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Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20080428

Hi,

Well the server upgrades are finally coming to an end (yes I know I said that a fortnight ago; but it looks like it’s true this time). SPAM is really the bane of my existence, our mail server here is getting slammed with about 4500 a day and it just keeps rising.

But on a good note, as I mentioned last time Ian (of MFI fame) has finally released his solo CD, there are some great songs on it, even if my marac solo ended up on the cutting room floor (I’m not bitter). Any way Ian is launching the CD here in Melbourne on May 3rd at the Clifton Hill Hotel. Head over http://ianbland.com.au and have a listen to the samples he has there and grab a ticket or two (don’t dally).

I really am looking forward to this one, he has managed to put together a bloody huge band (just short of a dozen people I believe) and it is going to be a good night

Lets do the real sillies.

Continuing on from the “Numb3rs” bit form last time, Kalene C sent in this little snippet for the “Blame file”. The Institute For Figuring is a website where maths, craft and environmental activism (amongst other things) intersect

The New York Times http://www.theiff.org/press/nytimes03.04.08.html covered their environmental version of the AIDS quilt. It’s meant to draw attention to how rising temperatures and pollution are destroying the reefs, by crocheting a coral reef: a woolly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft, and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world.

Kalene actually caught the exhibition when she was in Chicago a few months back.

http://www.theiff.org/main.html

Six Maasai warriors ran in the London Marathon today. 24-year-old Isaya Maasai, is their chief, and you can read his diary at the Guardian website.

“The horses that go around were amazing and we couldn’t believe how fast. We rode a real horse for the first time too. It is amazing that people can talk to them, tell them where to go and they do it. I miss meat and blood very much. Not vegetables because they are food for a woman. There is milk here but blood is better because it gives energy. English tea with sugar is good and we tried Coco Pops, but the nicest food is croissants.”

My favourite line is “The marathon is easy. There are no lions” now that’s motivation. That and the fact that they were running to make money so that they can drill a water for their village.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/apr/12/athletics.tanzania

We haven’t done cats for a while, Laughing Squid have a video of a cat playing a theremin (see cat’s and music) and as a bonus there is a second video of a cat playing WITH a theremin. I know how he feels. Insert Midsomer Murders theme here…

http://laughingsquid.com/a-cat-playing-the-theremin/

Dead Tree Story: Over at Eos Books, they have two stories from THE NEW SPACE OPERA, edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, that are up for the Hugo Award. The stories are “Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” by Ken Macleod and “Glory” by Greg Egan. I really liked the Greg Egan.

http://outofthiseos.typepad.com/blog/2008/03/hugo-short-stor.html

Cory Doctrow has posted the first instalment of a podcast at craphound.com He’s reading a novella that he wrote with Benjamin Rosenbaum. The story’s a big, 32,000-word piece called “True Names” and it involves the galactic wars between vast, post-Singularity intelligences that are competing to corner the universe’s supply of computation before the heat-death of the universe. Weird but fun. http://craphound.com/?p=2021

Duggup has been fun was the usual madhouse. Jools posted “New Buffalo” and “Young And Restless” both are interesting Aussie acts. Me, I have been having fun with the “The Really Terrible Orchestra” and a ton of indie bands, head over and check out say “the august”. http://duggup.com.au

Flash Game Time: Today’s impedimentia is called Launchball, it’s comes to us courtesy of the Science Museum in London. The game uses a common premise: coax a ball into a goal. The objects you can use to accomplish this task though are based generally on electricity, magnetism, and mechanics. There are basic shapes like “ski jumps” and ramps, but there are also batteries and steam generators (which also require a water tank and fire) to power magnets and fans. There are switches, springs, cushions, and rubber blocks. Each level provides you with a certain set and quantity of objects to help you get the ball in the goal (not all objects need to be used though).

Trust me, take a few seconds and create a free account, you’ll be emailed a code so that you can login at a later time and resume where you left off. Otherwise you have to play through all of the levels each time. There are three main categories of levels: tricky, sneaky, and crafty.

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/launchpad/launchball/

I had so much fun with this.

Well that’s enough for this week. Have a good one.

thatch

{Currently listening to Bela Fleck and Grateful Dead}

{Currently reading: bad old pulp sf}

{Quick Status Check: Stopping Spam or Going To Hell. Hmmm not that much different really}

{Crop Circle Status: It’s not long to May now (about 4 sleeps) and the games will begin again. http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2007/2007.html }

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