Wired News is reporting about the recent unveiling of Wikinews. I mentioned Wikinews back in October when it was still a glint in the Wikipedia creators' eyes. And just last week, I pointed out Wired's editorial about the downfall of newspapers. USAToday has a related editorial reporting that newspapers are popular in Japan (aren't they supposedly cyber-savvy?!?). The Independent questions when and if online news will stop being free.
I love Google News because I feel that it can normalize editorial bias in single news organizations. Wikinews--although still a nascent effort--may do that one better.Continue reading "On (a collection of) point(s)"
Here's a listing of music examples categorized by chord progression. There are around 300 examples in SWF (with performance recordings), PDF, and MOV form covering the following categories:
[ via Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese ]Continue reading "I found my frog"
This blog contains material on art, music, programming, and science. I am not a published artist or musician, am currently unemployed, and have only a slight understanding of the details of many scientific processes. This blog should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.
(Although you probably won't gain much by studying it carefully.)Continue reading "Disclaimer"
Bletchly Park [Wikipedia], center for British codebreaking in WWII and central within Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, has gathered solutions to the Shugborough code mystery [Wikipedia]. The monument, created between 1748 and 1758, contains an as-yet undeciphered enscryption that many felt pointed to the location of the holy grail!! Representatives from Bletchly Park have narrowed the most likely solutions down to either an acronym for a dedication to the deceased or--more likely--a reference to a secret order popular at the time called the Priory of Sion [Wikipedia].
However, according to Wikipedia, the Priory of Sion only goes back to 1956, and any older history was concocted to give them greater credibility. Is Wikipedia wrong? Or is the Bletchly Park announcement a hoax?Continue reading "More Chariots of the Gods?"
Just as a Wired editorial declares that
[y]oung people just aren't interested in reading newspapers and print magazines, the Internet receives a transmission from the future (in the form of a Ken Burns documentary?!?) revealing that a chimera composed of Google and Amazon will shut The New York Times down by 2014. It's a compelling argument that would've been better served as a simple essay and without the dystopic melodrama.
You know, Limbaugh has a point about the thin-skinned, respect-protecting complexes of NBA players. But, and correct me if I'm wrong, listeners, isn't that a quality also true of the SUV-wielding, gun-toting, get-offa-my-lawning, this-is-my-tree-standing part of America, too (i.e. the rest of it)? Heightened protection of self-identity is hardly a trait exclusive to professional basketball players (Limbaugh-code for black people), it's a trait that practically defines our macho culture! Maybe if we didn't operate foreign policy with our cocks out we could stay out of each other's faces once in a while.
Limbaugh basically said that the brawl was caused because of black athelete's involvement in hip hop culture (he's probably trying to ride the wave after the Vibe Awards melee). He spews these idiotic, one-dimentional analysis, people listen passively because it's "entertainment," and simplistic arrogance is perpetuated. How can anyone listen to him? Do you need a heightened ability to hold two, mutually exclusive concepts in your mind?
I discovered Amy Beach's [Wikipedia] music at the public library back when I was in high school. New World Records published her Violin Sonata under the name Mrs. H. H. A. Beach--in the halcyon days of pre-feminism and pre-suffrage, women went by their husbands' names with the quaint 'Mrs' attached. Anyway, post-feminists re-branded her works and she's now herself again. She was part of the New England School of composers. I'm generally not a fan of early American music or art, but at around this period our composers start getting interesting. And I'm a sucker for this Romanticism.
The Kabao CD was handed out during his recent show at Django. A cool time was had by all, and now you can relive a few songs of that cool time.
Red is classic King Crimson from 1974 (30 years ago?!?). I can do without the free improv on "Providence," but the rest of the songs are models of creative rock composition. The mix of alto sax (?)--carried over from their earlier days too influenced by soft jazz--and noisynoisy guitar and drums is perfect. Some notable musical features: check out the diminished scale [Wikipedia] used in "Red" and the single-note solo played over a 13/8 meter in "Starless." Two sites provide analysis: King Crimson: Red - An Analysis by Andrew Keeling and Chapter Six: King Crimson III and Brian Eno from the online book Robert Fripp by Eric Tamm (who mistakes the opening scale in "Red" for the whole tone scale [Wikipedia], probably because of the tritone in the harmony). Correction: Mr. Tamm has below corrected my sloppy misreading of his analysis. In his book, he points out the whole-tone-scale root relationships. Subtle and different than my misrepresentation. Apologies.
