Saturday, May 31, 2014

We know accurately only when we know little...

This music video from MUMPBEAK will wake you up. The recording isn't the highest quality but Roy Powell, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, and Pat Mastelotto sure can play.

When an artist tells you to hang his paintings in a certain place and to keep the window shades closed it's not always because he's a fussy ass. If for example, he mixes his own paints from egg whites and other exotic materials, keeping the paintings in the shade will protect them from irreversible light damage as is the sad case with Rothko's Harvard Murals. But the folks at MIT came up with a way to digitally restore them.

Fordite isn't a stone. It's layers upon layers of automotive paint from the racks that held auto bodies in the paint shop. You can see examples of what can be done with Fordite at Urban Relic Design. But be warned. You can't get Fordite anymore so most (all?) of the items are sold out.
A 1988 highly classified flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis experienced severe thermal protection system ("heat shield") damage on ascent due to impact with insulating foam ejected from the right-side solid rocket booster (which is odd because I thought only the main liquid fuel tank was insulated). Around 700 individual tiles were damaged and at least one was missing entirely, although the missing tile - fortunately - was over a thicker than normal portion of the fuselage. When the mission commander thinks to himself "we are going to die" you know it's serious. This story illustrates one of my favorite quotes of all time by George Bernard Shaw: "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

For a less worrisome space-related post, here's an on-board video from the Arianspace Soyuz VS07 launch.

The periodic table of chilli peppers.
Sad business news for Fort Worth. Google's factory for the Moto X is closing and production is being moved overseas.

Ten books every entrepreneur should read. 1 out of 10 isn't bad, right? And I'm beginning to think the word entrepreneur has achieved over-use.  

Are you interested in seeing scans of the original prospectus used by Walt Disney to pitch the idea of Disneyland?

I'm not a huge fan of ice cream but if this truly is an example of a Danish ice cream cone, sign me up. "O, that this too too solid confection would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew."
Check out this trailer for the upcoming animated film The Book of Life. It doesn't look or sound like any animated film you've seen in a long time. (I know a guy who worked on the animation.)

Believe it or not, fish communicate by farting. Herring produce what science calls Fast Repetitive Tick Sounds (FRTS) by blowing air out of their anus. You cannot make this stuff up.

...with knowledge doubt increases. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dysnomia by Dawn of Midi

Forget whatever
acoustic trio implies.
Their rhythm takes you.

If I told you that Dawn of Midi was an acoustic jazz trio that played ambient electronica you'd probably think that I had finally suffered a psychotic break with reality. But that's exactly what their performance sounds like. Or perhaps more accurately, it's the only way I can describe it.

After all, why should synths and electric guitars get to have all the fun with looping, phasing, and unusual time signatures? All of Dysnomia has a highly percussive sound from the drums (of course), the upright bass, and Belyamani's acoustic piano (is he plucking the wires?). Typically you'd think of drums as a band's musical foundation but with Dysnomia it's the bass upon which the interplay between the piano and drums takes place and it's the bass that ties it all together. At the same time there's a fuzzy touch to the performances that smooths over the almost mathematical, discrete complexity of the compositions. These guys would make Steve Reich proud (I wonder whether he was an influence) and they might be categorized with Bang on a Can and Alarm Will Sound.

Check out this video of one of their live performances.

Dawn of Midi is Qasim Naqvi (drums), Aakaash Israni (bass), and Amino Belyamani (piano). The album Dysnomia consists of 9 tracks (Io, Sinope, Atlas, Nix, Moon, Ymir, Ijiraq, Algol, Dysnomia).

Dysnomia is moon of the planet Eris, so-named because Dysnomia was also the "lawless" child of the Greek goddess Eris. It also refers to a memory issue. With Dysnomia, Dawn of Midi seems to have forgotten the past, ignored current musical precepts, and made something truly unique. 

Here are some online resources for you to explore.

I received no compensation of any kind for this review.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition...

Check out this track from the upcoming June release of the album ToPaRaMa from drummers Pat Mastelotto and Tobias Ralph.

About a week ago I installed the compute engine for Compute Against Alzheimer's Disease and have been letting it run in the background since, doing computations that aid in the fight against Alzheimer's Disease. The software, called Frontier, can be downloaded here. So for the price of a little electricity our old XP desktop is actually doing something useful.

Bask in its majesty - the pigbutt worm, aka the flying buttocks.
I will not share links to various inspirational/funny/meaningful graduation speeches. The only one I thought about maybe linking to was the guy who called the graduating class a bunch of whiny bitches for getting the original speaker to cancel. I will share Miyamoto Musashi's 21 rules to live your life, written in the year 1645. #4 Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.

[Update 25 May 2014] Changed my mind. Here's the commencement address from U.T. Austin, delivered by Admiral William McRaven on life lessons from SEAL training.

A submarine could determine its position on the globe to within 1 meter without surface by using these newly developed quantum accelerometers - imagine a laser used to measure the motion of a single atom.

