Saturday, July 15, 2017

In ethics, there is a humility...

Read this. Pause. Read again. Think. Chinese scientists have teleported a photon from earth to an orbiting satellite.

Fans of ambient music, rejoice! It's 12k's 40% off summer sale.

Or download (free) this great ambient mix of Glacial Movements' catalog.

Or how about the 2017 remastering of the Blade Runner soundtrack?

More? vMashup does a side-by-side synch of two videos. Be mesmerized by JumpReich: kids jumping rope vs. Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians.

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Carribean Sea, Jamaica, 1980. He claimed Rothko's late, dark paintings were more realistic than his photographs.
Mark Rothko, Untitled (Black on Gray), 1969.
Film from 1935 of daily life in Hiroshima.

Live webcam from the St. Louis Arch.

Relief! A hospital has set up an intensive care unit exclusively for the treatment of male patients suffering from coughs, colds, or even both.

Craft pr0n: making a wooden wheel.

Water permeable concrete. What kind of magic is this?
Considered one of the greatest animations of all time, here's a video about the making of What's Opera, Doc?

You really need to check out the videos from Oats Studios, a Neal Blomkamp project.

This is what happens when you send Rothko's Black on Gray (above) to Simplify.ThatSh.it
Here's what you get when you send a Clyfford Still to Simplify.ThatSh.it. The results are interesting yet uncompelling.
Gizmodrome is the new band featuring Adrien Belew, Stewart Copeland, Mark King and Vittorio Cosma. This 4 minute teaser video gives me a Zappa vibe.

Equation numbering in Word.

How well can you draw all 50 states? Not very.

This might be a good question for sparking conversations at work (or during an interview as proposed in the article): What's something that happens here but wouldn't happen anywhere else?

You've probably already seen this but - a photo suggests Amelia Earhart might have survived her plane crash.

The Seabin seems like a good idea for removing trash from waterways and harbors but the animated graphic at the top of their website makes it real hard to want to read more.

...moralists are usually righteous. ~John Berger

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Blue oblivion, largely lit,

It's July. Do you know where the first half of 2017 went?

David Kollar's new album Notes from the Underground has been released. I listened to it a lot this past week and am really enjoying it. Several tracks can be streamed from the Bandcamp I linked to.

Know any nerds who'd like a LEGO Saturn V?

Applying science (neuroscience to be specific) to art (exhibition design to be specific).

On Ellsworth Kelly's greatness: “All of a sudden you begin to understand that if you dissociate narrative ideas, how strong the visual impulse is in every human being.”

Ellsworth Kelly, Blue on White, 1969. source
Our friends at TSA (Taking Scissors Away) will rummage through your luggage, play with it, and post selfies with it. But yet somehow their job remains important.

I post a lot of rude and naughty stuff here. But it's BS like this that should offend us all: anti-science in Florida.

...smiled and smiled at me. ~William Rose Benet

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Science is organized knowledge.

It's time to clean out the bookmarks. So here we go.

Gaudi's latest CD, Magnetic, arrived in the mail this week and I've been thoroughly enjoying it. Another album of his, Dub Qawwali, has been recommended to me so I'm streaming it now.

The first CD from the duo of Eraldo Bernocchi and Netherworld, Himuro, also arrived this week. You can stream it online before purchasing, which I recommend you do if you're a fan of ambient music.

And I'm still waiting for the arrival of David Kollar's latest, Notes from the Underground. A second track has been released for you to preview, Thirst of Life.

Finally, here's a teaser video for Marco Minneman's new album, Borrego.

For Steve Hackett and Genesis fans who can get to Australia, the former will be performing a special show on 06 August in Melbourne featuring songs from the classic Genesis album Wind and Wuthering. (Having written that, I may have to put that CD into the player tomorrow.)

Juno. source (including hi-res image)
A solar eclipse is coming on 21 August. Are you ready?

