Saturday, November 28, 2015

Lots of New Music Out There

There's lots of new music out there or, if not already out, coming soon. Here are a few that have caught my attention (in no particular order).

Colin Edwin is posting on Facebook and Twitter that he and Jon Durant have started working on their next album as Burnt Belief (link is to website for previous album). Status = waiting patiently

I just discovered Trey Gunn's 2-disc "best of" album called I'll Tell What I Saw. Status = just ordered.

A fan (presumably) compiled all of the free tracks released on King Crimson's website into what looks like 34 albums (volumes they're called) sorted by performer. The site is called The Forbidden Files. Status = have started downloading. (Warning: lots of ad crap.)

TU, the duo of Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto, have a live recording called Official Bootleg that I just discovered. Their Live in Russia album is a favorite of mine. Status = just ordered.

The duo of Colin Edwin and Alessandro Pedretti (aka Endless Tapes) have a debut album up for pre-order. Brilliant Waves is due for release in January. Status = bookmarked

Ilimaq is a collaboration between composer John Luther Adams and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche. Percussive and ambient? Status = thinking

The latest album from progressive fusion band Naked Truth was recently released. Status = listening and enjoying.

And to round it out, I'm currently enjoying my annual purchase of this year's album, Lab 2015, from the University of North Texas' One O'Clock Lab Band. Status = enjoying

Gratitude turns what we have...

A new short film about the adventures of Scat, that squirrel from Ice Age.

The quantum energy states of a hydrogen atom contains the formula for pi. Pause to consider.

One reason why the engineer-turned-marketer can be the hardest person to work for: stop being such a perfectionist.

If you're in the DFW area, take time to visit the Dallas Museum of Art for Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, the only U.S. stop for this exhibit of Pollock's black drip paintings.

If you're in Tehran (?), an almost literally hidden treasure is the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. (If you think about it, it's surprising that these works haven't been destroyed by now by the nut-jobs who run that country.)

And while I'm not one to judge, Russia may be a bit out of the way to go see Sly Stallone's paintings.

Adolph Gottlieb, Burst, 1973. source
If you have two hours to spare, watch this 1976 interview with art critique extraordinaire Clement Greenberg in which he says Adolph Gottlieb is a vastly under-appreciated painter (better than De Kooning, Klein, and maybe even Still).

(Lots of art today.) The Jones family's latest addition to the art on display at AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys) is Ellsworth Kelly's White Form 2012. If you are not aware of it, the stadium has an impressive collection of artworks that you can enjoy in person (they're on display in public areas that everyone can see during games) or online via their own Facebook page.

Ridley Scott says that Alien: Covenant will be the sequel to Prometheus. And it's nothing like Neill Blomkamp's proposed Alien film in which a grown-up Newt would've starred.

Ever wonder why airplane propellers look funny when photographed? Here's why.

ICYMI, the Raspberry Pi Zero sells for $5; a computer for a fiver. (Yes, I know. It bothers me too. Why not call it the Pi Five?)

...into enough. ~anonymous

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Reality leaves a lot...

Star Trek predicted the future: researchers have developed transparent aluminum.

Mystery Science Theater is one of the two funniest TV shows I've even seen, the other being Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. There's a Kickstarter campaign to bring MST back and it's already exceeded its goal of $2 million.

A new gene here, a new gene there and soon you have a blue strawberry.
Aviation nerds: watch time-lapse video of a Spitfire being reassembled.

History buffs should enjoy this high-resolution 3D photo tour of Ellis Island.

College majors with the highest starting salaries. Yes, comp sci and engineering are #1 and #2. But check out #6.

Distance to the nearest grocery store. Longer lines identify food deserts.
Fourteen more maps. And a video history of counties in the U.S.A.

Writing a novel or screenplay? You're in luck. The 37 basic plots were documented back in 1919 for your reference. #13 Disastrous situation precipitated without criminal intent: fatal indiscretion.

