Only in America do the food conglomerates add iron to all flour and cereals. Why is this relevant? New science shows that supplemental iron is a leading cause of Alzheimer’s. We already get 100 times the amount of iron we need from consuming so much beef. Yet they “fortify” practically everything with iron, and, according to Dr. Preston Estep in THE MINDSPAN DIET, the dosage is toxic. Like lead. (Estep is head of the genetics program at Harvard.) “Fortify” sounds like such a great word. Too bad they didn’t use the word “poison,” because that’s what it actually is to many. Recently, at the grocery store, I saw a vitamin supplement for iron which reads “supports production of red blood cells.” People love iron as a word because it connotes strength, like the Iron Curtain falling, or pumping iron, or the Iron Age when barbarians ruled with an iron fist. There’s also a new video game out called Destiny:The Rise of Iron. Alas, the truth is that too much iron (which you are already getting) makes supplemental iron ill advised, and may make your destiny being unable to remember who your friend is, or what your own name is…until everything shuts down except the propaganda machine of the food and drug companies, who make a profit off human misery. It is only a matter of time when, in stores, packages of flour and cereal will say, “No Added Iron” just like some say “No Gluten” now. Gluten, it turns out, is okay for all but 3% of the population. Surprise, surprise, sur…. Oh, and some supplemental iron (“vitamins”) contain chemicals found in pesticides. Let me be your guardian, and join the fight by reposting or sharing this with others…
Was talking to Paul Heitsch, who is a former video game composer, pianist, and sound designer, now also an audiobook reader. His first book project was my newest novel, which is being reviewed by Audiofile. He mentioned working on Riven, the sequel to MYST, which is the only game I’d ever been addicted to. It’s not a violent game or first person shooter; it’s more of an adventure and puzzle box, with a story behind it involving magical books which can transport you to other worlds, literally…and very strange worlds they are, indeed. You’re basically on your own, attempting to figure out what’s happening, with clues along the way. This is much like the plotting of a novel, containing both evil and good forces, your task being to discern the truth and make the right choice in a rescue. There was something about the atmospheric lighting and eerie yet oddly comforting music of MYST that attracted me. The light fixtures were unique creations by the game designers, not to mention the other-worldly sets, which contrasted from alien desert worlds to rainy ocean worlds with ancient shipwrecks, tunnels, and caves. There was much alien machinery to figure out, which had an antique look to it while being high tech. Some puzzles were maddeningly complex, requiring a peek at cheat sheets. The original MYST was one of the first bestselling video adventure games, and I remember reading that the designers scanned individual leaves into their computer to create the trees. Much of design now is automated and streamlined, and unfortunately gaming has become dominated by military plots or less believable incantation oriented fantasy. Today, in Japan and the U.S. video games dominate the time of teenagers. Is it all a waste? No, not completely, says Jane McGonigal, author of “Reality is Broken,” but boredom with the problems of real life (jobs, politics, environment, etc.) is driving a surge in gaming as teens look to escape the pressures and the consequences of the poor choices made by their parents and leaders. Maybe someone needs to create a series of video games that challenge players to reenter the real world and change it before it’s too late? Violence is not the solution, imagination is.
Phenomenal pianist Yuja Wang has been called a sexy female version of Lang Lang, also from China (now living in New York) and possessed of a humble yet fun personality. Along with her similar and extraordinary talent, she has been making waves in the classical music world, introducing many young people to serious music for the first time. She appeared at the Hollywood Bowl to play Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Concerto wearing the dress above, causing criticism from some and praise from others. What a gutsy move, to sweep away the perceived cobwebs of the general public with a bravura performance that drew raves for its exquisite musicianship. The 3rd is one of the most difficult of concerti, yet she played it with ease and great feeling. She appeared in the NY Times, and the quote that struck me was from a conductor who said, “You don’t need the world, Yuja, the world needs you.” What a great compliment to a true artist with a rare dedication and sensitivity (minus the ego that is common in most pop performers.) Yuja also said recently that she doesn’t want to approach the works of Bach and Brahms until she has more maturity, and something new to offer the interpretation. Likewise, with the dresses she wears: “I won’t be wearing these in my 50s, so why not while I can?” What you have here is an individual who is expressing who she is, and is having fun while interpreting music with an soulful and unique passion complimented by an astonishing command of the instrument. What more could you want to attract a new audience? See my brief interview with Yuja HERE. (With links to her albums.) Gaming music here.
HERE is my interview with pianist Lola Astanova, which includes the subject of dress too. BTW, both Yuja and Lola have a great sense of humor, don’t you think? I’ve discovered that classical musicians and true artists are sensitive and kind by nature, (not divas at all) and the same can be said for the men too. Of course we are more limited in what we can wear!
My interview with the incredible and elegant violinist Sarah Chang is HERE.