Tuesday, 16 March 2010


Next Indy BlogMeet - Sunday, March 21

The usual time at the usual place. CU?

(Art and arrangements courtesy of the lovely and talented Roberta X.)

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Monday, 15 March 2010

In Passing

No room for “enlightened Westerners” hubris

But that’s different!  Dept
Spotted in today’s Journal:
...Modern technology also gives authoritarian regimes new power to monitor and punish critics.  Tehran slows Web access in advance of planned protests.  China has closed off Internet access to the resistive Xinjiang region...

Which raises the question:  Why shouldn’t the U.S. go further and endure access to the Web by people in especially deserving countries such as Iran? - L. Gordon Crovitz
...or maybe New Zealand?

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Sour notes

Kyle Gann wonders about the usefulness of publishers to the contemporary, serious composer:

For me, trying to make money off of scores is just a dubious proposition.  The amount I might make seems trivial compared to the wider distribution I get from having interested musicians be able to check out my works whenever they want.  There’s also a certain resentment of the music publishing industry involved, since no publisher is likely to accept any music as commercially unprofitable as mine, and my understanding (from Philip Glass and many others) is that, even if a publisher takes your work, the most likely result is that they will print a few copies, keep them in boxes in warehouses as a tax write-off, tie up the copyright, and make your music more difficult to obtain even for those willing to buy it.  Of all the friends whose music I write about, the few whose music is officially published are the ones whose scores I have a devil of a time trying to get.  When the scores are available for perusal only, I sometimes can’t get access to them at all.  I’m also conditioned by my score-starved youth: so many of the scores I desperately needed to see when I was a young, studying composer couldn’t be had under any circumstances.

It’s been a while since I purchased band parts, but I remember the process as often being expensive and frustrating. Even if you could obtain what you were looking for (no certainty), the instrumental parts supplied never seemed to match the ensemble (too many clarinets and not enough flutes, for example).  That problem was- supposed to- lead to an order of extra parts from the publisher (frustrating, with long delays and outrageous per-page charges), but was (usually) solved with a bit of clandestine copying (a.k.a. *PIRACY*) instead.

Even back then I was wondering why arrangements didn’t come as a printed conductor’s score plus a disc of PDFs.

Via:  Techdirt

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Sunday, 14 March 2010


Saving daylight again

Reminder: If you live in (most of) the U.S., and you haven’t reset your clock, you may want to do so before you forget (again).

Time again to haul out the daylight savings chart...

The chart reads from the bottom up (days of the year) and left to right.
Violet areas are darkness, the orange border is “civil twilight.”

...and take a look at what happened at 2:00 this morning.

For those of us here in Indianapolis, when we step out the door this morning, we’ll be finding it much darker than it was a day or so ago. We had just managed a sunrise before 7:00 (or would have, if it hadn’t been pouring rain yesterday), but this morning’s sunrise has been bumped back to almost 8:00.  We won’t see the sun peek over the horizon before 7:00 until April 20 - more than a month from now.  In fact, at 7:00 we’re all the way back unto what the astronomers call “nautical twilight,” which is as good as total darkness for those of us in urban areas.

At the other end of the day, those of us whose homeward commute ends around 7:00 will suddenly find it full daylight all the way until we pull in the drive. The extra end-of-day sunlight is probably a good thing, as everyone on the road will be dozy from having gotten up an hour earlier Monday morning.

Worth it?  It’ll take me a week or so to get my biorhythms adjusted, and the later sunrise won’t help.

My previous rants about DST are here and here.  For the OCD-ers among us, I’ve put a 2010 version of my earlier “How dark is it?” charts below the break...

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Saturday, 13 March 2010

In Passing

Latest DSM talking point spotted

Concern Trollage  Dept
First, Politico (who managed to find a pro-Obama “Evangelical” to quote. Whoops!):
The rise of a new conservative grass roots fueled by a secular revulsion at government spending is stirring fears among leaders of the old conservative grass roots, the evangelical Christian right.
Next, Christian Science Monitor:
Emergence of the grass-roots “tea party” movement as a major force on the American political right is having a quiet but fundamental effect on the Republican tribe: Social conservatives have been voted off the island.
Yeah. Which has these guys so worried that there might  possibly be a small-l libertarian / SoCon split.  R-r-r-r-r-i-i-i-g-h-t!

And the Sunday papers aren’t even out yet!

I don’t think it’ll happen; I believe the social conservatives are smart enough to take half a loaf.

But should things go the other way, I tend to agree with Roberta:
...If things start to sort out into Those Who Would Run Your Life “For Your Own Good” (real scorn quote) and limited-gov’t people who figure morals are your own biz if you don’t harm others, I’ll be a happy camper.
And I know which I’ll vote for.

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A walk through Victorian technology

It’s the world’s first tunnel under a navigable river, opened in 1843.  On offer: A chance to be among the first paying pedestrians in 145 years, the last chance before it’s returned to rail service.  The result: Turnout of an astounding mix of transport, technology and urban history geeks.
image of entry to Brunel's Thames Tunnel, Wapping end
(Photo by “IanVisits,” some rights reserved.)

IanVisits:  Walking through Brunel’s tunnel under the Thames  [Flickr photoset]

Darryl (853):  Inside the Thames Tunnel  [Flickr photoset]
Dark holes in Rotherhithe don’t normally strike people as a must-see...
The Great Wen (Peter Watts):  Under the Thames in the Brunel Tunnel, or, How I Became a Moleman
...Upon leaving Rotherhithe station, Darryl and I were accosted by a young man from the Southwark News, eager for eyewitness reports of this momentous occasion and then slightly disconcerted that he had somehow managed to approach a pair of freelance journalists masquerading as innocent bystanders.
urban75:  A walk through Brunel’s Thames Tunnel  (don’t overlook the second page)
Closed in December 2007 for redevelopment, the public were invited to walk through the tunnel ahead of the reopening... so naturally we were there to grab a few photos!
Diamond Geezer:  Thames Tunnel Tour and Fancy Fair
Next time any of are here it’ll be on a train, speeding beneath the Thames in one minute flat on our way to Dalston or Croydon or somewhere.  As the arches rush by, and the faintest glimpse of red signal whisks past the window, we Thames Tunnellers will be the smug ones who remember what it’s like to walk the route instead.  No more than two thousand of us, all told, the first paying pedestrians to pass this way in 145 years.
Annie Mole:  Brunel Thames Tunnel Tour in Words & Pictures

Times Archive Blog:  A walk through the Thames tunnel
The Victorian public were thrilled to shreds with the novelty - on the opening day 50,000 people filed down the stairs to walk under the river and within a week half the population of London had followed.

Even more pictures:

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Friday, 12 March 2010


Check, Mate!

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Sign of Spring...

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In Passing

Hey, they’re POLITICIANS, remember?

Glenn Reynolds:

The failure of the Republicans to take advantage of the entertainment industries’ unpopularity during Bush’s first term was a colossal mistake.
No, Glenn, it just shows the Republicans were bought, too.

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Thursday, 11 March 2010

Dear Diary...

72 degrees of warmy goodness

We’re havin’ a heat wave  Dept
National Weather Service:

MAXIMUM72454 PM742009492374
MINIMUM49337 AM81934301948

I’ll take it!

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