Friday, July 29, 2016

Party in the Park at T.R.A.C.S

T.R.A.C.S at the Park on River Island

McArthur Park - Donna Summer

"MacArthur Park"
Spring was never waiting for us dear
 It ran one step ahead
 As we followed in the dance

 MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
 All the sweet, green icing flowing down
 Someone left the cake out in the rain
 I don't think that I can take it
 'cause it took so long to bake it
 And I'll never have that recipe again
 Oh, nooooo

 I recall the yellow cotton dress
 Foaming like a wave
 On the ground beneath your knees
 The birds like tender babies in your hands
 And the old men playing chinese checkers by the trees

 MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
 All the sweet green icing flowing down
 Someone left the cake out in the rain
 I don't think that I can take it
 'Cause it took so long to bake it
 And I'll never have that recipe again
 Oh, nooooo

 MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
 All the sweet green icing flowing down
 Someone left my cake out in the rain
 I don't think that I can take it
 'Cause it took so long to make it
 And I'll never have that recipe again
 Oh, nooooo

"MacArthur Park" is written and composed by Jimmy Webb. Although it was a commercial success several times after its initial release, "MacArthur Park" has been called the worst song ever written. Its flowery lyrics and metaphors (most famously, lost love being likened to a cake left out in the rain) have been described as "polarizing" and "loopy." Webb commented: "Those lyrics were all very real to me: there was nothing psychedelic about it to me. The cake, it was an available object. It was what I saw in the park at the birthday parties."


A park is an area of natural, semi-natural, or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of grassy areas, rocks, soil, and trees, but may also contain buildings and other artifacts such as monuments, fountains or playground structures. In North America, many parks have fields for playing sports such as soccer, baseball and football, and paved areas for games such as basketball. Many parks have trails for walking, biking and other activities. Some parks are built adjacent to bodies of water or watercourses, and these parks may comprise a beach or boat dock area. Often, the smallest parks are in urban areas, where a park may take up only a city block or less. Urban parks often have benches for sitting and they may contain picnic tables and barbecue grills. Parks have differing rules regarding whether dogs can be brought into the park: some parks prohibit dogs; some parks allow them with restrictions (e.g., use of a leash); and some parks, which may be called "dog parks," permit dogs to run off-leash.
The largest parks can be vast natural areas of hundreds of thousands of square kilometers (thousands of square miles), with abundant wildlife and natural features such as mountains and rivers. In many large parks, camping in tents is allowed with a permit. Many natural parks are protected by law, and users may have to follow restrictions (e.g., rules against open fires or bringing in glass bottles). Large national and sub-national parks are typically overseen by a park ranger or a park warden. Large parks may have areas for canoeing and hiking in the warmer months and, in some northern hemisphere countries, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in colder months.

Noorderplantsoen is an urban public park in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands, situated slightly north of the city center. Its name is Dutch for northern public garden.

In 1874 the Vestingswet was passed. This law allowed cities to expand outside of the city walls and fortifications. Since the fortifications were no longer in use, they were transformed into a public park. The earth ramparts were incorporated in the park architecture and the moats were turned into ponds. The architecture is of an English garden style, characterized by meandering paths and serpentine ponds, inspired by wild nature. The shape of the park still reflects the former purpose of the area: the long but narrow park curves around the old city. The park includes an Art Nouveau bandstand and a small restaurant.
Until the mid-90s the Noorderplantsoen was split up by a busy road, but a referendum in 1994 decided - with a narrow majority - to close this road for motorized traffic.

Every year a number of events take place in the Noorderplantsoen, of which the Noorderzon Theater Festival is well known. This cultural event takes place at the end of August and is visited by over 125,000 visitors. Many theater, dance and music groups from The Netherlands and abroad perform during this 11-day festival.

Another well-known event in the Noorderplantsoen is the plantsoenloop. This run through the park is held annually in October or early November and attracts about 500 runners. In 2007 the 50th edition of the plantsoenloop took place.

The statue of Joost van den Vondel in the late 19th century
The Vondelpark is a public urban park of 47 hectares (120 acres) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the borough of Amsterdam-Zuid and situated west from the Leidseplein and the Museumplein. The park was opened in 1865 and originally named the "Nieuwe Park", but later renamed to "Vondelpark", after the 17th-century playwright and poet Joost van den Vondel. Yearly, the park has around 10 million visitors. In the park is an open-air theatre, a playground and several horeca* facilities.
*Horeca (or HORECA) is an abbreviation used in Europe for the sector of the food industry that consists of establishments which prepare and serve food and beverages (food service). The term is a syllabic abbreviation of the words Hotel/Restaurant/Café.

