Wednesday, June 3, 2020

SearchResearch Challenge (6/10/20): Why do beans and peas grow this way?


I'm growing some beans... 

... in my garden, and I'm slightly amazed at how they grow.  If you've somehow never seen the way a bean or a pea plant grows, it's truly remarkable.  You put them in the ground, and after not very long, they look like this: 



As you can see, the vine is climbing up the bamboo by wrapping itself around the pole.  Eventually, it will climb  to the top (12 feet, 4 meters), and maybe a bit beyond. 

Of course, I have questions, in particular, I'm fascinated by the way the beans are growing up the poles.  They're curling around the pole in the most amazing way.  Here's a closeup of the tip of a bean plant wrapping around a support string:  



This leads me to ask a few Research Questions about how beans and peas do this.  Can you help me figure out what's going on here? 



1. How do the plants find what to climb on?   I mean, they  don't have eyes, so... how do they find the closest support to climb up?  

2. Speaking of which... What part of the plant does the searching for the nearest support? Is there a specific name for this?  

3. How / when does the plant decide to start hunting for support?  My beans didn't seem to start immediately looking for a support, so how do they know when to search?  

4. What do you call this behavior?  (Note: there’s a specific term for a lot of these concepts.. in particular, the movement of a plant wrapping around something for support.) 

5. And... who coined that specific term?  (Can you find the coiner and where it was coined?)  



This should be a fun set of Challenges for you.  It's also great to be thinking about spring, renewal, growth and looking into the future with some optimism.  

Be sure to let us know HOW you found your answers!  (We all want to learn from your discovery process.)  

Search on! 





Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Answer: Anthems?


We'll always remember Bruddah Iz, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole,  for singing what has effectively become a touchstone of ukulele performance... 

Bruddah  IZ,  from the Google Doodle in his honor

His version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow is as popular as Aloha 'Oe  

Although many people think of Aloha 'Oe as the anthem of Hawai'i, that status is actually given to... another song.  (See below!)  



1.  Do all 50 US states have a state anthem?  If not, which ones don't?  And why? (If you're not in the US, what states in your country have anthems?  Do the states of Mexico or Canada all have similar songs?)  

The simplest way to answer this question is to search for: 

     [ list of US state anthems ] 

which brings up a couple of lists (50States.com) and the Wikipedia list of states' anthems.  When you look at these two lists, you'll quickly notice that many states have more than one anthem!  Or, to be precise, there's a state anthem (that is, a song officially recognized by the state's legislature as the "official" state song), and often there's a state song (which is also recognized by the legislature as having some special status).  

So, the anthem is the one special song that the state recognizes as it's official song, often played a ceremonial events.    

A quick scan of these two lists tells us that there are some surprises here!  Arkansas has a designated anthem, but also two state songs and a historic state song.  New Hampshire has TWO official songs, and 8 recognized songs.  So on and so on.  Who knew that states could have more than one anthem/song?   

Much to my surprise, the state anthem of California is I Love You California (by Alfred Frankenstein!) a song that I don't know (and I suspect most Californians don't know either). An anthem might be in name only... you might not recognize the tune.  

The only state to NOT have a state anthem is New Jersey.  The 50States site points out that "New Jersey’s Unofficial State Song is “I’m From New Jersey,” passed both Legislative Houses in 1972. However it was not signed into law by the Governor."  

Alas.  

Happily, the Wikipedia list of anthems also tells us the anthems for each of the US territories, including Puerto Rico's "La Borinqueña" and the Northern Marianas Islands song, "Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi."  

Which leads us to our next SRS Research Question... 



2.  As you know, such songs are usually in the local language.  France has La Marseillaise in French, Germany  has Deutschlandlied, etc.  Are there any US state anthems that are NOT in English?  

