Saturday, May 19, 2018

Real knowledge is to know...

Here's a video of a live performance by Sonar and David Torn. I'm loving their album Vortex.

You can stream 144 hours of Blue Note recordings including Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

Decorate your house with wallpaper inspired by Brian Eno.

The Kimono Project aims to create 196 unique kimonos representing all the participating countries in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Morris Louis, Blue Veil, 1958. Image from morrislouis.org, his online catalogue raisonne. 
Sam Francis' catalogue raisonne is now online too.

Constellations is a game where you change the shape of a line. A big part of the game is figuring out the rules.

White paintings are more than just a white canvas. Need art be an imitation of reality or can it exist on its own merits?

The city of Fort Worth recommends that families maintain an emergency kit with 72-hours worth of supplies. Yet one of those supplies is 7-days worth of medicine.

It's snowing on comet 67/P Chuyurmov-Gerasimenko according to the Rosetta spacecraft. Must see video.
Science discovered a new blue pigment - YInMn Blue.

I encourage my friends in NYC to see the exhibit on the Submarine Growler and the Cold War.

Never before published photos of the Mt. St. Helens eruption.

Science still doesn't know why time is the only one of the 4 basic dimensions in which we can't move backwards. Even the 2nd law of thermodynamics doesn't explain this.

Yes, I am OCD enough that this list of 37 house cleaning tips was interesting, especially the one about dryer sheets and baseboards.

Speaking of cleaning, here's a project that plans to clean up half of the great Pacific garbage patch in 5 years.

Can you tell the difference between Dante's Inferno and Disney World?

Funny t-shirt. Not certain I'd wear it to the airport though.

I leave you with this WebGL Lathe Workshop so you can whittle away the rest of the day.

...the extent of one's ignorance. ~Confucius

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Anticipate the difficult...

Neill Blomkamp's Oats Studio is open for crowd funding. If you haven't watched any of their videos on YouTube you are missing some good stuff.

The new Dreamworks Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle for Amazon prime video doesn't disgust me as much as many modern reworkings of classic TV cartoons. It's the voices that I find most distracting, not the animation.

Google Maps now supports Street View for Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks. Let's visit Pandora.

New music that I'm currently flirting with. Riot by Kali on Ronin Rhythms Records.

Also there's Adam Holzman's new album Ectoplasm.

I'm well past flirting with Vortex by Sonar w. David Torn. Read about this collaboration on Innerviews. A sample of the track Waves and Particles.

And there's Gaudi's Psychedelic Future Dub Vol 2.

A beautiful illustration of the alphabet's evolution that reminds me of the phonetic reading charts we used in grade school. 
Anything can fit in a rectangle. This and other thoughts on the 1970s when painting was dead.

How audacious is the goal of electricity from nuclear fusion in 15 years?

I used to challenge students to develop an exoskeleton I can use late in life instead of a wheelchair. Seems that's already been done by suitX and others.

Fort Worth gets two nods in Eater's list of the 38 best restaurants in Texas. Fred's Texas Cafe and the Swiss Pastry Shop. Fortunately, I've been to both. Fred's for burgers and Swiss Pastry Shop for their heavenly delectable Swiss-style black forest cake.

Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, 1951
What makes a monochrome painting good? It's a trick question. The same thing that makes any painting good; it changes the way you see the world.

Lots to argue about - every joke in Airplane! ranked.

Best think since sliced... ketchup.

No more signing credit card receipts?

A documentary of legendary designer Dieter Rams is coming out this year with a soundtrack by Brian Eno.

The Detroit Tigers are named after Michigan's oldest military unit. This and 29 other origin stories for baseball team names.

A fascinating, interactive visualization of all the collaborations in Miles Davis' career. Scaled in Miles.
Why does Mario music sound fun? Clarity and accessibility.

Funny people have higher IQs.

See the moon in beautiful 4k.

The fastest growing craft breweries of 2017.

I'd like to think this would end the debates on healthy eating. But it won't.

Fort Worth's Magnolia Ave. is now officially a great place.

More art museums should take themselves less seriously.

A nice bit of public art in Fort Worth. The artist? An F-2 tornado that tore down the billboard those posts used to support.
Scientists measure the color of antimatter!!!
It's the same color as matter :-(

Never forget that Led Zeppelin's drummer, John Bonham, was one of the best ever.

The numbers here are staggering: after being dormant for 37 years, the Voyager 1 spacecraft just communicated with Earth over a distance of 13 billion miles.

Sloths don't fart, but they also poop only every three weeks.

Is it more surprising that fake urine is being banned by law or that it exists in the first place?

Who says TED talks are all fancy? Here's an animated presentation on the evolution of animal genitalia. Which reminds me of Kliban's series of cartoons on genitalia of the universe, but that's a topic for another day.

What's your favorite kind of music? Cassette you say? Here's an online simulator of cassette music, complete with all the flaws. managing the easy. ~Lao Tzu

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Benefit comes from what is there...


