Stella Nox: scientist-turned-teacher, wife, momma, awesome. Dabbler in writing, photography, and DIY projects. For more info, see "About (More)" page, duh.
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So @TheCapitolPN tweeted this
which was promptly deleted. (G-Bb-A-D are the notes to Rue’s whistle.)
But if you had clicked inspect element before it was deleted
"You silence our voices, but we are still heard."
HOW COOL IS THIS MARKETING?!?! Like the rebels are hacking into the capitol’s twitter!!!!
The trailers are just as cool.
Side quests and non-musical experiences at Firefly 2014. (post 3 of 4)
In addition to our primary objective of seeing as many music performances as possible, I do so love a good side quest.
1. Find Bryce (our free room-and-board for the weekend) to deliver his phone charger. This ended up being my introduction to San Fermin, whom I was not particularly interested in seeing. First of all, they are a band of beautiful people. Secondly, they are orchestral. They are classified as “Chamber Pop” because in addition to three primary vocalists, they have a violin, saxophone, trumpet, keyboard, and I believe also a small percussion pit (I couldn’t quite see that far to the back of the stage… short girl problems plagued me for the entirety of the festival…). They surprised me and I am glad that I ended up seeing them just because of our mini-quest.
2. Dogfish Head Brewery. This is kind of self-explanatory, but it was a great tour, good beer, and riddled with interesting anecdotes.
3. Finding the Silent Disco. Ever since I watched a British romance (can’t for the life of me find the title), but not, “Tonight You’re Mine,” I’ve been intrigued by a silent disco. For those of you that are unfamiliar, it’s the same as a dance club, but everyone is wearing headphones and listening to either whatever the deejay is transmitting, or you can wear your own headphones and jam to your own music. So yeah… everyone’s dancing in an enclosed space, often with a light show, but it’s completely silent. I know it sounds weird, but it has made its way onto my bucket list.
Unfortunately, the area dubbed by Firefly organizers as “The Thicket” was apparently some sort of mirage. Sure, it was on the map, but I walked by that area several times on my trek between the main stage and the Lawn Stage, and I only saw that joker once! On our last night, I was determined to find it before we left, and we did so, but there was a surprisingly (and disappointingly) long line to get into the place. It’s on my to-do list for next year.
4. Waking up Quintin. Remember that Beer garden that I mentioned in post #1? It was outside of the Dogfish Head Beer Tent, and it was set up like your traditional Biergarten with loads of long, crowded picnic tables. We were getting hungry and needed a break from all of the trekking, so we were pretty interested in finding a spot there to hang out for a while. My friend and I spotted a large expanse of picnic table that was occupied by only two other people. One was a guy with his head down, a passed-out day-drunk. The other was his friend that was obviously bored to tears at having to babysit his passed out friend. We asked if he minded if we sat down and hung out for a while listening to Imagine Dragons on the main stage before going on a food trek. To help pass the time, we may have made a game out of getting Quintin (the day-drunk) to wake up. At one point, I photobombed him, he wore a pink fedora, and we might have poked fun at him a little (see photo). He finally woke up three hours later. Like the good samaritans that we are, we gave him some water and our leftover food. At least he woke up in time to see Outkast.
5. Creating BINGO for next year. Sadly, this was not an original idea, as I found one posted on Facebook the other day. However, I think ours is better, and because I’m a teacher, I know about BINGO-card-making websites so we can actually have different cards for our participants. I kind of want to find a BINGO-creating app. I bet it exists. Personally, I think that whoever gets BINGO first should be bought a beverage at some point during the festival by each person participating in the game. Here’s our list so far (I also added a few gimmes to the end of the list, but I am probably forgetting a few too):
Did you really make it to the end of this? Seriously?!?! Thanks for reading! Have I convinced you to check this out next year, or what?
I never thought myself to be a music festival type of gal, but I recently attended the Firefly Festival at the Woodlands in Dover, DE, and it greatly exceeded my expectations. I thought that it was well organized, the venue contained a variety of amenities, and the lineup was phenomenal. We also got extremely lucky with the weather we had - it never rained! I had the great privilege of staying at my friend’s brother’s apartment, which was just a 10 minute drive from the venue. Driving there was easy, rarely congested (as compared to going to/from a concert at a typical venue), and parking was free! The only downside I can think of was the distance we had to walk each day over fist-sized gravel. If you’re thinking about visiting next year (tickets are currently available for presale at $199), read on for some details and tips that I learned this year. This is going to be a series of four posts: tips, my music experience, my side quests, and next year’s plans.
