career. Pulitzer soon made a segue way into politics, winning a state legislature seat in Missouri. He was known for his hard stance against corruption and illegal gain.
In 1872, he bought the St. Louis Post and later the St. Louis Dispatch, which he combined with the Post. Pulitzer used his political clout and investigative reporting skills to expose illegal lotteries, gambling rings and tax dodgers. In 1883, he bought New York World and worked to expose the seedy underbelly of public government waste and fraud.
During these acquisitions, Pulitzer’s eyes were failing him and he was completely blind by 1889. However, he never turned a blind eye to social crimes and continued to be a watch-dog for injustice. Pulitzer died in 1911 and left behind more than $2 million to establish a school of journalism at New York’s Columbia University. In his honor, the Pulitzer Prizes – which are considered the top national honor for music, literature and journalism – are awarded every year.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Daniel Kish: How I use sonar to navigate the world

Daniel Kish has been blind since he was 13 months old, but has learned to “see” using a form of echolocation. He clicks his tongue and sends out flashes of sound that bounce off surfaces in the environment and return to him, helping him to construct an understanding of the space around him. In a rousing talk, Kish demonstrates how this works and asks us to let go of our fear of the “dark unknown.”

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Jeff Healey was a blind jazz, and blues-rock vocalist and guitarist

Jeff Healey Canadian folk singer (born Norman Jeffrey Healey, March 25, 1966 - March 2, 2008) was a blind jazz, and blues-rock vocalist and guitarist who attained musical and personal popularity, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s. On March 2, 2008, Healey died of cancer. He was 41 years old.  Born in Toronto, Ontario, Healey was raised in the city's west end. He was adopted as an infant his adoptive father was a firefighter. When he was almost one year old, Healey lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given ocular prostheses.
Healey began playing guitar when he was three, developing his unique style of playing the instrument flat on his lap. When he was 15, Jeff Healey formed the band Blue Direction, a four-piece which primarily played bar-band cover tunes and featured bassist Jeremy Littler, drummer Graydon Chapman, and a schoolmate, Rob Quail on second guitar. This band played various local clubs in Toronto, including the Colonial Tavern.
Healey began hosting a jazz and blues show on radio station CIUT-FM where he became known for playing from his massive collection of vintage 78 rpm gramophone records. Shortly thereafter he was introduced to two musicians, bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen, with whom he formed a trio, The Jeff Healey Band. This band made their first public appearance at the Birds Nest, located upstairs at Chicago's Diner on Queen Street West in Toronto. They received a write-up in Toronto's NOW magazine, and soon were playing almost nightly in local clubs, such as Grossman's Tavern and the famed blues club Albert's Hall (where Jeff Healey was discovered by guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins).
After being signed to Arista Records in 1988, the band released the album See the Light, featuring the hit single "Angel Eyes" and the song "Hideaway", which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. While the band was recording See the Light, they were also filming (and recording for the soundtrack of) the Patrick Swayze film Road House.[4] Healey had numerous acting scenes in the movie with Swayze, as his band was the house cover band for the bar featured in the movie. In 1990, the band won the Juno Award for Canadian Entertainer of the Year. The albums Hell to Pay and Feel This gave Healey 10 charting singles in Canada between 1990 and 1994, including a cover of The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" which featured George Harrison and Jeff Lynne on backing vocals and acoustic guitar.
By the release of the 2000 album Get Me Some, Healey began to concentrate his talent in a different musical direction closer to his heart, the appreciation for another original American music form, jazz. He went on to release three CDs of music of traditional American jazz from the 1920s and 1930s. He had been sitting in with these types of bands around Toronto since the beginning of his music career. Though known primarily as a guitarist, Healey also played trumpet during live performances. His main jazz group for touring and recording being Jeff Healey's Jazz Wizards.
Healey was an avid record collector and amassed a collection of well over 30,000 78 rpm records. He had, from time to time, hosted a CBC Radio program entitled My Kind of Jazz, in which he played records from his vast vintage jazz collection. He hosted a program with a similar name on Toronto jazz station CJRT-FM; as of 2010, the latter program continued to air in repeats.
For many years, Healey toured throughout North America and Europe and performed at his club, "Healey's" on Bathurst Street in Toronto, where he played with his blues band on Thursday nights and also with his jazz group on Saturday afternoons. The club moved to a bigger location at 56 Blue Jays Way and was rechristened "Jeff Healey's Roadhouse." Though he had lent his name to the club and often played there, Jeff Healey did not own or manage the bar. (The name came from the 1989 film, Road House, in which Healey appeared.)
At the time of his death, he had been planning to perform a series of shows in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands with his other band, the 'Jeff Healey Blues Band' (aka the 'Healey's House Band') in April 2008.Over the years, Healey toured and sat in with many legendary performers, including The Allman BrothersBonnie RaittStevie Ray VaughanBuddy GuyBB KingZZ TopSteve LukatherEric Clapton and many more. In 2006, Healey appeared on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's CD/DVD Gillan's Inn.
Healey discovered and helped develop the careers of other musical artists, including Terra Hazelton and Amanda Marshall. In early 2009, Healey's album Mess of Blues won in The 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Blues Album.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr. better known as (pronounced "Apple D Ap"), is a Filipino-American rapper, record producer, and occasional drummer who is best known as a member of The Black Eyed Peas.

Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr. (born November 28, 1974) better known as (pronounced "Apple D Ap"), is a Filipino-American rapper, record producer, and occasional drummer who is best known as a member of The Black Eyed PeasEARLY was born in Pampanga, Philippines, to a Filipino mother and an African American father. His father, an Airman stationed at Clark Air Base, ditched the family shortly after his birth; his mother, Cristina Pineda, raised him and his six younger siblings as a single mother. As a child, would make an hour-long jeepney trip to and from school, and helped his family subsist by farming sweet potatoes, corn, sugar cane and rice. Citation needed The Pearl S. Buck Foundation, an organization that finds healthier living environments for young abandoned or orphaned American children, matched him with a sponsor named Joe Ben Hudgens through a dollar-a-day program. He initially came to the United States at the age of 11 to treat nystagmus, an involuntary movement of the eyes. During a trip to Disneyland, Apl expressed his interest in staying in the United States. 

It would take another three years for Hudgens to officially adopt him, but at fourteen he moved permanently to the United States to live with Hudgens.In Los Angeles, he attended John Marshall High School where he befriended William Adams (stage name, the nephew of Hudgens' roommate. He went to college at Holy Angel University.'s early musical influences were Stevie Wonder, The Eagles, The Beatles, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Leaders of the New School and the popular Filipino rock/folk group, Asin. Apl was introduced to hip-hop by break dancing. "I would take the jeepney all the way to Angeles City, and that's how I got introduced to break dancing," he said. "I would see kids at the corner break-dancing and I'm like, 'I wanna do that.'" revealed to People Magazine in 2011 that he is legally blind in both of his eyes, suffering from nystagmus and has this condition his entire career. "I'm good at shapes. If I'm not close, even if it's big, I can't read it. I doubted myself for a long time," said. "I'm comfortable not using my vision.

 I weave around my problems." He went on to say in the same article that "Until I discovered hip-hop, I felt I wasn't going to accomplish anything." Two of his siblings are dead: his younger brother Arnel committed suicide (this is referenced in The Apl Song in the lines "I guess sometimes life's stresses get you down/Oh brother, wish I could have helped you out"). His youngest brother, Joven Pineda Deala, was murdered at the age of 22 in February 2009 in Porac, Pampanga
I would like to thank for the information for this posting.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

