Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And the winner is....

Caribou with the album Andorra. The winner of the Polaris Music Prize (and $20 000) was announced last night at the Phoenix in Toronto. You can listen to a podcast of the party here.
I didn't put a lot of faith in that album when the short list was announced. But that was mostly because I was not a huge fan of it. It was interesting but hard to get into.
But the award is for 'Artistic Merit' so I can see why it won. It is one of those albums that takes a few listens to really enjoy and they are usually some of the best. She's the One is probably my favorite track on the album right now.
Caribou is a project by Dan Snaith of Dundas, Ontario. He is a pretty interesting guy who started recording when he was 14. He progressed from a solo electronic DJ act to performing in a four piece band. If you want a taste of his live performances check out a CBC recorded concert here.

Other cool Caribou things:
  • Watch some pitchfork videos here.
  • They have a song called Irene.
  • They were originally called Manitoba but were forced to change due to some ridiculous lawsuit.
  • Watch some Caribou 'Take Away Shows' here. (via Pitchfork)
  • Dan Snaith has a PhD in Mathematics from the UofT
And on another musical note I plan to go see Mother Mother, The Wooden Sky and The Superfantastics on Friday night. Should be good.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A music video made without cameras

Sorry, it's another Radiohead post. It's just that those guys are always on the cutting edge of technology and music so I can't get enough of them.
For the latest music video for House of Cards (one of my favorites from In Rainbows) they used a totally different approach to filming. They used a laser point based 3d measuring system (known as LIDAR) as the camera. These machines are most often used for measuring existing architecture or infrastructure and when hooked up to a GPS system it can draw and locate everything within view to the nearest millimeter. This technology is most often used by cities or governments (who actually have the money for it). I actually know someone who does this in Montreal. As far as I know, this is similar technology to what he uses.
So here is the video:

And here is the video showing how they made the music video:

And if you are the creative sort you can create your own music video by using the 3d environments created by these guys and the music of Radiohead. Neat stuff! Check it out here. Careful though, since it takes a while to get going you are probably best off downloading the stuff here and putting it together on your own computer. If anybody ends up doing this I'd love to see the result. You can also upload it to the House of Cards YouTube group.

Rise Up! (with Al Gore)

Al Gore, the planet's best friend, feels that nobody is listening to him. He believes that this calls for drastic action. He is now calling for 'civil disobedience' to protest coal plants and other CO2 emitters.
This is what he said:

"If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration."

This guy ticks me off almost as much as Micheal Moore.

Read the article here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My kind of pie chart

With all the economic turmoil these days you can imagine all the pie charts being generated as employees of banks and investment institutions are rapidly trying to explain to their bosses why the company has lost trillions in a week. I am sure some of those employees are using pie charts. In honor of them I present this; the best pie chart ever.

As you can clearly see in the chart above, most of the pie has yet to be eaten.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

T-Shirt Idea:

I want a T-shirt that has this on the front:
and this on the back:
And maybe something like a Wal-mart symbol or something.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

He's going for it!

I don't think I ever blogged about my Montreal trip to see Radiohead. I left that for other people. Well, back when we went to Montreal for that Radiohead concert we also rented Segways. Y'know those gyroscopes with a handle and wheels that you use to zip around in crowded areas.
Yeah they were fun. Here are a few pictures and videos just so you get the idea.


We are on the cusp of returning to Montreal this Saturday. Maybe we will rent them again....

They promised us the 'red key' next time! (for all you non-segwayers - that means we get to go faster)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vito's Ordination Song

I always knew you
in your mothers arms
i have called your name
i have an idea
placed in your mind
to be a better man
ive made a crown for you
put it in your room
and when the bride groom comes
there will be noise
there will be glad
and a perfect bed
and when you write a poem
i know the words
i know the sounds
before you write it down
only wear your clothes
i wear them too
i wear your shoes
and your jacket too
i always knew you
in your mothers arms
i have called you son
ive made amends
between father and son
or if you havent one
rest in my arms
sleep in my bed
there is a design
to what i did and said

Sufjan Stevens, Greetings from Michigan - The Great Lake State

I think it is pretty obvious what he is saying in this song. Truly, some great lyrics to accompany a marvelous tune. Oh the harmonies!

