Bifurcated Rivets: From FB


Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

City of night

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Lovely design

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Giant Steps

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB


Recent additions: music-sibelius 1.6.1

Added by HansHoglund, Sun Apr 20 23:41:27 UTC 2014.

To be written.

Recent additions: music-graphics 1.6.1

Added by HansHoglund, Sun Apr 20 23:40:33 UTC 2014.

Diagrams-based visualization of musical data structures.

Recent additions: music-preludes 1.6.1

Added by HansHoglund, Sun Apr 20 23:40:16 UTC 2014.

Some useful preludes for the Music Suite.

Recent additions: music-parts 1.6.1

Added by HansHoglund, Sun Apr 20 23:40:07 UTC 2014.

To be written.

Recent additions: music-articulation 1.6.1

Added by HansHoglund, Sun Apr 20 23:39:58 UTC 2014.

Abstract representation of musical articulation.

MetaFilter: Beating the Tinder Game

Blake Jamieson used his marketing background to game Tinder's system.

Embedded in Academia: Research Advice from Alan Adler

Although I am a happy French press user, I enjoyed reading an article about Alan Adler and the AeroPress that showed up recently on Hacker News. In particular, I love Adler’s advice to inventors:

  1. Learn all you can about the science behind your invention.
  2. Scrupulously study the existing state of your idea by looking at current products and patents.
  3. Be willing to try things even if you aren’t too confident they’ll work. Sometimes you’ll get lucky.
  4. Try to be objective about the value of your invention. People get carried away with the thrill of inventing and waste good money pursuing something that doesn’t work any better than what’s already out there.
  5. You don’t need a patent in order to sell an invention. A patent is not a business license; it’s a permission to be the sole maker of product (even this is limited to 20 years).

Now notice that (disregarding the last suggestion) we can simply replace “invention” with “research project” and Adler’s suggestions become a great set of principles for doing research. I think #4 is particularly important: lacking the feedback that people in the private sector get from product sales (or not), us academics are particularly susceptible to falling in love with pretty ideas that don’t improve anything.

Slashdot: Biofuels From Corn Can Create More Greenhouse Gases Than Gasoline

New submitter Chipmunk100 (3619141) writes "Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. The findings by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln team of researchers cast doubt on whether corn residue can be used to meet federal mandates to ramp up ethanol production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hackaday: Hackaday Links: April 20, 2014


[Josh] hit the same issue we’ve faced before: cable modems don’t match a form factor and usually don’t make themselves easy to mount on something. We could complain about routers as well, but at least most of those have keyhole slots so you can hang them on some screws. Inspiration struck and he fabricated his own rack-mount adapter for it. Velcro holds it in place, with a cutout bezel to see the status lights and an added fan to keep things cool.

Here’s a pair of strange but possibly interesting ones that were sent in separately. The first is an analysis of how much energy short-run CNC prototyping consumes versus traditional manufacturing. The other is an article that [Liz] wrote about getting started with CNC mill bits. She says she compiled all that she learned as she was getting started in the field and wants to save others the effort.

This one goes back several years, but who doesn’t love to hear about a voice-controlled wheelchair?

So you can solder QFN parts but you can’t hammer a nail straight into a piece of wood? The answer, friend, is a laser guided hammer. Someone hire this [Andybot] person, because the solution to the problem shows the ability to out-think an interesting dilemma: how do you put a laser in a hammer head and still use it to hit things?

We’ve seen a lot of these long-range WiFi hacks over the years. This one is worth looking at because of the work done to create an outdoor mount that will stand the test of time.

And finally, we’re still really fond of this 2-bit paper processor that helps you wrap your brain around what’s going on with those silicon wafers that rule our everyday lives. [glomCo] liked it as well, and actually coded an emulator so that you can play with it without printing anything out on paper. We think it takes away some of the fun, but what an excellent programming exercise!

Filed under: Hackaday Columns, Hackaday links Net-Dict-2.16

client API for accessing dictionary servers (RFC 2229) App-Netdisco-2.026001_003

An open source web-based network management tool. CPAN-Perl-Releases-1.68

Mapping Perl releases on CPAN to the location of the tarballs Module-CoreList-3.10

what modules shipped with versions of perl

Perlsphere: New Perl6 game: RetroRacer

(I’m really sorry for the name; I couldn’t think of anything better :))



This game, apart from (obviously) being a showcase for a new Steroids iteration, is all about switching lanes on a high traffic road in a fast car. Yay!

It’s really no rocket science compared to ThroughTheWindow from the last post – even code even looks similar. One obvious improvement (beside finally using proper PNGs instead of silly BMPs – timotimo++!) is a built-in collision detection:

my $s self.add_sprite(‘othercar’$_0);

# …

$s.when({ $_.collides_with($!player}, {

    # …


No more cheating with collisions like I did with ThroughTheWindow. The existing solution uses the entire image sprite as a hitbox; I’m hoping to make it customizable one day (it’s a simple thing really, code-wise).

All in all, the game isn’t all that much more sophisticated than the last one; I was really just looking for a good excuse to write a new game (and add some new stuff to Steroids), and I sort of came up with a nice theme to follow: ThroughTheWindow used just one key (spacebar), so the next step was to use two (thus RetroRacer) uses left and right arrow keys. What will the next game use? 3 keys? 4 keys? Is it an arithmetical or geometrical series? Oh my, I can’t wait to find out myself.

Now go and grab it at, and don’t forget about the soundtrack!


Slashdot: L.A. Science Teacher Suspended Over Student Science Fair Projects

An anonymous reader writes "A high school science teacher at Grand Arts High School in Los Angeles was suspended from the classroom in February, after two of his science fair students turned in projects deemed dangerous by the administrators. "One project was a marshmallow shooter — which uses air pressure to launch projectiles. The other was an AA battery-powered coil gun — which uses electromagnetism to launch small objects. Similar projects have been honored in past LA County Science Fairs and even demonstrated at the White House."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: Moral hazard

HAZARD modified

The average Vancouver detached house costs $1,209,452, or 20% more than in Toronto, where three times as many people live, making 30% more income. But this is an improvement. A few weeks ago Van SFHs averaged $1,361,023.

Any way you slice it, Vancouverites have drunk the Kool-Aid and will spend decades paying for it. This is now a city of basement suites, garage conversions, laneway houses and micro-condos reminiscent of Happy Tails Purr & Woof Kennels. A recent survey found 60% of people without real estate say it’s because they can’t accumulate 5% down. But they still think they should have property.

The more that housing’s expensively unattainable, the more people crave it. As a result, BC’s the most indebted place. The savings rate is negative. And moral hazard abounds.

To refresh your memory, it takes a 5% downpayment to get a 95% mortgage from a lender who is then insured by CMHC against the high risk associated with such debt. No insurance, no loan. No 5%, no deal. Except in Vancouver.

Watch this.

“We get it: saving for your first home can be a serious challenge — especially here in BC. Even a 5% down payment can sometimes feel like an unattainable financial goal. This video will give you a basic overview of how the Down Payment Helper Mortgage will match the amount you’ve currently saved for your down payment, up to a maximum of $12,500.”

In other words, you no longer need 5% to buy a house in Vancouver – only half that, or $12,500 to net a $500,000 condo. It’s called the ‘Down Payment Helper Mortgage’ now being offered by Vancity, BC’s local bank which masquerades as a credit union. The bankers will actually upfront half the cash for the down, plus appraisal and legal costs, so they can remove the last remaining obstacle to the indenture of the virgins – money.

Here we are: real estate at grossly inflated levels. Banks dropping lending standards. Ownership with just 2.5% down. Cheap mortgages guaranteed to reset higher in a few years. So how, exactly, is this different from the US, circa 2004?

That’s right. It isn’t. Except we’re special. A fifth of BC residents say they’d shack up with someone else just to qualify for a home loans. Another quarter say they’ll be buying lottery tickets in order to fund a real estate down payment. And our bankers will clearly do anything they can to keep the river of debt flowing.

So how does Vancity pay for this largesse, and the flaunting of CMHC guidelines?

Simple. More interest. The virgins are required to sign up for a five-year fixed loan with the max 25-year am, at slightly more than the regular rate. The premium is between a half point and .55% over the first five-year term. It all means the monthly payment on a $500,000 condo (mortgage, strata fees and tax) equals about $3,200, with $488,000 in debt. Of course, you can rent the same two-bedroom unit today for $1,600. No debt.

By the way, Vancity’s moral hazard does not end with giving children free money so they can be fully loaded with financial obligation. The Mixer Mortgages allows you to share a home loan with other people and break one of my cardinal rules (Thou Shalt Never Mortgage with Anyone Thou has Not Slept With). The Creditline Mortgage lets a borrower make interest-only payments, so the mortgage is potentially eternal. Similar loans are now banned in the States. And the Laneway Mortgage allows conversion of your tool shed or garage so people can live there and you don’t need to see them much. Oh yes, and “The laneway mortgage package includes free legal and appraisal services, plus a preferred interest rate and the potential to earn up to two per cent cash.”

Now, many people in Vancouver blame filthy-rich Chinese immigrants for swooping in, buying mansions, and making real estate unaffordable, even when no statistical evidence exists. And they may be right – at least as far as the big properties on the Westside are concerned (where prices are now falling).

But we all know. That’s just the Kool-Aid talking.

YATTER modified

Source: App-MPDSync-0.01

Synchronize MPD with another instance

Trivium: 20apr2014

MetaFilter: ref. Claude Lévi-Strauss

The trailer for the 2012 documentary The Raw and the Cooked stands alone as a work of art, by capturing perfectly the best scenes from this beautiful film. Created by German filmmaker Monika Treut. Background.

MetaFilter: Jesse Winchester 1944-2014

Singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester passed away at his Virginia home on April 11 after a battle with cancer. Born and raised in the US South, Winchester brought his incredible talents north to Quebec's Eastern Townships in 1967 as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. He wrote and sang about his choice in 1977's Nothing But a Breeze: "Me I want to live with my feet in Dixie and my head in the cool blue north."
Winchester boasted that he was the fifth cousin of Robert E. Lee and that his father served in the second World War but he chose instead to renounce his family's militaristic tradition and "spend his time gardening". Despite having been pardoned in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter, Jesse remained in his adopted home for many more years, before settling in Virginia in 2002.

More Jesse:
I Wave Bye-Bye
Brand New Tennessee Waltz
Black Dog

Slashdot: Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

Ars Technica has nothing good to say about the scientific understanding (or at least public understanding) that led Portland to drain 38 million gallons of water after a teenage prankster urinated into the city's water supply. Maybe SCADA systems shouldn't be quite as high on the list of dangers, when major utilities can be quite this brittle even without a high-skill attack.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitch: Tribeca 2014 Review: DER SAMURAI Giveth (Head) and It Taketh (Head) Away

Der Samurai is the type of film I live for: well made and weird. I count myself lucky if I come across a film like this once every festival or so (unless that festival happens to be Fantastic Fest, in which case, Happy Birthday to me). It plays like a cross between Twin Peaks and Kill Bill with a queer sensibility, and although not perfect, it's the most audacious film I've seen at Tribeca thus far. Young Jakob is a policeman in a small German town. He is timid and doesn't have much social life to speak of. His main duty seems to be dealing with the wolf that has been terrorizing the elderly and their pets. He does so by feeding it scraps of...

[Read the whole post on]

Planet Haskell: Roman Cheplyaka: Setting up Samsung Wireless Printer on Linux

Here’s a complete guide for setting up a wireless Samsung printer on Linux, where by “setting up” I mean making it connect to your wireless network.

It worked for me with Samsung ML-2165W on Debian GNU/Linux «jessie», but should work for other models and distributions, too.

Connecting Samsung printer to a wireless network

  1. Create a new, temporary user. We’ll use it to launch Samsung’s wireless setup utility. This is optional, but it provides an additional layer of security (who knows what those utilities from Samsung do behind the scenes) and ensures that nothing will mess with your system.

    We add the new user to the lp group, so that it can talk to the printer.

    user$ sudo useradd --create-home --shell /bin/bash --groups lp samsung
  2. Allow the new user to use our display. (Samsung’s utility is graphical.)

    user$ xhost +local:samsung
  3. Now, time to switch to our temporary user.

    user$ sudo su - samsung
  4. Download Samsung’s PSU (“Printer Settings Utility”) archive from their website. Unpack it and go to the wirelesssetup directory.

    samsung$ wget
    samsung$ tar xzf PSU_1.01.tar.gz
    samsung$ cd cdroot/Linux/wirelesssetup
  5. Check if there are any missing dynamic libraries:

    samsung$ ldd bin/wirelesssetup  | grep 'not found'

    (Note: this is for a 32-bit system. On a 64-bit system, replace bin with bin64.)

    In my case, the output was => not found

    This particular library is included in the PSU archive, so we load it by

    samsung$ export LD_PRELOAD=$PWD/../psu/share/lib/

    (Likewise, replace lib with lib64 on a 64-bit system.)

    If there are more missing libraries, first see if your distribution ships them. The major versions must match! E.g. Debian jessie ships, which has the major version number 30, so that won’t do.

    If your distribution doesn’t have the right version, use a resource like to find a package that has one. Unpack it (do not install!) and set LD_PRELOAD and/or LD_LIBRARY_PATH so that they are found.

  6. Now connect the printer via a USB cable to the Linux machine and run

    samsung$ bin/wirelesssetup /dev/usb/lp0

    A graphical window should appear, where you’ll be able to choose your wireless network and enter the password to it.

  7. After you made the printer connect to the wireless network, you can logout and remove the temporary user. Note that the command below will remove that user’s home directory.

    user$ sudo userdel --remove samsung


Please do not ask me about the problems you may have with your printer. Either try to solve them yourself, or use the usual venues (forums, mailing lists, Samsung support etc.) to ask for help.

However, if you solved your problems, and they were related to the instructions above, please do contact me so that I can fix/update the instructions.

If this article helped you and you want to say thanks, that’s fine, too :-)

the waxing machine: blue-voids: 1970’s interiors, Verner Panton


1970’s interiors, Verner Panton

Slashdot: SpaceX Successfully Delivers Supplies To ISS

Reuters reports on the successful SpaceX-carried resupply mission to the ISS: "A cargo ship owned by Space Exploration Technologies arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, with a delivery of supplies and science experiments for the crew and a pair of legs for the experimental humanoid robot aboard that one day may be used in a spacewalk. Station commander Koichi Wakata used the outpost's 58-foot (18-meter) robotic crane to snare the Dragon capsule from orbit at 7:14 a.m. (1114 GMT), ending its 36-hour journey. ... "The Easter Dragon is knocking at the door," astronaut Randy Bresnik radioed to the crew from Mission Control in Houston. Space Exploration, known as SpaceX, had planned to launch its Dragon cargo ship in March, but was delayed by technical problems, including a two-week hold to replace a damaged U.S. Air Force radar tracking system."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hackaday: Sci-Fi Contest Roundup: Stargate


The 90s were a remarkable time for Sci-Fi movies, in that there actually were sci-fi movies, and not sequels to a reboot of yet another comic book movie. One of the breakout hits from this era was Stargate, the film and three syndicated television series. With a corpus this large, a few Stargate builds made it into our Sci Fi contest, and from the looks of things, they’re pretty cool.

The Ma’Tok Staff

546381397503980641The Ma’Tok staff is an energy weapon used by Jaffa warriors that fires a concentrated plasma bust over 70 yards. While we question the utility of a weapon that’s only accurate to 70 yards on the battlefield (like, arrows are better, man) [frankstripod] is making his own version. Instead of plasma bolts, it’ll be a hairspray-powered PVC potato cannon.

It’s totally not a tricorder

scannerThe Ancients in Stargate Atlantis had a multifunction handheld device capable of detecting life signs, observing multiple frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum, and finding power sources.  Basically, it’s a smartphone that’s not from Star Trek. This scanner became an important piece of commandeered technology, and these guys are building their own. Qi wireless charging, touch screen, IR transceiver, and everything a real tricorder should be.

Wait. Where did he get Naquadah?


What good would a post on Stargate builds be without an actual Stargate? [shlonkin] and [dkopta] are doing just that, complete with a rotating right and light-up chevrons. Here’s a video. Video below, of course.

The Sci-Fi contest runs until the end of the month, so there’s still time for you to get in on the action and get your hands on some really great prizes. We’re giving away O’scopes, soldering stations, dev boards, some sweet Sci-Fi prizes, and awesome Hackaday T-shirts.


Filed under: contests

MetaFilter: Artworks in The Goldfinch

A collection of every piece of art mentioned in Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch", latest winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Mild spoilers in comments. [via mefi projects]

Planet Haskell: Edward Kmett: CUFP 2014 Call For Presentations

Workshop for
Commercial Users of Functional Programming 2014
Sponsored by SIGPLAN
[CUFP 2014](
Co-located with ICFP 2014
Gothenburg, Sweden
Sep 4-6
Talk Proposal Submission Deadline: 27 June 2014

CUFP 2014 Presentation Submission Form

The annual CUFP workshop is a place where people can see how others are using functional programming to solve real world problems; where practitioners meet and collaborate; where language designers and users can share ideas about the future of their favorite language; and where one can learn practical techniques and approaches for putting functional programming to work.

Giving a CUFP Talk

If you have experience using functional languages in a practical setting, we invite you to submit a proposal to give a talk at the workshop. We're looking for two kinds of talks:

Experience reports are typically 25 minutes long, and aim to inform participants about how functional programming plays out in real-world applications, focusing especially on lessons learned and insights gained. Experience reports don't need to be highly technical; reflections on the commercial, management, or software engineering aspects are, if anything, more important.

Technical talks are also 25 minutes long, and should focus on teaching the audience something about a particular technique or methodology, from the point of view of someone who has seen it play out in practice. These talks could cover anything from techniques for building functional concurrent applications, to managing dynamic reconfigurations, to design recipes for using types effectively in large-scale applications. While these talks will often be based on a particular language, they should be accessible to a broad range of programmers.