The Greatest Sales Deck I've Ever Seen (who still calls a presentation a "slide deck?") is actually not bad. It's a good framework for your story.

Five ways to educate your customers through content. #4 Teach them a practical skill.
The periodic table of SEO success factors.
Vonlane is a high-end bus transportation company ("private jet on wheels") servicing DFW, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. From DFW to Austin will run you $100. Plus you'll avoid the TSA freedom massage.

A brief article about Mark Bradford at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. And if you're in Denver before 16 July, I highly recommend a visit to the Denver Art Museum to see Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford.

Where the Russians will nuke us? This map and article are a bit simplistic IMO. And they ignore the really fund part - fallout.
A nearly 100 million year old baby bird was found in amber in Burma. (I've got an "amberized" bug in my collection.)

Lot's of data on marketing here with the concluding statement "The future of marketing is having more science in our art and more art in our science.”

You can book a flight with ZERO-G to experience weightlessness (as in NASA's "Vomit Comet").

A video about how to speak so people want to listen. (Yes, it's a TED Talk but don't pre-judge.)

The Walt Disney Family Museum is currently exhibiting Awakening Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle
I don't know what the hell is wrong with politicians. "Missouri’s Senate is considering legislation that would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions." No, this is not The Onion.

A Fifth Element remix.

Neill Blomkamp is posting videos from his Oats Studios of works in progress including a film called Rakka.

And a "making of" video about Blade Runner 2049.

Flags of Valor is a veteran-owned and operated company that makes nice looking U.S. flags crafted from wood.

Sleep with someone who snores? Maybe you should consider Nora, a device that listens for snoring and when detected it gently moves the snorer's pillow so they stop.

Remember when putt-putt golf was competitive and televised? Vimeo does and they've got the videos to prove it.
Craft breweries by state. source
Practice is the art of finding a process for repetition without boredom.

More science in art - or in this case, cellular automata in architecture.

A bit of architectural commentary on the Clyfford Still Museum and others.

Two black holes collided and merged, spinning off two solar masses of gravitational waves. Ouchy.

The easiest way to bust enhancement is this 3D illusion t-shirt.

More proof that stupidity will be the end of us all. Over 16 million U.S. adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

This article involves a "tainted buffet" at a "strip club." Not for the squeamish, not for the genteel, not for work. Not for anyone really. Do not click the link. You've been warned.

Dead. Butt. Syndrome.

Wisdom is organized life. ~Immanuel Kant

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Seriousness in True Joy

During my business trip to Denver earlier this month, I toured - for the second time - the Clyfford Still Museum. And, and is my compulsion, I bought a book. But not just any book: a vintage copy of the catalog that accompanied Still's donation of 28 of his paintings to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1976.

Toward the end of the book, a 1963 quote of Still's is included that I'll quote directly here:
"I'm not interested in illustrating my time. A man's 'time' limits him, it does not truly liberate him. Our age - it is of science - of mechanism - of power and death. I see no virtue in adding to its mammoth arrogance the compliment of graphic homage."
Flipping a few pages back in the book brought me to PH-261 (see below), a painting completed about the same time as Still made that statement. Certainly, this painting exudes timelessness and is without mechanism. It is essentially human.

Clyfford Still, PH-261, 1962. source
Still also is quoted in the book as saying "I am a serious man about those things I consider important. Perhaps there is a seriousness in true joy." There is no better word than joy to describe my reaction to Clyfford Still's work.

Reference: Clyfford Still at the SFMOMA.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The time at our disposal each day is elastic...

New music to be previewed and ordered:

  • David Kollar, Notes from the Underground, to be released 30 June.
  • Brand X, But Wait... There's More (double, live CD), to begin shipping 14 July (Note: the link is to their store at Burning Shed for UK and other orders. It appears US customers have to order through Facebook which is a new one for me.)
  • Stick Men ft. Mel Collins, Roppongi - Live in Tokyo, Show 1 and Show 2 (to be released 21 July)

In this interview with musician and composer J. Peter Schwalm we read about how the artist's intent doesn't necessarily have to be deduced by the listener. "I really want listeners to feel something when they are listening to my music; In an ideal situation, they would feel the same as me."