Looking at the list, it's easy to spot the anthems that aren't in English, including Hawai'i's Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī (Hawaiian), New Mexico's Spanish language state song, "Así Es Nuevo Méjico," as well as Puerto Rico's La Borinqueña (Spanish), the Northern Marianas Islands song, Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi, which comes in English, Chamorro, and Carolinian, American Samoa's Amerika Samoa (Samoan), and Guam's Stand ye Guamanians (Chamorro and English).   

And noticing that leads naturally into our next RQ.... 


3. Speaking of languages in anthems, are there any anthems that have more than one language in them?  Where?  Why?  

Observation: I should have been more specific in this Challenge--I meant national anthems.  We've already seen a few state anthems that are multilingual.

My search was: 

     [ national anthems with multiple languages ] 

Some countries have an official multilingual policy, and as such, have multiple languages for their anthem. Canada springs to mind (O Canada / Ô Canada), with both English and French versions on an equal footing.  

Switzerland, with its four primary languages (German, French, Italian, Romansh) has different lyrics for each.  However, the official anthem, Swiss Psalm, (apparently) almost nobody in Switzerland can sing the song or knows the lyrics... 

Finland's anthem has both Finnish and Swedish lyrics, recognizing that the borders between Finland and Sweden have shifted back and forth over time and the cultures have blended together into their anthem, Maamme

Also as a product of multinational history, Belgium has a multilingual anthem, La Brabançonne (a French title that's usually left untranslated), that has verses in French, Dutch, and German. 
One of New Zealand's two national anthems is commonly sung with the first verse in Māori, Aotearoa, and the second in English ("God Defend New Zealand"). The tune is the same but the lyrics have different meanings. 

South Africa's national anthem is unusual--it has two different songs mashed together with five of the country's eleven official languages being used, in which each language gets a stanza.The South African national anthem is often referred to by "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika," but this isn't its official title.  It is simply National anthem of South Africa  (Video with lyrics in each language. Lyrics with identified languages, Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, English.)  

Many countries with multiple languages have versions in local languages (e.g., India), but the official anthem remains in only one language.  



4. Which country has the oldest national anthem?  

As SRS Regular Reader Arthur Weiss pointed out, "so... what do you mean by oldest?" 

He's right.  

Do I mean the lyrics?  The tune?  The earliest official adoption date?  

To tell the truth, I hadn't thought about that distinction--great catch Arthur!  

The query: 

     [ oldest national anthem ] 

... takes us immediately to a number of resources that bring up exactly this point.  

The MilitaryMusic site points out that the oldest official national anthem is Het Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem, written between 1568 and 1572.  (Oddly, the lyrics sound as though it were written from an individual's perspective--there's a line in the anthem "the King of Spain I have always honored." Really?  What's that all about?  Sounds like more SRS is needed here.)  Thing is, this anthem wasn't officially adopted until 1932.  So, the music and lyrics are quite old, but the "official date" is relatively late.  

What I WAS thinking of when I posed this Challenge is the Japanese anthem, Kimigayo, (video with lyrics) which has its lyrics taken from a Heian period (794–1185) poem.  

However... it was not set to music until 1880. 

Meanwhile, "God Save the Queen," the national anthem of the United Kingdom and one of the two national anthems of New Zealand, was first officially performed in 1745 under the title "God Save the King."  (And the last word of the title alternates from King to Queen, depending.) 

Meanwhile... Spain's national anthem, the Marcha Real (The Royal March), dates from 1770. 

(I remind you that "The Star Spangled Banner" dates from 1814, adopted officially in 1889; not a contender in this discussion.)  

So, the tricky thing here is what does "oldest" mean?  Adoption date?  Lyrics date?  In common use date?  There are different answers to each of these questions!  

I'm going to give awards to each of the categories: 

Oldest Anthem Lyrics:  Kimigayo 
Oldest Anthem + Lyrics:  Het Wilhemus 
Oldest Official Anthem:  God Save the King


Sometimes answers are more complicated than the question might suggest.  



5. While I couldn't find a video of Bruddah Iz singing the Hawaiian state song, it's pretty easy to find him singing the one song that closes nearly every concert in Hawai'i.  What song is that?  (Can you find a recording of IZ singing it?)  