Friday, July 22, 2016


We know what you're thinking: "You want me to sit still and try not to think? I'm way too busy for that." The Sanskrit word "yoga" means "union with the divine". Meditation is also a key facet of yoga. But meditation is so much more—practicing has both mental and physical health benefits.
T.R.A.C.S at the Temple on River Island

Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)

"Orinoco Flow", also released as "Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)", is a song by the Irish singer-songwriter and musician Enya, released in October 1988 on Warner Music internationally and Geffen Records in the United States. It was released as the lead single from her second studio album, Watermark (1988). It topped the UK singles chart for three weeks.

The song was released as the lead single from Enya's second studio album, Watermark, in October 1988. It became a global success, reaching #1 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, where it stayed at the top of the music charts for three weeks. In the United States, the song peaked at #24 in the spring of 1989. The song was also highly popular in the early 1990s and was featured on many pop music compilations.

In 1994, the song was licensed to Virgin Records for the best-selling new-age music compilation album Pure Moods, and in 1998 a special-edition 10th-anniversary remix single was released. Part of its name is derived from Orinoco Studios (now Miloco Studios), where it was recorded, and its pizzicato chords (generated by altering the Roland D-50 synthesizer's "Pizzagogo"/"Fantasia" patches) are highly recognizable. Signed to WEA by Rob Dickins, who served as executive producer of Watermark, "Orinoco Flow" was inspired by the Venezuelan river, and it paid homage to Dickins in the line "with Rob Dickins at the wheel."

I think you all know the original. This is a great remix.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.
The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.

The word meditation carries different meanings in different contexts. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs. Meditation often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way. Meditation is often used to clear the mind and ease many health concerns, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. It may be done sitting, or in an active way—for instance, Buddhist monks involve awareness in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training. Prayer beads or other ritual objects are commonly used during meditation in order to keep track of or remind the practitioner about some aspect of that training.

Meditation may involve generating an emotional state for the purpose of analysing that state—such as anger, hatred, etc.—or cultivating a particular mental response to various phenomena, such as compassion. The term "meditation" can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state. Meditation may also involve repeating a mantra and closing the eyes. The mantra is chosen based on its suitability to the individual meditator. Meditation has a calming effect and directs awareness inward until pure awareness is achieved, described as "being awake inside without being aware of anything except awareness itself." In brief, there are dozens of specific styles of meditation practice, and many different types of activity commonly referred to as meditative practices.


Snapshots of te party.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


T.R.A.C.S at Timothy Street on River Island

Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell

"Somebody's Watching Me" is a song by American singer Rockwell from his debut studio album Somebody's Watching Me (1984). It was released as Rockwell's debut single and lead single from the album in January 14, 1984, by Motown. It features former Jackson 5 members Michael Jackson (vocals in the chorus) and Jermaine Jackson (additional backing vocals).

"Somebody's Watching Me" became a commercial success internationally, topping the charts in Belgium, France and Spain. "Somebody's Watching Me" also peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as reaching number six on the UK Singles Chart.


The Security Service, also MI5 (Military Intelligence, Section 5), is the United Kingdom's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and Defence Intelligence (DI). MI5 is directed by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), and the service is bound by the Security Service Act 1989 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994. The service is directed to protect British parliamentary democracy and economic interests, and counter terrorism and espionage within the UK.

Within the civil service community the service is colloquially known as Box 500 (after its official wartime address of PO Box 500; its current address is PO Box 3255, London SW1P 1AE).
The service has had a national headquarters at Thames House on Millbank in London since 1995, drawing together personnel from a number of locations into a single HQ facility. 
Thames House was, until March 2013, shared with the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and is also home to the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, a subordinate organisation to the Security Service. The service has offices across the United Kingdom including an HQ in Northern Ireland.
Details of the northern operations centre in Greater Manchester were revealed by the firm who built it. Plans to open the northern operations centre were reported by The Manchester Evening News in February 2005, and plans to open a permanent Scottish office in Glasgow were reported by The Scotsman in January of that year.

16 July 1993: Secret Service goes public
Britain's internal security service, MI5, has held the first photocall in its 84-year history.
Stella Rimington, 56, became the first Director General of the MI5 to pose openly for cameras at the launch of a brochure outlining the organisation's activities
She was made the first female head of MI5 last year - following another unprecedented public announcement - after 22 years in the service.
Journalists were invited to their first official briefing by a senior MI5 official where they were warned that this was not the beginning of "a great avalanche of openness".

The difference between MI5 and MI6
The MI5 seeks to protect the United Kingdom, its citizens and interests from internal and external threats while the MI6 focuses exclusively on external threats. The MI6 is officially known as the Secret Intelligence Service.
The MI6 is the government agency to which the famous international spy, James Bond, belongs.