Surfin’

New Music Sighting, Baby Edition

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The Playground of the Baby Giants appears on the end credits of Gorgotan, a film written and directed by Buzz.

I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but I wanted to thank him by giving his work a little exposure.

22. October 2009 by sknob
Destination: Making Music, Surfin' | Leave a comment

KJFG by Alexei Alexeev, via Drawn!

These animated shorts are the best I’ve seen in ages. The quality of the drawings and animation, and the strange, repetitive humor, made my day (be sure to check out all of the animations on the original Drawn post).

Posted via web from sknob’s posterous

13. October 2009 by sknob
Destination: Multimedia Authoring, Surfin' | Leave a comment

Charles Darwin film ‘too controversial for religious America’ – Telegraph

Posted via web from sknob’s posterous

13. September 2009 by sknob
Destination: Surfin' | 1 comment

They Might Be Giants – Electric Car

Check out this website I found at drawn.ca

TBMG are such incredible songwriters and arrangers. In all modesty, they are close musical cousins of mine…

Posted via web from sknob’s posterous

04. September 2009 by sknob
Destination: Surfin' | Leave a comment

The Captivating History Of The Spork

By Sean Fallon, 10:00 PM on Fri Aug 28 2009, 4,933 views (Edit, to draft, Slurp)

Whether you call it a “spork” or a “foon,” we must all ask ourselves where we would be without the genius that brought fork and spoon together as one.

Actually, we owe a debt to several industrious culinary proto-spork pioneers: Samuel W. Francis filed a patent in 1874 for a combination fork, and knife and spoon. Harry L. McCoy invented a cutting spoon in 1908 followed by Frank Emmenegger’s tined edge spoon in 1912. However, the first person to actually file a trademark for the term “Spork” appears to be a man named Hyde W. Ballard (although there is no official record of this). The term eventually passed down to The Van Brode Milling Company in 1970, but they stupidly gave it up to the UK’s, Plastico Limited in 1975.

There are many imitators, like Lifeventure’s laughable “Forkspoon”—but in the end there can be only one true Spork design. And, after over 100 years, we finally experienced its penultimate evolution:

Our lives will never be the same. [Wikipedia T-Shirt via NerdyShirts]

Ingenuity at its best.

Posted via web from sknob’s posterous

29. August 2009 by sknob
Destination: Surfin' | 2 comments

Universal Language?

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

02. August 2009 by sknob
Destination: Making Music, Surfin' | Leave a comment

Electric Cars, in B flat

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Many years ago, while daydreaming, which I do a lot, I was thinking about how to solve a very real and big problem with electric cars (besides autonomy). They are so silent, that pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles don’t hear them coming.

And so I thought to myself that electric cars should emit noise of some kind, but that it should be as pleasant as possible. Like, say, music.

I further imagined that there should be some rules (automatically picked-up over the airwaves by the vehicles), so that the electric cars would always be playing in the same key (maybe a minor key to commemorate a sad occasion, a bright major key to celebrate something positive, etc., or different keys according to the weather, the time of day, the density of traffic, the unemployment rate, whatever…)

It wouldn’t matter what the rhythmic structure might be, or the timbre or character of the sound of each electric vehicle. The more varied, the better, so that despite the single key, there would be all kinds of interesting polyrhythms and orchestrations going on.

On occasion, I’ve actually been stupid enough to mention this idea to people. They usually stared back at me with a mixture of fear and pity.

Maybe they—and you—will think I’m slightly less batty after listening to In Bb 2.0.

In Bb 2.0 is a collaborative music and spoken word project conceived by Darren Solomon.

Different individuals record videos of themselves playing different instruments and/or devices in B flat. The videos are displayed in a mosaic and you can start/stop each video individually at any time.

Play with the page for a couple of minutes. The result may surprise you. It is remarkably pleasing to the ear.

It didn’t surprise me. Because it is exactly what I imagined for my crazy musical electric car idea…

16. May 2009 by sknob
Destination: Geekiness, Making Music, Surfin' | Leave a comment

I was on Facebook for 24 hours

The title says it all.

02. May 2009 by sknob
Destination: Geekiness, Surfin' | 1 comment

Chips, shoulders, Sex and the French HADOPI Internet “3-strikes” Law

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The French assembly is about to vote a really dumb “three-strikes” anti “Internet piracy” law. Among many other obscenities, it puts the onus on citizens to protect their Internet connections against people who would use it to download copyrighted materials. And the only way you can prove you are innocent is if you install some piece of government-approved snooping software (which doesn’t yet exist) on your computer. Guilty until proven innocent.