We strongly encourage submissions from people in communities that are underrepresented in functional programming, including but not limited to women; people of color; people in gender, sexual and romantic minorities; people with disabilities; people residing in Asia, Africa, or Latin America; and people who have never presented at a conference before. We recognize that inclusion is an important part of our mission to promote functional programming. So that CUFP can be a safe environment in which participants openly exchange ideas, we abide by the SIGPLAN Conference Anti-Harassment Policy.

If you are interested in offering a talk, or nominating someone to do
so, please submit your presentation before 27 June 2014 via the

CUFP 2014 Presentation Submission Form

You do not need to submit a paper, just a short proposal for your talk! There will be a short scribe's report of the presentations and discussions but not of the details of individual talks, as the meeting is intended to be more a discussion forum than a technical interchange.

Nevertheless, presentations will be video taped and presenters will be expected to sign an ACM copyright release form.

Note that we will need all presenters to register for the CUFP workshop and travel to Gothenburg at their own expense.

Program Committee

More information

For more information on CUFP, including videos of presentations from
previous years, take a look at the CUFP website at Note that presenters, like other attendees, will need to register for the event. Presentations will be video taped and presenters will be expected to sign an ACM copyright release form. Acceptance and rejection letters will be sent out by July 16th.

Guidance on giving a great CUFP talk

Focus on the interesting bits: Think about what will distinguish your talk, and what will engage the audience, and focus there. There are a number of places to look for those interesting bits.

  • Setting: FP is pretty well established in some areas, including formal verification, financial processing and server-sid web-services. An unusual setting can be a source of interest. If you're deploying FP-based mobile UIs or building servers on oil rigs, then the challenges of that scenario are worth focusing on. Did FP help or hinder in adapting to the setting?
  • Technology: The CUFP audience is hungry to learn about how FP techniques work in practice. What design patterns have you applied, and to what areas? Did you use functional reactive programming for user interfaces, or DSLs for playing chess, or fault-tolerant actors for large scale geological data processing? Teach us something about the techniques you used, and why we should consider using them ourselves.
  • Getting things done: How did you deal with large software development in the absence of a myriad of pre-existing support that are often expected in larger commercial environments (IDEs, coverage tools, debuggers, profilers) and without larger, proven bodies of libraries? Did you hit any brick walls that required support from the community?
  • Don't just be a cheerleader: It's easy to write a rah-rah talk about how well FP worked for you, but CUFP is more interesting when the talks also spend time on what _doesn't_ work. Even when the results were all great, you should spend more time on the challenges along the way than on the parts that went smoothly.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Specialize? Or Learn Multiple Technologies?

I'm wondering if it is better to be an expert in a language or two, or to be 'good enough' in many languages/technologies. I am currently 2nd year CS major and curious because I currently don't feel like I am deeply involved in any one language, just proficient in a few (Java, SQL, C)

submitted by John--117
[link] [6 comments]

Slashdot: Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

netdicted writes "At the very outset of my career the importance of keeping a daily journal of activities and notes was clearly evident. Over the years I've always had a college ruled composition notebook nearby to jot down important ideas, instructions, tasks, etc. Putting away the rock and chisel was not optional when the volumes grew beyond my mental capacity to successfully index the contents. Over the years I've tried countless apps to keep a digital journal and failed miserably. In my mind the ideal app or solution is a single file or cloud app where I can organize personal notes on projects, configurations, insights, ideas, etc., as well as noting major activities or occurrences of the day. My original journals saved me on a number of occasions. Unfortunately my tenacity for keeping one has suffered from a fruitless search for a suitable solution. Currently I'm experimenting with Evernote and Tiddlywiki. They approach the problem from two different angles. What do you use?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Open Culture: Painter Paul Gauguin Plays the Harmonium with No Pants or Shoes (Circa 1895)

gauguin plays

What do we have here? Painter Paul Gauguin playing a harmonium at the Paris studio of Alphonse Mucha, a Czech Art Nouveau painter, in or around 1895. How this came about — how Gauguin decided to strip off his pants and shoes and start playing that pump organ — we’ll probably never know. But we’re certainly glad that this light moment was saved for posterity.

via @SteveSilberman

Related Content:

Iconic Artists at Work: Watch Rare Videos of Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, Renoir, Monet and More

Download 35,000 Works of Art from the National Gallery, Including Masterpieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Rembrandt & More

The Postcards That Picasso Illustrated and Sent to Jean Cocteau, Apollinaire & Gertrude Stein

Painter Paul Gauguin Plays the Harmonium with No Pants or Shoes (Circa 1895) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Painter Paul Gauguin Plays the Harmonium with No Pants or Shoes (Circa 1895) appeared first on Open Culture.

Paper Bits: (x) I needed this today.


I needed this today.

MetaFilter: A Northern California Love Song

♫ ♫ Well, you came out of nowhere like a Berkeley pedestrian
You stole my heart just like a San Francisco crackhead stole my bike
You drive me crazy like those West Marin hippies
But you're the kind of Northern Californian that I like ♫ ♫

An affectionate look at the locals from New Yorker-turned-Californian Emily Yates.

Penny Arcade: News Post: Hearthstone update!

Gabe: After my last news post, I got a ton of Hearthstone advice. Lots of it was about card strategies, but one piece of advice changed the game for me. One reader sent me an email saying that he assumed I was playing casual, and that was part of my problem. He says all the hardcore players are afraid of losing stars in ranked games, so when they want to play a new deck, they go to casual. It ends up making casual play a place for these monsters to try out their crazy deck creations. He told me to play ranked instead, and I am having a great time. He explained in his mail that when you play ranked…

programming: One-bit Computing at 60 Hz

submitted by MisterSnuggles
[link] [8 comments]

Hackaday: Blinky LED Necklace That Actually Looks Chic

LED bib necklace by Agy

[Agy] a fabric hacker in Singapore has made a chic light sensitive LED necklace, and written up the tutorial on her blog  Green Issues by Agy. The lovely thing about this hack is that it doesn’t look like a breadboard round her neck, and most of the non-electronic components have been upcycled. [Agy] even used Swarovski crystals as LED diffusers for extra bling.

Using a LilyPad Arduino with a light sensor and a few LEDs, [Agy's] circuit is not complicated. She seems to be just branching out in to wearable tech, so it is nice that she learnt to program different modes for bright and low light (see video below). Her background in sewing, refashioning and upcycling does show through in her crafty use of an old pair of jeans and lace scraps for this project.

We love tech focused jewelry like [TigerUp's] LED matrix pendants or [Armilar's] Nixie-ify Me Necklace, but they do scream Geek. DIY electronically enhanced accessories are becoming more commonplace with the variety of micro-controller platforms expanding rapidly. Low energy wearable boards like MetaWear are making it easy for the tech to be discreet and easily connected to your smartphone.  3D printing is enabling us to create durable enclosures, settings and diffusers like the ones used for LED Stegosaurus Spikes. With all these things, hobby wearable projects can not only be functional and durable, but can also look great too.

Do you think this necklace would look out of place in a non-geeky gathering? Have you got any helpful tips for [Agy's] code? Have you tried using gems or crystals as diffusers and what were the results? Let us know in the comments below.



Filed under: wearable hacks Blog: DIY $5 USBTinyISP


Here is how to make your own usbtinyisp

DIY $5 USBTinyISP - [Link]

Paper Bits: maskelincimerah: secret-icecream-empress: crayonguy: Bunny...




Bunny master post

It’s my birthday and I feel a bit sad this evening so I’m gonna post bunnies because bunnies make me feel good.

I’m writing final papers for the semester of grad school and bunnies also make me feel less stressed. Of course, I have two here I could snuggle at will if needed.

programming: Richard Garriott's (Ultima) first DnD game in PDP-11 BASIC [PDF]

submitted by judgemonroe
[link] [21 comments]

Colossal: Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells

Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells pattern eggs carving birds

Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells pattern eggs carving birds

Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells pattern eggs carving birds

Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells pattern eggs carving birds

Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells pattern eggs carving birds

Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells pattern eggs carving birds

Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells pattern eggs carving birds

Artist Piotr Bockenheim Puts Your Easter Egg Decorating to Shame with His Intricately Carved Goose Shells pattern eggs carving birds

Unless you spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours with a tiny electric drill carving intricate patterns into eggshells the last few months, you may have yet to reach your Easter egg decorating potential. One person who clearly has is artist Piotr Bockenheim who uses a reductive drilling technique to transform goose eggs into slitherting tangles of string and various geometric or floral patterns. You can see much more of his work here.

OCaml Planet: CUFP: CUFP 2014 Call for Presentations

CUFP 2014 will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden.

read more

programming: Rust for C++ programmers - part 2: control flow

submitted by krelian
[link] [45 comments]

programming: CSS 3D Solar System

submitted by cryptoz
[link] [50 comments]

Hackaday: The Computer Without A CPU


[Jeff Laughton] was contacted by a customer that was interested in adding some automated functions to a printing press. Before eventually settling on a microcontroller for the job, [Jeff] went old school and started looking at logic gates, counters, and flip-flops. This lead him to the Motorola 14500 industrial control unit, a minimal processor with only 16 instructions. After a few ‘back of the napkin’ sketches, he came up with an extremely minimal computer that doesn’t use a microprocessor. It’s an interesting design notable not only for its electronic brevity, but also because it only uses one instruction.

The only instruction this computer will ever execute is an input test, the result of which controls a two-way branch. Instructions consist of an input address, output address, and a single bit of data. If the data bit is true, the computer jumps to one location in ROM, and if the data bit is false, a jump to another location is executed.

A computer really isn’t a computer without some form of memory, and this design is no exception. [Jeff] managed to add two bits of data between the 8-bit latch and 8-bit multiplexer in the design. This is enough to call a few subroutines which test the I/O-mapped memory to decide what the next instruction should be.

It’s a truly bizarre design, but actually much closer to a true Turing machine than the computers in your pocket, on your wrist, on your desk, and in your car.

Thanks [James] for the tip!


Filed under: misc hacks Blog: SL040A will load it to you directly into a table sheet


RFID keyboard emulators are able to significantly simplify tracking of goods.

“Replacemen” of a keyboard in a form of an RFID module connected to a USB port works very simply – UID of every tag, which will appear in its range will send to a computer – the same way as if we typed it in by a keyboard. SL040A also enables to choose, whether we want the reader to send only data, or also a „CR“ character after every UID (as if an Enter key was hit). It means, that if we already have a software to type in open (for example Excel), the reader itself will fill the cell with data and move the cursor to another cell. SL040A is even able to read data (not only UID) from Mifare tags.

SL040A is also interesting by one feature – on a request from our company SOS Electronic, the producer started to produce also the black version SL040A black.
Detailed information will provide you the SL040A user manual.

SL040A will load it to you directly into a table sheet - [Link]

Planet Haskell: Johan Tibell: Announcing cabal 1.20

On behalf of all cabal contributors, I'm proud to announce cabal 1.20. This is quite a big release, with 404 commits since 1.18. To install:

cabal update
cabal install Cabal- cabal-install-

New features

Since there are 404 commits since cabal 1.18, there are too many changes to give all of them a just treatment here. I've cherry-picked some that I thought you would find interesting.

To see the full list of commits, run:

git log Cabal-v1.18.1.3..Cabal-v1.20.0.0

in the cabal repo.

Dependency freezing

If you're building an application that you're delivering to customers, either as binary or as something that runs on your servers, you want to make sure unwanted changes don't sneak in between releases.

For example, say you've found a bug in the just released version and you want to release, which contains a fix. If you build the binary on a different machine than you built the release on, you risk building it against a slightly different set of dependencies, which means that your introducing untested code into your application, possible causing new bugs.

cabal freeze lets developers of applications freeze the set of dependencies used to make builds reproducible. cabal freeze computes a valid set of package versions, just like cabal install does, and stores the result in cabal.config. You can then check cabal.config into your source control system to make sure that all developers that work on the application build against the exact same set of dependencies.

Here's the contents of the cabal.config file created by running cabal freeze in the cabal-install repo:

constraints: ...
             HTTP ==4000.2.8,
             array ==,
             base ==,
             bytestring ==,

If you later want to update the set of dependencies either:

  • manually edit cabal.config or
  • delete (parts of) cabal.config and re-run cabal freeze.

Note that you should only use cabal freeze on applications you develop in-house, not on packages you intend to upload to Hackage.

Parallel cabal build

Starting with 7.8, GHC now accepts a -j flag to allow using multiple CPU cores to build a single package. This build performance enhancement is now exposed as a -j flag on cabal build (and also cabal test/bench/run). Build time improvements are modest, but free.

Flag to temporary ignore upper bounds

When new major versions of a package P is released, it usually takes a little while for packages that depend on P to update their version bounds to allow for the new version. This can be frustrating if you just want to test if your own package, which depends on both some of these other packages and on P, builds with the new P.

The --allow-newer=P flag tells the dependency solver to ignore all upper version bounds on P, allowing you to try to compile all packages against this newer version.

Unnecessary re-linking avoidance

Before 1.20, cabal would sometimes re-link build targets that hadn't changed. For example, if you had several test suites that tested different parts of your library, every test suite would be re-linked when you ran cabal test, even if no source file that the test suite depends on was changed. The same thing would happen for executables and benchmarks.

Now cabal doesn't re-link executables (of any kind) unless something changed.

Streaming cabal test output

cabal test can now stream its output to stdout, making it easier to see progress for long-running tests. Streaming output is enabled by passing --show-details=streaming to cabal test and is off by default (for now.)

New cabal exec command

Cabal sandboxes have almost completely replaced previous sandbox implementations. There was one use case that wasn't completely captured by the integrated sandbox implementation, namely starting new shells where the environment was set up to automatically use the sandbox for all GHC commands.

cabal exec allows you to launch any binary in an environment where the sandbox package DB is used by default. In particular you can launch a new shell using cabal exec [ba]sh.

Haddock configuration options

Haddock options can now be set in ~/.cabal/config. Here are the options and their default values:

     -- keep-temp-files: False
     -- hoogle: False
     -- html: False
     -- html-location:
     -- executables: False
     -- tests: False
     -- benchmarks: False
     -- all:
     -- internal: False
     -- css:
     -- hyperlink-source: False
     -- hscolour-css:
     -- contents-location:

How to use cabal

While not strictly related to this release, I thought I'd share how we expect users to use cabal. Using cabal this way makes sure that the features work well for you, now and in the future.

The main message is this: to build a package, use build, not install.

Building packages using cabal install comes from a time when

  • installing dependencies was more difficult,
  • depending on non-published packages was difficult (i.e. no sandbox add-source), and
  • using the other commands required manual configure-ing.

My intention is to remove the need for install from the development workflow altogether. Today the recommended way to build a package is to run this once:

cabal sandbox init
cabal install --only-dep  # optionally: --enable-tests

The development workflow is then just

cabal build/test/bench/run

No configuring (or manual rebuilding) needed. build implies configure and test/bench/run imply build.

Soon build will also imply the above dependency installation, when running in a sandbox.


Here are the contributors for this release, ordered by number of commits:

  • Mikhail Glushenkov
  • Johan Tibell
  • Duncan Coutts
  • Thomas Tuegel
  • Ian D. Bollinger
  • Ben Armston
  • Niklas Hambüchen
  • Daniel Trstenjak
  • Tuncer Ayaz
  • Herbert Valerio Riedel
  • Tillmann Rendel
  • Liyang HU
  • Dominic Steinitz
  • Brent Yorgey
  • Ricky Elrod
  • Geoff Nixon
  • Florian Hartwig
  • Bob Ippolito
  • Björn Peemöller
  • Wojciech Danilo
  • Sergei Trofimovich
  • Ryan Trinkle
  • Ryan Newton
  • Roman Cheplyaka
  • Peter Selinger
  • Niklas Haas
  • Nikita Karetnikov
  • Nick Smallbone
  • Mike Craig
  • Markus Pfeiffer
  • Luke Iannini
  • Luite Stegeman
  • John Lato
  • Jens Petersen
  • Jason Dagit
  • Gabor Pali
  • Daniel Velkov
  • Ben Millwood

Apologies if someone was left out. Once in a while we have to make commits on behalf of an author. Those authors are not captured above.

Hackaday: Make a 3D Scanner for 60€ Using Old Hardware

3d laser scanner

[Till Handel] just put the finishing touches on a paper he wrote about how to build a cheap 3D scanner — mostly out of spare parts.

Using parts from old printers and notebooks, he’s cobbled together this rather rough-looking laser scanner. But don’t be fooled by its looks! It’s capable of scanning 360° around itself at distances from 0.3 – 5m, making it an excellent candidate for scanning rooms.

It uses a line laser and a webcam mounted on an arm driven by a stepper motor, which looks like it’s out of an old optical drive. An Arduino Uno and an A4988POW stepper driver control the system. The paper (Caution: PDF) is very detailed and published under GPLv3 (a general public license).

It works the same as many 3D scanners — a line laser provides a 2D profile/outline of the object being scanned that the camera picks up. As the system (or object) rotates, new profiles are recorded and sewn together to form a complete 3D image.

3d laser scanner diagram

To increase the resolution and accuracy of the scanner, you can always put a better camera on the end!

Filed under: laser hacks

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Any other reason to get a PhD besides the academic field?

Are there industry jobs that are not focused around research and require a PhD ? I'm from Europe.

submitted by disallow
[link] [62 comments]

programming: Computer Science from the Bottom Up

submitted by klogk
[link] [69 comments]

Planet Haskell: Douglas M. Auclair (geophf): 'M' is for burrito. No, really! (Monads, a burrito-escque introduction)

'M' is for Burrito. No, really.
(A little post about monads)

This one's easy.

A monad is a burrito: a nice, soft-shell wrapper hiding all that yummy, but complicated stuff inside (green peppers and onions? who was the first one to think of that?)

