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. }

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20081020

Hi,

Well are we having fun yet? We are back with yet another of our “on again off again” missive.

To those readers (yes there are more than one) who scurrilously suggested that it was Single Malt rather Midsomer Murders that was responsible for last weeks absence in the inbox. I must fervently deny this unfounded accusation. And further am quite happy to come around and drink yours anytime (Oban is the current tipple of choice)

Moving on, Vanity Fair’s Christopher Hitchens wrote a wonderful article about –
“Every successful society needs its Bohemia, a haven for the artists, exiles, and misfits who regenerate the culture. With the heart of New York’s West Village threatened by developers, London, Paris, and San Francisco have a message for Manhattan: Don’t do it!”
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/07/hitchens200807

This was another of those synchronous events, I had a coffee with MFI (My Friend Ian) in town earlier in the week and as we chatted about music, bands we are listening to and some businessy things, I though about just how long we had known each other and how all the suburbs(Carlton, Fitzroy etc) had gentrified and wouldn’t let us in these days. We would lower the tone.

Then again we can both afford single malts and guitar strings these days, so change isn’t all bad.

Have a read of the article it’s an interesting if unfunny read.

Otherwise it’s time to get on with the sillies…
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TED Talk of the week: Stefan Sagmeister (a very cool designer) delivers a short, witty talk entitled “Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far,”. It’s about life lessons, expressed through surprising modes of design (including his infamous inflatable monkey).

There is a nice article about him in the International Herald Tribune.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/01/arts/DESIGN4.php

And in a wonderful piece of synchronicity Jools sent this along.
http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/8/view/3978/stefan-sagmeisters-installation-is-removed-by-amsterdam-police.html

Just priceless.

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I was sitting there this afternoon and suddenly the thought “They’re voting for the wrong Palin, they should get Michael Palin instead of Sarah” popped into my brain, rapidly followed by the thought “Someone else will have thought of this”. I was right.

A quick look at Google turned up this, John Cleese on Sarah Palin
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=jMyNk8J1c8g
and this from the “Michael Palin For President” website. Put down your coffee before watching this one.

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Eye Candy? The Boston Globe has a photo blog that highlights a mix of current events and lesser-known news stories through some awesome high-resolution pictures that are sourced from AP, Reuters Pictures, Getty Images, NASA (check out http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/10/the_sun.html ), and other private photographers.
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/

Time Magazine also has a similar idea, each photo essay includes a collection of 10-12 pictures that narrate (in text and sometimes you get audio) a story related to current news events. I really liked The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1848313,00.html
http://www.time.com/time/photoessays

Last up is the ever astounding National Geographic. Lets face it, they really do set the bar awfully high. This is the place to go if you need a daily dose of photos from the world of science, nature or the animal kingdom. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/photo_in_the_news.html

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From The Wall Street Journal Tech Diary (via Make), there is a video profile of Andrew Schneider, a tech artist from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. It’s called “Making of a Performer -A performer takes electronic tinkering and DIY-angst to a new professional level as WSJ’s Andy Jordan discovers in Tech Diary”. http://online.wsj.com/video/tech-diary-making-of-a-performer/2B8F055F-CF47-4251-B17C-BDB4FFC66205.html

I really was intrigued by Andrew’s stuff when I spotted his technologically augmented performance stuff earlier this year. His blog is at http://andrewjs.com/blog/

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The “Duggup was a lot of fun this week” bit. Jools wrote up “The Lovely Sparrows”, an indie pop outfit from Texas, sparse arrangements and a slightly eerie feel. My pick would have to be “The Secret Machines” really yummy and surprisingly interesting. Have a listen and let me know what you think. http://duggup.com.au/

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Flash Game Dept: BoomBot is one of those impedimentia that when you write about it, it just sound stupid (really, really stupid), fortunately when you play it, the whole thing is a hoot. This is a game where all those episodes of Mythbusters blowing things up will finally come in handy, yep you try to blast your robot character to the goal door on each level.

