Thursday, April 21, 2011

Little Complicated Things And Stuff

Today I’ve got just a few random things I want to talk about. I’m going to try to have something more interesting for tomorrow, but today is just a few little things.

Little Complicated Things

I like things that are complicated. They’re fun trying to figure out. They’re fun trying to imagine how they might have been better. And complicated things, usually, do something worth doing just in itself.

I mentioned my complicated little TI-Nspire calculator here: Beautiful Impossible Math Thing

And I talked about the Tascam GT-R1 in Hypnotized By Advertising. I still use this thing almost every day with my guitar. And my GT-R1 has recorded many of the soundtracks for the videos I’ve posted here on the blog.

A couple of week’s back I mentioned a little Korg keyboard called the “Korg MicroStation” in Is The Key The Little Key?. I like that little thing because of its little keys, but I’m not really tempted to buy it. To my eyes it looks a little too complicated for its size. Maybe it’s cool, maybe it’s okay plugged into a computer, but it just seems too complicated to me.

On the other hand, there is this little thing:

That is a Roland Gaia synthesizer. I’ve mentioned before that Roland seems to have really embraced the whole “battery-operated” imperative in Quasi Una Atomic Octopus Fantasia. The Gaia is a digital copy of an old analog synthesizer and it’s battery powered and it doesn’t have any screen at all.

All the functions have their own buttons and switches and sliders so it is an actual, hardware what-you-see-is-what-you-get device. (Or what-you-see-is-what-you-hear, in this case.)

I’m not really tempted to get one of these, either, because it’s kind of expensive at around $700.

But I wanted to mention it since I mentioned the Korg MicroStation.

The Gaia is battery powered, all the controls are visible, nothing is hidden under a tiny LCD screen, and all the functions of a classic old synthesizer are there—oscillators, filters, effects and performance tools like a phrase recorder and the like.

It’s only a three octave keyboard, but, really, the range of most instruments is just three or four octaves. (How many people play their guitar above the twelfth fret?)

If I were going to buy another keyboard—I’m not—I strongly suspect I’d buy one of these Roland Gaia keyboards.

They look fun.

Blog Statistics

I try to write stuff I like for the blog. I try not to look in at the statistics Blogspot makes available. But every now and then I glance in at the numbers.

One weird thing in the stats right now is that the most popular page on my blog is a page I’ve almost never referred back to.

Right now the most popular page on this blog—and I have no idea why—is a Taylor Swift page. [?!?]

I’m Picturing Taylor Swift Naked

I hope people aren’t getting mad at me, going there and discovering that I don’t have any naked pictures of her.

I don’t know why that page gets a lot of hits. Personally, I’m much happier with some of my Mischa Barton or Anna Kournikova pages, like—

Mischa Barton, Mischa Barton

Anna Kournikova’s Face

The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Judging from the mainstream media, it’s very tempting to think the Gulf of Mexico is getting better and the oil spill is a thing of the past.

I don’t believe that’s true. I strongly suspect there were multiple leaks and I strongly suspect one or two leaks never got successfully plugged.

I think that disaster is still unfolding. There are “amateur” journalists and investigators still reviewing all the released data, trying to document the inconsistencies and outright lies connected to the Deepwater Horizon explosion. I strongly suspect they will never accomplish what they hope to accomplish—getting the mainstream media to re-focus all their attention on the Gulf again. But they will keep working. I get e-mails from some of these people, updates and reports that they share among themselves.

Of the established internet sites which still pay attention to the Gulf of Mexico I recommend Linda Moulton Howe’s site, Earthfiles. She is an old-fashioned investigator who looks into things herself. She interviews people and asks intelligent questions. She clutters up her site with absurd, bad science fiction stuff about “aliens” and bogus documents connected to the Kennedy assassination and other such nonsense, but when she turns her attention to real news, she does a great job of dealing with it in a button-down way.

Her latest update on the Gulf of Mexico is here:

Corexit and Crude Oil Still in Gulf A Year After BP Disaster;
Marine Life Dead and Some People Sick

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