Saturday, March 26, 2022

Circumstances do not make the man...

Is this really my first blog post of 2022? 

Just a reminder that the Air Race World Championship is coming back this year. Smoke on.

The website of musician Gary Husband.

Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1969. This work on paper is one of several featured in the exhibition Mark Rothko 1968: Clearing Away. "It also shows the power of white and its tremendous impact in his painting.”

What can your farts tell you about your health? "Scientists have recently found a connection between mental health and gas production." Then I must be a psychopath.

Why is poo brown?

Concept art of the Navy's Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) Fighter, the F/A-XX.

The music:

Did you know you can donate your old LEGOs and they'll be cleaned-up and gifted to another child?

What is the coolest museum in each state? I first validated by ensuring that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was the coolest in Ohio. Then I checked Texas to find the Bullock Texas State Museum.

Generate some alien planet landscapes.

The Pantone color of the year for 2022 is Very Peri.

Wayne Thiebaud, Boulder Ridge, 2013. Not a cake.

Dali + Disney = Destino, set to the music of Pink Floyd. I feel like a little wacky weed would allow me to fully enjoy this.

Best website this week: crouton.net.

Followed closely by Doughnut Kitten.

Yes, it has been a long time since I posted. source

If you have kids, you can animate their drawings.

Lights at Sea is a really cool interactive map of the world's lighthouses.

Norman Lewis, Exodus, 1972. From The Transcendent Power of Black in Norman Lewis' Paintings. I'm fairly certain this is one of Lewis' paintings I saw a few years back in a retrospective of his work and my friends and I were happily stunned by his work that none of us prior to that time had been familiar with.  

Tom Peters is never at a loss for words, or in this case quotes. In particular, one quote for each of the 43 years that have passed since In Search of Excellence was published. "Culture eats strategy for breakfast."

In case you haven't been keeping track, in 2020 the mass of all man-made stuff exceeded the planet's total biomass for the first time.

Most good management concepts can be illustrated in a 4-quadrant chart and Seth Godin's control/responsibility matrix is no different. Are you a victim, martyr, whiner, or leader?

Another quad chart: the productivity matrix. (I'm definitely most productive on the "calm" left side of that chart.)

Five of the greatest physics lectures of all time.

Always funny - Ze Frank's True Facts: Proboscis Monkey.

You don't even have to read the article, but the best sugar cereal is Lucky Charms.

The TV show Ghosts has a fan wiki.

Of these 25 best sci-fi movies of the last 15 years I've seen... eight.

The story of The Yes Album and Fragile.

...they reveal him. ~James Allen

Friday, December 31, 2021

My Favorite Music of 2021

It's time for the annual blog post no one asks for: my favorites of all the new (to me) music I bought this year.

But I'm exhausted and lack the energy to spend a lot of time on this - despite the fact that I really enjoy and appreciate virtually all of the sixty-six albums I got.

In no particular order...

Fractal Guitar 2 and Fractal Guitar 2 Remixes by Stephan Thelen.

In the Electric Universe by Mahogany Frog.

Naurora by Dewa Budjana.

Mutual Isolation by Burnt Belief

Apophenian Bliss by Red Kite

Music is Our Friend by King Crimson

But this list omits a lot of really enjoyable music.
And of course I need to credit the two record labels that create and share some of my favorite music.
Looking forward to 2022.

P.S. In hindsight, this blog post is horribly written. I blame fatigue.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Music in the soul...

Alan Watts on finding meaning in meaninglessness

Victor Frankl wrote "between stimulus and response there a space." That space is where we find freedom and growth.

Still trying to find time to drive to Dallas and see Slip Zone: A New Look at Postwar Abstraction in the Americas and East Asia at the DMA. We have until 10 Jul 2022. Here's a write-up of the exhibit from the local NBC affiliate.

Miles Davis' iconic Kind of Blue covered in Seinfeld style: Sein of Blue.

The impossible typeface, inspired by Escher.

It's not a spoiler that Rolling Stones' list of the 50 greatest progressive rock albums is topped by Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. I have 20 of them, including 9 of the top 10.

I don't recall why I bookmarked this page of free, open-source healthcare icons but here they are in case you need to use one.

Along those same lines, here's a page with 4000 web badges, those little rectangles that proclaim some affilition.

Michael Crichton's Andromeda Strain novel and the 1971 film by Robert Wise are both absolute favorites of mine. Meaning I could reread or rewatch at any time with full enjoyment. Here's a look at production of the film. If nothing else, click through and watch the original movie trailer.

Visualizing all the world's languages.

Science has found some of the universe's missing matter, "confirming that 80–90% of normal matter is located outside of galaxies."

Yes, the Crystal Bridges Museum is off the beaten path. And yet it's architecturally beautiful (soon to be 50% larger) and the collection is top-notch. Read Alice Walton's thoughts (of Walmart fame) about what she created in Bentonville.

Like most lists, the compulsion is to see where you fit. In the list of most educated cities in the U.S., the Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington metroplex comes in at a disappointing 73rd place. Madison, WI comes in 5th place which is ahead of 6th place Boston, Cambridge, Newton. 

