Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Demonstrating how it’s done

Artistic Excoriation[1]  Dept
Ed Morrow engages in a bit of “hate speech”:
I hereby promote hatred for an “identifiable group.”  That group is the politically correct, mealy-mouthed, oppressive, petty, puffed-up, would-be-Hitlers that wish to destroy freedom of speech.  They blight your otherwise dandy country and are, unfortunately, rising to power in every corner of the once Free World.  I hate this “identifiable group,” which includes you, Provost Houle.  I urge any and all to hate you and your kind, to loathe you, to taste bile at the thought of you, to shudder at your approach and rejoice at your departing, to see your shadow and draw back as from a viper...
And that’s just getting started.  I am in awe!  RTWT.

[1]  HT:  Zoe Brain (in the comments)

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Thursday, 25 March 2010


It’s little things like this...

The Sting at the End of the Tail  Dept
...that keep me checking Tam’s blog at least once a day:
“Then she asked Senator McCain what conservative lawmakers had to say about all this, like he’d know. - “Fear and loading.”

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Wednesday, 24 March 2010


Stupak’s Choice

Latest In the Series  Dept

(Previously:  “Choose Diversity,” “Choose Feminism,” “Choose Peace,” etc., etc., etc.)

Related, No Surprise: Obama Doesn’t Sign Abortion EO

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Monday, 15 March 2010


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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Saturday, 13 March 2010


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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Wednesday, 10 March 2010


A most civil dressing-down

Some passages are joys to read, just for the style of them.  And then there are the ones with substance surpassing their style:  Point of order.

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Wednesday, 03 March 2010


Three stages of regret...

Via:  Mind Numbed Robot, via Moe Lane

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