The Northern Lights as seen from the cockpit of a U-2. source. Take a look and then share this.
Things to listen to.

Piet Mondrian, Composition 9, 1914. source. stunning, absolutely stunning.
Things to look at.

  • Key paintings of the 20th century: Part 1, Part 2. The latter really got my juices flowing.
  • Mark Bradford talks about Clyfford Still.

Claude Monet, Water Lilies. source. In Part of the "key paintings" article linked to above, this is the painting that made me stop my scroll.
News from DFW and Texas:

Ships and Planes:
  • The USS Lexington was discovered at the bottom of the Coral Sea. This is a good use of a billionaire's money.

A Boeing design from the design competition that led to North American winning with the XB-70. 

Things I didn't know science could still discover:


...usefulness comes from what is not. ~Lao Tzu

Saturday, February 17, 2018

To understand the limitation of things...

Listen to the new album from Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet: Landfall.

Read how streaming services fail both artists and listeners and what we can do to reverse that.

The last McDonald's burger sold in Iceland 8 years ago can be watched on webcam.

Jack Whitten, April's Shark, 1974. Whitten passed away recently and, sadly, I'm only now discovering his work.
Discover Fort Worth's Near Southside.

How to win a prize for science photography. Step 1: photograph a single atom. Step 2: win prize.
Upon turning 45 this lady listed 12 rules of life. #6 Save 25% of your income.

Here's a list of 25 principles of adult behavior from a Silicon Valley guy. #10 Never forget that you might be wrong.

The SEDAC population estimator lets you draw a circle or polygon on a map and get an estimate of how many people live in that region.
Programmers, let's bash. Take the command line challenge.

A peak inside Ellsworth Kelly's Austin, on the UT campus.
The periodic table, with which I am fascinated, came to Mendeleev in a dream.

Eyvind Earle, Yosemite, 1994. Earle is one of my favorite Disney artists. This image comes from a brief bio that includes more of his work.
A thought-provoking look at why health insurance (note: not healthcare) costs so much.

Jose Parla, Amistad America, 2018. My Longhorn friends have easy access to this 4,000 square foot mural in the atrium of the new business school building.
How often should you wash bath towels? The answer may surprise you, but not as much as the fact that the article indicates that some bath towels are shared between family members. Eeewww.

I leave you with Moodica, videos for de-stressing.

...desire them. ~Lao Tzu

Saturday, January 27, 2018

If you do not change direction...

How about Stick Men and Terry Bozzio performing King Crimson's Larks Tongues in Aspic?

Adam Holzman's (keyboardist for Steven Wilson) new solo album, Truth Decay, is due out at the end of March.

It is said that Paul Klee's writing on modern painting are akin to Newton's writing on physics in terms of their significance. So having 3,900 pages of Klee's personal notebooks online is a big deal.

Paul Klee, Castle and Sun, 1928. I can't help but compare this to Mary Blair's concept paintings for one particular Disney attraction.
Tony Banks (keyboardist of Genesis fame) has a new album called Five coming out in late February. It's classical music with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and you can watch a preview video of one track on YouTube.

How about a 3-D printed, cylindrical periodic table?

I haven't had time (yet) to read Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America so I leave that to you.

How do figure skaters keep their costumes in place? This question and others equally insightful are answered in advance of the winter olympics.

B-2 flyover of the 2018 Rose Bowl via The Aviationist.
How about a video of the F-35 flyover of the Fiesta Bowl? Shot from a helicopter above the flight path.

Artist Jack Whitten has passed away. Hear him on the Modern Art Notes podcast.

Jack Whitten, April's Shark, 1974
Penske Truck Rental says DFW is the 3rd most popular moving destination in the country.

Star Wars geekery:

Take a look at this video compilation of the best animated films of 2017.

Today's time-waster: a Javascript Nintendo NES simulator. Mario anyone?

The 7 benefits of farting. #4 promotes colon health. may end up where you are heading. ~Lao Tzu

Monday, January 1, 2018

Autumn arrives in early morning...

I resolve to clean out my bookmarks list.

Unabashed plug for RareNoise Record's "Leap of Faith,"  a deal by which you prepay for all their releases in the coming year and don't pay shipping. But besides the deal, you get great music. Here's their Leap of Faith 2018 sampler on Soundcloud.

Moodles is a 3-D computer animation of human forms drawn using noodle-like lines. But that's not the best part, which is watching them disolve, decay, and disassemble.

Outside the Transcend is an instrumental EP from Markus Reuter and Dutch Rall.

Killing two birds with one stone. Princess Rashid, Periodic Table-2. source
Filament is "extraordinary music to fall asleep to" by Gareth Davis.

Video explanation of the math behind the McKnelly Megalith.

Lowlands, inspired by calving glaciers and meltince ice, by Taylor Deupree and Marcus Fischer.

