January 14th, 2006


New Music Technology

There's a fascinating video here of a new Japanese musical instrument.  It's a touch-screen with pitch on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal one, allowing patterns to be set up and then left to play while more are added on top.

The technology behind it isn't anything groundbreaking, but it's well put together -  I can see the grandchildren of this device being very popular.

The first half is a demo, the second is a performance.

Why I'm not watching Lost

I realised that they weren't going to end it.  And here's the co-creator of the TV series agreeing with me.

"The reality is," Lindelof says, "that Carlton, myself, J.J. [co-creator J.J. Abrams], the creative brains behind the 'Lost' universe, we could all band together and say, 'We're ending the show after three seasons because that's the arc. They get off the island, and we reveal all the things we want to reveal.'

"And the network would say, 'No, you won't.' They will hire somebody and do 'Lost,' with or without you."
" If you're watching the show because you're waiting for the big answers to come, you have to understand that by the nature of what it is -- it's not a movie, it's not a series of movies, it's not a trilogy, it's not a miniseries -- it's going to be on the air for as long as ABC wants to keep it on the air.

"How can you ever possibly think that 'Lost' will end in a satisfying way? Carlton and I can almost guarantee you that it will not."

from here.

Buffy kept me going because each season was its own plot. B5 had it's 5-year plot. I just cannot watch TV that expects me to care about what happens when it's clearly not going to tell me. I either want a story each episode, or at the least contained arcs.

Andy's rant about alcohol

There's recently been a fair bit of publicity about the alcohol problem this country has - sparked by the resignation of the leader of the Lib Dems over alcohol addiction, and a report that liver cirrhosis is on the rise.  Polls show that people are drinking more to deal with stress and work, but there seems to be more to it than that - a cultural malaise that seems to afflict the British more than most.  I understand that our levels of binge drinking are significantly higher than most other countries.

I've discussed with octopoid_horror our mutual frustration with people who seem to only enjoy themselves when drunk, and spend most of their time looking forward to when they can next get wasted.  Now, I've got nothing against people engaging in mind-altering substances as an occasional thing - but when your life begins to revolve around them there is a problem.  Multiple members of my regular gaming group arrive, open a beer, and then work their way through them over the course of the game, noticeably affecting their gameplay as they go.  I've been asked (by someone else) if I don't feel like I miss out on life by not drinking a lot.  All of this was leading me towards a post of some kind, and then I read this on a friend's journal (reposted anonymously, because their identity isn't important) and it crystallised everything for me.

Eleven days without alcohol makes you realise what an incredibly fucking boring thing life is.

And this seems to be the major fucking problem.  People hating their life, or at the least being bored and depressed by it, and not feeling that they can change it for the better.  It's a whole society medicating its miserableness by spending as much time as possible lowering their IQ to the point where life becomes bearable.  It's people unable to have fun unless they can blame the fun on alcohol.  Last night e had a few people over, and they sang, and played games and had some good conversations, and it was great.  And part of the reason it was great was that I knew that at least two of the people there dance and sing _while sober_.  It was a huge shock to me to originally discover that so many people wouldn't dance until they'd had a couple of drinks.  Singing seems to have become the province of professionals and drunks - when it used to be that _everyone_ sang.

Frankly, it disturbs me intensely, and I find it all hard to see as anything other than a sick society.
running lego man


I caught a few minutes of a show about gorillas the other day, following a family of them around with a voiceover explaining the fights over dominance, food gathering and play that were going on.  It was rather entertaining, especially as it resembled nothing so much as a monkey version of Survivor or Big Brother.  A few minutes was spent throwing back and forth such titles as "Monkey Idol", "Big Monkey" and The Weakest Monkey"

So I was particularly amused to read this in the Guardian the following day. 

A few excerpts:

Earlier this week, for instance, when "Jodie" and "Chantelle" went in pursuit of younger males (disregarding repeated attempts to mount them by the big one researchers have christened "Dennis", and risking the disapproval of older members of the troop), the programme lacked only a Jane Goodall-style commentary, pointing out the females' rituals - such as lying on their backs, legs in the air, to signal receptiveness - to rival the acclaimed natural history film March of the Penguins.
Whereupon, of course, the housemates revert to their instinctive rituals of bonding, grooming, and power play, and one recalls instantly the missing DNA and the dangers of anthropomorphising. Consider the lack of fellow feeling shown by the two alpha males, Pete and Michael, as they repeatedly rebuff the near-outcast, Jodie's, attempts to ingratiate herself. Notice the utter indifference to age, personality or expressions of horror that marks the middle-ranking Dennis's repeated attempts to mate with female members of the troop.
  • Current Music
    Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends