Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20081124

Hi,

Sorry about the distracted entry last week, but seeing 2001 again was just amazing. The funny thing was that it wasn’t as long as I remember. Even with the original start and intermission music.  I think SBS should be applauded for putting the full thing to air.

On a totally different thought, My Friend Ian (the infamous MFI) has been writing some amazing poems and stuff for his segment on the JVG Radio Method. He goes to air on 3RRR every Sunday at around 2:15 pm.  Jon gives him a theme and he has a week to write a piece from scratch.

A few weeks back he did a piece on the theme “Open”. It is a great piece, heavy, but worth it. http://ianbland.com.au/bland-on-bland/bland-on-bland-open/

Every so often (read rarely) he gets to do a song, back at the start of the month he did “Jesus Of Hollywood”, it’s just Ian , his guitar and Ed bBates on slide. A very cool performance. http://ianbland.com.au/bland-on-bland/bland-on-bland-hollywood/
That’s enough about him, let’s get started shall we.

Jools spotted this one…

It’s another of the incredibly convoluted and complicated “Rube Goldberg” machines. This is the best one I have seen for a while.
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1572918/amazing_home_made_machine/

Ted Talks: Jonathan Harris (no NOT the one from Lost In Space) wants to make sense of the emotional world of the Web. With deep compassion for the human condition, his projects troll the Internet to find out what we’re all feeling and looking for

Why you should listen to him:
Brooklyn-based artist Jonathan Harris’ work celebrates the world’s diversity even as it illustrates the universal concerns of its occupants. His computer programs scour the Internet for unfiltered content, which his beautiful interfaces then organize to create coherence from the chaos.

His projects are both intensely personal (the “We Feel Fine” project, made with Sep Kanvar, which scans the world’s blogs to collect snapshots of the writers’ feelings) and entirely global (the new “Universe,” which turns current events into constellations of words). But their effect is the same — to show off a world that resonates with shared emotions, concerns, problems, triumphs and troubles.

Who knew this was out there?

Also from TED is violinist Natalie MacMaster and TED Musical Director Thomas Dolby playing Dolby’s original song “Blue Is a River” in this ethereal duet — with a little dancing.

We covered Natalie in duggup last year. see http://duggup.com.au/2007/03/31/saturday-samples-natalie-macmaster/

Anyway, this performance is a heartbreaker, I have no idea how she gets those sounds from the fiddle but they just blow me away. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/natalie_macmaster_fiddles_in_reel_time.html

The things you do. A bunch of sailors on the USS Shiloh made a Star Wars fan film.

‘Star Wars Episode 67: The Seeds of Betrayal’ is a story of two Sailors who handle a misunderstanding the only reasonable way…by having a saber fight throughout and around the ship. It took them about 5 months to shoot and edit, and it’s a hoot.
http://fewl.net/2008/11/21/uss-shiloh-sailors-make-star-wars-fan-film/
{insert head shaking here}

A recent Edge has an amazing article entitled OF GENITAL THIEVES: The exploration of economic irrationality by Andrian Kreye

Here’s the guff…

“It was one of those watershed moments in science at which you would like to have been present. Last summer in Sonoma, three generations behavioral economists convened at a Master Class run by the Edge Foundation…If you are interested in getting your head around the current global economic meltdown, read through the transcript of this master class once more this autumn. You may not find direct answers, but you will certainly find elements of an explanation.”

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/kreye08/kreye08_index.html

The rest of the edition is pretty cool as well.

duggup had a really fab week. This week’s finds include “Pearl and The Puppets (the band from the Vodafone ad), Death Vessel who AREN’T a heavy metal band but are bloody good and a Polish celtic band called “Danar”. Stroll over to http://duggup.com.au and have a look.

Flash Game Time: Today’s game will require skill, dexterity, patience, wisdom, at least two keyboards ( the second one is for when the first “mysteriously “is destroyed err. Ok, you smash the first one… trust me) and best of all.

Jools get’s the BLAME… take it up with her, she found it.
http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/games/run

Have a good one.
thatch

{Currently listening: Guns and Roses “Chinese Democracy, it’s truly priceless. I just keep laughing}
{Currently reading: Living and Learning with New Media: Findings from the Digital Youth Project}
{Quick Status Check: Hospitals without Wifi are hell. }
{Crop Circle Status: Move along, nothing to see here ’til next year  }

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20081117

Hi,

Well how fab is this, as I type this Ligeti’s music is playing and 2001: A Space Odyssey is just starting up. Strap in folks, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

Let’s get started shall we.

