31 August 2012

Feel Inside (and stuff like that) Flight of the Conchords and friends

You might wonder what's in the bowl, the giant bowl?

If you were a kid, how would you raise money to help sick kids? Imagine crowd sourcing children for ideas . . . . and then using their own words in a song recorded by some of the best talent New Zealand has on tap.

The comedy duo behind Flight of the Conchords, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, have released a new single on iTunes to help raise money for children suffering from a life-threatening illness. The song was part of a Cure Kids’ Red Nose Day comedy event that took place on August 24 in New Zealand. Link to Mashable article for related videos.

The song, “Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That)” draws on McKenzie’s and Clement’s inspiration after sitting down with a group of quick-witted rhyming children, including some from the Clyde Quay School in their hometown, Wellington.

Turning these ideas into a cohesive song couldn't have been a straightforward exercise, even with brilliant rhyming lines like "the kids who are sick can't do their hip-hop anymore, because their tummies could be very sore", or "open up the lids, help help help the kids" already supplied.

But the pair managed to come up with a classic upbeat pop ballad that also had room for a great rap breakdown, along with the all-important exciting upwards modulation 30 seconds before the end.

Choosing a wide cross-generational range of New Zealand artists to contribute vocals was also very savvy - that way there's something for everyone. They had 21 extras in total, with some established stars like Brooke Fraser rhyming hospital with lostpital, Dave Dobbyn warning about drinking too much bubble mixture, and Boh Runga singing the word "spews" - probably for the first time ever. NZHerald.co.nz

Printz Boar, writer and producer for the Black Eyed Peas, and hip-hop and reggae artist Che Fu's 6-year-old son Marley wrote the chorus.

Images of Sam Scott and Luke Buda of the Phoenix Foundation joyfully pogo-ing around Roundhead studios; Rikki Morris, Nathan King and Zowie singing about robbing robbers; Ruby Frost tackling the feta issue; reinforcement from Victoria Girling-Butcher, Kids of 88 and Elizabeth Marvelly; great rhyming from Savage, PNC, and Young Sid; Moana Maniapoto, Peter Urlich, Maitreya, and young gun Massad explaining that crazy financial system; and excellent vocal gymnastics from Cherie Mathieson as she tells us where to put all those teeth for the tooth fairy - they all helped to form an instant Kiwi classic.

The song was televised and performed live by the Flight of the Concords on “Red Nose Day: Comedy for Cure Kids” and helped to raise $1.3 million for medical research into life-threatening illnesses that affect children in New Zealand. Watch the video

Though the comedy event is over, the song is still available for purchase on iTunes for those in Australia and New Zealand and internationally.

It's fun and contagious.

LYRICS "There are children who are so unwell, they have to live their lives in hospitals, they're feeling lospital, mospital. Children getting sicker, drinking too much bubble mixture, they all just wanna be bubbles, they all just wanna be bubbles. There must be something we can do, to stop these kids from doing spews. Feel inside, and stuff like that, open up the lids, help help help the kids, feel inside, and stuff like that, open up the lids, help help help the kids. Kids need us to come together, we can make them better, we can get them some feta. Can raffle scooters cars and movie vouchers, John stop...."

Thanks to Brian Bell for alerting me to the video on YouTube and the chance to buy the song on iTunes.

Ever had a really sick kid you cared about? Ya? Buy this song.

Bret McKenzie won an Oscar this year for the song Man or Muppet. His laugh is a terrific part of the video.

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09 August 2012

Recycled Discerned Experience & Knowledge

"The most intelligent people can extract the most knowledge from a single event, regardless if the event is positive or negative. Presumably, the newly acquired knowledge when applied is transformed into wisdom that can be "reused" in new contexts. Intelligence is certainly rooted in experience, but more importantly in the ability to extract valuable information about people, events, attitudes, behaviors, etc., from those experiences."

Matthew R. Kutz, “Toward a Conceptual Model of Contextual Intelligence: A Transferable Leadership Construct,” Kravis Leadership Institute, Leadership Review, Vol. 8, Winter 2008, pp. 18-31.

08 August 2012

Congruence, Integrity, Harmony


  [kong-groo-uhns, kuhn-groo-, kuhng-]
noun1. the quality or state of agreeing or corresponding.
Synonyms:accordaccordancecoherencecompliance,conformance, conformation, conforming,conformitycongruency, congruity,congruousness, correspondenceharmonization,harmonysimilarityuniformity

I desire congruence in what I say and what I do.
I desire a harmonization of my beliefs, my life, my commitment to following Jesus, my identity and my talents.

To be incongruent is to lack harmony, to challenge the validity of the whole, to be off balance out of sync, discordant, inconsistent . . . .

In watching the Olympics this week, I've seen the results of much practice in getting the perfect stroke, stride, swing, or jump.

I've seen one woman just nip the edge of a hurdle, throwing her off balance and totally running her rhythm in approaching the next hurdle. For four years she has trained for this day, only to catch her toe on the top of a bar the same height she has jumped over numerous times before. But today, her miscalculation brook her stride, causing her to stumble in to the next lane, slow, lose the race and collapse in a heap of tearful desolation.

I saw another woman totally take out a hurdle, veer off the track and not even finish the race. Why bother? No point really.

Harmony: it's not just musical. 

Congruent: it's not just mathematical.

Integrity: it's not just about honesty or ethics in the sense we often think.

It's about identity, about being reflective enough to know who we are and whether our words, actions and opinions are consistent. It's about thinking quietly, honestly, and being brave enough to adjust as needed.

I want to live creatively, with integrity ... ever learning, stretching and growing, seeking understanding and wisdom to live well.

07 August 2012

Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Olympics

The conversations today revolve around the Olympics and how well NZ is doing, and that we have volcanoes erupting in two different places and quakes continue to jiggle Christchurch.

