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Last night, we finished watching the Cosmos series. I remember watching the Carl Sagan version as a child. It you weren’t affected by it, you weren’t paying attention. The new version is wonderful as well. We watched it as a family. The kids got different things out of it, and didn’t understand many things, but that’s fine. We had great discussions, and turned on some curiousity. It was also a rare setting where my geekiness is a plus. Speed of light? About 186,000 miles per second or 300 million meters per second. Distance to the sun? About 93 million miles. Etc.
Near the end, there was a bit on the “Pale Blue Dot” of Earth. It is well worth watching in full.
Since seeing this, I have felt a bit distant myself. It is awesome in the literal sense. And of course this view is still within our solar system, it does not begin to show the true size of the universe. The show should have ended right there.
The Earth is the small dot about halfway up the stripe on the right. (The stripe is an artifact of Voyagers’ photography, it does not exist in reality.)
I read Mick Fleetwood’s autobiography. I’ve always loved Rhiannon, and hearing the back story and how they used to do it live got me curious. They were awesome at it. Just awesome. Watch the video below, particularly around 2:30 when the dynamics and jam start up.
Here’s a couple other good versions:
Didi Benami shows the good side of American Idol
This girl shows the bad side. Uch.
I’ve never heard of Brooke White, but I’m going to keep my eye out for her now.
Okay, it’s not a new one for me. But this particular version kills. Just kills! Simon playing wah-wah adds so much. This seems to have been the highlight song from that tour. Eminence Front was unworldly at the Atlanta show “l’il bro” and I saw. I don’t think there is any other Who song with a steady backing track that Pete goes lead guitar nuts on.
This is a very nicely presented video on wealth inequality in America. Among other things, compares peoples perceptions of how it is with their opinions on how it ought to be, and puts those both against reality. A bit slow, but eye-opening for most.
I like Kings of Leon. They tend towards the harder side of rock and roll, but I also enjoy their quieter songs. Here are a pair of songs from them that I can play over and over. They are easy to sink into.
Kings of Leon are great craftsmen. They don’t do solos. Every note is carefully planned out. They are not stunning instrumentalists. The drummer is particularly very good, but for the most part they are all professionally competent. And you have to say the singers voice is… not so amazing. It’s a Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix voice, an acquired taste. From these ingredients, they have made a wide variety of really good songs and a couple great ones.
There are a few auto accessories that ought to be illegal. (Or if they already are illegal, enforced.)
1) The fancy rims. The rims keep turning after the vehicle is stopped. That gives false visual information. At some level it appears that the vehicle is moving when it isn’t.
2) CDs and pendants hanging from the mirror that scatter and reflect light. Not only does the glare get in my eyes, but it does so in a random pattern making it difficult to adjust to. Everyone understands that having your brights on is rude. An old friend used to keep an enormous spotlight in his car, and if anyone behind him had their brights on too long he would shine right in their eyes. Those folks wised up quick.
Visual clutter and disinformation is an actual issue. A friend of mine got in a car crash. The car in front of him was stopped, but the brake lights weren’t on, and he plowed right into it.
None of this is because I am anti-bling. I am pro-bling, it amuses me. For instance, I am in favor of huge crazy spoliers on Honda Civics, and neon all over the undercarriage. It also amuses me that probably no one who has that kind of bling calls it bling anymore. There’s a more current term by now.
I took two readings on my scale. I took them 1 minute apart, the only difference was my morning pee. Thus, I can now state scientifically that my morning pee weighs 8/10ths of a pound, and increased my body fat by 0.4%.
Science has spoken! No skepticism will be tolerated!
Living in the South, my political views are a minority. I’m used to that. But I will never get used to the lack of subtlety. I respect the directness of the view. But yet. It lacks any sense of message of anything beyond Me-good-you-bad. Where is the beautiful wit of the “F the President” sticker?