Simple huh? Just flail around and blow things up. Well no. It starts out simple enough, but soon goes to hell in a hand basket as you have to dodge stuff, such as rubber blocks, boxes, and even explosive things like oil barrels and boxes of TNT (yaay Level 3), each of which obviously behave just how they like. So you bung down your bomb (you can control the bang by holding down your mouse button and the bomb gets bigger or smaller) The fun(?) is trying to get the timing right. You are so going to hate me for this one.

http://games.mochiads.com/c/g/boombot/BoomBot.swf

Well that’s enough for this week.

Have a good one.

thatch

{Currently listening to Show Of Hands and Ametheysium }
{Currently reading: Stephen Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think”}
{Quick Status Check: Hell, is once again an aspirational option}
{Crop Circle Status: None: Only 193 Sleeps until we do it all again. http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/2008.html }

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20081006

Hi,

Every so often I have one of those ‘eureka moments’, my favourite this week was when I discovered that Rolling Stone still had some bite left.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/23140513/the_truth_about_sarah_pa
My favourites are the hockey rink and the meth labs.

And Time had a photo essay on the Francis Bacon Exhibition from London’s Tate Gallery. Damn he was a scary dude.
http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1846249,00.html
There is also an article that goes with it.
http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1846249,00.html

Which brings us to the high point of the week, Jools and I managed to meet for lunch and then went to the Art Deco exhibition at the National Gallery. It was brilliant. Not take your breath away brilliant funnily enough. I think it is because the Deco look is still all around us and seems to do a comeback about ten minutes after it goes out of fashion. But there were some really nice things to look at.

Sadly there was only time to do one video of MFI’s Lomond gig. But I picked a new song at least.
https://thatchspace.com/2008/09/16/my-friend-ian-a-pub-and-a-zoom-h4/
If you get a chance check out Ian’s “Bland on Bland stuff. It’s really interesting where his head goes
http://ianbland.com.au/category/bland-on-bland/

So on with the sillies…


Lets begin with some IP madness, my favourite laugh of the week is that The Pirate Bay (another group of people who are having just way too much fun) in response to a report from Swedish book publishers about how they scraped TPB’s results for a period of time and noticed that 85% of Sweden’s best sellers could be found on the site, the folks from TPB are threatening to sue the publishers for copyright infringement. Hypocritical? Of course it is. But the publishers don’t have a really strong grip on the moral highgound either. It’s merely making the point of just how silly copyright laws are. The lawsuit isn’t so much hypocritical as it is pointing out the absurdities of such a system to those who seem to think that copyright systems make perfect sense.

The Pirate Bay Clashes with Book Publishers

and the other gem is IBM has applied for a patent on a process for identifying markets where there isn’t much patent coverage. Yes, think about the recursive silliness here. The application describes a process for looking for so-called “white spaces,” where there doesn’t appear to be many patents covering a topic in a patent database. Just priceless

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/29/140245&from=rss


TED Talk of the week: I was so blown away by architect Liz Diller and her firm DS+R’s more unusual work, including the Blur Building, whose walls are made of fog, and the revamped Alice Tully Hall, which is wrapped in glowing wooden skin (Having seen the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall on the news last week , they seem to be playing with the same ideas). I love the way she vandalises a gallery with a self destructive robotic drill.


Some odd bits of “Blame”.
Jools pointed out that the Ignobles were last week.
http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081003/full/news.2008.1150.html

and sent along this priceless number
http://haha.nu/misc/get-out-of-the-car/

Next up is AndieL (who we haven’t heard from in a while)

” MMI for you….
CLICK ON THE BALL AND IT WILL CHANGE COLOUR.
Yes it does.
Click here: http://thedogpaddler.com/RandomUploads/Ball/ball.htm

AndieL “

It’s seriously good fun.
And lastly from CraigH

“Thatch,
A bit of mind candy.
http://www.redistrictinggame.org/
Will there be a Qld version featuring the good old Bjelkemander?
regards,
Craig “

This based on America, but as Craig points out, we have our share of it as well.


