Saturday, December 23, 2006
Eric Idle on Christmas
Eric Idle gives us his charming perspective on the holiday season!
Friday, December 22, 2006
Clever and amusing:
Bugs Bunny is deceased! Wile E. Coyote? Roadkill. And Donald is one dead duck. That’s the premise behind Animatus, an exhibit by artist Hyungkoo Lee that envisions cartoon characters from Warner Bros., Disney, and other studios sans fur, feathers, and flesh. The challenge in creating the 3-D polyester-resin skeletons was that the creatures exist only in a 2-D universe. To reverse-engineer their underlying structures, Lee applied a bit of Forensics 101. By observing the anatomy of each character’s real-life counterpart and incorporating human kinesiology, he was able to figure out how an accident-prone anthropomorphic animal’s femur or spinal column would look. Lee studied, sketched, and sculpted the skulls of birds, felines, mice, and other creatures to get the cranial features just right. The resulting noggins are realistic enough to give the most sharp-eyed art patron pause. If you want to check out Animatus, you better order a rocket-propelled sled from Acme. After its debut at the Arario Gallery in South Korea, the ossified menagerie headed to Turin, Italy, where it will be on display through January.
Wired, December 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Here's what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:
Pachelbel's canon in popular culture
The Pachelbel canon may represent the most extraordinary instance of the crossover phenomenon in all of music. During a short period in the early 1970s it went from being a quite obscure work of early music to a universally familiar cultural item. It was played in countless versions in its original notes and instrumentation, as well as in arrangements for other instruments and in adaptations into other musical genres. The process shows no sign of abating.
- The popularization is thought to have originated with the release of a 1970 recording of the work (Erato 98475) performed by the Paillard Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jean-François Paillard. It was also brought to recognition by what is often considered as the best recording of Pachelbel Canon, arranged and performed by Karl Münchinger with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 1970.
- The canon was first adapted musically in a pop song by the Spanish vocal group Pop Tops on their 1968 hit "O Lord, Why Lord?", which made modest chart showings in both the USA (peaking at #79 on the Hot 100) and the Netherlands. Later that year it was adapted by the Greece band Aphrodite's Child on their hit Rain and Tears. In more recent times, Australian-British string quartet bond played a modified, more updated version of the Pachelbel Canon in their song Lullaby on their 2004 album Classified.
- The soundtrack of the film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser by Werner Herzog features the Canon; it was also used in the film's trailer.
- The second half of Brian Eno's pioneering 1975 ambient music recording Discreet Music consists of a series of versions of Pachelbel's canon to which various algorithmic transformations have been applied, rendering it almost unrecognisable. The chord progression of the canon also surfaces in Eno's 1983 Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks recording on the track Always Returning. In 1991, RCA released a compilation CD called Pachelbel's Greatest Hit. It contained eight different versions of the piece, including performances by James Galway, Isao Tomita, and the Canadian Brass. Also released that year was the P. D. Q. Bach album WTWP Classical Talkity-Talk Radio, a spoof of classical radio and the canon's ubiquity there (WTWP stands for "wall-to-wall Pachelbel").
- Mark Knopfler, known to have gone through a classical musical training, seems to have been inspired by the harmonies in Dire Straits' "Tunnel of Love" (1980).
- In 1984, Japanese singer/actress Togawa Jun's song "Mushi no Onna" was adapted from Canon in D with lyrics.
- Also in 1984, The movie Electric Dreams featured a duet between a Cello player and Edgar the sentient computer.
- In 2000, The song was featured as part of the opening tune for Arthur's Perfect Christmas.
- The song plays a prominent role in the 2002 Korean comedy "My Sassy Girl." (The song is actually a variation composed by George Winston).
- Snapcase, a former metalcore band from Buffalo, New York adapted the melody and chord progression of the Canon for the song "ID/Hindsight" off of their 2002 album End Transmission.
- Banya released a rock version of Canon titled Canon-D (Part of the Memories #1) for the game Pump It Up Exceed 2. The music in the game is accompanied by an anime-style music video background.
- In 2005, a video of a young Taiwan guitarist calling himself JerryC, short for Jerry Chang - who arranged and performed an energetic rock version of Pachelbel's Canon on electric guitar. Over 50 guitarists have published a "Canon Rock" video.
- A guitar rendition of the same played by Korean guitarist funtwo is one of the most watched Youtube clips of all time.
- In 2006, a Korean video featured a remix of hip-hop canon in D with a beatboxer, turntables, traditional Korean instruments called gayageum, and breakdancers or b-boys, Last For One.
- A slightly modified version of the canon is played on three alto saxes and one baritone sax annually in the Plymouth Canton Marching Band.
- The song is present in the animated version of the manga Ichigo 100%.
- A revised version of this song can be found in the Canon Groove, a popular song for the online game Audition Online.
- Rob Paravonian's comedic take on 'Canon in D' in popular music.
Welcome to the Internet
terrific graphic depiction of the internet via hello eboy:
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Iraq Insurgents Starve Capital of Electricity
Over the past six months, Baghdad has been all but isolated electrically, Iraqi officials say, as insurgents have effectively won their battle to bring down critical high-voltage lines and cut off the capital from the major power plants to the north, south and west.
The battle has been waged in the remotest parts of the open desert, where the great towers that support thousands of miles of exposed lines are frequently felled with explosive charges in increasingly determined and sophisticated attacks, generally at night. Crews that arrive to repair the damage are often attacked and sometimes killed, ensuring that the government falls further and further behind as it attempts to repair the lines.
And in a measure of the deep disunity and dysfunction of this nation, when the repair crews and security forces are slow to respond, skilled looters often arrive with heavy trucks that pull down more of the towers to steal as much of the valuable aluminum conducting material in the lines as possible. The aluminum is melted into ingots and sold.
What amounts to an electrical siege of Baghdad is reflected in constant power failures and disastrously poor service in the capital, with severe consequences for security, governance, health care and the mood of an already weary and angry populace.
“Now Baghdad is almost isolated,” Karim Wahid, the Iraqi electricity minister, said in an interview last week. “We almost don’t have any power coming from outside.”
That leaves Baghdad increasingly dependent on a few aging power plants within or near the city’s borders.
Iraq Insurgents Starve Capital of Electricity
NYT, December 19, 2006
click for video
Sexual Consent via boingboing
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Baseball Batting Robot
Composite photo of planes taking off from a busy airport:
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Let It Be
Another installation of Sunday with the Beatles:
I can't disagree with this commenter:
"John Lennon/Paul McCartney: One of the best song writing teams of the 20th century. George Harrison had his share of great songs and who could forget Ringo's "Octopus's Garden?" These guys stand the test of time"