Saturday, March 25, 2017

Put more trust in nobility of character...

In: T-Rex, Rubber Ducky, Penguin. Out: Boot, Thimble, Wheelbarrow. What? Monopoly.

Would you like JPEGS that are one third smaller? Google has an app for that.

Carbon Trifecta is a U.S. tax-exempt organization with a goal to convert CO2 to graphene for use in 3D printing.

If you're spending $45,000 on a wristwatch, why not go all the way and include a drop of the world's oldest whisky, Old Vatted Glenlivet 1862.

The top 50 craft brewers of 2016 includes two in Texas: Gambinus and Real Ale Brewing.
Speaking of maps, the CIA's Flickr page is full of maps.

Woo hoo, we're #77! Colleyville made Bloomberg's list of America's 100 richest places. (Also from Texas, #14 Highland Park, #16 West University Place, #27 University Park, #42 Southlake, #47 Bellaire)

Scruddle is an app for self-curating your news feed. (I know one of the founders.)

A $5,900 desk lets you lie down on the job. But where do you put your coffee mug?
This list of 2017 trends is a bit thin on details but: biomimicry, AI, "learning circles," high-end conferences, and anti-retirement.

Just like the author of this article, I too really enjoy the Blanton Museum at U.T. Austin and it seems a visit is overdue sing they rehung their galleries. (Unfortunately, it appears the museum's website has been hacked.)

New Thelonius Monk album? A soundtrack he did in 1959 for a film will be released later this spring on LP and CD.

...than in an oath. ~Solon

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Good advice is something a man gives...

It has been a fertile spring for  new music. One of the new albums I recently bought was Strangers by Michael Benier and Ritchie DeCarlo. Here's Fulcrum from that album. Or you can give a listen to Night by Daniel Lanois and Venetian Snares.

My friends in the UK may be interested in Their Mortal Remains, an audio-visual retrospective of Pink Floyd's career hosted at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Atlantic Ocean, Newfoundland, 1982. From an article on artists reaching for the sublime I've pulled Sugimoto's photograph which I find simultaneously tranquil and terrifying.
Take your Disney to the beach with Enchanted Bikinis, modeled after Disney princesses.

Hooray us! Fort Worth was ranked 4th in Money magazine's list of top U.S. travel destinations.

Operation Plumbbob, Shot Diablo, 1957. Screen capture from a video of this nuclear test recently posted as part of a playlist by Lawrence Livermore National Lab. These YouTube videos are part of their effort to salvage, restore, and archive thousands of test films.
Going on a trip? You can now check whether you're going to have a bumpy flight with Turbulence Forecast.

A 130 foot long timeline of modern art's evolution at the Tate has been digitized and made interactive.

...when he's too old to set a bad example. ~Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Saturday, March 11, 2017

There lives more faith in honest doubt...

By the numbers...

  1. Soundtrack: Harmonielehre by John Adams.
  2. I swear I have one of these Beanie Babies in a box in the attic. Can I retire now?
  3. An animated short film about Crime and Punishment.
  4. 10 breakthrough technologies of 2017 includes "paying with your face" (leaving me destitute).
  5. I can't keep count of the number of forms of matter and here comes a new one: time crystal
  6. Prepare for Alien Covenant: Meet Walter.
  7. Political correctness originated in the 1970s as "an original ironic invocation of Stalinism. By now we've lost the irony and kept the Stalinism."
  8. In the future, cancer may be detected by a blood test.
  9. It was only a matter of time: a "fitbit" for your penis.
  10. Award winning science images of 2017.
  11. Medical marijuana - you've been doing it wrong. You should be shoving it up your ass.
A picture's worth...
Placenta Rainbow. See science images link above.

The Japanese sure know how to make a great raw meat cake.
...than in half the creeds. ~Alfred Lord Tennyson 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The soul is dyed with...

