Sunday, August 26, 2012

How To Be An Explorer Of The World

If you do not know where to start, Keri Smith will show you. You can also find out more here

A Capella Science

Here is a harmony addict working on a master's in theoretical physics. what ELSE was he going to make a YouTube channel about?

Separating Egg Yolks

This looks fun!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Baroque Yo Mama

This article, written by Obama under the name “Baroque Yo' Mama,” was published in the “Harvard Law Revue,” a parody of the Review done by the law school's graduating class. The article gives a look into young Obama's sense of humor and serves a preemptive send-up of Dreams From My Father.


The Amazon rainforest could not exist as we know it without the patch of African desert pictured above.

The rainforest is amazing, but the soil it produces is not very nutrient rich. All the minerals and nutrients that fertilize the rainforest have to come from some place else. Specifically: Africa. Scientists have known for a while that this natural fertilizer is crossing the Atlantic in the form of dust storms, but science writer Colin Schultz ran across a 2006 paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters that not only produces evidence for a much larger trans-oceanic transfer of dust than was previously assumed ... it also pinpoints the exact (and astoundingly small) location where all the fertilizer in the Amazon is coming from.

The research paper itself can be found here.

The Beatles final photo shoot

It has been a booming era for rediscovered Beatles photos, from the famous lost Beatles photographs taken by their tour manager to Linda McCartney’s tender portraits to Harry Benson’s luminous black-and-white photos of the Fab Four.

On 22 August in 1969, two days after their final recording session, the Beatles gathered at Tittenhurst Park, where John Lennon and Yoko Ono resided, for a photo shoot they did not realize would be their last — an instance of those bittersweet “unknown lasts” that wedge themselves between our lived experience and our memory, sometimes violently and other times with the tender wistfulness of nostalgia.

The cast of characters on that fateful August 22, captured by photographers Ethan Russell and Monte Fresco and Beatles assistant Mal Evans, included the Fab Four, Yoko Ono, a very pregnant Linda McCarney (a photographer herself), Apple Corps’ press officer Derek Taylor, Paul McCartney’s sheepdog Martha, and two donkeys Lennon and Ono kept on the property.

You can see more pictures here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Arno is fourteen years old

Arno is "celebrating" his fourteenth birthday today. He literally takes life step by step. Congratulations, brave boy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Canada Trust Johnny Cash Money Machine 1985

I like this one. Quite hard to believe he actually did this.

The Olympic Banana

Are you watching the Olympics? You may have seen this clip already. Some dudes in Guildford went bananas when their colleague, Omar, ran for history with his personal Olympic Torch.

Nero catches a shrew mouse

My Belgian Griffon, Nero, achieved. He caught two mice the other week, thus proving that he is a true Griffon, capable of doing what his ancestors were supposed to do for a living: catching vermin. He had never seen a mouse before. I filmed the misfortune of one mouse (there were four of them in total). It felt uncomfortable, for I did not mind the mice being there, as long as they made no efforts to enter the house...

There you go if you want to:

Music is getting louder and blander

Possibly, it is true what people say about popular music. It is getting louder, more repetitive, less good. That is the conclusion of Mr. Serrá and his team.

Popular music is a key cultural expression that has captured listeners' attention for ages. Many of the structural regularities underlying musical discourse are yet to be discovered and, accordingly, their historical evolution remains formally unknown. Here we unveil a number of patterns and metrics characterizing the generic usage of primary musical facets such as pitch, timbre, and loudness in contemporary western popular music. Many of these patterns and metrics have been consistently stable for a period of more than fifty years. However, we prove important changes or trends related to the restriction of pitch transitions, the homogenization of the timbral palette, and the growing loudness levels. This suggests that our perception of the new would be rooted on these changing characteristics. Hence, an old tune could perfectly sound novel and fashionable, provided that it consisted of common harmonic progressions, changed the instrumentation, and increased the average loudness.

The article can be read here

William Burroughs writes to Truman Capote

"Letters of Note" is a great blog, one of my favorites. I am glad to see its contents will be published in November 2012. Anyway, here is another gem:

In 1966, a few months after first being serialised in The New Yorker, Truman Capote's genre-defining non-fiction novel, In Cold Blood — the true story of a quadruple murder in 1959 that Capote investigated, and the subsequent trial he attended — was published to much acclaim. The praise wasn't universal, however. The great William Burroughs wrote the following fascinating and damning letter to Capote in 1970.

July 23, 1970

My Dear Mr. Truman Capote

This is not a fan letter in the usual sense — unless you refer to ceiling fans in Panama. Rather call this a letter from "the reader" — vital statistics are not in capital letters — a selection from marginal notes on material submitted as all "writing" is submitted to this department. I have followed your literary development from its inception, conducting on behalf of the department I represent a series of inquiries as exhaustive as your own recent investigations in the sun flower state. I have interviewed all your characters beginning with Miriam — in her case withholding sugar over a period of several days proved sufficient inducement to render her quite communicative — I prefer to have all the facts at my disposal before taking action. Needless to say, I have read the recent exchange of genialities between Mr Kenneth Tynan and yourself. I feel that he was much too lenient. Your recent appearance before a senatorial committee on which occasion you spoke in favor of continuing the present police practice of extracting confessions by denying the accused the right of consulting consul prior to making a statement also came to my attention. In effect you were speaking in approval of standard police procedure: obtaining statements through brutality and duress, whereas an intelligent police force would rely on evidence rather than enforced confessions. You further cheapened yourself by reiterating the banal argument that echoes through letters to the editor whenever the issue of capital punishment is raised: "Why all this sympathy for the murderer and none for his innocent victims?" I have in line of duty read all your published work. The early work was in some respects promising — I refer particularly to the short stories. You were granted an area for psychic development. It seemed for a while as if you would make good use of this grant. You choose instead to sell out a talent that is not yours to sell. You have written a dull unreadable book which could have been written by any staff writer on the New Yorker — (an undercover reactionary periodical dedicated to the interests of vested American wealth). You have placed your services at the disposal of interests who are turning America into a police state by the simple device of deliberately fostering the conditions that give rise to criminality and then demanding increased police powers and the retention of capital punishment to deal with the situation they have created. You have betrayed and sold out the talent that was granted you by this department. That talent is now officially withdrawn. Enjoy your dirty money. You will never have anything else. You will never write another sentence above the level of In Cold Blood. As a writer you are finished. Over and out. Are you tracking me? Know who I am? You know me, Truman. You have known me for a long time. This is my last visit.