Quite an irony really.

Because normally, traditionally, our aging socialists would have proposed this three-strikes law to protect their buddies, the cool, lefty artists of yesteryear. And the right would have screamed bloody murder, too much state intervention, etc.

You see, our president Sarkozy is really a free-marketeer. He liked Bush. He would have sent French troops into Iraq (although it is important to note that he was elected despite these proclivities).

He’s also very “rive droite”, i.e. from the rich, bourgeois part of the Paris area, where people respect wealth over culture. So was his second wife, Cecelia. Who dumped him.

Soon after that, Sarko married former model Carla Bruni, a typical “rive gauche” bourgeois-bohème of the so-called caviar left, who despite their wealth, consider wealth to be vulgar. Her buddies are really cool philosophers and cool artists (many of whom Carla fucked in the past). The kind of people Sarkozy-style bourgeois have a huge inferiority complex towards.

Can you imagine poor, poor president Sarkozy, who represents everything these people despise, hanging out with them? What could he possibly do to fit in?

Why, this fabulous 3-strikes anti “piracy” law of course! With it, he could impress his dear Carlita and ingratiate himself with her left-bank artist buddies (most of whom are not wired, who think their declining sales are due to piracy (ha!), and who don’t realize they are really being screwed by the record-company lobbyists who cooked up the details of the law). Thankfully, many less clueless, more wired artists, movie-makers, independent labels (and Catherine Deneuve) have come out firmly against the law.

Which also explains why Sarko went absolutely apeshit when the law was defeated in the near-empty assembly a couple of weeks ago because a bunch of socialist representatives who happened to be around to vote on another law voted against this one. It’s back on the docket and will be likely be passed today (or it’s off to political-Guantanamo for the government-party representatives who vote their conscience).

France is even holding a major European telecoms package hostage over this. Despite the fact that the European parliament voted several times overwhelmingly for an amendment that would invalidate the French 3-strikes law. Oh, and we’re supposed to believe Sarko when he claims that next month’s European parliamentary election is of the highest importance. Quel cynisme.

And people like me, who make 100% of their living thanks to/over the Internet, be damned.

But back to sex.

So France is ridiculing itself because of Sarko’s Napoleon complex.

But I predict it won’t go much beyond that.

Because assuming the law is promulgated, and then makes it past national and European legal challenges, it is such a grotesque rube-goldberg machine, and would be so technically complex (some say impossible) and expensive to implement, that I for one will not refrain any time soon from downloading stuff, because as the French Fédération des labels indépendants says, “download to discover, buy to support”.

By the way, you can download my music freely here, here and here, among other places.

Thanks for reading.

29. April 2009 by sknob
Destination: Blowin' off steam, Surfin' | Leave a comment

Henry Major and Bugs Baer – Hollywood

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Stunning (and huge) collection of vintage caricatures of Hollywood bigwigs from the 30′s by Henry Major, from a limited-edition book published at the time.

These absolutely blow me away. I love the balance between realism and caricature and the economy of lines.

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Via Drawn.

30. March 2009 by sknob
Destination: Surfin' | Leave a comment

Vote Earth!

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Turn off your lights between 8:30 & 9:30 pm tonight, March 28th.

Come on, you can do it !

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Check out earthhour.org for more info.

28. March 2009 by sknob
Destination: Surfin' | Leave a comment

Sponge Mode

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After a burst of activity around these parts, things have been rather quiet lately.

For one thing, my muse is far away.

For another, I’ve been working like a fiend. For once, I’d love to talk about that, because I’ve been translating pretty high-visibility stuff, for instance for a company whose products I use and praise quite frequently on this blog (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, know what I mean, know what I mean?). But thats where NDA’s come in, so I won’t say anything more.

It’s not like there’s nothing to talk about. There’s too much in fact.

For instance, it’s amusing (so to speak) to see the US try to figure out how to fix the system while Europeans are trying to figure out what to replace it with.

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What about you? Are you A, B, C or D?

Blogging, posting links to silly videos, let alone reading inane chatter on Twitter don’t seem like particularly interesting pursuits in light of everything that’s happening.

I guess I’m simply in sponge mode.

09. March 2009 by sknob
Destination: Lost in translation, Surfin' | Leave a comment

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