Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20090504

Zoom H4 ToyHi,

So for the time being let’s be wildly optimistic and assume that this missive is going to go back to it’s regular schedule (the odds are against it but as Leonard Cohen said “the optimism keeps breaking through”)

Anyway let’s get started shall we.

As I mentioned I have a new guitar, and showing you a picture of it , while all well and good on the “Oooh. Shiny” meter. Well lets face it, you really need to know what it sounds like (and ooh shiny just isn’t a good enough description). So I recorded me playing a little something I was messing with in D(?).

Now here are the ground rules. A while back I was having a long conversation (email) with Bill ( I have mentioned him before ) about things he could do to get his music heard. The short version is

  • Wake up on a Sunday morning
  • Turn on Zoom H4
  • Tune guitar
  • Start stop watch.
    I now have 60 minutes to record a tune using nothing more than the Zoom and the guitar.
    No overdubs, only the processing that is built into in the Zoom and only 4 tracks, no bouncing down tracks
  • Now play lots (the clock is ticking)

At the end upload the finished MP3 to the website and link it to the impediments post.

Elapsed time not to be greater than 60 minutes.

In the words of Jeremy Clarkson “How hard can it be?”

Well as it turns out… you can hear today’s first attempt at this here

The things you can do with a Zoom H4 dept

Ted Talks – I have listened to so many of these in the last few months that the best thing to do is pick some at random. They are all amazing and all thought provoking.

Lets Begin with Margaret Werthein. Margaret Wertheim leads a project to re-create the creatures of the coral reefs using a crochet technique invented by a mathematician — celebrating the amazements of the reef, and deep-diving into the hyperbolic geometry underlying coral creation.
(We mentioned her project last April)

Next. In this talk from TED University 2009, veteran rock climber Matthew Childs shares nine pointers for rock climbing. These handy tips bear on an effective life at sea level, too.

This one fascinated me, Erik Hersman presents the remarkable story of Ushahidi, a GoogleMap mashup that allowed Kenyans to report and track violence via cell phone texts following the 2008 elections, and has evolved to continue saving lives in other countries.
Fractals and Snacks – this from Kalene

“i thought hat you might appreciate the math that goes into these cupcakes. The fondant looks more accurate (well as accurate as it can get with a little softening,) but the marzipan looks prettier as it has softened more.

thankfully for cupcake lovers the possibilities in the fractal fondant decoration are endless. I’d say that i would try this, but I know that I would give up too easily and just eat the marzipan.
Kalene “

Well if you ever do give it a go put Jools and I down for a dozen

Jools spotted this mashup

It broke me up.
Also from the Inbox was this from Doreen.

I am pleased to announce my web site is now live!
Have a look


Now I have mentioned Doreen in the past, but this website is a time soak. I found myself looking at a bunch of old favourites and still ended up wondering “How did she do that?”
Seriously recommended.
Duggup continues to stumble through music genres with abandon. Head over to and have a look. Recent gems include Steve Lawson and Field Mice. Both are brilliant but totally different.

Flash Game Time:
Over the past few years we have all tried out some great web-based games and you would have to agree that things have coma along way. Well the bar just got raised, Scarygirl is a a way better than average platform game. I believe it’s based on a comic by Nathan Jurevicius, this game is just gorgeous. The art is just phenomenal, the controls are drop dead easy and it just oozes “Play Me” fun.

You play the title character, Scarygirl, as she attempts to locate a moustachioed dude keeps showing up in her dreams. Help is available on your quest from characters like Bunniguri and Blister (the giant octopus), as you proceed through treehouses, eel-infested water (shades of Princess Bride), caves and other levels, performing an assortment of deeds as you go. (I feel sure that Joseph Campbell would have approved of this one)

Scarygirl is entirely free to play online, and you can register to save your game. You will probably need to do that, this is a wonderfully addictive world.

Question: What does this XKCD cartoon signify?

Answer: Yep, Numb3rs is back on tele this week and this is probably one of the rejected plot devices

Have a good one.


{Currently listening: Papercuts, Everyday Jones and me}
{Currently reading: Risk Analysis manuals}
{Quick Status Check: Hell, is doing budgets in an economic downturn}
{Crop Circle Status: Move along, still nothing to see here ’til later in the year.}

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