I've been enjoying my recent acquisition of Kleptones music. They combine Queen and The Flaming Lips with various rappers by replacing the former's vocals with the latter's. It's called mash up [Wikipedia] for all you groovies out there. With these recordings, the pallid harmonies and limited song structure of rap is replaced with music that excels at both. The Yoshimi tracks contain the exact songs with the vocals replaced. The Queen tracks are more scattered and fragmented--The Kleptones create a new structure using Queen's harmonies.Continue reading "Currently Listening To"
This entry is a repository for useful code libraries that have been presented in C/C++ Users Journal. The article name links to the zipped file, on CUJ's site, of that issue's source code. The issue date links to the CUJ page for that issue. This will be regularly updated.Continue reading "Code libraries from C/C++ Users Journal"
The AP writer for the CNN article points out some wacky inconsistencies in Bush's policy:Continue reading "Unfriendly climate"
I don't know why, but I expected the headline to read "Two-thirds of Americans Don't Believe Darwin's Evolution Theory." I guess it depends on how the question was asked ... although that still doesn't explain my impulse. The findings:Continue reading "Poll on evolution"
Scott Spiegelberg recently published an analysis of the Chopin Prelude Op. 28 No. 4 and suggested that number 2 was ripe for analysis also. It got my curiosity up, so there goes a few hours of my time ...Continue reading "Analysis: Chopin Prelude Op. 28, No. 2"
First, paleontologists in Spain have found a 13-million-year-old fossil that may be the link between the line that developed into Homo sapiens and the one that developed into great apes. The Smithsonian's Human Origins Program has a phylogenetic tree [Wikipedia] of human ancestors going back 5 million years. Some scientists doubt that this fossil represents our common ancestor, but it will be an interesting story to watch.
Second, The Washington Post has a report on hybrid animals being created using human stem cells.
In Nevada, there are sheep whose livers and hearts are largely human.
What to do?Continue reading "Links, old and new"
This entry is a review of the different forms of the Egyptian spoken language and its related written scripts.Continue reading "Egyptian language and script"
A company called Applian Technologies is selling a streaming recorder called, simply enough, WM Recorder. It's slick-looking, but $30 for something that's readily available for free is a little steep.
In the current issue of Queue, the magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), there's an article titled "Natural programming languages and environments." The article is written by a group
working to create programming languages and environments that are ... closer to the way people think about their tasks.
A resource for some music from The Pixies, Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, etc.Continue reading "New acquisitions"
The opera The Magic Flute contains many references to the myth of Osiris and Isis [Wikipedia].Continue reading "Osiris and Isis"
I read Malcolm Gladwell's recent article in The New Yorker on copyright and ownership called "Something Borrowed." It echoes many of this discussions I've seen recently around the Internet but that I hadn't read. Open-source, DRM, file-sharing--I'm immersed in it, yet I don't have a complete opinion or complete grounding on the subject.Continue reading "Gladwell on copying"
This page contains an organized list of Web layout references and tools based on HTML and CSS. An earlier version of the source is available in a previous entry.Continue reading "CSS Reference"
The geniuses over at Allegro software try to make it as hard as possible for users to get their free viewer (Finale NotePad) by forcing them to register. As I had said many times before, Finale could simplify our lives and promote their software by taking the path that Adobe did to propagate their PDF format. They made the PDF viewer simple for users to download!
Let me explain what I had to do to get NotePad:
Granted, it didn't take a PhD, but registration is completely unnecessary. Their format could become the accepted standard for distributing sheet music. Instead they discourage casual users by asking for their email address. Again, not horrible, but little inconveniences like registration only hold back wider adoption.Continue reading "Viewing music transcription files"
In an article from The New York Times titled The Critical Masses, author Anne Midgette attempts to understand the future of classical music and comes up with this:
If this discussion underlined anything, it was that classical music is a niche market — rather, a blanket term for an agglomeration of niche markets. There are organ aficionados who hate opera, contemporary-music fans with little use for Elizabethan lute songs. Perhaps because critics are expected to address all of these niches with equal expertise and authority, we forget, when we worry about the future of our field, that each niche is doing pretty well.
The biggest crisis in classical music today is taking place in its major (possibly outdated) institutions: the symphony orchestras trying to sell thousands of tickets, the record labels looking for blockbuster recordings.
I agree. Naxos is doing fine selling its 20th/21st century symphonic catalog to the small group that listens even though they can't fill stadiums and sell t-shirts to go along with it. The market's not equal to the GDP of a small country, but it exists and will continue to exist for a while.