What a Week Part 3 – A Scare BY Rebekah Cross

What a Week Part 3 – A Scare

(This entry was written on Monday…just now posting it).
Sunday…oh Sunday. Adam and I took Jingles for her annual vet visit. I’ve mentioned before that sometimes I go sighted guide with Adam when I have the dog, but not today. I wanted to make sure of the route so that Jingles and I could find it alone easily next time. We did great on the way there. Found all the right exits and staircases, and made our way down the street, enjoying Sunday as a family. The vet appointment went fine. Jingles won over the Dr. with her cuteness, and all tests came back great. Her weight is also perfect, which is great, after such a sedentary winter. After the exam, we made our way back to the subway, stopping first at Chipotle for some lunch, and then Starbucks for a coffee to sip on the train ride home. As soon as we got to our right platform, a train came. To catch it, I heeled Jingles beside me and held Adam’s hand. Somehow in all the commotion of catching the train, weaving with dog and coffee in hand, I lost track of where exactly I was in relation to the train. Next thing I know, SPLAT. I screamed as the world fell out from under me, then realized I was on my knees in the train… What the??? Turns out, I had caught the edge of the train car with my foot and tripped. Adrenaline much? After getting over my initial shock and residual embarrassment, I composed myself and calmed down with my caffeinated stimulant.
Once we got home, Jingles seemed sleepy, but after the trip to the vet, weren’t we all? After sleeping a while, thinking she was twitching, I realized she was not twitching, but shaking. My poor pup was shaking like crazy, and wouldn’t stop. Then we noticed she was limping. What was wrong with her??? I was so afraid. I immediately called the vet, who couldn’t be reached at the time because of other appointments. In the meantime, I searched the internet, and found it was probably a reaction to the vaccine she had just gotten. She was still shaking and completely lethargic, but I had basically ruled out analeptic shock. Thank goodness. Even so, I was in a state of freak out. Adam was trying to keep me calm, but it wasn’t working too well. I wasn’t flying off the handle or anything, just super concerned and pensive.
Eventually, the shaking lessened, and Jingles fell into a deep sleep. I still would not leave her, constantly checking on my little Belle. A little while later, the Vet called me back and assured me that Jingles should be fine, as long as she didn’t have facial swelling, hives, or pale gums. She didn’t. I still asked about the reaction. The Vet said it was a common reaction, though usually only seen in smaller dogs. The limp was from pain at the injection site, which happened to be her hind leg. Next time, I can get the vaccines broken up into single doses so that the risk of side effects is reduced. I will do anything to not have my pup go through that again: /.
Jingles slept the rest of the night. She wouldn’t move for anything. It was really sad. She still shook a bit in her sleep. I was restless all night, waking up every couple hours to check on her and make sure she was okay. I didn’t know what I was going to do about work today. I couldn’t take Jingles out in that condition, but I also couldn’t leave her alone all day. What’s worse, I had a meeting at City Hall I needed to attend. I decided to wait and see how she felt in the AM before deciding what to do about work.
This morning, Jingles was happy and semi-bouncy, but spent her energy quickly on a trip to the bathroom, and was shaking by the time I fed her. Then, she wouldn’t even put pressure on her hind leg. Poor thing. I put her back to bed and contemplated work.
I decided to go to my morning meeting, then take the rest of the day off and come home to take care of Jingles. Since she was improving, I figured she just needed some real rest to get her strength back and reduce the soreness.
Unfortunately, this meant that Bob the Stick would have to show his ugly face once again. I know he is laughing at me now, as I write this. I hadn’t used the ol’ Bobberoni in nearly seven months, so I was a bit nervous about my cane technique, but was determined to make it. Thankfully, Adam was home this morning (he worked a little later than me), and gave me a “lift” to the subway, which is awesome because I would’ve definitely been late if he hadn’t. I got off at the right stop, and found the stairs. My coworker, who was attending the meeting with me, was amazingly perched at the exact exit I took, so that was completely seamless.
The meeting (which was a public budget hearing) was long and less than exciting. Literally, one of the public officials was falling asleep in front of everyone in attendance. Yeah…After four hours of that, my coworker and I left to head back to the office and home, respectively.
She helped me to the subway, and I got on the right train. Then it was back to Brooklyn. All I could think of was Jingles, if she was all right, how she felt. I couldn’t wait to get home. I hated being without her. It just didn’t feel…right. Sometimes I let Jingles have a break and go for a walk or meal with Adam or a friend, but this was different. It was miserable being without my Jingle-Pup.
I got off the train at my stop and started on the ½ mile walk back home with Bob. Amazingly, we weren’t terrible. I made it home fairly quickly and smoothly, considering the more than half a year I had not used the stick. It still sucked, and I still hated it, but I noticed my orientation and confidence had improved even with the stick, thanks to Jingles. Of course, this could also have something to do with the fact that the only thing on my mind was getting back to Jingles to see how she was feeling. Boy, I hated having to concentrate on not being the human pinball, finding the curb, and crossing the street in a straight path again.
I made it to the building, burst through my door, and found my Jingle-Pup running to greet me! She was 10x more like herself than when I had left her this morning. Now she was her usual squirmy ball of love and wet nose. I can’t believe how much I missed my sweet girl.
She’s still a bit tired, and sleeping a lot to regain her full stamina, but as the day has gone on, she is more and more 100% my spunky girl. I took her for a quick walk a few minutes ago, and she was back to wagging her tail, and bouncing with excitement. You can imagine my relief. I think she’ll be ready for work tomorrow. In your face, Bob!!!
So ends the saga of my “adventurous” week. Here’s to another week of adventure…though hopefully only the good kind this time around.
**As I post this Saturday, Jingles is completely, 100% fine, and she has been since Tuesday. We also had a much calmer week, with only good adventures, thankfully.**
If you enjoy this story or want to read more from Rebekah Cross is the link to her blog