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A lot of good teaching goes on at dailyKos.  But a lot of it doesn't get read by everyone who wants to read it, because diaries scroll by so fast.
This series is about diaries that teach and about things you want to learn.  Could be any subject - an academic subject, a skill, a hobby, almost anything - but not diaries that simply inform, or it would include all of daily kos.  http://

What I do is, each week, search for the tags 'teaching' and 'learning' and go through jotter's lists for diaries that teach.  Then I'll post the list, with perhaps some brief comment, and open the floor to people who want to learn something specific.

You can help me by tagging diaries with 'teaching' or 'learning' when you see diaries that merit those tags, by reminding me of what I've missed, by recommending this diary, and by commenting.

For a list of some series and diarists that might appeal, see my diary What are you teaching/learning? and the comments to it we go, alphabetically by diarist

A Siegel has three energy diaries: Saving energy via colorless google and Watery Travelogue and Warmng Bedtime Stories

Asinus Asinum Fricat ran What's for Dinner?, this week it was Tapas

boran2 has volume 101 of Saturday Painting Palooza

BruceMcF talks about High Speed Rail and Local Rail and how Buses and Trains Should be Friends

claude has volume VLII of Home Repair Blogging

dopper0189 talks about why Lincoln's GOP abandoned Black voters to Jim Crow

emeraldmaiden discussed all sorts of crafts in What are you Working on?

Update [2007-7-14 15:9:47 by plf515]: FoundingFatherDAR has diaries on taxation: Capital Gain vs. Ordinary Income and Taxation of equity fund managers

Frankenoid has volume 3.21 of Home and Garden Blogging

gjohnsit talks about the long history and current tragedy of Privatizing the Commons

gmoke continues discussions of old solar, this week, Keck and Keck Twentieth Century Modern

Hexa told what it's like to be the sibling of an LD person in Living with LD: A Sister's Story

lineatus takes us birdblogging, looking at ravens and crows

Lunkhead has another Iron Chef Kos, this week the ingredient is beef

mkfox brings us another Forgotten Founding Father, this week: John Laurens

pfiore8 tells us about the constitution and the Indispensible man

Yours truly, plf515, told you all about Things not to say to LD people or their parents  (and since this is my diary, I'll shamelessly note that tomorrow I will try to tell you what it's like to be LD)

sarahnity discusses preventing identity theft in Frugal Fridays: Stop Thief!

Originally posted to plf515 on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 06:11 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar (21+ / 0-)

    tips, comments, recommends all welcome

    tell us what you want to learn!

    Now up: What are you reading? Coming: What is it like to be LD? and WHYGTL?

    by plf515 on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 06:05:18 AM PDT

  •  So, in last week's "What have you got to learn?" (5+ / 0-)

    I asked:

    I recently learned a song where the three first chords are Amaj7, A#dim7 and Bmin7. If the song is in the key of A major, then why does that A#dim7 work so well in there? Is it some kind of substitution for another chord in the key or what?

    Well, I was unable to get a satisfactory answer, but a guitar playing friend of mine was able to point me in the right direction.

    In this case, A#dim7 is a substitution for F#7 (or, more accurately, F#7b9b5).

    F#7b9b5 implies the following scale: F# G A A# C C# D# E

    A#dim7 implies the following scale: A# C C# D# E F# G A

    As you can see, they imply two versions of the same scale.

    In Marc Sabatella's extremely helpful "A Jazz Improvisation Primer," he explains:

    [D]iminished chords are thus often used as chord subsitutions for the associated dominant chord.

    In this case, an A# diminished chord is used as a substitution for an F# dominant chord.

    He then goes on to give an example which, coincidentally, is the exact same chord progression I asked about last week, but in C instead of A.

    One particulalry common chord progression is Cmaj7, C#dim, Dm7. The C#dim chord here implies the C# diminished scale. ... In this case, the A7b9b5 chord can be substituted for the C#dim chord. ... A7b9b5 and C#dim share the same scale.

    So, to clarify, the chord progression I was playing was basically: Amaj7, F#7, Bmin7. Once the A#dim7 was substituted for the F#7, that became: Amaj7, A#dim7, Bmin7.

    So why is this useful? Well, that sort of chord progression (Amaj7, F#7, Bmin7, or I, VI7, ii) is the beginning of the second most frequently used set of chord changes in jazz, commonly known as "rhythm changes." The whole A section of the progression usually goes something like this (though there are lots of common variations):

    | Amaj7  F#7 | Bmin7  E7 | Amaj7    F#7 | Bmin7  E7 |
    | Emin7   A7 | Dmaj7  G7 | C#min7  F#7 | Bmin7  E7 |

    And if you substitute an A#dim7 for that F#7 in measures 1 and 3:

    | Amaj7  A#dim7 | Bmin7  E7 | Amaj7  A#dim7 | Bmin7  E7 |
    |  Emin7    A7  |  Dmaj7   G7  |  C#min7   F#7  | Bmin7   E7 |

    Phew! Sorry to take up so much room. I hope someone else finds this useful!

    •  Room is not a problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WI Deadhead, JeremyA

      and I'm glad your question got answered

      Now up: What are you reading? Coming: What is it like to be LD? and WHYGTL?

      by plf515 on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 06:16:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Could you help? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WI Deadhead, plf515, jessical, JeremyA

      I'm mathematically inclined, but musically untrained -- thought I've been playing the guitar for over 20 years.