Mark Bradford, Realness, 2016. Soon.
This calls for some research. Cousin's BBQ has switched to all-natural, Creekstone Farms briskets which taste better than their previous briskets. On a related note, the top 50 BBQ joints in Texas.

Five of the top 10 U.S. cities in population growth are in Texas with Fort Worth coming in at #7. On a related note, Forbes ranked Fort Worth as the 6th fastest growing city.

The Modern posted a video playlist called Modern Collections in which a staff member takes 3-4 minutes to talk about one specific work. Of the five videos currently available, my favorite is about Clyfford Still's 1956-J No. 1 Untitled.

Not just no, HELL NO. TSA planning to make the traveling public "declutter" their baggage. How about we declutter airports by kicking TSA to the curb?

The strapless, adhesive Bliss Bra (gives you +2 cup sizes) is currently on sale for 50% off.

How does Facebook police nudity? It's harder than you think.

Clyfford Still, PH-929, 1974. Very soon.
The Texas state legislature (which seems to be more interested in chasing high profile but relatively useless legislation - i.e. bathroom bill) is on the verge of requiring "breweries making more than 225,000 barrels annually to repurchase their own product from wholesalers in order to continue selling beer for on-premise consumption at their taprooms."

I had no idea that JFK gave the commencement address at my alma mater, Syracuse University, back in 1957.

Confused about what is a sandwich and what isn't? Thank you, lawyers.

NASA loses track of a bag of moon dust from Apollo 11, woman buys it from USG for $1,000, NASA takes it back, woman sues and wins back a priceless piece of history and science.

...the passions we feel dilate it, those that inspire us shrink it, and habit fills it. ~Marcel Proust

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Either write something worth reading...

Why are there 3 big animation auctions in June?
Music du jour:
Agne Gintalaite, Beauty Remains. source. The article makes a comparison to Rothko but when I see an array like this the immediate comparison is Gerhard Richter.
Very soon I will see Shade, the Mark Bradford & Clyfford Still exhibit.

Those interested in Soviet-era history will no doubt enjoy the Manhoff Archive, a trove of color photos and videos from 1950s Soviet Union.

Going a bit further back in time, the Paleobiology Database is an interactive map of fossil finds.

Make your own Sankey diagrams with SankeyMATIC.

25 things about Cleveland. MR HERO IS THE BOMB.

Quarterbacks ranked by career record. Yes, Brady is #1. But who's #2?

Flip Myers-Briggs on its head by defining hell for each personality type. Mine: "An incredibly impractical person is put in charge of all of your major life decisions. You have to do whatever they say and are powerless to argue or reason with them." (Maybe Satre's definition was simpler: Hell is other people.)

...or do something worth writing. ~Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The trouble is...

Ryuichi Sakamoto (whom you might remember from the soundtrack of the 1983 film Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence) has released async, his first album in many years. You can stream it here. I purchased the album and have been playing it a lot recently and really like it. Read a review on Pitchfork and another on Fader. Or just go to Sakamoto's website.

Recording artist Taylor Deupree also runs the 12k label of experimental and ambient music. In this interview, among many other insights, we learn that the USPS increased international shipping rates for a single CD by a factor of 8 which, no surprise, resulted in a vast decrease in orders. (Who's gonna pay shipping costs that are the same as the CD cost?)

American Scholar recently reminded me of composer and musician (and Houstonian) Paulina Oliveros whose mantra was "listen to everything all the time and remind yourself when you are not listening." Take some time for Deep Listening.

The Cassini spacecraft flew through Saturn's rings and took photographs that are simply amazeballs. 
MuscleWiki: click on a muscle, see exercises for it. (I couldn't help notice that nothing happens when you click on the brain.)

