Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20080512


Over in the current Edge is a link to THE NEW YORKER piece by Malcolm Gladwell titled “Who Says Big Ideas Are Rare?”

Now long time readers will know that I am intrigued by this topic, back in 2005
and in 2006 I played with the idea (sorry).

Malcolm Gladwell has written a killer story about how nearly all the major inventions or scientific or mathematical discoveries came from multiple, entirely independent people at almost exactly the same time. It’s as though everyone knows what’s going on at the same time. As the article points out, it is rarely about “genius,” but more that all of the previous work in the field naturally leads everyone to the same place. The one thing that the article misses (ironically), Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures (which is an idea factory) is only one of many idea factories that exist and of course the keyp point.
Ideas are easy, execution is hard. A good read and thought provoking as hell.


Also been having an interesting time reading Max Kieslers piece on Relational Music Discovery over at

Now I have played with one or two of these over the years and have always been impressed with the idea and disappointed with the returns not showing what are to me, essential links. The basic idea behind this method of music search is enter a genre, artist, or song. The program then returns music that relates to your search item Most of these programs present the information as a graphic with a bunch of links that show how the songs relate to each other. The problem is that if you enter say Jeff Buckley, they rarely if show links to Leonard Cohen and John Cale which to my mind would be essential.

Do have a look and if you want one to start with I would go with
Turn off Classics and Turn on Discovery, click on Dark and see where it takes you. Great fun. I got Epica (who I hadn’t heard before) and Incubus. think of it as a musical version of “Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans” from the Harry Potter Books. Sometimes you get Ice Cream, sometimes you get earwax.

Lets do the real sillies.

OK, do you remember the Simpsons episode where Homer sets up a drinking bird to press the “Cancel” button. Well, over at Kitty Clarks’ blog I found this.

“Here are 8 Dipping ducks (a.k.a happy birds, drinking birds…) and their respective drinking glasses are wired up to the 8 notes of a modified keyboard. Each time a duck tips down and touches the water to ‘drink’ the circuit is completed and a sound is produced. Being thermodynamic, the ducks continue to produce random compositions depending on temperature.”

It amused me. but then it would, wouldn’t it.


Jools spotted this next one, The Zurich Chamber Orchestra came up with an amazing video combining sheet music, a roller coaster and fab tag line.

“Great ad, you may be able to use it.
Love, Jools ”


The Sheep Are Not What They Seem Dept: Now you know what you can do with all those old phone handsets and cables. This is one of those bits of sculpture that makes me wonder about how some people think. I wonder if they ring or go Baa?


Over at the Wooster Collective, which as a rule is a place you are more likely to find Jools than me (So many sites, so little time) is a piece on artist Henk Hofstra who has installed sunny-side up egg sculptures in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. The “Art Eggcident” will remain in the city square for the next six months. We get the big budgie and they get the eggs.


Which brings us to Duggup. Jools is having a bit of an “Idol” moment. Ray LaMontagne and Kurt Nilsen were her picks this week , the Kurt Nilsen is a real shock. Me, I was writing up “Alesa Lajana”, fab guitairst and “The Dark Romantics” who have taken up residence on the MP3 player. Head over and check it out.


Flash Game Time: Today’s offering is well named, “The Rather Difficult Font Game” tests your ability to recognize typefaces by showing you a piece of text and then four font names. Your job is to correctly choose the correct typeface. OK this is probably a tad obscure but I know a few of you out there who don’t normally play the game will have a ball with this.

OK so that’s to obscure for some of you. how about The Beard, it’s a hoot you can lose in nothing flat, have a ball doing it and still keep pressing restart. Here’s the deal, you are a knight fighting a giant floating head with a beard in a side-scrolling environment. The “Beard” has a number of moves that you have to dodge as you try to get close and take a swing at him with your plunger (yes a plunger) or magic bolts. As you get hits you also get experience, which cause you to power up and score better weapons.

Well that’s enough for this week. Have a good one.


{Currently listening to Rage Against The Machine and John Cale}
{Currently reading: Social Networking stuff on the Robin Good site }
{Quick Status Check: Hell. So many sites so little time. I know I wrote that earlier but it just hit me how true it is}
{Crop Circle Status: Oh yes, We’re back and we have 1 this week. Not a fantastic beginning but it will pick up. I hope. }

Categorized as Mondays

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