October 14th National Fossil Day

The date of National Fossil Day varies, which I find odd for something set in stone! You will find it comes on whatever week of October is Earth Science Week. Fossils are very interesting considering they can be found nearly anywhere and represent a world long, long since gone. Keep in mind some pour creature gave it’s all to provide us with that sample of history. You might even say they were “Rockin’ It!”. Or not… It just goes to show that even a million years ago, animals were getting stoned.

How to celebrate – Go find a fossil. Visit a museum. Start a rock collection.

June 6th National Gardening Exercise Day

June 6th National Gardening Exercise Day

Gardening is fun. It is also therapeutic, builds muscles, and helps burn calories. There are number of different gardens you can tend to… vegetable, flower, herb… and even rocks. You will need to plant your garden, weed it, water it, and enjoy it. It may help to talk or sing to your garden as well, although I am not sure it does a rock garden much good. You will need to determine what type of garden you want, and where you will want to place it. Besides plants, you will also need tools, clothing, hats, and water pails or hoses.

How to celebrate – Choose where you want your garden to go. Choose what type of garden you want. Plant your garden.

October 11th National Fossil Day

They are all around us, or rather below us. The term “Older than dirt” actually becomes dirt one day. We uncover them nearly daily now and wonder at what life must have been like for them, or perhaps what our lives might be like if they were still around. And, of course, many consider those of us that are older as fossils ourselves. The day was created by the US National Park Service in 2010 in order that we may think about what lived before us and to take care as fossils are uncovered. The only real problem with today is that the date varies, and for us already that are considered “fossils”, that makes it hard to find, and remember. Maybe we should celebrate fossils every time we think of them. Guess that’s sort of the point anyway.

How to celebrate – Go looking for fossils. Visit a National Park. Make sure that rock you just stepped on is really a rock!

April Jazz Appreciation Month

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. “One of America’s original art forms.”  It began in New Orleans during the late 19th century primarily out of the African-American culture and has grown to many other aspects over the last one hundred plus years.  Jazz makes use of improvisation, poly rhythms, syncopation and swing.  The actually term “Jazz” was first used in 1916 with the American Dialect Society claiming it would be the “word of the twentieth century.”

There are many forms of jazz.  The first coming out of New Orleans somewhere around 1910.  This used French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime and blues as it’s foundation.  It was relatively quickly accepted, and then altered.  In the 1930’s Kansas City Jazz added swing to it’s formula and Gypsy Jazz used the waltz to it’s take. During the 1940’s, Bebop became popular as it was a style of jazz that felt good and could be danced to.  Cool jazz also made its debut in the 1940’s using linear melodic lines to calm things down a bit.

Free Jazz became popular in the 1950’s.  It featured no regular meter and perhaps began to get a little complicated for the average listener.  Hard Bop also came in the 1950’s using a mix of R&B, Gospel and the Blues.  The 50’s also introduced Modal Jazz, using musical scales as its foundation.

In the 1960’s-70’s, Jazz-Rock Fusion came on the scene, pretty self-explanitory.  It did have a major influence in the rock artists that developed over the decades.  By 1980, Smooth Jazz became the sexy, romantic version of all the above.  Now in the new millineum the trend seems to be to either Latin Jazz or Afro-Cuban Jazz.  It obviously mixes the latin beat and flair with all the technics of jazz aquired over the years.

So how to celebrate, well listen to some jazz of course… and if I might suggest a personal friend, Mickey Carroll is one of the best around.

mickey_carroll

Tune your radio station in your car to a jazz station and get a different perspective of life, or go to a club and listen to some Smooth Jazz live.