This came up in a Twitter convo I was in this week. Do you know the 10 commandments of color theory?

Femur of the world's largest dinosaur, a titanosaur unearthed in Argentina. Full size estimated at 65 feet tall, 130 feet long. We're gonna need a bigger museum.
I'd watch this. What if David Lynch had directed Return of the Jedi?

Breaking News: Urine is NOT sterile so stop peeing on every little boo boo. And for the record, your brain is full of bacteria and viruses too.

Is farting in the workplace acceptable? (Shouldn't it be handled like smoking? Go outside to a designated area.)

Fans of sausage and Star Trek finally have common ground.

...but certainty is absurd. ~Voltaire

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Not until we are lost...

Hours and hours of fun: watch live streaming video of the earth from the ISS.

The University of New Mexico hosts online a collection of cross sectional, cutaway drawings of nuclear power plants.

Disney vets Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas wrote about the 12 principles of animation. If you'd rather watch than read, see the 12 principles simply and succinctly illustrated in this video.

Would you pay $30 million for Piet Mondrian's Composition with Red, Blue, and Gray, 1927? It's up for auction later this month.
Or would you pay $55 for a beer foamer?

Can you catch your own football pass?

Electricity makes sense now.

Take 15 minutes to learn how one of Rothko's defaced Seagram murals was restored.

I'm certain you heard that artist H.R. Giger, the designer of the creature from Alien, has died.

Computer science is back with vengeance. After the dot-com bust, the number of computer science graduates dropped by nearly 50% but then started rising at the start of the Great Recession showing a 13% growth rate a year ago.

The most widely spoken language in each state other than English or Spanish.
Two new typefaces: scientific and Cthulhuian.

Mice can produce an astonishing amount of urine.

It's about time someone did a parody of craft pr0n. Check out Re Made's artisanal plungers.

STAtalas is sports stats like you've never seen them before.

What are the worst things for sale on the internet?

Shittens: Don't leave home without them. we begin to understand ourselves. ~Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, May 10, 2014

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection.

Texans are a loyal bunch with only 24% of those polled saying they move elsewhere if given the chance. But which state has the least loyal residents?

Like Bach? Each Friday get one of Bach's 1,080 compositions at All of Bach.

Aviation pr0n at its finest - video of the 2013 Raytheon Trophy winning F-15 Eagles of the 67th Fighter Squadron.

I have never seen this in action but would like to: Disney World's janitors paint characters with their mops.

James McNeill Whistler, Nocturne in Blue and Silver, 1878. Stunning. Yes, this is the painter of Whistler's Mother and it gives me an entirely new perspective of and appreciation for his work.
"What starts out as hope soon becomes corroded into a tragedy of futility, leaving only a sense of chaos and the possibility of a new beginning." That sentence courtesy of the generator at Arty Bollocks.

40 maps that explain the Middle East? If only it were that easy.

This interactive visualization of the smartest spending teams in sports is one of the few URLs that I showed my son that he actually thought was interesting. Until he pointed out it was comparing apples and oranges due to salary cap. In the NFL, the best is the Patriots and next to last is the Browns.

Is this really how waves work?

What do you do with a disused 110 meter tall gas storage tank? You install an 320 degree interior light show, of course. 320 Licht. Take 3 minutes and watch the video.
Hmm. Millennial panic is a media-fabricated social norm. Yet despite agreeing with me, this article trips itself with statements like "[Millennials] parents' generation worked thanklessly at dead-end jobs." At least we now have proof that generational self-deceit works both ways.

Yes, opening a bottled drink with a chain saw.

Combine animation art with abstract expressionism and you get the work of Joyce Pensato.

If there really is a secret aircraft museum at Area 51, here's what might be in it.

Welcome to Cleveland, Johnny Football.

This still cracks me up every time I see it. source
If all the world's ice melted, you really wouldn't want to be in Florida according to these maps.

You can buy almost anything online theses days, including the joystick from the Apollo 15 lunar lander. (Starting bid, $10,000)

Over on Medium, one man extolls the great works of software: Unix, Emacs (yuk), and 3 others that may surprise you.

There are times when driving a tractor is better than being a jet pilot.
I'm not a huge Talking Heads fan, but this video of them performing in Syracuse in 1978 seems to be quite a rarity.

100 Year Starship was formed in order to achieve spaceflight beyond our solar system within the next century.

Dogs + GIFs = Dance Party

So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible. ~William Faulkner

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Twinscapes by Colin Edwin and Lorenzo Feliciati

I waited too long
to share with you how good this
Twinscapes album is.

Twinscapes is the 2014 collaborative effort of the bassist duo of Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree, Metallic Taste of Blood) and Lorenzo Feliciati (Naked Truth, Berserk) joined by Andi Pupato (percussion), David Jackson (sax), Nils Petter Molvaer (trumpet), and Roberto Gauldi (drums).