First, Festival Tips
Preparing for the trip:
My whole group, including myself, felt that we really overpacked for the trip because we had to be prepared for sun, heat, nightly chills and rain. In general, I would recommend wearing shorts and a tank top or tee, or a breezy summer dress with shorts underneath (see photo). While comfortable flip-flops, like Rainbows, were the staple, having sneakers is definitely preferable because of all of the dust, dirt, and aforementioned rocks you must walk over. You also need to bring sunscreen and a water bottle! Next year, I am bringing a bandana for over my face (so I can avoid black snot from inhaling so much dust, but really so I can look like a bandit). Everyone inhaled so much dust that someone made, “I survived Firefly lung” T-shirts. At least I wasn’t the only one that had trouble.
Attending the festival:
Bring a small drawstring backpack or Camelbak pack to carry extra shoes, your water bottle, money, phone, rain jacket, blanket/towel, and sunscreen. I am so glad that we invested in one locker to share because it allowed us to walk around unencumbered, which was definitely preferable for the times that we wanted to be in the crowd closer to the stage. If you are going for the whole thing, I’d recommend pre-ordering a locker for all the days because then you get the same one everyday and can leave your blanket and sunscreen and those kinds of items overnight. The blanket is debateable itself because it depends on how desperate you are to sit down, which stage you want to be near, and, if it’s the main stage you fancy, if you can procure a seat in the Beergarden (more on that later). Some things that impressed me with the organization of the festival were the fact that they provided phone-charging stations and WiFi areas, free water (but hopefully they’ll have more stations next year), lockers, and they had delicious food that wasn’t as pricey as I expected. Some things that disappointed me were the cost of beer: Bud Light 16 oz. aluminum bottles were $7!!! I knew beer and food would be expensive within the venue, but sheesh. You can get a 22 oz. tall boy for $10 at the concert venues in my area, and while that’s actually about two-cents per ounce more expensive, at least it saves me a wait in line. We determined that it was actually much more cost-effective to pay the extra dollar for a 12oz. Dogfish Head beers due to their much higher ABV. Yeah, we’re nerds like that.
Leaving the festival:
I saw a lot of posts on the Firefly Facebook Fan Page about returning to the real world. There is something to be said for that. While there, everyone is completely uninhibited (for some, to their detriment - or maybe mine (my eyes, my eyes!)), willing to chat up strangers, and generally looking to have fun. Most of the behaviors that make the experience memorable, make you a weirdo in the real world. It’s also hard not to talk everyone’s ear off about how amazing your experience was, and then not to feel slighted when they just don’t get it.
Firefly Music Festival is a premier music experience set among lush wooded landscapes, featuring renowned headliners and emerging artists. Witness unforgettable performances and discover the engaging attractions nestled around every turn that make Firefly a can’t-miss summer tradition for music fans from around the world.
Next year’s plans (post 4 of 4)
Note: All pre-sale general admission passes are sold out now. I didn’t buy my ticket for this past festival until January (about 6 months before) and it was still worth it.
1. Must find cheap lodging. We are considering renting an RV or camper, and now know of a few of the closest hotels that can be booked through the Firefly website itself. Personally, I have no interest in camping in tent city. It’s not that I mind camping, but I like my old-fart habits, of sleeping, quiet time, and a solid shower. The tent sites are quite literally on top of one another and I would hate to have to lug all of my crap over there in the first place, but that’s just me.
2. Firefly BINGO will be played. First winner earns beverages from the other participants.
3. Before the lineup is announced, say around the holidays, I want to hold a pool of festival performers. 3 points for a main stage act, 2 points for a lawn stage act, and 1 point for a minor stage act. Participants can choose 10 acts. The person with the most points earns beverages from the other participants.
4. Must work out. We covered anywhere from 10-12 miles on a given day just by walking to and from the parking lot and among the various stages. I ran a half marathon in March and gave myself a mild case of runner’s knee. Therefore, I had not really exercised much between then and the festival in June. My legs were sore and my feet hurt like hell.
5. Bring a bandana so as to not suffer from Firefly lung. Sure, I’ll look like a bandit. I kind of like that. If you didn’t read my first post, there is so much dust kicked up by people walking that you will inhale a fair amount of it and end up with black snot if you don’t take preventative measures.
6. Drink more water. I had a dehydration headache during the Foo Fighters set and it was definitely a downer.
7. Pre-order a locker for the whole festival.
8. Get more people to join us! If you are at all interested in coming to Firefly 2015, I hope you’ll contact me, at least for a meetup. That goes for any virtual friends here on Tumblr or Twitter as well. P.S. The weather was quite gorgeous that time of year up in Delaware, though I can’t say the same for when I returned a few weeks later to actually camp. Sweltering. Another reason I don’t want to stay in tent city.
As always, thanks for reading!
My musical experience at Firefly (post 2 of 4)
I have to say that I was not solely devoted to any one act that was appearing at the festival. I went with two friends: one was a die-hard Foo Fighters fan, and my other friend was the same for Outkast. I, however, knew a few songs by about 20 of the acts that were on the lineup, which made it very difficult for me to choose. Arctic Monkeys were probably at the top of my list after Foo Fighters and Outkast.
