Some Grooving Tunes (Warpigs)

This is an incredible version of “Warpigs” originally done by Black Sabbath (see below)

And so culture flourishes, and the warpigs get rich.

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Jamming in 1000 A.D.

Marginal Revolution: Time travel back to 1000 A.D.: Survival tips

Londenio, a loyal MR reader, asks:

I wanted to ask for survival tips in case I am unexpectedly transported to a random location in Europe (say for instance current France/Benelux/Germany) in the year 1000 AD (plus or minus 200 years). I assume that such transportation would leave me with what I am wearing, what I know, and nothing else. Any advice would help.

I hope you have an expensive gold wedding band but otherwise start off by keeping your mouth shut. Find someone who will take care of you for a few days or weeks and then look for employment in the local church. Your marginal product is quite low, even once you have learned the local language. You might think that knowing economics, or perhaps quantum mechanics, will do you some good but in reality people won’t even think your jokes are funny. Even if you can prove Euler’s Theorem from memory no one will understand your notation. I hope you have a strong back and an up to date smallpox vaccination.

Readers, do you have any other tips? Is there any way that Londenio can leverage his knowledge of modernity (he is, by the way, a marketing professor) into socially valuable outputs? Would prattling on about sanitation and communicable diseases do him any good?

This post is from a good while back. There is some fun reading at that link above and in this Kottke thread.

And if you are really up for it, here’s a free MP3, 1000 A.D. on the same topic. It’s from Hillel(?) over at Sugerfix (who, BTW, has one of the best “about” pages I’ve read in a while *).

Personally, I think I would need to bring out a whole lot of pirate and a lot less robot to live happily in ye olde Dark Ages.

Continue reading

The Flying Rays of Mexico (and Planet Earth Live Mini-Review)

The great ocean migration… thousands of majestic stingrays swim to new seas | Mail Online

Like autumn leaves floating in a sunlit pond, this vast expanse of magnificent stingrays animates the bright blue seas of the Gulf of Mexico.

Taken off the coast of Mexico’s Holbox Island by amateur photographer Sandra Critelli, this breathtaking picture captures the migration of thousands of rays as they follow the clockwise current from Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to western Florida.

Measuring up to 6ft 6in across, poisonous golden cow-nose rays migrate in groups – or ‘fevers’ – of up to 10,000 as they glide their way silently towards their summer feeding grounds.

Rays

Arc: The rays, swimming in a long line, was spotted by amateur photographer Sandra Critelli

Some pretty amazing pics there and a cool phenomena.

On a slightly related note, I spent last night in Downtown Big D watching this special…

The Blue Planet Live rolled into the Meyerson Symphony Center for the first of three shows Tuesday night and delivered big in offering one of the coolest, most creative escapes yet to the summer doldrums. Under the baton of composer-conductor George Fenton, it makes deft use of the 76-piece Dallas Symphony Orchestra in carrying 2,000 viewers on an oceanic expedition.

It does so with a mesmerizing score that swings from calming to exhilarating to terrifying, only, in the end, to return home again. Mr. Fenton composed the music and flew in from London to conduct the DSO, which makes splendid use of horns, strings, percussion and a trumpet soloist to enhance the emotional current.

[more info]

A good show that could use a couple tweaks (the preaching at the end needs some “action items”) but overall a very moving experience.

As a pirate with long experience dealing with unregulated Nature, it was fun to see some of the incredible images highlighted by professional musicians and air-conditioned joy.

Politic Like a Rock Star (Newsbusted, Decemberists)

Obama Draws Huge Crowd in Oregon as Clinton Courts Kentucky – New York Times

Obama Draws Huge Crowd in Oregon as Clinton Courts Kentucky

Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Barack Obama spoke to 75,000 people on Sunday in Portland, Ore. He called it “the most spectacular setting for the most spectacular crowd” of the campaign.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a President we like again?

I guess some don’t think so…

How many of the people showed up to hear Obama, and how many to hear the band?

Here’s how the local paper The Oregonian, which estimated the crowd at 72,000, reported the rally:

“Obama was the biggest star at Sunday’s gathering — though a popular Portland band, The Decemberists, provided the warmup act. With blue skies and temperatures in the 80s, many in the crowd said Waterfront Park was simply the place to be.”

CNN headlined its 10 p.m. segment on May 18 with “Barack Obama: Achieving Rock Star Status in Oregon.”

The New York Times, which ran a color photo of the crowd, estimated the throng at 75,000, noting that it was “the largest crowd of his campaign so far.” There was no mention of The Decemberists, and the Times described the weather as “an unseasonably hot day.”

Dude, seriously. My response is now aimed at people like those at ‘Newsbusters’ and other knee-jerk politically assigned websites. Gimme a flippin’ break.

