The Talmud Is Finally Now Available Online

In South Korea, where I live, the Talmud is a bestseller. Just a few years ago the New Yorker‘s Ross Armud reported on the improbable publishing success, in this small east Asian country, of Judaism’s “dense compilation of oral laws annotated with rabbinical discussions, consisting of about two and a half million words.” Some of those words dealing with such pressing questions as, “If you find a cake with a pottery shard in it, can you keep it? Do you have to report the discovery of a pile of fruit? What do you do if you find an item built into the wall of your house?”

The much shorter “Korean Talmud,” Armud writes, with its parables, aphorisms, and topics that run the gamut “from business ethics to sex advice,” makes a reader feel like “the last player in a game of telephone.” But Joshua Foer, the science writer who co-founded Atlas Obscura, might say that the Jewish Talmud has long left even Jewish readers in a similar state of befuddlement — if, indeed, they could find the text at all. Looking to get a handle on the Talmud himself back in 2010, he found that, shockingly, the internet had almost nothing to offer him. And so he began working, alongside an ex-Google engineer collaborator named Brett Lockspeiser, to correct that absence.

“Last year, after years of work and negotiations, Foer and Lockspeiser finally succeeded in their quest,” writes the Washington Post‘s Noah Smith. “Through a nonprofit they created called Sefaria, the men are bringing the Talmud online in modern English, and free of charge.” Sefaria’s library, available on the web as well as in app form, now includes a variety of texts from Genesis and the Kabbalah to philosophy and modern works — and of course the Talmud, the centerpiece of the collection, the relevant resources for which had not been in the public domain and thus required no small amount of negotiation to make free.

Sefaria’s creators have combined all this with a feature called “source sheets,” which allow “any user on the site to compile and share a selection of relevant texts, from Sefaria or outside, surrounding a given issue or question.” (Smith points to the most popular source sheet thus far, “Is One Permitted to Punch a White Supremacist in the Face?”) At about 160 million words with 1.7 million intertextual links and counting, the site has made a greater volume of Jewish texts far more accessible than ever before. Readers, even non-Orthodox ones, have been discovering them in English, but if Sefaria wants to increase their traffic further still, they might consider uploading some Korean translations as well.

via Kottke

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Talmud Is Finally Now Available Online is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Self Care for Healthcare Professionals

Judith Coulson

Workshop: Self care for Healthcare Professionals: Connection between individual well being and ability to care for others

Mrs. Judith Coulson,

Coulson Holding Co Ltd, Thailand

 

Mrs. Judith Coulson from Thailand will be conducting Workshop on Self care for Healthcare Professionals: Connection between individual well being and ability to care for others at the Annual Congress on Medicine on November 5-6, 2018 at AVANI Atrium Bangkok, Thailand.

Join us at the World Medicine 2018 and share your experience and gain knowledge.

For registering for the conference, please visit our registration page: https://worldmedicine.conferenceseries.com/registration.php 

For any queries, contact us at: medicine@worldhealthsummit.net

 

Hear the Last Time the Jimi Hendrix Experience Ever Played Together: The Riotous Denver Pop Festival of 1969

You know it’s got to be bad when you quit the Jimi Hendrix Experience just months after the revolutionary, expansive Electric Ladyland hit number one on US and UK charts, but if you’re Noel Redding, you’re plenty fed up with the psychedelic circus. “The recording sessions were ridiculous,” Redding told Rolling Stone in a 1969 interview, “and on stage, it was getting ridiculous.” The last straw for Redding had come a few months earlier at the Denver Pop Festival in June. After tear gas forced the band offstage, fired by police at an unruly crowd, “I went up to Jimi that night,” says the bassist, “said goodbye, and caught the next plane back to London.”

Tensions had been building for months. Hendrix wanted to expand the band, without consulting Redding or Mitch Mitchell. Recording sessions for the double Electric Ladyland had been notoriously riotous. “There were tons of people in the studio,” Redding remembered, “you couldn’t move. It was a party, not a session.” Hendrix’s perfectionism had him pushing for 40-50 takes per song. But the problems weren’t all under his control. The three-day Denver festival—headlined by Three Dog Night, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, Frank Zappa, Tim Buckley, Johnny Winter and the Experience—was beset with violence, part of the general devolution of the decade.

Overzealous cops battled gatecrashers who showed up looking for a fight. Tear gas wafted through the air. Iron Butterfly supposedly encouraged fans to bring a fence down. Festival promoter Barry Fey remembers Joe Cocker curled up in the bathroom in a fetal position: “He was scared to death. ‘Is this what America’s all about?’”

But Jimi’s drug use had also taken its toll on his relationships. Fey’s account of his state that night is sad and sobering:

There’s a lot of stories, but the worst one is Hendrix…. I had Jimi September 1, 1968 at Red Rocks. We had become such good friends in a year or so. I mean, I just loved him. He was such a great guy. And then nine months later at the Denver Pop Festival, I get to talk to Noel and Mitch, and they said, ‘We’re not going to play with him anymore, Barry.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ They said, ‘We can’t stand him. Since you’ve seen us last, he’s discovered heroin, and you can’t deal with him.’ And then he showed up, and he hardly knew who I was. 