The album consists of 11 tracks: Shaken, Alice, In Dreamland, Breathsketch, Transparent, i-DEA, Conspiracy, Perfect Tool, Sparse, Yugen, Solos.

Twinscapes is a smoky, bubbling cauldron of rich bass laced with an almost surprisingly intricate ambience and spiced with the occasional funk. Sometimes rock, sometimes jazz, sometimes electronic - always delighful. There is a delicious restraint and openness to their sound. On Transparent, Molvaer's trumpet contributes a silkiness that echoes Feliciati's work with Naked Truth while on i-DEA Jackson's sax lends a ragged, breathy immediacy.

For a taste of the entire album, listen to the following preview on SoundCloud. Also, three complete tracks are posted on their record label's website, Rare Noise Records. My sense is that this album is best listened to at dusk, with the day's last light streaming in through the window, and your favorite beverage on your lips.

Here are some online resources for you to explore.
I received no compensation of any kind for this review.

Do not impose on others...

Go behind the scenes with this film shot in the studio during rehearsals for the Eno-Hyde album Someday World. And after that, check out Eno's reading list. (I've only read 1 of 20, War and Peace.)

Art Everywhere is the outdoor display of great American art as chosen by you. Vote on your favorites every day and the top 50 will be displayed across the country this coming August.

What color is sound? -or- Paint a room to reflect your favorite album. Or try Noisli if you need some background sounds.

For my beer drinking friends, here are 10 beers that are worth seeking out and trying. (Thomas Creek Conduplico Immundus Monachus?)

PicoBrew: doing for beer what Keurig did for coffee.

Cricket balls. Not insect pr0n, but the making of them (craft pr0n). Along those same lines, take comfort in knowing that old leaf spring you have in your garage can be crafted into a knife. (For the zombie apocalypse.)

Plastic food sounds like a toy until you've actually seen it in use in Japan.

Are you making any of these five common word usage mistakes? For example, did you know that no U.S. English preposition ending in -ward takes a final "s" except for backwards and afterwards?

At the intersection of design and derriere is Flat Butts.
Mascots are everywhere in business except tech. Why is that? Frankly, I think a little mascot might humanize the brand.

 'Muricans. Shame. We like our science far off in the future, not impacting our daily lives.

On MIT Technology Review's list of 10 breakthrough technologies for 2014 is microscale 3D printing.

Science giveth and science may taketh away. Remember several weeks ago the picture of gravitational waves? They might just be dust.

Scientists and doctors are now growing vaginas in labs and implanting them successfully into patients. (Serious, not a puerile joke.)

I have been laid low having seen only 23 of the top 100 animated movies.

Conservation efforts on the Civil War submarine Hunley have been completed.
So that's where it was. Hiding underneath Alabama was a piece of Africa.

Flushd is a smartphone app for finding the loo.

Ho-hum. More misinformation about motivating millennials.

Ho-hum deux: No one seems interested in push-button orgasms.

The Wonderlic exam always comes up this time of year due to the NFL draft but I didn't know it's also used in business as an interview tool. Want to try the Wonderlic yourself?

This list of the sounds we hate the most missed one that's high on my list - ringing cell phones, especially ring tones like music. And since thunder is high on the good sounds list how about a visual of rain in your browser.

Pokemon Alphabet
What do Miles Davis, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and giving a presentation have in common? A presentation is the interaction with the live audience.

For whiskey drinkers: Leave it to our Japanese friends at Suntory and their technology partners at Autodesk: design and 3D print your own custom ice cube scupltures called 3D on the Rocks.

Google's Project Tango is creating a mobile device (think cell phone) that is able of using sensors to map the 3D environment in your vicinity. (I recently met one of their partners for this work and his vision of what this device will allow is pretty incredible.)

Again with the projects. Project Naptha's goal is to enhance you web browsing by highlighting, copying and translating text from any image.

According to the WSJ, the 7th best job of 2014 is software engineer with a mid-level income of slightly over $93,000. And it seems if you're a lumberjack you're not OK.

I've always liked Dvorak's music (esp. his Symphony for the New World) but now I find myself liking it even more.

U.S. highways, simplified
How about a map of baseball fandom?

Science can sometimes be almost as exciting as watching paint dry. For example, the pitch drop experiment.

Remember the old Radio Shack electronics experiment kit where you wired together all sorts of gizmos? Now there's littleBits, snap together electronics. NASA is even involved.

Vintage floppy disks (as your parents) from 1985 yielded a treasure trove of unknown works by Andy Warhol.

One collector wants to know whether this is a real Rothko. (My immediate reaction when seeing it for the first time was no, it is not a Rothko. The brushwork doesn't look right.)
Have you been on the fence about learning to code? This might motivate you: Code Babes.


Game time: try to create your own stable solar system with Super Planet Crash.

...what you yourself do not desire. ~Confucius