A monad is a burrito, wrapping all that complicated stuff like an integer:

Just 3

under its soft-shell wrapper:


I just showed you two monads: the first one is the 'Maybe' monad, representing semideterminism (we're certain, in this case, that the underlying unit is 'Just' 3, but we could, in a different situation, be equally certain that the underlying unit was 'Nothing' Those two cases (two = semi) give us our certainty (determinism) one way or the other), the second is the 'List' monad, representing nondeterminism (you could have the empty list [] (no answers, no = non), or, in the above case, a list with a set of different answers (one or several)).

So, monad = burrito. Simple, right?

Class dismissed.

"Excuse me, Professor geophf," the wormy student in the back of the class wearing b-c glasses and who always has to ask annoying questions in his whiny voice at the very end of class, making everybody late for their next class and me late for my latte, and you don't want to make me late for my latte! He continued, oblivious: "What about monads that don't contain anything at all? What is that? An empty burrito?"

He giggled at his own joke, thinking himself rather smart and drôle.

"What?" I roared, "An empty burrito? Such sacrilege cannot be! Besides, what's the point of an empty monad? That's just ridiculous!"

I was rather peeved that this young upstart would trespass on the beauty of my burrito-analogue. It was simple and easy to understand. Why mess with it?

"But," he continued in his whiny voice, "what about the empty list and 'Nothing' in the Maybe monad. They carry no value but are essential to each of those monads, how do you explain these monadic values as burritos? Are they churros?"

I sputtered in fury. He had me there.

So I did what every <strikeout>tyrant</strikeout>teacher does, I relied on my position of authority.

"No, monads are burritos! Get that through your head!" And then: "Class dismissed!"

Everybody fled. I do cut quite the imposing figure when I have that angry glint in my eye and my flinty face set in stone.

Okay, so monads aren't burritos. I admit it. (But not to Mr. Wormwood. Never, never!) There is nothing that says a monad has to carry a value, it's just a convenience to think of monads like that: a wrapper around an 'ordinary' object. But monads are objects, themselves, and, in fact, more 'ordinary,' that is: regular, than plain-old objects like integers.

The problem of plain-old objects, the problem that monads address, each in their own way (and there are many species of monads, not just maybes and lists, but eithers, and states and ... stuff! Lots of wild and weird different stuff!), is that plain-old objects admit the uninhabited instance, , in their type. So the type of natural numbers is 0, 1, 2, 3, ... but it's also . For programming languages that realize this (haskell, for example), they deal with this gracefully. For programming languages that realize this, but then do nothing about it, there is a systemic problem of the program going into an unstable state when encountering an uninhabited instance.

Something that causes Algol-child language programmers to shake in their booties: the 'null-pointer exception.'

Question: how can Java throw a 'NullPointerException,' when it doesn't have the pointer construct in its language, at all? Am I the first to call this one out?

So, the function in these languages that have but do not handle it properly must always admit that you're not working with functions at all, for:

x + y

is x plus y, but if either in uninhabited, the answer is KABOOM!

A program crash. You just destroyed your entire system. And you didn't even do it: the language designers did.

Monads were an answer to this problem. A little dude with a long, bushy beard by the name of Kleisli developed the work around what came to be known as the Kleisli categories, that had monads as their objects and (what came to be known as) Kleisli arrows as morphism, or functions.

The guarantee of the Kleisli category was that, indeed, every object as a monad, so there's no uninhabited type, this means Kleisli functions always get you back into a Kleisli category (yes: once you enter the monadic domain, you never leave it. That's the guarantee of a Kleisli category, you can only be a monad (or a monadic function or monad category ...) to get in, and no monads exist outside the Kleisli categories. The monadic domain is the Hotel California of categories).

Okay, you're stuck. And the guarantee of the monad is that you don't care what's under the soft-shell, there's no 'getting a value out' of a monad, because, as my annoying student, Mr. Wormwood, pointed out, there are monads with no underlying values. So what do you do with them?

Monads have a special function associated with them, called the 'join' operator.

Monads, you see, are a special type in that a join of a monad of a monad is just a monad, so, for example,

join (Just (Just 3))

gives you 

Just 3

What does that do for us?

Well, the structure of a monadic function is this:

Monad m ↠ f m :: a → b m

That is, the function takes an ordinary type a and 'lifts' it into the monadic category giving the (monadic) answer of type b (correctly m b, as m is the monadic type and b is the type carried by the monad).

Okay, but monadic functions can't dig out the underlying type in a monad of its category, so how do even the functions work at all?

Just as you can lift an unit type into a monad:

return 3 = Just 3

You can also lift an ordinary function into the monadic domain:

liftM succ = m Int → m Int (for some monadic type m)

Okay, so, but where does that even get us? We're still stuck, right?

Well, the thing is, you can even lift monadic functions into the monadic-monadic domain:

liftM f (of type Monad m ↠ a → m b) = f' :: Monad m ↠ m a → m (m b)

What does that get us?

Well, combining join with a lifted monadic function gets us a monad from monadic input:

join (liftM f (Just 3)) = some monadic answer dependent on the resultant type of f.

This whole lifting-into-the-monadic-domain-and-then-joining-the-result is so common when working in monad categories that a special operator was invented, à la Haskell, named '>>=' (pronounced: 'bind').

Now, with bind the true power of monads come out:

m >>= f >>= g >>= h >>= ... etc.

What you see here a monad being bound, in turn, to the monadic functions f, g, h, etc.

So, okay, you've got a short-hand for monadically binding functions together. Great. Good on you, and have a latte.

The thing here is this.

In 'plain-old' programming, you have this ever-present fear that a NullPointerException is going to ruin your life, so you can't write:


getting an A from obj, then getting a B from that A, then getting a C from that B, then you do something with that C.

I mean, you can write that code, but if any of those objects are null: obj, A, B, C, your whole statement explodes?

No, worst than that: your entire system blows up, and you have to deal with irate customers wondering why they got a 505-Service down error when they submit their credit card information but forgot to enter their zip code, or some such.

So you have to wrap that statement in a try-block, and try it and see if it works, and if it doesn't you have this whole envelope, this whole burrito shell of code you have to write to handle the uninhabited case.

Now let's look at the monadic function binding again:

m >>= f >>= g >>= h >>= ... etc.

What happens if m is null, or the result of f m is ...

No. Wait. Monads don't have nulls. Monads are just monads, so the above binding ...

... okay, wait for it, ...



In fact, in the Kleisli category, it is guaranteed to work.

It. just. works.

For you, not a Java(script) programmer, you're like: "Well, duh, yeah, that's how it's supposed to be! 1 + 1 = 2, not 'error' or whatever."

You can say that, and expect that, in a pure mathematical domain (with monads implicit in the mathematics for you. You're welcome.) But a Java programmer, with any experience, any hard-won experience should be (rightly) awed.

"Wait. You mean, it just works? How is that possible?"

Yeah. How is that possible? That Java code just works?

It doesn't. But, when I translate the Kleisli category down into a Java implementation, and then lift every Java object into that cateogy, so it's not a Plain-old Java Object (POJO) any more, but now it's a monad in the Kleisli category, and operate on it as such from then on.

Well, then, it just works.

Some people look at my monadic harness and say I'm unnecessarily complicating things.

I beg to differ.

"But, geophf, I just want the start date; all this stuff just complicates things!"

But what do you want the start date ... for? If you just want the start date, then


will get you there, and you're done.

But if you want to base any logic off it? Is your start date the start of a work-flow? So if the start date is null, your system, that you unit tested with start date values, now crashes in production and you have no idea why, because you unit tested it, and the code looks good.

But that one null wrecks everything.

I don't have any nulls. So I lift my start date up into a monad, and start my work flow, and my work flow works, and if the start date is null, then the start date isn't lifted, the functions fall through, because they're not working with a monad, and I just go onto the next thing.

And I coded zero lines of code around that.

Your try-catch blocks looking for nulls everywhere ...

Well, what's more complicated now? What code works in production, regardless of dirty or bad data?

Monads are a guarantee, and, as burritos go, they are quite tasty. Give them a try!


Now there's the whole conversation around monads that carry no value intentionally throughout the entire monad. So, for example, if the monad type is 'Quark' the the monadic inhabited types are up, down, strange, charmed, top and bottom, and their values are ... nothing at all: their instance is the value, it has no underlying value it carries (unless you want to get into the guts of spin and charge ...), its the particular monad instance, or the particular quark, we care about, not what's inside at all, something like monads as enumerated values, but ... eh. Monads-as-burritos is a limited view, it will trip you up, but for the most part it works. When you do get to the point of treating monads-as-monads, and not caring, anymore, about the underlying value, you can tap yourself on the shoulder with monadic-Nirvana. It's a really good feeling, and gives an entirely new understanding of monads and their utility. "Good to know," as it were, but monad-as-burrito works for the most part and is tasty, too, to boot.

Planet Haskell: Douglas M. Auclair (geophf): 'O' is for ontology.

'O' is for Ontology.

What is an ontology? A knowledge-base? Sure, if that's simpler to grasp, but only insofar as 'knowledge-base' doesn't mean 'collection of facts' or 'data set.'

An ontology is more than that. But what, precisely, is an ontology?

Well, actually, there is a precise meaning to 'ontology.' And 'meaning,' itself, is central to ontology. Because what does these data mean is what an ontology is about. It's not a listing of facts, but it's also the relationship of the facts in the ontology that makes it what it is. The data, the facts, of an ontology have meaning, not only intrinsically, but also explicitly, or: the meaning is useable, or can be processed, itself, as information, and used in the handling of the underlying information.



An ontology? Absolutely! You hand that to your husband, and he knows exactly what it is and he knows exactly how to use it. He even, helpfully, penciled in the missing item (ho-hos, just as a 'fer instance') onto your shopping list for you.


Now, ontology, per se?  Not so much. But if you explicitly titled it "Shopping List," now you're talking!

Format it as XML or JSON or OWL and then your computer will do your shopping for you, just as well as your husband would.

Even better, as it won't add those pesky ho-hos your husband always 'helpfully' adds to your list for you.

Your computer does need arms and legs and artificial intelligence, but I'm sure Cyberdyne Systems will be happy to help you there ... and also hand your terminator that was a computer a fully automatic plasma rifle.

Whoopsie! Better give your husband the list, and live with the ho-hos ... Ho-hos are, relatively speaking, better than global thermonuclear war and the extinction of all mankind.

But I digress.

As always.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Graphics Papers

For one of my classes, I need to present a graphics paper this coming week. I'm having a lot of trouble finding graphics papers that I can both understand and are not incredibly simple.

I'm an undergraduate who has taken one introduction to computer graphics course. Can anyone recommend any papers or methods to finding papers? Thanks!

submitted by gkx
[link] [4 comments]

Computer Science: Theory and Application: How to practice concepts in Information Security

I am planning to concentrate in the field of information security, but I am having trouble trying to figure out how to apply and learn it. What can I do?

submitted by totorokun
[link] [3 comments]

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (updated daily): April 20, 2014

Comrades! Marxist shirts are in stock!

Paper Bits: cherry-merchant: Sierpinski transformation


Sierpinski transformation

Potz!Blitz!Szpilman!: Teo Park

Teo Park, May the force be with you, 2013

Instructables: exploring - featured: Crochet Dragon Eggs with Baby Dragon

This all started when I made a crochet chicken for a co-worker of mine who was feeling sad that she had to give away her brood of chickens (since the city bylaws don't allow them in residential areas).   When another colleague saw the chicken I made, she wanted one too.  "You want a chicken?" I aske...
By: ChrysN

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Instructables: exploring - featured: Reflective Prism

This display system uses a technique that is often referred to as Pepper's Ghost. It was first invented by Giambattista della Porta in 1584 and has been commonly used in theatre. Some of its famous uses include Alexander McQueen's performance with Kate Moss, Tupac's CG concert cameo, and numerous Ha...
By: rtilton1

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i like this art: Valerie Green


Valerie Green

Work from Look Up at Charlie James Gallery.

“All the world may once have been a stage, but it is certainly now a screen. In her solo gallery debut at Charlie James, L.A. artist Valerie Green gives us a smartphone eye’s view of the sublime: the sky above our heads.

The nine images in the series “Look Up” were taken through the moon roof of the artist’s car, adorned with the phone’s screen protector, a slip of plastic that would be transparent were it not for the marks and scratches of restless fingers.

The skies range from gray and rain-spotted to blissfully blue, but the screen protector creates a ghostly image of the phone itself, something like a self-portrait. What’s more, Green has painted the prints’ frames to extend the edges of the image. We are increasingly aware of how what we see is filtered through multiple frames.

In the back room are three cellphone images of a computer monitor sprayed with screen cleaning solution. Like the raindrops on the moon roof, they are physical, not virtual phenomena, here lighted not by the sun but by the inner glow of pixels. It’s one computer literally “face-to-face” with another.

Then there is a large sheet of neon pink plastic that visitors can touch and “draw” upon. Like the screen protector and cleaner, the piece reminds us that no matter how absorbing our virtual worlds, we are still resolutely earthbound.” – Sharon Mizota for the LA Times. 04.20.2014

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic.

Twitch: Check Out A Clip From Christopher Denham's PRESERVATION

Fresh from the world premiere of Christopher Denham's Preservation at Tribeca a new clip from the survival horror picture has arrived online. Here's how the festival describes the film:Actor Christopher Denham takes his second turn in the director's chair with this finely crafted horror-thriller starring Pablo Schreiber (The Wire, Orange is the New Black), Aaron Staton (Mad Men), and Wrenn Schmidt (Boardwalk Empire). Brothers Sean and Mike Neary, along with Mike's wife Wit, head out on a hunting trip that doubles as a distraction from their troubles at home. But ignoring the "closed" sign and heading deep into an overgrown nature preserve, they soon find their troubles are only beginning. When all of their gear is stolen, they immediately turn on each other. But the...

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Twitch: First Teaser For Alan Mak and Felix Chong's OVERHEARD 3

Directors Alan Mak and Felix Ching are headed back to Hong Kong screens with the third installment of their Overheard thriller series. True to form with the shift from the first film to the second - in which the cast remained consistent along with the audio surveillance element while all else changed - this once again stars Louis Koo, Daniel Wu and Lau Ching Wan but the story this time moves to the 1980s and shady land development.The first teaser has arrived online, showcasing the the surveillance aspect of the story. Check it out below....

[Read the whole post on]

Instructables: exploring - featured: Noodle: a crowdsourced robot

Noodle is a small device with the I/O of a machine but the thoughts and feelings of a human. You can program it to monitor your physical space and react to changes in the environment with words, images, sounds and decisions. For example, you could program it to watch your front door, and anytim...
By: lmccart

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Twitch: Vampire Lothario In Bushwick! Check The Poster And Trailer For Quirky Tribeca Selected Horror Comedy SUMMER OF BLOOD

Something very odd is headed to Tribeca with Onur Tukel's Summer Of Blood. Imagine, if you will, Woody Allen as a child of the mumblecore movement making a vampire film. You are now in the correct neighborhood, at least, for what Tukel has in store though this is so distinctly his own that playing the compare and contrast game seems to be doing it a mild disservice.Erik Sparrow is one of the lucky ones. He's got a good job. He's in a stable relationship. He lives in one of the greatest cities in the world. Does he deserve it? Probably not. He's not too bright. He's not very attractive. He's not at all ambitious. He's chubby and he's always complaining. And when his girlfriend Jody...

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Paper Bits: lovelylops: Balloon Bun


Balloon Bun

Twitch: THE SAND STORM, A New Sci-fi Short Starring Chinese Artist And Political Activist Ai Wei Wei

Ai Wei Wei is China's most influential contemporary artist, active in numerous fields (sculpture, installation, architecture, photography, and more...), as well as a major political activist for democracy and human rights, making him one of the leading critical voices against the Chinese government. He is now making his debut as a film actor, as the lead in a new science fiction film, a short titled "Sandstorm", where he plays a smuggler in a world devoid of water. We all got to see Ai Wei Wei's work in the 2008 Olympics as he is the consulting artist for the then newly built Beijing National Stadium, "The Bird's Nest", which housed the Olympic Games for that year. Ai Wei Wei's work has been exhibited in countless museums...

[Read the whole post on] Blog: Offline Switchers Come in Tiny Packages

article-2014apr-offline-switchers-come-tiny-fig2By Ashok Bindra:

When engineers consider offline switchers for systems ranging from telecom and datacom equipment to PCs and industrial supplies, they mainly think of bulky AC/DC front-end solutions in a variety of forms such as bricks, modules, and open-frame. However, there are many applications where offline switchers powered by AC mains are needed in small packages or must occupy a small space on the motherboard. Some examples: USB adapters to power media players, e-readers, and GPS devices; and low-cost, offline LED drivers in lighting applications with high power factor to meet international requirements for total harmonic distortion (THD), EMC, and safety. Offline switchers are also used as standby power supplies in PCs and laptops, as well as in compact chargers for smartphones and other mobile devices. The point is that there are many applications where offline AC/DC switchers are needed in small form-factors.

Offline Switchers Come in Tiny Packages - [Link]

Open Culture: Kurt Vonnegut Urges Young People to Make Art and “Make Your Soul Grow”

Art not only saves lives, it casts ripples, as Kurt Vonnegut surely knew when he replied—at length—to five New York City high school students who’d contacted him as part of a 2006 English assignment.  (The identities of the other authors selected for this honor are lost to time, but not one had the courtesy to respond except Vonnegut.)

