Tuesday Roundup

Yeah, yeah, it's Monday. So sue me.

Golden ears, Neil Young, and the Nyquist Frequency

Why push back against 24/192? Because it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, a business model based on willful ignorance and scamming people. The more that pseudoscience goes unchecked in the world at large, the harder it is for truth to overcome truthiness… even if this is a small and relatively insignificant example.

Aphex Twin, in depth

This article is an attempt to explore how Richard D. James has evolved his style throughout his career. In it, I group together his releases into several reasonably distinct eras, and discuss the techniques that he uses in each. James seems a good subject for a case study due to how little music theory he took for granted, and how much he built his own musical principles from scratch, which is a noble goal for anyone trying to carve their own niche in the musical ecosystem.

Castle Bravo at 60

So many sharks!

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Tuesday Roundup

Python Patrol

Florida is famously overrun by invasive animal species, more than 500 at last count, from macaws to vervet monkeys to the lionfish that are hoovering the state’s reefs clean. One of the most notorious—and populous—is the Burmese python, which first made national headlines in 2005, when a 13-footer in the Everglades was found to have swallowed a 6-foot-long alligator whole, only to burst in half.

I don't know how I feel about a composting toilet

  • 2 acres of beautiful farmland: ~$10,000

  • A rustic 1,000 sq/ft cabin: ~$100,000

  • Solar Panels for Electricity: ~$18,000

  • Private well for water: ~$8,000

  • Heating: ~$650 (plus a lot of hours of wood chopping)

  • Fancy composting toilet: ~$500

  • Total: ~$137,150

Simply astonishing: The Code of Sapologie

Please, Javascript, go home

This “JS = Scheme” meme was hugely legimitizing to a horde of programmers feeling unsure of themselves in the face of grizzly C programmers who allocated their own damn memory, probably right after building their own computer out of rocks and twigs.

Rock Steady

Set an hour aside for this one.

Tuesday Roundup

Text Editors In The Lord Of The Rings

If anything, as Ellis noted, the comments are nerdier than the content.

Vast, ancient, gnarled and mostly impenetrable, tended by a small band of shepherds old as the world itself, under the command of their leader, Neckbeard. They possess unbelievable strength, are infuriatingly slow, and their land is entirely devoid of women. It takes forever to say anything in their strange, rumbling language.

@Barry: Take another look at NW Pro. The sword that was broken has been reforged.

It's just like ships in bottles, I guess?

The underappreciated history of Asian/Pacific Islander resistance

Really, really interesting. Particularly interesting for me were the No-No Boys -- I'm going to have to invest some more time with them. I knew about some of the blood union stuff on Hawai'i from Gavan Dawes' Shoal Of Time

Unix pipelines and relational algebra

Combining two things I love/hate and use daily. A very nice treatment.

I mean, yes, but why not just use launchd?

It's a bit old, but worth the read. Fundamentally, I suspect license incompatibility.

Top 23 for 2013

These are in no particular order.

It was a good year for this sort of chunky, melodic punk. I hear the Volcano Suns here, but that may just be Western Massachusetts related projection on my part.

I don't really get why all the Pitchfork types freak out over this record; there's a lot to unpack about the interplay between the indie-rock visuals and the marginalized aesthetic of the music; that said, "Dream House" is a really nifty piece of work. If you took the vocals out, I might even rate this higher.

  • "Graves", Destroy This Place

I'm glad that the Kids Today are listening to their Superchunk. Where Japandroids' last had a certain Merge Records vibe, these kids just go ahead and speed up "Seed Toss". Steal from the best!

Torn between this and "Deconstructing Snapcase", which, um, sounds exactly like Snapcase. Speaking of a lot to unpack.

I am predisposed to dislike whinging acoustic guitars, but this is really great.

Sort of a nostalgia kick, but the crossover between Hüsker Dü and Milton is too rich to pass up.

Yeah, that's Prince. Singing backup.

The best video on this list, by some distance.

Yeah, it's by the numbers major key anthemic guitar-driven instrumental post rock. I'm easy that way.

This is probably my favorite song of the year; Homme has clearly been listening to his Gary Numan, but the whole swinging package is brilliant.

Heartwarmingly didactic and impossible not to sing along with. Oh, to be 17 again.

Not as good an album as the last one, but this is just a cracking restatement of why we love them so much, and why their return from the dead was so welcome.

Overall, I liked this record more than I expected to.

A good year for Metal.

Rush

I don't have any great interest in motorsports, still less the morbid necrophilia of F1, but the word on this was pretty good, and it has a strong '70s aesthetic, and I really liked Senna, so what the hell?

Of course, it's a Rob Howard Joint, which sets an upper bound on how good it can be, and it is pitched as starring Chris Hemsworth who as an actor makes an exceptional anatomist's model; so my expectations were tempered.

I liked it. Hemsworth is surprisingly fine, Ron Howard only indulges in "Hello, I'm Mr. Exposition" for 45 or 50 minutes, and some of the cinematography is excellent. The reason to see this movie, however, is Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda, who does an extraordinary job. Given the limited abilities of Ron Howard in getting good performances from actors, he rescues the movie.

Pitching this as a sort of compare/contrast does a disservice to Brühl, who makes Lauda unlikeable, nasty, and yet finally not just the narrator but the emotional heart of the entire movie. I recommend it for him alone.

The Attack On The Great Raft

Now he faced a new challenge, tearing apart one of nature’s unique phenomena—the Great Raft, a mass of driftwood nearly 200 miles long that blocked steamboat navigation of most of the Red River’s 1,300 miles.

The origin of Shreveport; classic 19th Century American derring-do; and an amazing physical obstacle the likes of which we'll likely never see again.

Voice and Hammer

“I got some guests,” Belafonte tells him. “And the first and most important guest is Odetta.” The ad man waits for more. Belafonte stares. Finally the ad man blinks. “Ah, what’s an Odetta?” he says. “Well, I don’t know,” Belafonte answers. “She looks a little bit like Paul Robeson.”

How Do You Talk?

Last cabbage night, after whipping shitties on the verge, we drove on the frontage road to get a rareripe velvet and some flitters; we had to stop at the water bubbler and I called hosey. We watched a mountain screamer eat a whistle pig by the light of the peenie weenies.

Make sense? No? Try the dialect quiz.

jfb-dialect-map.png

It's not bad -- I clearly didn't pick up much from Chicago or Minneapolis. My vowels haven't gotten Ontario flat yet, either.