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The roughly twice-daily ocean tides ebb and flow on different timescales and to different heights depending on the relative orientations of the Sun and Moon.  It is the gravitational pull of these the two bodies that are responsible for our tides, a fact first explained by Isaac Newton.  When the Moon is full (and again when it is new), it, the Earth and the Sun are nearly aligned – a situation know as syzygy (one of my favorite words). In this orientation, the tidals forces combine to amplify the tidal surge; we have a spring tide.  Throw in some big surf and an unusually close Moon, and you’ve got quite a shorebreak.

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The Amazon

The Amazon

Like most tourists, I recorded much of my recent trip to the Amazon by camera, capturing the beautiful scenery, fauna, and anything else that caught the eye.   Yet sight is only one of our senses, and in the jungle possibly our least useful.  It’s hard to see the frogs, toucans & howler monkeys behind the veil of vines and trees – but you sure can hear them (and occasionally smell them).  So I brought along a digital voice recorder and tried to capture some of the sounds of the experience.  The result is an organic tapestry of chirps, warbles and whistles that will more surely transport you to the jungle than any still image could. Enjoy!

Night jungles sounds from the Amazon (33m41s; 30.8 Mb)

By the way, this is an excellent sleep aid…

Slide over Jimi Hendrix; lay off Eric Clapton; because here comes….Jumping Jim? He’s just one of the 18 acts who showed off their ukulele mastery at Ukestock, held in Worcester (pronounce it “Wooster”), MA this past Saturday, September 6th.

First, a little disclosure: I love the ukulele. In June, my wife and I went to Hana for our second anniversary and took a little mini-lesson on ukulele at the Hotel Hana-Maui. We loved it so much, we refused to part with our practice ukes until we had to leave, and promptly picked up a pair of Ponos at Bounty Music in Kahului. Playing together is one of our favorite “couple-things” to do, so much so that we subject our friends to little mini-concerts (keep in mind that several of them are professional musicians, so they are incredibly patient with us). Having played guitar on and off, I find the ukulele (pronounced “oo-koo-le-le”, not “you-koo-le-le”) the perfect size for some mellow playing at home.

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