A friend asked what I believed being dead to be like. I said, "Do you recall living in the 1800s?" He said no. I said, "Like that!"— CJ Werleman (@rationalists) February 28, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
I had to take another trip to the ER Valentine’s night – romantic, I know – because of another attack of blinding pain. After a few of these, I was sure it was gallstones, but for some reason the ER docs kept wanting to do CT scans which, I’m told, won’t show gallstones. But this time I cajoled them into an ultrasound and, sure enough, I have a nice collection of gallstones.
So the doctor’s consulting with me before discharging me, giving me orders to follow up with my regular doctor and think about surgery. He says with gallstones I’ve got to be careful with my diet, and wanted to know if I’d eaten anything especially fatty that day.
“I don’t think so,” I said. “I know this will shock my friends, but yeah, I’ve been eating healthier these days, cutting way down on my salt and fat intake.”
“What did you have for dinner?” the doctor asked.
“Healthy Choice,” I said. “I was a little lazy when I got home. But yeah, low fat. Healthy. See?”
“That’s fine. And what did you have for lunch?”
Oh shit. I forgot I had a breakdown of discipline that day. “Um. Er. Yeah. Um. A barbeque pork sandwich.”
“Fuck you,” the doctor said.
Okay, he didn’t really say that. But I heard him say it in my head. He really did remind me of Gregory House.
Thursday, February 09, 2012
The earliest known recorded human sounds have been discovered, a recording made some 20 years before Thomas Edison invented the phonograph.
(CNN) -- Thomas Edison came up with a way to play back recorded sound in 1878. But 20 years before the inventor patented the phonograph, French scientist Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville was fiddling around in his laboratory trying to come up with a way to record sound. His invention, the phonautogram, enabled him to create a visual representation of his voice.
Scott de Martinville wasn't able to listen back to his recordings, though. The science of acoustics was in its infancy. He could only see lines etched in soot. His achievements were long-forgotten until a group of historians, audio engineers and scientists searched for his work. The First Sounds Collaborative found it in the archives of the French Academy of Sciences in 2008.
"His machine would capture the vibrations out of the air and write them on to a moving piece of paper," said David Giovannoni, one of the founders of First Sounds. "When you look at the writing that this machine made, it looks exactly like a sound wave would look on audio editing software today."
Giovannoni and his group analyzed Scott de Martinville's work with audio software and unlocked the sound held in the waveforms. The result is like listening to a ghostly time machine, the voice of a man from 150 years ago singing French song "Au Clair de la lune." The earliest known sound recordings can be heard at www.firstsounds.org.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Skrillex is everywhere. You hear his stuff all over TV, playing in commercials every time you hit fast forward. His stuff’s showing up in movies. He was in my fucking corn flakes this morning. I swear to God when I was getting an ultrasound he was on the monitor, dropping badass beats to the sonic warbles showing the nurse where my stones are.
And it seems like he’s teaming up with just about everybody in the music scene who want to latch onto his sounds and his freaky ass haircut.
A notable example is Korn, who’ve brought Skrills into the Kornfield on their latest album, The Path Of Totality, featuring the twisty, bendy “Narcissistic Cannibal.”
Dubmetal. Why not.
The Korn thing makes sense. Jonathan Davis, the Bakersfield, California band’s frontman, put it bluntly when he said, "Rock has been so fucking lame lately.” His answer to that conundrum was to try to tap some sounds he was digging more than the “stale” rock scene, and a natural avenue was electronica and dubstep.
"His production, his sound, and our guitars and what we do with it, it just worked, and that’s what set the ball rolling," Davis told Rolling Stone. "Initially we were just thinking about doing a couple of songs, an EP, [but we] kept rolling with it more and more with different DJs, and it just turned into this record that took on a life of its own."
Saturday, February 04, 2012
The building is nicer than most of the surrounding ones, but still obviously in its element in a tired, somewhat run down neighborhood. This ain't Beverly Hills, that's for sure.
In the windows I can see small pockets of the tiny worlds these elderly people live in. In most of the windows you can see wheelchairs. In one room, an old man sits alone in front of a computer. I can see he's on Facebook. I realize that might be the only connection to life he has left.
Please don't let me live that long.
So I came home and posted this on Facebook. Hello, irony. Thanks for the visit. It's kinda lonesome round here.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
I have to admit I got a perverse thrill the first time I tweeted while taking a dump. The idea that I was writing something that could be seen, hypothetically, all over the world while at the same time, you know, eliminating. But that was a couple of years ago. That was also the day I learned that yes, it is possible to eat too much pizza and not enough vegetables.
A new study shows that 75% of Americans admit to using their smartphones while on the toilet. Which is actually a good thing -- that means when someone you’re trying to hook up with says the reason he or she never called back was because their phone got dropped in the toilet, it could have been the truth.
(By the way, it's about the same number of women as men who use their smartphones on the john.)
The breakdown by popular phones is this: 87% of Android users, 84% of Blackberry users, and 77% of iPhone users (which might indicate that iPhones are a little cleaner).
I don't know about you, but I can't even go to the bathroom without making sure I've got my phone with me. Which is weird, because I face a conundrum every time it rings and I have to make a decision whether to answer and hope they don't hear the bathroom stall echo (I sure as hell can't flush while talking), or let it go to voicemail and keep tweeting, "You won't believe what I'm doing right now!"