But onstage, Jimi was Jimi, cracking esoteric jokes and shredding with abandon. In the audio at the top, hear the band’s full Denver Pop Festival set, which closed out the chaotic proceedings on Sunday night. Hendrix jokes about the tear gas as the band tunes up, then they launch into Swedish duo Hansson & Karlsson‘s “Tax Free.”

Jimi plays “The Star-Spangled Banner”—two months before his blistering Woodstock rendition—and the audio cuts out at the end of “Purple Haze,” right before the last song of the night, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” when the police fired off more tear gas and “the wind whipped in the stadium,” writes Ultimate Classic Rock, and “blew the toxic fumes back toward the stage. With their eyes burning and their lungs choked for air, the Experience set down their instruments for the final time and fled for cover.”

See the setlist, minus “Voodoo Child,” below:

  1. Tax Free
  2. Hear My Train A Comin’
  3. Fire
  4. Spanish Castle Magic
  5. Red House
  6. Foxy Lady
  7. Star Spangled Banner
  8. Purple Haze

Related Content:

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Washington, DC. Follow him @jdmagness.

Hear the Last Time the Jimi Hendrix Experience Ever Played Together: The Riotous Denver Pop Festival of 1969 is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The Brains of Jazz and Classical Musicians Work Differently, New Research Shows

All of the musicians I’ve played with have been improvisers, whether they came from jazz, rock, folk, or whatever. As a loose improvisor myself, I’ve found it difficult to collaborate with trained classical players. It’s not for lack of trying, but—while we like to think of music as a universal language—the means of communication were strained at best. Classical musicians have a hard time with spontaneous composition; jazz players are generally comfortable with loose technique and can adapt to experiments and unexpected shifts.

I’d always chalked this difference up to different kinds of training (or lack thereof in my case), but a new study by researchers in Leipzig suggests a deeper neurological basis, at least when it comes strictly to jazz versus classical musicians. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences studied the brains of thirty pianists—half jazz players, half classical. They found, the Institute reports, that “different processes occur in jazz and classical pianists’ brains, even when performing the same piece.”

It’s a conclusion players themselves intuitively understand. As jazz pianist Keith Jarrett once said, when asked if he would ever play both jazz and classical in concert, “No… it’s [because of] the circuitry. Your system demands different circuitry for either of those two things.” This isn’t due to hard-wired biological differences, but to the way the brain creates pathways over time in response to different musical activities. As neuroscientist Daniela Sammler puts it:

The reason could be due to the different demands these two styles pose on the musicians—be it to skillfully interpret a classical piece or to creatively improvise jazz. Thereby, different procedures may have established in their brains while playing the piano which makes switching between the styles more difficult.

On its face, the study may hardly seem illuminating. We have long known that repeated actions change the structure of the brain, so why should it be different for musicians? Things get a little more interesting as we dig into the details. One finding, study author Robert Bianco notes, shows that jazz pianists “replan… actions faster than classical pianists” and were “better able to react and continue their performance” when asked to play a harmonically unexpected chord within a standard progression (see graph below).

On the other hand, Science Daily reports, classical pianists’ brains showed, “a stronger awareness of fingering, and consequently they made fewer errors while imitating the chord sequence.” The critical distinction between the two relates to how they plan movements, with classical pianists focusing on the “How” of technique and jazz players on the “What” of adaptation to the unexpected.

Other studies substantiate the findings. Researchers at Wesleyan University focused on the role of what they call “expectancy” in three groups: jazz improvisers, “non-improvising musicians,” and non-musicians. Jazz players trained to improvise not only preferred unexpected chords in a progression, but their brains reacted and recovered more quickly to the unexpected, suggesting a higher degree of creative potential than both classically trained musicians and non-musicians.

“The improvisatory and experimental nature of jazz training,” the study’s authors write, “can encourage musicians to take notes and chords that are out of place, and use them as a pivot to transition to new tonal and musical ideas.” However, the comparison between the two groups does not place value on one over the other.

While jazz improvisation may better teach creativity, classical training, as neuroscientist Ardon Shorr argues in his TEDx talk above, may better train the brain in information processing. These studies show that the effect of music on the brain cannot be studied without regard for the differing neurological demands of different kinds of music, just as the study of language processing cannot be limited to just one language.

Such studies can also give us an even greater appreciation for the rare musician who can easily switch between jazz and classical in the same performance, like the late, great Nina Simone. See her work a Bach-influenced fugue into “Love Me or Leave Me,” at the top.

Related Content:

Music in the Brain: Scientists Finally Reveal the Parts of Our Brain That Are Dedicated to Music

New Research Shows How Music Lessons During Childhood Benefit the Brain for a Lifetime

The Neuroscience of Bass: New Study Explains Why Bass Instruments Are Fundamental to Music

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

The Brains of Jazz and Classical Musicians Work Differently, New Research Shows is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.