The Great American Right to Complain

For 30+ years as a news hound and reporter of weird stuff, I, Xeno, have believed it is the duty of Americans to speak up truthfully about what they like and dislike. We have the right to complain, to make things better. This was true in the past. Is it still? I like peace, non-violence, transparency in government and privacy and fair voting for the public. I oppose violence and support peaceful plans. I try to read a broad spectrum of news and ideas, but don’t agree with everyone or everything I read or see. Reading is not approving, obviously. … Continue reading The Great American Right to Complain

Spice Girls Van Converted to AirBnB

Looking for a fun unusual get away vacation? If you’ve ever enjoyed music by the Spice Girls, you might like this: the hit band’s tour van has been renovated into an AirBnB rental. They say can now book a night in the heart of Wembley Park in London, a place with lots of restaurants, bars and shops nearby. The interior of the bus has been completely renovated and converted into a rolling hotel room fit for three guests at a time, according to the Airbnb posting. Suzanne Godley, who, along with her boss, completed the bus overhaul, said the Spice … Continue reading Spice Girls Van Converted to AirBnB

Strange Musical Instrument: The Kalumbu

Here’s an interesting unusual musical instrument you may not have heard. A kalumbu is a one-stringed musical bow. A cool example of a song played with it by Chris Haambwiila is popular on YouTube: Chris, from Chitongo village, in Zambia is one of the best players of the kalumbu. Enjoy. – TrueStrange.com Continue reading Strange Musical Instrument: The Kalumbu

Solar Art Installation to Play “Africa” Song Forever

When writing or producing a hit song, there are many gold standards to consider. Is it good enough, for example, that someone will play it forever, on an infinite loop in a solar-powered art exhibit? Toto’s “Africa” recently passed this test. Max Siedentopf, 27, a German-Namibian artist currently based in London, set up a sound installation titled “Toto Forever” to play the 1982 song on a loop at an undisclosed location in the 1,200-mile-long Namib Desert. Siedentopf said solar batteries power the installation’s MP3 player and six speakers. He said the desert is around 55 million years old, making it … Continue reading Solar Art Installation to Play “Africa” Song Forever

Happy Elvis/Bowie/Xeno Birthday

Once again it is, today, my shared birthday with Elvis Presley and David Bowie. This year I’m spending my birth anniversary in a snowy cabin in the woods alone in the shadow of a massive volcano, working on my 100 original songs project and daydreaming a bit. They say the first step is knowing what you want. My current wishes: long years of good health, peace, good friends, love and music, to help and entertain people, to grow, to forgive and to heal from the past. Same wishes I’ve had most years. If you enjoy this blog/web site and want … Continue reading Happy Elvis/Bowie/Xeno Birthday

Xeno’s 100 Songs Project Update

I was asked to share my music with the world and have thus been working on this music project for years. I have sketches of 100 originals in a music studio computer. I do a little work whenever I can, sometimes all day. My style is American Helifino which blends instruments and moods from Classical, Pop, Rock, Indie, Jazz, Punk, Dance, Folk and other styles. Has anyone written and released 100 songs at once before? Many other artists have written 100 songs. Collections of the top 100 songs by one artist seems to be a thing in India, for example. … Continue reading Xeno’s 100 Songs Project Update

Brain Study: Creativity is Supressing the Obvious

Very creative people can be oddly oblivious to the obvious. New brain research suggests that suppression of our most common pathways (thoughts) is the underlying mechanism for creativity. Remember as you read that brain waves are only patterns resulting from groups of brain cells sending signals. Brain waves are the electrical sums of brain cell activity. Here’s the article. You might find this useful in your own explorations of creativity. A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that brainwaves play a crucial role in inhibiting habitual thinking modes to pave the way to … Continue reading Brain Study: Creativity is Supressing the Obvious

Pinkish “Farout”, New (Minor?) Planet in our Solar System

Our most distant solar system object is now a pink hued object (minor planet) nicknamed “Farout,” the discovery of which was recently announced. Scientists searching for Planet X, a proposed hidden planet assumed to be responsible for years of observed gravitational anomalies, found another minor planet in our solar system and it is quite far out. One AU is the distance of from our earth to our sun. Pluto is at ~34 AU, while a more distant “Goblin” is at ~80 AU and an object named “Eris” is at ~96 AU. Farout, by contrast, is currently ~120 AU from the … Continue reading Pinkish “Farout”, New (Minor?) Planet in our Solar System

835 Tubas Playing at Once Win World Record

Here’s is a first: A record largest number of tuba players played the same song together in Kansas City recently. Hear a few seconds of audio with the story about this new world record: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DmJC58JAOU8 A massive tuba ensemble has smashed a Guinness World Record in Kansas City and spread some Christmas cheer. KSHB-TV reports that 835 tuba players performed “Silent Night” on Friday at a downtown arena, setting a new Guinness World Records. The previous record of 502 tuba players in California in 2007. A Guinness official was on hand to verify the feat. The concert was part of … Continue reading 835 Tubas Playing at Once Win World Record