John Lydon more popularly known as Johnny Rotten, yep that’s right the lead singer of the Sex Pistols and later on Public Image Ltd. (PIL) {note to self: Load “Rise back on the MP3 player}, has made his first ever television commercial, an ad for Country Life butter. I’m barracking for the cows. watch the ad – you will too.


I will confess to be ambivalent about Neil Gaiman’s work. It doesn’t excite me in the way a new Neal Stephenson book does (anyday now) but the ideas that he writes about have a great way of hanging around in my head (Neverwhere as a case in point) and surfacing ages later and then I will go “Cool”. Weird huh? So this is all a preamble to point out that Neil is reading his new work “Graveyard Book” book aloud, a different chapter at every stop of the book tour, then the readings are whacked online every day, chapter after chapter. I suspect that this may be a way for me to get into the guy. I am going to download the video onto the iPod and check it on the tram.

http://www.mousecircus.com/videotour.aspx


The “Duggup was a lot of fun this week” bit. Jools fave this week was “Poit¡n”, a celtic band from the Czech Republic (not to shabby either). My pick would have to be “Ladyhawk”, a nice simple straight ahead Canadian rock band, trust me. Have a listen and let me know what you think.


Flash Game Dept: Spatially challenged? Have I got a game for you. Coign of Vantage is weird little timewaster, the game presents you with a bunch of seemingly randomly scattered blocks, but if you move the cursor on the screen, shifting your vantage point, you can find a point at which an image takes shape.

OK, you aren’t going to get it in a minute but it is suprisgly good fun, luckily the game gives you hints on the first few images. Try starting with your cursor in the center of of the game screen, then move slowly. The game is to try to reveal as many of the images as you can in 5 minutes, and you earn back time for quick identifications. Perfect for your Monday Morning/
If you are prone to motion sickness, proceed with care.
http://www.bobblebrook.com/games/coign-of-vantage

Well that’s enough for this week.

Have a good one.

thatch

{Currently listening to Warren Zevon and Missy Higgins}
{Currently reading: Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge }
{Quick Status Check: Hell, its daylight saving again. what already? (insert rude word here)}
{Crop Circle Status: The total for September is now 8 and in a last minute stand on the Avebury Down, the aliens have seen the 2008 season off with a very pretty one. That would seem to be it for this year but we shall just have to wait and see.
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/2008.html }

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20080929

Hi,
As a wise bear once said “Bother”, we didn’t get to see Kavisha (she is playing out at Harmony Row in November) so I will have to give Cliff a heads up and book a couple of tickets.

Life continues it’s usual “avalanche down the mountain” pace, not really a complaint just an observation. The upside is I am listening to some fabulous music (if you are awake longer you obviously get more time to listen). So the current state of play with the iPod Touch is that the actual unit is amazing. Being able to access both the RSS feeds and YouTube is pretty damn useful in finding stuff to add to the duggup list.

If I was buying it now I would probably get the 16M or 32M version but it would just mean that I would carry more stuff in the “permanent” list. Now for the downside, iTunes is the most appallingly bad piece of software I have run into for ages. I know I have complained about my frustrations with it before but I installed the Version 8 upgrade and it actually got worse.

There is a very cool program called Media Monkey and with one exception it covers all the major things I need to have happen. I am hoping that someone will write a plugin to handle the podcasts the way I need.

With the crop circle season (what a dud this year) coming to an end, I am going to include a Ted Talk each week, they really are an amazing collection of ideas.

The MFI stuff will be along in another week or so.

