Monthly Archives for January 2006
A perfect example of American Ingenuity.
(Via Boing Boing.)
When I was a teenager I remember reading a science-fiction story which predicted that by the 21st century, information would be piped directly into the brain. In the story, a character encountered that most archaic object, an old-fashioned book, and felt appalled that people in the 20th century had been forced to endure so much physical discomfort, holding books and turning their pages manually–or trying to prevent the pages from turning if there was a breeze.
Well, here we are in 2006, and the science-fiction prediction has failed to pan out. While we’re waiting for wetware implants, we’ll just have to make do with a stopgap solution: A plastic thumb aid.
So I found the two missing hours today, and here is the result. “Ingenuity” is what happens when you’re improvising a jazzy little walking-bass like thingy on the guitar while absentmindedly thinking about grocery shopping.
A couple of notes:
The piano part was played, quite nicely I must say, by “Band In a Box”.
Also, if you listen really, really closely, you can hear me playing some real saxophone. This is kind of a big deal because I haven’t touched one in about 15 years! As soon as I started playing however, my downstairs neighbor started banging violently and then sought revenge by playing Viennese waltzes as loud as possible on a piano. I persevered but tried to play as quietly as possible, which is very hard to do on a sax, and wasn’t made any easier by the fact that the reed on my old beat-up tenor is also about 15 years old (I probably bought it when I was still living in New York!) So in the end, I had to drastically lower the sax in the mix to keep the Viennese waltz (and my iffy playing) from being too audible.
25/09/06 Update: Now with a tiny Radio Vince player!Tweet
…to finish a song.
It was written a couple of months ago, the instruments were recorded a couple of weeks ago, the vocals a couple of days ago, but I need a couple of hours to finish the mix (as you know by now, I’m not a sound-fetichist. Even a crappy digital recording/mix sounds so much better to me than the 4-track cassette tape recorder mixes I had to tolerate for so long).
But I need to work on shoring up my finances so I’m translating and web-designing more than full time, and am barely making my deadlines as it is.
Maybe by the end of next week ?Tweet
If you connected earlier today, you probably saw either a PHP error message repeated a zillion times or the following message on a blank page:
Friday, January 6, 2006
It looks like “sknoblog” was totally hosed during “routine maintenance” by my ISP…
And of course, I don’t have a recent backup of the database that contains all the posts…
Well, it was hosed. After trying in vain to get some help from my provider, I went to see a movie (“Match Point”) and when I came home, I sniffed around for some things I might try to fix matters. And I found something, and it worked! (basically, I had to run the REPAIR TABLE SQL command on all the tables, several of which were obviously corrupt. Easy, if you’re familiar with MySql which is not my case).
So remember boys and girls: brush your teeth, and make regular backups!Tweet
For you francophiles or expatriate frogs, Radio-France has introduced podcasts for many of its stations and programs.
The Edge annual question for 2006 is “What is your dangerous idea?”.
The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?
Read many interesting and stimulating answers by leading scientists and thinkers (unless you are on a deadline like me!)Tweet