Friday, October 28, 2005

Too much sweets is gonna rot your teedth

Expert asks if Visual Studio 2005 is too feature rich
ARTICLE - In a speech entitled "Does Visual Studio Rot the Mind?" author Charles Petzold decried Visual Studio's "insistence on writing code" for developers. He criticized aspects of Visual Studio C# code generation. Yet he tentatively welcomed XAML code generation anticipated to ship with future versions of Microsoft's tool set. For its part, VisualStudio 2005 is scheduled to ship November 7. Petzold's comments follow a long tradition. The idea of pedal-to-the-metal coding closely attached to clever algorithms has long been popular with groups of C programmers. Even before C, assembler programmers similarly contented that higher levels of abstraction added overhead and sapped creativity out of programming. Although provocatively titled, Petzold's presentation was not without some fun. He prefaced his major broadsides with an amused review of the idea of "information at your fingertips" through time, touching on films such as Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and the Katherine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy film "Desk Set" in the process. (

Futurism Today
Bucky's world - The Boston Globe
Fullerine happens.

The Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan
McLuhan was brilliant, then forgotten, then resurrected a bit with the invention of cyberspace - now what he invented is part of the common agenda. There are a few books and this Playboy interview to depict his thinking.

1926The future.
Amazing Story covers. Starting in 1926.

Charles Babbage Institute
A look at computers in movies.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Mose Allison

For his birthday, my brother and I saw Mose Allison at Scullers in Boston. Second show, Oct 21. So glad we did!

I have some of his records and consider him a great lyricist, and master of a true ethos. Quite influential. And blues oriented. But to see him! He is blues poet for sure

He played so many numbers..moved quickly, getting stronger, but always cool. Did Who’s Loving You Tonight, assigning it to Robert Lockwood Jr; Seventh Son, citing Dixon. Did Buddy Johnson song. Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me.

Of course his own numbers are totally unique. To hear them in essence was illuminating. This Aint Me [‘This old grey geezer”], I’m Getting There, Hello Universe, Mind on Vacation, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know...

You say the world is mad
You say that you've been had
You don't like your part in the floor show
You say it's all a bust
There's no one you can trust
Well, tell me something that I don't know

Lefty Frizell’s If You Got the Money treated deftly. In fact, money as a mode, or myth, certainly as a stange concern, appear often in his hipster’s bible. Example: The More You Got, The More You Got to Lose. And Numbers On Paper.

Playing a Yamaha grand. Doing some sparse classical runs. Not striding at all. Occasionally the madcap; Silent movie chases and crash falling leaves. A coda one time that was classic blues close ala Sunnyland Slim

Wearing Addidas sneakers. Black dockers. Blue arrow shirt. Purple Fleece which he delicately zipped and folded, like an old trouper, a couple of numbers into the set. A beat Willie Nelson. A beat poet. A beat poet who can play piano. And sing. Old Philosopher, Well Mean advisor, Oracle of blues. Like last living beat. Was a treat.

Anyway. The world needs a book dedicated to his lyrics. So it is in one place. He wont be on the Hastings for ever. But he is here now.

More on Mose Muse
Profile by Mose Allison : MusicOutfitter

More recent pennings of Mose including 'This aint me'
Lletres de les
cançons de Van Morrison: Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison

Site has some lyrics..Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison I guess as
done by Van Morrison
Mose Allison - Official Website
- Biography

A list of Mose songs.
AJHF: Archive:
Press Releases: 98.03.02 Mose Allison

Discovered here that Racine's Own Ben Sidran was working with Mose.
Mose Allison
Searching for insight into his composition. Found here: "I'm always trying
to be direct and economical," said Allison.

