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The game changer
Michael considered fate at 13:45   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
If you haven't paid too much attention to this whole banking fiasco, you should really give yourself a few moments and read George Soros explaining what happened and what needs to happen to get the global economy going again. It gives a great summary of how it went down and some interesting points looking to the future.
Finally, the international financial system must be reformed. Far from providing a level playing field, the current system favours the countries in control of the international financial institutions, notably the US, to the detriment of nations at the periphery. The periphery countries have been subject to the market discipline dictated by the Washington consensus but the US was exempt from it.

How unfair the system is has been revealed by a crisis that originated in the US yet is doing more damage to the periphery. Assistance is needed to protect the financial systems of periphery countries, including trade finance, something that will require large contingency funds available at little notice for brief periods of time. Periphery governments will also need long-term financing to enable them to engage in counter-cyclical fiscal policies.

It don't look pretty.


Indie Rock (and then some)
Michael considered fate at 20:46   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
A first for me, my videos from Saturday's show have been featured on the venue's blog, Have Faith in Worthless Knowledge, edited by Portland transplant Bryan Bruchman, whose other venture is Hilly Town, the "indie rock (and then some) show list for Portland, Maine!". Check it out!


Dead of Winter show @ Space Gallery
Michael considered fate at 11:22   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment


Dilly Dilly with Adam Kurtz, Part Deux - Dead of Winter show @ Space Gallery
Michael considered fate at 21:02   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Damn, I really wish the mic at least had a levels adjustment. The sound pisses me off.

Dilly Dilly with Adam Kurtz - Dead of Winter show @ Space Gallery
Michael considered fate at 13:40   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
The problem with these bugger musicians is that they like to run over my 5min video length limit (in 720P mode, anyway). Oh well, I got most of it.


Brandon Davis (Elf Princess) - Dead of Winter show @ Space Gallery
Michael considered fate at 22:34   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

The (Unknown) @ Dead of Winter show, Space Gallery, Portland, Maine
Michael considered fate at 11:17   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Not truly the 'Unknown', but I failed to get the name of this performer and no amount of Myspace skulking or Google searching could turn up a reasonable guess. Regardless, this video is a slightly better representation of what the little D90 can do if the operator isn't being a complete wrong-settings douche-bag.


Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad
Michael considered fate at 14:47   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
You chemistry geeks might get a kick out of Table of Condiments
That Periodically Go Bad
. Two years for sugar? Really?

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
Michael considered fate at 13:23   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Aly Spaltro, The Lady of Lady Lamb the Beekeeper played a beautiful micro-set at the Space Gallery's Dead of Winter show this Saturday. Of all the acts I saw, she was the only one that got the entire audience to shut the hell up:

I took the wrong lens, and it shows. It was definitely over-compensating for the low light, but what can you do. It's a learning experience.


Yes We Can slow down web traffic while we talk
Michael considered fate at 22:20   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
While Obama was speaking on inauguration day, Google's search volume dropped and people stopped looking at pictures on Flickr. They also turned off their music streams. Yet the traffic of that on-the-surface-excruciatingly-annoying service Twitter skyrocketed. It's interesting, on a number of levels.

If you like that, you can dig into this dissertation on social networks and the American teen, which collected significant survey data during the same time period that Myspace, and then Facebook rose to prominence. Truly interesting stuff, if, like me, you think this is all the start of our downfall into the borg pit.

All via the excellent waxy.

Fast Ronnie
Michael considered fate at 22:15   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

From Overhead
Michael considered fate at 00:06   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Google's satellite, the GeoEye-1, got some pretty cool shots of the inauguration. While the people may look like ants, it's still a lot of ants.


The produce section
Michael considered fate at 20:50   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment


Michael considered fate at 12:54   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Word clouds for every Presidential inauguration speech from the NYTimes.

What first jumped out at me was the clear difference in rhetoric between the Red and the Blue - at least in recent times. The Dems use words like "responsibility" and "spirit" and "people" while the Repubs stick to fascist standards like "freedom", "nation", and "citizen".

Further investigation lead to this: before WWI there is almost no mention of the word "world" - at least not often, but afterward it is prominent in almost every speech. I guess we can call that progress, in some respects?

The many layers of George "Dubya" Bush
Michael considered fate at 12:21   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Bored? Wasting time? Look no further: A chronological index of every Onion article on G.W. Bush.


DJ Halo Part Deux - AC/DC & Al Green
Michael considered fate at 19:25   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Again, the sound ain't great.

