Monday, December 29, 2008

Music through the centuries...

Random compo...
Music through the centuries
Music is defined as an art form whose medium is sound organized in time, and is defined from the Greek word mousike, or art of the Muses. Starting in prehistoric times blown from ancient flute-like instruments, it is now played in an enormous variety of instruments in all shapes and sizes.
Modern Music started probably in the 13th century, which is widely known as Medieval Era of music. The main music of that era would be church music like the Gregorian chant, with secular compositions. However, nearing the end of that Era, composers started to use smooth polyphonic in their music, which gives the listener a wonderful medley of sounds throughout the song, sounding together in harmony. It is also at this time that the introduction of commercial printing helped to disseminate musical styles more quickly and across a larger area.
Soon after came the Baroque Period. It was a time where the first operas were written and contrapuntal music became prevalent. German Baroque composers wrote for small ensembles including strings, brass, and woodwinds, as well as choirs, pipe organ, harpsichord, and clavichord. During the Baroque period, several major music forms were defined that lasted into later periods when they were expanded and evolved further, including the fugue, the invention, the sonata, and the concerto. Most of these were melodies written for the Royal Court or wealthy families. These pieces were mainly slow dances that would be written such that the players of the instruments were free to express the song in any way they wanted to, therefore there were not many musical instructions were written in the compositions.
After the Baroque Period came the Classical Period. During this Era of music, people believed that the world was governed by a set of fixed rules, and that those rules should be applied in all aspects of life, including music. Therefore, most Classical music came with sets of detailed musical instructions telling performers and players how they should play the piece. The music of the Classical period is characterized by homophonic texture, often featuring a prominent melody with accompaniment. These new melodies tended to be almost voice-like and easily sung. The now popular instrumental music was dominated by further evolution of musical forms initially defined in the Baroque period: the sonata, and the concerto, with the addition of the new form, the symphony. Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are among the central figures of the Classical period.
The Romantic Period followed the Classical Period, with Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert as transitional composers who introduced a more dramatic, expressive style. During this era, existing genres, forms, and functions of music were developed, and the emotional and expressive qualities of music came to take precedence over technique and tradition. The late 19th century saw a dramatic expansion in the size of the orchestra and in the role of concerts as part of urban society. Later Romantic composers created complex and often much longer musical works.
The most recent music, after the Romantic Period is now currently classified as 20th century music. There was a vast increase in music listening as the radio gained popularity and phonographs were used to replay and distribute music. The focus of art music was characterized by exploration of new rhythms, styles, and sounds. Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, and John Cage were all influential composers in 20th century art music. They used more complex chords and used more dissonance to create dramatic tension. Such music became the ancestors of Jazz and Rock.
Jazz evolved and became a significant genre of music over the course of the 20th century, and during the second half of that century, rock music did the same. Jazz is an American musical art form which originated in the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. The style's West African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation, and the swung note. From its early development until the present, jazz has also incorporated music from 19th and 20th century American popular music. Jazz has, from its early 20th century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, ranging from New Orleans Dixieland (1910s) to 1970s and 1980s-era jazz-rock fusion. They can be classified as blues, a form of self-expression for the African-Americans, ragtime, the first true American music, folk songs and the American march.
Rock, on the other hand, is a genre of popular music that developed in the 1960s from 1950s rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, and country music. Rock melodies often revolve around the electric guitar or acoustic guitar, and use a strong back beat laid down by a rhythm section of electric bass guitar, drums, and keyboard instruments such as organ, piano, or, since the 1970s, digital instruments. Along with the guitar or keyboards, saxophone and blues-style harmonica are used as soloing instruments. In its "purest form", it "has three chords, a strong, insistent back beat, and a catchy melody." In the late 1960s and early 1970s, rock music branched out into different subgenres, ranging from blues rock and jazz-rock fusion to heavy metal and punk rock, as well as the more classical influenced genre of progressive rock.
In brief, music has evolved a great way from being played from a bone flute and is now found all over the world, due to the Internet and broadcasts. Singers even earn millions for singing songs, and are paid even more for writing their own. Still, the purpose of music has always stayed the same throughout the thousands of years: as a form of amusement to help people relieve their souls find a way of relaxation from their daily hectic schedules. We must hope that the monetary aspects will not be mixed up with the relaxation aspects of music so that we are able to preserve its true meaning that has been throughout the centuries.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Weird crap...