Piggybacking on a NASA high-altitude balloon, an experimental sensor package recorded infrasound, low frequency earth noise like crashing waves and grinding mantle. Listen here.

Carey Nieuwhof shares leadership advice for people just starting their careers. The one that jumped out at me is #20 Work twice as hard on your character as you do on your competency.

And then there's this: joking at work can make you seem more competent.

Joan Miro, Passage of the Divine Bird, 1941 (left). Alexander Calder, Constellation, 1941 (right). "Works that mutually resonate with power."
Syracuse friends, you have 1 more day to see the Bradley Walker Tomlin exhibit at the Everson Museum. And unfortunately, their exhibit of late 20th century abstraction, More Real, More a Dream, has already closed. I was lucky to see them both and they are more than worth the price of admission.

Don't have the money to buy fine art? You can rent it. See Fine Art Staging.

You can read about art in 200 books made freely available from the Guggenheim Museum. I had to stop downloading the PDFs because there are so many I'd never read them all.

What's the 11th best public high school in northeast Ohio (and #43 in the entire state)? Rocky River High School, my alma mater.

And Grapevine High School, my boys' alma mater, was ranked #71 in Texas.

When it comes to sandwiches, where are you on the structure and ingredient scales? I must admit to being a purist on both. source
McDonald's continues their fun with utensils by introduction the Frork or "fry fork." (But I'm still sad they didn't send me their CFD-designed STRAW.)

Here's the trailer for Blade Runner 2049. (Please don't screw this up.)

Have you ever taken a survey with responses strongly disagree, disagree, don't know, agree, strongly agree or something like that. Did you know that has a name? The Likert Scale.

Napercise. Did napping really need an up-sell?

...you think you have time. ~Buddha

Saturday, April 22, 2017

We are afraid to care too much...

Thinking that it's time to pull the trigger and get the album Lift a Feather to the Flood by Robert Rich & Markus Reuter.

Here's a text teaser about an upcoming ambient album from Eraldo Bernocchi and Netherworld called Himuro to be released 30 June.

Helen Frankenthaler, Grey Fireworks, 2000. From the ongoing exhibition at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fluid Expressions: The Prints of Helen Frankenthaler.
Hometown does good: Conde Nast Traveler included Fort Worth on its list of 6 U.S. Cities to Watch in 2017. "top-notch museums" "Head to Magnolia Ave."

Apollo 11 artifacts - including its command module - may be coming soon to a town near you (if you live near Houston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, or Seattle).

This "craft pr0n" video of a canoe being carved out of a log is mesmerizing in a sleepy kinda of way.
Consider this a public service announcement: how to avoid penis fractures. (Hint: no cowgirl.)

...for fear that the other person does not care at all. ~Eleanor Roosevelt.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss...

I've got a lot of music bookmarked so I can give a listen before making a buy decision. Now you can too.

Donald Sultan, Dead Plant November 1 1988. Currently on display at The Modern.
Of these 8 things every person should do before 8:00 a.m, I've done precisely 2 today. #5 Take a cold shower. Uh, no thank you.

A video of the rotating moon compiled from LRO images.


Yes finally got admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but you might be wondering which incarnation of Yes. Rolling Stone has made a little video explaining the band's evolving line-up. (Those of you hoping for a reunion should give it up.)

If you like music and can handle math here's something about musical fractals (aka harmonic polyrhythms). It just gave me a headache.

Largest company in each state.
Beer journalism: oct.co.

Why does Jeff Bezos' think it's always Day 1? "Staying in Day 1 requires you to experiment patiently, accept failures, plant seeds, protect saplings, and double down when you see customer delight. A customer-obsessed culture best creates the conditions where all of that can happen."

Disneyland's private Club 33 is coming to Walt Disney World (4 locations?). Initiation fee expected to be in excess of $50,000 with annual dues in excess of $15,000. (I've dined at Club 33 due to the kindness of friends.)