Here is the cd cover for the upcoming cd from The Welcome Wagon (by the Reverend Vito himself):

Sufjan news

I just read an article from PasteMagazine.com about yet another project with Sufjan's golden touch. This project is a worship or gospel group formed by Reverend Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife Monique. It is called 'The Welcome Wagon'.
The interesting thing about this project is that the Reverend is a close friend of Sufjan's and there is this absolutely fantastic song that Sufjan wrote for his ordination. I wonder what church this guy is at.....
You can listen to or download the song "Sold! To The Nice Rich Man" here. (right click to download).
Check out the info at the record label's website (Asthmatic Kitty Records). I always think it's the best name for a record label ever, by the way.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's Family Time

A couple months ago when we celebrated my parent's 25th wedding anniversary we also went and had family photo's taken. This had not happened in many years so it was a pretty interesting experience.

Our photographer (who's blog Irene routinely reads) was pretty good. She was so good she ended up blowing out her already injured knee while showing us how to sit. She recovered to produce some pretty good shots.

Here are some examples:

LHC Video

If you are at all interested in what the LHC is all about you must check out this video.
It explains in layman's terms how it works and what it does. Even I can understand it.

Although it says they are trying to find the origin of the universe, I am very interested in what they will actually find out. Very cool stuff!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Scientists fail to destroy the world

The Large Hadron Collider was fired up this morning making one of the most unprecedented physics stories ever. The LHC is a 17 mile circular tunnel located 328 ft underground on the border of Switzerland and France. The idea is to prove all kinds of theories relating to protons and sub-atomic particles. They plan to smash particles together at the 99.9999991% the speed of light in order to find out things like what they are made of, what gives it mass and what exactly happens when you break them. There have been several fear mongering people (read: non-scientists) trying to say that they will create a black hole and destroy the world (and they made a video about it) but that didn't happen yet and it surely will not happen once they start smashing particles next month. I can't wait to see what they discover.
A neat tech website, called dvice.com has compiled a bunch of incredible photographs of the tunnel under construction. Here are a few of my favorites.
They also have a cool list of 10 reasons the LHC will blow your mind. My favorite is #2 This thing sucks, big time. In fact, it contains the largest volume of a vacuum ever created by man, and it's a super-vacuum, sucking 10 times less pressure than you'd find on the moon. It contains fewer particles than the emptiest parts of the solar system — we wouldn't want any stray atoms getting in the way of those light-racing protons, now would we?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Random!

And now for some complete randomness.

I just cannot stop laughing when I see this. Where did that come from. The reporter has absolutely no response. This is priceless.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Get it People

Google has released Picasa 3 to coincide with my birthday. Everybody with a PC should have this program. It offers so much control of the look and managing of your pictures.
This latest beta program has improved the tagging, collage and editing features while adding both a movie maker program and a picture preview program. They still have some room for improvement but overall this little program is simply a 'must-have'. I don't know of anything short of Apple's iPhoto which comes close to offering all these features in such an easy to use format.
But, unlike Apple, this program is free (of course) and it doesn't force you to get a Mac.
Download it here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Camping @ Silent Lake

On the labour day long weekend we went for the annual camping trip with my family. It was a good time. Once again we went to a park we had never been to before and once again we were not disappointed.
The trip involved:
A birthday celebration for me.
Singing and Guitar around a campfire.
Large Bugs.
A Canoe/Sailboat that was not ours but actually worked surprisingly well.
Hiking in the Woods.
Relaxing.
More Relaxing.
Kayaking in a crappy rental kayak.
Dock Jumping.
Breakfast.
Spectacular Views.
Mushrooms.Star Gazing.
Sparklers.
Loons calling out to each other.
Canoeing in the morning.
A Sunrise.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Get ready to be shiny

As noted in Google's own blog earlier today, they have acknowledged the existence of a Google internet browser. Google Chrome will be released today!
The story was originally 'accidentally' leaked in the form of a comic strip explaining the concept of this new browser. I somehow missed it because I was on holidays.
I will keep checking to see when it is downloadable.

UPDATE:
Download it here!