The sounds of music

Published 3:10 pm Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The future in entertainment usually begins with sound. If you want to know which direction our entertainment needs are heading in terms of technology, watch the music industry. Let me explain. Before we see anything we hear it first. In the early days entertainment was done on stages and performed live. And in the real old days there were no original works, it was stuff from biblical stories turned into stage plays. Then it was stuff that had been published by a handful of writers such as Aeschylus, Shakespeare, and a few others. And then much later it was Vaudeville and Broadway shows. And then on April 9, 1860 the world changed when the French inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville created the first sound recording in history. This began a wave of new ideas and possibilities. A new era of entertainment technology was dawning. From that we got cylinder phonographs, porcine, vinyl and so on. But it all began with sound. Then moving pictures came on the scene then talking pictures followed. And as each phase of sound advanced so did the visuals. Let me explain it this way.

We had cylinders, disk, 8-track, cassette, CD, and digital.

In video we had projector, beta, VHS, DVD, and then digital.

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And it all started with sounds first. Why? Because audio takes up less space and is easier to convert, or so I assume. In our future we will undoubtedly do away with any kind of physical trace of our entertainment lineage. Again check out how many music CDs are available in your local store. I foresee eventually buying a card with a scratch off code that you can go to a website and enter to download the newest movie releases. You can still purchase everything on digital now so stands to reason that will become the only method of purchasing entertainment in our future. However, in the midst of the tech crazed world I still own and from time to time listen to my 1919 Silvertone phonograph or as I like to call it the first wireless technology. I crank the handle and have countless 78 rpm records to listen to. And the best part, it was given to me by a friend many years ago. She knew how much I had always wanted one but I was hesitant about paying for the overpriced ones at antique stores that had long ago given up the ghost. And so now it sits proudly in my living room and will someday belong to my son who loves antiques nearly as much as I do. I will say this floor model represents a time that we will never see again. The beginning of something amazing. It’s all been done now. All the inventors are doing is advancing on something we already have. I do think listening to music through my phone in my car is amazing. But I also know that it all started with my old phonograph that I see every day and that beckons me to drag out my collection of Beethoven records, give them a spin, close my eyes and listen to the 5th Symphony (my favorite), hearing all the cracks and pops of the history that sends vibrations down through the diaphragm and out of the built-in horn. It is something to be witnessed.

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lorie Ann McReynolds

When I was a little girl, I remember my parents talking about arthritis. My mom’s feet and back would hurt because of it. For my daddy, it was his hands that were stricken with the pain. I never knew the extent of their discomfort. I never knew the depth of the hurt. Until now. In 2002, at age 31, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). RA is where my immune system, whose job is to protect my body, actually produces something that attacks my joints. It causes swelling, indescribable pain and joint damage. I am sure I had it many years before I was diagnosed but didn’t realize what it was. When the RA would hit my upper body joints, it would make things like getting dressed difficult as the area where the afflicted joint was would become useless, difficult to move and lose its strength. The lower body joints would make walking difficult as putting weight on that leg would be nearly impossible.

I have been prescribed many medicines over the last 20 years. Some worked very well, and I would be in remission. Others I think my body would get used to and over time would become not as effective. With my current treatment plan which is two pills a day and a biologics injection once a week, I have been in remission for years only with an occasional “flare up” as they are called. But in the last couple of months, the flare ups have been more frequent. I am sure when I see my rheumatologist soon, he will change my treatment plan.

As much as RA affects the joints, it also affects the mind. It is very hard not to be able to do what I used to do. I must take things slower now. Be more cautious of how I am walking, what I am lifting. When a flare up affects how I walk, it draws attention to myself, which is something I detest. Also, I have to accept help from others. On the other hand, I am very blessed that God surrounded me with people who love me and are willing to help me. I am thankful for them even if it is still hard to accept the help. So, if you know of someone who has RA, be patient with them. They don’t mean to be difficult. They don’t mean to cancel plans right before an event. It is hard for them to commit because they don’t know when a flare up will happen. They don’t mean to be downhearted. They are struggling with the memories of the active person they were and trying to find a balance with the person they are now. So, tell them it is OK. While you don’t fully understand what they are going through, you are there for them in whatever way they need you.