So on with the sillies…
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
I stumbled on a great site called “For Arts Sake” its part of On networks “new media” operation.
http://www.onnetworks.com/videos/for-arts-sake

The show is a series of interviews with current American artists in a variety of fields. This is the sort of stuff that the ABC used to do on a Sunday. Here is an example .
“Marc Trujillo is an American painter. His paintings depict gas stations, shopping malls, big chain stores and restaurants that are present in American urban and suburban landscapes.

Trujillo’s studio practice follows Old Master techniques. Before beginning the final oil painting, Trujillo completes a grisaille, a monochromatic under-painting that allows him to prepare and layout the composition and perspective of each work. ”
http://www.onnetworks.com/videos/for-arts-sake/marc-trujillo—painter

This is a great impediment to productivity. (It looks good on the iPod too)
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TED Talk of the week: This week have a look at Louise Leakey as she asks, “Who are we?” The question takes her to the Rift Valley in Eastern Africa, where she digs for the evolutionary origins of humankind and suggests a stunning new vision of our competing ancestors.

Louise Leakey is the third generation of her family to dig for humanity’s past in East Africa. In 2001, Leakey and her mother, Meave, found a previously unknown hominid, the 3.5-million-year-old Kenyanthropus platyops, at Lake Turkana — the same region where her father, Richard, discovered the “Turkana Boy” fossil, and near Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge, where her grandparents, Louise and Mary Leakey, discovered the bones of Homo habilis.

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Some odd bits of “Blame”.
ChrisF sent this one in.

“I’m not sure if this is universally funny or if it’s just me 🙂
Chris
http://www.snotr.com/video/1630

Well I found it funny, slightly disturbing but funny.

KaleneC sent in a Lego piece (no not a little blue block a link)

“Um, this got sent to Andy- his friend is a Springsteen tragic- and I thought that you’d like it.
Nothing to do with me!
Kalene

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq2zQhkGnMw ”

Well despite the vigorous hand washing, it’s a ripper. But then I would probably fit into the description of Springsteen tragic as well.

Jools spotted this and despite the million of drummer jokes that went through my brain (the good taste chip kicked in just in time) basically I want one.
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=wjZNzn-zzhc

Jools also spotted this (and we haven’t done cats for a bit)
“This cracked me up. I’m sure it will at least raise a smile as an MMI.
Love, Jools ”

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I love the idea behind the Sorted Books project. The deal is you pick books out of your collection whose spines, when placed in a sequence, make a story or a sentence. This really is such a cool idea. Think of it as a variation on “found object’ art or maybe non destructive cutups. I am sure that’s an oxymoron.
http://www.ninakatchadourian.com/languagetranslation/sortedbooks-sharkjournal.php

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I spotted this at Boing Boing. I have always suspected that MacDonalds is dangerous. I’ll preserve myself with Single Malts thank you very much. Here is Cory’s intro

“Karen Hanrahan has been using the same McDonald’s hamburger as a prop in her “Healthy Choices for Children” class since 1996 — 12 years! — and it’s hardly aged a day in all that time. McDonald’s should add “immortality” to its list of Unique Selling Propositions for its burgers (unless Karen has an ornate oil painting of the burger in her living room in which it slowly ages, grows mouldy, and decomposes).”

http://bestwellnessconsultant.com/2008/09/23/1996-mcdonalds-hamburger-karen-hanrahan-best-of-mother-earth.aspx

This is possibly the scariest thing you are likely to see this week.
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Here are two sites playing with the same idea. they “paint with light”.
First up Ryan Cashman describes Light-Paint Piano Player –
“Animated light paintings of a little piano player performing. Filmed at night with the lovely I-5 and San Diego skyline in the background. I would like to thank everyone for the fantastic feedback I have received lately. To answer a few questions, I wrote the music and recorded it first. The frames were photographed with a Canon Rebel using 20-30 second exposure time. I used a small green LED keychain light to draw each frame. Once all the positions were photographed they were strung together and synchronized to the music in After Effects.”

and Second, Jools spotted this collection

“A MMI for the delection of your readers.
Love, Jools
http://www.lapp-pro.de/ ”

Damn this stuff is pretty.

