Archive for March, 2010

Konk’s Blog – That’s Big Fat Lie #1

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Kit Pasold has posted another episode of Konk’s Blog – this one is called “That’s Big Fat Lie #1″ – and it features the same fat, old dude as the semi-retired monster slayer, Professor Emil Konk.

Cheers.

Ada Lovelace Day

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

I was going to craft some clever little post today, singling out a woman in the tech field who was worth paying attention to, all for the sake of celebrating the iconic Ada Lovelace – but I’m lazy and busy and was, frankly, overwhelmed with what the folks at AdaFruit Industries have been doing today:

Each hour we are featuring a woman we admire who is currently doing amazing work right in the tech/maker/art/science space.

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging (videologging, podcasting, comic drawing etc.!) to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science. Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognized. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines, whatever they do. It doesn’t matter how new or old your blog is, what gender you are, what language you blog in, or what you normally blog about – everyone is invited.

Who was Ada? Ada Lovelace Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programs for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.

Each hour – a new post – go check it out – all – day – long.

Phew!

I can’t match that.

If I did actually write up a post of my own it would have been about AdaFruit Industries founder and engineer, the astonishing Limor Fried (aka LadyAda) for everything she is doing to promote open source electronic maker culture.

Check out what she is doing on the AdaFruit site – it’s just brilliant. I’ve already bought some of their awesome kits – the Minty Boost and the Drawdio – and I’m saving up to get myself an Ice Tube Clock too. And every Saturday night their live streamcast Ask An Engineer, is skull explodingly fun if you’re into geeky electronics and sullen black cats.

Srsly.

Okay – that’s it for me – Happy Ada Lovelace Day.

Cheers.

P.S. I’m not alone in my appreciation of Limor Fried on this Ada Lovelace Day – others have blogged about her too – the best of them was Tim O’Reilly’s post.

“Lux Arumque” – Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

This will likely be the most beautiful thing you will see and hear all day. Please share it with your friends.

I’m a sucker for choral music and when I found this over on Kevin Kelly‘s blog The Technium I just had to share it with you. It’s a virtual choir assembled by Eric Whitacre, comprised of 185 voices from 12 countries.

Here’s what Kelly had to say:

Many critics of web technology complain that there is nothing special enabled by social media which you could not do with traditional media. Yes, you could make a choir of 200, but it would probably not sing like this. Take a look at this virtual choir. It brings 185 voices, all recorded independently at home, and then combined into a virtual choir. Each voice (available on the side of the video) is expert, each face unique; combined they are heavenly. Could you do a choir of 1,000? Yes!

Whitacre gave his singers these instructions and this was the result:

The visual presentation at first blush may appear to be a tad corny but this deserves to be watched full screen in HD – go here to do just that. All those rapt faces, singing alone and together at the same time – if ever there was an expression of the larger gifts the web is bringing to us, this is it.

Cheers.

I Met The Walrus

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

From the YouTube post:

In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced him to do an interview. 38 years later, Levitan, director Josh Raskin and illustrators James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina have collaborated to create an animated short film using the original interview recording as the soundtrack. A spellbinding vessel for Lennon’s boundless wit and timeless message, I Met the Walrus was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Animated Short and won the 2009 Emmy for ‘New Approaches’ (making it the first film to win an Emmy on behalf of the internet).

Cheers.

P.S. I’ve seen this before but I heard about it again today on Twitter via the most excellent and awesome Roger Ebert and just had to share.

Konk’s Blog

Friday, March 19th, 2010

The first episode of Konk’s Blog has been posted by Kit Pasold and it features some hairy fat old guy as a semi-retired monster slayer, named Professor Emil Konk, who answers viewers questions about how to evade or destroy classic supernatural creatures.

Kit and I share a passion for monster films. I used to own almost every issue of Forrest J. Ackerman’s Famous Monsters Of Filmland back before I got a life. It saved me in my youth. More on that later – maybe.

I had a lot of fun doing these for Kit – more are on the way – and we look forward to expanding the daft world of Konk’s Blog. Visit the official site and ask some monster questions – Konk will answer all for you.

Cheers.

YELP – Connected – The Film

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I found this via BoingBoing and it’s a fascinating short film with obvious resonance (and apologies) to Alan Ginsberg‘s Howl. It’s a teaser trailer of sorts for a larger documentary production called Connected: A Declaration Of Interdependence but in and of itself it’s a interesting take on the predicament, fate or plight of humanity in our current technological haze.

Be sure to click and get rid of the annoying ads on the bottom of the screen – there’s text under there.

Now, I’m not one to subscribe to hysterical pseudo-Luddite notions that we are destroying ourselves with every techno-evolutionary leap humanity makes. Of course, we are, but that’s not the technology’s fault – the blame lies squarely in the hands of each and every one of the silly monkeys with car keys that litter this planet – and, yes, that includes you and me. That’s not to say the National Day Of UnPlugging is a bad idea – it’s always good to get some focus on what we’re doing and where we’re going – I just don’t think there’s any need to panic. Do you?

Click me!
Should we be afraid? Should we shut ourselves down? Should we sit in a corner and take a breather? Have a little time-out so we can collect our thoughts before advancing further?

Hell no.

Full speed ahead. I’m convinced it’s our only hope to fix the messes we’ve already made and ensure we thrive and arrive at a place that has at least some sense of meaning for our existence on Sagan’s beloved pale blue dot.

And if we fuck up – at least we’ll be doing it with really cool toys.

Cheers.

P.S. Since today I seem to be ragging on all the silly monkeys it only seems appropriate to include this little gem of Ernest Cline’s again. Dance, Monkey, Dance!

P. P. S. Oh what the hell – since we seem to be on a monkey jag today I might as well toss in a little Elvis Costello and his wondrously delightful Monkey To Man video. Love those dancers.

Lawrence Lessig On Re-Mix Culture – Liberal vs. Conservative

Monday, March 8th, 2010

I found this over on BoingBoing – it’s a talk given by Lawrence Lessig at the TEDxNYED conference.

Like Jimmy Guterman who posted this on BoingBoing I am always inspired by Lessig’s take on culture, copyright and the need to bring back some sanity to the process of protecting our creative works and our social worlds and finally find an ending to the crazed legal and cutlural wars that have been waged throughout this past decade.

Go – make like Disney – remix something.

Cheers.

Isaac Asimov – 1988 – On The Internet

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Isaac Asimov talks to Bill Moyers in 1988 about the implications of everyone having access to computers that are linked to everyone else – and how this access to information will revolutionize how we all learn. Brilliant stuff.

He’s one smart dude – and probably the only person in the world who could sport such outrageous whiskerage.

Cheers.