fun quiz for myspace profile and blog

Lets101 Quizzes - Blog Quiz

I'd say everything is correct...EXCEPT for the first few sentences LOL. Three to be exact...
O, and the flirting part too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Euthanasia, a word meaning “good death” in Greek, is widely known as the process of ending a life in a painless manner. Lately, a growing number of elderly people worldwide are lobbying their governments to legalise euthanasia, as they say it is their right to die with dignity. Still, is it right to allow people to die just because they want to, or is it more important to preserve a human life whenever possible?
The word euthanasia has its roots all the way back to the Hippocratic Oath, which was written between 400 and 300 B.C. The original Oath states: “To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.” However, in the twenty-first century, the meaning of euthanasia has blurred. It has now at least three definitions: euthanasia by consent, assisted suicide, and euthanasia by means.
The most controversial meaning among these would be that of euthanasia by consent. It means. The decision can be made based on what the incapacitated individual would have wanted, or it could be made on substituted judgment of what the decision maker would want were he or she in the incapacitated person's place, or finally, the decision could be made by assessing objectively whether euthanasia is the most beneficial course of treatment. In any case, euthanasia by consent is highly controversial, especially because multiple proxies may claim the authority to decide for the patient and may or may not have explicit consent from the patient to make that decision. It is due to this definition of euthanasia that many debates have sprung up today, with the supporters of euthanasia saying that according to the rule of euthanasia by consent, patients should be allowed to decide their own fate. However, those opposing euthanasia are using the just the same argument against, stating that if a law allowing euthanasia is passed, the proxy responsible would not be the patient but the doctor. The law would become a right to ill rather than a right to die. Doctors would be able to kill patients that are unable to speak well to express whether they would like to die or not. Still, most of the elderly people wanting death but unable to have a law allowing them to do so, would instead go to Mexico and seek the do-called “death-in-a-bottle”, an anaesthetic that is usually used for putting animals to sleep, and can kill a person if taken in excess by putting him to a permanent sleep.
Personally, I feel that euthanasia should be allowed, but only to a certain extent. I would support those elderly people seeking death by themselves and not asking the doctors to help administer death to them. This way, it would be entirely their responsibility in the case of their death. I do not agree that patients in hospitals should be allowed to choose their deaths, unless they are in a serious vegetative state and cannot respond at all, and the only organ working in their body is their heart. This should be the only circumstances under which euthanasia is allowed.
Still, I know that these arguments cannot ease the debates that have currently emerged about euthanasia. But I hope my views can clear up a few misconceptions about it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I was tagged bleh

answer these for me?

`Who are you? What's your name?
Some random person. With a random name called Lau Yu Han
`Are we friends?
Dunno. Are we?
`When and how did we meet?
Not sure. Maybe when U bitch-slapped me =D
`You do care for me right?
Of course. After you die.
`Do you love me?
Nah. Perhaps when I die
`Would you ever kiss me?
Hmm. That couldbe when everyone else s dead and i got nothing better to do.
`Give me a nickname and explain why you picked it.
Dory. I didn't. U did!
`Describe me in one word.
Dory :D
`Too hard? Describe me in one sentence then.
Dory. :D
`What was your first impression of me?
Dory! :D
`Do you still think that way about me now?
`What reminds you of me?
`Do you know my handphone number?
Duh. Ozzerwise how I call u abt Geog
`Have you messaged me before?
Hmm. I think so...
`If you could give me anything what would it be?
A bitch-slap
`How well do you think you know me?
Dunno. Dun care
`When's the last time you saw me?
2008 :D IDK
`Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn't?
`If yes, what is it?
Cos like I'm at Sembawang and want to tell you how Dory u are while u're at ur home (maybe)
`Are you going to repost this to see what I say about you?
Dun care la

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The last journey

A semi-futuristic piece...