Jools sent this one along
“This is an interactive video adventure. Will the intrepid trio esca[e the men in black suits? Will Rob kill the dragon?
Only you know the outcome. Very silly.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=l8rJ1WML60Y

Love Jools ”

A wonderful impediment, especially if you were a fan of the “Choose Your Own Ending’ books. I blew quite a bit of time on this one.

Ted Talks: A tough one this week. Spoilt for choice.
Blaise Aguera y Arcas leads a dazzling demo of Photosynth, software that could transform the way we look at digital images. Using still photos culled from the Web, Photosynth builds breathtaking dreamscapes and lets us navigate them.

Bonus Ted Talk. J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery — a passion that’s evident in his films and TV shows, including Cloverfield, Lost and Alias — back to its magical beginnings.

London artist Roger Hiorns covered every square inch of an abandoned apartment with blue copper phosphate crystals. Called “Seizure,” it looks like a magical cave from some fantasy novel.
He basically grew them all in place on the wall. I think it’s pretty.
roger hiorns: seizure.

duggupp had an interesting week. I was having a fun time with some strange indie bands. Efterklang and Castanets. Not to everyone’s taste but that is the way the MP3 player falls. Stroll over to http://duggup.com.au and have a look.

Flash Game Time: Remember Lunar Lander from back in the days of your Apple ][ or Commodore 64? I do. It was hard going, but landing was always sucjh a buzz ( as opposed to the regular ending – the crash) Well they just did the landing on the moon bit in the movie and these seems like an appropriate game for this week.

The idea resurfaces regularly and Super PerfectoProp is the latest one of them. The deal is that you are flying a little guy around, but instead of using jets, you’re using propellers, and instead of three, you have four. The idea is to take off on the left side of the screen, collect all of the coins, and land safely on the right side of the screen, avoiding the various dangers around you.

In terms of controlling your character, it’s a bit more complicated than Lunar Lander. Instead of one booster that pushes straight up, you have two that are on 45 degree angles. To go straight up, you have to press both at the same time, but if you do you’ll go up fast. And since there’s a power line overhead (what you thought it was going to be easy?), you have to be pretty careful about it.

This one is interesting for just about as long as you’d want to spend playing a time waster, which might be a great fit for your next coffee or lunch break.

http://www.gamesforwork.com/games/play-11173-Super_PerfectoProp-Flash_Game

OK the movie has finished and I am still in awe of it, I saw 2001 back in the late Sixtie’s and yes it’s dated but the Ligeti music is still as provoking as it was all those years ago. It possibly explains my interest in “Hard Listening” music.

If you watched it recently and it totally confused you try this, it’s sort of a primer for the movie.
http://www.kubrick2001.com/

Have a good one, sorry it’s short again. Blame Kubrick.

thatch

{Currently listening Actually watching 2001 A Space Odyssey }
{Currently reading: More Dreary MS SQL manuals (does it really need to be this bloody hard???)}
{Quick Status Check: Hell,was 2001 really released in 1968? }
{Crop Circle Status: Move along, nothing to see here ’til next year }

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20081110

Hi,

I am starting a bit early this week, it’s actually Friday and I am sitting in a small caf‚ having a hot chocolate, listening to my iPod and am having such a cool time of it. Apple didn’t invent shuffle but they sure as hell raised the bar to a seriously high level.

The playlist just spat out Simon & Garfunkel singing “America” (the Concert in Central Park version) followed by Imogen Heap, Dragon Force, Leo Kotke playing “Eight Miles High” and it just finished Show of Hands “Roots”. This is the same kind of sequence that Pandora used to give me on the PC, but I am truly impressed by the iPod. Even if you are left with the nagging thought “How did it know?”

Just in case you think I am turning into an Apple “fan boy”, don panic – I am writing this on my handheld PC, I have used the iPod’s exhausting screen based thumb pad only once and if it involves more than a URL or email address you can forget it. I know (and have watched with gob smacked astonishment, people dashing off what seems like “War and Peace” length emails in their iPhones), but it all seems a bit hard for me. I will just keep scribbling on the palm top.

