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Dan2's Journal

Discussion in 'My Optimal Journal' started by Dan2, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. JanSz

    JanSz Gold

    I don't think the poor need our sympathy, just respect.
    Yes. And on many levels.
    The idea of colonialism fits many situations.

    Let everyone, big and small have their say, especially about their homeland.
    John Schumacher likes this.
  2. Dan2

    Dan2 Pedantic schlub

    "It reminded me of the story of Richard Phillips Feynman the physicist.
    He loved to dance the samba.
    He would go to (very poor) samba club and prepare for Carnival in Rio festival. Made sure that his clothes would not stand out.

    Richard Feynman at carnival 1.png

    Richard Feynman at carnival 2.png "

    I thought for a moment you included those pictures because that's Feynman. I'd still believe it except the thighs. ...It is, isn't it? ...Should I feel bad that I doubted that's Feynman?
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
    JanSz likes this.
  3. JanSz

    JanSz Gold

    Richard Feynman On Playing Samba (antville.org)

    Tuesday, 5. September 2006
    Richard Feynman On Playing Samba

    There was a man at the U.S. Embassy who knew I liked samba music. I
    think I told him that when I had been in Brazil the first time, I had heard
    a samba band practicing in the street, and I wanted to learn more about
    Brazilian music.
    He said a small group, called a regional, practiced at his apartment
    every week, and I could come over and listen to them play.
    There were three or four people -- one was the janitor from the
    apartment house -- and they played rather quiet music up in his apartment;
    they had no other place to play. One guy had a tambourine that they called a
    pandeiro, and another guy had a small guitar. I kept hearing the beat of a
    drum somewhere, but there was no drum! Finally I figured out that it was the
    tambourine, which the guy was playing in a complicated way, twisting his
    wrist and hitting the skin with his thumb. I found that interesting, and
    learned how to play the pandeiro, more or less.
    Then the season for Carnaval began to come around. That's the season
    when new music is presented. They don't put out new music and records all
    the time; they put them all out during Carnaval time, and it's very
    It turned out that the janitor was the composer for a small samba
    "school" -- not a school in the sense of education, but in the sense of fish
    -- from Copacabana Beach, called Farqantes de Copacabana, which means
    "Fakers from Copacabana," which was just right for me, and he invited me to
    be in it.
    Now this samba school was a thing where guys from the favelas -- the
    poor sections of the city -- would come down, and meet behind a construction
    lot where some apartment houses were being built, and practice the new music
    for the Carnaval.
    I chose to play a thing called a "frigideira," which is a toy frying
    pan made of metal, about six inches in diameter, with a little metal stick
    to beat it with. It's an accompanying instrument which makes a tinkly, rapid
    noise that goes with the main samba music and rhythm and fills it out. So I
    tried to play this thing and everything was going all right. We were
    practicing, the music was roaring along and we were going like sixty, when
    all of a sudden the head of the batteria section, a great big black man,
    yelled out, "STOP! Hold it, hold it -- wait a minute!" And everybody
    stopped. "Something's wrong with the frigideiras!" he boomed out. "O
    Americana, outra vez!" ("The American again!")
    So I felt uncomfortable. I practiced all the time. I'd walk along the
    beach holding two sticks that I had picked up, getting the twisty motion of
    the wrists, practicing, practicing, practicing. I kept working on it, but I
    always felt inferior, that I was some kind of trouble, and wasn't really up
    to it.
    Well, it was getting closer to Carnaval time, and one evening there was
    a conversation between the leader of the band and another guy, and then the
    leader started coming around, picking people out: "You!" he said to a
    trumpeter. "You!" he said to a singer. "You!" -- and he pointed to me. I
    figured we were finished. He said, "Go out in front!"
    We went out to the front of the construction site -- the five or six of
    us -- and there was an old Cadillac convertible, with its top down. "Get
    in!" the leader said.
    There wasn't enough room for us all, so some of us had to sit up on the
    back. I said to the guy next to me, "What's he doing -- is he putting us
    "Nao se, nao se." ("I don't know.")
