Saturday, September 10, 2011

Imagination was given to man to compensate for what he is not...

Creepy Things

One in 25 business leaders may be a psychopath.  'nuff said.

Women's busts have increased in size by  two cup sizes in New Zealand over the last decade. (American has a flight leaving in about 2.5 hours from DFW to Christchurch.  Boobyah!)

Know yer screws
Things to Listen To

This post on the King Crimson blog is a goldmine of music news.
  • Levin Torn White.  I am very familiar with Tony Levin's work and of course Alan White's work with Yes is well known.  I don't know much about David Torn's guitar work.  But the tunes on their upcoming album sound great.  I mean, what can you say bad about Prom Night of the Centipedes?
  • Funky: Shizaro is band that features King Crimson drum Pat Mastelotto.  Their album Naked Truth is funky.
  • Pat Mastelotto sure gets around.  He's also featured on Michael Bernier's leviathan.
My obligatory 9/11 post will be to point you to the new album WTC 9/11 by composer Steve Reich and performers Kronos Quartet.  Setting aside the brief controversy over the album's original cover design (a photo of the second jet heading for the towers), I have faith that Reich's treatment will be poignant and musically compelling.  The album is due for release on 9/20.

Let's say you prefer your music to be more computer generated.  How about this tune made entirely from Windows 98 and XP sounds?

I'm not certain whether we need another service for finding music of a certain type, genre, mood, or artist but here's Musicovery anyway.

Pie chart glory: 30 years of music sales in 60 seconds shows the popularity of various media from 8-track to internet.  What surprised me the most was the high percentage of cassette tape sales.

Examples of how music education is paying off big time: the main theme from Legend of Zelda on marimba and the Super Mario Bros. theme acapella.  And while I'm on the video game music topic, here's an oldie bug goodie - the XOC version of all the music from Super Mario World played buy one guy using real instruments.

Things to Watch

Computer graphics pioneer and current Pixar president Ed Catmull mentions in this interview with ACM Queue magazine that the distinctions between computer scientists and artists aren't that clear.  "The distribution of creative and organization skills is the same in both groups. People might think that artists are less organized. It turns out it's all nonsense."

An example of Ed's work from 1972, possibly the first computer animated film, can be seen in this video of a hand.

The #1 documentary to watch before you die is Hoop Dreams according to this list of the top 50 documentaries.  Every time I say that I don't watch a lot of movies, I end up talking about a lot of movies.  So to put an end to this let me state that I've only seen two documentaries on this list: March of the Penguins and Grizzly Man.  The latter was strangely tragic and haunting even though I'm tempted to say that if you take all the liberties with grizzly bears that the protagonist did, your luck will run out eventually.

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is currently hosting an exhibit on Texas High School Football: More Than The Game.  If you want to see how I spent last night (and most Friday nights during the autumn) watch the 1-minute teaser video as it features several shots of Grapevine H.S.  (I'm told that the longer version of the video shown at the museum has a shot that includes yours truly.)

Things to Look At

Henri Matisse, The Red Studio, 1911.  I include this because of its supposed strong influence on Mark Rothko - the red color field, the islands of color for the art objects in the room, and the negative space that defines the furniture.
You might want to check out Philographics, a book by Genis Carreras that illustrates philosophical ideas with minimalist graphics.

If art museums had a garage sale it might look like Artspace Marketplace which features founds items from museums' backrooms.  For example, you can get a limited edition, signed and numbered print by Sol LeWitt for only $2,500.

Things to Think About

Proof #96 that innovation is not dead: fried bubblegum takes top honors for most creative food at the Texas State Fair.  It's actually not really bubblegum, but a bubblegum flavored marshmallow that's been battered, fried, and then sprinkled with icing and sugar.

A relatively famous psychology experiment offered children 1 marshmallow now or 2 in 15 minutes.  Decades later the kids who exercised willpower to wait 15 minutes to double their reward were found to be much better off: better educated, made more money, stronger relationships, etc.  In this review of Baumeister and Tierney's Willpower, we learn that those hippies from the 1960s were wrong and that instead of letting it all hang out we should have been learning to develop our sense of willpower. 

On the other hand, this article from the The Sunday Times on literature and psychology is virtually unreadable.  Part of me thinks it was machine generated in a foreign language then translated into English.  Yikes.

Things That Fly

This is what I call good clean living.  Flying over Texas A&M's Kyle field in a B-17 (or is it a B-24) on opening day.
Since finishing Gene Kranz's book I seem to find space-related stuff everywhere.  NASA provides these photos of artifacts from Apollo 12, 14, and 17 on the lunar surface.

Aircraft pr0n of the week: video of the F-35 roll-out ceremony at Eglin AFB, photos from the abandoned Russian Vozdvizhenka air base.

If You've Read This Far, What Comes Next Is Your Own Fault

From the Why Would You Want To Do That department, Google Correlate lets you draw any curve and then find a search topic that matches it (search activity versus time).  For example, I drew the blue curve and Google tells me that matches searches for "verizon promotion code", the red line.
Beer: it's not just for drinking anymore.  But architecture? And the world as mapped by a beer drinker.

Pens have gone the way of the 50-cent milkshake, human kindness, and the Dodo?  Hyperbole aside, a good pen is essential.  I'm partial to Rotrings - if only I could find a reliable source of ink (blue, of course).  Anyway, check out Baltz Fine Writing Instruments.

This computer science stuff is very interesting: real-time large-deformation substructuring.  Slightly less gee-wiz is this paper on software practices for dealing with multiple cores. Curious about the vim text editor?  Learn vim progressively. Joli OS is a free, cloud-based operating system that turns an old PC into an internet device.  Should I?

Social media gizmo of the week: Shuush modifies your Twitter stream to amplify infrequent tweeters.

I'm certain you'll agree that $2,468 for Horse Bits is stretching credulity.  (But I'll take it.)  How much is your website worth?  Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa wrote "No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it."   I bet the valuation reflects the fact that I lean too far toward stupid.

...and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.  ~Oscar Wilde

1 comment:

Paul Simmon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.