My query was: 

    [ song at end of concert in Hawaii ] 

Remarkably, it led to this result--Hawai'i Aloha 

Hawaii Aloha


When I wrote the Challenge, I didn't know that the result would give us the Bruddah Iz performance quite so easily! 


As you can see, everyone really does know all the words.  Sing along if you'd like.  

Aloha.  


Search Lessons 


1.  Be clear about your Research Questions (RQ)!  I was a bit sloppy in my question about "oldest" anthem.  When I wrote the question, I hadn't thought about the difference between lyrics date and all of the other senses of "oldest."  

2. Remember the "list of..." pattern.  Although Wikipedia has "List of..." for all kinds of remarkable things, the Internet is full of lists.  Keep in mind while useful, you want to double check any of the items you find on the list.  As with all things you find, they might be out-of-date, incomplete, or just wrong.  Double check to make sure that the list items are what they say they are!  

3. Expect the unusual.  When I wrote the Challenge, I really didn't expect the complexities of "oldest" nor the strangeness of "official state anthem."  Of special note to teachers:  These kinds of issues seem to always come up when you write a question (say, for a test).  When pursuing a Research Question like this, expect the unexpected.  There might be hidden depths and interesting issues at play, as we saw here. 


Hope you enjoyed this. Next week... a new Challenge! 


Search On! 


Friday, May 22, 2020

1MM: Double Quotes and Negative Transfer


I had trouble using double quotes in my search... 

... or, more precisely, it was when I switched OUT of Google to another search application that caused the problems.  

I'd searched for a particular lyric (one I've used before) "When Venus the goddess of beauty and love."  In Google, this works perfectly--I can find the music easily.  

But then, once I'd switched back to my laptop I used Apple's Spotlight search utility to find a copy of the song lyrics that I knew I had on my hard drive somewhere. 

I tried and tried.. and failed.  Trust me, I'm 100% sure I've got a copy--the question is Why can't I find them? 

I thought that perhaps the index for the Spotlight system was broken, but no--after a few moments I figured out that it was user error.  I'd been entering the same query complete with the quote marks: 

     [ "when Venus the goddess of beauty and love" ] 

And THAT wasn't working.  

Luckily, I figured out quickly that Spotlight searches for whatever you enter, including the quote marks.  So, to make it work, I had to NOT use the double quotes!  

Fine.  

It means that I have to know the particular details of each search / find engine I use!  It's not an onerous burden, but you need to know, if you're going to use these tools well.  

This impressed me so much that I made a short video about it... Here you go...  



Hope you find this one useful!  

Search on!  


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

SearchResearch Challenge (5/20/20): Anthems?


This week's Google Doodle is about Bruddah Iz, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Bruddah  IZ,  from the Google Doodle in his honor

...showing his life in a quick, beautiful video with his most famous song (Somewhere Over the Rainbow) playing in the background.  

I admit to being a longtime ukulele player myself, so IZ has a special place in my heart for all his glorious music during his too brief lifetime.  

I've been to Hawai'i many times--that's where I first heard his music, and where I picked up the ukulele and my kihoalu guitar playing habit.  

But as I watched the Bruddah Iz video, I started thinking about the state song of Hawai'i, and about state and national anthems in general. 

You know how my mind works by now... this led to a bit of SearchResearch into the songs that are associated with different states and nations.  

We know that The Star-Spangled Banner is the US national anthem.  You probably know about the anthems O Canada and God Save the Queen, but what else do you know?  

Here are a few short SRS Challenges.  These aren't hard, but will hopefully get you thinking about the power of song as a representation of identity (and we'll talk about SearchResearch tactics next week when I answer these  Challenges).  

1.  Do all 50 US states have a state anthem?  If not, which ones don't?  And why? (If you're not in the US, what states in your country have anthems?  Do the states of Mexico or Canada all have similar songs?)  