Nine quake/aftershocks in just 7 days, one over 5.0

LATEST: A new vent has opened up near the Te Maari Crater area on Mount Tongariro. Volcanic activity at Mt Tongariro could continue for weeks, months or even years after Tongariro rumbled to life after being dormant for more than 100 years last night.
Last night's eruption was a total surprise, so "we have to expect the unexpected", GNS volcanologist Michael Rosenberg said. 
An earthquake lasting about five minutes accompanied the eruption and residents reportedly heard the explosions. 
The mountain erupted at 11.50pm, sending ash across roads and prompting a potential threat warning for central North Island regions.
The eruption threw rocks and spewed ash from the Te Mari craters, near Ketetahi hot springs, on the northern side of the mountain, GNS Science said.Roads were initially closed and flights will be disrupted because of ash.

WITNESS ACCOUNTS Truck driver Tama Coker was heading across the Desert Road while the eruption was happening and said the noise was like a train."There was a big flash," he said. "I thought it was lightning and then it started raining sand. It was pretty thick. I heard it rumbling like a train."Coker said that when he drove through the Desert Road he could not see the white lines on the road."I could just see the yellow glare on the mountain. I only had visibility of about 10 to 15 feet in front of me. It was a bit scary. "It's something I'll probably never see again in my lifetime.""It's a volcano. If it goes. It will go. We'll all be vapourised. Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe have erupted regularly over the years. Now it is Tongariro's turn." said a local resident, David Bennett.
SH46 at Lake Rotoaira, just north of Tongariro 
is covered in a "thick, clay-like mud", about 
half a centimetre thick. "It's just carpeted 
everything, all the fields, cars, trees - 
the whole landscape looks quite murky and grey,"

NZ's a busy beautiful place!
I have walked the Tongariro Crossing.
That walk is possibly the significant cause of the plantar fasciitis I've suffered from ever since.

The beauty of the area is a result of violent geothermal activity over the years.

We often think of such events historically.
Auckland itself has up to 60 volcanic cones that shape the landscape, skyline and shoreline.

05 August 2012

Good grammar: good job

"If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun..."

Read more from Harvard Business Review blog article.

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04 August 2012

Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync: a cloud sync storage face-off

Ellis Hamburger of The Verge give us a run through of online storage options that can sync across devices and provide back up storage of your important documents. Using these apps can give you  access to documents you might need on the go. 

We'll take a look at the top apps that let you sync files between all of your devices automatically, share files using password protection, pick which folders you want to sync, and do anything else you might want to do with a syncing app. While our evaluations of each app aren't full-on reviews, they are encapsulations of where each app excels and what makes each unique. Refer to the chart at the bottom of the page for full breakdowns of each application.

The introduction of Google Drive, a new and improved app that replaces Google Docs, is the impetus for this comparison. Does it do everything, most things, or just add to the conversation and menu of choices? Check the Verge article to read the details.

03 August 2012

Depth for discipleship

"A lot of new church plants wait until they can run a good worship service before they open up to the public.
There is little talk about whether the community has the spiritual depth to receive and disciple newcomers."

Taking your time in a rushed world
Tall Skinny Kiwi

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02 August 2012

Foreign, at home.

I find sympathy within the following . . .

"I stay in touch with friends in (at home) as if it’s been just a few weeks, as if I never left. Their lives there continued and mine didn’t.
Andrew Love, a great writer, speedskater, father and friend said it’s kind-of like time dilation in science fiction books. “You drop in all world-weary and tired from your travels and our lives have moved on – we’ve had kids and gotten new jobs and made new friends; people have died – but you haven’t gone through that with us. We pick up where we left off; you’re the same as back then, and we haven’t seen the world with you.”
I want to say every day to the people I love: I wish I could bring you with me and that I could stay with you. There’s this strange pull of Home and a longing to see and do everything, everywhere, all at once.
I wish that I could say after all these years I have figured it out, solved the riddle of Home."

From @XpatAdventures: ...... http://t.co/P9ikOyjD

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01 August 2012

Few Win at Olympics

The BBC interviews athletes and experts in living with losing, which for many is anything less than a gold medal.

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Jesus, Friend of Sinners- Really? Really!?

Some of the words, concepts, images in this song upset me.
They are true. That's why they upset me.
I am sometimes an obstacle to people coming to Jesus.
I can see the faults of others, but not my own because of the plank in my eye.
Comparing myself with others, a movable measurement that says nothing really.

Jesus, Friend of Sinners,
Lyrics by Mark Hall, Matthew West Sung by Casting Crowns
Go to the official video

Jesus, friend of sinners
We have strayed so far away
We cut down people in Your name
But the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners
The truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You
But they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up
I’m so double minded
A plank-eyed saint with dirty hands
And a heart divided
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world
At the end our pointing fingers

Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Break our hearts for what breaks Yours
Jesus, friend of sinners
The One whose writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away
And the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember
We are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy
Bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we’re for
Only what we’re against

When we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs
Crossed over the lines
And loved like You did

You love every lost cause
You reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame
They’re the reason that You came
Lord, I was that lost cause
And I was the outcast
But You died for sinners just like me
A grateful leper at Your feet
‘Cause You are good
You are good
And Your love endures forever
And I was the lost cause
And I was the outcast
You died for sinners just like me
A grateful leper at Your feet
Open our eyes to the world
At the end our pointing fingers

Open our eyes to the world
At the end our pointing fingers

© 2011 Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI) All rights on behalf of Sony/ATV Tree Publishing administered by Sony/ATV. / My Refuge Music (BMI) (adm. at EMICMGPublishing.com) / External Combustion Music / Songs of Southside Independent Music Publishing, LLC / Songs for Delaney (ASCAP)
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