August 30, 2013
August 29, 2013
“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” – Miles Kington
Guy builds a tower. Because, why not? After seeing it, I’ll bet you want one too.
“Aside from the personal reward in seeing the progress each day, there is the sense of achievement you get when working on a project,” he says.
“I think my most exciting moment was when I had finished the top floor and I got a chair up there and I just sat down and looked out from my tower. The rest of it was not really sorted and I had mess everywhere, but that was when it became very real.
“I just sat up there and thought ‘this is fantastic – I made it.’ It’s a great feeling.”
Lots of pics at the link.
“Miley’s just doing what she likely suspects she needs to do in her business: Shock people. She’s grown up watching, say, Britney writhe with a snake on the very same awards show, so it’s hard to blame her if she’s surprised by the universally negative reaction. She’s doing what she thought we wanted.
The problem, this time, is that our society feels like it knows her, knows her backstory, knows she’s someone’s daughter, and isn’t able to forget it. Other women, like the ones on stage with Miley, the ones no one is complaining about? Well, we can sexualize them, reduce them to toys lacking a story, but this girl? We know her dad!
Kids don’t need more kids. They know plenty of them. Kids need adults, actual adults, adults adult enough to reject a culture that is so bored, so dead, that it can only feel alive if given one more jolt, one more shock. And it’s hard to shock, anymore, but Miley hit that mark.”
Glad I missed the performance. Sad that we continue down this well-trod road. Read the whole post at the link above. It’s worth it.
August 28, 2013
Bezos Backed 10,000 Year Clock Site Preparation and Fabrication Underway: “If you were worth a million dollars, you might buy a fine watch to measure time. Rolex, Breitling, Seiko, this watch could run a couple thousand dollars. If you’re Jeff Bezos, you spend $42 million on a 200-foot clock inside a mountain, engineered to withstand Armageddon and tick 10,000 years.”
August 27, 2013
One of the first fruit trees planted in America is still alive and well at age 383 : TreeHugger: “It may be hard to believe, however, but one of America’s earliest settlers is still alive today — and still bearing fruit after 383 years.”
Amazing that they could figure this out with such basic technology.
Just finished watching the whole 30 minute program and I’m stunned at the complexity and audacity of this thing. Hand wrapped memory cores? That’s insane.
Yummy! World’s oldest Twinkie still looks fresh after 36 years: “…back in 1976 a science teacher from Maine named Roger Bennatti took a student’s leftover Twinkie from lunch and set it on top of the intercom box in his classroom. It sat there undisturbed for the next 28 years”
“As a society, we tend to shrug off such findings. We’re not surprised that learning is unpleasant. We think of it as bad-tasting medicine, tough to swallow but good for children in the long run. Some people even think that the very unpleasantness of school is good for children, so they will learn to tolerate unpleasantness, because life after school is unpleasant. Perhaps this sad view of life derives from schooling. Of course, life has its ups and downs, in adulthood and in childhood. But there are plenty of opportunities to learn to tolerate unpleasantness without adding unpleasant schooling to the mix. Research has shown that people of all ages learn best when they are self-motivated, pursuing questions that are their own real questions, and goals that are their own real-life goals. In such conditions, learning is usually joyful.”
“Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.”
Appropriate this morning.
August 26, 2013
“We are the Culture of Death, the Culture of Nothingness. Miley Cyrus is but one small consequence of it. Go onto a college campus on any Friday night and you’ll find thousands of other consequences behaving in a fashion pretty similar to Miley’s VMA performance. Every once in a while we catch a glance of ourselves in the mirror and recoil in horror because, as it turns out, being a society without any sense of discipline, decency, character, and self respect, really isn’t as cool as we might have imagined.
I’m not trying to turn the Miley Cyrus molehill into a proverbial mountain, but I am saying last night’s horror show didn’t happen in a vacuum. We are generally an oversexed, amoral civilization, and this is the sort of spectacle that sort of civilization produces. Pretty simple. People often seem troubled when a young woman acts so sexually desperate, but then many of those same folks will lash out with mockery and derision anytime someone suggests — GASP! — self control as an alternative. “
Read the whole thing.
Just had this conversation with a Major Client:
“Hi, we’ve got a great job we want you to do. It’s for a major national venue with huge public exposure (2.5 million+ people). 20 minutes of music. It’ll be performed every hour on the hour, 10 hours per day. Multiple live singers. Runs for 6 weeks. Sponsored by Coke!
We can pay you $400. Maybe $500 if we stretch the budget. Oh, and we need the music this week.”
I mean, how can a guy with two decades’ experience say no?
Believe it or not, this is typical of the kinds of calls working musicians field on a regular basis. A very regular basis.
Queen Guitarist Brian May Explains Exactly How Bohemian Rhapsody Was Made: “Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the greatest rock epics of all time. The late Freddie Mercury, legendary rock star, wove together complex harmonies and instrumental layers, from the choral introduction to the head-banging bridge, to build the British band Queen‘s best-known song. And in this behind-the-scenes tour, Queen guitarist Brian May walks us through exactly how it works.
Using the original mix tape for Bohemian Rhapsody, May goes piece-by-piece through the multitude of tracks that made up the song. There’s a bit of a jitter at around the 3 minute mark, but don’t worry, it cleans up. “
30 minutes long but worth it if you’re a fan of the song (and who isn’t?).
August 25, 2013
I found this strangely affecting, emotional, and beautiful. I don’t know why.
August 23, 2013
August 21, 2013
I wish I had seen this 23 years ago when I was just starting out. I probably wouldn’t have listened to it. I definitely wouldn’t have understood it all. But as I heard him speak now I just kept nodding my head over and over and over again. It’s all true.
If you’re a recent (or soon-to-be) graduate in the arts, I implore you to give this twenty minutes of your time. The man speaks truth.
August 20, 2013
I love it when a client gives me rough directions and then says “but just do what you’re good at. We trust you.” It simultaneously frees me up from the stress of having to get them to define what they want (when they often can’t put it into words) while also setting a high mark- my mark- on what is “good enough”. The best way to get superior work out of a craftsman is to tell them that you hired them because they’re good and because you trust them. If they’re professionals they will fall all over themselves, put in extra hours, and get pull our their best stuff so that they won’t disappoint you. Their self-respect and reputation is on the line.
How To Manipulate A Craftsman 101
Scandals costing us American exceptionalism: “Enough breaches of trust — and I haven’t even started to hit all the scandals out there, by a long shot — and ordinary people will start to assume that the whole system is corrupt. And if that happens, people will quit following the law because they think it’s the right thing to do, and only do so to the extent they’re afraid of getting caught. Plenty of countries operate on that principle. They’re just not as nice to live in as countries where the law has moral stature. When government officials breach trust, they push us closer to that sort of third world condition. Which is why, when they’re found doing so, they should be punished severely.
It’s also why we should try electing, and employing, people with strong moral compasses of their own; government officials who will follow the law because they think it’s the right thing to do, rather than simply to the extent they’re afraid of getting caught.”
Maybe this is the kind of society you get when popular culture sends the message that there’s no such thing as an objective moral compass.