Here are the bands that I saw perform: Foo Fighters, Outkast, Imagine Dragons, Beck, Arctic Monkeys, Grouplove, Amos Lee, American Authors, Johnnyswim, Girl Talk and San Fermin plus a few more bands that I caught in passing. Honestly, I feel like this was a pretty poor showing, considering there were over 50 acts available. However, the number and quality of the performances was certainly worth the money I spent to go. I was really disappointed that I didn’t get to see Third Eye Blind perform “Semi-Charmed Life,” and that we were not able to stay for Sunday to see Weezer, The Lumineers, and Jack Johnson.
Again, I have to say that part of the problem was the sheer distance that had to be covered between the two main stages, which is where the more popular acts performed. It was a good 10-15 minute walk, depending on how crippled or inebriated you were and the amount of people you had to meander through. Add to this, the vast amount of time spent standing in line waiting for a Port-a-John (FYI: For your sake, bring your own tissues/TP and hand sanitizer), water refill, phone-charging station, food (I ate an entire meal standing in another food line), etc.
There were also a few conflicted acts that forced me to make some tough choices. I would have also liked to see Kodaline, the Kaiser Chiefs, Band of Horses, Phosphorescent, Ms Mr, Bleachers, and Twenty-One Pilots, but it just didn’t happen.
I have to say that the Foo Fighters put on the best performance. Dave Grohl seemed like he was genuinely at his happiest when he was performing for and interacting with a crowd. Taylor Hawkins, their drummer was the same, and wore a Cheshire-cat grin the entire time that he was playing. He actually smiled more emphatically when he hit a drum or cymbal. A deaf person could simply watch his face and be able to ascertain the rhythm of the song. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone or any group that was so happy to be performing in front of a crowd. It was infectious.
They also had the best encore I’ve ever seen. Dave and Taylor had a pre-recorded debate about the number of songs they’d perform for an encore, finally “deciding” on a five-song set. Not only that, but they performed it as a cover band called The Holy Shits (with a banner and everything), and included Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out,” the Rolling Stones’ “Miss you,” Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love,” Queen’s “Under Pressure,” and their own “Everlong.” It was utterly fantastic, and I felt like I witnessed rock concert history.
I thought that Outkast was great too, save the fact that they did not perform an encore. Opening with “B.O.B.” was a great way to set the tone, but I would have ended with “Hey Ya” and not “The Whole World.” Their show wasn’t as interactive or engaging as Foo Fighters, but they sounded great and had a good setlist. Seriously though, not coming back for an encore was in poor form, especially after the Foo Fighters had such an epic encore the night before.
One of my favorite things about live performances includes hearing bands that I enjoy covering the music of other artists. I think what is chosen as the cover song says a lot about an artist/band, and I love hearing other artists’ perspectives. I also think it’s one of the greatest compliments that can be paid in the music industry and admire those that are willing to pay out those compliments to others. I already mentioned the Foo Fighters encore, but I was treated to several other covers as well: American Authors covered “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line, Imagine Dragons covered Rush’s “Tom Sawyer,” Amos Lee made me laugh with a cover of “Single Ladies” by Beyonce, and Beck did a quite stylish cover of “Billie Jean” (I shouldn’t have to tell you who sings that).
All in all, it was well worth the money spent to experience the seemingly few performances that I did. Have you bought a pre-sale pass yet?
Scientists at Facebook have published a paper showing that they manipulated the content seen by more than 600,000 users in an attempt to determine whether this would affect their emotional state. The paper, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” was published inThe Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. It shows how Facebook data scientists tweaked the algorithm that determines which posts appear on users’ news feeds—specifically, researchers skewed the number of positive or negative terms seen by randomly selected users. Facebook then analyzed the future postings of those users over the course of a week to see if people responded with increased positivity or negativity of their own, thus answering the question of whether emotional states can be transmitted across a social network. Result: They can! Which is great news for Facebook data scientists hoping to prove a point about modern psychology. It’s less great for the people having their emotions secretly manipulated.
In order to sign up for Facebook, users must click a box saying they agree to the Facebook Data Use Policy, giving the company the right to access and use the information posted on the site. The policy lists a variety of potential uses for your data, most of them related to advertising, but there’s also a bit about “internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.” In the study, the authors point out that they stayed within the data policy’s liberal constraints by using machine analysis to pick out positive and negative posts, meaning no user data containing personal information was actually viewed by human researchers. And there was no need to ask study “participants” for consent, as they’d already given it by agreeing to Facebook’s terms of service in the first place.
Facebook data scientist Adam Kramer is listed as the study’s lead author. In an interview the company released a few years ago, Kramer is quoted as saying he joined Facebook because “Facebook data constitutes the largest field study in the history of the world.” It’s a charming reminder that Facebook isn’t just the place you go to see pictures of your friends’ kids or your racist uncle’s latest rant against the government—it’s also an exciting research lab, with all of us as potential test subjects.