Did Clinton gut the military?
No.Continue reading "Gut feeling"
[Lisa Simpson and another girl are playing tag. Homer's watching.]
Girl: You lie like a bee with a booger on its knee!
Homer: Hehe. The bee was funny, and the booger was icing on the cake!Continue reading "Pure hilarity"
School board OKs challenges to evolution. The article says that this Dover, PA school is the first in the country to let in Intelligent Design. Gah. And the Cobb county trial is finishing up, so maybe we're next.
The point at issue in Cobb is the mandate that stickers be placed in biology textbooks stating that
[e]volution is a theory, not a fact. People: gravity is a theory. But it's also a fact. The scientific explanation of gravity is the theory part. The observation is the fact part. It's a fact that organisms have changed over time. Evolution is the only theory we've got that explains that fact adequately.
As a side note, check out the cool Flash animation, from the Dover, PA article, showing the four major geologic period and showing the arrangement of the continents for each. Very spiffy.Continue reading "ID: 1, Evolution: 0"
It's begun: Employees readying class-action lawsuit against EA.Continue reading "Time and again"
I'm always tempted to go back to sci-fi in my reading list. The closest I've gotten is a couple of the recent William Gibson [Wikipedia] novels a year ago--Idoru and Pattern Recognition [Amazon]--both were pretty good (and oddly similar). Also the Neal Stephenson novels Quicksilver [Amazon] and (currently) Cryptonomicon [Amazon]. Also good. But I've been tempted to branch out.
And what's a better book recommendation than random chance?Continue reading "What? No Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator?"
I took interest in this song when I noticed the chromatic mediant relationship with the key of B moving to D (early on in the instrumental opening). I also liked the D min to D maj relationship (introduced in the second verse)--in my songs I'll periodically switch from the major chord to the minor, and so I'm shocked when it's done in reverse. Anyway, the transcription is average but adequate.
Notably I had recently read that Tony Banks disliked this song on the album (And Then There Were Three [Wikipedia]). It's weird to like a song that is disliked by (one of) it's composer(s). This album was always low, probably the lowest, on my list of Genesis albums. Why?
Why?Continue reading "Transcription: "Down and Out" by Genesis"
Malcolm Gladwell has a new book coming out in January of next year called Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking [Amazon]. Gladwell wrote my 30 September 2004 Currently Reading item, The Tipping Point. Tipping Point analyzed how popular trends become popular--labeling that transition as the tipping point. He classified the way that trends tip into three areas: the law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context. His ideas have that quality of obvious-yet-unstated. Why hadn't someone codified this before?Blink should be equalling intriguing. IT Conversations has a streaming presentation by the author. A simple, obvious statement he makes at one point in the presentation,
our feelings about something are extraordinarily unstable,hints at the conclusions arrived at by social construction [Wikipedia]. We're making choices every day, many of which we think are normal and absolute, yet we will change our choice--sometimes to the exact opposite--when context changes. Continue reading "Blink"
CNN, among others, is reporting about John Ashcroft's recent statement:
The danger I see here is that intrusive judicial oversight and second-guessing of presidential determinations in these critical areas can put at risk the very security of our nation in a time of war ...
judicial oversight, something the Constitution establishes, is risky to our nation? Is this why we're considering a replacement [Wikipedia] who feels that
[the war on terror] renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitation of questioning of enemy prisoners [PDF]? And is this why the first Bush, in a recent interview with Cokie Roberts, spent most of his time complaining about the other branches of government slowing him down? And is this why people are worried about the current Bush appointing up to three Supreme Court justices?
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II, page 6. John Carter [Wikipedia] and Gulliver Jones meet in preparation for their battle against the Martians who will eventually invade Earth a la The War of the Worlds [Wikipedia].Continue reading "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II, page 6"
This weeks Onion has an article titled "I Must Take Issue With The Wikipedia Entry For 'Weird Al' Yankovic." I think Wikipedia has hit its tipping point. Getting referenced in The Onion is sort of like ... having your song parodied by Weird Al. A sure sign of fame.