Watch Markus Reuter perform The Crimson ProjeKCt's show opening in Krakow.

Wayne Shorter on the future of fusion.

Fruit, 2-D, (mostly) black and white animation - "rise into being, mature, perish."

J. Peter Schwalm performs live Endknall, from the album The Beauty of Disaster.

Live, unedited performance 217 I by centrozoon.

Five disruptions to marketing 2018.

  1. Digital Transformation
    1. Marketing is a key component of the lifetime customer experience.
  2. Microservices and APIs
    1. Cloud-based APIs allow anyone to build anything.
  3. Vertical Competition
    1. The digital path between marketer and consumer is getting narrower.
  4. Digital Everything
  5. Artificial Intelligence
Blog metrics in review.
Fast Company's social media predictions for 2018 includes "a sleeping social giant awakens." I'll let you guess who that refers to before you click through.

Over 60 recently declassified nuclear weapons test films have been released.

An insightful interview with musician Jamie Saft

There's a name for it: thalassophobia.

How to create the perfect software business. (Or does he truly mean SaaS?)
  1. Product is core to operation of the business.
  2. Cost/value proposition is straightforward.
  3. Finances its own growth.
  4. Efficient sales model
  5. Market leadership
Here's how we translate words into probabilities. source
A topical gel for male birth control is about to begin testing.

The Aviationist's top stories of 2017.

A webcam for DFW airport courtesy of CAE.

...but spring at the close of a winter day. ~Elizabeth Bowen

Saturday, December 30, 2017

My Favorite Music of 2017

I gotta admit that I went a bit overboard on music this year with 58 albums purchased. That's a lot for me. But in my own defense, a bunch came from RareNoise's "leap of faith" (buy up-front all their releases for the year and pay no shipping) and another bunch came from buying David Kollar's entire Bandcamp catalog with a sweet "black Friday" deal. And you'll notice in the write-ups below, these albums each led to purchases of related albums.

I wrote few album commentaries throughout the year simply due to time constraints. And even this list will lack explicit justification for my choices. I recommend you click through to each album's page to stream a sample because I am not good at describing the music versus sharing my reactions to it.

Choosing favorites from such a big (for me) list was difficult but here it is.

The Stone House by Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis


The Stone House by the quartet of Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Yaron Stavi, and Asaf Sirkis was completely improvised and recorded live without overdubs in a single day. And the result is a complex, progressive, instrumental performance that's astonishing for how composed yet relaxed it feels. It was followed later in the year by Lighthouse from the same sessions and a third album is promised. "Wow" came out of my mouth before the first track on Lighthouse had finished. The Stone House and Lighthouse are both available from MoonJune's Bandcamp page.

Loneliness Road by Saft, Swallow, Previte ft. Iggy Pop


I will admit right up front that I came into this album a bit biased because I'm not really a fan of Iggy Pop's prior work. Bias aside, this is a damn beautiful performance by a jazz trio (piano, bass, drums) with three of the tracks featuring Iggy Pop's vocals that, upon repeated listens, provide a gravely, emotive contrast. Loneliness Road is available from RareNoise.

After Loneliness Road I developed an insatiable appetite for Saft's work and bought The New Standard (again with Swallow and Previte) and two albums by Saft's New Zion Trio: Fight Against Babylon and Sunshine Seas, the latter featuring Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista.

Magnetic by Gaudi 

Serious joy.

I really enjoy a lot of the music coming from the RareNoise label. So when it was announced that Gaudi's new album would use sounds from the entire RareNoise catalog as his "orchestra of musicians" combined, augemented, and enhanced with new performances by a broad cast of musicians, I was sold.

Magnetic did not dissapoint. It's like a party with all your friends with their best work on display but with intersting bits highlighted that you may not have noticed before and then want to go rediscover.

Notes from the Underground by David Kollar


I was first introduced to guitarist David Kollar through the album KOMARA from the trio of Kollar, Pat Mastelotto (drums), and Paolo Raineri (trumpet) that I praised back in 2015. This year, Kollar released Notes from the Underground.

Kollar performs on guitar, synth, and treatments and is accompanied by Raineri on trumpet. The result is a bittersweet hopefulness.

I was so impressed by Notes from the Underground that I purchase his entire catalog of music that I'm still trying to sort through.

Rosebud by Bernocchi, Einheit, Quail


The first thing that popped into my head upon learning that Eraldo Bernocchi's next album (with drummer FM Einheit and cellist Jo Quail) would be called Rosebud, was to try to draw some analogy with the movie Citizen Kane. Then there's the cover art with (what I see as a) roughly painted black star with the word Rosebud neatly nested inside.  But I digress.

While I'm reluctant to label this music, the best I can come up with is industrial ambience. The performances balance the infinite with the immediate, tragedy and beauty, rigor and fragility.

My list of all 2017's listening is available for the curious. And regarding my musical tastes, just remember what I say: "I don't know much about music, but I sure like the sound it makes."