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I have the joy of being able to tell you that, though deaf and blind, I spent a glorious hour last night listening over the radio to Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.” I do not mean to say that I “heard” the music in the sense that other people heard it; and I do not know whether I can make you understand how it was possible for me to derive pleasure from the symphony. It was a great surprise to myself…

What was my amazement to discover that I could feel, not only the vibrations, but also the impassioned rhythm, the throb and the urge of the music! The intertwined and intermingling vibrations from different instruments enchanted me. I could actually distinguish the cornets, the roll of the drums, deep-toned violas and violins singing in exquisite unison. How the lovely speech of the violins flowed and plowed over the deepest tones of the other instruments! When the human voice leaped up trilling from the surge of harmony, I recognized them instantly as voices. I felt the chorus grow more exultant, more ecstatic, upcurving swift and flame-like, until my heart almost stood still.

Decades before her extraordinary first experience of dance, Hellen Keller – quite possibly humanity’s greatest testament to optimism – recounts “hearing” Beethoven for the first time in this gorgeous letter.

(Source: explore-blog)

incognitomoustache:

saintbucky:

Anthony Mackie being the first black superhero (and making Bill O’Reilly uncomfortable) on Jimmy Fallon (x)

I am so happy that Anthony Mackie is a person that exists.

For anyone who’s going: “But what about Storm/Hancock/Frozone/War Machine etc etc?”: they’re referring to the fact that the character Falcon was the first African-American superhero* created (debuted in Captain America #177 in 1969). If you’ve watched the clip, you’ll notice that Mackie corrects Jimmy Fallon when he says first black superhero. This is because the first black superhero was Black Panther - debuted in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966 - whom lives in the fictive African country Wakanda, and is thus not a citizen of the USA.

(* = the word “superhero” is usually not used for hero characters that pre-date Superman, nor actually very often used outside the mainstream comic book companies aka DC Comics and Marvel Comics. This is why such characters as The Phantom, created in 1936 aka 2 years before Superman, and whom wears spandex and a mask and punches evil guys in the face, is not generally dubbed a super hero. Anyway, the point of this asterisk is that I have no idea how many fictional, non-“super” hero characters there were of African decent before 1966)

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