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What are electronic cigarettes and why should I care about them?

 

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, but the creators of a breakthrough device are hoping to change that by encouraging smokers to use an alternative method. Commonly referred to as “e-cigarettes,” these battery-powered devices come in a variety of shapes and models, including those that resemble standard tobacco cigarettes and those that mimic cigars and tobacco pipes. E-cigarettes work by giving smokers a nicotine hit without actually exposing them to tobacco smoke. This is made possible due to a special chamber (atomizer) with a heating element and a liquid. The actual nicotine is in the liquid, along with propylene glycol and flavorings. The atomizer chamber aerosolizes this liquid, turning it into a vapor that can be inhaled, while also creating a vapor cloud that realistically resembles cigarette smoke.  These vapors are essentially odorless unless the liquid is heavily flavored. Manufacturers claim that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to the conventional use of tobacco in cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Continue Reading →

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An interview with jazz veteran Billy Cobham

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

According to www.whosampled.com, Billy Cobham’s music has been sampled over 40 times, including two signature songs “Red Baron” (sampled eight times) and “Heather” (sampled 15 times) first released during the 1970s. A founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1971, Cobham co-founded his own fusion group in 1969, and then was invited to play on four cuts on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. At age 69, he’s still as strong as ever: Cobham’s current Spectrum 40 tour swings through Minneapolis on October 1 for a one-night stop at the downtown Dakota Jazz Club. “It will be a real pleasure to perform there,” he said during a recent phone interview with the MSR.

On his website, www.billycobham.com, it says that the Panama native, who grew up in New York, got his “first paying gig” when he was only eight years old, then later joined a local drum and bugle corps and attended New York’s famed High School of Music and Art — where he studied music theory and drum technique. “I started on the road in [19]63,” recalls Cobham, who later played in the U.S. Army Band as a percussionist during his three years of military service in the mid-1960s. Continue Reading →

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