      Do you know of any excellent theory books (from intro onward) that would help get me out of my guitar playing rut?  Your post above was fascinating -- so I'm looking for something that would get me to the point that I understand what you just posted.


      "It's the CONSTITUTION, stupid!"

      by DaveV on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 06:26:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're in luck! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaveV, plf515, jessical

        Over the last three months or so I've become a total theory book junkie. The link above, to Marc Sabatella's "A Jazz Improvisation Primer," is really helpful. Here's how he describes it:

        This primer began as an attempt to put together some answers to questions commonly asked by beginning improvisers. ... In the process of putting the text together, however, it gradually grew into a more comprehensive treatise hopefully suitable as a beginning guide to the self study of jazz improvisation.

        You don't have to want to play jazz to learn from it though, as it covers everything from basic chord and scale theory, intermediate chord/scale relationships like what I posted above, and even more advanced stuff that is still way over my head. Best of all, you can read the whole thing for free online.

        The Joe Pass Guitar Method (which is sometimes printed as The Joe Pass Guitar Style, don't ask me why) was a helpful one for me, too. You can get it on some P2P file sharing networks, like Soulseek, but that's, of course, not, um, entirely legal.

        A guy named Jerry Coker has written a lot of good ones about various topics. How To Listen To Jazz, How To Practice Jazz, Patterns For Jazz, Improvising Jazz, etc. Some of these are on Soulseek, too. They're all published by a guy named Jamey Aebersold. Click on "Aebersold Publications" on the left side of that page for pretty much everything you'll ever need. He has some good information available for free, too, here.

        And then there's Jazz Guitar Online, which, like most websites and books about jazz theory, contains tons of information that you can apply to any kind of music you might be playing. The chord theory section is especially useful.

        Hope these help!

  •  plf515 - special request... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Deadhead, sarahnity, fareast, plf515

    In your diary tomorrow, could you please tell us, from your perspective, what to say to an LD person?  The focus is so often what not to say.  I'm sometimes afraid to approach LD people, because I'm unsure how to act - and that makes me self-conscious.  I'd like to "just be myself" - but that doesn't seem to work either.  I'd really appreciate your guidance.

    "It's the CONSTITUTION, stupid!"

    by DaveV on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 06:19:51 AM PDT

  •  Good morning. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, WI Deadhead, condoleaser, plf515

    Well...more sort of, funk morning...but that's not a standard greeting.

    I'll add a promotion of A Little Bit Special if you can let me know when approximately it will be tomorrow.


    Insurance? For whom? is open
    Teacher's Lounge Saturday, noon EDT

    by rserven on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 07:30:55 AM PDT

  •  the electric bass (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Deadhead, plf515, JeremyA

    is calling to me, louder than ever.

    I'm 55, been playing traditional music on the fiddle for 24 years (as a rank amateur,) but I listen to a lot of rock, and jazz, and I'm always singing the bass line. even with all the other things going on - it might happen. oy.

  •  About LD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have learned a great deal about special needs children in the last 5 years, I am really enjoying the series of diaries on the subject.  We adopted 2 boys in 2001 and they have presented several challenges.  "What not to say" was spot on, thank you for that.

    As a side note, we have found a series of books written from the point of view of a special needs child, they are fantastic.  It starts with Joey Pigza swallowed a key and moves on from there.  If anybody can post a link to a bookstore that carries this series, I think many of y'all would enjoy them very much. is America's Blog of Record

    by WI Deadhead on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 08:27:45 AM PDT

  •  I am teaching children.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, JeremyA

    we must all do the best we can with what we have

    by goofyfoot on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 08:56:32 AM PDT

  •  Question on photo hosting sites. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I set up an account at because Yahoo is closing down their service.  However, when I tried to later go to Photobucket, it was taking forever to load with my dial-up connection.  Are there any other photo websites that are more easily used for those of us with dial-up?  Or do they all have massive graphics?
     BTW - This past week I posted some diaries attempting to teach about a taxation issue that has been in the news (and JE diaries) lately.  But apparently tax is too boring of a topic, especially when competing against C.S. pie fights.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 10:48:03 AM PDT

    •  I saw one of those (0+ / 0-)

      in my search, but it seemed to me that it was about current issues....  It's kind of late now, but I can add them to my list, above, if you'd like

      Now up: What have you got to learn? Coming Sunday morning: What is it like to be LD?

      by plf515 on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 11:27:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is a current issue, but based on comments (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I've read, many here have a misunderstanding of just exactly what the issue is.  Thus, I was attempting to "teach" the finer points and/or correct some of the misperceptions so that people would have a better understanding of the issue when Edwards or other politicians discuss it.
         Apparently I misunderstood the definition of "teaching" you use for your diary.

        My Karma just ran over your Dogma

        by FoundingFatherDAR on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 11:53:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not completely clear on the definition, (0+ / 0-)

          myself, which probably adds to the confusion :-)

          In one sense, almost every diary on dailyKos tries to teach something, so where to draw the line?  I dunno.
          And I've not got time to thoroughly read all the diaries that might belong, I have to decide based on a the title and maybe a very quick skim.

          I'll add your diaries

          Now up: What have you got to learn? Coming Sunday morning: What is it like to be LD?

          by plf515 on Sat Jul 14, 2007 at 12:00:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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