March 17, 2011
OK, so it’s Saint Patrick’s Day. Yay. Unfortunately, I’m not doing anything this year.
Since I’m not currently passed out in a puddle of green beer vomit and can’t join in with all of the other lucky drunks singing “Danny Boy” and giving out free hugs, here’s my little blog-homage to the dude that supposedly drove all the snakes out of Ireland.
This is my all-time-favorite rendition of “Danny Boy” as performed by the Swedish Chef, Animal, and Beaker. Happy Muay Thai Day!
February 7, 2011
Not the cute fuzzy kind that love cheese, but the kind that we all use everyday to navigate the web and/or do our work. Whether you’re paying your bills, checking your email, annoying your Facebook friends with inane status reports, searching for a recipe, or just wasting time on the Internet, your computer’s mouse makes a journey each day of which you are unaware. A journey of miles in some cases.
Check out this interesting study about computer mouse fatigue for some intriguing facts like this one:
“One ounce (of grip) is very little and fingers and thumbs, when gripping a mouse, can and typically do, apply much more. But if just one ounce of grip is applied (each second) for a total of three hours a day, it is equivalent to 6,700 lbs of grip (if it were all applied for one second) or 3.38 Tons of ‘mouse grip’ a day, some 750 Tons a year.”
Back to mouse art. The following freeware turns your “mousing” into “art” by running a little mouse tracking application in the background while you go about your business. The “art” above was made over a period of about 3 hours while I was web surfing. Though the program is obviously not Earth-shattering in importance, I am still intrigued by the simplicity of the program as it turns an otherwise innocuous act into a visually stimulating graphic.
I’ve checked it for viruses, but I encourage you to check it again as a cautionary measure.
Download for PC here
Download for MAC here
Download for LINUX and other here
Or, go to their website and download it directly from them! Make sure to leave them a donation if you like it.
If you thought the mouse fatigue study was interesting, or if you are prone to repetitive stress injury from mousing too much, you should check out Designer Appliances Inc and see if any of their products will work for you. I’ve never tried any of their products, but they look interesting. If any of my readers have used any of their products, please leave a review down in the comments.
January 6, 2011
Thank you, craftsmanship and innovation! Now I just need $50K in loose change so that I can buy this marvel and get rid of my boring table that does nothing but keep junk mail off of the floor.
December 18, 2010
I can remember a friend from my Army days telling stories about how he could sometimes catch eels in his dad’s farm pond in New Jersey. I knew almost nothing about eels back then, but I was pretty sure that they didn’t breed in ponds. So, how did they get there? My friend couldn’t explain it even though this is apparently Read the rest of this entry »
December 14, 2010
For those of you who are not familiar…
Vladimir Horowitz (1903 – 1989) was a Russian-American virtuoso pianist who came to fame in the 1920s in Russia and then throughout the world. He was a legendary pianist and many of his recordings are renowned as being the definitive performances of frequently played pieces by well known composers such as Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, and Rachmaninoff.
His performances were often exaggerated and dynamic; Frequently overwhelming audiences with waves of sound, then immediately contrasting with phrases of incredible delicacy and gentleness. His dynamic style and virtuosity earned international esteem and he consequently performed for kings and queens, emperors and presidents, and multitudes of adoring fans over a 70 year career.
In my opinion, Chopin’s Mazurka, Op. 17 No. 4 is a relatively simple piece. I’ve heard several recordings over the years and have mostly ignored it. It’s not very dynamic, it is short, and I always just thought of it as just sort of plain. Until I heard Horowitz play it.
The following video is among the last of his recordings before his death in 1989 and has become one of my favorites. It is from the 1985 documentary film Vladimir Horowitz – The Last Romantic. This clip is just a little scrap of the film that I found on YouTube. Before the Mazurka actually begins, it shows a brief bit with his wife talking about her ability to listen without being influenced by personality, and then shows him playing a little snippet of Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca from Sonata 11 while the recording crew are getting everything set up. He misses a few notes and makes a joke about not being Heifetz after his wife mentions it. Sweet. Enjoy.
“Is very intimate now…pshhhh” – Vladimir Horowitz