You want some of this, copper?

Stormy Weather

[via BoingBoing]

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Holographic Telepresence

The Musion Eyeliner is a high definition holographic video projection system allowing spectacular 3-dimensional moving images to appear within a live stage setting using Peppers Ghost technology. Eyeliner brings dramatic, previously unseen 21st century video film effects to live events, including audiovisual artistic performances, conference or trade show presentations, retail displays and large-scale digital signage. Musion Eyeliner has already been used in a variety of applications including life-size holograms of Madonna (Grammy Awards), Gorillaz (MTV Awards), and Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Digital Launch). Other uses include technical demonstrations such as the GEnx Aircraft Engine (Farnborough Air Show) and car showcasing as seen at the Ford Mondeo launch (Geneva Motor Show). All our clients have recently discovered the thrilling visual impact of Eyeliner for major product launches, consumer entertainment, TV Spectaculars and VIP celebrity keynote addresses.

Holy fucking shit. I really need to see this IRL.

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A Guide To Making Music With Your Mac

I’ve written the first part of a four part guide to making music with your Mac over at TUAW. This part covers hardware audio interfaces — what to look for and how to choose your gear.

Pretty elementary for hardcore music nerds, but I think it’s useful for beginners. The next part’s gonna deal with software DAWs (digital audio workstations).

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I Saw My First Asus EEE 901 Today…

…and I still can’t beat down my hard-on. That thing is amazing. I want one so bad. Especially as my MBP is showing wear and tear — I hate to throw the thing in my bag nowadays, especially as I don’t do much heavy lifting, computer wise, when I’m out and about. The EEE would be absolutely perfect for a laptop mangler like me.

Sigh.

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I've Been Watching Too Much British TV Recently

After watching two episodes of Life On Mars in a row, I almost called my dad “Guv” when he came into the living room a few minutes ago.

Reminds me of when Alex was in the middle of watching the first season of The Wire on DVD and, when his mom called him up, called her “nigga” during conversation.

He said she simply paused and kept talking as if it hadn’t happened.

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The Enemy Inside

Ben Rubenstein has written a great piece over at PopMatters about the problem with being both a music critic and a friend of musicians. Call it the Stillwater Syndrome.

This is always a problem — as a critic, it’s your job to be honest and uncompromising. As a human, it’s your job to want your friends to succeed. And as a friend, it’s not really cool to point out that something your friend has devoted their lives to is complete shit — or even worse, dull.

This is a problem I myself have faced. I’d consider myself at least on friendly acquaintance with Mark Stoermer of The Killers — we’re not bosom buddies, I’ve never been to his house, but we always chat whenever we run into one another, and I like the guy. I’ve also never really made much of a secret that I’m not a huge fan of The Killers. (Even though I cover “All These Things That I’ve Done” live, because I think it’s a great song, and maybe someday I’ll post a recording here.) I don’t despise them, but I don’t really think Brandon Flowers deserves the critical acclaim he gets as a songwriter. They’re a good pop band, but that’s about it, in my opinion. And that’s the opinion of somebody who occasionally writes professionally about music, for whatever that may be worth.

I’ve never really discussed it with Mark, because I’d consider it rude. And I’m certainly very happy for his success. Seeing him at Live 8, standing next to, like, fucking Roger Waters, was beautiful. He’s a really nice guy and, I think, a good person, and an extremely talented guitarist and bassist. I always wish him well. (I’d like to see Mark fronting a band, myself.)

But I would be a hypocrite if I pretended to like his band more than I do, just because I know him and think he’s very talented. And I have a big problem with hypocrisy in myself. I fight to not be a hypocrite, as much as I can. I fail a lot, but I try. I do believe in tact, but I also only believe in being tactful to the point where you’re still telling the truth.

I fail at that, because I’m a coward and I want people I like to be happy. So there have been times that I’ve lied to musician friends. And I’ve felt bad about it, because I felt like I was betraying a principle I’d set for myself.

When I put out my album, I’m going to hand it off to a few people who are both friends and music critics. And I’m going to ask them — then and now — to do something that, oftentimes, I haven’t had the courage to do myself.

I want them to be absolutely merciless. I want them to tell the truth. Because I believe that my music, as much as it means to me — and as much as I want to be told that I’m a genius unparalleled in the history of rock — is only part of a larger conversation that we’re all having. Their job — and mine, when I’m wearing that hat — is to tell the truth. My job as a musician is to try to communicate. Sometimes those two objectives clash.