Austin has been named the #1 place for post-college life in the U.S. Fort Worth is #5.

Prehistoric. Giant. Swimming. Head.

From the Things I Didn't Know Could Be Fossilized, here's some dino skin.

An exhibit of Helen Frankenthaler's work promises to "reveal just how accomplished Frankenthaler was in modulating control and spontaneity in her art.

Often in the discussion of Fort Worth's art museums, one gets left out. There's The Modern and The Kimbell, but don't forgot about the Amon Carter.

You've heard about NUKEMAP, the online tool for computing the effects of a nuclear blast. Here's Earth Impact Effects Program (not nearly as snappy of a name) for computing the effects of a meteor impact.

Speaking of meteor impacts, the legend of Sodom may be based in fact.

Early today I tweeted that Mutual Isolation, the new album from the duo of Colin Edwin and Jon Durant, is probably my favorite of all their albums (under the name Burnt Belief). Here's a preview.

Music for the eyes.

"all marks on a flat surface are abstractions" writes David Hockney in Abstraction In Art Has Run Its Course which is interesting but I didn't reach the same conclusion he has.

I won't make it to the San Francisco MoMA before 17 January, so hopefully someone else will checkout the Joan Mitchell retrospective.

The richest man in Jerusalem probably sat on this throne.

What would a nuclear weapon with a yield of 1,000 Mt be like?

A Bulgarian Air Force SU-25 and accessories in a Tetris Challenge. 

A Tardigrade has been found fossilized in amber. Cue theme music for a tiny Jurassic Park.

Get your groove on with Tycho's Red Rocks DJ set.


Never miss an episode of Ze Frank's True Facts. Here are two: The Mosquito and Lurking in the Deep.

Tom Peters reminds us that hard is soft and soft is hard. I had this conversion with our interns over the summer. 

Only a poor artist blames their instrument. So enjoy art made from checkboxes.

I just became aware of (and ordered) John Coltrane's A Love Supreme - Live in Seattle. There's a preview at the site worth listening to.

Speaking of live music, here's Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians performed live in Paris in 1976.

There are many reasons why The Aviationist is on my list of must-read blogs when it comes up in my RSS feed. Here's one of those reasons - a fabulous slo-mo video of the F-22. I could watch this for hours.

Regrets of the dying might seem a little morbid but they do offer life lessons. #3 I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

CTO Pradeep Dass calls his hypersonic aircraft "Sexbomb." Send bombs and vagene?

There are many candidates for the best animated short film Oscar. The one that stands out to me for its wonderful geometric animation is Any Instant Whatever by Michelle Brand. 

What do you need to know about quantum physics? #3 Many things will be discrete versus continuous.

I believe the $17 million paid for Agnes Martin's Untitled #44 is a record for the artist.

...can be heard in the universe. ~Lao Tzu (incorrectly attributed)

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Where can I find a man who has forgotten words...

This guy doesn't like Uber.

And here are the tunes.

This is a beautiful photo of aerodynamics at work. But it doesn't necessarily mean that the aircraft was travelling supersonically. source

If you don't recognize the name Tacit Blue, you won't want to watch this video interview with a former program manager. 

A time crystal can provide coherence within a quantum computer which can make them much more practical. Google may have create them.

Not to be outdone, physicists discovered a new particle, the tetraquark, which is an exotic exotic hadron because it has two charm quarks and and up and a down antiquark. And if those explanations mean anything to you, let me know.

We saw King Crimson perform in Fort Worth recently. Here's what Tony Levin had to say about that show. Here's a more in-depth interview with Tony.

What's the world's oldest animal look like in fossil form? Those wiggles on the left.

Speaking of fossils, when a human-sized turtle lays an egg that never hatches, you can learn a lot.

Can a brain become fossilized? And I'm not referring to Republicans. Seems so.

A periodic table of the elements sized by relative abundance. source

How about a 3D periodic table?

If you can figure out exactly what to do with Trassel, let me know.

And there's nothing to do with Flying Toasters.

...so I can talk with him? ~Chuang Tzu

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Only fools...

If you've got 17 minutes, this is a nice video showing how the Tate museum restored a vandalized Rothko.

runDisney is back. And by that I mean they're selling registrations for in-person runs. And we're hoping that Covid-19 Delta doesn't mess that up. (Thanks, unvaccinated.)

I'm a GIMP man when it comes to image editing (and my skill set is very lean). But I'm interested in Photopea, an online photo editor.

Even more interesting is Ojoy for scaling up images while improving its quality. (Because usually when you scale up an image the quality goes in the toilet.)

Dan Flavin, Untitled (in honor of Harold Joachim). Sometimes you just want minimalism. source

Brian Eno launched a radio station, Lighthouse, on Sonos Radio. I really like Eno's music but I can't generate enough interest to listen to online radio.

But I will paraphrase one of Eno's quotes. "The great benefit of computers is that they remove the issue of skill, and replace it with the issue of judgement."