But, an ecyclopedia run by obsessives--techie obsessives--is ripe for humor anyway:
I remained silent in regard to those smaller matters, but I cannot ignore the travesty you call a copyleft encyclopedia article on "Weird Al." Those who know me either by reputation or through IRC know that I do not suffer fools gladly. If you have been on the business end of one of my notorious outbursts of Internet anger, I do sympathize. And, for what is to come forthwith, I offer you my grim condolence. En garde.Continue reading "WaY"
Wikipedia has an entry on 2004 U.S. Election controversies and irregularities. It is currenty listed for deletion because of disputed neutrality and factual accuracy. The talk page (a standard Mediawiki page allowing open discussions for each entry) has details on the dispute. The VfD page (Votes for Deletion) contains further debates and stumping to either delete, merge with a similar page, or keep.
This will be another test Wikipedia and an excellent subject to be documented and updated as more information is found. Wikipedia is self-correcting and self-documenting for this very reason.Continue reading "VfD"
Jest Magazine has a Zombie Apocalypse Survival guide. It shouldn't be confused with The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead [Amazon] by an SNL writer.
The Jest article is sometimes funny (
This is going to be a long apocalypse. If you have only guys looking down the barrel of an apocalypse, you are going to have a sausage fest. Nobody likes a sausage fest.) and sometimes just goofily grim (
Look to your left and right. These people will probably die.). The photo opening the article is pretty funny though.
It did remind me of an article from The Straight Dope that I had read a while back titled When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails? It is written with a sincere effort to answer the question with statements like
Combined-cycle gas turbines would likely operate unattended for a shorter length of time – perhaps only a day or two, depending on the age of the plant and the degree of automation. And includes references to government sites on energy management. Neat-o. The Straight Dope site has many other interesting slightly waste-of-time type articles.
I don't feel any safer about zombies though.Continue reading "Zombie survival"
Kevin (of OttoTone Records fame) Robert (of Kabao fame) and I (...), are going to a 730 Atlanta meeting over at Smith's Old Bar tonight at 7:30. Kevin says it's a very informal musical meeting-of-minds with musicians and industry people around Atlanta.
Should be fun.Continue reading "Music meeting tonight"
Steve Litt at Troubleshooters.com has this page where he presents an algorithm for calculating prime numbers and then steps through optimizations. The algorithm is in C (very well written) with explanations for each step.
The /. article has some further comments on Litt's code along with some useful links.
WXYC out of Chapel Hill just celebrated its 10-year anniversary of Internet broadcasting on November 7th. They were (barely) the first station to do so, with Atlanta's WREK coming in at a very close second. WREK began on the same day but didn't publicly announce it.
Some of the initial comments are interesting (e.g. "this is not what the Internet was intended for!").Continue reading "Happy streaming"
It's nice to have your own ire put in context. This individual makes a political point with 42 "fuck"s (43 counting the URL). What is he saying (without the fucks)?Continue reading "I'm not angry!"
The report mainly blames the melt on gases from fossil fuels burnt in cars, factories and power plants. The Arctic warms faster than the global average because dark ground and water, once exposed, traps more heat than reflective snow and ice.
For years, most objective scientists have agreed that this is happening, yet the dissent of a few in the minority has commanded our policy. Years ago, it was the ozone hole over Antarctica [Wikipedia] that signalled trouble. This is not an I-told-you-so on my part, but I'm sick of arguing with ignorant assholes who believe that there's some scientific conspiracy against the oil companies. Stop being dumb, people.Continue reading "Study: Arctic warming at twice the global rate"
Here are a couple of good articles published recently on Bush and faith.Continue reading "And above all, Bush"
Over the past week, I've been blocking IP addresses from my server for any address that had comment spam (spom?) originating from it. It may not be the best method, but it seems to have worked for 99% of the crap. The biggest assumption is that they are using fixed addresses. Because this has been so successful, I think that most are.
Here's the list of offending addresses. Two are ranges.Continue reading "I banish thee"
An article from Scientific American titled Music and the Brain. Nothing too enlightening, but it's got some hard data on what is generally taught in class. I'm in a constant battle with relativists who believe that there is no such thing as good and bad music. Studies such as those reported in the Scientific American article may help to support the universals that I argue for.Continue reading "Music and the Brain"
Check out the photoshopping of this kid's sign for his lost frog. Click on the images to see the next ones.
[ via BoingBoing ]Continue reading "All your frog are belong to us"
A collection of maps presenting the election results.Continue reading "Election maps"
At the risk of digging up ghosts, I will present this graphic representation of Bush's service record in the National Guard. The creator took information only from military records (not rumours) to create it.
Here's W's air guard record in visual format from an entry in Simon Woodside's blog. The graphics are very clear and, regardless of the political content, this is an excellent example of visual presentation of complex data.