And I won’t hold it against them if they hate it. Really. But that’s not me being really enlightened or anything.

I won’t hold it against them if they hate it because I’ll know that they’re mistaken. Because it’s genius.

Every last goddamn note.

The spaces between songs? Genius. The way the CD smells? Genius. Pure, unadulterated human glory, wrapped up in a package of sweet, sweet musique.

So, you know, that’s okay.

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If One Were To Go To My Muxtape Page…

…one might find some new recordings there, nestled in with the old.

I’m just sayin’.

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Memorial Day

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, when we Americans give our remembrance of those Americans who’ve died fighting for this country. (Estimates of the numbers vary wildly, but let’s say about 1.8 million Americans total since the War of Independence.) In point of fact, most Americans mark Memorial Day as the psychological beginning of summer.

Personally, I think Memorial Day ought to be not an American but a worldwide holiday: a day when all of us, in every country, mourn and remember those who died fighting for us — those whom history has painted as heroes, those whom history has painted as monsters, and those whose names and deeds were never even recorded for posterity. It should be a day when we recognize and acknowledge the human cost of our disagreements and arguments, going all the way back to the mythological figure of Abel, lying dead in a field somewhere with his brains bashed in over his brother’s jealousy of God’s love. (Of course, many scholars see the story of Cain and Abel as an allegory for the triumph of cultivators over pastoral nomads…but that would be appropriate as well: the masquerading of temporal, cultural and social conflict beneath the mask of religion.)

It is very easy to forget that most of the soldiers who ever breathed their last on a battlefield or in a military hospital bed were unwilling or barely willing conscripts: boys, mostly, not really men, scared and confused and trying to simply survive the ordeal of doing what they were told. Most of them didn’t want war. They wanted families, businesses, homes; they wanted to grow old with their grandchildren on their knees. And this is as true of every German soldier who died at Normandy and St. Petersburg as it is of the American and British and Russian soldiers who killed them, and died in turn at their hands.

Some of them saw horrible things, and most of them did horrible things, and there is no excuse for those things; but those are things we deal with on every other day of the year. Tomorrow, we ought to remember what they gave, not what they took.

This is an especially sad Memorial Day for Americans. In the Iraq War, America has lost over 4,000 soldiers. Almost 30,000 have been wounded. Civilian casualties — dead and wounded — may run as high as 650,000 or even a million. It’s a stupid, dishonorable war architected by stupid, dishonorable men on every side of the conflict — American, Iraqi and insurgent alike. But that does not lessen the sacrifice of those who are dying — dying to defend their own country, dying to defend the idea of democracy, dying for their faith. I abhor their ideals and I am heartbroken at the idea that anyone would willingly end their life to defend any religious system, Christian or otherwise. But I will not take their deaths lightly simply because I disagree with their reasons for dying.

War is never the right answer, but sometimes it’s the only answer. Until we learn to eradicate those things in the human brain which cause us to attack and hurt and steal from our fellow men, war will continue. Those young men and women will keep falling, whether in the sandy streets of Baghdad or the wastelands of Darfur or the killing fields of Myanmar.

And we ought to all of us take tomorrow to think about that, and to decide what ideas can possibly be worth dying for.

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Woman Wakes Up After Family Says Goodbye, Tubes Pulled – Health News Story – WEWS Cleveland

Woman Wakes Up After Family Says Goodbye, Tubes Pulled – Health News Story – WEWS Cleveland

Doctors are calling Val Thomas a medical miracle. They said they can’t explain how she is alive. They said Thomas suffered two heart attacks and had no brain waves for more than 17 hours. At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, her heart stopped and she had no pulse. A respiratory machine kept her breathing and rigor mortis had set in, doctors said. “Her skin had already started to harden and her fingers curled. Death had set in,” said son Jim Thomas.

If this is true, it’s very exciting. Rigor mortis and decay have always been the only two ways to conclusively determine if a person is dead or not. But if a person can survive past rigor mortis, that suggests that “death” is not as binary as we may have thought.

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Indy Rocked.

Don’t care what anyone else says. I have no cynicism here. It rocked, I liked it all, Shia LaBeouf was great, Cate Blanchett kicked ass, it was a great and worthy Indiana Jones movie. Even the retarded bits were awesome.

Would have liked to have seen Sullah in the end. I love Sullah. But that’s about it.

Thanks, Steve and George.

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