2.  As you know, such songs are usually in the local language.  France has La Marseillaise in French, Germany  has Deutschlandlied, etc.  Are there any US state anthems that are NOT in English?  


3. Speaking of languages in anthems, are there any anthems that have more than one language in them?  Where?  Why?  


4. Which country has the oldest national anthem?  


5. While I couldn't find a video of Bruddah Iz singing the Hawaiian state song, it's pretty easy to find him singing the one song that closes nearly every concert in Hawai'i.  What song is that?  (Can you find a recording of IZ singing it?)  


Have fun with these.  They're pretty straight-forward, but as with many Research Questions, there are hidden depths that I think you'll enjoy exploring.  

Let us know what you find, and HOW you found it!  

Aloha.  

And Search On!  (E imi mau.)  

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Answer: Extramusical sounds that people make during performances?


Ay yi yi yi yi!   

This week's Challenge was to find any:  

       extramusical sounds and yells 

that happen during a performance.  

For examples, gritos are common in mariachi performances, you've probably heard them before.  


Pedro Infante doing a grito in performance  
(To repeat from last time: A grito is a common Mexican interjection (typically at loud volume during a song), used as an expression of joy, sadness, or excitement.  Even though it's not part of the music, it IS a part of the performance!)  


Today's Challenge isn't to find out more about gritos, but...   

1.  Can you find examples of other outcries / sounds / shouts that are analogous to a grito.  That is, they are (in some sense) outside-of-the-music--that is, extramusical.  

The real question for this week is How can you search for something like this that's so... difficult to describe?


This happens: you have an idea, but it's not really clear how to make it clear enough for a good search.  Let  me tell you what I did, and what strategies I used.  


Strategy 1: Get an overview of what we already know about the topic (that is, the grito).   

How do we do that?

The best overview mechanism I know is Wikipedia, so let's look at that.  

     [ grito Wikipedia ] 

where we find that the grito...  

This interjection is similar to the yahoo or yeehaw of the American cowboy during a hoedown, with added Ululation trills and onomatopoeia closer to "aaah" or "aaaayyyyeeee," that resemble a laugh while performing it. 
The first sound is typically held as long as possible, leaving enough breath for a trailing set of trills.

From this short description, we've learned a few new terms:  yahoo, yeehaw, and ululation.  We also picked up that a yahoo cry often happens at hoedowns (country music  performances that .  That certainly qualifies as extramusical.  (No jokes about Yahoo!, please...)  



Strategy 2: As you do your research, be sure to pick up on any new terms (or concepts) that can lead you to more discoveries.  

In the previous  paragraph we learned yahoo, yeehaw, and ululation.  

Let's drill down on that term, ululation.  What can we learn from that? 

Again, Wikipedia (ululation) is our friend telling us that: 
Ululation is practiced either alone or as part of certain styles of singing, on various occasions of communal ritual events (like weddings) used to express strong emotion...
Ululation is commonly practiced in most of Africa, the Middle East, Central-to-South Asia, and in the Indian states Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and Sri Lanka. It is also practiced in a few places in Europe, like Cyprus, and among the diaspora community originating from these areas.

And it appears as an extramusical sound as well...  

...[ululation appears in the ] music of artists performing Mizrahi styles of music... [it] is incorporated into African musical styles such as Shona music, where it is a form of audience participation, along with clapping and call-and-response.

This tells us a couple of things: an ululation is common in many different cultures (note: it's zaghrouta in Arabic--same thing), and tells us that clapping is yet another kind of extramusical sound. 

And, of course, we can use this query to find out more about the use of ululation in songs:  


     [ ululation music song ] 

This quickly leads us to Shakira's famous ululation during the Superbowl performance of her hit song "Hips Don't Lie" (2019).  (Watch it here.)  

Strategy 3: Keep modifying the query to explore the space near your core concept.  