    We drove off way up high on a road which ended near the edge of a cliff
    overlooking the sea. The car stopped and the leader said, "Get out!" -- and
    they walked us right up to the edge of the cliff!
    And sure enough, he said, "Now line up! You first, you next, you next!
    Start playing! Now march!"
    We would have marched off the edge of the cliff -- except for a steep
    trail that went down. So our little group goes down the trail -- the
    trumpet, the singer, the guitar, the pandeiro, and the frigideira -- to an
    outdoor party in the woods. We weren't picked out because the leader wanted
    to get rid of us; he was sending us to this private party that wanted some
    samba music! And afterwards he collected money to pay for some costumes for
    our band.
    After that I felt a little better, because I realized, that when he
    picked the frigideira player, he picked me!
    Another thing happened to increase my confidence. Some time later, a
    guy came from another samba school, in Leblon, a beach further on. He wanted
    to join our school.
    The boss said, "Where're you from?"
    "What do you play?"
    "OK. Let me hear you play the frigideira."
    So this guy picked up his frigideira and his metal stick and...
    "brrra-dup-dup; chick-a-chick." Gee whiz! It was wonderful!
    The boss said to him, "You go over there and stand next to O Americana,
    and you'll learn how to play the frigideira!"
    My theory is that it's like a person who speaks French who comes to
    America. At first they're making all kinds of mistakes, and you can hardly
    understand them. Then they keep on practicing until they speak rather well,
    and you find there's a delightful twist to their way of speaking -- their
    accent is rather nice, and you love to listen to it. So I must have had some
    sort of accent playing the frigideira, because I couldn't compete with those
    guys who had been playing it all their lives; it must have been some kind of
    dumb accent. But whatever it was, I became a rather successful frigideira
    One day, shortly before Carnaval time, the leader of the samba school
    said, "OK, we're going to practice marching in the street."
    We all went out from the construction site to the street, and it was
    full of traffic. The streets of Copacabana were always a big mess. Believe
    it or not, there was a trolley line in which the trolley cars went one way,
    and the automobiles went the other way. Here it was rush hour in Copacabana,
    and we were going to march down the middle of Avenida Atlantica.
    I said to myself, "Jesus! The boss didn't get a license, he didn't OK
    it with the police, he didn't do anything. He's decided we're just going to
    go out."
    So we started to go out into the street, and everybody, all around, was
    excited. Some volunteers from a group of bystanders took a rope and formed a
    big square around our band, so the pedestrians wouldn't walk through our
    lines. People started to lean out of the windows. Everybody wanted to hear
    the new samba music. It was very exciting!
    As soon as we started to march, I saw a policeman, way down at the
    other end of the road. He looked, saw what was happening, and started
    diverting traffic! Everything was informal. Nobody made any arrangements,
    but it worked fine. The people were holding the ropes around us, the
    policeman was diverting the traffic, the pedestrians were crowded and the
    traffic was jammed, but we were going along great! We walked down the
    street, around the corners, and all over the damn Copacabana, at random!
    Finally we ended up in a little square in front of the apartment where
    the boss's mother lived. We stood there in this place, playing, and the
    guy's mother, and aunt, and so on, came down. They had aprons on; they had
    been working in the kitchen, and you could see their excitement -- they were
    almost crying. It was really nice to do that human stuff. And all the people
    leaning out of the windows -- that was terrific! And I remembered the time I
    had been in Brazil before, and had seen one of these samba bands -- how I
    loved the music and nearly went crazy over it -- and now I was in it!
    By the way, when we were marching around the streets of Copacabana that
    day, I saw in a group on the sidewalk two young ladies from the embassy.
    Next week I got a note from the embassy saying, "It's a great thing you are
    doing, yak, yak, yak..." as if my purpose was to improve relations between
    the United States and Brazil! So it was a "great" thing I was doing.
    Well, in order to go to these rehearsals, I didn't want to go dressed
    in my regular clothes that I wore to the university. The people in the band