Baked Beans and Hot Dogs
Michael considered fate at 17:55   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

DJ Halo spinning at the White Heart in Portland, ME
Michael considered fate at 15:21   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
First attempt (test) of a dark indoor setting with the D90. Lotta (video) noise, but kind of cool. I think it would have come out better without the blue light, which really throws off the exposure (it is doing auto-exposure, so if someone walks in front of that light, it adjusts, quite violently, to the new light setting - bummer).

The mono mic is nothing to rave about, either, but all in all it could be worse for a mono mic. I just wish it had a level-adjustment - that can make all the difference.

Ukrainian Blood
Michael considered fate at 12:46   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment


Microsoft Research's SongSmith does the classics
Michael considered fate at 18:12   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

Very very very interesting. Especially as I had seen earlier today some neat YouTube stuff about Joe Satriani suing Coldplay because their new song sounds like one of his....and then I found out Led Zep ripped off such hits as Dazed and Confused and even the intro to Stairway to Heaven!
The copyright implications alone are kind of funny..... 
I'm sure some of you are already familiar with this, but Microsoft has a new research project called Songsmith:
Songsmith generates musical accompaniment to match a singer’s voice. Just choose a musical style, sing into your PC’s microphone, and Songsmith will create backing music for you.
Except that isn't what people are doing with it, at least not some of them. They are isolating classic song vocal tracks and piping them through Songsmith instead.

And it is creepy:

It started out with a little David Lee Roth, which is fairly hideous.

And then there is the Police's Roxanne re-incarnated as a Caribbean hit.

There are plenty more, like Oasis' Wonderwall, but I won't bore you. You can dig into it if you find it interesting, or, hey, go sing a song yourself.

Update: I think Long Train Runnin by the Doobie Bros is the best so far.


Slug Sex
Michael considered fate at 14:53   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

Dang. That's an amazing video. 
Who knew slugs made such an artistic dance out of doing the dirty? If you only watch a few youtube videos a year, this should still be one of them.


The Recently Deflowered Girl
Michael considered fate at 12:31   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
For posterity, and the off chance I may want to read this again, starring illustrious illustrator Edward Gorey and mounds of deflowerment advice for young girls straight from the horses mouth (Hyacinthe Phypps?), I present to you:

The Recently Deflowered Girl


6 Bloodies
Michael considered fate at 18:53   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment


Of cats and New Year's Resolutions
Michael considered fate at 15:22   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

Said owner fell for it hook, line, and sinker. I think you should have ridden it out a little bit - Lisa was fully believing that Ronnie had packed on the pounds, and made a big scene about it during our perogy making party. In a side note, what kind of owner can't tell it's NOT her own cat...jeez. 

Woohoo! Prankster success #1 of '09. 

I agree that an owner should generally be able to tell their animal from the next, but to be fair, a plain old orange tabby looks like, well, a plain old orange tabby.

That's what you get when you go for the "unmarked sedan" of the cat world. 
This Christmas season my household was tasked with taking care of a friend's pet. A feline, to be exact. Anyone who knows me can probably tell you that I like cats a lot and grew up with many over the years. However, there is something unique to someone else's pet that just .

In fact, Ronnie (of the female orange tabby variety) is relatively painless, and has but one questionable trait: a voracious thirst for conversation. This girl eclipses the term Chatty Cathy. A Chatty Catty Cathy, maybe. Generally, it's manageable in near the term, you just apply rapid head and neck scratching until she settles out. Sometimes she continues to chirp away, letting out bursts of - in quick staccato succession - these "cat mumbles" (stutters?).

Our last female feline was a bumbling Maine Coon who very well could have been special in that short bus sort of way, but who can be sure? She had her routines, she drooled when she purred, and was sent of to kitty heaven earlier than her time due to seizures or strokes - still a solid 15 years, but we're used to having them longer.

So whose to say a cat can't have a stutter, or a dog can't be OCD? They have Valium for pets, now.

But whatever I am doing with Ronnie, she seems to be gaining weight. Gaining a lot more weight than she should, anyway, in the two weeks we've had her. Okay, on to the evidence. The "Before" photos:

Now, on to the "After" photo. Note that the grass in the photo is the best solution we have for the moment, all-vegan diet. She's sniffed at it a few times and maybe tried a blade or two, but so far seems generally nonplussed.

Okay, truthfully I found a photo of a cat very similar-looking to Ronnie and I thought it would be funny to try and fool the owner with a frantic email to her with photographic evidence of her cat's obesity. I'll let you know how it goes over.

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Check out heroecs, the robotics team competition website of my old supervisor's daughter. Fun stuff!
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