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut’s kind wishes and Yoko Ono-esque prompt have been widely disseminated on the Internet, which is no doubt where students at Hove Park School in Brighton, East Sussex caught the scent. Working with a professional production company that specializes in narrative-driven work, they literalized  the assignment in the video above, and while I might have preferred a sneak peek at the poems and drawings such a task might yield, pre-shredding, I loved how they acknowledged that not everyone heeds the call. (The casting of that one could have gone either way…wouldn’t be surprised if you told me that that boy has a punk band that would’ve ripped Vonnegut’s ears off.)

via Kate Rix

Related Content:

Kurt Vonnegut Diagrams the Shape of All Stories in a Master’s Thesis Rejected by U. Chicago

“Wear Sunscreen”: The Story Behind the Commencement Speech That Kurt Vonnegut Never Gave

Kurt Vonnegut’s Eight Tips on How to Write a Good Short Story

Kurt Vonnegut: Where Do I Get My Ideas From? My Disgust with Civilization

Ayun Halliday is spending tonight’s Night of Vonnegut in Los Angeles rather than her hometown of Indianapolis. So it goes. Follow her @AyunHalliday

Kurt Vonnegut Urges Young People to Make Art and “Make Your Soul Grow” is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Kurt Vonnegut Urges Young People to Make Art and “Make Your Soul Grow” appeared first on Open Culture. Blog: Arduino ultrasonic range finder


Jan_Henrik @ writes:

In this project i want to show and explain you a range sensor with ultrasonic and a 20×04 lcd screen. I wrote the code for this project myself and added lots of comments, so that everybody can understand it and use it for other projects (maybe a light range sensor?!). It is easy to build and much more easier to program, it just requires a few cheap parts and can run on battery, for a portable rangefinder.

The maximum rated range is 500 cm, the range is measured 20 times per seccond. It is Displayed on a lcd screen which is 20×4 chars big, it has a custom start message, and it can have a custom design while measuring. It will have a backlight LED and can run on every arduino, which has I²C communication. That mean you can run it on an Arduino nano, which is very small. It also requires 5V so it has to be a 5V version of an Arduino.

Arduino ultrasonic range finder - [Link] Blog: Simplest and Cheapest Arduino


smching @ writes:

Use a ATTiny85 (can be ATTiny45, ATTiny44) to make an Arduino just for US3.00 and name it as Tiny Arduino.

Tiny Arduino have only eight pins as shown in figure above, Pin4 is ground (Gnd), Pin8 is 5V (Vcc), Pin1 is Reset, Pin2 and Pin3 originally used to connecting the Crystal. In order to utilize all the IO, the internal oscillator (RC Oscillator) is used to replace the external clock which require a crystal. Therefore the Tiny Arduino is now come with five IO. Below shows the Arduino IO functions.

Simplest and Cheapest Arduino - [Link]

All Content: BBC America’s Addictive "Orphan Black" Picks Up Right Where It Left Off


BBC America’s hit "Orphan Black" has the kind of brilliant what-if premise that instantly appeals to fans of the sci-fi genre: what if you weren’t as unique as a snowflake? What if there were others who looked exactly like you? In the series premiere, Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) saw a mirror image of herself jump in front of a train. With a life she needed to escape in a position where it could be easily put behind her, Sarah took the identity of her dead doppelganger Beth, and tried to slip into the shoes of a cop who had so much drama on her plate that she jumped in front of a train. Sarah had no idea what she was getting into, quickly discovering that Beth wasn’t the only woman who gave Sarah déjà vu. Over the course of the first season, the densely plotted "Orphan Black" introduced us to "soccer mom" Alison, microbiology student Cosima, and straight-up lunatic Helena, all played by Maslany. As Sarah and her clones tried to discover the truth about their existence, they dealt with the kind of nefarious powers that be have defined the genre for generations. Season one ended with a number of cliffhangers, including the kidnapping of Sarah’s daughter Kira, the death of Sarah’s mother, and the revelation that the clones have patent numbers built into them—they’re property.

Season two picks up immediately where season one ended, answering the nagging question as to how "Orphan Black" would proceed from year to year—one, long, linear story or seasons that played more like episodes. In many ways, the season premiere of "Black" feels like it could have aired the week after the May 2013 finale. So, anyone hoping for any sort of reinvention or creative injection of new energy that often comes with a new plot in a new season will have to wait at least another episode (and oh how I wish they had sent more than one for review). However, if you found the first season well-paced and witty, as I did, then you’ll be happy to know that the train is headed down the exact same track.

Sarah is running. In the rain. In slow-motion. Again. Her daughter has been kidnapped; she presumes by the same people trying to control her. She makes it to a diner, where she tries to gather herself and plan her next move. Of course, time for planning in the world of "Orphan Black" doesn’t last long.

While Sarah deals with her latest crisis, Alison tries to move on after watching the death of her nosy neighbor, who she presumed was her corporation-appointed monitor. In a fascinating riff on uptight "suburban housewife melodrama," Alison is a clone on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Meanwhile, Cosima still wants to trust Delphine, her monitor, but she’s having respiratory problems that hint at bad times to come. And don't forget Rachel, another clone who we met at the end of last season, who seems primed to be the "big bad" that the show has needed since the beginning. Season two is shaping up to be one in which the clone who wouldn’t give in to her creators battles the one who went to work for them.

"Orphan Black" can be a little overly reliant on camera tricks and loud music to sell its action but it’s undeniably addictive in its plotting, pushing viewers from one revelation to the next with breakneck speed that doesn't allow for consideration of plot holes. Maslany is so good here that one wishes she wasn’t so often forced to deal with exposition in her dialogue instead of the truly remarkable characters she’s crafted from each clone but it’s impossible to deny the pure entertainment factor of "Orphan Black". In fact, when one considers how often the show sinks into the rabbit hole of expository dialogue—the clones are so often going over and over what they’re doing and why they’re doing it—it’s even more remarkable how Maslany has carved out real characters from what could have just been archetypes offset against Sarah. Alison and Cosima are well-rounded, complex women of their own, not merely used as plot devices, as they would have been with lesser writers or a lesser actress. I can’t decide if the weaknesses in the supporting cast (except for Matt Frewer, who’s been a genre icon for decades) aren’t merely because Maslany would be a scene-stealer with anyone.

There are times when I wish "Orphan Black" was more of a commentary on identity and more challenging in its narrative twists and turns but these are minor complaints for a show that doesn’t just deliver a truly fantastic performance but does so in the context of genre entertainment that’s as addictive as any sci-fi show on the air.

Paper Bits: "Thanks to a generation of massive amounts of standardized testing, our students conceive education..."

“Thanks to a generation of massive amounts of standardized testing, our students conceive education primarily as a tool for determining a ranking. The Obama administration’s policy is even called Race to the Top. We have the most read columnist in the country telling us how important it is to raise “standards” so our students don’t fall behind.
For our students’ entire lives we have communicated that the reason to learn things is not to fulfill curiosities, but to see where you stack up relative to others. Grades are no longer a proxy for learning, but a lap time determining how well they’re doing at achieving a secure financial future. Under this system, a “B” is genuine cause for distress. A “C” is a disaster that points towards a ruined life.
At the same time, we have made it increasingly difficult to pay for a genuine education. The burden of loans threatens to strangle adult lives before they really begin. It is now impossible to work your way through college. Concerns over even paying for college are also at an all-time high. We communicate that a college degree is more important than ever and then make it more difficult to achieve.
Students look at the larger culture and see not a ladder of opportunity, but a treadmill of obligation. No wonder they’re distressed.”

- The Anxiety Crisis | Inside Higher Ed (via notational)

Computer Science: Theory and Application: What is an appropriate textbook for this mathematics for CS course?

I'm using this course to help learn mathematics for Computer Science. Even the first couple of lectures have made me see maths in a different light. I find it to be totally awesome and interesting now. Problem is, for some subjects, I feel like a textbook would be useful. I can't find one on the site, and I don't know where I could find one, so I'm asking you guys. Thanks!

submitted by a-single-tear
[link] [18 comments]

OCaml Planet: Coq: Coq received ACM Software System 2013 award

After the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Sofware 2013 Award, Coq received the ACM Software System 2013 award.

read more

the waxing machine: kkshow: 2c85286ef2e56d167347bb4de4deff90.png



Instructables: exploring - featured: Coiling a USB power cord

This is an easy way to tidy up cord that are too long or in the way. Great for the car or desk. Materials USB cord for your device (Got mine at Dollar Tree) Pencil Blow-dryer Tape Wrapping the cord Starting at one end of the pencil, tape down one end, leaving about 5 inches of slack. Wrap th...
By: pizzidave

Continue Reading »

Perlsphere: now supports Perl is a jsfiddle type service which runs Perl code (and other languages) and shows the results in your browser.

The website is written in Go and runs your code inside a Docker container. It originally had support for C, Go, Python, and Ruby. I was looking for an excuse to play with Docker and Go so I submitted a pull request which added support for Perl.

See also:

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (updated daily): April 19, 2014

i like this art: Matter


Matter at New Shelter Plan

Featuring work from Caleb Charland, Matthew Gamber,Mary Voorhees Meehan, Johan Rosenmunthe, and Bill Sullivan.

“In cataloging technology’s effects on culture, Marshall McLuhan wrote, “We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.” The five artists adopts this observation as a motive to examine photography’s equal but opposing powers: The photograph aptly informs and misleads our perceptions of information and history.

The installation will be an amalgamation of individual studies. Artists will work, somewhat siloed from one another, not unlike scientists each to his station in the lab, investigating the paradox of the photograph. They will present the resultant videos, prints, and constellations of objects together, as a body of evidence.

Concurrent with the exhibition opening, the artists will release a book – another study – but this one worked on together, simultaneously. They will utilize Matter as a starting point. Published in 1963 as the inaugural title of the Life Science Library Series, and written by Ralph Eugene Lapp, a renowned Manhattan Project physicist, the book was designed to match the popular layout of Life Magazine, with a focus on educating readers on the wonders of physical world. The reconstituted book will echo the original thematic arc, but the new layout will be an augmentation of its default reading. The visual approach will maintain photography’s ability to illustrate ideas, rather than explain them.” – New Shelter Plan

Potz!Blitz!Szpilman!: Héctor Zamora

Hector Zamora, Brasil, 2014

Instructables: exploring - featured: Crochet Espion

An Espeon I have been working on for a while. The ends of the tail are pose-able. This is, hands down, the best amigurumi I have made to date, and I am quite pleased with it. Needed Materials and Other Notes Needed Materials:   two skeins of pale purple yarn (I used ) a size f (3....
By: Little Dragon and Company

Continue Reading » 04.19.2014

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic.

s mazuk: This orange was just hanging out at brassneck brewery on Monday,...

This orange was just hanging out at brassneck brewery on Monday, and I’m still thinking about it. How’d it get there? Was it abandoned? What happened to it after we left?

Open Culture: Read 10 Short Stories by Gabriel García Márquez Free Online (Plus More Essays & Interviews)


“Our independence from Spanish domination did not put us beyond the reach of madness,” said Gabriel García Márquez in his 1982 Nobel Prize acceptance speech. García Márquez, who died yesterday at the age of 87, refers of course to all of Spain’s former colonies in Latin America and the Caribbean, from his own Colombia to Cuba, the island nation whose artistic struggle to come to terms with its history contributed so much to that art form generally known as “magical realism,” a syncretism of European modernism and indigenous art and folklore, Catholicism and the remnants of Amerindian and African religions.

While the term has perhaps been overused to the point of banality in critical and popular appraisals of Latin-American writers (some prefer Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier’s lo real maravilloso, “the marvelous real”), in Marquez’s case, it’s hard to think of a better way to describe the dense interweaving of fact and fiction in his life’s work as a writer of both fantastic stories and unflinching journalistic accounts, both of which grappled with the gross horrors of colonial plunder and exploitation and the subsequent rule of bloodthirsty dictators, incompetent patriarchs, venal oligarchs, and corporate gangsters in much of the Southern Hemisphere.

Nevertheless, it’s a description that sometimes seems to obscure García Marquez’s great purpose, marginalizing his literary vision as trendy exotica or a “postcolonial hangover.” Once asked in a Paris Review interview the year before his Nobel win about the difference between the novel and journalism, García Márquez replied, “Nothing. I don’t think there is any difference. The sources are the same, the material is the same, the resources and the language are the same.”

In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work. That’s the only difference, and it lies in the commitment of the writer. A novelist can do anything he wants so long as he makes people believe in it.

García Márquez made us believe. One would be hard-pressed to find a 20th century writer more committed to the truth, whether expressed in dense mythology and baroque metaphor or in the dry rationalist discourse of the Western episteme. For its multitude of incredible elements, the 1967 novel for which García Márquez is best known—One Hundred Years of Solitude—captures the almost unbelievable human history of the region with more emotional and moral fidelity than any strictly factual account: “However bizarre or grotesque some particulars may be,” wrote a New York Times reviewer in 1970, “Macondo is no never-never land.” In fact, García Márquez’s novel helped dismantle the very real and brutal South American empire of banana company United Fruit, a “great irony,” writes Rich Cohen, of one mythology laying bare another: “In college, they call it ‘magical realism,’ but, if you know history, you understand it’s less magical than just plain real, the stuff of newspapers returned as lived experience.”

Edith Grossman, translator of several of García Márquez’s works—including Love in the Time of Cholera and his 2004 autobiography Living to Tell the Tale (Vivir para Cotarla)—agrees. “He doesn’t use that term at all, as far as I know,” she said in a 2005 interview with Guernica‘s Joel Whitney: “It’s always struck me as an easy, empty kind of remark.” Instead, García Márquez’s style, says Grossman, “seemed like a way of writing about the exceptionalness of so much of Latin America.”

Today, in honor and with tremendous gratitude for that indefatigable chronicler of exceptional lived experience, we offer several online texts of Gabriel García Márquez’s short works at the links below.

HarperCollins’ online preview of García Marquez’s Collected Stories includes the full text of “The Third Resignation,” “The Other Side of Death,” “Eva Is Inside Her Cat,” “Bitterness for Three Sleepwalkers,” and “Dialogue with the Mirror,” all from the author’s 1972 collection Eyes of a Blue Dog (Ojos de perro azul).

At The New Yorker, you can read García Marquez’s story “The Autumn of the Patriarch” (1976) and his 2003 autobiographical essay “The Challenge.”

Follow the links below for more of García Marquez’s short fiction from various university websites:

Death Constant Beyond Love” (1970)

The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” (1968)

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” (1955)

Visit The Modern Word for an excellent biographical sketch of the author.

See The New York Times for “A Talk with Gabriel Garcia Marquez” in the year of his Nobel win, an essay in which he recounts his 1957 meeting with Ernest Hemingway, and many more reviews and essays.

Finally, we should also mention that you can download Love in the Time of Cholera or Hundred Years of Solitude for free (as audio books) if you join’s 30-day program. We have details on it here.

As we say farewell to one of the world’s greatest writers, we can remember him not only as a writer of “magical realism,” whatever that phrase may mean, but as a teller of complicated, wondrous, and sometimes painful truths, in whatever form he happened to find them.

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10 Free Stories by George Saunders, Author of Tenth of December, “The Best Book You’ll Read This Year”

600 Free eBooks: Download Great Books for Free

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Read 10 Short Stories by Gabriel García Márquez Free Online (Plus More Essays & Interviews) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Read 10 Short Stories by Gabriel García Márquez Free Online (Plus More Essays & Interviews) appeared first on Open Culture.

Penny Arcade: News Post: Hearthstone

Gabe: I’ve been playing a few hours of Hearthstone every day of my vacation. During the day while the kids are playing in the sand or after they go to bed while I’m out on the porch. The soothing sound of the ocean waves is the only thing that has kept me from snapping the iPad in half and tossing it into the water. That might make it sound like I don’t like the game and that’s not true. I actually really like it a lot. I should hate it. I should have stopped playing it days ago and I should delete it from the iPad but I haven’t done that. I haven’t done that…

The Geomblog: danah boyd, Randall Munro, and netizens.

danah boyd, author of 'It's Complicated' just gave a tech talk at Google. Her book has been in the news a lot lately, so I'll skip the details (although Facebook ought to be at least slightly worried).

But what I enjoyed the most about her talk was the feeling that I was listening to a true netizen: someone who lives and breathes on the internet, understands (and has helped build) modern technology extremely well (she is a computer scientist as well as an ethnographer), and is able to deliver a subtle and nuanced perspective on the role and use of technology amidst all the technobabble (I'm looking at you, BIG data) that inundates us.

And she delivers a message that's original and "nontrivial". Both about how teens use and interact with social media, and about how we as a society process technological trends and put them in context of our lives. Her discussion of context collapse was enlightening: apart from explaining why weddings are such fraught experiences (better with alcohol!) it helped me understand incidences of cognitive frisson in my own interactions.

What she shares with Randall Munro in my mind is the ability to speak unselfconsciously and natively in a way that rings true for those of us who inhabit the world of tech, and yet articulate things that we might have felt, but are unable to put into words ourselves. Of course they're wildly different in so many other ways, but in this respect they are like ambassadors of the new world we live in.

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: Good bones

ROXTON modified

Well, that was a bitch.

Remember what this pathetic blog’s been saying now for the past year about yuppies and geriatric semis? Because money’s cheap, most buyers are naive and detached houses costing over a million don’t come with mortgage insurance and 5% down payments, young morons have been madly escalating the price of half-houses on dodgy streets that realtors call ‘emerging.’

As Toronto agents Josie Stern and Valerie Benchitrit told their clients this week: “The real estate market is setting stratospheric records.  Today we recorded the highest sale price ever on the Multiple Listing Service for a semi-detached property on Ellsworth Avenue. 95 Ellsworth was listed for $799,000 and it sold for $946,000 with seven bidders.”

With land transfer tax and routine closing costs, that half-a-house actually ends up being one used Kia less than a million. And here it is:

ELLSWORTH modified

So Matt and Krysten Christie probably thought they got a pretty fair deal with they scooped 290 Roxton Road, in Little Italy, a few months ago. The saggy but soaring 120-year-old Victorian semi was bought from an estate which had listed it for $989,000 for many months – passed over because of its condition. The Christies got it for $925,000.

Here’s how realtor Harry Gliddon described it in his listing:

A Grand & Spacious Victorian Semi, 3,290 Sq Feet Of Living Area. Built In 1895. Soaring 10′ Ceilings On Main. Located In One Of TO’s Coolest & Most Desirable Neighbourhoods. Parking From Lane For 2 Cars. Legal Right-of-Way From Street. An Estate Sale, Requires Your Personal Touch To Return To Its Previous Grandeur. Could Be Configured As A Single Family Or Multi-Unit Property. Good Bones. Carson Dunlop Inspection Report Held.