    were very poor, and had only old, tattered clothes. So I put on an old
    undershirt, some old pants, and so forth, so I wouldn't look too peculiar.
    But then I couldn't walk out of my luxury hotel on Avenida Atlantica in
    Copacabana Beach through the lobby. So I always took the elevator down to
    the bottom and went out through the basement.
    A short time before Carnaval, there was going to be a special
    competition between the samba schools of the beaches -- Copacabana, Ipanema,
    and Leblon; there were three or four schools, and we were one. We were going
    to march in costume down Avenida Atlantica. I felt a little uncomfortable
    about marching in one of those fancy Carnaval costumes, since I wasn't a
    Brazilian. But we were supposed to be dressed as Greeks, so I figured I'm as
    good a Greek as they are.
    On the day of the competition, I was eating at the hotel restaurant,
    and the head waiter, who had often seen me tapping on the table when there
    was samba music playing, came over to me and said, "Mr. Feynman, this
    evening there's going to be something you will love! It's tipico Brasileiro
    -- typical Brazilian: There's going to be a march of the samba schools right
    in front of the hotel! And the music is so good -- you must hear it."
    I said, "Well, I'm kind of busy tonight. I don't know if I can make
    "Oh! But you'd love it so much! You must not miss it! It's tipico
    He was very insistent, and as I kept telling him I didn't think I'd be
    there to see it, he became disappointed.
    That evening I put on my old clothes and went down through the
    basement, as usual. We put on the costumes at the construction lot and began
    marching down Avenida Atlantica, a hundred Brazilian Greeks in paper
    costumes, and I was in the back, playing away on the frigideira.
    Big crowds were along both sides of the Avenida; everybody was leaning
    out of the windows, and we were coming up to the Miramar Hotel, where I was
    staying. People were standing on the tables and chairs, and there were
    crowds and crowds of people. We were playing along, going like sixty, as our
    band started to pass in front of the hotel. Suddenly I saw one of the
    waiters shoot up in the air, pointing with his arm, and through all this
    noise I can hear him scream, "O PROFESSOR!" So the head waiter found out why
    I wasn't able to be there that evening to see the competition -- I was in
    The next day I saw a lady I knew from meeting her on the beach all the
    time, who had an apartment overlooking the Avenida. She had some friends
    over to watch the parade of the samba schools, and when we went by, one of
    her friends exclaimed, "Listen to that guy play the frigideira -- he is
    good!" I had succeeded. I got a kick out of succeeding at something I wasn't
    supposed to be able to do.
    When the time came for Carnaval, not very many people from our school
    showed up. There were some special costumes that were made just for the
    occasion, but not enough people. Maybe they had the attitude that we
    couldn't win against the really big samba schools from the city; I don't
    know. I thought we were working day after day, practicing and marching for
    the Carnaval, but when Carnaval came, a lot of the band didn't show up, and
    we didn't compete very well. Even as we were marching around in the street,
    some of the band wandered off. Funny result! I never did understand it very
    well, but maybe the main excitement and fun was trying to win the contest of
    the beaches, where most people felt their level was. And we did win, by the
    Dan2 likes this.
  4. JanSz

    JanSz Gold

  5. Happy dance
    Dan2 and JanSz like this.
  6. Dan2

    Dan2 Pedantic schlub

  7. Dan2

    Dan2 Pedantic schlub

    I've posted about using incandescent heat lamps instead of infrared LED panels because of price and more wavelengths in the infrared range, but the heat lamps make a strong magnetic field or something that doesn't feel good when too close.

    These bulbs are $5, fit into a common lightbulb socket, and the 300W bulb makes almost as much heat as a 250W heat lamp, and I don't get the same irritated tingly feeling I do with the heat lamp when very close to it.

    Good cheap option for a sauna-like or workout room if it's not for early or late in the day.

    300W clear glass incandescent


    (Careful what socket/lamp it's put into; the 300W makes a socket that can handle 660W a little concerningly hot. Fingers crossed that including that reminder in this post prevents my house from catching on fire.)
    Last edited: May 12, 2022
    8Phoenix and ND Hauf like this.
  8. Dan2

    Dan2 Pedantic schlub

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