Thursday, March 30, 2006

Etnemreneaint and Siecnce (initiated by Steve)

Seemingly in 2003 an internet meme started to spread about the readibility of texts containing scrambled letters. The "original" paragraph goes like this:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

This phenomenon has now reoccurred to me, and I looked up the facts behind it. Two nice pages provide further insight. Whoever might be interested, have a look at Matt Davis's website and the Urban Legends Reference Page (by the way in general an interesting website). In sum, this phenomenon can be observed in several languages. However, it is a gross simplification, and--as always in science--the claim depends on several more factors. It is siltl vrey itesrentnig.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

50th Post - Grumpy Post

Such a crap... the publication date of the newest (5th) edition of Eric Kandel's Principles of Neural Science has been delayed yet another time. After September 2005 and March 2006 it is now supposed to appear on June 30, 2006.
Actually it is okay to wait, since I can totally understand that it takes a while to write a second bible.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

HomeCookin' - Acoustic Gourmet Ichi.One

Another exquisite page on the web I didn't tell (most of) you about:

Supposedly a Belgian guy called Ichi.One, a rare groove, vinyl, all in all music fanatic, regularly puts his mixes online. His HomeCookin' mixes can be downloaded approximately once a month, and they are anabolics for all your Ipods and MP3 players.

The official catch phrase is: "If you like your music flavoured a bit eclectic and with a nice groove, then maybe you should taste some HomeCookin'..."

And in the words of Tony Allen, best known for being the drummer with Fela Kuti: "You gotta have a tongue for the taste, it's the kinda food you don't waste, food for your mind and your belly..."
"HomeCookin' is the best my friend, cause once you've had it you won't be hungry again. Cause it will nourish you deep within ya soul, you won't be eatin' junk food no mo'!"


Today, the chef recommends #24.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Lacquer, Gondry,Time Lapse, LA2NYC

I love time lapse videos. I really do, and I think everybody does.
In any case, here is a really nice one (quicktime), directed by Michel Gondry, who is the director of the great movie Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind and Dave Chappelle's Block Party.
It is the music video of a track called Behind by a french artist named Lacquer, and it contains a car drive in a convertible from LA to NYC in 5 minutes. On his page there are also Real Player versions of the clip. Check it out.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Will Wright on Spore (a link by Boris)


I mean, I have never been into computer games much. Since the last Monkey Island version (Escape from Monkey Island in 2000), I haven't played any. Nevertheless, this one seems attractive to me.
At the Games Developers Conference on March 11, 2006, Will Wright, the original designer of SimCity and The Sims, presented his newest baby, which is currently being developed by EA and expected for late 2006, Spore. A procedurally programmed r/evolutionary computer game in which you "start off as a bacterium, and end up as a galactic god". Hitty hot.

Sources: Wikipedia, the (boring) official website, and - most importantly - his talk at the GDC including gameplay, also compressed on googlevideo. It's one hour of a fascinating guy talking about an extraordinary computergame.

By the way, I discovered that Lucas Arts made the soundtracks to their classic games public. So you can download .mp3 files with high resolution covers of all Monkey Islands, Grim Fandango, Sam&Max, even Zak McKracken. Definitely fingerlickin' for collectors.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Springfield, Nevada (a hint by Steve)

In Las Vegas, they built an original version of the Simpsons house. Pretty cool, huh?
There are even Quicktime VR videos of the ground floor. And if you want to build one yourself, here is the blueprint. Just a couple of pictures you can see here.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Relating Posts - Spoken Word on HipHop

One: I mentioned the True Lies video on GNN two posts ago. The excellent spoken word artist bringing this statement is Taalam Acey.

Two: With Jay Dee's tragic death, the hiphop thing lost one of its good guys. Moreover, rap is an extraordinarily self-referential artform and hiphop is constantly redefining. Again and again the question is (and has to be) asked "where is hiphop going?".

Three: A couple of weeks ago we went to visit Dave Chappelle's Block Party, and we noticed that the Dead Prez were somehow exposed in that movie. To me, they are not on a par with artists like Mos Def and Common, and I wish I would've seen more entertaining Mos Def and less Dead Prez. Anyhow, they were good for a change, and the movie was a blast.

Bringing it all together: Dead Prez have one very good LP called Let's Get Free (2000) with the single It's Bigger Than Hip Hop. Taalam Acey now took the pumping beat from that single in order to make a critical review of the hiphop situation (before Dilla's death, though): Check out When the Smoke Clearz from 2002.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Urgent Update - "Real" Simpsons

How cool's that? I mean, I don't wanna watch a whole Simpsons episode with real characters, but the intro part is pretty cool. Check it out:

GNN - Guerilla News Network (a link by Seba)

I haven't checked it out to the full extent yet, but what I saw from the guerilla news network - gnn, a politically motivated news and activist forum supposedly based in Canada, seems to be pretty cool. One piece I watched is the video comment True Lies by Taalam Acey, which comes straight to the point after starting off with the soothing sentence "there's nothin' mo' romantic than phantasy..."

Supplement: Now, I surfed their website a little bit more. They really are an independent Canadian news source that is a little bit less radical but also a little bit more entertaining than for example To what I could see, their mission to combine journalistic content with music video style seems to work out and doesn't get cheesy. Check out their video S-11 Redux including classic scenes from the media after 9-11, as for example GWB's "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists".

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Multitouch Interaction

Nice, this goes without much of a comment:
Multitouch display presentation by Jeff Han at NYU. What's the name of that Spielberg movie with Tom Cruise where they foresee murder and the agent is playing with this multitouch display, which he doesn't even have to touch? I think it starts with M... crap, I don't remember, and I am too lazy to look it up. Anyways. Draw your attention not only to the flashy technical side of the multitouch display, but also to the nice applications they are showing.