The Christies began their renos a few weeks ago, which included getting a crew downstairs to dig out the medieval basement. Then one night last week Mireille Albornoz, who owns the other half of the house, started hearing shearing and groaning noises. Somebody called 911. The cops came. Ten minutes later an entire wall of 290 Roxton collapsed, spewing bricks and timbers everywhere.

Then the firemen arrived. Houses up and down the street were evacuated. The gas and hydro guys showed up, and severed the Christie house from its services. Then the City sent inspectors, who ruled both halves of the structure uninhabitable.

Finally the TV reporters and trucks came because, as you know, everybody loves real estate. And here is the report:

By the way, if you want to see some before pictures of the property – as it sat when Matt and Christie coughed up their nine hundred grand – here they are.

After the collapse, realtor Harry called the place “a fixer-upper, priced to appeal to renovators. It was considered to have good bones and a lot of potential.” And that’s exactly what the young Christies are all about – specuvestors who buy up properties, gentrify them, and flip ‘em to hipsters.

But don’t blame them. If the banks weren’t plying the kids with cheap mortgages and the government wasn’t backing them, or if people actually had to have money to buy seven-figure decrepit heirlooms, or we’d taught our offspring to value freedom over indenture, Matt and Krysten might be doing something productive.

Now, take another look at the TV footage above. See what a million buys. We are so screwed.

Open Culture: Free: British Pathé Puts Over 85,000 Historical Films on YouTube

British Pathé was one of the leading producers of newsreels and documentaries during the 20th Century. This week, the company, now an archive, is turning over its entire collection — over 85,000 historical films – to YouTube.

The archive — which spans from 1896 to 1976 – is a goldmine of footage, containing movies of some of the most important moments of the last 100 years. It’s a treasure trove for film buffs, culture nerds and history mavens everywhere. In Pathé’s playlist “A Day That Shook the World,” which traces an Anglo-centric history of the 20th Century, you will find clips of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, the bombing of Hiroshima and Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon, alongside footage of Queen Victoria’s funeral and Roger Bannister’s 4-minute mile. There’s, of course, footage of the dramatic Hindenburg crash and Lindbergh’s daring cross-Atlantic flight. And then you can see King Edward VIII abdicating the throne in 1936Hitler becoming the German Chancellor in 1933 and the eventual Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941 (above).

But the really intriguing part of the archive is seeing all the ephemera from the 20th Century, the stuff that really makes the past feel like a foreign country – the weird hairstyles, the way a city street looked, the breathtakingly casual sexism and racism. There’s a rush in seeing history come alive. Case in point, this documentary from 1967 about the wonders to be found in a surprisingly monochrome Virginia.

Here’s a film about a technological innovation that curiously didn’t take off — an amphibious scooter. The look of regal dignity on the driver’s face as his vehicle moves down the Thames is priceless.

In an early example of a political blooper, there’s this footage from 1942 of Bess Truman trying valiantly to smash an unyielding bottle of champaign against the fuselage of a brand new bomber.

And then there’s this newsreel from 1938 on the wedding between Billy Curtis, a 3’7” nightclub bouncer and his 6’4” burlesque star bride. The jaunty, spectacularly un-PC voiceover should probably be filed under “things were different then.”

If you have several weeks to kill, you can watch all of the videos here.

Related Content:

Rare Film: Claude Monet at Work in His Famous Garden at Giverny, 1915

The Weird World of Vintage Sports

The World’s First Mobile Phone Shown on 1922 Vintage Film

Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow.

Free: British Pathé Puts Over 85,000 Historical Films on YouTube is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Free: British Pathé Puts Over 85,000 Historical Films on YouTube appeared first on Open Culture.

Perlsphere: Frohe Ostern

Frohe Ostern!

Open Culture: “The Periodic Table of Storytelling” Reveals the Elements of Telling a Good Story

periodic table storytelling

Dmitri Mendeleev might have designed the original periodic table – a graphic representation of all the basic building blocks of the universe – but artist James Harris has done something way cool with that template — the Periodic Table of Storytelling.

That’s right. Harris has taken all the tropes, archetypes and clichés found in movies (not to mention TV, comic books, literature, video and even professional wrestling) and synthesized them into an elegantly realized chart. Instead of grouping the elements by noble gases or metals, Harris has organized them by story elements — structure, plot devices, hero archetypes. Each element is linked to a vast wiki that gives definitions and examples. For instance, if you click on the element Chk, you’ll go to a page explaining the trope of Chekhov’s Gun. And if you click on Neo, you’ll go to the page for, of course, the Chosen One.

Below the chart, Harris has even created story molecules for a few specific movies. Ghostbusters, for example, is the combination of an atom consisting of 5ma (Five Man Band) and Mad (Mad Scientist) and one consisting of Iac (Sealed Evil in a Can) and Hil (Hilarity Ensues).

So if you’re in film school or if you have a copy of Robert McKee’s Story on your bookshelf or if you’re one of the roughly three dozen people in the Los Angeles coffee shop where I’m writing this article who are banging out screenplays, you need to check this table out. But be warned: it will suck away a good chunk of your day.

via No Film School

Related Content:

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

Ira Glass, the Host of This American Life, Breaks Down the Fine Art of Storytelling

World’s Smallest Periodic Table on a Human Hair

“The Periodic Table Table” — All The Elements in Hand-Carved Wood

Free Online Chemistry Courses

Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow.

“The Periodic Table of Storytelling” Reveals the Elements of Telling a Good Story is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post “The Periodic Table of Storytelling” Reveals the Elements of Telling a Good Story appeared first on Open Culture.

OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS: To her friend...

Colossal: Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry

Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry landscapes geysers Chile

Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry landscapes geysers Chile

Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry landscapes geysers Chile

Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry landscapes geysers Chile

Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry landscapes geysers Chile

Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry landscapes geysers Chile

Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry landscapes geysers Chile

Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry landscapes geysers Chile

Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry landscapes geysers Chile

Surreal Photos of the Tatio Geyser Field in Chile by Owen Perry landscapes geysers Chile

Located within the Andes Mountains of northern Chile, El Tatio is the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere and the third largest in the world. The field has over 80 active geysers and attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year who flock to see the incredible mineral formations and to bathe in hot geyser water. British Columbia-based interactive web designer and visual artist Owen Perry recently visited El Tatio and returned with these spectacular shots. Perry has a beautiful collection of travel and landscape photography you can explore over on Circa 1983. (via Colossal Submissions)

All Content: Thumbnails 4/18/14



"Even Female Superheroes Are Unable to Break the Glass Ceiling in Hollywood": contributor Noah Gittell makes his debut at PolicyMic talking about female superheroes and the male hierarchy that plagues Hollywood. 
"For those who spend time thinking about the role of women in film, conventional wisdom has it that Natasha Romanoff, the character played by Scarlett Johansson in the Marvel movies — most recently in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but also in Iron Man 2 andThe Avengers — is a significant step forward for the cause of gender equality amongst superheroes. A female action hero who can really hang with the boys, Romanoff (aka Black Widow) fights alongside Iron Man and Captain America, and better yet, she is not a romantic love interest for either of them (well, not yet, anyway). She is pretty close to their equal, and even in 2014 that’s kind of a big deal."


"Nymphomaniac' Isn't the Only Recent Movie About Sexually Confused Youth.": Over at IndieWire, Laya Maheshwari talks about a new trend of movies about teenagers designed for adults.

"The Millennial generation has, ex post facto, been the first one to grow up with the internet (and internet porn), reality television and hyperreal, ultraviolent video games. They have entered adulthood amidst a dizzying invasion of privacy and society by technology, and witnessed a global recession shake their world. Any film about these people that stultified these factors would be taking the easy way out."


"And They Lived Heterosexuality Ever After: Why I'm Not Recapping Once Upon A Time Anymore": Kate at Autostraddle has had enough with Once Upon A Time

"The thing is, representation matters, and one of the worst things that this kind of narrative does is that it expects an LGBTQ audience to be satisfied with the bare minimum. When this bare minimum is not met with automatic praise and thanks, the audience is punished in any number of ways, from a producer’s social media snarkery to claims by the mainstream media that the darned homosexuals just aren’t grateful enough. Even the smallest amount of negative reaction is cited as reason enough to not bother with such a storyline in the future."


"Beard Trend Is 'Guided by Evolution'": An anonymous science reporter at BBC covers the salient issue of beard overflow. 

"The ebb and flow of men's beard fashions may be guided by Darwinian selection, according to a new study.

The more beards there are, the less attractive they become - giving clean-shaven men a competitive advantage, say scientists in Sydney, Australia."


"God, Man and Lots of Corridors in Transcendence": Linda Holmes at NPR examines the interiors of Wally Pfister's directorial debut. Related: "Transcendence" by Alissa Wilkinson at Christianity Today.

"Transcendence is a science fiction story, but it's very much about faith. Early on, a member of a "neo-Luddite" group confronts Will Caster (Johnny Depp) about his work. Caster is promising a future in which a massive artificial intelligence will contain more knowledge than the world has ever collectively possessed, and the man – played by Lukas Haas, whom many of us first saw as a tiny Amish child in Witness, where he was also counseled about the dangers of modernity and technology – accuses him of trying to create a god. "Isn't that what mankind has always done?" Caster volleys back."

Image of the Day

Kepler-186f, an Earth-size world found by NASA astronomers. Read more at National Geographic

Video of the Day


And here's a very good video essay on Jim Jarmusch by Matthew Cheney at IndieWire.

All Content: A Haunted House 2


Whenever I watch found footage horror movies, I hope for a scene where the ghost/creature/whatever suddenly grabs the camera and starts shooting its own footage. Because if you’re stupid enough to continue recording when crap hits the fan, you deserve to die horribly and with better cinematography. The ghost will give me a better, less shaky look at the terrible things it’s doing to the deserving victim. Since it knows exactly what’s about to go down, it will choose better angles and shots.

As a parody of found footage movies, 2013’s "A Haunted House" offered the potential for a scene like this. I would never have known it didn’t contain one had I not been assigned "A Haunted House 2." Since the Continuity Police arrested me for reviewing "Red 2" before seeing "Red," I streamed "A Haunted House" before venturing out to a public screening of its sequel. I learned there is no need to see "A Haunted House" unless you desire a marginally better version of the material that pollutes "A Haunted House 2."

To recap the first film: Strange, paranormal events befall Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) when he moves in with his girlfriend Kisha (Essence Atkins). These events look suspiciously like "Paranormal Activity," one of the many films this series attempts to parody. Malcolm hires a psychic who is more interested in trying to have sex with him than figuring out what is causing appliances to move by themselves.

In a plot twist I wish "Sex and the City" had used, Malcolm discovers that Kisha sold her soul to the Devil for a pair of expensive shoes. Mucho mayhem ensues, most of it manifested as reprehensibly unfunny homophobia. In a scene one can never unsee, Malcolm is raped by the evil spirit haunting his house, a rape he uploads to YouTube by accident. This is supposed to be funny. A lot of people apparently thought so, otherwise we wouldn’t have this sequel.

"A Haunted House 2" opens with the still possessed Kisha being disposed of by Malcolm and his unbearably annoying cousin Ray-Ray (Affion Crockett). But Kisha’s not gonna be ignored, so her spirit possesses Malcolm’s new abode. This affects not only Kisha’s ex but his new squeeze Megan (Jamie Pressly), her sullen, teenage daughter, Becky (Ashley Rickards), and her son Wyatt (Steele Stebbins).

This time, the main target of parody is "Sinister," though jabs at "Insidious" are also present. The botched re-enactments of the former’s murderous 8mm home movies aren’t funny, but they’re at least well done. The "Insidious" scenes are so bad you feel sorry for the actors in them, especially Cedric the Entertainer, who reprises his role as Father Williams.

"A Haunted House 2" tones down the gay jokes but ups the streak of animal cruelty. Taking a page from "The Hangover Part III," co-screenwriter Wayans tries to wring comic mileage out of the graphic destruction of live animal tissue. The rooster fight shown in the commercials is lifted directly from "Hangover III," though this time there’s only one angry bird. What happens to it confirms my unnatural fear of ceiling fans. The rooster’s facial reaction to Wayans’ attempt to destroy it (which you can also see in the commercials) is the only laugh to be had in "A Haunted House 2."

If you are a dog person, DO NOT SEE THIS FILM. (In fact, don’t read this paragraph.) A canine is squashed flatter than a pancake by a safe, which admittedly is done in exaggerated comic fashion, but another is beaten, shot repeatedly and chainsawed. The resulting carnage is lovingly depicted, and if that weren’t enough, the poor creature’s head is then blown off by a shotgun in front of Megan’s kids. Now, I’m no prude. Some of the stuff I’ve found funny would curl your hair and probably make you pray for me. But my only reaction to scenes like this is disgust.

Besides Cedric the Entertainer, who is a very funny stand-up comedian who can act (see "Barbershop"), "A Haunted House 2" also wastes the talents of veteran Kym Whitley and Gabriel Iglesias. Hell, it wastes the talents of all involved, because this isn’t even a movie. It’s edited like a series of end-credit outtakes and doesn’t even try to be coherent. It flashes its cynical, cash-grabbing intentions like a bright neon diner sign on a New Jersey state road. The low cost ensures that it will make money even if just the Wayans go see it.

Speaking of the Wayans, Marlon Wayans is a talented man. Don’t mock that sentence—it is true. He’s worked with Darren Aronofsky ("Requiem for a Dream") and the Coens ("The Ladykilers"). He co-wrote the similar, though far funnier "Scary Movie." And whenever he speaks of his long-gestating Richard Pryor biopic, tingles go up my spine. I want to see that movie. Why is he wasting his time on this excrement? Why did I need to see scene after unfunny scene of Wayans nakedly humping a creepy children’s doll (there must be 10 minutes of this footage)? Who gives a damn what movie it’s supposed to be parodying? He could be playing Richard Pryor instead of doing this.

OCaml Planet: Matthias Puech: Typeful disjunctive normal form

This is the answer to last post’s puzzle. I gave an algorithm to put a formula in disjunctive normal form, and suggested to prove it correct in OCaml, thanks to GADTs. My solution happens to include a wealth of little exercises that could be reused I think, so here it is.

I put the code snippets in the order that I think is more pedagogical, and leave to the reader to reorganize them in the right one.

First, as I hinted previously, we are annotating formulas, conjunctions and disjunctions with their corresponding OCaml type, in order to reason on these types:

type 'a atom = int

type 'a form =
  | X : 'a atom -> 'a form
  | And : 'a form * 'b form -> ('a * 'b) form
  | Or : 'a form * 'b form -> ('a, 'b) union form

type 'a conj =
  | X : 'a atom -> 'a conj
  | And : 'a atom * 'b conj -> ('a * 'b) conj

type 'a disj =
  | Conj : 'a conj -> 'a disj
  | Or : 'a conj * 'b disj -> ('a, 'b) union disj

What we are eventually looking for is a function dnf mapping an 'a form to a 'b disj, but now these two must be related: they must represent two equivalent formulae. So, correcting what I just said: dnf must return the pair of a 'b disj and a proof that 'a and 'b are equivalent. This pair is an existential type, which is easily coded with a GADT (we do similarly for conjunctions):

type 'a cnj = Cnj : 'b conj * ('a, 'b) equiv -> 'a cnj
type 'a dsj = Dsj : 'b disj * ('a, 'b) equiv -> 'a dsj

Let’s leave out the definition of equiv for a while. Now the code from the previous post is fairly easily adapted:

let rec conj : type a b. a conj -> b conj -> (a * b) cnj =
  fun xs ys -> match xs with
  | X x -> Cnj (And (x, ys), refl)
  | And (x, xs) ->
    let Cnj (zs, e) = conj xs ys in
    Cnj (And (x, zs), lemma0 e)

let rec disj : type a b. a disj -> b disj -> (a, b) union dsj =
  fun xs ys -> match xs with
  | Conj c -> Dsj (Or (c, ys), refl)
  | Or (x, xs) ->
    let Dsj (zs, e) = disj xs ys in
    Dsj (Or (x, zs), lemma1 e)

let rec map : type a b. a conj -> b disj -> (a * b) dsj =
  fun x -> function
  | Conj y ->
    let Cnj (z, e) = conj x y in
    Dsj (Conj z, e)
  | Or (y, ys) ->
    let Cnj (z, e1) = conj x y in
    let Dsj (t, e2) = map x ys in
    Dsj (Or (z, t), lemma2 e1 e2)

let rec cart : type a b. a disj -> b disj -> (a * b) dsj =
  fun xs ys -> match xs with
  | Conj c -> map c ys
  | Or (x, xs) ->
    let Dsj (z, e1) = map x ys in
    let Dsj (t, e2) = cart xs ys in
    let Dsj (u, e3) = disj z t in
    Dsj (u, lemma3 e1 e2 e3)

let rec dnf : type a. a form -> a dsj = function
  | X x -> Dsj (Conj (X x), refl)
  | Or (a, b) ->
    let Dsj (c, e1) = dnf a in
    let Dsj (d, e2) = dnf b in
    let Dsj (e, e3) = disj c d in
    Dsj (e, lemma4 e1 e2 e3)
  | And (a, b) ->
    let Dsj (c, e1) = dnf a in
    let Dsj (d, e2) = dnf b in
    let Dsj (e, e3) = cart c d in
    Dsj (e, lemma5 e1 e2 e3)

It seems more verbose, but since the functions now return existentials, we need to deconstruct them and pass them around. I abstracted over the combinators that compose the proofs of equivalence lemma1lemma5, we’ll deal with them in a moment. For now, you can replace them by Obj.magic and read off their types with C-c C-t to see if they make sense logically. Look at the last function’s type. It states, as expected: for any formula A, there exists a disjuctive normal form B such that A \Leftrightarrow B.