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It’s time for our “Duggup was a lot of fun this week” bit. Jools found a group called “Jewellers Eye”, a very cool English folkband and I spent the week bouncing all over the place.

My favourite this week is “Chairlift”, yep the dudes in the new apple ad. Have a look at Red Car Wire as well. Insidious pop at it’s best. Head over to http://duggup.com.au/ have a listen and let me know what you think.

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Flash Game Dept: Impediments to Productivity is a the name at the top and it’s Monday so lets bring capitalism to it’s knees (unless you happen to be one of my clients in which case this one is blocked at the firewall.. Just kidding).

I missed “Talk Like A Pirate Day” yet again so to make up for it here is a game where you can sail around in a pirate ship, snuff the odd sea monster and generally have a lot of fun.

SeaFight is this weeks game. Once you get the hang of it and acquire some decent ammunition, the fun really kicks in. Move up a few levels and you can take on other pirates, very silly.

Once you are all logged in click Take Me to the Battle and start harpooning sea monsters and attacking ships. When you run out of ammo back to the main screen. bid on ammunition in the bazaar, upgrade weapons (no you CANT have a nuke) in the weapons tab, pick up quests in the pub or upgrade your ship in the shipyard. Join a crew, or a guild. Play for free or there is an upgrade for a premium account. The free stuff will keep you busy until next week when we all find something new to blow off the day.
http://us1.seafight.com/

Well that’s enough for this week.

Have a good one.

thatch

{Currently listening to Suzanne Vega and Bela Fleck}
{Currently reading: Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat }
{Quick Status Check: Video codecs are Hell}
{Crop Circle Status: The total for September is now 6 and in a fab, last minute splurge, the aliens seem to have noticed that the fields are being cropped so they had better extract the digit. Can’t last much longer I’m afraid
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/2008.html }

My Friend Ian, A Pub and a Zoom H4

Ian Bland at The Lomond Hotel © Jools Thatcher 2008
Ian Bland at The Lomond Hotel © Jools Thatcher 2008

It’s been a while since we have taken the Zoom H4 on an outing but last Sunday found us at the Lomond Hotel in East Brunswick (Jools and I used to live across the road from it a long time ago). My Friend Ian (hereinafter MFI) had a gig with his band, the Lamington Drive Orchestra.

Jools decided to take along a video camera we had picked up a while back  to see what it did in lowlight etc. We mounted it on a tripod about 3 metres back from the stage, set it on wide and then just used the pan to keep it all nice and simple. Like I said, it was it’s first outing and I’m an audio geek.

It didn’t turn out to bad really. There were no lights to speak of and the vocals were coming out of a PA that was 12 feet up in the air and not really focussed anywhere near where we sitting.  It’s a strange room but when you are there with the band playing it has a nice vibe about it.

Here is the video of “God On The 67 Tram” one of MFI’s more irreverent pieces of social commentary. It’s not one of the pieces that’s on the album, I think it was song Ian wrote for a performance he did on 3RRR a couple of years back.

Next up is a  video of  “Not Going Back”. This is one of Ian’s newer songs and it’s about change. I like this one.

Boring Tech Stuff:

Zoom H4 mounted on Camera Stand
Zoom H4 mounted on Camera Stand

The Zoom H4 recorded in Stereo @ 44.1kHz/16 bit. It was mounted on the video tripod using a Gorilla Pod, but below the pan head so as not to interfere with the operation of the camera. . It was 3 metres back from the stage more or less pointed at Ian (roughly stage centre) and as usual I crossed my fingers. The gain settings for the mics were on on L and the limiter was turned on.

The audio recording was edited in Sound Forge and all I did was cut out below 30Hz (bass lift from the proximity of the ceiling) and add 3db at 1.5kHz to help the MP3 along. I then used Vegas to drop the Zoom audio into the video. It scrubbed up OK I think for a first attempt at this stuff.