Friday, October 21, 2005


The views now possible of the globe are incredible. Of course, a generation is growing up that looks at these as nothing more than the weather. This week Wilma Hurricane hectored the U.S., before going to Yucatan. It was always there, pressing. If you recall, this was the premise behind The Whole Earth Catalog. That we had entered a new era where we could see a full picture of our place. And change our life style as a result. I saw this pic on page 1 of Boston Globe.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Automaton on the road

Came across the names John McCarthy and David Patterson this week in relation to possible resurgence of AI in the light of Stanford's victory in the DARPA cup. Patterson, along with Hennessy and John Cocke created RISC. McCarthy invented LISP and is said to have coined the term "A." Found some interesting recent works of Stanford's McCarthy in relation to Machine Intelligence. "When will we get human-level AI?" he asks. "Maybe 5 years. Maybe 500 years," he answers.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Caravan with a drum solo

Mulatu Astatke is an Ethiopian jazz muscian who is coming to prominence as his music has served as the soundtrack for the film "Broken Flowers." If you havent heard this music, you should check it out. Clubs in Addis Ababa in the 60s and 70s were a churning confection it seems of jazz, soul, Latin all filtered through some unique Ethiopian scales. Joe Tex meets the Skatellites and Albert Ayer on a caravan. All during the last days of Sellasie.

I got up with this stuff one night - the night Bobby Bonds broke Mark McGuire's home run record - in S.F. Stayed at Jim's but whole family had tix for big game. So it was me, some beer, and all Jim's great records. While they Haas crew followed America's pasttime favorite. I watched Bobbie on tube, and, as Jim's place affords view of world, I did see fireworks from the stadium by the bay when he popped it out. Great discovery was "Ethiopiques." This strange toned African by way of Memphis music. Astatke is featued on Disk 4 of Ethiopiques.

Found a record in Cecelia's collection subsequently called "Ere Mela Mela" by Mahmoud Ahmed. Described with sticker as "bluesy sax riffs, rolling rhytms, and eastern modalities." It is all hypnotic - movie like - Broken Flowers director Jarmusch worked his movie around Astatke's music rather than the other way around.

Astatke is undertaking an modest American tour, with a stop in Boston next week at the aptly named Lizard Lounge. Mose Allison plays same evening at Scullers.

Mulatu_Astatke - on Wikipedia
Jim Jarmusch's film puts focus on Ehtiojazz - NYT. Oct 14, 2005 [reg req]
Broken Flowers on Amazon [Hear]
Ethioiopiques V4 on Amazon [Hear]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

If aibos run free why not me?

There could be 15,000 Sony AIBO robotic dogs out there, but with Sony under the gun, these dogs are no safer than the vaulted works of Bill Monroe or Billie Holiday. With price tags ranging from $1,700 to $2,000, dogs have attracted a cult, but not created a market. Speculation intensified that the Tokyo-based behemoth may pull the plug on AIBO's future or scale back robotics research and development.

Too expensive to be a toy, it is too unqualified to be a soldier. It’s in a rut says Application Development Trends {CASE TRENDS} founder Dan Kara.

"The AIBO is kind of stuck," said Dan Kara, president of Robotics Trends, a consulting firm in Northborough, Mass. and the sponsor of RoboNexus. "It can't really be a commodity consumer product because it's too expensive. They aren't robust enough for the military. It's more of a research tool."

Dan knows whereof he speaks. But it seems like the time to call in Issac Assimov. Maybe Ray Kurzweil could help us there.

Number 9, Number 9 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dylan on PBS

The whole family sat down and watched Dylan the American Master miniseries on PBS last month. As I suspect many of the Whole Sick Crew across America did too. It was very fulsome, Lowell.

I liked the considerable access to Dylan..and the characters he grew up with. Tony Glover, Paul Nelson, Al Ginsberg [mighta liked to have heard from Bobby Vee], Maria Muldar [the Jug Band footage was priceless], Liam Clancy and Dave Van Ronk... all of interest. Footage of influencers Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie eerie.

Fun:Van Ronk desribes how Dylan took his version of House of the Rising Sun and kind of hurt his feelings..and how he couldnt play it anymore..and how gladly he chorttled when Eric Burton and the Amimals took it .. so that Dylan couldnt play it anymore.

The bits on the cold snowy Midwest resonated...and him listening to radio signals in the night. The influence of cabaret show biz on his style [by way of people he shared bills with] became more apparent as it did in Chronicles.

