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. 


Sunday, July 11, 2021

On Vaccination

At what point do we just throw our hands up and say to the anti-vax (or the white-washed "vaccine-hesitant") people, "Fine. Don't get vaccinated. Get sick and die."

Because I've gotten to feeling that way more and more often.

Well, the simple answer is you don't. You go back to protecting the public health.

Because C-19 vaccination is at best only half about personal health.

Remember that COVID-19 (which should've been called SARS-2) is a pandemic and a national emergency. Which is why the other half of vaccination's importance is public health.

Each unvaccinated person is a walking petri dish for the virus and an enabler of its transmission and mutation. As long as the virus transmits, the unvaccinated will get sick and die. If that isn't bad enough, these walking virus hosts will give SARS-CoV-2 the opportunity to mutate. Mutations happen all the time and most are benign but there's always the possibility of something worse than the delta variant, worse in the sense of it being immune to the current vaccines. Which would put us all back at square one.

Not feeling compassion for your fellow citizens? How about the sheer economic cost of closed businesses, the strain on hospitals, the federal expense? Can you be motivated by your wallet?

Sadly, everything about preventing SARS-2 applies to the flu. Get vaccinated, stay home when you're sick, wash your hands. If we all followed those guidelines for the flu, the annual gains in productivity (or decrease in lost productivity) would be enormous. Nothing about remediating SARS-2 is new. It just highlights so many shortcomings in society. (One of which is the abject failure of public education to impart a basic understanding of virology and statistics with which we probably would be in an entirely different situation today.)

Do you have the right to refuse to be vaccinated? Sure. But that doesn't mean society has to accommodate your personal choice. Kids gotta be vaccinated (and prove as much) to attend school. Why should you not have to do the same to return to work or public events? You have freedom of choice but all choices come with consequences.

It's as though half the country is waiting to see World War Z outside their front door before they'll even consider driving over to CVS for a jab. FOR FREE.

To say that I'm disappointed would be an understatement. Surprised? Not so much.

Get vaccinated.



Saturday, July 10, 2021

There is no way to happiness.

Drumming but visualized as bouncing balls.

Free pictures of monkeys.

Here's a Houston Chronicle article about the renovated Rothko Chapel. If the real thing is even close to the photo at the top of the article with the improved natural lighting, it'll be like a whole new experience - in a great way.

If you like the Vim text editor, you may like browsing the web with vimium, a Chrome extension.

In the beginning, there was a perfect fluid (aka quark-gluon plasma).

Clyfford Still, PH-1394, 1979.

A couple of years ago, I got to see fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls that were on tour as a museum exhibit. Just recently, new fragments have been discovered.

Speaking of discoveries, a secret Cold War project in Greenland drilled some ice cores and then forgot about them in storage. When rediscovered, they were found to contain fossilized plants.

To celebrate Tony Levin's 70th birthday, Unquiet Music compile and released Prog Noir (Unquiet Remix with TLEV Collage) which is available for free (or name your price).

Sam Gilliam, The Color of Music, 1967-1973 (source). Lush, rippling with understated energy, with a nearly hidden lyrical line. 

How about a wee bit of King Crimson in the form of a "remnant" from the recording of THRAK: Did We Make the Album?

Yet another reminder that the World Championship Air Race (nee Red Bull Air Race) is coming back in 2022.

If you're a fan of the band Stick Men (Markus Reuter, Pat Mastelotto, Tony Levin) you can enjoy recorded web event with the band and fans talking about the history.

ICYMI, Kansas (yes, the band) has a new live album, Point of Know Return.

Excellent 4-part series of articles on which color scale to use when visualizing data

Gluons glue together quarks to form protons and neutrons. The odd thing (pun intended) about gluons is that odd numbers of them don't like to be together; only even numbers of gluons are typically found. Well, science has proven the existence of odderons (a clump of an odd number of gluons) by smashing together protons at high speed.

From Futility Closet: "Walt Disney World draws its power from a pylon surmounted by a circular steel tube and two elliptical rings."

The taste of chocolate comes, in part, from fermentation. I did not know that.

The notional F-36 Kingsnake is a fighter aircraft to replace the F-16. It is compared to a Nissan 300ZX and because I'm not a car guy I have no idea what that means.

Yes. It's time for True Facts: The Bats! and Trap Jaw Ants.

A long article on how the music industry is strangling economically the musicians from whom they make their money.

Enjoy Hypersonic from the new Liquid Tension Experiment album.

Baby born with 3 penises makes history. Because 2 penises was a snoozer, apparently.

A beginner's guide to ambient music.

Based on imagery from the JAXA Kaguya Orbiter, enjoy Earthrise in 4k UHD.

It'll be interesting to see how closely this bit of concept art matches the actual configuration of the Next Generation Air Dominance fighter (i.e. the F-22 replacement).

