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Friday, August 08, 2003
11:10 AM      

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy birthday, me!

It's a cool thing to share your birthday with your mom.


A news headline got me thinking about Junie Morrison, a versatile musician that I've been following since the early days of the Ohio Players through Funkadelic, with solo projects in between. The guy's interesting, funny and mega-talented. Looks like he's coming out with a new solo record soon.

His site features an interesting Flash interface. While I'm not completely thrilled with the way the navigation works, it's nice to see something that isn't more of the same.

Though it's not completely novel, be sure to check out the "Mixadelic" feature under "New Music." You can set your own mix levels for different tracks and add kicks where you like.

"Absolut DJ" did a similar thing, but went furhter, because you could save your mixes and e-mail them to your friends.


Slight revisions to my recent poem, based on feedback from my workshop group:

These are my legacy:
Failed experiments in chemistry.
Cushy goos gone hard and brittle,
Diamond-shaped crystals that crumble.
Some might waft jasmine-like scent,
Then sour to reek the foulest stench.

Looped; completely buzzed
On vapor, badly burnt by acid,
Slippery handfuls of awful stuff –
Never thought to put on gloves.
Some see the search as its own reward,
Yet a useless formula remains a dud.

At last it boils down to you + me,
The only ingredients we’ll ever need.

[ link | e-me ]

Thursday, August 07, 2003
2:04 PM      

Bryant Park Oops...
Snatched from the "Truth is Stranger than Fiction" files... a Chihuahua was attacked by a trained hawk in Manhattan's Bryant park. The hawks were brought in to control the pigeons in the park, and the falconer who manages the bird figures it thought the dog was a rat. The incident might be enough to kill the hawk program.

[ link | e-me ]

12:39 PM      

You Are Where You Live

This PRIZM Cluster is most likely to...
•Attend the theater
•Use olive oil
•Bank online
•Watch Mystery
•Read Self

I learned about Claritas Corporation back in the '80s, when I was working in magazine circulation. Looks like they're still going strong. They match zip codes with demographic information, to help marketers reach the audiences they're most interested in, or avoid the ones they're not. Try it out. Punch in a few zip codes you know, or look some up. Read the descriptions of the clusters closely. Notice your reaction.


Out and about

It's been a wet few days. Still, I had to take my camera out with me. I just got a new battery pack for it: a DigiPower DPS4000. It's small enough not to weigh you down, but has enough power to last through several hours of shooting. Best of all, it didn't cost much, and it's easier to work with than the AA rechargeable batteries I was using before.

What'd I catch? For one thing, a rainbow...

and a building slowly being torn down...

while life goes on.


One of the books on my wish list is "Vision and Art: the Biology of Seeing" by Margaret Livingstone. It's a fascinating look at the biological underpinnings of how we experience art. Livingstone's contributions might well lead some artists to advances in their craft. Skimming the book, I came across this:

Blurriness makes it impossible for our brains to use stereopsis. To see stereoscopic depth, the image needs to be detailed enough that we can detect the slight differences in the two eyes' images; if the images are blurry, we can't see the differences... By eliminating some spatial details and blurring others, the artist hinders stereopsis from telling us that the image is really flat. This allows other depth cues in the painting, such as shading and perspective, to produce a more powerful impression...

[ link | e-me ]

Tuesday, August 05, 2003
5:22 PM      

Here today...
I took my camera out today, trying to catch a shot of a sign I'd seen the other day. Unfortunately, the weather had taken it. The text read "James Davis: One in a billion, Michael Bloomberg: Boring billionaire."

[ link | e-me ]

1:44 PM      

I am really loving Photoshop. At this size, I don't think you can appreciate all the nuances of this piece, but I thought I'd share it with you anyway.


Dog theory
On average, at least twice a day, the dogs behind my apartment start to howl. There are at least two of them, but at times it sounds like three or four dogs are chiming in. Sirens set them off. We have a firehouse near enough to hear the trucks when they head out on a call.

The interesting thing is that a single siren is usually not enough to get the critters going. Seems that there have to be at least two sirens. I think the dogs are responding to the intermodulation of the two siren sounds – because the frequencies are not exactly matched, they "beat" off each other, creating a third tone that is a byproduct of the two.

When I was a kid, we had a dog named "Napoleon," who would howl at the 5:00 siren. I saw the siren tower once, and there were actually two sirens mounted on the tower, facing in opposite directions.

I doubt that there's any practical application for my observation. Still, you might want to take note, next time you notice a dog howling.



Michele: "Frankly, I think this poll only ends up making right wing bloggers look foolish, immature and petty..."

John: "I'm more interested in getting the opinions of Conservatives when I do these things. ... I'd have to disagree on Chomsky. He's been highly influential poisoner of young minds. Few people have worked harder and have had more success at getting Americans to hate their own country."

[read more]

Let's not confuse the baby with the turd floating in the bath water. I don't hate America. I'm pretty disgusted by the folks who are busy redefining what America is. I also think "America" is becoming increasingly irresponsible with regard to the interests and needs of the rest of the world.

A right-wing blogger invited some select friends to vote for who they thought were the 20 worst figures in American history and came up with a bizarre list that puts Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson, and Noam Comsky behind only the Rosenbergs and Benedict Arnold. If not for a bit of creative accounting, Clinton would have tied with the Rosenbergs for second place.

Conservatives love to use variations on the phrase "they hate our country," as in Michael Moore Hates America. That's pure bullshit. One thing that upsets liberals (who tend to be termed "lefties" by the conservatives, because it makes them sound more "commie") is that they see corrupt, immoral, wallet-driven behavior being the only valid definition of what it is to be "American."

But back to that thing about the worst figure in American History... What makes Bill the worst? That he lied? Like we're not being lied to now? No, I suppose it's about the nature of the lie. It's about the sexuality of the thing. Kill all you want, but don't give or receive pleasure; and for heaven's sake, don't be kinky about it. It still boggles my mind, that so many people in this country consider lying about a blowjob to be a more serious offense than the Iran/Contra Affair (or, is that too complex for the "average" American to comprehend?). Oh – and there was also that fiasco called the Watergate break-in...

At least it's very clear that conservatives and liberals have very different visions of "American." I think it'd be an interesting exercise to try and spell out those differences in a concrete manner; maybe a couple more lists?! Well, maybe I'll write more on this some other time.


The dogs just howled for the second time today.

[ link | e-me ]
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