Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Degree-o-rama!

Another entry for Stream of Consciousness Saturday!

Click the picture to play along!
Click the picture to play along!

Degrees… wow, so many degrees in this world….

There are 360 degrees in a circle, and you can measure arcs in degrees or radians. A circle has 360 degrees or 2π radians, since the circumference of a circle with a radius of 1 is 2π. An arc defined by a 45-degree angle is an eighth of a circle, or 2π/8 (π/4) radians. You learn all this stuff in trigonometry, and use it from that point on. Being a math major teaches you stuff like that. And in statistics there are degrees of freedom…

I’m glad I never got my degree in math. I was planning on getting my doctorate at one time, but never got the BS. I have a Bachelor of Business Administration in Production and Operations Management. I got it when there were still factory jobs, but I spent most of my career in IT. I thought ofgf getting and MBA, but I’d have ended up taking most of the same classes as with the BBA. If I worked somewhere that would pay for me to get one, I might have.

And there was the movie Six Degrees of Separation with Will Smith, Donald Sutherland, and Stockard Channing. Stockard Channing was in the movie Grease with Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. I thought she had also done a movie with Kevin Bacon; if she had, her number of degrees of Kevin Bacon would be 1. I guess he’s acted in so many movies, other actors have either worked with him, worked with actors who worked with him, worked with actors who worked with actors who worked with him, etc. So they talk about degrees of Kevin Bacon, and there’s even a website where you can put someone’s name in and get the number of degrees of separation. Christian Bale is two degrees from Kevin, Chuck Norris is also two degrees away, John Wayne is a 2, and so is Charlie Chaplin. Clara Bow is a 3. That’s the sign of a real trouper, that there are so many people who’ve worked with him.

Anyone whose body temperature is above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 degrees Celsius; it was centigrade when I was a kid) has a fever. Miss Peggy Lee sang the song “Fever”…

The blues guitarist Buddy Guy covered it; I heard him do it live at Ratso’s in Chicago when I was in college. I went to the bathroom at the end of the set and who was standing beside me at the urinals but Buddy himself. Nice guy. My friends and I paid a fortune to get out of that club, because we had many drinkies. But we heard Buddy Guy with Junior Wells, an amazing harmonica player.

Speaking of incredible harmonica (or as they say in blues circles, harp) players, Marion “Little Walter” Jacobs had a song like “Fever” called “Temperature.” Walter joined up with Muddy Waters in the early 1950’s. Together they, along with many others, defined the Chicago-style blues, similar to Delta blues but with electric instruments and drums. Walter held a microphone while he played the harp, giving him that sound. He played both the standard diatonic harmonica (so named because each hole gives you two notes, one when you blow and one when you draw) and the chromatic harmonica (it has a button on the side that shifts all the notes up a half-step so you can play sharps and flats). I guess he got in a fight in 1968 and they found him dead, stuffed in a garbage dumpster.

Monday in the blues clubs in Chicago is known as “Blue Monday” and it’s a day when musicians get together and jam. Maybe I should make Monday “Blue Monday” here on the blog…

The Three Degrees was a singing group from Philadelphia. Their first hit was “When Will I See You Again? (Precious Moments)” in 1974. The lineup at the time was Fayette Pinkney, Valerie Holiday, and Sheila Ferguson, though I can’t tell you which is which in this video. Whatever, it’s a lovely song sung by three attractive women with fanatstic voices.

The Knights of Columbus have four degrees, or levels, of membership. My great-grandfather was a Fourth Degree Knight, the highest level; I have his sash, and one of my brothers has his sword. Father (now Venerable) Michael McGivney started the Knights of Columbus in 1882 as an alternative to the Freemasons, which Catholic men were (and I think still are) forbidden to join.

Finally, Degree is a brand of anti-perspirant in the US and Canada. It’s called Sure in the UK and Ireland, Rexena in Japan and South Korea, Shield in South Africa, and Rexona everywhere else. It was developed by Helene Curtis, which was founded in Chicago; they’ve since been bought out by Unilever. Here’s an ad from 1993.

I’d continue, but it’s 10:45 PM and I’m beat. I’ve been writing all day. Wunderground.com tells me it’s 52.6° Fahrenheit, which is 11.44° centigrade. Old habits die hard…

12 thoughts on “Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Degree-o-rama!

  1. Yeah, my stream of consciousness had more than a few tributaries….

    Love that line!

    I think I have three degrees of separation, but it’s hearsay. I worked with a girl whose last name was Sedgwick, and she said that Kyra was her cousin…

    I loved this wandering exploration of degrees.

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    1. I was really surprised how much the word “degree” is used and for so many different things. Every time I would think I was done I would think of another use of it. Pretty soon there’d be so many tributaries I’d need Sacagawea to get me out of there…

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  2. My head hurts… This a very true stream-of-consciousness post, the math part is what made my head hurt, it’s getting better now. Watching that last video with The Three Degrees was interesting, I love the song but I kept thinking “They’re lip-synching, and they have to manually turn themselves on those stools to face the camera and their dresses are getting stuck in their heels and oh my god look at that wig the center Degree is wearing, and I know I was a teenager in the 70’s but wow! I don’t remember stuff like this” I am the queen of run-on sentences… I love this post, thank you. 🙂

    Mary

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    1. The math part has my head hurting as well, andf I wrote the darn thing. I was tempted to look up “degrees of freedom” then I thought, no, I really don’t want to go there.

      I heard “When Will I See You Again?” hundreds of times when I was in high school and college, but don’t remember ever seeing The Three Degrees. This was the first time I saw them “do” this song.

      Glad you liked the post…

      ________________________________

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