More Disney? How about this list of 60 foods you ought to try at Disney World? While I have no plans to eat a turkey leg, I would like to eventually try the famous Dole Whip.

OK, this is the last one. Disney World's rides ranked. "it's a small world" is only #22? C'mon man.

Fort Worth's Near Southside (the district in which I work) is getting good press for its development efforts.

And if you like to eat in Fort Worth, here's one man's best of Fort Worth list. For example, Canne Rosso for pizza. (And I'm not including this just because the article mentions me.) Here's a big magazine's best of list in case you prefer something more corporate.

One principle of success from Xerox Parc: "It's baseball, not golf. Batting 0.350 is very good."

Ikigai: A reason for being. How many of us achieve it?

Android users may soon be getting a video stabilization feature in Google Photos.

Don't forget about graphene. Now someone has shown how to use it to desalinate water.

Hey aviation geeks: here's a document I'd call historically significant. Kelly Johnson's 1958 white paper on Archangel 1 which became the A-12 which became the SR-71. More here.

I'm not certain, but reading this give me the impression that the LA Times is not a fan of our current president.

What's your Boob IQ? My score was 11/13. (With a little bit of extra effort they could've made it more fun by giving you a score like 32B or 38D. But that would probably offend some people by equating bigger with better. Never mind.)

How do you make a better bra? Start by realizing that 37% of all womens' breasts fall between cup sizes.

"Gimme an F!" College cheerleading squad was basically an escort service.

...events, great minds discuss ideas. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, April 14, 2017

11/22/63 by Stephen King

I don't mind admitting to my biases. At the library, browsing the shelves of audio books on CD, when I got to "K" I'd sidestep right by "King, Stephen." Why? Two reasons. In high school I saw The Shining in the theater and it scared the bujeebus out of me. A decade or so later I saw The Langoliers TV mini-series and bored the doodie out of me. Therefore, no more from Mr. King.

That is, no more until a friend (thanks, JP) told me he was in the middle of King's 11/22/63 and said it was quite good and his wife liked it too. Given those recommendations and the additional fact that I've read quite a bit non-fiction about the JFK assassination (most notably, Vincent Bugliosi's 1,000+ page tome Reclaiming History), 11/22/63 was my next checkout from the library.

Stephen King's 11/22/63 is at the top of the list of novels I've enjoyed most in the past couple of years. Part sci-fi, part historical fiction, part love story, 11/22/63 succeeds with all three.

Suppose you had been given the ability to go back in time to save JFK from Oswald's bullet. Would you do it? Could you do it? And then what? Can you even foresee the obstacles you might face? The historical fiction part of 11/22/63 succeeded for me because as a Fort Worth residence I delighted in hearing native places and names brought back to life in the "present," first person. The sci-fi part of it succeeded for me because I was so engaged by the concept that I found myself extrapolating the plot with my own theories of what might happen when someone starts messing with past. (None of my theories turned out to be part of King's plot.) But what pulled me in and kept me circling the block so I could hear more of the audio book, was the seemingly tangential issue of who else you might meet in the past and how they might change you, in the present, in the future, and for all time.

Actor Craig Wasson provided the narration and greatly contributed to my appreciation of 11/22/63.

Highly recommend.

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

I received no compensation of any kind for this review.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Politics and Business: What's New. A Report from COFES 2017

The second keynote address (more of a moderated conversation, actually) at COFES 2017 (the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software) was given by Mark Anderson and Scott Foster on the topic of Business Implications of the New International Political Landscape. This was the first time I'd heard Foster speak and my second time for Anderson but it's fair to say that listening to them is like drinking from the proverbial fire hose. I decided to take some time to jot down a summary before it all leaked out of my less than sponge-like brain.

For the record, Anderson seems to be a well-informed, insightful person. Among many other accomplishments, Anderson's bio claims he's the only person to predict both the financial collapse of 2008 and the more recent drastic drop in the price of oil.