Give a listen to a preview track called The Giant Nothing from Supervoid.

What happens when scientists write haiku?

Yummy sandwiches.

Opening 20 June at The Modern is Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas.

Feels. It's like Where's Waldo but with emojis.

Said to be a classic and a very approachable introduction to the subject, Thompson's Calculus Made Easy (1910) is now available in an online HTML version and a PDF version.

Goldeneye 007 for N64 is worth a lot of money today.

This could be very handy: Ojoy, upscale an image while improving its quality.

Do you like Lava Lamps?

Ze Frank's True Facts is at it again: Deception in the Rainforest and Dangerous Little Ticks.

Science discovered that pigs can breathe through their butts. Doctors wondered whether this gave them an option when treating human patients with lung problems. I think you see where this is going.

Speaking of butts, ever wonder how they evolved?

Happiness is the way. ~Buddha

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Tao is near and...

A recording of Harold Budd speaking at USC in 1985.

I'm afraid to use Readable on one of my blog posts. I'm afraid because one of the statements on their home page is "+83% The increase in the number of people who will finish reading your content if its readability is improved [emphasis mine] from grade 12 to grade 5." Maybe we can improve the average reader from grade 5 to grade 12."

What is the first principle of product management? Maximize impact to the mission. You'll have to click through to read the second.

Emily Mason, Ancient Incense, 1981. source


"Music and sleep are the two most natural ways to escape from everything and when they combine it truly becomes a dream. Let us take you there with our artists’ sublime music curated especially for you by The Ambient Zone." That's the introduction to the digital album Sleep 001.

A four-hour, real-time video of the moon from the Kaguya Orbiter.

Restored 16mm film of Magic Kingdom from 1970.

A live performance from 2008 by the Five Peace Band (Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett, and Vinnie Colaiuta). 

Amazon has 14 leadership principles (aka core values) which is a lot and I'm curious how many employees can remember them all. There are so many I'm having a hard time choosing one to show here. "Leaders are right a lot." 

On this list of low maintenance house plants, I'd like to try the sansevieria starfish.

It's kinda pretty - a black hole eating a star from the inside out.

The Super Mario game's soundtrack has been restored.

In the mid 1960s an experiment was run to see whether three physics PhDs could build a nuclear bomb. Their final report is classified so it's uncertain whether they succeeded or not.

"The record is a triumph of atmosphere..." is part of this brief article about one of my absolute favorite albums of all time, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Brian Eno and David Byrne.

"Lockdown Throwdown" is an unfinished performance by Gary Husband and the late Chick Corea. Enjoy and marvel at what is and what might have been.

"Poop" and "knife" are two words not usually found together but here you go: you can buy a poop knife for dicing dooky (slicing scat, carving crap) so it fits down the flush.

You may have heard that the Rothko Chapel has been remodeled. If you can't get to Houston soon for a visit, this new book is a pretty good substitute - Rothko Chapel: An Oasis for Reflection.

Looks yummy. Recipe here.

When you gotta cut loose but you're around genteel folks try these alternative (alternate?) swear words. For example, nerts, for the love of pete, and gee willikers.

Just another reminder that the World Championship Air Race is coming back in 2022.

If you've lost your shark, you can track it in real time online with the Shark Tracker.

Unsuck It is a way to deprogram business jargon.

This nice lady from Fort Worth who recently passed away collected a lot of art that's now up for auction at Sotheby's. Check out the collection of Mrs. John L. Marion

Stephan Thelen's Fractal Guitar 2 is definitely on my list of favorite albums of 2021.

Blobmixer. Just try it.

Here's a track from the new Liquid Tension Experiment album. You've ordered it, haven't you?

Ze Frank, the man, the legend, the True Facts: Deception in the Rainforest.

Mahogany Frog's new album is In The Electric Universe

Several people have recommended the Netflix documentary Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art.

Piet Mondrian, Gray Tree, 1911. From an article about how Mondrian's abstractions became a new way to see the world. Gray Tree is stunning and in it I see all his mature works. They're all there.

Where on Mars is Perseverance?

Fancy a BBC recording of Pink Floyd performing live in 1971?

Wonderful animated film: Cupcake Quarantine.

This had better not be a joke before I drive around trying to find it. Arby's Meat Mountain sandwich.

Coming later this year to the Dallas Museum of Art is Expressive Abstractions: A New Look at Postwar Art.

Roger Waters recorded a new version of The Gunner's Dream from The Final Cut and its everything you'd want in such a remake.  Hearing it motivated to pull the CD off the shelf for this weekend's listening.

You can watch several Oscar-qualified animated short films online. Minor Accident of War has some fantastic texture to it. And more films are here.

Here's a concert video of The Beatles from 1964.

I love this hand-drawn animated film - THE STROKE.

Spend an hour getting a FA-18 walkaround from a former Blue Angel pilot.

...people seek it far away. ~Mencius