The last journey
The day was warm and sunny, and it was a right day for flying. However, my mood was definitely not as great as the weather. As I stood by my plane, I could only think about the impending bombing that could decide the Great War raging in Middle East. Thoughts like that definitely cannot give a person any nice thoughts.
The world had now split into three super states: the North and South American continents under the state of America, Europe, China and Russia under the state Eurasia and Africa, Australia and what used to be South and Southeast Asia under the state of Oceania. Unfortunately, though this had solved many problems within the continents themselves, it started a host of many other issues. Many summits had to be held, but due the many differences in views of the people form the continental factions, the talks soon broke down and culminated in the most peaceful solution to the problems of the factions: War!
I was a fighter pilot from Eurasia. Our team had been engaged in battle with the opposing team from Africa, but despite years of long fights, heavy bombing and staggering casualties, both sides did not seem to have benefited much from the long tussle for power in the disputed territories of the oil-rich Middle East. For all their furious attacks, Oceania fighters were able to take control of part of Saudi Arabia, while we held Iran and Iraq. Still, the reigning government of Eurasia decided that a surprise attack on the purported African base in Egypt would definitely bring the Oceania African fleet down to its knees. However, we were given stern orders that no task force would be sent to save us in the event of a disappearance, to maintain absolute secrecy of the mission. I was part of the surprise strike force together with six other elite Eurasian pilots.
Looking back at the years of my life, I realised that my life had almost been all about fighting. I was born in the early years of the War, trained from young by the Russian Federation of Pilots to become one of their best fighters, then sent up almost everyday, without notice, to do battle with our greatest and nearest contenders in Asia, Oceania. In fact, I felt a great envy for the people in America. Though by being cut off from the rest of world by the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean they were unable to do much trade with the other super states, this had also been able to cut them off from much of the fighting that now embroiled the other two super states.
The situation was now looking bleak for Eurasia, though. Oceania troops had increased tenfold overnight just as we thought that we could finally drive them out. The tables had been turned, and now they were gradually pushing us out of Middle East. However, upon capturing a few of the Oceania troops, the scientists unveiled the shocking truth that Oceania was now using clone armies in battle. If we failed in our mission to bomb the barracks, it was possible that Oceania would, with the force of their inexhaustible armies, overwhelm Eurasia.
All seven of us had gathered by our planes: three bombers and four fighters to guard them. Seeing a red flare that signaled that the mission was about to begin, we climbed into our cockpits, tense and ready. Then, a green flare lit up the sky. Not a moment later, all of us throttled our engines and we spiraled up into the sky. Being an espionage mission, all of us were cloaked in special prototype “Shadow shields”, where a layer of light would vibrate around us, putting us out of the visible spectrum. This also served as interference at any radar that the enemy might throw at us. Safe in our invisible state, we flew quickly to our coordinates.
Zipping past the coast of the Mediterranean, we saw some of our bombers strafing the Oceania battleships. Unfortunately, upon the other shore we sighted our men being slew rapidly by the great clone armies, as numbers could defeat even superior skill. Saddened at the sight of the loss of life, I made up my mind to chase the Oceania armies out of Middle East once and for all, even if I had to die trying. Driven on by this new determination, I pushed my engine forward. It was a solar-powered engine producing neither sound nor exhaust, which was why we were carrying out the attack in the day. The sand shimmering past our windscreens, we soon arrived at our destinations. What we saw shocked us: Oceania was utilizing the Pyramids as their army base!
Sick to our stomach at this blatant disrespect for the final standing Ancient Seven Wonder, we spread out in scouting position according to plan. We dropped a HoverBoy, also shielded, and with lenses designed to penetrate any solid materials. Unfortunately, it seemed that the Oceanians had cloaked their deeds with a layer of alternating current which shorted out our HoverBoy. Still, it was able to capture one image before it fell limp: A map of the concealed bases under the pyramids, in the legendary Valley of Kings, showing that the cloning mechanics were in fact hidden in the tomb of Amhotep III. Upon receiving this information, we flew forward to the Great Earthen wonder.
Now hovering above the curve of earth which was the Valley, covered all over with tiny holes marking the entrance to the tombs, we soon identified the tomb of Amhotep III. However, we now face the problem of trying to avoid bombing the rest of the tombs, all priceless artifacts to our long, rich history. All of a sudden, just as we were hovering above the tombs, a group of Oceania fighters materialized as if from nowhere. We thought at first that they were a routine patrol crew, but then a hail of plasma bursts were released towards us without warning, and we realised, to our horror, that our shields had been compromised. Seeing no further reason to exhaust energy in keeping the shields up, we uncloaked and dodged the glowing shells of pure energy, which could immobilize our weapons if it hit us. We immediately returned fire soon after, utilizing the new guided “Lancers” tipped with pulse grenades that would scatter and explode around the target after it struck it. Fortunately, the Oceania fighters were evidently not prepared for the swift projectiles, and many of their number went down. However, this did not deter them, and more plasma burst came our way…
Even today, it still surprises me that almost all seven were able to get out of that dog-fight alive and intact. I believe that it must have been our small number that had saved us, as we were able to twist and turn to avoid the blasts as well as our team mates rather easily, while they had to execute extreme carefulness to avoid hitting one of their own. Needless to say, trying to focus on both and enemy plane and your allies’ ones is a hard task and quite a few Oceania craft crashed together and sank to the ground in flaming wreckage. At the end of the fight, though all the Oceania craft had been shot down, we were dismayed to find that of the three bombers essential to complete the task, only one had survived the battle.
All of a sudden, I had an idea. Unfortunately, I knew it would result in the destruction of all our crafts. Still, remembering our vow to stop the production of the clone armies at all costs, I decided to relay it to the others. As the bomb we would employ to destroy the tomb was similar to a bio-bomb, which eliminated all organic matter but leaving the non-organic historical artifacts intact, it was run on solinium, a component of our solar cells. I proposed that we beam all the solinium in our cells to the remaining bomber, to make up for the loss of the other bombs. To my surprise, all my crew-mates agreed to my proposition without a question. We began to project the solinium from our craft to the bomber, and to our relief, the bombing was a success. However, all our fighters had no energy left to make a return trip. Climbing out of our crafts, I composed a message in a digital storage device, recording the success of our mission and a request for some body to bring us home. However, we all knew that this would be our last flight, and our last journey. Without craft to transport us, we had no choice but to wait for the dim possibility of a rescue…