Oct 11

How do you really feel about it Pete?

Pete Townshend wrote an overwhelming majority of the songs for The Who. He's considered one of the all-time great rock guitar musicians.

Pete Townshend: iTunes Is A ‘Digital Vampire’

LONDON — The Who’s Pete Townshend on Monday branded Apple Inc.’s iTunes a “digital vampire” that profits from music without supporting the artists who create it.

Townshend said that faced with the Internet’s demolition of established copyright protections, iTunes should offer some of the services to artists that record labels and music publishers used to provide. These include employing talents scouts, giving space to allow bands to stream their music and paying smaller artists directly rather than through a third party aggregator.

Listen to “Who Are You?”
The Who: Who Are You?
The guitarist was delivering the first John Peel Lecture, named in honor of the influential British radio broadcaster who died in 2004.

Townshend asked if there was any reason iTunes “can’t provide some aspect of these services to the artists whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire” to make money.

ITunes declined to respond to Townshend’s comments.

Apple’s service is the market leader among legal download services, accounting for about three-quarters of music downloads.

Townshend said consumers, as well as the industry, needed to change their attitude to digital music.

“It would be better if music lovers treated music like food, and paid for every helping, rather than only when it suited them,” he said.

“Why can’t music lovers just pay for music rather than steal it?” he said.

Oct 11

Translation Please?

Haruki Murakami

Guess what? There are some amazing non-English-speaking authors out there that are well worth reading! Thanks to excellent translators, I’m reading them.

I’ve read several translated books and have been impressed with the fact that they didn’t seem like translations. In fact, once into the book, my hesitancy to read a non-English-speaking author vanished. The translations are that good.

I’m not sure where the hesitancy comes from; is it an innate feeling of superiority over foreigners or because of the awkwardness of different grammatical rules between different languages.

Stieg Larssen

I’ve even steered clear of British authors because of that bias. But I have a feeling that I’m not alone in my hesitancy.

Today’s modern translators are unsung heroes of the literary world. Think about it. They must not only translate the actual words. They must also accurately convey the authors intentions for every passage. And, perhaps most importantly, the reader must not be aware that it is a translation.

Ninni Holmqvist

Most of the translated books I’ve read have been wonderful.

  • The whole of Swedish author Stieg Larssen‘s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” series held me like few books can.
  • “The Unit”, a haunting book by another Swedish author, Ninni Holmqvist, left me wanting more.
  • I’m about to read Haruki Murakami’s just-published “1Q84”.

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Oct 11

Cinemagraphs = Very Cool

Cinemagraphs: What it looks like when a photo moves

Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg: The Kettle Can Wait

It’s somewhere between a photo and a video, a piece of artwork that seeks to perfectly capture a fleeting moment in time.

New York City-based photographer Jamie Beck and Web designer Kevin Burg “hand-stitch” together her photos and his Web design to make animated gifs they now call “cinemagraphs.”

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Oct 11

Abandoned and Forgotten

Abandoned: Sitting Room WindowAbandoned: WindowAbandoned: DownstairsAbandoned: Sitting RoomAbandoned: DoorwayAbandoned - Project Flickr: Eerie
Stairs - Project Flickr: Eerie

Abandoned and Forgotten, a set on Flickr.

Several photos of the abandoned house I visited a couple days ago. What an eerie place; very foreboding. I need to go back with my tripod!

Oct 11

Vivian Maier: Unknown Photographer

Vivian Maier was a street photographer from the 1950’s to the 1990’s. But nobody saw her amazing work until recently.

Her works are some of the most stunning street photos I’ve ever seen. They were recently discovered in a Chicago auction; the auction house acquired her belongings from her storage locker that was sold off due to delinquent payments. In the collection, there were over 100,000 negatives, thousands of prints, and an untold number of undeveloped film rolls.

Unfortunately she passed away before the buyer tracked her down. Her life is obscure, but her photography is anything but. I’m thrilled that the buyer, John Maloof, has chosen to curate and share her works.

Good street photography is a difficult art… but great street photography takes an innate talent that few of us have. Many of us strive to catch those wonderful moments, but fall short of the mark. Vivian Maier possessed the magic and the talent to harness it.

A huge part of the difficulty is simply aiming a camera at someone. For one thing, it raises suspicion. Also, there is a hesitance to invade someone’s privacy. After those are overcome, snapping the shutter at the right moment is the magic.

Vivian had the ability to see the art in her subject matter. Her photographs are beautiful examples of otherwise mundane life. They implore one to look into and absorb the scene, so as to become a part of it.

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Oct 11

iPad Memory Card Readers

One of the pet peeves about the iPad is the absence of a memory card slot.

Why Apple chose to not include one is puzzling, but becoming more apparent as we learn about Steve Jobs’ extreme obsessive propensity to keep things clean and simple.

Well, a company called PhotoJoJo is offering an answer to our (well, “your”… I don’t own an iPad) memory card slot envy.

Priced at $30 for the CF Card version and $15 for the SD Card reader, they are an inexpensive way to load your photos to your iPad on-the-go.

Oct 11

Math Humor

Oct 11


Oct 11

Roll On Columbia…

Aerial View of the Bonneville Dam Complex.

More Power!
I live in the Pacific Northwest and have seen or visited several of the hydroelectric power dams along the mighty Columbia River.

Hydroelectric power accounts for nearly three-fourths of the northwest’s electricity generation, the most in the nation. For years, Pacific Northwesterners enjoyed relatively low electricity costs. I can remember our boasting about a penny a kilowatt when the rest of the nation was paying five times that.

Unfortunately, for reasons beyond my understanding, we are now paying our “fair share” and more in alignment with the rest of the nation. And we’ve even experienced so-called power shortages; never totally understood that either.

All that aside, the dams along the Columbia River are an engineering wonder. The very well-written article below does an excellent job of describing just what a wonder the system is. It’s quite long, so I’ve only posted a portion of it. But please click the link to read the complete article. It’s well worth the time.

The High-Stakes Math Behind the West’s Greatest River

Jon Bruner, Forbes Staff

In the generator room at the Bonneville Dam. From left: Rick Pendergrass, Jim Duffus, Witt Anderson, Jerry Carroll, Harold H. Opitz. Photo by Robbie McClaran for Forbes.

In a darkened, ultra-secure room on the fifth floor of an unassuming office tower in Portland, Ore., Bob Neal sits before a panel of ten computer screens and plays Moses. It’s 8:45 in the morning on a sunny late-August day and electricity demand is rising as office workers across the West switch on their computers. Neal points to a dense blue-and-white display whose flickering numbers show power output at each of 31 dams in the Columbia basin. With a few keystrokes he orders the Grand Coulee Dam, the continent’s largest power plant, to ramp up its output by 870 megawatts in the next hour—an increase enough to light 15 million light bulbs at 60 watts apiece.

240 miles away, the Grand Coulee’s 24 giant turbines ease open, sending a surge of water toward the Pacific Ocean. Just below the dam, the river quadruples in volume and rises by 13 feet over a period of nine hours. By 2 P.M., one and a half million gallons of water—enough to flood a football field three feet deep—moves through the dam’s turbines every second.

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Oct 11

iPhone Blog Entry

Nothing important. I’ve just never used this iPhone app to produce a blog entry before.
Seems to work pretty well for an on-the-fly post. Maybe I’ll start using it more often.
Adding a photo of my chair collection. I’ll be using them for photo props.