Or you can just consult the Writer's Guild of America's list of the 101 funniest screenplays. #4 is Airplane!

NASA's Voyager spacecraft includes 116 images to introduce humans to extraterrestrials. But I bet there are a lot of humans who'd benefit from understanding them too.

The periodic table of  jack o' lanterns. (Only a month late.)
Neuroscience explains why bass instruments are fundamental to music.

UCSB has made available recordings made from old cylinders.

Color photos from America in 1910.

Brice Marden, Uphill 4, 2014. From his exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery in NYC.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from a long-lost 1928 film, Sleigh Bells.

And in other "lost things" news, does anyone know how to assemble a whale skeleton?

Just in time for holiday shopping comes the history of electronic music in poster form - Electric Love Blueprint (detail shown above).
From the rumor mill: Chrome OS is going to be rolled into Android.

Average marriage age worldwide. source (This map's data legend can use a little Tufte-esque improvement to make it more legible cuz I can't tell what age is indicated by the color for the U.S.)
Have you ever wondered where you can touch another person on their body? Well worry no more. Science has mapped that out for you.

Nutscaping. Think about what that might be, then click the link. On a related note, there's still time to fund the Scrote'n'Tote.

And now, a dance party. the imagination. ~John Lennon

Saturday, October 31, 2015

It takes patience to appreciate domestic bliss...

From the Things You Didn't Think Could Be Seen Department comes film of  a person born in the 1700s.

Check out the video for Fish Bowl from Lorenzo Feliciati's album KOI.

Animations from Monty Python's Holy Grail that didn't make the cut.

A page from one of Richard Diebenkorn's sketchbooks hosted online at Stanford.
Lest you think graphic presentation of data is an entirely new Tufte thing, Brinton's Graphic Presentation, a classic book from 1939, is available online and for download in a variety of formats.

Best aviation pr0n video I've seen all year: Hornet Ball 2015.

If scientists had logos. source
Soundbytes from Brian Eno's John Peel Lecture include the realization that the arts expose you to certain joys in a false world so that you can seek them out in the real world.

Forbes' list of top the top 25 public colleges includes Georgia Tech (#15), Univ. of Texas (#13), Univ. of Wisconsin Madision (#11), and the Air Force Academy (#5).

Property tax rate by state. It's nice that Texas doesn't have an income tax, but as this map shows, they're gonna get your money one way or the other.
Know where yer satellites are with SatelliteSurfer.

The History of Cartography, now online in PDF format thanks to the U of Chicago.

What does your zipper have to do with quantum field theory?

For typography geeks: math and puzzle fonts. And a super hero alphabet.

This is Hwy 80 coming in to Fort Worth from the west in 1942. It's from a nationwide collection of photos 1935-1945 hosted by Yale.
How about an HD video of the Mars Curiosity Rover's descent to the planet's surface?

Over 14,000 photos from NASA's Apollo missions are on Flickr.

Explore the musical career of the great Miles Davis on this interactive timeline.
Reads like an encyclopedia of football.

How many years do you have left to live? I'm told with a 40% probability that I've got about 30-39 years left (and 0% that I've got 50+ years left).

Quotations are the Hallmark of teh interwebs. I get it, I'm guilty. Hence, Absurd Life Quotes. This one is true.

Need some background white noise? Try A Soft Murmur.

The absolute best video about unicorns and pooping.

Just click it.

...volatile spirits prefer unhappiness. ~George Santayana

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ignorance is the primary source of...

Mundo Nuevo is Markus Reuter's free downloadable album. It is good. You should download it. You should pay for it (even though he offers it for free). And you can also pre-order autographed CDs of it.

You can pre-order Marillion's upcoming 18th album on Pledge Music.

A master of ambient drone, Nicholas Szczepanik, has a "name your price" album for you called Ra.

There's a new kid on the block: wajobu with searching for sound (think Robin Guthrie).