Now on this subject, what is it for two types to be equivalent? Well, that’s the “trick”: let’s just use our dear old Curry-Howard correspondence! 'a and 'b are equivalent if there are two functions 'a -> 'b and 'b -> 'a (provided of course that we swear to use only the purely functional core of OCaml when giving them):

type ('a, 'b) equiv = ('a -> 'b) * ('b -> 'a)

Now we can state and prove a number of small results on equivalence with respect to the type constructors we’re using (pairs and unions). Just help yourself into these if you’re preparing an exercise sheet on Curry-Howard :)

(* a = a *)
let refl : type a. (a, a) equiv =
  (fun a -> a), (fun a -> a)

(* a = b -> b = a *)
let sym : type a b. (a, b) equiv -> (b, a) equiv =
  fun (ab, ba) -> (fun b -> ba b), (fun a -> ab a)

(* a = b -> b = c -> a = c *)
let trans : type a b c. (b, c) equiv -> (a, b) equiv -> (a, c) equiv =
  fun (bc, cb) (ab, ba) -> (fun a -> bc (ab a)), (fun c -> ba (cb c))

(* a = b -> c = d -> c * a = d * b *)
let conj_morphism : type a b c d. (a, b) equiv -> (c, d) equiv ->
  (c * a, d * b) equiv = fun (ab, ba) (cd, dc) ->
    (fun (c, a) -> cd c, ab a),
    (fun (c, b) -> dc c, ba b)

let conj_comm : type a b. (a * b, b * a) equiv =
  (fun (x, y) -> y, x), (fun (x, y) -> y, x)

(* (a * b) * c = a * (b * c) *)
let conj_assoc : type a b c. ((a * b) * c, a * (b * c)) equiv =
  (fun ((x, y), z) -> x, (y, z)),
  (fun (x, (y, z)) -> (x, y), z)

(* a = b -> c + a = c + b *)
let disj_morphism : type a b c d. (a, b) equiv -> (c, d) equiv ->
  ((c, a) union, (d, b) union) equiv =
  fun (ab, ba) (cd, dc) ->
    (function Inl c -> Inl (cd c) | Inr a -> Inr (ab a)),
    (function Inl d -> Inl (dc d) | Inr b -> Inr (ba b))

(* (a + b) + c = a + (b + c) *)
let disj_assoc : type a b c. (((a, b) union, c) union,
                              (a, (b, c) union) union) equiv =
  (function Inl (Inl a) -> Inl a
          | Inl (Inr b) -> Inr (Inl b)
          | Inr c -> Inr (Inr c)),
  (function Inl a -> Inl (Inl a)
          | Inr (Inl b) -> Inl (Inr b)
          | Inr (Inr c) -> Inr c)

(* a * (b + c) = (a * b) + (a * c) *)
let conj_distrib : type a b c. (a * (b, c) union,
                               (a * b, a * c) union) equiv =
  (function a, Inl b -> Inl (a, b)
          | a, Inr c -> Inr (a, c)),
  (function Inl (a, b) -> a, Inl b
          | Inr (a, c) -> a, Inr c)

Finally, thanks to these primitive combinators, we can prove the lemmas we needed. Again, these are amusing little exercises.

let lemma0 : type a b c d. (a * b, c) equiv -> ((d * a) * b, d * c) equiv =
  fun e -> trans (conj_morphism e refl) conj_assoc

let lemma1 : type a b c d. ((a, b) union, d) equiv ->
  (((c, a) union, b) union, (c, d) union) equiv =
  fun e -> trans (disj_morphism e refl) disj_assoc

let lemma2 : type a c d u v. (a * c, u) equiv -> (a * d, v) equiv ->
  (a * (c, d) union, (u, v) union) equiv =
  fun e1 e2 -> trans (disj_morphism e2 e1) conj_distrib

let lemma3 : type a b c d e f. (a * b, c) equiv -> (d * b, e) equiv ->
((c, e) union, f) equiv -> ((a, d) union * b, f) equiv =
  fun e1 e2 e3 ->
    trans e3
      (trans (disj_morphism e2 e1)
         (trans (disj_morphism conj_comm conj_comm)
            (trans conj_distrib

let lemma4 : type a b c d e. (a, c) equiv -> (b, d) equiv ->
  ((c, d) union, e) equiv -> ((a, b) union, e) equiv =
  fun e1 e2 e3 -> trans e3 (disj_morphism e2 e1)

let lemma5 : type a b c d e. (a, c) equiv ->
(b, d) equiv -> (c * d, e) equiv -> ((a * b), e) equiv =
  fun e1 e2 e3 -> trans e3 (conj_morphism e2 e1)

Note that I only needed the previous primitives to prove these lemmas (and as such to define my functions), so we can even make the type equiv abstract, provided that we are giving a complete set of primitives (which is not the case here). Although I’m not sure what it would buy us…

Anyway. That’s my solution! What’s yours?

Perlsphere: Passing arguments

Many functions, methods or subs (no matter how you call them) need some arguments. In Perl TIMTOWTDI, but some are faster than others. I'll compare eight ways to get arguments passed to a sub.

Colossal: 320° Licht: A Repurposed 112-Meter High Gas Tank Converted into a Cathedral of Light

320° Licht: A Repurposed 112 Meter High Gas Tank Converted into a Cathedral of Light projection light installation
Thomas Wolf © 2014

320° Licht: A Repurposed 112 Meter High Gas Tank Converted into a Cathedral of Light projection light installation
Thomas Wolf © 2014

320° Licht: A Repurposed 112 Meter High Gas Tank Converted into a Cathedral of Light projection light installation
Gasometer Oberhausen / Wolfgang Volz / Urbanscreen

320° Licht: A Repurposed 112 Meter High Gas Tank Converted into a Cathedral of Light projection light installation
Thomas Wolf © 2014

320° Licht: A Repurposed 112 Meter High Gas Tank Converted into a Cathedral of Light projection light installation
Thomas Wolf © 2014

320° Licht: A Repurposed 112 Meter High Gas Tank Converted into a Cathedral of Light projection light installation
Thomas Machoczek © 2014

German creative studio Urbanscreen have just unveiled ‘320 Licht,’ a massive light projection inside the cathedral-like interior of the 20,000 square meter Gasometer Oberhausen in Germany (the same space that housed Christo’s Big Air Package last year). Urbanscreen utilized both the ceiling and 320 degrees of the interior space of this former gas tank to project a 22-minute loop of digital animation with 21 high-powered Epson projectors.

“This experience is based on the vastness of the Gasometer,” sound designer Jonas Wiese told the Creator’s Project. “We tried to work with that expression to make the space bigger and smaller, to deform it and to change its surface over and over while not exaggerating and overwriting the original effect of the room.” He continues, “the age of the screen is coming to an end, digital interfaces will dissolve and merge into the social space [...] we poetically contribute to this through art.”

320 Licht is part of the exhibition The Appearance of Beauty and will be on view through December 30th, 2014. Watch the included video above from the Creator’s Project to learn more about how it all came together.

Planet Lisp: Zach Beane: The week in CL

Babel2 — "Babel2 connects the implementations of our core technologies such as Fluid Construction Grammar (FCG) and Incremental Recruitment Language (IRL) with mechanisms for multi-agent interactions, robotic embodiment, cognitive processing and learning. An extensive monitoring system gives access to every detail of Babel2’s intermediate representations and dynamics and a high modularity ensures that the system can be used in a very wide variety of scenarios." I haven't tried it, but it sounds interesting.

cl-http2-protocol — "This is HTTP/2.0 draft-06 interopability test code written in Common Lisp. … The code offers a pure Common Lisp transport agnostic implementation of the HTTP 2.0 protocol at draft-06." This is not related to Mallery's CL-HTTP, but is based on a Ruby library, ported and updated by Akamai engineer Martin Flack.

emacs-cl — "Emacs Common Lisp is an implementation of Common Lisp, written in Emacs Lisp." A fun hack by Lars Brinkhoff.

{} descriptions — "… a meta level descriptions library for Common Lisp," inspired by Smalltalk Magritte and Lisp On Lines."

Multi-year SBCL uptime. 1000+ days, pretty cool.

Work-in-progress ASDF 3.1 has a feature that creates objects called package-systems. The name stems from its melding of the CL package system with ASDF system definition objects. As a name "package-system" seems to me to be ripe for confusion, since it's not the package system of CL, or a package system in the fetch-me-useful-software sense. Can you suggest a better name? Chime in. Before release is the proper time for a rename.

Perlsphere: Views in DBIx::Class

Did you know you can write a view in DBIx::Class? The DBIx::Class::ResultSource::View module makes this very easy and it's helped me solve a very thorny problem in Veure: how do I efficiently make sure that email sent from Alpha Centauri to Epsilon Eridani doesn't show up instantly in your inbox?

Here's the problem: in the game Veure, you can send email to other players (only one at a time), they can reply, there can be email "threads", and so on. If you notice something interesting at the cloning vats in The House of Comoros space station in the Alpha Centauri system and you dash off a quick email to your friend about it, you may not know or care where your friend is. If they're in the same star system, they get the email instantly (a concession to gameplay mechanics), but if they're at the Epsilon Eridani Jump Gate, that will take a while because the email is traveling via wormhole.

Epsilon Eridani is about 10.5 light years from Sol, but it's 12.64 light years from Alpha Centauri A. As luck would have it, there's a direct wormhole between the two, making your email faster (there is no direct wormhole between Sol and Epsilon Eridani, so you actually have to travel almost 14 light years to get there). Information sent via wormhole takes 30 seconds per light year to travel (that's over three times faster than the Corvette, currently the fastest ship in the game). As I use PostgreSQL for the Veure database, I can take advantage of PostgreSQL's excellent time handling. So my basic rules look like this:

  • You can always see email you've sent
  • You can always see email originating in the system you're currently in
  • You cannot see email originating in a different star system unless it was sent 30 seconds x "wormhole route distance" ago.

Now when you want to fetch an entire email thread, that's where things start to get hairy because the SQL looks like this (this lets us select the entire thread, regardless of which email id is used):

Do you want to try to convert that to a dbic query? I didn't think so. I started on it but it wasn't clear to me that it was an improvement over the raw SQL.

Fortunately, dbic's views take arbitrary SQL and returns a standard resultset, though the individual results are read-only (because they might not have a one-to-one correspondence with to a given table). That's often fine in a Web app because you often present a list of results, a user chooses one and acts on that. The "choosing one" happens on a separate request where you can edit a standard result instead of the view result.

For the above SQL, I now have it wrapped up in the following:

package Veure::Schema::Result::View::EmailThread;

use Moose;
use MooseX::MarkAsMethods autoclean => 1;
extends 'Veure::Schema::Result::Email';

__PACKAGE__->table("email_thread");    # XXX virtual view name. Doesn't exist

# is_virtual allows us to use bind parameters


And, of course, the ResultSet class:

package Veure::Schema::ResultSet::View::EmailThread;

use strict;
use warnings;
use parent 'DBIx::Class::ResultSet';

sub get_thread {
    my ( $self, $email, $character ) = @_;
    my $id = $character->character_id;
    return $self->search( {}, { bind => [ $email->id, $id, $id ] } );


I have a lot more work to do on this, but even though the above is a bit clumsy, it lets me solve a hard problem with very little code. Sure, I could have used a regular email result set and iterated through all of them, checking to see if you were the recipient and whether you were in a different star system and where enough time had elapsed to let you see the email.

Or I can let my database do it for me. Not only is the code faster, it's cleaner, too.

All Content: Bears


Bears: They’ve often occupied the top spot on the ThreatDown, the running list of creatures and things Americans should fear most on "The Colbert Report." But the bears of "Bears" are mainly the playful, adorable kind, and not the ones who come down from the mountains to rummage through your suburban garbage cans in the middle of the night.

This is the latest documentary from the folks at Disney’s Disneynature label, which releases a family-friendly non-fiction film just about every year around Earth Day. "Earth" (2009) and "Oceans" (2010) were both stunning examples of the possibility of this genre. Entertaining and educational, they featured plenty of jaw-dropping, how’d-they-get-that-shot moments, and they made exotic, faraway lands seem accessible. "African Cats" (2011), likewise, was beautiful but plagued by pervasive narration from Samuel L. Jackson over-explaining every instinct and action in cutesy fashion.

"Bears" also features nearly wall-to-wall voiceover, but this time it comes courtesy of John C. Reilly. His inherently likable, goofy sweetness shines through, making the material, um, bearable, if you will. Having voiced the title character in Disney’s animated hit "Wreck-It Ralph," Reilly has some experience in this arena, and his jokey asides seem less hokey than they might have looked on paper.

Still, the cuddly (and condescending) anthropomorphism persists in the film from co-directors Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, both veterans of this genre—ostensibly to make the characters more relatable for the littlest kids in the audience. (The recent IMAX 3-D documentary "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" mercifully was free of this narrative approach.)

My movie-savvy 4 ½-year-old son still had a ton of questions, though. During a recent screening, loudly whispered conversations went something like this:
Nicolas: "Mommy, what is the wolf trying to do?"
Me: "He’s trying to eat the bear cubs, baby."

Yes, things get a little dicey for our plucky protagonists in "Bears." Cycle of life, and all. Sunrise, sunset. But nothing nearly so gnarly happens as it did in "African Cats," when a bunch of lionesses tore apart a bloody zebra carcass. The violence here is more fleeting, and mainly intended as a demonstration of the lengths to which the mama bear will go to protect her babies.

"Sky" is the name she’s been given. When we first meet her, she’s snuggling with her fresh, dewy newborns—a boy and a girl named Scout and Amber—in a big, furry ball inside a snow-packed cave in the Alaskan wilderness. (The film doesn’t bother to address who or where the father might be, even though the kids who’ve accompanied you might wonder.) The intimacy of these early moments is quietly disarming; it feels like a great privilege.

But soon they must get up, dig their way out and forage for food. The majority of "Bears" follows the family’s trek from the majestic, snow-covered mountains (where they narrowly miss being pummeled by an awesome avalanche—at least that’s what the editing suggests) down to sea level to fish for salmon. The cubs tumble down hills and tussle with one another. Sky nudges them along. Reilly chimes in with lighthearted commentary.  

It’s all fun and games until they reach what should be an idyllic meadow. But there are lots of other bears there—hungry bears hunting for the same food they are—and they’re all ruled by the fearsome Magnus. At various times, Sky must protect her cubs from Magnus’ menacing glare. (Later on, they’ll also run into Chinook, the outcast wild card, as well as the aforementioned wolf on the prowl.) The vague hint of the possibility of cannibalism lingers in the air throughout "Bears," but it’s unclear how prevalent this sort of practice actually is.

"Bears" could have used a lot more science; more substantive information in the place of wacky one-liners. Still, the images trump everything. They can be both intimate and vast but they’re always crisp, dazzling and a marvel to behold. The sight of underwater footage of salmon swimming upstream before flinging themselves into the air—often across the bears’ furry mugs and into their open mouths in super slow motion—is both a wonder and a delight.

Want to know how they got that shot, and so many others? Be sure to stick around during the credits for some behind-the-scenes footage that’s just as awe-inspiring.

All Content: Fading Gigolo


As an actor, John Turturro is a stalwart, alert, engaging character player. As a writer/director, he’s one of the quirkiest, hit-and-miss narrative moviemakers around. (You may or may not remember his fevered musical "Romance And Cigarettes," which opened with James Gandolfini singing an Englebert Humperdink hit while garbage men danced behind him.) His new picture, "Fading Gigolo," in which Turturro also plays the title role—a fellow floridly named Fioravante—is packed with his signature soulful eccentricity from the ostensibly ridiculous premise down.

It isn’t only that Woody Allen plays Murray, Fiorovante’s lifelong pal who suggests that Fiorovante sleep with Murray’s wealthy dermatologist for money, and then becomes, well, Fiorovante’s pimp. It’s also that Murray lives with a younger African-American woman (Jill Scott) and is pretty much a father figure to her four hilarious young boys. (The back-story of this arrangement is never given, which is fine.) Early in the picture Murray has to have one of the kids’ head checked for lice, and he takes all four boys on a journey to the Hassidic section of Williamsburg, which raises some eyebrows among the locals. Now the site of white-haired Woody Allen leading a passel of young black kids along a sidewalk of black-and-white-clad men replete with payot and such may be uproarious to some. It may be appalling and even morally offensive to others. But I think everyone can agree that as a cinematic sight it is inarguably unusual.

In the meantime, Turturro’s Fiorovante, with his big soulful eyes and his sensitive lovemaking technique and quiet multi-lingual erudition and his flower-arrangement skills—the guy really is the whole package—is providing satisfaction for a wide range of women, whose ranks include Sharon Stone (splendidly understated) and Sofia Vergara (who it’s nice to see not playing a cartoon). He’s bringing in lots of dough, and soon Murray gets the bright idea to set up Fiorovante with Avigal, the relatively young and terribly lonely widow of a rabbi (and also a head lice expert, since you asked), who’s played, in the movie’s oddest casting coup, by French pop singer and actress Vanessa Paradis.

This plot development threw the sweet and odd movie off the rails for me a little while. As played by Allen, Murray is a milder, kinder, more competent version of a character Allen played himself in his earlier, funnier movies. He’s out of luck (he has to close down his rare book store), a bit opportunistic (obviously) and constantly wisecracking. But the idea of setting up a Hasid widow with a male prostitute, even a male prostitute as soulful as Fiorovante, struck me as so ill-advised to be practically cruel. The awkward initial encounters between Fiorovante and Avigal didn’t do much to ameliorate that impression, although the movie does find its feet again as the characters begin to fall in love (the de-boning-a-whole-fish sequence is absolutely classic, trust me on this). At this point, the Hasid cop played by Liev Schreiber, who’s long loved Avigal, takes action against the funny business he suspects is going on, and the movie becomes an odd Orthodox slapstick narrative, while falling back on the tiresome movie convention about sexual performance being inhibited by the fact that one loves another from the one that one is currently delivering the business unto. Oh well.

Shot by Marco Pontecorvo with the kind of light that, for me at least, evokes the enchanted corners of Manhattan and Brooklyn as they were thirty or forty years ago, enlivened with a score featuring many lovely vintage jazz recordings by warm tenor Gene Ammons, "Fading Gigolo" is a New York story through and through (pace, the jazz experts who know Ammons to be of the Chicago school), often funny, sometimes moving, occasionally goofy as hell. With my objective critic hat on, I have to admit that it’s not really a home run, but as an aging urban dweller it hit some notes both antic and plangent for me. If you’re a fan of any of the cast members it might well do the same for you.