Music for your listening pleasure and purchasing consideration:
An interesting study of the psychology of music indicates that happy, easy listening music may actually make you more likely to do bad things.
Film instead of music you ask? How about this compilation of every Oscar-winning animated feature film since 2001?
Cartoon Brew opines that Academy voters really don't care about animated films (which may be why Disney has been on such a winning streak). After reading the article, if I reviewed technical papers like the Academy reviewers review animated films I'd be kicked out of my professional society.
Probably not an Oscar candidate, Disney's 1946 film The Story of Menstruation is worth a watch. I learned a lot.

A periodic table of beer.
I'm still a fan of Tom Clancy's fictional universe so it's notable that two new authors will be taking over writing duties for future novels: Marc Cameron for the Jack Ryan Sr. novels and Mike Maden for the Jack Ryan Jr. novels.

I love it. The X-37B remains in orbit for over a year with no plans to land any time soon. Doing what, we can only wonder.

Have you heard about the 8th continent, Zealandia? It's mostly submerged, so...

MapFight lets you compare the relative size of two countries (or U.S. States). Here's Texas versus Japan.
Here's a live webcam showing construction of the Los Angeles Rams' new stadium.

From the Usefulness of Useless Knowledge, "A poem, a symphony, a painting, a mathematical truth, a new scientific fact, all bear in themselves all the justification that universities, colleges, and institutes of research need or require." I may need to add this to my bookshelf next to C.P. Snow's The Two Cultures.

Maps intended to identify this country's "cultural divide" look at things like where TV's Big Bang Theory is most popular. What I immediately see as missing is any indication of population density.

So science does this: venture into a cave 800 meters below ground level where temperatures reach 140 deg. F, discover previously unknown microorganisms living inside huge crystals, and they try to grow them and get them to reproduce. I've seen this horror movie on TV - don't do it.

And up in Canadia, scientists have found perhaps the oldest fossilized microorganisms, 3.77 billion years old. These things ate iron.

Do you really want to know how many gallons of urine are in a swimming pool? Think about that before clicking through.

...the color of its leisure thoughts. ~Dean Inge

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact;

Today's soundtrack is Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel.

My friends in the UK may want to attend Art of Noise's "live reboot" of their album In Visible Silence.

Mixed signals are being heard about Alien 5, the Neill Blomkampf Aliens follow-up. The odds of completion were recently said to be "slim" due to the requirement to wait for Ridley Scott to finish and release Prometheus 2. Being a fan of Blomkampf's District 9, I have been looking forward to his take on Alien.

This is truly amazing. A 4-planet system that's 129 light years away from earth has been directly imaged from ground-based observatories and those images compiled into an animation revealing their orbits. See HR 8799.
Sales of e-books fell 16% from 2015 to 2016. A contributing factor may be that users of dedicated e-book readers buy more e-books than readers who use phones and tablets. And young buyers fall into that latter category.

Triumph attended Trump's inauguration and the results, as expected, are hilarious.

Sadly, the Red Bull Air Race won't be returning to Fort Worth again this year. Its two U.S. stops are Indianapolis and San Diego. Maybe 2018. If you live in either of those two areas I highly recommend attending.

Did Pollock create fractals 25 years before their mathematical discovery? If he did, so what?

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Rust, Blacks on Plum), 1962. From a review of the recent showing of Rothko's paintings at Pace in New York.
You can browse online every MoMA exhibition since 1929 with their new exhibition spelunker. (Is that really the best name they could come up with?)

An interactive map of NYC's skyscrapers.

Award season is coming, including those for animated films.

  • Oscar nominations for best animated feature include favorites Zootopia and Kubo and the Two Strings. And what might seem like common sense: voters should actually have to view the films before voting. But, we've seen recent examples where voting seems to lack common sense.
  • The Annie Awards have been made and Zootopia took best animated film and Piper took best animated short (sound track by Adrian Belew).
  • More coverage of the Annies.
  • Kubo took top honors at the VES awards.

You may recall a while back I reported here that you can now rent Disney's Magic Kingdom for your wedding with fees starting at $150,000. Well for a mere tenth of that you and 11 of you best friends can enjoy a new dining experience at 21 Royal including dinner with all the trimmings and private viewing of some of the nighttime events.

Or you could just visit Disney's Animation Research Library, which is on my bucket list.

