March 11th, 2017

gold star

Adaptive Wind Instruments

In a little breath of Terramagne, I bring you a L-Amsterdam gizmologist who makes adaptive wind instruments.  

Why is this gizmology instead of just advanced tech?  Because he's customizing these things to whatever hand(s) his customers have. Some of the instruments have completely rebuilt the controls, moved toneholes, and made other major changes.  Others just have simple extensions, minor changes of key shape, etc.  The first really brilliant premise is to fit the instrument to the player, not the player to the instrument.  For example, many of these have props or supports.  Why is this not standard practice?  That's a stick with a clip on one end.  But people are routinely told they can't play an instrument if they can't hold it -- that happened to me with flute.  (I wanted to play piccolo.  They wouldn't let me, said I was only allowed to learn on flute.  I couldn't hold up a flute, so that didn't happen.)  A simple prop would have solved that problem, although not my lack of musical aptitude in this life.  The other brilliance is that the guy just sits down and figures out how to redesign each instrument as needed.  That kind of innovation is gizmology.  

On retro-engineering: once the design exists, another instrument maker of sufficient skill could duplicate it.  (The two adaptive necks, which can fit on an ordinary flute, could be mass-produced if anyone were arsed to do so.)  But most of them could NOT make an adaptive instrument for a different disability, let alone a constant stream of them for all different shapes.

This sort of thing is more common in Terramagne.  The one-handed nurse that Ragno winds up getting advice from is a flute player, and that gets Ragno interested.  It's a chance to learn something new, interesting, and fun -- rather than struggling to relearn yet another formerly easy task.

Running Away from the Circus

This poem came out of the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "first time / last time" square in my 7-1-16 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest.

"Running Away from the Circus"

In Peru, animal activists lobbied
for a ban on animals in circus acts.

They rescued lions and monkeys
from the circus, and relocated them
to wildlife sanctuaries in the Amazon
where for the first time they walked
on grass and earth and freedom.

They called on citizens to keep watch
and report any circus with animals.

It takes courage to stand up
to business and entertainment,
but that's what activism
is all about.

* * *


Activism includes many causes such as animal rights.  Learn how to become an activist.

Activists have banned animal acts and freed circus animals in Peru.  There are pros and cons to circus acts.  However, understand that humans protect only animals they like or find useful.  When humans no longer find a type of animal amusing or helpful, it largely ceases to exist like the decline of gaited horses.  In other words, actions which animal use by humans also consistently reduce the population of those animals.

Poem: "Balancing on a Cliff"

This poem is spillover from the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette.

"Balancing on a Cliff"

Making decisions is like
balancing on a cliff.

Is it courage or foolishness
to attempt something?

For every choice,
you must consider
both the risks
and the benefits.

It is the energy return
on energy invested that
determines whether a choice
is courageous or foolish,

or both.