Any lack of clarity in what I write below should be blamed on my poor note taking and memory, not either of the keynote speakers.

Anderson began by taking 10 minutes to brief us on four notable topics.

  1. The rise of nationalism (aka alt-right, aka populism) was instigated by two factors: immigration and trade imbalance. What most people don't understand, is that the huge migration of people has very little to do with escaping war and conflict; mostly it involves people moving from a place that sucks to a place that's better for economic reasons. Here Anderson tossed out the nugget "[Immigration] is the only reason Brexit happened." The second factor, trade imbalance, directly hurts the middle class. Here Anderson dropped a second nugget, the opinion that China's trade policy is to impoverish their trade partners. And a third nugget: China's economy is crashing and has been for a couple of years with GDP actually dropping 2-4%.
  2. $50/gallon oil is the greatest thing in the world. By dropping what amounted to a global tax, we in the U.S. no longer need to mess around in the Middle East because soon we'll be the largest exporter of oil.
  3. With respect to the rise of technology and automation, Anderson called it inevitable and said it will be a great benefit to those who control the means of production because they will become more profitable. At the same time, robots will replace human jobs furthering the trend toward income inequality. "Bill Gates is going to be a pauper compared to Elon Musk," said Anderson. [Note that this says nothing about the societal cost of income inequality and how we as a society redirect the workforce. The good news is, this argument is similar to those I heard in the 1970s about robots taking peoples' factory jobs.]
  4. Finally, global warming is real. Anderson says just ask the military, serious people who are currently accounting for that in their planning.
Foster recently authored Stealth Japan, a look at the success of the Japanese economy, a success that the Western media is said to get completely wrong. In introducing Foster, Anderson called Japan the "pivot country" in Asia.

The election of Trump created panic and dismay throughout Eastern Asia. Specifically, the demise of the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) - a deal that the U.S. pushed through mostly on its own beneficial terms - has killed American credibility in the region. Countries in the region - China included - are negotiating a new trade pact that leaves the U.S. out. Probably not a good thing for us.

On the political-military front, the Chinese are in the South China Sea with their man-made islands and such. It's a done deal. In addition to this expansion, Anderson tossed out that "Nothing happens in North Korea without help and approval from the Chinese." So complaints about their missile program fall on deaf ears, especially when the U.S. government would prefer China handle it. There's nothing China would love more than to further diminish U.S. influence in the region.

With respect to economic power, China is buying its way into the manufacturing of industrial robots. China has created in response to Industry 4.0 an effort called Made in China 2025. Unlike "made in America" which was called an empty slogan with nothing behind it, China will use everything within their economic and political power to achieve that goal. And a huge effort to develop the Eurasian Rail Network will create new economies simply due to the ease of shipping goods. 

With respect to countries in the region. Japan follows the rules. China is only for consenting adults. (Do business there, but take care.) South Korea is opening up (because their economy is so bad they have to). Singapore is the London of Asia. 

Bottom lines?
  • The drive toward automation is unstoppable.
  • There is fear that the U.S. will disengage from Asia.
  • We are over-estimating China and underestimating Japan.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

I have learned that to be with those I like...

There's a bird chirping away outside my office window. Inside, here are excerpts from Brian Eno's Reflection and The Ship.

Alma Thomas, Lake Reflection Advent of Spring, 1973. source
A King Crimson coloring book? (Check the date.)

A 3,400 year old tune may be the word's oldest song and is more sophisticated than some music historians would've believed.

On the other hand, giraffes are as dull as you probably expect as evidenced by this giraffe webcam.

This is not a joke. Art of Noise is re-releasing a remastered 2-CD deluxe edition of their 1986 album In Visible Silence. One of the packages available through Pledge Music includes a signed 12" print of the album's cover. I've already ordered mine.

A lost art? source
...is enough. ~Walt Whitman

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.

source
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.

...in fact, they do so. ~Bertrand Russel