They guy got 75,000 people to come out and listen to a brother talk. 75,000 people.

That’s more than Jesus met in his lifetime.

I saw the Decemberists on Colbert, and frankly, they ain’t pulling 75K on their own to a park, even on a nice day in Portland*.

Anyway, I found the whinging about the news before I found the news, so I thought I would reply to the whinging and then get to the news.

* the avrerage high temperature in May in Portland, Oregon is 67°. In June it is 74° [source] so saying ” There was no mention of The Decemberists, and the Times described the weather as “an unseasonably hot day.” ” about a day that was in the 80’s in Portland in May, is quite accurate reporting. Yea, opening acts get shafted in the big time, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Local paper reports local band and national paper reports national news. As mentioned, I’ve seen the Decemberists, and I think the May Weather and the Obama were a much larger factor in the curious fact that 75,000 people came out to hear a politician speak.

I don’t think this was the draw of the day….(apologies to the band, and I do like the pirate)….

live version

Throw Away A CD : That’s the Stocks For You

Universal Music: it’s illegal to throw away the promo CD we sent you without your permission – Boing Boing

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Fred von Lohmann sez, “In a brief filed in federal court yesterday, Universal Music Group (UMG) states that, when it comes to the millions of promotional CDs (‘promo CDs’) that it has sent out to music reviewers, radio stations, DJs, and other music industry insiders, throwing them away is ‘an unauthorized distribution’ that violates copyright law. Yes, you read that right — if you’ve ever received a promo CD from UMG, and you don’t still have it, UMG thinks you’re a pirate.”

It’s becoming easier and easier to becomes a pirate nowadays.   If you are going to be called one anyway, might as well do it right.

It’s True, We’re All A Little Bit Pirate….

#93 Music Piracy « Stuff White People Like

White people have always been renowned for having ridiculously large music collections. So when file sharing gave white people a chance to acquire all the music they ever wanted, it felt as though it was an earned right and not a privilege.When (not if) you see a white male with a full iPod, ask him if all of his music is legal. If he does not immediately launch into a diatribe about his right to pirate music, you might have to nudge him a bit by saying “do you think that’s right?” The response will be immediate and uniform.

And a little bit A&R.

First Robot Singing

The recent discovery of a phonautogram by Édouard-Léon Scott de… (kottke.org)

The recent discovery of a phonautogram by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville may be the earliest recording of sound in the world, predating that of Thomas Edison by almost 20 years.

Scott is in many ways an unlikely hero of recorded sound. Born in Paris in 1817, he was a man of letters, not a scientist, who worked in the printing trade and as a librarian. He published a book on the history of shorthand, and evidently viewed sound recording as an extension of stenography. In a self-published memoir in 1878, he railed against Edison for “appropriating” his methods and misconstruing the purpose of recording technology. The goal, Scott argued, was not sound reproduction, but “writing speech, which is what the word phonograph means.”

Here’s an mp3 snippet of his 1860 recording.

We’ve been doing this stuff for a while.

The RIAA tried to make this robot illegal as well.

When Piracy Meets Capitalism

Wal-Mart Wants $10 CDs : Rolling Stone –

Wal-mart wants every CD you buy to cost less than ten bucks. And the nation’s largest retailer — which moved a quarter of a trillion dollars’ worth of goods last year — usually gets its way. Suppliers who don’t accede to Wal-Mart’s “everyday low price” mantra often find their products bounced from the chain’s stores, excluded from being sold to the 138 million people who shop at a Wal-Mart store every week.In the past decade, Wal-Mart has quietly emerged as the nation’s biggest record store. Wal-Mart now sells an estimated one out of every five major-label albums. It has so much power, industry insiders say, that what it chooses to stock can basically determine what becomes a hit. “If you don’t have a Wal-Mart account, you probably won’t have a major pop artist,” says one label executive.

Along with other giant retailers such as Best Buy and Target, Wal-Mart willingly loses money selling CDs for less than $10 (they buy most hit CDs from distributors for around $12).

Hardcore capitalism has always been the downfall of pirates. Just ask the ones off Barbary.

This breakdown of the cost of a typical major-label release by the independent market-research firm Almighty Institute of Music Retail shows where the money goes for a new album with a list price of $15.99.

$0.17 Musicians’ unions
$0.80 Packaging/manufacturing
$0.82 Publishing royalties
$0.80 Retail profit
$0.90 Distribution
$1.60 Artists’ royalties
$1.70 Label profit
$2.40 Marketing/promotion
$2.91 Label overhead

$3.89 Retail overhead

———————

$7.83 = RIAA Money = Barely less than 1/2 the price.

Bolded to display good ol’fashioned piracy.