What if I modify that last query with a more generic term than "ululation"?  Let's try this:  


     [ shout music song ] 

... this leads to a bunch of results about the song "Shout" by the Isley Brothers.  That's not helpful, so I changed the query yet again, trying to broaden it: 

    [ shout music ] 

But that leads to  "Shout Music," a kind of exuberant church music of the American south (especially in black churches).  While it's loud, it's expressly musical, so it's not quite what we're looking for in this Challenge.  

So I modified the query a bit a third time, providing a bit more context around the time of the shout/ululation.  THIS query modification worked.  

     [ shout at end of musical performance ] 

And THAT led to a treasure trove of different kind of shouted accolades that happen at the end of a musical performance. You know about those shouts of "Bravo" or "Encore" over the ending notes of an especially wonderful performance.  But as found on the SERP, these kinds of end-of-the-concert shouts have an etiquette all their own.  

In this guide, the Indianapolis opera has several suggestions about what you can yell at the end of a musical piece (I like the way they make an imperative suggestion!):  


You will say “Bravo” (Brah-voh) for a single male performer.
You will say “Brava” (Brah-vah) for a single female performer.
You will say “Bravi” (Brah-vee) to a group of all male performers or a mix of male and female performers. 
You will say “Brave” (Brah-vay) to a group of all female performers.

In fact, on occasion, audience members might also shout at the conductor before OR after the performance. You may hear “bravo!” or a “maestro!” as a token of appreciation directed at the director.  

I also found a more general Wikipedia article about concert etiquette, which brings up an excellent point:  


Concert etiquette has, like the music, evolved over time. Late eighteenth-century composers such as Mozart expected that people would talk, particularly at dinner, and took delight in audiences clapping at once in response to a nice musical effect. Individual movements were encored in response to audience applause....  
In opera a particularly impressive aria will often be applauded, even if the music is continuing. Shouting is generally acceptable only during applause. The word shouted is often the Italian word bravo or a variation (brava in the case of a female performer, bravi for a plural number of performers, bravissimo for a truly exceptional performance). The word's original meaning is "skillful" and it has come to mean "well done". The French word encore ("again") may be shouted as a request for more, although in Italy and France itself bis ("twice") is the more usual expression. In some cultures (e.g., Britain) enthusiastic approval can also be expressed by whistling, though in others (e.g., Italy, Russia) whistling can signify disapproval and act as the equivalent of booing.


I also learned about the expression hana hou, shouted at the end of a great musical performance in Hawai'i (bascially "Good job! Encore!").  You can hear people chanting at the beginning of this video (of Bruno Mars performing in Hawai'i where the locals shout hana hou instead of encore).  

What else is there?  What else do people shout (or make interesting sounds) in a group setting (or musical setting)? 

Strategy 4: Generalize the terms of your query to find more "nearby" concepts.  

For example, if you include "people" and modify the query: 
    
      [people shout during music ]  

you'll discover kakegoe shouts during Japanese traditional music, when  enthusiastic audience members shout out the name of an actor at particularly exciting or memorable moments.  (You can find examples here--just click on the family crests and download the sound files to hear what a kakgoe sound like.)  

   
You can keep going in this way for a long, long time.  You'll discover yells during various kinds of musical traditions.  Think of cries liks Laissez les bons temps rouler! in Cajun and Zydeco music, or shouts of "Hallelujah" or "Amen" in gospel performances, or even various whoops during polka band performances.  It's all extramusical, and all very exciting.  

Search Lessons 


You can see the strategies up above, but here they are, repeated for your edification:  

Strategy 1: Get an overview of what we already know about the topic (that is, the grito) and work outward from there.    
Strategy 2: As you do your research, be sure to pick up on any new terms (or concepts) that can lead you to more discoveries.  
Strategy 3: Keep modifying the query to explore the space near your core concept.  
Strategy 4: Generalize the terms of your query to find more "nearby" concepts.  

Following these strategies, as well as being willing to continuously refine your research question (and thereby become more clear about what you seek), will give you a powerful set of SearchResearch tools for investigation! 



Search on!