King Crimson fans should run - not walk - to The Forbidden Files. A fan (?) took the effort to compile and organize all tunes freely distributed from the King Crimson site. It'll take weeks to download and burn CDs. (Yes, I do that.)

And by the way, do not contribute to the devaluation of recorded music. Support artists. Stop using streaming services.
Gerhard Richter, Six Yellows, 1966. If you're in London between now and 16 January you should see Gerhard Richter: Colour Charts
You suck at Excel. Do something about it by watching Joel Spolsky's video.

Here's probably more than you ever wanted to know about Super Mario level 1.

They say a sequel to Kung Pow - perhaps the funniest movie ever made - is in the works.

Do you prefer your films more sci fi? Well, Ridley Scott plans three more Prometheus films, all sequential prequels to Alien.
Make and print grid/graph paper of all kinds with Gridzzly.

The fundamental theories of physics and their relative overlaps are mapped for your better understanding.

This is well after the fact but Ken Burns' The Civil War was remastered in HD and broadcast on PBS back in September. I wonder when they'll run it again?

Settle back with the CIA's release of the President's Daily Brief from 1961-1969. One of the later one has a tantalizing completely blacked-out paragraph about Canada.

A page from the recently scanned Chinese 17th century book called "the most beautiful set of prints ever made." 
There's only one flying B-29 in the world and this video gives you an up close look.

And there's only one June Foray, called the female Mel Blanc.

Yummy.  120 yards of bratwurst.

...all misery and vice. ~Victor Cousin

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Blood Trust by Eric Van Lustbader

Talking to a ghost
isn't really what I want
in an action tale.

Blood Trust is the third in Lustbader's series centered on protagonist Jack McClure, ATF/Homeland Security agent. Unfortunately, the book did nothing to make me read the fourth.

You're dropped into a multi-story arc that requires so much backstory, they're still giving backstory in the last chapter.

The novel's broad reach includes terrorism, white slavery, political intrigue, and the supernatural. Too much for me to handle.

The characters - and there are a lot of them - have names that I couldn't keep straight. Halfway through I'm still wondering "who does he work for again?"

There are minor editing errors like repeating a phrase too frequently within a short span (e.g. "blew the top of his head off).

Was hoping for more.

"Nothing can be said about writing except when it is bad. When it is good, one can only read and be grateful."

Too many have dispensed with generosity...

Make music using the planets with SolarBeat.

If you don't think astronomy can make music, you probably don't agree with Keats' "Beauty is truth, truth beauty." So the search for elegance in science probably isn't for you either.

How well do you know your airport 3-letter codes? Take a brief quiz to find out. I apparently do not know them well at all.

Have you ever wondered how big a state or country is compared to another state or country? You can find out using Here we see that Texas is big enough to encompass Prague, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Florence while coming really close to Paris, Rome, and Zagreb. Big.
Craft pr0n: handmade Japanese paper.

What might Google have looked like had it been around in the days of the TV show Mad Men? See for yourself at Google60.

Computers can make your photos look like paintings by the great masters.

Git yer science on. A movie of a rotating nitrogen molecule that illustrates quantum wave nature.
Tell a dog what to do.

You are amazing. You are an incredible human being capable of true greatness. Wake up each day and believe in that greatness. Know that you are the best person to make decisions about your life, your body, and your happiness. Embrace your emotions, but don't let them control you. Document your life. This amazing woman sitting here in front of me has so many incredible stories to tell and sharing those stories makes the world a better place for us babes. Find a way to tell your stories — through art, words, crafts, selfies, whatever speaks to your soul. You are amazing. This paragraph brought to you by the pep talk generator.

Things taken for granted: elements. We may run out of some in the next 100 years. Like zinc.
Science has revealed another of life's mysteries. ALL mammals take 21 seconds to pee. (Plus or minus 13 seconds which is a kinda large error band but whatever.) Take a stopwatch with you next time.

All good humor is based on a nugget of truth. source order to practice charity. ~Albert Camus