BOOOOOOOM!: Beautiful Flip-Books Made From Recycled Bike Parts by Artist Juan Fontanive



These flip-books by artist Juan Fontanive are incredible, I’ve never seen an animation feel this alive before. Fontanive builds the mechanisms by recycling old parts from bicycles and clocks, and hand draws, paints, and screen prints images onto paper.

Watch the videos below, the sounds that the machines make are a beautiful compliment to the movement of the animations. These are maybe my favourite works I’ve ever posted.

View the whole post: Beautiful Flip-Books Made From Recycled Bike Parts by Artist Juan Fontanive over on BOOOOOOOM!.

OCaml Planet: GaGallium: The 6 parameters of (’a, ’b, ’c, ’d, ’e, ’f) format6

The infamous format6 type is the basis of the hackish but damn convenient, type-safe way in which OCaml handles format strings:

Printf.printf "%d) %s -> %f\n"
  3 "foo" 5.12

The first argument of printf in this example is not a string, but a format string (they share the same literal syntax, but have different type, and there is a small hack in the type-inference engine to make this possible). It's type, which you can get by asking ("%d) %s -> %f\n" : (_,_,_,_,_,_) format6) in a toplevel, is a mouthful (and I renamed the variables for better readability):

(int -> string -> float -> 'f, 'b, 'c, 'd, 'd, 'f) format6

What do those six arcane parameters mean? In the process of reviewing Benoît Vaugon's work on using GADTs to re-implement format functions, I've finally felt the need (after years of delighted oblivion) to understand each of those parameters. And that came after several days of hacking on easier-to-understand ten-parameters GADT functions; hopefully most of our readers will never need this information, but the probability that I need to refresh my memory in the future is strong enough for me to write this blog post.

The main take-away is that this type slowly evolved, from a more reasonable ('a, 'b, 'c) format type, to the monster that lurks in the documentation today. Advanced features of format strings needed more and more parameters to carry their type information. It is possible to implement format strings with less features and simpler types, and it may be possible to implement the same format strings with types that are easier to understand, but I need to understand the interface as it exists.

I built my own understanding, not by reading the documentation (though I tried that first), but by imagining layers of features, from the simple to the advanced. This is this post's approach. It does necessarily correspond to the actual chronological evolution of format types -- Pierre Weis would know about that.

At the beginning were printf and sprintf

# Printf.printf "%d) %s -> %f\n";;
- : int -> string -> float -> unit = <fun>
# Printf.sprintf "%d) %s -> %f\n";;
- : int -> string -> float -> string = <fun>

Those two functions differ by their return type: one prints and returns nothing (unit), the other returns a string. This parameter is stored in the sixth-parameter, 'f, and is called "result type for the printf-like functions" in the documentation.

Of course, the format string does not need to impose any particular value to this parameter: a given format string can be used by a function with any possible result type, hence the undetermined variable 'f in the format type above. It is the printf functions that force a precise instantiation of the parameter: Printf.printf has a type of the form ('a, ..., unit) format6 -> 'a.

The type 'a mentioned in the type of printf is a large function type, with one parameter for each conversion specification (%d, %s, etc.), and whose return type is enforced by the format to be equal to the last parameter of the format. In the case of "%d) %s -> %f\n", this type is int -> string -> float -> 'a, where 'a is the same variable present in the last parameter of the format -- the result type. This type depends only on the format string, not at all on the printing (or scanning) function used.

To summarize, in ('a, 'b, 'c, 'd, 'e, 'f) format6, we've seen that:

  • 'f is what you get after you pass all the parameters to a printf-like function
  • 'a is the big function type that expects all those parameters and returns 'f

'b and 'c for user-defined printers:

You may know about %a and the lesser-known (but actually simpler) %t, used as follow:

Printf.sprintf "%d) %a -> %f"
  print_foo foo

The idea is that instead of converting the value foo to a string first, you can, at printf time, pass a "user-defined printer" print_foo as an extra argument that tells how to convert foo into a string. This is easy enough to handle typing-wise: the format %a adds two parameters to the big function type, instead of just one.

In a non-existing ideal world, print_foo used in sprintf would have the convenient type foo -> string. However, a single %a must work with many printing function: for sprintf, the user-defined should return a string, for printf it should just print and return unit, with fprintf it needs to be passed the channel in which we're printing, or with bprintf the target buffer. So this determines two type parameters in ('a, 'b, 'c, 'd, 'e, 'f) format6:

  • 'b is the type of the extra information that user-defined printers may need (Buffer.t for bprintf, output_channel for fprintf, etc.)

  • 'c is the return type of the user-defined printers accepted by the function (string for sprintf, unit for most others).

There are two remarks. First, it happens that printf use out_channel as second parameter, while you would probably expect unit. This is strange API design, but the rationale is to let you reuse your user-defined printers for both printf and fprintf.

Second, you may remark that the 'c parameter looks suspiciously like "the result type of printf-lie functions", 'f. Indeed, all current printf-like functions use, to my knowledge, the same type for 'f and 'c. But it would be very reasonable, for performance reasons, to design a different version of sprintf that returns a string, but whose user-defined sub-printers put result in a Buffer.t parameter and thus just return unit.

Scanf is just a continuation away

Consider the difference between printing and scanning:

Printf.printf "%d) %s %f"
  3 "foo" 7.23;;

Scanf.scanf "%d) %s %f"
  (fun num name value -> ....)

When printing with "%d) %s %f", the user has to provide an int parameter, a string parameter, and a float parameter, hence the type of the form int -> string -> float -> .... With scanning, you have to give them to the user, which looks like a fairly different activity. How can you reuse the same typing of the format string?

Fortunately, expressing scanning with a continuation (the function (fun num name value -> ...)) allows precisely to reuse a type of the form int -> string -> float -> ... to describe scanning: just say that for any type 'f, if the user gives a int -> string -> float -> 'f, scanf will return a 'f.

In a simple world, the type of scanf would thus be of the following form:

('a, ..., 'f) format6 -> 'a -> 'f

(where it is understood that for any format string, 'a will actually be of the form t1 -> t2 -> ... -> 'f)

(Alternate design idea: have a new type parameter that stores, instead of a big arrow type, the product of all parameter types (int * string * float in our example), and make scanf return this directly instead of using a continuation-passing style. The present style has the property of being easier to implement with GADTs, but that probably wasn't a design consideration.)

In fact, the typing of scanf is a bit more complicated, as explained in the next section.

'd and 'e for user-defined readers

Just as user-defined printers, to write formats in a more high-level style it is possible to provide user-defined scanners with %r:

let read_foo scanbuf = ...

Scanf.scanf "%d) %r -> %f"
  (fun n foo x -> ...)

Now the typing implications of this for format strings are a bit tricky. As we read three values of type int, foo and float, the naive typing of scanf proposed earlier

('a, ..., 'f) -> ('a -> 'f)

would specialize to, in this instance:

(int -> foo -> float -> 'f, ..., 'f) format6
 -> ((int -> foo -> float -> 'f) -> 'f)

which is not what we want, as there is no room for the extra read_foo parameter.

The argument expected by scanf after the format string is not just the continuation anymore, we need an extra argument for each user-defined reader. Yet those extra arguments should not appear in the type of the continuation.

What we need to do is to express the relation between the simple type 'a -> 'f (from continuation to result), which is the return type of scanf fmt in absence of user-defined readers, and the real return type of scanf. This is what our last two parameters do:

  • the second-last parameter, 'e, is forced by scanf functions to be equal to 'a -> 'f

  • the parameter 'd is the actual type of scanf fmt

  • the typing of format strings will generate constraints on the relation between 'd and 'e, depending on the number of %r present in the format; without any %r they are equal.

Consider our running example without any %r:

# ( "%d) %s -> %f" : (_, _, _, _, _, _) format6 );;
- : (int -> string -> float -> 'f,
     'b, 'c, 'd, 'd, 'f) format6

The two parameters I'm talking about are constrained to be equal to the same variables 'd. On the contrary, if we use %r instead of %s:

# ( "%d) %r -> %f" : (_,_,_,_,_,_) format6 );;
- : (int -> 'x -> float -> 'f,
     'b, 'c, ('b -> 'x) -> 'e, 'e, 'f) format6

Suddenly they are distinct, with one equal to the unknown 'e (that will be forced to equal (... -> 'f) -> 'f when applying scanf), and the other is ('b -> 'x) -> 'e: it adds on top of 'e an extra parameter (the user-defined format) which must return a 'x (if I pass the reader read_foo, this will be equated to foo) and takes as input a 'b, which is the type of the extra parameter of user-defined printers or readers (scanf will set it to Scanning.in_channel).

Benoît's GADT declarations are surprisingly efficient at showing you precisely what happens to the type parameters when you add a new conversion description to an existing format string. In particular, the constructor for user-defined readers reads as follow:

| Reader :                                                 (* %r *)
    ('a, 'b, 'c, 'd, 'e, 'f) fmt ->
      ('x -> 'a, 'b, 'c, ('b -> 'x) -> 'd, 'e, 'f) fmt

You can very well see that an argument of type 'x (the result type of the user-defined result) is added to the parameter 'a (the type of the continuation finally passed to scanf), while an argument of type ('b -> 'x) is added to 'd (the type of the arguments following the format string).


PS: Extra credit for the bonus question: why do I use (fmt : (_, _, _, _, _, _) format6) instead of the more convenient to write format_of_string fmt?

TheSirensSound: Rádio Etiópia – Gone

By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen and to Their Late Majesties King George VI, King Edward VII, King William IV, King George V, Queen Victoria, King George IV and to His Late Royal Higness The Prince of Wales ( 1921-1936)


TONY JUSTERINI and ANATOLY BROOKS are the co-founders of Rádio Etiópia. New episodes are posted every Monday set completed apart from the mainstream line of music.


Intro voice led by Ana Ribeiro


Special Guests:

  • - PAULINO – 2nd FRIDAY
  • - FRAY D. JAY – 3rd FRIDAY
  • - JOÃO H – 4th FRIDAY

< < < < < [ [ .COM ] | [ PODCAST ] | [ FACEBOOK ] | [ PHASE 108.1 ] ]. > > > > >



By Fray D Jay


01. Orcas – Infinite Stillness;
02. Terri Tarantula – Circus School, Class of ’73 (03.53);
03. Boozou Bajou – Jan Mayen (06.56);
04. Arp – The Rising Sun (13.03);
05. Meursault – Dearly Distracted (Organ Grinder Version) (16.43);
06. The Magnetic Fields – The Dreaming Moon (21.58);
07. Shannon Whitworth – So Far Away (25.01);
08. Teenage Fanclub – Gene Clark (28.02);
09. Mogwai – Bad Magician 3 (34.21);
10. Lanterns on the Lake – Tricks (37.37);
11. Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound – Kolob Canyon (42.48);
12. Ativin – Rub Out the Woods (48.42);
13. Pavlov’s Dog – Episode (52.15);
14. Califone – Ladders (56.12);
15. Tori Amos – Northern Lad (59.16);
16. Snow in Mexico – I Need to Sleep (63.21);
17. John Cale – Frozen Warnings (66.33);
18. The Owl Service – There Was a Man (69.22);
19. Lights Out Asia – Abell 1835 (72.28);
20. Sunhouse – Second Coming (75.57)

Total Time : 01.20.00
Easter Everywhere! Be a great sinner!



TheSirensSound: Raum Kingdom – Raum Kingdom

Raum Kindgom Profile

From the murky depths of society emerges Raum Kingdom from Ireland. Raum Kingdom is a post-hardcore outfit bringing you music that can only be described as heavy, but with elements of Progressive and Psychedelic-rock. Raum Kingdom intends to bring to the table jaw smashing rhythm and ear deafening melodies that will crush the soul. Formed in the summer of 2013 with the following line-up.

Released 15 April 2014


Vocals – Dave Lee,
Guitars – Andrew Colohan,
Bass- Ronan Connor,
amd Drums – Mark Gilchrist.

< < < < < [ [ BANDCAMP ] | [ FACEBOOK ] ]. > > > > >

Raum Kingdom - Raum Kingdom

Artist – Raum Kingdom
Album – Raum Kingdom [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Post-rock, Post-metal, Sludge-metal, Screamo [ AWESOME ]


1. Wounds 05:47
2. Barren Objects 06:36
3. Cross Reference 03:22
4. These Open Arms 03:58
5. This Sullen Hope 09:38
Raum Kingdom – Raum Kingdom

Raum Kingdom

BOOOOOOOM!: Caitlin Teal Price


Photos by Caitlin Teal Price. Washington, DC.

View the whole post: Caitlin Teal Price over on BOOOOOOOM!.

BOOOOOOOM!: Tamas Dezso


Photos by Tamas Dezso. Budapest, Hungary.

View the whole post: Tamas Dezso over on BOOOOOOOM!.

Penny Arcade: News Post: The Dungeon Mistress, Part Five

Tycho: The Night Of A Thousand Hours: Wayrest Chapel (In the adventure proper, there’s a werewolf or two.  In another of my awesome, helpful notes, there is a single two-word line that says Cur’s Wort which is a plant Nature checks reveal to be considered protection against the creatures.  But this dude is a bad-ass, and one of the ways you can tell is that he doesn’t care.) “The church itself is lit within by a combination of torches, red candles, and glowing orbs of unknown manufacture.  Lights pours out the windows, a bringing to mind a lantern, or a…

Penny Arcade: Comic: The Dungeon Mistress, Part Five

New Comic: The Dungeon Mistress, Part Five

Gunshow comic feed: Graveyard Quest 52

TheSirensSound: Anton Maskeliade – Subtract the Silence of Myself

Anton Maskeliade Profile

Anton is one of the first musicians in the world who makes music with gesture controlling. With his completely improvised gigs from New York to Moscow, Maskeliade brings this elusive principle into the genres of electronica and contemporary pop. Using his whole body, he creates new soundscapes on the spot with 3D MIDI controllers and glitchy samplers. He also uses gesture control for projection device, а midi-controller and а sampler, all together helping him stage spectacular live shows with audio/video stream controlling and emotional singing and dancing.

Few days ago A. Maskeliade released a new live video where he was controlling music and projection by gestures, making glitchy and groovy stuff while sitting in a very old Soviet`s car ZAZ Zaporozhets with fencing fight. I synchronized audio and video projection and conducted them with a midi-controller and a leap motion device. Check out the video.

Moreover A. Maskeliade is happy to announce his very first LP album which is going to be released on 21 of April and it is with great pleasure that he shares it with us hoping we would all appreciate this eclectic indietronica record. If you are interested you can download it for free.

[ Not that this music is even remotely close to Radiohead but if you thought Radiohead is the only band whose got an epic approach to electonic music / devices with a total total control, well think again... ].


Anton Maskeliade - Subtract the Silence of Myself

Artist – Anton Maskeliade
Album – Subtract the Silence of Myself [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Ambient, Electro’, Experimental, Glitch, Clitch-core [ UNIQUE ]


1. Crown 03:24
2. Chabrec (ft. Parnii)
3. Rozhdenia
4. Doors 04:03
5. Councils
6. Rf
7. Circus (ft. U.Riaz, C.McCoy, S.H.Kwon)
8. Zhini
9. Same (ft. U.Riaz)
Anton Maskeliade – Subtract the Silence of Myself

Anton Maskeliade

TheSirensSound: Exilym

Exilym Profile

Exilym is a solo project formed in 2003, already then, the band distribute an ambient post rock, ethereal sound with spatial sonority. Exilym outfit is a project which became reality during summer 2009. The formation continues in the same musical range the band but decide to accentuate the spatial side, trough the sound, visuals or even the universe told by titles. This second born was cemented around conception of a first real project, EP « No More Freedom », composed of six titles recorded during autumn 2009 at the ObritalStation Studios, and out in march 2010 on the label Swarm of Nails. Extremely good post-metal.

< < < < < [ 2014 SPLIT WITH [ Arsiesys ] Title “The First Encounter” ]. > > > > >

The First Encounter

Act 1: Running away from the ashes of my life

Arsiesys left everything behind her. Walking for days, weeks, months. Waiting for the apocalypse which didn’t come. During her journey she observed the dictature of the spirit, exercised by what is hidden within human civilization. Her road leads her to the end of the world. The next step she takes will bring her into the void, and life will then be over. One more step, under this beautiful blue sky. But she doesn’t fall. A door, on the side of what seems to be a spaceship, appears in front of her. It opens, and the Stranger held within, like the most angelic of angels, motions her to get on.

Act 2: Flying away from the ashes of the world

The Stranger wakes up on Earth. Twenty-first century Earth. His original world explosions bring him back to the past. He was attracted here, but he is in the wrong place. He quickly realises that the end of his world will cause the fall of this one. He has to leave. He sees this mysterious woman on the edge of the void where The Freedom, his spaceship, has landed. Just as she is about to end her life, he opens the airlock leading to the exit, and reaches out to her. No words, no noise. She enters the ship, which then takes off and escapes from Earth’s atmosphere. Arsiesys and the Stranger silently watch the first destruction. The first end of the world.

released 17 April 2014
Thanks to James Murray, Kévin Pertuisot, and everyone who helped us.