What else this week (and the week before and the week before that)? I honestly don’t know where the time goes (Sandy Denny 1969 Unhalfbricking). I notice that democracy flexed it’s muscles once again over in the states and for once the right dude won.

If the comedians are any thing to go by, Dubya is toast.
Here are some of my favourites –

And political analysts are saying today that Barack Obama’s win was unprecedented. Which again confused President Bush? He said, “Unprecedented? You mean, he didn’t win? He got unpresidented?”

or

Barack Obama is now gonna receive the daily White House intelligence briefing on things like, you know, security and terrorism, stuff like that. It’s the same briefing President Bush gets every day, but without the pictures and the colour by numbers.

Or

First Lady Laura Bush called Michelle Obama and invited her and her young daughters to the White House. Isn’t that nice? Laura Bush told Mrs. Obama, “While I give you a tour, the girls can watch Spongebob with the President.”

Or

President-elect Barack Obama spent the day thanking the people who helped him win the election. That’s right. Yeah, and actually, Obama’s first phone call was to Sarah Palin.

Or (and this is really my favourite)

Ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama is our new president. And I think I speak for most Americans when I say, anybody mind if he starts a little early?

Let’s get started shall we.

Jools sent this one along
“From the era that taste forgot – many, many 80’s music videos as a MMI.
Love, Jools
http://www.80smusicvids.com/ ”

Ted Talks: Larry Lessig, the Net’s most celebrated lawyer, cites John Philip Sousa, celestial copyrights and the “ASCAP cartel” in his argument for reviving our creative culture. I think this guy is one of the most important people currently sucking air.

SO Why should you listen to him?

“No expert has brought as much fresh thinking to the field of contemporary copyright law as has Lawrence Lessig. A Stanford professor and founder of the school’s Center for Internet and Society, this fiery believer foresaw the response a threatened content industry would have to digital technology — and he came to the aid of the citizenry.

As corporate interests have sought to rein in the forces of Napster and YouTube, Lessig has fought back with argument — take his recent appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court, fighting the extension of copyright protection from 50 to 70 years — and with solutions: He chairs Creative Commons, a nuanced, free licensing scheme for individual creators.

Lessig possesses a rare combination of lawerly exactitude and impassioned love of the creative impulse. Applying both with equal dedication, he has become a true hero to artists, authors, scientists, coders and opiners everywhere.”

Bonus Ted Talk. John Hodgman is a PC, actually he is a writer, humorist, geek celebrity, former professional literary agent and expert on all world knowledge. Hodgman rambles through a new story about aliens, physics, time, space and the way all of these somehow contribute to a sweet, perfect memory of falling in love.

This is hysterically funny stuff.

This on the other hand is seriously disturbing ( and funny in an Itchy and Scratchy way).
I wish they had done a ull size statue of the coyote.
http://www.slashfilm.com/2008/10/27/cool-stuff-splatter-exhibition-in-london/

duggup’s has published over 800 reviews, isn’t that amazing? So what’s been put there recently? We had the usual eclectic crop, Jools found this amazing Irish band called “High Kings”, think of a celtic Il Divo but better with better tunes, they are pretty good. My favourite this week would have to be “Hooray For Earth”, bigger than life. Stroll over to http://duggup.com.au and have a look.

Flash Game Time: We haven’t done a “tower defence” game for awhile. There is a reason- I’m crap at them. I start drawing all these baroques strategies that look great and are about as functional as Malcolm Turnbull’s credibility.

The trouble is they really do “impede productivity” whether you re winning or not (that is loser speak for “I’m crap at them”) Today’s version gets through because it uses a whiteboard metaphor for the battleground, which so works for me and the “enemies” are really cute with their really really annoying sound effects. Since most of you will be be playing this at work, there is a mute button in the top-right of the window.

The only fly in the ointment is the Easy level bears absolutely no resemblance to easy. It’s surprisingly hard, trust me on this one. I have no idea about the higher levels (see former statements about losers)

As usual we wont be entering into any discussion about my performance on this one either.

Have a good one

thatch

{Currently listening Leo Kotke (blame the iPod) and Will Ackerman’s new one}
{Currently reading: Dreary MS Sharepoint manuals (does it really need to be this bloody hard???)}
{Quick Status Check: Hell, all those punters on Oaks Day just found out about train cancellation roulette, I play this game nearly everyday.}
{Crop Circle Status: Move along, nothing to see here. }