The Woodside graphic is dated Sept 2004. This FactCheck.org article discussing the available military documents and the issues surrounding them is dated Feb 2004.
Yes, others may have cheated the system like Bush did, but those others aren't our president right now.Continue reading "Remembering the National Guard"
Dammit! Now there happening before I even write them down.
This article describes research being done to create portable projectors for cell phones and PDAs. I first wanted something like that for my digital camera. We're always passing the camera around to show the picture we just took or to slide-show a group of pictures. If it had a built-in projector, we could use a white wall or table to show the images to a group of people all at once.
Even better, if the device connected through a card slot or USB port, you could attach it to your PDA or possibly your phone.
Very cool that someone's actually working on it.Continue reading "Genius idea #3"
Continue reading "Review: Primer (4/5)"
Man, I hate this shit.
In grade school, I loved reading with scepticism and awe (it didn't matter if it wasn't true) the various unbelievable conspiracies and paranormal philosophies that travelled around the young teen world. Aztec alien encounters, real supernatural visitations, cursed events occurring beyond the possibility of randomness. It was neat-o and very youthful and lived in the patina of growing up as much as cartoons and girls-you-really-liked-but-never-even-spoke-to.
I love those memories of unbelievable stories told by friends-of-friends with earnestness (but not really beleived ... not really).
I don't love reading quotes from the CEO of the company that makes our voting machines declaring that he's
committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president, a year before Ohio delivers the winning electoral votes to the president.
I don't know when I lost my love of conspiracies. I just did. It's not fun to have to even consider this shit. So maybe I just shouldn't. Maybe it is just Chariots of the gods. But where's the endearing awe?Continue reading "Chariots of the Gods?"
Satellite radio (which I predict, like Xerox and Kleenex before it, will eventually be known as XM) keeps getting cooler and cooler. Sirius has a new portable for < $100 called the Sportster.
Continue reading "Sporty"
Strangely, the most upsetting result for me was that for the gay marriage issue. It affects me in no way--though I've had many gay friends in the past, I currently have only one who is an infrequent acquaintance. However, I think it represents, for me, the decision-making that brought us to where we are.Continue reading "Results"
I'm not sure if I like these reading lists. They bundle many entries under one, giant entry at the expense of categorization. This may be a short-lived experiment.
This entry is a repository of links and instructions covering how to install MediaWiki on a Windows 2000 IIS machine (ongoing).
After an hour and a half to vote, the lesson is: forget early voting and its somtimes six hour wait, voting on the day-of is where it's at.
Alas, as I pointed out from the local elections in July, the process is much more confusing that it needs to be. Added to the complications of the July voting, you have to first get your voting registration paper (?) and then get in line. There are no officials at the end of the line to tell you this. If everyone was like me then we'd all have our faces buried in a book and wouldn't notice that someone had walked up and didn't follow the process. Most people were lucky. Some were not.
These issues are not major, but for the importance that is put on voting (and for as important as it is) I think that more importance and care should be shown for the process. To tell us about our civic duty and then make it obscure and convoluted is disingenuous.Continue reading "I voted, but let's hope I get more than this lousy sticker..."
After previously listening to the Glass arias, I got my mind on Glass operas specifically and operas in general. I had never learned enough about operas and am still quite inexperienced when it comes to the major stories. A sabbatical is a good a time as any to pick up new knowledge.
The only Glass opera I have is the experimental Einstein on the Beach [Wikipedia]. I purchased my copy used (with a $39.97 sticker still on the box) not long after I graduated from college and not long after I recorded a special on it from PBS. It's at times difficult and would be categorized with his more experimental works. The PBS special had scenes of the opera being practiced along with many interviews of Glass and director Robert Wilson.
Chosing The Magic Flute [Wikipedia] as the other opera to listen to falls under the same category (limited choice in my library) and also under coincidence. It was given to me, IIRC, last Christmas by my mom-in-law, and after I finally decided to listen to it, I found out that she went to see it performed last week. This copy had burned a hole in my Wish List for a while because it was both inexpensive ($14) and a highly rated introduction to the opera. The Black Dog Opera Library publishes their operas in small hard-back books containing the libretto and history. That plus two CDs is a great deal.
A word of caution: Amazon is cataloging them under 'books' now, and some of the comments suggest that there is miscategorization with the complete opera and recordings with only excerpts. Very unfortunate, but just be cautious when you order.Continue reading "Currently Listening To"