Composer : Guillaume Apoc Dessery
Artworks : KsWs ( )
Recorded at OrbitalStation Studios | 2014 – Arsiesys – Exilym

< < < < < [ [ BANDCAMP ] | [ FACEBOOK ] ]. > > > > >


Exilym & Arsiesys - The First Encounter

Artist – Exilym / Arsiesys
Album – The First Encounter [ 10 OUT OF 10 ]
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Instrumental, Post-rock, Sludge-metal [ EPIC NOISE / DO NOT SKIP ]]


1. Arsiesys – Industry of the dictature 04:37
2. Arsiesys – The bluest of blue skies and the most angelic of angels 03:58
3. The fall 02:56
4. This is the end 04:56
Exilym / Arsiesys – The First Encounter


Exilym - B-Sides

Artist – Exilym
Album – B-Sides [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2013
Genre – Instrumental, Post-rock, Sludge-metal [ Exquisite Sound ]


1. Man never went to the moon 04:07
2. Transmission n#xxx 02:43
3. Where only dust remains… 06:56
Exilym – B-Sides


Artist – Exilym
Album – No More Freedom [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2010
Genre – Instrumental, Post-rock, Sludge-metal [ Exquisite Sound ]


1 Welcome to the Second New Era 4:29
2 Transmission.N511 3:13
3 One More Step Before the End 5:53
4 Transmission.N514 2:38
5 The Space Stranger and the Orbital Wish 5:02
6 Transmission.N520 8:34
FILEFACTORY Exilym – No More Freedom


The Half-Dipper: High Mountain, Flowing Water

The Gutters: The End of The World As We Know It… Again.





In case you hadn’t heard, Amazon bought Comixology. Welcome to the latest thing that is going to save/destroy the comics industry and will go down in history as the best/worst thing to happen to comics ever.

Here’s the thing though, if you are like those lampooned above who decry this as the “Death” of comics or what have you, then you probably haven’t been paying attention closely enough. Have digital comics changed the industry? Absolutely. Have they killed it like so many predicted? No. Will Amazon owning the largest distributor of digital comics destroy things as we know them? Probably not.

The thing about digital comics is that it doesn’t matter where they come from. The “store” you buy them from doesn’t have a staff to support, overhead costs to worry about or a community based around it like a lot of physical stores have. Those are qualities that are unique to leaving your house to get comics and there are always going to be people that want to do that.

The thing that does concern me about Amazon owning Comixology is that Amazon now controls a large portion of the digital distribution network as we know it. Will all the publishers want to play ball with “AmaXology?” Or will they revert to running their own stores? That could be a pain for digital readers who are used to getting everything all in one place.

So AmaXology? Good thing? Bad Thing? As they say, only time will tell.

Today’s plan unfurls thanks to the one and only Christian Meesey:

Christian “Meesimo” Meesey is a mild mannered Caricature artist by day. But when night falls, he unleashes upon the world a slightly less mild mannered comic book artist, with more blogs than one human should have. He is a Leo, and enjoys Coen Brothers movies and the musical storytelling of Tom Waits.

Have a great weekend, friends! See you back here Tuesday!


Ideas from CBC Radio (Highlights): Bugs 'R Us

Is eliminating our exposure to microbes actually bad for us? Microbiologist Dr. Brett Finlay argues that we're entering a golden era in our understanding of microbes, and that new technologies are giving us unprecedented insights into health and disease.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (updated daily): April 18, 2014

Slightly worried someone beat me to this joke. Wish me luck.

Potz!Blitz!Szpilman!: Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire, Ice Truck, 2013

TheSirensSound: Eric Hall


Eric Hall is a composer, improviser, producer, and performer of electronic-based music, as well as an installation artist and DJ from Saint Louis, Missouri. While it is not his only interest, Hall is very fascinated with exploring the musical and sonic analogies of cubism (the idea of viewing something from multiple perspectives and moments in time simultaneously) and mobiles (a singular structure with multiple actions happening independently of one another; extensions that pivot and swing at different rates, but all maintaining balance as a whole).

To achieve this Hall uses several real-time samplers to shift events live within time and change pitch, speed, length, direction, and volume to create a kaleidoscopic vantage of the sound sources; whether that is his own sounds or that of his live collaborators. When performing solo, Hall mostly uses real-time samplers to manipulate field recordings, sine waves, and metals, then further treats the sounds with numerous effects processors (many of which are custom), as well as various radio receivers and transmitters.

Live At Apop Records, Saint Louis
Performed live using:

An Akai MPC 2500 [running JJ OS-XL ver. 2.28] | A Behringer XR2000 Intelligate | Two Behringer Virtualizer Pro DSP2024Ps | Two Korg Kaoss Pad 3 Multi-Effect Processors | A 4MS Noise Swash [Max Tweaker version] | A Devi Ever Mangler [joystick controlled feedback loop] | A Devi Ever Eye Of God [photo-optic controlled feedback loop] | An Electro-Harmonix Harmonic Octave Generator | An Electro-Harmonix V256 Vocoder | A Boss DD-20 Overdrive / Distortion | A Boss OD-20 Giga Delay | A Boss RE-20 Space Echo | An Ernie Ball volume pedal | And a Mackie 1202-VLZ Mixer.

This is every known live solo recording of myself between 2005 and 2010, each mastered, but otherwise unedited and unchanged. The collection has 69 tracks totaling about 22.5 hours and 3.5 GB if downloaded as mp3 320s. The collection does not include any of my bands, remixes, collaborations, or guest appearances, but it does include a few live home recordings done as tape pieces for art galleries, as well as a rehearsal take for the John Cage piece that I did for The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, since they wouldn’t let me record the actual performance. Almost all of these pieces are available individually on a name-your-own-price basis, even if that price is nothing, though I’ve set the minimum on the whole collection to $22.50, but that includes several bonus tracks that are unavailable otherwise: [ Simply Follow This [ Bandcamp ] link for more info on the tracks ].

< < < < < [ MySpace ] | [ Last.Fm ] | [ Bandcamp ] > > > > >


Eric Hall - Live At The Livery, Saint Louis, MO

Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Live At The Livery, Saint Louis, MO
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01 – Live At The Livery, Saint Louis, MO
Eric Hall – Live At The Livery, Saint Louis, MO


Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Arrington de Dionyso, Thollem McDonas, and Eric Hall Live At Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis, MO
Release Date – 2012
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01 – Arrington de Dionyso, Thollem McDonas, and Eric Hall Live At Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis, MO On May 23rd, 2012 [ 51:43 ]
Eric Hall – Arrington de Dionyso, Thollem McDonas, and Eric Hall Live At Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis


Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis, MO On May
Release Date – 2012
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01 – Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis, MO On May [ 19:04 ]
Eric Hall – Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis, MO On May


Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Live Solos 2005 – 2010
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On December 22nd, 2010 16:32
02. Live At Steinberg Auditorium At Washington University, Saint Louis, MO On December 4th, 2010 25:56
03. Live At Barbarella, Saint Louis, MO On November 22nd, 2010 20:45
04. Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis, MO On October 28th, 2010 20:04
05. Live At The Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis, Saint Louis, MO On September 16th, 2010 20:10
06. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On September 10th, 2010 19:34
07. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On June 18th, 2010 16:56
08. Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis, MO On June 14th, 2010 18:14
09. Live At Nara Hookah Lounge & Cafe, Saint Louis, MO On June 5th, 2010 16:42
10. Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis, MO On May 11th, 2010 23:46
11. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On May 3rd, 2010 22:13
12. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On March 15th, 2010 23:30
13. Live At The Schlafly Tap Room, Saint Louis, MO On January 7th, 2010 21:13
14. Live At Apop Records, Saint Louis, MO On December 5th, 2009 26:49
15. Live On Spazztick On KDHX 88.1FM Saint Louis Community Radio On December 1st, 2009 28:29
16. Live At Mangia Italiano, Saint Louis, MO On November 19th, 2009 22:27
17. Live At City Art Supply, Saint Louis, MO On September 27th, 2009 14:00
18. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On September 16th, 2009 26:39
19. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On July 31st, 2009 22:24
20. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On July 19th, 2009 25:05
21. Live At Vintage Vinyl, Saint Louis, MO On June 7th, 2009 29:35
22. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On May 10th, 2009 26:18
23. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On April 23rd, 2009 24:50
24. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On October 18th, 2008 16:13
25. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On October 2nd, 2008 26:13
26. Live At Mick’s Basement, Saint Louis, MO On September 3rd, 2008 28:21
27. Live At The Way Out Club, Saint Louis, MO On July 9th, 2008 33:43
28. Live At Edesia’s, Manhattan, KS On July 8th, 2008 22:52
29. Live At Skinless Production Gallery, Kansas City, MO On July 7th, 2008 30:28
30. Live At The Iowa City Yacht Club, Iowa City, IA On July 6th, 2008 24:40
31. Live At The Nottingham Co-Op, Madison, WI On July 5th, 2008 28:31
32. Live At The Shangri-La, Saint Louis, MO On July 3rd, 2008 25:31
33. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On May 30th, 2008 22:14
34. Live At White Flag Projects, Saint Louis, MO On May 26th, 2008 22:28
35. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On April 2nd, 2008 27:22
36. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On February 29th, 2008 30:51
37. Live At Biosonar At Mad Art, Saint Louis, MO On November 18th, 2007 09:24
38. Live At Bohemian National Home, Detroit, MI On October 8th, 2007 37:19
39. Live At The Shangri-La, Saint Louis, MO On July 25th, 2007 15:39
40. Live At The Tin Ceiling, Saint Louis, MO On May 20th, 2007 18:30
41. Live At Spooky Action Palace, Saint Louis, MO On May 1st, 2007 27:32
42. Live At Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis, MO On March 10th, 2007 09:09
43. Live At White Flag Projects, Saint Louis, MO On February 22nd, 2007 49:10
44. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis, MO On October 20th, 2006 08:00
45. Live At School Of Art Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH On September 19th, 2006 29:10
46. Live At Dunaway Books, Saint Louis, MO On May 26th, 2006 13:36
47. Live At Dunaway Books, Saint Louis, MO On May 19th, 2006 18:57
48. John Cage’s First Construction (In Metal) (Rehearsal), Live At Home, Saint Louis, MO On May 9th, 2006 12:30
49. Live At Extreme Patio, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO On April 21st, 2006 10:00
50. Live At Digital Circles, Forest Park College, Saint Louis, MO On April 18th, 2006 07:30
51. Live At Radio Cherokee, Saint Louis, MO On April 8th, 2006 18:29
52. Live At Dunaway Books, Saint Louis, MO On October 2nd, 2005 11:01
53. Highschool, Live At Home, Saint Louis, MO On October 21st, 2005 10:30
54. For The Unknowns, Live At Home, Saint Louis, MO On September 10th, 2005 17:00
55. Live At Radio Cherokee, Saint Louis, MO On August 6th, 2005 16:00
56. Live At Bolozone, Saint Louis, MO On March 3rd, 2005 14:20
57. A 49 Hz Sine Wave For 1/49 Second (Take Two), Live At Home, Saint Louis, MO On March 23rd, 2005 10:59
58. A 49 Hz Sine Wave For 1/49 Second (Take One), Live At Home, Saint Louis, MO On March 23rd, 2005 09:59
59. Tar Dive (Tingshaws and MPC for Raglani) 07:39
60. (FOLDED)Out – Shortwave Radio, Field Recordings, Guitar, Flute, And Shakers. 10:39
61. Alice’s Skeleton 46:55
62. Alice’s Demo 04:29
63. 40 4 (Long-Lost Sketch) 06:08
64. s2k (Long-Lost Sketch) 10:04
65. All Times (Long-Lost Sketch) 14:00
66. Brownout (Long-Lost Sketch) 06:37
67. Slow-Charged (Long-Lost Sketch) 17:00
68. Theory (Long-Lost Sketch) 12:16
69. Born. 00:32
Eric Hall – Live Solos 2005 – 2010


Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, Saint Louis
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, Saint Louis [00.30.50]
Eric Hall – Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, Saint Louis


Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Live At Apop Records, Saint Louis
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01. Live At Apop Records, Saint Louis [00.22.45]
Eric Hall – Live At Apop Records, Saint Louis


Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01. Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis [00.24.19]
Eric Hall – Live At The Lemp Neighborhood Art Center, Saint Louis


Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01. Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis [00.17.10]
Eric Hall – Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis


Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Live At The Schlafly Tap Room, Saint Louis
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01. Live At The Schlafly Tap Room, Saint Louis [00.27.31]
Eric Hall – Live At The Schlafly Tap Room, Saint Louis


Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01. Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis [00.15.17]
Eric Hall – Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis


Artist – Eric Hall
Album – Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Electro, Improvisation, Noise, Dark Ambient, Drone [ SUPERB ]


01. Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis [00.17.38]
Eric Hall – Live At Floating Laboratories, Saint Louis

Eric Hall

Disquiet: Disquiet Junto Project 0120: Readymade Rhythm


Each Thursday at the Disquiet Junto group on a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate.

Tracks by participants will be added to this playlist as the project proceeds:

This project was published in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, April 17, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, April 21, 2014, as the deadline.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0120: Readymade Rhythm

The image at the following link shows the hearbeat of the artist Marcel Duchamp. Study the image closely and from it make the “rhythmic foundation” of a track. Then add two elements, one “tonal” and the other “melodic.” The result is your finished work. You may, of course, loop the hearbeat to achieve the desired length. Given the date of the recording (April 4), you should assume the beat is in 4/4, though deviations are certainly welcome. The image is located in this post:

Background: This image was posted earlier this month by the insightful art critic Blake Gopnik. He explained that the heatbeat of Marcel Duchamp was recorded on April 4, 1966, by the doctor and artist Brian O’Doherty.

Deadline: Monday, April 14, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: The length of your recording should be between one and three minutes.

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on, please include the term “disquiet0120-duchampbeat″ in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 120th Disquiet Junto project — “Write a song based on the heartbeat of Marcel Duchamp” — at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Photo associated with this Junto project sourced from the following URL, which notes “Image – margins cropped for clarity – is courtesy the artist, P! and Simone Subal Gallery”:

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: Spring fever

LOVE modified

As Toronto motorists joyously celebrated the advent of Easter by jamming highways and playfully gesturing to each other with their fingers, the local real estate cartel was publishing some astonishing numbers.

Sales in the first two weeks of April, “started off on a strong note,” said the board, “with a 10.8% year-over-year sales increase.”

Wow. Maybe I was wrong. Said Reatress princess Dianne Usher: “The robust increase in sales speaks to the fact that home ownership remains affordable in the GTA.  The majority of home buyers purchase a home using a mortgage.  A household earning the average income in the GTA can comfortably afford a mortgage on an average priced home.”

Hmm. Let’s parse this a little.

First, it’s impossible to know the truth. TREB has secretly fudged its numbers yet again. Sales this month are actually only 6.6% higher than those reported one year ago. But last April’s sales were 6.5% lower than the previous year – which means no growth in two years, while the population has increased dramatically. Not good. In fact, with the exception of last year this was the worst April (so far) for GTA detached house sales since the financial crisis back in 2009.

See how much fun numbers are? Of course, besides quietly revising its stats the real estate board never supplies context for its reports, because… it’s always a great time to buy!

Now, how about the average family affording the average home, currently $583,697? Well, the average GTA family earns $96,040, which means houses cost six times income. According to Demographia, that falls into the ‘severely unaffordable’ category. It also means to buy the average home a family would need at least $45,000 for a downpayment and double land transfer tax and a mortgage (including CMHC premium) of $570,000. The monthly (with property tax and insurance) would be $3,400, or 42.5% of gross (before-tax) income.

Now let’s refer to CMHC’s rule:

Affordability Rule 1
The first rule is that your monthly housing costs shouldn’t be more than 32% of your gross monthly income. Housing costs include your monthly mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes and heating expenses. This is known as PITH for short — Principal, Interest, Taxes and Heating.

See what I mean? Fail.

But the average resale price in the GTA also includes a lot of one-bedroom and loft condos which clearly do not attract families, and aren’t suitable for them. So maybe we should look at detached houses only. But when that happens, a whole new level of risk emerges.

Here is the scorecard for detached houses in 416. Sales of 628 for the last two weeks came in 11% higher than last April, which was 10.8% lower than in 2012, which was 3.9% less than in 2011. So, this April fewer detached homes were sold than in 2010, 2011 or 2012.

Of course this year we have 2.99% five-year fixed mortgages, which means you can’t blame higher interest rates for poor sales. But you can blame a lack of listings, and exceptionally unhealthy public attitudes, for a massive and dangerous escalation in prices.

The average detached 416 house is now changing hands for $1,012,172 – an increase of 19.2% over last Spring. Yikes. This surpassed the 14.2% price pop in 2011 when sales crested and F freaked at the prospect of a bloated gasbag that could rupture at any time, blowing up the economy. He tightened mortgage rules – which brought year/year increases down to 3.2% (2012) and 6.22% (2013).

Quick summary: sales are back below 2010 levels for detached 416 homes, and prices have risen since then by 50.1%. Nice news if you own one (but only if you sell and crystallize the capital gain), but it all boils down to a single word: risk.

Feel free to ignore me, of course. Most people are.

But not Carmen and Ricky. Yesterday I ripped the immigrant couple a bit for wanting to buy an inflated house at the wrong time, with no money, so they could get a washer and dryer.

Says she: “We saw what you posted. Thank you so much. It made us clear of how to proceed and my husband was celebrating that he listened to you. Thanks for that washer idea as well…lol..

“Your advice made us think what is important and we are considering saving more and putting up in some investments, although that’s our next research of where to put the money and using some of our monthly dollars to invest for my sons sports or some extra music classes.

“Thanks again for your time and will be holding on the idea of buying home until we see your GO on your blog.”

My Easter just improved.

BOOOOOOOM!: Cancer “Same Color As Digital Photography”



This song on repeat. Cancer is a duo consisting of Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild (When The Saints Go Machine) and Kristian Finne Kristensen (Chorus Grant). Their debut “Ragazzi” comes out on Tambourhinoceros on June 9th.


View the whole post: Cancer “Same Color As Digital Photography” over on BOOOOOOOM!. 04.18.2014

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic.

Colossal: Pyro Board: An Audio Visualizer Created from an Array of 2,500 Flames

Pyro Board: An Audio Visualizer Created from an Array of 2,500 Flames sound science fire

So here’s a thing to never try at home. Derek Muller from the very fine science video blog Veritasium visits with a team of “phsyics and chemistry demonstrators” who built this ridiculous sound board that demonstrates the effect of sound waves traveling through flammable gas. The first half deals mostly with how it works, around 3:38 it turns into pure music and fire. / 2014-04-20T23:55:11