January 31, 2012
January 25, 2012
“‘Knowing the score’—the expression implies mastery, but it doesn’t suggest the sustained and solitary study that’s required to achieve it. There are a few miles of roadway that I have driven often enough to navigate them faultlessly in my mind: I know every pothole, every deer crossing. A conductor needs similarly detailed recall of an enormous musical terrain. In the weeks I spend fussing over just my six minutes of Mozart, Gilbert conducts Schoenberg’s Pelleas und Melisande; symphonies by Mahler, Brahms, Dvorák, and Beethoven; and assorted pieces by Webern, Bruch, Berg, Bach, Corigliano, Dutilleux, Haydn, Sibelius, Wagner, Janácek, and Mozart—dozens of hours, millions of notes, pieces he has performed for years and pieces he’s never seen before. During one session, Gilbert demonstrates for a percussionist how to get the right sound on the triangle, corrects a bowing in the violin part, sings the bassoon line, and points out a subtle harmonic shift—all without glancing at the score. ‘I haven’t looked at this piece in five years,’ he says, ‘but it’s still in there somewhere.’ If the entire symphonic tradition were incinerated, a team of conductors could write it all out again….
“It’s amazing how beautifully we play,” a musician says, “when we don’t know what the hell the guy on the podium is doing.”. “
January 21, 2012
January 20, 2012
“Brave, adventurous souls try [to climb Everest] because they’ve heard there’s magic in the climb. They try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb are impressive accomplishments. They try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to pause and lift their eyes and minds from the pain and drudgery, the views are breathtaking. They try because even though it hurts and it’s hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard. These moments are so intense and unique that many people who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again. Even though any climber will tell you that most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer. That they literally cried most of the way up.
And so I think that if there were people stationed, say, every thirty feet along Mount Everest yelling to the climbers — “ARE YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF!? IF NOT, YOU SHOULD BE! ONE DAY YOU’LL BE SORRY YOU DIDN’T!” TRUST US!! IT’LL BE OVER TOO SOON! CARPE DIEM!” — those well-meaning, nostalgic cheerleaders might be physically thrown from the mountain.”
I can attest to this.
January 18, 2012
h/t to Josh for the cool link. I especially like the part about the sine waves and frequencies.
January 17, 2012
So the saving for the 3d printer continues. I’m sure glad I’m waiting. MakerIndustries just announced their Makerbot Replicator as the next advancement in low cost 3d printing tech.
Pros: much bigger print area (about the size of a loaf of bread), dual extruders so you can print with two colors, comes fully assembled, better resolution.
Cons: comes fully assembled (I kind of wanted to assemble the thing myself), still uses clunky GCode and Replicator G, higher priced ($2,000 as opposed to the $1200 I was shooting for), ABS plastic spools are still expensive (around $65 for a 1kg spool).
So there’s still a ways for the technology to go. I’d like to see it get faster and have the materials get a little cheaper. Actually, recyclable materials would be the way to go. Print something out, then when you were finished with it simply feed it to the (printed out?) recycler and get a nice spool of ABS plastic to start the process over. As far as the cost of the machine I’m okay with the price increase as long as consumables come down in price. Initial outlay isn’t much compared to feeding the thing over time (the “razors/razor blade” or “printer/ink cartridge” approach).
I don’t want to get on a treadmill where I’m constantly waiting for the next revision before I commit, but I feel like the Replicator is aaalmost there. Maybe by this time next year I’ll feel good about buying.
So I’m considering putting off the purchase another year so that I can keep saving. I have about $950 saved and am adding to it at $50 or so per month. At this rate I’ll be up to $2,000 in two more years. Maker Industries might introduce a more expensive one in that time, in which case the goalposts move again, or the next rev (and some competition!) might make them cheaper. But what I don’t want to do is buy something that’s still in the hobby category and isn’t as useful as I’d like.