You have no more excuses. This is how you do it. Do not hurry. source
The DFW metroplex was ranked 15th best metro area to live in the U.S.

More science: 3-D graphene is 10x stronger than steel and much lighter.

The torch is being passed for TV coverage of the Olympics from one Syracuse alum to another: Bob Costas to Mike Tirico.

While we're on the topic of The Orange, Syracuse University has a new typeface called Sherman.

A periodic table with the cells sized by the element's relative abundance.
Just in case you ever needed some, this website generates progress bars from Unicode symbols.

I only know one person who might be interested in having their ashes pressed into a vinyl record.

How about 10 hours of ambient sounds from an Arctic icebreaker? Wind, snow, and crunching ice.

I couldn't use this on my work blog because it's NSFW but photographer Dani Olivier's Dressed in Light series might as well be called dressed in meshes.
Tears in the Rain, an unofficial Blade Runner short film.

Here's an online painting app that comes close to looking like the real thing.

Composing your own whale song with WhaleSynth seems like a cool idea but I can't get it to make a single sound.

Or you could just play around with this interactive Julia set fractal.

...Everything we see is a perspective, not a truth. ~Marcus Aurelius

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Most people would sooner die than think...

As I type this, the new album The Stone House by Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis, a totally improvised album, is playing.

And then a track, Too Numb, from next month's new album from O.R.k.

And if you have a lot of time, how about the 476 tracks that define the history of electronic music (1937-2001).

Learn to be an artist from Paul Klee. Lesson #4 Weigh the colors.

Stanley Whitney, SunRa, 2016. Looking forward to seeing this exhibition at The Modern.
A compilation of the most beautiful Disney movie scenes.

A time-animated map illustrating the worldwide spread of the five major regions.

Any of my Massachusetts friends should consider taking a trip to the Normal Rockwell museum in Stockbridge before May 29th to see the exhibition Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning.

Imagine if world leaders from history Tweeted like the donald. Fidel Castro: "Ha ha nice try with the exploding cigars. #LOSERS"

Everyone complains that cows pollute. So why not capture their farts and turn that gas into energy? Secondary issue: how big would the bag have to be for the collected gas to make the cow float away?
Come visit Funkytown, aka Fort Worth's Near Southside, and the funky Magnolia Avenue.

This infographic shows relative sizes of bombers, from the B-36 to the B-58.

A great story of the RC-135.

Alas, I didn't see the Diebenkorn-Matisse exhibit in Baltimore but I think it's going to San Francisco next.
Just watch: 10 Bullets.

A recently unearthed and previously untouched 3,500 year old grave of a Mycenaean soldier has changed our ideas about early civilizations.

The online game SWERVE is deceptively hard. And it might make you also want to take the Reaction Time Test. And then you can fly the Red Bull Air Race game. fact, they do so. ~Bertrand Russel

Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Favorite Books of 2016

When I look back at my 2016 reading and remove the business and art books, several noteworthy fiction novels remain. In retrospect, it's clear that I got back into Tom Clancy big-time, both re-reading his older works and some of the new ones where his name is in the title. He created characters that still interest me.

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews was a really good spy thriller involving our Russian friends. The second novel in this series (Palace of Treason) is on my to-read list and the third (The Kremlin's Candidate) is already being teased. Highly recommend. Here's what I wrote about Red Sparrow shortly after finishing it.

I've said this before, but I probably don't read enough science fiction. Neal Stephenson's Seveneves proved that yet again. He presents a fresh but plausible apocalyptic scenario and plays it out in detail to the fullest (how else to explain a plot line that spans millennia). Satisfaction comes from "being in" the plot as I found myself agreeing with how things were progressing while also having my curiosity piqued by wondering if some of the future scenarios might play out like they did. Highly recommend. Here's his website.

What I didn't read is almost as interesting as what I did. City of Mirrors, the 3rd novel in Justin Cronin's Passage trilogy was published but still hasn't found its way onto my to-read list. Loved the first two novels in this post-apocalyptic series so I must finish it. Here's Cronin's website for the trilogy.

But before I start adding to my to-read list, I really need to finish the books I already have.