Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

New Blood Pressure Guidelines – Think First

Tweet The press with an assist from the American College of Cardiology is trying to drive the American public crazier than it usually is. Here’s a quotation typical of those floating around the media: “Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure under the new guidelines issued Monday by heart organizations and the medical community….


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The Gene – Book Review

Tweet That children share traits with their parents, grandparents, and siblings has been recognized since antiquity. How these traits were transmitted remained a mystery for more than two millennia. Unmasking this process has been the greatest scientific discovery since man discovered fire. Siddhartha Mukherjee has written a history of this entire process – The Gene:…


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The Future of Opera

Tweet The title of this article implies optimism. It could just as reasonably end with a question mark. Until about a century ago opera companies depended on the regular inflow of new works. Older works were still performed, but it was the new operas that the public demanded. These new works were performed for a…


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Medical Rationing in the UK

Tweet A sizable, but likely still a minority, of the population seems to think that the federal government should have sole responsibility for the funding and delivery of medical care in the US – ie, a single payer system. Many, if not, most people make up their minds about the provision of both medical care…


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Kaufmann as Otello

Tweet The Royal Opera House in London presented its new production of Verdi’s Otello last June. The show’s big attraction was the first performance of the opera’s title role by Jonas Kaufmann. The BBC broadcasted the opening night performance yesterday. The recording will available on its website for a month. Kaufmann’s dark voice prompted many…


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Cielo e Mar

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ7IGnQPZPQ

Tweet Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-86) is best known for his opera La Gioconda. This work is one of opera’s guilty pleasures. It’s libretto is so embarrassingly florid that Arrigo Boito who wrote it after a play by Victor 1Hugo couldn’t bring himself to put his name to it, so he rearranged the 10 letters of his…


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CCleaner Trojan

Tweet Even looking at a computer from a distance no longer seems safe. The popular utility CCleaner distributed an update (Version 5.33) that contained a piece of malware – trojan.floxif. Ironically the company that makes CCleaner was recently bought by Avast the antivirus company. They distributed a post that describes their response to the problem….


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Don Giovanni’s Timeline

Tweet The time setting of the two acts of Mozart’s Don Giovanni has always puzzled me. Everyone, including I suppose Mozart and Da Ponte, seems to think that the action in Act 2 starts immediately after that of the first act. In other words, the action from start to finish is continuous and depicts the…


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Norma in HD

Tweet David McVicar’s new production of Bellini’s masterpiece opened the Met’s current season last month. It was telecast last Saturday, Oct 7. I was in one of American Airline’s iron maidens for most of that day and part of the next and missed the live show. So I took in the rebroadcast today. McVicar’s staging…


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The 23 Psalm

Tweet I kept repeating the 4th verse of the 23rd Psalm as I made my 28 hour journey from Montreal to Lubbock. I’ve complained about the airlines before, so this brief post will just list the lowlights of my trip. We were supposed to return from vacation on a chartered flight. It never showed. We…


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