I’ve been building props the past few weekends and still have two weekends to go. It’d sure be nice to be able to print out a prop (from SketchUp?) and lay it down on a full scale stage model. That’s the long-term plan.
January 16, 2012
Erin’s cousin Katy is a polymer clay artist in Anchorage, AK. We went to visit the family this past March and had a great time seeing Alaska, visiting the family, and getting to watch Katy make her really cool polymer clay art. Katy is the featured artist on polymerclaydaily today. Congrats, Katy! Now sell online! 🙂
January 15, 2012
Paradise Recovered has been nominated for Best Sound at the 2012 IIFOC film festival! My little ‘ol name is on the ballot. Fingers crossed…
January 11, 2012
Painted a layer at a time in built-up resin. Incredible. This video is only going to work until the 14th, so watch it soon.
In light of physics conversations I’ve had with Matt, I’m particularly interested in #4.
“It’s rare for us to create anything incredible in a day. Even if you have a large goal in mind, it’ll require smaller, concise tasks. We want to rush in, work as hard as we can, and feel we have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time, but a little bit every day will go a lot farther. You can’t fly up a staircase. You need to use the steps.”
A major milestone reached today in the show! I just finished writing all of the charts for Sing 2012. I then got the fun job of sitting down and listening to all 112-odd minutes of music I’ve been working on for several months. It’s the first time I’ve heard the whole show in one sitting as I worked my way through the charts checking for errors. Fun to hear it all at once!
The show is still about a month away and the groups are busily practicing their hearts out as they prepare. I’ve still got a lot to do (final key changes, chart book assembly, final locked CDs, show track mastering, final score delivery, and on and on), but for now a big milestone has been passed. Onward!
January 10, 2012
“Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation … it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”
President James Garfield
January 9, 2012
The world’s fastest guitarist.
Skip forward to 11:30 for the Guinness Record attempt. Jaw-dropping.
I guess they have the clock next to him so that you can tell it’s not sped up footage. Otherwise I would totally call bogus. That’s amazing.
Lawmakers seem intent on approving SOPA, PIPA | The Industry Standard – InfoWorld: “Lawmakers seem intent on approving SOPA, PIPA
So far, strong opposition to the controversial copyright bills hasn’t changed many minds in Congress”
January 4, 2012
The best American wall map: David Imus’ “The Essential Geography of the United States of America” – Slate Magazine
The best American wall map: David Imus’ “The Essential Geography of the United States of America” – Slate Magazine: “David Imus worked alone on his map seven days a week for two full years. Nearly 6,000 hours in total. It would be prohibitively expensive just to outsource that much work. But Imus—a 35-year veteran of cartography who’s designed every kind of map for every kind of client—did it all by himself. He used a computer (not a pencil and paper), but absolutely nothing was left to computer-assisted happenstance. Imus spent eons tweaking label positions. Slaving over font types, kerning, letter thicknesses. Scrutinizing levels of blackness. It’s the kind of personal cartographic touch you might only find these days on the hand-illustrated ski-trail maps available at posh mountain resorts.”
This is awesome.
January 3, 2012
“The US presidential race is a prime example of the poor judgment and poor use of resources that legacy news media coverage displays — at least from the standpoint of the serious student of world events. The coverage begins much too early, contains much too much fluff and spin, and provides the reader with next to no serious insight about where the country is headed.
There are good economic and competitive reasons why the media covers the presidential race in mind numbing detail, but just because they write it doesn’t mean we have to read it.
Many people follow politics the way sports buffs follow sports news, or supermarket shoppers read People magazine and there is nothing wrong with this. Apart from the schadenfreude and love of gossip, it is an innocent human pastime and a perfectly reasonable leisure activity. But it is not the same as a serious interest in events, and people who really want to understand what is happening in the world and help build a better future need to spend less time following horse race chit chat and more time both following the real news and carrying out the historical, economic, cultural and intellectual study programs that will enable them to understand the news in greater depth.”