It seems this is apt topic for Gangomine blog .. so how do you make that community thread stuff happen? PBS is giving helpful questions for wouldbe coffee klatchs --
Dylan began dissociating himself from fame at an early age. Do you think it helped or hurt him? How? What is your favorite Dylan song? Why do you find it appealing? If Dylan had come onto the music scene 10 years later, do you think he would have had the same impact? Why or why not?
But that dont make it. I think maybe I will y0u remember a time when you saw Dylan perform?

Actualy the PBS people are setting up a Flash map to absorb such stories.
Maybe I will ask if and how Bob Dylan music/poetry changed your life. I remeber vividly Jim Cusuamno saying "I would have been a lawyer if I hadn't heard Dylan."

Jeff DeMark and family and I encountered this orb one day on the Boston Commons. Posted by Picasa

The King of the Chicago Feedback

Lately I've heard Elmore James anew. He could fix on a single note, but make it ring. Shame he died at 45, his heart exploded, with little mention. But he was in approach to music acutely aware somehow of a universal harmonics, a chord Elysium. And no one had it better. One extended chord that came up from Afrik to Greece by way of Hawaii and Mississippi. Circled the globe, Jack. No one dug more into the musical values of electric signals though they still be trying.

Always felt: ''It was Elmore James invented musical electricity.'' But the one-note-ness of Elmore I'd kind of come to take for granted as a limitation. The note bloomed, expanded, of late. Who knows why? There is a ringing wood chime at my neighbors where I park my car, and all of music can be spawned from it essential sound. Dust my Blues too is inevitable.

Fleetwood Mac you know I've been listening too, I mean what they now call the Original Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green. I was under-astounded when I first heard Fleetwood Mac in 1969 -- that was because I'd already heard Elmore James. I dont think any group has more dedicatedly attached its star to one source artist. Now I love Fleetwood Mac, who were not too proud to do a dozen to two dozen Elmo songs on their first four or five records, Cream be damned. Listening to Peter Green, Mic Fleetwood, John McVie and friends - their stuff was hard to find -- set the table for my return to Elmore. [Too: I kind of rediscovered Elmore descendant Hound Dog Taylor again in years recent. And would footnote this discussion with the note that I did closely encounter disciple J.B. Hutto in the couple of years [circa 1978] before J.B. died.]
Classical distortion, that is what Elmore found. That is an intrinsic quality of blues music, where the note is bent and beautifully hurts, and the blues approach to life. And electronics provided a means.

Reading recently Jas Obrecht edited 'Rollin' and Tumblin': The Postwar Blues Guitarists,' [gift of Peter Bochner], I found it remarkable to learn that Elmore worked in his brother's Radio repair shop after getting out of the Navy. I can only guess that nonlinearity in amplitude response and non-uniform phase response caught his fancy. In harmonic electronic distortion, output tends to hold not only the fundamental frequency but integer multiplies thereof. The note that ripples like wavelets upon water. Call and response. Touch was key as well. But note: ELmore's select choice of slide implement was A METALLIC VACCUUM TUBE HEAT COVER SHEATHE!

If you trace It Hurts Me Too from Tampa Red through Elmore James to Hound Dog Taylor you see the abstraction unwinding and the resonance abounding. With Elmore scholar Hound Dog, the hum of his overpowered amp became the fourth band member.

Besides his cosmic control of feedback, Elmore had instrumental style. Plucked strings with bowing Hawaiian [sacred steel-like] chord shimmering - augmented intervals indefinite pitch, glide - portamento - sliding for purpose to blend notse - glissando... smooth in a gliding manner.
I remember hearing ''Dust My Blues'' -- one more riff on his epic trademark flagship ''Dust My Blues'' -- on the grey Kent 45 thanks to Norman, who would select my free 45 to accompany an LP I'd buy at Soulville Records next to the Rialto theatre on Main Street in Racine in 1967. I've put a lot of miles on, and seen many ramifications and enhancements and extrapolations. But I've come back to that chord.

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