Month: March 2003

Stella!

music

A friend and I were making a close listening of Interpol’s “Turn on the Bright Lights” the other night. As we listened to side 2 of the LP I realized that “Stella was a diver and she was always down” is a really great song. It got me thinking about “A Streetcar Named Desire,” which I saw performed on stage most recently in February.

Wolfram on automata

academia

I turned on the TV for the first time in two weeks and discovered an interview on C-span2 with Stephen Wolfram. Interesting guy. His company, Wolfram Research, has made this software package for a long time that mathematicians use called Mathematica. Anyway, a year or two ago he published this rather large book called A New Kind of Science. The interview centered on his ideas of automata and how they reflect or rather describe the […]

Clinton Speech

politics

Former President Bill Clinton spoke on campus last night. Apparently there were about 13,000 people in attendance. The people I’ve talked to this morning used words like eloquent, thoughtful, and engaging to describe his speech. I spent most of the night working on a report for a meeting on Monday so I didn’t make it out for the speech. Update: Here’s the Press-Citizen’s take on the speech. The P-C clocked the crowd at over 15,000. […]

Osborne

computers

“Adam Osborne, Pioneer of the Portable PC, dies at 64” – NY Times. I still remember the Osborne 1 — a huge, hulking thing (it weighed 24 pounds) with an even smaller screen than my Apple ][+. Have a look here. Those are 5-¼” disk drives on either side of the screen. But I have to admit — the Radio Shack Model 100 was the first portable that ever caught my fancy. That was when […]

Voodoo Economics

politics

Okay, I love paradoxes. And today I’ve got my mind wrapped around some tricky voodoo. Namely, how do you balance the national budget when you’re introducing major tax cuts, that is, cutting revenue, and simultaneously massively overspending? Good luck, kids. Let me know what you come up with. (Actually this isn’t really a paradox. The simple answer to the question is: YOU DON’T!)

Turn on the Bright Lights

music

On the turntable tonight is “Turn on the Bright Lights” by Interpol. They’re from New York (which seems to be an essential part of their identity) and this is their first album. First off, I’ll say simply that they scored points with me by releasing the album on vinyl. It’s impressive to see the number of artists out there still releasing new vinyl. “Bright Lights” has been on the stereo regularly over the past few […]

Fox Head

life

I introduced M. to a couple of places Saturday night. First we hit the Fox Head, which is my favorite lo-fi place in town. The interior is ancient and with this great patina. It’s a very cozy, private place that not too many people know about. It’s a great place to go and think or have a conversation. Folks in the master’s fiction writing program tend to hang out there too. Later on, we caught […]

The Orb, The KLF and Bang Bang

music

I’m listening to The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld tonight. This album, even 12 years after its release, continues to amaze me. It is one of the best ambient albums ever made. It’s a double-CD package that has to be heard to be believed. I first heard the Orb when Nick came back from London with some 12″ singles in hand including “Little Fluffy Clouds” and “A Huge Evergrowing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The […]

College Bands

music

When you’re in college, it’s a great experience to be in a band. I was in two bands during my college days and recently I came across some old photos of me and the guys. This first photo is of Transmission Sickness. We were a quasi-industrial band featuring myself on keyboards (and drum machine), Clark ov Saturn on bass, Bill on electric violin, and Mike on vocals. We didn’t even have a guitarist. We were […]

Gore to Apple

computers

Al Gore is joining Apple Computer’s board of dictators. Press release here. Ah, with fond memories I remember my first computer — it was an Apple ][+ that my father purchased in 1981 when I was in the fourth grade. I hacked away on that thing, which predated the Macintosh by about three years, for the better part of the 80’s until I headed off to college in the fall of 1990 and started using […]