Music I'm thinking about.

And in case you've ever wondered about how influential the Blade Runner score was on electronic music, here's Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats.

A brief interview with the artist about Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas.

It might not seem like much, but M SALT's mix of salt, pepper, and garlic salt is pretty good and versatile. 

The XB-70's cockpit.

Kurasowa's 100 favorite movies is probably worth taking a look at. Those that I've seen include It's a Wonderful Life, A Streetcar Named Desire, Gojira, Lawrence of Arabia, The Birds, The Day of the Jackal, The Godfather Part II, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Killing Fields. Which is probably more than either you or I thought.

Need sound effects? The BBC has 'em.

...don't contradict themselves. ~Andre Gide

Monday, August 2, 2021

When you realize nothing is lacking...

Just a reminder that the World Championship Air Race is set to return in 2022.

This is 100% true and if you're a fan of abstract painting I urge you to seek out Norman Lewis, a Neglected Gem of Abstract Expressionism.

Bacteria unknown to science were found on the International Space Station. (Cue sci-fi movie intro music.)

Continuing on the theme of things new to science, a study of 2,000 year old fossilized human feces indicates a) we have a much less diverse gut biome these days and b) we used to have things in our gut that are totally new to modern humans.

Continuing with the butt theme, breathing through their rectums saved oxygen-deprived mice.

And back to poop: new species of beetle discovered in 230 million year old fossilized poop.

Ellsworth Kelly, Colors for a Large Wall, 1951. source

You can now create a custom t-shirt featuring Josef Albers' Homage to the Square.

The one immediate problem I have with the article 6 Famous Abstract Expressionists Who Boldly Defined the Movement is use of the word "famous." 

Markus Reuter's "Living the Dream" podcast continues with an interview with Leonardo "MoonJune" Pavkovic, owner of MoonJune Records of which I am a happy subscriber.

Markus Reuter also interviews Trey Gunn, currently on part 4 of 10.

From a list of 99 bits of unsolicited advice, "If you meet a jerk, overlook them. If you meet jerks everywhere everyday, look deeper into yourself."

More maps: draw all the roads in a city.

A map of the U.S. scaled by the states' populations.

Leave it to the folks at Pantone to come up with a color chart letting you know whether you're peeing frequently enough. (Just like mom used to say, have two pale urinations a day.)

Just a nice interactive period table.

Music that's on my mind.

ICYMI, Jason Matthews, author of the Red Sparrow trilogy, has died. That trilogy got me more excited about espionage thrillers than anything since Clancy.

This set of paintings "Black Windows" emerged from Sean Scully's time in Covid lockdown. One of them is currently in the exhibition at The Modern in Fort Worth.

Another map that lets you follow a raindrop along all the rivers in America: River Runner.

An interactive map of lighthouses.

The A-10 is basically a flying 30mm cannon. This video shows how it works.

Couldn't visit The Walt Disney Studios and World War II at the Walt Disney Family Museum but I could get the exhibition catalog (which I enjoyed reading).

Food and art. I know where I'll be eating next time I visit MFAH.

For you historians, a trove of Apollo-era documents.

JMW Turner coming to the Kimbell this fall.

Need some background noise and/or ambience

True Facts: Wild Pigs.

How to restore a vandalized Rothko.

I would never have guessed this painting was by Helen Frankenthaler (Barometer, 1992). Which is a reminder (to me) to not pigeonhole artists. source.

Hours of pleasure. And cookies. Oreoreo.

Popcat. Because.

OK then, REMOJI

...the whole world belongs to you. ~Lao Tzu

Friday, July 30, 2021

Precision, Machinery, War, Destruction, Beauty, and Art

A couple years ago I saw the exhibit Cult of the Machine: Precisionism in American Art at the Dallas Museum of Art. In addition to seeing a startlingly beautiful and unique Georgia O'Keeffe, the exhibit left me with such a positive impression that I used a quote from the curator in a presentation I gave at a CFD conference shortly thereafter. After all, precisionism was a movement that depicted in art the glory and power of technological and architectural development and in America in the 1920s and 1930s. And CFD is nothing if not precision.

Through a recent article in the WSJ on the exhibit Ralston Crawford: Air + Space + War, I found a fork in the Precisionist road. Crawford's work matured during WWII when he had access to a variety of aircraft settings (flights, factories) and post-war nuclear testing - including being in the U.S. Army. That exposure to death and destruction greatly influenced his work, retaining the flatness and precision of Precisionism while introducing an element of chaos that heightens the work's emotional appeal. 

Certainly my initial attraction was the usual juxtaposition of several of my interests (painting, aircraft, nuclear weapons development). But upon reading the exhibition catalog and learning about the development of Crawford's work and how it fits with his contemporaries (the chapter on aviation art was really interesting) I found myself loving his painting solely on its own merits - the shift of perspective, the rough edges, the colors.

So if you're in Pennsylvania, I recommend heading over to the Brandywine River Museum of Art before the exhibition closes on 19 Sept. For everyone else, here's a video walkthrough that deserves more than 72 views.